Sam from Hawaii notes that we all missed:

Just Whip Pitt.

Also, apparently I'm not alone in only recently hearing the word "platform" used to describe writers with some sort of track record - the sudden proliferation of the term just got written about today on a major literary blog!!!

Sto Pitt, Stu Pitt!

Wes suggests: "Personally, I like Trum Pitt and Butterscotch Crim Pitt. "

Not bad. Mickey noted that I forgot "Stu Pitt."

I found out at a publishing gathering this evening that fabulous author Melissa Senate sometimes reads this blog. Thanks!

It was back to work for me today, but I'm still revising by night so I can get this stuff out at the end of the week. What comes next? The real fun: Waiting to see if someone thinks it's publishable! Hey, less carpal tunnel syndrome that way.


Whoopee doo

And now the news you've been waiting for:

"Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie welcomed daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt into the world amid secrecy in Namibia."

I was going to die if I had to wait another day!

But I was hoping for one of these names instead:

Peach Pitt
Arm Pitt
Carr Pitt
Don't Dro Pitt
Stoh Pitt
I Said Stoh Pitt (Frequent dialogue between me & my brother when little)
John Wayne Bob Pitt
Rip Pitt
U Can't Kee Pitt
Tarr Pitt
Zip Pitt!
Watermelon Pitt
Pack-A-Day Hab Pitt
Exhib Pitt
Who Framed Roger Rab Pitt
Abracadab Pitt
Should Have Been Anison's Kid Pitt
Moxie Crimefighter


I haven't mentioned it here, but I might as well reveal the reason I started writing really crazily again recently. It's that my agent is leaving her agency. That means I have to find a new agent.

The fact that I've already been published will of course help me get one (that's called my "platform," which I just learned). BUT it's no use for an agent to take me on if I don't have a product to sell.

I had one semi-humorous/semi-literary novel almost done with my other agent (at least, attemptedly humorous; obviously others will have to judge), and a fun Young Adult novel for teens. So I moved up my week off from work to finish working on these two projects.

Time is of the essence because a lot of editors go away for long periods during the summer, so I want to get these things to agents soon.

I did a lot of writing and finishing this week, and should be able to mail this stuff to agents by Wednesday and Thursday. Whee!

I may be going to Virginia in two weeks for a Top Secret Mission, so I should have at least a day not on my computer, which will be a relief.

Anyway, that's what's happening on my end. Y tu?



Too busy to blog. Another weekend of writing madness.




Is it me for a moment?

Someone famous e-mailed me to say I look like this famous chick from Comedy Central:


Is "owl" a two-syllable word?
Then how come "howl" is one?
You think that question's for the birds?
Wow, you are no fun.


Owl's well

I kind of like that even though I'm in a city, I can still wake up some mornings and hear "Wee-hoooo, hooooo, hoooooooooo" coming from my back yard.

How many of you New Yorkers can say that?

Now if I can pay someone to come by on Sunday morning and make lawnmower noises, it'd be complete.

Attention readers

If any of you female readers are willing do me the favor of taking a look at one page (just the first page) of my young-adult novel and giving me any reactions, let me know. It's the first page; I'll e-mail it to you post haste. Thanks! E-mail me at lizzner@aol.com. (Yes, girls only; sorry boys.)

Will Gore run?

A friend writes that when asked if Gore would run for president on Monday, James Carville's comment on CNN was: "Running for president is like having sex. You don't do it once and say, 'Well, I've already done that, I'll move on to something else.'"

That Carville. Always has a way with words.



Shouldn't fans of the Yankees be called "fankees"?

As predicted

I logged onto my computer this morning to see this on my homepage.



Update update

The Post just put their version of the McGreevey story on-line. It makes it sound like the book is really sleazy, which it isn't. Their story says this:

"Excerpts from the tome were printed yesterday by The Star-Ledger of Newark after the newspaper obtained them at a publishing-industry convention in Washington."

Yeah, I KNOW.
They stole my scoop!

I was in Washington D.C. this weekend on literary business and I got sort of a semi-scoop on former Gov. McGreevey's new book, but the Star-Ledger reporter was also down there and I knew he'd write something. Sure enough, I just checked the Ledger's webpage and their story is on-line already.

That means the Associated Press will probably pick it up for today and tomorrow's newspapers. Drat. So that means it will appear in a newspaper near you - in fact, after you read this, look in your paper and it's probably there.

I still have a quote or two that they don't, I think. It's too bad my paper is a weekly and can't come out sooner, but no biggie. It's not as if it was a big secret; it's just that it was McGreevey's first public appearance in a while. Not much is secret in journalism.

On another note, I am posting this at 4:19 a.m., and yes I'm revising my book. I think I will cook a delicious feta omlette now. But the question is: Will it count as breakfast, or dinner?

5 a.m. update: Even more in a NEW post below!
Monday again

It was just Monday last week. What a conspiracy.

I came up with all sorts of topics to write about in the blog today, and rejected them, as I frequently do. Top reasons are:

1. Someone will misunderstand it and get offended...just like last year when I put a brief, funny poem up here and two people thought it was about them and they wrote to apologize for something they did, but the poem wasn't even about them! Honest!
2. I want to share personal things in my life with the closest people in my life, not necessarily with the world. And the most intimate, private things in my life with the most intimate, private people in my life. I think relationships end up being devalued a bit if you can't share exclusive intimacies.
3. It's boring.
4. Other people already write too much about the issue (like politics).
5. There is no reason #5.

But it's Monday, and you've come here for a brain-break, which is so nice of you I can't stand it. Thank you for coming.

Here's an observation, then: I hate when pizza places charge $2 extra for putting onions on the pizza. They put five savory crescents of onion on a darn pizza, and you get charged $2 for a topping.

4 a.m. update: New post below...


Goodbye Heather; hello, Hannah

Here is a site that tells you the popularity of names over specific years, and also even shows them during the 1400s! Check this out. A great way to waste time.

I had something like it up here a while ago, but this is an even better one. I'm fascinated by this stuff.


Almost forgot

My friend Joel, an essayist, food reviewer and TV blogger, is going to be among the readers at Barbes this Sunday at 6:30.

Thank God it's

On another note

Five things I love about dogs

1. The way they try to walk far in front of you, stretching their leash, in order to show how independent they are, but still continually look back at you to make sure you're there.

2. The puzzled expression on a puppy's face after he sneezes for the first time

3. When a dog's nails get clipped and he walks funny on the sidwalk because he's not used to the absence of tapping, and you can see each paw spreading out to get the full brunt

4. When they face into the wind and their ears flap like sails

5. Their pure, unconditional love


99 problems

When I was a kid, sometimes I'd crawl into bed, amidst my B. Kliban Cat comforter and cat sheets and cat pillows, and be scared about some big problem in school (usually related to bullies) that I couldn't figure out how to solve. Sometimes my fears had to do with something more serious, like an ill relative or my disintegrating family unit. But more often it had to do with something that seems silly in retrospect, but was a big deal in elementary school -- the fact that I was required to do something specific in school that surely would get me picked on. For instance, when we had an annual art class assignment to paint a poster of a favorite famous person, I intentionally ducked the assignment for literally weeks and got a zero because I knew whatever I drew would make me ripe for teasing. Kids would pain John Belushi or David Lee Roth and I didn't know who either of them were, and I was sure if I picked someone I knew of, say, Billy Joel, whose songs I practiced on the piano, it'd make me more vulnerable. Even picking a Greek God to do a report on scared me. Believe me, kids can find anything about you to pick on. (Do you remember the classic Judy Blume book "Blubber," and how Blubber got that name because she did a report on whales or something? Exactly.) Yes, this all sounds silly and immature, but I'm talking about elementary school, so cut me some slack.

I remember the night before I was to hand in my Greek God or Goddess report, which I hadn't done, lying in bed and wondering when the last time was that I didn't have something to worry about, and wishing it was a night like that again. And I vowed that if I ever went to sleep again without being nervous and scared, I'd appreciate that it was a night without problems.

So occasionally, I WOULD have that sort of period, brief though it lasted because kids have no control over their lives, and I'd crawl under my cat comforter and realize I *didn't* have any major problems (no kids picking on me, family temporarily not fighting, no one sick), and I would be very appreciative, although I didn't know how long it would last.

Anyway, I was thinking about that today because right now, I have no major problems. There are the usual ongoing minor dilemmas, but nothing at crisis level, nothing that makes it hard to sleep. And I'm very grateful.

Of course, right now I'm in a time in my life where I'm not completely in charge of anyone's well being. I have no pets or kids right now. I do manage a writing staff, but I haven't reprimanded anyone in a few days so I think no one hates me right now (although being a boss, it's hard to tell. Yeahhhh...TPS Reports...do you have those TPS Reports?)

Some day I will have more people/things to worry about. But at this moment, even though I'm without cat comforter, I can curl up and feel relieved.


Thanks to Wes, Carl, and "Blogfan Sam" from Hawaii for reminding me that the essay I was looking for was back in Aug of '03. I didn't think it was so long ago. I have always depended on the kindness of stranglers, I mean, strangers.



Wish it was Sunday.


Happy Mother's Day!

Me and Mom.

Obnoxious t-shirts spotted yesterday

On a short, muscular guy talking into his cellphone: A picture of a fan with the words "This blows."

On a tall, blonde woman: "I had a nightmare I was a brunette."


Losing it

One of the most frustrating things to happen is when you lose something you really need. You retrace your steps looking, and are furious at yourself for the split second it took to misplace it.

And you also wish that if anyone would find it, they'd call you quickly, but sometimes they don't (if they bother trying to find you at all).

This morning on my way to work, I saw what looked like someone's tax refund checks on the ground. It didn't seem like a safe thing to be dropping, even if it was just the pull-off part. I picked it up and it was two sealed checks from the DIVISION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND HEALTH SERVICES, TRENTON, NJ addressed to a guy at the Homeless Shelter.

Obviously he needs these for his health care, or it's disability or whatever. I called the shelter and told them the guy could come pick them up at my office, or they could send someone. They said to just drop them in the mail.

I declined to, because what if the mail takes two days or sends them back to Trenton? This guy finally got his disability checks and somehow dropped them. He probably needs them in a hurry.

There's no reason he has to wait and fret when he clearly has enough problems as it is. Plus, the shelter is like seven blocks from me.

Anyway, I'm gonna sprint down there tonight and drop them off. It's good exercise. So see, I'm really doing it for selfish reasons, you Ayn Rand junkies (ewww).


Now that I've met you

Just in case anyone out there needs one, here's a great big ((((((((((((hug)))))))).

Let me know if I can help.


I have two writing projects whose revisions should both be done within the next month.

And neither of them is the third one, which I've been working on for four years.

Writing what you know is a lot easier than writing what you love, sometimes...but the research is fun just the same.

In any case, I hope to have two things sold by September. I haven't sold anything in a while. So yeah, I'll be in literary seclusion for a lot of this month.

You think September is far away, but it's not. Huh huh huh huh, I said 's not.

Obladi, obladah...

"Come on, where are you guys already?!" - Becca Thatcher, talking to her breasts

If that means anything to you...or the names Tyler Benchfield, Corky Thatcher, or Jesse McKenna do, guess what's out today on DVD!!!

The rumors are NOT true that the series was originally called, "That's retarded!"



Seems like a lot of blogs have been boring lately. If you're looking for stuff to read, here are some things:

Kevin Smith gives TMI about his sex life:


Rivers Cuomo of Weezer talks about being a regular Harvard student:


I just started a really paranoid blog:




One day in college, I was leaving CVS and crossing the street back onto the campus. CVS was part of a bank of stores just off-campus, a place I rarely went. Off-campus was like this netherworld where you had to fear muggings and spend your own cash.

When I returned to the grassy campus area, I spied, a little bit in the distance, my friend Regina.
What was unusual was that rather than her walking on the paved path through campus, she had stepped upward onto one of the high, thin, long raised gray curb-beams that bounded it. And she was balancing on it as she walked, as if it was a balance beam.

That's something you do as a kid, walk on any balance beam-like thing you see, with your hands out. It's sort of like the kiddish need to hold your arm out in school when you walk through the hallways, barely glancing the wall with the ends of your fingertips. Jumping up and balancing on something is not what you're supposed to do as an adult, and yet, Regina just happened to be doing it. And she didn't expect anyone to see her. I thought it was pretty funny, the way she was walking along like that.

It was kind of charming. I still do childish things like that too, even though I suppose I shouldn't. But why not? Sometimes at work I take the stairs two at a time, jumping onto the floor at the end. If I'm not supposed to have that kind of energy anymore, I say, bah!


Today is Friday

It is May 5, 2006.

In about a month, it will be 06/06/06. There is very little you can do about it.


Reading details for Sunday

I'll be reading on Sunday from a hopefully-humorous book-in-progress. I will have one or two co-readers. If it's not too far for you to come, it'll be great to see ya there!

It's 6:30 p.m. this Sunday, 5/7 at Barbes, in Brooklyn off the F train - directions:

From Manhattan, Take the last car of the train to 7th Avenue, Brooklyn. Exit at the southwest corner exit.

Make a u-turn and walk downhill on 9th street towards 6th Avenue. Barbes is on your left at 376 9th Street, a couple of stores in from the corner of 6th Avenue.


E-mail me if you have questions (about that or anything else).

Phone convo I had just now:

PERSON: So, are you into Idol?
ME: Billy Idol?
PERSON: No, American Idol.
ME: Uh...no. But I might be if they sang Billy Idol.

E-mail of the day

don't plagiarize or you may lose your million dollar book deals (lol). isn't that somethin'? love, dad.



I just saw United 93 and it gave me a headache. The first 15 minutes are very slow chatty stuff to show what a normal morning it was - I'd recommend going in 15 minutes late. There's a lot of other slow stuff to fill time. Then you're on a doomed plane. The camera angles are weird through the whole thing and made me a little dizzy. So in short, don't bring the kids. Except that some of the money is going to WTC charities so I guess I should encourage that part.
Call to my phone company just now

Guy: Hi. Please bear with me. I’m not sure why my computer is so slow today.
Me: It’s ok. I understand.
Guy: Just one more minute.
Me: Maybe it’s your DSL.
Guy: Ha ha ha.
Me: Maybe you should switch to AT&T
Guy: Is it ok if I place you on hold for just one minute?