"Wanna put your ballot in my slot...."

Who says today's young people are apathetic about politics?

This song parody was on Mad TV on Saturday night.




Got two responses to recent entries.

J. writes, in response to the "helmet" question:

I have to think this is a phonetic spelling of “ailment”, especially if the writer might be used to hearing someone speaking English with some sort of other accent, like British or French. That’s funny stuff. I’ve gotten a few of those Nigerian scam emails lately, after I went a LONG time without getting one.

Lori writes:

Hey C, how are you? I was just catching up on your blog and I had to write you this second and tell you that I too wore sneakers under my wedding dress. The entire time. Not just after the ceremony. Every second of my wedding, I had on my lug-sole white canvas platform Sketchers (it was 2000, and that's what all the kids were wearing.) I still had to go to the podiatrist the next morning though, because by then I was wearing orthotic inserts for the heel spurs I had developed, and they wouldn't fit into those sneakers, so I went without. When I couldn't walk the next morning, I had to get a cortisone shot in my heel so that I could leave for my honeymoon the next day. Ah, good times, good times.
I'm enjoying the Hawaii pics very much!

Thanks for writing, Lori and J!

Wow, three entries three days in a row, that might do it for this week. ;)



I think today's scam letter was written by a romance novelist. Can anyone out there tell me what a "helmet" is as it relates to illness? Have the Nigerian translators been hit on their "helmets" too often?

Dear Beloved, Calvary greetings to you, I am Mr. Anderson. M. Tubman, from London born on the 12th of May 1943, i am not married and had no children I have been bedridden for two years, and there has been no medical improvement on my health

I have been suffering from a wicked helmet, called Cancer of the Lungs for over five years now, visited all medical homes, herbal, and churches all to no avail.

On the 13 of August 2006, my medical report was that I will not survive the helmet and my doctor advice me to put my home in order and be in expectant of death at any time, I resolved inside of me to sell all my companies, properties and inheritance and deposit it in a Security Company here in London, on the 24th of August 2006 I contacted my lawyer to sell all the inheritance, properties and companies and deposit the fund which is FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ($45M DOLLARS) ...I have this last wish from God to help me sow this money as a seed into the lives of the needy and helpless, motherless, fatherless, widows and widowers...Beloved, all I require from you is your personal information which includes as below:



Good afternoon, all!

I had another wonderful weekend with the hubby, as usual. I am thankful for every great thing that happened to me this year, especially marrying him.

For all you people of the Jewish persuasion, or those buying gifts for them, Hannukah is early this year: it begins at sundown on Dec. 4. Surprise! I guess the good news is, I have done most of my shopping already.

On another important note, "Rudolph" is on Dec. 3 on ABC Family. Hey, that matters to some people.


Thoughts on writing and revising

I'm in a writing group that meets once a month. We sit around, read about 1-8 pages of our works-in-progress, and critique each other.

Last Friday, this dude in the group who has been revising his novel told us, "I have a friend who says you should get rid of all adverbs from your writing."

Most of us responded that that sounded like a bunch of hooey served up for consumption in a tired old college writing workshop (or words to that effect).

He agreed, but noted that in one of his sentences, "He scared her and she shook apprehensively," he really didn't need the word "apprehensively." "How else would she have shaken?" he asked.

We also agreed.

Anyway, the point is that there are exceptions to every writing rule, and you can't sit around revising yourself to death. Maybe in that case, that one worked, but not always.

Which leads me to...

On the cover of this week's Newsweek is a story about the new handheld systems that let you download books, and you read them on the screen. They ask if this will be the end of books as we know them. Well, I'd say, probably not...but I have no problem with these devices. You still have to pay $9.99 per book, so it will still benefit writers and publishers. You usually will get the first chapter of any book free, which is interesting. I prefer to browse before I buy, so as a consumer, I like the idea. I also think it will lead to writers revising their beginnings a lot more, which they should. Heck, you know I do!

I won't be purchasing one of these devices, because I think they're of most value to people who commute or take planes for business travel a lot. Having to schlep 2-3 new books onto a plane each time would be daunting. But for me, when it comes to reading a book, I'd still rather sit down with a real book rather than with a device. And it needs no batteries.

Newsweek also notes that this innovation means that someday, writers will be able to continually upgrade their books. Ay carumba! Some of us will never finish! I have a few nips and tucks I'd like to go back and make to my book... ;)

Anyway, that's my thoughts on writing for today. HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!!!

Love (and thanks for reading), me


Personal ad jerk

The Hubby e-mailed me a link to this newscast about a guy who sent a jerky response to an internet dater. After she rejected him (following one e-mail exchange), he told her she was out of shape, and reminded her that he was a successful Ivy grad with a car, bla bla.


You know, I have thought about posting some thoughts on dating here, but there are so many exceptions to every rule, piece of advice, or experience I can think of. Still, I think people should always follow one rule when dating: DO NOT BE MEAN.

If someone is putting him or herself out there, they are automatically vulnerable. Rejections should be done nicely, and with consideration for the other person's feelings. If you don't like someone, then fine, but don't insult them.

I remember that one time a guy kept e-mailing me with really short emails that said nothing at all about himself. His profile said very little, too. I responded once, asking him some questions, and he didn't answer any of them. So I basically knew nothing about him except for a few words and his constant, continual requests for my phone number. He kept asking for my phone number, both by IM'ing me constantly and emailing for it. I was already corresponding with some other people, and didn't want to give out my number to someone who didn't tell me anything about himself. Finally, I wrote back and said I'd gotten busy, but wished him good luck. He responded, "Fine, I really do not think we'd be a match. I really do not like your new photo at all!" I guess he did that to save face. Ah well. I am so glad to be out of that mess. It's not easy, it really isn't.
Literary thought for the day

Inside every fat manuscript, there is a thin manuscript waiting to get out.


Wicked wintry wet weather

I took this photo on Thursday, actually, but it's just as
wet and yucky today! Except, most of those leaves are gone.


Same song

One of the harder things about writing a novel, especially starting a new one, is trying to write it while avoiding cliches or things that have been done before.

Of course, nothing ever seems completely original -- it's been said that every story uses a plot that has either been in Shakespeare or the Bible already.

Still, I am always surprised when something sells that has a very similar plot to what's already been done. Yet, it's a vague enough plot that if the writing is great, it can still come out as original and new.

So I assume this will be a pretty good novel, even though there are a few chick-lit novels that had similar plots, especially one of my favorite - L.A. Woman by Cathy Yardley, which I read a few years ago.

This is what just sold:

Deirdre Shaw's DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM, about a 29-year-old woman who follows her boyfriend from New York to L.A., to find that her life there is nothing like what she envisioned, leaving her to redefine love, career, and family, to Laura Ford at Random House, by Katharine Cluverius at ICM.

Random House and ICM! Two pretty big entities. OK, I'll give it a shot whenever it comes out.

Anyway, have a great weekend, all!


Tooth or consequences

If I get a postcard from the dentist that says, "It's time for your regular dental check-up. Please call our office today to schedule an appointment," and someone took a ballpoint pen and specifically underlined "Please," should I be worried?


Almost paradiiiiiiise

Here are some photos from Hawaii.

By the way, I am now down to approximately 25 individual readers per day. Ah well - I never claimed to want to be popular!


Monday musings

(I'll get some Hawaii photos up Tue or Wed.)

Writing update

It's been a long time since I've started anything from scratch, writing-wise. The last few years, since my two Red Dress Ink novels came out, I've been revising my teen book.

My agent finally sent out my teen book to a bunch of editors two weeks ago. Yay! I spent a lot of tender loving care on it over the years, shaded in the characters and the story, and pruned the things that slowed the story down - even if there was some cutesy writing in there. Now it moves quickly.

And now I just wait to see if it sells. No more asking for it back to do just a few more revisions. Of course, editors may give it back and ask us for some changes, but I really think it's in good shape - I just have to see if people "get" it.

So that leaves me possibly starting something new some day. I have two ideas for adult novels (I mean, as opposed to kids' novels, not as in "porn" or something) and one pre-teen novel I wrote years ago that I'd like to revise and make much better.

I'm mostly resting now, just waiting to see if anything happens with my current teen novel. It could take months to hear back. I'm glad I have some new novel ideas, but nothing at all that I need to rush on. It's really a rest period, and I've got a new marriage to focus on.

Still, there are always a few projects in mind, and it's important for me to think of a lot of different aspects of them so that when I start writing them, there are some rich plot and character details already to work with.

I am hopeful that the teen book that's being sent out will sell, becase I think people will like it and it'll make them think.

Fight the power

Starbucks has a lot of holiday coffee and cappuccino flavors. But why don't they ever do something more healthy, like Split Pea Cappuccino or Ham & Cheese Mocha Dream? Maybe I'll suggest that. Who's with me?

Wow, the silence is deafening.


I just cleaned out my closets. One of the frustrating things about seasons that go back and forth, temperature-wise, is that it's hard to put away things if you think you'll need them again soon. But I just packed my summer clothes away. Whew.


Someone e-mailed me to point out that wearing sneakers would not work with every wedding dress. Just to clarify: You couldn't actually SEE my shoes under my dress, so it really didn't matter what I wore under it, even though some people get really uptight about that sort of thing. If you want more height, I guess you have to wear high heels. But you'll be doing a lot of running around, so if you want to be comfortable, and no one's gonna see your shoes anyway, consider sneakers!


My computer is an 8-year-old Dell, so me and the hubby may be investing in a new computer soon. If anyone has any Mac-vs.-PC feelings and wants to e-mail me their thoughts and suggestions, feel free. We mostly use our 'puter to surf the internet, check e-mail, write, and I may do some updating on my writing website someday.

Speaking of writing, my good friend Jon has written a book, and you should read it next month when it comes out. More to come.


Holy cow!

Brilliant young writer Ned Vizzini is engaged!

Congrats, Ned and Sarah! Remember, do YOUR wedding YOUR way. Avoid the pressure.

Wear sneakers under your dress if you want to!!

(ignore the date in the photo - it's wrong)

To others: Read Ned's books. They read like buttah. (And buy them, 'cause hell, he'll need the money soon. ;)

Oh, the photo below is supposed to be funny; I'll publish some nicer Hawaii photos next week. And not of McDonald's and Quizno's. (Although they were both there).

For those who wanted to see photos from Hawaii, here's one!

Don't worry, there are plenty more like this.



The hubby and I have returned from our honeymoon. It was beautiful, walking along the beach and swimming in the pool every day. Now we are back to the cold weather.

As many of you know, "honeymoon" is a term derived from the ancient practice of mooning your honey. During our honeymoon, we ate lots of pupu and were lucky to get lei'd.