I really don't sit around all day checking on how my books are selling. But it occurred to me to check this because I haven't done so in a very long time. Is this true? If so, I want my check! Hahaha.

Note: It's still available on Amazon, so it's not really sold out.


Scott Baio's back

The Boy was kind enough to forward me articles about my favorite reality show. Scott Baio will be returning for a second season. I may not watch this one. But anyway, here's the dirt. Warning: Spoilers!!!



During my first few days of freshman year of college, it was sunny, bright, and contradictorily cool. We kept waiting for rain, and there was none, which was good for us suburban kids who weren't used to all that walking around in a city.

Several days were reserved for freshman orientation before classes began, and this orientation included "diversity training" on the grassy college green (where we designed our own skits about racial sensitivity), last-minute dropping and adding of courses, and "campus safety" seminars. There was a tree-lined brick walkway that ran the length of campus, past the Book Store and the main freshman dorm, and along the way, people stalked us trying to invite us to their club, sell us something, offer us membership.

During the first few days of school, everybody wanted us.

If we walked on the brick walkway, we'd get accosted by coupons: The local pizza restaurant, wing joints, bagel shops. Credit card companies set up desks to offer us gifts if we'd use their card, now that we were suddenly independent (probably not such a good idea). Clubs and non-profit volunteer groups begged us to be members.

And there were jobs. "JOBS!" the pink fluorescent flyers screamed, "$12-$15 an hour!" The $15 an hour one involved delivering newspapers on campus from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. before classes, a great way to earn yourself a reputation on your dorm floor while everyone else slept late. There were jobs editing the faculty newsletter, sitting in the dorm computer rooms, and working in the dining hall (which meant a nice discount on meal plan).

One night during orientation, there was an event at the Christian center with free burgers and a showing of a Monty Python movie. Of course, all the non-Christian freshmen came too, because it was yet another free dinner, a way to avoid spending money when people were throwing so many freebies at us.

Everybody wanted us. We were the future.

And we wanted each other, no doubt. Some of us had boy- or girl-friends back home, but not most of us. We were 18, without our parents for the first time, and our hormones were still raging. So there we were, with thousands of people our ages, of similar backgrounds, suddenly sprung from the stuffy halls of high school and shedding the social labels of nerd or geek or jock. Everyone wanted to sell things to us and get to know us.

It really felt like a beginning.

We could do anything from here, and some of us were bound to be successful at it. Those groups, credit card companies, and employers knew it. We were ripe for the picking. Get 'em while they're young. Feed 'em, stuff their mailboxes with offers and event notices, give 'em a plastic blue and red rape whistle if any of their late-night activities go too far.

It was an explosive, exciting time for those of us who'd been mired in the limitations of high school. It was the beginning of independence.

For some students, it was a time when they realized they didn't know how to handle that newfound independence and flunked out. Others started a romance within a few days and never ended it. Some just went through school and had a good time. Some prepared to make a lot of money. Some filled their heads with knowledge and didn't know what to do after graduation.

But no matter what happened, beginnings are nice. We didn't know which path we were about to take, only that it was all ahead of us and not much was behind.

That feeling comes back to me every year around this time, when everyone looked at us as the representatives of the future, and we knew anything could happen in love and life. You don't have to be 18 to believe that, but when you are 18, it sure helps other people feel that way!


Bat dog

The Boy and I went to a Trenton Thunder minor league game on Saturday night. The team had a "bat dog" that actually went out and picked up the bats after the players were done with them in the first inning. It was a Golden Retriever, I think. They also featured a dog later on that was up for adoption. So, definitely my kind of game. Anyway, we left early because it was soupy-hot that night. The Thunder apparently won 7-0. The next night, they played a 14-inning game!

Bloggin' may be light over the next month. But I will write something about the first day of school soon.


Uh oh!

A boy read my diary! It was my fiance! Okay, so it was my diary from when I was 8, but still...no boys allowed.

Now that he knows that I didn't get invited to Johanna's birthday party, or that my brother got better Life Savers flavors than I, I hope he will still be kind enough to marry me.

And I tried so hard to keep those things a secret...


One writer's beginnings

I was looking for something last night and I found my diary from when I was 8.

It is not of high literary quality.



I just made some tea
This could signify the start
Of a new season



Too busy to post today. Just to save time - er, I may be too busy to post tomorrow too.

I should get a post in some time this week. I think.

I love you all and give you all a great big free (((hug))).

(That hug was platonic, but meaningful.)


This just makes no sense

Today I got an e-mail whose subject heading said "Help! My boyfriend's p*nis is too big to fit in my mouth!"

Interesting dilemma! I had never heard of the person who was sending it, but I was quite concerned for her (his?) well-being, so I opened it. It said:

"Dames always shrieked at me and even gentlemans did in the water closet! Well, now I smil at them, because I took Mega-Di*k for 6 months and now my c*ck is dreadfully longer than average."

I don't understand this crazy logic. If it gets bigger, then it will have even less chance of fitting in the mouth. Maybe this person should take Mini-Di*k for 6 months. Hmmm. Count me puzzled.


I am officially even more lame than before

I am afraid to go on rollercoasters. Not just rollercoasters, though. The last time I rode on the Buccanneer in Great Adventure, I was scared and decided I'd never go on that again, either.

Last time I was coaxed onto a Ferris wheel, I also decided I would never go on one again.

Now that I see that people actually died on one, I have more reason - although I know that's incredibly rare. Still, I think I'll skip it if I can.


Talkin' baseball

The Boy and I had a nice weekend. We decided to see a minor league game out of the area. You may have heard of the incident a few years ago when people at a Toronto Blue Jays game witnessed a couple having sex in an attached hotel. Well, the team we saw also had an attached hotel, although we provided no such "free shows."

The minor league team, the Manchester New Hampshire Fisher Cats, were an affiliate of the Blue Jays.

Here is the view from our room:

The night we were there, the local Boy Scouts had a "sleep over" on the field. The Boy and I both agreed that it would have been a cool thing to do when we were growing up. However, by 6:30 the next morning, most of the people were packing up to leave. I could tell the adults had just had enough.

We went to a game the next day and had a lot of fun. There were fireworks after. Unfortunately, the boy caught a free t-shirt and injured his finger in the process.

There was a little non-sporty entertainment, of course. We took a walk downtown by the dozens of former mills, and enjoyed a view of the Merrimack River.

So if you are a big baseball fan or are in love with one, it's a weekend I recommend. We also soaked in the homeplate-shaped hot tub (no photo, sorry).

I might be pretty busy this week and not blog so much, so have a good week!



Have a good weekend, y'all!


Good news

Starting today, Cablevision of New Jersey is getting the 24-hour "Sound of Music" channel! It replaces ESPN!!! I look forward to watching it on Sundays at 10 a.m. instead of "Sports Reporters"...Captain Von Trapp is much more handsome than Mitch Albom.

Anyway, apparently there was a huge storm yesterday morning that wreaked havoc all over the NYC area and even caused a tornado in Brooklyn, and I slept right through it. I've nearly lost the right to call myself a Weather Weenie.

Update: The Boy had this to say in response:

and as for the rest of the cablevision press release..........."not available in all areas, one of them being [our town] and even if it were available in [our county], we would simply move Sports Reporters, along with sports guru/genius Mitch Albom, to ESPN 2." Still not sure what you have against a show you may have spent all of five minutes watching. You are usually doing laundry, bathing or working out when Sports Reporters is on. You probably had to look up the show online to see who the moderators usually are. They tend to vary from week to week, but Albom is usually a constant.

Whatever. The Hillllls are Aliiiiiiiiive....

Anyway, he's wrong...I liked "Sports Reporters" when they were talking about The Sopranos.



I guess I did enough dwelling on myself and my days o' youth on Monday, right?

I'll spare you that today.

What can we do instead?

How about we look at puppies?????


When I was at the crossroads

A friend of mine recently noted that people only blog when they're upset about something. It's often true of writing in one's journal, too. Through the years, I mostly used my journals to help write out my feelings on things, more bad than good. As a result, most of my journals aren't of great literary quality. There are a few writers whose published diaries are so honest and heartfelt that they're fun to read, like Sylvia Plath's. But in reading hers, you can tell she actually tried to make them well-written. (At least, it seems that way.) I never had the patience - I am pretty sure my jottings won't ever be published.

Anyway, I thought it would be funny to take out my old "One-Year Diary" from when I was 8 or 10 (I got diaries for my birthdays those years) and transcribe a bit of it here, because those diaries are NOT angry - I was too young. They were mostly full of "We went to Wildwood today. The beach was butiful [crossed out] beatifull," which is always fun.

However, I couldn't immediately find them, though I know they're here somewhere. I did open a random journal that turned out to be from when I was 22.

Unsurprisingly, the literary quality was not high. But I did get pretty detailed. Detailed about the holding pattern my life was in. After graduating from college, I was broke, isolated, and desperate to find a job I really loved during an unforgiving economic recession. I didn't know what I would do, who I would love, who I would be, and whom to talk to about any of it.

The thing that saved me was typing skills I had honed since high school, because I knew I needed to get good at typing if I was going to write novels. Even though I couldn't land a publishing job right after college like I wanted, I was pleased that I was accepted for short-term temp jobs based on my typing speed, although they were not very fulfilling.

My only social activity was doing some college-related activities with other recent grads (like attending a Penn/Columbia football game), not because I had had a great time in school, but instead, because I figured maybe the social skills that had eluded me would allow me to enjoy all those college activities now that I was older and wiser. Besides, the only people I knew in the NYC area were two or three people who had graduated with me. There was no internet and not much of a way to make new friends in my new neighborhood.

I was, in other words, at a crossroads, and the journal makes that clear.

Just now, I typed up a few of my sample entries from that journal. These are not indicative of everything that was going on (I'm cutting out some family stuff below), but...a pretty good account of a recently graduated English major in Generation X...

8/26 10:28 AM Natalie [temp woman] gave me a six-day job at $14 an hour! Cool! I gotta learn Lotus tho. Not so cool. But at least I don't gotta get up every day & make phone calls searching for work.

A woman said she's been in word processing for seven years and refused to take a typewriter test. I agreed w/her in principle. But who cares, cuz I'm GONNA MAKE four hundred smackas.

This morning I saw a REALLY old guy reading the personals. It was depressing.

Another free weekend is coming up. I don't want to take my car anywhere far until I get Triple A. [Editor's Note: This was a used car I bought for $800 after graduation, and used it to move all my stuff from Philly up north.]

8/27 10:34 AM What a temp job! $14 an hour for the next 6 days - and it's a nice financial place. I'm up on the 19th floor right now. I'm listening to Howard Stern. This company is one of those that takes care of its employees. Free juices & water...whee! I only hafta answer phones. Barely.

1:28 I just chowed down on free Chinese. Top things to do at a temp job:

1. Make long distance calls
2. Make copies
3. Steal software (duplicate it)
I do not advocate these things, however.

8/28 8:38 Weird dream! Weird dream! Something about making G.F. [someone I had a pretty intense unrequited crush on in college] take a job on a bus or something. It all escapes me now.

8/30 9:07 AM I went past the new CBS David Letterman theater this morning (For those who don't know, he left NBC). Z-100 was broadcasting some contest w/Jason Priestly.

Last night I read that Elton John had a hit with "Your Song" at the age of 23. One year older than I, and I still haven't accomplished anything. I hang on to hope w/the Jason book [a kids' book I was working on at the time]. Without that project, I'd probably feel completely worthless.

8/31 They showed the Letterman scenes on the news. He came outside a few times.

Heard on the street this morning:
DAD - We're having sushi tonight.



Now this is an interesting title for a book....



Alex the Italian Carrie Pilby reader e-mailed me, and I told him I was getting married. He writes:

This is simply great and special!!! I...can't believe to that....oh Caren, l'm so happy for this great thing it is happening to you... .. It is what every man or woman would like to crown as the bigger dream in their life, specially if it is with someone who deserves this reciprocal and big heart and love! It is the best news that you ever could make and give me before!! I love it !! As i have ever loved the friendship who came up one day with you. You have been a so special person for me Caren, and it will be for ever of my life. Alex

He is sweet. I hope he finds someone wonderful too.

I wore a skirt to work today and didn't get harassed.

How many of you actually clicked on the internet to watch the video of the bridge? Sickos.



I am behind on a few e-mails, so I apologize if you sent me a comment and I didn't respond. I got pretty busy.

The Scott Baio show is on again tonight. I may skip it in order to protect my relationship. Anyway, this may be more interesting, but have they gotten to home plate as many times as Scott?

My novel is now in my agent's hands and I think she will send it to editors in September, which is a good time for it. If one of them (or more) wants to buy it, I'm in luck! It's finally in good shape and I'm hopeful.