Happy new year!

Instead of hunting and wounding helpless animals, my husband brought back THIS delightful meal. The yellowish one is champagne!

Anyway, thanks for being such good readers and friends this year. Stay tuned...I'm turning 40 soon, and that will probably result in at least a couple of entries.

Have a great one!


Worst and best

A few days ago I mentioned that someone thought my book was the worst book of 2010. Well, this person thinks it was the best. Different strokes!



We did see the movie 'Easy A.' What followed:

FATHER IN 'EASY A': After we watch 'The Bucket List,' remember to cross 'watch "The Bucket List" off our bucket list.

ME: That was terrible.



It takes every kind of people

One reader had this to say about Carrie Pilby, in a review on the website Goodreads.com: "If the title of this book was Kevin Pilby, the book would get a rave review from literati types, a fancy arty cover, and a movie starring Michael Cera. I feel like the author is being cheated out of this ... Feminist-ish rant aside, I really enjoyed this book ... I hope it gets a wider audience that the cover is aiming for, and that it gets good press, hell and maybe even a movie deal, with Ellen Page in the starring role."

And on the other hand, this person believes Carrie Pilby was the worst book of 2010.

All valid opinions. I've loved books that others hated. Just shows how different opinions can be!


Dinner and a movie

Movies I have wanted to see in the last few years have been few and far between. But around the time I gave birth, a ton of movies came out that looked worth seeing. So now I have some good choices when hubby and I want to pay-per-view. The ones I wanna see include:

Easy A
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Social Network
The Town

And we're gonna also see Wall Street II.

I also think The Backup Plan looks good, but how much am I gonna have to pay hubby to watch this:

The movie is a story of a woman (played by Jennifer Lopez) who is worried about her biological clock ticking and thus goes in for artificial insemination, only to find the perfect man (played by Alex O’Loughlin) on the very same day. What follows is a never before relationship which starts with handling together a pregnancy, while dating and romancing side by side!



Do people under 25 ever use the term "cable tv" these days or even know what it means, since pretty much ALL TV is cable TV now? If I tell my son someday that something is "on cable," will he laugh at me? (Of course, I'll be using it to mean any channel over 13, but he won't see it that way.)
click to enlarge

I can wait a little more

Many years ago, probably at least seven or eight, I cut out this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon from the newspaper. I loved the last line. I kept it in my "in" box and never had a place to put it, so it's sat at the bottom of my in box for almost a decade! Here it is. Have happy holidays, everyone. Thank you for reading my humble blog.

The worst three months of the year are coming up. The weather is lousy and there are no holidays to compensate. They should move Xmas to the end of January to make January more tolerable. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) Now, I bet you're saying to yourself, "But Addledwriter, I thought you love snow!" I DO! But most of what we get Jan-March isn't light, fluffy flakes falling to earth and wrapping us up in Mother Nature's wonder. It's just coldness and slush. I'll love it if we get a nice blizzard. Luckily I have a lovely family and gas heat, so we'll be toasty through the winter.



My family moved four times as I was going through school, so I have distinct memories of four sets of kids. I used to wonder what happened to certain ones, and these days, Google and Facebook allow you to find out. So when I'm bored, I Google the more interesting kids I encountered growing up, to find out what became of them.

(As a side note -- I started reading this blog at one point, where a guy wrote down every memory he had of the kids he went to school with in Wisconsin. I remember odd things like that too, but I'd never do a blog like that -- too much chance to offend someone. Still, it just shows some of the funny things you remember from elementary school.)

Anyway, among all the kids I encountered in four school districts in Central New Jersey in the 1980s, one of the smarter ones was Buck R. I remember him because he was in the top three smartest kids in my eighth grade class, and that was a class in which almost everyone was pretty smart. It was the year we lived in snobby Holmdel, N.J.

Buck was handsome and looked kinda like Doogie Howser, with the scrunched nose. He talked kinda slow, which made any funny thing he said even funnier. There are two distinct funny things he said that I remember the whole class laughing at:

1. We had a substitute teacher for social studies one day. Anyone who has been in the gifted/smartypants/honors classes knows that sometimes the smart kids can be just as obnoxious as the other classes, only maybe in a less threatening way. They're wiseasses and think they're superior to the teacher. So this day, my classmates were riling up the sub about something.

The sub said, "You kids are acting retarded."
Buck responded, in his calm, slow manner, "Yeah, we're the retarded gifted and talented class..." which got several people roaring.

2. Whenever we got done early with our work in class, like say before Christmas break or on a half day, the class would clamor for Trivial Pursuit. That's usually how the teachers passed the time on one of those non-work giddy days. They'd break the class in half and one side would play the other side.

One day, we were playing Trivial Pursuit and our teacher asked this question: "What is the number one reason for divorce in the United States?"

Buck suddenly burst out, "IM-potency."

That also got a big laugh...kind of the way he said it so matter-of-factly, and just the fact that he said it to begin with.

Anyway, I Googled him years ago. He had gone to Harvard Law and then become a manager at Goldman Sachs. Maybe a dull sort of occupation, but work doesn't make the man. That was about all that showed up about dear Buck.

Until I happened to hear something funny last week. Stephen Colbert was complaining about Wall Street executives and their bonuses. He mentioned that one of his writers found the Goldman Sachs credit card of a manager there. He held it up on TV and threatened to reveal one number of it each night on the show unless the owner came on the show to defend the bonuses. Who does the card belong to? Buck R.! (Colbert also made fun of his very Yuppie sounding first and last name). Here is a rundown of the event from the Washington Post, with video.

So anyway, Buck is famous again, as he should be.


Those totally awesome '80s

This past Halloween, there was an "'80s" section in the local costume store. So the '80s have joined the '50s and '60s as iconic decades. Who would have thought that the heyday of my youth would be later celebrated and even admired by younger generations, much like the greasers were celebrated when I was growing up? That's just gnarly.

I loved the early '80s. Sure, that was the time I was picked on in junior high, but that's not what I remember most. I remember taping songs off the American Top 40 each Sunday; I remember my brother and I searching for the video arcade in any hotel my parents stayed at. (We found one in Kissimmee, Fla. that was rated one of the top 10 arcades in the country by a video game magazine at the time - I think either by Enter or Joysticks.) I recall learning BASIC. I definitely remember Jodi, Kathy, and Jen D. obsessing over Duran Duran.

Most '80s icons have been brought back and hammered into the ground thanks to VH1 and other nostalgia outlets. It's hard to find things that people forgot.

But recently I remembered three '80s songs that no one thinks about much these days.

1. Centipede

I completely forgot about this one until it was mentioned off-handedly in music writer Rob Sheffield's Book, "Talking to Girls about Duran Duran," which I read portions of recently while pumping breastmilk. (Hey, ya gotta do something.) It's by a Jackson sister.

2. I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down

This was one of those songs that dripped into the top 40 for a few weeks but didn't stay long. And yet, it hung around in my head. I don't think I've heard it since the last time it was in the top 40, but of course, it's locatable on YouTube. This guy definitely looks '80s.

3. Be Mine, Tonight

A Neil Diamond song my brother and I both liked. It actually was in a dream I had a few months ago, for some reason. I don't actually remember what the dream was about. It was not about Neil Diamond. It's a peppy little tune.

We never knew it for what it was worth; it was worth more than we understood...Be mine, tonight.


Article about young adult books

...In Publisher's Weekly. Worth reading if you are interested in the genre.

Here's a sandwich to go with it.
Rain on the fire escape

A warm winter rain on the fire escape, Sunday morning. I enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd share it with you.


2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Some of you hopeful novelists will be happy to know that Amazon has finally announced the details of next year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I wish they'd had a contest like this back in the old days, before I started writing Carrie Pilby. But it all worked out in the end! Anyway, details are here. Good luck!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. I hope that all of you turkeys have a great holiday!


Time Passages

'Enjoy every minute. They grow up fast.'

That's probably the thing people have said to me most about the baby. All my life, I have worried about letting time pass me by.

I am trying to remember people's advice and savor every moment. I worry that people are right, that I'll blink and suddenly he'll be sixteen and getting ready for the prom. I want to make use of every moment -- and I have to remind myself that sometimes, that means living IN the moment, not worrying so much.

I have about one week left to be home full-time with him. At the stage he's at now, he's pretty helpless and my job is more maintenance (diapers, feedings, changing his clothes) than anything else, but gradually other things are being added to the mix. I am so so happy and excited right now. There are so many little things my hubby and I will enjoy with him, and I have to make sure to savor them without obsessing that I'm not doing enough to savor them. Even those diaper changes represent quiet time, special time that won't last forever, and I'm well aware of it. He's not always going to be a baby, even if he's always my baby.


ME (to baby, while changing him): Do you like to be kissed and hugged and cuddled?

HUBBY (from in bathroom): Yes!


Nothing personal

This blog tends to slow down a lot. But I try not to let it get too personal or intimate -- for the last few years, it's been mostly for random thoughts and book promotion, neither of which I have much time for right now.

As a personal update, the baby is doing great! I am so excited to be with him and to think of the future. I've learned a lot already. He turns 6 weeks old next week!

Happy Halloween to everyone.
Special candy

Are there really apple caramel Hershey Kisses out now? Here is a blog that runs down all the special seasonal candy out now. I didn't know! (Mostly because I've been staying inside.)



Some new reviews of Carrie Pilby have been posted on people's blogs in the last few weeks and I haven't had time to link to them. But some new ones also have been added to Amazon, so here's a link to those. Very nice comments. Thanks, readers!


Older entries

After Zach eats, which is often, he needs some upright time to digest his food. So at 4 a.m., after his latest binge, I held him in my lap and boredly looked at some of my old blog entries.

And wow, has my life changed in only four or five years! Check out what this entry says I spent the month doing. I always figured that while I was alone, I might as well be productive. Still, I probably spent some time that weekend trading e-mails with prospective dates...

I would have rather sat by the fireplace (see photo) with the hubby, but I don't think I had met him yet.

Here's another tidbit of things I was doing, and a photo of me with much longer hair.

On a humorous note, here is an entry I like from March of '06:

ENTRY FROM 3/12/06

My totally awesome day

Before, I was doing my taxes and decided to eat some nerds candy. I accidentally dropped one of the strawberry Nerds and couldn’t find it, so I got a flashlight and began crawling all over my rug looking for the Nerd. I spent at least 10 minutes looking around my room for the Nerd. (And yes, ha ha ha I DID look in the mirror, ha ha ha you so funny.) I found it. Breathe a sigh of relief. I don’t want to attract any creatures with extra goodies.

Earlier today, I went to meet my mom for her birthday lunch, and I went to throw my credit card payment into the mailbox on the corner. But instead I threw my mom’s birthday card into the mailbox. So then I had to throw in three notes for the mailman saying, “Please put blue envelope that says MOM on it into [my address].” My mom didn’t seem to care because she still got to eat lobster.



Today, Zach and I had a few errands around town, so I got to finally see some foliage! I've been inside with the baby so much that I haven't done any leaf-peeping.
Here are a few shots:


Another Zachary

I put my son's name, Zachary Samuel, into Google out of curiosity. The first link that comes up is this amazing story of a woman who adopted a baby and named him Zachary Samuel. It's worth reading the whole story, making sure to click "next" at the bottom to read all of it.

What is remarkable is that the baby could not see or hear, but his adoptive mother found so many joys in taking care of him and loving him. Reading this story reminds you to savor every positive aspect of life, not to dwell on the negative. Just a small reaction or sign of progress on any given day seems to have made this woman's heart soar, and that is a beautiful thing.

I think the reason this child lived for four years, despite predictions that he would die much younger, is that this woman poured on so much love and so much affection. We all know that just being held does wonders for any living thing. This Zachary had a short life, but one in which he was very much loved thanks to his adoptive mom.

"Zachy could not see or hear. Nor could he understand anything in this world, but the happiness he felt when his cheeks were stroked. He was blessed, because he was spared all pain, and worry, and sorrow. He didn't know he was missing anything."

This woman actually adopted many disabled children. To do something like that, you need a few things, the most important of which is a big heart. We should all aspire -- as long as we are able -- to be useful to humanity and increase the amount of love in the world, and I often wonder how I can do more to help in ways like that. Of course, to adopt disabled kids you also need a LOT of resources, both emotional support and -- of course -- money. And so many people have their own problems to take care of before they can take the risk of supporting or helping others. But even a small thing you do can add love to the world.

When this woman looks back on her life, she can know she did a lot of good. And reading her story about her Zachary does us all good because it reminds us how important it is to give as much love as possible, no matter what the outcome or whether you get just as much back. It also reminds us how much joy you can find even in what others might consider a tough situation.

Here is the link again.



I love the quiet times.



My friend Howard W., who used to be in my writing group, has a way with words. He sent me this IM on Facebook:

how you feeling?
did it come right out, or did they have to tug and pull?
and cut


Only if he's dark

"I have a question for you. If we get a chocolate lab, and Mommy is hungry for chocolate, and there's no chocolate in the house, is she going to go after the lab?" -- The Hubby, talking to the baby


Happy anniversary, cutie!

It's our 3-year anniversary today. Whee! A delivery guy came to the door w/this fruit basket today. Check out the chocolate-covered pineapple!
The hills are alive

Gretl, Maria, and the rest...

In first grade, I had a great friend named Dorothy. She moved away for second grade, then came back for third, but by then I had moved. We reconnected a few months ago on Facebook, though. She is still just as funny and sweet as she was back then! Anyway, it turns out we both like musicals a lot.

On Facebook, she posted an article about the Sound of Music cast reunion coming up on Oprah next month. Yay, I'll be home to watch!!

I was present for the last full cast reunion, five years ago. I saw something about it on the web, and got up at 5 a.m. to get into the city to be in the live Good Morning America audience. They asked the people on line to raise their hands if they could sing. That was the only way in, so I raised my hand. Luckily there were no audience solos.

Here's the Washington Post story about the upcoming reunion.

And here are my photos from five years ago, in the GMA studios.

Somehow I predict hubby will NOT be leaving work early to watch the reunion with me. I guess I'll just have to sing for him later!


It's a beautiful day!

Don't let it slip away.


7 pounds of love.

We made a baby!

His name's Zachary Samuel and he came home yesterday. We're all doing well and very happy. We are looking forward to his next poo, and Zach is looking forward to a quiet Sunday night of football watching for all three of us.

To make it easy to post a bunch of photos we took, I created a blog so you can take a look. Don't expect it to have high intellectual and literary value like this one (in other words, not as many English bulldog pix).


Twin babies laughing at each other

This video makes me smile.
Important sports update
Hubby admits to being wrong, but is absolutely thrilled that the Dolphins beat Bret Favre this weekend.
Wow, who turned this blog into Sportscenter? Needs something girly. OK, here are some pretty Dolphins colors. They are much prettier than the Viking colors.


Creative writing blogs

Got this email. Looks like a good site.

I work with Bestcollegesonline.com, where we just published entitled, 50 Best Blogs for Creative Writing Students Considering this overlap in subject matter with your blog, I thought perhaps you would be interested in sharing the article with your readers? If so, you can find the article here.
Or, you can just go straight to our homepage (bestcollegesonline.com) and find it there.
I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.
Thanks for your time!


Hubby is cute

Last night, my hubby randomly said to me, "Care-Care, I really think Baltimore is going to dominate Cincinnati this weekend."

I didn't even know for sure what sport he was talking about, but I think it's cute that he tells me those things.


Where the ratio of singles favors you

Well, single women, the ratio of you to men is about 100:92 in NYC, Phila and DC, so don't move there. Instead, go to Austin. At least, that's according to one study.


A tornado in Broolyn?

Some pretty good footage HERE.


Blog response

Blogfan Sam from Hawaii writes: I'm sorry my friend, but "pumpkin fudge" seems just plain wrong to me. Call me a purist, but pumpkins are for pies, and fudge should be chocolaty.

You are so wrong. It sounds delicious to me. And you know, you can order it from the Vermont Country Store!!

What I don't like is chocolate cheesecake. The chocolate drowns out the cheesecake taste.


'Tis the season

I'm not even going to bother trying, but yuuuuum.


Just wondering

What do cannibals eat on a day to day basis? Human flesh is hard to come by (I think), so I wonder if they try to order foods that are similar? Like maybe steamed dumplings and such? What kinds of food do they like when they're not eating other people?


Uh oh

Tropical Storm Igor started to fade into a depression (maybe he was upset that summer is ending?) but then came back to Tropical Storm status...and now they predict that in five days, his winds will top 110 MPH. He's indicated on the prediction map as going from just an H for Hurricane to an M by Wednesday...which means topping 110. That's what that last one did.

But it looks like a fairly slow-moving storm. I mean, look how little it's going to move in five days. It's still not going to be near the continental U.S. by then.

It may just turn northward and go out to sea. In any case, here's the map.


A story on the potential for Hurricane Karl and Hurricane Julia. Oh, such nice names. They should have a cooking show together.
A really nice - and detailed - review

New one today. The person writing it has a great blog, with lots of books, cupcake icons, and a sweet photo of her recently departed Doxie dog, Winston. Here's the writeup.

By the way, do you think that just because I'm on maternity leave, I'm sitting here all day finding reviews of myself? Nah. Actually, I'm doing many important things to prepare for baby's entrance into the world, like getting rid of lots of stuff in the house to make room, and -- hold on to your hats -- playing some songs that I downloaded on iTunes for him. None of that Barney blarney, though. Not yet, anyway. Yech.


Very nice review from the Netherlands

I THINK this person is in the Netherlands. She wrote really nice things about Carrie Pilby on her blog today. Thanks!

There have also been two unfavorable reviews on blogs in the last week, but they were very well written and valid reviews - the bloggers disliked the book for the same reasons certain others liked it (character spouts off too much about what's in her head, etc.) Some just happen to like it; others don't -- all fair assessments.

So far I am impressed with the writing on all of the teen book blogs!


Tropical Storm Igor?

Finally, an aptly named storm! They should definitely give them weirder names than they do. I mean, who's going to prepare for and fear Hurricane Sam for example?
The phone book

This week's New Yorker has some pretty good articles in the "Talk of the Town" section. One interesting one is about phone books and the fact that no one cares about them anymore. But it notes that (ironically) there is a book coming out soon about...the history of the phone book!

Do you think this book will be dropped on every doorstep? Or only available on Kindle? And ha ha, what number should I call to order it?


A quote

Just saw this on fellow Red Dress Ink author Lynda Curnyn's Facebook page:

'A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -- Thomas Mann

Well put!


Taste in movies

"It would be great if he took his guitar? And whacked her with it." -- The Hubby regarding 'The Sound of Music' *

*Not his exact words, but close

'Fall on the Train Tracks'

Someone's photo on the 'net that I find preeeettty.


Thanks but no thanks

You know, this headline will make me avoid reading the story:

Acid Attack Victim Could Hear Her Skin 'Sizzling'

This only happens once in a lifetime

Ned Vizzini, Jason Schwartzman, and I are all stuffed in this girl's backpack. This probably will never happen again!

Update: Drat. Looks like it's been erased. Well, I was honored that she was carrying my book in there among such nobility.


Random ramblings about writing

So I should take a moment to talk about writing, something I think that people believe I enjoy. Well, I guess I enjoy it during the times it's pouring out of me, but those moments are rare. I do get satisfaction out of having written and published stuff, and I also am always coming up with ideas for stories. But the actual writing is work, a lot of times. It's particularly work when I look back at the last thing I wrote and see it wasn't as good as I thought, and know that I will have to revise it again and again to make it readable. Of course, it's hard to tell whether something is good or bad anyway.

So yes, it's a hobby, but most of the time, it's not something that's necessarily fun. It's productive and sometimes satisfying.

It was also something that filled time back when I was alone a lot, in my twenties. I still want to get my ideas down when I have good ones, and I think that if I can use writing to entertain or offer hope or just interest someone, it's worthwhile. But it's not always a joy to do. When I was writing Carrie Pilby, I used to sometimes bribe myself with pizza or dessert to spend hours re-reading it and making revisions. Who wants to keep reading their own novel? Yuck. It gets old after a while.

Anyway, this summer I had a few ideas for very short satirical pieces and funny essays, so I wrote and submitted a few. They all got rejected. The rejections weren't 'cause of the recession, because one of the places I submitted didn't even pay anything. (I could have still had a line at the end of the piece saying my novel just came out again, so it would have benefited me in terms of publicity for the book.)

Of course, when I submit anything, it's going up against 100 or 1,000 others, so I can't take it as an indictment. Still, when things are rejected, it makes me doubt that I will be able to publish other stuff. I could write more novels and not have any of them be any good, even if I would be glad I got them out. Publishing one or two books is no guarantee that anything else I write will beat the odds and get published.

Still, I have a lot of ideas. I like the idea that they're there if I want to work on them someday.

I'm not going to completely stop writing, but I have other focuses that give me much more joy and satisfaction.

Anyway...sometimes people ask me how the re-released Carrie Pilby is selling. I have no idea! In today's world, there's no way of knowing whether people are downloading it or what. Amazon rankings used to give a clue, but today, you can go to the Amazon page and find other bookstores selling it there besides Amazon, so when people buy from those others, I don't know if that factors into the ranking. It's always been kinda hard to tell anyhow. Hey, if even a few teens discover this new edition and like it, I'm grateful.

The publishers don't know how something is selling right away, because they send copies to bookstores and it takes a while to find out if they sold. I probably won't find out until the spring, when I get a statement from the publishers.

I DO know that the French version is all over the internet, so I think it's reached some teens there, and that's very nice. I see it popping up on their blogs.

Anyway, just some ramblings off the top of my head. I'll try not to come back and revise this, heh heh.

'A Commodore 64 is really good'

I found this note from maybe sixth grade.


Tropical storm warning posted for NJ already!

They think Earl will be here around Friday at 2 p.m.

And not ... Earl-ier. Ha ha!


A very strange occurrence in the literary world

From the New York Times:

"The award-winning literary journal The Virginia Quarterly Review has canceled its winter issue and closed its offices in the aftermath of the suicide last month of its managing editor and a subsequent investigation by the University of Virginia, which operates the journal.
According to his family, the editor, Kevin Morrissey, 52, had been the target of bullying by Ted Genoways, the journal’s top editor, who was on leave at the time of Mr. Morrissey’s death. Mr. Genoways has denied the accusations."

The rest of the article can be found HERE.


Hurricane Earl loop

Click here.

Reader mail

I got this via Facebook. Clearly this reader is after my own heart since she mentioned the hurricane!

Hello, I'm [name], I'm French. And I had the occasion to read one of your book “the life (not very) cool of Carrie Pilby” and I really loved this history and your style of writing. I thus made a point of congratulating you by this message.

Thank you to have occupied me the spirit during 2 days, I think of reading again it LOL

Do I've a small question to pose to you if that does'nt cause you disturbance, will be written one following “Carrie Pilby” which could be published in France?

I live in Martinique, close to St Marteens in the Caribbean, I hope that the Earl hurricane will not do too many damage towards on your premise.. :D

For anyone wondering, there IS a Carrie Pilby sequel, but not in French. It appears as one of three novellas in a collection HERE. That's about it as far as sequels go!


Signs of fall

My special sneakers only come out when fall weather approaches.


Hurricane probability loop

UPDATE: Yes, Hurricane Earl IS threatening land. Maybe it won't threaten ours, but if you click the link above, there's a chance.


Hurricane Earl

I'm reading news reports that Tropical Storm Earl won't threaten land. Why does the map make it seem like it will, though?


you know it's time to go on maternity leave when...
'It’s not what you call a happy fun read'

A new Carrie Pilby review is up...I'm glad it's trickling onto people's blogs! Even with the characterization above, the reviewer gave it four stars. Thanks!


Hurricane day is Sept. 10

Nice new review

A blogger posted this very complimentary review of Carrie Pilby over the weekend. Her blog is very well set up!

Looks like she saw the book on NetGalley, an on-line resource that allows reviewers to download books for free and spread the word. I think it went up there on Aug. 1, a month after its release. I like this idea. I hope it gets more people to read it and enjoy it.

Oh, also, here's a new one in French this week.


'Capturing the Friedmans' update

For those who watched the movie and were similarly horrified, here is some news:

"Now Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice plans on revisiting the case that probably wrongfully convicted Jesse Friedman, now 40 years old and paroled in 2001. According to the Huffington Post, Rice's decision "comes a day after a federal appeals court criticized police, prosecutors and the judge who handled the case against Arnold and Jesse Friedman." Jesse Friedman's latest appeal was rejected on technical grounds as a judge ruled that, "The record here suggests 'a reasonable likelihood' that Jesse Friedman was wrongfully convicted...the police, prosecutors and the judge did everything they could to coerce a guilty plea and avoid a trial."



Saw this headline:

Body of Missing French Chef Found Stuffed in Freezer

And then thought maybe it was HIM.

(Oops, I just realized he's Swedish. Well, that really kills THAT joke, doesn't it?)


Leave Jennifer Aniston alone

Gosh, any woman approaching 40 (or older, as in this case) is criticized and scrutinized and blamed for being single. Why isn't anyone badgering George Clooney about not being married or having any kids, like they do with Jennifer Aniston? Whichever choices she makes in those arenas, I'm sure they are right for her, and it's her business and her right.

So leave Jen and her choices alone, especially you, Bill O'Reilly. As someone said on the internet, what thoughts do you have for Bristol Palin?!?!??


Nice review

One of the better developments in publishing over the last few years is the trend in "book blogs." Many readers, even some teens, have started their own book review blogs to comment on what they're reading. Some of them are really professional looking and impressive.

Here's one such book blog that gave a really complimentary review to Carrie Pilby this weekend. Thanks, Khadija!


Self-publishing successes
and a new J.D. Salinger biography

This article in Newsweek shows how people self-published their books to Kindle and did well. Since I get asked often if it's worth it to self-publish, I'm posting the link. I also talk about self-publishing on my website (it's question 8 in the 'advice' section).

This issue of Newsweek also talks about an 800-page biography, The Private War of J.D. Salinger, written by Shane Salerno and David Shields. Salerno apparently spent millions of dollars and lots of hours researching the book. There is so much about Salinger we don't know, so I'm looking forward to reading that when it comes out. Salerno's also got a two-hour documentary coming out next month.


The Real Housewives of New Jersey...
and the world's most shameless plug

Apparently if you mention the popular "Real Housewives of New Jersey" TV reality show on your blog or website, you get a ton of hits. Especially if you mention Danielle Staub, Teresa Giudice, Kim Granatell, etc...

Well, if you watch it and came here, then you should take a moment to read a humorous chick-lit novel about a 19-year-old genius who graduates from college early and doesn't know how to date or socialize in the real world...until she pushes herself out there in Manhattan to do so. It was just re-released by Harlequin Teen. It's called Carrie Pilby. Details are here on Amazon.

And then you can go back and watch more TV! Doesn't that show remind you of junior high? Talking about people behind their back, trying to get people against one another, oh boy...except, the women are in their 40s. Of course, I watch it, so that doesn't make me any better!


Hurricane watch

Photo from last January

Noticed in my files.


'Boob Man'

Should we really buy our infant son wear a hat that says "Boob Man"? My hubby thinks so. Actually, that wouldn't be so bad if it didn't cost $18!! That's more than a whole baby outfit. I guess the sense of humor is extra...

On another note, I got this email today, my first after the debut of the new edition (and my first email ever from Morocco!):

I've just read you're book "Carrie Pilby" and I was amazed I'm 19 years old and I live in Moroco witch I hope you will visit sometime I really adored you're way of seeing things through Carrie and it really helped me go through alot of things because reading it made me realize I'm not alone thanku you sooo much

Guess they should send me there on a book tour (ha ha).


Beautiful clouds

Check out Iowa, Maine, and Washington. I'd love to take pics like those!


Thought for the week

"You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan." - Lt. Frank Drebbin


Hmmm...why was this person Googling me?

Executive Office Of The President Usa 17 July, Sat, 22:21:03

Must be to give me the National Book Award! Thanks; I am honored.

Scream for ice cream

In the news: "For our sweet-toothed readers, we have some bad news to report: Baskin-Robbins announced that it's shelving five of its 31 signature flavors including the classic staple French Vanilla, which was with the company since it started in 1945, Caramel Praline Cheesecake (1970), Campfire S'mores (1975), Apple Pie a La Mode (1976) and Superfudge Truffle (2007). This has happened before, but never to such magnitude."

I actually wasn't aware that Baskin-Robbins had such interesting flavors. I think I would have really liked all of those. Oh well! My favorite specialty ice cream flavor remains Ben & Jerry's triple caramel chunk (which was discontinued for a while and then brought back...thanks to ME [just kidding, but it WAS brought back]). I sometimes go years without having any, but I highly recommend it!



'When I do No. 2, I look like No. 1!'

This is the funniest commercial. It's for new limited edition 'denim' Huggies diapers. Watch it - only 30 seconds long. You'll be glad you did!

Oh, we won't be buying these for our son. He's not into fashion.


Coming out of your shell

This just in, from AOL news:

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (July 11) - A New Hampshire couple says a 25-pound pet tortoise has reappeared four years after escaping from its pen.
Mike and Christine Wellington say their African spur thigh tortoise named Lucy made off from their greenhouse business in Brentwood. But on Friday, the Wellingtons received a call from a neighbor half a mile up the road that Lucy had reappeared.
The Wellingtons say they're certain the tortoise is theirs because of the unusual protruding bumps on its back.
Mike Wellington says turtles of Lucy's species dig deep holes in the ground for protection in extreme weather. He says he supposes Lucy did just that to survive New Hampshire's winters the past four years.

These people are so naive. I know the truth. The turtle's stepmother kidnapped it!!!
Jennifer Weiner writes about self-promoting one's book

Jennifer Weiner has a fun blog entry about this. Not that she has to self-publicize, but she did anyway. She bought a full-page ad in the Times book review this weekend. She writes... "The rest of us are left to beat, and tweet, our own drums."

Spotted in stores

On Saturday I went with a friend of mine to visit some friends in Westchester whose baby is nearly 2 years old and I haven't seen him yet. So I finally got to visit cute little Jackson. Hi Jackson!

Anyway, we walked to the main street and there was a Border's book store, so I had to see if my book was there. They had five copies in the teen section! That's pretty good. By the time I found them, said friend had already convinced some poor girl who looked about 14 to buy my book. She DID say, "It sounds interesting, actually." She was buying three or four books to take on a vacation. I signed one for her even though I she hadn't bought it yet. Hope I don't scar her for life. Anyway, thanks to my friend who talked her into it (if I can use your name, let me know).

The book was right beside to a lone remaining copy of Will Leitch's Catch from a few years ago. Will has a new book out, although not for teens. Actually, it could be for them too, I guess.

That's about it for book updates!