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Friday, January 11, 2013


Some of you may know that I recently ran this charity auction called YA FOR NJ to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. I enlisted the help of over 170 authors to donate their autographed books to be auctioned off with all the money going to The Community FoodBank of New Jersey. It felt amazing to do something to help those in need, but there was also an unexpected bonus . . . .

I got to meet all these authors I'd never met before and hear about their AMAZING books. My reading list exploded as I read synopsis after synopsis, getting ready to post the items online, and I had to run out and buy a few of the more intriguing novels for myself. Well, let me just say, I've only just started the first one, but it is MIND-BLOWING.

The book is called UNISON SPARK and it was written by Andy Marino, who clearly has an imagination that is OUT OF BOUNDS. It took me a while to get into because my brain isn't wired for sci-fi (I like to watch sci-fi movies, but I don't think I've ever read a book that could actually be classified as sci-fi, unless you count GLOW, which was really more parable/romance in my opinion). I'm only on page 75 of UNISON SPARK, but I can't put it down. It actually took some effort to come to the computer to type this up and I'm already itching to find out what happens next. Not only has Andy created an incredibly rich, detailed world, but it's like he's created his own language. It's stunning and something I know I could never accomplish.

Clearly, I have no idea where this book is going, but so far it's a highly-satisfying read, people.

Kudos to Andy. I can't wait to read whatever you come up with next!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Today I am LOVING . . . Neil Peart on Drums

The main character is my new book is a drummer, which I know almost nothing about, so today I've been doing a little web-surfing/researching on the topic and I came across this crazy drum solo on YouTube. My husband was a drummer back in high school, and he's mentioned Neil Peart--one of the greatest drummers of all time--but I'd never actually seen him play. Now I can't stop watching this! I can't even keep a beat, so I'm duly impressed. And how the heck does he remember where each of the different instruments is positioned? Genius.

I wish I'd learned to play the drums. Maybe I could've been a Bangle. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today I am LOVING . . . Pumped-Up Poses!

If you follow me on twitter or facebook,  you know I love to work out, but I don't always have time to go to the gym. Over the years I've found that Fitness Magazine and Shape Magazine often offer great, quick workouts that you can do at home with minimal equipment and this one is my current favorite (from the November/December issue of Fitness). You can do it in twenty minutes and feel like you've gotten a cardio and strength work out. What's that saying again? Oh yeah . . .

New Year, No Excuses! :)

Here's the link: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/yoga-with-weights-workout/

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today I am LOVING . . . Unpredictability

Last night I saw SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was an awesome movie based on the book by an awesome guy, Matthew Quick. (Who also has an awesome wife, Alicia Bessette.) I sat next to them once at the Collingswood Book Festival, and was jealous of the line of guys and girls snaking away from their table for an autographed copy of Matthew's SORTA LIKE A ROCKSTAR. I bought Alicia's book, SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH because it sounded like my kinda joint (baking and romance? sign me up!), and she did me the solid of buying MY book right back. I'm sure neither of them remembers this encounter, and this has become a total tangent, so back to what I was going to say, which was . . . .

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK did what almost no movie I've seen in the past five years has done--it stumped me! As the climactic scene got ready to begin, I was holding my breath, actually NOT KNOWING what was going to happen. Wait, back up. Not only did I NOT KNOW, I had NO INKLING. It could have gone one of twenty-seven different ways, and because of this, I had an experience I rarely have in the movie theater anymore--I was on the edge of my seat.

I won't ruin it for you, but I will say this. THAT is the kind of story-telling I strive for. The kind of story-telling all writers should strive for. And it's SO HARD to execute! We're all so programmed by years and years of novel reading and movie-going and tv-watching to pound out a satisfying arc, that we don't realize that what we think is satisfying has become the very opposite. I love a happy ending, don't get me wrong, but we don't all have to take the same path to get to the happy ending. If we all did that, how lame would life (and entertainment) be?

So that's what I'm taking from my movie-watching experience last night. Today, I will be unpredictable in my writing. And hopefully, every day from here on out.

And just FYI, on SILVER LININGS: I LOVED the ending. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today I am LOVING . . . Amanda Seyfried's Shoes

OK, I'm not a fashionista or anything, but I can't stop staring at the shoes Amanda Seyfried is wearing on the cover of this Month's InStyle. Now, as a woman who sits at her desk all day for work, hits the gym in a pair of year-old Rykas each morning, and spends weekends chasing around two little boys in a muddy backyard, I have exactly no use for six-inch high silver pumps (although it would be cool to be six-foot-three for a day). Also, they're Jimmy Choo's, which puts them WAY out of my price range, considering I WOULD like to send my kids to college one day.

But still, I can't stop staring. I've always wanted to stride into some super high-end store and buy myself a pair of ridiculously expensive designer shoes. I blame Carrie Bradshaw for this. Or the fact that until I was about twenty-five I was afraid to walk into even an overly fancy Fifth Avenue Banana Republic on my own. In the back of my mind I thought that all the beautiful, impeccably dressed sales people were going to see my fifth grade self walking through the door--the one in pink tube socks and two-sizes too short purple corduroys and stringy hair. (My parents could never keep up with my growth spurts and we didn't have enough money for me to keep up with the proverbial Joneses at my middle school. And my super-fine, straight, flat hair? That's always been an issue.)

In order to one day achieve this goal, I started saving quarters in an old milk bottle that had been left on the Editorial Assistant's desk at my first job by the guy who preceded me at said desk, Mike Fitzgerald. I think it's kind of poetic that I'm saving for my first fabulous shoes in a vessel I inherited at my first not-so-fabulous NYC job (the dollar bills are a donation from my lovely husband). Once it's full, I'm going to cash it in and see how close to my goal I've gotten.

My guess is I'm going to have to fill the sucker another five to eight times before I can afford a pair of Louboutins, but I WILL succeed. Even if I'm 60 years old and tottering around with swollen ankles, I'm gonna buy those shoes, and not even the super-fabulous sneering salespeople are going to stop me!