#SouthernCharm & Life's Lack of It...

I got to watch "Southern Charm" in real time last night. Great start to the season. Loved the opening with T-Rav's court details of his salacious accusations. Listen, I saw the abuse and grooming of Kathryn in the first season, but I still held out hope that love to win out. Yeah, that was the naive romance writer in me. I forgot how vile Ashley's behavior was. She was verbally abusive to Kathryn and did T-Rav's dirty work. It was hard to stomach watching it back. I see how Kathryn survived by going numb. She had to. She probably still has to so she can continue to co-parent with her ex. It can't be easy to do as a recovering addict. I'm glad she's got Patricia on her side now to even things out a bit.

I was going to write this in the morning, but we had a bathtub leak -- which is an urgent thing in our household, so I've been out of the house all day. The one day I had to write this week. Someone does not want me to sit at my computer for sure!


I don't know what was more upsetting, Austin involved in a threesome or his dad bod in his skivvies. That cannot be unseen. Ick. Just wanted a shower after the whole fiasco and if that girl is dumb enough to date him after witnessing that, she's a lost soul. I don't have much hope for her -- Madison was it?

Something about me just doesn't like Shep anymore and I feel bad about this. But he really has few redeeming qualities. It's not cute at his age to be that frat boy who hangs out in bars and picks up different women. Ladies, raise your standards!

Whitney and Kathryn. Seems scripted. I'm not buying it. Also, she has a boyfriend. I hope she ends up happily ever after after the hell she's been through. What a nightmare to go up against a good ol' boy with money in Charleston courts.

Craig and Naomie. Okay everyone is saying Craig isn't over Naomie, and I believe that. But I don't think Naomie is over Craig either. And her boyfriend pushing her at the gym really didn't sit well with me. She says she's so happy, but I don't buy it. I think she was happy making Craig miserable to be honest.

The presence of Eliza was scripted and pathetic. Give poor Kathryn a break. How that Thomas character gets so many flying monkeys to do his dirty work, I will never understand. It looks like it's going to be a great season though and I'm looking forward to it.

I finally watched "The Bachelorette" this morning with Elle. We've both been working opposite hours so we couldn't sit down. I think the producers hate Hannah B. It's the only explanation for that flatline group of guys. I don't understand how Matt Donald is a farmer if he lives in Los Gatos? It looked like a cold farm where he was. Anyway, I was sad to see him go so early. The only other guys I remember are Jed and Tyler. The rest of them all ran together.

I still think it's going to be a good season though because Hannah B is a train wreck in the best way possible. Love her! When Jed took out his guitar, he was my front runner.

No One is Without Sin: #JamesCharles Drama

I'll admit, I only know who James Charles is because of my daughter. Tati, I've never heard of until this drama unfolded. Listen, I don't care what this fight is over, but I full-on do NOT support destroying someone because you're in some kind of fight with them. People make mistakes. No one deserves to have their livelihood destroyed over something so petty.

It's not like he is Harvey Weinstein. James Charles apparently promoted a vitamin brand that wasn't Tati's -- his online friend. In reply, she posts a 43-minute video taking him down for everything from disloyalty to sexual misconduct.

Anyone who unfollowed James Charles because of what someone ELSE had to say is part of the problem. That is straight-up bullying. What do YOU think of James Charles? Why would you let some random person in her person Waterloo speak to you about who to follow?


This is straight-up bullying and I'm tired of it. No one deserves to be "erased" because they made a mistake. I mean, do you want to be destroyed over one regretful moment? We all have them. I heard on the radio that this woman said James Charles tries to pick up on straight men and makes them question their sexuality.

Really? I mean, if a lesbian were to pick up on me, do I question my sexuality? No, I say, that's cool and move on...back to Mr. Darcy.

Anyway, because of the way he's been treated, I went and followed James Charles. I think it's despicable to take a private battle and try to destroy someone. It just feels evil. I don't know anything about this woman, but I think what she did is abhorrent.

Also, James Charles is 19 years old. He's a baby. This is when you're supposed to make your mistakes. Tati is a 37-year old woman. What kind of woman destroys a 19-year-old kid and thinks it's okay?

#Bachelorette starts tonight!

At first, I was not excited about Hannah B as the Bachelorette, but I have since changed my mind. I think she has an amazing sense of humor and I think she's a lover of truth so she will hold these men's feet to the fire. We need a spitfire Bachelorette!

I don't know about your house, but the Bachelor series has always brought my family together. We love to spill the tea on the contestants and enjoy the different personalities. But admittedly, my daughter and I have a game where if someone walks in front of us in the car, we create their backstories. You know, some guy will pull up next to us in a Tesla and flirt with my daughter and she'll turn to me and say, "He went to Cal. He cheats on his wife, but she knows and doesn't care. He buys her jewelry and she's just glad he doesn't come home often."

Okay, I know, it's a terrible game and it's usually not that mean, but I want my daughter to write and I'm encouraging her to create characters. She is so talented and just won't do it! She finds books are the enemy.


Back to the "Bachelorette." I love the charming outfit combining the pantsuit for Hannah's feminist side along with the Cinderella imagery for us romantics. Hannah has a crazy sense of humor and very little sense of editing herself, so I think she's going to be great bachelorette.

Before you get all judgey about us watching -- and I know you're out there -- once upon a time we had "All My Children" and Nina and Cliff. Or "General Hospital" with Luke and Laura. Now we have reality television and it's so much more fun! It's like we are all Mrs. Kravitz. (Nosey neighbor on "Bewitched" for you youngins.)

And let us not forget, my favorite show, "Southern Charm" starts up this week SANS T-Rav and that makes me so happy. With the #MeToo movement, he never should have been on television.


Craig has a new girlfriend. Kathryn has 50/50 custody with her creepy baby daddy (and for those of you who don't know, he's been accused of rape twice and has yet to stand trial. And he did years in prison for cocaine crimes as state treasurer of South Carolina, so feel sorry for this poor young woman who fell victim to his "charms."

Vegas, Baby!

So I'm thinking of moving to Henderson, NV. Here are my reasons. It's affordable. It's near a major airport and I can see concerts. Because I love concerts. So I'm planning a trip there with my future daughter-in-law and she asked if I wanted to see a show. I said, "YES!" And then, she asked what I wanted to see.

Okay, I'm too nervous to watch Cirque du Soleil. So I can't do that because I won't enjoy it. I want to see Barry. Yes, I've seen him a million times, but he's BARRY! I don't know if I can do that to my DIL. She just learned who Adam Ant is, is it really fair to expose her to Barry so early on in the relationship?


The thing is, she's such a sweetheart, she would go. Yesterday, I was on my way to see her (she gave me a fantastic facial for Mother's Day!) and I heard this woman on the 80's radio. She was calling from Henderson, NV and was going to see the Violent Femmes that night. I mean, that's my future! It was a sign.

Actually, it looks like Fremont Street has a lot of concerts that are right up my alley, so I will have a fun life there I think. Plus, I will be one hour by plane from any of my kids and they can descend on me when they need to. Doesn't that sound awesome? Not awesome is the heat, but since I rarely go outside, I think we're cool there too. Everything is air-conditioned.

Getting excited to check it out and see if it's for me. I've never been to Vegas outside of the airport, so it should be interesting.

Working out with MS: Pilates

Okay, I'm not a fan of exercise to begin with -- so let's start there. I like to hike, I used to like to run (when I could) but my dropfoot has taken hold and I can't run any longer. So I've had to seek alternative workouts.

Let's look at my neurotic excuses, shall we?

*I hate gyms because I'm an introvert and it's too much noise and people. (Ick.)
Not to mention I'm a bit of a germaphobe -- so there's that. End of gym.

*Yoga died a sad death for me because my balance is so bad (vertigo) and that would be fine in a roomy studio, but in Silicon Valley, that doesn't happen, so I feel crunched and like I'm going to fall into someone. End of yoga.


Enter Pilates: I thought Pilates was something I could do because you get your own little station, so if you fall, you fall into machinery, not some innocent bystander. I found a free class on Instagram and I took it. I made it through the whole class and it was zen and kicked my butt. Okay, maybe we have something here, I thought. So I signed up for four classes a month. I may take more as I get stronger, but for now, that is more than enough, I still hurt from class. So it's keeping my muscles strong without getting heated (another important factor in MS workouts because if you get hot, your multiple sclerosis acts up and then you have more symptoms.)

It's really tough on your core, which is exactly what I need and it's scheduled so I have to go or I pay for nothing. And I'm cheap that way. When I pay for something I don't want to do, I can't afford to miss it.

So for now, I think Pilates is really going to work for me. It's not cheap, but if it keeps me strong and upright, that is worth every penny. Plus, I'm vain, so I need to stay in shape because I don't want to wear ugly clothes.

I'm writing today. This post is my warm-up. I already did some editing and now I write...

Writing Style: Taylor Swift in the World of Beyoncé

This week I got feedback on my latest projects. Now let me reiterate that it was excellent, timely, professional advice. And I trust this writing professional implicitly and she challenged me to go deeper -- which I need to do in this publishing climate.

I'm writing about wealth and privilege (Wentworth Heiresses) in a time when all of that stuff is not relevant to normal people. People are into #MeToo and making deep, emotional statements about the world around them. I'm still walking my dog and dancing to Adam Ant down the sidewalk. Then, I had an epiphany yesterday when my mom sent me the new Taylor Swift video and said it reminded her of my daughter.

The world is falling apart. I don't want to go there. I don't even read the news anymore. It's so ugly and depressing and full of name-calling and I don't like that. It's bad juju for me. I like happy, colorful energy and though life has taken me through the wringer in the last few years, I'm still not ready to go "deep" in my fiction. This writing professional was adamant that I didn't need to -- but if I wanted to catch up with what's happening in publishing, then I did -- and that is 100% truth. But I think I'm the Taylor Swift of writing and I'm oblivious to what's going on in the real world, and happily so. Like Taylor in this video.

So I guess I don't want to catch up. Not because I couldn't -- I'm a good learner -- I would figure it out. But because I don't want to explore those dark places emotionally that other people seem to love in their fiction. At least not yet. Even when I read Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure" he didn't take me emotionally to some of the places that today's fiction does. I don't want to be depressed or feel dark things. Which may make me a dinosaur and irrelevant in the publishing world, but I want to look at the shiny, pretty side of life. The world needs those depths plunged. I just don't think it's my job to do it.

I grew up with "Pillow Talk" and Doris Day as my influencer. My mom said I never walked anywhere as a child -- I danced. I think that is my nature and I'm going to stick with that.


While WWII was raging on, Fred Astaire was dancing.


While the world battles, I want to dance because there are enough writers out there who can plumb the depths of life's harsh truths. My current book is about five sisters with three different moms, but the same dad -- who inherit billions. I wrote it because I wanted to explore what it's like to watch a father be a good father to one set of kids and a terrible father to another. It's not rocket science -- but it interests me and for now, that has to be enough.

Incidentally, I have never been everyone's cup of tea. My humor is not for everyone and can be quite offensive to some people. Luckily, in today's market I CAN write what I want and that is a blessing! I'm also going to buy me a bubble gum cover that everyone says is out of fashion. As if.

"Write to Market!" They said.

That is such great advice. Write for the market and you will sell lots of books. It's such an easy equation. Why can't I just do that? The rules for fiction that sells are so basic in the romance genre.

  • Nice heroines (Ie., not snarky)

  • Handsome, manly heroes (ie., not nerds in venture capital)

  • Romantic settings (not Silicon Valley -- trust me on that one!)

  • Primary focus is on the relationship (this one really gets me, I'm too ADD for that.)

The problem for me is that my favorite romances don't have these elements, so that really screws me up."Pride and Prejudice" has the best hero in the history of heroes, and he's a total jerk. (Until we find out who he really is.) Lizzy is so proud and full of herself that she turns down a proposal that could rescue her family from entailment laws. And is the suburbs in England really that romantic?

What about "Jane Eyre?" Mr. Rochester might just be a sociopath. LOL "Far from the Madding Crowd" -- Bathsheba definitely has narcissistic personality disorder and Gabriel Oak is probably an enabler, but he loves her as Jesus loves us -- when we are not worthy of being loved. Could there be anything more romantic?


My current heroine is a social worker in San Francisco. She dresses badly and couldn't care less. The hero is a would-be lawyer who has secrets and a broken hip. The setting is a gothic mansion in modern-day San Francisco where the heroine lives with the father who abandoned her. This is what my brain is like. It is NOT normal. It cannot do what it's supposed to. I'm feeling frustrated today that I have to finish this story with too many characters and a lot of resolution still to go.

If only I could throw a sword fight in and make my heroine swoon over her handsome rake savior. Alas, I cannot. I just need to finish the book. If you identify with any of this craziness, this post is for you. Not all of us are meant for the masses. Some of us are meant to appeal to a specific palate. Just finish the book. I have to tell myself that after 40 books published. Just finish the book. It's for someone.

The life of an #ADDAuthor without a contract...

I've spent my whole career writing under a contract. A contract, for me, was like homework. It gave me a reason to get something done the night before it was due. When a book is under contract you know you have to finish THAT book. Right now, I have a few in my head, but I'm focused on two. One is "A Year of Privilege" about the first of five sisters who inherit billions. I'm stuck on that one. I wrote myself into a corner and it's taken me about a month to get out.

But while I noodled on that one, I started working on "Love and Other Unlikely Events" which is about two sisters. One is bipolar, gorgeous, enigmatic and slightly unhinged. (Until we find out why later.) And the other one is neurotypical, trying to build a life where she doesn't have to care for everyone and against the idea of marriage, or as she refers to it "voluntary modern-day indentured servitude."

I'm closer to finishing the first one, so I should get on it. But I'm not sure the second one is right for self-publishing, so this is stopping me on both books. I got a clear message last night that amounted to, "Do you want to eat?" So today, I'm writing. This blog is just to avoid selecting which book I'll work on today while I listen to my dog snore.


On another note, I watched a good documentary on Walt Disney on Netflix, it's called, "Walt: The Man Behind the Myth." It ends in the Walt Disney museum in the Presidio in San Francisco. I really have to get up there. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing what a charismatic dreamer this man was and how we need more people like him, with solid character and vision, in our world. I feel like everyone who has vision now is just money-hungry and self-serving. Could be my view from Silicon Valley though. I just wish I had Walt's drive!


Also on Netflix right now is "Saving Mr. Banks" and that's an amazing movie if you haven't seen it. I've put this off long enough. It's time to work.

Remember reading? #AmWriting #AmReading

Books for me are so heavenly, such a beautiful escape into another world where everything works out and the bad guy gets his. Can't life be more like this? Yesterday, while at the vet, the young tech was reading "The Thorn Birds." Oh my gosh, you can imagine how excited I got. It's one of my favorite books ever and I've read it at least 10 times. Well, the tech wasn't quite so smitten, but she said she was definitely going to finish it. Sigh.


Isn't that the greatest thing about books though? One can inspire someone into a career and another can read the same thing and be like, "meh, it's okay."

I haven't been reading so much. I have "nystagmus" which is a part of my MS that makes my eyes jump, so the print doesn't stay still. It makes it very difficult to read and honestly, that's the only thing about this stupid disease that can make me cry. I miss immersing myself in a book so much -- languishing in the bathtub until the book and me are both waterlogged.

Audible is not the same for me because I love the written word. I love to see it. I love to read a beautiful sentence over and over again -- savor it like a fine meal.


Reading is truly one of the great pleasures of life and as my eyes calm down, I have a growing TBR list. My daughter has just finished Jon Krakauer's book about the guy who goes into the wild and passes away -- ironically called, "Into the Wild." This reminded me I wanted to read, "Under the Banner of Heaven" which took me to that dangerous place called the bookstore. Why are there so many temptations for my weak, little eyes?

On a happy note, I'm an excellent typist and it's not stopping me from writing, so I need to quit whining and get back to work. Fiona went to doggy daycare, so I am utterly without excuse. But after "shopping" all morning and soaking in the new, delicious covers, I want to devour some books now!

#Bachelor Finale Tonight!

Will Colton find love? Will this be the most dramatic rose ceremony ever? Well, it was the most dramatic exit from a rose ceremony ever. Colton jumped an eight-foot fence to get away from Chris Harrison. And how perfect was it to see a disheveled Chris being awoken from his peaceful slumber looking ratchet and extremely middle-aged while chasing an athlete into the dark wilds of Portugal? I'm here for it! It was worth the price of admission y'all.

So we left off with:
Colton loves Cassie.
Cassie is not so sure. Cassie's dad is REALLY not sure.
Colton's worst fears have been realized. Started with 30. May end up with 0.
Tayshia loves Colton.
Hannah G is blinking wildly and has no clue what's going on. But she could love Colton. I mean, why not?


My daughter has to work tonight, thus ruining our eventful Monday night "Bachelor" viewing party. I could not be more annoyed. I think there's some kind of daughter protocol. I make you cake and dinner, you show up for the dang Bachelor. You were not raised in a barn!

I guess I will write on my book tonight. I've been stuck for a bit. My characters are not behaving. It helps to watch bad reality television and let the creative subconscious work. Also, copious amounts of espresso help too.