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July 2010
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September 2010

Feeling Deeply...

My daughter is what you'd call a "drama queen".  Can't blame her.  She comes by it honestly, but what I've seen in my children, is some kids feel things more deeply.  Out of the four, two got the non-feeling/engineering gene, and two got the drama gene and seem to feel every slight, hear every subtext and their senses are always on alert.

As a sensory person myself, we seem to feel life more deeply.  That's not to say engineers don't feel.  Just that I have yet to see it.  (Okay, I'm kidding! Kind of.)  I will say, as a mother, I notice how much easier life seems to be for the engineering personalities...But as a reader, I think that's why so many books leave me flat.  They don't make me feel anything.  I want a story to carry me away into its world.  Watching the Dickens' Masterpiece the other day, I am still reeling in the characters' emotions.

There's something very safe in feeling other people's pain, learning from it, and not having to actually deal with the consequences. I've come to understand this is why most people don't need to soothe their senses as often.  They don't feel like that.

Most don't recognize the "feel" of a buttery leather handbag is different.  It does something for the touch.  I noticed this week that a woman in church had a fake Louis Vuitton diaper bag.  How did I notice?  A real Louis Vuitton's designs line up.  The hardware is perfection and the seams are beautiful.  I don't notice to be snotty, as one might think.  I notice because it bugs me.

I'll bet most people would have no idea if they had a "bad" pedicure. I notice.  I notice that David Crowder FEELS his music.  He doesn't simply sing it.

Good espresso is to the taste what good fiction is to the soul.  I've spent a lifetime apologizing for noticing things I'm not supposed to notice.  But now, I embrace it.  I probably would have been drowned as a witch in the different era. But I notice.  And watching my children notice makes me want to help them embrace who they are, not apologize for it.

I have to get my gown sized down, but this gown was an issue too.  Because there were many nice gowns for a reasonable price.  But this's boned, lined, cut on the bias.  It FEELS incredible.  It's not that I think I deserve to be spoiled, it's that nice things call out to me.  When this gown fits...just imagine with me now.  : )


My new brand??

I thought of a new idea this weekend for a book.  It came from a seedling of how our lives get lived determined by the tiny choices we make.  The tiny choices add up to big choices, and sometimes we veer off our paths so greatly by these tiny little "corrections."  What if you learned your whole life was a lie?  There it is, my new idea.

So I called my editor today and we discussed it in full and how to make it work within my "brand" -- which needs to be more "flashy" and tres elegant -- like me.  ROFLOL  Okay, like my characters.  And I think I've got it now.  V. Excited to get started.

In other branding news, I watched "Masterpiece Theaters" all weekend, and I do love me a Dickens.  I had not even heard of this book, "Our Mutual Friend", but apparently, it was his last completed manuscript, and I loved the storyline.  I must have because it went on forever.  I think it may have been a good ten hours or more.  But I was sick all weekend, and Dickens served me well. As did Hugh Dancy in a George Eliot Masterpiece.  I've been a Netflix member since before they went public, and when their stock was at a 2.  Hubby told me not to buy it. Ahem.

Anyway, Netflix tallies up your viewing habits and makes suggestions based on the movies you watched, and I loved the words they came up with for why I'd picked the movies I had, and I thought, that should be my new brand.  Here it is:

Critically-acclaimed (okay, I wish, but bear with me.)



I just love those words and probably any movie it would describe (as I've seen most of them), but I've always wanted something more out of my romances.  My favorite one in fact, is "Far from the Madding Crowd" by Thomas Hardy.  Oh, and "Under the Greenwood Tree", also by Hardy.  I used to read Hardy with a dictionary beside me, and I would stop in between sentences and just marvel at his use of word pictures.  I would learn so much about the different occupations of the time and it fascinated me, and took me into his world.

The Dickens Masterpiece I watched was about the river men who fished bodies out of the Thames to get whatever valuables they might have had.  Some current book started that way, (A Great and Terrible Beauty??) but this entire story centered on the river and its people.  I love a book that creates an entire world.  I have to wonder if Dickens started with a question.  Or did he start with the world?

Incidentally, even my comedies said "Cerebral Comedies", but that's only because I OWN Bridget Jones and "So I Married an Axe Murderer", which are my favorites.

Anyway, I prefer a book and a movie with a deeper meaning.  Something that makes me search what I know to be true and question it.  Tear it apart.  Unfortunately, that's not exactly what most readers want.  Though I guess "Eat, Pray, Love" was cerebral because I sure didn't get it.

So what's your brand?  What describes your movie taste? Book taste?


Emmy Fashions

Once again, I don't agree with the so-called experts on their opinions.  First and foremost, I disagree that the black micro-mini on Heidi Klum was a good look.  Heidi is too old for a micro-mini.  It's not that she CAN'T wear it, she shouldn't.  She looks ridiculous in my opinion.  And part of looking good is growing older with grace.  There is no grace in a black micro-mini with appliques on your boobage.  Just sayin.

I also didn't care for Lea Michelle's gown in black.  She's too young for black and I think she should have opted for a happy, bright color while she's young.  There's plenty of time to look like death, girl.  Trust me on this one.

They also liked Tina Fey's geometric gown.  Now I understand that Fey is a notoriously bad dresser, and this is an improvement.  And I think Tina is brilliant, but she needs to hand over her dressing to someone else.  Gowns and designs just don't go together.

I loved Julie Bowen and Sofia Veragara's gowns (from Modern Family.)  Gold is a look that is hard to pull off, and Sofia looked gorgeous.  She knows how to dress her curves and she doesn't try to lose them.

My favorite gown of the night was Clare Dane's gold one.  I thought she looked gorgeous and Nina Dobrev's from Vampire Diaries.  I have no idea who she is, or what that show is, but I loved her dress.

My Bratz Doll award winners are Juliana Marguilies, Jemma Mays and Heather Morris from "Glee".  Do you think they do some kind of fast beforehand that takes their bodies down, but leaves all liquids in the head?

They also didn't like Jane Lynch's gown.  But I loved it, and thought she looked gorgeous.  She's going to be Sam's mother on iCarly!  Elle and I can hardly wait.

Ty Burrel's wife, Holly is an unfair poorly dressed.  She's a normal woman, who has to dress with these stars, and clearly, she thought they were going to do the can-can.

Diana Argon is my best dressed from "Glee" and Jewel looked gorgeous and they said she didn't.  I like when the women look like women, and she knows how to dress herself.  Unlike Heidi Klum, who is supposed to be a fashion expert?  Well Heidi, one day you're in, and the next day, you're out.

I stand by my worst dressed from yesterday.  That was baaad.

Check them all out at



The Amish thing...

I have to admit, as a city girl, I do not get the Amish thing in publishing.  I don't get why it's fascinating to people -- why living without a BlackBerry and quality shoes is seen as some sort of nirvana, but I understand that it sells.  I had never seen an Amish person until last year at a conference.  I was walking along at a Christian conference, rocking my heels when these women walked by me in bonnets and gunne sak dresses.  I thought, seriously.  We are the same faith.  Go figure.

Once I got invited to a local conservative church where the women don't wear makeup or cut their hair.  I honestly said to her, thanks, but if I didn't cut my hair, my head wouldn't fit through the door.  I'm Italian.  She was very gracious and said that it was a choice.  Women did it to not tempt the men.  I thought, the men are on their own, I'm not getting ugly for them!  I'll keep my boobage in the shirt where it belongs and will not wear anything that shows off my undies, but after that, you're on your own. We women have enough problems!

So this morning, I saw the new promo shots for GLEE -- starting in September, and I thought, there is my HAPPY place I was looking for this morning.  Then, I read an article that Jonathan Groff, who plays Jesse, grew up in Lancaster County, PA -- Amish country.  Now he stars on Broadway, Glee and the London stage.  To me, that's a happy ending. Getting out of the simple life.  God didn't create us all to be "Plain" -- just saying.



We need more happy people!

Last night, Chris Harrison (host of the Bachelor, Bachelor Pad, Bachelorette) was on a late night show.  I think it was Jimmy Kimmel, but I was watching Jimmy Fallon too, so now I'm not sure. It was a late night/early morning.  And no, I haven't been drinking.

Anyhoo, does anyone remember Chris when he was on HGTV?  All nerdy and talking about house design?  That Chris is long gone.  He came out wearing this acetate-shiny suit.  Note to Chris, shiny suits make a man your age look like Denny Terrio from Dance Fever.

If you are old enough to remember the trend the first time around, you're too old to wear it the second.  Free advice.  With glee, he talks about how he's playing the new Wii Bachelor game with his son and his son ends up in the Fantasy Suite with Deanna Pappas.  Okay, nice game where the reward is a chick in the fantasy suite (a real person, no less -- can't she sue for a video game making her an eternal slut?)  My point is, Chris Harrison was this nice, happy-go-lucky guy talking about house design on HGTV, and now he is a shiny game show host using words like "hook-up" and "awesome abs".  I found a link. It was Kimmel.

Anyway, watching Chris's slide into snake oil salesman is a metaphor for entertainment, don't you think?  Gone are the happy stories of yesteryear, replaced with angsty drama where housewives beat each other up, baby daddies break mirrors and throw tantrums and Jeff Lewis defies boundaries and makes his employees pee in a bucket for the perimeter of his property -- to keep coyotes away.

Life has become one big circus act.  I miss Carol Burnett.   Carol_Curtains

Shopping for gowns...

Believe it or not, I hate shopping for clothes.  Once I find something I like, I just order them online.  Like Joe's Jeans and Rebecca Beeson shirts.  Why have one when you can have a rainbow and not put forth much effort?  I do like good sweaters and those I can shop for -- call it my Mr. Rogers' fetish.

I have to buy a dress/gown for an upcoming conference and I hate to try things on, so I usually shop at for things because they put it on a mannequin and I can tell if it will hit me right in the waist.  Lazy girl's guide to shopping. But yesterday I was at Stanford, so I went into Bloomingdale's.  But I get in there, and they have all these great Joe's booty-fit jeans and I get sidetracked.

Plus, I felt like a total slob.  Everyone was very nice, but it's one of those stores you should dress to go into -- and I was dressed like a writer. Plus, it's been like 100 degrees here, so I was dressed like a hot writer.  And not hot in a good way.

So I came out discouraged.  Maybe I'll hit some vintage stores.  I can spend $160 on a pair of jeans because I'll wear them, but I cannot invest in a "gown".  Which is about as practical as a hedgehog for my lifestyle.  I once bought a great Shelli Segal gown on Ebay, but that was years' ago. Years that make a difference.  For me, this is like bikini shopping, only I'd rather bikini shop.  Any advice from those of you recently at formals?

I liked this one until I saw that it was $717 -- gulp!  It is Badgely Mischka, but I'm a housewife.  I think I need to go to Penney's.

Romance & Psychological Thrillers

I have very limited movie taste.  I adore the classics, love the chick flick and sweeping dramas like "The Painted Veil", but one genre that doesn't fit into my normal realm of "taste" and considering I consistently laugh at "So I Married an Axe Murderer", we may want to question the use of the word, taste.  But I LOVE the psychological thriller.


My first?  "Psycho" in high school.  Loved it! Still do.  My second?  I watched "Rear Window" by myself on the phone with my boyfriend in high school.  I remember climbing up the back of the couch watching the suspenseful parts and squealing into the phone.  I watched this movie again the other night, and at TWO in the morning, I heard glass breaking (I was home alone.) A small portion of a louvered window had fallen out during the night in our loft, but I didn't figure it out until the next morning.

I cannot stand slasher movies, or violence of any kind, but the psychological thriller?  Bring it on.  I have wasted my entire day on the "Ghost Hunters" marathon that's on all day.  My husband cannot stand that I watch this show because he says "nothing ever happens" -- but I'm mystified by the thought that it does, and could happen.  The Supernatural, (NOT demonic) but eerie, creepy, psychological scary is fun for me.  When the boys and I watch, and the dog barks and we all jump, it's hysterical.

I love the history on this show, and hearing people's stories.  Incidentally, I was in court on Monday for an unrelated matter and LOVED hearing people's stories.  I thought, that would be great fun, to go sit in a court room one morning, and just hear people's business.  Nosey, yes, but fascinating too.  Do you like to be creeped out this way for fun?  Or have I listened to Doctor Radio's psychiatry show and tried to guess the diagnosis, one too many times?

Okay, back to the ghost hunters.  This one looks good.

I Made the Evening News!

And wow, it was as easy as finding an alcoholic in a bar.  I was in the coffee shop I usually write in, and got interviewed about the price of coffee going up.  "Yeah so?"  Basically my answer.  I have an addiction, and I am stuck.  My son came in and goes, "Well Mom, that's you."

The only way you might have captured me better is if they got a better shot of my handbag.  : )


Open Mouth, Insert Foot...Again (Or why I write and don't speak!)

This morning, I met a friend I haven't seen in years to help me with some business information I usually neglect and can't afford to neglect any longer.  She was in line for coffee and with a friend (male).  She introduced me, and he immediately apologized for his appearance.  (I guess he was moving an office or something.)  Well, I had promised my friend coffee, so of course, I needed to provide the friend with coffee too, that's common courtesy.

So he says, "Oh no, I'm just here."

And I said...wait for it..."You look like you need someone to buy you coffee."  Oh. My. GOSH!  I did NOT just say that to a total stranger.  But wait, it gets worse.  So he's staring at me, and I say to my friend, "Tell him.  Tell him about my warped sense of humor."

She does, but I don't think it fixes anything.  And here's the coup de grace. It's her BOYFRIEND!  I have totally insulted her boyfriend, who incidentally, is a professional speaker.   I think maybe he understood why I write instead of talk out loud.

Oh we got interviewed by news cameras in the coffee shop on the price of coffee and would we keep buying it.  Um, yeah.  Next question...

This is why I really shouldn't leave the house. Ever.  I used to do public relations and marketing for a LIVING!  What the heck happened to me?

I have to shop for a gown to wear to ACFW's Carol Awards.  I think I'm going with Bluefly rather than risk public humiliation again.

Your moment of Zen:  Where I run.  Gorgeous, no?