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Jane Austen Book Club

So my fellow Austenite and I are starting a book club. Not a book club where you read depressing Oprah crap. Or even modern-day literary novels without story. We're looking for good books written well, but that everyone can enjoy. Not everyone in our group is an Austenite, so we want to make it simple enough for everyone to read.

(Not that I'm brilliant, mind you. I'm reading Colleen McCollough's "The Touch" and I love her, but wow, she gets detailed about the steam engine and the like. I'm saying to myself, girlfriend, I have NO need to understand the steam engine. If we get nuked I'm in the center of Silicon Valley and I'll be the first to go. Which is how I'd want it.)

But I digress. As usual. So we need something more difficult than Dr. Seuss, but not Hardy or Dostoevsky-difficult. Any suggestions? And nothing sickly-sweet either. Are you starting to see why I have issues with book clubs? LOL


Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay...

From the reports, Lindsay Lohan was in a NYC Meatpacking District nightclub. That's your first problem. Addicts don't belong in clubs. I guess she has a crush on the guy from "The Wanted" Why? I don't know because he is the splitting image of Joran VanderSloot if you ask me. He would give me nightmares.


A scuffle erupted, and Lindsay allegedly hit a psychic woman at the nightclub. Her husband (the psychic's) had to call the police because no one wanted to get involved with celebrity trouble.


What is up with police and people in authority protecting badly-acting celebrities. (Halle Berry anyone?) Halle's ex is still the one who was charged with battery. How can anyone in law enforcement think that Aubrey was not beat down to the point of danger? Clearly, that is not self-defense.

We're allowing evil to flourish in our world. In the name of celebrity. That is disgusting on so many levels.

But back to Lindsay. She can no longer blame her upbringing for her actions. She needs to grow up and get help. Lots of people have crap upbringings and do not beat up people whenever they are thwarted.


Stars need to learn, like the rest of us, sometimes, you don't get your way. Yes, it sucks, but you can't hit people.

Jane Austen Fans...

Today, I was blessed to be with another Austenite, who had read and seen every version of every book. It's like sheer heaven to sit with someone like this. While we were talking, someone asked us, "Who was your favorite Emma?"

I looked at the woman and said, "Jane Austen fans don't really like Emma, so any of them will suffice."

My other Austenite agreed. And granted, we may sound like snobs, but I wonder how many of you out there can abide our dear, whiny Emma? I shouldn't say it that way. I'm sure there are Emma fans. I just don't happen to be one of them. Mostly. I want to slap her.

However, I would say, I'm a "Clueless" fan so that is probably my favorite Emma. What about you out there? Any of you "Lost in Austen" want to comment? Do you love Emma? Why? Enlighten me. I did think the last BBC version was the best of them. But seriously, Captain Wentworth...Darcy...or Mr. Knightley. There IS no competition. Just sayin'


I almost let an opportunity slip by. How could I??


A Compliment...or Not

My BFF called me this morning and told me that a retired colleague came in with one of my books and held it up. "Do you know this girl?"


"I was reading this...I've been reading a lot of Christian books since I retired and I started this one and it's so crass."

At this point, I'm thinking she'll stand up for me, but no, she lets the woman go on.

"I couldn't put it down, but I kept thinking it sounded like you the whole time I was reading it. It was like you were talking to me."

Oh okay, she's crass too. So we're both crass. I can deal with that.

The woman says, "I don't know what possessed me, but I went to the acknowledgements and there you are, the book is dedicated to you."

"Yeah, it's my best friend. We've known each other since we were four."

Which is why we're basically the same person. Who is apparently, crass. Beth offered her an autographed book.


Life's Little Luxuries

I was talking to my friend today and he recently got some advice on how to save money. The business expert told him that when he increased his income, not to increase his lifestyle. To simply live the way he'd lived when he had less, and bank the rest.

Dang, that is excellent advice, isn't it? And don't we all know it? I mean, I do not need Cable TV. I do not need XM Radio (though I'd be less likely to give that up over the TV) and I certainly don't need an iced soy mocha.

We all make lifestyle choices about what we're going to spend our money on -- and do you notice, it's really easy to judge what someone else spends their money on? I was watching "Million Dollar Decorators" tonight, and wow, all that money for little crap trinkets in the house. I mean, yes, the stuff is beautiful. But $30k for a mirror? Who does that? Even if you had $30k for a mirror?

See. Judgement. Those of you who don't have XM can't imagine paying for it, I assume. But on the way over to my office, I hear the crazy guy in Ecuador being interviewed (Julian Assuange) and man, if you heard that interview, he is freaking NUTS. He starts out totally sane, but then degenerates to Bat Cray Cray. They edited it here:

But I also heard, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC -- how can you not be in a great mood after that song? And better yet? It was on Classic Vinyl and introduced by Alan Hunter (Original VJ on MTV) so then, I get my 80's fix too.

So yeah, that's a nicety I have to make money for. The best way to save money is never to get into these little luxuries and therefore, never know what you're missing. What's your must-have luxury?


The Voices in your head...

One of the best things about being a novelist is knowing a character in your head, and how they would react. One of the worst things about being a novelist is listening to all the outside voices that clutter your mind with what's wrong with a book.

I started a new YA yesterday and my publisher wants a guy's voice. So like any thoughtful, detail-oriented author, I give that book's chapter to my son. Who says, "No guy talks like that. Seriously Mom, I don't even know those words."

"You don't know those words?"

"Well, I know them. I wouldn't use them." He hands me back the computer. "Start over."

"That's a day's work you just ruined!"

"No, it's a day's work I saved."

It was a dark and stormy day...

My neighbor next to my office is moving out. I love her and it's so empty without them here, but she's here cleaning today and this giant gust of wind just came up and knocked a mirror down that's been outside for a year. Very strange.

I'm here working on my Supernatural book, so the crash freaked me out. I was glad she was here. (We share a balcony.) I'm going back to my freaky book now. I had a giggle fest with my friend on the phone, so that is helping. Wind is my least favorite weather pattern. What's yours?


Things that make me happy...

Joan Collins was on "Watch What Happens Live" tonight with Andy Cohen. She was wearing an all-white sequined suit...wait for it...WITH shoulder pads! She designed it herself. And it was gorgeous. A woman of the 80's can never have too many sequins.

So they showed the fight scene at the Lily Pond from "Dynasty" -- that is television greatness right there. When I worked in marketing, I filmed a commercial at that house, and I was beside myself! (You know the Fioli House was used at the beginning of Dynasty -- it's in my hometown of Redwood City.)


All of these things make me happy. My son got into an argument doing an 80's report with another kid about which band was more relevant in the 80's -- truthfully, I can't remember the bands, only that my son was correct. He said to the kid, "Dude, my mother never left the 80's, you can't possibly think you know more about them than I do." (That's my boy!)

The 80's and Dynasty just represented when it was okay to be over the top. I hope to be like Joan when I'm her age. Bring on the sequins, the shoulder pads and the big hair. I'll apologize for none of it. Some things never go out of style. Not when they make you happy.


I've tried to join Goodreads, be a member in good standing and all that, but I've read about ten books since I last posted there. It's not like GetGlue where you can watch TV AND post. I love "Watching" with other people.


I'm currently reading "The Touch" by Colleen McCollough. Meh. On a happy note, I read in the back of the book that she is a neurophysiologist who worked at Harvard, so that's why she's so brilliant. Makes me feel better about myself.


Then, I just bought "My Life as a Situation Comedy" by Bill Persky -- who worked on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and is responsible for "That Girl" so that should be good. Since my life IS a situation comedy. I just haven't figured out how to work Goodreads into my system.