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Finger on the pulse, and other observations from last month.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I bought the October Vanity Fair back in, well, October. It's the one where Lindsay Lohan is on the cover looking all Talented Mr. Ripley and talking about how she was totes recovered and stuff, how things were A-OK, SPORTS FANS, like the black bandy thing on her leg was a hot retro anklet! Shortly after, Lindsay checked into Betty Ford, where she allegedly scaled the wall while attempting to get a Diet Coke. I get that, by the way. We must let nothing stand between us and those sweet brown dew drops. One love, LiLo.
Relapse aside, my goal was to read the mag cover-to-cover on a flight from Florida to Michigan. For this same excursion, I had also packed serious smarty pants books about the degradation of feminism and stuff, plus sticky notes to make intellectual notes in the pages, and pads of paper to jot down thoughts on the world, ruminations on life, ideas for short stories -- the splashes of creativity that only come when cruising at 39,000 feet on luxurious Spirit Airlines, slogan "Enjoy A Diet Coke For A Small Fee On Your Visa Or Mastercard," a.k.a., "Betty Ford Has Nothing On Us."

But what transpired instead? I played solitaire on my phone. And that game where you flick a ball of paper into a wastebasket against the windy peril of an enemy desk fan. And I slept with my mouth open. And I ate about a trillion candied pecans out of my purse, because airlines are in such a state nowadays that you have to smuggle your OWN NUT PRODUCTS ON BOARD. Forget the TSA kerfuffle. I want my snacks restored!

I've since cracked the Vanity Fair. I'm past photos from the Jessica Seinfeld party in the Hamptons, but not yet to the think piece on the NEW ESTABLISHMENT 2010 (I predict Snooki).

I did come across a great John Heilpern interview with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner, and wanted to share this quote with the rest of you writers who live for the craft but would just assume eat purse peanuts until your stomach bleeds than pick up a pen some days.

John Heilpern: "Do you agree that writers are world-class avoiders of writing?"

Tony Kushner: "I could run rings around anyone! Gardening is a great diversion. I have a terrace, and I'll suddenly decide even in the dead of winter to go out and wrap pots in burlap. I shop. I shop for books and more books. There's so much that's really good to watch on TV, too - most recently Breaking Bad. I also have a fountain pen fetish."

So, there you have it. Burlap pots. Makes me feel like a machine. Thanks, Tony!

The terror continues.

Me and Jennifer Weiner, sitting in a tree. Uh... wait. Not like that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh, hey, speaking of my undying girl crush for Jennifer Weiner, I thought I should share this with you. This is me getting my book signed by Jennifer at the Poynter Institute in 2009. I'm such a dorky fan girl. JUST LOOK AT THE CRAZY IN MY EYES.  Also, my chest is about to free itself to glory, but I clearly don't care. High moment in life.

Women writers helping women writers (and other warm fuzzies)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here's a total must read from Sarah Pekkanen about marketing. I know, I know. Marketing. How cold and blah, right? We are ARTEESTS, after all, and needed be bothered with such corporate schlock.


I've heard from a few different published folks about how hard it is to promote your stuff once it actually gets released. You may have the most genius book in history, but if no one knows about it, it doesn't do much good other than to hold down the book shelf (clue -- it holds itself down because it's WOOD). It's super scary that once you get past the high hurdles of being published in the first place, it's still hard as stale cookies to get noticed.

Fortunately, the Internet works in mysterious, connective tissue ways and totally aids in this process. And Sarah, whose book I read when it came out, lays it all out. She was a first time author doing all she could to promote The Opposite of Me. That's when she came upon some serendipity in the form of Jennifer Weiner, who agreed to give out autographed copies of her own hit books for people who pre-ordered Sarah's. Just read the essay, she tells it better than this girl (currently on the couch in a pasta coma picking mascara off my eyes).

She speaks the truth, by the way. I only found out about Sarah's book through Jen Weiner's blog. Color me a statistic. But it's a good lesson. A really good lesson. And it's nice to see a little network of authors helping each other out.

Kumbaya, betches. Let's hug.