Gina Colada!

One of the things that happens as a freelancer is you work on projects for months and don't always know, not only how the project is going to turn out, but whether or not it is even going to happen!

Alas, thankfully this gorgeous project that I worked on, for eco.love wines, designed and created by the brilliant company Tree-Axis, with copywriting by yours truly, Gina Colada, all came together beautifully and was launched yesterday!

Very exciting. A big congrats to everyone involved. And I can not wait to drink this wine!!


The poster says it all...

Behold my new work of art in my office. I love it. It's an Anthony Burrill wood block print and for me it says it all!


Mad Men Staycay at its best!

Back from my one day staycation, and it was fabulous!! After taking the dogs into daycare for their overnighter, Jeff and I headed downtown, and had lunch at Church & State, a great French style bistro. I have a weakness for shellfish and Church & State, had the most delicious Malapeque oysters which we shared. Then it was on to a seared ahi tuna sandwich for Jeff and a bowl of Moules et frites for me...mmmmussels. I even had wine with lunch and a beautiful lemon mousse with lemon sorbet for dessert! Decadent.

After lunch we checked into the Biltmore, which is the grandest of old hotels downtown and the site of the very first academy awards. I love the Biltmore, and I love that they are having crazy midweek specials, like a King size room for $140.00!! The place is full of history, black and white photos line the halls, and the building is magnificent. I had to be careful of where I was going as I kept staring at the gorgeous painted and carved wooden ceiling. Our room was great and even better was...the pool. Now, I love swimming, but don't think that I have swam in 9 years. I am so self conscious in a swimsuit, ridiculous I know, but the pool at The Biltmore, with its floor to ceiling aqua tiles, carved stone reliefs, and warm water fountains along the pools edge beckoned. It felt amazing, and liberating and so good to be back in the water, that I definitely won't let another 9 years go by before taking the plunge again. After our swim, we steamed, and saunaed and then got dressed up for dinner at First and Hope. But first a drink at the Gallery bar in the hotel. Very old school, very Grand Central station and fun. And then... to the supper club!

I had heard so much about First and Hope, and had been dying to try it. Tucked into a mall, is a glamorous little bar and restaurant where all the waiters were decked out in beautiful 1920's dresses. The food was delicious, the portions were small, and the service although slow, was attentive. I am glad that we went, but I don't feel a need to go back. For the same kind of vibe, I still love the Edison, which has a great retro laid back vibe, and is half the price.

After another swim and steam and sauna this morning we picked up the girls and headed back home and got to work! It was a decadent staycation for sure, but it was made a lot less expensive by the fact that my husband had played poker for the first time in ages the night before and won!! And, it was only a day away, but in that one day, I had a relaxing and romantic getaway to France for lunch, Manhattan for martini's and back in time to the 20's for dinner. And if I close my eyes, I can still feel the warm water, and the quiet long lengths that I swam. Sometimes a day away is all you need.



It's been a busy time around here, just the way I like it, but I don't see a real break until the fall, when my deadline will be met and family will come out and visit. Although my husband and I are used to me locking myself up in my office to write all day and then emerging semi-coherent around supper time, we decided that while I still can sneak off for a night... we should. And so we are. Sneaking off that is. It will just be for one night and I am calling it our Mad Men staycation, but I am really excited. I will work during the day, toting my laptop with me, but tonight I am putting on a party dress going to dinner and a show and enjoying all things retro and fabulous. I'm talking sipping Manhattan's, listening to big Jazz bands and staying overnight at a hotel!

I will be back tomorrow with more details and pictures. And yes, I will be back at my desk, working and happy to do so.


Time keeps on sippin'...

One of the benefits of having a home office is that you can work at any time. One of the downsides of having a home office, is that you can work at any time. It really does go both ways. But that's the only way I like it, to be truthful.

Right now I am working on a script and have a pretty tight timeline. As a result there has been no delineation between work week and weekend for my brain. Mornings I take to answer e-mails, walk the dogs and hopefully exercise, and then I write until a late dinner, a good 8 hours later, grab a frozen yogurt from my new addiction Toppers (their motto is serving the best frozen yogurt since 1985! Love it!) and then I sit on the couch and watch movies for research. Everyday for the last 2 weeks this has been my routine. I normally write for 5 hours a day, but due to my deadline this is not an option. And I expect the days to get longer.

Alas that doesn't mean that I can't switch into weekend mode and crank the tunes, let my hair down and fix myself a delicious cocktail! I have started to get a bit of a reputation for mixing a mean martini. My friends and neighbors have come to expect something new every time we have a get together, and I kind of love it. I am actually not a big drinker, but I do love bars. I love their look, the stemware, the brightly colored bottles. I have had a bar in every apartment since I was 21, and have moved it with me all over the country. It is an art deco cabinet that was left behind in an apartment that I was renting, and I stripped it and refinished it and keep it stocked full of good wine and liquor, pretty vases, cocktail napkins and all things entertaining.

Of course when I am writing this much, there isn't as much time for entertaining, and I definitely can't drink and write, unless I want sloppy prose, but I can sip a cocktail and review my work, and make lists and goals for the next day and stay at my desk another hour longer without feeling like I am missing out on a night of weekend fun.

Alas, it is Monday morning and the weekend is far away...or then again is it?


Food for the senses...

Design Sponge
While perusing the fabulous before and after photos that can be found on design*sponge, I got an e-mail from a fellow foodie friend, alerting me to this delicious site....Black Board Eats!

It's a great site, where all you have to do is sign up for their newsletter, for free, and they will inform you on fabulous restaurant deals in your city. The first however many people who respond to a daily notification get 30% off the featured restaurant!

This week's deal is for MALO in Silverlake, hipster home of Mexican food with a twist, and great tequilas!

Hey, if I can't leave the office, I can at least see what other people's look like, (thanks design*sponge) and imagine what kind of food I could be eating! It's a little vacation for my brain and senses.




I am diving into scriptland today and don't expect to emerge for 6 weeks!! I have a really exciting project to work on and it will take all my time and all my energy...and I am thrilled. I love movies, and I love scripts and I think cinematically when I write my novels, for me it is all about the story and finding the best way to tell it.

Right now, I am going to be telling a story in the form of a script. I am going to be thinking in terms of scenes, economical and illuminating dialogue, showing and not telling, and finding the funny, in all things real. After all it is a romantic comedy script that I am writing! And I am afraid, that is all that I can say about it...and now I need to write it.

Into the writing cave I go...deep, deep, deep in...and I am taking all my lucky talismans with me!


Amazing Author: Leah Stewart!!

It's Tuesday and I am bringing you another amazing author interview, courtesy of the amazing author Caroline Leavitt!

Caroline is the award winning author of eight novels, most recently Girls in Trouble, which was a Booksense Selection and is now in its third printing. Look for her new book Pictures of You coming out from Algonquin this November 2010.

Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart is a richly satisfying read about marriage, identity and fidelity. I'm thrilled that Leah offered to answer my nosy questions. (Thank you, Leah!)

Husband and Wife focuses on one of my favorite personal themes, how well do we really know the ones we love? Would you care to answer that?

I wish I could answer it--I think my curiosity about that very question has driven all my novels, at least in part. My first novel ultimately suggested, I think, that you can't know other people, and that you just have to find a way to live with that. I don't think my answer has changed in substance, but it's changed in degree. In Husband & Wife I have Sarah say that learning Nathan cheated might suggest that she didn't really know him, but that she refuses to accept that. She insists that she does really know him even though she can't ever know him completely. I suppose that's where I come down now.

I’m intensely curious about process, so I’d like to ask you where this particular novel had its inception. What sparked the writing?

Since I was in graduate school I've been trying to write a historical novel based on my grandmother's experience as a field nurse in WWII. I worked on it after my first book came out, and then put it aside. When I went back to it after my second book it proved to be just as difficult, but I kept at it for a while, as I had a second child, and moved, and started a new job, and then I think I grew tired of that struggle when I was already so tired. So I decided to write something closer to what was on my mind. Motherhood, obviously, and identity, and the role work plays in identity, and how marriage changes after parenthood. I'm not sure exactly how I came to the infidelity plot, except that I'd seen friends go through similar situations. The original first sentence was "I'll begin with the end," and then Sarah described her husband's confession, which is essentially still the first scene.

In the novel, Sarah discovers her husband is writing a book on infidelity which has its seeds in truth. It’s a stunning moment, and it feels like an even worse betrayal because he’s attempted to turn his cheating into art. Which brings us to the question of how much boundaries should their be between real life and art?

As a writer my answer is that there should be no boundaries, or infinite boundaries, or whatever your work needs. When you're immersed in the work it feels like your only mission is to make it as good as it can be, however you're able to do that. But when your work is to be published I do think you have to think about its impact on the people close to you (or risk being the Woody Allen character in Deconstructing Harry). If I want to use a detail from a friend's life that seems particularly sensitive, I'll ask first. For this book I based the three-year-old girl on my daughter, who was that age at the time. Now, at five, she's delighted to know her finger-sucking habits are immortalized. But I suspect her life will be off-limits when she gets older.

Your husband is also a writer. Do you trade pages?

We do. He's a really meticulous line editor, which drives me nuts but is also good for me. We used to have dramatic fights when one critiqued the other's work. Now we just politely say thank you for the criticism, although I'm sure we get just as agitated underneath.

What’s obsessing you now that is compelling you to write?

Still questions of identity! (What is it with me and identity?) This time I'm thinking a lot about the intersection between identity and place. Also I've turned my attention to sibling relationships, which I haven't done much with so far. And the ballet.

What question didn’t I ask that I should have?

Hmmm. What are my favorite TV shows? (Chuck, Community, The Good Wife, Fringe . . . ) Or, how do I feel about the condescension inherent in the way much fiction by and about women gets treated? (But maybe you don't have space for a rant!)

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