11/29/10

I can see clearly now...


Glasses. Yup! I got them. Well, I had a pair once before, but I didn't actually use them and then I got this really great fancy new Mac monitor, and I just magnified everything by 150%...clever huh?

But then one day, I was printing up my manuscript and several hundred pages later, I started cursing..."Oh no! I printed in the wrong font! I used 9point instead of 12! Stupid, stupid, stupid, what a waste of paper and ink!!" Hearing the commotion, Jeff came into my office and squinted at my manuscript and said, "Nope. That actually is what 12 point looks like." I too squinted closer and realized that he was right. Oops, time for glasses, for both of us.

Thanks to the folks over at Gagosha in Silverlake (recommended by the ever cool J.Lopez) I am now the proud owner of some seriously nerdy-librarian-fabulous frames! Gagosha is brilliant; great styles, excellent advice, patient and knowledgeable employees and frames that are worth the investment.

I have already received some compliments on mine! But best of all, I can read what I am writing...and that is a good thing...even if sometimes the writing... is not.

11/25/10

Thankful


Happy Thanksgiving!! This is my second year co-hosting Thanksgiving with my dear friends and neighbors, and I LOVE it! For the first few years that we were in America, Thanksgiving was a bit of a lonely time. Our American friends were often traveling to see their families who lived elsewhere, and although we'd get invited to some friend-of-a-friend's-friend's home for a group gathering, the idea of more people we didn't know although incredibly kind, wasn't all that comforting.

Thankfully our dear friend Frank would visit for his birthday and we would have a day of sightseeing, football (for the guys) and eating take-out from real food daily!

But last year, after having moved into this fabulous building, we decided with our neighbor-friends, that as all of us had family living elsewhere, we would have our own special dinner! It would start with cocktails in one apartment, dinner in another, and dessert in our place. An actual Moveable Feast! Hemingway would be proud.

Now I look forward to Thanksgiving, and there are always new faces at the table! As we don't have any friends visiting this year, Kim came early, and a lot of our friends are traveling, there will be a lot of new faces who are the guests of our co-hosts!

But one thing will remain the same, the spirit of creating a new tradition in a new place and sharing with others who are doing the same.

I have so much to be thankful for! And so much cooking to do...better get on it...May your thanksgiving also be full of love and friendship!

11/22/10

Shed some light on this script!



After a wonderful visit from my dear friend Kim, I am back at the desk, trying to meet my deadlines. Even though Kim made me write when she was here, (she threatened to never return if I didn't!), the writing has been slow and arduous. I am more than 2/3 into my romantic comedy script and I just need to finish the darn thing. I am supposed to deliver my first draft at the end of the month, and will need to get out 5-6 pages a day to do so. Ugh.

Middles. I am once more stuck in the rut of the middle of my writing. It happens in my novel writing and now I know that it happens in my screenwriting too. Middles are the worst. And the middles of the middles are the absolute worst. And as someone who has always had issues with my own physical middle, a little squishy no matter what I do, the irony is not lost on me.

What to do? Shop on line for a new light and rearrange the office...again. Now that it is darker earlier, I need more light for my office, and my gorgeous Le Klint office light that I got for a steal on Craigslist, isn't doing it. After hours spent scouring the web, I think I have found a few contenders. Good thing. Because this script isn't writing itself!

11/16/10

At last! Pictures of You!!


Beloved friend and brilliant author Caroline Leavitt has her latest book Pictures Of You, available for order!! Now you can pre-order it on Amazon, or on Indie Bound.

No matter how you get it, I am sure that you will not be able to put it down, and agree with many of the rave reviews from authors, like Jodi Picoult and Robert Owen Butler, that this book is not to be missed!!

Support an author! Buy a book!

http://www.amazon.com/Pictures-You-Caroline-Leavitt/dp/1565126319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289864531&sr=8-1

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781565126312

11/15/10

What's your book about?

I have been out of the loop and offline for a few days. A dear friend of mine got married and I had some celebrating to do!

At the wedding reception I met a lot of new people, and each new person who learned that I was a writer, wound up asking me the same thing...What's your book about? It's a very good question, and they are genuinely interested, but it is also one that makes me shudder and declare...I'm terrible at pitching!

Pitching is one of those things that is just contrary to my novel writing brain that loves the complexity of story and characters and doesn't believe that something is ever really about just one thing. But pitching is necessary, because if I can't sum up my book in a few well written sentences, then how can I expect to grab the attention of a reader, who picks up a book and checks out the back of it for 5 seconds before deciding to buy it or not.

Thankfully I rewrote my pitch last week, and this weekend I got a lot of practice. I also tested out my new working title and people really seemed to respond to both. So fingers crossed.

What about you? Do you tell people what you are working on?

11/9/10

Amazing Author Caroline Leavitt




The fabulous Caroline Leavitt who brings us all those Amazing Author interviews, has a book trailer for her very own amazing book, PICTURES OF YOU, coming out soon.

Check it out!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxBE_ed5CyQ&feature=share

11/5/10

Paper Plates! Lunch at the desk....


Today's desk lunch is an attempted recreation of one of my favorite meals at one of my favorite restaurants; the Brown Rice Salad at Mocha Mocha, in Toronto.

Mocha Mocha is a family run restaurant that provides counter service of amazingly delicious salads and sandwiches, pasta and chicken specials, vegetarian burritos, and such weekly treats as Tuna Potato Veg cakes and vegetarian lasagna. The owners are incredible and really make you feel like you are a part of the family, they were a part of mine that's for sure, my whole family eats there or orders from them weekly, if not more!

When Jeff and I used to live in Toronto we were almost always in walking distance from Mocha Mocha, and I would be lying if I didn't say it was one of my secret requirements for where we settled down. Even now when I go home, it is the first and the last place I eat. If you go to Toronto...go to Mocha Mocha.

This brown rice veg dish is based on theirs, and my version (which is not as delicious, although pretty fabulous) is easy to make. Simply make some short grain brown rice and set it aside. In a sauce pan or wok put a little grape seed oil, (to cook on high) or olive oil, (to cook on medium) and add some thinly sliced shallots, some salt and pepper, some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and a healthy sprinkle of Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute. Throw in a bag of sliced cremini mushrooms, coat, and cook until almost softened. Then add a can of white kidney beans, tossing the whole thing together. Taste. It might need more acid, and I recommend a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or half a lemon, pepper to taste. A splash of soy is yummy too!

Add this mixture to the brown rice, so that it is a good ratio of mushrooms and beans to rice, let it come to roomish temperature, and add to a bowl of mixed lettuce; Bibb or Arugula work well. I put the carrot ginger dressing on mine because I had some, but white balsamic vinegar works well too!

It makes working through lunch that much easier. Enjoy!

11/4/10

ART...

I love Art. LOVE it. I love all kinds of art; painting, glass work, photography, sculpture, design, textiles. I have been known to collect invitations and postcards from galleries all over the world, compiling an if-I-win-the-lottery wish list of paintings that I would splurge on.

But the really great thing about art, is that you don't HAVE to splurge. It is everywhere, including this fabulous site that allow you to purchase work for as little as $20.00. So now you can surround yourself with inspiration, or make your own, like Mabel did.

11/1/10

Monday...again...


It's the first of November, although my brain and body are quite convinced that it is December 31st, and are ready to call it a year and take a long nap. Problem is that there are still two more months before that happens...a good thing I know, but with 2 screenplays to tackle, one only half finished, another one still to be outlined, a novel to lock down, another one to begin and a third that begs taking a closer look at, I am tired before I have begun.

This is when I want to hide under the covers with my beloved pups and wave the white flag!! But alas, there will be no white flag waving. Instead I am going to Pomodoro it! Pomodoro is a trademarked technique that essentially breaks down into 25 minute chunks of uninterrupted studying or writing. My friend Robert recommended it and I must say it works. There are lots of other components of the technique, which I kind of do already, but this committed writing time, without ANY distractions, has been so good and inspiring, that it is the only thing that is keeping me from crumbling before the mountain of work in front of me. I am not worrying about page counts, or word counts, I am just clocking in 25 minutes, breaking for 5 going back for another 25, and I am getting it done! And often, I will go over and my 25 minutes will become 45minutes, and I won't even realize it!

It's like exercise, once you get started and really in the groove, you can go longer than you thought. Writing is like a muscle, it needs to be worked out daily whether you feel like it or not. Now if only writing could give me good abs, that would be perfect.
 
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