Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great way to spend a Sunday

I'm thrilled that I was asked to particiate in an exciting panel event this Sunday with a great group of Long Island writers. Here are the details from The Transition Network's website

MEET THE AUTHORS AFTERNOON TEA

  • Date:  March 29th from 2 to 4 PM
  • Place:  Hofstra University Club (www.Hofstrauniversityclub.com), 225 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Cost:  $20.00 members/$25.00 guests
TTN of Long Island and Hofstra University Continuing Education have arranged a stimulating "Literary" afternoon tea!  

Here is your chance to meet four Long Island female authors who will discuss how they use their fiction to explore the myths and realities of woman's lives. Ellen Meister (www.ellenmeister.com), Carol Hoenig (www.carolhoenig.com), Saralee Rosenberg (saraleerosenberg.com) and Brenda Janowitz (www.brendajanowitz.com) are all intriguing writers who will share their thoughts and inspirations with you.  The discussion will be moderated by TTN's own Debbi Honorof (a book columnist for Long Island Woman).  Come and enjoy luscious French and Italian pastries and fresh fruit selections, accompanied by specially selected international teas and coffees.

Don't miss this terrific event...It's sure to be a real page-turner!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Update

• This week I was the Mystery Mom in my daughter's class, which meant I was responsible for coming up with some unique project or activity to do with the kids. I knew that most of the other parents engaged the kids in fun crafts, so I was bent on finding something different. I hit pay dirt at the library, with a book called MORE TRUE LIES (by George Shannon and John O'Brien), which had these short vignettes I read to the class and then opened for the discussion. The kids were so engaged. It was a blast. I also brought home baked cookies, which didn't hurt. Anyway, I highly recommend this book, which appears to be out of print but is still available on Amazon. Even my 14-year-old was eager to read it. Here's the Booklist review:

Gr. 4-6. The spirited successor to True Lies: 18 Tales for You to Judge (1996) again challenges readers' ability to find "true lies," which Shannon defines as statements that are "technically truthful yet basically a lie." While the idea may sound grimly pedantic, the book is lots of fun. Shannon, who has culled stories from around the world, presents each tale in a few brief paragraphs, then asks the reader to determine, "What's the truth, the whole truth? And where's the lie?" A flip of the page reveals the answer. In one, a man who is accused of stealing insists that he "only picked up a rope." When children turn the page, they discover that the rope was attached to a cow. Other tales revolve around bargaining, buying, and selling. There is even an object lesson in greed. Sophisticated ink line drawings by John O'Brien reinforce the "something's out of whack" theme. Notes on the stories are appended. Connie Fletcher

• Last week I mentioned that I got my editor's comments on my manuscript. I'm happy to say I'm now halfway done with the edits.

• This week I watched House, one of my favorite TV shows, and was surprised to learn that Dr. Taub's first name is Chris. I'm always so surprised when I come across an error like this. Do gentiles not realize that Jews don't name their kids Chris? Is this some sort of secret only Jewish people know? If so, I hereby blow our cover.

• If you're following me on Facebook, you may have witnessed my meltdown over the bathroom scale. I've been dieting like a mental patient, and running on the treadmill daily past the point of exhaustion. Yesterday I got on the scale to see how much all my hard work paid off. The verdict? I'd lost zero pounds. Zero. I had an absolute fit. Then one of my online buddies told me I would literally see results overnight. So today I got on the scale again and guess what? I lost three pounds! Somebody buy me a cheesecake. (And then hide it.)

• Shout out to Barbara and Neil for the fun dinner last Friday at Old Street in Smithtown. Great hanging out with them as well as David and Donna.

• I don't know why it took me so many years to get around to it, but I'm finally reading the magnificent HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG by Andre Dubus III.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Update

Another pretty tame but satisfying week. Here's what's happening ...

• Last Friday night I visited with a book club in Northport, Long Island that read THE SMART ONE. Such a bright and attentive group! Thanks to Rozanne and the whole gang for inviting me. Next time I'll have some of that dessert.

• Good week for a compliment junkie. I got two nice reviews of THE SMART ONE from bloggers, a very lovely fan mail that meant a lot to me and, reportedly, a shout-out in the newsletter from Diane's Books in Greenwich, CT. (Thanks to author Andrew Gross for the heads up on that.)

• Yesterday I had another lunch with my Long Island literati pals, Carol Hoenig, Debbi Honorof, Brenda Janowitz and Saralee Rosenberg. We were meeting to discuss our "Meet the Authors Afternoon Tea" on Sunday, March 29. It's at the Hofstra University Club at 2 pm, and I hope you can join us. Click here for more information.

• Parenting tip of the week: if your kid loses his glasses and you've spent days turning the house upside down looking for them, check the laundry basket.

• Wednesday I finished the whole freelance job I was working on (a website and print materials) and Thursday I got my editor's notes on my novel. Is that great timing or what? Best of all, the notes were relatively minor, which means I don't have to unravel the manuscript and start from scratch. Phew!

• The folks at Jeopardy Kids are smart, but not smart enough. I never got a call from them saying my daughter was selected for the show. But I'm not bitter. I understand the decision. Clearly they didn't want to make all the other kids look bad. (Biased? Moi?)

• If you're in the Newburyport, Massachusetts area, I hope you'll consider coming to the literary festival on April 24 & 25. The schedule hasn't been finalized, but it looks like I'll be speaking on Saturday morning.

• I still like Danny Gokey

• If you're a writer or in any way connected to publishing, you've heard the buzz on the Niffenegger sale. I know some writers are seething with resentment over the whopping size of the advance, but my emotional response is the opposite. I think it's nothing but good news for all of us. It means people are still buying books. It means the world hasn't come to an end. It means hard work and beautiful writing are actually valued. Her agent, Joe Regal, has the final word on Pub Rants, agent Kristin's blog.

• Happy Friday the 13th ...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Update ... a quickie

Argh! I let almost the whole day go by. Here's what's new ...

• I've been suffering so much angst over the title of my forthcoming novel. I haven't been happy with any of my ideas, despite all my brainstorming. (Indeed, my house has been littered with dozens of notepads, hundreds of pages and thousands of ideas.) All along, I sensed that the simplist, most straightforward and graceful title was staring me in the face.

But what the hell was it?

And then, one day this week, it happened. A flash of inspiration and there it was:
THE OTHER LIFE

This is the perfect title, as it refers to my protagonist's two lives, as well as the life of her unborn baby. I sent it off to my editor and agents, and everyone likes it. Not sure it's official yet, so stay tuned.

• Last Friday night I met a group of my old high school pals at a local watering hole. What a blast! I'm so impressed with how charming and funny this group is.

• Tonight I'm meeting with a Long Island book club that read THE SMART ONE, which is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. If you're local and would like me to visit your club, drop me a line. If you're not local, I'd be happy to do a phone-in appearance. Just click here.

• This week I finished reading Michael Palmer's THE FIRST PATIENT. What a ride!! I'm in awe. Right now I'm reading HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick. This was recommended to me by my smartypants daugther when I said that I thought my next book might be divided into two parts.

• Gotta run ... carpooling calls.