Wednesday, December 26, 2007

With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe

Here's something I feel compelled to post every year after the holidays ...

"The Raving"
A Mother's Chilling Post-Holiday Tale

By Ellen Meister

Once upon an evening dreary, while I toiled, weak and weary
Over many a desperate dirty dishrag and forgotten chore,
While I leaned down limply lugging toys from off the carpet
Suddenly there came a tugging, tugging at the skirt I wore.
"'Tis some little kid," I muttered, smoothing out the skirt I wore,
"Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
Action dolls not yet dismembered lay across the playroom floor.
Each new toy was still unbroken, yet the child still was pokin'
And the only word there spoken was the whining more, "S'more."
This he whispered then his sister murmured back the word,
Only this they did implore.

Then the silly, sad, incessant clangor of the season's presents
Chilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating,
"Darling children, I am pleading, let's return some to the store--
Darling children, I'm entreating, let us give some to the poor."
Still they said, "We want s'more."

"You still want more?" I blurted feeling slightly dizzy, my head
"Get thee back into the playroom where your playthings line the
Go before I need to yank you! Go before I want to spank you!
Leave my kitchen and I'll thank you not to ask for any more.
Take thy sighs from out my sight and thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the child, "I want more."

And the child, so demanding, still is standing, still is standing
Near a portion of my pantry just beside the kitchen door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
Sights of toys and trinkets gleaming on the shelves of every store.
Unaffected with respect to his demands for even more,
Quoth I, the mother, "Never more!"

Monday, December 17, 2007


By Allison Winn Scotch

Inspired by a personal story, this sometimes humorous and always moving debut novel takes a courageous look at cancer and captures the amazing strength of the human spirit.

Today I'm thrilled to be blogging about a book by a talented new member of the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit, Allison Winn Scotch. This is Allison's debut, and the buzz has been nothing short of extraordinary. Trust me, not every new novel gets reviewed in Cosmopolitan and picked as an Editors' Choice from Redbook. So you know this is something special.

Allison was a good sport and agreed to play along with my GCC Does Hollywood posting, and here's how she would pitch THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND to our fictional producer:

The Department of Lost and Found is about a headstrong 30-year old woman who is diagnosed with cancer. But it’s really about so much more than that. Did I say cancer? No, what I meant was, the book is about an ambitious 30-year old who discovers that the ideals she once deemed important might not be so important after all, and by tracing through her past – her former loves and her former life – she realizes that though she’s been stripped of her career, her boyfriend and yes, her health, she’s still able to persevere. And that her disease was just a catalyst for putting her on a path to self-discovery.

When you read this book (and I hope you will) feel free to picture the actors Allison would cast in the lead roles ...

Oh trust me, I’ve batted this around in my mind for ages. For Natalie, I’d think that Jen Garner or Keri Russell would be aces. There was a while when we thought that Reese Witherspoon might be interested, and of course, she’d also rock the role, but everyone seems to want a piece of Reese these days (ha! Reese’s pieces), and certainly, think that there are others who would be similarly fabulous.

I also love me some Anne Hathaway.

For Zach, I pretty much say in the book that Patrick Dempsey would be the embodiment of my dream come true, though I think Mark Ruffalo would be a fine choice as well. And since I’m naming names, I’ll also throw in Michael Vartan, because, well, I’ll watch him in anything.

And for Jake? Unquestionably Scott Speedman, who should be getting a lot more work than he does these days. Didn’t anyone out there watch Felicity???

I think that Catherine Keener would make an awesome Senator Dupris, and Judy Greer would kick ass as Sally. Not a bad cast, right?

Not bad at all, Allison!

To buy THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND, visit your favorite chain or independent bookstore. To buy online, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any cyber bookseller. For more information, check out Allison's website,

Monday, December 03, 2007

The turtle on my desk

The muse propelling me forward on my current novel crept into my dream last night to make sure I don't lose momentum ...

I dreamt I called my agent to talk to her about the new novel I'm working on, and she gave me this whole pep talk about how I shouldn't worry about what she thought or how marketable it was or any of that. I should concentrate on writing it and forget about her. Then she joked, "In fact, this is a wrong number. Forget you even called me. Get back to work." I laughed and said good-bye, delighted and surprised by her attitude.

Then I went into my office to discover that the giant turtle we have as a pet was sitting in the middle of my desk, where my computer usually is. (In real life we have no such pet, but in the dream he was like a fixture in the house we largely ignored.) I wanted to just lift him off and put him on the floor where he belonged so I could get to work, but he had crawled out of his shell and I found him too icky to move. So I called for my husband to get him off the desk for me.

That's it. Don't think I need Sigmund Freud to interpret this one.