Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the winner is ...

HUGE thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for a copy of the six-word memoir book, NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING. The winner of the blind drawing is Bridgette, my lucky 13th responder. Congrats, Bridgette!

I loved reading all the six-word memoirs posted in the comments section, and got a kick out of seeing which memoir people thought was mine. If you guessed E, Not as blond as I look, you were correct!

Here's who wrote the others:

Took scenic route, got in late. -- William Blythe
Inside suburban mom beats urban heart. -- Julie Goss
Lucky in love, unlucky in metabolism. -- Leah Weathersby
Secret of life: marry an Italian. -- Nora Ephron
Quietly cultivating my inner Lynda Carter. -- Joanna Sheehan

Thanks again for playing!

Friday, February 15, 2008


I'm honored to announce that I've been asked to be the keynote speaker at the Long Island Library Conference this year, which will be attended by 1000 library personnel ... my kind of crowd. Click here for more information.

In other news, note that the winner of the six-word memoir drawing will be chosen and announced on Monday. (Scroll down to enter.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Do not adjust your set

Yesterday I discovered that my blog skin was no longer viewable on Firefox, and so I reverted to one of the blogger templates, which I customized a bit. I couldn't make it match my website, so I made it complement my HarperCollins page.

If it's not readable on your browser, please let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Your life in 6 words?

One of the following 6-word memoirs is mine:

A. Took scenic route, got in late.

B. Inside suburban mom beats urban heart.

C. Lucky in love, unlucky in metabolism.

D. Secret of life: marry an Italian.

E. Not as blond as I look.

F. Quietly cultivating my inner Lynda Carter.

Some months ago, a friend sent me a link to a site asking writers to submit their life story ... in exactly 6 words. Seemed like a fun challenge, and so I did it.

I later found out that Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser of Smith Magazine put their favorites together and published a collection called NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Mine made the cut and can be found on page 136.

I have to say, the book is an absolute delight, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. To celebrate, I'm doing a drawing to give away a copy, and would love to see you win. To enter, all you have to do is a post a comment to this blog entry with either:

Your own 6-word memoir
Your guess as to which of the above memoirs is mine

If you like, you can do both. Keep in mind, this is a drawing not a contest. So your answer doesn't have to be the best or correct. Everyone who responds will be automatically entered in the drawing.

Btw, if you're cyber-challenged and have never posted a blog comment before, no worries. Just click the word "comments" (or "post a comment") below and the rest is self-explanatory. Just be sure to include your name or email address so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A perv by any other name ...

I have a site meter on this blog, which allows me to (compulsively) check and see where visitors are clicking in from. The stats are usually predictable and depressing. Most of my visitors are men (yes, I'm making a sexist leap) doing a Google image search on Eva Mendes. I don't like to think about what they're doing after they click on the photo of her I once posted in a GCC Does Hollywood blog entry. The Internet is a disgusting place.

But the other day I noticed a curious pattern. People from all over Europe were clicking directly into the entry I posted about accidentally spilling nail polish remover. The referring site was a German discussion forum. I don't want to give the name of it, but it had the word "brace" in it, which didn't mean much to me. After all, the whole site is in German, so I couldn't make heads or tails (Köpfe oder Endstücke?) of it.

I should have shrugged and moved on, but curiosity got the better of me. Why was a German site linking to my blog? Why were people from all over the Continent following the link?

I tried to figure out how to to use the site's search engine so I could at least find the link, but you need to be a member.

So I registered.

Alas, I still couldn't figure out how to find the link to my site. But I did a Google search to try to learn more about it and guess what I discovered?

It's a discussion forum for cast and brace fetishists! And it's linked to my blog! Perverts from all over the globe are reading about the day I spilled nail polish remover in my private parts!!

And now I am an official member of their community.

Worse yet? In thinking about it, I realize that there is a sexy scene about a cast in SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA. So it's entirely possible I have a small cult following among these fetishists. And indeed, my German Amazon ranking spiked the day all those Europeans were reading about my nail polish remover mishap.

Perhaps I should just be grateful for the sales. I don't know. But the next time I do a book talk and someone tells me to break a leg, I'm going to give them a dirty look.

Monday, February 11, 2008


By Jenny Gardiner

Today I'm happy to blog about a fun new book by GCC author Jenny Gardiner. It's called SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER, and it's getting tons of attention. Author Meg Cabot called it "A cross between Erma Bombeck and Candace Bushnell." And MamaLit called it "The 'Bridget Jones Diary' for all married and harried mommies!"

Jenny was a great sport and agreed to play along with the GCC Does Hollywood game, and here's how she'd pitch the book to our fictional producer:

Every married in America will relate to disgruntled housewife Claire Doolittle. Find me 20 women whose husbands don't have a hint of Ward Cleaver to them. Women will leave this movie laughing, crying, telling their girlfriends about it. And their marriages somewhat rejuvenated.

And here's how Jenny would consider casting it ...

I need a real actress to play Claire--can't be one of those impossibly thin, plasticized starlet types. Bonnie Hunt would be good but she might be a little too old. I think Kate Winslet would be good, maybe Laura Linney if she could make it funny enough.

For Jack, perhaps Matt Damon? He's still got something sexy about him but he's definitely got a bit of Ward-ishness to him as well. LOL.

I hope you'll look for SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER the next time you visit your favorite chain or independent bookstore. To buy online, visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells or any cyber bookseller. For more information, visit Jenny's website at jennygardiner.net.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Morty and Helen Show

In the past, I've blogged about visits from my Seinfeldian parents and the work involved in preparing for their arrival, such as stocking up on eight different brands of high fiber cereal and making sure there's a tissue box at least every four feet throughout the house. But I've never told you about the tech support phone calls from my dad as he tries to save documents on his thumb drive so he can have access to them during his visit. Herewith a transcription of this morning's conversation ...

DAD: I want to save some computer documents on that thumbstick matchstick thumbdrive and I forgot how to do it.
ME: Are these Word documents?
DAD: Yes.
ME: Are you sure?
DAD: Word documents, yes.
ME: Okay, is the thumb drive in your computer?
DAD: Yes.
ME: Is the first document open?
DAD: Yes.
ME: And it's definitely a Word document?
DAD: Yes.
ME: Okay, it's easy. Just click file on the upper left.
DAD: File?
ME: File.
DAD: I see it!
ME: When you click it, you should see save and then save as. Click save as.
DAD: It doesn't say save as.
ME: Yes it does.
DAD: It doesn't.
ME: Are you sure you're in Word?
DAD: What do you mean in Word?
ME: You said it's a Word document and it's open. That means you should be in the Word program.
DAD: I'm not.
ME: You're not in Word? But you said the document is open.
DAD: It is.
ME: How could you open a Word document and not be in Word?
DAD: I don't understand.
ME: How do you normally open a document? Do you go through My Documents or do you open Word first?
DAD: I don't know what you mean. When I open Word, all I get is a blank page.
ME: Let's start all over. And are you sure it's a Word document?
DAD: Yes, it's a Word document.
MOM: (in background) It's not a Word document!
DAD: It's not?
MOM: No!
ME: Dad, I asked you ten times if it was a Word document.
DAD: I thought you were asking if it's in My Documents.
ME: Just tell me what's on your screen in front of you.
DAD: Marilyn, she wants to know what's on the screen.
MOM: (in background) I'm in My Documents.
DAD: We're in My Documents.
ME: Okay, highlight the document you want to copy.
DAD: Highlight it?
ME: Just click on it.
MOM: (in background) Tell her it's highlighted.
DAD: It's highlighted.
ME: Okay, on the left you should see a menu that includes the word copy. Click on that.
DAD: Marilyn, click on copy.
MOM: (in background) Where is it?
DAD: How should I know?
ME: Dad?
MOM: (in background) What am I supposed to click on?
ME: Dad?
DAD: I think it's right there.
MOM: (in background) Where?
DAD: There.
ME: Dad?
MOM: (in background) This?
ME: DAD!!!!!!!!!
DAD: What?
ME: Let me talk to Mom!

Anyway, it went on from there. I'd transcribe the rest of it, but I have to go out and buy more bran flakes.