Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my Friday updates. Perhaps I need to make that one of my New Year's resolutions.

At any rate, please accept my sincerest thanks for sticking with me all year and for reading this blog. Best wishes for peace, joy, health, happiness and success in 2011!

I leave you with this book trailer, created for me by my wonderkid. I couldn't be prouder ...

THE OTHER LIFE by Ellen Meister from Ellen Meister on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Update 12/17

Busy busy busy! Have my in-laws as houseguests right now, and this weekend we're celebrating my father-in-law's 90th birthday. How cool is that!

Makes me so happy when everyone gets together for a special celebration.

Also, happy birthday to my mom in Florida, whose actual birthday is today!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, I'm working as hard as I can on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER and on prepping for the release of THE OTHER LIFE. But of course, all that has to be squeezed in between laundry and carpooling and cooking and housekeeping and homework-helping.

Also ...

If you're on my mailing list, you should have gotten my thrlling subscriber-only news today. If not, click to sign up and be sure to watch for the confirmation email. If you don't see it within seconds, check your spam filter.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Friday Update That Wasn't

Suffering a cold and feeling a little too under the weather to blog today. But please click into my latest post at the Girlfriends Book Club blog. And leave a comment there if you want the chance to win a prize.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The better-late-than-never Friday Update

Shame! I didn't post a Friday update last week and here it is 6:30 pm and I'm just getting around to posting today's.

I guess I've been pretty busy, but I can't remember what I did this week. Mostly running around with the kids, I guess, shopping, organizing, helping with homework and writing. I had houseguests last week, so I had a lot of catching up to do. The week went by in about three seconds.

And the little one's been sick the past two days, unfortunately. Seems like just a bad cold with a fever.

The good news is that I'm making progress with FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, and got some wonderful research help from Long Islander writer/attorney Tony Iovino.

Speaking of FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, I went into Manhattan today to scope out the Algonquin again for one of the final scenes. Also had lunch with my fab editor, Rachel Kahan.

One last bit of publishing news--Putnam put a wonderful ad for THE OTHER LIFE in Shelf Awareness, a very big trade pub.

Dinner's in the oven, so I have to run. But if you're not a member of my El's Angels blog and would like to help me out by placing a call to your local library and asking them to order THE OTHER LIFE for their collection, please click here. You could win a pretty nifty t-shirt. Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Big thanks to everyone who signed up for my mailing list and who helped promote it. The two t-shirt winners, chosen at random, are:

Carlos of Stockton, California



Can't wait to get your shirts in the mail to you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

101 things I'm thankful for

In random order ...

1. Fat novels with great characters
2. Spellcheck
3. Spring
4. Coffee
5. Crescent moons
6. My kids
7. Mobile email
8. Van Gogh
9. Disposable pans
10. Dogs
11. Elastic waistbands
12. The Portable Dorothy Parker
13. HBO
14. Ethan's smile
15. My book contract
16. Chocolate-covered halvah
17. Libraries
18. My parents
19. Cardigans
20. Online friends
21. Offline friends
22. Beatles songs
23. Diet Coke
24. Fan Mail
25. Emma's voice
26. Erasers
27. My denim jacket
28. Modern Family
29. The daily Cryptoquote
30. Discount coupons
31. Dimmer switches
32. The DVR
33. Compliments
34. Air conditioning
35. Modern medicine
36. Max's memory
37. My GPS
38. Lunch with friends
39. Red wine
40. Lactaid
41. The sunlight at Jones Beach
42. Blurbs
43. Art Museums
44. Back rubs
45. Air Travel
46. Everyday heroes
47. Readers
48. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
49. Birthday cake
50. Reading glasses
51. Gorgeous sentences
52. Good hair days
53. Modern hygiene
54. Enthusiasm
55. Generosity
56. Digital photography
57. Annie Hall (still)
58. Mike's hugs
59. Autosave
60. Veterans
61. The First Amendment
62. WiFi
63. Bookstores
64. Hot showers
65. My laser printer
66. Power naps
67. My netbook
68. Nassau Suffolk Services for the Autistic
69. Cotton
70. American soldiers
71. Search engines
72. Push-up bras
73. Reasonableness
74. The sunrise
75. Potato latkes
76. Online banking
77. Sarcasm
78. Backyard barbecues
79. Luggage wheels
80. Antibiotics
81. Scrabble
82. Chocolate Truffles
83. The Marx Brothers
84. Signed books
85. Summer nights
86. Seinfeld reruns
87. The Atlantic Ocean
88. Meeting authors
89. Fresh starts
90. The Internet
91. Family dinners
92. NPR
93. Hope
94. Heating pads
95. Laughter
96. Reunions
97. Thai food
98. Hearing from old friends
99. Indoor plumbing
100. Love
101. Blog readers

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Update 11/19

Things seems pretty quiet on the publishing front this week. I guess the industry is getting ready for Thanksgiving hibernation. On my end, it was mostly work, work, work, getting pages written on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER and gearing up for the launch of THE OTHER LIFE. And yesterday was my birthday, which I celebrated quietly with the family ... just the way I like it.

So, just a few reminders ...

• If you haven't signed up for my newsletter mailing list, I hope you'll do so now ... especially since you could win a pretty cool t-shirt. See the blog entry below for details.

• If you're a writer in the New York/Long Island area, I hope consider coming to PITCHAPALOOZA at Book Revue on 12/2. I think it's going to be a blast.

• The laundry's been piling up this week ... and so have the emails. So if you're waiting to hear from me on something, my apologies. I'm trying hard to catch up!

• Did a little fall cleaning on my website, so check it out if you have a chance.

• Have you bookmarked and/or subscribed to THE GIRLFRIENDS BOOK CLUB blog? It's a joint effort of a big group of women authors, and I think you'll like it.

• Big-shout and thanks to my Facebook, Twitter and CafeMom friends for the birthday wishes!

Have a great weekend ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

T-shirt giveaway!

click image for larger view

The pub date for THE OTHER LIFE is getting close, and I'm doing a special giveaway to boost my mailing list ...

 Click here to sign up for it and you will automatically be entered in a drawing for this very cool t-shirt. (Note that I have them available in both men's and women's styles.)

FYI, you'll get a confirmation email after you sign up, and you have to click through when you get that. If you don't see it within seconds, check your spam filter. (Also, be sure to use this link, and not the feedburner widget on this blog--that's a different list.)

Go for it!
Note that I send out very few mailings and don't share my list with anyone, so you have nothing to lose. Besides you could unsubscribe at any time. (But I hope you don't!)

If you're already on my mailing list ...
I didn't forget about you! Just link this blog entry on any site, or send it to friends in an email, and leave a comment below letting me know what you did. That's it ... you'll be entered in a t-shirt drawing, too!

This offer is good through November 30, 2010. Hope you'll sign up today! Click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Update 11/12

Happy Friday! I've been busy working on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER and trying to get my ducks in a row for the launch of THE OTHER LIFE. Here's the latest ...

• Got my ARCs (advance review copies) for THE OTHER LIFE on Tuesday! This is the part where it starts to feel real, so I'm pretty damned excited, especially since they look magnificent. A huge shout-out to the very talented Lisa Amoroso, who designed the jacket, and Meighan Cavanaugh, who designed the book. And of course, to my sage and savvy editor, Rachel Kahan, who directs the whole thing.

• Here's something fun for all my local writer friends--on Thursday, December 2, there's a fabulous event at Book Revue called PITCHAPALOOZA! It's like American Idol for aspiring authors. You get one minute to pitch your book idea to a panel of judges. I'll be one of them, playing the role of either Simon or Paula. Or maybe Randy, dawg. Click here for more info.

• Did a book talk this week to the ladies at my temple's sisterhood. Great group, and I got to chance to do my first public reading from THE OTHER LIFE.

• The sisterhood event coincided with my wedding anniversary, so Mike and I celebrated the Sunday prior at Jonathan's Ristorante in Huntington. One of our favorite places.

• FYI, Maria Geraci has a wonderful new book coming out next month, and I hope you'll check it out. It's called THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB. Also, I think she's going to be doing a really good giveaway on her blog soon, so be sure to bookmark it.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday Update 11/5

Some news and highlights ...

• The big news is that the pub date for THE OTHER LIFE was pushed to February 17. It was done for all the right reasons, though of course I'm kind of disappointed that it's delayed yet again. But that's my impatience. It's really a better slot for the book.

• Naturally, that means the launch party/book talk had to be moved. Big thanks to Julianne at Book Revue for being so understanding and letting me switch the date to February 18. Hope you can join me! Click here to see the online invite.

• Today I'm going to place an order for promotional t-shirts for the book, designed and paid for by yours truly. The picture shows the unisex version, but I'll be making women's shirts as well. (click image for larger view).

FYI, I recommend the company, ooShirts, to anyone who needs Custom Shirts.

• If you read my blog yesterday, you know that the MILK & INK anthology is now available for purchase, and makes a great gift for moms or any reader on your holiday list. You can get it from or Outskirts Press.

• According to my editor, the bound galleys of THE OTHER LIFE have arrived. Haven't seen my copies yet but I'm stoked.

• Also excited to learn that the book will be entered in the Amazon Vine program.

• Huge thanks and shout-out to all the friends who tweeted and blogged about THE OTHER LIFE this week, including Anita Beall, Eros-Alegra Clarke, Myfanwy Collins, Susan DiPlacido, DragonRiderMD, Cliff Garstang, Liz Michalski and Jill Thomas. (If I missed anyone, please let me know!)

• And one final shout-out to Rik Kellerman of Ten Tigers Kung Fu Academy for helping me fill in the gaps in my work-in-progress, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Friends, a few months ago I was honored and thrilled to be invited to submit a story to a brand new motherhood anthology called Milk & Ink (edited by Eros-Alegra Clarke, Jordan Rosenfeld, Nina Perez and Tomi L. Wiley). The contributor list is truly impressive and best of all, the proceeds go to an important cause called Mama Hope. Here's a snippet from the press materials ...

Milk & Ink is here now! This anthology of stories, essays and poems by writing mothers celebrates the intensity of being both mother and writer. It also will inspire all to recognize the power of living true to your passions and life purpose.

Milk &\ Ink focuses on the experience of motherhood, but it also speaks to everyone: fathers, daughters, and sons. This anthology, not only in its stories, but in its creation and promotion, seeks to acknowledge the need we have for one another.

Proceeds of the project will be donated to Mama Hope, which supports women and children in Africa in a variety of projects.To purchase copies you may visit one of the following links:

Outskirts Press

I think you'll love this book. And I know it'll make a great holiday gift for any reader on your list.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A little help from my friends?

As it gets close to pub date for THE OTHER LIFE, I'm asking friends to help spread the word, and in return I'm offering prizes. I just awarded someone the signed manuscript, and this week's giveaway is a copy of E.L. Doctorow's BILLY BATHGATE, signed by the author.

Click here to read more and get involved.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Update 10/29/10

This and that ...

• I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, but I am trying to finish up my work-in-progress, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, so my updates may be quick these next few weeks. Sending good luck wishes to all my writer friends who are taking the plunge!

• Very happy to announce that I've got the plot pretty well worked out. So now I just have to write, write, write. About 90 pages to go.

• Soon I'll be tweaking the design of my website, but for now I'm updating it with new information, including helpful links on my media page.

• Last chance to sign up for my El's Angels blog and be eligible to win a signed copy of THE OTHER LIFE in manuscript form.

• If you're a writer, please click here to read an exquisite essay by my pal Susan Henderson, Does Publishing a Book Make You a Writer?

• Worthy of your attention: Melissa Senate's new book, THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL, is now in stores and it looks like a fantastic read. I'm really looking forward to this one!

• Special shout-out to Stephen DeAngelis for putting on a hell of a show last Saturday!

• Still hoping for some pre-order activity for THE OTHER LIFE. (hint hint) See the links on the right. →

Have a spooky weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Update 10/22

Happy Friday! Today I'm posting a few links I hope you'll click ...

• If you're on my mailing list, you should have received a newsletter from me this week. If not, click here to see the online version.

• Very soon I'll be giving away a signed copy of THE OTHER LIFE in manuscript form. If you'd like to be a book angel for me and have the chance to win, please click here and sign up for my El's Angels blog! Just be SURE you click through when you get the confirmation email, or you won't be signed up. If you don't get the confirmation email within a minute or two, check your spam filter.

• My dear pal Saralee Rosenberg posted a Girlfriend's Book Club blog entry, along with a familiar photo. Do check it out!

• A few days ago I blogged on that same site regarding my philosophy on posting negative reviews.

• L. McKenna Donovan has been running a wonderful blog program about overcoming the negative scripts writers fall victim to. She featured input from several writers, including yours truly. Today is the final installment.

• A bit of news: it's rumored a certain very talented celebrity might be reading the audio version of THE OTHER LIFE! More on that soon.

• In case you don't know, THE OTHER LIFE is now available for pre-order, and some of the online bookstores are offering deep discounts. See the links on the right.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Update 10-15-10

Goodness, I haven't posted a true weekly update since 9/24. Too long. Here's what I've been busy with ...

• My daughter's Bat Mitzvah, first and foremost. As you may know, it requires massive planning. Like, rocket launch planning. I'm usually pretty good at this kind of thing, and get all my ducks in a row ahead of time. But boyo, I was behind on everything. That left me scrambling like a lunatic the last few weeks. And then, of course, both the Bat Mitzvah girl and one of her brothers got sick two days before the big event, which made the bottom drop out of everything.

Still, it all came off without a hitch. And my daughter was magnificent, if I do say so myself.

• Truly love the fact that so many of her friends aren't Jewish and it was their first Bat Mitzvah. It made the event that much more special. I got a kick out of the cards, too. Amidst the Bat Mitzvah cards were three Happy Birthday cards, one Bar Mitzvah card and one Best Wishes on Your Confirmation card.

• Big shout-out to my bro and s-i-l for throwing a glorious brunch the next day.

• In case you missed my last update, I got a final approved book jacket for THE OTHER LIFE, and I am wildly in love with it.

• Exciting news--my publisher sold audio rights to a wonderful company called Tantor Audio!

• One of the world's best bookstores, BOOK REVUE in Huntington, will be hosting the launch event for THE OTHER LIFE on Friday, January 21, at 7pm. You're invited, natch!

• Really enjoying the fact that every date this month is symmetrical. Yes, I am that geeky.

• A wonderful website called is giving away an advance review copy of THE OTHER LIFE. Check it out.

• I recently updated my PublishersMarketplace page. Click it!

• Gearing up to send my first newsletter in a long, long time. Are you on my mailing list?

• Check out this quick and savvy blog post from my agent, Andrea Cirillo, on what Hollywood is looking for.

• Writer L. McKenna Donovan is blogging about how writers can overcome their "negative scripts." Good stuff!

Thanks for clicking. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 08, 2010


I'm so thrilled with my beautiful cover!

(click image for larger view)

Friday 10/8/10

Sorry I missed posting an update last week. It's been nuts here.

Tomorrow is the big day--my daughter's Bat Mitzvah. The kid is prepped and I've done everything I can do. Now I just wait and see what else God or fate or the caterer will throw at me. Right now I'm just hoping the Bat Mitzvah girl and her brother are healthy enough to get through it, as they both got sick two days ago.

Send me strength, will you?


Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Dinner with Doctorow

I've made a show of my crush on George Clooney, but the truth is that I haven't gotten truly weak in the knees over a movie star since I was a tender young thing and Paul Newman walked by me on West 57th Street close enough to touch. So I guess you could say I'm not particularly starstruck.

Unless, of course, you're talking about authors. These are my matinĂ©e idols, my rock stars, my heroes, and always have been. In fact, even when I young enough to get all stupid over Paul Newman, I was even more enthralled by an author I had just started reading, Richard Yates. Talk about weak in the knees. Yates's prose made me swoon.

I worked for his literary agent back then, and was fortunate enough to speak with Yates on the phone a number of times, and even got an autographed copy of LIARS IN LOVE. As you can imagine, it is my most prized possession.

(click image for larger view)

In the years since, I've been blessed with the opportunity meet and even befriend some of my favorite authors. Happy to say I still haven't become jaded. Indeed, the more distinguished a writer is, the more breathless I am about the idea of face time.

So you can imagine how excited I was to get the following email from my cousin Richard a few months ago:

We had the Oratorio Society auction this evening.  

Lois and I bought 3 places at a dinner for 8 people at the home of Helen and Edgar (E.L.) Doctorow.  

We were hoping you would be interested in joining us for the evening.  It is scheduled for Wednesday, 29 September 2010, time to be announced.  

Let me know if that would work for you.

Work for me? Dinner with E.L. Doctorow? I almost fell off my chair.

So of course I eagerly accepted. But I worried about the encounter. Would I babble in nervousness, as I often do? Would I embarrass myself and my dear cousin?

Last night was the dinner, and I'm happy to say it was a  wonderfully charming evening. Doctorow's wife, Helen, was so gracious she put me right at ease. We talked a bit about politics, a bit about writing, and a bit about WQXR. Toward the end of the evening, Edgar Doctorow asked me if I would like to do a reading at NYU, and Helen said that I'm a lively kid. I took it as a warm compliment!

So I guess I managed to get through it without making a fool of myself, even when Edgar made a passing reference to a late friend of his who had suggested the best way to present his work on stage. The friend's name? Paul Newman.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Update 9/24/10

I'm in the last frantic weeks before my daughter's bat mitzvah, so this is going to be quick ...

• Early this week my editor sent along press kit copy for THE OTHER LIFE, and I was thrilled with the writing and the way they positioned the book. Those folks at Putnam do a great job!

• Also happy to announce that the gorgeous and magical cover I love has been approved. They're just making some final tweaks, so I should be able to post a picture soon.

• Went to the book launch event for Susan Henderson's UP FROM THE BLUE this week and it was terrific. Sue read the first chapter of the book and the audience was so gripped no one breathed until she finished.

• Marilyn Brant's new book, FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE, is coming out 10/1 and it looks like a winner. If I have time, I'll post an interview with her next week. In the meantime, please check out her website.

• Wonderful post from my pal Saralee Rosenberg on the Girlfriends Book Club blog. Check it out ... you'll thank me!

• Was really knocked off my chair Monday by a Brian Doyle poem that appeared in the New York Times Metropolitan Diary column. Click here, and scroll down to ON 155TH STREET, IN THE BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN.

More soon. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


By Susan Henderson

Yesterday was pub date for Susan Henderson's debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, and I was fortunate enough to attend her launch event at Book Revue (one of my all-time favorite bookstores!).  I had already read it, but just hearing the first chapter again took my breath away. Honestly, this is the best novel I've read in a long, long time and I implore you to run out and buy a copy. Here's the blurb I wrote for it:

"Brilliant! UP FROM THE BLUE felt like a gorgeous gift to my heart. Susan Henderson has a genius for exposing the exquisite flaws and beautiful frailties of her characters with such tenderness the reader can't help but be uplifted. Yes, it's that sublime. I fell in love with Tillie, I fell in love with this book. You will, too." -- Ellen Meister, author of THE OTHER LIFE and THE SMART ONE

You can buy it today at your favorite chain or independent bookstore. To purchase online, visit,,, or any cyber bookseller. For more information, visit Sue's website at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Update 9/17/10

• It's been a long haul on the book jacket for THE OTHER LIFE, and it looks like it's finally coming to an end. Last week my editor sent along a design we all loved. It's beautiful and magical and everything I could have hoped for. Alas, I can't show it to you yet as we're still waiting to hear if the sales department thinks it works. Stay tuned. I'm hoping I can post it here next week.

• Getting more and more excited about the book as pub date draws near. This week my editor sent me press release copy and it was pretty stupendous. A shout-out to the smart, talented folks at Penguin Putnam who put such great creative energy into it!

• On a personal note, things are still blazing along at breakneck speed as we hurtle toward the date of my daughter's Bat Mitzvah. I'm so busy and anxious I got myself a little sick, but am on the mend. Also, I'm trying to remind myself to enjoy this trip!

• Happy to say I've managed to stay on schedule with my writing goals. Hit page 200 on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER this week, which is just where I wanted to be. The scene I'm finishing up is the one I consider the end of Act II. Fyi, the "acts" are invisible divisions, used only as a device to help me structure the story.

• Susan Henderson's brilliant debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, comes out next week, and I'll be joining her for the launch party at Book Revue in Huntington on Tuesday, September 21, at 7pm. If you're on Long Island, you shouldn't miss this! Click here for more info.

Click to hear my 14-second homage to Dorothy Parker on

Wishing my Jewish friends an easy fast ... and a great weekend to all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Update 9/9/10

L'Shana Tovah! For those of you don't know, it's the Jewish New Year, and we're celebrating of arrival of 5771.

Speaking of things Jewish, I'm in the home stretch with plans for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah next month, which leaves me little time for anything else. Indeed, my To Do list is putting me in an absolute panic.

So not much time for this update or anything else. Besides, no real career news to report. Still holding steady and waiting for official word on something I'm bursting to announce. Also waiting for new cover art for THE OTHER LIFE. (By the way, the book is now listed on with a product description.)

But ... proud to say that despite my schedule, I've been managing to hit my writing goals these past few weeks, which feels like a miracle. Of course the house is a mess, the laundry is piling up, phone calls are going unreturned, emails unanswered, and my anxiety level is not pretty.

Long, slow breaths, right?

Have a great weekend ...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Found a great site for ordering t-shirts and I wanted to share. I'm ordering my daughter's bat mitzvah tees from this company, and will go back if I decide to order promotional t-shirts for THE OTHER LIFE ...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday Update 9/3/10

Big news! Well, big to me. The kids went back to school this week.

Some other highlights and cool links ...

• Amidst the insanity of getting ready for school and gearing up for my daughter's impending bat mitzvah, I had to take someone to the hospital for a scheduled treatment. It was a medication drip that takes two hours to complete. The nurse came back repeatedly to check the pump and make adjustments. "You're in the home stretch now," she said at one point. "Just a little while longer." About a half hour later I noticed that the medicine bag looked full. Guess what? SHE NEVER STARTED THE DRIP. He had been receiving a slow drip of saline for all those hours and we had to start from scratch.

Can you say "incompetent"?

But as maddening as it was to waste all those precious hours, at least it wasn't dangerous. It really drove home how easy it is to be the victim of medical mistakes.

• A couple of great links for my writer friends. Here, author April Henry addresses writing for teens vs. adults, and here, agent Nathan Bransford succinctly explains "high concept."

• A very generous new writer friend, Jill Thomas, posted a rave review of THE SMART ONE this week. Thanks, Jill!

• Another big thanks to all who visited and left comments on my first Girlfriends Book Club blog entry.

• Despite my hectic schedule, I'm back on track with FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, and made some good progress this week. I actually had a couple of storyline epiphanies and am excited to get it all written. Love being back in the writing groove!

• Speaking of FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, a very special shout-out to my darling and brilliant friend Myfanwy Collins for reading my chapters and offering such sage editorial advice. Everyone should be lucky enough to have such a smart and wonderful friend!

• Aside to Project Runway fans ... Mondo got robbed. We all know the judges chose Michael C. for the back room drama, don't we?

That's it for now. To my fellow East Coasters ... nail your tushes to the ground and have a safe weekend! And happy Labor Day wishes to all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Update 8/27

My oldest had his wisdom teeth out on Monday, poor kid. But he really did very well with it. Third day was the worst ...

Mostly hung around the house this week, and actually got a bit of writing done. Did manage to get into NYC on Wednesday to have lunch with a fabulous and famous film critic who agreed to assist with research for my work-in-progress (my protag is a movie reviewer). I'm a lucky gal to have such help.

If you haven't yet clicked into the new Girlfirends Book Club blog, I hope you'll do so today. It was my first turn at blogging there and I'd love it if you'd leave a  comment! Thanks.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dorothy Parker!

For my muse, with humblest apologies ...

"Resume Redone"
By Ellen Meister

TV bores you;
The web is a fright;
Your spouse ignores you;
And hobbies are trite.
Films are offensive;
Gardens weed;
Shopping's expensive;
You might as well read.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Update 8/20

I want my summer back, damn it. It slipped through my fingers like it was never here at all.

But okay, here's my week in review ...

• The writing news is that I had a great epiphany about my work-in-progress, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER. I've had so little time to work this summer that it was tremendously exciting to be visited by a fresh new idea. So I'm trying my damnedest to carve out time to write.

• Here's a news flash: THE GIRLFRIENDS BOOK CLUB blog has officially launched. It's brought to you by the 35 women authors who formerly formed the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. We'll be blogging at this new spot on a rotating basis, and I hope you'll bookmark it.

• Speaking of blogs, a big thanks to writer Jill Thomas for blogging about SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA!

• On Monday I went to one of my favorite bookstores, Book Revue, to see one of my favorite authors, Susan Isaacs. She talked about her newest novel,  AS HUSBANDS GO. It was a great appearance and I can hardly wait to read my autographed copy!

• Still need to stall a bit on my big publishing news. But in the meantime, click here to read my publisher's promo blurb for THE OTHER LIFE. But keep in mind that the cover image shown is just a placeholder. Hope to have the final cover soon!

Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Update 8/13

Happy Friday the 13th! Here's the latest ...

• The young 'uns finish camp today, which means my summer is, effectively, over, and I never got a moment to relax (except for one memorable weekend in Nantucket). I expect to collapse sometime in January, so stayed tuned for that, at very least.

• Last weekend I met with photographer Hy Goldberg of Visions Photography to get a new author photo done. We did an outdoor shoot and a couple of days later he gave me a disk with about 90 images. I picked six faves and showed them around before settling on two. (My editor wants one for the book jacket and one for miscellaneous publicity purposes.) I'm so happy with them! Here they are:

• In case you didn't notice, I just made myself a new blog banner using one of the above.

• Special shout-out to Brenda Janowitz for recommending the very talented photographer, Hy Goldberg.

• Another special shout-out to Taryn Rosenberg, who is also a mega-talented local photographer!

• The kids' desktop computer got crippled by a virus this week and I had to hire a techie to come in and fix it. Do you know that Norton Antivirus is just awful at protecting your computer? Seriously, you're better off with one of the free anitvirus programs you can download online.

• Can we all say a collective prayer that the sociopaths who write these viruses and send them around contract painful diseases and spend the rest of their lives in hellish agony?

• Had a wonderful barbecue here last weekend with three of my favorite families, including the Hendersons. I thoroughly enjoyed the adults, and got a huge kick out of the kids. The boys and girls actually played together. Time marches on ...

• Speaking of the Hendersons, Sue's husband made a gorgeous video trailer for her forthcoming debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE ...

The book is every bit as extraordinary as it seems. Click here to order.

• Still sitting on my big announcement. I'm about ready to burst.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday Updpate 8/6

Welcome to the better-late-than-never Friday update. Had a jammed morning of phone calls followed by an afternoon at the day camp my younger kids attend. Darling daughter was in a production of L'il Abner and it was terrific. Of course, she knocked it out of the park.

Couple of things to catch up on ...

 I never reported back after last week's Summer Gazebo Reading Series, which was absolutely perfect. Tony Iovino does an amazing job of assembling local writers and putting together the programs. Plus, he really went out of the way for us last Monday by ordering magnificent weather. (Thanks, Tony!) I read an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, THE OTHER LIFE, which made it very special for me, as it was my first public reading of that book. 

I was humbled by the lineup as the other writers--Reed Farrel Coleman, Saralee Rosenberg,  and Brenda Janowitz--were spectacular. Click here to see pics.

• Went to a bbq at my sister-in-law's last weekend, and have to give a shout-out to her significant other, Adam, a trained chef who can cook like nobody's business. His food is always worth the calories. Indeed, I'm never on a diet when he's cooking. And of course, I'd have a great time with those guys even if there was no food involved.

• Another shout-out to Debbi Honorof for taking me, Saralee Rosenberg, Carol Hoenig and Vivian Swift out to a spectacular dinner at the Crescent Club to thank us for contributing to her Long Island Woman column. Only thing missing was Brenda Janowitz, who was home sick. (Hope you're feeling better!!)

• Still trying to carve out time to actually write. This summer has been nuts. I think my hectic phase is about to pass, but alas, so too is summer. Woe is me. That deadline is going to sneak up on me.

• Not sure when I'll be able to make my big announcement, but stay tuned!

Enjoy your weekend ...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Update 7/30

It must be awfully boring checking in every week and reading about how overburdened I am, but that's my life these days. I can't say I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but there are moments when I can look at my To Do list and not have an anxiety attack. So that's something, anyway.

But to recap, I was in Massachusetts last weekend, staying with some of my favorite people in the world. Spent the bulk of this week taking care of details for the youngest's bat mitzvah and the oldest's transition plan for the fall. Then my husband's car broke down, and immediately after that I realized my car was due for a NY State inspection. It got a little complicated. And in between I was fielding calls from my agent about a very exciting development I can't yet disclose. Stay tuned!

Have a great weekend. I have to get back to addressing envelopes ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

The missing Friday update ...

Sorry I went so utterly silent. I spent Friday getting to a friend's house in Massachusetts and was then busy playing all weekend. (For the record, they treated me like a queen .. and I'd love them to pieces even if they hadn't!)

Now I'm back to the chaos I've been mired in the last couple of months. Light at the end of the tunnel, I think.

Meanwhile, tonight will be a ray of lovely dusky light. There's a great outdoor reading at the Schoolhouse Green in Oceanside. It's called the Summer Gazebo Reading Series, and I'll be joining Saralee Rosenberg, Brenda Janowitz and Reed Farrell Coleman. Starts at 7 and the weather is great, so if you're on Long Island, bring a lawnchair and come on down. Click here for directions.

That's it for now. Please come back again soon ... lots going on with THE OTHER LIFE and I'm eager to share news as it comes in. For now, please click and "like" the Facebook page for Milk & Ink, an upcoming anthology where women writers (including yours truly) explore the depths of motherhood.

Speaking of Facebook, one last thing ... if you're on the site and we're not already friends, I hope you'll send me an invite! Click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Update 7/16

Another chaotic week, most of it too personal or just too boring to share. But here's a very click-heavy list of highlights ...

• Had my sister here with us last week, which was fun. Great to see the nephews! (Hi Austin. Hi Henry.)

• My pal Debbi Honorof, book columnist for Long Island Woman Magazine, invited a group of local authors, including yours truly, to submit summer reading book reviews. You can see the digital version of the magazine here. Click though to page 10 and then click "enlarge."

FYI, my selection was NOSE DOWN, EYES UP by Merrill Markoe.

• My agents sold German rights to THE OTHER LIFE. Great news!

• My friend Robin Slick has a wonderful blog entry about Tish Cohen's new book, THE TRUTH ABOUT DELILAH BLUE. Click it!.

• The newest addiction in our house: THE AKINATOR. Think of a famous person and then click in. It'll freak you out.

• You really must listen to this audio clip. It's a review of my pal Susan Henderson's forthcoming book, UP FROM THE BLUE. I agree with every word this reviewer says.

• So BOOK HAMPTON  has a reading lineup this Saturday from three authors I've actually met. Susan Isaacs is at their East Hampton store at 5. (I'm dying to read her new book and wish I could make this!) Jill Zarin of Real Housewives of NYC is at South Hampton at 5. (We met in an elevator at Penguin.) And Andrew Gross is at East Hampton at 7. (Hubby and I will likely be at that one.)

Have a great weekend ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mel Gibson is NOT coming to Applewood

If you're one of my readers, you already know that my first book, SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA, is about three women who conspire to get a George Clooney movie filmed in their children's schoolyard. You might even know that the book was originally titled GEORGE CLOONEY IS COMING TO APPLEWOOD. But you probably don't know that back in 2000, when I first conceptualized the story, George Clooney wasn't the only star I considered using as the object of desire. Indeed, back then he was not the mega-watt Hollywood god he is today, and I considered a number of other equally famous leading men, including Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise and yes, Mel Gibson.

Can you imagine? In light of recent news (listen to the clip, if you haven't already), the only appropriate book title I can come up with for his name is MEL GIBSON IS A BIG, FAT, ABUSIVE, SOCIOPATHIC, RACIST, PIG IDIOT WHO DESERVES TO ROT IN A FETID CELL.

Okay, I'll shut up now.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday Update 7/9/10

Back home after a much-needed vacation. I feel like I've been rebooted. Here's the latest ...

• One step forward and two steps back with the book cover for THE OTHER LIFE. They designed a beautiful cover I fell in love with, but for one reason or another the smart folks at Putnam decided it wasn't quite right for the book. I haven't seen anything new yet and I'm VERY anxious about this.

• The book is now listed in the Putnam catalog, with a placeholder cover. Click here if you want to check it out. I'm excited about the company I'm in!

• Can someone please tell me why on earth Newsday would print this this ill-informed letter from some fool who doesn't understand that there's a difference between anaphylactic shock and allergies that make you uncomfortable? She thinks airlines banned peanuts to be PC. Idiot.

• Our long weekend in Nantucket was glorious. God, but that place is seductive. Big shout-out to by bro and s-i-l for being such spectacular hosts.

• Hard to wrap my mind around how much laundry the trip generated. How does 5 people x 5 days = 4000 pounds of dirty clothes?

• I updated my homepage with new copy. Check it out.

• Do you know what drowning looks like? I sure didn't, until I read this article (thanks to agent blogger Janet Reid)

• Addictive Time Waster of the Week: Think of a famous person or character and click here to play this game.

• Reminder: Are you on my mailing list? If not, please click here and sign up. Thanks!! (Please note that getting this blog via email does not mean you're on my mailing list. Two separate entities.)

• After a month-long hiatus I'm back to work on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER. I have have ambitious plans for progress this summer. Stay tuned ...

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday Update 7/3

Due to excessive fun and relaxation, there will be no Friday Update this week. Check in next week for posts and pics.

Have a happy and safe!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday 6/25

In the midst of the busiest week of my life--transitioning between school and camp, lining up fall services, prepping for graduation and a bat mitzvah and July 4 weekend away--my first pass galleys landed on my desk for proofing. (They look awesome, btw.)

Meanwhile, the house is a mess, the laundry is piling up, I need to do a food shopping and don't even get me started on my manicure. And have I mentioned I have a sinus headache? So no time for an update today.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A bit of good news ... please read and forward

I sent the following email out to my whole list this week, but apparently it got snagged by a lot of spam filters. Please feel free to copy it into an email and send it to 10 of your friends, per the instructions. Thank you so much!! xo

Since you're receiving this message, you're either on my mailing list or someone wants you to sign up. Either way, I'm offering you the chance to enter a drawing for an gift card. But more on that in a minute.

First, the big news is that I now have a pub date for my breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE. Look for it in stores January 20. I know it's a long way off, but I'm excited, especially since it's been getting such great early buzz. You'll see some samples at the bottom of this email.

And now for the gift card part. In anticipation of the novel's release, I'm expanding my mailing list and I could sure use your help. To show my appreciation, I'm offering two great chances to win an gift card.*

• If you are not on my mailing list: Simply click here to sign up, and you will automatically be entered in a giveaway for a $25 gift card. Once you sign up, you will also be eligible for the giveaway below.

• If you are already on my mailing list: Forward this email today to 10 friendsand copy me at You will automatically be entered in a giveaway for a $50 gift card!

Easy, right? And you really have nothing to lose, as I send out very few emails.
Thanks so much for helping me expand my list .... and good luck!

* Offer ends 8/15/2010. If you prefer a gift card from another bookstore, let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate the request.

     Early buzz for THE OTHER LIFE ...

"Ellen Meister makes a big leap toward the literary in THE OTHER LIFE, a book where "What if" becomes the most powerful question in the world. This is the thinking woman's beach read, a love story to the modern family, written with a deep and lovely understanding of mothers and daughters and the sacrifices they'll make for each other."
-Joshilyn JacksonNew York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING

"Gripping! A truly fascinating story of love, loss, and a magical place in between."
-Beth HarbisonNew York Times bestselling author of HOPE IN A JAR

"Intriguing, stimulating, original, unpredictable, frightening, utterly engaging--THE OTHER LIFE reminded me why I love to read. Ellen Meister is a writer with a limitless future."
-Michael PalmerNew York Times bestselling author of THE LAST SURGEON

"In her riveting breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE, gifted storyteller Ellen Meister doesn't just peek in on a young mother who straddles between love and doubt, she blows it open with a story of one who straddles two parallel universes, each with its own perilous decisions. It is a brave and honest exploration of the precarious limits of motherhood that will make readers wonder if Meister followed them with a probe and felt their racing hearts and hopes. If you have ever second guessed the biggest decisions of your life (and who hasn't), THE OTHER LIFE is a captivating homage to the question, does love conquer all?"
-Saralee Rosenbergauthor of DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD and FATE AND MS. FORTUNE

"THE OTHER LIFE is a provocative and unique tale of the road not taken. Ellen Meister puts a magical, masterful spin on one of my favorite questions: "What if?" What if you took both roads? You won't want to miss this one!"
-Sarah Addison AllenNew York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON

"I loved this emotional powerhouse of a novel that asks a daring "what if..." and manages to be as charming and funny as it is thoughtful and moving. Brava, Ellen Meister!"
-Melissa Senateauthor of SEE JANE DATE and THE SECRET OF JOY

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Books on the beach

I went to the beach today and took a lovely walk, glancing back and forth between the ocean and the people. As always, I was book nosy, and did my best to see what everyone was reading. Here's my report ...

• 3 Nelson DeMilles ... not surprising, since this is Long Island and he's our most famous author. One was a library copy

• 2 James Pattersons ... ALEX CROSS and what looked like a large-type edition of ALONG CAME A SPIDER

• THE HELP, hardcover

• Two girls were sitting side-by-side reading separate copies of the new Stephanie Meyer book

• A Charlaine Harris paperback

• A man after my own heart was reading Richard Russo's EMPIRE FALLS in trade paperback (my favorite book, fyi)

• Jodi Picoult's VANISHING ACTS

• Emily Giffin (pink cover)

• Matthew Pearl's THE DANTE CLUB

• Only saw two e-readers, which looked like Kindles. It was one couple and they each had their own. No idea what they were reading. Saw NO iPads.

Of course, most of the books were paperback and I couldn't see the covers, so the report's pretty skewed. Note, too, that there were at least as many magazines and newspapers as there were books. And oh, I did see one copy of THE OTHER LIFE by Ellen Meister. My husband was reading it ... in manuscript form.

Have a happy Father's Day ...