Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Update 4/30

Bad day for my darling with Crohn's disease so I'm not up for posting an update. More later if he feels better.

Have a good weekend and think good thoughts for him, please ...



By Gina Holmes

Gina Holmes is a writer who interviews other authors on a wonderful website called Novel Journey. Gina is a generous supporter of her fellow writers, so I didn't want to miss the opportunity to give her a shout-out now that her own debut novel is hitting the stores.

Here's the summary for CROSSING OCEANS ...

Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain . . . or makes it harder to cross. Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter.

As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything—to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings . . . even to overcome the impossible.

And here's just some of the terrific early buzz on this book ...

“Beautiful and heartfelt.”
Charles Martin, NYT bestselling author of Where the River Ends

“Poignant and unforgettable, CROSSING OCEANS will break your heart — and then put the pieces back together again. This is an uplifting and inspiring tale that reminds us to live every day as if it’s our last.”
Tess Gerritsen, NYT Best-selling author

“Moving, heart-rending and poignant, a stunning debut. Holmes returns us to what matters in a too-short life—what it really is to come home.”
Tosca Lee, Author of Havah & Demon: A Memoir

“Gina Holmes explores the beauty, tenderness and tenacity of mother-love in Crossing Oceans with marvelous skill and insight. An outstanding debut from a gifted storyteller. Bravo!
Susan Meissner, Author of The Shape of Mercy

You can buy CROSSING OCEANS at your favorite chain or independent bookstore. To buy online, visit,,, or any cyber bookseller. For more information, visit Gina's website at

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I'm in love with my book again!

I've been struggling daily with my work-in-progress, wrestling with every sentence. But today something happened--the thing caught fire.

It's ironic that this is a novel about Dorothy Parker, because it suddenly occurred to me that the process of writing a book is a lot like the ups and downs of romance she chronicled in a poem called "Symptom Recital."

I do not like my state of mind;
I'm bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn's recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I'd be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men....
I'm due to fall in love again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Update 4/23

Some actual news to report this week ...

• Last weekend was the Author Tea at Hofstra where I got to interview Elinor Lipman for an audience of about 75 wonderful women. Our portion of the event lasted about 40 minutes, but Elinor was so charming and forthright and fascinating I could have gone on all day! Here are a few photos, thanks to my pal Saralee Rosenberg ...

We talked a lot about writing and a bit about her latest book, THE FAMILY MAN, which will be available in paperback any minute. If you haven't yet read this book, please get your hands on a copy and find out why Elinor Lipman is one of my favorite writers.

Special shout-out to Debbi Honorof, book columnist for Long Island Woman, who did an astounding job organizing the whole event. That's her in the picture above, between me and Elinor.

• Additional shout-outs to the other wonderful authors at the event, Maria Garcia Kalb, Cynthia Baxter and Anne Canadeo. A very impressive group! And one final shout-out to the sponsors, Hofstra University, The Transition Network and the Huntington Arts Council.

• One of the attendees was my dear friend, Susan Henderson, whose debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, comes out in September. Jamie Ford, bestselling author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, read the book and loved it so much he predicts it will lure countless readers. Check it out.

• Happy news: my agent sold German rights to THE OTHER LIFE.

• My writing isn't particularly research heavy, but I always need to reach to reach out to a few experts for help. I've been very fortunate that some generous professionals, including doctors, lawyers, social workers, nurses, detectives and others have come forward to offer their expertise. Recently, my cousin Max Weiss, a bright and brilliant Baltimore film critic, provided valuable info for my current book, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER. And this week I was excited to hook up with a prominent movie reviewer from a national magazine, and I'm so very grateful. Not sure if he wants to be identified, so I'll keep that under my hat for now.

A great big bow to all who have helped!

• My husband started his new job with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney this week. Woot!

Have a great weekend ...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Daily Cryptoquote Clues


I haven't updated this post in 6 years, but today's Cryptoquote was so brutal I knew a lot of you would be finding your way here. So I'll give you  a couple of clues that should help ...

H is O (and no, that's not a mistake--there's a word that ends in O and it's not "into")

W is H

That should lead you in the right direction. If you need more clues, post a comment below.

P.S. In case you're wondering, the same Cryptoquote appears in newspapers coast-to-coast.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Update, 4/15

No time for a proper update, my friends, but a reminder that the BOOK & AUTHOR TEA is at Hofstra this Sunday. Here are the deets ...

Book and Author Tea
Sunday, 4/18, 2-4 pm

The Hofstra University Club
900 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, NY


Elinor L
ipmanInterviewed by yours truly about creating novels with wit, wisdom and a beating heart

Cynthia Baxter
and Anne Canadeo
Two Long Island authors engage in a lively dialogue about writing mysteries
Interviewed by Debbi Honorof, Long Island Woman book columnist

Maria Garcia Kalb
KJOY Radio Personality and author of 101 Ways to Torture your Husband

Cost: $25.00
Includes gourmet teas and coffee, French and Italian pastries, and fresh fruit.
Book signing to follow Tea. Books will be available for purchase.

For more information
click here
or call 516-622-4837.

Click here to register online.

And here's an adorable 35-second video I made ...

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday's Friday Update

So my day got away from me yesterday and now, as I write this, five children wait for me to make them French toast. (Yes, five. We had a double sleepover.) So I need to be fast. Some highlights from my week ...

• Our family trip to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the NBC studio tour was great fun. Biggest surprise? 30 Rock is not filmed at 30 Rock, but at Silvercup Studios. Go figure. Natch, when it came time for two volunteers to get in front of the camera for a few minutes of mock news, my darlings raised their hands. They were adorable.

• Not so much fun: Mars 2112. Yech. Boring, outdated, dirty and with the most pathetic and apathetic staff. Stay away.

• Kids went back to school on Wednesday, which means I got a smidge of work done on FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER. It's inching forward.

• Another thing I'm working on is writing the questions for my interview of Elinor Lipman at Hofstra on Sunday, April 18. In addition to being a beloved and talented author, she's smart and funny and charming. It's going to be great. Click here for more info. Click here to preregister.

• The other thing that's been keeping me hopping is the giveaway promotion aimed at people signing up for my mailing list. My Girlfriends Cyber Circuit pals have been helping me out. Here are the blogs posted so far:
Saralee Rosenberg
Megan Crane
Roberta Isleib
Marilyn Brant
Brenda Janowitz
Jessica Brody

• If any other bloggers wish to help spread the word, please do! I promise I'll link your blog in this column.

• Special shout-out to author pal Susan DiPlacido for doing just that!

• It's time to make the French toast, but not before I leave you with this, Elinor Lipman's tribute to her late husband from the Modern Love column in The New York Times.

Enjoy your weekend ...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Update delayed

My apologies to anyone clicking in for my weekly update. I have a load on my plate this morning and will try to get to it this afternoon. Please check back in later. Thanks!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday Update 4/ 2

If ever there was a spring that felt like a rebirth, this is it. That's my hope, at least. We surely need some new beginnings here.

The kids have been home this week, so not much is happening writing-wise, but here are some highlights ...

• We had our Passover seder here on Monday night, and it was pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. Everyone participated in our seder, which was a super-abbreviated version--just enough for the kids to taste tradition. Food and company were divine, and my brother didn't send a single text message during dinner. I call that a success.

• Shout-out to the kids, who were especially well-behaved and got along magnificently.

• Found out almost by accident that a film agent is repping FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER. This is great news, as I think it's shaping up to be a pretty cinematic book, so fingers crossed. But in terms of timing, I'm more focused on the film rights for THE OTHER LIFE, which is repped by the same Hollywood agent.

And since I have no one to say this to, I'll post it here: Movie actresses always complain that there are no good roles for women. Well my dears, here it is ... a story with two kickass female roles--Quinn, the young mother who has to choose between two lives, and Nan, her powerful artist mother who suffers from bipolar disorder. (Read more about the story here.)

In my spare time (ahem) I daydream about casting this mother daughter duo. Some ideas include Jennifer Aniston and Frances McDormand (I know they're close in age, but Jennifer can play younger and Frances can play anything), Sandra Bullock and Cher, Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon, Reese Witherspoon and Sharon Stone, Laura Linney and Meryl Streep. I could go on ...

• Took the kids to the Atlantis aquarium in Riverhead this week. It was a lot of fun. And yesterday we took advantage of the bright sunny weather and headed to Jones Beach. It was sweatshirt weather and we walked the boardwalk. Well, I ran one day and walked back. It was great to get the kids outside and breathing fresh air off the ocean.

Have I mentioned that I love the beach?

• Only other big plan for this spring break is a trip into Manhattan to tour NBC studios at Rockefeller Center. That should be fun.

Jewish Mama signing off, wishing her Christian friends a happy Easter and everyone a wonderful weekend ...