Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Update 6/24/11

This was one of those weeks where I wish I got paid by the mile, as I spent most of time driving the kids here and there. Good news is that the school year is officially done--no more finals, regents or classes. And next week I'll be in a frenzy working out the logistics of the summer schedule.

Meanwhile, a couple of tidbits ...

• I was very excited to see that the Image of the Day in today's Shelf Awareness, the big publishing industry newsletter, has some very familiar faces. Do check it out!

• Big thanks to Mari Farthing for posting such a stellar review of THE OTHER LIFE at The Book End Babes. Here's my favorite line: "I’ve read fiction that has entertained me and made me laugh, but nothing that has compelled me to keep reading as much as this book has." Read the rest here.

• My cup runneth over this week, because I also got a rave review from Michele Stefanides at ViewsHound. Thanks, Michele!

• If you're not following my Dorothy Parker page on Facebook, I hope you'll do so today. Just click here and then click "like." I think you'll enjoy the daily quotes from America's greatest wit.

• Shout-out to my darling daughter for cutting her hair yesterday and donating her locks to charity!

Have a great weekend ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Update, 6/17/11

Sorry I've been such a blogger slacker! We're in that transition between school and summer, and things get a little hectic.

A few quick things to share ...

• Had a simply magnificent lunch yesterday with my Long Island lit pals. Saralee thought to bring a camera (yay!), and so we captured the whole wonderful group ...

Standing, l to r: Alix Strauss, Ellen Meister, Saralee Rosenberg, Susan Henderson, Susannah Greenberg, Carol Hoenig
Seated: Brenda Janowtiz, Vivian Swift, Debbi Honorof

• Oh, Canada! Big thanks to Lisa D. Martinez for posting this glorious book review on

5.0 out of 5 stars
The Other Life: Simply: Wow., Jun 13 2011
Lisa D. Martinez - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Other Life (Hardcover)
Wow is the first word that comes to mind in respect of this fabulous read by Ellen Meister. I downloaded the sample for my Kindle and I was hooked after the first sentence. I have never ordered a book so fast! 

The voice of this story is the voice of every parent who has ever held their child close and smelled the top of his head. This story is a book for every person who has lost someone close to them or made a decision and wondered, "What if..." 

While most of us do not have a portal into a parallel life hidden somewhere in our basement, every one of us has wondered what our life would be like if we had done things differently. This book is more about choices, love and finding your authentic self than it is about the possibility of a quantum escape-hatch. The sheer realness of Ellen's writing is captivating and evocative, and yes, I cried...I can admit it. Just don't tell anyone. 

If not for my own "real life" sleeping in his crib beside me, I could have easily made the decision to pull an all-nighter and read this straight through. It's that good. 

Am I raving? Just a little. As a writer myself, I tend to read books with a more critical eye than most and this book was, in my humble opinion, very rave-worthy. The author has a way of describing the simplest things that turns them into something spectacular. 

I cannot imagine anyone regretting the decision to read this book. I have officially added Ellen Meister to my list of "Authors Who Inspire Me".

• A special shout-out to LitChat for letting me host a Twitter discussion last week. What a blast!

• Last weekend was the BooksNJ festival in Paramus and it was a smash! Here's a recap.

• If you missed the summer newsletter I sent to my subscribers, you can view it here.

• Thanks to The Laughing Yeti for posting my quote on reading.

• Very excited to see  my cousin Lisa Kudrow interviewed in the Wall Street Journal today about Web Therapy's upcoming debut on Showtime. Great stuff and worth a read! Click here.

Have a wonderful Father's Day and a terrific weekend ...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Summer Newsletter

I just sent out my summer newsletter to everyone on my mailing list. If you signed up but didn't get it, your spam filter probably snagged it. In any case, here's a link.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday Update 6/3/11

Just a few quickies today ...

• On Sunday, June12, I'll be appearing at BooksNJ in Paramus. (Yeah, a literary festival in New Jersey. You got a problem with that?) It's going to be a massive and wonderful event, and I hope you'll tell all your friends. Here's a link:

• Big thanks to the Long Island Writers Guild for inviting me, Debbi Honorof and Marshall Honorof to speak last night at the Levittown Library. What a great group!

• Lovely review from a blogger who calls herself Allison Writes. Here's the whole text:

The Other Life by Ellen Meister. This book grabbed me from the opening scene, where a pregnant woman is struggling between killing herself or giving birth to her baby. The writing is so clear and straight-forward that you are drawn in. I found myself thinking about the characters whenever I wasn't reading; I was certain they were real and wanted to know what they were up to. There is a supernatural element of the portals that take Quinn from her "real" life to her other life, but they are explained very well, and it was easy to picture the fissures and Quinn's travel without feeling like you'd been displaced into a sci-fi novel. The portals are logically discussed before the end of the book, and with the focus being more on people and relationships than the paranormal, I would say this book is literary fiction more so than being classified in any sub-genre.
Click here for more of Allison's reviews. 

• More summer events coming up:
  ♥ On Tuesday, July 5, I'll be kicking off the Summer Reading Club at the Jericho Library. It starts at 7 and I hope you'll us! Click here for more info.
  ♥ On Thursday, July 14, at 7:30, I'll be doing a book club discussion of THE OTHER LIFE at the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington. It's a wonderful indie and I hope you can join us.
  ♥ On Monday, July 18, I'll be reading at the Summer Gazebo Reading Series in Oceanside along with Carol Hoenig, Robert Savino Peter Dugan. But if you're looking for literary fun on ANY Monday night in the summer, stop by. More info here.
  ♥ On Monday, July 25, Hofstra University is hosting a Writers Open House from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Refreshments will be served, and it's a great place to  meet and greet the lecturers (like yours truly) who will be teaching writing courses in the fall.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Why Using TrueTwit is a Mistake

There's a service on Twitter designed to keep you from getting notified when you're followed by bots. It's called TrueTwit and it's just awful. Here's why:

Actual TrueTwit Captcha
When you follow someone who uses TrueTwit, you're directed to a page with a captcha code you are required to type. These are almost never decipherable. You have to hit refresh 4-5 times to get a readable code. That's a lot of trouble to go through to follow someone.

Why are TrueTwit's captchas so much harder to read than those from other sites? It's their way of twisting your arm to get you to sign up for the service. Because once you register with TrueTwit, you no longer have to jump through the pain-in-the-ass captcha code hoop. And then, of course, all your followers get redirected to TrueTwit.

Actual TrueTwit Captchas
So it's not only viral, but despicable. Don't like using our pain-in-the-ass service? Sign up and we won't bother you anymore!
I call that blackmail.

Between the unethical nature of the service and the fact that I resent being forced to click and click and click and click just to get a readable captcha, I take a stand against this service by refusing to use it. And I think you should, too.

Thanks for reading this blog. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, click here
I promise you won't be directed to TrueTwit.