Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Obsessive Compulsive "Refresh" Disorder

Today, I got a little taste of what OCD feels like.

I knew that on November 16th, news was supposed to be announced on the DMA's Arts & Letters Live site.  In particular, the 2011 Texas Bound calendar of events, a series that brings Texas-connected authors and actors together for an evening of audible storytelling. So as soon as I hopped out of bed this morning, I haunted the Arts & Letters Live website, which said this morning, bright and early, to come visit again on November 16th to see the line-up for the next season.  It WAS November 16th, people!  How long was I to wait?  Refresh. 6:18 AM, 6:19, 6:22… Refresh.  Refresh.  Nothing. I was giddy, you see.  Giddy because I got an email last week from someone with Texas Bound who announced that my little old story had been selected for next April's reading, and would be read by a wonderful actress.

Don't get your hopes up, she wrote, and it's a very big long shot, but we've asked [insert actress whose name rhymes with Zenée Spellweger; I’m trying not to jinx myself, here], who's expressed interest in reading for us.  Zenée Spellweger? I love Zenée Spellweger!  I did a little dance in my office and tried not to tell too many of my friends that these people were actually asking Zenée Spellweger to read my story.

Whether this amazing actress-who-shall-not-be-rightfully-named has time in her filming schedule or not—whether she accepts the offer to read or gracefully declines this year—I’m delighted to be part of the series this year.  I’ll be delighted with whomever the organizers eventually select to read the story.  Refresh.  Refresh, I kept clicking at 5:08, 5:10, 5:12, etc., with my second glass of Malbec.

I’ve been writing half-heartedly on my current manuscript this evening.  It was like pulling teeth. Refresh. Refresh.  Somehow I kept finding myself on that darn website, my manuscript buried beneath the Firefox browser.  It was exhausting, this OCD.

Tonight, right before I decided to crawl into bed, feeling a wee feverish and achy, I decided to Refresh the Arts & Letters Live website once more, and LOOK: the line-up is finally up!  And there’s still a mystery spot (TBA) on the actress who will read my story.  The jury is still out.  And I am tuckered out.  So please, everyone… before you tuck in, will you say a little prayer for Zenée Spellweger?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review!

Check out Rundpinne's latest book review.
No, I don't know her!  And yes, it's a good one!  Thank you, Jennifer Rundpinne, for rating Song with four cups of coffee:

and for recommending my book as a nice book club book!  (Three exclamation marks means pure joy.)

Now, off to write the next 2000 words.  This month has been the word-count-from-hell medicine I needed to get the last part of this manuscript done.  Rewrites will be heavenly.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I've got to get this novel put to bed, under the covers, in the hole, finished.  I've got to stop browsing my friends' pics on Facebook, refrain from checking Statcounter, my Yahoo mail/gmail/Office mail, and I suppose, blogging about the writing I should be doing.  So I'm disappearing for a while.  To write.

I'll pop in on the 16th to announce the good news about Arts & Letters Live, but I'll let them announce it first. 

For now, goodbye.  I'm sneaking off to my fiction-cove.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dallas Book Launch Party, Part II (a.k.a "boy is my hair blonde!")

Part II of the book launch was at Trinity Hall, a wonderful restaurant /pub across the street from B&N.  Our cake was waiting there, along with some appetizers and free drinks galore.

Some photos of friends and family, in black and white to minimize the red-eye that plagued all my photos...
lovely girlfriends

...with Stephanie

... the two most beautiful Martas in Dallas (and beyond)

...with my son, the artist, Trevor

The most nerve-wracking part of the big day: having the books delivered by FedEx two hours before the reading.
The second most nerve-wracking: so afraid I'd spell people's names wrong as I signed that I even asked people I knew well how to spell their names (like Stephanie and Lauren.  Is there any other way to spell those names?)

Once we moved over to Trinity Hall, though, my nerves melted, and I just enjoyed the good company.  Thanks, everyone, for coming to the reading and/or to the party.  I was so grateful to feel your supportive presence there. (There are still some books at B&N if you want to stop by to get one.  Otherwise, your online orders should be delivered by about November 22nd.)

Now, it's off to pack and mail some other pre-orders from Chicago and get back to writing the current novel.  I'm determined to get it done this month.

Oh, yes: the title.  As soon as I saw these pics, I ran to my salon and cried, "Less blonde! Less blonde!"  We're working on "caramel" to prevent blindness at future readings...

Dallas Book Launch Party, Part I

I'm a little late on news about the Dallas Book Launch reading and signing party, but it's National Novel Writing Month.  What do you expect?  I'm cranking out pages, and behind on my quota because of the Chicago trip, so this first part will include photos, as proof that it actually happened.
Highlights of the night: seeing old friends (Derek!  from high school, no less) and colleagues (so grateful for their attendance) and girlfriends and family all in one place showing the love.
At the Barnes & Noble:
(Thanks, DiDi, for managing this event)
There I am.  I forgot to save the poster. 

The babies

SMU folks--you rock my book

the most comfortable seat in the house

No one wanted to sit in the front row.  A crowd of people were standing behind the last row.
Where do I sign?  I had to ask another author (CW Smith) where to sign the book.

the beautiful cake from Society Bakery was unsurpassed...
but their editing skills...not so much. (should be "Moons")

More pics soon!...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I heart Chicago

I got back from Chicago last night, and didn't have time to post pics before the book launch party tonight.  So, tonight I'll post some pics of my stay with my generous friend, Andrea, and the two events in Chicago.

First, Andrea hosted a Salon reading at her house.  She had about 12 guests, and we had so much fun reading and drinking and eating that we forgot to take pictures.  So here are the "afterward pics." 

You'll have to imagine the cool people in this great sitting room (they were cool):

and drinking great wine. (I know, I should have remembered to takes the pics with people actually in them.)

The second day was the Hopleaf reading in town.  So we stopped at the Hancock...

and I click this view from our seat (sorry it's blurry, but imagine the view):

...and this one.  From the bathroom, of all places:

I've never had such a magnificent view from a privy. The whole wall was plate glass.

Later, here's me at the Hopleaf with some friends:
with Bill Shunn     

Paul D'Jock (thanks for the Malbec!)

 and an old high school friend transplanted to Chicago...

...and writer Maggie Kast--such a great supporter!

The audience at Hopleaf was attentive (even with beer on the table) and laughed at the funny parts (thank goodness).  I heart Chicago!