A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I won!

I did it!!! And got this
Official NaNoWriMo 2004 Winner!
to prove it!

Dear Novelist,

It is our supreme pleasure to inform you that our internationally renowned team of word-counting robots have completed their judicious assessment of your manuscript, and have passed on this final, binding decision:


Wow. You've really done it this time, writer. Where the vast majority of National Novel Writing Month participants abandoned ship at some point in the journey, you bravely persevered, continuing your literary quest in the face of ridiculously long odds.

In one month, you have written more fiction than most people create in a lifetime. You have dared to dream big, to throw long, to say: 'Enough of the self-critical crap, and the hemming and hawing. This time I'm going for it.'

And you pulled it off with aplomb. In just four weeks, you built vast worlds and set them in motion. You created characters; quirky, interesting, passionate souls with lives and loves and ambitions as great as yours.

And most admirably, you managed to find time to do it all while juggling the demands of work, school, friends and family. Most people barely have the strength to make it through dinner at the end of a tough day. You dug deep, and found the energy and resolve to make wild, deliciously imperfect art in the midst of a horribly hectic life.

It's an amazing accomplishment, and we're proud of you for seeing it through.

With warm regards (and much applause and whistling),

Chris Baty
Director, NaNoWriMo

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Christmas Shopping Ideas

Almost Turkey Day, and therefore, of course, it's time for another fun collection of links I like. This time, in celebration of the season (and if you have any doubt which season I could possibly be referring to, check out the windows of your local Rite-Aid, Duane Reade, or CVS), I'm delighted to present a few snappy gift ideas for your resident Reluctant Diva, aka ME.

No need to take any of these completely serious, of course, but if you're looking for a fun present -- and who doesn't want a toy? -- you couldn't go wrong with this. It's smile time, baby!

There's always my Amazon wish list, or you could stretch the horizons, and check out this little goodie. In black, of course. I don't need it, but when did "need" ever come into it?

I like the high tech stuff, too, in case you were curious. I borrowed a friend's camera for my recent trip north, and I wouldn't mind having one just like it for myself. (Actually, that may not be just like it, but it's close, or better, or I'll correct the link later.)

I need a few things around the little abode too. I'm still using the towels I brought with me to college (eons ago), so some new ones would not go amiss. I'm open on color ideas -- I was thinking of painting part of the bathroom blue, so that might work, or maybe a nice melon. Wouldn't mind some new dishtowels for the kitchen either. Something that doesn't show dirt would be ideal.

What else? How about a set of training sessions at my gym? Eh, I'm not entirely enthused about that one. I'd rather have these. I think I wear a size 9, in case you were curious.

After shoes, I understand diamonds are a girl's best friend. No pressure, of course. I'm more a silver kind of girl anyway. Maybe these, to match my necklace?

And one cannot underestimate the power of entertainment. Won't you take someone you love to the movies today?

That's all I could come up with today. I'm sure there's more... but I'll get back to you later. Happy Turkey Day!!


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Catching Up

You know, I don't really have anything to write about, but it's like, been a week since I put anything up here, and I feel like I have to do something!

I have been trying to keep up with my Nanowrimo writing -- up to about 28,000 words so far, which is less than I should have, but a good strong foundation, right? Going tonight over to Rachel's for a GiveEasy Girls write-in, though we'll see how much work actually gets done. I'm trying to do some writing now, just in case. (But, well, I'm doing this instead.)

Went to see Wicked on Thursday with Mom, Barb, and Carol (and I have to insert that link later, but it's too much of a hassle to do now). Great show! Idina Menzel was amazing -- the whole thing reminded me why I love theatre. The way you can get so wrapped up in a story being told... it just rocks. I want to see if anyone I know has the soundtrack, so I can listen to it, and really hear some of the lyrics that got a little lost in a live version.

What else? Watched a couple of movies this weekend, started reading the new Nora Roberts novel, and played a little City of Heroes. Ain't life grand?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Remembering Popsicle

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of my dad's death. I had big plans to get up early this morning and go to church -- the church where mom and dad were married -- but I didn't. I don't go normally. And Dad wasn't even Catholic, so what would I be going for, except to assuage the Catholic brand of guilt that creeps into my head? It'd be more appropriate to go play a round of golf, I guess, but I don't play. Or make a picture of whiskey sours -- but that was more my mom's favorite drink that my dad would make for her, not his.

Dad liked a cold, tall glass of beer -- Schaeffer beer -- in a pilsner, strawberry shortcake, reading the Sharpe novels of Bernard Cornwall, and wearing brown with blue. He took me for my learner's permit on the day I turned 16, but after one driving lesson where I veered a little too close to the edge of the road, didn't take me again. I called him Popsicle, and was daddy's little girl -- his youngest daughter. I wanted him to grow back his moustache, and pick me up in his arms again. I want him now -- to walk me down the aisle someday, to hug, to just tell him about my day, to talk about the neighborhood I live in, where he grew up. To show me the nooks and crannies of the streets around here -- his favorite bars, his hangouts. Did he eat at the Heidelberg, the German restaurant around the corner? Did he ever come to Brandy's right downstairs, to listen to music? He used to let me stand on his feet and dance around our dining room table. He taught me to waltz. He would have loved the swing music I listen to today -- we could have compared favorite songs. Pennsylvania 6-5000 and Minnie the Moocher, Glen Miller vs. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

I'm not a cemetary-going person. He's not there, and I didn't go there to remember him. He's here -- in my heart, in my memory, in the pictures of our family that I love and surround myself with. He's in my brother, when I see him with his little girl.

And now he's on the world wide web. I miss you, Daddy. I miss you, and I love you.

Love your little girl,

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Did you know you can have Microsoft Word auto-summarize a document? It's true! There's a thread over on the Nanowrimo boards with people posting their hilarious summaries, and I wanted to share mine here too, exactly as Word decreed it. It cracks me up. Enjoy!

10 sentences:

Work, even. Home.
Ah... good times, good times.)
Right." Big. You know, Lacey’s friend? "Right. "Right. Big. "Right.

20 sentences:

Harmless little mental journeys. There's friends, of course. Work, even. "Kelsey! Home.
Ah... good times, good times.)
Right." Big. monroeroeroeyourboat>Working. You?
"Yeah. "Cool."
You know, Lacey's friend? "Right. Jon's a funny guy.)
"Right. Big. "Right. "Mom!"

And 100 words:

Harmless little mental journeys. Jon's a great guy, very funny. There's friends, of course. Love life: nonexistent. Work, even. "Kelsey! "Just a little early. Home.
Ah... good times, good times.)
"Well, whatever works," she replied.
Right." Big. I've read those books, and well - it's a little fake.
monroeroeroeyourboat>Working. You?
"Yeah. "Cool."
You know, Lacey's friend? "Ummm, Jon?" "Yeah?" "Yeah?"
"Right. Jon's a funny guy.)
"Right. Well - maybe. "Thanks." "Interesting analysis."
Big. "Yeah." "Yeah?
"I hear they work well together."
"Right. "Cool. "Kelsey. "Thanks."
Saturday night? Anyway..."

Hi-larious, I tell you. I'm gonna go entertain myself doing this to some of the manuscripts I'm reading for work.

teehee... Dating!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Reaction to Idiots

So there's this frustrating and ridiculous backlash against bloggers who dare to *gasp!* have an opinion. Jennifer Weiner felt it. Meg Cabot felt it too. Ok, so these are authors, rather than political pundits. Are they not allowed an opinion? They're not forcing sturm und drang partisianship on their readers, or making death threats to people who don't vote, unlike some. (P.Diddy, I'm talking to you. So's my friend Matt.) Anyway, I had to respond to it, and I'm attaching my letter to Meg Cabot below, cause I'm pretty damn proud of it.

Dear Meg,

I love your books, your shoe sense of style, and your voice in your blog. I love that you turned what could be a mean-spirited, "Hey, guys, I WAS KIDDING!" response to stupid emails into something funny, which half of the people reading probably won't even understand, since they clearly don't know humour from a hole in the wall. I love that your clearly very intelligent cat supported John Kerry, and you refrained from bitch-slapping the Republican readers who wrote in bashing her decision.

I think there's some very very idiotic people out there who can't get the point across in their tiny, tiny minds that a blog is, in fact, a personal diary, and you have the right to write whatever you feel in it. It's personal. And the fact that you publish it doesn't change that it's *your* opinion. And they have the right to read it or not, and agree or not. But that you had to post an apology, even a funny one -- well, I suppose it was easier than writing "Hey moron," letters in response to each individual complaint you received.

Anyway, rock on with your bad self, and keep the great books coming. And if you're looking for any future Book Club selections, can I suggest "The Key to the Golden Firebird" by Maureen Johnson? Not only does she share your editor at Harper, but she's an avid reader of your blog and thinks you'd be super best friends, what with all your similarities and such. I must agree (as her best friend and as a literary agent, but that's neither here nor there).


And now back to your regularly scheduled life.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Political Sum-Up

Through my office windows (I still get a kick out of saying that), the clouds race across the blue, blue sky like they're running away from something. The red states, maybe? I'm the last person who needs to be putting my views on the political process out there on the world wide web, but I've come across some interesting takes on the election from other sources, and wanted to share.

First, there's Jon Stewart's take on the election. I love Jon Stewart. And while you're poking around the Daily Show website, you will pee yourself watching this. Oh boy!

Then, for full coverage, check out The Onion, including this important news story, "God Puts His Tool Back in Office".

But really, we have more important things to talk about that the election, right? Right? Ummm... Hello?

No? Ok, I'll just be myself over here then, reading about other people's road trips .

I'd write more, but I'm saving my words for my novel. Only about another 45,000 words to go!! Thanks to the wonders of Excel spreadsheets, I know that at my current rate of writing, I'll finish sometime in December. Which would be cool, except it's not so much National Novel Writing "Season" as it is "Month." I've got to pick up the pace.

Though that does remind me - all my friends and loved ones: you don't mind if I use your lives, experiences, relationships, and conversations as fodder for my creative drive, do you? No? Good.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day Duties

It is begun!

I'm an Official NaNoWriMo 2004 Participant

I managed about 2,100 words last night in my new novel -- a very strong beginning, I hope! Elena called while I was writing, actually, and invited me to a reading tonight by one of my company's clients, but I really want to try to get into the swing of things finish before I go messing with my schedule. Though tonight will probably be a little iffy anyway -- in addition to my daily word count, I have to finish my Divas travel article for Yi Shun, and watch Gilmore Girls and the Daily Show election night coverage. Busy, busy, busy!!

Still, I've already done the most important thing today: I voted. So go do the same. And when you're done, enjoy a little snark with your patriotic duty.