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.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Go, Speedreader, go!

Sorry for the lack of postiness this week. Between my guest-posting on the teenlitauthors yahoo group, and a pile of reading I have to get done before I go away next week to Florida, plus all the follow-up from the LBF, it's been crazy. Right now, in fact, I have to go curl back up with another manuscript, figure out when I'm going to do laundry, do some grocery shopping that doesn't require a stove to prepare (they turned our gas off yesterday to fix a leak, and won't have it back until tomorrow!), and prep from my podcast with MJ this afternoon. Busy, busy duck!

More later!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007




To gym, or not to gym

That is the question.
Whether tis nobler to work late
And get my London Book Fair notes done quickly
Or delay, and hope that tomorrow allows me more time.
To type! Or yet to dance!
Aye, there's the rub.
A 6:30 class this evening or a 7:30 one tomorrow.
A late night at the office today
Or a long journey home on Thursday.
To continue as I am
Or hope the new day brings more initiative.

That's as far as I can take that attempt at knockoff poetry without looking up the speech, so I'll end it there. Probably going to work late, and thus have an extra hour tomorrow night to work late as well, AND still get to the gym. Also, I went last night, so I'm not being incredibly lazy.


This is crazy

I just hope I can find one perfect dress, never mind two!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Piles of piles of piles of paper!

Back in the office today after my week in London, with a big heaping pile of paper to read and get through. not just queries, which can go quickly, but also manuscripts or partial manuscripts from not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR of my authors!

I'm also a guest on the Teen Lit Authors group on Yahoo, so all my patented "Ask and Agent" advice is appearing there this week. (And I think I just made one more connection for you web trollers between my online identity and my real one. Ah well.)

In other news -- Heroes returns. Hooray!

Oh, and an update from my cult (hitting ALL my labels today): I'm so far down a total of 51.2 pounds. Less than ten now to my goal! And I did a semi-major shopping spree this weekend, finding myself very comfortably in size 8s. Hoorah!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


On my post about the role of the critic. The original writer at Popwatch posted a response, and ***Dave posted a very well thought-out reaction to the original as well.

For my part, I hadn't imbued the original post with the snide "I'm better than you are" -edness that Dave read into it, instead agreeing with it on the same terms as I often view reality shows. They're all well and good sometimes for some people, but what about the writers that have practiced for years at their craft?

Dave is well to point out the value of intelligent reactions of friends and other trusted sources, even if not "official" critics, but I like the educated perspective a great (or even very good) critic can bring to a review. Sure, I'm just as likely to judge a movie on a fun-looking trailer, but I still choose to read reviews for that additional nugget of information that may provide.

Anyway, it's an interesting discussion!


Friday, April 20, 2007

And finally on the way home

Customs was a bitch. Long lines, few agents, and just when I got to a guy, the computers went down. My bed is calling to me.


Finally landed

Only four or so hours late. So ready for bed.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hot and bothered

Still on the ground in London in an increasingly hot plane while they work on fixing the air conditioning. We're about two hours late already, with an half hour of repairs still to make. Hopefully, at that point we'll finally be able to take off, and start the sevn hour journey home.

Lady Optimism is having a hard time of it. Thank God I at least feel better than I did on the flight here! I can't imagine if I was also dealing with those horrible stomach cramps!

That's it. MJ, from now on, as per your advice, it's Virgin or nothing.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Really interesting article

From EW's Popwatch, on the critic's world in a comment board world.
In a world where no piece of professional media can exist without an accompanying Internet message board, the barrage of commentary, courtesy of You™, may be doing irreparable damage to an intellectual tradition that stretches back thousands of years: that of the cultural critic. The word "critic" itself comes from the Greek kritikós (one who discerns), and implies a certain level of scholarship, perspective, education, aesthetic/historical understanding, and calm, considered, reasoned thinking. It's a concept that seems to be directly at odds with the public's ability to put 10 or 15 poorly-spelled words into a little box and click "post." And yet every day, at publications big and small, the public is doing just that... and being celebrated for it.

So I ask: In light of this trend towards all-user-generated-content-all-the-time, can those of us who get paid to have opinions maintain our dignity, our sanity... and our jobs?


London Views

Finally plugged my camera into the computer again, and have some more photos to show from London. First of all, the Earls' Court Exhibition Center!Not That Kind of Fair
Then, a lovely view in the park with some spring flowers.Fleurs!
Over in Kensington Park near Princess Diana's former home, Duck watches an archery competition.Duck duck arrows
And, finally, a picture of some pictures!Art on the street

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This just in

In fact, the Brits really do need Trinny and Susannah.

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Day 3

Almost done!

Had a fun night yesterday with a fellow agent and her American friend living in London, and a great meal of fish n' chips, though the service was verging on hysterically bad. Asking about what beer was available required the waitress looking up a list, then getting another server to come over and describe them to us. Wacky, I tell you!

The fair seems completely manageable again, which is nice, plus I had an opportunity to walk over to the Black Lace Books foreign rights agent and introduce myself as one of their writers. I saw the catalogue copy for the upcoming collection that Doyce and I are in, and the cover is delightfully racy. Plus, the agent thinks she may have sold "Sex and Music" abroad - possibly in Germany. Woot! Can't wait to see a German translation of "Coda."

(MJ, this doesn't discount the fact that the LBF is "not that kind of a fair." I swear. I only introduced myself as an author because I'm also an agent.)

Anyway, just about half the day to go, and then I'm looking forward to finally getting some Wagamama for dinner, doing some shopping (tea, a favorite kind of conditioner that's no longer available in the US, biscuits, more maltesers, and, if I'm very very lucky, a free monkey of my very own), and going for a walk to take a little more advantage of the spring-like London weather.

And if I buy some more batteries for my camera, taking a few more pictures for illustrative purposes!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ok, ok, ok fine

A few more words:

Free galaxy bars, meetings that run short, extra time for lunch, sitting in the sun, jackets that only cost as much as cab rides, the tube, free wireless, offers, pubs with flower baskets, shopping, weird television, walking to work, socializing as a business expense, seeing familiar faces in the halls, British beer...

I'll keep thinking and see what else I come up with.


One word to describe my current state of bliss


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Day Two

Sitting at the table waiting for my second meeting of Day Two, taking a moment to catch up.

I am incredibly proud of myself for getting from a 6pm drinks appointment yesterday at Earl's Court back to the hotel, changed, onto the tube, down to Waterloo, and onto a 7:30 train to Guildford with ticket in hand. That was some fancy fast moving about!

Of course, once I got to Guildford, my cabbie got lost trying to find OG's flat, and I wasted almost 20 minutes puttering around his development. Still, finally found the place and had a yummy risotto dinner with ice cream for dessert while we watched the Great Harrods Caper, as well as the extra footage, soon to be available as DVD bonus footage! (Not really.)

Back into London and home again home again jiggity jig before the tube stopped running. Got a somewhat late start this morning, if only in terms of time to collect my thoughts and peruse blogs before breakfast, although I'm on track now.

Or would be, if my next meeting were to show up. Five more minutes, and I get to give up on her!


Monday, April 16, 2007

One more!

Waiting for my last appointment, which is a drink, then off to Guildford to have dinner with MJ and OG. MJ has been very hard at work putting the film footage of The Great Harrods Caper together, and I recommend you run right over to her blog to check it out! I haven't seen it yet myself, so I may be opening myself for all sorts of highly entertaining embarrassment. Woot!


Day 1 of Work Begins!

Well, technically last night's dinner also counted, but today the sprint to the finish really gets going. I'm meeting my colleague in a few moments to walk over to the Earl's Court Exhibition Center, there to begin my first day of meetings. Just had a light breakfast and tea and went over our list, refreshing my memory of some titles.

I'm considering taking the train out to meet MJ at Oscar's tonight, since she was able to postpone her flight home to avoid flying into the monsoon currently blanketing the East Coast. I may have mentioned, but it's really quite lovely here!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ah, so this is what Spring is like!

Spent a fantastic afternoon with MJ and OG sitting on the deck of the Tattershall Castle, a floating pub moored along the Embankment, enjoying the weather and a series of drinks. I do so like the idea of being in London with a lot of time to relax and hang out with friends - if only I didn't have to work!


Meandering around London

Slept in this morning and (knock wood) may have finally kicked the annoying stomach pain that's bugged me all week. So! After a refreshing shower in a really small space with exceptional water pressure, I had a late breakfast at a patisserie across from the Gloucester Road tube stop, then rode in to Green Park and have spent the last couple of hours just wandering around London: Green Park, St. James Park, Buckington Palace, Whitehall, Westminster, Trafalgar Square... I popped into the Cabinet War Rooms just to look at the shop, though with more time I certainly would have toured through one of my favorite museums in London again. Snuck into Waterstone's to see if any books spoke to me, but decided against carrying them around. Then crossed the Thames again at Embankment to meet MJ and OG.

More later!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

I should probably say more, huh?

Besides the fact that I live-blogged from the top of the London Eye? So yes, Maureen met me in my little hotel, and we hied ourselves away to Harrods, happy to learn that, yes! They did have a wedding dress salon, but no, they did not have a betting agent, so we hit the street to find a William Hill. Turns out today was the running of the Grand National, a 4 mile horse race rivaling the Kentucky Derby for a nation's attention -- more so, probably. MJ wanted to place a bet on a few ponies, which we did, then headed back over to Harrods for the Great Harrods Caper. Highlights included a real live pony, merchandise worth over 50,000 pounds, and a nice sit-down with some sorbet. MJ will have the full story, with video footage, on her blog, so I don't want to give anything away. Except that -- sadness! -- though we found the wedding dress shop, you did, in fact, need an appointment, and their Saturdays are booked until June. I was invited to call and make an appointment for a weekday, though. Then they might be able to fit me in sooner!

After Harrods, MJ's Oscar Gingersnort met us, and we traveled to Covent Garden to actually watch the Grand National, in a smoky Australian pub called "Walkabout," with a highly interested audience. It's quite a race, actually. No starting gate, so it took the 40 horse several tries to get all lined up for the start, then 30 jumps over the course of the four mile track. Lots of riders unseated, and the winner actually came in behind a riderless pony. Not one of MJ's picks, though. We headed out back into the sunshine (did I mention it's an utterly gorgeous Spring day here?) to sit outside and have a drink, but not before I stopped to take a picture of some flowers one of the other patrons in Walkabout had with them. Turns out they'd just come from a wedding, and the flower colors were the same as I want to use! The baskets hanging around Covert Garden were all lovely and purple and yellow, too, which makes me think I'm dead on with my choices for great spring flowers.

After a refreshing beverage and some crisps, we went into Marks & Spencer and I got myself a little spring raincoat, then we headed back underground to Waterloo and the South Bank to buy tickets for the Eye, and enjoy a little tapas at a great wine bar called At Bar One -- it's part of a chain, but a rather nice one. And I can recommend the Belgian Waffles!

Then, our "flight" aboard the Eye, with its gorgeous views up and down the Thames, followed by a turn on a carousel, just cuz. I waved goodbye to MJ and Oscar, walked across the Thames to Embankment, and headed back to Kensington to my hotel.

And now -- bedtime! I'm rather proud of myself for lasting the day without napping, but that's all at an end. G'night, England!


I'm totally blogging from the top of the London Eye!

Looks, kids.  Parliament!  Big Ben!

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Back in Blighty!

After a mostly uneventful if occasionally painful flight over, I landed safely this morning and got driven through a gorgeous Spring morning to my little hotel in Kensington. Which reminds me of everything I used to know and love about England: tiny showers, strange doors, meandering hallways, weird hangers... Still, I'm here! And MJ is on her way. And there's a giant Sainsbury's just down the road, which I plan to hit later for ginger ale, Assam tea bags, and Maltesers. And we're undertaking the Great Harrods Caper, of course, and I'm thinking of hitting up a Marks & Spencer for a sring raincoat, and possibly (what else?) a new pair of shoes! Shoes!

Pictures to follow.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Tallyho, readers!

I'm off to jolly ole England to relive the glory days of my post-grad months in London with MJ, and take part in the Great Harrods Caper. Want to know more? Go check out her blog, and stay tuned for the exciting video footage!

When I get back to New York, it better be spring, that's all I'm saying!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Feeling Ooky

Got a fun little stomach bug, which is just wiping me out, though I should be running around crazy-like in preparation for my London trip tomorrow. Instead, I just want to put my head down on my desk and nap, or, better yet, go home and curl up in bed. Actually, I may do just that, and rest up for the packing I have to do tonight.

In other news, I'm getting married in exactly one year!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

London Calling

So I'm heading to London on Friday night for the London Book Fair next week, and though I have a ton of things still to do here before I'm anywhere NEAR ready to go, I'm getting very excited for my fun weekend in the UK before work stuff starts up Sunday night. Actually, technically, since MJ and I are preparing for the Great Harrods Caper, it almost does count as work. Hmmm -- does that mean if I buy a wedding dress at Harrods, I can write it off? Or better yet, charge it to the company gold card? How sweet would THAT be?

Anyway, if you're not regularly reading MJ's blog, head on over there and help us come up with things to do on our caper. Photographic proof to follow.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Long Day

But I'm not allowed to complain, since I had an easier day of it than Doyce, who flew back with Kaylee to Denver this morning. Still, for one who so dearly loves to sleep in (as my various family members repeatedly reminded me about this weekend, or told Doyce), getting up at 6pm to drive to the airport, then heading from there up to Westchester to drop off my sister's car, then turning around and taking the train back into the city to walk up to work, all by 10:30 in the morning all left me a little wiped.

I'll rally, though. I called our new best friend Kevin, who's the GM at the club where we've decided to host our wedding reception, to get the details as to where to send our check for the deposit. Even without seeing menus or stuff, because we just know he'll do an awesome job, and the club is beautiful. Plus, we like working with family friends. Also called the reverand at the church he recommended, where we have another friend-of-the-family connection, and are hoping that gets us in there, too, which will mean both our ceremony and reception sites booked the appropriate 12 months in advance. Go us!

Also making preliminary appointments with photographers, and setting one of my bridesmaids to research cake places. Tomorrow, I may go down to a bridal sample sale, just to see what they have-- I'm not sure I'm yet in (or will ever be in) sample sizes, but I figured it was worth investigating.

And custom M&Ms are expensive! But so worth it.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Need to remember

To come back and watch these.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Looks like Spring!

On my way home early.


Also, tragedy!

Chumley's is being torn down! Like, right now, as I type.

So sad. Chumley's was one of great old speakeasies, and a bar you still needed to know where it was to get to: through the apartment courtyard off a quiet residential street in the West Village, down a step, and through an unmarked heavy wood door to a perfectly preserved hangout of hip, Prohibition-style.

Bloom and I went there on my birthday two years ago. Every time I went, I remember running into people I knew. It was one of my very favorite NYC "secrets" and I'm heartbroken it's going away. Wah!!

Edit: More about Chumley's


Henry the VIII is h-o-t

If you're like me, and don't have any premium channels on your cable package, you too may have been pining fruitlessly over the subway ads and posters on construction sites around NYC for Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry 8 in the new Showtime series "The Tudors." Well, kids, thanks to the wonders of the internet, even those of us without pay-cable can feast our eyes on the yummy. Showtime's website is offering a free preview of the first two episodes; edited, no doubt, but still a fine first look. And though it's quiet enough at the office today for me to get away with starting a viewing party now, I'll wait instead, and have something to watch at home while I wait for Doyce and Kaylee to land.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


No, not the Mark Wahlberg movie. I was walking from the subway to work this morning when I passed a security guard following a Brinks guy going into a store with some money. Totally normal, but what drew me up, and actually made me rather uncomfortable, was that the security guard had an unholstered gun in his right hand, just crossing the street with it.

I mean, seeing a cop with his gun holstered is fine, and makes me happy that they're protecting us and all that. But seeing a gun out, and ready to use? Off-putting. Much like the first time I went to Paris in 1995, and noticed the French gendarmes patrolling the Metro with machine guns. Or Derry in Northern Ireland, where the cops patroled the streets at night in armored tanks. Hell, even now, seeing soldiers with machine guns in Grand Central leaves me feeling all ooky, like I'm standing at the edge of a really high cliff, and I'm not worried about falling, but I know it would be a really long way down.

I know lots of people in lots of parts of the country have very different attitudes about guns, and keep them -- if not casually, then carefully, and with due respect. It's just hard for me to shake that sense, seeing a gun, that it's one wrong move away from a big accident.

Anyway, that's the latest from me. I was able to get an answer on the question that was concerning me the other day, though I'm still looking for more info. At least I have somewhere to start now.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Post #700!

Apropos of nothing in particular, I'm trying to get a sense of some rather confidential information as it pertains to my industry, and I'm flumoxed how to go about doing it. Can't just ask, as people would know who's asking, and perhaps be unlikely to share. Could try emailing anonymously, but do I set up a whole new address for that? Should I blind post a comment on someone else's blog, and hope it gets noticed? Ask someone else who is outside the industry to ask people for me? Quite the conundrum.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Could be worse!

So I was allowing myself a moment (ok, two hours) of total sappiness this afternoon, and watched the Steve Martin version of "Father of the Bride." Now, I understand humor and exageration for the funny and all that, but $250 a head for a wedding? Ridonkulous!!

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