Sunday, April 30, 2006

The House of D

I've been a bit remiss blogging this past week, so I thought I'd drag myself away from cleaning bathrooms (yeah, right) and type a short note. One very cool thing about being a writer is that you can watch DVDs on the weekends and call it "work" instead of "vegging out on the sofa." Even if you see a bad flick you can analyze as to what went wrong with the characters, plot, pacing, etc.

Anyway, since there was no hope of Ed and I going out for dinner (for some reason our 16-yr-old son Jonny thinks it's way cooler to hang out with girls and go swimming in his friend's pool than baby-sit his little sister) and since I wasn't in the mood to see anything heavy or depressing, I rented Must Love Dogs for Friday night, and The House of D for Saturday night.

Must Love Dogs was exactly what I thought it would be - light, pointless-but-fun romantic comedy starring the very classy Diane Lane, but House of D blew me away. Set in NYC in 1973, it is an engaging, funny, powerful, expertly acted coming of age story. In fact, when I'm finished cleaning bathrooms I may just do a little "work" and watch it again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Idol Fascination

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means . . . American Idol! This is the first year I've watched the show, and I am hooked. It's strange because except for the news and an occasional Disney Channel Movie (High School Musical is kind of addicting) I rarely watch TV. So, I think the fascination comes from feeling a certain kinship with the contestants. Lets face it, as writers we put our vulnerable selves out there for all to judge, and there are plenty of reviewers who are just like Simon. Cold-hearted and a little too blunt. Possibly mean-spirited? What cheers me up though, is the way the contestants rally around each other, just like we in the writing community do. All in all, it's a great place to be.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Looks like I will be flying out to Maryland next month for my significantly older brother Mark's 50th birthday. When I called him yesterday he filled me in on the details. Turns out Mark will be competing in the master's division bodybuilding extravaganza in Annapolis. Yes, you heard right. Speedo, tanning oil, big fake smile while he's flashing those stellar abs. I should mention here that Mark is the inspiration for my young adult novel coming out next year - Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds - and there is a scene in the first chapter where he is 16, shirtless, and flexing in front of a big mirror until one of his friends calls out in an Austrian accent, "Hey Arnold, enough pumping iron! Give your reflection one last kiss, and let's play some ball!" Some things never change.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Superior Gender

Had a great time with the 'rents over Easter Holiday. (Mom, FYI "'rents" is a hip yet endearing term for "parents.") Anyway, highlights were: 1) Seeing Jonny's new Maxima pull up into our driveway, making my Dorkmobile quite the eyesore 2) strolling along South Congress (Austin's answer to Greenwich Village) while listening to my dad quote the great Fox News conservative, Bill O'Reilly 3) watching my two six-foot-three gigantor sons get into a fist fight over who-bent-the-guitar-pick? 4) Having an in-depth conversation with my mother and my daughter, and coming to the conclusion that the female gender is quite superior to the male gender. Although, I must admit, my husband Ed grilled up some great filet minion and lamb chops on Easter Sunday, so I suppose we can tolerate the men as long as they know their place.

Now, it's back to Dylan Fontaine, who has a real advantage when you think about it, since I (a female) am his mouthpiece.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hmm, what to do?

I am happy to announce that I got my first royalty check today! Yay! Now, what to do? I could a)take my very sweet husband out for dinner, b)buy a few books, c) put it towards my dream car (powder-blue VW Bug convertible) or d) frame it. Not sure. For now it's back to making the house spotless since my parents are coming tonight.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blissful, Brainless Activities

Had a great time Saturday shopping on the drag with my daughter Liz. She's an English major at UT, and since her birthday is coming up very soon, I splurged and bought her a very cute swim-suit, shoes, blouse, and purse. We also sipped iced lattes at Starbucks, and ordered two plates of Greek chicken (yum) at Kirby Lane. Later that night I cuddled with Ed and watched The Kingdom of Heaven. It was no Gladiator, but still, Orlando Bloom was not bad.

Now I'm going to go over my revisions one last time, print out the manuscript and send it back to my lovely editor. Then for the next two days I will move on to blissful, brainless activities like cleaning the house, doing piles of laundry, washing my smelly dogs, and yes, I may even clean the Dorkmobile, although I'm not sure why. By the way, I have to say that Ed (master handyman) has successfully glued on the sideview mirror and so far it has not fallen off. I'm kissing duct tape goodbye.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


My parents are coming to visit next week! They'll be driving their top-of-the-line Nissan Maxima all the way from New York City to Austin, Texas in order to give the car to my soon-to-be sixteen-yr-old son, Jonny, who will have his license on May third. So when Jonny drives to his blues gigs in his souped-up, fully-loaded, all leather interior dream car, I will be tagging along in my dorkmobile - an Oldsmobile minivan with a big dent in the rear and a side view mirror held on with duct tape.

However, the good news is . . . my Random House editor called yesterday and she loves the chapters I sent her of my YA work-in-progress, Dylan Fontaine! I'm thrilled. Okay, I must get back to work. The tweaking is taking longer than I thought. Oh, I have another reader, my mom's boss. Hi Brian!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ted Hall's Blues Church/Jam featuring . . . Jonny

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Ted Hall's Blues Church/Jam at Gino's Italian Grill in South Austin (located at the corner of South 1st Street and West Stassney Lane) with my husband Ed, my daughter Korina, and "The Blues Machine" guest guitarist, my 15 year old son, Jonny! You may wonder how this has anything to do with writing, but it does. In the YA novel I am currently working on, my narrator, 15-yr-old Dylan Fontaine, is a classical guitarist who is challenged to face his fears, let go of convention, and play in a blues jam in Greenwich Village. So, in a way I was doing research. Kind of.

Anyway, the food was great, the band was fabulous, and Jonny was, of course, outstanding. He traded off leads with an awesome harmonica player, keyboardist, trumpet player, and Ted Hall himself. The bass player and drummer were exceptional as well. So, please come out next week! Ted Hall's Blues Church/Jam takes place every Sunday night at Gino's from 8pm until 11:30pm.

Another interesting piece of news is that my mother, June Andersen, is now an avid reader of my blog. Hi Mom! At least I have one fan.