Friday, January 27, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: OLIVIER MARTINEZ



Tall, dark, handsome, French. What's not to like? (If you're unconvinced, check out Unfaithful.)

DINNER LIST: ROBIN WILLIAMS



Robin Williams is the hairiest man in movies. Watch the Central Park scene in The Fisher King, if you don't believe me. He's also one of the funniest ever--his two-hour appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio is one bizarre, sidesplitting improv. He's a decent actor, too, but I'd be in it for the laughs. That, and trying to convince him to say "nanu-nanu" for old times' sake.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bad Monkey

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No posts. Not for a week, even. Time to back away from the housecleaning and remember what's really important.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: BRAD PITT



Okay, I give. Every time I go to the grocery store, it's all-Brad-all-the-time, so I can't help looking at him. It's gotten easier as he's gotten older. I was never crazy about him in the early years--too blond and pretty--but he's aging well. Plus, I think Angie's good for him. There. I've said it.

DINNER LIST: PETER WEIR



I'm a heavy duty visual person, so when I saw my first Peter Weir movie (Witness), I fell in love. His movies are thoughtful and interesting, and better still, they're beautiful to look at. Dead Poet's Society. Green Card. The Truman Show. Master and Commander. He's worked with amazing actors throughout his career, but I think the best part of dinner with Peter Weir would be discovering how he sees. Amazing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh, for Cripes' Sake!!

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The longer I go to church, the less I understand church people. Let me start by saying that I love my church. I was confirmed in my church. I've been a member of this church for a looooooooooooooong time.

Needless to say, being with one group for that length of time--even if people come in and go out, as people are wont to do--gives you some type of perspective. It may be warped, but it's perspective. I've come to this conclusion: Some folks who claim to know and love God sure have a hard time knowing and loving God's people.

There are some folks at church that, frankly, I think are boneheads. I don't agree with their approach to things. I don't like how they talk to other people. They wouldn't be at the top of my list for Sunday brunch, if you know what I'm sayin'. However, this being a church, I try my best to be pleasant. You know...model the love of Christ, that kind of thing?

Apparently, some folks have a hard time with that concept. They want things the way they want them. They complain. A lot. About this person, that person, this program, that blah blah blah. What I wonder is if you're so unhappy, why not worship somewhere else? Why stay at church badmouthing people behind their backs? Why say one thing ("I'm a Christian!") and do another (gossiping, half-truths, and hysteria in the lobby during the worship service)? That makes no sense.

News flash: churches have people. People have issues. Grown people--and Christians--try to find common ground rather than savoring that "panties in a wad" feeling and pouting about how things aren't working out the way they envision them. There's this lovely concept we're missing. It's called grace. Jesus got it. We need to work at it a little harder.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

It's About Time

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While my kids were browsing in the library the other day, I picked up the January 16 issue of Time to indulge in total schadenfreude over the Jack Abramoff scandal. I found an interesting bonus, though. The issue also included an extended "Mind and Body" section (obligatory, what with New Year's Resolutions and all) that included a real gem: "Making the Most of Your Day...and Best Use of the Night," based on body clock information.

Outing myself here: I'm a morning person. I have to admit, I clung to the illusion of a Snoopy-like "I'm allergic to mornings" existence when I was a teenager--how uncool is it to get up early when you're 16?--but my wannabe-night owl aspirations were dashed in college. To my shame, I couldn't pull all-nighters.

What kind of poser was I? I had a boyfriend who'd set up a nice study area in our college's training room (he was a trainer for the football team), complete with high-quality caffeine, and I'd sack out by 11 pm. He'd study all night. I'd wake up at four, review, hit the Dining Hall for breakfast, take the same test, and outscore him (probably one reason we eventually broke up).

And it just wasn't when I was studying with him. I fell asleep before midnight on Saturday nights. I'd be sacked out on my bed, fully clothed, ice melting into oblivion in my Jack and 7-Up, while my roommates mocked me and stayed up into the wee hours. It was embarrassing.

Then I finally admitted it. I did better when I hit the sack early and woke up at four. Turns out the process still works. When I'm in a grading crunch, I go to bed and get up at three. I finished Crash Test in one week (gotta beat that Golden Heart deadline)--one chapter a day, written between four and five-thirty am. Insane, I know, but it worked.

Then I open Time and see I'm not that crazy after all. The Day/Night article breaks down your waking hours into four categories: Low Concentration, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Rejuvenation. It also maps out those times for Larks and Night Owls:

MORNING PERSON
  • 5:30 Wake
  • 6-8 am Creativity
  • 8-12:30 Problem Solving
  • 12:30-2:30 "Dead Zone" (bad time to concentrate)
  • 2:30-4:30 Problem Solving
  • 4:30-8 Rejuvenation (good time to work out)
  • 8-10 "Dead Zone"
NIGHT OWL
  • 8 Wake
  • 8-10 "Dead Zone"
  • 10-noon Creativity
  • 12-1 Problem Solving
  • 1-3 "Dead Zone"
  • 3-6 Rejuvenation
  • 6-11 Problem Solving
  • 11-12 "Dead Zone"
I thought it was cool. Guess my idea to work out ("work out" meaning "yoga and Pilates classes") in the afternoon is a good one. My problem is that all my creativity and problem solving time happens early in the day. It's good that I'm "on" when I'm with my students, but it sure fries all my synapses for writing. No wonder I've been so unproductive.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: LENNY KRAVITZ



My writing bud Nancy lucked into Aerosmith tickets last week (I hate her! Just kidding!), and I hate her all the more because Lenny Kravitz was the opening act. There's nothing like blasting "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" loud enough to make your ears bleed while exceeding the speed limit. But I digress. Nancy has a serious Rob Thomas fixation, but she said one evening sitting ten feet away from Lenny Kravitz got her fantasizing multiple ways to Let Love Rule with the ex-Mr. Bonet. She'd have to fight me for him, though. Rawr.

DINNER LIST: STEVEN TYLER



Twenty years ago, Steven Tyler was pretty hot--possibly could have made the Bed List. But this isn't twenty years ago, and Steve has a lot of mileage on his too-skinny-to-be-believed chassis. He is one seriously interesting guy, though, so he'd be a hoot to have over for dinner. I know. "Dream on," right?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

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Another rejection today from TOR, conveyed by an assistant (big news is that Dream Agent is forming a new partnership, Folio Literary Management, and is quite the busy girl these days). Today's verdict:

She loved that the novel takes place in Orlando. It happens to be her hometown. She also thought the plot was intriguing but unfortunately she felt that the action was slow upfront and Sophie was hard to sympathize with, which is essential to keep the reader interested.

Okay, so rejection keeps stinging, even if you have endured several of them and come away relatively bloodless. My best writing buds are saying all the right things, and I know they're right, but dang. It's hard not to just holler "the hell with it" when "Nnnnnnnnnnooooooo!" hovers around your head like a particularly persistent mosquito. And I heard the word from an assistant. This is part of doing business, I know. I'm a big girl. I should just suck it up and quit with the lower lip quiver already.

On the plus side, I do have a killer agent who believes in the project, so I need to trust her to do her job.
Round two of submissions is on deck, swinging away. Let's hope one of them connects.

Monday, January 09, 2006

(Un)Tie a Yellow Ribbon

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The goofball has landed.

Baby bro (not really a baby at almost 34--he has a birthday coming up!) is back on American soil after nearly a year at the spa-like locales of Ad Diwaniyah and Mosul, Iraq. He's looking forward to real barbecue and being able to drive to the 7-11 without getting shot at. We're just glad to have him home and in one piece this time. The last time he was in Iraq, he came home with a plate and seven screws in his arm, so we're happy that this tour has resulted in no further hardware or ventilation.

I'm proud of him.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: LIEV SCHREIBER



My first encounter with Liev Schreiber was as the science-obsessed boyfriend in Kate and Leopold. Frankly, I didn't notice him much because I was busy drooling over Hugh Jackman, but I digress. But the more I saw of Liev, the more I liked. Frankly, I'd like to see more. Naked would be fun.

DINNER LIST: GEORGE CARLIN



George Carlin is rude, crass, opinionated, and smart as hell. He's unafraid to take on anyone--from the FCC ("Seven Words You Can't Say on Television," anyone?) to the Catholic Church (as Cardinal Glick in Dogma, the priest who blesses his golf clubs with holy water and brings you "Buddy Christ"). No matter which target he's chosen, he's brilliant at eviscerating it while leaving you in hysterics.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Strike Three (Still Not Out)

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Rejection #3 today. Here's the lowdown: "...it's a really fun idea, but unfortunately the premise is just too similar to something we already have on the RDI list and I don't feel that Mimi's voice is quite distinctive enough to make this book stand out."

My kids would argue about the distinctive voice, especially DS, who once drew two pictures of me and explained, "This is you, Mama...and this is you yelling." But DS isn't in charge of editorial decisions in the bloodthirsty world of publishing, is he?

Argh!!

Down, but not out. One publisher to go on round one of submissions, four more in round two. Paige wants a closer look at LITTLE LEAGUE, too, so I have to step up to the plate, ar ar.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I Hereby Resolve...

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...not to get stupid with resolutions. I am definitely in the make-'em-but-don't-do-'em camp when it comes to New Year's resolutions. Obviously, the "Lose X pounds/Write X pages/Organize X rooms" format isn't doing it for me.

This year, positive stuff only. So, here's what I resolve:
  • I resolve to be kind to my body by eating better food and moving around more.
  • I resolve to be kind to myself by allowing the words "No, thanks for asking" to come out of my mouth more often.
  • I resolve to enjoy my family more.
  • I resolve to laugh with my friends and avoid poisonous people whenever possible.
  • I will drive with the top down as much as possible (clears the brain).
Hope your 2006 is healthy, happy, and successful!
 

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