August 2008

Surprise! It’s Me! Remember me? The writer whose dated photograph graces the home page of this website?

And yes, I know that old adage: “Writers Write.” Just not always in their Blogs. . .

See, I know what you’re thinking. It’s been 5 months since this Blog thing’s been updated and what the hell is wrong with me that I can’t write a bit each week like some of my more prolific blogger friends?

But I do have a perfectly valid excuse:


Life Gets in the Way. A book’s life, that is. For the past several months, I’ve been in the long and tedious throes of editing and revising my next book and I have to do it while working full time writing other stuff that actually yields a pay check. Because contrary to what fans of Stephen King, David Sedaris and Barbra Walters believe, not every writer gets paid to write a book. The reality is that most authors don’t see any royalties until the book is out there and people buy it, and then the payment is usually just enough to perhaps begin another book (if you’re lucky and did the first one right) or purchase a decent used (very used) car, and even then that’s only from the first check, thanks to media exposure by doing the TV thing, the radio thing, having a couple good book reviews, or at least a nice article on how great your book is (again, if you’re lucky). After that, my dear aspiring writers, your book is then considered, by industry standards, as old as Andy Rooney. You are now passé and now it’s someone else’s turn. In which case, your follow-up checks after that exciting year when everyone knows your name, will be just about enough to cover a nice dinner at the Olive Garden and maybe, maybe, a bottle of good wine. Or these days, enough to fill up your gas tank. Once.




Some Writerly Advice:


So this is what I tell my students in my class on “What it Takes to Write a Book,” and those fans of Stephen King, David Sedaris, and Barbra Walters: Don’t Do It For The Money.


Do It Because You Have Interesting Stories To Tell. Fiction or nonfiction.


And please, make sure you have some well-read manuscript readers who will honestly tell you if your stories really are, in fact, interesting because if they’re not, that sole royalty check you receive won’t even get you a 99-cent meal at Wendy’s.




And here’s another piece of advice to writers: Only do it because you must. Because the book inside your head is nagging the hell out of you and you just have to write it. No matter how long it takes—in-between work and kids and spouses and sleep and a few nights out with the girls, or boys. Because Life Will Get in the Way and that book will ALWAYS take longer than you think it will.


My first book took nearly four years. My second has taken equally as long. Despite the fact that it will in no way be as long as the former (good news for all my friends who are still trying to get through “Rock and Roll and the Cleveland Connection”!) and I didn’t have to conduct like 300 interviews to put it together.


I won’t reveal any more right now about the book so that maybe curiosity will bring you back to this blog each month for a new hint and photo leading up to its release in Oct. or Nov. (I can only hope. Again, writer friends, once it’s in the publisher’s hands, it’s out of yours. So you have to be patient and play the waiting game. What to do in the meantime? Start your next book!).


So here is Hint Number One about my new book, with a few photos to hopefully pique your interest:




It’s about This:



And This:



And This:





Stay tuned next month (ok, it may be a little longer . . .) for the title and perhaps a few more hints, and photos. . . .




Blessed Are the Children . . .


Who have idiots for parents.


I’m sorry but I just cannot for the motherly life of me understand how people can leave their kids in the car “forgetting” they are there. Are You Kidding Me??


Hey, I’m busy too. I multi-task, too. But I’m still aware of any human being that may be sharing a ride with me, even if they’re quiet as a mouse. I mean, come on. If you have that much on your mind that you—even for a moment—have forgotten that you’re a mother, therefore, totally responsible for another human being’s life who is totally dependent on you, then you had better make some serious changes…


If you’re a boomer, you know that even though we were “seen and not heard,” we were never left anywhere.  Our parents may have dragged us to a lot of places we didn’t want to go, but least they didn’t leave us there. Although being left at a place like Euclid Beach wouldn’t have been too bad…




Observed on a Website:




“Welcome to the teeching profession! Some things you might want to check on before you start.”




Yeah, like spelling . . . .




Spammers Are Just Not Nice




We all hate spam and just like terrorists they keep finding new inventive ways to make our life hell.


Check out this latest story:


My friend Larry, is a hard working musician who sends out a news letter each month with his schedule of where he’s playing. So, as usual, I opened the email and knew immediately that ALTHOUGH IT CAME FROM LARRY’S ADDRESS, IT WAS NOT FROM LARRY!


In this letter, “Larry” was begging for my help because he had gotten this gig in some god-forsaken country, and was robbed and needed just “$2,000” to be able to return to the USA.!!


I happened to see Larry soon after and he had said that somehow, someway, some jerk figured out his password, got into his email and sent this letter to everyone in his email address book (as if someone who actually knew Larry would simply just send him a few thousand. I mean, Larry’s a nice guy and all, but $2,000 a lot of cash. Poor guy would’ve probably been stuck there for awhile…). He had to go through all kinds of hassles to get his own address back. Sheesh…




Life Comes At You Fast


When your first born child turns the magical age of 21, you wonder how that happened. Because you yourself don’t feel any older, but suddenly your job is done and that child is an adult living her own life. But if you’ve done a good job (and yes, sometimes it’s just a matter of luck), you look at this grown child and actually like her as a separate human being. You take pride in knowing she has all the great qualities you’d hoped for way back when. And you don’t have to worry about her (well, there’s always that) because you know she can stand on her own two feet. Which is all very gratifying.


We look at this girl who we spent all those years raising, and Jeff and I realize that not only did we get lucky, we really did do an admirable job…


Happy Birthday, Danielle.




That’s it for now, folks. See ya all next month. Well, ok, maybe a little longer than that J