Monday, April 28, 2008

Reality Bytes

I'm truly, totally ashamed of myself. I've never been much of a TV watcher, save a few favorites at a time - currently Ugly Betty and Damages. But with the entire season lost due to the writers' strike, reality TV has filled the void left by all the shows that fell by the wayside.
Now, I've always been one to make fun of such bits of fluff as Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, Big Brother, etc. Only lately, with nothing else to watch when I wanted to veg out, I was forced to take a taste of the reality show apple and Lord - the fruit poisoned me!
Yes - I've done it - I started watching three - yes, THREE different reality shows, one more asinine than the next. How did it happen? I have no idea. One day I was laughing about the premise that an aging rock star could really find his mate from a bevy of beautiful girls. The next moment, I was glued to Rock of Love!
I scoffed at a Beverly Hills matchmaker who makes her living finding the right woman for an assortment of California millionaires. Suddenly, I was searching the TV listings for Millionaire Matchmaker.
But my favorite is a bit less fluff (well - you could say a bit more). I love Discovery Health's National Body Challenge - thirty minute shows about some poor overweight person (or this season, set of twins) who lucks into having a personal trainer, two doctors and a healthy cooking expert working on their behest! How cool is that. Then you get to see the before and after and everything in between.
Okay - I know - I have the reality bug and I need a vaccine against any more of it! What about you? Did the reality bug byte you?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Writer's Personality

As you could imagine, I know many, many writers. Some are shy, some are very outgoing. The solitary nature of the work often has one of two different effects. Either the person is shy and quiet, OR they are so full of things to say when they emerge from the cave that they're quite outgoing, chatty even. I seem to know a few extremes at either end of the spectrum.

One writer friend would rather have a root canal than speak in public or do a book signing. Another talks so much, you want to muzzle her or carry your own pair of ear plugs when she's around! Funny how the same profession can breed such opposite types. I'm somewhere in the middle - toward the outgoing end, but not a hundred percent comfortable speaking in public, although I've forced myself to do it more and more so I get over that.

What about you? Are you the silent type or the person everyone wants to gag, or somewhere in the middle?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Auditory Overload

I am a silent worker. I can't create with music in the background, television noise or conversation. Concentration is a tenuous lifeline I hang onto when I work, hence the reason I do most of my writing during the day while the kids are at school and the house is quiet. Yet I find an unlikely source of distraction mingles with the rhythmic ticking of the cuckoo clock. One of my cats has a snoring problem. Both felines gravitate to my office during the day for their all-day naps. My Russian Blue is a silent sleeper, thankfully. He climbs onto a swivel chair and somehow turns the seat toward the wall, creating his little private space. But the other cat, my baby, snores the paint off the walls as she sleeps. What ever happened to the notion of cat naps? I used to think all cats were light sleepers, prone to wake at any little noise. But this cat sleeps like the dead. All hell could break loose around her and she'd keep on snoozing. I'm seriously considering ear plugs.
What about you? Do you play classical music while you work, or watch the TV out of the corner of your eye? Or must you crawl into the proverbial cave, surrounded by silence to entice the muse out?

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Well, the conference was terrific. Loads of invaluable info and experience. I met such nice folks, too. I love small conferences for that reason - you get to meet the agents and editors and see them in different settings - at a dinner, teaching a workshop, taking appointments, etc. Suzanne Brockmann, the keynote speaker, was fabulous. I also had an opportunity to chat with an editor from a huge publishing company, and a top - and I mean top - agent (who was the sweetest person!) The book signing was fun - I sold some books, bought some books and talked to some great folks in the process. I came home with a huge Bag O Books, as if the TBR pile could be any higher! But I dived right into one - How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, by Simone Elkeles, who I sat next to at the signing. Terrific book - just finished it. Now, I'm on the first chapter of Deidre Knight's Parallel Attraction, which already has me hooked.
It's a wonderful thing to be surrounded by writers talking about writing. Today the buzz finally wore off when I had to get a cortisone shot in my heel - ouchie! Off my feet for the night with an ice pack.
So what about you? Do you enjoy conferences? Which are your favorites?