Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Return To The End Of The World (Disc Two)

Thank goodness I finished the rewrites yesterday. Because, almost on cue, this afternoon UPS, the darlings, delivered a brand new DVD set of the legendary Irwin Allen's Production of The Night The Bridge Fell Down! (! mine; Irwin Allen was much too tasteful for that kind of punctuation).

For those of who don't commit this blog to memory, and don't care to use the search box (which I used just now, helpful little thing it is), here's the first entry on the great Night The Bridge Fell Down Disc 2 Saga. You can read the comments and follow-up entries if you so choose, but if you don't care to, the short version is I was watching The Night etc! and disc 2 didn't work and Mr. Cavin left a comment suggesting watching Disc 2 on my computer, and I did, only I got to the part where Barbara Rush was having conniption fits trying to climb down the bridge to safety and the disc stopped right there, leaving me uncertain whether Barbara Rush and her three stalwart companions made it to safety.

Naturally I was distraught. Maybe not as distraught as Barbara Rush, but darn close. I called the WBShop, from whence The Night etc! had come, and wept copious tears while telling them all this (except the part about the blog and Mr. Cavin, holding that in reserve in case I needed to shame them into doing the honorable thing),and they very nicely said send the darn thing back and we'll get you a new one. I took them at their word and a mere month later there it was.

DVDs from the WBShop don't have chapters (many of my books wouldn't either, except my publisher makes me put them in), but you can skip around at ten minute intervals. I had no way of knowing how many minutes I needed to skip, but as soon as I saw a shot of Barbara Rush weeping and whining, I restarted the DVD. Maybe I missed a minute, maybe I saw the same minute twice. Who knows. All I know is I made it through to the end and, with the possible exception of the Desi Arnez Jr. character, who I still don't remember seeing dying, I know who lived and who died, and I am greatly relieved.

So was Barbara Rush, who wept and whined for quite a while climbing down that bridge, and her false eyelashes stayed on the entire time.

Now that's what I call drama!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Should I Do Rewrites? Or Should I Go To The Movies?

I'm opting for rewrites. I'll be finished sometime this afternoon.

But I recommend going to the movies for a million other people. Because the thirty second book trailer for This World We Live In (which I think is actually the thirty second book trailer for Life As We Knew It) is going to be playing at scores of movie theaters throughout America. Here's the list (alas, none of them are near me):

RGL1290 Grant Plaza PA-Philly 9 screens

Philadelphia RGL 1314 Main St. 6 6 screens

Regal E-Walk 13 RGL1929 42nd St. 13 screens

Movieland Yonkers Central Park Ave. RGL1232 6 screens

Chicago Showplace 16 RGL621 16 screens

Anaheim Hills 14 RGL1003 14 screens

LA Live Los Angeles RGL697 14 screens

Thornton Place with IMAX Seattle RGL1937 13 screens

Berkley 7 (San Francisco area) RGL1172 7 screens

San Francisco AMC 0434 Van Ness 14 14 screens

Boston (Manchester) RGL1930 13 screens

Dallas AMC0150 Valley View 16 16 screens

Washington DC RGL1551 Gallery Place 14 14 screens

Atlanta RGL1309 Perimeter Pointe 10 10 screens

The trailer will play on 179 screens. The video will play for 2 weeks, 7 days a week. It will play at least one time, usually two, before the movie starts. Most movies play at least 4 times in a day.

The video should play approximately 716 times a day; 5012 times a week; 10,024 total for the campaign.

Please be aware that the video receives prime placement as well. It will play right before the movie trailers start.

Oh heck. Maybe I'll drive down to Yonkers and take in a movie. But I'd better get my rewrites finished first!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good Morning America Recommends This World We Live In

Good Morning America is truly a Good Morning for me.

Thank you ABC!

For those of you who haven't seen today (Thursday's) Good Morning America because you're in a different time zone, they talk about This World We Live In (and recommend it!) on camera, around 8:45 AM.

What a wonderful way to start the day! Well worth three !s.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Should I Do Rewrites? Or Should I Go To An Adam Lambert Concert?

I say both, although I'll have a lot more fun at one than the other.

Scooter says neither. He votes for nap.

The rewrites are coming along. My editor didn't ask for that much, and what's slowing me down is that I've been rewriting things she didn't mention. As you may recall, from the little I've revealed about Blood Wounds, my heroine, Willa, has two stepsisters. I've been rewriting material about her stepsisters' mother, a character who is never seen in the book, but who certainly has an effect on the story. Like most of the other rewrites I've done, I started at the back and then had to rewrite an earlier section. Bah, bah, and double bah. Most likely I'll finish by the July 1 deadline, but it'd be easier if I stuck to what I was asked to do and not what I know will also make the book better.

My writing life as a lot easier when I wasn't so fussy. I hold all of you responsible. I don't want to disappoint you.

Oh well. I'm sure Adam Lambert feels exactly the same way, that he doesn't want to disappoint me (or at least all I represent). Tomorrow I'll be going to my second and a quarter concert, once again going with my friend Pam (although she didn't go to the quarter concert). The concert is at Foxwoods, and there's an exhibit of Titanic artifacts we plan on seeing. When the concert ends, we'll drive to our friend Janet's and spend the night there. So it's going to be a long wonderful rewrite free day.

Alas, I can't say the same about today!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Should I Do Rewrites? Or Should I Look At Pretty Flowers?

Rewrites can wait.

I went yesterday to the St. James Church Goshen Garden tour with my friend Pam, and we had a wonderful time. There were many beautiful private gardens to explore, and a fabulous lunch to devour.

I didn't take any pictures of the lunch, but that was because I was way too hungry to admire it visually (although it was a very pretty buffet with an exceptionally pretty buffet dessert table).

I love flowers and I want to take good pictures of them. It took me a long time to realize that if I take pictures of short flowers, I end up showing more dirt than flower. So I now limit myself to big tall flowers, beautiful landscape. and the occasional chair.

This picture of red flowers and white fence is my brand new screen saver, and it's a very summery way for my computer to say hello to me.

And look. Scooter loves flowers too, just as long as they're upholstered!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Should I Do Rewrites? Or Should I Nap?

Like I had to ask.

Actually, it's the need for rewrites that make me want to nap. I got the edited manuscript and editorial letter for Blood Wounds yesterday at 6 PM, and thinking about making changes (and a rousing 5 AM game of Purr On The Neck) cost me a good night's sleep.

My editor actually wrote the letter (and most likely sent off the manuscript) June 8. In fact, my agent informed me today that she'd gotten a copy of the letter several days ago. I'm loathe to speak badly of UPS, but for whatever reason, they weren't speed demons about getting it to me. Maybe UPS didn't want me to have to work, in which case, UPS remains my friend. Except that I'm going to have to work anyway, and now I have a bit less time.

Fortunately for me, my editor likes Blood Wounds a lot, and made very fine, and probably not too taxing, suggestions to make it better. You may recall, if you commit this blog to memory (and if not, why not), I had some problems with my heroine attending school, when none of the book has to do with school. My editor picked up on the fact that my heroine, lovable though she is, has no friends, or at least none with a name.

Between work induced insomnia and cat induced wakefulness, my heroine now has a friend, who thank goodness (and thank me) is away for the school year. But whether she's around or away, she'll have a name (currently it's Rachel, but I may look a little more deeply at Popular Baby Names for alternates).

I haven't actually looked at the manuscript yet, just read my editor's letter a few times. And, truth to tell, I've read the parts of the letter about how good the book is a lot more than the parts of the letter that indicate where work needs to be done. Maybe I'll do that on Sunday. Tomorrow I'm going on a garden tour with a friend, and Monday I'm having my mammogram and, if I'm in the mood, a knee x-ray (I'm considering calling Monday National Radiation Day and getting them both done, although not simultaneously), and if I'm not working Saturday or Monday, then there's hardly any point to working on Sunday. Except for the fact that Thursday is my next Adam Lambert concert (when you weren't looking, I added another one in Albany in August), and Friday will be devoted to recovering from Thursday, and the following Sunday I'm going to my cousins' 50th anniversary party, and my editor would like the manuscript back by July 1, which would have been a heck of lot easier if UPS had done its part.

All of which is even more reason to take a nap right now!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catch Up

The past couple of weeks have been very busy ones, and I've been ignoring many professional (and some personal) obligations. My fantasy for the day is that I'm going to catch up on these things, and I figured I'd start here with bringing you up to date on a variety of stuff.

The look of the blog: I love the way the blog looks now (which doesn't mean it won't get changed at some point), but I don't like how the links look, which is kind of invisible. So just now I went over to the let's change stuff place to see if I could make the links a different and more noticeable color. Only they've changed the entire let's change stuff place! And it now scares me (which isn't hard). So you'll just have to find those links on your own.

Fourth book yes or no: I've had comments left here and a goodly number of emails asking if there's going to be a follow-up to This World We Live In. The answer, at least for now, is not that I know of. My publisher has expressed no interest whatsoever; it has never come up. Granted I had to bludgeon them into The Dead And The Gone and This World We Live In, so it could just be they're waiting to be bludgeoned. If that's the case, they'll have to wait a while longer, since I have no idea what a fourth book would be like. I do have fun coming up with unusable fourth books (just as I had fun coming up with unusable third books), but the operative word there is unusable. So no fourth book unless something totally changes everything.

Blood Wounds: I haven't heard back from my editor since her initial read of the manuscript. At some point, she'll make her rewriting suggestions, and I'll return to it. In the meantime, I've given up waiting to hear as an excuse, and scheduled my annual mammogram (I told the woman making the appointment to squeeze me in, which I think is one of the great mammogram jokes, but she didn't seem to get it).

Facebook And Twitter: My friends this weekend told me I should do both. I investigated Twitter yesterday to see what it would entail (almost nothing, I grant you). Then last night, I had the pleasure to talking to a number of young people who either will be participating in the Mid-Hudson Library System's Battle Of The Books this summer or who happened to be visiting family in the area, and I asked them if they used Twitter or Facebook. The vast majority of them did neither. I take this as a sign that I shouldn't. Yay for not having to work!

New Gigantic TV Set: I have mixed feelings about my gigantic new TV set. On the one hand (and I think this is a multihand issue), it looks great in the living room. I love the new entertainment center, and the room isn't overwhelmed. So that concern has evaporated. And on the second positive hand, the hi def stuff is so gorgeous, it's unbelievable. I love watching Yankee games on it, and I'm going to go berserk with joy during Wimbledon. But the non hi def stuff looks crappy, and that includes a lot of my DVDs of older movies and TV shows. I went back to Best Buy to return something and asked a salesperson about that, and was told basically there's nothing I can do about it. Hi def TVs only look good in hi def. Also my cable box went out on Sunday, which I find a tad worrisome, since it's a special super duper hi def cable box and I don't want it to be temperamental.

My Mother And My Cat: Both are in excellent health. My mother is actually being a little more social. Marci, Carol and I had lunch with her last week, and my mother has returned to having lunch with her friends at her assisted living place on Sundays. Scooter and I have settled into a Purr On The Neck routine, which consists of his playing Purr On The Neck anytime between 5 and 6 AM. The game lasts for about 10 excruciating minutes, and then he and I both fall back asleep. Some days, like today, he plays again about an hour later, and we fall back asleep yet again. Some days, he skips the second game and lets me sleep until as late as 7:30, at which point he switches from Purr On The Neck to Bite The Hand That Should Be Feeding Me. He's not much of a lapcat, he's at the age where sitting on the newspaper when I'm trying to read it is his idea of a great joke, and on occasion, he finds attacking my foot to be positively irresistible. And yet I love him. I love my mother too, but that's easier, since she almost never sits on my newspaper or attacks my foot.

Books I've Read and Movies I've Seen: Nothing, nothing. Although I did buy a book on Saturday (Lonelyhearts- The Screwball World Of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney by Marion Meade) and I reserved a novel from the library (I'd tell you what and who, but I've already forgotten). When my friends were up this weekend, we didn't go to the movies, which we almost always do. We did, however, watch Category 6 on whatever it is they call the Sci Fi Channel these days. Sunday night, because I didn't have cable, I watched my DVD of Category 7, which was even better.

Adam Lambert Concerts: I've been to one and a quarter, and loved them both. I have another one to go to at the end of the month, and on Friday, I'll try to get presale tickets for a newly scheduled concert in Albany. That one is end of August, so it'll be fun to go after a couple of months of not having seen him. In July, I'll being going to Bethel Woods to see the New York Philharmonic, Celtic Woman, Boston Pops and the Moody Blues (that's four separate concerts, in case you were concerned). So it's going to be a very musical summer.

Well, I think that brings you up to date. Which means I should start attacking that pile of emails. Or I could go to the supermarket. Hark! I hear the siren call of the mangoes. "Buy me. Buy me. Buy me right now."

The emails will just have to wait!

ETA (the mangoes are waiting a few minutes also): I did read a book recently. Innocent by Scott Turow. And the book I reserved from the library is The Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah. You know, I actually enjoy reading books. I should definitely do it more often.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trailer Park

Much as I love Life As We Knew It (and I do love Life As We Knew It, in its many incarnations), it would be wrong for me to act like I don't love its siblings, The Dead And The Gone and This World We Live In every bit as much.

Fortunately for me, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt loves them all as well, and because of that great love (or for reasons I may never understand) has commissioned a book trailer for the three of them together.

Most likely, you've already seen Part 1, but Parts 2 and 3 should be new to you (and very delightfully dramatique).

So here it is: The Complete The Trilogy Doesn't Have A Name But It Does Have A Trailer Book Trailer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The LAWKI Family Reunion Is Not A Low Key Family Reunion

I got the German audiobook version of Die Welt Wie Wir Sie Kannten yesterday, otherwise known as the German audiobook version of Life As We Knew It. Well, I assume that's what it is, because my German is pretty much limited to Pfeffer and ich bein ein berliner. Although I do understand a bit of the back jacket- Miranda, meteor, and Tsunamis. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine (and quite possibly better).

Never one to pass up an opportunity to reunite family, I invited all the current editions of Life As We Knew It to my dining room table (you know, I don't have a dining room. I have a dining area. But dining area table just doesn't sound right).

Scooter can't resist a party, or anything else for that matter, so he crashed the event. I'm happy to report that he didn't crash the event when he crashed the event.

When the French, Chinese, Brazilian and Bulgarian members of the family show up, I'm sure all the LAWKIs will be happy to see them.

Let's hope my dining area table will be big enough to hold them all!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Come Meet The Life As We Knew It Website!

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has created a website for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In. It has links to reviews, to the video trailer, to this very blog (Hi Me!), and to discussion guides for all three books.

I was about to write that I thought it is possibly the most beautiful thing ever, but Scooter just meowed a protest. What a psychic (as well as psycho) cat he is.

All right. The website is the second most beautiful thing ever, and certainly the most beautiful thing that doesn't have four legs and a propensity for playing Purr On The Neck at 5 in the morning.

Which makes it very darn beautiful indeed!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

щастлив May Be Bulgarian For Happy

Of course it may not be, since I don't know any Bulgarian to be sure.

But Bulgarian is now on my list of languages to master, since we sold the Bulgarian and Macedonian Language Rights for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In to IBIS Publishers. Which makes me very whatever that word is up there (Blogspot has gotten extremely cranky about letting me cut and paste, which would make me extremely cranky, except since it hosts me for free, it would be ill mannered of me to be cranky, at least in public).

Blogspot, however, is still very happy to let me link things, so here's a link to YouTube. I'm not absolutely sure why the YouTube link is titled This World We Live In, when it's not for This World We Live In, except it's rapidly becoming one of those days.

Cranky comes easy to me.

Regardless of what the youtube link is called, what it links to is one of the things that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has promised for the lovely month of June, and I am very very excited about it, and other things that I'll be telling you about soon (ideally when I'm less cranky).

I got 36 requests for the Listening Libraray audiobooks, and since I had 36 audiobooks looking for a good home, I decided to stop the offer right there. So everyone who has emailed me by June 3 12:00 PM Eastern Time will get one, but that's it. I even edited the offer out of my last blog entry to fool people. Many thanks to the 36 of you who wrote to ask for one. Give me a few days, and I'll start mailing them out.

All right. I'm now going to eat lunch and at least start thinking about dusting and vacuuming.

Guess which one of those activities will make me feel less cranky!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In June We Croon A Tune About The Moon

Happy June!

I have very positive feelings about this June. I'll be getting what I'm already calling the What Could I Have Been Thinking gigantic TV tomorrow (the new entertainment center arrived today and already I'm finding it very entertaining). I have two and a quarter Adam Lambert concerts to go to, friends who'll be visiting, a family party to attend, and most likely, rewrites to do.

Okay. I may not have such positive feelings about rewrites.

Also, unless Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is lying or hallucinating, their exciting new promotions of Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In, will start later this month. The odds are they're not lying, but I make no bets about the hallucinating.

Speaking of This World We Live In, I listened to the Listening Library Audiobook version, read by Emily Bauer, and she was even better this time than she was when she read Life As We Knew It. I actually cried at the end. Emily found the humor in the book's funny parts and the sadness in the rest of the book. I'm thrilled and very grateful.