miercuri, 9 martie 2011

Cheerful and On Wheels

So I went to DC, alone, which I do not like because I've gotten used to traveling with Bob "Let Me Carry That Bag For You" Mayer, although I coped because it's only a three day trip and I have my bright new cheerful red Vera Bradley carry-on and it has wheels. I'm thinking that may be my new criteria for what I will let into my life: Cheerful and on wheels.

For example, when I got to the hotel, I had Chinese food delivered because Chinese food makes me cheerful--my potsticker obsession is well documented--and it arrives on wheels, or at least I don't have to go get it or, god forbid, cook it. Then there's Tivo, the greatest invention since the internet; because of Tivo I can watch My Name Is Earl (cheerful) any time I want (on wheels). And of course there's great reading in portable paperback, like Terry Pratchett. My favorite character from Pratchett is Susan, I would very much like to be Susan, but if I'm being completely honest here, the Pratchett character I'm most like is The Luggage, described at the L-Shaped Space website as "probably the most homicidal travel accessory in the world . . . . Philosophers at Unseen University have for some years debated the point of whether the Luggage actually thinks, or whether it merely feels. The remainder of the University long ago came to the conclusion that it simply eats." Since I began my diet on January 1, I've gained six pounds. I simply eat a lot.

The day of the speech, I left the hotel early so I could scope out the Smithsonian because somebody wanted a picture of the puffy shirt, and the day was so gorgeous and the architecture was so amazing that I thought, "Well, I'm loving DC," and then right in the middle of it all, while I'm walking through this pretty little park, I look over and see an obnoxious shiny black limo surrounded by guys in black suits and sunglasses with little earpieces in their ears. Well, it's Washington, so no big deal, but I started thinking, if I lived in DC, I'd buy a shiny black car and get my friends to wear black suits and sunglasses and put one earbud of their iPods in whenever i traveled. I have friends who would do that, no problem. Gaffney, Brooks, Ramsland, Saul, Stuart, Dreyer who would insist on being armed, and Mayer who refuses to go armed. Doesn't like guns. Always cuts himself on knives. So I'm thinking maybe that's what all these guys are, just some goofball and his pals playing games, and then I turn around and I'm in front of the White House. Which doesn't mean it's not a goofball and his pals, just that it's probably an official goofball and his FBI pals. And you know, they have wheels but they don't look cheerful. So I discarded any plans I had to go into government work.

The White House itself was a disappointment, small and kind of shabby. Plus I'm househunting again and I have a real eye for windows, and I'd swear those puppies were single-glazed. Maybe not, maybe they're bullet-proof, but it looked cold in there. And I decided if they put the White House up for sale, I wouldn't even call the realtor to inquire. Congress, on the other hand, remains impressive. Well, the building remains impressive, and wouldn't you think the people inside would try a LITTLE harder to measure up to the architecture? And then there's the Washington Monument. Every time I see it, I think that if it was the Clinton Monument, the jokes would never stop.

Where was I? Right, crossing the mall toward the Smithsonian which is freaking amazing, by the way. The American History museum has, besides the puffy shirt and the ruby slippers, Julia Childs' kitchen, and I'm pretty sure Cousin Russ had eaten there. Before it was in the Smithsonian. Anyway it's a great kitchen, no granite, no cherry wood, just warm and bright and well-used. A real kitchen. Cheerful. And evidently on wheels since it was moved to the Smithsonian. My kind of place. Then I went through the sculpture garden--they have a station from the Paris Metro there, my absolute all time favorite piece of Art Nouveau RIGHT THERE, and then a couple of yards away Oldenburg's Typewriter Eraser, so I had to pause for a few minutes while my head exploded with pleasure--and then I went on to the National Gallery and let me tell you, that's a nice little art museum the country has there.

I wandered through it without a plan which was perfect for that kind of day. The Cezanne exhibit is up--every time I think of Cezanne I think of what he said about Monet--"He is only an eye, but what an eye!"--and wonder if anybody will ever say, "That Crusie, she was only dialogue, but what dialogue!" and then I realize I'm being conceited again--and you know, Cezanne just does not do it for me. He paints like literary fiction. So I wander around in the nineteenth century because that's my century, both as an art major and a lit major, and hit this huge painting called "The Favorite of the Emir" by Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant. And I thought, "My God, that's Liza and Min!" Turns out I write like a nineteenth century painting. Well, here, look for yourself, although this is not a good reproduction because the colors in the original are really electric, gorgeous rich cadmium reds and golds and deep ultramarines:

I love the look on Min's face, particularly given the title of the painting. You know exactly what she thinks of the Emir.

I stayed until the museum closed and I had such a great time just walking around discovering things, and the day was so beautiful and it make me think that maybe sitting in front of a computer screen making things up was not a cheerful, moving way to live. Of course, that's how I pay for dog food for the herd, so I can't give it up, and I wouldn't want to give it up, but I thought that maybe what I needed was to lift my head up now and then and participate in the positive and portable, the things that keep me happy and moving and light on my feet. I figure this is right up there with "fluid and unpredictable," my former mantra and one which has led my near and dear to refer to me as erratic and irritating, but hey, it's my life.

Where was I? Right, the Smithsonian. So I went and did the program, answering the softball questions Pam Regis lobbed at me (and what a sweetheart she is) and met some lovely people, and then Kathy Seidel said, "Come on, I'll drive you to dinner," because I was eating with a bunch of WRW people and I love that chapter so everything was good. Except Kathy couldn't remember the address of the restaurant. (I'm skipping over the part where she made me walk across a field in kitten heels because it would be tacky and ungrateful of me to mention it.) So for the next hour, Kathy and I crisscrossed Washington while I made wisecracks and laughed really hard and she made wisecracks and illegal U-turns that put us in mortal peril ("They're legal in DC," she said, "Was that a cop?"). At one point I said, "It's all right, I've lived a full life," and she said, "Oh, good, shut up," and then I said, "It would have been nice to see my grandchildren though, assuming Mollie ever has any," and then she said something cruel and started to turn the wrong way down a one way street, and I said, "NOT THAT WAY, NOT THAT WAY!" and then laughed until I cried. Shortly after that, I started to sing about Charlie on the Boston Transit and Kathy, of course, joined in because she is a woman after my own heart, and I have to tell you, getting lost in DC with Kathy Seidel was the most fun I've had since I went to Cocoa Beach and saw the clams. Dinner was great, too, we did finally get there, but driving through DC laughing with a pal is the best.

I'm telling you: Cheerful and on wheels. That's my next tattoo.

Things I'm Not, Part II

So I’m talking to my critique partner, the lovely Valerie Taylor, and she says, “I have good gossip.” And I say, “Oh, goody, what is it?” because I’m not a nice person. And she says, “It’s about you.” And I say, “Oh, yeah, it’s the Bob thing. That’s not happening.” She said, “No, this is about you moving to New York to live with your boyfriend and get a facelift.”

This is where I have to pause and wonder what kind of a slow news day it has to be before people gossip about a middle-aged romance writer who lives in Ohio. It’s kind of flattering. Especially when Val says, “It’s all over the internet.” No, it’s not. Cheney trying to off one of his hunting partners is all over the internet. Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars is all over the internet. My personal life is barely of interest to the people who read my blogs and even that, I figure, is just because I’m a train wreck waiting to happen (love that song) and you all want to be standing by when I run completely off the rails.

But in the interests of truth . . .

1. I Am Not Moving to New York City.
Not right now anyway. My kid lives there and I like her and I’d like to see more of her. Plus all my friends are writers and editors and agents, and sooner or later all writers’ roads lead to New York so I could see them when they came to stay with me. But have you priced New York real estate? It’s insane. Plus, I just put in a killer bathroom here. And then there’s the five hundred city book tour I’m on for most of 2006. So I’d like to move but I’m thinking New York is not a possibility, especially not right now. But kudos to whoever’s spreading this one because it has a fair chance of being true some day.

2. I Am Not Living with My Boyfriend
(I’m sorry, I just can’t get past Cloris Leachman saying, “He vas my BOYFRIENDT!” I said to Val, "Aren't I kind of past the boyfriend stage?" and she said, "You're never too old for a boyfriend," but I'm thinking there must be a better word. Lover, but that's probably TMI. Significant Other, but that's jargony. Guy I spend the majority of my time with, but that's Bob. Your assignment for today, class, is to come up with a good word for romantic companion for the adult female.)

Where was I? Oh, right.

2. I Am Not Living with My Boyfriend
Val and I tried to figure this one out and the only thing we could think of is that there’s a nice guy who rents apartments by the night in New York and I’m crazy about his basement. That’s not a euphemism, I love the ground floor apartment. If I were a rich woman and the apartment were for sale, I’d buy it in a heartbeat, but I’m not, it isn’t, and he isn’t. My boyfriendt, I mean. I said, “Are you sure they don’t mean Bob?” and Val said, with great enthusiasm, “No, this is beside Bob, so you have TWO boyfriends and they’re going to fight it out.” She’s enjoying this way too much, but then this is the woman who bought me a Brazilian wax for Christmas, so what can you expect?

3. I'm Not Getting a Facelift
Oh, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for thinking I need one. I had a brow lift and eyelid lift done when I turned fifty and I’m very happy with it. The last time I checked, my jawline isn’t what it used to be, but then what is? So I'm not planning on one, although I’m not ruling it out forever, I might turn sixty, look in the mirror, and say, “This will never do,” and hire somebody to get my jowls off the floor, but this is the Year from Hell and I really don’t see myself adding surgery to everything else.

The important thing is, nobody seems to think I’m pregnant any more. I’m assuming this is because my face now looks so old they know I’m past my childbearing years, so always a silver lining there, campers. And really, when you think of the vile things people could be saying about me, moving to New York to live with my boyfriend and get a facelift . . . well, it could be worse.

And I’m sure that shortly it will be.

Mare 12: Well . . .

So it's the last day of Mare and I wrote exactly 0 words. Must be a new world's record. But we got the book plotted and I know what the last scene is (that's HUGE in fiction) and we all had a wonderful time. And now I'm heading south to Doom Boy and image coaching, and not a moment too soon for the image coaching.

Must go pack. And get my speech notes together. And finish the laundry. And find out why the cat is sitting on the basement steps, staring at me malevolently. Bob looks at me like that. So does Eileen, for that matter. Hmmmm.

Oh and Mare is due in April, so you'll be hearing more. But for the next week, I'm going to be over on He Wrote She Wrote correcting Bob's interpretation of things. It's a full time job.

Random Sunday

I wrote an entire post on You Again, hit "Publish Post" and lost all of it. It was a great post, too. Well, probably not that great. But I liked it. So here's a Random Sunday. I'll get back to you on You Again again later.

I'm playing the Spamalot cast recording. That was a good afternoon in the theater. Bob even laughed. Right now they're singing, "He's Not Dead Yet." Story of my career.

I currently have four WIPs (Works in Progress) some of them more IP than others. I think that's three too many, but I'm learning to be flexible because I love all of them.

There was a post-it note on my desk when I cleaned it off. It said, “getting caught” and under that “Goddess” and under that “Hawaiian shirts” and then up in the corner “Flying Bowl” with the symbol for woman under that. I’m sure this is vastly important but I don’t know what the hell it means.

South Beach Diet Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are delicious and come conveniently packaged in 100 calorie packs, which is great because all I have to do is count the pile of crumpled packs to know how many thousand calories I’ve inhaled.

Sara Ramirez is genius. She really earned that Tony. The Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls. Plus she does a perfect faux Andrew Lloyd Weber heroine. I LOVE "The Song That Goes Like This." "Once in every show, there's a song that goes like this . . . They'll all hum along, we'll overact like hell." In the Phantom boat, no less. "That's the trouble with this song, it goes on and on and on." I can't wait until "The Diva's Lament." My fave. Well, that and "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life."

You really should go read Chris Merrill's blog (http://doublecheese.livejournal.com/). My fave entry is the one where James does the Supreme Court poster at 6AM, but they're all good.

I love “My Name is Earl.” It’s such a sweet show, and God Bless Jason Lee for that. Also Jaime Pressly is amazing.

Agnes, the heroine of the Crusie/Mayer WIP, bakes cake. Lots of cake. This was a mistake. But the chocolate raspberry is delicious.

Sara's singing "Find Your Grail." Very inspiring. I think she's doing Whitney Houston but it's hard to tell. Very pop princess power ballad. Sara can sing anything while being anybody. Yes, I am Sara Ramirez's bitch. Deal with it. Ooooh, and now Tim Curry's joined her. Best Broadway Musical duet EVER.

Some guy was nabbed a couple of weeks ago for stealing $200,000 worth of Legos. I thought for sure there was a short story in that, but it turns out that once you’ve said “$200,000 worth of Legos,” you’ve pretty much said it all.

If you put Peeps in the microwave, they get very big. Strangely, this is not the thrill you’d think it would be.

I have poker-playing clams. Better than Xanax are poker-playing clams.

Tea is the most comforting drink in the world. Especially peppermint tea on a cold night. With very small crispy cookies, because tea, unlike milk, does not lend itself to pigging out.

"Always Look On The Bright Side of Life." Genius song.

Great buttons are underrated as a mood lifter. I have a jacket with retro flowers buttons, and every time I look at it, I feel happy.

Bob has a new watch. It's big and black and has huge numbers and is also a barometer, a stop watch, and a compass. It even tells the altitude. Do you have any idea how tired I’m going to get of hearing what altitude we’re at?

Michael Lutin is the world’s best astrologer.

Oh, good, the Diva's Lament: "Whatever happened to my part? It was exciting at the start. Now we're halfway through Act 2, and I've had nothing yet to do. I've been offstage for far too long . . ." Every female character in a male-dominated story knows this song.

We have an alligator mascot for the road (my idea, of course) and when I realized that the figurine was genderless and our Moot is female, I glammed her up a little bit. Then I put her on the desk and looked at her for a couple of days and decided her hair was too long and trimmed it. Now I'm thinking it needs to be fuller, especially on the right. I don't spend this much time with my own hair, but by damn, Moot's gonna look good on tour.

Moot's also going to see the Puffy Shirt at the Smithsonian next week. Assuming I can find the Puffy Shirt at the Smithsonian.

My cousin Russ Parsons, the famous writer (why, yes, I am bragging) says that the Smith family cranberry recipe is one of the most-requested holiday recipes at the LA Times. I vaguely remember this dish, mostly because it was one of the few my family did not cover with gravy.

Potato chips are a vegetable, right? Just checking.

Sara and Tim Curry are doing the reprise of "The Song That Goes Like This." One of the great romantic ballads of our time, sung by two divas. Does it get any better? I don't think so.

When I was home for Christmas, I bent over to get something, and my shirt rode up in back and my mother said, “Why, Jennifer, that almost looks like you have a tattoo.” Eagle-Eyed Jo is seventy-nine but she can spot the top curl of an antenna at thirty paces. I said, “That is a tattoo, and what are you doing looking at my back, huh?” She said, “I’m your mother,” which makes no sense but it’s worked as a justification for anything for fifty-six years, so I let it slide. Then she said, “How is it that you get the tattoo and I’m the bad one?” I thought, “Because it’s my world, the rest of you are just local color,” but I didn’t say it out loud, I’m not that dumb. Then she said, “Well, now you have to show the family,” at which point my nephew Jacob, who had been trying to snicker quietly, gave up and snickered out loud. I said, “Let me think. No.” She said, “Well, then you have to show me,” and she’s my mother, so I did. Then to pay her back, I said, “When you get one there, it’s called a trailer trash license plate.” She said, “Jennifer!” so my work was done, but then my dad said to her, “Well, I guess if Jenny has one, you need to get one, too.” And I thought about taking my mother to Mother’s Tattoo and Piercing in Covington and saying, “Give her a nice red heart with a banner that says ‘Born to Vacuum in High Heels.’” But she said no. Another fantasy shot to hell.

Then my niece wrote my daughter and said, "It was the best Christmas ever."

I love the end of Spamalot. They sing "I'm Not Yet Wed," and everybody gets married. To perfect strangers. Kind of like a bad romance novel, except this is really good, what with the big "Find Your Grail" wedding number and the even bigger finish with the confetti--I had the BEST time at this show. You just leave it smiling all over the place. Bob practically skipped down Fifth Avenue afterward. Okay, he didn't, if you didn't know him you couldn't even tell he'd been there.

I might have skipped down Fifth Avenue, though. I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Okay, next week a real post, swear to God. In the meantime, always look on the bright side of life.

And if you ever get the chance to see Sara Ramirez in ANYTHING, go.

Mare 7: Eileen, Krissie, and Jenny, Together Again

Well, we're all here in New York, and after a late dinner with Meg at the White Horse where Eileen humiliated everybody by asking what kinds of Chardonnay they had--just have a beer, Eileen--we came back and worked on the plot of the Miss Fortunes and laughed pretty damn hard. There was that moment when Eileen said seriously, "Okay, so the three guys are chained naked on the mountaintop and then?" that will live in surreal memory (no, that's not going in the book), and the three of us trying to untangle and layer the supernatural element, the sexual element, and the community element so they echoed each other instead of confusing things, and about forty other things I can't repeat here because they were too lewd but also funny as hell, and now we're breaking for the night to start again tomorrow. We actually got quite a bit done, although to do it we had to reference Buffy and The Waltons and discuss the erotic significance of motor cycles, plus Eileen brought packets with maps and all her character stuff done, I brought the Mare character stuff and then realized I hadn't done Crash, so my homework was only half done, and Krissie hadn't done any of it. We were meant for each other.

Tomorrow, we get the plot lines down and figure out exactly what happens in the climax so that we can write our separate novellas all heading for the same ending. This is going to be SUCH a good book.

So I'm working, I'm really working. Honest.

Mare 8: Lots of Good Work

Well, we've been working our Triple Goddess butts off here and getting a lot done. We've worked out a starting structure, figured out a fantastic climax, had lunches with editors, and managed not to kill each other, although I think both Eileen and Krissie are tired of hearing, "When Bob and I do this . . . "

It's a very different process we're doing, but there are some similarities, mostly in the way I annoy them, too. Eileen and I had lunch here in the Village with Jen Enderlin, our fabulous editor (Krissie of the multiple publishers was off having lunch with a different editor), in a great little French bistro (and yes, I AM the luckiest woman in the world, don't think I don't know it) and Jen said she's going to market the book as a novel, not an anthology, which is exactly what it is since the stories are interwoven and interlinked. I am SO excited about this book, about the story and the way it's being written.

One thing I've learned from writing with Bob (Krissie and Eileen moan in the background) is that writing with somebody else forces you to move outside your comfort zone and try new things. And while Krissie and Eileen and I have much the same value systems, we have very different voices and story worlds. So this will be a book about three women who really are three different women because they're written by three different women, plus I'm going to have to accomodate my plotting to theirs, so it'll all be new. I'm jazzed.

Another way this is similar to the work I do with Bob is that we disagree, occasionally heatedly, but it's never about who has the most words or about ego, it's always about what's best for the book. Eileen and I were going round about structure, and she said, "If we do it that way, we'll lose readers." I didn't agree, but it's the kind of argument that's about the best way to tell the book, not about who gets her way. And Krissie the peacemaker says, "Let's try it both ways."

Which is funny because she's writing Lizzie, the peacemaker middle sister. Eileen is writing Dee, the caring, efficient, bossy older sister who mothers everybody (have you MET Eileen?). I'm writing the reckless, distracted, impulsive, erratic, really annoying younger sister. Funny that their characters are so reflective of their personalities and mine is nothing like me.

So tonight Eileen is going to see O'Neill because if you're Irish in New York and O'Neill is playing someplace you have to go. I'm staying in because if you're German in New York and O'Neill is playing someplace, you'd rather be dragged through a hedge backwards than go. And Krissie's staying in with me, so we're going to work on our homework (Eileen's is done already, of course, and made into packets) and then send out for pizza when Eileen gets home.

Really a lovely night in NYC. Nothing but good times ahead.

Mare 5: Characters, Sharing Of, Part 2

At 3:30 AM I finally finish a really bad Agnes scene, but at least it's finished, and then I read ahead to Bob's next scene and he's done the exact same things. And I turn to the e-mail computer to tell him it's his fault so he knows when he wakes up in the morning, and before I can hit send, I'm getting e-mails from him, which he's writing thinking I'll be getting them when I wake up.

So at 4 AM, Bob and I are arguing about what the hell happened that we got our signals crossed (except now I know it's my fault for not reading ahead first). And we have a phone interview to do at 11 this morning, so we really need to get to bed. But instead, we type at each other. We really need to get lives.

And of course, in the meantime, Mare languishes. And tomorrow I head for NYC where I'm not positive I'll have an e-mail connection. So possibly this was not the best time to do the 12 Days of Mare.

But at least here are the answers to the Mare questions that I'll be giving Eileen and Krissie:

Dark brown, almost black, with navy streaks in it, the kind you can't see until you're up close. Yes, really navy, she added them.


5'8", about 140

Favorite Food:
Pot stickers, trail mix

Favorite Music:
Working on this. Back to you later.

Favorite attire choices:
Vintage stuff. White poufy prom dress with the bottom eighteen inches of the crinoline cut off so people can see through the bottom of the skirt, worn with a black cardigan and black heart-shaped sunglasses with rose-colored lenses, black flats. Plaid school uniform skirt with white tank top that says "Mother's Tattoos," knee socks, Keds. Black capri pants with black flats and a Mickey Mouse baseball shirt (the kind that buttons up the front). Levis (regular cut) with white lace camisole and white chenille jacket made from her bedspread from when she was a little girl with a large Cinderella done in chenille that was the center medallion on the bedspread on the jacket back.

What their room looks like (something as a place setter, even, if you
don't know yet):
Since they move so much, she keeps every room the same. She's been buying up vintage curtains for years, so she just hangs them from the walls in every room she gets. Most of them are in blues and greens and lavenders, in velvets and silks, and a lot of them are worn and motheaten, but she hangs them in folds so you can't tell. Her room always looks like an underwater tent. She has a iron day bed with curlycues on the ends, and she has it covered with a bedspread she's had since she was a child and there was money, a beautiful stripped silk coverlet in gold and blue and lavender. Lots of gold and green and blue and lavender and black velvet, silk, and satin throw pillows she's found at Goodwill or thrift stores or made from curtains that were too worn to hang. Lots of them. A big cushy purple pillow on the floor in front of the window for Pywackt, so he can sleep in the sun during the day. At night, he sleeps on the daybed with her. The bedside table is more wrought iron, an old outdoor table she sanded the rust off of and painted lavender. Her lamp is pink glass and it has a gray silk shade edged with pink feathers. The rug on the floor is an old oriental, navy faded almost to gray. Holes in places. She pins pictures from magazines, posters, etc to the hangings on the wall, changing them out when she gets tired of them or they've completed whatever thought she hung up there to inspire. Her one extravagance is South American nichos of the Virgin of Juquila, little homemade shrines that she buys on eBay. She has six of them, including one big one that wiped out a week's salary. She calls her Biggie J and adds a flower (silk) to the shrine whenever she wants something really important.

She doesn't have a bureau, just stacks of old suitcases that look like freeform bureaus that she's collected over the years. Her favorite is a complete set of sixties pink luggage, but most of it is forties mid-sized suitcases in the yellow-brown color that was popular then. She has one big reading chair that she dragged home from Goodwill and patched over the years with pieces of curtain material so now it has a custom patchwork/crazy quilt look, all in those deep water colors, plus she adds anything else that catches her fancy now: weird buttons along the sides, scraps of lace and doilies. She learned to transfer photos to fabric, and she's now thinking of how she can put the family photos on the back, like a gallery. And last year she added a big footstool which is in the process of being recovered, too. She has books and notebooks and sketchbooks and CDs scattered all over, but her Mac laptop is always stowed carefully under her bedside table. Her iPod, a Christmas present from Dee and Lizzie three years ago, is always with her. And she lines her shoes up along the baseboards of whatever room she's in, so she can see them in all their glory, although her shoes are nothing compared to Lizzie's. Sometimes she goes into Lizzie's room just to stare at the glory that is Lizzie's shoes.

Idiosyncracies(besides the obvious)(bite nails? pick nose?):
Bites her upper lip when she's stressed
When she loses control of her emotions, things move, so she crosses her arms and hugs herself a lot, trying to keep everything in

Method of transport:
Walking. She walks everywhere because she needs to see everything. Mare really is about the journey, not the destination.

Sun Sign:
Scorpio with Virgo rising.

Tarot signifier card:
Queen of Swords

Political party:

Magazine subscriptions:
Can't. Too easy to track them down. But she buys The Week every week.

Favorite Book:
The Uninvited by Dorothy McCardle. After that, anything by Terry Pratchett.

Favorite TV Show:
Buffy reruns and Veronica Mars, although she has a real fondness for My Name is Earl.

Favorite Movie Genre:
Romantic Black Comedy. Fave: the fabulous Grosse Point Blank. Also loves A New Leaf. Prizzi's Honor. Thinks Mr and Mrs Smith was over-hyped.

Favorite Flowers:
Marigolds and Blue Hydrangeas

Faboo. Your mileage may differ. Jeez.

Movie star crush: As in, I"ll go see anything with . . .
Cary Grant, John Cusack (although Identity tried her loyalty sorely), Steve Buscemi, Wallace and Gromit, Cate Blanchett.

Pet, Familiar:
Pywackt, a cat who used to be something else until Lizzie sneezed at the zoo one day.

Creative outlet:
Collage. She collages her walls, she collages her chair, she collages her outfits, and now she's starting to collage old thrift store posters and paintings she's found. Tries hard not to raid Dee's art supplies, but sometimes she must.

"In a previous life, I was . . . ":
Morgan Le Fay. Only like, you know, good.

Favorite Muppet:
Kermit, although Animal holds a place dear in her heart.

Favorite Buffy character:
Okay, no, Spike, of course.

The thing she'd never do:

The thing she's always wanted to do:
Spend money like it was water. Clothes, fabric, books, art supplies, anything she wanted, just buy it, even though she knows she ends up with better stuff when she has to work for it and make it herself.

Childhood toy that's still in her room:
A stuffed green velvet frog with gold filigree patterns and a gold crown on its head. She kisses it nightly. Hope springs eternal.

Mare 6: I Heart NYC

Well, I'm in New York and can I just say this is the greatest place on earth? Thank you.

Spent the day with my brilliant beautiful daughter, Mollie, because it's her birthday, and we walked around and talked. And then we had omelets and talked. And then we walked and talked some more. And then we had coffee and raspberry chocolate cake and talked. And then we walked and talked back to the apartment where I'm staying and then we sat and talked some more. Truly a wonderful day. We got six hours in before she had to go back to her significant other who also wanted birthday time, and now I'm here getting ready to get my notes together for Krissie and Eileen tomorrow and maybe order a pizza.

In the meantime, the frog is a Christmas ornament from Hobby Lobby that I bought because I thought, "I'll need that someday;" the Girls in the Basement are never wrong. Will check into music selections. And that screaming you hear from the South is Bob because we're reconfiguring Agnes after only 20,000 words. Which is always what happens to me, but a new experience for him. Well, actually, it's the second time; it happened on DLD, too. He just e-mailed me and said, "We're off the outline already!" Yeah, what's your point?

Must go revel in being in New York for awhile and then work on Mare. Back later.


And now it's later. Bob keeps saying he's going to fix the plot of Agnes, so my plan is to leave him to it because he's going to do it anyway. Very singleminded, our Bob. Also this is Mare Week in NYC, Krissie is arriving tomorrow morning and Eileen tomorrow afternoon, so I'm just going to do Mare all week, although I'll end up brainstorming with Bob in e-mail while he obsesses on turning points. Tonight I got the Mare plot outlined (HA, like that will last) so that we can compare notes tomorrow. I've never collaborated with anybody but Bob before, so this should be interesting.

At least Krissie and Eileen won't try to write the history of the Gatling Gun. Although there may be paragraphs about shoes. An ENTIRELY different thing.