Notes from a Drama Queen


Thursday, July 26, 2007

My darlings! I'm here in New York, sharing an apartment with Jenny Crusie and Lani Diane Rich and having an absolutely marvelous, magic time. We've been hashing out Dogs and Goddesses ( and playing with out Macs, and talking talking talking. I went for lunch with my agents first, and we thought deep thoughts, and then back to apartment where I met Lani in person for the first time, and she's as fabulous as Jenny. Then off to dinner.
The thing is, New York restaurants are noisy. We ate at a fabulous little place called Bus Stop Cafe, and I couldn't quite hear the waitress. It sounded as if she was extolling the pleasures of the Seafood planner, which had scallops, shrimp and salmon.
Sounded good to me -- I love fresh seafood. So Jenny got her plate of roast chicken and mashed potatoes, Lani chose scallops and shrimp, and my plate arrived without a trace of carb on it (I almost mugged Jenny for her potatoes). And amidst the shrimp and scallops were white pockets of something, which I really hoped were fingerling potatoes but instead were something pale and rubbery. I realized to my horror it was squid, so decided to go for the red frizzly lettuce. Uh, no. Tenatacles! Tiny little red tentacles littering my plate. Oh, the horror, oh the humanity!
I tried to get Lani and Jenny to eat them but they politely declined, and I drowned my sorrows with blueberry pie before we headed back to the swelteringly hot apartment (Jenny had turned off the AC and I hadn't even realized they had any! The woman will die.).
So we started talking (the opening is always "so, Mesopotamia" and the closing is always "I gotta pee."
So we played with Mesopotamia for a while, with color coded index cards and thought great thoughts, and I fell sound asleep while Jenny and Lani just kept on talking. At one time I surfaced and said "who's Dennis?" since I didn't remember a Dennis in Dogs and Goddesses, but they just told me to go back to sleep. Which I did, with Jenny hogging eight pillows and Lani and me on our separate fold-out sofas and nary a pillow in sight.
This morning we headed off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mesopotamia, of course) and had lunch with the divine Dale Burg with her tales of seducing famous actors (plus two mega famous thriller writers but I don't drop names -- no, she didn't seduce them, we had lunch at the Met cafeteria with them) and then headed off for the Mesopotamian gallery. Great bas reliefs. Trust me, there's nothing more exciting than bas-reliefs if you're writing about Mesopotamian goddesses (and their dogs).
Then off to the Japanese section (of course) and then the most important part of the day -- shopping! Kimono wrapping paper, Mt. Fuji note cards, a Great Wave silk scarf for my mother on her 93rd birthday with the cheerful thought that I'll get it when she shuffles off this mortal coil (though maybe I'll be tactful enough not to mention my Evil Plan). I mean, she'll probably live to 120 but it's a great scarf and worth waiting for.
Then fabulous pizza at Pizza Fresca on 20th Street (a quatro formaggio pizza to die for and a delicious red wine ), conversation with Jennifer Enderlin, and then back to the apartment to discuss strategy. Now Jenny's disappeared and they're going to want to talk Dogs and Goddesses till three in the morning and I'll fall asleep again and probably pop my head up and say "Dennis?" at an inappropriate time.
But at least there were no tentacles today. So life is good.

Back from the Great Beyond

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My darlings! I know you thought I'd been eaten by a tarantula, but here I am and promise to check in on a regular basis. Life has been insane, as always, but here are a few random thoughts.
1. Writing is glorious and publishing sucks. Some editors are divine, some are aptly named Bitch Queen of the Eastern Seaboard. Life, however, is too short to pay attention to slights and insults, and I Shall Rise Above It All.
2. The RWA conference is a zoo, a crazy time, and loads of fun if you approach it with the right attitude. Full of beautiful young women (Roxanne St. Clair, Christie Ridgway, JR Ward and Lisa Kleypas among many others) and gorgeous slightly older women (Carol Prescott, Kathleen Eagle, Curtiss Ann Matlock and a dozen others). Then there are the old bats like me, but at least we're colorful.
3. If it's not fun, why do it? Words of wisdom from Ben and Jerry. The thing is, there are lots of things that we have to do anyway. The trick is, make it fun.
4. Macs are better than PCs. My daughter won't speak to me since I've turned my back on PCs, but I've fallen deeply in love with my brand new Macbook Pro (named Lagoud after my late, darling baby brother Dougal who was a Mac addict and technician). Lagoud is sleek, fast, cheery and very very smart.
5. Summer sucks in Vermont when it's cold and rainy. I can only take joy in the fact that the summer people with too much money who are busy buying up land around our lake and putting up McMansions are having a miserable time as well.
6. I'll write till I die. No matter how stinking the business is, no matter how many chances are missed, no matter how many works of astounding brilliance are lost in the vast wasteland of too many books, I'll still write. No matter how many people I innocently manage to piss off.
7. Reno, the yakuza punk samurai, is the hardest hero I've ever written. And I'm giving him a virgin! Jeesh, why not make it a little easy on myself.
8. Oh, and according to the posts on Smart Bitches, even with a quarter yard of quilt fabric tied around my forehead I'm still "lovely." Maybe I fit in the Kathleen Eagle category after all.

This is my crazy summer. I have to write 350 pages by September 1st, and I'm travelling. Just back from Dallas, and next week I go down to NYC to play with Lani Diane Rich and Jenny Crusie. We're going to raise hell at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mesopotamian area, natch) and drink mojitos (whatever they are) and I'm going to drag everyone to Kinokuniya (the Japanese book store). I promise updates.

And then Jenny and I go to New Zealand and Australia, where I expect to see beautiful men and great fabric (I don't know which excites me more) and basically bring the former British Empire to its knees. Since I'm taking Lagoud with me you'll hear more from the road. Or the bush. Or wherever.

In the meantime, Reno and I are wrestling, and I only wish he was real and I was thirty years younger. Sigh. In the meantime at least I get to enjoy him vicariously.

Next week I'll beguile you with tales of New York City. We're going to have a blast!