Monthly Archives: October 2011

Why I’m PC No More–And I Don’t Mean Computers!

Happy Halloween!

As we prepare for this evening’s festivities, be it helping our kids dress in costume, donning our own costumes for ghoulish fun, or just passing out candy to others, I wanted to share a quick story. My daughter and I recently spent the weekend in New York City with some other moms and daughters. It was a whirlwind three days filled with sightseeing, a show, and even a limo ride. I feel confident the girls and their moms will never forget our time together.

One of the most memorable details about the trip is probably the most politically incorrect. While waiting for a table at Serendipity 3 (a staggering two hours), our ragtag group walked to Dylan’s Candy Bar and let the girls look around. Over an hour later after visiting three floors of candy, we walked back to check on our table (still not ready). One of the adults had purchased one of my favorite candies for the girls and passed them out on the walk back. I’d seen them at the store, remembered the hours of fun my sister and I had had with them when I was little, and still didn’t buy them.

Luckily, our friend didn’t have my ‘does this send the right message’ concerns and bought a pack of candy cigarettes for each of the girls. Over the course of the next two days, we laughed and snapped pictures and had more fun with those candy cigarettes than I ever dreamed possible. No, they’re not gum anymore and they don’t puff out sugar, but they’re made with chocolate and look very real (just ask our husbands who received an alarming number of picture texts featuring their eleven-year old daughters smoking).

Did “smoking” candy cigarettes teach our daughters to smoke? No, from the moment they cracked open their boxes they knew just what to do. Will they seek out real cigarettes because they remind them of the fun we had in NYC? Probably not, because real cigarettes taste nothing like chocolate (thank heavens). But we sure had fun pretending.

I learned an important lesson that day, a lesson that is celebrated each and every year on Halloween. No matter how politically incorrect—fun, imagination and candy cigarettes will never go out of style. Be safe!

The Best Costumes Are the Homemade Ones

Halloween is Monday and, once again, my daughter has waited until the last possible minute to decide if she is going trick-or-treating.  (By the way, is 13 too cool for going door-to-door demanding candy?)  And then there’s the even greater dilemma, if she does go, what is she going dressed as? Oh, the drama.

I’m putting my foot down this year.  If she goes out trick-or-treating, she has to come up with her own costume and it will NOT involve fighting the crowds at the local craft or costume stores this weekend.  Seriously, she can just do what we all did as kids, come up with a costume made of items we already have in the house.

If I wore one of those ready made costumes as a child, I don’t remember it.  There was no Disney store to get the perfect princess costume from.  Not to mention Tigger or Pooh or even one of the 101 Dalmatians. Instead, we wore a sheet and went as a ghost.  I remember one year donning my mother’s long blond wig over the sheet, topping it with a pair of glasses.  Presto, I was Cousin It from the Addam’s Family!  Another year, my friend Kim and I squished ourselves into one of her dad’s extra-large t-shirts and we were a two headed man.  Good times. 🙂

As an adult, I continued to make my own costumes.  In college, my friends and I went as a box of crayons—the costumes all lovingly crafted by me.   Yes, I was supposed to be in Geology Lab, but a Halloween frat party only comes once a year, you know?  After all, the rocks had been around for eons, they’d still be there after Halloween. Alas, we didn’t win the prize for best costume.  We were way too over dressed for that.

After college, a co-worker and I went to our boss’s Halloween party as a pair of blind dates.  A homemade costume consisting of sunglasses, a brown garbage bag and a dowel painted white and red—genius, right?  Apparently not, because we lost to a group who came dressed as the Fruit of the Loom guys—in rented costumes no less! Shame on them! (Disclaimer:  We were not each others date!  We are both straight and married with children. You’re welcome, Mary.)

One year, my siblings and I went to a rock and roll themed Halloween party as DEVO.  Red flower pots on our heads and black jump suits.  Stuff found in the garage.  I don’t remember if we won a prize, but I do recall the hostess dressed as a fabulous Tina Turner.

So this year, my little lovely can go as a mummy or a hobo.  (She actually likes the hobo theme, but she’s considering putting a 21st Century spin on it and going as a character from Occupy Wall Street. :))   I found a list of the top ten easiest costumes to make and both ghost and hobo were on it.  So was a bed bug.  Hmm.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes?  Casey Anthony and Charlie Sheen are popular this year.  Any takers?

Like watching a train wreck…

Ever have one of those days when you look back and think… “Nope, that wasn’t the plan…”  ??

Yeah, well, yesterday was one of those for me.   And why this is going to be short, today.  But it got me thinking…as much as I hate that in real life, it’s what I look for in books.  I mean, who wants to read something where everything goes easy and all is hunky dory?  How boring, right?

We want conflict…we want drama…we want everything to fall apart and for the characters to lose hope temporarily, so that there is somewhere for them to go.  Personally, it’s hard for me to give my characters conflict, because I want them to be happy, but I know I have to throw boulders at them for them to grow.

So what are some of your favorite story conflicts in books you’ve read?  Share some of your favorite scenes!

One of mine is an oldie.  In IF TOMORROW COMES by Sidney Sheldon (1985) the mc is framed and in one morning an ordinary happy newly engaged woman, is sent to prison and ends up learning a life of grifting and thievery to fight back against the people who framed her.

 

What’s your number?

There’s a movie out called What’s Your Number? It’s a romantic comedy about a woman in search of love who reads a magazine article that claims 96% of women with over 20 lovers are unlikely to ever find true love/marriage partner.  The heroine freaks out and decides she’d better search back through her “twenty” in order to find the one she missed!

As I saw the ad for this movie, the similarities between it and my current release struck me.  My heroine is decidedly single and wants no part of love and commitment.  She loves men and she loves the physical connection she enjoys with them.  Twenty?  Thirty?  Why should the number even matter when she’s not looking for Mr. Right? 

And is this number different for men than it is for women?  Back in the day when my parents married, a woman had one–her husband–while men had as many as it took for them to “settle down.”  These days young women seem to play the field as hard as any man–my heroine included.  Is this a good thing?  A bad thing?  Is it irrelevant?

Being an independent woman who married later in life (for the second time), I’ve had more than one and it occurs to me that while some things are changing, some things remain the same.  Women still bear the children.  There are consequences to pay should the play go foul.  But should this impact their number?  With all our technological advances in medicine and prevention, should we alter our behavior?

What do you think?

If You Could Get Away With It…

Several weeks ago I was looking through Digg.  It’s a website Danny Brown recommends for finding ideas when writing blog posts. Digg has some interesting news on its site and you can look to see what’s the most popular and incorporate the idea into your blog. One of the first articles I stumbled upon was written by someone who found an intriguing question on Twitter.  It read, “What would you do if you could get away with it?”  The article went on to say that there were hundreds of tweets, many of which spoke of killing people.  I went into Twitter and read some of them and indeed the author was correct.  People wanted to kill their spouses or their bosses or people who had done them wrong, others wanted to rob a bank.  The answers were all over the map.

I didn’t use it for my blog but it gave me the idea for the book I am now writing.  And it’s a great question to ask friends and family or at parties or work.  It made me think .  What would “I” do if I could get away with it?  No one would find out what I did and there would be no ramifications for my actions.  I’d have carte blanche to do whatever I wanted.

I know money doesn’t buy happiness but I thought if I could somehow find out the numbers selected for the California lottery and purchase the winning ticket, I’d do it.  Of course, that’s absolutely ludicrous, because on the night of the lottery, buying lottery tickets is suspended an hour or so before the numbers are selected.  Just saying…

I mean, with no money worries, my life and my family’s life would be very, very different.  It wouldn’t buy me love.  I already have that.  It wouldn’t buy me fame.  I never wanted it.  It might help me publish one of my books, but if it’s a boring book, all the money in the world isn’t going to make anyone purchase it.

But think of the dollars I could give to charity.  And my kids could go to the best colleges.  And I could buy my husband a huge fishing boat.  And I’d get another horse.  Just saying…


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