Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Latest Publishing Scandal

Like many people in the book business, I was absolutely appalled when I heard that Harper Collins was publishing a book by O.J. Simpson titled "If I Did It", a "hypothetical" account of how he might have committeed the Nicole Simpson Ron Goldman murders. If I did it? Are they kidding? A major disgrace, going for huge controversial sales over how a man killed his ex-wife and her lover - hypothetically of course.

Then yesterday, an interesting turn of events - Harper Collins pulled the book and said that it would not be sold. I read today that copies already out there will be recalled and destroyed. This is a fascinating move, because it's not just turning back and deciding not to publish a book. the book's already published, it's in a warehouse waiting to be distributed. the money has been spent. Recalling it is a major move at this juncture - but the entire book and publishing world is applauding it - thank God there is still some morality in this industry. Here's a bit from an article by Sara Nelson of Publishers Weekly on the matter:

"All this, I think, is good news for the publishing business, and for books in general: it proves that there are limits to what a publisher is willing to do to sell books; and it proves that people care about what those books promote or evoke. Never mind that booksellers, and publishers, for that matter, routinely make choices about what to sell and publish—nobody is required to endorse everything, after all—the decision is good public relations. While it could be argued that pulling the book because of public pressure is just a reverse sort of pandering—"Give the people only what they already want" turned "Don't give them anything they don't want"—it also just might help reverse the disturbingly prevalent opinion that publishers, especially big publishers, are soulless gatekeepers only out for the money. "The people spoke and shunned the book," one executive said. "That means that books matter."

It used to be that publishing declared its morality, its values, its world view by the books it chose to publish. Now, it seems, the business declares itself by what it refuses to publish.

I admit it's a weird turnaround. But, hey, I'll take it."

Glad this got nipped in the bud before it went any further.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes when you least expect it, life hands you a blueberry martini

I went to Boston this weekend to visit Drapo, and as always I had a really awesome time. First I got to spend Saturday shopping on Newbury Street and in and around Copley Place. Boston couldn't be more beautiful in the fall, with the leaves all falling in different colors, it's crisp and cool under the autumn blue sky. Drapo and I were both tired and sort of under the weather by Saturday evening, so we thought we'd make it a quiet night - dinner and a movie. It started out that way - dinner and then "Borat" which of course was as funny as everybody says it is.

So after the movie, we shrug and say, "Oh, let's have one more drink." So Drapo leads us to a rather swanky hotel just off Boston Common where the lounge is low key and perfect for hanging out. He's got beer and I've got wine, but soon I notice a familiar bottle and the bartender wants to know what I'm looking at. I say I'm admiring the Icelandic vodka, and it turns out that Frank (the bartender) is a fan. He says he'll whip me up a great cocktail, and soon there's a blueberry martini in front of me - Icelandic vodka and Finnish blueberry liquor. Yum.

So now I'm drinking this fabulous martini and somehow Drapo and I start talking to this pretty drunk guy next to us named Randal. He was fairly amusing and fascinating, and there's lots of funny comments and conversation. Drapo and I are still trying to figure out which one of us he was interested in. We also think he may have wanted both of us! Room 234? Was that it Drapo?

We closed down the hotel bar, and were sent on our merry way. In the lobby of the hotel, somehow I start talking to a group of friends who were also drinking at the hotel bar, and they invite Drapo and I to join them for more martinis. So off we go, into the north end, where we are drinking black and blue martinis until two a.m. This one guy in the group, Jason was quite a character, and had us laughing the entire time with his crazy antics.

The next morning Drapo and I didn't move around much - we got ourselves up and out for coffee, and that was enough. But the night of blueberry martinis was one of the most fun I've had this year, and I'm so glad that the night took an unexpected turn. Thanks again for the fun weekend Drapo!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thought You Guys Would Like This

I'm sorry that I've been so lazy about posting lately, but I've been a little busy. As you can see from my last post, I'm writing a novel all in one month, working on a picture book manuscript as a side project, working on short stories and reading a lot for my writing class, as well as working and living a fabulous life. Travel, friends, you know. But today, for your enjoyment, here's a photo of Catherline, myself, Leanne and...Mozart! We took this photo in Vienna, and look carefully at Mozart: the best part of this photo is the pack of Marlboros that are sticking out of his pocket. Leanne said to him, "Mozart smoked?" and without missing a beat the guy smiled and said, "Yes." Haha.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Kinda Marathon

Some of you may have watched the New York City marathon yesterday. I did not. I think that running 26 miles is utter insanity. Three or four or even five is okay. 26 is nuts. But, since November is a marathony kind of month, I found my own to participate in.

Drapo sent me a link to this - National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words (a mini novel, if you will) in 30 days, during the month of November. So you sign up, track your progress, and so on. It's not supposed to be a masterpiece, it's more about finding out that you can do it. Isn't that why everybody runs the marathon? To know they can do it? Yup, that's what I'm doing.

So I've written 7200 words so far - on par for the month. We'll see how the rest of it goes, and if you want to check out my profile and an excerpt, click here:


Wish me luck!