Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pandalerium, indeed

Now we get to name the pandas??!!!
I adore #12,

but #13 is pretty funny showing his booty to the camera.

Must think of panda names, panda names...

BTW getting tons of work done on my book. heh heh

Monday, January 29, 2007

Panda Therapy

I was feeling anxious about making a tough decision when I saw photos of the baby pandas. They're so freaking cute I felt cheered up immediately.

Tough decision? Putting book #1 aside to focus on book #2. I've been going around about this decision for months. It's difficult to be sure that I'm not just stopping because I'm tired of book #1 in the final stages. No, I'm sure that's not it - I gave it a nice long break and even had a fresh angle that would have improved some trouble spots. I honestly think it might just be my 'learning' book. It's painful to not do anything with it but file it away, but I believe my time will be better spent moving book #2 forward. Book #2 has a fresher angle, is better organized and tighter (thanks to me learning the hard way) and I think it has a better chance of hitting the mark I'm aiming for and being something I'm proud to have my name on instead of hiding behind Chiete Nickerson.

So there it is. Next deadline: March 30 - conference in MA and a chance to pitch the book to an agent. Time to get cracking.

Oh, and I also need to lose 15 lbs and get in shape to run a 1/2 marathon by the end of April.

Feeling anxious, must go look at pandas,... ahhhhhh. : )

Friday, January 26, 2007

As bad as it looks

See more Mt-Washington photos in my flickr set. Don't worry - there are only 10 this time! I was too cold and miserable to snap lots of photos.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

On the plus side, I didn't need my avalanche kit

Mt. Washington was insanely cold, even for Mt. Washington: -70 with wind chill. The wind was 100 mph with 135 mph gusts. I made it as far as Harvard Cabin, which involved slugging uphill for 1 1/2 hours wearing a 5 lb boot on each foot plus layers of high-tech winter gear. I had a 37 lb backpack on for about 100 ft until E's friend "Speedy" took it to help pick up our pace a little. It was still pretty miserable. Even when we got to the cabin to stop, I had been working so hard I started sweating, which was BAD because then I was wet and then I got cold and started shivering. It took me another hour sitting in front of the fire in the cabin with 2 layers of down coats on to get warm. Brutal.
So, all was not well. E and his friend went climbing further and picked me up on their way back. I made it back down and felt better after the Chinese buffet and a couple of margaritas.
Sunday we set out to go climbing again, but I bailed at the last minute and spent the day reading "Dating Dead Men." Coincidentally, E is being exceptionally nice to me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Graphic and disturbing? Sounds like a good read

Yesterday was Anne Bronte's birthday. I only discovered this because today, Fits told me about listening to the daily trivia and poem on Writer's Almanac.

From yesterday's Writer's Almanac:

"It's the birthday of Anne Brontë, (books by this author) born in Yorkshire (1820). Anne Brontë has been remembered primarily as the third Brontë sister. She was meek and more religious-minded than Charlotte or Emily, and little is known about her life compared to the lives of her sisters. But she was a writer, just as they were. Her first novel was Agnes Grey (1847), based on her experience as a governess. It didn't get much attention, but her second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), was an immediate success. The heroine, Helen Huntingdon, leaves her husband to protect their young son from his influence. She supports herself and her son by painting while living in hiding. In doing so, she violates social conventions and English law. At the time, a married woman had no independent legal existence apart from her husband.

In the second printing of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë responded to critics who said her portrayal of the husband was graphic and disturbing. She wrote, "Is it better to reveal the snares and pitfalls of life to the young and thoughtless traveller, or to cover them with branches and flowers? O Reader! if there were less of this delicate concealment of facts — this whispering "Peace, peace," when there is no peace, there would be less of sin and misery to the young of both sexes who are left to wring their bitter knowledge from experience."

Why haven't I read this book yet?

I am working on my synopsis and mustering the courage to boldly go where E insists we go ice climbing this weekend: Mount Washington. Hopefully between his ability and my ineptness we will make it to the top. O Reader! wish me luck.

me: "when I called the equipment rental guy for my viper axes and avalanche kit (!) he asked where we were going, and when I told him he said 'WHOA!'"
E: "he's just jealous"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Popularity Contest

From the NYT Book section : a contest for an as-yet unpublished book that will be voted on over the Internet. Winner gets published. Seems a little desperate. Talk about a long shot. Hmm, maybe I'll give it a second look....

Current book status: flailing between fixing up and sending out book #1 or scrapping book #1 and focusing on book #2. Every time I decide to just fix #1 up so I can move on, I feel overwhelmed. Today is the day - do or die. Note that I am up at 5 a.m. for some unknown reason.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tart by Jody Gehrman

Just finished reading Tart by Jody Gehrman. If you like chick lit, I recommend it. The main character is quirky and the writing is quick and funny. There are a couple of predictable pieces you need to ignore: the hot motorcycle-riding surfer guy and the classic misunderstanding, but otherwise, it's and original, light, fun read.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sounds good to me

I didn't set any specific 2007 resolutions because I have a lot going on and I'm extremely happy with my life, so I'd like to keep moving forward with the freelancing, book writing, and increased sports and leisure. Last year had enough change and upheaval for me.

I asked E what his resolutions are. He told me without missing a beat:
"Laugh more and eat more ice cream."

Can't beat that.

: )

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Top chick lit books

I still have a hard time describing 'chick lit' to people who ask. I do not want to ditch the CL tag and use 'women's fiction' because to me, 'women's fiction' is a depressing tale of death, abuse and woe. Prove me wrong by recommending something that breaks the mold!

Trashionista listed their top 10 chick lit, and I haven't even read everything on the list. Of the ones I have read, I didn't love them all...

10-Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
Never read it, but loved the TV show. It's on my TBR list.

9-Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell
Never read it, never heard of it.

8-The Nanny Diariesby Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin

I'm not into the whole mom-lit thing, so I'm not sure this would be for me. Not on my TBR pile.

7-The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Also never read this one - I'm beginning to wonder if I know ANYTHING about chick lit. I did enjoy the movie.

6-High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Finally something I've read. Love Nick Hornby, but is this chick lit?

5-Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

I've only read 2 Jennifer Crusie books: Bet Me and ummm, something else. Neither are on my favorites list, but "Don't Look Down" is on my TBR pile.

4-In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

The Only J. Weiner book I've read is Good In Bed. It was extremely hyped by the time I read it and I didn't love it. sorry.

3-The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I thought the first book was called Confessions of a Shopaholic--? I did read it and enjoy it, but I preferred "Can You keep a Secret" by Sophie Kinsella.

2 Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes

Finally, one I agree with. Yes!

1-Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

I agree - v. v. funny. Definitely my #1

So - what would I add to my 'best chick lit' list?
The Girlfriend Curse and the Accidental Virgin by Valerie Frankel
Tales of A Drama Queen, Hand Me Down and True Lies of a Drama Queen by Lee Nichols
I also liked Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin.