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Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Tribute to a Peer

This is a little off my usual blog. I was one of the many women who was devastated when Princess Diana was killed. She was my age, born in the same year, we shared many of the same likes though we led very different lives. This weekend is the anniversary of her death. What I want to remember is all the good that she brought to the world.

She brought landmines into the media. Slowly it helped to bring about the removal of landmines from many countries. She shook hands and hugged AIDS patients. I think this was healing on many levels. It was beautiful. She helped people that we never knew about quietly and privately. She raised her boys to do the same.

I look back at that time and think of all the good she did and that the media only focused on her dress or hair. Its worse now. People care more about Reality TV then reality. They care about reality stars and not real people who are special and amazing.

George Clooney just won an award tonight for all the good work he did, and he deserves it but I doubt it will be the focus of the media or Twitter. It will be about his jokes or what he wore. Or the bit he did at the beginning of the show.

I learned from my parents to always give and to care about my fellow human beings. I learned from Diana the dangers of fame and how that can over whelm you and all the good that you can bring to a hurting world. I think when people are in such trouble we should re-learn how to care.

Next week I will be back to my writing and what is happening with it, but I felt compelled to say this.

Give to someone in need. It will make you feel better as well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waiting period

One thing people don't tell you about the press and promotion of a book, not to mention the money is how long you have to wait for everything. So I sit in a period of waiting and I am not the most patient of people. This might shock my co-workers in my customer service job because I am very patient with our customers. In reality I am a normal American I want instant gratification.

But no, I am waiting. Waiting for the first quarterly report on sales. Waiting for a review. Waiting for the reimbursement for my first book signing. Waiting to hear about my next book signing. A lot of waiting and not much patience.

So what are you doing during this period of waiting you may ask?
Thanks for asking.( I have to be silly or I might cry.)

I am writing of course. I am working on my next novel and some short stories. I also have some other ideas I am feeling out. So I keep my creative side nice and busy, thanks.

I am reading of course one of my favorite pastimes. I just finished, Agatha Christie's Murder in Mesopotamia. I am reading The Jane Austen Book Club. And last but not least Eat, Pray, Love.
I have always loved Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers I have a weakness for English Murder Mysteries written in the 20's through the 50's. They are puzzles and I love a mind puzzle.

I love Jane Austen, I have read her whole lexicon and loved it. I saw the movie The Jane Austen Book Club and loved it. So when I found the book a bit worse for wear at a book sale I had to get it. So far so good its different but very interesting and I am enjoying it. I am about halfway through it.

I hadn't heard of Eat, Pray, Love till it became a movie. I don't really look to see who is on the best seller list I buy books by my instincts so I didn't know about it at all. I started to read about it on the Internet and it sounded fascinating to me. I have been on a spiritual search since I was in college. So looking for the spirit with in is quite a draw for me. So I bought the book and saw the movie.

There were several things in college that drew me to the spirit. I went to a spiritual center near school as a lark with a friend and found it fascinating. I was taking comparative religions in school because I was studying Anthropology so I really wanted to find about all spiritual practices. I come from a form of Judaism that is really open to exploring all forms of spirit so I had no fear only open eyed interest. The reading was spot on and the books in the shop were fascinating I think I bought about four of them.

The second thing that happened at that time that I thought was just cool but now I realize was truly an honor as well as a really big deal. One of my classes was Peoples Of India. I was in an advanced class in my second year because I adored the professor. He was a wonderful teacher full of enthusiasm and he love to help students in any way possible. In fact he sponsored our Anthropology club. He was a cute little man with gray hair, very attractive with a wonderful voice. He was funny and open . He loved to teach and love to have exchanges with his students. He had been traveling in India for years and knew everyone.

One day we were told one of our guest lecturers was going to be the Dali lama. Yes, himself. We were all thrilled he had brought several very famous experts to our class but we were never given instructions on how to act with them before. I think we were all nervous. He came in with his brother who acted as his translator. He was wonderful, funny, open and loved to hear our questions and was very much into open discussion. We stayed pass our time we were all impressed with how down to earth he was since he was a spiritual leader of a whole religion. When he left we couldn't stop chattering about him. One thing was that he spoke wonderful English and really didn't need a translator but that we were glad his brother came because he was as sweet and funny as his famous brother.

That was it, no great spiritual encounter it was an educational encounter about his people in Tibet and how his religion developed. So though I was very, very impressed with him I never connected it to my own spiritual quest till much later. About ten years later I was taking an extension course in UCLA and he came to promote saving Tibet. I didn't go because I couldn't afford it, I was a starving student, but I had already met him with only 15 other people, spoke one on one with him got to shake his hand so I knew that I was ahead of the game. This was to be a massive audience with thousands of people and the only view of his holiness would be from the back of the theater. One of the girls from my class went and came back to class with a black eye. Her story was that she was overwhelmed with his presence and swooned and hit her eye on the corner of chair. I realized then I was fortunate, I met him under the best of circumstances and it was a memory I will always cherish.

The other part of the book and the movie I loved was Italy. I have always loved movies with Italy I am very drawn to them. Summertime with Katherine Hepburn, Enchanted April, with an all star British cast and several others. I am also drawn to travel, I have been a traveler and seeker all my life. So I really enjoyed that part of the movie. I always wanted to go to Italy...maybe someday.

Well that's it for today.
(I think that is enough don't you? quite the ramble)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

pictures from the event

Here are some pictures from my signing. The lady behind me is my Mom. She sat back there very proud of her kid because she knew I overcame shyness to do this kind of thing. My mother still suffers from innate shyness so she mostly watched and was my support system. I had a lot of support that day. It was really nice. My relatives came, my friends came, but I was pretty proud that I had a few strangers come up and chat.

Two people I didn't know bought the book and I was really proud that it had happened. The point of the book signing is to interest new people to my writing and I did! I had three strangers other then the two that bought the book. One was a lookiloo, one was trying to sell me bookmarks and one just wanted to rest and chatted to one of my relatives. That was ok, maybe they will remember how nice we all were and they will buy the book later. At least I am hoping that will happen.

At the table beside my Mom was a lot of snacks for my guests. They were really good, I had one of each and My Mom had one too. We were both too nervous before we left to really eat so we were both hungry. We were starved after so we went to lunch together to celebrate my first successful book signing:)

I have to admit I was really a nervous wreck that day. First after weeks of preparation I was terrified no one would show. Then I was terrified no one would buy the book.
Then I was scared that no one would like it. All my fears were groundless but that doesn't stop them from being very, very real.

One question that kept coming up was what was next. I think I confused people with my answer. This is not shocking because it confuses my family but I have always worked this way because I get easily bored. I am working on three books. Yes, I said three.

I don't work them all at once. They are all in different stages and they are all in different genres. So there is no way to get confused and I work best this way. One book is being loaded in the computer, I write onto pads, in my horribly scribbley handwriting that only I can read. One is going into second draft and the third I just started. I like them all so I may do any one of them as my next book. I have no idea yet.

Well I am working on my next book signing, hopefully it will go smoother and my book launch. This weekend I just tried to relax and recover from last weekend. So I will be a diligent little worker bee and get cracking on the next terror raising event.

Till then:)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Project Book Signing Complete

Well I had my signing yesterday afternoon. I was really excited and nervous. A friend of mine came over to do my make up and hair. ( I had my own stylist :) I had picked up my Mom and she watched as we ran around getting ready, she was very entertained. The three of us left for the book signing about 11a.m. and we were due at the store at 1130a.m. The book signing was set to be at 12p.m.

Its a beautiful Barnes and Noble it has two stories. It has a look of Europe about it. I set up on the second floor and waited. They supplied nibbles and we ate a couple mostly because we were nervous and hadn't had anything to eat. I had a tiny brownie. It was very good.

We waited for a bit before people started to come. It started as a dribble but then it got wonderfully busy. Friends, family. associates from work, old friends and new acquaintances. They all came and sat and chatted it was great!

I really want to thank everyone for coming, I know that a lot of you made special trips to come and I really appreciated the support.

When it was all over, I looked at my cell and it was 216p.m. Time to find out the results. I sold 14 books. I thought I didn't do too well but when I went down stairs so they could run the official tally for me it seems that it was a very good run. Most authors only sell three to five books. I was stunned! They said I had done so well they want me to sign up for the next step which is a discussion and book signing at one of their stores. Wow! I was really excited and ran to tell my Mom who was also very excited.

We went out to a late lunch, early dinner to celebrate it.

Project Book Signing was a success!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

6 days away...

Well six days till my book signing. I am so nervous. My biggest fear is that no one will come. It will be just my mother and I all alone. I do know people are suppose to come but I am soooo nervous about it. I think I know what I am going to wear at last. That was a big hurdle.

Yesterday I got a tour of the store and decided where I would have my book signing. It will be on the upper story in fiction. It a nice sunny corner and I think its the perfect place for it.

We also discussed my next book. I am working on two and the manager who was showing me around seemed to think one would be more well received. One is a historical drama and the other is teen adventure/fantasy story. Which do you like better?

On the bad side the library has decided not to do a book group featuring Fantasy Time Inc. I am very disappointed but not surprised because of the change of climate with the city funding.

Well I hope to see you at my signing Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Calabasas between 12p to 2p.

Till next time:)