Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

It's my first Christmas Eve in NYC and although it's shaping up to be snowless, the fact that I had to come home and put on a heavier jacket today before going for a walk in Riverside Park with my friend Patrick made me quite happy. I remember going to the beach in L.A. on Christmas one year and thinking it was just....wrong.

My friend Amy arrives at 6AM tomorrow morning and will be here for the week, which will be great -- especially since I handed in both Fairy Tale #2 and a book that I ghostwrote which means that I am DONE for the year. And what a year it's been:

1) I moved from LA to NYC.

2) I wrote 2 books and 100 pages of a third.

3) I went from being a blonde to a brunette.

So much more, but I think the sugar from the apple muffins I made in honor of Amy's arrival is starting to jack me up, making my self-diagnosed Adult Onset ADD flare up so I'll stop there.

The pic above is of me and my friend Christian Moerk at a party held at the NY Public Library a few weeks ago. Like me, Christian was also a film exec in a past life and we met around the time we both suffered momentary lapses of sanity and left our expense account existences to become struggling writers. Now he's got this huge cult following in Denmark, which is where he's from -- complete with TELEVISION COMMERCIALS PROMOTING HIS BOOK AND EVERYTHING. I had to put that in caps because I just love the idea that he's getting emails from Danish women who want to date him even though he lives in Brooklyn. Anyway, as far as I know there will be no Cindy Ella commercials coming to a network near you, but you can -- and should -- buy it when it comes out on February 7th. (You do realize that I'm obligated to work that into every post)

I wish you all (I don't even know why I'm writing "all" -- I don't even think I have one, let alone, many readers...) very happy holidays and a new year filled with not only good things but also stuff that makes you uncomfortable and forces you to grow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Tis The Season...For CINDY ELLA To Get Ready To Hit The Shelves!

This afternoon as I was working on implementing my lovely and wonderful agent Kate's insightful comments and changes on As-Yet-Untitled-Fairy-Tale-Number-2, the phone rang and it was my lovely and wonderful editor Jen with the uber exciting news that she was holding a copy of CINDY ELLA. Not the galley, but the actual book -- the one that will be in bookstores on February 7th -- the one that you MUST buy for every teen girl you know -- the one that is starting to get tons of great reviews (Okay, so far there's only been two. But they've both been great, so it's only a half-lie.)

Anyway, she said she'd messenger it over, but I haven't received it yet which might have to do with the fact that I haven't yet given the staff at my apartment building their holiday bonuses due to the fact that a) I've been trying to finish up Fairy Tale Number 2 by the end of this week so that I can actually enjoy my visit with my best friend Amy who's coming to visit for Xmas next week rather than have it hanging over my head and b) no one seems to be able to give me a good answer about how much to tip them so that they won't hate me and will continue to give me my packages when they arrive, such as the ones that include copies of my book.

So when they DO give it to me, I'll take a picture of it and post it here.

In other news --of which there is a great deal seeing that I haven't written her since SEPTEMBER -- my official website is almost complete and should be up and running by mid-January. I've got a bunch of bookstore appearances lined up already, including signing for Borders at the L.A. Times Book Festival which is BEYOND exciting seeing that when I used to go there when I lived in L.A. I'd say to myself "One day I'll come here as an author!" And I will be -- on April 27th. But before that, I'll be appearing at various Barnes & Nobles and Borders near you. Well, near you if you happen to live in New York or NJ or Connecticut. All that will be on the website.

So that's what's going on with the book stuff...other than that, I'm LOVING LOVING LOVING living in NYC, even though it's now officially winter, and even though I wore my Uggs in the rain and sleet the other day because I had yet to get snowboots and so I ended up having to walk around with wet feet the entire day. I've been consulting for MTV on their original straight-to-DVD movies which has been a ton of fun except for the fact that due to the Writers Guild strike I can't get my hands on any available scripts, or hire any writers to write the movies, which is sort of what job is supposed to be. So between the writing, and MTV, and yoga, and -- shockingly enough-- dating, I'm, like...busy, which is something I haven't been for a while. It turns out it's fun to be busy--well, it's not fun when you you're so busy that you can't find time to go the supermarket so when you open your fridge all you see is three half-empty water bottles, a bottle of soy sauce, and one wedge of Lite Laughing Cow cheese but, to be honest, I don't think that's because of the busy thing...I think it's more a lazy thing because, honestly, when it comes to cooking and stuff like that, I have next to no interest. Microwaving is a different story, but cooking? Not so much. Not to mention the fact that Balducci's is always going to make a better sandwich than I am, so it makes sense that I would stop there every afternoon and buy one rather than make my own at home for a quarter of the price.

Anyway, it's late and my eyes are starting to burn from spending most of the day at the computer and I have a feeling I'm starting to be incoherent so I'll stop for now.


Friday, September 14, 2007

I Still Don't Know Why They Call It An Apple, Though...

I can't believe I haven't written here since July.

Actually, there's a lot of things I can't believe at the moment, including the fact that I ever lived in Lost Angeles because even though it's only been two weeks since I've lived in NYC I feel like it's been forever. The good-way "forever"--not the bad way.

So, yes, finally, finally, finally I'm here. And finally, finally, finally I'm sitting at a desk at my desktop computer writing this rather than on the couch with my laptop which for some reason just doesn't work for me, that whole laptop thing.

Moving is a bizarre reality check. I was thinking about something I heard years ago that's always stayed with me: "Your parents know you as who you were, your friends know you as who you are now; and strangers know you as who you're going to be." Which, when you think about it, is true. Well, except that strangers know you as who you are now and who you're going to be. For instance, when I meet people here and they ask what I do and I say "I'm a writer and my book is coming out in February," I almost feel like I'm lying or something. It's the truth, but it's just so...weird. I guess because it's my biggest dream come true and yet it feels like it took so long to happen. Plus, I'm so used to having to say "Well, I was a TV exec for a long time, but then I left to write." That part is true, too, but it finally feels like it's way in the past and has been put to rest.

And now I have to actually go write. Not that what I'm doing this moment isn't writing, but I have to go work on the stuff that will result in people giving me checks so that I can afford to live here.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

40 Things About Me You Might Not Know

And probably don't care about, but, whatever, that's what you get for reading the blog of someone who suffers from bouts of self-obsession and is trying to come up with ways to avoid her work.

1. What color is your underwear right now? Uh-oh...I didn't realize this was going to be an NC-17 questionnaire...but the answer is turquoise
2. What are you listening to right now? The cars going by on Melrose Avenue
3. What are the last 2 digits in your phone number? 8-8
4. What was the last thing you ate? A peanut butter and chocolate rice cake
5. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Most definitely red
6. How is the weather right now? A little gloomy (it's only 7:54am)
7. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My friend Amy
8. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Eyes
9. Favorite type of Food? Fattening
10. Do you drink? Not anymore
11. Do you smoke? Not anymore
12. Ever get so drunk you don't remember? Let's, yeah...see #10 for further info
13.What color are your eyes? Blue
15. Do you wear contacts? Nope
16. Single? Yes. (This is supposed to fun - not depressing)
17. Favorite Month? I don't know...September?
18. Ever cried for no reason? Welcome to the wonderful world of PMS.
19. Last Movie you watched? You Kill Me
20. Favorite day of the week? I'm self-employed so they all kind of blend together
21. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
I'm too shy to strike up a conversation with the barrista at my local Starbucks whom I've seen every day for a year, so I'm thinking the answer to this is YES.
22. Hugs or Kisses? Both
23. Chocolate or Vanilla? Neither - Mint Chocolate Chip or Chunky Monkey
24. Do you want your friends to respond? I'm not sending it to them.
25. Who is most likely to respond? See above
26. Who is least likely to respond? See above (BTW, these last 3 questions aren't about ME - they're about my friends - and the survey promised it would be about ME ME ME!!!)
27. What books are you reading? The Frog King by Adam Davies &
The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
28. PIERCINGS? WHY IS THIS ONE IN CAPS? Nope - 2 tattoos tho
29. Fav. Movie? Lost In Translation
30. Fav. baseball team? Um, no
31. Any pets? 2 cats
32. AIM? God, no. Then I'd never get any work done.
33. Butter, Plain or salted popcorn? Kettlecorn
34. Dogs or cats? The cats would probably appreciate it if I said "cats"
35. Fav. flower? Lillies
36. Have you ever fired a gun? Nope
37. Do you like to travel by plane as opposed to car? Car
38. Right handed or left handed? Right
39. How many pillows do you sleep with? One
40. Are you missing someone? OK, again, I didn't know this was going to be depressing...but the answer is, unfortunately, yes...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Whatever you do, don't move...

....but if you must, at least wait until you have enough money to go stay at The Ritz while movers pack up all your stuff so you don't have to do it yourself.
I'm moving in two months and because I still have a bit of the overachiever left over in me from my executive days, I decided I needed to get everything packed up like yesterday. The problem is, the older I get, the more ADD I seem to become, so I never actually finish cleaning out a closet or packing an entire box so instead I'm left living in total chaos which I'm sure my shrink would say is due to a deep-seated desire of wanting to re-create my family environment from when I was young or something like that, but, really, I think it's because I just get bored really easily and can think of, oh, I don't know, 10 million other things I'd rather do than pack?
Anyway, the above pictures are of what used to be my living room and office but are now just...a mess. I had a garage sale on Saturday and after it was over, I just brought it all back upstairs and dumped it on the ground because, really, what's the point of putting stuff away that I'm just going to get rid of in a month or so, right? Somehow I think that Evelin, my cleaning lady, won't agree with that logic, but I still have a week to get the house back in working order before she comes again.

Enough about the moving and my love of chaos and penchant for disorganization. In more exciting news, I'll be receiving galleys of Cindy Ella any day which is beyond exciting. Not only that but on Sunday I get an email from a friend who told me he had just ordered my book on Amazon which, I have to say, was a very strange sentence to read. So, yes, it's on Amazon which is beyond beyond exciting. Except for the fact that when the listing comes up the picture isn't of my book but of something called Let The Good Times Roll With Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe by someone named A.E. Cannon. That part wasn't as exciting. I'm thinking it's because Mercury is retrograde which, as I type that, I realize is a very L.A. thing to say. I wonder if you're allowed to talk like that in NYC or if they throw you off the island for that kind of stuff? I guess I'll find out soon enough.

So, yeah, go to and type in "Cindy Ella" and see what comes up. It says the book is 304 pages which makes it sound like it's War and Peace, but I promise it's a really quick read. You can even PRE-ORDER it if you want (hint, hint)'ll make a fab Valentine's gift.

And now I'm going to go tackle one of the few closets that hasn't been tackled so I can then leave it in a state of disarray and lie in bed feeling ashamed about it.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here's the rub about any phrase that begins "If only..."

If only I had a new job...

If only I had a job...

If only I had a different boyfriend...
If only I had a boyfriend...

If only (fill in the blank), then everything would be okay and I'd be happy and I'd stop complaining and I'd no longer be scared and life would be fantastic.

How many times have I said (or rather whined) that exact sentiment to a friend? And how many times have I then gotten said job/object/boyfriend, enjoyed it for five minutes or so before promptly discovering it didn't fix that that feeling that something was still missing?


I've been incredibly lucky in that over the last year a lot of my "if only"s have come true--and we're talking BIG "if only"s...things like "If only I got a book deal," "If only I could move to New York." And while I'm over-the-moon grateful for them, sometimes instead of making me really excited, they make me really...scared. Like now that I have these fantastic opportunities, I have to be reallyreallyREALLY careful that I don't make any mistakes or else they'll be taken away and given to some super-human, non-mistake-making individual who can do it better than me.

And if you ever meet one those people walking around amongst us mere mortals rather than, like, spending all his or her time meditating on some mountain top in Tibet, please let me know because I'd love to meet the saint.

And when I'm really scared, it's kind of difficult to enjoy things--like spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon having my author photo taken by my incredibly talented dear friend Nicole Dintaman. Now I absolutely loathe having my picture taken. But as you can see from the photo, it sure doesn't look like it. In fact, it looks like I'm having a good time. Which, by that time, I was because at some point during the proceedings I had a little talk with myself where I told myself that not only was this supposed to be fun, but if I could actually get out from under my crazy head, I would find that I WAS HAVING MY AUTHOR PHOTO TAKEN. FOR A BOOK THAT WOULD SOON BE IN BOOKSTORES AND LIBRARIES. AND SOME GIRL--I take that back--LOTS OF GIRLS (if you can't think positively in your own blog, where can you?) WOULD READ IT AND WHEN THEY WERE DONE THEY'D SAY "I WONDER WHAT THE AUTHOR LOOKS LIKE" AND THEY'D FLIP TO THE PICTURE AND THEN THEY'D SAY "HMM..SHE DOESN'T LOOK THAT BAD FOR A 38-YEAR-OLD WOMAN."

And I have no idea why that's all written in capitals.

In fact, I have no idea what this post is about other than to remind myself--and whoever else may be reading it--that there's always going to be another "if only," so why bother worrying about them at all in the first place?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Once upon a time...

...there was a 30something woman named Robin Palmer living in Los Angeles who had a very cool career at a cable television network. Although she made good money which allowed her to buy fancy shoes and eat out at good restaurants on an expense accound, she wasn't having that much fun anymore, so despite most of her friends and family thinking she had completely lost her mind, she chucked the fancy stuff to pursue her original dream of becoming a writer. The next few years after that were really, really hard--as hard as what you read about in any Grimms fairy tale (and everyone knows how dark and twisted those Grimms brothers could be...) While most of her friends were getting married and buying houses, she was selling her Manolos on eBay to pay the rent. And although she wrote and wrote and wrote, no one would give her a book deal. Ms. 30something (who most of the time now felt like 30nothing because we live in a world that glorifies material achievement over personal satisfaction but that's a whole OTHER post) tried very hard to keep her spirits up, but it was tough.

And then, during the spring of 2005, things got worse. Like way worse. Her boyfriend dumped her and her latest book made the rounds of publishers and didn't sell. Knowing that this was the last straw for Ms. 30nothing, her fairy godmother--a wonderful woman named Laura Clark who used to be a fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar under Diana Vreeland which meant she had the coolest stories on the planet--called her from NYC and offered her her apartment free of charge for the summer which was a very fairy godmother-thing to do. Wanting to get as far away from her life as possible, Ms. 30nothing jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, as she soon learned (and continues to learn over and over again), wherever you go, you end up taking yourself with you so even though she was in an nice air-conditioned one-bedroom on the Upper East Side, it didn't take the sadness away, a fact to which her ink-blurred-with-tears Moleskine journal can attest.

Then one very humid night in July, Ms. 30nothing was having dinner at a Mexican restaurant with Kate Lee, her fairy godsister literary agent, when Kate asked her if she had ever thought about writing a Young Adult book.

"A Young Adult book?" said Ms. 30nothing. "Hmm...well, obviously, when I was a Young Adult, I loved Young Adult books--especially Judy Blume--but seeing that it's been a very long time since I've been a young, not really."

"Well, think about it," said Kate the Fairy Godsister Literary Agent. "I think you might be good at it."

The next morning, as Ms. 30nothing was walking up Madison Avenue on her way to yoga--which was (and still is) her favorite way to avoid writing--she had an idea:

What about a retelling of Cinderella? Ms. 30nothing thought to herself. Although, this being New York, she could have said it out loud and no one would have batted an eye. Yes!, she thought a few minutes later as she stretched out in down dog. A version of Cinderella set in modern-day Los Angeles, with a prom instead of a ball. But in my version, Cinderella doesn't WANT to go to the prom, she thought later as she schlepped her groceries from Fairway up the steps of hte M72 crosstown bus. In fact, she could care less about proms and glass slippers because she's sort of a like an ANTI-princess!

Back at the air-conditioned apartment, Ms. 30nothing began to write and write and write and even after she returned home to Los Angeles and had to take a job at an ad agency that was so incredibly boring it made the television show The Office look exciting, she still wrote and wrote and wrote and 10 months later Cindy Ella Gold was born and Kate the Fairy Godsister Literary Agent found her a nice home with the world's best editor Jennifer Bonnell at Penguin who loved and understood Cindy as much as Ms. 30nothing did. The morning that Ms. 30nothing received the call from Kate the Fairy Godsister Literary Agent that Cindy Ella would have a life in bookstores rather than just continue to live on Ms. 30nothing's computer hard drive was the happiest day of her life--especially when Kate told her that not only did they want to publish Cindy Ella but that they also wanted her to write two MORE retellings of fairy tales for them. Ms. 30nothing was so happy that all she could do was cry. And what made it even better was that when she called her father to tell him the news, HE started to cry as well because he was so happy. (Also probably because he was so thrilled that it looked like his daughter hadn't completely lost her mind when she decided to give the writing thing a try, but because he's the best dad in the world he would never say that out loud)

And that, my readers, is the story of how Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer -- to be released on Valentine's Day 2008 by Speak/Penguin -- came to be.