Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I shot up in bed and wiped the sweat from my face. I was having a dream where no matter how loud I tried to scream, no sound came out. Not sure why I needed to scream.
My laptop glowed in the darkness, which was strange because I specifically remembered shutting it down before going to bed. The annoying fanning sound it made throughout the night drove me crazy, and the screen cast an eerie, blue light throughout my room that always freaked me out.
As soon as my heart caught up with my brain, it started pounding. I inched towards my desk and narrowed my eyes at the computer.
I had mail.
Sent: Tue 9/23/08 1:03 AM
Subject: Re: I screwed up…
I can’t say much.
Her house is haunted.
I’m with the ghost.
Look in the garden.
I felt like screaming, but when I opened my mouth, no sound came out.
Creepy, right? I've always been a little bit freaked out by dark rooms lit only by a computer screen and after writing this book, I'm very careful about shutting my computer down at night.
What do you guys think? Scary or cliche?
I will say that I just read Laura's most recent Gmail chapter and red-headed, Seth Green-look- alike side-kicks are totally the new black.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Unfortunately, when I tried to morph our sister Stacey with Salma Hayek, the result was a snaggle-toothed Salma look-alike. I guess it only works if you keep your mouth closed during pictures. Gosh Stacey, stop smiling so much.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Congrats to Jess for the extra l.b.s,
But lose the double belt and mom jeans please.
Brad, it’s hard to believe you’ve stooped this low,
Your kid’s really cute but the matching caps blow.
Oh! Alba stop crying, we know Bill’s a prick,
When you use words like “salient” it proves you're smart as a whip.
When I looked at this picture I almost forgot,
Your cuffed rolled up jean look, well okay, maybe not.
As fun as the pictures on Us’ website are,
the comments from real people trump them by far.
Anonymous said, “Jessica’s meant to be fat,”
“leave my chunk chunk alone” and left it at that.
That’s all she wrote, but the cameras are flashing,
I’ll be back next week for more celebrity trashing.
2. I've been working on setting my career goals for the next year and I've been provided with options that meet, exceed or consistently exceed expectations. I'm tempted to ask for the goals for employees seeking to do the bare minimum to avoid being terminated.
3. Gmail is flowing beautifully. Our editing hiatus is over (thank God, I really hate editing) and we're back to writing. I keep reading and re-reading what we wrote wondering what everyone is going to think of this book. We love the characters and the story so much that it's hard to imagine anyone NOT liking them. If only we were half as good as we think we are, we'd have a six-figure deal by now.
4. Have I mentioned the Fug Girls are WAY funnier than I am? Their take on Angelina amuses me.
5. Big day tomorrow. My better half is blogging! We are launching a very exciting weekly blog feature that Laura is going to write every Wednesday. Check back tomorrow to finally hear from the blond half of the L&L team. If you like random beat poetry (and really, who doesn't like random beat poetry??), you won't be disappointed. Trust me.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Anyways, our friend Jill Wheeler (who has a FABULOUS excerpt of her latest work on her blog that makes me green with jealousy) asked a great question about how Laura and I write together.
The truth is, writing together is easy for us. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I'm smart enough or talented enough to write on my own. Plus writer's block is never an issue because whenever I get stuck on something I just send it to Laura. And my favorite part about writing together is getting a chapter that Laura just wrote. It's like reading a whole new book and it gets me excited to continue our story.
And of course, there's also a teeny tiny element of competition. After all, we are sisters. So whenever Laura sends me a great chapter that she's written, it totally makes me want to write a better, funnier, more entertaining chapter afterwards. You know, just to show her who's boss.
There are a few other things that make it particularly easy for the two of us to write together.
- We plot out the book together and outline each chapter together. So we always have a basic idea of what's supposed to be happening in each chapter. Of course, our outlines are usually pretty vague and we both tend to interpret things differently, but that's half the fun.
- We both have different strengths as writers, so we balance each other out. Laura is always good about capturing the details and setting the scene, while I tend to write the random one-liners and witty (well, that's what I keep telling myself anyways) observations. We have a process where I write one chapter, Laura edits that chapter and then writes the next chapter and sends it back to me. So we do a lot of editing as we go that helps us create a unified voice and balances our writing.
- We like a lot of the same things and we have a similar sense of humor, so it's rare that either of us reads something the other person writes and says, "Man, that sucks. What were you thinking?"
- We encourage each other along the way. One of the best things about writing as a team is that whenever I send a chapter to Laura she calls me and tells me how great it was, and vice versa. And while we're obviously totally biased (and huge dorks) the fact that someone else has confidence in our work always keeps us going.
So what about the rest of you writers? Don't you get lonely writing all by yourself? I can't imagine writing and querying a book without my partner in crime.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
- What did Hilary Swank do to the writers of the Office?
- Am I the only person in America not watching American Idol? I hate that show.
- If anyone was wondering, based on our rather limited experience, apparently ASAP in agent-ese means not likely to hear back anytime soon. Just an FYI.
- A few betas have read the first act of Gmail and have given us tons of great feedback. V. exciting.
- Editing is hard. Way harder than writing.
- I've slowly been identifying Cleveland moms who watch Gossip Girl and don't scrapbook, and I'm proud to say that this has proved to be a surprisingly good screening process for potential friends.
- My girl crush on Michelle Obama is in full swing. I can't stop thinking of the white dress she wore to all of the inauguration parties. Perfection.
- The more I write, the less I like my job. This is not a good trend.
Well, that's all she wrote for me tonight. My eyes are already burning from sleep deprivation, so I think I might actually make it in bed before 1 AM - unless Laura sends me a new draft of Gmail...Hey, I've got priorities, ok? I'll sleep when we hit the bestseller list.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
She had her kids with her and they were all bundled up in their coats. As soon as I saw her I started to tear up. What an amazing mother, wanting her kids to experience a piece of history live.
When interviewed and asked why she had brought them here she told the reporter:
"The day after Obama won the election, I woke up and told my children 'While you were asleep, Martin Luther King Jr's dream came true.'"
Isn't that beautiful? History according to a mother.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Too bad it's frowned upon to query agents via Twitter because we'd be ready to rock...
Oh well..big thanks to Colleen for thinking of such a fun way for us to procrastinate.
And Blair is going black ops!? Good god, what does that even mean? I can't wait to find out.
Anyone want to take bets on whether we get any e-mails tomorrow? Our inbox has been depressingly empty lately. It's making me itchy. At least when we send queries it feels like we're actively doing something to get published. Waiting is just...well...waiting.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
2. I have a Miley Cyrus song on my iPod and I swear when it comes on at the gym, I run faster.
3. I've already started writing the query for Gmail. I love queries. I know that every writer is supposed to hate them, but I can't help it. I think they're fun.
4. Laura and I spend 95% of our phone conversations talking about how great Gmail is. Yeah, we're pathetic and need to get a life.
5. I really hate Gwyneth Paltrow. I had forgotten just how much I hated her until I saw SpinRegina's post about her blog, GOOP. It's one of the most obnoxious, self-important websites that I've ever seen in my life. And I've wasted over an hour on the damn thing and STILL can't figure out what the hell GOOP stands for.
6. I'm really excited for the premier of Big Love tonight. It's about this guy in Utah and his 3 wives, are you really surprised that I'm totally hooked?
7. Every time I think about the inauguration, I think about how excited I am that Obama is going to be president, but I'm almost more excited to see what Michelle wears.
8. There is one thing that really, really bugs me about 30 Rock. Tina Fey is a comedic genius, but she needs to cut the jokes about her weight. It's ridiculous because she's extremely thin, but in every episode there is at least one joke about her eating habits and this week they even had her buy some huge scuba-like bathing suit to wear on vacation. It reminds me of the jokes on Will and Grace about Grace eating so much and gaining weight when Debra Messing was borderline anorexic. It really annoys me because 30 Rock is too smart for that.
9. Part of my redecorating efforts involved buying a couple of new chairs for my family room. They're recliners, but they don't look like recliners (seriously, you can't tell. I swear.). I now spend about 75% of my day reclined in one of the chairs. On the phone, on the laptop, watching TV. I'm like perpetually reclined, and let me just say that being vertical is so overrated. I vacillate between feeling like some sort of invalid or like a reincarnation of my Great-Great Grandfather, Pa. I think he spent the better part of his 80's and 90's in an orange velour recliner at my grandparent's house.
10. I let out a little squee every time someone comments on our blog. I can't help it. Comments make me giddy.
Whew - so glad to get that all off my chest. Especially that bit about Miley. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Must be all that lapsed Catholic guilt.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've been tinkering all day with the pitch for Gmail, but the closest I can get is 247 characters.
What’s a girl to do when she starts getting mysterious e-mails from her best friend who's been missing for a year? Well, if you’re Kate Lowry, you decide to solve the mystery Nancy Drew style. A hotter, bitchier Nancy Drew, but you get the picture.
Yeah, I'm supposed to be writing the next chapter, and I'm procrastinating. Don't tell Laura.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Unfotunately, the suck of Tuesday sneaks up on you. Only the second day of the work week, so you have eons until Friday. No Gossip Girl. And no one ever asks "Have you got a case of the Tuesdays?"
I'm going to start.
My eyes are burning, so I need to sleep. This probably won't make sense when I read it in the morning, but I'll just go ahead and blame it on my raging case of the Tuesdays.
Monday, January 12, 2009
A. Read the manuscript over the weekend, hate it, and decide to send a rejection via snail mail which will most likely find it's way to your mailbox by Wednesday and crush your dreams of working with said agent.
B. Read the manuscript over the weekend, hate it and hasn't had time to send the rejection e-mail yet.
C. Spend the weekend at the spa instead of reading your manuscript.
D. Love the manuscript, but wants to get some second opinions before going any further.
E. Like the manuscript, but can't decide if he/she should take a gamble on two completely unknown authors in a down economy and is waiting for a sign from God.
Let's just say that if the answer is E. we're in big trouble. Something tells me my catty post about the Golden Globes didn't win me any points with the big guy upstairs. Well, hypothetically speaking that is...
- Renee Zelwegger looks like 10 miles of bad road, what was with that hair? She looked like a washed up country music star.
- I didn’t love Tina Fey’s dress (reminds me of an awful dress I wore to homecoming in high school) and her hair was awful. Did she use a curling iron on her bangs or what? But she is so awesome none of that mattered. From collecting Hollywood Foreign Film Press action figures to telling random cyber-haters to “suck it” it’s impossible not to love her.
- Salma Hayek looked amazing
- Sacha Baron Cohen your Guy Ritchie as Madonna’s fired assistant joke went over like a lead balloon. Isn’t everyone kind of over that whole divorce anyways? Thanks for playing, Sacha.
- One word for you Angelina: lipstick.
- Is it me or is it impossible to not think of Andy Samberg’s Mark Wahlberg impression whenever you see Mark Wahlberg? It’s the Fey/Palin phenomenon. And for the record, I’m not thrilled that Marky Mark is playing the Dad in The Lovely Bones movie. It was supposed to be Ryan Gosling and I think that he would have been much better in the role, but maybe I’ll be surprised. We’ll see.
- LOVE Kate Winslet. Gorgeous. Thin, but not emaciated. And she forgot Angelina was nominated and Angie looked pissed. Hilarious. And how cute is she with Sam Mendes? Did you see him get all teary eyed when she won. Adorbs.
- Hated Blake Lively’s dress.
- Hoorah for the Mad Men win. It’s always so weird seeing the cast in their real clothes. That show is so well done that I forget that they aren’t really living in the 50’s.
- Yay for Slumdog Millionaire. It was like the little movie that could. Also, I’m totally buying that soundtrack. I love Indian music, it reminds me of the synchronized dances they always do in Bollywood movies and I love that dancing.
Random thoughts not related to the Golden Globes:
- I’ve already broken almost all of my New Years Resolutions. In fact I’m breaking one right now…it’s 1 am and I am not even close to my bed. Oops.
- The Shopaholic movie looks good. I love those books and Isla Fisher actually looks like she’s going to be a kick ass Rebecca Bloomwood. Can’t wait to see that one.
- If you don’t cry while watching Marley and Me you have no heart. Seriously. Even though I knew what was coming I still cried like a baby – it was actually a little embarrassing. We went to dinner after seeing the movie and it looked like we had come from a funeral. Great movie though. I can’t decide if it makes me want to buy a dog tomorrow or never ever buy a dog under any circumstances.
- Lots of progress on Gmail this weekend. Just finished outlining the Second Act and things are really coming together. This book is so fun to write. I forgot how much I love writing with Laura too. We alternate chapters, so I write one chapter and then send it to her. She edits and then writes the next chapter, and we sort of keep flipping back and forth like that. I love it when I get one of Laura's chapters because it's like reading a whole new story. We have an outline, but typically when we write a chapter it takes on a life of it's own, so it's like reading a fresh story every time. And we're always trying to outdo each other. Yeah, we're nerdy like that.
Happy Monday! I’m off to bed.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Tonight was the last episode of Lipstick Jungle, and I am sad. I mean how can I go on not knowing whether Nico chooses the young hottie (Kirby should never wear a shirt. Never.) or her gorgeous older boss (I'm rooting for the boss. Unfortunately for Kirby it's frowned upon to go shirtless all of the time, and that gave the hot boss the edge. Sorry, but Kirby doesn't bring that much to the table when he's fully clothed.).
It was truly an undignified end for this surprisingly entertaining show. They did this pathetic little clip show to wrap up the episode in a completely botched attempt to provide closure. It was just a random montage of scenes from past shows, that only served to remind me how fabulously the women dressed and the fact that Nico wears WAY too much eye make-up. I'm totally unsatisfied. Damn you NBC.
Fortunately, there were two silver linings...
- It turns out that Victory Ford is from Chagrin Falls, OH. Oh Victory, do you realize that Chagrin Falls is in the running for locations for our next house? It's official, Chagrin Falls just took the #1 spot for future house hunting tonight. They should seriously hang a plaque or something.
- Friday Night Lights starts next week! FNL is one of my fave shows and it's been killing me that those bastards with DirectTv have been enjoying episodes all Fall, and I've been totally deprived of my Tim Riggins. And for the record, Tim Riggins is WAY hotter than Kirby. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, if it was even remotely appropriate for a woman my age, I'd have posters of him all over our house. Or maybe just in my locker at the gym. How funny would that be? Anyways, I'll sacrifice the Jungle for FNL any day of the week.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Anyways, you may remember that we posted the first 250 words of The North Shore a while back, so now that we're about one-third of the way into Gmail we thought it was only fair to give our loyal readers a sneak peek.
Sent: Thu 8/18/08 11:11 PM
Subject: where are you?
I hate this. I hate losing you. I hate that we had that huge fight the night before you left. I hate not knowing where you are or if you’re even alive. And it feels like no one even cares anymore – they all think you’re dead.
Sometimes I even hate you. Well, I want to hate you, but I can’t. I feel like I’m writing you the same e-mail over and over again. Where are you?
Maddie still won’t speak to me. She follows Taylor Wright around like some kind of emaciated puppy. The two of them look like soulless American Girl dolls, J.Crew edition.
I miss you. It sucks starting another year without you.
Sent: Thu 8/18/08 11:59 PM
Subject: Re: where are you?
I know what everyone is saying.
My parents had nothing to do with this.
I shouldn’t be writing.
I miss you.
So...what do you think? Are you hooked? Do you want to read more?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
For the record, I find the whole "women bitching about their husbands who never do anything" boring. Partly because my husband does do things, lots of things, really. But he also says things. Stupid things. And this little rant all stems from one of his comments. Something like "God, the house looks like we've been robbed." Ok, not something like that , EXACTLY like that.
Keep in mind, this careless little observation was made at 6:15 pm, right after I had just returned home from the gym and grocery store with both kids in a mini-snow storm. I had just gotten the kids settled at the table, started unloading and putting away all the groceries and was in the process of making dinner. Oh and did I mention that we've had a handyman-painter extraordinaire hanging around our house all day every day this week doing all kinds of work?
So I was stressed. The house was a disaster, and this comment infuriated me. Actually, I should use present tense, this comment infuriates me. I'm still mad. Ken still will not apologize. I think the term "drama queen" was thrown out.
Oh my god, I didn't think it was possible but I'm actually getting angrier as I type. The truth is, I don't mind grocery shopping or making dinner or any of the things that I do on a day-to-day basis, but I do mind it when I feel like they're being taken for granted and that comment does not come from an "I appreciate everything you do for our family" type of place.
Anyways, I'm not speaking to my husband AND we have a quadruple date planned tomorrow night with my parents and sisters. Ouch. Sorry guys, that's going to be all kinds of awkward.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Anyways, Chuck didn't really have a whole lot to say this episode, but a couple of my fave lines happened when Dan and Chuck were discussing the Lily/Rufus love-child.
Dan (all mopey as usual): Gawd Chuck, just tell me why my dad was like searching orphanages in Boston. My burning desire to know rivals only my burning desire for Serena.
Chuck: "Orphanages? How Dickensian." Dude, your dad has a love child with Lilly. You've got an older bro. Break out the cigars!
Dan: My delicate emotional sensibilities can't take this. I feel as though I might weep like a little girl. I'm just so...so...sensitive.
I took some liberties with the dialogue, so please note only the stuff in quotes was actually written by someone who gets a paycheck for their work. Although, I'm sort of partial to my version.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Just to give you an indication of how "blah" I'm feeling, we got a request for the North Shore today (from a query we sent back in September - sort of shocking how slow this business moves, isn't it?) and I can't even work up the enthusiasm to pull the info together and send it out. Usually I send stuff out within minutes of receiving a response, but today I'm just sort of meh about the whole thing. And I really shouldn't be because it's kind of a biggie agent. Stupid. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be back to normal and Laura and I will be all over sending the requested materials out, but right now I'm just...not.
We're also doing some major redecorating at case-de-Lisa and I have a bathroom that needs to be stripped of the remaining wall paper so the painter can start painting tomorrow. Has anyone taken down wall paper before? It's a major pain in the ass. I think I'd rather get a cavity filled than finish taking down the rest of that cheap-ass wall paper. Question for people who used to own this house: Did you use super glue to slap up this god-awful wall paper or what? And if so, did you really think that you'd love yellow and purple flowers forever? Ugh.
Thankfully there are two bright spots in my day...
1. G-Mail. Oh you guys, it's really coming together. Laura and I have really found our voice now that we're writing in the first person and I totally have a girl-crush on our main character. I can't wait until this one is ready for betas. Speaking of which...we'll probably have the first 10 chapters ready this week. Anyone interested in taking a peek?
2. Gossip Girl. It's back! Oh Chuck, how I've missed you over these long weeks of holiday mayhem. I know you're having a tough time dealing with the death of your dad, just don't do anything crazy and throw yourself off any buildings, kay? I don't want to sound needy here, but you are the light of my life, so chin up already.
Ok, I'm off to go strip wallpaper and mope some more. Blah.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Anyways, I saw Slumdog Millionaire tonight at the Cedar and Lee Theater right up the street from me. I love walking into an old movie theater that's completely packed and watching previews for movies like Revolution Road, Che, and The Wrestler. I guess it also helps that the movie itself was absolutely fantastic.
The film is based on the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup (although the book reviews lead me to believe that they took a LOT of liberties with the script) and follows an orphan boy, Jamal, who is winning the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" but is taken in for questioning when the host accuses him of cheating. While in custody he tells the story of how he came to know the answer to all of the questions via different adventures with his brother, Salim and another orphan girl, Latika. The India depicted in the film is oftentimes bleak and a little difficult to watch, but watching the love story unfold between Jamal and Latika in flashbacks ensures that there is plenty of hope in this uplifting tale.
I've always been fascinated with Bollywood and Indian film, so I loved that it was set in India. The cinematography (I figure if I'm going to try to sound like a film buff, I'm going to have to speak their language, right?) was stunning and the film was beautifully acted.
Definitely check this one out if you hit the theaters.
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