Month: August 2011


Hurricane Irene was a tropical storm by the time it got to Boston, but it still ended up doing a lot of damage. Worst that happened to me was the loss of internet, but there are still people around here without power. Massachusetts got off lightly, though. I’m grateful.

EDIT: really I mean Boston got off pretty lightly. Western Mass didn’t fare so well…

wednesday night in Boston

It’s almost 11pm on a Wednesday and I’m installed at the big Harvard Square Starbucks with my novel-in-progress and an abysmal cup of coffee. (Like, abysmal. WTF, Starbucks.) Kidbro has apparently made it safely back to the US from Asia and I’ll be heading to the airport soon to pick him up. Meanwhile, I’m eavesdropping on conversations about Steve Jobs and trying to write.

This thing I’m working on may end up being the shortest “novel” I’ve ever written. Also possibly the first first draft I finish in a dozen years, so… hmmm to that. Perhaps something for me to learn.

I’m tired. I keep thinking I’ll grow out of the days when I want to sleep til noon, but apparently not. Thank goodness for energy drinks, man.


RIP, Mr. Leiber

Jerry Leiber died yesterday at the age of 78.

Let me preface this post by saying I was obsessed with The Coasters when I was a kid. OBSESSED. I had a two-tape compilation of all their songs (including from when some of them were The Robins) that I listened to over and over and over and over. I can still sing most of their greatest and lesser hits word-for-word (and will do so with very little prompting).

And to be obsessed with The Coasters was to be obsessed with the two men behind their music: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

I can’t even list all of the songs I loved. Yakety Yak, Charlie Brown, Little Egypt (for all the silliness), Searchin’, Along Came Jones, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (for The Robins), Down in Mexico, Poison Ivy. I guess they also arranged Hound Dog for Elvis, which I didn’t actually know until I started reading the obits. All catchy, mostly peppy songs, a beautiful partnership between Stoller’s music and Leiber’s lyrics.

Every time I had a chore to do, I’d bounce along to Yakety Yak. Every day that ended in Y, my brother and I would harmonize on Along Came Jones. (well, he did. I can’t sing.) Leiber and Stoller and the artists they influenced were the sounds of my childhood.

So rest in peace, Mr. Leiber, and thank you for all the happy memories.

Here are a few of my Coasters favorites:

Charlie Brown (I don’t really understand this video but it’s FAB)

Along Came Jones

Poison Ivy (maybe my favorite?)

reboot it and they will come… right?

Backstory: DC Comics, one of the “Big Two” of comics publishing (think Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) is relaunching/rebooting their entire line of comics, putting out 52 Issue #1s in September. It is the Big News in comics right now.

Apparently pre-orders for Justice League #1, the comic kicking off DC’s reboot next week, are over the 200,000 mark. Six other (unnamed) #1s have over 100,000 pre-orders.

That’s a lot. Obviously, DC’s drastic move is paying off with these increased sales that they had hoped for/promised.


I have said this before, I will say it again, and then I will probably say it again.

I don’t care how awesome a book sounds in theory, I don’t care how drastic and dramatic this reboot is, if a book’s story doesn’t hold up I won’t keep buying it.

So yes, I am contributing to the 200K+ and probably the 100K+ in pre-orders. But rest assured, if the quality isn’t there I will be dropping my subscriptions so fast DC won’t know what hit it. I don’t have the money to spend on shitty comics.

You could say I’m pessimistic, but I’m trying to be real about it. If the quality of the comics isn’t good, no level of marketing can save the industry.

So, fingers crossed. One more week. I’m really hoping the reboot lives up to all the hype.

remember that time I wrote chick lit?

I write fantasy and science fiction. It’s what I like best, and what I’m best at. But sometimes I veer away and try to write something contemporary and dramatic—I tried to become the next Tolstoy around the age of 15 and failed miserably—or comedic and quirky. However, I can safely say that the biggest failure of my young non-career was my not-brief-enough foray into chick lit.

To give you some background, my full experience consuming chick lit comes from watching about five minutes of Bridget Jones’s Diary, reading the first page and a half of Devil Wears Prada, and reading most of Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing when I was too young to really understand it.

Definitely a good jumping-off point into chick lit stardom, no? Yeah, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking.

Luckily, the like three pages I actually wrote seem to have died with a previous computer, but here let me give you a taste of what you and the rest of humanity are missing due to my early retirement from the genre…

The story was a first-person point-of-view of some ordinary NYC girl named Susan or Sarah or whatever. Susan/Sarah/Susah lived in a hilariously-large Manhattan apartment with her gorgeous possibly-Latina friend Marguerite (I know guys, I know).

The opening scene was Susah reading the newspaper and bugging Marguerite about getting a job so she (Susah) does not have to pay the entire rent. Susah helpfully offers to look through the help-wanted section, so she flips to the classifieds. Buried there—in what section God-only-knows—is an ad directed at HEARTBROKEN LADIES which reads something like:

Did your boyfriend leave you? Is your husband having an affair? Do you want to get back at the bastard? Hire a gorgeous and totally not-interested woman to BREAK HIS HEART as much as he broke yours!

Susah is reading this aloud for hilarity when she gets to the phone number and realizes… dun dun DUN… it’s theirs! (because this story was set in the quaint time pre-personal cell phone when there were actual home phone numbers)

So Marguerite says languidly, and probably sexily, “Yes dahling, I meant to mention that. I’m starting a new business!”

Hijinks ensue.

The title of this epic was… wait for it… Mankiller.

(You know, like “ladykiller” except… for men… you know…)

Yes. A great chick lit talent in the making, I was.