Wassup Wednesday? 600+ That’s Wassup! Woo-hoo!

Wassup Wednesday? 600+ That’s Wassup! Woo-hoo!

So here I am again, showing myself, again, to be the little novice blogger that I am. But I have to say, having 600+ readers come visit the Shed so far since I opened it this month feels pretty awesome! I didn’t even know you could subscribe to my blog, and people do that too! Which only goes to show just how green I am about all this.

Anyway, truly a heartfelt welcome and thank you to all ye who enter here (sorry, Dante). And now that I’ve managed to emerge from the hell of TWO incredibly intense non-fiction deadlines*, I’ll be spending more time here. Probably drinking a lot of wine.

(Probably Rose because it’s summer–or at least it feels like it is.)

(This is not me.)

VERY IMPORTANT: Last week I was so up to my eyeballs in other people’s projects, I completely spaced on congratulating Savannah Page for winning a copy of Rita Hayworth’s Shoes in the Chick Lit Blog Hop. Savannah–CONGRATS! I hope you love it. If you love it, please tell everyone you know! (If you don’t love it, let’s never speak of this again.)

ALSO IMPORTANT! There will actually be a visitor in the Shed this Friday! Yes, you thought I was just tooling with you (ha! get it!) but indeed, I have a very cool lady making an appearance this week for my first FIVE FOR FRIDAY segment. AND… A bunch of new interview questions have been crafted and are going out this week! So hopefully we’re in for a summer of fun and inspiring stories!

That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting. And please invite all your friends (apparently because you can do that, too!). It looks like a small Shed but I promise there’s room for all!

*Disclaimer: While I like to whine (and wine) sometimes about the nonfiction projects I do, I actually have a couple of really great books I helped to develop coming out this fall. Hopefully I can drag some of the women whose stories I helped blossom into the Shed when their books release. Until then, cheers!

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The Idea Factory (Not A Shed)

When I started this blog, I explained why I called it “Clippings In The Shed“–that in the movie A Beautiful Mind, it’s the place where Russel Crowe thinks he’s up to genius maneuverings for saving the world, and all he’s really got is a shed full of crazy, scribbled-on news clippings. So this shed you see here at the top of the page is not actually where I think or write. In fact, I don’t even have a shed.

The place where I “write” is the jogging path behind my condo development. I call it The Idea Factory. I put the word write in quotes because I’m not actually out there with my laptop strung over my neck (like a drummer in a marching band) or wielding a notebook and pen. Writing for me is about 85 percent thinking and 15 percent scrawling or typing–I do both. And walking (and recently, at least in spurts, jogging) this quiet and beautiful stretch is where I think.

It was here that I decided there needed to be bisque dolls in Rita Hayworth’s Shoes, and that Amazonia was going to play a role. It’s where I realized that Professor Hemlich was an Elvis freak, and where I came up with the whole invented mythology of the movie star and the shoes.

It’s also REALLY quiet–especially at dawn. No kidlets waking up with the sun and a list of demands; no snoring husband. Just me and my iPod. And the birds and bunnies (who refuse capture by annoying jogging paparazzo with smartphone). And all the beautiful trees.

Where’s your “Idea Factory”? Leave a comment and let me know!

The Thinking Path!
Here’s where I get the ideas.
CHICK LIT AUTHOR BLOG HOP 2012!

CHICK LIT AUTHOR BLOG HOP 2012!

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Hop! A huge THANK YOU to Tracie Banister (Blame it on the Fame) for making all this possible!

As you hop from stop to stop, don’t forget to post a comment with your email address on each blog for a chance to win FREE e-books and a $150.00 Sephora gift card! Speaking of winning, you’re also about the win the experience of discovering 34 different authors! Being kind of a novice blogger, I checked out the 33 other posts before posting mine to try and figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing here and I can tell you in all honesty, there is much fun to be had on this hop! (I can also tell you that I still don’t quite have it all figured out, but I tried my best… Really I did…)

Anyway, what you need to do is to collect all the italicized words you find in each blog and email them to CLABlogHop@aol.com! All the rules and related information appear at the end of this post. (Hint for the italicized word in this post: It’s part of a conversation.)

Enjoy your “visits,” good luck, and have fun!

The Shoes That Launched 68,000 Words! Or… A Good Soul In Bad Shoes
The assignment here is to write a blog that’s chick-lit-centric. I figure the actual experience of turning the discovery of the most-adorable-ever pair of shoes into a novel probably qualifies, right? So here’s how that all turned out…

When you write a novel, people always want to know: “Did that really happen?” So you kind of take a breath and smile your kindest smile, the one reserved for puppies chasing their own tails and average everyday simpletons and you say… “No dear. That’s what you call non-fiction. A novel is fiction.”

Which we all know is kind of a lie…  Because behind every great story, there’s always a glimmer of the author’s own experience that made it spark to life.

So did “Rita Hayworth’s Shoes” really happen to me? Well, it’s true that I was lost for years in a quasi-functional relationship with a reptile enthusiast. And it’s true that in another lifetime, I had started graduate work towards a Ph.D. in English Lit. And it’s true that Voltaire’s “Candide,” the book my book is loosely based on, and which is the favorite book of my leading lady and man, is indeed my all-time favorite book. But my parents were never captured by pygmies. And my husband, while compared to me is enormous, is whatever the opposite of hairless is.

But perhaps the most fundamentally true element of “Rita Hayworth’s Shoes” is the shoes.

It’s always been a joke amongst my friends and me that I have, in my time, had awful taste in shoes. That I could ruin any outfit with a terrible shoe choice. I used to love this pair of comfy black sandals and I clearly remember a conversation that transpired more than ten years ago over a night of drinking with my adorable friends.

CVT: Why are you wearing those shoes again.
MT: Look at you. Your shirt, that skirt. So great! But those shoes…
SG: Hideous!
CVT: Those shoes are ruining you.
SG: I’m just so ashamed for you.
Me: But I like these shoes.
MT: You look like a gladiator.

We all had a great laugh about all this, but the ladies were right. (And for the record, this was about four years before gladiator sandals came into fashion.)

So on another day, with another friend, I came upon “the shoes” in Ann Taylor. They were called “Hayworth” and they were magnificent. They were peep-toe and they were black and they were just adorable. And they were almost $200. And I bought them.

In that store on that day I thought, wouldn’t this make a great premise for a book: A woman lost in her life finally understands that she’s “worth it,” and buys herself a great pair of expensive shoes to prove it–then her whole life changes! And voila! “Rita Hayworth’s Shoeswas born.

So Rita Hayworth’s shoes were originally black, not red. And my life didn’t change the instant I handed over my credit card, but I did meet my husband shortly thereafter. But the most real part of the story is this: Shoes can totally be magic. Don’t ever forget it!

***

AND DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE E-COPY OF RITA HAYWORTH’S SHOES AND A $150.00 SEPHORA GIFT CARD!

***

BLOG HOP RULES: Please read ALL rules and instructions!  
*Each of the 34 participating authors has written a special Chick Lit-centric piece and these posts will go live on Monday, May 14th.  At each blog hop stop, you will have the opportunity to enter to win a FREE Chick Lit e-book from that particular blog’s owner/author. All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog post, including your name and e-mail address, and you’re automatically entered to win.  If you visit each blog hop stop, that means you have the chance to win 34 different e-books!

*The blog hop will start at Natalie Aaron & Marla Schwartz and end at Jen Tucker.  You will find a list of all the stops on the blog hop at each author’s blog.  Authors’ blogs will be listed in alphabetical order according to last name.

*In each of the author’s blog posts, there will be a “secret word.”  This word will be italicized, so it will be easy to find.  All you have to do is make note of this secret word at each blog hop stop.  Collect all 34 secret words and submit your list to CLABlogHop@aol.com before midnight on Sunday, May 20th and you will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing!  The winner of this drawing will receive a $150 Sephora gift card! $150 to spend on make-up, fragrance, bath and body goodies, skin care, and hair products!  How fun is that?  This gift card can be redeemed online, or at any Sephora store in the US.

*Winners of each of the participating author’s e-books, as well as the Grand Prize winner of the $150 Sephora gift card will be announced on Monday, May 21st.

*Contests are open to residents of the United States only.
CLICK HERE for the link to the other author’s blogs!

Rita’s Fairytale Ending… Or More Like The Beginning!

Rita’s Fairytale Ending… Or More Like The Beginning!

Some magic shoes, a “fairy godmother” (or a few of them), and a wish on a star that FINALLY came true… Now where have I heard this story before? Oh yeah. Cinderella. A classic tale about an underdog without a future. A beautiful soul trapped in a hopeless oblivion, just waiting for that one magical moment when everything finally changes…

Well it looks like my little “Cinderella” has finally made it to the ball. Ten years in the making, two years in the completion, and a respectful number (because who’s counting really) of rejections later, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes has been picked up by burgeoning publisher Diversion Books–and is relaunching even as you read this!

Ain't she a beauty!
Rita Hayworth’s Shoes, in all her glory!

It’s hard to find the words to express how this feels, though “Holy fucking shit!” probably sums it up best. I mean, Wow. A huge wow.

Look, I’m no book publishing ingenue (a word I have to use because I feel it’s completely under-used, BTW). I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But seasoned old publishing hag that I am, I really had no idea how tough it was going to be. Rewarding, yes. But tough.

But that’s the stuff of other blogs. Right now, it’s time to bust out the magic shoes and dance!

For once upon a time, in a land and a lifetime so far away, an idea was born in a writer’s head. That idea grew into a story. A story that touches hearts and tickles funny bones (seriously–you have to check out some of these reviews!), and is now finally sprung from the land of the unknown to a whole new unknown…but this time with a little help to guide her to the place she really deserves to be!

So now, in a brand new sparkling dress with a fresh application of lipstick, it gives me great pleasure to re-announce the re-debut of the re-diculously fun, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes! Won’t you grace our girl with a read, a review, and recommendation?

Welcome to the ball, my precious one. I couldn’t be more proud of you!

Five For Friday

Five For Friday

Just a quickie today to let you know about something we’re going to start doing in The Shed, hopefully starting next week. Every Friday (the bold shows I’m serious!), I’m going to post a new 5-Question Interview (get it now–Five For Friday?) with someone really cool. It could be a celebrity. It could be a person who’s destined to become one. Who knows? That’s part of the fun!

Everyone visiting The Shed is a person with passion–someone who leaps out of the mundane of the everyday to follow that passion, even for one of those “stolen moments” here and there. And while you’re going to find a fair number of writers here, you’ll also meet some crafters, photographers, and even some funny film buffs. So come on back every Friday for an inspiring new story to discover!

No stories today because I pretty much just dreamed this idea up a couple of days ago, but the interviewing has begun! So if you know a person who seems like they’d be a good fit for Five For Friday, feel free to send ‘em my way. 

Until then, enjoy your Friday (with a slight tinge of sarcasm here if you’re also in New York and waking up to the mother of all thunderstorms) and the rest of your weekend!

Cheers!