Tuesday, December 20, 2005

December 20, 2005 -- Look Who's Publishing a Book These Days...

Aah, stinky politics! And I write this with the full knowledge of the fact that the NSA may be spying on me and reading this blog as we speak. (God willing!) This is Washington DC after all!

First, I'd like to get in touch with my publisher today to wish a Happy Holiday (I'm drinking the Kool Aid-flavored rhetoric here!) to everyone who'd toiled in the interests of Wendy Coakley-Thompson this year (first sign of megalomania-- referring to yourself in the third person). But I know the office is probably empty, because of the transit strike taking a bite out of New York City. How will Bridge-and-Tunnel people, such as myself, get in to pay through a certain orificie for the overpriced, rude, sullen New York Experience?

Now I read in "Media Notes," Howard Kurtz's column in The Washington Post, that James Risen, the New York Times reporter who wrote the story of domestic spying in the paper, has a book coming out in January. Risen'll probably be cast in the role as the hero, a neo-Bob Woodward, even though his paper held the story for a WHOLE YEAR! And don't get me started on Bob Woodward. You can't "plame" me for my ambivalence (Okay, that was bad!).

As an author, I'm always trying to find strategies to increase my base. I was a big Tony Robbins fan almost ten years ago. He says that, when you're looking for "strategeries" for success, you should look at successful people, see what they did to get where they are, and extrapolate that into your particular circumstances. So, I'm looking around me at who's putting up numbers that I can only dream of, at who's getting press. And I ask myself: Should I have my very own wardrobe malfunction (Janet Jackson, and God forbid!)? Should I hook up with famous men and ply my tales of them to get myself famous (Karrine Steffans)? Should I Lewinsky the President (Clinton, gladly; Bush, not without biting down)?

Are these some of my only choices? I'm open to suggestions. Let me know what you think... and, as I always say, tell ten friends...

Monday, December 19, 2005

December 19, 2005 -- Writer Masturbation

I can see the eyebrows raising up right now... "Masturbation? Isn't talking about that what got poor Jocelyn Elders in trouble?" Well, I'm not advocating the kind I'm about to discuss. The other kind... well, to each his/her own.

I've found myself unable to stop myself. And the gratification I get is instant -- like someone wired an electrode to my brain, and I keep pressing the bar, trying to get my food pellet. The type of masturbation I'm talking about is the mental kind. Every morning, I boot up my computer, then I check my rank on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com for What You Won't Do For Love, as well as for the first baby, Back to Life. The fluctuation in either direction either makes my day or makes me profoundly sad. Despite the fact that my editor told me that ranks, the Amazon rank in particular, is based on a small number of sales. But I'm like, "LA LA LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!"

Then I Google myself (which sounds suspiciously like it should be on David Letterman's list of "Things That Sound Dirty but Aren't"). I see how many hits I have. As a matter of fact, today, when I saw that my blog showed up when I did the auto-Google, I was so happy, like Snoopy dancing on the dog house.

I must confess, the feeling of seeing your rank escalate and the number of your Google hits increase is actually better than sex. At least any sex that I've had recently. I can shut my computer down -- when I want to, by the way -- without having to cuddle, and I can spend the rest of the day with a smile on my face (which is how I know that it IS better than any sex I've had lately).

I know... you're probably like, "Oh, Wen, T.M. -- frickin' -- I." Hey, don't say that I didn't share.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December 09, 2005

This week, I remembered one aspect of life in the Washington DC area that I'd just as soon rather forget: SNOW! Tons and tons of snow! The stuff is great when you're a kid, and you get the day off from school, but a grown-up with stuff to do? It loses its appeal

But I love living in the DC area. It's probably one of the best places to live if you're a writer. Most everyone's up on current events and balances that with a healthy infusion of pop culture. It is said that Washington DC is Hollywood for ugly people. I take exception to that on the aesthetic tip, but I understand what they mean. I mean, where else can you be running in Georgetown and jog past Senate Leader Bill Frist, which is what happened to my friend some time ago. Way before that pesky insider-trading-stock scandal. And the scandals here are so juicy. It's not just sex, but sex and power, the Castor and Pollux of afrodisiacs. As a writer, I think I'll have enough plots to last me a good long time. Plus writers I like use a certain city as their Muse. Eric Jerome Dickey waxes poetically about Los Angeles. Jennifer Weiner is as inextricably linked to Philly as a sinful Geno's cheesesteak. Like Helen Fielding and London. And Candace Bushnell (and insert any other chicklit author here) and New York... well, I think I've belabored the point, don't you?

When I was writing What You Won't Do For Love, I was living in Atlanta and missing DC. So, it was very cathartic to have Devin and his boys and Chaney and her girls ride the metro, and go to happy hour at places like the Rhodeside, where I've spent many a Happy Hour, check out Mystics games at the MCI Center, or partake of the offerings on Rockville Pike, where the shopping is divine... and there's parking to boot! So, I'm happy to be back, chilling with my Muse... and digging out from under all the snow!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

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Look Who's Blogging Now!

Hey, y'all!

This is the premiere entry into my very own blog, and I am so excited. What caused me to get on the bandwagon was the use of blogs by folks like Arianna Huffington and Andrew Sullivan. I figured, hey, if they can use such a tool for something as lofty as politics, I can use it for something less heavy… like my fiction. Although I live in D.C. now – again! – and some of the things that happen in this town are sure stranger than some plots (fiendish or otherwise) that I could ever cook up.

Plus the immediacy of the blog will give me the chance to communicate with folks who are vibing on the same wavelength as I am. I like that. I can talk right now about my new baby, What You Won’t Do For Love, which dropped in November and is available wherever fine books are sold. This is the description:

Thirty-six-year-old Chaney’s dealing with her e-learning firm’s hellish clients, an anal-retentive older sister, and a flaky middle sister who runs off with her musician lover on tour, leaving Chaney to watch her high-maintenance yellow Lab, Tony. Such is life in D.C. circa 2002, as Chaney dodges shots to the heart from Devin, the cute veterinarian tadpole who’s all of twenty-eight, and a sniper with a Bushmaster XM15 E2S rifle…

I’ll also be using the forum of this blog to wax about the state of being a fiction writer at the dawn of a new millennium, at the rebirth of this growing genre… fiction featuring people of African descent as characters. That could involve anything, so I’m going to stay as open as I can.

Please stick with me. I’ll echo Mariah Carey’s sentiment: without fans, I am nothing.

And keep watching this space…