Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Do Americans Get so "Queasy" Over Sex but a Good Head Ripping is OK?

Whenever I get hit with a topic, I like to blog while it's on my mind. Okay, so I have this wonderfully sexy book California Girl Chronicles that is loaded with good, old-fashioned "get it on"! Yep, plenty of sheet time being logged. I noticed this when I shared my booth space at the Miami Book Fair with my new friend Victoria who had a science fiction book and another on zombies. While people flocked to look at morbid pictures of zombies, when I asked a simple question, "Do you like romance books?" You would think, in some cases, I was asking some of the women to strip off their clothes, find the nearest guy, and do it right in front of me. The horrified looks were stunning and priceless.

Some (not all) Americans are so uptight about nudity and sex, while violence is A-okay. Parents will let Johnny watch a good head ripping or a nice gunshot to the head, but goodness no, don't let Johnny see ... a butt cheek! Oh, bad, bad, bad. What is wrong with this picture? Sex and nudity are natural parts of life. Heck, I grew up in a house where my parents were nudists. Who cares?! We all have bodies. And most of us have sex at one time or the other. How do you think we all got here? I would wager, though, that killing your neighbor with one shot to the brain isn't exactly natural. In fact, I would suggest it's as counter contrary to life as sex and nudity are contrary to it. Maybe we need to lose this whole puritan perspective and move on already. It's definitely not helping our teen pregnancy rate much is it? Just saying ... and as for the rest of you who have openly enjoyed California Girl Chronicles, well, good for you. Glad to know some people don't run screaming down the hallways and yelling, "Oh, noooooooooo it's that oversexed book again!"

Social Media: Should You Be Picky About Who You Accept as Friends?

Today's question comes directly from one of the discussions started on my Facebook page. I am nearing 2,000 connections via Facebook, which is where most of my marketing energy is vested. I have found two schools of thought. One being that you should keep your connections paired down to only true "connections" and the other being that you should cast a wide net because you never know who you're going to "catch". Let me address each point. The first theory will never work for me. I am not on social media for fun. I know some of my friends who use it strictly for personal reasons. When you use it for personal connections and to stay in touch with friends and family, it makes sense to keep it restricted. If you use social media, though, for your business or business in general, why would you restrict it? Here is why not restricting has paid off for me. I had no idea who were all of my connections. Turns out I'm connected to some serious movers and shakers. Two of them in particular have helped me move my book California Girl Chronicles forward in Hollywood, and they connected me with some major producers. I also routinely get contacted by authors who have been following my activities on social media and want to do business with me. If I restricted those folks, I wouldn't have that opportunity. Now if your concern about being connected to a lot of unknowns means you're also fielding nonsense on your Wall then de-friend them or just delete or ignore the nonsense. I do both. Many people assume I'm on social media to be social, and men mistakenly believe I'm on there to meet men, which I am not. I try to be courteous and friendly when they hit on me. Why? you ask. Because you never know when admirers will simply turn into fans of your products (in my case books). No harm in that, and in some ways that comes with what I'm doing anyway. My last lick here: Why build a social media page for networking and then restrict your connections? If you want to play on social media, play with your friends. If you use it for business then be savvy about it and no "restrictions apply."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Generation Kill: Dress Blues with a Sword


I LOVE great dialog. The wittier and more clever, the better. So, for the sake of imparting great wisdom on amazing dialog, I'm going to post some segments of dialog that just, in my less than humble opinion, rocked! This little bit comes from the amazing HBO mini series, Generation Kill. Enjoy!

Lance Cpl. Harold James Trombley: Sergeant, I didn't get to shoot!
Cpl. Josh Ray Person: That fucking sucks, Trombley. Did your recruiting officer tell you you'd get to shoot people?
Lance Cpl. Harold James Trombley: Fucking A he did!
Cpl. Josh Ray Person: See, Trombley asked about shooting people. I asked about pussy. The guy told me I'd get to go to Thailand, get all kinds of strange. What'd you ask about, Brad? Brad probably saw that T.V. commercial, the one with the knight that fucks up the dragon then turns into the Marine.
Cpl. Walt Hasser: Woo woo! Dress blues with a sword!
Cpl. Josh Ray Person: Fucking dress blues commercial man. That got so many fucking guys. Now look at us: Trombley hasn't killed anybody, I'm half a world away from good Thai pussy, and Colbert is out here rolling around fuckbutt Iraq, hunting for dragons in a MOPP suit that smells like four days of piss and ball sweat.
Lance Cpl. Harold James Trombley: Nice.
Cpl. Josh Ray Person: You should have rolled into battle with a sword, Brad. That would've fuckin' rocked.

Writing ... It's Just Typing

Sometimes all you have is your sense of humor. A fellow writer friend reminded me the other day of the time when our company was hiring a writer and the human resources person said the only necessary skill one needed to be a writer was the ability to type. I believe the quote went something like this, "It's just typing." Well said HR lady! Yup, just typing. I think that line needs to go in my Hall of Infamy. What are some other professions we can reduce to (a-hem) a "fundamental" level. Okay, here we go ...

Fine art ... it's just painting.
Accounting ... it's just adding and subtracting.
Electrician ... it's just a light switch.
Teacher ... it's just babysitting.
Manager ... it's just a job.
Chef ... it's just food.
Publicist ... it's just hype.
Acting ... it's just pretend.

I could go on (and I hope you found that list entertaining). All of these professions require skill and talent albeit different skills and talents, but I imagine that I'm preaching to choir. You should all comment and tell me what your profession "is just."

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Sneak Peek at the Screenplay Beauty School

INT. CHAZ’S HOUSE - EVENING

The room is loaded with guys, all drinking beer, and TALKING. Two more of Chaz’s buddies -- LITTLE FRANKIE, a true short black guy who wears swim trunks like shorts with a wife- beater T-shirt, glasses and low-cut, afro-style hair; and AUSTIN, a lanky, tall, dark-haired geek who wears jeans and a T-shirt with an actual tie around his neck; both stand out.

CHAZ 
Guys! You ready?

Little Frankie let’s out a GROAN as soon as his butt hits the seat cushion and leaps back up.

LITTLE FRANKIE 
What the fuck?!

He smells his wet hand.

LITTLE FRANKIE (CONT’D) 
Is that mother-fucking piss?

He looks down at a wet spot. Bo comes in and tosses down a towel.

BO 
Yep, Lemur took a whizz. Sorry man.

CHAZ 
Shit, Bo, you said ...

BO 
Yeah, man, OK all right. It’s just a little ‘wetty’.

LITTLE FRANKIE 
Fuck off! Did you just say ‘wetty’?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie Review: The Descendants

I don't go to movies often anymore. I either don't have time or nothing seems worth the price of admission. This week, though, I was presented with time and a good movie. I went to see the new George Clooney film The Descendants, a rare adult drama worth the ticket price. Now if you're searching for an uplifting, fun ride, this film is not for you. It is not a popcorn flick by any means. This heartfelt story is about a husband on the eve of being left a widow as his comatose wife lay dying, and he now must rise to the occasion of being a hands-on Dad. He also unfortunately discovers his wife had taken a lover. This revelation obviously turns his world upside down and gives Clooney another vehicle to show off his acting skills. I suspect he might be up for yet another award for this one. The young actresses who play his daughters also deliver the emotional goods and give an organic, realistic and un-self-conscious performance. I particularly enjoy the somewhat stupid boyfriend who provides some comic relief and turns out to have a heart. Between the painful moments, the story provides numerous laughs over sometimes just the absurdities in life. I loved the film and give it four stars out of four. Definitely take some time out to go see it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Top Five Favorite TV Shows

Time to myself always means I'm writing. I love to write (can't you tell), so I thought it would be fun since I'm also a complete movie and TV series lover (almost always when it's an HBO show) to share my top five shows and why they made the list. See if you agree or if you're just intrigued by what I'm sharing.

It's pretty tough to pick my all-time favorite mostly because it changes with each obsession. I get so into these shows that I watch them until I have often memorized some of the greatest lines in them. I also listen attentively to commentaries to learn from them since I also screen write. I enjoy cast interviews too and love it when you can tell an actor is completely committed to the role. I get it. I treat my characters in my fiction works the same way. They become trusted friends -- and believe it or not they kind of take on minds of their own. If you don't understand that, just ask another writer. So, I think you'll have to read this list and realize they almost all weigh out the same in quality in my mind but for different reasons.

No. #1: Sex in the City 
The series opened up a whole new dialog about how women friends really talk to each other. You don't have to live in New York City to have those kind of open, honest friendships with women. The sex talk and the sheer honesty and humor behind it sucked millions of women into this series. In fact, toward the end, we were more vested in the women's friendship than the relationships with men. Some of the best moments in the series almost always involved the "girls". My tear-jerker moment came after Carrie's confession to Aidan she had cheated only to retreat to the love and support of her "girls". Then we have some of the greatest all-time, memorable lines that included "bozo the bush" and the "naked dress" not to mention the reference to "funky-tasting spunk ... funnnkkky". It's such a contemporary series that even today over 10 years past the pilot, you can watch reruns and it still feels fresh.

No. #2 Generation Kill (Mini Series)
Now you're wondering, why does she love this one? First and foremost, you can watch Generation Kill, which it only went seven episodes, about 100 times and still not catch everything. It's unabashed storytelling technique about the invasion of Iraq is gripping, gritty, realistic and riveting. The dialog is real and delightful at times ("Gentlemen, now we're going to have to earn our stories" or "stay frosty"). And the series has a real heart and truth to it. It doesn't glamorize war, but rather tells the story in almost a documentary style. And among the stellar cast is my favorite actor Alexander Skarsgård whose often just-beneath-the-surface performance carries the show from end to end. Why do I like him so much? And no, it's not because he's eye candy, which he is, but because everything about his performances are understated, focused and intelligent. Those blue-green eyes say it all for him, and when we're lucky enough to catch his wide smile, well, even better. Some of the greatest moments in that series revolve around him. The wounding of an Iraqi child, and his character's expression of grief, pain and regret without actually shedding a single tear is mesmerizing. Marines don't cry, but Sergeant Brad Colbert aka as the "Iceman" comes close -- and it's that kind of work that makes this show incredible.

No. #3: True Blood
True Blood was one of those shows that appeared campy and strange before season 1 began. The promo had me curious, but not enough to even bother to watch the premier. Somewhere on a Sunday night, I started to watch. I quickly found myself "sucked" (pun intended) into the campy, sudsy world of Sookie. While I initially enjoyed the Sookie/Bill romance, it soon began to erode for me by season 3 where he almost kills her. Then bring in the assortment of fun characters I grew to love, which includes Eric and Pam, Hoyt and Jessica, and just about any moronic thing Jason does, and I was hooked. But again, it was, once again, Alexander Skarsgård as Eric that cemented the show for me. In fact, it took me a good long while to connect the dots back to him playing Sergeant Brad Colbert on Generation Kill before I once more realized my favorite actor was back. First, it didn't help that in season 1 he wore that awful wig, which made him nearly unrecognizable. Why do I like Eric ... and Eric with Sookie with whom he has great chemistry? Eric as played by Skarsgård is portrayed as complex, powerful, sometimes scary but you always know he has a heart, and menacing. The unforgettable rooftop scene where he cries and begs Godric not take his own life ... wow! And watching Skarsgård unleash the grief and tears was absolutely mesmerizing. Not to mention the whole segment with Sookie and Godric still moves me to this day. Every scene he inhabits is interesting to watch and often unexpected. By this last season, though, the writers really took the Eric/Sookie relationship down a stupid path and diluted Skarsgård's performance by throwing in some really lame one-liners I could have done without. I hope they get their mojo back this next season and don't make him say something stupid like, "Excuse me! We're a little crispy up here." Ugh, bad!

No. #4: Six Feet Under
This show was consistently good season after season until the finale. I completely vested myself in the Nate-Brenda relationship that was so complex, sometimes very sexy, but almost always maddening. I love that Alan Ball tends to pick women in lead roles that are not classically Hollywood beautiful. These actresses have real life in their faces and bodies, and I love that. True Blood cast members often reflect this as well. Ruth and her brood were complicated, self-destructive, and slightly crazy at times. I adored David's uptightness and Clair's broody artist -- all pitch-perfect. I have to say when they kill off Nate, though, in the final season I was so upset, but quickly got over it in the finale when Ball just, what the heck, kills off the entire cast! You have to hand it to him, clever and truly final!

No. #5 House and Friends -- Tie
For 10 years, Thursday night was my night to laugh all thanks to Friends. I have since met or run into the cast members. Lisa Kudrow who played Phoebie showed up at one of our book launches, and I chatted with her for a while. She was lovely and very down to earth. We talked a little about women in comedy. Joey aka Matt Le Blanc camped next to my family's RV in Redway, CA. And Monica's boyfriend in the first season played by Tom Selleck was getting his hair cut at the same place I was ironically on the same day I met Lisa. My tie show House is still on the air, and I try to catch it on Monday nights, but I mostly love waiting to watch a House marathon on DVD each year. I have some great memories of doing that at my aunt's house back east before I would go to bed. I love House for everything he says that is brutally honest. I love all of his foibles. He's just a great, flawed character.

Read the Instructions, Dummy!

All right between all of these different blogs and social media with no instructions other than intuition, hope and prayer, how are we supposed to know how to use all of these tools? I'm pretty computer savvy, and I've been using technology and software applications long enough to understand the fundamentals. What cracks my skull is how many of these social media sites pop up with no real instructions, and we're all expected to, well, figure it out. Or like Tumblr.com they have this boring-ass video that we should sit around and watch for a few hours just to learn how to attract followers. I am a busy girl. I don't have time to sit around and watch videos just to figure out how to get followers. Am I complaining? Yes, I am. I also don't know why sites such as Facebook just can't keep it simple. Every time I turn around, Facebook has "upgraded" -- and all this upgrading is supposed to improve it! Huh, now wait! Why does it just seem harder to use. How exactly is that an improvement? A simple, intuitive interface works fabulous.

Why do we falsely believe that the more complicated something is, the more it's improved? Here's a great example of clean simplicity that works. Look at Google! How has it really changed over the last 10 years? Think about it. That search page has stayed relatively the same with the occasional tweak or "twinge" (new word for upgrade ;). Google continues to work just fine. I need to search, I use Google. Why can't Facebook take a page out the Google lesson plan? I'm not saying an occasional "twinge" doesn't hurt, but "hell to the no" on this complete interface overhaul stuff they recently did. Now I can't even find the website link icon on my personal page. Why did that have to get buried I'm totally baffled. What did I do? Did I accidentally click on something to make it go away? And if that's the case, why can't I figure out how to "unclick" it and make it come back?

And that Friend-Os is my personal rant about technology for the day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Completely Idle thoughts on True Blood, Alexander Skarsgård, Paparazzi, and Black Friday

I now have Apple TV. Yesterday left completely bored by nothing on TV and lethargy (I didn't want to go to the video store), I decided to watch You Tube. Here is what I love about You Tube, you can watch all of the interviews you missed or downloads from festivals and conferences. My favorite show du jour is True Blood so I decided to watch the cast interviews from HBO and Paleyfest from last summer. Caught some great behind-the-scenes comments about Season 4 (sort of my favorite season, but it really waned in writing quality toward the last three shows ... which is why I favor Season 3 for overall consistency). I started laughing when the cast cited some of their favorite lines, which included "Ring, ring hooker" (turns out that one was an ad-lib) and Kristin Bauer van Straten, whose quip, "Pretty much anything Pam says," made me smile and nod. Pam had the great line of the season, "Sookie and her precious fairy vagina." I completely loved that line at the time it raged out of poor, dejected Pam's mouth. And then just to confirm what I already picked up, my favorite contemporary actor Alexander Skarsgård was offered and graciously accepted a thank you letter from a fan, and he sweetly gave her a kiss on the cheek (aaaahhhh), proving what I suspect that he's the real deal. Speaking of Skarsgård, I also found some completely hilarious clips from a little-known movie called Beyond the Pole, which only confirms his comedic chops. Okay, Alex I want you in my comedy Beauty School (hint, hint). You would make a deliciously funny Bo, the weird, little sidekick who's so stupid he wears a robe to the first day of beauty college. When Chaz says the robe resembles his "mother's bath mat" (after Bo falsely believes it's cool like "Hef's"), Bo is left to respond, "Hey it's micro-fibers." And that is my favorite line from my own script.

Of course, this segues to why I called this blog "completely idle thoughts," because idle hands and boredom led to me to click on a stupid video beneath the interviews of Alexander Skarsgård as he was out on the town. As I glanced at it and then clicked it off in disgust, I realized I would not want to be that famous. While it's clear that Skarsgård shows complete respect and regard for his fans and will sign autographs, the paparazzi hound him like crazy. While he ignores them, this gets him labeled like something is wrong with him. I know this sort of thing comes with fame, but seriously that's just ugly. And that video was completely uninteresting and boring; hence it got clicked off. It also got clicked off because I found it offensive. You Tube, unfortunately, while great for allowing us to watch rare missed interviews and hard-to-find material, it does give the paparazzi a place to load their useless trash and create an audience. I do not ever advocate censorship, but seriously don't watch that stuff, and they won't have a demand for it. It's just wasted time and very intrusive. It's one thing to go out and deliberately meet fans, sign books (in my case), and shake hands; but it's another to have someone filming your off time for no good reason. I know I'm swimming upstream here, but really if that were you just trying to go out wouldn't you want to be left to it and not hounded?

Now for my comments on Black Friday. We were (as evidenced) laying around yesterday, and Black Friday became a discussion point. It seems some people had camped for days in front of Best Buy where the steal-of-a-deal for Black Friday was a $300 flat screen television. Here is what I don't get. While the price was a good deal, was it really worth the lost productivity of camping in a parking lot for three days prior? Is that how people spend their vacation time? "Hey Fred! Let's go camping ... at the Best Buy parking lot." Wow! Sounds like some great escape. "Sure Maude, we'll get us a plasma for $300!" It's all good. I make $15 an hour and the lost work time ... let's do the math shall we? That TV is worth $600 full price. "Hey Fred! You just made up the difference! Good for you!" Americans ... can you see me shake my head? On the other hand, I am warmly ensconced in my cozy home pondering a movie later on. No camping in pavement, materialistic city for me!

Want a Black Friday gift ... for FREE? The first five people who send me an email with their shipping address will get their own FREE copy of my new book California Girl Chronicles. It's a great Christmas gift -- and, "Look Ma! No camping!" Send your email to info@3LPublishing.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

What a year and it's not quite over! Last year at this time I was struggling to get my former business partner out of the company. The screenplay C-ASS had completely fallen on its "ass" (forgive the pun) after the revelation that our so-called "manager" (and that's a real stretch ... the word "con artist" more aptly applies) was nothing more than a pathological liar. The rest of the year was fraught with so many challenges, but I kept going. I kept working and moving forward. I kept my eyes forward and my attitude positive. Now look where I'm at. Former partner is completely gone and the last of the fallout from her presence has finally been cleaned up. I have a new script Beauty School that has caught the interest of two producers (it has only been given to two producers too), my new book California Girl Chronicles is picking up sales momentum and media interest and just received its first official positive review from the SF Book Review, and now we've got several producers and executives interested in turning it into a TV show. The phrase, "What a difference a day makes" should be restated to what a "difference a year makes." Just about every day something with California Girl Chronicles moves forward either through my own push or just via momentum. Yesterday a Facebook connection asked to interview me about the book, which is the third time someone from the media has come to me and not the other way around. We had a free full page advertisement appear in Hollywood Vine Magazine on page 40. I managed to move 50 copies of California Girl Chronicles at the Miami Book Fair, and I met some terrific new friends. It has been just an incredible shift! When faced with these challenges, the number one piece of advice: believe in yourself, stay positive, take action, and manifest your dreams. Throughout all of the challenges, I just kept my head up, worked hard, did what I needed to fix the wreckage left behind by the former partner, and then refocused on what I wanted! I wrote California Girl Chronicles in two months and followed that endeavor with book two, which will be released next spring. It's all about knowing what you want and going for it. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Funny Moments from the Miami Book Fair


Now time for the throwaway comments: Those of you only interested in valuable information, stop here. The rest of you, hang on. Here are some travel tips. When going to a popular tourist restaurant (particularly in South Beach) and the waiter offers the day’s special, do make sure to ask the price. It may not be even close to the other entrée’s prices. A $52 chunk of sea bass and two prawns may mean those last five book sales you worked so hard to earn were spent on crappy fish. Don’t let the stupid waitress at the Clevelander take your credit card to start a tab when you know better. You will suddenly awaken in the middle of the night and realize that while you were dancing the night away and fending off greasy Canadian Bob in the ridiculous feather cowboy hat, your card got abandoned only to be retrieved the next evening, which forced you back to South Beach for another expensive meal. Don’t hail a cab late at night when your driver may be nuttier than a can of Planter’s Peanuts. Your knuckles will turn a permanent shade of white and you may spend at least 15 unpleasant minutes with your life flashing before your eyes as the driver “avoids” (and I use that term loosely) five collisions in five minutes. Don’t buy a cute pair of $100 high-heels suede pumps instead of the comfy loafers you eyed because you also deluded yourself into the false and ludicrous belief you might actually wear uncomfortable, miserable heels for eight hours. And you deluded yourself because the cute waiter, who winked at you at the great seafood restaurant next door to the shoe store, brought you two heavily infused vodka drinks. By the time you got to the shoe store, your brain was so drowned in alcohol you lost all good judgment anyway.

And this Friend-Os concludes this special Miami plane ride edition brought to you by the stupid mistake of purchasing a Spanish translation of Steve Jobs’ biography. Now my only question: Where can I take that book back to get an English version?

Monday, November 21, 2011

San Francisco Book Review: California Girl Chronicles

Brea Harper is a classic California girl: blond and beautiful, but smarter than the rest. When her job as an editor at a local magazine disappears, she moves to Los Angeles on a whim to pursue her lifetime dream of becoming a scriptwriter. But more adventures await her than just a struggle to break into the business. Brea also gets sucked into a series of romantic mishaps with three men. Lance, who suggested she move in the first place, is her “roommate with benefits,” whom she shacks up with until she can get her own place. Drew is the singer in a local band, with whom she has intense chemistry, but for some reason, can never get any kind of relationship off the ground. And Kale is a Hollywood producer who mentors Brea and truly loves her, but can't save her from herself. Naturally, the combination of these three men is a catastrophe waiting to happen, and when her romances collide, life really gets complicated.

Michelle Gamble-Risley's debut novel, California Girl Chronicles, Book 1, is a wild ride. Like so many romance novels, the storyline is rather lacking in substance but rich in romantic encounters. Brea freely admits to loving sex, and that definitely shows in the frequency with which it occurs; the sex is hot and steamy, but many readers will find those passages altogether too short to be satisfying. Her job in a bikini shop provides a good deal of comic relief, breaking up both the sexy and more serious parts of the plot with ease and allowing the author's wit to shine through. Readers disappointed with what can easily be labeled a non-conclusive ending can take comfort in the fact that this is only the first book, and Brea's escapades will surely be continued in future volumes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Three Minutes of Completely Unimportant Rambling

Let me share a brief, but ridiculous commentary on "packing". Yes, packing for travel. Now most of you were expecting I might comment on something relevant, important or even trendy. No, not today. Today it's about the bag and the clothes. I am off to the Miami Book Fair to meet new authors and sell books. I was super pleased to procure a non-stop flight too. Don't you just hate it when you're going to Vegas and your flight stops twice, and one stop is in Utah. Those of you not map-challenged that should resemble half of a triangle. Do you think the trip planner sat around and just threw stops up in the air and picked two just to ensure it's LONG trip? Ah, sorry, I digress. P.S., I once took an American Airlines flight that did make two stops -- and yes, one was in Utah. Well, to continue my most ridiculous and inconsequential blog on packing. Here is the best tip I ever learned in the entire world about packing! Roll your clothes. Don't fold them, roll them. See! That right there was worth the time wasted reading about my half-triangle trip. When you roll your clothes you get two really fabulous benefits. First, you have more room in your suitcase for more unnecessary stuff. Second, your clothes don't wrinkle ... not even gowns! Don't believe me? Try it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Are you really a writer?" "No, I'm an elephant."

The difference between being a writer and not being a writer is ... writing. One of the questions that always makes me laugh, "Are you really a writer?" or "What have you written?" I'll address each one in order. Am I really a writer? As opposed to what? An elephant? An accountant? (Ew ... I could never in 10 trillion years be an accountant.) What qualifies me as a writer? I wrote a paper in 6th grade ... all right I'll quit being sarcastic. Hapless and well-meaning folk ask me that question. It's okay, I forgive you. Next time you tell me you're a manager, I'll ask you, "Do you really manage something?" Now I'm messing with you. Yes, I am really a writer, and lions and tigers and bears oh my! I am a publisher too. I once had a gal say to me, "You know a real publishing company." I started looking around and wondering if I was invisible. Then I looked at all of my "fake" books ... hmm ... the Invisible Publishing Company -- that name works too. Now for the question, "What have I written?" Oh no! I've been writing professionally since I was 22-years-old. At the risk of sounding like I need granny panties, that's a whole lot of professional writing to cover. I've written for regional and national magazines, companies internal and external newsletters, white papers galore, screenplays (I had a movie air on Showtime), and now four books including my latest (and first novel) California Girl Chronicles now available for sale on my website and Amazon. I guess I could be a smart ass again and say, "I actually fake it." Actually, I faked the whole thing including this blog. Nope! I don't blog daily! Oh, does that require writing? Who knew.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Super Secret Work Behavior

Remember that episode of Sex in the City where the girls admitted to their super secret single behavior? Charlotte studied her skin up close; Miranda let her hands marinate in Vaseline-glazed gloves; and I can't recall what Carrie and Samantha did, but I am sure it was funny. So, as a work-at-home CEO who will never glide into another office building unless it's for a meeting, here are my super secret work behaviors. You telecommuters may appreciate so of them as true for you. You office workers may groan and spit envious words of "just shut it already."

Uniform choices of the day -- my favorite blue bathrobe. Yes, my uniform is a blue bathrobe combined with last night's pajamas. I don't shower or dress until noon. Tis true. What's the point in wasting valuable time getting dressed when I'm not going anywhere? I've heard other telecommuters confess that they don't even shower. I draw the line there. Must feel clean at some point during the day.

Sleeping till 8:30 a.m. and rolling to the computer. I am NOT a morning person. I used to force myself to wake up and head to work by 7:00 a.m. for 20 years. Every single morning I absolutely hated it ... for 20 years. It didn't grow on me. I didn't adjust. I just didn't like it -- can't change biology. I will never be a morning person. So, the gift of sleeping in later is what I gave myself for going independent.

Long lunches -- yes, I love taking long leisurely lunches with my clients and associates. It's the one thing I give myself as a nice luxury. First, I work sometimes seven days a week (and mind you no complaints I love this business). Second, there is a fine line for me between work and fun. I could talk shop until the cows come home, eat the barn, and stampede in the streets. When I'm with clients in particular, I give them 200 percent of my attention. So, long lunches come with the territory, and I love it.

Here are things I don't do: take too much time off to vacation; let my marketing tasks go and forget to write this blog or get my newsletter done for Sundays; shop during the day; watch TV or any sort or You Tube for that matter; surf the Internet out of boredom. If I have a down moment, I am marketing my business or leveraging social media. Just know you have to have give an take. A moment to chat on a patio for two hours has to be made up for in disciplined work. Just don't make it all work and no play, but don't tip the scales to too much play.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Treat Your Book Just Like Your Brand

Even clients who I have worked with for a long time sometimes don't understand the value of exposure. The question inevitably leads to, "But where are the sales?" Building a brand involves a lot of exposure. Exposure leads to awareness. Awareness leads to recognition. Recognition leads to sales. Have you ever heard someone say, "I know that name?" or "I think I've seen this before." When promoting your book, you build your platform by working on exposure. Did you know it takes at least 3-6 times before it will register with people what is your book? I recently gave away a bunch of California Girl Chronicles book to help gain exposure. I want as many books out in the marketplace as possible. In the beginning, you sometimes have to do the giveaways to spread the book around. My goal is to cement the brand. The sales will come later. If you fixate simply on sales you will prohibit opportunities to gain exposure. The more places and times people see the book, the more likely when the reviews come out they will recognize the book. When they go out and shop at the bookstores, there the book will be again. Exposure! Do you think it's more likely they will pick up a book they've seen and read about? Or will they be inclined to pass it by? Visibility + Exposure = SALES! This blog and social media are a part of that exposure too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And this is Why I Want Skarsgård for My Projects!

This quote comes from True Blood NewsBut during an interview in September, no demons were displayed, not even a hint of a shadow. Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgard (he goes by Alex) was born and raised in Stockholm, but unless he’s pronouncing Scandinavian words, his accent is husky American, and his conversation is a steady burble of positivity, all about luck and gratitude and the “great energy” he’s feeling around him. And that attitude and outlook is exactly why I want my script Beauty School and my series California Girl Chronicles to get to him. This is an actor who has every reason to let his ego run wild yet he gets the big "spiritual" get! I'm not sure I agree with the idea of pure luck (I think we make our own luck happen), but this very outlook on life is why I want him for my projects. Bringing all that "great energy" right along with him -- and I promise I'll bring my own ;). And funny enough, if things go as planned, we'll be one degree of separation from being able to reach out to him. More on that later ... unless of course, energy brings him to us first!  <wink>

This is Why California Girl Chronicles is HOT! Sounds Terribly Self Promoting - Hire a Publicist! Make them Say It

I just did a response for Blog Stampede to promote my book California Girl Chronicles. The question was why hire a publicist and not do your own PR? Yes, I could do my own PR just fine since 3L Publishing provides those services, and we use Vocus to access all of North American media. Here is why I am not doing it on my own and I hired my staff member Justine Brown to do it for me. Because I immediately become uncomfortable telling the media it's my book and this is why it's hot ... Justine, on the other hand, has no vested emotional stake talking me and the book up. It's like when you're out with a friend. It's easier and more self-effacing to allow them to share your accomplishments than for you to brazenly tell the world.  You want to put your best foot forward, effortlessly and comfortably. Also, you don't want the appearance of amateur hour. Doing your own PR makes your product or book lose credibility. Now in the case where you're a general business person or author who has never done PR nor has the resources or knowledge to do it right, you make it even worse. If you don't know how to pitch and you don't have the proper tools to find the contacts you're spinning your wheels. If you have the contacts and you don't know how to write a press release or media kit -- again, you will lose credibility. Don't try this at home has meaning here!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Promoting California Girl Chronicles

We're diving in and getting the book moving fast with the trajectory of a rocket for sure. First up, on November 15, I will be on KFBK with my favorite local radio personal Kitty O'Neal discussing California Girl Chronicles evolution from a book that has just barely been released to a TV series that we are pitching and working with producers and others to develop. A review is also set to go in the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review in December. We've also got books out to dozens of national media outlets including GQ, Maxim, Allure and many others. We are now in the follow-up stage with these writers to get them to post a review by the time the book releases on the national scene to the bookstores in January. You can now get a copy on Amazon, and it's available for Kindle, Nook and iBook.

Now since it's Saturday, I want to have a little fun and share what I'm enjoying most about this process. Creating fans of the book! When I was out at an event the other day with the book physically for sale for the first time, want to know what I noticed? People would walk up and look at the cover and smirk or smile! How cool. I love the positive reactions. It's good to make people smile. We need more smiles these days. I moved 10 books into a pretty small crowd. I can't wait to get to the Miami Book Fair next week and just watch the books fly. And just yesterday I got book 2 back from my proof reader! I am making some minor revisions and will put it into production. Don't get too excited yet. She won't be available for sale until next year. Sorry fans! Got to spread out the fun!

California Girl Chronicles is on sale for $12.95 in the soft-cover edition on the 3L Publishing website and Amazon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Dream Cast for California Girl Chronicles

I am in talks with multiple producers and a major agency to represent California Girl Chronicles as a TV series. My first pick is HBO. I LOVE HBO! I came up with my dream cast too. Tell me what you think after you read the book:

Brea -- Evan Rachel Woods
Drew -- Adrien Grenier
Kale -- Alexander Skarsgård
Denise -- Sonja Fisher

Hey! Always state your goals! And we already know from Evan Rachel Woods' short-lived stint as Sophie Anne, Queen of Louisiana in True Blood, that she has hot sex appeal with Skarsgård. Check out Season 2 where she lands on top of him and hisses her warning for him not to reveal she's behind the whole dealing of V. Also, the episode in Season 3 where she flies at him again and grabs his, a-hem, manhood as yet another warning. She is also tall and not blond but that can be changed with a good bottle of bleach. Just saying ... As for Grenier, his Entourage days just ended,  and he's already affiliated with HBO and in a band to boot. He would make a great dark bad boy, which is the opposite of good-guy super star stud Vincent Chase. Skarsgård's commitment with True Blood and flourishing film career might be a little tougher nut to crack, but I'm tenacious. I think the role of Kale, especially as our nice-guy producer becomes more complicated in the subsequent books, would be a fabulous role. I did, in fact, write Kale using him as a model. I watched him not as just an actor but as a regular person in interviews to capture the authentic, warm decency he projects. He comes across with this amiable humility that is nice to see from someone whose star is clearly on the rise. And of course, Sonja Fisher, my radio co-host and producer and actress, who has had her eye on the BFF role from the start. Sonja will sink her teeth into the funny-loving BFF who spends more time in the supply cabinet with her boss than at the apartment with her roommate, Brea. 

Also, I am going to be working with a manager who is affiliated with big money folks to fund my own production company so I can bring something to the table on my own. We are working out that aspect of this deal, and he agreed to represent us just today. 

Read more about the life and times of Brea at:  http://breasblog.tumblr.com. 

California Girl Chronicles: "Now I Know What You Think About ..."

I had a woman last night at event say something to me about California Girl Chronicles that actually was kind of funny when I thought about it. She said, "Now we know what you think about," and then she got flustered that she had made that comment. Later on she apologized, which at that point, I didn't even know what she was talking about. She repeated what she said, and then I laughed. I told her (and this is the truth), "If you're going to write a book that is sexy what do you expect?" She smiled and nodded that I made a great point. I mean come on Friend-Os. Like I'm going to get all sensitive about what the book is about after the fact? I mean surely this might have crossed my mind before I published the book, right? So here is the deal. If you're an author or even an artist and you're publicly putting yourself out there in some personal way, it makes no sense to get all uptight about it later. I expect I will be hearing a slew of comments in the future. It's okay! Just don't get nasty and we're fine. I like when I saw a famous actor get asked about a sex comment on Entertainment Tonight. "Do you still feel that way?" "Yes!" Simple and no fuss. "Do I think about sex all day?" "Depends ... if I'm writing book three or the TV pilot for California Girl Chronicles, could be ..." And other days, no! ;) Am I thinking it about it right now? No, it's 9:00 a.m. Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Chose a Photographer

Great photography is art. When you go to select a photographer to do your head shots for social media (because "yes" you need a nice head shot), you naturally want to look your best. I have great shots taken and I've had photos done where I wanted to hide the image in the garbage can. Here is what can make a perfectly attractive human being look perfectly unattractive (great looks or not): bad lighting, horrible angles, poor exposure, and just pictures snapped at the worst possible moment. Technically speaking that photo of me taken by Gail from Quintessence Photographic Art in Rescue, Ca. took a lot of effort on Gail's part. She was hanging out the window to get the glare off, taping down curtains, and using all sorts of techniques that I as a non-photographer know nothing about. Later when we did other photos in the series, she went to great effort to get the lighting right. She had her assistant at one point shining the light on me a certain way and turning it up and down. It doesn't stop there either. Then she plays with the photos when she does retouching. If she wanted she could even shed pounds off me (that's not necessary here), but the point is she could. Of course, this doesn't count the effort I put into my own appearance ... phew! That's a lot of work. But here's the value. The photo looks amazing, and it's the kind of image I want to project as a publisher with an edge. I didn't want some corporate suit shot, because that isn't the kind of business I run. I like to have fun. I like to publish interesting and edgy books. Some boring, mundane head shot wasn't going to project the right image. And as is the case in real life, first impressions on social media count ... but that's a whole other blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Consumer Alert: Beware of Atlas/Bookmasters!

I have been a spectator watching the ball bounce back and forth between our former distributor Atlas/Bookmasters, a client and my operations manager. Our former distributor's level of incompetence is absolutely mind-blowing. Of course, it was shocking the entire time we worked with them, but the level of just pure stupidity is really astounding. Even though they made a shipping mistake on their end, they forced us to pay it or they would not close our account. They even admitted they made the mistake, but under the guise of "doing us a favor" (I think I need to look up favor in Webster's and send them the definition ... and it doesn't include making us pay for their mistakes), they insisted we pay the extra roughly $150. I don't know about you, but $150 by most American's standards these days matters. And this on top of the already couple thousand dollars we were forced to pay, which include inane charges such as a $5 "handling" fee just to move the books to ship them. Oh, I'm sorry, did I mention that's $5 PER BOOK! Yeah, the books retails on average for $14.95. We pretty much should have just bought the books at that rate. Of course, this entire corrupt system was part of a larger bigger problem. They had so many hidden fees like this, you could have played a game of hide-and-go seek and lost every single time. Then even though most commercial shipments cost considerably less to deliver to, we had our books indeed delivered to a commercial site, and they told us there was roughly only a $3 difference between the commercial and residential delivery fees (um what?!). Let me repeat that, what! If you know anything about shipping large boxes you know that is absolutely incredible. When I work with our very reputable printer, we receive discounts up to $200 or $300 per shipment of a pallet to a commercial location. As my husband said, "They just made a lot of money off sticking it to you!"

Let me leave you with these final words. My BAD for ever doing business with them in the first place. Their BAD KARMA for being so incompetent and for absolutely no shame in forcing us to pay for their mistakes and twisted fees. Do not do business with Atlas/Bookmasters lest you be on the receiving end of this kind of horrible customer service.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does this stuff really work on women?

Guys, guys, guys! I feel a burning need to instruct you on the proper way to try and meet women on social media. First, I am not available (for the record) so don't waste your time trying to get my attention that way. For the rest of you, I just have to tell you something. Are you ready? When you send me strange, sappy or just cheesy pick-up messages, what do you think I'm doing? Here are your choices a. rolling my eyes b. cracking up because your message isn't romantic it's ridiculous or c. writing a blog about it. If you chose all three you would be correct. I ask you! Do you honestly think writing women these creepy and sometimes just cheesy notes works? Maybe I'm wrong, but any woman worth her weight in intelligence would never in a million years fall for that. And any woman who would ... really?

Here are some social media "socializing" tips:

  • If you don't know the woman, do NOT ask for her private information on social media. No, no phone numbers or email addresses. You know what she's really thinking? If I send that information I will be hounded and cyber-stalked. If the woman doesn't know you, don't go there. 
  • Sappy and cheesy pick-up lines to anyone much less a stranger will fall flat. I have to admit, I find it entertaining but that's it. Guys don't tell a complete stranger how much you want to kiss or touch or anything that involves tactile "tactics" ... just saying. And please refrain from the ridiculous pick-up lines ... or not. I need a good laugh.
  • Starting conversations on chat with "hi" doesn't work. Hi is a go-nowhere conversation starter. What good does it do? Talk to your potential love interest like you would any normal conversation. How is your day? How is work going? Better advice ... get to know her by responding to posts and keep it there for a while until you have truly made a connection. (No, don't do this with me ... remember, not available!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Now or Never - Live Your Dreams

The one thing that my brother's passing this year did was get me to stop for a second. He was only 18 months older than me, and now he's gone. I started really getting the sense about mortality and the horizon of my life. It made me re-evaluate a few things. Life's short, and I want regret-free living. I already confronted part one of my reinvention process. I stopped working the corporate assembly line that I hated so much. So this next phase of confronting how much time is left and how do I want to spend that time. I know one thing: I don't want to put my life in cruise control till the end. A friend of mine said her husband had done that -- hit the button and took the foot off the gas. It's just cruise to retirement -- that sounds just depressing. I'm not cruising right into my grave -- no thank you.

It's now or never is how I look at it. Now or never to live out every single dream. You can't keep putting it off. I talk to so many writers who want to write a book or screenplay or even poetry -- and they wax on about all the reasons it hasn't happened. Now or never! What are you waiting for? In the spirit of now or never I wrote my novel California Girl Chronicles. Not only did I do that, but then I sat down and wrote the second book Brea's Big Break, which will come out early next year. Writing about Brea's misadventures took me out of my comfort zone and opened a door into a risque part of my personality. Now or never! Now we've got a lot of interest from producers who want to help us bring Brea's misadventures into living rooms across the country. I'm all in! I will start writing the pilot this week as a part of the Bible.

California Girl Chronicles is now available for Kindle for $7.99 on Amazon. Soft-cover edition releases on Thursday  and both soft and hardcover editions are for sale on the 3L site right now. Go purchase your copy and find out why one producer wrote me a note that said, "Brea needs to learn a little self-control." Yes, she does! Wink!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Brother had a Great Sense of Humor ... Runs in the Family

One of John Gamble's friends sent me this story about him. If you know me at all then you're aware I have my own funny bone too. It runs in the family I guess. I thought this story was very funny and very typical of something John would have said. Here is the story: I just think of the time when we all ended up in a lakefront bar, the day after Christmas, celebrating my son's 13th birthday. We had been ice fishing and riding snowmachines all day (a post-Christmas tradition), and this was the only place to get some food and warm up as it got late. There was this obnoxious, drunken a-hole dressed in the most obnoxious snowmobiling gear. His coat was literally covered in these dorky patches representing the companies that made snowmachine speed parts. He was in an argument with another self-proclaimed badass about who was a better snowmachine rider. The debate got heated, and this guy got really loud. John looked at the guy, and yelled out: "Calm down there, 'Stickers'!!" The guy, seeing John's size, wisely shut his piehole. We all laughed to the point of tears!! ~ Michael V. Witham


P.S., John was 6' 5" in case you were wondering! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Momentum Productions

Everything is really blowing up around my new book California Girl Chronicles. I met with someone yesterday who is interested in becoming an executive producer. My other producer friend is supposed to call me sometime today to discuss where the book is at and getting representation with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Then one of my clients, who works with financiers, offered to discuss management and coming up with funding on our end so we could come at this as true producers. I am really impressed with the power of intention and momentum. As we have been promoting the book and networking (mostly on social media mind you ... nearly 2,000 connections pays off), we have connected with people who can connect us with the right people to make this project move forward. Sonja Fisher has been working the LA angles as well and met with a mover and shaker who loves the book too and is going to help us pitch to HBO and Showtime. And so it goes. It's all about working the scenes. Set your intentions. Know what you want. Do it and make it happen. The book officially releases on Amazon in the soft-cover edition this month and then onto bookstores. The chicken and egg scenario is happening. The Hollywood buzz is already fueling media interest and media interest fuels sales. We will leverage all of the interest to do an end around back to Allure, GQ, Maxim and the other major magazines to prompt them to review the book. We're working to create the following, which we need the following for the Hollywood scene, by doing it backwards. You see how that works? The buzz creates the hype and the hype creates more buzz. If you're an author watch what we're doing. It will help you understand how to work it for yourself. But first always, know what you want, set your intention, go for it, and then stay positive, focused and set your goals! I want California Girl Chronicles picked up as a TV series, and I want the book series to become best-sellers!

Friday, November 4, 2011

California Girl Chronicles -- The TV Series

I am so excited at the reception that California Girl Chronicles is getting from readers. Just this week in one day 11 reviews posted on Amazon. I've also been working with some contacts in Hollywood to move the book through the process. Two different strategies are underway. We are working with a contact who said if he liked it he would take to his agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). I got a text from him the other day in which he confirmed how much he liked it. Then my associate Sonja Fisher is working with another guy who is tied to Lion's Gate. He got 47 pages into the book and sent her a note that it's a real page-turner. The "page-turner" comments have been echoed by the early reviewers on Amazon too. Mind you, the soft-cover edition isn't even in Amazon's inventory yet. Kindle version is available, though. Now we're going to create what is called the TV series Bible. We had our contact send over samples, and I looked it over -- all good and no problem. I'll be getting to work on the pilot episode in the next few days. Keep tabs on this blog if you want to read about the process and how I'm getting it done. Here are three tips:

1. Build your platform. Your platform should consist of a blog, newsletter, website and integrate social media.
2. Leverage your social media and platform. Don't be afraid to be bold. Just put it out there. No one is going to toot your horn for you so do it on your own. All this horn-tooting will build buzz.
3. Buzz builds interest and demand in your product. We'll talk about public relations later.

Speaking of horn tooting ... make sure you buy your copy of California Girl Chronicles. First, you will understand what all of this excitement is about. The book has been lauded as fun, titillating and a page-turner. I promise you will have a good time reading it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Increase Your Positivity and Increase Your Success

Did you know you are a reflection of the people you keep around you? The "inner circle" (the people you associate with regularly) should reflect back your positive energy. They should be movers and shakers and people who would take action and not play the role of the victim. If you want to be successful align yourself with successful people. If you want to stay positive and keep your energy flowing in the right direction align yourself with people who reflect that same attitude. If you have someone in your life who is critical, negative and full of insecurity and doubt and reflects that back to you then keep that relationship out of your inner circle. I had a good friend the other day tell me her family isn't supportive. Her brother questions and mocks her success. I told her you cannot talk to your brother about these things anymore. He is not your ally. He is a naysayer. You don't want naysayers as allies. Talk about the weather or the day's events but do not talk about your goals and successes with naysayers. Naysayers spread negativity and erode your confidence and cause doubt and insecurity (if you let them). Load your inner circle with supportive, positive and successful people. Notice how your energy will continue to rise. Positivity feeds off positivity and the reverse happens too -- negative feeds negative.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Building Your Platform One Day at a Time

Authors whose books aren't selling need to get out an ax and shovel. Time to build from the ground and up. Your book (and this applies to products) requires a platform. What is a platform? Your business or book platform is your viewpoint or message. You build a platform using marketing and public relations practices. What do you include tactically? Your website, blog, social media, newsletters and mass media. Each effort ties to another effort. Your website ties to your blog; your blog ties to your website and newsletter; your newsletter ties to your blog and website; and everything in your media kit and press releases ties back to your website, which ties back to your blog, newsletter and social media. You see it's connected in a circle. Then you get to work.

For my brand new book California Girl Chronicles just out on Amazon yesterday, here is what I am doing.

1. I went back to my pre-reviewers and asked them to post reviews on Amazon. The results were amazing and thank you to my pre-reviewers who quickly reacted to my request. You want to show a strong fan following. Get as many reviews as possible posted on Amazon. The more you do, the more reviews, the more sales will follow. Glut Amazon with those reviews if you can. Now in the past, it was hard to get people to follow through. With California Girl Chronicles, however, the energy around it (as you'll see from the reviews) is vibrant and excited. So, people willingly went and posted.

2. I built a separate "website/blog" for Brea, my heroine. Called Brea's blog, it will contain news and updates about the book. I can use the blog to send to the media for more information about the book, and since it's dynamic I can keep it updated regularly on my own.

3. I am posting to all social media regularly. I have already built up my social media connections, and since I've built that baseline, it's working. It got people who wanted the book and knew it was now out to buy it. It also recently attracted a reviewer who requested it on his own. Another reviewer also requested it that way earlier. Leverage your social media. It works.

4. Justine Brown does PR for 3L Publishing. I am working with her to spread the word in the mass media. We strategized key media we wanted to pursue. It has worked very well. We got the book out to Elle, Maxim, New York Times, and a host of others. When she pitches the media she is using all of the tools described above to leverage the situation and capture reviews.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learn to Work the Laws of Attraction

I know The Secret is passé. Fad over, right? Wrong. The Laws of Attraction are always at work and when you learn to use them, you will be nothing short of amazed at the results. Sonja Fisher, my friend and actress, and I are working on several different angles to move two critical projects forward -- Beauty School, my comedic script, and California Girl Chronicles, my new book series about the romantic misadventures of young woman trying to break into Hollywood as a screenwriter. Both projects are moving forward very nicely. Remember, your goals are a part of a journey, and it's a process to achieve your goals, as I have been taught be the amazing and great Wayne Kurtz, author of Beyond the Iron. Hey, if the man can participate in an ultra-deca triathlon, he knows what he's talking about. Well, Sonja and I have been pursuing some key avenues to get the film and book produced. We're making some amazing strides each and every day. One of our goals is to attach my favorite actor Alexander Skarsgård to the project (P.S., that is an excellent way to help move a script along with the money people attach a name right from the beginning).

Yes, yes, girls the man is definitely eye candy, but also he can act. If you really want to see a sensitive performance, catch him in Melancholia under the new movies section on demand. I personally love him pre-True Blood in the mini-series Generation Kill. Again, anyone who can express emotions without saying words, wins in my book. Watch his expression when he realizes he gave the order that resulted in his underling shooting a civilian child. He looks like he's going to cry, but of course, he doesn't (he's a Marine after all) but those eyes water and he looks miserable over it. Well, I read that he doesn't want to be typecast as the good-looking, sexy guy and would like to take broader roles and maybe play the weird, little sidekick. Well, then Mr. Skarsgård guess what we have for you? Bo is the weird, little sidekick in our movie Beauty School. Upon first glance, I wondered if he could pull that off. So, I went and reviewed him in the minor role of Meekus on Zoolander. Sold! Great stupid, geeky performance and let me just point to the orange hair and lime-green jumpsuit as the worst look of the decade yet there our guy was "working" his comedic chops. Hilarious! I don't drink Orange-Mocha Frappacinos or even Frappacinos, but I will never think of that word quite the same again.

So what's the real lesson here under reviewing a bunch of shows? Well, Sonja and I have been using the Laws of Attraction rather well. Sonja got hounded to do this audition that she missed. Most of the time, you are not hounded to do auditions, which was strange in and of itself. During the course of that conversation, she mentioned our projects and intentions. Guess what? Her guy knows Alexander's father Stellan Skarsgård (anyone remember he was in Good Will Hunting?). The short story here, Laws of Attraction paying off. I have deliberately done my research and homework here. I also created my own vision board of sorts. I took a Men's Health issue in which Alexander is on the cover and put my book California Girl Chronicles over the top (did not cover the face) and have left it on my desk for weeks untouched. And here we are! Two degrees of separation from our goal! Amazing how that goes. We also have a possible in at CAA for the book, which is also the same agency that reps Alexander. All roads are winding toward that goal. Sonja is going to give her contact the script. And I'm going to push my angles too. We'll get there.

Lesson: Don't disgard the power of the Laws of Attraction.