Sunday, April 26, 2015

Oh! What a Night!

I planned it for months.
I talked about it for weeks.
I had nightmares about it for one night. But oh what a night.

I love books so when I was invited to participate in an author reading at Book'd in Burbank, I jumped at the chance. I had attended this Book'd in Burbank event twice before and enjoyed the writers who showcased there, the audience who came to hear the readings and the whole feeling of being in a theater surrounded by people who love books. It rocked.

Months ago I put this event on my calendar. I knew exactly what I would read: an excerpt from my upcoming comedy book about Paris--Paris! Take Me Away! I knew what I would wear: boots because they're comfortable to stand in during said reading. And I knew exactly when I would get to the theater: early.

For weeks I talked about this event to book lovers--my family, my friends, complete strangers at the LA Times Festival of Books. All 6,000 of them. Needless to say, I was ready for my author reading.

The night before the event, however, I had a dream that I forgot the excerpt of my book that I would be reading. I believe this is called a "nightmare", a "disaster" or the "surest way to give yourself a heart attack".

The next morning I laid out everything for the event, including my excerpt to read in a clean manilla folder. That evening I grabbed my purse, book copies and promotional materials and marched to the car in my comfortable boots.

"Do you have everything?" Mr. Wonderful said as I loaded everything into my car.
"Of course," I said. "I'm ready for tonight."
"Are you... sure?"
It wasn't what he said but the tone with which he said it that made me think twice. I rushed back into The House and on my desk lay the clean manilla folder containing my excerpt to read. I had almost forgotten my reading. I had almost lived my nightmare. I had almost experienced a disaster. I had almost given myself a quadruple heart attack.

Arriving early to the theater I greeted people, settled in and enjoyed the five other books and authors that night: The Revealed by Jessica Hickam, The Sheik's Son by Nicola Italia, Dark Lashes by Felice Fox, Catchee Monkey by Sean Cameron and This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle.

When my name was called I seized the clean manilla folder, walked on stage and took my place at the podium. Looking out, the audience seemed eager. Removing my excerpt from the manilla folder, I read. The audience listened, they smiled, laughed and applauded at all the right places. It was just what I had wanted. It was worth the months of planning, the weeks of publicizing and even that one night of the disaster nightmare because this night of Book'd in Burbank really rocked!

It was Oh! What a Night!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shakespeare and Humor in Burbank

April 23, 2015 marks the 451st remembrance of William Shakespeare's birthday (and conveniently his death day, too). But do we need to celebrate the Elizabethan Bard's special day? Again? In other words, is eating cake without the guest of honor all Much Ado About Nothing?

I for one don't think it's superfluous to sing Bill "Happy Birthday" nor does Julius Caesar, Richard III, or Henry IV (Parts I and II), that is, if they were still alive. The question should be: Why not celebrate the playwright who gave us beautiful sonnets, dramatic works and comedic plays? Even if his jokes aren't as funny now as they used to be--Love's Labor's Lost, anyone?--you can forgive him because both have been around for a long time. They have staying power.

This year on the Bard's birthday I'll be celebrating with five other authors reading from our books. My fellow writers represent the categories of poetic, dramatic and mysterious-steam punk-romantic. As for me, I'll be bringing the humor--Paris style--in an even Measure for Measure.

So if you find yourself in Burbank, California on Thursday, April 23 at 8 PM, come to Book'd in Burbank and revel in an evening of literary fun that has nothing to do with Shakespeare, except of course, the date. Plus, there will be tasty snacks, which as we all know, is just As You Like It.  

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare! Hoping that All's Well That Ends Well!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Lover's Paradise

Thousands of readers, hundreds of writers and one moi. Yesterday was an amazing day at the LA Times Festival of Books!

I saw LA Times journalist Sandy Banks interview Maria Bello about the actress' book Whatever: Love is Love. I saw celebrity LA chef Ludo Lefebre give a cooking demonstration of a recipe from his Crave cookbook for vegetable broth-poached fish and radishes, which made me hungry. 

Also I listened to a talk about books, writing and reading online by panelists Mallory Ortberg from The Toast, Patrick Brown from Goodreads and Carol Edgarian of Narrative Magazine. Then I went to my booth, hung out with fellow writers, like Kimberly Robeson,

talked to a bunch of people and sold plenty of copies of my book Evolution of a Wine Drinker

It was a great day on the University of Southern California campus! Go Trojans, Go book lovers! Go wine drinkers!

As for today, I'm putting my feet up and reading the books I bought at the Festival, which is more delicious than Ludo Lefrebre's broth-poached fish recipe.

But next April I'll be back at the LA Times Festival of Books. Will you?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Going to University of Southern California

"This is going to be fun," I said sitting on the office floor packing my books.
"Where is it?" Mr. Wonderful said loitering in the doorway.
"At the University of Southern California. Imagine: I'll be back on a college campus again!"
"Your happy days--"
"Are he-re a-gain. The skies above are clear again!"

After college graduation, how many chances do you get to spend a whole day hanging out on a university campus? And one as beautiful as USC's? With book lovers? For me the answer is simple: one weekend. Which just so happens to be next weekend at the LA Times Festival of Books!

If you are a reader, writer, child, parent or book lover this event is for you. The LA Times Festival of Books is an annual book party with author readings, writer panels, celebrity chefs giving cooking demonstrations, children's book authors doing readings, snippets of Broadway show performances coming to Los Angeles--this year it's Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical--Big Five publishers and indie publishers discussing publishing options, and the biggest book sale this side of the Pacific. And the Atlantic. It's a stimulating, entertaining weekend about people and the books they love.

And this year I will be a part of it!

After attending the book festival for years, this time I'll be participating as an author. As a member of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), I will be selling and signing copies of my book Evolution of a Wine Drinker! And talking about my forthcoming book. I'll give you a hint: My latest work is also a humor book.

If you want to know more or will be at the LA Times Festival of Books please stop to say "Hi". I'll be at the GLAWS Tent, #953 Saturday, April 18 from 2-4 PM.

After all, how many times do you get to spend the day on a college campus like USC's surrounded by book lovers?

Happy days are he-re a-gain. The skies above are clear again!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Coloring Easter Eggs

Every year I paint my white, store-bought Easter eggs pink, green or burgundy. But not this year! Our chickens are giving us tan eggs like this:

So I am making them turn white and yellow... for Easter breakfast:


Wishing you and yours a delightful Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Won!

"WOW!" I said leaping from my computer and rushing to the kitchen.
"What's happening?" Mr. Wonderful said setting his espresso cup on the breakfast table.
"I won. Well, my book won Best Humor Book of 2015!"
"Congratulations!" he said taking me in his arms and swinging me around the kitchen.
"Although today's April first. Do you think it's an April Fool's joke?"

Two weeks ago my book EVOLUTION OF A WINE DRINKER was nominated by the indie book review site Big Al's Books and Pals as Best Humor Book of 2015! Since this was a reader's choice award, readers got a chance to vote for their favorite humor books, crime thrillers and paranormal vampire romances.

So THANK YOU readers for voting for my book! I literally could not have won without you! Thank you so much!

But then... maybe me winning is just an April Fool's day joke?
... Nah.

Again, here's the Good News!