Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where the "f" words were Fallout & Fireball. The Atomic Times. The memoir that took 50 years to write.

As a young soldier, my DH, Michael, was sent to "observe" a series of what would be the deadliest US nuclear tests in the Pacific Proving Grounds. The island was called Eniwetok and the "f" words were fallout and fireball. The experience—a real-life CATCH-22 with radiation—was so traumatic it took him decades to come to terms with what he saw, what he experienced & what he felt. In Anne R Allen's blog, today, Michael explains how THE ATOMIC TIMES came—finally—to be written and offers some advice for those thinking of writing a memoir.

Anne R. Allen

Direct link to THE ATOMIC TIMES.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Write like you're in a closet. Running for president. A carnivorous plant. Self-expression.

Secret ingredients & secret writing tip—

The necessary secret ingredient required in running for president. The unappreciated political reality.

I'm a NYT bestselling author & an editor who's worked with many writers for a long time & this is just about the best writing advice I've ever heard: BCLund

A carnivorous plant with snap-tentacles? Seriously.

Self expression as a way to learn how to write? Meh.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dressing—and undressing—your characters. Modern Women. God is an Englishman.

Sales pitch: Resist if you can. ;-) 1,000,000 copy NYT bestseller orig pubbed by St. Martin's Press. "Richly plotted, shocking, this glittering novel is first class entertainment. " 
Brand new on NOOK:  MODERN WOMEN
At Kindle, too: MODERN WOMEN 

Clothes matter! In real life and in fiction. Dressing—and undressing—your characters is one of a writer's most powerful tools. I blog the details here.

For even more details

White bucks, Nantucket Reds, the gray flannel suit. Weejuns & Top-Siders. God-is-an-Englishman tweeds. Ivy League dress code.

What I read: The New York Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan.

"The eye has to travel." Pulitzer-prize winner Robin Rivhan on legendary editor Diana Vreeland.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Beatles. Barbra. A master editor. Are you feeling lost in your own life?

What got me going today—

One reviewer's list: The best books about the Beatles.

The way publishing worked back in the good old days—at least if a writer were really lucky. Tribute to a master editor: Ashbel Green of Knopf.

Michael worked with her when he was on the Sullivan show & she was young, still up and coming. She wasn't a star—yet—but everyone knew she would be. He remembers her as tough, determined, vulnerable and says she could be both "plain and magnetic" at the same time.   Hello, Gorgeous, a new bio of Barbra Streisand.

8 reasons people feel lost in their own lives. Plus a few suggestions for getting back on track.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sex before (and after) marriage. An empire built on a lie. 10 ways to get people to change. The Anger Room.

Today we have a crook, a bunch of pissed-off people in Texas, a disquisition on sex & one on changing people. Gotta be a good read & a good idea in here somewhere, right?

An empire built on a lie. The mid-west Bernie Madoff.

No machetes. Not even top-of-the-line nice ones. The Anger Room.

Sex before marriage? What about sex after marriage?

10 ways to get people to change. If only.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dennis Lehane. Kate Middleton & bare breasts. Librarian tattoos. F. Scott Fitzgerald replies to a troll. Ichiro Suzuki.

Lots of fascinating characters today: Dennis Lehane, Kate Middleton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ichiro Suzuki—

He said. She said.  Thoughts about dialogue from Dennis Lehane.

Kate Middleton and when, exactly, did bare breasts become taboo?

The sexy side of Dewey decimal numbers & card catalogs. Librarian tattoos.

F. Scott Fitzgerald replies to hate mail. Or, as we would call it today, a troll.

Because a writer never knows where his/her next great idea will come from, here's an off-the-beaten-path baseball story: How a great hitter pampers his bats Japanese-style. Ichiro Suzuki.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Commas, semicolons & em dashes. Sex, unicorns & JK Rowling. Bill & Hillary go out for pizza.

Pizza, sex & Monk's freezer—

Commas, semicolons, em dashes & the writers who love them. National Punctuation Day.

Bill & Hillary have good taste in pizza.

Sex, unicorns & JK Rowling.

Did you know that Monk has a freezer? Here are the pix.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

JK Rowling. Dragons & fireballs. Slutty perfumes. National Punctuation Day.

JKR on her first book for adults + commas, perfume & dragons:

JK Rowling on "the worst that can happen." Here.

Dragons & fireballs of the medieval age.

Perfumistas on slutty perfumes.

Gentlemen, start your commas. National Punctuation Day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Women: the richest, most powerful, most beautiful. Plus writing rules from Zadie Smith.

Giveaway! ZURI is a love story between Renny Kudrow, a dedicated scientist, and Starlite Higgins, a caring veterinarian, set in an African animal orphanage. Renny and Starlite love the orphans in their care but need to learn to love each other. If you love animals & romance, leave your email address in the comments & I'll gift you a copy.


 Fascinating women today & writing advice from Zadie Smith—

Money: Who married it? Who inherited it? Who made it? The 20 richest women in America.

The 50 most powerful women in business? Start with Ginny Rometty of IBM. End with Oprah.

A man tells what it's like to date/marry a gorgeous model—the up side & the down side. Yes, there is a down side. Read all about it here.

Writing rules from Zadie Smith.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Surviving the writer's room. 5 best TV shows. 10 worst cars. 1945 Agatha Christie essay published for the first time.

My million-copy NYT bestseller MODERN WOMEN now available on Nook. Introductory price: 99c. Get it while it's hot (and cheap)! ;-) 

Lists. An essay by Agatha Christie. How to survive & thrive in the writer's room—

Writer's room musts: Age + experience + an ability to park your ego = the twists and turns of Homeland.

5 best TV shows in history with a special bow to super comedy writer & blogger, Ken Levine.

The lemons, the clunkers, the junkers. The 10 worst cars of all time.

5 free services to help you build an author platform.

Agatha Christie's 1945 essay commissioned by the Ministry of Information to promote British crime fiction published for the first time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cheaters with charm. 10 celebrity spies. JFK, the president who would rather read. The hottest 67-year-old around.

My million-copy NYT bestseller MODERN WOMEN now available on Nook. Introductory price: 99c. Get it while it's hot (and cheap)! ;-)

Lots of name dropping today—

Bill Clinton. Ted Kennedy. Jamie Dimon. Richard Gere talks about cheaters with charm—and confidence. Arbitrage.

You know about Ian Fleming but would you believe Lucky Luciano? What about Noel Coward? 10 celebrities—famous and infamous—who were also spies.

An introvert president at a private dinner party admits he would rather read.  JFK.

She survived marriage to Rod Stewart & George Hamilton—and lived to tell the tale. The hottest 67-year-old around. Alana Stewart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sex in the 60s. Rx for Red Carpet nerves. The best word ever. Darwin. Dickens. Nijinski.

My million-copy NYT bestseller MODERN WOMEN now available on Nook. Introductory price: 99c. Get it while it's hot (and cheap)! ;-)

Today's mental caffeine—

They're actors. Getting nervous/being nervous is their thing. So how do they cope? What do they recommend? Rx for Red Carpet nerves on Emmy Day.

Not the funniest word or the most erudite word or the most whimsical word—but The Best Word ever.

Boomers then and now: Sex in the 60s.

Cuteness alert: new mom & baby panda.

Beethoven. Michelangelo. Dickens. Darwin. Nijinski. Psychiatric profiles of genius.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Best two ingredient sandwiches. The deadliest addiction. Lee Child. Joyce Carol Oates.

Flash sale! MILLION copy New York Times bestseller MODERN WOMEN now (but not forever!) REDUCED to 99! Get it while it's hot—because it is: HOT!   ;-)

Today's menu: food—and food for thought:

Perfect pairs: I mostly agree but I'd add mayo, butter, hummus. Depending. Best two ingredient sandwiches.

Gambling. It's only money but is it the deadliest addiction? You bet your life.

Unearned IQ points & New Year's resolutions—according to Lee Child.

Some thoughts about violence, suspense, beach reading & the glass ceiling for women writers from Joyce Carol Oates.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Body builders. Career cliffhanger. From flageolets to swellegance.

Flash sale! MILLION copy New York Times bestseller MODERN WOMEN now (but not forever!) REDUCED to 99! Get it while it's hot—because it is: HOT!   ;-)

Links to kickstart your day & your muse—

Organs made from a body own cells & we're not talking sci-fi. Tissue engineers.

An out-of-work soap opera writer creates his own career helping students write college essays.

The week in words: from flageolets to swellegance.

How to set goals, Special Ops-style.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A shape in a drape. Interview with a nose. His inner Zoolander.

Slang, creativity & a male model (maybe)—

A shape in a drape. Bent out of shape. Worthy of recycling: beatnik slang.

How he uses his brain and his memory to create some of the world's most famous perfumes. Jean-Claude Ellena.

Feeling out of place and dying for a bagel, can a writer find his inner Zoolander?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A halt to self-improvement. Woody Allen talks about writing, movies and The Scandal. Children's book covers. Born to be wild.

Baby Boomers--the reality & the nostalgia:

I’m turning 58 next month, and the birthday present I’m giving myself is to call a halt to all of my efforts at self-improvement. I’m done trying to better myself. This is as good as I’m going to get. From now on, the goal is to try to hang on to what I’ve got. A baby boomer faces the middle ages.

A Wrinkle in Time. Sweet Valley HighJames And The Giant Peach. How children's book covers have changed over the years.

Born to be wild. Baby Boomers rock on. Easy chair or Easy Rider?

Woody Allen on movies, writing, death and The Scandal.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mr. EL James. Yoga pants. How to walk in heels. The bitter truth about sugar. Real-life inspiration.

Today's link-o-rama:

How very un-zen: the battle over yoga pants.

Pure, White & Deadly. It's not just copyright problems. Why publishers can't push out what looks like a sure-fire hit pronto.

Pardon my French: How to walk in heels.

No Photoshop. No stylist. No hair-and-makeup. A suggestion for real-life inspiration from bestselling author David Hewson.

Do they have a dungeon? A red room of pain? And what's that about the can opener? Mr. EL James explains.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Turkish delights. John Lennon. Seal Team 6. Hemingway country. Lousy reviews.

All you need is love—and Ambien?

Shopping, feasting, enjoying in Istanbul. Turkish delights.

All you need is love + 11 tidbits about John Lennon.

The pharmaceutical habits of Seal Team 6.

Welcome to Hemingway country. Ernest Hemingway.

Need a few lousy reviews? Try this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This just in! Michael Lewis on Obama. Robots & the US Marines. Sexism & the laptop. Marshmallows.

This just in! Michael Lewis on Obama.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Would a man like Don Draper type? Would Roger? Why not? Why sexism almost caused the first laptop to fail: keyboard & typing.

Remote control drones & robots, too? US Marines take "Big Dog" robotic mule out for a walk. Not sci-fi.

Marshmallows! How to cook with lavender.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Art nouveau and Vogue. Coca-Cola and punk. Book covers. How Apple invented the iPhone.

Great designers & great coffee today!

From art nouveau and Vogue to Coca-Cola and punk, 500 design images that helped shaped our culture. Image is everything.

He's not an editor, publisher or agent. So why do writers love him? Rodrigo Corral.

The right stuff: A coffee geek shares his tips for making the best coffee.

Inside story: Project Purple & how Apple invented the iPhone.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hot new fall fiction. History of the vibrator. Pay phone libraries. Ethos, pathos, logos. The Disrupt SF 2012.

 Get going. Get inspired!

 Chabon, Lehane, Wolfe, McEwen. But (except for JKRowling) where are the women? Coming attractions.

Unhappy women, overworked doctors & the buzz. History of the vibrator.

Superman, grab a book. Pay phone libraries.

Ethos, pathos, logos and the art of persuasion.

Red bull cans, beer bottles, bags of chips.  Meet The Disrupt SF 2012 hackathon.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bookstore porn. Everyday glasses for everyday wine. A South Korean novelist. A legendary fashion editor.

Inspired: bookstores, beauty, style, talent—

Part III: NYC (downtown). Big city, beautiful bookstores.

Everyday glasses for everyday wine. Everyday good design.

Two creative women—
South Korean novelist, Shin Kyung-sook.
Legendary fashion editor & photographer: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crutch words. 10 principles of good design. The perks of group sex. A novelist & his muse.

Energy for the wilted brain of very late summer—

Crutch words & what they say about you. Literally.

10 Principles of good design. Dieter Rams, Braun & Jonathan Ive.

19th Century beauty tips.

The writer, the detective & a dive bar. The novelist & his muse (she likes beer). Peter de Jonge.

Is group sex better than one-on-one? Or just different? The scoop according to  Vladimir Putin.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tabloid redemption. Shopping at the local dump. Philip Roth.

Today's menu: glamor, trash & sex. What's not to like? ;-)

The long, tousled side braid and the glowing sun-kissed complexion didn't happen by accident. Two for the runway. Hair & makeup.

Shopping at the local dump. Honey Boo Boo.

He's a literary star & his biography will take 8-10 years to write. Who's he? Philip Roth.

Tabloid redemption: Is a new girlfriend the right way to banish old demons?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Strip clubs, exotic dancers & sales taxes. Book titles. The $4000 bespoke suit. The good news about green tea.

Inspiration & delectation. Bon app├ętit!

The niche-iest of niches: The life & times of a Savile Row trained tailor & today's $4000 bespoke suit.

It tastes good & is good for your body—and your brain. Provides benefits for memory and spatial learning. Green tea.

Exotic dancers, strip clubs & sales taxes—the Court of Appeals must decide: Is lap dancing art?

From Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”  to 50 Shades of Gray?  Is this title OK?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Beautiful handwriting. Gaffes, cynicism, knife-fights. Perfume smell-alikes. The scandalous life of Ava Gardner.

Beautiful. Beautiful & scandalous. Profoundly ugly.

The most beautiful handwriting ever seen? Copperplate & Spencerian combine in masterful calligraphy.

Gaffes. Cynicism. Knife-fights. Why reporters hate, loathe & despise the 2012 presidential campaign.

Seductive. Expensive. Hard to find. Not always: perfume smell-alikes.

Once described as "the most irresistible woman in Hollywood," she had seduced, and been seduced by, married to and divorced from, lived with and walked out on, some of the most famous names of the 20th century. The amazing & scandalous life of Ava Gardner.

The gruesome slaughter and threatened extinction of Africa's elephants & rhinos. Poaching.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Children of the famous. Sexism & the "good girls." The power of kindness & decency. Rock-star gym teachers.

Today's provocation & inspiration:

When sexism reigned: “You goddamn middle class women — you think you can just go to Daddy and ask for what you want?” That's when the "good girls" rebelled. Newsweek.

The power of kindness, decency & doing unto others. Nora Ephron.

 Children of the famous. It was 40 years before they developed a true relationship. "I was living in his shadow." Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Rock-star gym teachers. Muscle & fitness.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The werewolves of Wall Street. Rowdy night tennis. A President. An athlete. A golden oldie.

Happy Labor Day!

Spin & bounce, heavy air &  a prize fight. Rowdy night tennis & the werewolves of Wall Street.

A long goodbye & the last laugh: Portrait of an athlete. Andy Roddick.

Detailed & insightful: Portrait of a President. Barack Obama.

What's old is new again. TV mini-series of Robin Cook's golden oldie Coma.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Night Stalker or the President's spine? Did the ex-Green Beret murder his family? Can a dog named Tucker help save the whales?

Writing jokes for Johnny Carson & gossiping with Elizabeth Taylor. Ken Levine tells all.

The President's spine? The Night Stalker? Portrait of a powerful woman. Valerie Jarrett.

Oh, scat! Can a dog named Tucker help save the whales?

Did Army doctor and Green Beret, Jeffrey Macdonald, murder his family? Documentary film maker, Errol Morris, takes on the ultimate cold case.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The devil wears spandex. The un-Hamptons. The global strategic maple syrup reserve. The wild side of men's jewelry.

The Devil Wears Spandex. The scoop from Lance Armstrong's assistant.

Yummy photos of the un-Hamptons. Long Island's North Fork.

Stolen? Hijacked? Missing! Bring in the Mounties! The disappearance of the global strategic maple syrup reserve.

Bulls & bears. Lawyers & sharks. The wild side of men's jewelry.