Monthly Archives: June 2006

Shopping Rampage

I realize I haven’t blogged about shopping in a while, but my dears, it has been shopping rampage here… ever since I outgrew my normal clothes, I have discovered the wonderful world of maternity clothes. And I love that I’m so trendy because with all the baby bumps right now, maternity clothes are the “cutest” they have ever been, and everyone wants to be “Angelina Jolie pregnant” according to the New York Times Style section.

Well, not so sure about THAT. I haven’t been able to find the Theory maternity line, which supposedly exists. And the Barneys in L.A. does NOT have a Procreation section, like the one in New York. SHAME, Barneys L.A.!

But I did find some nice things at babystyle, which is in Santa Monica. It was fun to be there with all the other pregnant ladies. We were all rubbing our bellies and cooing over the clothes–which were stylish and comfortable and not too expensive. I spent about $500 on an entire wardrobe-a pair of pants, a dressy dress, four t-shirts, shorts, dressy shirt. When you consider one Marni shirt is about $350, maternity clothes are a real bargain!

Then I hit the GAP and Old Navy, which my fashion editor friends advised me to do. (All the NY fashion chicks wear Old Navy maternity, how awesome is that? See, fashionistas are not snobby!) The GAP had some cute shorts, peasant tops, and sweaters. I bought a bunch for about $350. When nothing fits, you need to buy EVERYTHING! And at Old Navy I spent about $150 on some cute summery cotton tops and a maternity swimsuit which was actually really cute and only $25!

But I kind of felt like everything I owned that was maternity was way too casual and I needed a little bit of fabulosity, so I hit Cadeau, a really chic maternity line. They were having a sale! And I bought two really cute cotton shirts that look very Marc Jacobs for $75 each. I need to go back there and re-assess what else I need, Mike was with me that day and he was impatient to get going.

I had thought I would be able to ace my pregnancy by wearing a TON of Marni flowy shirts (which I stocked up on for this reason) but ALAS, it turns out that it is not to be. The Marni shirts, while roomy, are too short to cover the belly. You end up looking a bit weird, with the shirt not quite covering your belly band on the pants. The maternity tops are roomy and long, and go over the entire belly, which is nice.

To celebrate my new wardrobe, I also bought three pairs or shoes–fabulous Giussepe Zanotti cream and silver bejewelled sandals ($280 from $655), silver Marc Jacobs platform sandals ($93 from $250) and Miss Trish of Capri bejewelled thongs (Miss Trish of Capri was Jackie O’s flip-flop of choice) $255 from $555. And a delicious Mulberry bag, the one with the buckle in the front. ($1200) in creamy mocha brown. I have been angsting for this bag since last season, and I finally decided to get it.

For the first two weeks when I bought it, Mike didn’t notice at all. (He always tries to “control” the shopping–BWAHAHAHA.) Then finally the other day he was like, “HEY, I’ve never seen THAT bag before.” And I had to fess up. Our new rule is that I don’t lie to Mike about how much fashion costs anymore. I had passed off my Chloe bag as a mere “four hundred dollar expense” last season. (If he ONLY knew!!) but this time I gave it to him straight–twelve hundred dollars. Thirteen hundred with tax. He looked like he was going to faint, but then he nodded. “Well, at least you’re honest.” (Let’s just say that episode on Big Love where Chloe Sevigny hides $60,000 worth of shopping from her husband? Yeah, that happened in my house earlier this year. And that figure is not too far off from mine.) But like Chloe, I am now debt-free and on a budget.

So now I’ve been in a fashion-new-clothes-high which has made me excited to pamper and beautify again—for the first three months I just staggered around the apartment looking HIDEOUS in sweats, but now that I feel good and have all these fun new clothes, I am tripping out the door in my cute new outfits and making lunch plans with the girls and dinner plans with friends.

And that’s probably all the shopping I’ll do for the next five months (FAMOUS LAST WORDS). But seriously, when you factor in how much I spent, and how long I will use it, it’s like a Marni shirt every month! Which is nothing! When I was a teenager my measure of currency was a record album. “That’s only two record albums!” – which meant thirty dollars. Now the measure is a Marni shirt… as in, that car is only four Marni shirts a month!

The other day we also saw “An Inconvenient Truth” — I urge you all to go see it. And so now Mike and I have to figure out how we can help save the environment, a cause, I’d have to admit, I never really cared much for. I always thought it was just a bunch of hippie bullshit. But now I have seen the light. We are going to buy a hybrid car instead of a BMW X5 (which I had been planning to get, after deciding the Range Rover was too showy). But now it’s going to be Prius all the way. And Mike is doing a lot of solar and alternative energy designs in the houses he is building, which is very cool. And we’re going to recycle more and all that jazz. I like to think I help the recycling effort because when I am tired of my clothes I give them away to friends and my sister and they get so much use out of them…

I’m also looking forward to seeing The Devil Wears Prada, although I agree with the Times assessment that the fashion in the movie is OFF. If you ever get a chance to go inside Four Times Square, the Conde Nast building, you will see how gorgeous and absurdly fabulous everyone really is–one of the highlights of my day when I worked there was how fun it was to go to the cafeteria and see everyone’s outfits–it was total Girlworld.

You know, some people who are still there or used to work there are going to crinkle their nose at this, the proper pose is to COMPLAIN about how nasty all the up-and-down assesment is, but when I was there, I dressed to the NINES, my friends, and I ALWAYS found the atmosphere fun and hilarious instead of frighteningly cold. It was like a fantasy, and I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. I think that’s why I didn’t last too long at Conde. Although when I left, the managing editor sighed, “Your presentation was perfect. You totally look the part.” Which I still treasure as one of the nicest compliments ever given me. I was a total geeky financial aid scholarship student in high school, and to be told I had the looks of the glamorous Conde Nast girl–WELL. That’s enough redemption for me!

I’m in a REALLY good mood today because today is the day I am finally turning in my book. I think I rocked it, and I’m going to go over it one last time and then send it off to my editor as a July 4th present. Yay!

Have a Happy Independence Day Everyone!

It’s All About being an Old Mom

Feeling much better about the book today. It’s always up and down with me. But I do think I’ll be able to shoot this off to my editor before the holidays are upon us.

In other non-book-writing news, we find out the sex of the baby on Thursday! We are sooooo excited. It’s amazing how pregnancy, fertility, are THE defining issues of my 30s, many of my friends are either having their first kids, or are stressing about IVFs and hormone treatments right now. All of us career gals who have decided that the mid-30s are the perfect time to procreate.

I had a miscarraige last year, and it was truly one of the saddest times of my entire life. I didn’t think I could ever be that sad. The only thing that helped was just to take three months and cry. I also listened to a lot of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, I read in the New Yorker that they made the album after everyone in the band had experienced a death in the family, including several miscarraiges, and listening to their music was part of the grieving process for me. I really think being able to articulate that kind of emotion in art was so healing, I just felt that listening to that record, that they knew EXACTLY what I was going through. It made it OK to just spend hours in the car, listening to the music, driving and crying.

Anyway, I also read this book Sarah Dunn’s Big Love (which is really great–you all should buy it and read it), and in it, the character (who is in her mid-30s and unmarried) says “I hate when people tell me, you don’t want to be an old mom! There’s nothing more I want to be than to be an old mom!” Yeah, old moms rule!

It was just reported in the news that if you have your kids before you are 25, there’s a better chance of them living until they are 100. I mean, who wants to live until you’re a 100?? For fifty years of that, you are OLD.

I can’t imagine having a kid when I was 25, or 27 or even 29. Mike and I met when I was 25, and I didn’t get published until I was 25. My first book sold when I was 27. I can’t imagine doing all that with a baby. Also, absolutely no one we knew in New York had children or got married at that age. It just seemed absolutely ridiculous. We got married when I was 31, and decided to start “trying” when I was 33.

Of course, when we finally got pregnant (I’ll be 35 when the baby is born) the doctor showed us this chart of the possibilities of birth defects and your chances go WAAAY down once you hit your 30s. I talked to my friends and we all were saying, “If we KNEW when we were in our 20s that this is what would happen in our 30s, maybe we would have gotten married earlier and had kids.”

But now I think it was just a knee-jerk reaction. I’m glad we waited. We’re so much more mature now. Mike and I used to fight a lot. We grew up together. And we had a LOT of fun in New York together.

I remember one night, we came back from some swaaanky party and dinner at Gramercy Tavern, where the guests had included Bill Clinton and um, Michael Bolton, and we were just so high from having this awesome New York night, when it felt like we were in the white-hot center of the world, and everyone was so glamorous and charming, and we just danced out of the cab and ran up to our apartment building, and we looked at each other and said, “God, we have a great life.”

And you know, there was no room for a baby back then. We lived in a 600 sq foot apartment in a brownstone, and we went out a lot. I actually got so tired of having such a frenetic social life that I was looking forward to a slower-paced life in Los Angeles.

So, even though we are beyond thrilled about the coming of the babe, I’m also glad we lived it up when we were younger, spent ALL our money on fancy restaurants, designer clothes and five-star vacations and had no thought to the future whatsoever.

One of my favorite parts of Joan Didion’s The Book of Magical Thinking, is how she wrote that she and her husband would always face a financial crisis by flying to Hawaii and checking into a suite at the Four Seasons. Love that!

I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately–I read Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Comfort me with Apples, both were excellent, and I can’t wait to try some of the recipes. And the other one was Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike, which we had bought for my dad when he got cancer. (My dad found it really inspiring. He always quotes from “The Book of Lance” now.) I was really surprised how good It’s Not About the Bike was. Really well-written and the story is beyond compelling. (I thought it would be some cheesy sports-tear-jerker.) Lance was just on The Daily Show last night and he was hilarious.

Some of my readers have written in saying that they love my books because they don’t talk down to teens, or condescend to kids. I’m pleased, because in my mind, I don’t really write “for” teens, I just write the stories I want to write, and it just so happens they fall in the teen market, and I feel like a teenager a lot of the time. So I really feel like I am writing for my peers. Like Harry Potter, which does not seem like a kid’s book at all. It’s just a book.

I hate reading books that are so obviously “written” for kids. Blech. You can always tell, and it’s soooo annoying. I won’t name books but you know what I’m talking about.


PS- After Britney’s hilarious misuse of air quotes in her Dateline interview, I’m worried I’ve misued scare quotes in the last sentence. Hmmm. Brit, I feel your pain!

Pushing It

feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. How hard is this book? I think this is the hardest one I have had to write. I was about to send it to my editor yesterday, but before I did, I re-read it, I was apalled. There was no story. There were words, there were pages, but there was no plot! That’s what I get for not sticking to the outline.

In my defense, the outline I had written was not working. So I had to chuck it. I think the story is working now. I basically rewrote the whole thing in the past two days, and thankfully, I realized it just needed a bunch of little tweaks here and there, to make the story emerge from all that rubble/rubbish.

One of my editors always says writing is a process. It really is. As you work on it, you find out more stuff about the story, more stuff about what the book is all about. But there’s so much craft to it too–all those cliffhangers and foreshadowing stuff you have to put in, and then a really neat explanation at the end for everything so it all makes sense. But you also have to make sure your characters are interesting and likeable and believable the whole way.

It’s fun, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it sucks. I think I’ve stripped away the garbage now–and have polished the diamond in the rough. I really tried to push very hard with this book, and I hope it was worth it.

I guess I’ll find out soon enough!


Close, but no Cigar

You know you think you’re done with writing a book when you get a lot of pages stacked up on your desk. Ooh, you think. That looks HEFTY. Nice. But then you read through it and you realize, shit, that DOES NOT make sense. Or where the hell did THAT come from? And then you realize you have to go back and put in, oh, about three or four more chapters and shade in a couple more things so that the ending is SATISFYING.

Agatha Christie said that she would always think she was done, but then the book would be too short, so she’d have to go back “and put another murder or a kiss in”. I like how practical she was. Very unsentimental about her work. Story stuck? Kill off someone! Or make someone kiss someone else! Sure to move it along. (And by golly, it really does.)

So here I am, with ANGELS, so close to the finish line, but there are a couple more things I need to put in. When I first envisioned the book, I thought it would be like a “Great Gatsby” meets “The Outsiders”. Now it is “The Great Gatsby” meets “The Outsiders” meets “The Matrix”. If that makes any sense at all. The Great Gatsby because there is a shadowy figure who reinvented himself from a junior high nerd into the coolest party thrower in Beverly Hills, “The Outsiders” because the protagonist is a cool, skater girl from the wrong side of the tracks (ie, the Hollywood Flats) who meets a cute preppie boy from Bel-Air, and the Matrix because…well…there is an EXPLANATION for why the world is as it is. Or at least in my book, the web, Los Angeles, fame, money, cliques.

One of my favorite lines to describe a book is Paul Rudnick who said his first novel Social Disease was about “hair, sex, and the telephone.”

Anyway, I did promise my editor I would get it in on Monday, and I have to get this out of the way so I can finish Blue Bloods 2 Masquerade, so I should log off now.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

While the Book Prints…

I am sitting here as my book prints out on the HP InkJet. No, it is not yet done, my friends. But it is CLOSE. So close I can taste the triumphant email I’ll send to my editor with the words, “here it is! enjoy!”. But alas, not yet.

I thought it would be done by Friday, it is not. I thought, Monday at the latest. Monday came and went. I’m terrible at diagnosing a deadline. And my other problem is that I have another deadline loooooming right after it. Once I put ANGELS to bed, I have BLUE BLOODS MASQUERADE to whip into shape.

The great thing about being so busy is that I don’t have any time to think of anything but the books, so I don’t have to worry and obsess about the reviews or responses to the books I have out right now, because I am all wrapped up in the books that are coming out next year.

This is probably the fifth draft I’ve printed–I always do a big print out to see the book as a whole. Right now my problem is structure, plot and pacing. I worry about the descriptions and details later. As Ernest Hemmingway said, a novel is architecture, not interior design. It’s got to have a solid foundation before I can add all the frippery.

I’m afraid it’s still a tad wobbly in spots, so I’m printing it out again so I can see where I can put in another steel column to hold it up.

Like Blue Bloods, this one starts off all slow and mysterious and then ends in several hairpin turns. But I’m hoping I haven’t driven this book off a cliff…

In between waiting for my book to print, I have been reading Toby Young’s The Sound of No Hands Clapping. This book is HILARIOUS. His first one was awesome, and this one is great as well–so dishy (I love that he tells us how much his option for the film was ($70,000), and what “Nick Hornbyesque option money” means – 2.5 million dollars, to those who haven’t read the book). I love money dish. It’s so rare to know exactly how much writers really earn, and I really appreciate a writer who talks about it honestly.

Toby also tells us that the amount of writers who earn money ONLY from writing books is in “the low 200s”. I pinch myself because I am in that number. I don’t write magazine articles anymore asking men to wear their penis size on their t-shirts (A true story I did for Marie Claire) nor do I have to goad celebrities into doing interviews with me (when I was the celeb columnist for Rosie). All I do is write books, all the money I make is from books.

Money to buy the new house, money to buy cars, money to buy food, money to shop at Barneys, money that keeps our life going, and to pay for all the kinds of insurance we need. Money so that Mike could quit his job and start his architectural practice. All from the books.


The pages are done printing, so it’s back to ANGELS I must go…


Race to the Finish Line

Hi everyone, my book ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD is due this Friday so it’s been manic over here as I try to finish it. I know it’s just a first draft, but I really want to make sure all the plot kinks are worked out before I turn it in. Right now it looks like it’s going to be a 300 page book, which is a bit of a shock to me since I was only planning to write 240 pages, but the way it’s shaping up, the first act is so long I need to balance it out so it’s not so top-heavy.

The good news is that I finally figured out the book but now I have to go back and rewrite a lot of the beginning chapters so that they match with the end. This is something I have learned the hard way, novels that are too "episodic" in which separate incidents happen that don’t seem to add up to a whole, are essentially considered plotless. You have to think of your novel as one whole book, and every chapter has to work as part of that whole–you can’t introduce scenes or characters and then drop them later, or never explain what they’re doing there.

So now that I have my big plot, I have to make sure that everything ties in to the big bang at the end, and if it doesn’t it either gets deleted, or changed so that it fits. Novels are like puzzles, I think.

In other news, our air-conditioning is still on the fritz, so I’m still living here at the family home in Pasadena. Mike and I are going to Palm Springs on Wednesday again for his work, so I’m looking forward to writing poolside.

I probably won’t blog until I turn in the book, so have a good week everyone!



Classical Music and the Benefits of a Classical Education

Thanks to everyone who emailed, Pop’s surgery went well. It was harder than last time, the doctor said, but Pop is recovering and was able to go home the same day. PHEW.

Mom and I are such old pros at the hospital now, we know where everything is, what time the cafeteria closes, etc. But everytime my dad has surgery, I am always so struck by how CARING and NICE everyone is–from the nurses to the orderlies, to the doctors, to the guy who transports patients in the wheelchair (who basically lifted my dad from the chair to the car when we went home).

The doctor always comes to visit a few minutes before surgery starts, and no matter who it is, (my dad has a LOT of doctors) they always say "Don’t worry, we will take care of him" right before they wheel him in. They can tell how nervous everyone is. Just hearing those words makes us feel so much better. We are so lucky to have come upon so many kind-hearted, patient people during the course of my dad’s illness.

Even the paramedics who have come twice to our house (my dad had two emergencies in the past two years) – these big, burly guys, they could not have been more efficient, or more gentle. We are so thankful.

Last night Mike and I went to the opera to see La Traviata, a friend had tickets (third row–sweeet) that he couldn’t use and it was a nice distraction from everything. I have always enjoyed the opera, even though sometimes it feels like cultural medicine. But I like to think of myself as someone who enjoys opera.

The first opera I ever saw was Wagner’s "Parsifal", with friends from college who were opera buffs. We saw it at The Met, in Lincoln Center, and we had these nosebleed seats, but my friends who had grown up in the city, and knew how to enjoy life without paying for it, were shameless.

After the first act, they led us all the way down to the orchestra level, and we snagged empty first and second row seats. (They were $350 each if we had paid for them!) The old people next to us were so charmed by our brazenness–we were probably a good forty years younger than the average audience member (it helps when you are young and cute I think) that when they left after the second act they gave us their tickets so that we would not get kicked out. One of my fondest memories.

And then when Mike and I first started dating, I thought it would be so romantic to go see Wagner’s Ring Cycle. All four operas. We bought tickets way in advance, and when it came time to see it, I had just had my wisdom teeth taken out, so I slept through almost all of "Das Rheingold". And we forgot to check our tickets for the next one, and when we arrived for Die Walkure (you know the one that goes Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit from Bugs Bunny), the little screens in the back of our seats said "Act II". We were flummoxed! How did we miss Act I? It turned out that the opera was so long, that it started at 6:30pm and not 8:00pm as the others did. And it was just a coincidence that as we were going in at 8pm, it was intermission and people were returning to their seats. We still laugh about that one. 

Verdi’s "La Traviata" was by far the most enjoyable. I think you really have to be an opera fan to appreciate "Parsifal". During Act I, when they were doing the Drinking Song (a really famous melody), I felt the baby kick! So perhaps the little guy or gal is an opera buff. 🙂

Everytime I go to see an opera or classical music, I am always glad I got a really solid classical education at Columbia. Columbia is famous for its Core Curriculum- you have to take two years of required courses in Western history, philosophy, literature, art, music, science, non-Western history and now math (yuck, but I’m glad I wasn’t there when they added that one). It just gives you a really solid liberal arts education. I can’t believe there are kids out there who have graduated from Harvard or Yale and who have never read Plato or studied Bach’s concertos. (Yes, I’m talking to you, my siblings.)

My Music Humanities class was taught by this really cool chick who played in a band downtown (we saw her play at the knitting factory) and she would play Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and then make us listen to Mozart. She was awesome.

Anyway, I have thirty pages to write of ANGELS today. There’s a lot of music in the book (but not opera) so I guess that’s why music has been on my mind… I want to fast-forward to June 15th when I turn it in, but I know I have to slog through the writing process first.



Surgery Day

My dad is having surgery today. Aghhh. It’s only minor surgery, which means he should be able to go home at the end of the day. He’s had the same type of surgery before. It’s his fourth time to go under the knife (and under the gas – anasthesia).

When my dad got diagnosed with cancer, the first year was really rough–he had a 10-hour surgery to remove the tumor, and looking back, I don’t even know how we survived it. Our doctor was a good friend of my dad’s from high school, so we knew he would do *anything* to make sure everything went OK. The biggest fear we all had, of course, was that Pop wouldn’t make it out of surgery, um, alive. But his doctor reassured us that that was just not going to happen.

But still, with major surgery, you can’t always predict…

At hospitals, there is a waiting room with several TVs where you can go and sit and wait while your loved one is in surgery. The nice thing about the waiting rooms now is that there is a phone, and every other hour or so, our doctor would call and talk to my mom and tell us how the surgery was going. So we had a lot of updates. It was a relief to have this, otherwise, for ten hours we would just have been so anxious we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.

The surgery went really well, and although recovery was tough (we had a terrible time in the ER when my dad got toxic shock from the bacteria in his blood – which is something that can happen from surgery), but in the end, everything has been fine.

A year ago, when the cancer came back, my dad had to have surgery again, and we were all prepared for another ten-hour wait. But then the doctor actually came OUT of the surgical room and into the waiting room maybe two hours into it. My mom and I looked up, totally SHOCKED. He was still wearing scrubs. This HAD to be the WORST news of our lives.

The doctor took one look at our faces and said, “Oh, no, don’t worry. He’s alive. Everything’s fine.”

It turned out that the doctor decided not to operate on the tumor, because he felt chemotheraphy would be better…

We sank back in our seats, totally relieved. We were kind of glad Pop didn’t have to have the major surgery again, but we were also distressed that the tumor was “inoperable.”

PHEW. Anyway, my dad went on this massive chemotherapy regimen with all those hot new drugs – he takes the “Martha Stewart” drug – Erbitux, made by Sam Wascal’s company. And early this year, his oncologist told us his scans were CLEAR. There was no trace of cancer found in his system! The tumor disappeared!

It’s crazy! Of course, it can come back (but we hope it doesn’t) and Pop has to go in for more scans in July to see how it is going, and his oncologist says he might put Pop back on the drug later this year, just to make sure, even if there is no trace of cancer.

Anyway, Pop’s surgery today is pretty minor, chemo causes a bunch of side-effects, and the surgery today will just take care of one of them. He’s had this minor surgery before, so we know it will be OK. But you know, you can’t help but be nervous.

I thought I was going to be able to get some work done this morning, but now I think I’ll just go to the bookstore to find a book to read while Pop’s in the operating room.

The book is going well now, at a steady clip. There’s a lot going on in it, and I think I’ve been a bit ambitious about what it’s about, but I *think* I can pull it off. I hope so.

I also found this really, really, really nice review of Blue Bloods on the web that a friend found, from a YA reviewer. Here are some pull quotes: “Its not like any other young adult novel Ive ever read. Cruz doesnt underestimate her readers which is something we find all to common in this genre…It is true and untamed fantasy meets modern realism.”


And now, off to the hospital…


Fab Publisher’s Weekly Review of Blue Bloods!

What a nice way to start the week with a great review from Publisher’s Weekly. This is by far the nicest review they have ever given any of my books! Yay!

Here are some pullquotes: "PAGE-TURNING!" "HARD TO RESIST!"

Yeeaaaah, boyyyyy….!!! I realize this is very 80s of me. Eek.

Anyway, here is the complete Publisher’s Weekly Review:

"De la Cruz combines American history, vampires and a crew of rich New York City kids, delivering a page-turning debut to her new series, sure to appeal to fans of her Au Pairs titles. When 15-year-olds Schuyler and Bliss find out that they are vampires, as are many of the city’s elite, they learn what’s behind some of their weird symptoms (such as Schuyler’s blue veins, which form "an intricate pattern, visible under the skin’s surface," or Bliss’s cravings for raw meat), and that "nothing could kill vampires." But something is hunting them, even killing some, and Schuyler grows more determined to stop it, even as the Conclave, the vampire leaders, attempts to cover it up. Readers will recognize the character types here: Schuyler the outcast, Bliss the pretty new girl and Mimi the popular queen bee (who nurses a somewhat incestuous relationship with her equally gorgeous brother). Not many question are answered along the way, even for the start of a series. Still, it’s hard to resist a book that combines expensive clothes, modeling jobs, blood-sucking and even diary entries from aMayflower vampire. De la Cruz plants enough seeds (e.g., What does it mean that Schuyler’s father is human- Will her mother come out of her coma- Who are the Silver Bloods, and is one of them hiding amongst the vampires-) to give readers a stake in what happens next. "

God, do you know what that means??? PRESSURE. I am writing BB2 now, and damn, I really wish I had been able to write it before the reviews of Book One came out.

Anyway, I got so many nice emails and messages and comments over the weekend – thank you everyone!


Trying to Keep Cool



Much better today. Whipped the first 100 pages into shape–like a ringmaster cracking it over the elephants’ backs at the circus. (ooh, bad metaphor.) But it was like, book, stay! Behave! Roll over!

I spent the weekend at my parents’ house in Pasadena because I accidentally broke the air conditioning unit in our condo, and it’s like, 900 degrees in L.A. right now. Okay, it’s only 95, but man, it’s hot! I accidentally pushed the switch from "cool" all the way to "heat" and the pipe burst. Mike tells me it’s because it’s an old unit, and it wasn’t really my fault (don’t I have a nice husband?) but I still feel guilty.

I loooove air-conditioning. Growing up in Manila, air-conditioning is like God. It’s so hot and humid in Manila, when you step out of your air-conditioned car or home, you IMMEDIATELY start sweating. It’s like New York in July, or Florida, but SO MUCH WORSE.

In seventh grade, the thing to do was to carry around an Evian spray bottle that we would spray our faces with, and also a little Chinese fan. When I was little one of my earliest memories is how I would climb up on the dresser and turn on that lovely air-conditioner in mine and my sister’s room.

Electricity was so expensive (even for the wealthy) that my parents had a rule that we could only turn on the A/C right before we went to bed, and we had to turn it off right when we woke up. None of the houses had central-air back then, so each room had its own air-conditoner. When the economy tanked, right before we moved to the States, my whole family slept in the master bedroom so that we only had to run one A/C.

So of course, having been brought up to loooove air-conditioning, the first thing I did when ours broke was to run home, where the A/C was working.

Except, on Friday night. It stopped. My parents have central air in the house, except for the new addition, which has its own unit. (Wow is this blog really boring? It’s all about our A/C problems!) And the central unit just stopped blowing cold air. My parents are away in Napa for a wedding, so they are going to be really upset when they come back. They love A/C as much as I do.

I have cursed all the air-conditioning units I have touched! Eeeek. So right now I’m writing in the addition, with the fan blowing.

The good thing about having been here for the last couple of days is that I am literally, just locked in with the book. There is nothing for me to do, but write.

(Although I did sneak in some reading. Scott Spencer’s A Ship Made of Paper and Michael Crichton’s Prey. Both were entertaining. Mike asks me why I read cheesy pretentious crap like "A Ship Made of Paper" –Oh, the humanity of it! The ship that will sink! Clutch chest, beat at heart, wail at the tragedy of it all! But I explained that I enjoy reading these novels because they are so different from my own, and so unlike anything that I will ever write, or attempt to write, that it is relaxing for me. Prey was good, riveting, but totally unrealistic at the end, which is not a surprise. Crichton always devolves into bad movie moments in his books, but the research and the ideas that propel the novel are always so interesting you kind of forgive him for the flaws of it later.)

But it was great to get some writing done. And writing is the only solution for yesterday’s problem. Banging head against the wall? Not so helpful.

So the immediate goal is to get this book done this week so I can start rewriting it next week so I can turn it in next Friday. And so I can go back to finishing BB2 which has been on the backburner while I get Angels into shape.

After I turn in Angels and BB2 I am going on vacation to Saint-Tropez, where my next book, SOCIAL LIFE is set. I’m soooo excited to start Social Life. It’s going to be so fun, fun, fun and scandalous and sexy and yummy.

I like writing BB2 and Angels, both of which are a little darker and moodier than what I’m used to writing, but writing books like SOCIAL LIFE is like coming home. Not to mention, I get to go to Saint-Tropez for "research". Hee!

Anyway, I should go since my parents will be back soon and will find out about the great A/C disaster that is awaiting them. Why, why do I still feel like I’m 14?? Because I gotta hide the keg in the living room! LOL.