My television adventure

Interesting. Very interesting.

I drove down to the New York State Fairgrounds early this morning to be a guest on the “Bridge Street with Rick and Julie” show. It seems to be Central New York’s version of the Regis and Whatshername’s Show. If the weather had been decent, the taping would have been held outside. Because of the remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the show was mercifully moved indoors. Or should I saw mooooved indoors, because we were in the Dairy Hall. Not the Dairy Barn, mind you. That was next door. We were in the Hall, where the butter sculpture was. (I couldn’t get a picture of the butter sculpture because the air was 121% humidity and the glass was fogged over.)

I got there an hour and a half early (who – me, nervous?) but I was prepared with a yellow legal pad. Armed with pen and coffee, I enjoyed a good brainstorming session trying to figure out how to build to the climax in my Work in Progress. When the clock finally bonged, I headed for the Channel 9 booth, a bizarre building that looked like a cross between a spaceship and a summer squash. The folks in the booth took care of me.

Everyone was quite nice, especially Tyler the intern, who goes to ES-M High School. While I was waiting to go on, I stood around pretending that I did not want to barf. (Woke up with a stomach ache. The kind of stomach ache I used to get on spelling test days. The “you are about to make an idiot of yourself” stomach ache.) Before I knew it, they were sticking me in a tall chair and burying a mike under my hair. A small crowd had gathered to watch the spectacle. I guessed they actually came to the Dairy Hall to look at the butter sculpture, and stayed to watch the festivities.

The weird thing about being on a live TV show is that it didn’t feel like being on a live TV show. Julie (very tiny, funny, and sweet) and Rick (reminds me of everyone’s uncle, the one who likes to fish) basically chatted, then Julie threw me a couple questions. I think I answered them. I kept forgetting where I was supposed to turn (look at Julie? No, Rick. No, the camera. No, don’t look at the camera, wave to the crowd.) At one point I realized that I had used the word “nice” seventy times in three sentences. And I couldn’t make myself stop. The movie? Nice. The book? Nice. The weather? Nice. Wanting to throw up on live TV? Sorta nice.

I wanted to bang my head against the plastic cow.

Then – bam! – it was over.

Until I had to judge the Motley Crue karaoke contest.

Yes, you read that right. They asked me to hang around until the end of the show. Motley Crue is playing at the State Fair tonight and they had tickets to give away. My fellow judge was a large, tattooed guy who is a DJ at Rock 105 The Dog. He didn’t talk too much. I think it was a little early in the day for him. So we got to sit in the tall chairs again and had to judge the contest. The participants had to sing the classic “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

Contestant #1 – a pair of 20-something sisters who I never would have guessed would be Crue fans.
Contestant #2 – two random girls who never heard of the band and were only doing this to get on TV (I overheard them say that in line).
Contestant #3 – a big guy, maybe 16, with wild air and a definite Motley Crue attitude, but who looked like he was nice behind the snarled lip. I really, really wanted him to win because he looked like he hadn’t won much before.

I will spare you the play-by-play of the singing. #3 bummed me out because he did not sing above a whisper. #2 were cute, but didn’t know the words, despite holding the lyrics on a piece of paper. #1 won running away, Quiet DJ-Guy and I agreed. Not only did they know the words and harmonize, they did all kinds of wiggles, shakes, etc., that Tommy Lee would have approved of.

And then it was really over.


So here’s something most of you don’t know about me – my hair started turning white when I was 18. “No big deal,” I thought. “Crazy stray hairs. I’ll just pluck them out.”

That stopped when I started resembling a half-plucked chicken. I reached for the bottle, the hair dye bottle.

I color my hair because if you are 18, or 26 or 34 or even 44 (almost, my birthday is a few months) you might not want white hair. However, dying my hair is expensive and a pain, so sometimes I let it go too long and then I have this thick white stripe running along my part and my children won’t be seen with me in public, and my husband tactfully suggests hats.

Have you read SPEAK? Find the description of Hairwoman. Yep, that’s my hair, folks. Whenever life hands you trauma, stick it in a book.

So anyways all of this backstory is to explain that I took a Giant Step yesterday. I went to my new hairdresser. This is a scary thing for a woman of a certain age and I was petrified. But it turned out great and now small children don’t run away screaming when they see me in public.

The reason, of course, for this beautification is my TV appearance tomorrow. I’ll be on “Bridge Street with Rick and Julie”, channel 9 in Syracuse, tomorrow morning. We will be taping at the State Fair – NewsChannel 9 Media Center on Chevrolet Court, to be precise. Do you know who else might make a surprise appearance? Katrina, formerly known as Hurricane Katrina!

I sure hope that Media Center is under a big roof. If it isn’t, you can tune in tomorrow and watch me do my drowned rat imitation. A drowned rat with very nice hair, I might add.

Made my writing goal yesterday and have a good chance of making it today. The story has turned darker but my Main Character still cracks me up. I love it when the writing is flowing and a character does or says something that makes me laugh out loud as I type it. All is right with the world when that happens.

Another one launched

Well, it’s official – Meredith is at college.

BH and I drove down to Mer’s dad’s & stepmom’s house on Friday. We had a great family evening and a yummy breakfast the next morning. (Yay for blueberry pancakes!) Then we packed up a couple cars, and headed for Lancaster. It didn’t take long to get everything in her room. She’s a pretty organized kid. So we had plenty of time to walk around campus and spend a fortune in the gift shop.

So, yeah, she’s flown the nest. But I am not freaking out. I think I got that all out of my system when she graduated. That was all about good-byes. Taking her to college was all about hellos to new people and experiences. I know she’s going to do great and have a blast, so I’m not sad.

As we left Lancaster for the long drive home, we swung by Bethlehem to see Steph for a couple hours. We would have stopped at J’s college, too, but she was working. Got home way too late, but it was worth it.

Oh, and I brought Wawa coffee home (ground coffee, not in a cup). And I hate, hate, hate Rt. 222 between Lancaster and Allentown. Ack.

Note to Max and couple other people who asked about this: Yes, I am going to put some draft pages of various novels on the website. But I don’t see how it’s going to happen before November.

Now I have to write, write, write, write, write, write….. you get my drift.

*thinking about the hurricane, praying for safety*

added later: pardon this small technical procedure: Technorati Profile

the not so fun part of writing

I threw out half of my Work In Progress yesterday. Deleted eighty pages.

I knew it was going to come to this. Saw it coming back in July when scenes started cropping up that just didn’t feel right. I don’t regret it, but I sure do wish I had the time back that I spent on them.

This really feels like breaking up with someone that you know in your head you should break up with but your heart keeps reminding you of the “good days.”

Sigh. I just hope I threw out the right eighty pages.

odds and ends day

We went to Auburn last night to visit my aunt who was in the hospital for ominous “procedures”. I walked in prepared for the worst and pretty upset about it because this aunt has been a really big part of my life. I think a lot of my personality comes from her influence. As usual, she blew me away. She was much stronger than I thought and she had a fantastic attitude about her diagnosis and treatment options. I floated out of there, so grateful so have women like her in my life.

I leave in a few minutes to argue with a bank that has put a Hold on my account because it is less than 30 days old. Now mind you, the money in that account came in the form of a BANK CHECK which is basically as good as cash. (This was when I was transferring all my accounts up here.) And the problem is that when I deposited the money, they didn’t tell me there would be a hold on it. So, fool that I am, I went and wrote several important checks to pay for my quarterly tax installments. Which will bounce if the bank doesn’t release the hold. It is a bad thing to bounce your tax payments. Grrrr….

Have been talking to my editors last couple of days and figuring out what my writing and publication schedule will be for the next couple of years. It is scary and exciting. Depending on how the next two months of writing go, my new novel should come out at this time next year. I can’t give you a title yet because the title changes almost everyday.

Thanks to Rebecca in Georgia and Monique in New Jersey for writing great notes that made me smile!!

Once I get back from errands, it will be a quiet writing day. We’ve been doing some construction here, but nobody can show up today with a hammer. Aaahhh… peace…

Oh, wait! Don’t go yet! Check out this interview with Neil Gaiman about his new book!