Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thank you Richard Riordan and Brigitte Bren!

Thank you to my two great hosts: Richard Riordan at the Oak Room and Brigitte Bren at the Regency Club (thanked in order of the parties).

And to my wonderful friends who came (and to those who couldn't) thank you! For the support and friendship. Thank you also to Village Books. The events were a benefit for them but we benefited from their involvement.

My thought for the day is only that I am truly, truly blessed. The book is an aside to life itself.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two book parties; two great hosts

Thank you Dick and Brigitte for hosting two great book parties! You aren't pictured here but I will get some pictures up soon - promise.

I've been so busy this week but am so impressed with the turnout and love I got this week. Wonders to a new author to realize that her life is already so complete.

I love you both and will write more soon?

These two? My kids who dropped by the OR Monday.


Thursday, October 21, 2010



I do a lot. I do too much.

Work, the book, selling the book, yoga, runs, reading, friends and most of all my children. And then some more on top of that!

Many times I’ve been asked how I do it all. Yet how do we all do what we do? Some people handle so much more than I do.

Focus is key. When I’m doing one thing I’m engaged and focused on that one thing. I’m not letting my mind wander through the lists of other (sometimes pressing) items I’ll need to address later in the day. And may not get done. And if they don’t get done? Well, so far I’ve survived. Most of us do.

A huge part of my workouts is that focus which they provide. Clearing my mind and exiting the world’s realities helps me re-focus on myself and my objectives. It also releases stress (which builds up based on my busy lifestyle).

I really do compartmentalize well and can ignore the thunder on the horizon; even when I’ve seen the lightening and feel the rain.

Part of it is rooted in childhood…but let’s not go into that here and now. Part is the incredible influence that fiction has had on my life and my mind. In a well written book I learned early on how to escape into another world. I haven’t always liked what I’ve seen in this one… the magic of a good writer, who introduces us to a more compelling and interesting storyline, taught me that concept of escape.

Escape becomes focus when you channel it correctly.

Now back to my other realities (the list of so many “to dos” for the day).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Michael Eisner, Digital Hollywood and the shape of media today

Today at Digital Hollywood Michael Eisner declared that he is very positive on the movie industry; and, the worse shape it's in, the more positive he is.

Because that is what spurs creativity. I love that!

Another quote: "making movies for less can often lead to a better movie - forced to be creative."

Captive was written on a budget (no advances here!). Is it creative or not? Hopefully.

I'm crazed for the next 10 days. Kids last weekend (fun but so busy); Digital Hollywood today; Milken State of the State tomorrow: back to Digital Hollywood.

The key point I'm getting from running around like crazy is to know your message (or what you're trying to accomplish). On that, I'm clear. It's the juggling that drives me nuts!

Oh, and that blur on the right is Michael Eisner/

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gloomy morning

Is the gloom inside or outside of us?

Today is cold and overcast again, like much of our summer here in Santa Monica. Yes, we had some lovely, even hot, days. Overall, we had an unusually winter-like summer.

And I'm feeling it in my mood. All of this week and last I've been so busy, running and never keeping caught up. I stopped this morning and felt the gloom. Looking around me I see it and I'm cold even in my sweater.

Our lives are so busy that sometimes we can't take time for reflection. But we all need it. My solution is yoga or a jog on the beach but yesterday my jog felt heavy.

My guess is twenty minutes of stepping back from my life, tasks and obligations, time spent reflecting priorities will re-balance my mood and the gloom will depart from inside and just exist out.

Who said anything is wrong with moods. Embrace and accept them, right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The morning after

Don't we wake up to face the morning after with (at most) a few hazy memories and perhaps a slight hang over? Do we remember a love's touch or imagine we do?

Captive was officially out late yesterday (as defined by Amazon who, after shipping dead lines for one day, seems to declare the next).

I wrote yesterday about how much everything feels the same upon Captive's release. Today, too, the world goes on much as it did before. My son turns seven...he's so excited...but even his world isn't likely to change much with the passing of this day.

Hopefully, Captive will have a bigger impact. It addresses real issues with global impact. But for today, not much has changed.

Yes, that is a picture of my bed. Did I mess it up for effect or...?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Captive is shipping from Amazon; on the Borders site as well

And I'm so excited. Though the world hasn't changed... and I won't sell so many books so soon (not being a name author). Now I start marketing!

But I've never had a book for sale before; of course it feels great (after all that work getting to this point). And the idea that people can and will read it (some of my friends/family have pre-ordered copies...). Well, you don't put in that kind of work in the hopes that no one reads it.

I loved researching the book; I loved writing it. I'm proud that I actually finished it and got it published.

So, being me, I'll cry a little. I cry at happy things more than sad. But first I need to rush to a meeting!

Please read Captive!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Judge not others?

As a society, do we want children sleeping in the streets with drug addicts and the mentally deranged? Do we believe that thousands, or tens of thousands, of people starving in the US and sleeping in the cold is acceptable?

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly I’d never asked myself these questions before yesterday. And, for a current figure, an estimated 41% of the homeless in Los Angeles are under 18.

What happened yesterday? I went (with Coro) to Union Rescue Mission for a tour and to meet with Andy Bales, its CEO. He is trying to end homelessness in LA with love. He’s a reverend.

So? Well, he made the point that people should all be treated as God’s special creatures and none should be left in the cold. He is passionate, driven, articulate and eats with his flock. He talks a lot to the media and takes on local politicians. He made me think.

And this does related back to Captive. George, at one point in the book, feels bad about attacking Khalil in his weakened state. He feels shame and remorse for taking advantage of that and pushing, cruelly. Yet what if George is right and Khalil is planning to kill many others?

Bales is denied money from some donors because of his affiliation with God. George judges Khalil because of his relationship with his Allah (which in Khalil’s mind allows for killing others).

Bales talked about sitting down to eat with the homeless. I don’t want to do that. Would I? Of course. Do I want to? No. We all have our prejudices. Can we defend them? In front of our God?

And the picture? I couldn’t bear to take one of Skid Row. It seemed exploitative. I’ll write in a book about George exploiting a fictional character. But, as the reverend said, I don’t want to judge someone at what may be their lowest moment (desperate people are what line skid row in LA).

So you are seeing the same stars I observed the day before when I was in Hollywood.

Promise to lighten up these postings, honest. Just a reflection of what I’ve been seeing, for whatever reason, lately.

Book out on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Warren Bennis book signing today

I went to a Warren Bennis book signing today. Still Surprised, his memoir. He spoke about his life, writing about leadership then about himself.

And a main point was anecdote versus situations you had lived. Which carries over into living leadership or writing about it. His early experience with leadership was in World War Two.

He warned about false modesty, not protecting other people as you “use” them in your writing and writing truthfully but not including embarrassing points.

And he discussed how the feedback he got from friends was that his memoir was about people, not events or even leadership.

Someone who has had such success as a writer was charming and gracious to those in line waiting for an instant of his time. I gave him my book and he called me a writer (I still don’t feel like a writer though I’ve seen the book.

Impressive man. At such a different stage in his writing career.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What a riot looks like and why it can happen here, today

The picture herein is such a moderate version of a riot's aftermath. Why do we feel so immune (and do we). The picture depicts a riot the lovely Ana Berman (photographer) encountered on her recent trip to Spain.

I have pictures from the LA riots in the early 1990's. Greece, France, Iran... We've seen recent riots due to economic issue, lack of freedom, racial unrest, raising of retirement age...

I wonder what happens here - as we don't seem to be exiting the recession. Headed for inflation (in which the savers, and middle class, get decimated) or a deflation (in which we all get decimated but perhaps "restructure" our debt).

Thank you Ana for showing us that the people make sure they have a voice.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I've been pretty self involved this week. And, so, so busy. My actual books arrived yesterday (saw Cative in print) and I went to a charity function with a friend, run by a friend.
Then, finally today I read my newspapers (for the week).
I saw that a friend (Richard Riordan) and an acquaintance (Frank Baxter) along with Eli Broad bailed out the ICEF Charter Schools. Caprice Young has stepped in to help Mike Piscal - both of whom I know.
I've heard Mike talk about teaching a ten year old how to read. How much harder it is at that age. The boy ashamed and crying the whole time. How he told the boy he wouldn't give up on him and didn't.
There is a place in the world for the Mike Piscals. I'm glad some business people stepped in and put their time and money behind him.
I didn't accomplish as much this week.
But I'm proud to know those who did.
The picture is a part of town that some residents know all too well. How blessed some of us are.