Standing Out and Out Standing

So. How ya doing? It’s been a while…summer vacations, house falling down, zoo needing care. You know, it’s been busy. But really, I am at a loss as to what to write. I know, I know. “You write books, for cryin’ out loud!” I hear you and writing 90,000 words for a novel comes easy for me. Status updates, tweets, texts – got those covered, too. I can spit those out easier than I can, well, spit.

Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff)But this beast I’ve created here? It just stares at me, daring me to post some drivel that it will consume and then spit back out with a laugh. I have no idea what I’m doing here. I’m not an authority on fashion unless jeans and a t-shirt are suddenly couture. I can’t even begin to comprehend the ins and outs of politics nor do I want to debate that here. I can talk a little about a lot. Unless it’s my neurotic dog. I’m a pro at dealing with him. And if you need advice on how to burn a pot of rice, well I’m your girl!

I’m supposed to be creating an ‘online presence’ for publishers and agents to look and see. Kind of like a litmus test for how popular I am, thus indicating how popular my books will be in the future. It’s like high school all over again. Word.

I understand that the publishing world is inundated with ‘wanna be’ authors and you have to stand out above the rest. You need to be different yet relevant; relateable yet edgy. Lady GaGa is a perfect example. People who don’t even listen to her music know who she is just by the absurd and bizarre things she does. Her bacon dress was brilliant. It was different, never heard of anyone doing that before. And it was relevant – talk about the ultimate recycling of materials. She could wear a dress and then go home and cook it.

So, while I won’t wrap bacon around my next manuscript, I need to find a way to stand out from the hundreds of thousands of ‘wanna bees’ out there. The wanna bees that write beautiful novels, descriptive and passionate, full of amazing story telling. There are thousands of those on slush piles on agents’ desks all across the world. Just to be seen by the agent’s two eyes is pure luck of the draw. Standing out after that is crucial. That’s where I’m at – creating something worth seeing. And right now I’m just feeling like her: brideFrankenstein3


Ever since my dad stuck me on a riding lawn mower at the age of 5 and gave me the responsibility of keeping the lawn mowed, I have asked myself one question: Why this obsession with perfect green grass? (okay – I’m lying about the age thing. I don’t remember how old I was, old enough to roll my eyes and sigh dramatically most likely!) And even though I now pay the boy next door to keep the green stuff neat and tidy I still wonder why people care so much. How did it become the standard to spend countless hours and too many dollars on something you wipe off onto the front door Welcome mat?

Landscaping companies make millions of dollars a year so Americans can achieve a lush carpet of green, edged with beds of tightly controlled flora that may or may not be native to their area. Yeah, yeah property values, image, blah, blah, blah…whatever. But look at this beauty of a place.

alaskaI can guarantee that Alaska didn’t spend one penny on Scott’s weed killer or Round Up’s fertilizer. Mother Nature did all that and it’s beautiful! Even without the majestic mountains or amazing glacier in the background, it makes me want to inhale a big pesticide-free sigh. Because, really, who wants to knowingly put down chemicals that can cause health problems in a place where children play, pets roll around on and is tracked through our house. Oh, that’s right…they make these signs for a reason.

pesticidesIt’s crazy that we fight Mother Nature so hard. It’s like plant genocide! I myself refuse to do it. I have a lush, trimmed green lawn required by the homeowners association but I dare you to find a blade of grass. It’s a mixture of stuff, sometimes they bloom these pretty little flowers I enjoy until the lawn boy comes along. I can peacefully watch the birds that pluck the organic earthworms from the ground and the bunnies that frequently come out at dusk without fear that they will start convulsing in a seizure right before my eyes. And my dog Harris and cat Percy can graze at times, too, like they do when they are trying to vomit in the house. On my carpet.

And if you enjoy taking care of grass, nurturing your lawn until it practically glows green and pulling local Zone 4 weeds from choking your Zone 9 exotic hibiscus then I applaud your passion. No, really I do. I am not trying to say that what you are doing is wrong. It just isn’t for me.  Astro-turf has more appeal, although I wouldn’t want to watch a bunny digest that. Nor would I go to these lengths, although I secretly want to give them a thumbs-up.

spraypaintgrassYeah, that’s paint! A Staten Island company spray paints lawns (no really, look). It has been popular among ball fields and golf courses for years so it was a matter of time before it gained a footing in residential neighborhoods. If the grass is dead, the vegetable-based paint is permanent. But I have no need for that because my native weeds are always green and healthy.

“Lawns say a lot about the homeowners that live there,” some say. “Your lawn presents an image to the neighborhood.”  Well, I guess my lawn is giving everyone in my ‘hood the middle finger. I know I’m not alone in my distaste for yard work. There are secret lawn rebels out there that grumble as they thatch their delicate sod, eyeing me with envy as I walk over my tough-as-nails lawn on the way to the pool. One day they will wake up and realize how much time and money they could have spent on fun things, like bettering themselves instead of dirt.

One last thing. When I googled “unmanicured lawns in America” images why in the world did Russel Brand’s image pop up? Seriously.


Playing Dress Up

You would think that as a writer my first post would be something profound, thought-provoking or even poetic. But honestly, I need a post so I can see what this new website, the whole outfit, is going to look like. This site and I are having a love/hate relationship right now and I’m not ready to air all the dirty laundry in a rant about Widgets, URLs, and privacy options, not to mention fonts. (We all know it’s the font that makes the site. Am I right?)  I just want a pretty place to show off to you, my readers. So we have been busy trying on different dresses and pairing it with the right accessories. Please have patience as I learn how to keep my settings, that I spent hours on, from disappearing when I press Publish. I’m just so thankful you are here and I promise this site will be as funny and entertaining as it is beautiful, once I find the right pair of shoes!