A Slice of Orange



February 15, 2008 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as ,

by Rebecca Forster

Consider the month of February. It is an odd and joyous month. Christmas is over but bills still trickle in. The New Year already feels a little worn. Odd.

Spring is just around the corner and summer is on the horizon. Joyous.

February is the month of odd days. How many? 29? 27? 21? Where’s the rhyme when I need it?

My last few books came out in February. Odd or joyous, who can say?

My husband and oldest son are Aquarius types. Their birthdates are the 8th and 9th days of February. Twenty-three years ago my husband, in the hopes of having my son born on the same day as he was, fed me a spicy burrito. It brought on labor, just not fast enough. Oddly joyous?

The point is that things that make us happiest, things we remember, are always a bit odd and a bit joyous.

There is an author I admire. His name is Richard Jordan and he writes a mystery series about old Hollywood and a wonderful woman named Polly Pepper. His latest novel, FINAL CURTAIN, is a Polly party. A veritable gala of memorable characterization.

Final Curtain

Polly is such a delight because Richard adores the charmingly odd lady. Every word he writes about this woman is joyous. From her ever-present champagne to the disappointing revival of an acting career that embroils her in a murder investigation (a director is clubbed to death with an Emmy), Polly is Polly. Odd, joyous, charming, challenging. She is a reader’s delight; she is a character-in-waiting for some smart and talented actress. Rita Wilson, are you listening?

Just like February, FINAL CURTAIN ends too quickly. And, as February flies by me, faster than I care to admit, I am beginning a new project. As I do so I will be inspired by the odd month of February, by Richard Jordan and his joyful Polly and I will write with abandon. I will let my imagination spread its wings and will not allow the rules and agent warnings and ever-changing market forces to clip them.

That will be oddly, joyously, fabulously satisfying. This will be writing as it should be.

Rebecca Foster

Rebecca Forster

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Eye on Hollywood

February 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Meeting A Real Movie Star

by Bobbie Cimo

In the early years of my career, I was one of the few fortunately ones–if not one of the only ones–who got the perk of getting out of the office to work remotes. Sometimes that could mean being at the Pasadena Auditorium for two weeks at a time while we built the stage for the Emmy’s. Or being inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s ballroom covering the first dozen or so AFI’s (America Film Institute’s Life Achievement Awards), honoring such heavy-weight legends as John Huston, Frank Capra, Orson Wells, or Fred Astaire . . . just to name a few. Keep in mind this was a time when laptop computers hadn’t even been invented yet. Which meant if I wanted to have my cake and eat it, I had to cover my regular job first before working as an assistant on the fun stuff outside of the building. I use the term “assistant” loosely here, as it sometimes meant anything from crunching numbers to seeing how far over budget we were, to making sure Bette Davis got her parking ticket validated, to arranging for Gregory Hines’ shoes to be shined before air time, or even playing watchdog over Shirley MacLaine’s purse for her.

But always, on the day of the big event–whatever it was–I got to play dress-up and be part of the gala. But like any good party you go to, you’re bound to see the same faces year after year– Wait, this is Hollywood. Scratch that last remark about the same faces . . . not with the help of good plastic surgeon, you won‘t. But what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to remember who I saw and just when and at what event.

Except for the time I met Cary Grant at the AFI honoring Alfred Hitchcock.

I was standing on a two step-up tier of the main ballroom, when Cary Grant passed me. He was impeccability dressed in an expensive tuxedo, gorgeously tan and looking every bit of the movie star that he was. As for myself, I was dressed in a white, off one-shoulder Grecian gown. I thought I looked like Venus. Looking back at it now, I’m sure I didn’t.

When Cary spoke to me, I suddenly went deaf–that happens a lot when I go into shock. When he cupped his hand over mine, I remember thinking, his hands are softer than mine . . . they probably weren’t, but his touch seemed like velvet. He acted and looked just like he did on the screen. Absolutely perfect.

All too soon our conversation was over and he left. And I remained frozen, clutching onto to the staircase railing. Hector, our cameramen, obviously recognizing a woman in distress, asked me how I was doing. I told him the truth–I couldn’t move. My knees had locked. Hector found it amusing . . .I didn’t.

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A Writer’s Pursuit…

February 12, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as

Of Inspiration and Answers

by Michele Cwiertny

Yep, I’m looking forward to reading your answers…

How many of you are able to write stories set in the area where you live? I bet there are a lot of you out there. And if you’re one of them, I just have to say…Luuuucky. 🙂

Yeah, I don’t happen to be one of those writers. That is to say, my stories tend to have more energy, more vibrance when they’re set somewhere else, such as in another state, in another country, or even in a different time period. Sure, I can write a story set in California as long as it’s a historical. But a contemporary? Well, let’s just say the thought of poking needles in my eyes almost—ALMOST–seems preferable to the amount of revising I have to do in order to make the scenes come alive for me. It’s ugly. ::shudder::

But why? Why? WHY?! I’d love to be able to put to use what I already know about a fantastic location, especially one where I’ve lived nearly my entire life, one that has so much to offer—one like…oh, say, Orange County? I mean, that only makes sense, right?

Sigh. I guess I’m just a slave to my characters. Right now, they refuse to talk to me if I force them to stay here in contemporary Southern California. LOL!

So, what about you?

1. Are you inspired by your surroundings?
2. Do you prefer to write about locations outside of where you live?
3. Do you do both?
4. Do you think I need therapy for being a slave to my characters?

Can’t wait to hear from you!


Michele Cwiertny writes dark paranormal romance set waaaaay on the other side of the country…Seriously, nowhere near Orange County, CA (just in case her characters are reading this). To find out more about her writing, please visit www.michelecwiertny.com and her blog, Michele’s Writing Corner.

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Today is “Work in Your Bathrobe Day”

February 11, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as

by Jina Bacarr

If you’re like me, you’re reading this blog in your bathrobe. We’re not alone. February 11, 2007 is the sixth annual “Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day,” a time to celebrate the freedom of working at home. According to a press release from Webmonz.com, more than 4.5 million home business owners have waved goodbye to the pressures of the corporate rat race and have settled into a more balanced and better quality of life…working from home.

I’m one of them. I spend my workday in my bathrobe in front of my computer writing hot sex. It sure beats hitting the freeway. And my coffee never gets cold.

It’s not just we writers working at home. Kristie Tamsevicius, co-founder of Webmomz.com, a site that empowers women who have chosen to work from home, views having a home business as the ultimate life balancer. “Some people may think that living and working under the same roof creates more stress, but in fact, just the opposite is true. Working from home gives you the freedom to schedule your work around your life, rather than the other way around. That way you can create a life that you truly love.”

I’d like to take her philosophy one step further. Many working women often have trouble fitting sex into their schedule, but I’ve discovered that writing about sex is like having foreplay eight hours a day. And after work? Doing research is part of the job. Does it get any better than this?

So take Kristie’s advice and celebrate your entrepreneurial spirit by mapping out a new business plan—one that makes the bathrobe your power suit. Or in the case of my characters, your birthday suit. They often spend the day not wearing any clothes. I, on the other hand, have no intention of giving up my bathrobe.

What are you wearing while you’re reading this?

Inquiring OCC minds want to know…

Check out my video podcast in my bathrobe:

Webmomz.com will hold a random drawing for a $50 gift certificate for a bathrobe from Victoria’s Secret, as well as for a host of other prizes.

Register online at WebMomz.com.


Jina Bacarr is the author of The Blonde Geisha , Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs, an erotic spy thriller, March 2008. Check out my MySpace page for Breezy Malone, the heroine in my spy thriller.

“Get Caught in the Act!”

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It’s Worth It

February 9, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as


by Kitty Bucholtz

When I was thinking about my column this month, I couldn’t think of one single thing to write about. Some days I’m so happy with life, that niggling guilt that’s always in the back of my mind when I’m not working – well, it just goes away! And today, I couldn’t help but list all the things I’ve spent time on this week – even when I thought I should’ve been writing – that added some unexpected happiness.

Choir practice, even though I thought I was too busy to go
Talking to strangers, even when I was busy
Calling my mom, even though I was busy
Enjoying a few chapters of reading, even when I should’ve been writing
Cuddling and watching TV with my honey, even if I should’ve been working
Thanking God for future blessings, even though I can’t see them yet
Supporting a friend by walking the picket line with her, even when I’m busy
Taking a moment to enjoy the stars, even when I’m tired
The joy of telling a story, even if only to myself today

I’m sure this list isn’t complete, but you get the picture. And the thing I noticed was that my writing energy improved after each of these things! But you know, even if it hadn’t helped my writing, some things in life are just worth it.

Kitty Bucholtz
writes romantic comedies because, well, she lives one! She wrote her first book in the NBC cafeteria, the second snowed in at a Reno hotel, and the third from a tiny apartment in Sydney. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, she’s pretty sure she knows at least three people who aren’t writers.

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