Friday, April 29, 2005

I {Heart}...

... Robert Gray at Fresh Eyes: A Bookseller's Journal and Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont. I heart him very much, in fact. He featured The Bitch Posse today in his blog and is recommending and handselling it at his store. Here's his review:
The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor -- Just published, this intense, disturbing, and deeply intriguing novel explores the lives of three women who were once the closest of friends when they were in high school, but whose lives as adults seem to have followed extremely divergent paths. That divergence is an illusion, however, for a singularly terrible incident connects them forever, a secret they share and can neither outgrow nor outrun. O'Connor portrays their collective grief and guilt through the mirrored reflections of their common rebellious past and a present in which all three women battle individually with shared memories as well as the absurd expectations of patching together their variations on a "normal" life. Fast-paced yet hauntingly reflective, this is one tough and tender read.
Well! I'm blushing down to my toenails. Robert Gray, you officially rock my world. In your honor~

God bless booksellers: Robert Gray, Mark Farley (that other champagne is for you, m'dear) and all those magical people who hold the key to the publishing equation... PUTTING A BOOK IN A READER'S HANDS.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Everyone Is Staring at Me

A friend emailed me this link from Slate, where I'm quoted in an article about the Oprah letter. (Scroll down.) Someone at Slate reads my blog!

Talk about surreal. Here I've been prattling away for months, with no idea anyone other than my twelve most loyal friends was particularly interested in what I had to say. I do know that strangers find my blog, because my stat counter reports searches like:

AM Homes new book (I Google this one too... can't wait!)
cloistered naked mommies (I still have nightmares about this one)
pink rain boots (shopping I guess?)
Nicole Aragi (agent shopping I guess?)
Ryne Sandberg wife affair (This one intrigued me!)
Gary Hall penis (This one... NO COMMENT)
my naked neighbor (I get this one almost daily)

But these people are usually disappointed in the contents of my blog and leave quickly.

But Slate. SLATE! Now I feel as if I'm in the fishbowl! Look at her... she could stand to lose ten pounds... well, SOMEONE'S forgotten to take her Xanax... and that crappy purple sweatshirt? what's she thinking for God's sake?... duct tape, where's the duct tape so we can tape her fingers together and get her to SHUT UP....

I was at a great little bookstore in Mill Valley the other day, The Depot, being photographed signing books. (Yes, they had the books already and the people at the store were SO NICE.) And as I was walking through the cafe carrying the stack of books, the photographer with his gigantic camera trailing me, I realized that to a person, everyone waiting for their bagels and chai and lattes and whatnot... stopped. What they were doing. To STARE.

It's like that dream where you get up and brush your teeth and eat breakfast and pack your backpack and walk to school and then in the middle of homeroom you realize... YOU FORGOT TO PUT ON YOUR CLOTHES.

It's really, really weird.

I had this feeling once before, when I got blogged by Buzzgirl. At that time (though you can't see everyone's supportive comments since I switched to Haloscan) we determined that this blog does not, in fact, make my butt look big. (WHEW!)

But I had no idea someone at Slate was reading me. I don't have nice enough shoes to be blogging in front of Slate.

Well, I'm off to drop the kids at school.

I'll double check to be sure I remembered my clothes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Yet Another DUMBASS in the World~

I hope my fellow diabetes bloggers are on top of this one, too...

From the Letters section of the current issue of NEWSWEEK:
I couldn't agree more with Dave Beasley's article "Giving Kids Candy Is Anything But Sweet." I'd like to share with readers the fantastic solution my husband invented to deal with the overload of sugary, fat-laden junk food our children are constantly offered. We have "The Great Jar" in our home. Any time our children are offered candy or soda or other junk food, they can choose to eat it, or they can choose to give it to a friend or to bring it home, uneaten. Or they can just say, "No, thank you." For any junk food that they could have eaten, but didn't, we put money in the jar. For example, an uneaten snack bag of potato chips earns them 50 cents, one hard candy or lollipop is 10 cents and a soda can is $1. When the jar is full, we all go to the local bookstore or toy store, and they use the money to buy whichever toys or books they want. My kids all pressure each other to not eat junk that they are offered, and to "give it to the jar" instead. They've gotten great books and toys, instead of juvenile-onset diabetes. (emphasis mine)
Lauren Roth
Lakewood, N.J.
Holy, holy, holy fuck. What a sanctimonious, uneducated TWIT. I've written back the following:
Dear Editor-

I have just read the Letter to the Editor by Lauren Roth of Lakewood, New Jersey. Roth says that she and her husband discourage their children from eating too many sweets to prevent them from developing juvenile-onset diabetes.

As the mother of an 8-year old boy with juvenile-onset diabetes, also known as Type 1 Diabetes, I find Roth's letter disturbing and offensive. It shows a shocking lack of knowledge about this chronic, lifethreatening disease that my son and our family fight each and every day.

Type 1 Diabetes is a genetic, autoimmune disorder. The body's T-cells recognize the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (islet cells) as foreign invaders and begin to destroy them. Eventually, all the islet cells are destroyed, and the patient must take insulin shots several times daily in order to sustain life.

Type 1 Diabetes is NEVER caused by eating too many sweets. Never.

Perhaps Roth is thinking of Type 2 Diabetes, which usually hits adults but lately has been on the rise in children. Type 2 Diabetes affects the body's ability to use insulin and can sometimes be controlled with diet. Howeever, Type 1 Diabetes can never be controlled with diet and requires frequent insulin shots and blood sugar monitoring to preserve the patient's life. Type 2 Diabetes can be preventable if a pre-diabetic condition is caught early. Sadly, once the autoimmune reaction of Type 1 Diabetes has begun, it cannot be reversed. No one has ever, EVER found a way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes, although researchers are working on a vaccine.

Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes are two completely separate diseases, similar only in that they affect the pancreas. But are pneumonia and lung cancer are the same because they both affect the lungs?

Uneducated, off-the-cuff comments like Roth's are tremendously hurtful to children with Type 1 Diabetes and their families. It's very demoralizing and disheartening for a child with a chronic, life-threatening and uncurable illness to be told he did something to cause this illness, when he did NOT.

A letter such as this also does a disservice to the community at large by adding to the misinformation the public already has about Type 1 Diabetes. Newsweek is supposed to be an informative, fact-based magazine, and it is tremendously disappointing to see this kind of false information spread about as if it is true. Newsweek should print a retraction and do a feature on Type 1 Diabetes, its effects and the fight for the cure, in order to remedy this situation.

I hope you will pass this letter along to Lauren Roth so that she will be aware that there are two types of diabetes. I am glad to share with her the enormous amount of information I have accumulated on this subject as the parent of a little boy who bravely battles this disease every day.

Martha O'Connor
I encourage anyone who cares about this issue to write, also. letters{AT}

It was so irresponsible of NEWSWEEK not to fact-check this letter before printing it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bookselling on the Edge

Is there something wrong with your head, my dear? Because it appears you are not yet reading The Adventures of The Bookseller to the Stars. My dear, WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU?

Fresh Eyes was the only bookseller's journal I was aware of for awhile. And I do like Fresh Eyes. I check it several times per week, and I'm only sad that Mr. Gray does not blog more frequently. {Though it looks as though he has new recent entry. :o)}

HOWEVUH. That said... If you want bookselling tales with an edge, book talk that's just a wee bit, shall we say, outspoken (nice word for "loudmouthed..." like me, ha ha)... check out Mark Farley, Author and Bookseller to the Stars.

Of course, I PERSONALLY like Mark Farley VERY MUCH because he emailed me out of the blue one day to tell me he had read and LOVED my book and had reviewed it on his site and was going to handsell it and talk it up all over London. Yes, I VERY MUCH LIKE people who do things like that. (My British publisher very much likes him as well!)

And then I began visiting Mark's blog, and not only is it addictive... it's just too damn good not to share. Do head on over and visit. Hang onto your belly, cos you might pull a muscle laughing.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Just Ignore

Justice Served

This just makes me ILL. At least the woman's going to prison, but it's still so horrible there are such deluded people in the world.

'Charlatan' guilty in girl's death
Naturopath's bad advice helped kill diabetic
By DAVE PIZER, Ottawa Sun

COMPARING Louise Lortie's behaviour to a "charlatan," a Quebec judge found the former naturopath guilty of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing the death of a 12-year-old diabetic girl more than a decade ago. The ailing 69-year-old Lortie, who is confined to a wheelchair, used a pendulum and consulted the Archangel Michael before recommending to Sylvie Fortin that she stop giving insulin to her severely diabetic daughter, Lisanne Manseau. Instead, Lortie recommended she take an unrefined cane sugar, other homemade herbal concoctions, special massages and salt water baths.

Manseau died on March 28, 1994, just three days after beginning the treatment....{more}

Evil, evil, evil. If I ran into Louise Lortie I think *I'd* end up guilty of manslaughter.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The LA Times Book Festival~and OH HOLY SHIT

Let's just catch our breath first, shall we? Here's something NOT TO MISS. Mark Sarvas at The Elegant Variation has been blogging about the LA Times Book Festival since it began. He's got a ton of entries on this, so spend some time at his site reading. He even did minute-by-minute coverage of the Los Angeles Times Book Awards. Mark also did amazing reporting at Book Expo America last year~check that out too.

{PS, Like the big Dorkzilla that I am, I seem to have pinged Mark's site TWICE. Doh! I hope it isn't too much trouble for him to delete the extra one. Perhaps my Ping License will need to be suspended for awhile.}

Anyway, now that I've spilled that crucial information I've got permission to FLIP OUT...

Holy, holy shit. Last night and early this morning, I received emails from two friends that The Bitch Posse is now in stores. In very nice places WITHIN the stores, happily. My baby's arrived early!

Amazon says it's shipping in 24 hours, too. And some dirty bastards are selling used copies already.... Lemme at 'em.

I wasn't ready for this. I was going to calmly send out copies to close friends and family from the massive box that arrived on Friday afternoon, inscribe them with gloriously thought-out and gorgeously written personal sentiments, box them up and mail them, and recline on my sofa eating bon-bons and watching reality TV until May 1, WHEN THE BOOK WAS SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE IN STORES. There'd be a parade in my honor, and I would ride in a silver Ferrari, wearing a diamond tiara, holding a bouquet of roses and smiling and waving at everyone I passed. Because the world shifts off its axis when your book comes out, dontcha know?

Actually, everything is pretty much the same other than those two emails. I don't know what I'll do about that nervous breakdown I was planning to have. Auction it off on Ebay, perhaps, and put the proceeds in savings just in case I don't earn out my advance?

Ha, ha, ha, good one, Martha! Erm, yeah.

No, that nervous breakdown isn't gone after all. It's waiting in the wings~

PS It looks like we'll be getting the CoZMo insulin pump for our son. With the built-in blood sugar monitor and all the features, I'm pretty darned impressed. I heard from a few different people that they'd steer clear of Animas and that there are a lot of unhappy MiniMed users since the company merged with MedTronic. So I'll be a CoZMo girl after all!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My Tummy and My Many Aliases

Guess what! I am now wearing an infusion set on my abdomen. It looks like this~

I wish that was really my tummy. Although that'd mean I had diabetes, so I guess I really don't.

My son is wearing one too. Just for practice, you know. Pumping is a long way off, but this is the first step. Today was great... :o)

The quiz below is totally pointless and just what I needed. It's great to be around other parents of kids with diabetes, but once in awhile we get a little emotional. You know~we've all been in the same boat. We have the same worries and concerns. We speak each other's language. So it was fun to be around them, but a little intense. And although I enjoyed the class, this quiz was just what I needed to wind down. It's kinda hard to read, I know. I couldn't figure out how to fix it.

Martha Larson O'Connor's Aliases

Your movie star name: Chips Carl

Your fashion designer name is Martha Paris

Your socialite name is Muffy San Francisco

Your fly girl / guy name is M O'C

Your detective name is Dog Sycamore

Your barfly name is Nuts Zinfandel

Your soap opera name is Larson Main

Your rock star name is Snickers Rocket

Your star wars name is Marski O'Cjas

Your punk rock band name is The Calm Prism

Friday, April 22, 2005

On Being a Resource~and TOMORROW!

Sorry I've been scarce today~I am starting to become overwhelmed with preparations for the book launch. When I look at my upcoming schedule I just must laugh because I actually probably DO need a robot double of myself. Some exciting stuff is coming up, though... Stay tuned.

This was odd. My book is now a psychiatric resource categorized with a bunch of medical books! Of course, there are books like Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen and Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane included there too, so perhaps it's because one of my characters is in a psychiatric hospital. Still, I can't imagine what use my novel would be to psychiatrists. Maybe I'll ask MINE, hah!

TOMORROW is going to be a big day. A big, huge WONDERFUL DAY. So forgive me for being so excited I could just explode!


Tomorrow, my son and I are going to a class to learn how to use an insulin pump. This will make our lives so much more spontaneous and natural. For instance, let's say we want to go to Baskin-Robbins after school. Instead of having to give himself an extra insulin shot, he'll just have to press a button on his pump ("TO BOLUS" is the verb phrase... no one got that right on my quiz the other day), and WHOOSH, insulin will be delivered into his sytem automatically. At swim practice, he won't have to gulp down juices and crackers before jumping into the water. Instead he'll unclip his pump or turn down his basals.

Instead of 4-5 shots every day~with extra shots for treats~it'll be one infusion site change every three days.

YES, he still has to test blood sugars and count carbs. No, it is not a MAGICAL DEVICE that means he no longer has diabetes. But after an initial adjustment period (I hear it's like being diagnosed all over again, with all you have to learn), I think it'll be great.


He'll get to test out all the different pumps, play with them, and even insert an infusion set (if he's not too scared~the needle's pretty danged long, but supposedly the numbing cream just zonks out all sensation so it doesn't hurt). Maybe Violet will scoot by here and tell me more~she's the Pump Goddess. Her pump even has a NAME, for Pete's sake~"Charlotte."

I doubt we'll actually be PUMPING before summer~I want to give it my full attention and I can't with this book coming out. But we'll put in the order with insurance and be good to go probably in July! YAY!!!

I'll betcha a dollar that our pump will have a name, too. And ten'll get ya one that name will be "Gary."

Testing With Jai

I'm trackback testing with Jai. Go and visit her at her blog!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Authors Beg Oprah, "Take Me Back, PLEASE Take Me Back!" And, Hello Trackback!

First off~What the heck's Trackback? I was very confused about Trackback for a long time. I would click on Trackback links and go, HUH?? Well, I've finally figured it out thanks to this article. Read past my Oprah's Book Club post to find out more about Trackback.

And onto The American Goddess~Oprah Winfrey. Love her or hate her, you certainly know who she is. If you're an author you probably know, Oprah now only chooses DEAD authors for her Book Club. Becoming an Oprah pick has traditionally sped a novel up to the top of the bestseller lists. Oprah's choice probably had something to do with the Jonathan Franzen fracas. She maybe figured that living authors are loose cannons of sorts. (She'd be right.)

Author MJ Rose (a fellow Girlfriend on the Cyber Circuit) and many other authors have written a letter to Oprah, bemoaning the current state of American publishing and requesting that she return to focusing on authors who are alive and actually have careers and families and advances to earn out. Many well-known and prizewinning (as in Pulitzer! et cetera) authors signed it, including some of my faves... AM Homes, Oscar Hijuelos, Jennifer Egan... and more. It's kind of a sad letter. Writers are truly desperate, I think. No one reads anymore. I wish Oprah would choose living writers as well.

Here's some of the letter:

We'd like to thank you for welcoming readers into the world of the literary imagination. We'd like to thank you for being an advocate of Great Books such as East of Eden, Anna Karenina and One Hundred Years of Solitude. We'd like to thank you for bringing an array of contemporary writers -- first novelists and prizewinners, famous or little known -- face-to-face with their readers.

We'd also like to make a request: We'd like to ask that you consider focusing, once again, on contemporary writers in your Book Club.

The American literary landscape is in distress. Sales of contemporary fiction are still falling, and so are the numbers of people who are reading. Readers complain that, although daunting numbers of new books are published, too few of them are brought to the public's attention in a meaningful way. Readers have trouble finding contemporary books they'll like. They, the readers, need you. And we, the writers, need you. America needs a strong voice that addresses everyone who can read, a voice that will say, "Let's explore the books that are coming out today. Let's see what moves us, what delights us, what speaks to us in a way that only fiction does."

Oprah Winfrey, we wish you'd come back.

What the hell, I signed it. We'll see if it even registers on the Oprah Scale. One hopes they delivered it via helicopter, with loudspeakers and naked people and sirens and promotional pencils (unsharpened, of course) falling out of the sky. That's probably what it takes to get Oprah's attention!

So regarding Trackback. I'm onboard. Yeah yeah, I KNOW I've missed the boat. Better late than never! What the hell is it? If you aren't a blogger, then you don't really need to worry about it. But if you are... Trackback is a way that blogs talk to each other. If you have Trackback and someone at another blog posts about what you've written, you'll be able to see what they say. And supposedly it helps people find your blog more easily. That part I still didn't get, but I'm gonna give it a try and see what pans out. Again, click the link to the article above to find out more about it, if you're behind the times like me and didn't "get it" before.

Blogger doesn't allow Trackback. But I was able to install HaloScan as an add-on, which DOES provide Trackback ability. HOWEVUH, this means all your lovely comments of the past WILL NO LONGER SHOW UP on the blog. They will still exist, but no one will be able to read them. So it's not that I don't like you or that somebody said something mean.

Hey! I just had an idea actually. If you have Trackback on your own blog, PLEASE take a sec to help me test this. Track me back! Then I'll go and track you back! Howzat?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Delicious Way to Hook Up

It's that time again! I belong to a writers' co-op called The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit. Every few weeks, I interview a different author from the co-op.

Are you hungry today? If so, you're super lucky because I have the privilege of hosting the amazingly creative Ann Marie Michaels, who wrote Cooking to Hook Up, a practical, humorous guide for bachelors. Ann's co-writer is her ex-husband, Drew Campbell. It's a great gift book. And a TV production company is making it into a series! Ann Marie, would you please pass me some of whatever you're having...?

From the Cooking to Hook Up website:
Cooking is dead sexy.

It's a fact. Women will always choose men with wooden spoons over men with Gold Cards (unless you're in L.A.). But there's a world of difference between any dinner and the right dinner. Should you serve sushi or meatloaf? Play Sting's greatest hits or the latest Yo La Tengo single? Wear the Birkenstock sandals or the Armani loafers? It all depends on the Girl.

Casanova, arguably the most successful seducer in history, had a simple philosophy: Get to know the woman, find out what she lacks, and provide it. Seduction through food is a time-tested technique. However, and this is the big however, you must choose the right food, the food that works for that particular girl. Cooking to Hook Up gives you complete meals designed for every female taste.

Sound complicated? It isn't. All you need is a small supply of tools, a permanent stock of twelve staple foods, and ten additional ingredients you can buy through the express lane (plus a pit stop at the liquor store). There are fifty complete meals, including dessert and optional "bonus points".

Is she a Party Girl? Make her Very Happy Hour: Bar Food and Screaming Orgasms. Is she an Academic Girl who loves Hemingway? Pack up a picnic of Papa's Tapa's: A Moveable Feast. Is she a Gourmet Girl up on the latest trends in cuisine? Serve her the Spanish Surrealist menu, There's No Taste Like Foam.

The right food is only the beginning. We give you Girl-specific tips on which CDs to play, which flowers to buy, and which magazines to leave on the coffee table. There's even a easy wine-buying guide to give you the goods on the grapes. All of the critical information is here, including chapters on Preparing the House, and Bailing Out: Dealing with Disaster.

If all goes well, you can proceed to the last chapter, So You Got Lucky: Recipes for Breakfast.

So, what kind of Girl is she? Read Cooking to Hook Up and find out.

But there's a quicker way to find out what kind of girl you are... or, if you're a guy, what kind of girl SHE is. You go to Ann Marie's site and take the quiz! For me, the results were pretty danged clear:

Ann Marie was NOT surprised!

And now for the interview...

MO'C: This seems to me the perfect book for a naughty auntie to give to a guy graduating from high school, to his delight and his parents' angst. Do you envision this book as a gift book, a book guys go and buy on their own, all of the above, etc.?

AMM: All of the above, yes! We tried to make it friendly to both sexes.

MO'C: I find it so interesting that you and your ex husband teamed up to write this book. Can you talk a little more about how this worked? And who wrote which parts?

AMM: We collaborated/brainstormed/outlined the whole thing and then we split it up. I wrote most of the Gourmet, Indie, Career, Academic and Uptown Girl menus. He wrote most of the Girl Next Door, Athletic, Party and Progressive Girl menus. We split up the Granola and Career Girl about half and half.

MO'C: One thing I love about this book is the way it is completely realistic for the way most guys live. For instance, in one recipe you give the guy 15 minutes to chop the onion and the chicken breast. ABSOLUTELY on-target. Are these recipes all flight-tested?

AMM: Yes, they are. We tested every single one -- usually more than once. Which from what I heard from a reputable source, is not at all the norm.

MO'C: How did you come up with the different categories of girls?

AMM: We wanted to limit it to ten. We started with certain types of girls we knew -- such as the Indie Girl, the Uptown Girl, and the Granola Girl. We expanded from there.

MO'C: Do you plan to write a guide like this for women?

AMM: I'm not sure what the next book will be, but I think that would be a lot of fun. Instead of what kind of shoes to wear, it could be lingerie.

MO'C: Which recipes were the most fun to write? The most challenging?

AMM: The most fun for me were the Academic Girl recipes about etymology and Cockney rhyming slang. And the Gourmet Girl's Surrealist Spanish menu. The fortune cookies were a bitch.

MO'C: What has been the most surprising thing to you about the writing and publishing experience?

AMM: That it's really not that hard to get a book published. Everyone thinks it's such a big hairy deal, but all you have to do is come up with a strong concept, write a good proposal -- and then get it out there. I think that is the hardest thing -- believing in yourself enough to do it. Look at me -- it took me thirty-(cough) years!

MO'C: Can you talk a bit about your novel-in-progress?

AMM: I'm writing a chick lit novel called The Summer of Collecting Men and Shoes. I'm fascinated by the relationship of fashion and gender roles and how women are becoming less like "women" and men are becoming more "metrofabulous." I wrote about it on my blog.

MO'C: Will you be doing classes in tandem with promoting the book? I can see this as a very popular workshop on college campuses.

AMM: I will be teaching singles' and couples' cooking classes at Sur La Table and other schools here in Los Angeles (to start) with author Diane Brown (The Seduction Cookbook). We are also in negotiations with a TV production company who wants to option the book for a show.

MO'C: Any words of advice for aspiring authors?

AMM: If you want to write, just do it. Do it in email, do it on a blog, but do it. I actually have always written better for an audience. Keeping a journal that only I read is so anti-climactic. Kinda like cooking a real meal for yourself when you are a singleton. And then you have all those leftovers. What's the point? I say blog. Get your words out there -- and more importantly, you'll be writing. And the more you write, the better you get. And most importantly, the more you write, the more confident you are about your writing.

Thank you so much for answering these questions, Ann Marie!

You can buy Cooking to Hook Up for yourself or for someone you love (or hope to love) at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BooksAMillion or my VERY FAVORITE source, your local independent bookseller via Booksense.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Snippety Snip

You can now read a free excerpt of The Bitch Posse at my new and ever-improving website.

I apologize on my mother's behalf for the "crude and vulgar language" you will find in the excerpt. (Some Ebay seller actually used that phrase to describe the contents of an Advanced Reader's Copy he's hawking... hey, if you ask ME, it's "crude and vulgar" to hawk ARCs when the poor new novelist is TRYING TO FLIPPIN' EARN OUT HER ADVANCE.) She DID try her level best to raise me right, she honestly did. I, however, was incorrigible.

Seriously, though, these are my characters. The language is used for a purpose, and this is how Rennie, Amy, and Cherry talk and think. If you can get through Chapter 1, you will make it through the book and will probably even enjoy it. If not, well... SLOWLY BACK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. DO NOT CLICK THE "BUY THE BOOK" LINK. DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200.

For the rest of you...

The Beverage You Are About to Enjoy Is Extremely Hot. Sip Carefully.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Cosmo or CoZMo? And Some Thoughts on Hot Sizzlingness

So I mentioned this "Cosmo girl" thing to my parents support group and two people, separately, asked me, "Oh, so your son got an insulin pump!" They were referring to this handy device, commonly known as the CoZMo...

Having a kid with diabetes even changes our language! Psst, I'll give anyone a trophy who can correctly use the verb "bolus" in a sentence...

Now, I was thinking a bit about this Cosmo thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED TO PIECES by the review. But you just have to look at the cover to know what Cosmo is selling. That, and being nominated for the Henry Miller Literary Award have me thinking about authors who write candidly about sex but who are taken seriously, whose work has amazing literary value... authors whose work I truly admire. I've linked them here, along with their websites, if they have one. This list is not in any particular order, just the order in which they came to mind.

1) Joyce Carol Oates. She's a goddess. A literary genius. In my dreams, I am her puppy dog. What HASN'T Joyce Carol Oates written about, for heaven's sakes, from children's books to horror stories to candid explorations of sex? Well, Faithless: Tales of Transgression is one of the most provocative, and brilliant, story collections I have ever read. The story "Gunlove" alone is worth the cover price. Oates does not maintain a website, but some loyal fans of hers do at Celestial Timepiece.

2) Mary Gaitskill. Here's a link to the Amazon page for Bad Behavior, her first collection. These are incredible stories about women on the fringe. Gaitskill is very reclusive and doesn't have a website. Doesn't seem to have hurt her any~

3) Stephen Elliott. I've blogged before about Happy Baby, an absolutely amazing novel about a boy who grows up as a Ward of the State of Illinois. Elliott's site is here.

4) A.M. Homes. Homes tells a memorable anecdote about reading "A Real Doll," a story from her collection The Safety of Objects, in front of her grandmother. The story, about a boy who has a torrid affair with his sister's Barbie Doll, includes some graphic and darkly hilarious scenes. Homes doesn't have a website either.

5) J.T. LeRoy. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things was one of the saddest books I've encountered in the last few years. You can visit LeRoy's site here.

These authors have all fearlessly written about sex while remaining in the camp of literary fiction. And so I come back to that quote from Henry Miller (who belongs in that camp, too) that I mentioned earlier...

"Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end."~Henry Miller


Friday, April 15, 2005

Cosmo Girl

Whee! It's been a great day. Cos I just got my hot little hands on the May issue of Cosmopolitan. It's this one, with the lovely and omnipresent Jennifer Lopez on the cover:

Now, just how does that dress stay up? That's what I want to know. Duct tape, perhaps?

Anyway~why do I care about Jennifer Lopez and her magic boobs? I don't. Why did I jump all over Cosmo then?

Because, IN THE MAY ISSUE OF COSMO~which is in your local market AT THIS VERY MOMENT~The Bitch Posse is profiled as one of the season's three "Sizzling Page-Turners!" Mine was the first one they listed, along with Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen and Kyra Davis's Sex, Murder and a Double Latte. They like me... they really like me! {SOB!}

One more step into the weird surrealism that my life is heading for lately.... Maybe when I wake up tomorrow, I'll have magic Velcro boobs like J-Lo's as well!

Or not. But hey~I'm still a Cosmo girl!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Are You a Virgin? And Other Ponderables

First of all, I just wanna tell you that my blog might be a bit funky over the next few days. My FAB FAB web designer, Sunil from Authors on the Web, is sprucing up my template a little so the blog will be better integrated into my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW WEBSITE! So pardon the dust.

And on to my virgin musings... I'm reading this really interesting book now, The Virgin by Erik Barmack. (I hotlinked the cover image to the Amazon page so you can read more about it and see reviews, etc.) It's been in my To Be Read stack for awhile and it just popped out at me the other day. It's come out in a format I see more and more of lately, the trade paperback original. So far, I am really impressed.

The premise is that this guy lies about his background in order to go on a reality TV show, The Virgin. Basically, the guy who wins gets to fuck the virgin. It's reality TV at its worst and most disturbing.

Naughty me, I peeked to the end, so I know that The Virgin herself has some big secrets~but even though I spoiled it for myself, I won't spoil it for you. You'll have to read it yourself!

This is an odd book, but from me that's a compliment. It's really got me thinking about appearances and the lies we tell to ourselves and others to make ourselves either more acceptable or more interesting. Barmack's novel cuts deep and is chilling in some very visceral ways~yet as a reader, you still somehow care about and root for this lowlife, lying narrator. It's rather amazing the way he's able to do that. We're gonna hear more from Barmack, I'm sure. I'll bet this book will be reissued in hardcover. Here's his website.

Anyway, I was reading this book on the beach and my kids were sitting on the blanket with me eating lunch. They wanted to know "What does that mean, The Virgin? What's a virgin?"

THUNK. Yes, yes, we've had THE TALK. They know how the sex thing works et cetera and so forth. So I don't know WHY I hemmed and hawed. But I did. I said, "It's a name for someone who's not married."

"Oh," said my son. "So then I'm a virgin."

Me (lips twitching): "But you probably don't want to go around school describing yourself that way."

My son: "Why?"

Me: "They just don't use that word for kids."

My daughter piped in with, "So Miss X (her teacher, who's 33 and unmarried) is a virgin?"

Me: "Well, I don't really KNOW...It's not really any of my BUSINESS..." Realizing I've contradicted myself: "Backtrack..."

BLUSH BLUSH. Fuckitall, I shoulda just explained it the right way TO BEGIN WITH. So I did. To which I heard:

From daughter: Eeew, I don't want to hear it!

From son: Mom, WE'RE EATING HERE.

Ah well. Taught me to be honest the first time, something I should've already known! Anyway, The Virgin by Erik Barmack. I'm gonna finish it tonight... then, like the depraved consumer I am, I'm gonna watch Survivor...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Charged Up! And, 2 Outta 10 is Definitely an F

Well, it's been a bit of a stressful week so far (did I say I WANTED Spring Break? UGH), so we took the day and recharged at Tomales Bay. Spending time near water ALWAYS makes me better.

Here is a photo so you can see the wonderful place where I was today.

Tomales Bay is hidden away near Point Reyes Station in West Marin. It is a wonderful, magical place.

It threw RIGHT OUTTA MY HEAD that AWFUL DREAM I had last night which I will call THE AMAZON.COM DREAM FROM HELL. I dreamed that my book was out and the reviews had begun getting posted on Amazon. IN MY DREAM, AMAZON HAD CHANGED ITS REVIEWING SYSTEM. You could now also comment on the author in addition to the book, in a whole separate section of its own! So there were comments RIGHT HERE ON THIS VERY PAGE (not that I OBSESSIVELY CHECK THAT PARTICULAR PAGE or anything~ah hell, read my full confession HERE) like "Author's roots are showing." "Author has a greasy nose." "Author weighs 12 pounds more than she says she does." "Makeup trapped in wrinkles near Author's eyes." "Author needs to brush teeth longer in the mornings." "Author has bad habit of leaving dirty clothes on bathroom floor."

And as for THE BOOK, well, RIGHT UP THERE ON TOP was a vitriolic review from a former student whom I once sent outside when it was raining, and who NEVER let me forget it. (It was only a LITTLE SPRINKLE, and he was disrupting EVERYONE by pouring almost a cup of GARLIC POWDER into his mouth, just to have an excuse to shoot up from his desk and dramatically scream~yes, SCREAM~ *HOWZA GOWZA SHIM SHAM SHOO!*. What would YOU do, pray tell?)

(And before you ask, YES I quit voluntarily, they really didn't MAKE me leave~)

So right under the crappy review from Garlic Boy was the analysis of ME, THE AUTHOR. And on a scale of 1 to 10 stars, I averaged a 2.

Yeah, I don't think I'll be taking THAT ONE to my therapist. That one, I can figure out myself. It is chilling to realize that THE BOOK WILL BE IN STORES FOR PEOPLE TO LOOK AT, PURCHASE, AND EVEN READ IN EIGHTEEN DAYS. NOT THAT I AM COUNTING OR DOING ANYTHING NEUROTIC LIKE THAT.

I need to find a beach where I can HIDE and GET MY HEAD TOGETHER... FOR ABOUT A YEAR.

By the way, you can still enter the contest to win a copy of the novel at They are taking entries up until April 30. Hey, free's free, right? It beats one of those crappy magnets you get from the eye doctor. SHE SAID WITH A GREAT BIG SMILE.

But if you win, ya gotta promise not to go to AMAZON and tell everyone all my dirty li'l secrets, KAY?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Belated Linkage of the Morning~and The Southern Sweetness Award

So really quickly~I've intended for awhile to post this link from Natalie Collins' Inside of a Dog industry blog. Head on over there cos she says some really nice things about my book!

Natalie also mentions my Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit friends Joshilyn Jackson and Johanna Edwards, both of whom are tearing up bookstores as we speak. Well not LITERALLY, of course, but these gals' novels (Jackson's gods in Alabama releases in a matter of days; Edwards' The Next Big Thing is JUST EXACTLY WHAT THE TITLE SAYS) are both doing extremely well and I am so proud of them!

My other belated linkage is 80 Days for Diabetes. This group of comics and improv artists are going to raise $100,000 for diabetes research in 80 days!

PAGING ALL GEORGIANS! HEAD OVER to the Showcase Comedy Lounge, Atlanta's newest entertainment experience this Friday, April 15 at 8:30 PM. Please be aware this is an "R" rated performance! Well hot damn, why go if it's not an "R" rated performance?! Plus it's for a GREAT cause.

This is put together by Shawn Lesser, New York comic with a Southern twist!
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, New York, Shawn grew up in a house full of women with his mother and two sisters. In 1998, Shawn escaped his personal female oppression and moved to the South where he knew that a 6 foot 3 inch, 230 pound Jewish investment banker would stand out.

In Atlanta, Shawn started his comedy career, delivering quick-witted "New York Comedy with a Southern Twist." Since then, Shawn has performed at numerous clubs and corporate events throughout the Southeast. Shawn's fans have called him a "true original" who is "hysterically funny" and "very down to earth." “The guy is a mix of New York Hot Dog Street Vendor and a true Southern Gentleman, bless his heart," says a friend. Having been a stockbroker for over 12 years gives Shawn a unique perspective only Martha Stewart would love.
OK, Shawn Lesser officially rocks my world. Because of Shawn's honorable words and deeds, his trustworthiness, caring and citizenship, I have given him The First Annual Martha O'Connor Southern Sweetness Award. Here's what he won:

Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

So, my dear Georgians (and I know I have at least a few readers from that great state), head on out and support diabetes research while laughing your ass off at Shawn and the other great comics involved in this good cause.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

New Digs, a Properly Shrunken Head, and THE BOOK!!!

Firstly and very excitingly~come visit me at my new digs! is finally up and running! Yahoo, ye haw, so on so forth, BLAH BLAH! It is not totally finished~there are some more things that are going to be added, but it's mostly all there.

When you're there, you can sign up for my newsletter and find out more about me and the book and juicy tidbits etc! So, please do bookmark and plan to come back~

And don't forget to sign up for the BookBitch giveaway~YOU COULD WIN A FREE COPY OF THE BITCH POSSE! That's like someone coming by and just SHOWERING DOLLAR BILLS ONTO YOUR HEAD, so what are you waiting for?! Book cover should be a link if I did it right~

On Friday, an hour sped by as I yammered away at the shrink, explaining all the latest neuroses. Half the time I think I'm just shooting the shit with him since he's a super-literary kinda guy. I sometimes wonder if he's doing market research because I am pretty sure he's writing a novel himself. He even has a book club! They read good stuff too, The Kite-Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Blindness by Jose Saramango...

So, being the SELF-OBSESSED NEUROTIC FREAK that I am, I began to wonder (NOT ALOUD, I'M NOT *THAT* FUCKED UP, NOT *YET*) if there was any chance he might recommend MY book. {BLUSH BLUSH, now you know how solipsistic I truly am~this is why I love my shrink sessions, because we can spend an hour on MY FAVORITE TOPIC~ME ME ME ME~} But Gawd, what would he possibly say?

"Yeah, guys, this one's Hot with a capital H. It was written by one of my nutters, AHEM, I mean, PATIENTS~it's up for the Henry Miller Literary Award~"

Ah... maybe not. Honestly, though, he's been VERY helpful to me. I owe him a lot and I'm not just referring to my healthcare deductible. And I do plan to give him a signed book. (Although I'm going to make him PROMISE not to psychoanalyze it!)

ANY-HOO, at the end of the session I asked for his honest opinion. "So where am I on the crazy scale?" I said. And I watched to see whether he was fumbling for the keys to That Place.

"Oh", he said. "Considering the circumstances, I'd say you're doing just great."

Man, did I feel terrific!

Until I closed the door to his office, and walked down the stairs. Then it hit me.


And so, my brain spiraled into WORRY AND PANIC once again.

I sighed and got into the car. When I got home there was a package on the table. Containing THE VERY FIRST COPY I HAVE EVER SEEN OF THE BOOK. *MY* BOOK. THE ONE I WROTE.

It's really beautiful. When I saw it, I simultaneously wanted to cry, throw up in nervousness, and hide under the bed. They did this checkerboard thing on the spine that I really wasn't sure about when it was pitched to me, but it's stunning. I also got some promotional stuff they made for the book~everything's so pretty. Then I looked outside and THE WORLD was really pretty, the sky was so blue and clear, the wisteria were so purple and wondrous, the air was Marin County crisp and fantastic, and I was struck by a sudden sense of calmness~that everything was going to be all right.

Then I remembered something I had read and like the Dorkzilla that I am, I looked it up:

...Feeling one with nature in terms of appreciating the beauty and the world around, and believing that things have special significance.
DAGNABIT ALL, I can't win...

To make matters worse I read on and found MORE that worried me:
...can be experienced as 'seeing things in a new light'; 'seeing things vividly and with crystal clarity'; finding one's senses are heightened; and feeling quite capable of writing the 'great Australian novel'.
WHEW~! I breathed a sigh of relief at that last bit! Cos if I ever come to believe I'm quite capable of writing THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN NOVEL (seeing as how I've never even BEEN TO AUSTRALIA), I'll know I've gone off the deep end. She's holding steady, ladies and gentlemen~

Still, perhaps I'll inquire about moving in with the shrink~If I offered to send his novel to my agent, he probably wouldn't mind.

XoXo to all~I'll be in and out this coming week, as the kiddies have Spring Break. (I need it!)

Thursday, April 07, 2005


You~yes, YOU~could win a FREE COPY of my book from! No strings attached~you don't even have to review it! Hell, you don't even have to READ IT!

Click the book cover to be taken to the entry page:

If I'm being brutally honest I must say that part of me resisted announcing this. Why? Because if you're reading here you're most likely gonna buy my book anyway, 'cos you know me. So if you've already WON A COPY, why would you BUY one?

Well. I thunk and thunk and thunk about this and I decided to go ahead and announce it anyway.

Number one, it's kinda cool to see my name up there with the other authors they've chosen for the giveaway. The Bitch Posse girls hangin' out with the Ya-Yas. Now THAT'D be a novel in itself.

Number two, it would be HUGELY EMBARRASSING if somehow BookBitch didn't get enough entries to give away 10 books. Wouldn't it? I don't suppose they'd tell me...

OK, off to go and VOMIT UP MY NERVES now...

It's a very bizarre limbo-place I'm in at the moment with regards to anyone actually knowing who the hell I am as a writer. In just one month my book will be out there, and people will be READING IT~I might even see the book in someone's hands! And I'm going to be giving READINGS, and SIGNING BOOKS, and going on this tour.... but right now I'm still little old me. Ugh, I'm getting dizzy...

I wonder if it's too late to hire a brilliant mad scientist to create a robot double of myself to take my place for the next few months?

OK, again, go and ENTER THE BOOKBITCH CONTEST! If nothing else, go and enter to save me from the embarrassment of having no one enter since no one really knows who the hell I am and why would they really want my book if they don't know who the hell I am and et cetera and so forth and my head is spinning again...

But if you DO win~maybe you could... HMM.... get your FRIENDS to buy copies? Get your book club to read it? Walk around town for a month with your nose buried in it remarking loudly to all whom you pass how much you're enjoying it and how you LITERALLY can't put it down?

Or maybe you could buy an extra one for its pure collectibility?

Or out of pure niceness?

Yeah, erm, good luck!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Devilish Twist on Chick Lit

Today Martha Land is getting a visit from the lovely Kathleen O'Reilly from The Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit!

It's your lucky day because in honor of Kathleen's O with the apostrophe, I'll give you a handy Gaelic saying~which kind of even GOES WITH HER BOOK!

Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat!
May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat!

I can think of some people I'd like to say that to!

From Kathleen's press release:

What would you sacrifice to be a size zero? For more than a few women, the promise of thin thighs in 30 seconds might just convince them to deal with the devil. Award-winning author Kathleen O'Reilly's The DIVA'S GUIDE TO SELLING HER SOUL (Apr., Downtown Press) is a story for every woman who knows that getting celebrity-style skinny involves a pact with Lucifer~or in this case, the silver-tongued Lucy. She's the trashiest gossip columnist in the city and she's working a pyramid scheme that's truly evil. The more clients our "innocent" heroine V recruits for her "Life Enrichment Program," the more of V's decadent desires will come true. Unfortunately, V soon discovers there maybe something worth saving in her after all, which means when she made the deal with the devil she may have truly damned herself - unless she can figure a way out.

Funky cover, eh? And on to the interview...

MO'C: THE DIVA'S GUIDE is quite a twist on Chick Lit~I'd almost call it Faustian in concept! How did you get this idea?
KO'R: Well, when you see Page Six Six Six t-shirts in the paper, and when Gwyneth Paltrow calls Bonnie Fuller the devil -- it's not a big leap. And in fact, I was positive that someone was going to write a gossip-writing devil before I did... however, no one did. I guess my brain is just too twisted.

MO'C: Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?
KO'R: Oh, that's V. She's my id, the instant gratification of all desires and pleasures, and damn the consequences -- literally. But what I truly loved about her was her courage. Sometimes I think about how far I'd go to get what I want, and I'm a coward when it comes to a lot of things.

MO'C: Do you think you will continue V's story in another novel?
KO'R: No. There's really no way. Sometimes you read a sequel to the book, and you know the author sold out in order to get that sequel, and if I wrote another book with V in it, I'd be selling out, too because... well, you have to read the ending. Of course, I say this, and then four years later when I'm poor and panhandling in front of the Trump building, I'll get this idea-flash, and she'll be back on the shelves: The Diva's Guide to Reselling Your Soul.

MO'C: What are you working on now?
KO'R: Current working title is Looking For Mr. Goodbunny, it'll be out in April 2006. It's another misguided 40 year old female, who's unwilling to face the truth about herself. Sometimes I think I'm writing my own story, and then I say to myself: "Nah."

MO'C: Can you discuss your Coffee Klatch blog a bit? How did it get started and how do you select novels to discuss?
KO'R: Julie Kenner is my critique partner, and we often trade books, "Oh, you HAVE to read this one..." After a few of these, we realized that we could milk some promotion, uh, I mean, share our literary enjoyment with the rest of the world. We try to do non-romance since there's an expression, don't poop where you eat.... Not that we've pooped, but if we did decide to poop, I would want to be very honest about it....

MO'C: How did you move from Tech Writing to writing novels? Do you find any of the Tech Writing skills, other than the obvious grammatical ones, useful in writing novels?
KO'R: Actually, my friends all say that my computer programming books were a fluke because they knew since I was little I was going to be a romance novelist. It was probably the feather boa.... No, actually I've read romances (and lots of other genres as well) for YEARS. In 1996, my computer skills were being Microsofted into obsolescence and so I decided to try my hand at something different. Fiction. I finished my first manuscript in 1998 (Chapter 2 gave me great pains), and was published in 2001. As far as my skills, I think my reading over the years gave me a lot of innate writing skills, because the editing in our computer books was always very light. Although my butt is still getting kicked by that darned passive voice....

MO'C: Can you talk a little bit about your contests and how they help you promote the book? Would you recommend running contests to a new author?
KO'R: I used contests a lot in the beginning of my career to attract people to my email newsletter. I suck at promotion, honestly, I do, but I knew I had to do something and contests seemed like a good idea. I've learned that people are just as happy with a book as they are with a big basket of chocolate, wine, and Antonio Banderas, but it's easier to get mention of your contest in other places when you're giving away Antonio.

MO'C: What has been the most surprising thing to you about your publishing journey?
KO'R: The twists and the turns. There are no road signs in this business, and if they're there, they're twisted 90 degrees just to fool you. When I first started writing, I expected to be able to find my niche and stay there for forever. I am still nicheless, but I have hope.

MO'C:What advice would you have for aspiring authors?
KO'R: Don't let Chapter 2 get you down....

Thank you for answering these questions, Kathleen! You can buy her devilish novel at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or my personal recommendation~support your local independent bookseller by visiting Booksense.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Oh Henry!

My friend David tells me I must SHOUT THIS TO THE WORLD~ world, are you listening?

From will be nominating The Bitch Posse for their May Henry Miller literary award for the best literary sex scene and will run a short excerpt from the book on the site (with a "buy this book" link to Amazon.)
{My mom, who reads my blog, is hoping now that she maybe misread something~that it's The Arthur Miller Award I've been nominated for, not The Henry Miller Award. *SIGH* Sorry, Mom...} receives 1.2 million monthly unique visitors who are primarily single 21-34 year-olds best described as young, urban, over-educated hipsters.

For Miller, the early-twentieth century writer known for his unprecedented sexual candor, writing explicitly about sex was less about a desire to shock than it was about a need to present complete stories. More than seven decades later, eyebrow-raising depictions of sex in fiction are hardly unusual. However, honest literary sex scenes capable of "resuscitating the body and soul" are surprisingly rare.

With that in mind, every month Nerve will present you with five nominees for our monthly Henry Miller Award. These scenes, ranging from three hundred to five hundred words in length, will be excerpted from new fiction that we feel should be sought out on the merit of these passages alone. Which of these five passages paints the most complete picture? Which one most successfully evokes the myriad sensations and emotions that accompany sex? Which one incites the most visceral response? You decide by rating each passage on three equally weighted criteria: literary value, hotness and originality. The winner will be posted in four weeks along with next month's nominees. Each month's highest-ranked entry will proceed to the year-end competition. Two winners of that contest will be announced: grand prize (as chosen by a panel of a celebrity judges) and readers' choice. The judges' pick will receive $1,934, commemorating the publication date of Tropic of Cancer.

Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
Paradise by A.L. Kennedy
Milk by Darcy Steinke
The Position by Meg Wolitzer
Beautiful Blemish by Kevin Sampsell

It goes without saying that if you click the link above, YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO A SITE WHERE YOU WILL READ FIVE SCENES THAT WERE NOMINATED FOR A HENRY MILLER AWARD. If you do not like to read material like this, then do not click, you silly goose!
I admire these writers and their work, and it is my great honor to have my work put in a class with theirs. As I was getting ready to submit The Bitch Posse to agents I said to another, well-known writer that I couldn't have reached the emotional depths I did with the novel had I not turned off all the censors. That was true of Miller as well.

"Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end."~Henry Miller

I do not yet know which excerpt they are using.... I will post a link here when the excerpt appears so you can go and vote for it, presuming you think it is deserving.

And speaking of Ole Henry, I have heard speculation that Marilyn Monroe would have been happier had she married Henry Miller instead of Arthur. What do YOU think?

Sunday, April 03, 2005


The Children with Diabetes organization has just come out with their new t-shirts. I think they are fantastic, and at $15, quite the steal. The young lady who is the model has type 1 diabetes. I've hotlinked the image to the order form~

I like this message. Insulin keeps us hanging on until a cure is found, but our children still need a cure! Although we're grateful for the lifesaving discovery of Sir Fredrick Banting and his assistant Charles Best (before insulin, Type 1 Diabetes was an automatic death sentence), insulin is not a cure. Insulin and even the smartest human brain just can't replicate the elegant, subtle workings of the pancreas. Sometimes, people seem to forget that.

I am going to order some for the whole family. They can be purchased here~all proceeds go to research, scholarships, and supplies for needy families. They also have some of the popular bracelets, too. So wear your opinion proudly and help find a cure while you're at it! That's it for now~

Love, Martha

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Step into the Urban Cave and Meet a Butterfly

As I was discussing Australian music with my friend (see post below) I began to realize how much I admire the Australian band Brother. I knew that I had to share their story with you. Their frontman, Hamish Richardson, has had Type 1 Diabetes since age 11.

Hamish Richardson

About Brother (from their site):

"BROTHER is taking their eclectic mix of didgeridoos, bagpipes and drums into communities all over America with the aim of raising awareness and exploding the myths about stem cell research.

"The band’s front-man and co-founder, Hamish Richardson has had diabetes since the age of 11. Richardson says he and his bandmates are looking to extend the work it already does with diabetic kids (didgeridoo and percussion workshops), to highlight the immense potential of stem cell research to find cures for childhood diabetes and a host of other debilitating diseases. The band is adding its music and voices in the hope of motivating communities to call for the lifting of restrictions on therapeutic stem cell research and to keep research in the public arena, not behind closed doors in private laboratories."

This is their logo and since butterflies are my power animal I knew I was meant to spread the word. :o)

Why the butterfly?

'We've chosen the butterfly as the symbol for this tour because, aside from its beauty, it's a creature which undergoes a complete metamorphosis in its lifetime. The same kind of dramatic life changes could occur in the lives of humans all over the world if we allow stem cell research to realise its potential. Fly Away.' Hamish

Earlier this year Brother sponsored a contest. Everyone was to make their own butterfly using items prevalent in a household with Type 1 Diabetes. Here was the winner, made by Aaron in Huntington Beach, California (click for larger image):

Aaron's Winning Butterfly

Aaron made his butterly using 280 of his own leftover insulin syringes. For the typical child on multiple daily injections this represents approximately 2 months of shots.

This band has done so much for the cause of diabetes research. I find it so admirable when those personally touched by the disease speak out and become activists and educators. That is why 10-time Olympic medalist swimmer Gary Hall Jr. and renowned actress Mary Tyler Moore (you can see how outspoken she is; please, PLEASE click that previous link and read her JDRF speech! And do click the Gary Hall link as well, I am all for hot guys with hot causes) BOTH have my admiration as well.

Please do make plans to see Brother in your area. They are touring the East Coast, South and Midwest this May and June, and their dates are available here.


May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Don't Dream It's Over...

With all this Pope and Terry Schiavo stuff we Americans are not being made aware of this sad news, which I heard from my Australian friend this morning. Paul Hester, the drummer for Crowded House and Split Enz, has taken his own life at the age of 46. Having suffered from depression for some time, Hester hanged himself Saturday night, leaving two young daughters.

What a sad, sad story. There were also rumors he had suffered from a breakup with a girlfriend. Not a lot of details have been forthcoming although the Finn brothers (fellow Crowded House members Neil and Tim Finn) have canceled part of their European tour to return to Australia for the funeral.

Although I was not exactly a Crowded House fanatic, I liked them all right and I did follow them. One thing is for sure, the 80s would not have been the 80s without this band. They were a bit more mainstream than a lot of the bands I listened to but I always respected their own unique sound. You know how certain songs just stay with you and mark the times through which you lived? Don't Dream It's Over will always bring back rather scary memories of my freshman year in high school. It was played at high school dances and parties where everyone seemed to know all the words whether they were drunk or sober or...? It would come on the radio as I was riding in a car with a boy who didn't know how to drive very well (not that it mattered). Sitting on a bus heading for a debate team competition in some glamorous place like Rockford, Illinois, someone had a radio blasting and this song was playing. This song was everywhere, and it will always evoke the years of 1986-1987.

What does it bring back for you? In honor of Paul Hester, why not try it out yourself?
Don't Dream It's Over (Neil Finn)


There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me

Hey now, hey now
Don't dream it's over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won't win

Now I'm towing my car, there's a hole in the roof
My possessions are causing me suspicion but there's no proof
In the paper today tales of war and of waste
But you turn right over to the T.V. page

Now I'm walking again to the beat of a drum
And I'm counting the steps to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and relief

Hey now, hey now
Don't dream it's over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
Don't ever let them win

From the album Crowded House

Single release date: December 1986


Crowded House's biggest hit in America, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

Lyrics Copyright © 1986 Roundhead Music (BMI).

Rest in Peace, Paul Hester.