Monthly Archives

November 2014

A Low Brow Post

One of my favorite things in the entire world is sleeping. I could sleep on a washing line. Nine straight hours is an absolute prerequisite and believe me, you do not want to be the person who disturbs my nocturnal hours.

You’ve no idea what your subconscious is going to throw at you while you’re asleep and the thrilling part of dreaming is that you’re directing your own movie with a limitless budget. You can go Technicolor, with a cast of thousands and theatrical staging. The galaxy is at your disposal, you can time travel, plummet the depths of the oceans and be back on dry land in seconds. You can have celebrity guest appearances and uncensored sex. The dream world is your oyster.

So, given these infinite possibilities I am wondering why I spent last night dreaming that my left eyebrow had dropped off and agonizing whether I should shave the other one to match and have them both tattooed or just  color – in an eyebrow shape and hope nobody would notice. I still hadn’t resolved the dilemma by the time I woke up.

Clearly, not for me the mystical visions of William Blake with his “tree full of angels” or of Joan of Arc who heard the voice of God two or three times a week directing her to go to France and “raise siege to the city of Orleans.” I am getting no such guidance (despite my desire to go to France and lay siege to the bars of St. Germain).

In the absence of divine intervention, my subconscious has elected to focus on a curious and somewhat obscure form of eyebrow alopecia. Presumably this is why I am writing a blog post rather prophetic poetry. I’m sure Mr. Blake never worried about his eyebrows…although come to think of it…maybe he should have.

Amazon Best Sellers in French Literature

Amazon as we all know is a colossus in the book market and their sales ranking is pretty much the only indicator that your book is selling. Even though I am aware that the lists are changed every two hours, I have been known to check them at two minute intervals, constantly pressing ‘refresh’ hoping the universe has delivered a miracle and that overnight I’ve sold enough copies to retire to Provence.

You can imagine my delight then when yesterday Letter From Paris hit Amazon Bestsellers in French Literature sailing in at number 22. Ignoring a nagging thought that my book was possibly in the wrong category, what with it being women’s contemporary fiction (and more to the point, written in English,) I took this screen shot.

You will see, that not only am I in stellar company with Marcel Proust nudging ahead of me at 21, but also that Emile Zola and Baudelaire are lagging behind and coming in at a tardy 23 and 24 respectively. Okay, so I know they’ve all been dead for over a century but that’s hardly important. The point is my friends. I am uniquely placed. The 2014 Pulitzer is surely mine for the taking. Emile Zola was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature, so you never know I might be in with a chance there too.

Zola had his portrait painted by Cezanne which is impressive, but I’ve had my photograph taken by a knight and it has appeared on my Facebook page. Clearly Zola’s publicists are not keeping up with the times.

When I think about it, I also have much in common with Baudelaire. I can afford to be generous spirited. I too can write poetry. I just haven’t really bothered. There’s another advantage I have over him; his work is done, my best is yet to come.

I’m not knocking the competition here, but Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time does run to over three thousand pages and I think you’ll find that Letter From Paris is faster paced. I mean why use long words if shorter ones will do? It’s only a matter of time before I edge ahead of him.

With the new found confidence that has come from being flanked on either side by titans, I plan on having my novels translated into French. That way they will soon appear on the Bestseller list for ENGLISH Literature if you follow Amazon’s logic.




When you start to look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home.
~ Erma Bombeck

I’m exhausted. After three weeks in London I’m now in Miami. I know this is a first world problem, but being on the road plays havoc with your metabolism and does absolutely nothing for your hair. Travel is overrated, unless of course you’re in Paris and preferably in the 1940’s.

Other writers turn their journeys into best selling books, they eat, pray and  love their way across continents, sundry belongings flung into backpacks, hitting the road with an open spirit and a thirst for adventure, journaling at the end of each sun-kissed day. This would not be me.

There is a distinct lack of journaling. I barely get time to open my laptop. I have meetings to go to, events to attend, breakfast power hours, lunches, dinners. Meanwhile I have maintenance issues and the distinct absence of an entourage. I get separation anxiety being away from my hairdresser, panic attacks over losing jewelry, obsessed with controlling my unibrow and confused over the time of the cocktail hour. Other women, (Angelina Jolie mostly) have it down. I do not.

I don’t follow the travel style guides that tell you to pare everything down to monochromatic shades and pack one pair of ‘go to’ flats. I tried it once and lasted as far as Duty Free. It’s bad enough hauling your suitcase through security without the indignity of not being able to lift it into the locker. Also, capsule wardrobes only work if each article of clothing stays intact. Spill coffee on that one blouse and it’s over, have your black pants destroyed by the hotel dry cleaning service, leave your bikini behind at the beach and you are left with only one choice… go shopping.

Shopping when traveling can be a minefield. Not only does it waste valuable time that could be spent writing, meeting interesting people, visiting galleries and soaking up the local culture, it also demands levels of self control that frequently escape me. Presented with the opportunity to create that elusive jetsetter style I generally fling myself at the project with abandon.

Clothes bought while jet-lagged, never work when you get back home. The navy blue blazer and silk scarf, so chic in Paris, looks bizarre in LA. Also, when you get home you remember you already own three navy blazers from previous trips to France. The little white dress that flatters your suntan in Barcelona screams lab technician by the time you get back. Shoes bought after a glass or two of the local vino are always a mistake.

It’s also exhausting navigating the weather in the face of global warming. It’s confusing at best.  I’ve experienced at least eight seasons in the last month, all of them requiring different outfits, mostly bought along the way. When did November in London feel like springtime in Paris? When did winter in Sydney feel like the Sahara in June?

My passport photo is in better shape than I am right now. I need to get off the road, get grounded in what passes for reality in LA. My own bed is beckoning, my desk awaits…and yet I know, that within a week I’ll be itching for the next adventure. They are all first world problems and I am a gypsy in my soul.