Monday, February 28, 2011
Although it's an invitation only event (but still non-profit), and is prohibitively expensive for the average Jane, it's expanded to sister conferences and has reached the people through it's on-line presence. The feel of the organization is not exclusive, but inclusive and community building. Global community building. Interconnection of the world. Check out the website and start to watch some of the extraordinary videos. We all need some inspiration.
Charlie Rose recently interviewed the current curator of the conference, Chris Anderson, who said that in a world where we fear that globalization is a force that is "dumbing down" the population, this global, almost viral phenomenon centered around the excitement of thinking, innovation, connectedness and new ideas is disproving that. It instead creates hope.
Here's the four minute documentary "A Taste of TED" that should give you a feel for the phenomenon. I hope you get a chance to watch some of the pod casts and find inspiration where you can. I know I need some.
Friday, February 25, 2011
One of the highlights of my recent trip to NYC was visiting China Town. My sis, her boyfriend, and several of their friends who are connoisseurs of Asian cooking, took us to a fabulous restaurant for dinner. Even my picky kids loved the food!
The waitress talked us into a special dish they were offering which celebrated the Chinese New Year. It's called "yee sang" and has a mixture of raw fish, daikon, jicama, candied papaya, candied persimmon, wonton crisps, rice crisps and colorful taro chips. The waitress adds the contents of a red envelope to the top (I thought it was real gold leaf bits, but now I'm not so sure!), and drizzles honey over the salad (for sweetness for the new year). Everyone at the table uses their chopsticks to toss the salad together, ensuring a lucky year for all.
The salad was bright, crunchy, flavorful. What a sweet and symbolic tradition!
Another "quirky" detail about China Town....we loved the outdoor markets. This one had tons of crazy stuff, including a dozen different kinds of dried sea cucumber! Cool!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
It's release day for Jaq's Harp by Ella Drake! Congrats to Ella, a fellow NECRWA member. I reviewed this book several weeks ago at Penelope's Romance Reviews, and I thought I would reprint the review here at The Quirky Ladies. Ella will be joining us on Wednesday, Feb. 23 for an interview and giveaway. Please stop by on Wednesday to chat with her and enter the contest.
From Penelope's Romance Reviews.....
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Guess what I'm doing today? Talking about one of my favorite subjects...promotion for romance writers! I'll be speaking at the NECRWA meeting at Brandeis University at 1:00. (Unfortunately, the Chippendale's dancers cancelled, but hopefully there should be chocolate.)
Here are a few tips on self-promotion to get us started...
1.) Don't post naked photos of yourself on your website. Unless you look like Bo Derek. And even then it's probably not a good idea.
2.) Including 5-star review snippets from your mother is ineffective as a promotional tool.
3.) Choose appropriate sites for your blog tour. Doing an interview on "Flyfishing For Big Boys" is most likely a waste of time and won't increase book sales. Although you never know.
Looking forward to chatting with everyone!
See you soon,
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sometimes life comes full circle. Once in awhile, you reconnect with childhood friends, or visit a place and get a sense of deju vu before you remember you had been there before. Sometimes you pick up a book, get half way through it and realize you've read it before. Or is that having a senior moment? Anyway, I recently had this strange experience of life coming full circle.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I'm back! I survived my trip to New York City....42nd Street, Toys R Us, the Natural History Museum, and best of all....the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show! (First photo is an adorable pug at the dog show, taken by my eight year old daughter, Natalie).
Friday, February 11, 2011
Chocolate! We all love it, crave it, become obsessed by it, particularly at certain times of the month. (You know what I'm talking about, ladies.) Perhaps it's our inner child demanding to be let out. But chocolate and romance go hand in hand. Think Valentine's Day, so fast approaching. Think the research saying women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life. So no wonder romance writers are fascinated by the stuff. I thought I'd include some interesting facts about the substance here. And to find an erudite source, I went to the experts -- articles written for kids. I found the following tidbits in the National Geographic Kids magazine, February 2011 issue, so all the research credit goes to their staff.
Fact #1 Chocolate is made from seeds of the cacao plant, grown only near the equator.
Fact #2 Theobroma cacao is the scientific name for chocolate. It means "food of the gods."
Fact #3 The ancient Aztec believed chocolate had magical properties.
Fact #4 There are 30 to 50 seeds in each cacao pod, which is football-shaped. That can make seven bars of milk chocolate.
Fact #5 Average Americans eat roughly 12 pounds of chocolate per year.
Fact #6 As early as 1000 B.C., the ancient Olmec are believed to be the first people to use the cacao plant.
Fact #7 Just one whiff of chocolate can make people feel happy. A chemical in cacao releases "feel-good" vibes in the brain.
Fact #8 Chocolate has a natural chemical in it that helps suppress coughs, so eat up next time you have a cold.
Fact #9 It would take 15,133,852,800 Hershey bar squares laid end to end to reach the moon.
The magazine lists more interesting facts, but I thought I'd stop here. I need to go now. I've gotten a bit hungry, go figure. If you can resist impulsively searching for chocolate of your own for a few more moments, let me know what else you've come across about this "food of the gods."Michelle
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
But what I really want to talk about is that freaking Doritos commercial. You know the one...
Maybe it's an occupational hazzard, but I spend a lot of time thinking about what's sexy and what's not. For example, the other day I got it in my head that I wanted to describe something as spongy. And I tried. I really, really tried to work it into my scene - because the object in question does feel spongy. But then I had to accept what countless other authors have no doubt had to come to terms with in the past - there is no way to make "spongy" sexy. There just isn't.
So what is sexy? Love? Yes! Romance? You bet! Erotic romance? Oh, hell yes! Homo-erotic imagry in commercials? It sells! You don't believe me? Look at the picture above again. Is that how your coworkers behave? And note that even Doritos apparently thought they'd taken it too far, since they felt the need to put wedding rings on both the men. Those kinds of details don't happen by accident in advertising.
And what's not sexy? Finger-sucking! Oh, wait... I am certain this can be a very sexy thing to do. If you'd asked me before yesterday, I might have told you that it's always a sexy thing to do. But I would have been wrong.
When that man sucked his coworker's finger into his mouth, I (a woman who I think we can all agree has a very strong fondness for homo-erotic imagry) screeched like a banshee. It was hilarious. It was disturbing. And it sure as heck was incedibly effective marketing (because here I am, talking about it and craving that nacho cheese goodness every time I type the word Doritos). But definitely not sexy.
So does this ruin finger-sucking for everyone? Definitely not. As my wise friend Eric Ruben commented last night, it's not in the dust, it's in the delivery.
And thanks to the Frito-Lay corporation, I have finger-sucking on the brain today. I wonder what I'll write about tonight...
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Here's a fun vid showing the awesome superiority of Steel over Cheese.
I don't think we need to get into a discussion about whose hair is better....Troy Polamalu or Tom Brady. (Troy)
Happy Superbowl Sunday!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Here's a nice Bostonian story. A woman lost her 3-foot pet boa constrictor on a Boston subway car a month ago...she had the snake around her neck (!!!) when somehow it escaped. The lost snake (named Penelope! Win!) was discovered on a subway car this week, and rescued by a train attendant. Penelope's owner is overjoyed to be reunited with her scaly friend. And she's still planning on taking Penelope out into public. Oh joy for Bostonians everywhere.
Happy Weekend from The Quirky Ladies!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
It's Feb. 2, time for the most celebrated of all holidays....Groundhog Day. Unfortunately for those of us living in the New England area, the groundhog is unable to make an appearance since he's buried beneath 5 ft of snow, ice and freezing rain. Hopefully he'll survive and drag himself to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for the festivities.
Anyone looking for a quirky activity for the day (since we're all house-bound and it's a school snow day!), I would suggest watching one of my all-time favorite movies, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. It's hilarious!
Best of luck to groundhogs everywhere,