The Purple Shirt.

They sit, like astronauts in their bubble helmets, reading different magazines that all say the same things…magazines that teach them things no self-respecting old woman should know.  When they talk about Lady Gaga, it makes me inexplicably sad.  I want them to talk about quilts and recipies for pie crust.  I want them to be like Grammy was.  She died years ago, but, I guarantee you, she wouldn’t care about Amy Winehouse.  But they come, and we accept them.  Every Wednesday.  Like clockwork.  We call them the tottering trio.  They are old…they like their hair orange and their hairdressers gayer than a Cher concert.  Tito and I tolerate them because they are consistent.  They are easy.  They pay in full and tip well.  But there is no art in it.  I always secretly hope that they will leave the salon without anyone seeing them.  Their coiffures are not exactly something I am proud to be a part of.

While they sit under the dryers, Tito does his best to avoid making eye contact with me.  He is angry because I said that I liked his shirt.  He wore it to see if I pay attention or to test my sense of aesthetics.  Or something equally stupid.  My assertion…my support of the shimmering purple shirt…is a betrayal, or too cavalier…or something.  And now I will pay for it.  It will start with the cold shoulder.  Not just cold…glacial.  Then there will be long stints in the bathroom with crumpled tissues strategically placed around and red eyes that I will not be allowed to ask about.  I sigh and run my hand over the stubble on my head. Continue reading “The Purple Shirt.”

The Fun of Writing Screenplays by Michael Allen

Author Michael AllenI can’t speak for other writers. But when I write, it’s with the big screen in mind. When I’m writing a novel, I’m actually picturing it as a movie. So, it was only a matter of time before I started learning the art of writing screenplays.

My first screenplay was for a Walt Disney internship. I wrote a story about a writer. How novel! Anyway, I didn’t get the internship. But, I did get launched into a whole new writing direction. I have written over ten screenplays now and I can’t say that my journey is the best way to go about getting there, but it makes all the sense in the world.

Where to Look

It seemed like nothing I wrote was ever going to be made. I couldn’t get past the gatekeepers to save my life. Breaking into the industry as far as I’ve been able to get simply landed on my lap from a producer out of Maryland. He has a contract with a cable network and was seeking a writer to make a movie out of his concept. Continue reading “The Fun of Writing Screenplays by Michael Allen”

A Handy Tool for Authors: Google Alerts

The other day I mentioned to a writer friend that my Google Alerts didn’t seem to be catching everything. “What’s a Google Alert?” he asked. I was stumped. I thought everyone knew about Google Alerts. Every author should be using them.

I explained to him that you can set up Google Alerts to monitor subjects important to you, and it will send you email notifications any time a new search result is found.

For example, any time one of my new books is released, I set up a Google Alert for the title. That way, if my title gets any press, reviews, or is otherwise mentioned online, I’ll be notified. And the really REALLY cool thing about this is – you don’t have to have a Google or Gmail address to participate!

This is how to set up a Google Alert: Continue reading “A Handy Tool for Authors: Google Alerts”