Sheryl Sorrentino's Blog

September 21, 2014

Most young people no longer install land lines when they get their first apartment. They often live in short-term housing; their finances are tight; and they grew up relying on mobile devices and simply don't know any better. But many older folks, too, are getting rid of home phones they've had for years. I say, please don’t!

Don’t get me wrong: Cell phones are a fantastic invention. They have earned a prominent foothold in our day-to-day lives and changed the fabric of how we communicate. But cell phones are about as personal as a crowded supermarket, due to both the radio-based technology and the surroundings in which they are often [over]used. Unless I have something quick and urgent to tell you (as in, “can you pick me up some socks while you’re at Target?”), I’d prefer not to share the intimacies of life while you’re distracted paying for your groceries, trying not to crash your car, or maneuvering down a crowded street.

True, your cell phone lets you call me from just about anywhere, and I can likewise reach you anytime, anyplace. It has enabled friends and family to carve time out of busy days to stay in closer touch than ever before. But because we can now interrupt whatever we are doing in the “outside world,” the result is about as reliable as we should expect—an inferior, unnatural connection that is frequently lost mid-sentence for no reason and without warning.

I want to know I can reach you at home, not "page" you wherever you might happen to be. I want to picture you at your kitchen island sipping coffee from a chipped mug, or in your living room with your feet propped on a cluttered coffee table, or out in your backyard, perhaps pulling some overgrown weeds. There is something intimate about chatting on a land line; it’s private time when secrets can be shared. (Last I checked, cops still need a warrant to tap one.) Talking on a cell is like the difference between a cup of tea at your place vs. meeting up at Starbucks. The former is purposeful, reflective, and intimate—a private engagement, however brief or spontaneous. The latter is public, earsplitting, and chaotic—an open event, however well-planned. And whether you realize it or not, you have to shout to be heard, just as you must raise your voice above the din of a barista's milk frother. (That’s why everyone around you is shooting you those dirty looks.)

Face it: Not having a home phone says something about you. When the land line goes, you become just a little less trustworthy, a little more flaky. Your home is a symbolically transitory place where you stop off but never roost, sort of like a hotel. A land line is part of what makes where we live home, just like a cozy bed, an overstuffed sofa, or a luxurious bathtub. It tethers us to a particular place by offering a permanent connection to the outside world. Cell phones, on the other hand, enable us to be transient.

Home phones have an air of permanence. They used to sit atop special tables, with thick telephone books stowed beneath. Or they were secured to the wall, perhaps in the kitchen by the all-important fridge. There were often notepads conveniently located nearby, to take crucial messages. Even though most land lines are now cordless, before ditching yours, think of all that rich history you will be throwing away along with it. Have you tossed your cherished family photo albums simply because you can now store your memories in digital format?

Phones also have a venerable history as the family’s hub to the outside world. Because they are generally communal instruments (whereas cell phones are narcissistic ones), children still have to be taught phone manners before being allowed to answer the ringing device. Learning to place and receive calls is weighty business, with an etiquette all its own; the person answering doesn’t know if the call will be for her or someone else. S/he might have to cover the mouthpiece and call a parent or older sibling. Answering the phone is an important rite of passage, a task to be treated with the solemnity of a switchboard operator. No similar care need be taken with one's own high-tech walkie-talkie.

I, for one, like making and receiving calls to numbers that make sense, not those newfangled area codes no one’s heard of, whose only purpose is to provide fresh three-digit combos to an unmanageable quantity of iThingies. Worse yet is the “leftover” area code kept by one who has moved far from home. Not only are those people impermanent; they're enigmatic. Where are they from, with that strange area code? What are they doing here, and how long do they plan on staying? If I get close to one of you, will you return to Chicago or San Diego or wherever you really belong? It may be convenient to keep your old phone number, but it tells me you’re not really here—not yet.

Think about your very first phone number. I’ll bet it’s emblazoned on your brain as clearly as your first day of kindergarten (when you were probably forced to memorize it). If you’re as old as I am, your phone number began with a place name, making the exercise a sweet, sing-song ritual of childhood. Most cell phone numbers are a mishmash of meaningless digits. How’s a four-year-old supposed to remember that? (Oh, I forgot—they don’t have to; they now have cell phones of their own, with the important numbers pre-programmed.)

Relying 100% on your cell phone is like subsisting on fast food. Sure, it’s cheap and convenient. But cooking at home is one of those elemental things that makes you a person of substance—someone I can trust. You like the smell of garlic sautéeing or the sound of the mixer whirring while you bake with your kids. You don’t mind a few dishes piled in the sink afterward. Please don’t disconnect your land line; I want to call you at home while you’re trying to fix dinner.
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Published on September 21, 2014 07:26 • 60 views • Tags: cell-phones, family-history, land-lines

June 9, 2014

This Beautiful LifeThis Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This hidden gem deals with the current vexing topic of kids “sexting,” that is, posting and sending unflattering sexual pictures and videos of themselves over the internet. Fifteen-year-old Jake Bergamot receives just such a video from Daisy, a 13-year-old admirer and schoolmate he meets at a party. In an unthinking moment of bravado, disgust, confusion—we are never quite sure which (indeed Jake himself is never 100% sure), he forwards the email to one of his buddies.

The rest is history as the video quickly goes viral: Jake and Daisy become instant pariahs. Jake’s family must deal with his expulsion from school and the legal ramifications of his having disseminated what amounts to child pornography. His ambitious dad, Richard, wants to “handle” the situation as he would any other pesky problem at work—with a cool head and a plan. Meanwhile, Jake's emotionally-stilted mom, Lizzie, grows ever more depressed as she becomes unwittingly addicted to internet porn while fantasizing about her college TA. And in the midst of all this turmoil, they plop adopted kindergartner, Coco, in front of the TV for weeks on end in an effort to shield her from the unseemly goings on around her, but she quietly absorbs all the toxic fallout nonetheless.

Not only is this the story of the Bergamot family’s collective downfall from one careless “click,” it is a scathing indictment of our communal addiction to electronic gizmos that have turned what was once private and unspoken into “content” for on-demand public consumption. We now have personal, portable, 24/7 access to everything and anything the world once considered bizarre and perverse. Today’s kids consume “screen sex” as readily as earlier generations popped Pez. And all the while, parents are at once too focused on their kids and too concerned about “making it” to consider in any meaningful way the injury these infectious glowing devices are causing their children and families—until it is too late.

Author Helen Schulman best sums up this generational sea change through Richard Bergamot's brooding over his son's fall from grace:

“Richard’s father loved him, too. Dad was a family man. He didn’t live so far from the ground. Dad didn’t focus on him, he didn’t coddle him, he didn’t help him with his homework or take his emotional temperature three times a day or do any of the things Richard and Lizzie do now, along with eating and breathing, as a way of life. Dad loved his boys within reason. Dad’s was a reasonable, conditional love, the condition being that Richard kept his nose clean, that he always did his best, that he conducted himself with honor.

“Richard and Lizzie and the girl’s parents, all the other parents at that school—they are both too close to their children and too far away from the ground. They are too accomplished. They have accumulated too much. They expect too much. They demand too much. They even love their kids too much. This love is crippling in its way.”

If you’ve ever had occasion to wonder, as every generation of parents does, “What’s wrong with kids nowadays?” this passage contains much wisdom and insight. My one quibble with the book is the somewhat jarring (and confusing) shift to third person present tense whenever the author narrates from Richard’s point of view. This was obviously a deliberate choice (the other chapters are consistently third person past tense). Are Richard’s perceptions supposed to be more “immediate” than the other family members’? And if so, why?

That nit-pick aside, Helen Schulman delivers a timely, compelling, and emotionally-charged story in a compact 222 pages. Against the backdrop of a simple, fast-paced tale flowing with artistic prose, she asks—subtly yet stubbornly—“What is technology doing to our kids?” Indeed, we might all take a second to ponder what will become of our lives now that a parallel “virtual universe” has overtaken our minds like an unchecked epidemic.

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Published on June 09, 2014 05:29 • 74 views • Tags: kids-and-technology, sexting

April 23, 2014

I haven't blogged for awhile because I've been busy working on my fifth novel, Stop and Frisk. For anyone interested in a sneak preview of my latest story, I would like to share the "pitch" with you. At the rate I am going, this one will not see the light of day until Summer 2015, but hopefully it will be worth the wait!

"Thirty-five year old Paulie Beckwith lost his only remaining family when his brother, Lloyd, (a promising young pharmacist) was senselessly gunned down in his prime. Raised in foster care after their mother’s death and father’s incarceration, Paulie isn’t expecting any answers from police—they still haven’t made an arrest two years after Lloyd’s fatal shooting in an alleged robbery-gone-wrong.

Following a stint of heavy drinking and prolonged unemployment, Paulie lands a bouncer job at Insanidad, a roadside strip joint where Lena, his Colombian ex-girlfriend (and love of his life) works as bartender and manager. Six nights per week, he protects pole dancers, breaks up brawls, and pats down the farm workers and drug dealers who patronize this “gentlemen’s club” in the heart of Modesto, California—a town best known for its meth labs and car thefts.

But Paulie’s a peacekeeper with no peace. Grief-stricken by day, Paulie leads a hardscrabble life on rural land he inherited in the middle of nowhere. When not feuding with his lonely neighbor up the road—a gun-loving retired paralegal who believes she’s being haunted by spirits—he talks to his brother’s ashes in the run-down camper where he dwells. Mistrustful by night, Paulie tries to talk Lena out of marrying Hernán, the slick criminal lawyer nearly 30 years her senior whom he instinctively but unaccountably detests. Paulie yearns to declare himself and stop their wedding, but Lena’s ready to settle down—and tired of being “friends with benefits” to a man who’s mired in sorrow, unwilling to commit, and seemingly content “frisking” his favorite exotic dancer. Only when he receives an unexpected visit from Lloyd’s former boss can Paulie begin to face the truth about his brother and untangle the web of deceit linking two seemingly-unrelated but equally vexing characters in his life."

For the many quirky and colorful tales of dance club life that will give this story its realistic texture, I owe special thanks to my Goodreads buddy Ashley, as well as to my brother-the-bouncer (another “regular guy” who, like Paulie, is trying to cope with loss, longing, and loneliness—while keeping groping male hands at bay).
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Published on April 23, 2014 05:46 • 74 views

February 22, 2014

I have a confession to make: I am a huge fan of Long Island Medium, that hoaky reality show featuring Long Island, N.Y. housewife and spitfire extraordinaire, Theresa Caputo. Maybe it’s that big, bleached head of hair, or that infectious, down-to-earth Italian charm (so reminiscent of characters I grew up with), or her tattooed, tough-guy sweetie of a husband. Maybe I’m jealous of her remarkably well-adjusted and supportive (if sometimes snarky) teenagers who good-naturedly indulge having their mom on constant public display and their home and family's whereabouts continually on camera. Whatever the reason, there is something irresistible about this flamboyant television character. But what about her messages? Is there really any substance to the things she tells those bereaved people she meets on the streets? Or are her "readings" as fluffy as that hairdo?

When I am done crying (and yes, every single episode reduces me to tears), I cannot help but notice that she has usually said pretty much the same thing: “Your loved ones are still with you. All that guilt you’re carrying around over such-and-such? S/he wants you to stop that! The day you did that thing you did? Your loved one was there in spirit.” Where are all the dysfunctional S.O.B.’s who laid guilt trips on us throughout their lifetimes? Do they magically become loving and forgiving souls once they pass into the afterlife? (Maybe they do; I’m just asking . . .).

Sometimes—not always—Theresa offers up some validating tidbit or factoid that lends credibility to the spectacle. But who knows what goes on behind the scenes of that show, or how much Theresa has been prepped? Does she really know nothing of what people say during those supposedly off-camera “sidebars?” If I could be on that show, I'd probably spill my guts to the woman in a heartbeat! And how is it that Theresa just happens to have cameras trailing her everyplace she goes—to the nail salon, the gym, on an intimate date with her husband—just in case she feels the urge to “channel spirit?”

Wikipedia calls my lady a “television personality best known for portraying herself as a medium” (my emphasis). But whether or not Theresa is “for real” in the scientific sense, who among us wouldn’t love some validation that there is more to this life than meets the eye—and that certain "chosen ones" have the power to communicate with the “other side?”

Apart from the fact that I miss my departed brother (or perhaps because of it), my latest novel-in-progress (tentatively titled Stop and Frisk) features themes about losing a loved one and coping with the questions and regrets we inevitably feel when someone close to us passes. My main character, Paulie, consults a psychic to provide insights about his brother’s death—a supposedly random act of violence that Paulie suspects was actually a calculated shooting. (I incorporated the scene with the psychic to avoid having the dead brother leave a letter, as was done in The Husband’s Secret and so many other novels. However, my daughter has assured me that using a psychic is an equally trite and “tired” plot device. Sigh. . .) I am debating whether to visit a real-life medium to see if I can be convinced one way or the other of their legitimacy. After all, I can justify something I'd otherwise consider a foolish self-indulgence as a valid book research expense.

What do you think, readers? Do you believe in mediums? Do you have a recommendation for a good one in the California Bay Area? Leave a comment and let me know.
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Published on February 22, 2014 06:37 • 185 views • Tags: long-island-medium, psychics, theresa-caputo

February 1, 2014

Okay, I realize the expression is “my two cents.” But since I blessedly earn about twelve times the U.S. average hourly wage for doing a day job I wouldn't say I "love," I have opted for mathematical accuracy in titling this blog.

And speaking of mathematics, three years and three novels since selling my first copy of Later with Myself in July 2011, I have earned less in total sales and royalties than I earn in a single day of practicing law. And that’s gross (meaning “before expenses,” as opposed to repugnant, which it is as well). Factor in what I’ve spent on book marketing and promotion, and I am over 16 billable hours “in the hole.” Granted, I have been practicing law for over twenty-five years, while struggling only the last five of them to also “make it” as a writer. But clearly, as any fool can see, my legal words of wisdom are worth far more on the open market than my literary ones.

Since I love to write, I will keep doing it—compensated or not. But what about making a living doing what I love? Must those of us who need to work for a living relegate the things we love to "hobby" status? Is the sheer joy of doing something we love to be its sole reward?

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Published on February 01, 2014 09:13 • 74 views • Tags: doing-what-you-love, dr-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes, writing-for-a-living

November 30, 2013

My brother George left this world one year ago today at age 57. At the time, I considered it one of life’s great ironies that a man who never drank—and who was unfailingly obsessive about his diet and weight—died so young of liver cirrhosis.

My brother was a dedicated servant to his chiropractic patients and most in his element when giving advice about nutrition and health. He lived and breathed health-related issues far beyond chiropractic, and was always ready to impart his knowledge to anyone who needed it—without asking anything in return and despite his own illness.

My brother’s liver disease was already “advanced stage” when he was diagnosed in 2001. So it is no small miracle that George managed to survive eleven more years. I have little doubt that his self-imposed regimen of strict diet, daily supplements, and constant self-deprivation afforded him those extra years of life; this is a testament to my brother’s courage and determination in the face of great adversity. But I am not one to rewrite history; anyone who knew George could immediately see he was a brilliant mind with a tortured soul.
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Published on November 30, 2013 05:26 • 98 views • Tags: closeted-homosexuals, liver-cirrhosis, unprotected-anal-sex

November 5, 2013

Many people don’t realize that authors solicit reviews from readers, or that finding willing reviewers to generate “buzz” is no small feat; it takes time, research, and courage. Of course, there’s always friends and family, but they quickly tire of our requests, and it can be extremely awkward for both parties when they don’t happen to like our work. But make no mistake—when you see only five-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, you should rightly suspect that they came primarily (if not exclusively) from people who know the author personally.

Those of us who welcome honest, less-than-stellar commentary (or simply don’t have 100+ close friends and family members to hit up for reviews) take to the Internet and “cold call” bloggers and Goodreads members. This can feel horrifically like querying indifferent literary agents even after a book has been published. But worse than that, requesting reviews from total strangers is a dicey proposition. For one thing, some readers readily accept the free book, but then don’t post any comments (for shame—you know who you are!). And even when a reader actually follows through and writes a review, that is no guaranty it will be favorable.

Case in point, my latest request for Stage Daughter reviews produced these comments:

“Stage Daughter is [a] . . . disputatious novel. This is a story of a very dysfunctional group of people – one family in particular. It is a story of a mother trying to live her failed fantasy through her young daughter . . . What transpires is a totally heinous turn of events.

“The writing was good but very crude with a lot of profanity. The story line was very dragged out and was more like a case study of totally dysfunctional lives rather than a relaxing novel. The ending was quite weak.”
[continue reading:]Stage Daughter
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Published on November 05, 2013 05:18 • 87 views • Tags: handling-negative-reviews

October 28, 2013

The MiddlesteinsThe Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one part book review and too many parts personal observations about what this story meant to me. First, the book review. For the most part, I thought this was a brilliant work. I found it quite engaging and hard to put down. While I agree with several other reviewers who perceived an “emptiness” due to the lack of character development, I didn't fault the author for not delving into Edie’s deep psychological motivations for eating as much as she did, or her family’s reasons for reacting to her as they did. I thought the the characters' actions spoke for themselves. And while I thought the omnipresent POV (especially the neighbors' narrative at the b'nai mitzvah) made Attenberg’s writing come across as overly stylized, I rather enjoyed it and thought it “worked.”

So that’s the book review. Continue reading only if you want to hear my ramblings—as someone who has battled weight issues her entire life—about overeating and obesity. Although on its face this is a story about a dysfunctional Jewish family, I think this book has a TON to say about the human condition and the nature of addiction in general. The Jewish “backdrop” was cute and funny but to me (being half Jewish), neither here nor there. This story could have been about any family of virtually any cultural or ethnic background, because its messages are so universal. After all, every family is dysfunctional to some degree. It seems to be the natural result of living intimately with others and becoming emotionally invested in them. Over time, we stop “seeing” each other (or rather, see one another through clouded, limiting eyes) and presume to know who our family members are and what is best for them.

We all have demons and “issues.” Some of us, like Edie, use food as our “place to hide,” but make no mistake about it, we all use something to “take the edge off” while avoiding those hard, painful but oh-so-necessary trips within. Whether it’s prescription meds, a glass or two of wine each night, four beers a day, recreational drugs on the weekends, religion, shopping, sex—you name it, when you peek behind the veil of acceptable ways people “let off steam,” you will usually find a crutch. As Edie Middlestein demonstrates, once overeating becomes addictive, it no longer matters why the person does it or what they are taking in; your body, mind, and very being simply crave food, and you pretty much lose the ability to stop. With that in mind, is it our duty to try to “help,” “improve,” or “save” our overweight friends and family members simply because we love them and want to see them live longer? Or should we simply love them and leave them be?

Edie’s family supposedly loved her. So much so that her daughter-in-law felt entitled to stalk her from one fast food drive-through to the next; her son took up midnight residence at her kitchen table (to prevent her from succumbing to a bag of chips the night before a surgery); and her daughter pressured her to diet, head for a fat farm, or go in for a stomach staple. Edie’s habits were admittedly self-destructive (and disgusting, to be sure), but how utterly presumptuous, intrusive, and disrespectful were her family members’ actions—however “well-meaning” they might otherwise be. Nobody can undertake a monumental personal change without internal motivation. It all boils down to us, as individuals. We have to want to change; no one else can force it upon us; wheedle or cajole it from us; nag, blackmail, bribe, or barrage us to “improve” ourselves—such attempts only make both parties miserable. Without a genuine desire to sacrifice our comfortable, self-destructive patterns in favor of personal growth, we inevitably remain stuck.

Edie’s husband Richard was scorned for leaving his ill, obese wife in her “hour of need.” But he could not stand to look at her another minute, so what was he supposed to do? Would he really have done her any favor by staying? Part of me understood perfectly why he needed to “save himself” and could hardly fault him for it. My only issue with Middlestein is his cowardice: If he ever loved his wife at all, he should have stood up to her sooner, acted like a man, and issued a fair warning well before ending their relationship. Whether or not such an ultimatum would have been effective or the least bit helpful, didn't Edie deserve the courtesy of a “wake-up call” from her life partner so she could consider how far she was willing to go to put the brakes on her addiction and save her marriage?

I think Kenneth (the Chinese chef) got it right. He loved Edie for who she was, fat and all. He lovingly cooked for her—foods that she enjoyed eating. He spiced them with things he thought would “turn her on” or make her healthy (in the hope that it would stop her craving so much junk and processed food). But he got incredible joy from being around Edie regardless, and the feeling was mutual. Some might label Kenneth an “enabler,” but his approach to Edie and his feelings for her were more life-affirming than her own family’s. I think if she had any shot at getting healthy, it would have happened because she felt cherished and desired by him, and not as a result of being harassed by her family. That only fuels the cycle of self-loathing addictive behavior. Just because Edie was obese did not mean she didn’t deserve to be loved and accepted like anyone else. Isn’t this all any of us craves as a human being?

Let us not forget, just as some people are genetically predisposed to alcoholism or drug abuse, some of us are prone to overeating and becoming fat. I have known many thin people who eat crap, don’t exercise, and take their health completely for granted. If they develop health problems as a result of their poor habits, they aren’t condemned like heavy people, simply because they happen to be slender by stroke of genetic luck. For many others (like me), it takes a whole lot of discipline, time, effort, and commitment to keep those excess pounds at bay. Even with my daily struggle to stay mindful about food and my unfailing commitment to exercising each day, the best I can manage is to remain "acceptably plump" and not balloon up and sail away like Harry Potter's Aunt Marge at the dinner table.

For me, the “take-away” message from The Middlesteins is this: We each choose to live however we do. We each do the things we think will bring us comfort—however misguided our choices may be. At the end of the day, each of us has to decide whether we can accept a particular type of addict in our "inner circle" and love them exactly the way they are—whether they be smokers, drinkers, workaholics, shopaholics, shoplifters, recreational drug users, overeaters, or those seemingly “perfect” self-righteous folks who are just as addicted to bragging, preaching, showing off, and/or controlling others. It is indeed painful to watch someone we love destroy herself through substance abuse (whether that substance be food or something else), because self-destructive behavior can and does bring down everyone in the abuser's midst. Nevertheless, we should not judge one type of addict (i.e., obese people) any more harshly than another simply because they don’t have the luxury of hiding their addiction behind a slender body or (like drinkers, spenders, etc.) disguising it with seemingly socially-acceptable behaviors. Let's each deal with our own prickly sensibilities and prejudices before heaping moral judgment on those already in enough emotional pain.

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Published on October 28, 2013 10:48 • 48 views • Tags: addiction, jami-attenberg, overeating, the-middlesteins

October 8, 2013

I read in last Sunday’s paper that California passed a new law designed to combat “revenge porn.” It imposes fines and even jail time on jilted lovers who post nude photos of former flames "with the intent to cause serious emotional distress." The only problem is, the law has two huge loopholes: It doesn’t apply to “selfies” (that is, self-shot pictures), and it doesn’t affect the Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 (which shields website operators from liability for user-submitted content). Along with all those third-party “escort” and “massage” boards, we now have “revenge porn” sites flourishing on the Internet. And because many—if not most—of the nude pics posted on those sites are self-shot, many victims of “revenge porn” won’t have any redress under the new law.

So here’s my dumb question: Why in the world would anyone think it’s a good idea to send naked JPEG’s to a paramour in the first place? I realize young people might view the practice as a playful gesture of intimacy and trust, but isn’t that the whole point to having sex? Why is it necessary to top off that most private of acts with an unclad photographic memento? Back in “my day,” we didn’t have camera phones, texting, or the Internet, so it’s hard for me to understand why anyone would consider a candid of his or her privates an appropriate gift, much less deliver it via email or text. And yet, this has now become a “thing” (as former U.S. Representative and New York City Councilmember Anthony Weiner can attest; his multiple “sexting” scandals cost him his run for N.Y.C. mayor).

Sure, I had my share of steamy romances back in those prehistoric, pre-tech times. And while we ancient cave-dwellers didn’t know from today’s technology, we did have cameras. Never in a million years would I have allowed a man to photograph me naked, never mind take such a picture myself.
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Published on October 08, 2013 06:30 • 120 views • Tags: anthony-weiner, communications-decency-act, revenge-porn, sexting

September 24, 2013

I saw a rather intriguing movie last week—Margaret, in which Anna Paquin (playing 17-year-old Lisa Cohen) performs a powerful scene with Allison Janney as Monica, the woman hit and dismembered by a New York City bus after Lisa thoughtlessly distracted the driver over a stupid cowboy hat. Lying in the street in Lisa’s arms, her severed leg lodged beneath the bus’s rear wheel about ten feet away, Monica asks Lisa, “Am I dead?”

It is a gruesome, bloody, and emotional scene—one which certainly puts my petty problems in perspective. And yet, I, too, cannot help asking, “Am I dead?” (In the water, that is.) Launching a self-published book feels a lot like a bus wreck. You climb on, you pay your fare innocently and in good faith. Then you crawl along in this slow, overcrowded, humbling craft, trying not to grow annoyed by the many fits and starts over which you have no control. And then—BAM—out of the blue, you crash. (As in, less than two months after releasing Stage Daughter, sales—pitiful though they were to begin with—have dried up. At the time of this posting, I have sold exactly two e-books this month. You read that correctly: two.)
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Published on September 24, 2013 19:29 • 88 views • Tags: allison-janney, anna-paquin, self-publishing-success