Monday, June 29, 2009

Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?

Okay, so I don’t watch The Bachelorette, or The Bachelor for that matter, very much. Mostly because I just end up yelling at the TV and feeling pissed off. But tonight, while surfing through the channels, I caught some of the new season. So, apparently this Wes guy is supposed to have a girlfriend, according to some Jake guy. And I liked this Jake guy, right before he walked outside and started CRYING. Now I’m all for sensitive men, but what the heck was he crying about? Because he was so worried about Gillian? Ummm...not buying it. But I’m not sure I feel any better about Mr. I-wanna-be-a-singer Wes. I could be wrong but my bullshit detector is going crazy. I see trouble. But I will resist being sucked in. After the next commercial, for sure.

PS: OH MY GOD. Now some other guy just cruised in and wants back on the show. Man, I do not envy this girl one bit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Sad Day

I was horrified to hear on Thursday that both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passed away.

Michael Jackson’s music was a big part of my teen years—Thriller was featured at every birthday party I went to for a year. I didn't understand the last decades of Michael’s life, why he altered his face so much, the naming of his children, the problems with Neverland Ranch. But I still felt bad that such a brilliant artist was so often overshadowed by rumor and speculation. Even now it seems like the media is trying to milk every bit for all it's worth.

I was too young when Farrah was on Charlie’s Angels, but I cried all the way through the Barbara Walters special. I’m not sure what broke my heart more, the images of Farrah leaping around, blond hair tossed over her shoulders, dazzling white smile, or the ones of her bravely facing the disease which eventually claimed her life. Watching Ryan O’Neal talk about how he just wanted to take care of her, seeing the images of him holding her in bed, knowing their wish to finally be married, I was captivated—and saddened—by their enduring love.

One of the rare times I stayed up late enough for Letterman, I watched Farrah's infamous interview and wasn't very impressed. But watching the Barbara Walter's special, listening to Farrah's beautiful voice talk about her disease, I admired her bravery, respected her, and thought, Would I be so strong?

I learned something from Michael’s and Farrah’s passing. I learned to enjoy every day. It’s a cliché, I know. But watching one of the most beautiful women in the world face her possible, and eventual, death with dignity and grace— fighting every step of the way and never once acting like a victim. Well, that was a reality check and a half. Most of the things I worry about on a daily basis aren’t worth squat at the end.

So, I’m going to try harder not to stress about little things (My friends are probably laughing right now!) and not take any moment for granted. You never know when it's your last.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Beginnings

When it was time to have my website built I knew I needed something that would capture the mood of my novels, but also represented me as a writer. I’m not very techie, so I knew it was going to be hard to articulate. My first conversation with Ron, my web designer, went a little like this…

“I want something moody, but not horror writer—no bloody knives. I’m a thriller writer, but not the classic thriller— darker, more literary. So it needs to be moody, but not too dark, you know? I'm thinking some nature shots, but creepy ones. Oh, and I don’t have the real cover yet and I’m getting new author pics in July, and blah, blah, blah…”

Then Ron sent me a PDF of my first three pages. WOW! He totally understood what I was looking for and completely exceeded my expectations. We fine-tuned things a little—a color change here, an image moved over there--then it went to Kyle to be programmed. When Kyle sent me the back door link and I saw my website live for the first time, I was thrilled! But the editing process is the same no matter what the product and we still weren’t done. Thankfully, Kyle proved to be just as patient as Ron and we went through each page together.

“Can you put a space between those two boxes of text and move that picture to the left? Can we change the color on that heading and line those up? Can we link that one over there? Can we enlarge the font? Yah, that’s awesome!”

Then the next day.

“Can we move the font back to the other size? No, not that one, the other one, the first one. Can you remove that one dash and take out that other line?”

But then finally there was nothing left to fix. We were done.

It feels a bit like after you’ve moved into a new home. The movers are gone, most of the boxes are unpacked, pictures are hung, and I’m sitting in my living room with a glass of red wine checking out my new digs. This site represents everything I’ve been working towards for years. It was the first time I saw my name on a book cover (Okay, a mock one, but still!), my author bio, and my name on the banner. But my favorite part is the one word under Chevy Stevens—Author.

I’ve had many titles in my life, but this is the one I worked the hardest for. The one I wanted the most. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real. But it sure feels good.