Laugh at yourself. Everyone else is.

I don't exchange holiday gifts with my in laws. We usually fly to them for Thanksgiving and time spent together is better than time spent, possibly wasted, trying to find a gift we hope each other likes. So this year when my sister in law told us to keep an eye out for two packages, I couldn't imagine what was coming. The first one arrived in a cylinder shaped box. It turned out to be an original Rocky poster for my husband (yes, Rocky, circa 1976. Pretty cool). So, I was on alert that the next package was "more for Jen." (I'm Jen at home)...more

Casting Books I Love: When You Make It Home by Claire Ashby

Meg Michaels is in a pickle the size of Texas.She's pregnant and starting to show but, other than her best friend Ellie, no one in her life knows yet. [Baby Gherkin]The father is not her fairly recent ex-fiance Bradley. [Dill]No, the father is actually her ex-boyfriend Jason. [One of those gigantic ones from the corner deli where you hand pick your own by reaching into the barrel]But, Jason, you see, is married with four kids. [County fair winning pickle]...more

Better in the Morning, a novel by Fern Ronay

Coming Spring 2016.                    ...more

Casting Books I Love: Splintered Souls (Flames of Time Book 1) by Erica Lucke Dean

“How do soul mates bind together when there’s more than two halves to the soul?”Ava was already dealing with more than your average college freshman.  Her father passed away only six months earlier and she felt obligated to move from Virginia to her grandmother’s house in Maine with her mother and brother....more

Casting Books I Love: Midnight Burning by Karissa Laurel

*Alert: Spoilers Ahead*Twenty-five years of a relatively mundane life was all the gods would allow.  Never leaving North Carolina and resigned to life working at her parents’ bakery, it seemed the only interesting thing about Solina Mundy was her name. Solina. No Jessica’s or Jennifer’s in this story!Her twin brother Mani wouldn’t have it that way though. He’d left the southern continental U.S. for Alaska, where he worked as an outdoor adventure guide.  ...more

Iris Apfel: Lessons in Confidence

The documentary Iris - the last by the late and great Albert Maysles, who made my other favorite documentary of all time, Grey Gardens - was released in April.  I only finally - finally! - saw it. Thank you, On Demand. I knew before seeing it that what makes Iris so special is the unique way she sees the world. How fitting that she be called Iris, as her eyes view things so differently. I also knew she'd have to have an enormous amount of confidence. The glasses, the jewelry, the clothes, the self-designation as a "geriatric starlet."...more

To Do Today: Something Nice in Honor of My Cousin

On this day in 2005, my 21 year old cousin died and no one really knows why.A brief hospital stay for that kind of infection should not end that way.  It is still incomprehensible.Her name was Jamie and she was really pretty and really smart - the valedictorian of her class - and a lot of fun.I remember the day she was born.  I was in grammar school and my mother came into my room that morning and said "Aunt Dottie had the baby in the middle of the night!"And, of course, I remember this day, when she left us....more

Casting Books I Love: Ashes of Life by Erica Lucke Dean & Laura M. Kolar

Here’s an impossible situation for you.You fall in love, find out you’re pregnant, get married and three months later, your new husband tragically passes away in a car accident.He was with his ex-wife.  She dies too.They did have a daughter together. She’s sixteen.And she hates you.We haven’t gotten to the impossible part yet....more

Casting Books I Love: They Call Me Crazy by Kelly Stone Gamble

Hollywood loves nothing more than making movies about a subset of the culture they know nothing about. Luckily, when they write the script for They Call Me Crazy, they’ll have Kelly Stone Gamble’s rich and hilarious novel to paint the picture of life in Kansas where everyone knows your name, where everyone thinks they know what’s right for everyone else, where worms are the secret ingredient in apple-spice cake and husbands better be nice to their wives, or else....more
KellyStoneGamble Me too! Someone will say the actors' names and it will click. It just hasn't ...more

Casting Books I Love: Painting the Moon by Traci Borum

This is you.You’re Noelle, a California blonde raised by a UK-born mom.This is your Grandmother.You spent summers growing up at her estate in the English countryside.This is Grandma’s sister, Aunt Joy....more