36 posts categorized "Lisa Daily"

January 04, 2010

Love, Friendship, & Backstabbing.

Love, Friendship, & Backstabbing.

By Lisa Daily

Love & Friendship:

Have you ever had your life get so crazy that it feels like you're struggling to breathe?

It's been a little crazy around my house lately.  Really crazy, in fact.

My fellow tarts, being the wonderful women they are, have graciously allowed me to give up my spot on the blog, so that I can focus more of my brain cells on the round-the-clock chaos at my house.

For this, I am grateful.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to blog here at the Lipstick Chronicles --I've had a fabulous time with all of you, and I will miss you very much.  I've never seen such a fantastic group of backbloggers anywhere.

I am also truly honored that you, the Tarts, asked me to blog with you in the first place.  You are wonderful, prolific, gifted writers -- and I am so thankful to know you all.

And in that spirit of friendship, love and kindness, I am going to use my very last post as a Regular Tart to introduce my very good friend Eileen Cook, who has a smart, funny book coming out this week. 

Eileen Cook and I met Sarah on the very same day.  Eileen & I were camped out on a hotel lobby couch after wandering around the RWA conference in San Francisco.  I was disappointed, because the one author I was dying to meet wasn't at her signing table.

I took a book anyway.  (As you all know, Tart books make lovely gifts.)

Ten minutes later, Sarah Strohmeyer plops down on the couch next to me, ticked off about being late to her signing.  (She'd been blogging.)  Eileen and I sympathized, and the three of us begin to joke around.

Sarah looks at the coffee table, points to The Sleeping Beauty Proposal and says, "Hey, that's my book."

I say something witty like, "Ohmigod.  You're the one author I was dying to meet."

The three of us gab for an hour or two, discover a mutual obsession with the movie Idiocracy, and Sarah tells us a story about the time Bill Clinton attempted to make a move.

It's always great when authors turn out to be as cool and interesting as their books.

Anyway, it felt like a full-circle kind of moment that this was my last official blog, and that Eileen has a YA book coming out this week called Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.

Getting Revenge cover
Popularity is the best revenge.
In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Lisa:  Have you ever sought revenge like a character in the book?


Obviously, due to legal implications there is no way I’m going to admit to anything.  If you crossed me earlier in life and now that you’ve read the book you’re wondering if what happened with your favorite pair of jeans maybe wasn’t an accident… well, I can neither confirm nor deny anything.

What should be clear is that people shouldn’t mess with us writer types. We’re a lethal combination of overly sensitive and creative. Our imaginations are capable of creating entire new worlds, people, and futures. Coming up with a way to mess someone up is practically easy. Luckily, we’re typically satisfied to have those that cross us have their brains sucked out of their nostrils by hungry zombies on the page and don’t need to take our revenge into the real world.

I actually prefer fictional revenge. You’re highly unlikely to get jail time for fiction. Plus, it can be really hard to find a hungry zombie when you need one. They’re highly unreliable. For me, writing has always been a cathartic way to deal with strong emotions: anger, passion, despair. There’s a release that comes with letting those thoughts that we normally keep locked down, tucked away from public viewing, out for some free time. On the page, unlike life you want to constantly increase conflict. You push your characters to the breaking point to show that even what seemed imaginable can be survived. Head shot distance

Writing allows us to put old demons to bed. (I like to picture them in footie jammies) We’re able to play things out on the page and let them go. Writers don’t need to live in the past, because we can live in any world we can imagine.  And we can imagine better than just about anyone.

Lisa:  Did you get to keep that custom made "not a Barbie doll" on the cover of your book?


Tragically, no.  The doll currently resides on a shelf in my editor's office.  Interesting trivia: the doll came with lace thong panties.  This makes me suspect publishing companies are not the typical buyers of custom dolls.

Lisa:  Do you think Sarah would be perfectly justified in exacting some sort of revenge on a certain ex-President?


Well, she should definitely write him into her next book.  And maybe make him bald. Fictional revenge really is the best.  You can go so much larger, or imply smaller, as the case may be.

Lisa:  Thanks for being here today, and best of luck with your terrific book.


Thanks for having me!

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood is in bookstores Tuesday, Jan 5.

December 06, 2009

The Best Christmas Movies Ever. If You're Into That Sort of Thing.

Lisa Daily

I am a big sap for holiday movies.  I watch my favorites every year, and rush out to my neighborhood movie theater every December to take in whatever magical experience Hollywood is hawking that season.  I laugh, I cry, I believe in Santa Clause.  Laugh at me if you will. (You wouldn't be the first.)

So in the spirit of the holiday season, I present to you my favorite all-time Christmas movies.

It's a Wonderful Life

This is my favorite. Yes, I know it's everybody's favorite. (Although Love Actually is a very close second for me.)  I actually wore a hole in my VHS copy of Frank Capra's classic story about what our lives mean to the people around us.  I have been known to sing "Buffalo gal won't you come out tonight...and dance by the light of the moon..." for weeks after watching this movie, much to the dismay of my husband who does not enjoy off-key singing as much as one might think.

Love Actually

This film has a fantastic cast (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and many more) and something like six interwoven storylines.  It sounds like a lot, but it works.  From the washed-out rock star hoping for one more hit, to the mystery writer who falls in love with a woman who doesn't speak his language, to the widower who helps his stepson win the heart of a classmate, this movie is so charming and relatable, it's hard not to be a believer. 

The Shop Around the Corner

This was remade as You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but in my opinion, the original is wayyy better.  James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan are charming and absolutely perfect together as a couple who hate each other on sight, and carry a torch for their respective pen pals.  (Who are, of course, each other.)  The rest, as they say, is movie magic.

Home Alone

Kevinnnnnnn! After Kevin's gigantic family leaves him home alone on Christmas, he is left to fend for himself against two burglars working the neighborhood.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are spectacular as the hapless crooks, and Macaulay Culkin is about as charming as a kid can get.  My kids LOOOOVE this movie, and every year they fantasize about how they might take out a neighborhood bad guy using only the contents of the refrigerator and their toy boxes.


This is actually one of my favorite Bill Murray movies.  He is perfect and utterly hilarious as a network honcho who finds himself visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Present, Past & Future.  The thing I love about this movie is that even though there are dozens of sight gags and golfball to the crotch type moments, the film has heart.  I cry every time they start singing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart."  Yes, I'm a big sap.  I'm aware of this.

Unaccompanied Minors

This is not as well-known as the other films on my list, but it's still one of our family's favorites.  Thanks to an ill-timed snow storm, a bunch of kids traveling alone find themselves stranded in an airport with a cranky airport manager (Lewis Black) who would rather be on vacation.

While You Were Sleeping

Christmas AND Sandra Bullock?  What's not to love?  I'm crazy about this story about an orphaned MTA worker who saves the life of a man she has a crush on, and then finds herself pretending to be his fiancee.  While the would-be fiancee naps away in a coma, Sandra spends the holidays as the newest member of the Callaghan family -- played to perfection by a hilarious and charming group of character actors. (These mashed potatoes are so creamy!)  While fake fiancee Peter is sleeping, Bullock's character develops a crush on his brother Jack.  Hmm, what to do, what to do?

I was planning to call this post "best holiday movies ever" when I realized, I don't have one single Hanukkah or Kwanzaa movie in the bunch.  And it's not that I had any that didn't make the list...I couldn't think of a single one.  So I ask you, dear readers, to please help me fill in the list.  What have I missed?

And what are your favorite holiday films?


December 05, 2009

Tiger Woods Scandal: Why Do Seemingly Nice Guys Cheat?


By now you've probably heard the sordid details of Tiger Woods alleged affairs with cocktail waitress Jamiee Grubbs, New York city nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, and Las Vegas party planner Kalika Moquin.

The scandal comes as a bit of a surprise to his many fans, especially considering his squeaky-clean image.

Here are details so far, in case you missed anything:

On November 27, Tiger crashed his Cadillac Escalade outside his Florida home.  There have been a number of reports that Tiger and his wife Elin were arguing over a text message.  There has also been some speculation as to whether Elin bashed out Tiger’s car window with a golf club to “rescue” him from his car as has been claimed, or was, er, bashing his window with a golf club for some other reason.

Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik introduced Tiger Woods to his wife Elin Nordegren in 2001,  while she was working for Parnevik’s family as an au pair, “We probably thought he was a better guy than he is. I probably would have to apologise to her and hope she uses a driver next time rather than a three-iron, I would say.”

Why do (seemingly) nice guys cheat?

Cheaters usually fall into two categories:  Those who are always looking for opportunities to cheat (serial cheaters) and those who find themselves with an opportunity to cheat and make a bad decision. (Unintended cheaters.)

Serial cheaters usually use sex as a sort of emotional band-aid to make themselves feel better about insecurities, growing older, depression, and for thrill-seeking, among other things.  Serial cheaters seek out opportunities for sex - think ESPN’s Steve Phillips.

Unintended cheaters generally make a bad decision when presented with an opportunity to cheat, but don’t seek out the opportunity.  This is the kind of person who sleeps with a coworker after an out of town conference following a rough month, or a difficult life change.

And once that horse is out of the starting gate, all bets are off.

So what does that make Tiger?

At this point, it’s hard to tell.  On the “Unintentional Cheater” side of the argument, Tiger had a lot of things on his plate back in early 2007 when Grubbs claims they began their affair:

First, he’d lived for a couple of decades under the intense pressure of perfection.  Despite the fact that he has been in the media spotlight for a very long time, he’s never really had a screw-up.  And he is, after all, a human being.  None of us can sustain perfection indefinitely.

Second, Tiger’s father, by many accounts his north star, died in 2006 after a bout with cancer.

Finally, Tiger’s wife Elin was very pregnant with their first child Sam when the alleged affair began.  Sleazy?  Yes.  But is it unheard of for a guy to freak out when his wife gets pregnant, whether at the prospect of a permanent relationship, or terror of the responsibility of becoming a father?  Nope.  In fact, it happens with astounding frequency.

On the “Serial Cheater” side of the argument, if in fact Woods did have relationships with the three women, Jamiee Grubbs, New York city nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, and Las Vegas party planner Kalika Moquin, or more — it wouldn’t be a shock to learn there are even more women who have not yet come forward.

Once might be an accident.  Three times is a habit.

A voicemail obtained by US MAGAZINE has been circulating the Internet:

“Hey, it’s Tiger.  I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. Just have it as a number on the voicemail. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye.”

Is this the voicemail of a man who is deeply ashamed of his actions and wants to keep his marriage together?  I don't know. It doesn't really read that way.

Can a couple move forward after one of them has an affair?

Only time will tell. The details of these alleged relationships are still coming to light, and it’s pretty obvious that Tiger and Elin will have a lot of challenges in putting their relationship back together if that’s what they choose to do.  There are a couple of good signs early on — first, Tiger chose to protect his wife, instead of himself, when rumors were swirling around about the golf club/Escalade fiasco.  Second, Yahoo Sports reports that the couple is now seeing a therapist several times a day and that Elin not only received an immediate $5 million dollar payout, she also gained somewhere in the neighborhood of $55 million dollars in a pre-nup revision.  In exchange, she has to stick around for a couple more years and keep mum about her story.

Why stick around?

Maybe, just maybe, Elin wants to keep her family together.  And maybe, just maybe, Tiger has had a wake-up call, and realizes all he’s been risking.

And if nothing else,  $55 million and two young children is a pretty good incentive to give couples therapy a try.

For many people, cheating is a deal breaker.  And the truth is, if they have any chance of getting through this, Tiger is going to have to own up to what he's done with his wife and take responsibility for all of her hurt and anger around it.

And judging from his history, he might want to steer clear of nightclubs.

What do you think?  Does a cheater deserve a second chance?


November 09, 2009

Health Care, Women's Rights, and 8 Years of Cat Crap.

Health Care, Women's Rights, and 8 Years of Cat Crap.

By Lisa Daily

I was riveted by the health care vote.

I'm not sure if I was the only person in the country glued to C-SPAN on Saturday night, or if everyone else in the country blew off an exciting social life, a reasonable bedtime, or at the very least, SNL, just like I did.

All day, I followed the Twitter updates; all night, I watched the action unfold, live on cable TV.

I believe in universal health coverage, not just because it's obvious to me that the business model for the health insurance industry is fundamentally flawed (the less care they pay for, the more money they rake in, hmm, whatever will they do???) but because I believe that it's the right thing to do.  The human thing to do.

I also believe the World Health Organization's report --  and despite all the the spin to the contrary, America does not have the best health care in the world (unless by "best" they mean "most expensive,") we're actually ranked #37, behind Dominica and Costa Rica, and squeaking in ahead of health care giant, Slovenia, #38.  Government-run health systems in places like France, Canada, and England are not the socialized nightmare we've been led to fear -- respectively, France, Canada and England rank #1, #30, and #18 -- all significantly ahead of us.

So even if it is crappy, government-run health care, it's still better than what we have.  I want what France has.  Call me a traitor.  Call me a socialist.  Or just call me a doctor when I need one.

As I tuned in, I didn't really know what to expect.  In the morning, I'd heard that Nancy Pelosi and company had cut a deal with the pro-life folks to allow a vote on a strict amendment (Stupak) outlawing the use of federal funds for abortion in exchange for the last straggling votes needed to pass the bill.

Apparently the lobbyists for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had stopped by for a meeting on Friday, to drive the point home. (Anybody else like a little separation of church and state please?)

As a decidedly pro-choice woman, I'm a little ticked off that once again, women's health and the freedom to make choices about our own bodies was sacrificed.  I think that if a procedure is legal in this country, and your doctor thinks you need it, that your insurance company should pay for it.

But I'm also aware of the fact that there is already a law on the books (known as the Hyde Amendment, in place since 1976) that says that federal funds can't be used to pay for abortions, so the Stupak amendment feels a little bit like adding a new law that says you still can't drive 90 on the interstate.

I also think it sucks that most insurance companies will cover Viagra, but a number of them won't cover birth control pills, but I digress.

So even though the Stupak amendment feels like a big step back in terms of womens' reproductive rights, it's really more of a sidestep.  And even though I hated to see it passed, I was willing to take the sacrifice, to leave that fight for another day, in order to pass health care reform.

And no, it's not a perfect bill.  But if we wait until we have a perfect bill, we'll never have universal health care.  Every time I hear someone say that we should wait until we have a better bill, a stronger bill, I'm always reminded of those people on those "clean house" reality shows, who have pizza boxes and McDonald's Happy meal toys stacked up to the ceiling -- people who are living in piles of crap because they're paralyzed to do anything about it.

Psychologists say that many of the people living like this are perfectionists.  This seems counter-intuitive at first -- after all, if they were really striving for perfection, how could they possibly end up with overflowing cat boxes, 37 dead computer monitors, year-old yogurt in the fridge, and a collection of Domino's coupons dating back to 1973?  

The answer is because they don't have the time/organizational skills/ forklift necessary to clean their homes the way they think it "should" be done (ie, perfectly) -- so they become completely paralyzed and do nothing at all, sometimes for years or until the health department (or camera crew) shows up in Hazmat suits to start cleaning.

Our health care system is like our country's own personal pigsty.

And as any personal organizer, TLC host, or cleaning crew will tell you, the solution is to just dig right in and start throwing out the crap you don't need, (like denials on pre-existing conditions, calling anything that costs more than $100 "experimental", and, er, 40% profit margins);  and reorganizing and taking care of the stuff you do need. (Like doctors, hospitals, and citizens.)

It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be progress.


October 26, 2009

Is The Nation Betting That Palin Fans Can't Spell? Going Rogue versus Going Rouge

On November 17, you may find yourself doing a double-take in the bookstore.

That's the day that Sarah Palin's memoir, Going Rogue goes on sale.  It's also the date that a compilation of essays written by Palin critics comes out -- complete with a cover that is a parody of Palin's autobiography.  Despite the cheeky cover, Going Rouge is apparently a serious look at Palin's policy and record, as well as what she means for American politics.

"Going Rouge" is being published by OR Books, edited by The Nation's Richard Kim and Betsy Reed.  This is OR Books' first publication, and they're certainly making their debut with a splash.

Here's what the publisher's website says about Going Rouge:

The most honest, revealing account of the Palin story to appear this fall? You betcha!

Sarah Palin has many faces: hockey mom, fundamentalist Christian, sex symbol, Republican ideologue, fashion icon, "maverick" populist. But, above all, Palin has become one thing: an American obsession that just won't go away

As a former advertising creative, I think the parody is BRILLIANT.  I laughed out loud when I saw it for the first time, and marveled at the cleverness of the concept.  The play on words.  The thunder clouds, complete with ominous lightning strike.  The matchy-matchy photos, with dueling American flag pins.

As an author, however, it makes me feel a bit queasy. I'd hate it, HATE IT, if someone decided to rip off my book cover and title, raining on my publication day with their own tricked out version of MY BOOK.

Is this legal?  You betcha.

(Well, probably.)  I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not exactly an authority on this. (Duh.)  But here's how I understand it:

First, book titles can't be copyrighted.  (Try typing "Smoke" or "Revelation" in Amazon and see how many results you get.)

Second, parody is protected.  Just ask Weird Al.

So let's agree just for argument's sake that Going Rouge is legal.

Is it fair?


October 24, 2009

Old Guys Screwing Around. The Brooke Hundley and Steve Phillips Affair /Sex Scandal

Old Guys Screwing Around

Lisa Daily

I was not particularly interested in ESPN Analyst Steve Phillips' affair with a 22-year old production assistant named Brooke Hundley. I rarely, if ever, watch ESPN.  I feel terrible for what his wife and family must be going through, but I don't know any of the parties involved.  And while another married, middle-aged guy sleeping with a 20-something old is pretty pathetic in my view, it doesn't exactly make for exciting news.

But then, a friend of mine sent me a link to Brooke Hundley's letter to Steve Phillips' wife.

This put me over the edge. 


Because it is jam-packed with all the lies, crap and bullshit that married men in particular tell the women they are attempting to seduce.  I know this because a lot of women write to me about their dating and relationships problems and I've found that I keep hearing the same things over and over again.  Like there's a Midlife Crisis Affair Handbook or something.  

Page 53.  What To Tell Your Mistress About Why You Can't Leave Your Wife

The Kids Are Keeping You In Your Marriage

Gol-durn-it, you'd leave in a second if you'd allow yourself to be happy, but you just couldn't bear the thought of losing your kids.  (The same kids you're not seeing during all the times you're shacked up in a hotel room with your mistress, but whatever.)

Your Wife is Making You Go to Therapy Even Though You've Told Her It Won't Work

This is especially effective as painting you as a dedicated husband WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY MAKING IT CLEAR THAT YOU ARE  a man who has already moved on emotionally because of the specialness of your relationship with your mistress.

You Have A Loveless Marriage

You haven't slept together for years.  She's cold, unfeeling, and she just doesn't understand you.  This strategy allows you to remain married while you assure your girlfriend that you'd never cheat on her.

She (Mistress) Makes You Feel Better/Younger/Etc Than You've Ever Felt Before

If only you'd met her ten years ago! 

After My Wife Recovers From Bulimia/Grad School/Redecorating the Den We'll Be Together

Brook is clearly suffering from some issues, here.  But clearly, she fell face first in the load of crap that Mr. ESPN was dishing up. 

And please don't think that I'm letting Brooke off the hook.  She is an adult, albeit a young one, and should know better than to sleep with a married man.  (Brooke -- if you don't, please email me and I'll be happy to set you straight.)  It is also not my intention to go easy on women who cheat on their husbands -- I'm sure they have their own affair playbook.

If you are married, sleeping with other people is wrong.  It's selfish, unfair, and cruel to your spouse.  It's selfish, cruel, and unfair to the person you're sleeping with.

I have heard a number of people say that if a woman sleeps with a married man, she deserves what she gets.

Does she?

And what about Mr. Phillips.  It would seem that he's painting himself as a sort of a victim of a fatal attraction, even though he did admit he'd slept with Brooke three times in a statement obtained by the New York Post.

Is poor Steve the victim in all this? 

Or maybe that's just what he's telling his wife.


October 16, 2009

Beware of the Ex Wife

Beware of the Ex-Wife

By Lisa Daily

It's every spurned wife's fantasy -- getting even with the tramp who slept with your husband, exposing her nasty deeds to the whole wide world so she'll live the rest of her days in shame, and maybe even getting rich and famous in the process.

Sound like a Lifetime movie of the week?

Nope, it's the real-life soap opera of Mary Jo Eustace, ex-wife of Dean McDermott (who is currently married to Tori Spelling.)  Dean and Tori currently star in their own reality series, called Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, which is now in its fourth season on Oxygen.

Here's a quick recap for those of you who've fallen behind in reading the gossip rags:

Tori Spelling met her current husband Dean McDermott on the set of a Lifetime movie called Mind Over Murder while they were both married to other people. Tori was married to a writer/actor named Charlie Shanian. Dean was married to Mary Jo Eustace, a Canadian TV host and actress turned author - the two had been married for 12 years with one son, and a newly-adopted baby daughter.

According to Mary Jo’s essay in a book entitled The Other Woman, Dean returned from shooting the movie a few weeks later and told his wife how he felt about Tori.  She writes:

“We’re soulmates,” he says. “She loves me unconditionally.”

“What conditions?” I screamed. “You’ve only known each other three weeks.”

You've gotta feel for poor Mary Jo. If you were, say, a woman still harboring some pissed off feeling towards your ex, it would be awfully tough not to tune in to check out what the big jerk and the husband stealer were up to every week.  And maybe throw the last of your wedding china at the TV.

Maybe Dean and Tori were like a lot of people who have affairs --  maybe they thought they’d just be able to leave their spouse(s) and ride off into the sunset with the mistress (or in Tori’s case, mister.)

But Mary Jo Eustace isn't going quietly into the background.   Eustace has penned a book called Divorce Sucks: What to Do When Irreconcilable Differences, Lawyer Fees, and Your Ex’s Hollywood Wife Make You Miserable — where she gives a play-by-play of what happened.

Let’s just say that it doesn’t exactly paint Tori and Dean in the kindest light.

So far, it seems a lot of ex wives are cheering her on. 

In some ways, it probably felt very therapeutic for Mary Jo to write down all of her feelings and get it on paper.  I know that for me, writing sometimes helps me work things through.

But I wonder, now that the book is out and being excerpted everywhere, if it has brought Mary Jo back to the exact same place she was a year or so ago when she wrote the book.  How can you move past something painful, if you're retelling the nastiest parts of it over and over again on Entertainment Tonight?

And now that she’s cleansed her soul with a tell-all book, will Mary Jo be healthier and happier?   Or will she continue wallowing in anger or bitterness, feeling irrevocably wronged?

Is a bestselling tell-all book the best revenge?  The best therapy?  Or should Mary Jo just get over it already?


September 13, 2009

New Reality Show: Book Tour 9-1-1

I just an idea for a new cable television show.

Now that Jon & Kate Plus 8 is hemmoraging viewers, TLC will surely be looking for a replacement for their reality show lineup.

I have just the ticket.

It would be sort of like SuperNanny, except instead of convincing delinquent, tamper-prone four-year-olds not to flush Sparkles, the family hamster, down the toilet; quick-thinking publicists would jet off across the country to help authors faced with dire publishing emergencies.

Or maybe they’d travel in a nitro-powered bookmobile. The show could be called BOOK TOUR 9-1-1.

ArmeSee full size imaged with only tic-tacs, a mega-powered iPhone, and a case of duct-tape, SuperPubbies would step in to save the tour and bravely help authors in need. When the microphone accidentally drops off your shirt during a live television broadcast, your SP would dive across the concrete floor like she was stealing home in the World Series — sliding under the camera line to retrieve your microphone before it became necessary to shout your interview answers into the microphone stuffed in the host’s bra, so that you could still be heard by all in TV Land.

The SP would be able to instantly decipher publishing code -- and communicate WTF your house publicist had in mind when she said your new book jacket photo should be "comic noir" or "cerebral fluff." (Is that anything like marshmallow fluff?)

The SP would psychically know if the bookstore where you’re scheduled to do a stock signing was demolished three weeks ago, and instantly re-direct you to a building that is still standing.

The SP would be infinitely more helpful if you happened to be late for the airport and the only route your high-priced navigation system could come up with was over the bridge that collapsed last winter.

The SP could casually stick a blueberry café muffin into the mouth of an enthusiastic heckler before he has a chance to tell you and the three kind people who came to see you about his idea for a novel. Again.

And of course, the SP could build a raft out of Sharpies if you’re ever caught in a flash flood.

SuperPubbies, where are you?

Lisa Daily

September 12, 2009

Looking for Mr. Darcy

Looking for Mr. Darcy

Lisa Daily


I was re-reading one of my favorite books the other day, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.  The book follows the story of a contemporary woman named Courtney Stone who idolizes Jane Austen, hopes for her own Mr. Darcy, and uses the pages of Pride and Prejudice as a cure-all after every nasty breakup or disappointment.  One morning, Courtney finds herself transported back to Austen’s time.

She has an awakening, of sorts, one of those “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” -type realizations, and it started me thinking about all the women I know who are holding out for their own Mr. Darcy, Sam Baldwin, Rhett Butler, Romeo, or Heathcliffe.  And how many of us immerse ourselves in a film or lit cocoon, overdosing on the perfect romantic heroes concocted in some writer’s imagination when real men break our hearts.

So, in the time-honored tradition of analyzing the flaws and feats of one’s boyfriends or potential boyfriends, I think it’s time to put our romantic heroes to the test:


Heathcliff: (Wuthering Heights)

 Heathcliff and Catherine share a passionate, all-encompassing love – she marries someone else, and Heathcliff’s obsession with her eventually destroys them and everyone around them.   His horrible cruelty is only eclipsed by the tenderness in his love for Catherine.

Why we love him:

He’s passionate, he’s a self-made man, and he goes to his grave having only loved one woman.  Plus, he’s dark and mysterious.

Why you wouldn't want to date him in real life:

He’s angry, really angry.  And cruel. Heathcliff is passionate about Catherine until he dies, but he destroys everyone around him, including the people she loves most -- sure it would be great to have someone love you so ardently, but at what cost?  Is he a lover or a stalker?

Sam Baldwin (Sleepless in Seattle)

Sam was madly in love with his wife who died of cancer, and he and his young son Jonah are so overwhelmed with grief, they’re barely making it through each day. He’s a wonderful, sensitive father, and hopelessly romantic.  Annie hears Jonah and Sam on a call-in radio program one night, and feels certain that she and Sam were meant to be together.  She writes to Sam. Jonah intercepts the letter and decides Annie should be with his father.  When the two finally meet, he takes her hand, and it’s “magic.”

Why we love him:

He’s a great old-fashioned guy who pays for dinner and holds the door open.  We know he’s a great husband and a good father, he’s handsome and he’s funny.  Most of all, his heart is an open book – and you’ve got to love a man who can articulate his feelings.

Why you wouldn't want to date him in real life:

He’s a single father, which is always a challenge, and while his first marriage was great (and happily married widows tend to have good second marriages), it would be pretty tough as the new wife competing with a perfect dead wife who will never get old and never again nag him about picking his socks up off the floor or taking out the recycling.  Do you really want to live with a ghost?

 Mr Darcy.  (Pride and Prejudice)

Mr. Darcy is unbelievably rich and quite handsome, but Lizzie finds him arrogant and insulting.  Through a series of events, Mr. Darcy falls in love with Lizzie, who believes he has not only thwarted her sister’s best chance at true love, but also treated a friend with cruelty. He later proves himself to be heroic in his love for her.

 Why we love him:

He’s rich, he’s handsome, he’s unattainable, and not only does he save Lizzie’s sister from certain scandal, he does it anonymously.  He is also revealed to be a thoroughly decent human being.  And while Austen’s novel is by far my favorite, anyone who’s seen the 2005 film adaptation can’t help but be won over when Mr. Darcy (played to perfection by Matthew Macfadyen) splutters out, “I lo..I lo..I love you.”

Laurie Viera Rigler, Jane Austen addict herself, once told me, “Ultimately what makes Mr. Darcy attractive is that he has this big moment of self-realization.”

Why you wouldn't want to date him in real life:

He’s arrogant, and frequently rude. He’s pretty full of himself with the whole “class structure” thing.


Rhett Butler (Gone With the Wind)

Scarlett and Rhett meet after she hurls a vase past his head at a barbeque --  talk about romantic.  He falls in love with her on the spot, and continues to carry a torch for her through a war, a few poorly chosen husbands, and her immature and dogged pursuit of a married man.

Why we love him:

What’s not to love about a dark, dashing man (Clark Gable!) who understands all of your flaws and patiently waits it out as you wade through multiple husbands, waltzes you out of widowhood and steals a horse to lead you out of a burning city?  Plus, Rhett proposes to Scarlett in the parlor opposite her second husband’s body because he couldn’t stand to wait another minute.

Why you wouldn't want to date him in real life:

Frankly, he doesn’t give a damn.  And the moment she decided she was actually in love with him was the moment he walked away. 

Lots of men love the chase, and they’re happy to pursue you , until they catch you.  The last thing you want is a guy who disappears into the mist the second you declare your true feelings.

Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)

Romeo falls in love with Juliet, despite the fact that their two families are at war, and wins her over by reciting love poems under her balcony.  They concoct an ill-fated plan to elope, which ends up with both of them dead.

Why we love him:

He’s instantly smitten, and willing to go against his family’s wishes to be with Juliet.  There’s something appealing about a man who would risk everything just to be with you.  Plus, the man does have a way with words.

Why you wouldn't want to date him in real life:

Do you really want to be with a guy who decides to take his own life at the first sign of trouble?  A more mature man would have given Juliet a shake or two, or at least tried a little CPR before he offed himself.

There you have it folks, no man is perfect.  Even the imaginary ones.

Who's your favorite go-to lit or film guy?  (or woman?)


August 10, 2009

Confessions of a Middle-Aged Gidget (or, What I Did On My Summer Vacation.)

This summer, I decided to go to surf camp.

Now generally speaking, I don't go to camp.  I sign my kids up for camp to expand their horizons, and to keep their brains from rotting in the summer months. (And, if I'm being honest, to get them out of the house for a few weeks so I can get some work done.)

But a few months ago, as I navigated a website to sign my daughter up for surf camp, a little banner in the corner called out to me...ALL AGES WELCOME.

I live in Florida, but on the west coast.  Unless there's a hurricane on the way, the waves aren't generally surf-worthy.  I love the beach, love the ocean, but I hadn't attempted to surf since I was a teenager on vacation in Hawaii.

But I really wanted to.

So in a moment of inspired insanity, I signed myself up for surf camp

I was the oldest camper by around 20 years or so.  But on that first sunny morning on the beach, I didn't feel a day over fifteen.

Sure, I was a bit slower to pop up on the board than my fellow campers.  Sure, my board was twice as long as everybody else's.  Sure, my 5 year-old stood up on her board a full half day before I did.  But as my fellow campers and I sat on our boards out in the Atlantic, feet dangling in the salty water, waiting for a good wave, I felt a sense of joy and peace warm me like sunshine.

I fell. A lot.  I popped up on the board too slowly.  I forgot to position my body correctly and took a nosedive (or 37) off the end of the board.  I was a dork.  A dork with an audience.

But it was really fun.

And after several dozen attempts, I finally got up.  And I rode that wave all the way in.  It wasLisa Surfing color up so much fun I did it again and again.

So much fun I can't wait to go back next summer.


What surprised me most about the experience was how many of my friends and neighbors confessed that they'd LOVE to go to surf camp/skydiving school/roller derby, but that they probably never would because it was too late for them.

But really, is it ever too late?

Only if you die before you take the chance.

What have you always wanted to do?