Friday, May 30, 2008

Get this stuff out of my head!

You know when your brain is full of so many things all at once, some of which have nothing to do with each other, and you're afraid to stop and take a breather because you're afraid you'll fall behind?

Yeah, that's me. My brain is full. I need to clean house.

1. My WIP (work in progress) is done. Well, the first draft is done but it's wayyy too long. It's 96K which is about 30K too much so I will need to cut about a third of it. I almost didn't follow my own advice, which is to JUST FINISH IT! I was about to stop before the last few scenes were written (for a number of reasons but one of which was that I was just plain depressed about it) and then HH reminded me that I was not doing what I tell everyone else to do. So I plowed on through, knowing that I will have to make some major revisions before anyone can read page one, but that's okay because NOW IT'S DONE and I have something to revise.

2. ALL ABOUT VEE got an amazing review at Pajama Mommy! Oh, I was so thrilled when my Google alerts sent me the link. Please check it out when you can. I definitely have to link this one to my website. She called it a "must-read"! How much do I love that??

3. ALL ABOUT VEE also got an amazing review at Chandra Rooney's Good Karma Reviews! Thank you again, Google alerts! btw, I love her description of her blog: "making the internet a nicer place one week at a time." It so perfectly fits with her review of the book! Take a gander over there too. This one is another for the website! And can I also mention how I love that she takes VEE seriously, that she doesn't consider the book "lightweight" (no pun intended, I swear...)?

4. LOST is gone for another year. This makes me unreasonably sad. I swear the shortest hours of the day are the ones when LOST is on. HH and I are total freaks. Okay, that's enough. I'm sad again.

5. This weekend is Book Expo America (BEA) here in LA and every writer I know is attending. It's a huge show at the LA Convention Center. I'm very excited but a little nervous. There will be LOTS of authors (not just us YA writers), TONS of books, and MANY, MANY publishers and agents. This is a big show for booksellers and librarians to find out what's hot, what's new, and what books they should look out for. Hint: You can't go wrong with a book by C. Leigh Purtill. LOL!!

Okay, one more...

6. I still haven't seen "Indy 4" but I will very soon. I promise! Ninja Webmaster has been bugging me about this for weeks so I have to see it before everyone he knows has spoiled it for him.

All right, that's some of the stuff in my head. Now I have to tackle the emails...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fat Girls in LA

The title of this post, as many people know, was the original title of ALL ABOUT VEE.

While I was visiting schools last week – particularly the high schools in Wallingford and Cheshire and my old college in Massachusetts – most of the teens and women expressed surprise that the beautiful young woman on the cover of my book was considered “plus-size” by the modeling world. The comments I got were:

“She’s the same size as me and I am not plus-size.” (She wasn’t.)
“She looks like a regular woman to me.” (To me as well.)
“I don’t care what they say – she’s gorgeous and I love that dress.” (So do I.)

The conversation then moved onto the recent win of the first plus-size model on “America’s Next Top Model.” Whitney is a size 10.

“Size ten? That’s my size! And I am not plus-size.” (She really wasn’t.)

I mention this because it made me so happy to hear those comments from teens I hope to influence with my book. I’m glad to know that there are lots and lots of girls out there who don’t subscribe to the “thinner is better” philosophy like so many people do (and as a dancer, believe me, I see and hear it all – that’s another blog post).

You know, there are so many blogs in what they call the Fatosphere that host fantastic discussions about what it’s like to be heavy in a skinny world and all of the discrimination women face when they don’t look like models (check out some of my faves, like Shapely Prose, The F-Word, Disordered Times, Fat Lot of Good, and many more) and I wouldn’t pretend to try to give an account of that sort of discrimination. I can only talk about weight issues from my point of view – that of someone who has ALWAYS considered herself to be overweight.

So I will.

Stay tuned…

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Celebrity sighting in the sky!

On the flight from Atlanta to LA, HH and I sat 2 rows behind the writer Joel Stein, who has a column in both Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Not many people recognize writers, especially columnists, but he was wearing a little tag that said, “Joel Stein,” on it so that was kind of a gimme. I knew who he was but HH doesn’t read the paper so I had to explain.

Here's his website to give you a better idea of who he is and what he writes about.

As it turns out, Mr. Stein was playing flight attendant on our flight, making the mixed drinks or what the airline calls “adult drinks.” And for anyone who reads Mr. Stein’s columns, you know what he would do with a straight line like that. He told us over the PA system that he had been training all day so I guess he knows a little more than the rest of us!

He was wearing fashionably torn and stone-washed jeans with a long sleeved striped shirt, tails untucked, and ladies, he wears cotton briefs (couldn't tell the style but did see the elastic strip when he bent over - naughty, naughty!). Delta would NEVER let their flight attendants wear such sloppy clothes - or such unkempt hair - but Mr. Stein must have charmed them all.

I'd say he did a pretty decent job. If it were me, I would be flippin' terrified! But I do have to admit he was slow. He took soooooo long to mix drinks for people, and this is without much banter, that the cart was in the aisle next to my ear for so long I was starting to get claustrophobic. Although nervous, he covered it up well, cracking jokes when he could but being as conscientious as he could allow himself to be.

Afterward, HH and I happened to be walking from the plane next to him when HH decided to ask him where the article would be published (Time). Then Mr. Stein wanted to know how we thought he had done. We gave him 2 thumbs up (he seemed a little in need of support) and he liked that. He showed us his battle scars from his single day of intense training (he told us he had to practice with the water slide, among other things) and we replied that we were bummed it was such a safe flight and that he didn't get a chance to show off what he'd learned.

Mr. Stein liked that too.

We'll keep an eye out for his article!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From the Queue

A little something to discuss while I'm traveling today...

Remember when you were a kid and the mail was a daily event you looked forward to? Maybe a card with cash from Grandma would arrive or a new issue of "Sports Illustrated" would be there. Then you got older and the mailbox held bills and past due notices and jury summons. Who wanted to get the mail then? I still dread it. The fun stuff comes in email; the misery via USPS.

Ah Netflix, my old friend. It makes going to the mailbox fun again.

This weekend we saw a great doc: "My Kid Could Paint That" about Marla Olmsted the 4 year old art prodigy whose father was subtly accused of painting for her by a 60 Minutes producer. It's very well-balanced, neither pro or con and allows you to make your own decision.

We also saw "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Not so golden for the big E. Although I love Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen, I felt like this saga of Elizabeth's life was depressing all around and ther was very little joy in it. In the previous movie, she at least had love even if she had to give it up. And btw, how much did Joseph Fiennes (from E 1) and Clive Owen (from E 2) look alike?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wishing you all happiness on my birthday...

Pablo Picasso said, "It takes a long time to grow young."

Gertrude Stein said, "We are always the same age inside."

And my nieces said, "Happy birthday, Auntie Leigh!"

All three of these quotes make me supremely happy on my birthday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kudos to Cook!

Your new American Idol, as Ryan Seacrest would say. Honestly, this is the first Idol album I will actually buy.

I am visiting the east coast now so I learned 3 hours in advance that David Cook had won on Wednesday and I couldn't tell any of my Idol fan friends! Then I woke up and found 50 emails on our group list!

Anyway, it's all pretty much over now, but I have to say how thrilled I am that David C won. I made my mother watch it with me on Tuesday and Wednesday and even she loved him. She said David A was too young to sing some of the songs he was singing and she's right. It's just that he doesn't have a lot of life experience for some lyrics and that's okay. He has plenty of time to do things.

I was especially happy that Simon apologized to David C for being dismissive of him and proclaiming David A the winner. Whether he knew then that Cook had won or not, I don't know. I'd like to believe he knew he was wrong and should have been more fair to him. But then again, I want to believe in the basic humanity of most people.

Today I'm headed up to my college reunion where I'll be teaching a class on YA literature to other reunion folk. I hope people enjoy it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whoo-hoo, Cheshire High!

Ah, the old alma much has changed, so much has remained the same. For instance, I walked in the side door which used to be near the main office and I told them I was a visitor and they looked at me like I was crazy. The main office had moved to the front of the building!

This is the WRONG door!

This is the RIGHT door!

But the Senior Walk was still there and the gym (there are 2 now) and the library looked the same too, although they had way more computers than we ever had (computers were just a bare figment of the popular imagination then).

Me with Ellen Speirs

The first class librarian Ellen Speirs introduced me to was Diann Milone's Creative Writing class. I think they might have been a little shy (or sleepy?) because they were kind of quiet but they did get very animated when talk turned to Veronica and her size (they didn't think the girl on the cover was at all plus-size).

Second class was World Lit, Megumi Yamamoto's class, which we sat for in the library. They had a lot more questions and wanted to know about writing and publishing and what sort of movies I like that had been adapted from books.

After lunch (with the teachers in the faculty lounge! I felt like I was spying!) where I met a teacher from my old days, Rob Schaefer (although I didn't have him as a teacher), I went back to the library to talk to Donna Carbone's Film and TV class. After telling them all about my experience as a script supervisor and standards editor, talk quickly turned to writing, especially screenwriting and books and LOST and movies and Denzel Washington and how great Robert Downey Jr was in "Iron Man."

It was another amazing day with more amazing students! I hope they all remember to email me if they have questions I didn't get to answer.

I think I'll have to devote an entirely separate blog post to all the stuff I observed at CHS and how it influenced what and why I write about schools in my own books.

Oh and a Cheshire Herald reporter was there to interview me which was way cool because I remembered that a couple of the very first things I had ever written were for that publication many, many years ago! They were sports articles! Wow, strange how things come back to you, huh?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whoo-hoo, Sedgwick Middle School!

Wow - Sedgwick Middle in West Hartford was A-MA-ZING!

Even though I knew I was going to be in an auditorium, I had NO idea so many students would be there. OMG - it was like two hundred, I think? All I know is that I made nowhere near enough cookies (yes, more cookies because Vee would want that, ya know?).

I had to use one of those handheld mikes. This is me looking oh-so-cool(It was my tribute to the final showdown on Idol tonight! Good thing no one asked me to sing!)

The students asked some great questions, like:

--What do I think of books being turned into movies? (some yes, some no, but mostly no because I have it all pictured in my head the way everyone should look)

--What genre of books do I prefer to read? (science fiction, absolutely)

--What famous authors have I met? (the fantastic Ray Bradbury)

--Do I have a lot of stories I want to write? (YES!!!)

--What keeps me writing? (all the stories in my head that I want to write)

--Do I ever get bored writing? (NEVER!)

--Was it hard keeping all the different Vee characters straight? (Yes, but that's because all their voices sound different to me)

And then they wanted to know about my schooling and the previous jobs I had and that was fun too. I showed them my website and a couple of the videos Ninja did for me and they liked those but they had so many questions! I wish I could have kept answering them.

If any Sedgwick student reads this and has more questions, please email me!!

And then at the end I met a group of girls who had read my books or were on the waiting list for them, which is very cool. Some of them want to be writers too!

So even though I was scared to death walking into that auditorium, I left feeling really terrific. I had a great afternoon. Thanks to Shannon McNeice and all the teachers at Sedgwick - and the amazing students!

Tomorrow I am headed to Cheshire High (my alma mater!). Btw, Rachel has extended the deadline for the VEE contest so get on over there and enter to win yourself a FREE copy. Free Vee! LOL! I love it...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Whoo-hoo, Sheehan High!

Yesterday, I visited Laura Cappelli's creative writing class at Sheehan High in Wallingford, Connecticut. You may recall I mentioned this school was a rival of the high school I attended back in the Stone Age (you know, the pre-Internet and cell phone days).

Some people, not naming any names here but you know who you are, teased me about being a cheerleader. I'll have you know I was the captain of the squad, thank you very much. I hope you'll bow down a little lower next time I pass...:)

I was all set to talk to them for a typical class length period of time - 40-45 minutes. Imagine my shock when I heard the teacher say, "We work in blocks your class will start at twenty to one and go until...


Um. An hour and twenty minutes?

"Actually an hour and twenty-four minutes."

AUGHHHHH!! went my brain.

"That sounds fantastic," went my voice.

I could not have believed that I would talk for that long - and thanks to the students and their great questions, I really didn't have to. They all wanted to know about writing, about the process, about my process, about publishing. I mentioned to them a horror story I had written and they really wanted to hear that.

I promise to put that on the website when I get back to LA. Promise, promise.

I even read a little from the new book which they seemed to like. So all in all, whew, it was a great time. For me, anyway. I hope it was for them too.

So today, I'm off to Sedgwick in West Hartford. I've got cookies (shh!) and my Ninja Webmaster is going to project my website and maybe show off the little video interviews he did. I hope it goes as well as it did at Sheehan.

More to come...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things Meme

Okay, so I've been tagged by Christina for Six Unremarkable Things which I'm gonna try to list while I'm watching the Mets-Yanks game in this weekend's subway series (does that count as one?). Here are the rules:

* Link the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules in your blog.
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
* Tag six bloggers by linking them. (They shall be "it")
* Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

So here we go:

1. I have to write at least 2K words every weekday on my current WIP (I give myself a break on the weekends and will usually just make notes on new stuff or on changes I want to make to the WIP). I begin every morning at 7:30 and if I go off and do other things before I finish, I HAVE to get them done at the end of the day. HAVE TO. Or my brain will explode worrying about it.

2. I plan my dance clothes for the entire week at the beginning of the week. Why? One less thing to think about. I have to teach and/or take class every day and if I don't plan it, I will waste too much time trying to figure it all out. Also because--

3. I am a major listmaker. I keep 3 lists at all times - one on my notepad, one on my kitchen cabinet, and one under my calendar. I also keep a calendar on which I write everything I have to do. I love crossing things off. :) I plan just about everything: meals, clothes, activities, errands, etc.

4. I am addicted to the internet. I can't go more than an hour or 2 without checking all my email accounts, blog, MySpace and Facebook. Thank god I don't have a Blackberry or iPhone or else I wouldn't have an actual conversation with another human being ever again.

5. I love to sing along to my iPod but I really truly cannot sing and I have an irrational fear of being overheard. I will run out of a room if I hear my voice on tape.

6. I get my best ideas in the shower and sometimes, I will take an extra shower just so I can think.

There it is; there I am. I'm tagging the following (at their leisure, of course!): Yooli, Jenny, Paula, Carrie, Liane, and Lisa. Have fun! Can't wait to read what everybody writes!

Cheers! And don't forget to enter Rachel's contest to win a copy of ALL ABOUT VEE!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome to Chapter 2 of the C. Leigh Story

Yet another chapter in which we learn exciting tidbits about Leigh and her books.

Ninja Webmaster told me that he had to cut out a lot of "ums" and "uhs" when he was editing the footage which I didn't know I used in normal everyday speech. I guess when I'm thinking about stuff (like when the Ninja is asking me a question -hint, hint) I take a moment to pause and formulate my thoughts. Maybe if the Ninja hadn't sprung some of these questions on me, and then said, "Go!" I might have sounded a little more professional and composed.

So without further ado, here is Chapter 2 for your viewing pleasure...

And don't forget about Rachel's contest if you want to win a free copy of ALL ABOUT VEE!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WIN a free copy of ALL ABOUT VEE!

Hello everyone!

Rachel Olivier is holding a contest at her blog to win a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE! Check out her amazing review of the book and you can see why I am so touched by her contest.

VEE Review/Contest

Deadline is May 20!

Thank you so much to everyone who enters and very special thanks to Rachel herself.


Leaving on a jet plane...

Very soon, I will be winging my way across the country to the east coast where I'll be visiting some schools and teaching a class at my college reunion in the next week or so.

First up on Monday is a visit to Sheehan High School in Wallingford, Connecticut - very excited about this. Sheehan was a rival school when I lived in my hometown of Cheshire. I can remember being a cheerleader and getting on the team bus to travel there for basketball games. That was so much fun! I'll have to ask if they still do that or if they all drive themselves. We did have cars back then (duh!) but it was a team-building thing to travel on the bus together.

Next on Tuesday will be a visit to Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut. I'm a little nervous about this one! I'll be in an auditorium of 100 kids, not in a small classroom or library like I'm used to. What will I say? I hope they're nice to me. Monica Ahern and Shannon McNeice have been super about getting things together for my visit and prepping the students with information about me and my books so maybe they'll ask questions. If all else fails, I'll start dancing.

Then on Wednesday I'll be talking to several classes at my old alma mater, Cheshire High School. These students want to know about writing as well as the stuff I used to do, the script supervising and standards work. Boy, did I have to take some time to refresh my brain! I think your mind sort of throws away the things you don't do anymore so it can make room for new things and lately, I've had a lot of new things so I've had to throw away a LOT of old things. I'm lucky if I can remember my own phone number!

Then at the end of the week, I'll be at Mount Holyoke College, this time to celebrate my class reunion and also to teach a class to my fellow alums. This should be a lot of fun because I will be talking, not about myself, but about other YA authors and their books. I'm calling the discussion, "Not Your Mother's YA: Beyond Judy Blume." I'll bet you didn't know I put titles to my talks, did you? When I discuss writing, I call it "Just Finish It!" because that's the number one thing I tell people they need to do.

And speaking of...I have to finish getting ready to leave soon. I can't wait for my trip!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Idol 3-Fer

Have I already declared that David Cook truly rules Idol?

I know, I know: David Archuleta has long been anointed as The Chosen One but after last night, I think I figured out why I prefer Cook. Archuleta, as perfect as he is, as adorable as he is, is predictable. We know he will do well on every song he sings. We know he will look into the camera at just the right moment. We know the pit grrrls will scream and wave their arms whenever he looks their way. There is no element of surprise.

On the other hand, David C could do anything with any song. Like the Roberta Flack song last night...he started singing a la Flack, beautiful notes, nice and slow, and then rocked it out. He showed us, yes, he can sing a song the way you expect but then wham! Turn it around and show us what it could be. That's the unpredictability that I love about him. That's why I will buy his first album, sans Idolettes.

As for Syesha, I appreciate her talent and her beauty. But last night was not her trying to win Idol. Last night was her audition for a Broadway show. C'mon, "Fever"? That is not the song you pick when you know who the voting demographic is. The people voting are not gonna like a vampy lounge act. And especially when it's not even sung that well. Sorry, Syesha. She knows she's not winning which is why she completely ignored the voting blocs and sang for the producers who are casting their next shows.

No need to play crystal ball today. Syesha is definitely headed home and the final showdown will be between the two Davids.

Bonus Round **HK spoilers!!**

Okay, how happy was I to see Ben get chucked off Hell's Kitchen last night? That was an awesome episode! From the "palate-testing" contest (yay, Mattie, showing your chops!!) to the manipulative Survivor-like behavior Ben attempted to rope his buddies into, this was an all around excellent show. I was so glad to see Ben exposed for exactly what Matt said he was: a bully who was looking to scapegoat. Once Matt was gone, Ben turned to Louross to be the next to suffer. I appreciated seeing Petrozza be a mature good guy and refuse to play into Ben's hands. As for next week...I predict Christina will be the one to go to the men's team. Matt will definitely not go and Corey seems determined to remain where she is, leaving Jen, Rosann and Christina and since we already know Christina feels like Corey and Jen are out to get her, she may just take this opportunity to move to a new team. Whoo-hoo! Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From Around the Web...

One of the things about being a "new writer" is that every little thing seems so cool. Like every time I'm mentioned on the web, I get wicked excited.

I love to read posts about my books or to see where I'm reviewed.

I love getting MySpace and Facebook friend requests.

I love visiting my stats and seeing where people come from who view my blog and website.

I love seeing new things happening!

On Amazon, for instance, you can now view inside my books. You know that "Search Inside" feature? Well, my books have that now. Check it out here with Vee and here with Meg.

I'm also listed on the Borders website for an event I'm doing at the end of June in Farmington, Connecticut. See it here...there I am right at the bottom of the page. And when you click on my name, it'll tell you more about my book. I was so psyched to see that! It makes it, like, real!

Then there are blog mentions. Like here at Christina's blog, and here at Rachel's blog, and here at the Breaking News blog. Who wouldn't get excited about that? Maybe jaded writers, those who've been around a lot longer than me and have been through it all. But until I get there, I'll simply enjoy getting my tiny thrills.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Double Post Extravaganza!!

For this Monday morning spectacular, I am giving you, my readers, a double dose of Leigh-mania. Don't say I didn't warn you...


Hint #1: Star of the Coen Brothers' Oscar-winning film

Hint #2: Married to a Desperate Housewife

Hint #3: Likes books

And the answer is...William H. Macy!! WOWSA, this was a big one! I was in Chevalier's Books on Saturday for my signing and who comes walking in, startling all of us, including some of us who consider ourselves fairly jaded Los Angelenos, but Mister Felicity Huffmann himself wearing a big bushy moustache and a smile! One of our friends managed to open her mouth and ask him for a picture, which of course he did because he's one of the most awesome actors EVER!

Sadly, he did not take one of my cookies nor did he glance at my books. I was soveryclose to asking him to take a postcard home to Felicity - and I would have been bold too - but there wasn't much of an opportunity and you really do want to let celebs do their thing or else they'll just stay home and order online.

And second of all...what a great store Chevalier's Books is! We are so lucky to have a wonderful independent bookstore like that here in Los Angeles. It's located in the heart of Larchmont Village and they are so cool, they allow people in with their dogs! And some great dogs too!

Special thanks to Erica, Liz and Norman who are the store's very special booklovers/employees who handled everything for me. Here are some pics of my lovely readers who made a super special effort to come down and hang out with me:

Thanks to everyone who made my afternoon fantastic!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Book Ends

1. Book Club - earlier this week I was lucky enough to be invited to Hillsides School in Pasadena to talk to a fantastic group of teen girls who love to read. Next they'll be reading ALL ABOUT VEE! While I was there they told me all about other books they love (besides all the Stephenie Meyers books I need to check out THE HATERS). I would LOVE it if people wrote to me about their favorite books - they don't have to be teen books. I want to compile a list of great books that I can read and then recommend. It also helps me to know what people like - sort of like research but I don't have to actually do it. LOL!!!! j/k

2. Book Signing - I'll be at Chevalier's Books in Larchmont Village tomorrow from 2 - 4 PM signing copies of ALL ABOUT VEE. And there will be cookies! Please come on down, even just to say hello and keep me from getting lonely. The address is 126 N. Larchmont Blvd, LA 90004.

3. Book Reviews - getting reviews from people is tough, I know. There are a ton of great books out there and people have limited time to read but I would really love to get some feedback from readers of LOVE, MEG and ALL ABOUT VEE. I will personally name and thank everyone who writes me a review in Amazon or Barnes & Noble and I will link to their blog here and on my website. That is my promise to YOU, my readers, just cuz I dig you all so much.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Iron Man

"Oh yeah. I can fly."

One of the best lines of this movie.

This is a fun and funny film with a great cast. The role of Tony Stark is perfect for Robert Downey Jr. who manages to bring some gravitas to the character without turning it into Christian Bale's Dark Knight (which also looks amazing!). Jeff Bridges is a terrific villain (although the rol could as easily have been played by William Hurt) and Terrence Howard is subdued yet not too introspective. And I didn't mind Gwyneth Paltrow at all.

It's a superhero movie for adults and Stark is in throes of the ultimate middle-aged crisis. I love that he's accomplished a great deal in his life, made some money, had some fun and then realizes that he needs to do more with his life. So instead of getting a new sports car, he gets a really cool suit that can fly and repel RPGs and proceeds to help strangers.

Kudos to Jon Favreau who directed the underrated "Zathura" before this and of course to Stan Lee, one of the creators of Iron Man. The character is as timely now as it was when he debuted in the 60s and fighting the Vietnamese.
Three out of three 3 Vees would dig this.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wristcutters: A Love Story

On its surface this movie, starring Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon, sounds incredibly depressing and in many respects, it is. We are introduced to a world in which every inhabitant has committed suicide. It is a world much like our own "but slightly worse." Our hero, Zia (Fugit) has offed himself but wishes he hadn't as he is still in love with his ex Desiree. When he learns that she too has offed herself (the preferred phrase to describe the action as opposed to the more horrific term "suicide"), he goes on a road trip to find her, convinced she did this because she loves him.

With him is Mikal (Sossamon) a beautiful girl who claims this was a mistake, that she accidentally OD'ed. She hitches a ride with Zia and Gene (a very funny Shea Wigham) to find the men in white who are the PIC (People in Charge). Along the way they run into Tom Waits and his miracle crew who are a very wacky bunch and may not be who they claim. And yes, it is a love story, and not wholly unexpected.
The director, Goran Dukic, adapted the script from a short story by Etger Keret and apparently gave the film a happy ending that the original did not have. He also added a few supernatural touches that do give the movie some humor. On the whole, the film was good but slow-moving - although the running time was less than 90 minutes, it felt much longer. Not sure who I could recommend this to - it's not graphic or anything but knowing how the characters came to this place does make one shudder.

Maybe 1 out of 3 Vees would dig this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Leigh Speaks!

Not exactly like Greta "I vant to be alone" Garbo in her first talkie, but just as unique!

Here's a little teaser my Ninja Webmaster put together for my website. It gives you a little insight into where the book came from and where I live and so on and although my hair is a little wind-blown and I sound like I have a cold (I don't; I'm just whiny like that), I do like my glasses. They're those transition things where they turn into sort-of sunglasses when you're in the sun and regular glasses indoors. And they're wicked comfortable.

All About Vee 1 from Mo Jo on Vimeo.

More to come...

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Benefts of Global Corporate Media Ownership

Maybe just one...

My signing at Chevalier's Books this Saturday, May 10th, which is listed in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, has been picked up by its sister papers, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, so people in Chicago and Baltimore know I'm signing in LA! LOL! Check it out here...and here...

...and on Saturday, be sure to check out the signing at Chevalier's - the actual one in LA!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ending the Week with Awesomeness

1. Awesome television - aw, come on, you know the answer to this one: Lost. Another fantastic episode last night and HH and I are still trying to unravel the flash forwards. Obviously, in last night's show Jack and Kate are happy and isn't a drunken pill-popper. So we're assuming this episode precedes the very first flash forward we saw, right? Another question we wonder: in the future, does Jack realize he is Aaron's uncle?

2. Awesome movie trailers - The Robert Downey Jr. movie "Iron Man" opens today and that certainly does look like fun but honestly, it's "Hancock" that we're looking forward to. Comes out in June! Will Smith as a homeless superhero - yeah, baby!

3. Awesome library event - okay, so my writing workshop tomorrow at the West Hollywood Public Library on San Vicente isn't truly awesome but it could be if YOU come! I'll give away a copy of LOVE, MEG and I'll sign it and everything! 2:30PM until we finish talking.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Meet The Robinsons

When this animated film came out last year, I thought it looked cute but insubstantial: boy invents time machine and accidentally travels to the future. Nothing to write home about and I wasn't so sure I cared for the animation. But it was really sweet and funny and clever and pretty much nothing like the trailers made it out to be.

12 year old Lewis lives in an orphanage, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. He is "unadoptable": no one seems to want a child obsessed with inventions and science (a little oversimplified but I went with it for the movie's sake) and he knows that when he becomes a teenager, it will only get worse. He becomes determined to find his mother so he invents a machine that will take memories from his brain and turn them into pictures so he can see what she looked like and find her. At a science fair, where he will present this gizmo, his presentation is disrupted by a young boy who tells him he's from the future and to watch for a Man with a Bowler Hat (his official credit). The machine gets broken during the melee and the anonymous boy whisks Lewis off to the future where he meets an eccentric group of people, the Robinsons.

If you have seen any time travel movies at all, you know our hero has to do something that will set things right but also not disrupt the already-established timeline. And this being a children's movie, you know that it has to end happily. But the way they get to happy is funny and sweet and a little touching. I love the Man with the Bowler Hat - not quite a villain, just a little misguided. The voice actors are terrific, with Harland Williams as CARL the robot a standout.

"Meet the Robinsons" was based on a children's book by William Joyce , "A Day with Wilbur Robinson," and there is a wonderful interview with him about it on the DVD. Joyce's book was published in 1990 and was solely about a boy who meets a very eccentric family which was itself based on Joyce's own family. The movie's animation resembles the original illustrations which are beautiful.

The director, Steve Anderson, says he was drawn to the script because Lewis is an orphan and he, Anderson, was also adopted. You can definitely feel his fondness and sympathy for the character throughout the movie.

I think all Vees would dig this.