your soul.


your story.


new worlds.


outside the lines.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To Kindle or Not To Kindle


So here's my dilemma. I received a Kindle for Christmas from my husband, totally unprompted. The reason I didn't ask for one? Not sure if I've warmed up to the whole e-reader, kindle, non-book thing.

I love books.

I've tried reading on my iPod Touch and the feeling just isn't the same. I don't get as invested in a book, I forget what I've read, I lose my place. I don't get "lost" in a story in the same way as when I have a book in hand.


I was thinking that I would return the Kindle for a netbook. If I could have something that could fit easily into my totebag to use as a laptop, then I could turn waiting around time into writing time. I have a laptop already, but it's so big and cumbersome.

But I don't want to miss out on the whole world of downloadable books either. Isn't there something that combines both? This was my question.

Then I got an answer. Sort of.

The iSlate or Apple's new tablet computer. There are just rumors of it kicking around on the internet right now. I've heard rumblings that the announcement is going to be made at the end of January. But no one knows what it's going to be like, how much it's going to cost, if it's going to be a cross between a netbook and an e-reader. It's been confirmed that Steve Jobs is "happy" with the new product and that they've rented out a place on January 26th to make some big announcement.

Will it be way expensive? Will it run on MacOSX? Will it have a hard drive? Will it make good on it's promises to be the next *big* thing to hit the marketplace, the way that the iPod changed the face of MP3 players?

Here's a link that I came across that shows the new way that Sports Illustrated is going to be read, and the general consensus is that it is being displayed on Apple's new iSlate. If this is what's coming, then I'm totally on board. I'll be returning my Kindle and putting the money towards the iSlate or iTablet or whatever it's going to be called. Or not. If it's close to $1000 (insiders are saying it could be 600 or 800 or 1000 dollars), then I might not be able to jump on the Apple bandwagon right away. Remember the whole iPhone price drop from 600 to 300 within months?

Anyway, here's the link. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion. Keep the Kindle? Or wait and invest in Apple's new gadget to end all gadgets. I'm in no way a techy person, so I have no idea.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Gifts for Writers

This year, I asked for what I always ask for in terms of Holiday Gifts (and in one week- birthday gifts).

Writer-related stuff.

Now, when I first married my husband, he bought me a box of No.2 pencils and a pack of Bic pens. This is what he thought I meant when I asked for "writer-ey" stuff. Over the years, he's learned and has been guided by me and my very bookish family on what constitutes great writer gifts.

This year, I was pleasantly surprised by the following gifts.

1. A typewriter key bookmark.
These can be found in many Etsy shops. I also received a typewriter key necklace and in the past have been given a typewriter key watch. All are very cool.

2. A shirt for my daughter that says, My Mommy is a Writer.
Love it so much. She's already worn it twice. I think my mom got it at

3. Boxes of Crane note cards.
There's something about the quality and the feel of Crane card stock that makes writing Thank You notes so appealing. Really, any nice paper from Papyrus, Crane, The Paper Store can be a great gift.

4. Anything from the Levenger Store. (I wish I could move into the store and make it my office.)
They have a catalog and website that I highly recommend. It's called Levenger -TOOLS FOR SERIOUS READERS).

5. A coffee mug that says "writer. definition: Someone who gets paid to sit around all day drinking coffee and making stuff up. I love my job."

6. Several notebooks that have funny writer quotes on them. (My sister got one that had the top ten annoying grammatical errors. I got one that said Careful, you may end up in my novel.) As well as leather, moleskin or any other nice designer journals.

7. The Writer's Desk Calendar by Jill Krementz. I didn't get one this year, because I think they do them every other year. I love them when I get them. It shows the desks of famous writers along with little quotes about writing from these authors. I pour over these pictures because I'm obsessed with other writer's writing environments. (Probably because mine is so chaotic and haphazard.)

8. Kate Spade day planners or desktop calendars (LOVE!)

9. This year I got the Barnes & Noble 2010 Desk Diary. I'm kind of loving it because it is leather bound and has illustrations and caricatures of authors by the artist David Levine (who illustrated literary luminaries for the New York Review of Books. There are some nice quotes and book and author trivia sprinkled throughout.

10. Cross and Swarovski Pens

(fun fact: my seven year old daughter asked for and received from my parents a Swarovski Crystal Membership. She's seven.)

I have a pen addiction. Not like my sister who falls in love with any and every pen she comes across (hotel pens, promotional pens, bank pens--you name it, she has it). My pen collection is much smaller than my sister's. (She keeps hers hidden in a huge box under
her bed.) But it consists of very nice, elegant pens. A few Cross pens, a Mont Blanc (which I received as a high school graduation gift and still use), a Paul Smith Fountain Pen and a Waterman There is something so amazing about writing with a beautiful pen. While most of my real writing is tapped out on a computer, whenever I get stuck or am starting a new project or am suffering some kind of writer's block, having a beautiful pen and paper at the ready always helps me along.

I went into the Mont Blanc store at the Copley Mall in Boston recently and had a "shock and awe" moment when looking at their pens. They were so elegant and distinctive. Even the names of the pens (the Meisterstuck Collection, the Starwalker collection, La Boheme, Etoile de MontBlanc) transported me to another world.

I don't know who can afford pens like La Boheme Royal Black & White, an 18k white gold fountain pen set with 659 white diamonds and 692 black diamonds and a cap inlaid with 19 diamonds. Plus a platinum-plated 18k gold nib for writing. It's something like 15 carats of diamonds in one pen. I have no idea how much it costs, but I'm pretty sure that most writers cannot afford it. Unless, of course, they are J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer or Dan Brown.

Other pens at the Mont Blanc store included the Special Edition Greta Garbo and many Meisterstuck pens all named in honor of great artists (Chopin, Mozart, and the Leonardo Sketch pen). After drooling in the store for a little while, I managed to take home one of their catalogs (which didn't give any prices of the pens--probably to keep people from having heart attacks.) This is how I know the names and descriptions of all of these pens. The catalog is pretty cool. Maybe I'll frame it. :)

11. Designer Tote Bag/Purse - This year I received a gorgeous Kate Spade tote that is the perfect size to fit a laptop, notebook, magazines, dayplanner...whatever!

12. Kindle - no explanation needed here.

So, these were some of the things that I received that might be useful for future gifting to the writers in your life. They range from the inexpensive to the outrageously expensive and extravagant. What I received was mostly on the inexpensive end of the spectrum, but I loved them all just the same. (Although a Mont Blanc pen would have been amazing. Oh well, there's always my birthday!) :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

GCC Interview with Debbie Rigaud

Now for my long, overdue GCC interview with Debbie Rigaud (sorry for the delay...I had a date with Mickey Mouse that I couldn't get out of!) Thanks so much for your patience Debbie and welcome to the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit. It's great to have you with us!!

First, here's some info about Debbie's book, PERFECT SHOT:


By Debbie Rigaud

Release date: December 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4269-7835-0

281 Pages


What’s the wackiest thing you’ve ever done after a crush attack?

High school athlete London Abrams is more likely to spike a volleyball than wear spike heels. Yet in one crush-tastic moment, she signs up for a modeling contest as an excuse to meet the photo intern Brent St. John. But instead of getting a call back from Brent, London gets a call back from contest judges! Now she’s in a fierce modeling competition feeling out way of her league, and Brent’s camera is zoomed in to document everything. Suddenly, London’s not feeling so ready for her close up.

London Abram’s first love is volleyball, so why does she enter an online modeling competition? Answer: superhottie Brent St. John. London spots Brent signing in contestants at a store, and she gets in line simply to say hi. But she never dreams she’ll make it into the competition!

London’s now up against fourteen hungry fashionistas willing to do whatever it takes to win. All she wants to win is Brent’s heart…but the money prize couldn’t hurt. If London plays this right, she can win the contest, the boy, and the cash. GAME ON!

Hooray for PERFECT SHOT!

  • · First book in the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series to feature an African-American protagonist
  • · First book in the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series to be written by an African-American
  • · Features a multicultural cast of characters in a contemporary setting


Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, social figures and “real” girls. Her wide-ranging articles have appeared in YSB, Entertainment Weekly, Seventeen, The Source, Trace, Twist, Essence, J-14, Heart & Soul, Inside TV, CosmoGIRL!, and Vibe Vixen. Her first work of YA fiction, a novella titled “Double Act,” was featured in the anthology HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru. PERFECT SHOT/Simon & Schuster, her first standalone book, was released December 1, 2009.

Debbie’s extensive experience with young readers has led her to staff editor positions at Seventeen and Twist and to freelance editing/writing work for, CosmoGIRL!, American Eagle Outfitters and publishing company Just Us Books. She’s written advice columns, inspiring real-life stories, entertainment reports and countless personality quizzes for this audience. Beyond YA, Debbie recently became a finalist in Bermuda Dramatist Society’s annual playwright contest. “All in the Same Boat,” her short play, was selected by professional New York playwrights and produced on stage in Bermuda.

Thanks for swinging by my blog to answer some questions, Debbie!!

1. First topic: Revenge. What is your experience with it? Have you ever sought revenge? As the old adage goes, do you think that living well is the best revenge?

I'm a strong believer in karma, so I usually step aside and let it do its thing. But that's not to say I don't relish being on the scene to witness what happens when karma finally comes knocking.

2. Cliques and mean girls are everywhere. At book signings I've had everyone from 12 year old girls to 45 year old women tell me they still encounter them. Do you? How has it changed since you were a teen?

Yes. I have encountered mean girls in every stage of my life so far. Not much has changed about them in my opinion. Whether a person is 13 or 30, underneath all that mean-spirited conduct is one brand of fear or another. But it is strange when you encounter them as adults. My own mom dealt with a mean-girl co-worker when she was in her 50s! The situation really disturbed her, and by extension, upset my sisters and me. And recently, my younger sister and all her co-workers had to attend a workshop about "workplace bullies." I'm glad that more schools and workplaces are taking this phenomenon very seriously.

3. I have a "Writing Music" playlist on my iPod. What would be on yours? What one song or artist captures the essence of your book?

I imagine that London has an eclectic taste in music. In one scene, we learn that she's set her ringtone to a Santigold tune. London would probably jam to Santigold's "You'll Find a Way" remix. And of course, this high-energy song would make an awesome soundtrack to one of her volleyball games. Like London, Santigold is an artist who can't be labeled in the traditional sense. As a writer and a music lover, I think that's what attracted me to both of them.

4. What do you tell people is your favorite book/author? Now what is your "real" favorite book/author. (i.e. I tell people Pale Fire by Nabokov is my fave, but right now I'm really into Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.)

LOL! Well, I usually list Toni Morrison's BELOVED as my favorite. In all honesty, it is one of my faves. But lately, I've really been into Kristin Cashore. I devoured GRACELING and now I'm reading FIRE. I also get into new age books like Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH.

5. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

I'd swap lives with someone born into a much different circumstance than mine; particularly, someone born in a poverty-stricken "third-world" society. Removing the promise of a long, healthy life full of opportunities would be traumatic, yet experiencing deeper connections among people (minus our societal distractions) would be mind--and spirit--opening. Living under those conditions for just one day would make me a more appreciative and productive person, to say the least.

6. Who would be in your dream cast if your book was made into a movie or television series? (And multimillion dollar salaries were no issue--they'd all do it for free!)

I'd go for the entertainers who are recognizable, but aren't as well known. Tristan Wilds of "90210" would be great as Brent, London's love interest. And in my mind, singer Teyana Taylor is London all the way.

7. As a publicist, I know that it's important for every novel to have journalistic hook. For The Lost Sister, it's mean girls, bullies and hazing. What's yours?

This is always challenging for me to think up. You've heard of Word Girl? Well, I'm Wordy Girl. Here's my attempt at being concise: "from the volleyball court to the fashion runway."

8. Just because it hasn't been asked yet, favorite 1980's movie?

"The Last Dragon" Best. Movie. Ever.
(MKH Note: Ummm...really? If it wasn't a John Hughes movie, I didn't see it. Maybe I should check it out. Or a movie starring Johnny Depp. Those were my two requirements. :)

9. Why should I choose your book for my book club?

Readers may connect with that fish-out-of-water feeling London experiences when she goes from spiking volleyballs to wearing spike heels. And everyone can relate to doing something wacky or out-of-character just to get the attention of a crush.

10. I'm a huge and fabulously powerful movie producer and you have 30 seconds (an elevator pitch) to sell me on why your book is great and should be made into a movie. Go!

PERFECT SHOT is about a sporty girl who is an ambitious go-getter. There are charged volleyball scenes, eye-popping fashions, and edge-of-your-seat moments that will have viewers laughing and gasping. And amidst it all is a heartthrob to swoon over.

Sounds great! You've sold me! I'm definitely picking up a copy. For more info on Debbie, visit her website or blog.