My Night with George Clooney

I did it. My short story is ready for the world.

Click here and you can read of it for yourself. You might even be able to do so at lunch, depending on how much time you get to take. In fact, you should start reading it at lunch or on your metro ride home tonight or first thing when you wake up in the morning. (I will cut you some slack that you might already have Friday night plans.)

This is an electronic book, published by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Program. But you don’t have to own an actual Kindle to read it. All you need is an iPhone, iPad or android or any other device that is compatible with the Kindle app. The app is free, so if you don’t have it, go download it now.

Before you cough up the $2.99 to read my story, I thought I’d give you a little description of what to expect.

My story is:


Better than 50 Shades of Gray.

My story is not:


Porn. (Sorry.)

And you can enjoy it for less than the cost of a tall latte at Starbucks, 1/7 the cost of a one-class pass at Biker Barre, and 1/166 the cost of these dream shoes by Bettye Muller at SimplySoles.

I feel a little dazed now that the big day is here and my story is out there for the world to read. Chalk it up the late night (it was 1:30am by the time I finally hit all the right buttons to send my story to Amazon) or the typical feeling of quiet exhaustion after you have fulfilled a huge personal challenge. I’m sure I will be more emotional later, once the realization sinks in that I just bared a significant part of my soul to you all. While I do hope you like it, I did this for me. As it turns out, proving to myself that I could publish a story was the best gift I ever gave myself.

And now I’m going to stop before I do open the emotional floodgates.

May you enjoy reading My Night with George Clooney as much as I enjoyed writing it.

getting closer

I’m working hard. I promise. I thought I had a final product yesterday. I was so sure I was done that I registered my short story with the Copyright Office. But then when I took on the project of formatting my story to Amazon’s recommended specs (a task I could not have done without the technical and emotional support of DC Celine) I started making tweaks here and there.

Out of Thursday’s Day of Irrational Tears I have salvaged an energy and motivation whose roots I don’t understand. But I’m going with it. I spent all day Friday on my story (I mean, working from home) and even after midnight, with Nancy and her Belmonsters sleeping over (thanks, George, for helping with bedtime) I snuck in some edits on chapter two.

Today, two soccer games and an Oktoberfest party will keep me mostly away from the computer, but my mind is racing, my heart is pounding and I’m ready to embrace the fear I feel at publishing something for the world to see.

Frankly, I’m just ready for you to read it.

George Clooney meets the family

Tuesday night, after “Flat George” kindly poured me a glass of wine, I placed him safely in Jack’s room and shut the door. After all, the kids were with their dad and my cats like to eat cardboard. My intention had been to move him to my room in the morning before I left for work. But I was running late and forgot.

I also forgot to warn the boys, who beat me home.

When I called to tell them I was on my way, Jack was frantic.

Jack: Mom, who is that creepy guy in my room?

Me: That’s no creepy guy! That’s George Clooney!

Jack: Well, I don’t want him in my house so I punched him and threw him in the basement.

Jack punched George Clooney and threw him down a flight of stairs? I hit the gas a little harder and rushed home to assess the damage to my poor George. Per my phone instructions, Jack had rescued George from the basement and secured him in my room. When I got home, I took the stairs two-at-a-time to my bedroom. And what did I find? Right where George’s cardboard heart should be was a hole.

It looked like a gunshot wound.

I didn’t cry. But I was angry. I talked to Jack about respecting other people’s property. I explained that he’d have to replace it. I cringed a little as I told him what George had cost. (Remember I did the Amazon equivalent of drunk dialing when I ordered him.) Jack grew somber. He apologized. He bowed his head and went to his room. He came back to where I was trying to figure out a way to salvage George and put a $50 bill on my bed.

Jack: There’s half of what I owe you, Mom.

When he turned around to walk away, I knew I wasn’t going to take his money or buy a new George. After all, we’re all a little damaged in the heart, no?

As Jack and Colin headed to art class, I took on my own little craft project. George just needed a patch on his broken heart. (If only it were that easy for those not made of cardboard, but I’m happy to affix red paper hearts to anyone who needs one.)

Later, I walked to pick up the boys from art class. We enjoyed a nice walk home on a perfect fall evening. I reiterated the importance of being respectful of other people’s personal belongings. Jack apologized again. I explained to Jack that I had saved George and that he could keep his $50.

When we got home, I more formally introduced the boys to George.

Colin: He’s a movie star? I haven’t seen him in any movies. What has he been in? Did you really meet him? Why isn’t he smiling?

Jack: How long is he going to stay here?

If I got 20 questions for bringing a cardboard man home, I can’t imagine what it will be like someday if I bring home the real deal.

There is no photographic evidence of this meeting because Jack refuses to be in the same room with George Clooney. 

WTF, Anthropologie?

I decided to take a moment to step away from George Clooney. And this is what I found:

photo credit: Polyvore


I was browsing the Anthropologie website because my friend Erika had commented on these “vintage” Levi’s overalls on Facebook, and I had to see them for myself. First of all, unless you are a farmer, don’t wear overalls. But if you must, please don’t spend $350 on them.

After I had my eye roll, I kept looking. What else would I find that bordered on the ridiculous?

It only took a few more clicks to find the Abigail Shoulder Cape, which appears to be nothing but a bunch of yarn braided together. It would be unkind to say it resembles something a grandmother would make. There are way prettier scarves (I refuse to call it a cape) at a lower price point, not to mention that according to one reviewer, it sheds. Everywhere.  No one wants to carry a lint-roller in her purse.

But really, the dress that stopped me in my tracks is the Asra Tulle Midi Dress for $800. Now, I know the description indicates it’s one of a kind. I say thank god to that. I’m sure you can find a much better dress for your $800. Without flowers my kids could make in art class pasted all over it.

There you go. That was my pre-debate fun for the evening. Now I will wait for the candidates to emerge and the answer to the question that has plagued me all day to be answered: will either Obama or Romney dare to opt for a tie that isn’t blue or red?

countdown to Clooney

GC photo credit here:
If Walter Mitty had internet access, he’d be as crazy as I am.

I’ve been promising it for months now. It turns out that publishing my short story is almost as emotional as giving birth, but scarier since the latter was done in private but this story will be available for the whole world to read. Not that the whole world wants to read it, though that would be nice. (After all, it’s better written than the 50 Shades series.)

As I mentally prepare to take this step, what am I doing to prepare for the big day? Like every good Type A person, I have a list:

10. Waiting for my George Clooney cardboard cutout to be delivered. (So much better than a poster.)

9. Editing and re-editing. (I know I need to stop.)

8. Watching my favorite George Clooney movies. (Out of Sight and One Fine Day provide perfect eye candy and background noise.)

7. Imagining what will happen if this story goes viral. (Otherwise known as the fantasy where I meet George Clooney on the Daily Show.)

6. Imagining what I will do if this story doesn’t go viral. (Would it mark the end of my short-lived writing career?)

5. Planning what I’d wear if I knew I was going to meet George Clooney. (Sort of pointless since I’m sure I’d go shopping.)

4. Working on the sequel. (I’m half way done already, so you won’t have to wait long to see where the story goes next.)

3. Working on a full length novel. (Because what better way to procrastinate the task at hand than to start a new project?)

2. Dreaming of becoming a screenwriter. (Could this be my true calling?)

And the number one thing I’m doing in anticipation of release day is planning the party where I’m going to invite you all to come celebrate with me, guilt you into paying the 99 cents I’m going to charge for it on Amazon, and since there isn’t a way to sign an e-book, let you pose for a picture with my cutout Clooney.

I promise, no paparazzi will be there.

day three: manic Monday

I made it. It’s day three of the juice cleanse. I could quit now and have fulfilled my goal.

But I want to go on and complete a five-day regiment.

I’m addicted to my juices. I think about them second only to how much I think about shoes. Well, maybe third to how much I think about shoes and George Clooney.

I expected today to be a challenge because I had to venture outside the comfort zone of my house, where I knew I wouldn’t encounter temptation because the Executive Chef (i.e. me) wasn’t making anything noteworthy. However, while the smell of coffee at the office was divine, it didn’t send me over the edge. I toted three juices to work with me (green, spicy lemonade and a delicious cucumber-grapes-pears-ginger combo). I was strategically out during the lunch hour so I don’t know what my colleagues ate. What I miss most about solid food is definitely the social aspect. It would have been nice to have lunch today with my friend Beth (though she was very understanding and we rescheduled to “snack” next week). I’m without the kids this week and it would be fun to go out to dinner and have a glass (or two) of wine. By Thursday, I can. And I plan to do just that.

I’m a competitive spirit but only recently has this bug afflicted me in a goal-setting sort of way. When I was contemplating whether to hang up my juicer tonight, I thought, “why register for the 10K when there’s a half marathon?” So after work I went to spin, back to the grocery store for more produce and came  home to make two more days worth of juices.

Now, at the end of my day, I’m enjoying my hard-earned cashew milk.

I hardly know who I am!

on george clooney

If it were socially acceptable for me to have a poster of George Clooney in my bedroom, I totally would.

It’s fair to say I think about him often. Maybe even everyday. I mean, not in a scary stalker sort of way. I don’t want to marry him. After all, I know he isn’t the marrying type. But if he met me, wouldn’t he be so charmed by my wit that he would want to whisk me off to Lake Como for a weekend? That’s all I’m looking for from him. No pressure.

And here’s how a modern (and female) Walter Mitty contemplates potentially meeting him. When I fly, I dream this is the time he’ll be stuck in coach, sitting next to me, of course. We strike up conversation while stuck on the tarmac for 5 hours, thus later when we are in the air and hit massive turbulence, he already knows I have a mild fear of flying and holds my hand to comfort me. Or when I’m eating out, I imagine he’s there rubbing shoulders with some of DC’s political elite. After dinner, he comes to the bar where I’m drinking a glass of sparkling and engages me in a conversation about climate change. Sparks fly. In some fantasies he’s testifying on the Hill and manages to escape a throng of admirers and reporters by jumping into an elevator that I happen to be in. We get stuck, of course. By the time the maintenance crew frees us, he’s asked for my phone number.

Sadly, the one time I literally crossed his path, I didn’t know until after the fact. In March when he was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy, I happened to drive by the scene. I saw the protesters, who held up traffic such that I feared being late for my appointment. But I never for one minute imagined George Clooney would be among the crowd. If I had given it any thought, I would have parked my car, scribbled a sign out of some of the kids’ art materials that litter the back of my car and joined the cause. (Except for the going to jail part.)

Anyway, it’s these Clooney-dominated thoughts that inspired me to write my short story.

Yes, the short story. The one I’ve alluded to a number of times now. The one that diverts my creative energy away from the blog. If you haven’t guessed by now, my story features the dreamy Mr. Clooney. I’m about to take a leap and place my story in the hands of an editor. On the top of my to do list is to read the fine print in the Terms of Service for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. Oh, and I have more than half of the sequel already in the works.

If my story is a wild success, I just might follow in my dad’s footsteps and score an invite to be on the Daily Show. Of course, Jon Stewart will secretly arrange for George Clooney to make a guest appearance while I’m there. After taping, George (“may I call you George?”) asks me to take a walk through Central Park, and enjoys my company so much, we make plans for dinner. In Paris.

Maybe it would be healthier to indulge in that poster after all.