Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Was Lost

I realize that I should acknowledge yesterday's huge drop in the stock market, but this morning, I was reminded of a loss of a different kind, one that hits me where I live each morning, one that can have me moaning any day, any time, and that is the loss of clothes. Particularly clothes that I have given away. When I was out this morning, I saw a woman wearing a great little black jacket. Kind of a boxy-cut, but still body conscious, small shirt collar, and great little pockets with dear grosgrain trim, but not precious. Very subtle, pseudo-Chanel. And I suddenly remembered (though how could I ever forget?) a very similar navy blue jacket from the 30's that I found in a thrift store in LA years and years ago. Where did it go? What impelled me to give that one away?? And it's not like it can be replaced. Living here in Westchester, I can't even go to a thrift store to nab some other great find to somehow salve this pain. Okay, yes, I can drive 20 minutes south and hit one in the City, but not really. Not an LA thrift store which really, to be honest, is the best kind of thrift store there is. Think about it. All the studios are there. All artifice is there. So the turn-over for wardrobe is insane, and where does the glut go?? To those stores. I miss them. And I miss a lot of clothes that I literally lie awake at night thinking about. Not a lot, usually only when my 21 month old wakes me up, and then he goes back down very quickly, but then I need to get back to sleep, and can't, so my mind wonders, and sometimes I think about lost clothes, which on one hand, in the realms of regret, is not so bad, considering what it could be, except when I'm getting dressed the next morning. So, I've decide to make a list of my most missed clothes. At least, if I can't wear them anymore, they can be immortalized.
1. aforementioned jacket. still in shock that I let that one go.
2. a Yohji Yamamoto black silk sweater. it was huge, and was like wearing water; it literally flowed all over me. it was heaven. I didn't buy it; a friend of mine in LA who was an oil heiress from New Orleans (her father used to go to Beirut when it was still the Paris of the Mid-East) gave it me. so wish I could wear that one now.
3. speaking of Paris, when I was there years ago, I found a wonderful little store in the Marais that had tons and tons of black leather coats. Not jackets, but coats. Those perfectly cut, very straight, very simple, and very fabulous black leather coats. I had one at home, so I bought ones for two friends (yes, the dollar was better then). I even had to buy a suitcase to get them home. both of my friends loved them - who wouldn't? - but then promptly, within a year, they both stopped being my friend. Okay, let's be honest, part of me did kind of feel like the guy who doesn't get the ring back after the engagement is cut off. These weren't candles or Splendid T-Shirts, for God sakes, they were black leather coats. Okay, whatever. I hope they are wearing them in good health, as my mother-in-law would say.
4. a great pair of tobacco colored khaki pants. Not that light sandy color everyone is making these day, this was that wonderful darker khaki color that I can't find anywhere anymore. What happened to that dye?? I just found a pair like them for my 4 year old son, and did have an insane moment of wondering how many I'd have to buy to cut up and take the pieces to my tailor to see if she could make a pair out of it for me. But I resisted. I love that color. nothing looks better with heathered gray.
5. here's a tough one: a beautiful gold pin that my mother gave me. this one was lost. I never would have parted with it. It was sort of a like a cross, but also with some fleur de lis thrown in, so it hit home for me on both counts. You could wear it tilted, so it was like some beautiful "X", very Paloma for Tiffany's kind of thing. Or it could be worn straight up, so it was like a cross, but since the sides were all even, not really. A private cross. I loved that pin. And I'm not a pin person. But this one was perfect. V bummed about that one.
If you see any of these anywhere, will you please let me know??

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Judging a Book By Its Cover

One of my favorite experiences with my new novel, The Safety of Secrets, was the making of the cover. My editor, Carrie Feron, called me one afternoon and suggested that we use her daughter and HarperCollins colleague Debbie Stier's daughter for the photo. "Their ages are perfect for the girls during the flashbacks in the book," she said. "And I think it would be more interesting than having another book with grown women on the cover." I knew immediately that her idea was perfect. It was made even more so by the fact that my husband, Dan Fried, owns H & H Photographers, so I knew where we could get a great photographer!

The girls did an incredible job. Check out the photo album from the shoot, and the video that we shot during it. Aren't they amazing? They added such a beautiful layer to the novel, first as cover girls, but also in the connection that they have. Just looking at the picture brings back exactly what it felt like to be able to tell my best friend anything. And at every one of my signings, women always ask me about the picture because they are so drawn in by it. Shooting this cover was like doing a wonderful little silent play about the book - it captures the book's essence so completely.

And then last week, we got the fun news that the cover won a Silver Create Award. I'm honored and thrilled that these girls added such beauty and truth to the book. Here's to them!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Inner Hermit Crab

Okay, be forewarned, this is about the hermit crab again. But I promise this will be the last posting about it for a long while. I hope. Are you relieved that our new pet is as sans personality as this one?? I am terrified to think how much I'd be writing about a cat. It's not like the crab does anything interesting. But I did promise a photo and I found that cord I needed to get the pics from my camera, so there they are. Okay, its cage is not as sad looking as it seems. I think it is happy, in a crabby sort of way. He's eating in these pictures; you just can't tell. I figured I could have taken him out of the cage, and gotten a good action shot, but I was afraid - okay, knew - that I would drop him, and then his shell might crack, and he would die of exposure. Or he would crawl on me, and I wasn't sure which would be worse, so those are the best I could get. Anyway. He really is a hermit. Then he'll have these periods of being out of his shell and seemingly never wanting to go back in. But then he does. I am finding him to be (I keep defaulting into the male pronoun for him. I could get all Freudian about that, but I won't) very helpful around nap and bed-time for my 20 month old. I am pretty much always able to tell my son that "woman man whatever it is momma daddy crab" is asleep and my son has to believe me because who can tell?? Though I keep waiting for the day when the damn thing pops its head out of its shell and yells, "No, I'm not!!" But it probably knows its future would be at stake if it did. So, that remains a ridiculous fantasy. I did take a page from its book, so to speak, today by not answering my phone. Mostly. Not that I always answer my phone. Frankly, I very rarely want to answer my phone. And a lot of the time, when the phone rings, I can't help but think of that old Dorothy Parker line, "What fresh hell is this?" Not that it ever really is. Usually, mostly, pretty much always, it is someone I am happy to talk to, so why I continue to have that reaction, I will never know. My sister-in-law, who is a urologist (and a great one if you are ever in need and in the NY area), has on her cell phone what I consider to be the best outgoing message. She gives the usual info, then concludes with, "If this is a true emergency, dial 911." I so want to say that on my cell phone. Doesn't that just take care of so much?? Talk about boundaries. Before I was married and had children and I was still living in LA, I used to give myself my own little hermit crab time and turn off my cell phone, leave my apartment, and drive up the PCH to Ventura, a good 45 minutes to an hour north. I loved being completely out of reach. Not that the hordes were trying to find me, but still. It was like I was in another state. The best times doing that were going home, and not even listening to the answering machine. Or really, not even checking to see if or how many messages there were, just going to sleep, and maybe not even checking them for awhile after I woke up. One night when I did that, I drove up to Ventura, then was back in LA, but still didn't want to go home, so I went to a movie theater in Westwood and got there just in time to see The Big Lebowski. I love that movie.
Maude Lebowski: What do you do for recreation? The Dude: Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.
Blond Treehorn Thug: [holding up a bowling ball] What the fuck is this?
The Dude: Obviously you're not a golfer.
My husband and I watched it again a few weeks ago with some friends when we were at the beach. Seeing The Dude constantly holding a White Russian in his hand reminded me a bit of the iced decafs I've been living on all summer. Not that there's vodka in them. Or that I'm bowling. Or having any hermit crab time of my own. But I'm not really wanting it anymore.
Except when the phone rings.