Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Diary: Back to Work, NYC, WIPs and The Oscars

Ahhhh, what's that I hear? The sound of silence? Well, not entirely... The kids are back to school after 10 days off, but Brandy and Louie are having their first morning wrestle and the guy is here to take the doors off the rooms in my house. The doors are the final frontier in the recent home renovation project. For nearly 10 years, we've lived in a house that has all different doors on all different rooms. I scratch my head wondering when that was ever in style. Umm, never? We've been saying we were going to do this job for ages and now, it's ON. So one final week (I hope) of disruption in the house before things really get back to normal.

Over the vacation, I took my kids to NYC for a few days. (Photo to the left was taken at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The building under construction to the right of the Empire State Building is the new World Trade Center tower.) We got very lucky with balmy weather that made walking around the city much more pleasant than it would normally be this time of year. The kids ice skated at Rockefeller Plaza, we went to the top of 30 Rock and my daughter got to see Jimmy Fallon practice his monologue. Funny story about the monologue... They were giving away tickets in the NBC Experience store, so we grabbed three and of course never looked at them. When Emily heard she was going to meet Jimmy Fallon (one of her favorite comedians), she had to go back to the hotel to shower and change. I thought that was really cute. She was like a giddy little kid, and I haven't seen her like that in a long time. We get back to NBC and we're told by a self-important security guard that Jake can't go in because he isn't 17. "Well," he mutters under his breath, "she isn't either." Okay, shut up now, please! Emily has always looked much older than she is, even though she won't be 17 until July. No one would argue if you said she was 20 or older. Jake, on the other hand, won't look 17 when he IS 17.

What was funny about the whole incident was that he was far more indignant about the crack to his age than he was about not getting to see Jimmy Fallon. So here I am in NYC with a major dilemma: do I let my kid go off by herself to see one of her favorite comedians or do we scuttle the whole thing? She was very good about it and said if Jake can't go in, I won't go either. Another mom standing in line with her two girls spoke up and offered to take Emily with them. She needed two more tickets to get her group in, so we gave her our tickets and she took custody of Emily, which was very comforting. I did tell her, "If you steal her, you deserve her, and she's VERY expensive to have around." The other mom, who was there with two teenage girls of her own, thought that was funny. I think she can relate! Of course it all worked out fine, and Emily actually exchanged words with Jimmy Fallon, which is the highlight of her life thus far. The other mom waited with her until we were reunited which was really great of her. While Emily was in the show, Jake said he would've been really bummed if she'd had to miss it because of him. There's hope for him yet, but he did tell me he "needed" a Coke to get him past the disappointment. Such an operator! One of my friends pointed out that letting Emily go off by herself in NYC was a good "dry run" for 18 months from now when I might be leaving her there for college. Sniff... I don't like to think about that!

Speaking of college, while we were in NYC, we toured NYU for Emily. I can sooooo see her there. Sigh... It's four hours by car from here, but a quick one-hour flight. She would have some amazing opportunities as an NYU student. Now we'll have to see about getting her in. I think it's great that she is seeing these schools now and realizing what she needs to do grade-wise for the rest of her junior year to make it happen. We also went to see the 911 Memorial. After living through that searing day, I wasn't all that keen on going to the memorial, but both kids really wanted to see it. In the end, I was glad I went. I think the memorial is beautiful and fitting and so incredibly sad. Have you seen the memorial? If so, what did you think? If not, would you want to?

Not much work got done while we were in NY, but over the weekend I wrote the first two chapters of McCarthy book 6, Season for Love. I needed to get the first chapter done so I can include it in the back of Hoping for Love. Season will feature Owen and Laura with snippets of stories for all the earlier couples as winter sets in on Gansett. It will show our island friends over the holidays with a wedding thrown in and possibly an engagement. Book 5, Hoping for Love, is off to the proofreader for a last look before it goes live in March. This week, I'll also be showing off the cover of Hoping for Love at the McCarthys of Gansett Island Reader Group on Facebook, so make sure you join the group for the first look at Evan and Grace's cover and to be the first to hear the release date.

This week, I'm back to work on Fatal Attack. Time to kick that book into high gear! I've also been chipping away at Duchess by Deception in my "spare" time. If you're keeping score at home, yes, that's three books currently in various stages in three different genres: contemporary, romantic suspense and historical. And you wonder why I worry about my head exploding?!

Finally, what did you think of the Oscars? I thought the show itself was a major SNORE. I hate all the stupid "bits" and the acrobats and other junk that sucks up time I'd rather see given to the winners so they aren't played off five seconds after they get on stage. Billy Crystal was just okay, in my opinion. Robert Downey Jr. was hilarious and should be next year's host. I was disappointed that my fellow Rhode Island native Viola Davis didn't win, but I love Meryl Streep, and as always, she was classy and perfect. (LOVED Collin Firth's Mama Mia comments. I don't know about you, but I could listen to him read the phone book. He's adorable!) I loved Meryl's dress, too. Normally, she's somewhat of a fashion disaster, but last night, she was spot on. Angelina, please keep your leg in your dress. We really don't care. I swear. Brad, love that you're sporting "The Rachel" these days. Nice tip of the hat to Jenn. The only nominated movie I saw was "The Descendants." I had soooo many issues with that movie and the plot (they're going to hunt down the mother's lover while she is DYING in the hospital? Really?), but I had no issue with two hours of George Clooney on the screen. Dreamy. I was thrilled to see Christopher Plummer win as well as Octavia Spencer. I'm looking forward to seeing "The Help." What did you think of the Oscars? Have you seen any of the movies? Which one is must-see?

Happy Monday!


Bex said...

I'm so glad you guys had a great time in New York! Can't wait to hear all about it. And another thing I can't wait for -- the cover for Hoping for Love!! I look forward to the reveal this week.

Judy L. from Raleigh NC said...

Dang, Marie! You're the most prolific writer I've ever known....and all to my benefit. Thanks. Looking forward to Hoping AND Season. In fact, I am SO into Gansett Island I wanted to propose you lead a weekend tour of "Gansett" sometime for your core fans.

Yes, I would go to the 9/11 memorial if I had the opportunity. I imagine it would be much like when I visited The Wall. I was totally blindsided by the emotion it evoked in me. I only knew one name on it, but it brought me to my knees...there are 58,000 of them there vs. 3,000 on the 9/11.

I watched only the red carpet and first hour of awards. Saw none of the movies. Several of the dresses were breathtaking. My fave was auburn-haired Jessica Chastain from The Help. That hair with the dress and understated earrings blew me away. I also liked Octavia and Viola's dresses. I'm a FB fan of Hines Ward who worked the red carpet for NFL TV and he raved about Viola's green. FYI, you can have George. I broke up with him last year after seeing The Patriot which in my opinion was simple gratuitous Clooney adoration. Blech. However, I will listen to Colin Firth read the phone book along with you. Back to work.

Janet Watros said...

NYC sounds like a good time. Your son sounds adorable. I would like to see the 9/11 Memorial some day.
Looking forward to all your books, you amaze me, I can't imagine writing 3 different books in 3 different genres with all the different characters, etc. I can barely remember my own name at times. Didn't watch any of the Oscars but I did see The Help, after reading the book and I loved both. I would suggest reading the book before seeing the movie. Looking forward to all your books. Thanks, Janet W

Marie Force said...

Thanks for the excitement about Hoping for Love! So glad you're looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to Saturday! :-)

You know, it's funny, but I was just telling my kids that I need to organize a reader weekend in Newport and Block Island so you all can see the places that inspire me. It's definitely on my mind! Thank you for your excitement about the Gansett series. So glad you're enjoying it. I agree about the memorial, and the Wall, which was so overwhelming. Haven't seen The Patriot, but I remain a fan of George's. I thought the Descendants was a mess of a movie, but he was very good in it.

Somehow I manage to keep all the book details straight, but I forget to pay the cable bill. That's where I fall apart! Not sure if I will get around to reading The Help. I imagine I'll see the movie first.

Anonymous said...

We took our high school choir to NYC in May 2001 and toured the twin towers then. We were all devastated the following September. It would have to be one of the first places I would go and see when I return. Since it's been over 10 years, I think I am due a return trip to one of my favorite cities!

The Oscars were rather boring, but of course I stayed to the bitter end watching. I loved Meryl's speech too, but like you I had hoped Viola would win. None of the dresses made my heart stop - although George's tux almost did.

The book, The Help, is wonderful. I always say the book is better than the movie, but our reading group all agreed that this movie was almost as good as the book! You must read the book - it is so insightful to a sad time in the history of our country, that many of us remember.

So excited about books 5 and 6. And even more excited that Fatal Attack is coming right along. I can never have too much Nick and Sam!

Karen Lawson

Melissa B said...

Glad you had a wonderful trip! 18 months seems like a llloooonnnggg time for your readers, but not nearly as much for you, the mom. I remember how hard it was to leave home that first time for college; Mom and I had a wonderful relationship before, but that time only brought us closer! I wish the same for you and Emily!!

I thought Billy Crystal's bit about reading Morgan Freeman's was humorous, but it wasn't on the same level as his "Jack Palance just bungee jumped off the Hollywood sign" joke from years ago. Note to Angelina: sticking your leg out didn't make me like you any more, I just heard echoes of Madonna's "Vogue".

I already have my front row seat tickets for the phone book reading! I'll save some seats for everyone!

Melissa B said...

I meant to type "reading Morgan Freeman's mind"

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome home, Marie!
Glad you and the kiddos had fun in NYC.

I've seen The Help and LOVED IT! You will too. I was sooo glad Octavia Spencer won. She was SUPERB in her role.


Dru said...

I've been to the 911 Memorial and it is so surreal. Did you see the pear tree? The history of i, is amazing. I'm glad you enjoyed your weekend in NYC.

I had more fun talking about the Oscars on FB than watching it. What was up with Angelina?

I couldn't believe it when they said this was the first Oscar for Christopher Plummer.

Marie Force said...

I hope you're right about college bringing us closer. I'll miss her terribly here at home. We hang out together a lot and that's what I'll miss. Sniff... I have no doubt that we'll always be close. I'm looking forward to her being an adult so I can stop being the parent and start being the friend. :-)

Aunty Cindy,
I know I'll love The Help! I'm looking forward to seeing it!

I didn't see the peach tree, unfortunately. It was raining when we were there so we didn't linger too long. Angelina is an attention hog. I don't think much of her.

Marie Force said...

Ooooh, Karen, I missed your comment! You definitely need to get back to NYC. The 911 memorial was amazing. I was really glad I saw it. I loved the stark simplicity of it.

I agree that I could watch George in a tux and never get tired of it! I'm reallllly looking forward to seeing The Help. I'll report back after! :-)