Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nano Wrimo

Nano Wrimo? National Novel Writing Month. For all you would-be, could-be, oh so wanna'-be writers this is the site and the month for you! Your mission...should you choose to accept it? Write 50,000 words in the month of November. And you won't be alone. Oh no, no, no last year 72,000 writers around the world participated. Nano Wrimo begins November 1 and ends November 30th. Nothing spurs the creative mind more than being give the permission to write...uh...doody.. and not feel bad about it. And when you are cranking out 1,665 words a are definitely going to get some heavy duty doody. BUT that's what editing is for. That's why we re-write, and re-write and re-write and RE-WRITE! To turn those doody covered gems into beautiful polished stones...that sparkle. But Nano Wrimo isn't about the polishing, the shining...oh no Nano Wrimo is about turning off the critic in your head and making progress! Getting that first...oh so doody heavy draft on paper. Because you can NOT edit a blank page. But you can edit 50,000 words into a wonderful masterpiece. So come know you wanna'.

xo Maggie

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hello England!

Wow! So today is another big day! Today is the launch of Hollywood Girls Club in the UK. And I must say I love, love LOVE..the cover!

The brilliant Masaki Ryo designed the cover. Masaki Ryo's beautiful artwork is now also available as stationary and cards...just stunning work and, in my opinion, so perfect for Hollywood Girls Club. Thank you to my UK publisher, Arrow, who did a phenomenal job on the cover.

I must say, I'm a bit nervous about today. I mean...Bridget Jones Diary was the original Women's Fiction/Chick Lit book and England is the birth place of the ENTIRE genre (can you say Jane Austen). The British readers have excellent taste and are quite discerning. Why not with authors such as Helen Fielding, Jane Green, Marian Keyes...just to name three.

So little old American me hopes that the Brits do in fact love The Ladies of Hollywood Girls Club just as much as everyone in America loves them. Can't wait to hear what UK readers think!

xo Maggie

Monday, October 15, 2007

Top Ten EASY Environmental Changes

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Hello! Today is Blog Action Day over 10,000 bloggers reaching an estimated 7 million people have pledged to write about the URGENCY of the Global Environmental Crisis. So, I'll leave you to ponder the negatives somewhere else...because I want to be part of the SOLUTION! I've come up with Ten EASY ways to make a positive impact on the environment, because I that I have kids...I am all about the easy!

Shall we! Let's do it in countdown; David Letterman style.

10. Take a canvas or duffle bag to the grocery store. I'm Not A Plastic Bag created quite a fashion craze here in LA but ANY bag will do. Book bag, duffle bag, laundry bag... Those plastic bags you use at the grocery store take 7 gallons of Petroleum to produce...YEP 7! For Each Bag! So help Gaia...reuse a bag.

9. Do your laundry in cold water. When you think about it most our laundry is done in cold water, and unless you have a stain...which you will pre-rinse anyway...use the COLD! Not only does this help the earth BUT it also cuts down on your energy bill.

8. Use Environmentally Low Impact Light Bulbs...Most people have heard about all the benefits by now...yes they cost more but you get thousands of hours of light compared to the meager hundreds by the old fashioned light bulb. The bulbs are available on line or at almost all home improvement stores: Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, Osh. The bulbs use less electricity too so once again cutting down on your energy costs and helping Gaia at the same time!

7. Use powerstrips.

Some of the biggest energy wasters in most homes are the adapters that come with rechargeable battery-powered cordless phones, cell phones, digital cameras and music players, power tools, and other electronic devices. Most draw power whenever they’re plugged into an outlet, regardless of whether the device battery is fully charged—or even connected. Other culprits include appliances or electronic equipment with standby capability (such as televisions and computer monitors), a remote control, and/or a digital clock display (such as microwaves, DVD players, and stereo systems).

Energy vampires suck up over 65 BILLION Kilowatt hours each year in America, while NOT IN USE. That's right, while you are sleeping, at work, gardening...or doing anything other than watching television these little communication/entertainment darlings are using that you are paying for! So before you go to bed, flip off the new powerstrip behind your tv shutting down the energy suckers: cable box, vcr, dvd player, and television thus saving you $$.

6. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Supplies
Go for the Eco Friendly! Most big supermarket chains now carry eco-friendly alternatives to the planet polluting Ajax and Bleach. My favorite for scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom is Mrs. Meyer's Lavendar Cleaning Supplies

Seventh Generation is available in most groceries stores. Also Whole Foods has an excellent selection of pro-environment cleaning supplies. If you live in a community with a grocery store that doesn't offer these products....then ask the store manager! Stores want to provide their shoppers with the merchandise shoppers want. If the store believes the products will sell, then you can bet they'll start stocking the products.

5. Check and Change your Air Conditioner and Furnace Filter. Check these filters once a month, not only does this save energy but it also helps the air quality in your home.

4. Monitor your thermostat. In the summers our air-conditioner it set on 78, and we don't turn on the air unless the thermostat in the house reads 84. In the winter...which lucky for us we don't experience much of...we keep our thermostat set on 60....Save the Earth, put on a

3. No Bottled Water! Much like 10 (see above) don't use paper plates every time you eat a meal so why use a plastic water bottle every time you get thirsty? Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up!

2. RECYCLE! This is one of the biggest ways to help the environment! Don't throw out your aluminum, glass, plastic, and newspapers. Store them in the garage or get a box or bin and then drop them off. We are lucky here, that our city has a recycling program and our stuff gets picked up once a week...but almost every city has at the very least a drop off place for recyclables.

1. Talk About Change Start a discussion with friends, family members, class mates, colleagues, and local leaders about the environment. Discuss the changes you are making and tell them why. If your city or town doesn't have a recycling program, call the mayor or your councilwom an. If your grocery store doesn't carry organic fruits and vegetables and eco-friendly products ask why...tell the manager you'd like to see them in the store.

Step up and help to be a positive force for change. Become part of the Solution!

Blessings to Gaia!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Hey guys! Monday is Blog Action Day for the environment. So if you are a blogger, or just a resident of Planet Earth...make some noise. You can participate in Blog Action Day. Doesn't matter what school you went to, what country you live in, what religion you are or aren't our planet is in it's time to yell loud enough that our leaders hear us...or get new leaders.

More on Monday.


Blessing to Gaia

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize

Okay, so I will begin this blog with the admission that perhaps I am biased, as yes I am a Democrat...some (like my father) would say rabid, I prefer enthusiastic. But, can everyone finally admit that a terrible, horrible, most deadly mistake was made in 2000? Hello! Wake up and smell the carbon dioxide polluting the ozone as well as the gun powder! Al Gore just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now, surely Al must have that tremendous feeling of redemption, like the kid that gets kicked to the curb in High School by the Prom Queen only to become the next Bill Gates. Because even though I still believe the election was stolen by Jeb Bush and his minions in Florida and that Scalia destroyed his legacy by going against his own personal dogma of a strict interpretation of the US Constitution and became a flat out Constructionist in the most important Supreme Court Opinion of his long long long (oh way too long) tenure on the Court. Al, has gone on and become THE GUY! The guy who takes a defeat and instead of wandering of f into obscurity and licking his wounds, rises, like a Phoenix and does MORE to try and save the world than he ever could in the swamplike quagmire (yes I know it's redundant but I want EMPHASIS darn it) that is Washington D.C. and the US Government.

So way to go Al! Oh...and did I mention? The 1.5 million that he receives for his win...he's donating it to The Alliance for Climate Protection...because he's just that good.

And the other know the one in office, the one who lied about Iraq, the one who VETOED healthcare for impoverished children he's still in office and he still thinks he's winning the war...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Book Award

So what is one of THE GREATEST things that can happen to an author? Hmmm? The National Book Award! It's kinda like being nominated for an Oscar, or an Emmy, or a Golden Globe, or a Pulitzer...or any other prestigious change your life sorta awards.

And how BLESSED am I to actually know and email with one of the nominees this year! Extremely blessed. And the book? So so so good! The author and this book very much, in my humble opinion, deserve this recognition.

Sara Zarr and STORY OF A GIRL ! If you haven't read this book; GO NOW! Library or bookstore, pick up a copy and read!

Congratulations to all the National Book Award finalists!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy

So I need to congratulate my good friend Ally Carter about the publication of her newest book; Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy.

Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy is super-fantastic! For everyone of my readers, their children included, Ally's books are clean and female empowering. A MUST READ for adolescent and pre-adolescent girls. Oh...and did I mention the first book in the Gallagher Girl Series, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You has been optioned for film! Yeah, that's right...MOVIE. The script...uhm...finished. Sooo hurry up and read BOTH books before the movie gets made.