I'm Just Saying…

October 5, 2015

What I did on my Fall (Book Research) Vacation

I just came back from a vacation in Burlington, Vermont. I like Vermont. I’ve been there before. That’s one of the reasons I chose to use it for some scene settings for The Fixer series. I took day trips, finding places that will be useful for the books. For example, I visited a museum, and a farm. I saw sheep and goats and baby cows at the farm. I didn’t pet them, of course, because, you know, yuck. I think I’ve said all I need to. I took a boat ride, too.

Yes, my vacation/book research trip was a time to recharge the creative juices and come up with new ideas. I found it to be a pleasant, non-stressful, and relaxing experience.

Until my cell phone died.

No, I don’t mean the battery died and I needed to recharge the phone.

I mean, the cell phone died.

Think Monty Python and the Dead Parrot sketch. The cell phone was no more. It had ceased to be.

Shit.

There was a lot of this:

 

giphy

But, (and I want points for this), not this:

 

peter-finch-als-howard-beale

And definitely not this:

 

Okay, there was some of that but it was on the INSIDE.

Let me admit it now: I am not a technologically savvy person. At all. I use a computer because no one makes word processors anymore. I grew up with twelve channels on television, phone booths, and vinyl records. Vinyl. Does anyone remember vinyl????

Having said that…

While I don’t use 90% of what a cell phone can do, I am attached to my cell phone. I may not Instagram or Snapchat, but I do text, tweet, and Facebook post. I check my email, I take pictures AND text those pictures. I’m connected. My phone is never far from me, always within reach.

So, I’m in my hotel room when my phone wants to do a software update. My phone does what it wants without consulting me. I don’t like that.

So it updates.

And then everything goes to shit. How do I know something is wrong?

Because it keeps restarting itself over and over again.

And then there was some of this:

lily

NOT on the inside.

I tried to be reasonable about this. I wasn’t in a far off land, in the untamed wilds. I’m in Vermont. The state is classified as civilization. They have malls. I can verify this. I’ve been in one. Loss of my cell phone will not leave me wandering aimlessly, clothing shredded, hair disheveled, begging by the side of the road for some Good Samaritan to take pity on me. A few hours earlier, I had just eaten a breakfast of hot cakes (with real Vermont syrup), two eggs scrambled dry, and a fresh fruit plate.

Clearly, this industrialized nation, first-world problem does not qualify as a call to go to DEFCON 1.

But I don’t have my phone.

Listen to me: I’m not connected. Do you understand? The lines of communication have been severed. I’m cut off, do you hear me?

Cut. Off.

Just last week, I was driving into work, listening to the DJ’s conduct an experiment: they didn’t touch or even look at their phone for an hour.

Child’s play, people. Child’s play.

Now I’m sitting in the hotel room, bereft of my phone, flipping channels on the TV. I watch Dr. Oz instructing a woman to wrap up her phone and bury it in a container of rice (don’t ask me why, I turned it on in the middle of the segment). Then he gives the woman a cup of tea to ease her emotional anxiety because she doesn’t have her phone.

Cup of tea my ass. I started drinking. A lot.

But it wasn’t just the dying of the phone that made me pop a cork. Nope. It was what came after.

I need to contact my cell phone provider. No problem. I’m prepared. I have my laptop.

And that’s when the universe starts screwing with me.

  1. The wi-fi network is moving like it’s 1999.
  2. I get to the vendor website.
  3. The website refuses to load.
  4. I tap keys.
  5. Nothing happens.
  6. I hit keys with a vigorous, yet controlled force.
  7. Still nothing.
  8. Scripts are refusing to load.
  9. Websites are not responding.
  10. WTF?????
  11. I get a pop-up message.
  12. “Your browser is out of date.”

Of course it is.

Now, it was more like this:

meltdown-gif-lol

Still on the inside.

Why? Because I’m a babypants who wants the f&%@!g laptop to work so I can get my f$%@g phone fixed.

I decide to cool off and email a few people so they know why I’ve dropped off the grid.

  1. I open my email program.
  2. I tap to create an email message.
  3. I enter the recipient’s name.
  4. I can’t type the message because I can’t see the message box to write a message and the side bar to navigate to the message box is not there. It has gone bye-bye.
  5. I can’t email.

And then we moved on to this:

arnold_o_GIFSoupcom

Still on the inside.

I finally find a phone number for my cell phone service provider. I call. The representative is very nice. She speaks half to me and half to herself about what she’s trying to do to help me. I hear things like “Let me just see something else here,” and “Let me just check one more thing…”

I calmly thank her for her assistance and wait for her to finally come back on the line and explain to me there’s nothing she can do and the phone is crapped out and done.

Which she does.

She doesn’t use the phrase “crapped out.” That was me.

I give her the zip code where I’m staying.

There is no store in the area.

Of course not.

The rep explains that since I’ve been a good customer for twenty years (yes, you read that right) and my warranty only expired last month, they will send me a replacement phone, to my hotel, fedex delivery.

I thank her.

“What about my pictures?” I ask.

“Do you have a Google account to backup….”

tangled blah blah blah

I don’t understand a word she says. I translate what she says to mean this: You’re shit out of luck and you’ve just lost everything on your phone.

Why didn’t she just say that to begin with? That I understand.

I use the hotel phone and call my friend Rebecca to tell her, “No I’m not ignoring you or your texts,” and explain my predicament.

Rebecca asks, “Did you back up all your stuff on your phone?”

I explain that the rep tried to explain the backup process to me but she probably could have put her time to better use. Doing anything else.

Rebecca asks, “Do you have a Google account?”

“I think so.”

“Then what you do is….”

elaine%20yada%20yada

“I hear you speaking,” I say, “I know there are words coming out of your mouth but they’re not making any sense to me.”

She laughs.

I deserve it.

We hang up.

I decide to load the latest Internet Explorer version and attempt to send an email.

The universe decides to stand down from screwing with me and I get that done.

There is nothing to do but wait for the phone.

Day One: I feel lost and lonely, unsettled and anxious. I don’t even know what time it is. Who owns a watch? Who needs a watch? I have a phone. Sorry. I had a phone.

Day Two: My comfort level is slowly rising. I’m off the grid. I have no idea what’s going on with Facebook or Twitter. I’m okay with that.

Day Three: I am entering a phone free nirvana of centered calm. I am re-connecting to the human race and it’s a beautiful thing.

And now I was feeling like this:

happy dance

I feel the power. I feel the FREEDOM! I, like so many others, am too connected to electronics. We spend our lives looking down at our phones instead of looking up, looking our friends and loved ones in the eye, making contact and truly engaging in real dialogue and conversation.

This could be a turning point for me, a moment of true change and transformation, a moment of –

The hotel room phone rings.

It’s the front desk calling.

“Miss Rosenblatt, we have a package here for you…”

My phone. MY PHONE!!!!

 

What was I saying?

 

 

 

June 27, 2015

How Do I Love Thee (Fictional Character)…Let Me Count The Ways

Hi Everyone,

Now that the release of The Fixer: The Naked Man is less than a month away (yay!!) this is how I’ve been feeling

most wonderful story belle gif

 

…. and I want to tell everyone! The WHOLE WORLD kind of everyone. I want everyone to read it and love it and be as excited about it as I am.  But, how do you explain to people why they should love your characters as much as you do?  I spend a lot of time thinking, musing, daydreaming, (read: obsessing) about my characters. I have definite ideas of how this series will go and what will happen to these people. I have imagined scenes for them I can’t wait to write and I hope the world turns in a way that I will get my chance to write them.

It’s a sickness. I admit it.

I hope readers will be so in love with my characters they will feel like this:

complicated relationship

 

And yet not this…

kathy bates

 

Not that… no.

I asked my friend about this problem and she answered me without hesitation: “Just tell people what you see, tell them what you want them to know.”

Fair enough. What do I want readers to know about Katerina Mills?

I want you to know that she has dreams just like we do, dreams of the things she would like to do and accomplish. She wants to finish college, she wants to go to law school, and she’s working really hard to be a success.

I want you to know that she gets caught up, like so many of us do, in situations that are not of her own making, and once she gets on that rollercoaster, she can’t get off.

I want you to know that she is many different things: brave, scared, and uncertain. Sometimes she’s forceful, sometimes timid, and sometimes all at once.

I want you to know that she has been hurt in love.

I want you to know that she makes mistakes but she tries to learn from them.

I want you to know that she cares about others before herself. She doesn’t just say it. She shows it by her actions.

I see a young woman who has to make hard choices because she doesn’t have a choice and that is where her story begins.

In my mind, Katerina Mills, looks like this:

Jennifer-Lawrence-Hairstyles-4

But when you read the story, you may imagine someone else.

 

What do I want you to know about Alexander Winter?

I want you to know that he isn’t easy to know…at first.

I want you to know that just because he has the label of “thief,” that isn’t all he is.

I see a man who needs to be helped just as much as the young woman he’s helping.

In my mind, Alexander Winter looks like this:

max martini

But when you read the story, you may imagine someone else.

These characters tiptoe through the tulips of my mind. Sometimes I lead and choose their path but most of the time they take over, run amok, and decide what they will say and do. I’m relegated to being little more than a stenographer.

It’s like this…

Fictional characters

 

This is the link to my e-book, The Fixer: The Naked Man. I hope you will consider giving it a try and seeing if you become as attached to Katerina Mills and her story as I am.

Now I should get back to typing up the second book in The Fixer series, The Killing Kind. But, you know, I have to post this and then check Facebook to see if there are any likes or comments or retweets on Twitter…

procrastination

🙂

Take care,

Jill

 

 

June 21, 2015

If A Book Is Done… Is It Finished?

Hi Everyone,

Yes, I fell off the radar again, I know. I think I’d like to get the phrase “multi-tasking whiz” needlepointed on a pillow… but in my defense, I have been very busy with The Fixer: The Naked Man as you can see by the attached link…

Drumroll please while you click the link…

Yay!!! And when I saw the Amazon Pre-Order page live, I admit, there was a lot of this…

snoopy dancing

I also have to admit, that going through the process of writing this book, there was something very important I had forgotten about the writing experience. Something I had gone through with each of the last two books I wrote. I probably blocked it from my mind. I will explain.

It was two months ago when I announced to friends and family that I was done with The Fixer: The Naked Man. Done as in, done writing it, done editing it, where’s the Amazon upload page, let’s get this sucker scheduled because I am ready to show this to the world!!! Google the definition of done and you will see “ended,” “concluded,” “over and done with.” Right, that’s what I said. Let’s blow this popsicle stand, I’m DONE.

I looked like this…

 

happy writer

 

Good times.

Every writer needs an editor, someone who can view the manuscript with some objective distance. I wish that weren’t so because I have a stubborn self-sufficient streak, creatively speaking, and I would prefer to be able to do everything myself. I’m childish that way.

My mother is my editor. She’s smart and talented and amazing. She’s a voracious reader, a crack editor, and on top of it all designs and makes her own jewelry . For my first two books, Project Jennifer, and For Better or Worse, she was my first editor and her flawless eye for seeing things that… how does she phrase it… “need work,” was the reason those manuscripts were in such great shape before the publishing house editor saw them. So she read the “done” manuscript, made her suggestions, and announced, “You were concentrating on the story elements. You’ve got that covered. Now you have to work on style.”

As a friend reminded me, there’s done and there’s finished. Google the definition of finished and you get “(of an action, activity, or a piece of work) having been completed.”  Not just concluded, but completed. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to… but they are correct, whoever they are. Bastards.

And then I looked like this:

upset writer

Soooo…back to the manuscript, not once, not twice, but three times and hopefully, each round of edits has made the story better.

I’m so excited and grateful to share the very first book in The Fixer series, the beginning of the journey for Katerina Mills. I still can’t believe this happy accident happened;  almost a year ago the seed of this story appeared after a sleepless night of self-questioning. Why wasn’t I writing anymore? Why wasn’t I doing what I was made to do? The first image I had of Katerina was of a young woman in danger, facing an adversary, a powerful man, so much stronger than herself, matching courage and wits to save not just her body but her spirit as well. The story grew from there. The ideas have been coming and I’ve been writing them down and this story has grown far, wide, and deep. I can’t wait to share it with you all.

I hope you will “enter the dangerous world of Katerina Mills” and come along for the ride.

Take care,

Jill

 

January 5, 2015

The Fixer Character Profile – Katerina Mills

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 8:00 pm

I finished the second round of edits of The Fixer: The Naked Man today. The story is evolving and changing. Connections are being made, new meanings are being made. It’s a strange and wonderful process. Most of the time, I feel as if I’m following the road that is winding its way before me. I’m taking the advice that a friend gave me: Don’t be an instigator, be an observer.

So now I’d like to introduce you to the main character of The Fixer series, Miss Katerina Mills. I thought quite a bit about the best way to do this. I could give you height, weight, and eye color. But I thought it would be more fun to do something a little different. A Proust Questionnaire. If you’ve ever read an issue of Vanity Fair magazine, or watched Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton, the Proust Questionnaire is designed to reveal a person’s personality.

So, as an introduction, I present the Proust Questionnaire for Katerina (Kat) Mills. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them. More information about The Fixer: The Naked Man can be found at my website http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com

More to come soon!

Jill

_____________________________________________

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being a successful attorney at a powerful law firm and having a penthouse apartment. Today, that’s my idea of perfect happiness.

What is your greatest fear? Failure.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Queen Elizabeth I. She was as smart and as tough as the men. But I think she would’ve chucked it all for true love and great sex if she’d had the chance.

Which living person do you most admire? Lisa – she’s got it all together. I have no idea how she does it but I want it.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Flirting with dangerous men.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Deception/trickery.

What is your greatest extravagance? My hair. There’s a lot of it.

What is your favorite journey? I haven’t taken it yet.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience.

On what occasion do you lie? Whenever my job calls for it—which is most of the time.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? I look like no one should take me seriously.

Which living person do you most despise? My ex-boss/ex-lover Philip. The feeling comes and goes.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “I see” and “Oh, bullshit.”

What is your greatest regret? I have a lot to learn.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? I haven’t had one yet but I’m afraid it’s coming soon.

When and where were you happiest? First arriving in New York City to start college.

Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to read minds.

What is your current state of mind? Cautiously anxious.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My age. I’d like to be older. I hear you get to be wiser, like it’s a package deal.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m not in jail.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A 1920’s Flapper Girl. They looked like they didn’t have any problems.

What is your most treasured possession? My hair.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The feeling that I’m out of options.

Where would you like to live? In my 30s. So I could look back and see that everything worked out okay.

What is your favorite occupation? Succeeding.

What is your most marked characteristic? My hair.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Strength.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Intelligence.

What do you most value in your friends? Their acceptance with no questions asked.

Who are your favorite writers? Shakespeare. I read he was very young when he wrote his plays. I want to know, “How did he know people so well when he hadn’t lived that long?”

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Elizabeth Bennet. She had no cards to play and she still came out on top.

Who are your heroes in real life? My mother. She keeps going no matter what.

What are your favorite names? Charles and Bob.

What is it that you most dislike? Condescension.

How would you like to die? Painlessly.

What is your motto? “When one must, one can.”

 

October 8, 2013

Judy Rooney Strips from Series #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 7:43 pm

Hello Again!

I realized I had never published some sample strips from Judy Rooney, Series #2: Namaste Judy! so here’s a sneak peek. The e-books, Series #1 and #2 are on sale over at the Amazon kindle store:

The Secret Life of Judy Rooney: Series #2: Namaste Judy!

MDS00058 MDS00063copy

Enjoy!!

J.

 

August 17, 2013

“The Secret Life of Judy Rooney” Recap – week ending August 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 1:15 am

Judy No 7 08 06 2013 Judy No 8 08 09 2013 Judy No 9 08 14 2013 Judy No 10 08 17 2013

August 3, 2013

Judy Rooney Recap – Week of July 28th, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Since I’m still working on my latest post (Quick Draw McGraw, that’s me), here’s a recap of The Secret Life of Judy Rooney from the past week.

There really is going to be a new post. I’m working on it, honest…

 

Judy No 6 08 03 2013 Judy No 5 07 30 2013 Judy No 4 07 28 2013

 

June 24, 2013

Welcome To The World Judy Rooney!

I would like to introduce you to someone new… brand new… Okay, not BRAND BRAND new. Judy Rooney has been around for about two years, floating around like flotsam and jetsam in my brain, existing as half scribbles on scraps of paper. But… here she finally is…Judy Rooney

Ladies and Gentlemen… Judy Rooney

So, what’s a writer who should be working on her next novel doing with a comic strip? A comic strip, by the way, called The Secret Life of Judy Rooney. Good question. I’m beginning to think that creatives have little or no control over their creativity. If the heart wants what it wants, as Woody Allen famously said, then the brain wants what it wants. And Judy was a character I couldn’t get out of my head.

My first book, Project Jennifer, was published in 2008. It’s a tale of the trials and tribulations of 30 year old Joan Benjamin.  That was 2008. Things change.  I changed. I wanted to do something that focused on the 40 year old woman. A little older and maybe a little wiser. However, as Judy’s bestie Phyllis says…

MDS00029

“Who needs wisdom? With age comes attitude.”

With all the countless “Walter Mitty” moments we experience in our lives,  I thought it would be fun to explore work/life/love possibilities with Judy, both real and imaginary…

Now comes the Shameless Marketing Moment: The very first Series of The Secret Life of Judy Rooney is on sale now exclusively at Amazon Kindle.

The Secret Life of Judy Rooney Cover

It’s called “The Secret Life of Judy Rooney”: Series #1: Happy Birthday Judy!! If you click on the link, it will take you to the Amazon page.

Shameless marketing moment is now over.

I am already working on Series #2. I hope you will give The Secret Life of Judy Rooney a look. Besides, you know never know what you might find…

2nd Shameless Marketing Moment: If you do like Judy, would you please consider forwarding this post or the pics in this post, or the link to the Amazon Kindle page, or my web address http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com to as many people as you know?? One of my Walter Mitty moments is Judy Rooney going viral on the internet… 🙂

2nd Shameless Marketing Moment is now over. Oh the humanity….

And now, like the Daily Show’s “Moment of Zen,” here is a “Moment with Judy” (click on the strip to enlarge)

MDS00022

Do I still want to write more books? Absolutely. I have a notepad of ideas and the list keeps growing. But for now, it’s all about Judy. And that screenplay I just finished. But that’s another blog post…

J.

August 12, 2012

It’s The End of The World As We Know It (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Mayan Calendar)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 12:55 am
Tags: , ,

In case you missed the memo, the world is coming to an end. That’s right. On December 21st, the b’ak’tun on the Mayan calendar ends, solar storms erupt, continents shift, mountains collapse into the seas…you know, the usual.

Predictions that the world is coming to an end are the Rodney Dangerfield of culture; they get no respect. Apocalyptic oopsies have been foretold as far back as January 1, 1000 A.D.  when everyone made a beeline for Jerusalem because the end was supposedly nigh. The end was not nigh, but I’m thinking a lot of people were embarrassed when they got home that night. I’m just saying.

It’s no secret that most pearls of wisdom are true: life goes on, the more things change the more they stay the same, if you pay with cash always get a receipt…you get the point. Life does continue to go on, much the same as it always has. It’s hard to believe the world would experience a sudden shift and come to an end. Besides, Die Hard 5 is filming so how can the world be in jeopardy with John McClane on the case?

The most recent “the world is ending so put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye” event was scheduled for May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. This declaration of doom came courtesy of Harold Camping of Family Radio. I was on the checkout line at Stop N’ Shop at the time, practicing self control by ignoring the Snickers bars. The cashier suddenly said “Oh, we’re all still here. I guess the world didn’t end.” I confess I had forgotten all about it but if the world had come to an end, I would’ve been pretty peeved about passing up that Snickers bar. I’m just saying.

Following that line of thinking, if everyone is about to get their “Mad Max” on in a few short months, what should I do with the remaining time? What should anyone do? Taking the glass is half full approach, is there any upside to this? Let’s see. Want that Snickers bar? Go ahead. Have it. Have ten. To hell with Weight Watchers! And stop those Insanity workouts! Let’s face it, on December 22nd, calories vs. carbs will be irrelevant. Have credit card debt? Not for long. Go shopping, max it out, live large! Hate your boss? Give him a Hallmark card that lets him know it. You’re not getting that promotion anyway. No one is.

While all this sounds gloriously cathartic (not to mention highly irresponsible and ill-advised), impending global disaster is not the carefree, carbo loading yuk fest one might think. First of all, examine the spate of global disaster movies such as The Road, I Am Legend, and The Day After Tomorrow. Where are the showers, the laundry facilities, the supermarkets? I’m sorry, I cannot function properly in a post-apocalyptic world without my Dove soap, even if Dennis Quaid is braving sub-zero temperatures to come to my rescue. I have very sensitive skin. Now, let’s talk paper towel. Good grief, where is the paper towel? It’s a line item in my monthly budget. And excuse me, do you see any hand sanitizer in these films? No, no you don’t.

An impending world meltdown is a free association nightmare for anxiety-ridden germophobes like myself. And let me tell you, enticing perks of irresponsibility now cannot make up for a 28 Days Later bacteria laden, petri dish world without Clorox Wipes. Neither will a piquant combination of nougat, peanuts, and caramel covered in delicious milk chocolate. I’m just saying.

I admit, sometimes the hype gets so big, you can’t help but believe it, just a little. Remember Y2K, when all technology was set to explode on January 1, 2000? The dawn of the millennium would usher in a world in shambles. Everything computerized would pull a Stephen King Maximum Overdrive as we were attacked by our VHS players. Commerce would collapse! It would be a return to the dark ages with nothing but a pencil and an abacus!

Whatever.

In that vein, I suppose there will be some people prepping for the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar by loading up the underground bunker with canned goods and bottled water. To each his own. As for me, I’ve scheduled a day of beauty to get that mani-pedi I’ve been promising myself. I’d hate to greet the end of the world with unpolished piggies. And I know where I’ll be on “the day”. If you’re not doing anything, meet me at the checkout line at Stop N’ Shop. I’ll be the one with the Snickers bar…just in case.

I’m just saying.

July 19, 2012

“The Jennifer Chronicles” Has Moved!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 10:59 pm
Tags: ,

Hi!

In honor of the end of the summer semester of classes, I am attempting to reconnect with my life (and my blog) and get myself straightened out (one of my favorite expressions). I hope everyone has been enjoying the reprints of The Jennifer Chronicles but really, Joan needs her own space and I need to get back to using “I’m Just Saying…” for what it was made for, my stream of consciousness ramblings about whatever happens to be on my mind that I jot down before I forget them… which happens to me a lot…. what was I saying? Oh right, Joan. Anyway, Joan has her own spot now at http://www.jenniferchronicles.wordpress.com which you can reach by clicking the link on the right hand side (I wanted to move the link to the top of the link list but that’s another four hours trying to figure that out.  I need remedial computer training… however I would like five points, no ten, ten points for getting the jpeg of the “Project Jennifer” cover on the webpage. I’m just saying…

There will be more Joan adventures to tell… I hope you’ll check it out! 🙂

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: