Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Envy is one of the more disturbing emotions humans wrestle with. I say this because I carry a cold belly-full of it once a week.

As a writer, I've felt mild doses of jealousy for others' accomplishments before. I'm not proud to say that, but it's true. But, that's generally fleeting, and I can't recall ever begrudging another writer, any writer, success. Maybe it's because I know how tough it is to get anywhere, so I'm happy and heartened when I see people succeeding in this field. Like, okay, it might be mildly annoying that Paris Hilton got a book deal. But then I think, well, someone else, some WRITER actually wrote the damn thing, and I'm sure they got a handsome payday for it! So it's really not tragic.

Professionally, I don't have any envy. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't care all that much.

Personally, though I get lonely sometimes, I don't envy happy couples, because I've made my choices and I don't regret the ones I've made. Okay. On Valentine's Day I envy happy couples. A lot. But, you know, c'mon.

Money isn't really a hot button for me either. Sure, I'd like more money, who wouldn't? But I'm not really a "thing" person. I don't care about clothes or jewelry or cars so much. I can appreciate some of the stuff, but I don't have an overwhelming desire to possess most things. The only thing I'd like more money for would be so I could travel more. But I've been busy lately and wouldn't be able to get away anyhow. Don't get me wrong. It makes me mentally ill that some people are rich fucks for no apparent reason. But that's bound to happen. And it gives me something to hate on to pass the downtime.

But, oh, despite all these rationalizations and sublimations, I am not the breezy, magnanimous, and cheerful person I wish I could be. Because I do harbor envy. LOTS of it. And it comes frothing out every Saturday at noon. I actually plan my day so that I can do this to myself. If I get up early enough, I go to the gym and make sure I'm home by 11:55. If I sleep late, I put off the gym until later and loiter long enough around the house until it's time to flip on the TV at noon.

And that's when I do it to myself.

I flip to the Food Network and watch Everyday Italian. The host/chef on this show is Giada De Laurentiis, and she makes me fucking insane with envy.

I mean, we're not talking pangs of jealousy here. We're talking full-blown, yelling at the TV, slithering through my veins until it settles in the pit of my stomach, squirming and cold and nauseating envy.


I just can't fucking stand it.

And I can't NOT watch it.

Fucking Giada De Laurentiis with her million-watt, perfect fake smile. I swear, it looks like she's got an electric wire shoved up her ass as she blasts that fake smile while cooking and oozing her contemptibly aristocratic, exaggerated Roman accent when she speaks of certain ethnic foods. Seriously, have you heard her pronounce "spaghetti"? It's fucking appalling.

And now the Food Network has upped the ante, and doubled my hate factor on her. I thought I'd hit the apex when they sent her on a trip to Rome. And then, they made it worse by sending her ALL over Italy. She strutted around bragging about her grandmother and couldn't stop name-dropping her grandfather at every other street corner. BUT SHE WAS THERE AND I WASN'T! Coozing her way all across Europe on a high-falutin' per diem from Food Network.

Again -- WHY HER???

But now the stakes have risen, and they've given her a whole new show, a whole new way for me to torture myself on Wednesday nights. "Behind the Bash". That's right. Food Network now sends saccharine Giada tromping all across the country to all these swank soirees where she gets to eat the food and drink the booze before the partygoers. And then, of course, because she's Giada and she thinks she's so fucking glamorous, she then hangs out at the parties in her best evening wear.

It makes me sick. SICK.

And I can't stop watching.

And then as an added stab to my heart they had on some special dessert competition last weekend from Las Vegas -- and Giada was the host for it. DESSERTS. VEGAS. And I wasn't there. And she was.

I hope she enjoys her life. Because it's the life I wish I was living, and I know I never will. The best I can do is sit down and choke it back as I watch her schmooze it up.

As an added little shot of envy, she has a cookbook.
Current Amazon ranking: #102

My books?
24/7 current ranking: 252,710*
Trattoria current ranking: 622,255*
And my books have SEX in them!!
* -- I'm quite certain these will be even lower if you click the link

Oh! And one more thing. She did a special Christmas show, where she cooked Christmas dinner for whole family -- and she used STORE-BOUGHT JARRED SAUCE. I can't even begin to express to you how WRONG that is. It'd be so many shades of wrong for any self-respecting American-Italian to serve commercial jarred sauce to their entire family at Christmas. But for a chef? Bitch, please.

Monday, January 30, 2006

For Me It's You

Train's latest CD goes on sale tomorrow. You can Amazon it here: For Me It's You. It's great. Check it out.

Funny, smart, hot, expired

This just in from Salon: Funny women a turnoff for men.


Naturally, I'll capitulate and qualify everything first:
1) I don't fancy myself as funny. But someday, I'd like to be funny.
2) Yes, I realize most of these "studies" are seriously circumspect.

But are there any other Salon readers out there? If so, do you bother to even skim the new "letters" format? A while back, Salon underwent a horrible, nearly disfiguring facelift that makes site navigation fairly sucky, and went with a blog approach. In this facelift, they did away with letters to the editor and replaced that with comments on the blog articles.

The vitriol that female writers inspire in these comments is jaw-dropping. Seriously. Be it the outlandish Ayelet Waldman or the more flouncy (and seemingly harmless) Rebecca Traister or Ann Marlowe, when there's an article from a woman, and especially if that article relates to anything regarding sex, love, motherhood, feminism or the like, the backlash is nearly staggering. Always, always there's some assclowns (hopefully the same few assclowns) repeating the same things. They always say that the female writers are:
1) Untalented
2) Boring
3) Narcissists
and then they really rev up with these insults:
4) they're old and "expired"
5) they aren't hot
6) they're deluded or stupid (or both)

It's very depressing, and yet, kind of funny. The repetition and vehement backlash is so over-the-top it's nearly a farce.

Friday, January 20, 2006


The premier issue of TQR: Total Quality Reading is now live! It features a marvelous lineup of stories, including my personal favorite, "Slayground" by Paul Finch.

Who's the ad genuis...

Have you seen this grotesque little commercial? It's the one that NBC is running nearly nonstop to promo the Olympics, but it's also promoting some gas-guzzling vehicle too. This is the commercial where the red, white, and blue body painted Americans unfortunately let one of their tribe fall through cracked ice and become frozen. But does that damper their gung-ho party in Torino? Hell no! They strap the frozen fucker to the top of their SUV and thrash through Italy enthusiastically cheering on their American team anyhow with pinhead babes commenting on how cute the frozen corpse in their midst is. Is that all? Oh no! They then proceed to scrape his frozen, blue flesh and eat it as a fucking snowcone!

Look man. I know some people get pissy about the Olympic coverage on NBC because it's so American centered. And it certainly is. But given our jingoist government these days, I certainly don't expect that to change this year. But isn't there still a line somewhere between brash, irrational patriotism and cannibalism?

Thursday, January 19, 2006


The new issue of FRiGG is now online. It features fantastic artwork, and two stories by the beautiful Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz.

Congrats Lisa!

Lisa Renee Jones has just made her first major sale! It's to Avon, and it's for her novella "The Hottest One Night Stand". Congrats Lisa! It'll be fun to watch this woman's star rise.

Monday, January 16, 2006


There are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb, I don't like it when people share their dreams with me. I don't mean their aspirations, I mean their trippy little nighttime manifestations of their subconscious. If the person is a friend, or if it's lighthearted, that's fine. But I really dislike it when, say, a co-worker approaches me and says, "I had a dream about you last night!" I'll always ask them to please not tell me about it, but you know how people are. They'll insist on telling me. And always, always they tell it as though it's giving me some insight into myself.

Here's what they're not getting: It gives me no insight into myself. But it might give me a frightening insight into THEM. Perhaps in their dream I wasn't really "me", but I was symbolizing something else. Nevertheless, when the story is relayed it generally reveals that "I" did something to terrorize the person in the dream. This person is generally, for lack of a better term, my subordinate at work. So they've just given me a nice little peak into the fact that they resent me or fear me or whatever. I didn't want to know that. I could have enjoyed my day without hearing that in their most vulnerable state, while their psyche runs rampant, it conjures images of me with duck feet chasing them down a marshmallow staircase. Or, better yet, when I get the full blown resentment dream smashed in my face, like they dreamt that everyone in the office chipped in on a lottery ticket and it wasn't a winner so they threw it away and then I went to the trash and it magically materialized into a winner. I don't really need to know that's how they feel about me, dig? I'd rather cruise through my days at the office with a veneer of polite distance that's been burnished by my conscious and willful ignorance and aided by their sublimation.

But we can't have everything we want. I have to politely smile and then nod and then go "Oh! Ha!" and then tuck my head back down after they've (probably quite purposefully) unloaded this guilt-fest on me. Am I supposed to apologize to them? Because quite often, they stand there, waiting. Expectant. Am I supposed to say, "I'm sorry I had the winning lottery ticket"? Or am I supposed to say, "I'm sorry for anything I've done to make you resent me"?

That said, I'm going to share the discomfort!! Over the past six months, I've developed a recurring dream. In this dream, my teeth are crumbling and falling out, and I don't like it one bit. Basically, it's a psychology 101 dream: It signifies insecurity. I'm not about to lie and say I'm a fully secure person. But try this explanation, too. Seven months ago, I got my teeth fixed. Nothing vain, mind you. But when I was a teenager, I got a tooth knocked out while playing ball. Then, a couple years ago, the replacement tooth got knocked out. Instead of getting another bridge put in, the dentist decided to do a permanent implant. That's fine. Except that it took over a year. For a year, I walked around with no front tooth. I was *incredibly* self-conscious and insecure about it. It finally got fixed, and I'm very happy with the results. But a month or so after that, the crumbling teeth dream started.

I'm not so vain. If you've seen pictures of me, you'll understand why I'm not. But I am vain about my teeth, expecially now. So on nights when I'm disturbed or unhappy or when I've eaten tacos too late, I have this bad dream. I think it signifies insecurity, yes. But I think it signifies insecurity that my teeth are going to get fucked up again.

If the dream ever morphs into something where one of my co-workers is extracting my teeth, I'll be sure to not tell them about it.

Bestselling Title?

Found this nifty little link via Sharon Hurlbut's blog. You can find Sharon in the latest issue of Mad Hatter's Review with her poem "Mirrored Surfaces are Not to Be Trusted".

Want to know if the title of your novel has a good shot of being a bestseller based on its title? You can find out right here with the Lulu Titlescorer.

I didn't enter any of my old books, cause that's water under the bridge. But I did check out the titles for a couple of books I've got in the can that I'm hoping to sell. The one came up at 69% and the other at 59%. So apparently I'm much more talented at naming books than actually writing the freaking things.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Congrats to Edward Moore!

His story "The Cornbin" took 3rd place in the Sudden Fiction contest for the Berkeley Fiction Review! They'll be publishing it in the spring.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

P&E Poll

Preditors & Editors is holding their annual writing poll again! And this year, not just one but TWO, count them TWO of my pals have been entered in the Short Story category. You can go right here to vote for your favorite. Both "Hadley" by Matt St. Amand and "Canada, Man, Canada!" by Steve Hansen are nominated, and both are excellent choices. Congrats to Matt and Steve!

And, in some self-serving promotion, I'm nommed, too! You can vote for me (or for someone else if you prefer) as author for 2005 and for both my books! Here's the links:
Trattoria for Romance Novel
24/7 for novel
me (Susan DiPlacido) for author


Friday, January 06, 2006


I adored Lou Rawls. "Velvety" is a term that's overused to describe voices, but I think it fits his. Nobody's singing could put me in the mood like his. Back in the '70s, my dad moonlighted as a jazz DJ, and sometimes when they were in town the musicians would personally stop by to drop off their latest albums to him to butter him up for extra play. Once, Lou stopped by. He ended up hanging out for the whole show and my dad could never say enough about him. He was smart, with-it, and a pleasure to hang out with. Not only talented, he was one cool cat.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Trattoria -- new reviews

So it's a downer that Mutual Holdings is delayed, but I can't complain because I've been getting some late-season love for Trattoria recently, what with the RT nomination and now a couple of new reviews. Here's links to them in case you're interested:

New Review from The Muse

New Review from My Shelf

Thanks so much to the reviewers, Shelagh and Sarah!

Mutual Holdings -- Delayed

If anyone has made a special trip to Barnes & Noble to try and purchase my new book, Mutual Holdings, I owe you an apology because it's been delayed. I'm truly sorry if this made you go out of your way, but you're welcome to e-mail me and I'll try to make it up to you. I'm not sure when the new release date will be, but I'll be sure to post it here when it is actually available.

New Quiction

is right here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

2006. We'll see.

Here's a way to kick it off solid, with a fan-freaking-tastic piece of fiction. Red Roy by Tripp Reade.

Extra bonus for the pic of Tripp alongside the story! Funny thing, that picture. I've never seen Tripp before, but I pictured him, as I'm sure most of us picture people we correspond with. And, it's probably less than 50/50 that those mental images match up with what I'd mentally painted. And with Tripp, it did! He's even more adorable.