Archive for March 2009

The New Photographers

March 26th, 2009 — 7:39pm

That’s what we called the band, “The New Pornographers,” when we played their music in front of our then very young sons.

Our boys are now nine. They have their own Ipods. And so, driving home from school today while listening to one of the band’s songs, my son Matthew looks at his Ipod and says, “Hey Mom, they ARE the New Pornographers.”

“Whatever do you mean?” I ask innocently.

“I knew something was fishy,” he says. “I always thought their name wasn’t ‘The New Photographers’ — I mean, if it was, they’d have a typo on their CD cover.”

“What’s a “pornographer” his twin brother Jack asks?

“It’s when the paparazzi catch people in bed,” Matthew replies.

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Wither Media

March 24th, 2009 — 8:04am

One of my necessary but drone-like tasks as a publicist is to constantly be updating my databases. You can’t do publicity without a working database.

In the last few months, my changing database is a testiment to the collapse of newspapers and magazines. Seattle PI? Gone.  Rocky Mountain News? Gone. Most other newspapers are in trouble — just some examples — the Minneapolis Star, the Miami Herald,  Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the NY Daily News.  Magazines folding left and right, all slammed by the collapse in advertising.

The media landscape has irrevocably changed. I’m not sure where it will land.

In the meantime, I’ll keep updating my database.

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Ravenous to be Published by Hay House

March 9th, 2009 — 7:16pm

I am very happy to announce that Ravenous, my memoir, will be published by Hay House in Fall of 2010.

Hay House publishes Deepak Chopra, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Carolyn Myss, Don Miguel Ruiz, and others. Hay House publishes books that can transform lives, and now they are transforming mine. I’ve been working on Ravenous for three years, and in Fall of 2010, it will be a book. I am grateful, and thrilled.

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Pontiac Jack, the Curious Cat

March 5th, 2009 — 9:10pm

On my walk this morning, I bumped into a man I occasionally see while perambulating around the ‘hood. He walks his enormous, obviously well-loved bushy white dog named Sugar. As I stopped to pet Sugar, she nuzzled her huge muzzle into my hand while I scratched her behind her ears.

“And this is my cat, Pontiac Jack,” says the nice man. Next to Sugar, I see a well fed tortoiseshell. “He likes to walk with us.”

A cat who goes on walks? Yes, it’s true.  Pontiac Jack takes a walk with Sugar and the nice man every day.

A cat like Pontiac Jack is one of many reasons why I live in Berkeley.

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Ten Speed Sold to Random House

March 2nd, 2009 — 8:58pm

I read today that my old employer, Ten Speed Press, was sold to Random House.

Ten Speed was my first publishing job. I started on the phones (“Yes sir. I understand you are the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, but you still need to include a self address stamped envelope with your manuscript,” and “Yes, this is Ten Speed. Who is calling?” The voice on the other end said “Ram Dass”. I was speechless. He repeated himself. I was still speechless.  “That’s R-A-M-D-A-S-S” said the voice on the phone  patiently). Soon after that, I moved on to PR.

During my 3-1/2 year tenure, I cooked chicken feet on the David Letterman Show with Ernie Mickler, author of the remarkable “White Trash Cooking”; made limp celery stand erect, also on the Letterman Show (from the book “How to Repair Food” — I was on a roll), yelled at ex-Black Panther, Bobby Seale, for driving the wrong way over the George Washington Bridge and missing a TV gig, and worked on books ranging from “How to Shit in the Woods” to “Flattened Fauna” – both published around the same time. I had to explain to a Wall Street Journal that this was not a scatological trend. I was wrong .  I also had the pleasure of working on Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks, and as an added bonus, she became my friend.

I have enormously fond memories of Phil Wood, the former  owner, George Young and David Hinds, ace editors, and the rest of the nutty crew there.

Ten Speed permanently warped my idea of publishing, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

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