From One Marina Girl to Another: My Q & A with Simply Annette

I had the pleasure this week of doing a Q & A with Simply Annette
Check out my Q&A where I talk about creating the storyboard for Marina Girl, what inspired me to write a book, and what happens when you don't own a television.

Marina Girl can be purchased on amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can order a book directly from me via paypal if you would like a signed copy.

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Some people collect snow globes or shot glasses. I collect quotes. I've accumulated thousands of them. Originally there were 83 quotes I wanted to pepper throughout Marina Girl. I whittled that list down to 47 wise words from great minds like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, and many others.

Some of the quotes were not available to use for legal reasons I won't bore you with, some of them sadly didn't fit cohesively into the book. Here are a handful of quotes I really wanted to use, but couldn't:

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
- Dr. Seuss

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.
- Leo J. Burke

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding space.
-Zora Neale Hurston

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
- Dr. Seuss

It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.
- James Thurber

Marina Girl can be purchased on amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can order a book directly from me via paypal if you would like a signed copy.

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Marina Girl Chapters

Ready for some wack-a-doo chapter titles? Check these out. Whoa nelly

Chapter One Twangy Fresh Meat

Chapter Two Bragasaurus

Chapter Three The Copies That Brought On The Catfight

Chapter Four Nose Donuts

Chapter Five Kappa Kappa Kraigslist

Chapter Six 30Sexpress

Chapter Seven The Princess Palace

Chapter Eight Stanley Sorrenstein

Chapter Nine Dr. Party Girl And The Wasabi Yenta

Chapter Ten The Mayor With The Mousse

Chapter Eleven Lookin’ For Love In Online Places

Chapter Twelve The Pacific Heights Gentleman

Chapter Thirteen The African Dog

Chapter Fourteen Dateway

Chapter Fifteen Butterflies On Broadway

Chapter Sixteen The Wrath Of Cupcake

Chapter Seventeen George Of The Jungle

Chapter Eighteen The Apple Seed

Chapter Nineteen Smug Alert

Chapter Twenty Cupcake’s She-mergency Kit

Chapter Twenty-One Zoe’s Pacific Heights Gentleman

Chapter Twenty-Two See-Ya-Laterade

Chapter Twenty-Three Upheaval

Chapter Twenty-Four The List

Chapter Twenty-Five The Mug Shot

Marina Girl can be purchased on amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can order a book directly from me via paypal if you would like a signed copy.

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Embracing and publishing Marina Girl was the hardest thing I have ever done, and would not have been possible without the love, support, and encouragement of my friends and family.
My parents stood by and encouraged me in ways I can’t quite understand until I have children of my own someday. Their faith in God pushed me through the darkest times of my life. Their belief and trust gave me strength. Their patience gave me courage when all I wanted to do was to be done with everything.

I want to thank both of them for believing in me, for believing in each other, and for loving each other and teaching me what lifelong commitment is all about.

Both of your have hearts bigger than you know, and I love both of you more than words can say.

I want to give big juicy smooches of thankfulness to all of my friends and family who supported and encouraged me along the way: Cliff and Melanie, Michael and Lauren, David and Danya, Aunt Patti, Uncle John, Aunt Sherri, Uncle Danny, Aunt Arlene, Uncle George, Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Bill, Nana and Papa, Ke’ston, Kynleigh, Deven, Lyle, Camille, Amanda, Joe, Lia, Dev, Nicole, Adam, Matt, Annie, Dan, Mira, Steve, Jenn and many others.

To all of the magnificent people I encountered in San Francisco: every single one of you touched my heart and I will forever remember my time in San Francisco as my “good old days” especially the moments I enjoyed with the lovely ladies I had the pleasure and honor of sharing a home with.

I would also like to thank the Xlibris staff, Sal Sessa for the author photography, and Livia Hajovsky for the illustrations (and also for being my Mom).

April 29, 2011

Marina Girl can be purchased on amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can order a book directly from me via paypal if you would like a signed copy.

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Turning life into fiction

There has been much speculation about the contents of the Marina Girl, which is totally understandable.

The majority of my editing / rewriting over the past year has primarily focused on translating real life into fiction using the romans a`clef style of writing. By leaps and bounds, translating life into fiction was the most difficult part of the writing process.


Well, a few reasons . . . I have had the pleasure of encountering and befriending a few individuals larger than life. Marina Girl wouldn't be the novel that it is without their impact on my life. These individuals are people I truly enjoyed while knowing them, will always respect, admire, and think the world of. I wanted to capture the essence of those individuals, the intangible qualities that make them who they are.

For instance, one person I spent a great deal of time with, is one of the warmest and most genuine individuals I have ever met. This person values friendships in a way I had never experienced. Their self-awareness, both internally and externally, is remarkable. How easy is it to write about someone as lovable as that, right? It was an exercise in thankfulness for all the life lessions they taught me while we were very close. In the initial writing process, I wrote about this person, just as they are. Then in the editing / rewriting process, I created characters completely different, while retaining their remarkable warmth, style, and social grace.

Another reason I chose to write a novel in the romans a`clef style is because the city of San Francisco is such a remarkable place with unique restaurants, parks, landmarks, etc. I couldn't write a book about San Francisco without mentioning some of the places where I spent my time.

The Single Life

I’ve been told that anyone married with children who tells you life is a bed of roses is lying, or on some really good medication. Those same folks also say the best day of their life was their wedding day, or when their kids were born. Life isn’t always what you expected it to be. I always figured I would be married by 30, maybe working on the hubby putting a baby in my belly with the mortgage and the SUV that gets really great gas mileage yet still looks sporty, all wrapped in a pretty box with a bow on top.

Instead I find myself living my happily ever after in a one bedroom apartment alone, with friends and family softly smiling when they inquire about my dating life, then tell me “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone special soon,”. Maybe I’ll meet that great guy someday. Maybe I won’t. Isn’t life all about focusing on what you have versus what you don’t? Being married is great, or so I’m told, but I wouldn’t know from personal experience. What I do know about is being single. For kicks, and hopefully a few laughs, I’ve created a top ten list of things why being single is pretty damn awesome.

When you are single, you can spend your time doing stupid stuff. My only obligation in life is getting up every morning five days a week. After 5:00p.m. I can go anywhere without checking to make sure it works with anyone’s schedule. I can stay out until 3am on a random Tuesday if I wanted to, or go to bed at 7:30. I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want.

9.Sexy time
I haven’t, well ya know, for a long time. Let’s just say the Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang does not have a scheduled stop at my train station and leave it at that. I hear a lot of married couples don’t either. Here’s the difference between married Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and single Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: being stuck with anyone’s tired caboose rolling up to your station tooting “chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-woo-woo!” No one ever farts in front of me, scratches their ass then asks if I’m in the mood tonight. Sure, neither one of us is getting any, but at least I can go to sleep without the farty Frito smell stinking up my bedroom. I get to climb into a giant bed where no one takes the covers or scratches my leg because they forgot to clip their toenails. Bonus round - I can keep the reading light on for as long as I want to and there’s no one to disturb or be disturbed by nightly trips to tinkle . . . We're leaving it at tinkling and picking back up next time with a frank discussion about bathroom habits and being pissed.

8.Bathroom Antics
There are never whiskers left over along the peripheral of my sink. Any hair in the shower drain belongs only to me. No one takes my lipstick then smears it all over the walls or flushes random objects down my potty. No one leaves the toilet seat up, or tinkles on it. No one drops a deuce and forgets to flush. There’s no one to shake the newspaper at because they left the business section on the floor in front of the toilet as evidence. Forgetful flushing, especially deuces, sort of piss me off.

Pissed off is one of those emotions stewing between frustrated and mad. I don’t have to remind someone (again) to flush, floss, pick up, drop off, refill, clean, wipe, etc. The only person who leaves their stuff in places they shouldn’t is me.

No one messes with my stuff. No one breaks my stuff. No one chews on my stuff or complains about having too much or not enough stuff. I can put my stuff anywhere I want to. I don’t have to share my stuff with anyone. I don’t have to share, period.

Any noise created in my apartment is done by me. If I want silence, I get silence. If I want to blare the television at 6:30 in the morning while I blow dry my hair, no one cares.

No one monitors what I eat and I’m never tempted to eat some of what someone else is eating. No one eats all of the anything. Nobody drinks all the milk. I don’t have to worry about what anyone is or isn’t eating.

3. Transportation
I don’t have to take anybody anywhere, or pick anybody up either. I can drive whatever I want without worrying about anybody’s transportation needs or preferences. No extra trunk space for soccer gear. I don’t have to fret over the safety of what I drive because I’ve got precious cargo (ie, kiddos) riding with me.

I can do whatever the hell I want with my money. No one else spends my money. No one lectures me about what I did or didn’t buy – ever. I never have to worry if someone paid a bill. Besides the basics, I’ve got a few extra bucks left over at the end of the month for discretionary purchases. Hell, if I want to eat PB&Js for two weeks straight and spend grocery money buying shoes, I can do that, guilt free.

I don’t feel guilt for not doing this or doing too much of that. I don’t feel guilty because I forget to do anything for anyone. I never worry about living up to anyone’s expectations, or feel guilty for falling short. The DVR records what I want, and only what I want. No one hogs the remote, or comments on my television choices.

Deep in the heart of San Francisco

I did.

I left my heart in San Francisco.

You see, I lose things, often. I blame it on my ADD. I lose those must haves like keys, cell phone, wallet, what have you, or in this case, my heart. I figured it ran off and joined the circus. That darn heart of mine has been missing in action for the past couple years. I discovered where my heart has been hiding in more ways than one.

I found my chubby red heart in Union Square watching German tourists pose next to it.

I found my chalkboard heart in the Marina, in typical San Francisco fashion: a homeless guy napping underneath it with his butt exposed.

And my most favorite heart: the glass heart shaped locket I purchased at Monkey on Chestnut today, somewhat poignant that the locket is see-through, rendering it impossible to hide what I keep closest to my heart.

So there you have it. That's how I found my heart and got my swagger back.

Marina Girl can be purchased on amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can order a book directly from me via paypal if you would like a signed copy.

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The Fiction Project Update

I found my journal entry where I first mentioned writing The Marina Girl.
Three years and two days ago to be exact. Rewinding time and researching how the book bloomed from concept to reality has been an interesting experience to say the least preparing my contribution to The Fiction Project. From March 2008 until the summer of 2009, I made plenty of notes, jotted down ideas, concepts, thoughts, etc. but never really sat down and starting planning the book.