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Josie Brown, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES
Author, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES [Simon & Schuster]
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Last year about this time, I released THE CANDIDATE, which was a joy to write. I hope you think so, too. So that you can get a taste of it, feel free to download an excerpt here. Happy summer, -- Josie BUY IT IN: Amazon (US) (For a signed digital copy via Amazon, order here) Amazon (UK) Apple iBooks Kobo BN.com Seduction and intrigue are rampant on the campaign trail when a political campaign adviser discovers that Washington's power broker elite have embroiled his presidential candidate in a plot involving an act of terrorism on US soil... SYNOPSIS Democratic political campaign consultant Ben Brinker can’t remember the last time he was excited by a candidate’s vision. He feels he’s lost his way, both emotionally and professionally. Worst yet, his show-me-the-money policy seems to have finally caught up with him. Two of his recent clients have been disgraced in one way or another: a senator is caught in lurid sex scandal, and a congressman is indicted in a kickback scandal. In no time at all the political pundits are calling Ben a "candidate cooler." Now Ben is desperate for any campaign gig he can get. As luck would have it, Andrew Harris Mansfield, the charismatic junior senator from North Carolina and former Marine pilot, asks Ben if he wants to run his soon-to-be-announced campaign for president. Little does Ben know what's in store for Andrew, or their country-- Nor does he realize that the key to saving both have been placed in his hands. Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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Click here to listen to "Sherry Baby" Enjoy! -- Josie THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 978-0-9740214-0-9 FREE! ORDER NOW, from Amazon.com (US) / Amazon.UK Also in all Amazon countries! BN.com (99 cents) Apple iTunes Bookstore / Apple iTunes Bookstore (UK) In all iTunes countries! KoboBooks Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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Remember, back in the day, when authors signed their paper books with a pen? Now that we're in a digital age, it's time someone came up with a way for authors to sign digital books, too. Well, someone has! AuthorGraph.com now offers my digital eBooks, via Amazon.com. If you'd like a personalized autograph, here are the links: THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK (Book 1) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050PJZLK?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S GUIDE TO GRACIOUS KILLING (Book 2) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009MBUTS6?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S KILLER CHRISTMAS TIPS (Book 3) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ACBP2KK?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S RELATIONSHIP SURVIVAL GUIDE (Book 4) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C7JS6SK?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S VACATION TO DIE FOR (Book 5) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EJQQW6C?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S RECIPES FOR DISASTER (Book 6) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H2M0NBU?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HOLLYWOOD SCREAM PLAY (BOOK 7) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J2HM1SQ?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S DEADLY DOSSIER (PREQUEL) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JXS3SHC?tag=authorgraph-20 THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S KILLER 2-BOOK SET http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESPHK10?tag=authorgraph-20 THE CANDIDATE http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESPHK24?tag=authorgraph-20 TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F027NCG?tag=authorgraph-20 TOTLANDIA 1 (Fall) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A4PJYQW?tag=authorgraph-20 TOTLANDIA 2 (Winter) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AA59N7Q?tag=authorgraph-20 TOTLANDIA 3 (Spring) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9J82RY?tag=authorgraph-20 TOTLANDIA 4 (Summer) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H58NASO?tag=authorgraph-20 TOTLANDIA (Bundle of All Four Books) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H58NE4E?tag=authorgraph-20 SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KN3M7M?tag=authorgraph-20 THE BABY PLANNER http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043RSK8U?tag=authorgraph-20 Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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(c) 2005 Alex Steuart Williams (FLIP) and Erica Rothschild I'm being serious. Okay, here goes: 1. "I'd write, too, but I can't stand the thought of all the trees I'd be killing." Yes, I've heard this one. My response back then was, "Don't worry. You won't sell enough books to raze a sapling, because your pub house won't push you that hard to begin with." Today, I'd add, "And besides, most books are digital, so you can't use the tree-killer bullshit as an excuse not to write anymore." 2. "I'd write, too, but I just can't make the time." Good. Stay busy. The world doesn't need anothor author. Here's a hint: It's not a hobby. It's a profession. 3. "Why don't you kill off your series' villian?" Because then I wouldn't have a series. And if I don't have a series, I don't have the rent money. I'll make you a promise: when and if he quits paying the rent, I'll quit writing about him. 4. "Honestly, what do you really do to pay the bills?" I write novels and I'm proof that not all writers live a life of poverty. Then again, I'm not JK Rowling, either. If a writer is persistent and lucky, he or she will find that their income is somewhere in between minimum wage and unimagined wealth. I'm not saying it's an easy way to make a living. It took years to crawl my way up beyond the government set poverty line. To make the rent, I wrote other things: game questions, greeting cards. magazine articles, even horoscopes. (No, I was not a licensed astrologist, just a mom with two growing kids who could go through money like the Pentagon). 5. "The best authors--like JD Salinger, or, say Margaret Mitchell-- only wrote one, or maybe a just few, books in their lifetime." Oh, really? I guess that leaves out Dickens, Twain, Wharton, LeCarre, Dreisher, Trollope, James, Chandler, Christie, and Doyle, to name a few--all of whom are on my favorite authors list--along wtih Salinger and Mitchell. And by the way, some of the worst writers only wrote one book as well. I'd say the odds are with those who get the most chances at the plate. Don't forget, Babe Ruth broke records for hitting home runs and for striking out. Not to mention, a writer's skill level rises each time up to bat. 6. "When... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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In honor of the Great TypePad Cloud Crash of 2014, I've put up one of my Richard Avedon photos, It's an ad for Balenciaga, circa 1948, taken in the la Marais neighborhood, in Paris. This particular photoa was part of an exhibit at @SFMOMA. To me, it typifies the experience of public display. Each of us is a little strange and crazy in our own way. Even the model looks odd, as since and pinch-waisted as they've made her here. Here's to an online presence for all of the blogs and websites affected by the crash that is equally as spectacular! -- Josie #FashionablyBizarreBazaar Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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Or maybe "The Housewife Assassin's Handbook." I'll go with the latter. --Josie From "Pride and Prejudice, the Musical" Music and Lyrics by Rita Abrams; Libretto by Josie Brown The song: #3: IT IS A TRUTH (Complete Song) (Sung by Bingley, Darcy and Caroline) Darcy and Bingley banter about the pressures on single men--particularly wealthy single men--to marry. But while Darcy is disgusted by it, Bingley's attitude is more benign--perhaps because he is already in the throes of enchantment with one of the local beauties, Jane Bennet. _________________________________ THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 978-0-9740214-0-9 FREE! ORDER NOW, from Amazon.com (US) / Amazon.UK Also in all Amazon countries! BN.com (99 cents) Apple iTunes Bookstore / Apple iTunes Bookstore (UK) In all iTunes countries! KoboBooks Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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"...as long as I can be a woman in it." -- Marilyn Monroe ____________________________ THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips. 978-0-9740214-0-9 FREE! ORDER NOW, from Amazon.com (US) / Amazon.UK Also in all Amazon countries! BN.com (99 cents) Apple iTunes Bookstore / Apple iTunes Bookstore (UK) In all iTunes countries! KoboBooks Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Author Provocateur
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My mother introduced me to the films of the iconic child actress, Shirley Temple, when I was five. Mom, who was just a few years younger than Ms. Temple, was raised as a dancer because of her idol. By the time of my own childhood, in the 1960s, many of Ms. Temple's films were already on television. I loved her pouty voice, and her snappy footwork with the likes of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (The Little Colonel) and Buddy Ebsen (Captain January), to name a few. And yes, I put animal crackers in my soup, and wanted to sail away on the Good Ship Lollipop. I already had a Curly Top. All I needed were the Dimples. It was easy to laugh with Ms. Temple during every movie, but sometimes her touching performances made me cry -- when, say, she encouraged Clara to walk, in Heidi, and when she was the Poor Little Rich Girl who found the father she thought she lost in during the Boar War, just before she was to be sent away to an orphanage. I can carry a tune, but could never really shuffle off to Buffalo. So, a belated thanks to you, Shirley, for sharing your incredible talents with the rest of us. --Josie THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips. Signal Press/ 978-0-9740214-0-9 FREE! ORDER NOW, from Amazon.com (US) / Amazon.UK Also in all Amazon countries! BN.com (99 cents) Apple iTunes Bookstore / Apple iTunes Bookstore (UK) In all iTunes countries! KoboBooks -- Josie Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2014 at Author Provocateur
The Housewife Assassin's Hanbook (Book #1: Housewife Assassin Series) by Josie Brown Malavita (Blood and Honor), by Dana Delamar Dream of Danger (A Brown and De Luca Novella), by Maggie Shayne 30 Days, by K. Larsen Thee Haunted Cottage, by Lindsey Stiles Secret Santa, A Bluegrass Series Novella, by Kathleen Brooks The Bodyguard's Secret Baby (White Hill Ranch) by S.R. Cole UTIL YOU, by Sandra Marton Rainy Nights: Three Novels, by J.R. Rain He Loves Me Not (Lily's Story, Book 1), by Christine Kersey Betrayed: Days of the Rogue, by Nicky Charles One Deadly Sister (Sandy Reid Mystery Series), by Rod Hoisington The Highlander's Hope (The Highland Heart Series), by Cali MacKay Cowboy with a Cause (Harlequin Romantic Suspense), by Carla Cassidy Death Checks Inn (Aspen Valley Inn Series), by Sara Robbins Captured (The Captive Series Book 1), by Erica Stevens Alone and Afraid (Rocky Mountain Home Series), by Elizabeth Sherry Sweet Masterpiece: The First Samantha Sweet Mystery, by Connie Shelton The Good Knight (A Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery), by Sarah Woodbury Earning the Cut (Riding the Line Series, Prequel), by Jayna Vixen The Spell (The Big Bad Wolf Series), by Heather Killough-Walden The Day It Happened (A Miranda's Rights Mystery), by Linsey Lanier BARGAIN KINDLE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE The Candidate by Josie Brown - $4.99 The Unholy Trinity: Origins, by Daniel Gage - $2.99 Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy) by Karina Halle - $2.99 Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne - $2.99 The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies Series) by Jennifer Ashley - $3.99 Dangerous Attraction Romantic Suspense Boxed Set - Nine New York Best-Selling Authors, including Jill Sanders, Rebecca York, Dana Marton, etc. - $4.99 Hollow Strength, by Art Keller - $3.99 Lucky Like Us: Book Two: The Hunted Series by Jennifer Ryan - $1.99 Darkness Awakened, by Katie Reus - $2.99 She Can Scream (She Can Series) by Melinda Leigh - $3.99 Secrets to Die For (A Detective Jackson Mystery) by L.J. Sellers - $2.99 The Girl With Nine Lives (The Adventures of Benedict and Blackwell), by E. Earle - $0.99 The Remains by Vincent Zandri - $3.99 Whiskey For Breakfast (Book 3: Addison Holmes Mysteries) by Liliana Hart - $4.99 The Seventh Victim (Texas Rangers) by Mary Burton - $0.99 Cold Open, A Sam North Mystery, by Greg Clarkin - $2.99 Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks - $4.99 One, Two ... He is coming for you (Rebekka Franck #1), by Willow Rose - $0.99 Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Romantic Suspense Novels
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Dear Donna, I love the saucy interaction between you and Carl. Any chance you'll get back together again? -- Candice R., Portland, OR Dear Candice, Hmmmm. Interesting question, for sure-- But emphatically, uncategorically and undeniably NO. If I did, I'd need to have my head examined. Granted, Carl is a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2014 at The Housewife Assassin Series
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This article, which appeared in The New Yorker, is a must-read for all American voters. Of course patients should know costs -- so that they can be outraged enough to demand change. The real elephant in the room isn't "should they know?" but "why do patients, communities, and elected officials allow medical money machines - i.e., the hospital corporations -- get away with pirate costs on even the smallest items?" Time to go back to regulation. Better yet, Medicare for ALL. When it comes to life, death, sickness and health, hospitals that charge 1,000 for a toothbrush should not be allowed to stand between you and the care you need. -- Josie DECEMBER 23, 2013 / (c) 2013 The New Yorker THE PROBLEM WITH KNOWING HOW MUCH YOUR HEALTH CARE COSTS POSTED BY LISA ROSENBAUM Two months ago, I moved into a new apartment. On the first night, in the dark, I tripped and fell. It felt like I had badly scraped my shoulder, but when I looked in the mirror there was no torn skin—my collarbone was simply jutting at a new, funny angle. When I tried to push it back into place, I got nauseated, so I decided to try to sleep. I’ll wake up soon, I thought, and just pretend this never happened. When that didn’t work, I Googled “rotator cuff tear” and “asymmetric shoulder.” It seemed like a benign possibility; lots of people with rotator-cuff tears lead healthy and productive lives. No luck. I called my mom, who happened to be visiting for the night and was at a hotel two blocks away (and who, like me, happens to be a cardiologist). When she arrived, we made a video of my shoulder to send to my orthopedist cousin for a diagnosis—a clever idea except for the fact that he was sound asleep. Our delay tactics exhausted, we faced the inevitable: I needed to go to the emergency room. Next thing I knew, I was standing with my pokey shoulder in front of an X-ray machine. My mother called out to me from the radiology reading room: “You broke your clavicle.” “O.K.,” I called back. After being diagnosed, the rational next step would have been to turn my attention toward treatment. Instead, when two additional X-rays were taken, an orthopedist was called to review the films, and two slings were provided instead of one, I wasn’t thinking... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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The boats in the San Francisco Yacht Harbor have wonderfully whimsical names: Irish Whisper. Calico Dragon. Sea Hawk. Kookaburra. Nai'a. Daisy. Escapade. Effie Jane. Portola. Then there's the one named, simply, "Sailboat." Talk about putting things in perspective. -- Josie FREE! THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK Over 150,000 downloads. Find out why readers love it. Amazon iBooks KoboBooks.com 99 cents in BN Read more about Donna at www.HousewifeAssassinsHandbook.com Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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I think this is possibly the best public relations campaign I've ever seen an airline come up with. When you get to the end of the video and see the tears of joy and gratitude in the customers' eyes, you'll know what I mean. Way to go, WestJet! --Josie Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips. FREE! Now in Amazon.com (US) / Amazon.UK BN.com (99 cents) Apple iTBooks / Apple iBooks(UK) KoboBooks.com Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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The skating rink and lit tree, in Union Square, downton San Francisco, California. The model for the statue was a young local beauty, Alma Spreckels, who ended up marrying the sugar king (yes, she actually called him her "sugar daddy"--or as she put it, "I'd rather be an old man's darling than a young man's slave." She also founded the city's Legion of Honor Museum, because none of the swells would take her money for the renowned DeYoung Museum. Many of her treasures came from France, which she helped during World War I. She was one of the most ardent patrons of Auguste Rodin. The mansion the Spreckels built, on Washington at Octavia, was purchased by novelist Danielle Steel, lucky lady. -- Josie Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Author Provocateur
Ha Ha, Kelly! Judy, posing as a strawberry blonde, could easily have been you, in that era... But wasn't this a great story? And the fact she actually won SOMETHING? Too funny. ;)
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l love this article, from the archives of the San Francisco Chronicle. Brings to mind one of my favorite Judy Garland classics, "The Trolley Song," from the musical, "Meet Me in St. Louis:" Love this lyric: "I went to lose a jolly". I'll just bet you did, -- Josie "Cable Car Nymph" Excerpted from "San Francisco's Top 10 Sex Scandals" Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle Published 4:00 am, Thursday, May 28, 2009 It was supposed to be a routine trip on the Hyde Street cable car in 1964, the 29-year-old woman said. But when the car lurched and she was heaved against a pole, the collision "somehow unleashed emotions hidden deep in the dark closet of her mind," The Chronicle reported - and thus was born "The cable car nymphomaniac" who took a trip on the "Cable Car Named Desire." The woman sued Muni for $500,000 six years later, saying her injuries had triggered an insatiable sexual desire that drove her to take 100 lovers, leaving her perpetually unsatisfied. Reporters left her name out of news accounts, to protect her privacy, referring to her instead by her nickname, or as "the buxom blonde" from Michigan. She was awarded $50,000 by a jury, whose members said they hoped she would use it for counseling. (c) 2009 San Francisco Chronicle With my high starched collar And my high topped shoes And my hair Piled high upon my head I went to lose a jolly Hour on the Trolley And lost my heart instead With his light brown derby And his bright green tie He was quite The handsomest of men I started to yen So I counted to ten Then I counted to ten again Clang, clang, clang went the trolley Ding, ding, ding went the bell Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings From the moment I saw him I fell Chug, chug, chug went the motor Bump, bump, bump went the brake Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings When he smiled I could feel the car shake He tipped his hat And took a seat He said he hoped he hadn't Stepped upon my feet He asked my name I held my breath I couldn't speak because He scared me half to death Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer Plop, plop, plop went the wheels Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings As he started to go Then I started to know... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at Author Provocateur
Ha Ha! You've got THAT right, Jean! ;)
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Thank you, Kel. Frankly, I think it's down in YOUR neck of the woods, where ALL the magic rings end up! ;)
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2013 on My NaNoWriMo Tips! at Author Provocateur
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A tip a day keeps you scribblin' away. Okay, not exactly a great line, but it gets the point across. And as my tips say here, "I'll edit on the back end." And so will you--but first things first Every day through November, I've been supporting those participating in National Novel Writing Month by launching posts on creative writing tips (usually by 12 noon PDT) that will help them reach their goal: writing 50,000 words in their novel. Here are links to my tips: Tip #1: Treat writing a if it is your career. Tip #2: Outline the plot of your story. Tip #3: Don't give up! Tip #4: Meet your word count first; then edit. Tip #5: Show, don't tell. Tip #6: Recognize when your" backstory" is really your story. Tip #7: Chapter doesn't work? Fix it in "post." Tip #8: Why every story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Tip #9:What to do when your story is boring, even to you. Tip #10: Better late than never. Here's why. Tip #11: Choose the right writing voice. If your voice is wrong, change it. Tip #12: Stuck? Change your writing pattern. Tip #13: Make your readers love your hero. Tip #14: Is writing a craft, or an art? Tip #15: 3 ways in which you sabotage your creative writing process. Tip #16: How to get out of "paragraph paralysis." 17. The emotional depth of your characters is important. 18. Writing a novel is a marathon, so pace yourself. 19.Scene needs a rewrite? Try changing the point of view. 20. Write the way George Clooney acts: with confidence. 21. Every word counts. Here's why. 22. If your dialogue doesn't match the character, fix it! Now! 23. Make sure your novel isn't half-baked. 24. It's not what you mean, but how you phrase it. 25. Yes, you need an agent. Here's why. Good luck with your own manuscript. I look forward to buying your book, too! Josie Don’t forget to enter my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S VACATION TO DIE FOR contest, for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice! FREE! THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK Over 150,000 free and paid downloads. Find out why readers love it. Amazon iBooks KoboBooks.com 99 cents in BN Read more about Donna at www.HousewifeAssassinsHandbook.com Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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BOOT CAMP: ANATOMY OF A NOVEL BECOMING A TV PILOT Instructors: Josie Brown and Laurie Scheer WHEN: Friday September 27, 2013 / 1-4pm WHERE: 2013 Screenwriters World Conference West Hyatt Regency Century Plaza 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067 FEE: $149 (Boot Camp Only; See Below for FULL Attendance Packages) Game of Thrones. True Blood. Silver. Bored to Death. Gossip Girl. What do these television shows all have in common? They were books before they were adapted as network, cable, or premium channel shows. Turning a book into a screenplay, or a teleplay is an art form onto itself. And turning a screenplay or teleplay into a book is one way in which you can get your project noticed by producers, as well as give it another revenue-generating platform. Join me, along with Laurie Scheer (Media Goddess, former producer for ABC, Viacom, Showtime, and AMC) for this seminar, which outlines the necessary steps writers need to take to move their literary work onto transmedia platforms. Laurie and I will discuss in detail our working relationship throughout the entire process--from mere idea to sold pilot--so you too can sell your prose within the vast television marketplace. Topics covered: • Adapting literary prose into script format. • Preparing a TV bible, series treatment, project synopsis • Selling yourself as a transmedia writer • Understanding the television development process • Playing the game-knowing what to ask for when your project is picked up • Reality Check: Collaboration, or Take the Money and Run? This is an interactive BOOT CAMP workshop consisting of lecture, presentation, in-class exercises, discussion, and Q & A ending session. I hope to see you there! -- Josie 2013 SCREENWRITERS WORLD CONFERENCE WEST ATTENDANCE FEE PACKAGES: About Registration Screenwriters World Conference West - All Access $599.00 $549 early bird price available until July 19, $599 regular price effective July 20, $699 on-site price effective September 27. Includes the full program starting at 5:00 pm on Friday, all of Saturday, and Sunday for Screenwriters World Conference West and Writer's Digest Conference West including access to both the Writer's Digest and Screenwriters World Pitch Slams. Screenwriters World Conference West - Individual Full Conference $499.00 $449 early bird price available until July 19, $499 regular price effective July 20, $599 on-site price effective September 27. Includes the full program starting at 5:00 pm on Friday, all of Saturday, and Sunday.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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This article, from the New York Times, shows that as of today, we can be self-producing of clean fuels just by converting our garbage. This should be the most important US works project of the new millenneum. ALL states should be doing this, don't you think? Maybe a writing campaign is in order. We're Back to the Future--and just in time to save Miami. But do we want to, -- Josie Trash Into Gas, Efficiently? An Army Test May Tell By PAUL TULLIS / New York Times THERE is an indisputable elegance to the idea of transforming garbage into fuel, of turning icky, smelly detritus into something valuable. But big drawbacks have prevented the wholesale adoption of trash-to-gas technology in the United States: incineration is polluting, and the capital costs of new plants are enormous. Gasification systems can expend a tremendous amount of energy to produce a tiny amount of electricity. Up to this point, it hasn’t seemed worth the trouble. Mike Hart thinks that he has solved those problems. In a former Air Force hangar outside Sacramento, his company, Sierra Energy, has spent the last several years testing a waste-to-energy system called the FastOx Pathfinder. The centerpiece, a waste gasifier that’s about the size of a shower stall, is essentially a modified blast furnace. A chemical reaction inside the gasifier heats any kind of trash — whether banana peels, used syringes, old iPods, even raw sewage — to extreme temperatures without combustion. The output includes hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which together are known as syngas, for synthetic gas, and can be burned to generate electricity or made into ethanol or diesel fuel. The FastOx is now being prepared for delivery to Sierra Energy’s first customer: the United States Army. Ethanol has long been promoted as an alternative fuel that increases energy independence, and federal law requires the use of greater amounts of it. But most ethanol in this country is produced from corn or soybeans, and many people worry that the mandate is pushing upfood prices. Ethanol produced from trash — or agricultural waste, as others are trying — would allay such concerns. Ineos Bio, a Florida company, announced last month that it had produced ethanol from gasified wood waste, using a method that it expects to be commercially viable, and KiOR Inc. will make one million to two million gallons of diesel and gasoline this year from wood... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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Gorgeous, wouldn't you say? It was painted by the 19th Century famous portraitist, John Singer Sargent. His abstracts were always of friends-- usually other artists, such as himself. I wonder if that was because he felt his clients demanded something more meticulous, whereas perhaps these were painted on the fly? His version of toting a camera was to relax with easel, canvas and paints, be it oils or watercolors. This one is entitled "Zuleika," was completed in 1907, and hangs in the Brooklyn Museum. The name is a genus of moth. It is also Persian in origin, meaning "fair, brilliant, lovely." She certainly looks that way, here. Who was she? The wife of a friend, perhaps? There are a series of poems based on a character by that name. Turns out Sargent was friends with humorist Max Beerbohm, who was working on a contemporary novel by that title, about a woman by that name whose beauty was so great that her merely stepping off a train to visit her grandfather in Oxford caused men to obsess over her -- to the point of committing mass suicide. This Sargent painting and Beerbohm's novel might have been the very first product cross-promotion -- multi-platforming in its earliest form. More than likely, it was Sargent's way of jibing Beerbohm -- payback for the latter's caricutures of the revered painter. Notice the subject's eyebrows are just one wave of black paint. Sargent's downward point-of-view is filled with realistic shadowing. The grass is a riot of green, blue and yellow hues which play tricks on the mind: we envision individual blades of grass, and dappled sunlight. I love that he caught her reading. Is Proust? Dickens? Baudliere? Possibly The Works of Max Beerbohm. Art is fun, and can be funny, too, -- Josie My latest novel is The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For Now out, in Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Pick up the first book in The Housewife Assassin series, for free! Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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IN AMAZON NOW! In Kobo, Nook, and Apple by August 20, 2013 Read an excerpt here.. A nude sunbathing serial killer, a Lord of the Flies 'tween takeover, poison-dart throwing pygmies...... Talk about a fantasy (nightmare?) island! An NSA scientist has disappeared with a deadly plague virus. Donna and Jack must find him, before it is unleashed on Fantasy island, home of three very different resorts: Like Kamp KidStuff, where families frolic among dolphins, cartoon characters, and warring gangs of tweens who believe in the law of the jungle--including human sacrifices; And Eden Key, a nude singles sanctuary where tiki-hut treehouses provide the perfect setting for rum-fueled romances and casual hook-ups—not to mention the occasional swinger slashing… Finally, there's the Hunt Club, which allows its members to track a very unique, soon-to-be extinct prey. And you call this a vacation? ______________________________________________ To celebrate the launch of The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For I'm giving away a $100 gift card to ANY store of your choice! Click here for details... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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The renowned burlesque dancer, Dixie Evans, died this weekend. She was known as burlesque's "Marilyn Monroe." Yes, the resemblance was uncanny! See for yourself. Here's how she built her act. Take it off, take it all off, -- Josie August 10, 2013 Dixie Evans, Who Brought ‘Monroe’ to Burlesque Houses, Dies at 86 By MARGALIT FOX / New York Times Dixie Evans, a popular stage performer billed as the “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” — the first two words in very large letters and the last two in very small ones — died on Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. She was 86. Her death was announced on the Web site of the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, of which she was a former curator and director. Ms. Evans was a marquee name at midcentury, mentioned in the same avid breath as Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand and Lili St. Cyr. In later years, she was featured in newspaper articles and television programs about burlesque and appeared in the 2010 documentary “Behind the Burly Q.” She was profiled in the 1996 book “Holding On: Dreamers, Visionaries, Eccentrics, and Other American Heroes,” by David Isay, with photographs by Harvey Wang. Reflecting on her unlikely stardom in a 1992 interview with CNN, Ms. Evans said, “I was not that talented and I wasn’t that pretty.” But her close-enough resemblance to Monroe — enhanced by a peroxide blond coiffure and the uncanny ability of Ms. Evans, who never met her subject, to mimic her speech and shimmy — ensured her success as a locus of transference. “If you couldn’t meet the real Marilyn,” Ms. Evans told The New York Times in 1998, “you could come to the burlesque and meet me.” Night after night from the early ’50s onward, at burlesque houses around the country, Ms. Evans took the stage in Monrovian garb and swung into musical numbers that recalled those in Monroe’s films. Unlike Monroe, she ended the numbers far more lightly attired than when she began. She kept the act going for more than a decade, modifying it enough to mollify Monroe, who at once point threatened to sue. Wherever she played, she drew a devoted, even rarefied, following. “Walter Cronkite used to come every year to see my act,” Ms. Evans told The Los Angeles Times in 1993. Frank Sinatra was said to be a fan. So, too, was Joe... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2013 at Author Provocateur
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I don't feel the need to elaborate on this New Yorker article. America, isn't it time you vote you pocketbooks, instead of letting the lobbyists decide your fates? --Josie THE FINANCIAL PAGE / The New Yorker THE PAY IS TOO DAMN LOW BY JAMES SUROWIECKIAUGUST 12, 2013 A few weeks ago, Washington, D.C., passed a living-wage bill designed to make Walmart pay its workers a minimum of $12.50 an hour. Then President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage (which is currently $7.25 an hour). McDonald’s was widely derided for releasing a budget to help its employees plan financially, since that only underscored how brutally hard it is to live on a McDonald’s wage. And last week fast-food workers across the country staged walkouts, calling for an increase in their pay to fifteen dollars an hour. Low-wage earners have long been the hardest workers to organize and the easiest to ignore. Now they’re front-page news. The workers’ grievances are simple: low wages, few (if any) benefits, and little full-time work. In inflation-adjusted terms, the minimum wage, though higher than it was a decade ago, is still well below its 1968 peak (when it was worth about $10.70 an hour in today’s dollars), and it’s still poverty-level pay. To make matters worse, most fast-food and retail work is part time, and the weak job market has eroded what little bargaining power low-wage workers had: their earnings actually fell between 2009 and last year, according to the National Employment Law Project. Still, the reason this has become a big political issue is not that the jobs have changed; it’s that the people doing the jobs have. Historically, low-wage work tended to be done either by the young or by women looking for part-time jobs to supplement family income. As the historian Bethany Moreton has shown, Walmart in its early days sought explicitly to hire underemployed married women. Fast-food workforces, meanwhile, were dominated by teen-agers. Now, though, plenty of family breadwinners are stuck in these jobs. That’s because, over the past three decades, the U.S. economy has done a poor job of creating good middle-class jobs; five of the six fastest-growing job categories today pay less than the median wage. That’s why, as a recent study by the economists John Schmitt and Janelle Jones has shown, low-wage workers are older and better educated than ever. More important, more of them... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2013 at Author Provocateur