Money, Me & THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET

Money. It’s our last taboo. People spill seamy details about their sex lives before talking about their finances, salary, or savings accounts. And yet, despite this curtain of silence, money is not only (supposedly) the root of all evil, it’s at the heart of relationship battles, shattered dreams, and midnight wakefulness.

Money (sadly) is often how men measure their worth and how women measure men. We forgive dreary people their dreadfulness a lot quicker when they possess fat checkbooks—particularly when their riches are combined with a successful career. Writers laugh louder at the jokes of acclaimed fellow authors. Relatives give a bit more latitude to rich aunties and uncles. All of us, whether with awareness or not, bow a bit in the face of a fat wallet.

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Soothing Words For Bad Reviews



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It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

For every moment of awe a writer has at seeing her book on a shelf, at being told by readers they found comfort they found in your words, for each time you visit a warm and loving book club, there come the time when you read the word “blech” in a reader’s review. It’s part of the business and there’s no answer except chocolate and wine. It hurts. Writers from NYT bestsellers to just-on-the-shelves authors must find ways to soothe themselves through the pain.

I come bearing brownies and a shot of tequila. The comfort needed for times when nothing but schadenfreude will do. I would offer mead to Shakespeare, had he lived in the time of Amazon and read this review of Romeo and Juliet:

As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing about “Romeo and Juliet” is that it spawned the plot for “West Side Story,” which, although laden with cheese, doeshighlight some of the more noble facets of the human character (along the less noble) and features some wonderful music. “Romeo and Juliet” will, however, simply annoy anyone with half a brain.”

A newly published author-friend privately spilled her horror (to a group of not-surprised writers) when, after a spate of reader-love, she found this on a popular book site: “To those who loved this book, may we never meet on subway, train, or plane.”

Shock usually follows the first angry reader review. I don’t think they’re as hurtful as critical professional reviews, but they go where NYT reviewers would never tread.

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Wake-up Call

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Treachery Towards Brooklyn

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“What did you do?”

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Woman vs Man Preparing for Book Launch & Events



Woman: weeks (months?) getting ready for book launch.
Buy new dress.
Return dress.
Decide to wear edgy jagged-hem blouse.
Realize anyone using word ‘blouse’ is too old for edgy.

Pick  black dress from among 12 similar black dresses in closet.
Try 12 similar schmattas (aka shrugs, cardigans, wraps) to cover upper arms.

Spends hour trying on necklaces to enhance neckline.

Remembers Bobbi Brown admonition to women of a certain age: Color near face for brightening!!!

Buys scarf of every color.


Looks for best arrangement of said scarves to
a) Hide neck wattle
b) Brighten!! (see above)
c) Prevent scarf-induced hot flash.

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How Jobs Taught Me What To Write

wordificator (2) Our writer’s code, written into our secret writer club rules, remind us that day jobs stand between us and a published novel. I understand. For years I thought if only and when and someday. And yes, working one, two, three jobs at a time took a big bite out of what would certainly have been my fast track to a Pulitzer. But slogging through, learning at, loving, and hating a number of jobs, that’s what formed and hold up my novels.

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Why This Book? Interviewed by Deborah Kalb

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your new novel, and how closely are Jake and Phoebe based on Bernie Madoff and his wife, Ruth?

A: The idea did come just when the Madoff case first broke, and it fascinated me. How do you pull something like that off? As I saw all the people he had fooled, these were not naïve people! I thought, what is it like to be this family, and I didn’t think Ruth had done it. When everyone started hammering on her, I wondered, what is it like to be her?

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Postcard from “The Widow of Wall Street”

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The (Dis)Comfort of Money

Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society.”– Candace Bushnell

Money is the last taboo. People will spill seamy details about their sex lives, before they talk about their salary or, savings accounts. And yet, money is so often at the heart of marital fights, broken dreams, and wake-in-the-middle-of-the-night fears.

That’s why I wrote The (Dis)Comfort of Money – second in my ‘comfort’ series.* The short book includes wisdom, humor, writer’s being honest about their relationship with money, and more. All about the topic with which we are the least comfortable.

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