Monday, June 30, 2008

Straight, No Chaser - Jenny O'Connell

A-blogging I will go.

A-blogging I will go.

Hi-Ho the merrio, a-blogging I willlll goooooooo!

And I'm starting off with Jenny O'Connell's newest - make that TWO newest, Local Girls and Rich Boys. boys. Sorry, I dazed off for a second. So Jenny, let's chat:

TCL: Which cliché best describes you as an author?

JOC: Brooding Hemingway type

TCL: Complete this sentence: I’m a total….from my BLANK to my BLANK, I could write the book on being BLANK

JOC: I’m a total walking contradiction, from the bruises on my arms from playing field hockey every week to the three inch Calvin Klein stiletto heels and suits I wear to work, I could write the book on having dual personalities.

TCL: Using either television, film or literary references, give us the one or two sentence pitch you’d give film agents:

JOC: I guess I’d have to say LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS are Juno meets Gossip Girl – stories that offer a glimpse into the lives of girls dealing with the confusion life throws at them while living in a place that feels like a ferry ride and a world away from everything until it’s transformed during the summer. Each book is told in first person from the point of view of a single character who was introduced vaguely in the book before, so it’s like a spotlight on one person with the island as the stage.

If you did an informercial for your book, who would be the perfect celeb to serve as the pitch guy or gal? And why?

JOC: I am terrible at questions like this because I am not a movie person, it would have to be a teen girl who’s down to earth, smart and just struggling with the stuff every girl goes through.

TCL: Complete this sentence: It’s a good thing I’m not a stalker or else INSERT NAME OF CELEB MINOR OR MAJOR would be in trouble because

JOC: Or else Matt Damon would be in trouble because I’d kidnap him and take him to a Red Sox game so we could share a couple of beers and laugh our asses off.

TCL: A lot of times, authors start a book with one concept in mind (especially us pantsters) and end up with a totally different story. For your most current book tell us where you story started and ultimately ended.

JOC: My books started out about summertime on an island and ended up about situations and problems that could happen anywhere.

TCL: You’re on a desert island with a cell phone. Miraculously it has two bars and enough battery life to make one three minute call. Who do you call?

JOC: My husband and kids, who happen to also have my best friends over for a party so we all get to talk.

TCL: If someone were deserted on an island and came across your book washed ashore, what’s the one thing they’d take from it and want to share with the world once they got back to civilization?

JOC: That they could totally relate to the characters and what they were going through.

Which celebrity would you like to see put on a bus and dropped in the desert? And why?

JOC: There are so many, I don’t think I could choose – could we make it a train instead so I could fit more people?

Sure, Jen. All aboard! Next stop, the Mojave Desert.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Me and Tiger On the Mend

I watched The U.S. Open over the weekend. I tend to watch the majors because Tiger Woods plays in them and he's interesting to watch.

I'm not sure everyone has been converted yet, but I'm definitely a believer that even someone who isn't an avid golf fan can enjoy/appreciate what Tiger Woods does on the course and has done for the sport of golf.

Rocco Mediate gave Tiger a hell of a run. It was truly an entertaining sports event.

But one of the reasons I was into the Open more then ever was Tiger's injury. He was playing on a bad knee. Without an ounce of overplaying the injury, he winced, buckled and grimaced through 91 friggin' holes of golf.


And I so knew what he was going through. Not literally, of course. The only golf I play is mini-golf on vacation.

But my family and I were in a terrible car accident at the end of May. It's why I haven't been blogging. It's why I haven't been doing much of anything lately. The accident busted up my knee pretty bad and has stripped a great deal of my independence and mobility.

At the heart of things, I'm an athlete. I ran track and cheered competitively and most recently coached competitive cheerleading. I don't exactly understand terms like "can't," or "too hard" or "pain" unless it's accompained by the words "no pain, no gain."

So my recovery has been tough or rather the fact that I'm unable to do so many normal, everyday things, has been tough.

For weeks I couldn't do anything but lie prone in my family room because I couldn't walk on the leg without bursting into tears. Let me tell you, there's nothing like needing help to use the toilet.

Good times. Good times.

Then when I was able to get up and around I was on crutches. I also used a cane for awhile.

I'm finally walking on the leg now - no extra artificial appendages needed. Maybe hobbling is a better term because I still can't bend the knee. Still, I'm way more mobile than I was a few weeks ago. Hell, more mobile than I was a few days ago.

It's not quite as bad as starting from scratch and learning to walk all over again. I mean, I still have one perfectly healthy leg. But I'm an active, mobile person. So my getting around now compared to what I'm used to doing is 180 degrees different.

It takes me longer to get up and down stairs. Have you ever taken one stair at a time?

Good lord, it takes forever.

Straight-legging every step I take means even my four-year old walks faster than me.

I can't drive and working out or taking a simple walk around my neighborhood is out of the question.

Some days my leg aches so bad I wish I had a massage therapist on-call. Other days the wound itches so bad and I attack it so furiously even Princess Bea is like, "Mommy stop scratching." But I do what I can. And each time I feel the leg is ready for a new milestone, I give it a whirl.

Seriously, I nearly threw a party the first time I was able to take the stairs. I hadn't seen the upstairs of my house in fifteen days.

My heart did a little dance the first time I was able to bend over far enough to shave my legs. Woo-hoo!

And standing up in the shower? Well, I think the whole house celebrated that day. Twenty plus days without a shower...fughedabowid.

So yeah, when I saw Tiger power through his injury then heard that he'd be out the rest of the season, I felt a connection.

No doubt his leg was screaming at him by Monday night. Nothing a few codeine can't help, I'm certain. I know of the codeine haze!

I'm sure it'll kill him inside a little to watch the British Open and PGA championships from the sidelines. Princess A is about to start conditioning for cheer try-outs and I had an entire boot camp ready - one I was going to do alongside her. Now, not so much.

I think Tiger will find the toughest part of the recovery is the mental acknowledgement of his physical limitation. I wish him well with that. It's trickier than the physical mending and can take you out of your game completely if you let it.

I've never met a situation that I didn't think I could conquer. So it's humbling when your mind tells your body to do something it simply can't...especially something as simple as "knee...bend!"

Already the golf analysts are speculating on how ready Tiger will be next season. Pre-mature doesn't begin to describe that conversation. Yet, no doubt Tiger is already thinking about how to hasten his recovery and he hasn't even had the surgery yet.

I've been told my total recovery will take six months, total. That means I won't be 100% until January!

I try not to think about that. I'm taking it day-by-day and doing what I can to return to life as "normal" as soon as I can. So I have no doubt, once Tiger's body is physically able he'll be back out there pounding away at those courses.

Me and him both.