It’s 2 a.m. (still that first night at Bootcamp) and we’ve been holding side angle bind (this is basically a lunge and a twist with one arm rotated around your waist and the other under your lunged thigh, both clasped together at the small your back) for so long that I desperately want to let go but there is this subtle pressure to do whatever Baron says, “push past the places of resistance,” “live one moment at a time,” “breathe,” hold on, suffer… my thighs tremble and sweat literally drips out of every pore in my body and I think, I can’t keep holding, I don’t belong here amongst these hipper, fitter, more beautiful people, these REAL yogis… and then…. this is where I get all clever and incorporate both the continuation of the Bootcamp story and this week’s topic, First Loves.
So I’m sweating, dripping, staring at my second toe on my left foot that’s always been longer than my first toe (on both feet actually but I’m staring at my left toe) and thinking how weird and that I should have gotten a pedicure maybe even with one of those flowered decals even though I NEVER get pedicures maybe had one in my entire life but if there was ever a time to get a pedicure (you see I’m not exactly meditating here or focusing on my breath but give me a break it’s the first day (or night) and I’ve been up 24 hours and I’m starving, could go for a banana split right now and who am I kidding, I don’t really belong here)… and I glance up and see (and I SWEAR I’m not making this up) a guy who from this odd angle looks like Surfer Boy. My first love. Not my first love as he would look now middle-aged but my first love maybe 10 years after I found him walking the boardwalk in San Diego.
Now if we’re going to get technical he wasn’t my first First Love. I’d had a sort of boyfriend in middle school. The cast-off of my savvier friend Lisa. She was deciding between Jerry (who was easy to talk to but not particularly masculine which wasn’t unusual for 12 year-olds) and He-man (can’t remember his name) but he was he-mannish, looked about 16 and his voice had already changed (now that I’m writing this I’m thinking maybe he’d been held back a few years). Anyway, I got Jerry, by default, and we went steady for about two days. Okay, that wasn’t love. But there was the guy I chased out to Colorado who I thought I loved but who didn’t love me back and a few other misfires and then…. Surfer Boy who I spotted walking the boardwalk one hot summer night.
Uncharacteristically, I popped my head out the window of my friend’s brother’s old, rusty Oldsmobile and stared and waved and smiled and said, “Hi!” And Surfer Boy smiled and waved and said “Hi!” back. I ordered my friend’s brother to pull over right that second (which he didn’t want to do because, I later learned, he had a crush on me). He didn’t pull over until I screamed the command several more times and crawled halfway over the front seat and nearly took the wheel. In the meantime, my friend, Susie (the car driver’s sister) who was a ballerina and Mary Kay cosmetic sales representative (which meant she knew how to put on make-up like a pro and had a killer bod) jumped out of the car first (she was also very aggressive) and saddled up to Surfer Boy batting her mascara-enhanced eyelashes, pursing her lip-glossed lips and Surfer Boy… made his way to over to me.
That was the first moment in my entire adolescence that I felt pretty. Worthy. The day I discovered if I really wanted something I could get it.
And after that? I fell madly, passionately in love with Surfer Boy. Seriously. And not only did he look like a surfer boy, all rippling physique and wind-tossled hair, but he actually WAS a surfer boy and also studying to be a marital therapist which meant he LOVED to talk about the nuances of relationships and all that good stuff. And he thought I was smarter than I was.
After the end of that summer I went back east to college and we had one of those tortuous long distance relationships involving tearful 2 a.m. long distance pay phone calls and handwritten love letters. When I told him I loved John Donne, he copied my favorite poem, all ten pages of it, by hand, in his vigorous script. By spring we were talking about me transferring to San Diego State and I applied and got in and was planning to go…
But I wasn’t even 18 (I went to college at 16) and and he only 20 and the mantra, I’m too young. I’m too young, haunted me… and I broke it off. And a year later Surfer Boy got married. We stayed in touch for a while. In fact I called him after my painful break-up with the boy I started seeing after him and he let me go on and on and cry and he was so worried about me, about how I felt and I remember thinking, this is love.
And that I’d made an enormous mistake.
And then we lost touch. I have no idea what happened to Surfer Boy other than last I knew he was living in Austin, Texas. But I still think about him, about the day I leaned out of that Oldsmobile and picked him up on the boardwalk, his wavy blond curls and sun-burnished skin and penetrating eyes, the way he smiled at me as if we already knew each other, the way it felt like our souls instantly locked, that heart-stopping flush of first love.
And some of this (not all) floods back as I glance up from my side angle bind and spot his look-a-like at Yoga Bootcamp. A bit of a heart flutter tinged with the mantra, what-if, what if, what if…
Next week: Matt the Messiah in the Speedo (as promised before, sorry I got a little side-tracked with the First Loves topic) and what I learned about Yoga Camp Surfer Boy when I was paired with him for “sharing” time.
“Leigh Fielding was diagnosed with kidney disease and recently received a transplant. Since then, she’s been trying all kinds of new things and comes to believe that she’s channeling the donor, Larry. She decides to leave her central Wisconsin home for a road trip to meet Larry’s family and see if he’s anything like the new personality she has acquired. Things go awry at the Minnesota border when a teenage girl named Denise steals Leigh’s purse and uses it to blackmail Leigh into giving her a ride to L.A. On the way they visit classic tourist traps and try to stay out of trouble, especially since Denise claims that it’s her crazy ex in the black sedan that seems to be following them. Leigh’s road trip continues, embracing both highs and lows, alternately hilarious, humiliating, and heartbreaking, often within the same sentence. Smart and funny without being forced, sentimental without being maudlin, Riley’s funny, picaresque vision of America will make readers wish they could go along with Leigh on her next trip.”
— Hilary Hatton for Booklist
This weeks tour highlights: Yummy Partida margaritas at Agave in NYC, meeting the rocket girls from NASA (gotta love those female scientists!) and the BASKIT underwear models in the green room at GOOD DAY COLORADO. Lisa also signed books at the legendary Tattered Cover Book Store, which was so thrilling she had to pinch herself so she wouldn’t cry. (There’s that sadism thing cropping up again, see Deb Eileen’s post yesterday…) Lisa’s talk was also recorded as a podcast for authorsontourlive.com — stay tuned for details.
Thanks to all the Deb Ball readers who showed up for events — it was great to meet you!
Here are Lisa Daily’s upcoming book signing events: She’d love to see you!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 7 – 9 PM
LAUNCH PARTY & SIGNING
Sponsored by Partida Tequila
1307 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL 60605
* Partida will be serving up complimentary “Fifteen Minutes of Shame” Margaritas, appetizers and giveaways — please stop by!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 7:30pm
Signing & Launch Party
1500 16th Street, Suite D
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Saturday, April 5, 2008 – 2:00pm
Signing & Launch Party
600 North Orlando Ave
Winter Park, FL 3278
Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:00pm The Debs Take Manhattan!
Special Debutante Ball signing with Deb
Lisa Daily signing Fifteen Minutes of Shame
and Deb Eileen Cook signing Unpredictable
461 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Congrats to the winner of the Lisa Daily Launch Week contest, Cindy from Ontario! Cindy wins a signed copy of Deb Lisa’s Fifteen Minutes of Shame, a surprise gift and postcards from each Deb from her home city. Thanks to all who participated!
A huge congrats to Deb Friend Lisa McMann whose debut YA novel, WAKE, has hit the New York Times Bestseller list and at #9, no less!
We’ve been spreading the word about Lisa’s FANTASTIC release, Fifteen Minutes of Shame, all week so I figure it’s time to dish some secrets on the author.
Deb Lisa is a sadist.
I loved Lisa’s book. After finishing the book I went right back to the beginning to figure out what the heck she did that made it work so well. Any book that is this much fun, this much of a page turner, must contain craft tidbits that the rest of us can learn from. Here is the secret: really good authors are sadists. They know we read to see people in difficult situations. The more difficult, the more we’re interested. If you want to write a page turner, you need to want to torture your characters. Let’s take a look at Lisa’s book and see how she took it those extra steps.
Bad News: You discover your husband is cheating on you.
Even more bad news: You discover your husband is cheating on you AND you make your living as a relationship consultant.
Sadist level news: You discover your husband is cheating on you AND you make your living as a relationship consultant AND you find out on national TV.
See how she did that? How she took an interesting book to a “holy cow I can’t put this down even though it’s four am and I’m going to look like an extra from the Lord of the Rings movie tomorrow because I’ve had no sleep” kind of book? We can learn from her people.
Our fascination with things taken to the highest level occurs also in reality. Take this recent example.
Bad news: You discover your husband has cheated on you.
Even more bad news: You discover your husband has cheated on you ANDhe did this by spending tens of thousands of dollars on call girls.
Sadist level news: You discover your husband has cheated on you ANDhe did this by spending tens of thousands of dollars on call girls AND because he’s the governor of New York you’re expected to stand at his side smiling during a press conference while he talks about it and how he’s really sorry.
Show of hands: How many of you would have loved for Ms. Spitzer to suddenly yank the microphone away from him during that press conference and say “Humiliate me in front of the world? How about this- Governor Spitzer has a small willie and that’s why he relied on call girls. Take that buddy.” Then she would kick him and take him for half of what he owns.
If you like a satisfying ending then skip reality and go straight to Fifteen Minutes of Shame. Nobody tortures her characters better than Lisa. Ms. Spitzer could take some lessons.
Fifteen Minutes of Shame is a fabulous, funny, smart, tightly written book with a huge heart. It will grab you from the first page and drag you, will you, nil you, to the finish. I loved it, read it in a single sitting, and found myself thinking about it for days afterward because in addition to a compelling plot and charming heroine, this book delves into the meaning of family and the nature of love in a very interesting way. You’ll have to go buy it and read it to find out more.
In the meantime, I’m once again offering sonnets of great intention and dubious quality, inspired by (but not indicative of) Fifteen minutes of Shame, to Deb Lisa and all of you. I am also taking suggestions for titles for these sonnets as my muse seems to flee at the mere mention of a title.
Oh Darby, you knew your man was busted
At the dumpster in your dirty sweatpants.
National TV, your ego dusted,
The bastard deserving no second chance.
Dazzler and charmer-cum-philanderer,
Ruins your life, breaks your heart, in one fell swoop.
More than a Dreamgirl can face with candor
With vultures circling to get the scoop.
A sexy lawyer uncovers the mess
Of lies and dinners and beds at the Ritz.
No clues and no warnings, you must confess,
And she! shallow harridan…and a ditz.
But dry your tears dear, and put on some Spanx,
Your heart will survive this unfitting thanks.
The Dreamgirl has fallen from perfect life
To vomit, failure and national shame;
Yesterday happy and satisfied wife,
Today the sad pawn in a vicious game.
Will Darby fall down or get up and fight?
Can she manage to take her own advice?
To stomach Will’s ignominious flight…
Or consort with lawyers and roll the dice?
True love doesn’t always end up happy,
And happy love isn’t always so true.
Darby’s the first to admit, it’s crappy
And tell you to bid the cheater adieu.
Oh tell us quickly for the end is nigh:
Take him back, Darby, or kiss him goodbye?
I am on tour promoting my debut novel, Fifteen Minutes of Shame which feels like a dream come true, even though I am so tired now I can hardly form sentences. I woke up at 4:30 this morning to catch a plane, did two signings, and drank some officially-sanctioned Fifteen Minutes of Shame margaritas sponsored by the fine folks at Partida, and made to perfection by the talented mixmasters at Agave in NYC. (Great guacamole, if you happen to be in town, and I think you all know I’m a guacamole savant.)
I put together a little Fifteen Minutes of Shame book trailer with some help from my pals at DAYTIME. Hope you enjoy it
I have been awed by the support of my friends, family, fellow debs and readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Last week we talked about luck and I know there might be some people who might look at Deb Lisa, author of Fifteen Minutes of Shame and think, “She’s got all the luck!”
Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Lisa Daily has my boundless respect because she is all about making her own luck by working very hard, using her brain, and did I mention working very hard?
Now comes Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Lisa’s hilarious novel in which a relationship expert discovers on national TV that her husband has been cheating on her. Lisa has left no stone unturned as she prepares to embark on a national book tour. It’s really quite amazing how she achieves so much, considering she’s a mom of young kids and juggles several freelancing jobs on top of the usual wife/mother duties.
A visit to her website will show you how very hard Lisa has worked to earn her success. And on top of everything, she is right in the thick of things, coaching women about relationships and she really knows her stuff! I can tell you from first-hand experience, I put out an SOS recently because someone I knew needed some break-up advice, and Lisa had all the right answers in a matter of minutes. Like a relationship fairy godmother!
Lucky for you all, you will have a chance to read Fifteen Minutes of Shame, and you will be so glad you did. It’s a fun, fast read and you’ll be cheering Darby on as she tackles the big issues and decides what’s most important in her life.
And in the meantime, pay attention to how Lisa masterfully juggles issues, both big and small. She’s earned all of the success she enjoys, beyond a shadow of a doubt!
I started reading FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME late one morning, thinking I would read an hour or two and then do all the things I still had to do… and I knew Darby Vaughn was my kind of girl as soon as she was stalking her cheating husband and spotted him coming out of a store with a bag and wondered, “What’s in the bag? Condoms? Microwave Burrito?” These were the of kind pitch-perfect laugh-out-loud lines (hundreds of them!) that caused me NOT to do all the things I had to do and by the time my son came home from school, he found me curled up in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and you guessed it, FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME.
I just wanted to read one more chapter.
“I’m starving!” my son said circling me in fascination.
“Uh huh,” I said and put up my index finger to indicate I’d be with him in just a sec and stood up, still reading, and opened the freezer and threw a pizza in the oven for him.
But of course I wasn’t with him at all. I was way too wrapped up in Darby Vaughn’s hilarious and poignant and ultimately triumphant journey from two-timed wife who is humiliated on National TV and falls into a bit of a funk EVERY woman can relate to, and fears her career as a dating expert is over to…. well, I wouldn’t want to give away too much because then you wouldn’t click Amazon right this second and buy Deb Lisa’s book and enjoy the pleasure of getting so wrapped up in Darcy’s plight that… I burned my son’s pizza and ordered take-out for the rest of the family that night because honestly, I could NOT put down FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME.
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