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Showing posts from November, 2008

The best excuse I've ever received...

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...for why an interviewee will have to postpone our talk for a little while: "He can't come to the phone right now because he's in a tree with a rifle." (That would be hotelier Tim Dixon. Quite a character.)

Freelancers Union: Worst of the Worst

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Freelancers Union, also known as Working Today, offers freelancers health insurance in 31 states. I signed up with them two or three years ago, when the National Writers Union lost its health insurance provider. It seemed like a good idea-- an organization for freelancers, by freelancers, to negotiate good health insurance rates for the group. Ha! I began experiencing trouble with their customer service right away. It was clear that the organization's president, Sara Horowitz, used lots of nice words that had no actual meaning. She wrote to us about their commitment to better customer service and how glad she was that people kept them accountable... then did nothing to improve anything, and ignored our letters. To be more specific, I'll use my current example. They made a math error on my August bill. I had overpaid for two months, and they owed me a refund. Instead, they charged me again. I began politely e-mailing; they refused to acknowledge the problem. They told me t

No autographs, please!

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And now I'll blow your mind (unless you're a published author, in which case you may already know this scenario). There I was in Barnes & Noble the other day. My book The Marilyn Monroe Treasures has just come out, and I happened to be across the street with my mom, so I suggested we stop in and take a look at it in all its glory. I already knew it was selling pretty well at that store, because a friend of mine had seen 16 copies on an endcap, then my mom went in two days later and there were 12, and when we walked in this time, there were 5. So at least 11 copies had sold that week. I felt good about that. Since it was an impromptu stop, I didn't have a Sharpie on me. I went to the customer service desk to borrow one. "Hi," I said. "I'm the author of The Marilyn Monroe Treasures , which you have in stock up front. I'd love to sign the copies you have if you can lend me a Sharpie." The clerk actually looked upset. She referred me to a

Halloween 2008

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Our First Grammatical Debate

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Sarina's new favorite song is "When the Lights Go Out" by the Doodlebops, which is lucky for me, because I really like the song, too. But she believes that the correct wording should be "When the Lights Go Down." We argued about it for a bit. I told her that she was indeed right that it could be "When the Lights Go Down," but that in this case, the song lyric was "When the Lights Go Out," which was also acceptable. She would have none of it. "Of course, 'When the Lights Go Down,'" she told me. She made me put on the music video again, and I thought this would settle the debate, but instead, I believe she was making me watch it so I could see just how very, very wrong DeeDee Doodlebug was. Perhaps she wanted me to write a letter of protest to make them change the title. Or perhaps she was just stalling bedtime again. Here she is singing the Sesame Street theme song. 19 months old. Here she is singing the ABCs. A