Author Jocelyn Modo has some unfortunate information about Marky Mark this week. I won’t delve into it–it’s best delivered by someone who has first-hand knowledge. Please note that this information does not pertain to Mark Wahlberg. He’s one of my favorite actors, so I prefer to keep that illusion intact. Some of you may think I fixated on the Marky Mark-ness of her post just so I could put up the infamous Calvin Klein underwear shot (I know, minus the underwear, I’m trying to run a family operation here, at least on my blog). I find it interesting when people report about the true personality of celebrities. We see one thing in a photograph, in concert, or on the big screen and chances are, the reality will be less shiny. I’ve met a handful of celebrities and my fair share of rock stars, and something is always different, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. It would be hard to live a “double life”…be one person for work and another at home, but then, don’t we all do that? Some just get paid better.
Class of ’98, Currently: Science fiction and fantasy romance author…and work for the IRS. *Don’t screw with me, I work for the IRS. jk*
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: “Loser” by Beck. Remember that one? It’s still on my iPod. “I’m a loser, baby. So why don’t you kill me.” And, um yeah, those lyrics just about sum up my high school experience.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Marky Mark signed concert ticket stub. My BFF’s dad worked at the local radio station so we had back stage passes and got to meet him—really really short and kinda a jackass. Now that he’s Mark Wahlberg, famous actor, I bet his signature’s worth something…and he’s probably an even bigger jackass. Never know, he might have grown since then.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Boys II Men. I know it was the 90’s and cheeseball was in, but I just couldn’t swallow for these ‘boys’. *gag*
Best show or concert you saw in high school: The Village People. That’s right. I said it. You don’t know. You weren’t there. It was awwwww-sum!
Best high school make-out song: “Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm” by The Crash Test Dummies. jk! That would be a horrible song to make out to. “Because the Night” by 10,000 Maniacs works. Oh, and “I’d Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf. Romantic but not cheesy and the boys liked them, too.
So excited about today’s RNRHS from author Lily Harlem. I adore her books, especially since she has a penchant for rock stars, and she and I have some eerily similar adolescent memories. I must, however, quibble with her about one thing. (Lily’s a Brit. You quibble with Brits. You disagree with everyone else.) The Cult? Lily, Lily, Lily! I loved The Cult. I have the best memories of driving to the lake during summer vacation with my BFF, Jane. I drove my brother’s beater car, which was painted entirely with gray primer, and we blasted “Love Removal Machine” from a cassette with the windows rolled down, singing at the top of our lungs (Salt shaker!). There was this one lifeguard…oh, never mind. On with it!
London, Currently: Author of erotic romance
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Oh, lots, but probably Madonna stands out. Like a Virgin, Papa Don’t Preach. They were in the charts at the time my friends and I were all huddled in the playground talking about sex and who had done what with who. The songs were sassy and daring and we all wanted to be Madonna. I remember having the jewelry, the legwarmers, the fingerless gloves and practicing my pout and my jaunty walk. I remember totally lusting after the guy in Papa Don’t Preach, when he shoots out from under the car he’s working on looking all oily and gorgeous – Phew!
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: My Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Relax’ t-shirt. Everyone had one and I remember the teachers and parents being horrified at the hidden meanings but we never really got it at the time, we just wanted the white t-shirt with the big bold letters. I remember going to a school disco when ‘Relax’ came to number one. We were all talking about it but it was banned from Top of the Pops (our weekly update on the charts) so only a lucky few, with older siblings, had heard it. Anyway, we had a cool DJ that night who put it on at the end of the evening and everyone had a good bop, pretending to know what the hell Frankie was on about – ah, the innocence of youth!
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: The Cult. A couple of their songs were tuneful, the rest went over my head in a loud blur of noisy screeching. But my best friend was completely into them, always swooning over the drippy lead singer and playing their tapes (Argh, I know, tapes) at full volume. I pretended to like them for a long time, even singing along to some of their songs when I’d deciphered the lyrics. But eventually I had to give up and confess to much preferring Wham! I still, to this day, adore George Michael’s voice, especially his ballads. There is something about the emotion in his songs that sends me a bit gooey.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: U2. Best show ever, in school and since. They are such ace performers and whenever I’ve had the chance to nab tickets I have, even at some ridiculous prices. But its so worth it, they always deliver the goods. Playing a great assortment of both old and new songs and their stage sets are so wild, I remember one time the band all emerged from a giant lemon! That was cool.
Best high school make-out song: (I Just) Died in Your Arms by the Cutting Crew. I love the words, and the tune express-trains in memories of dancing with the first guy I ever had a seriously massive crush on, no make that loved with a capital L (you know, the obsessive teenage love that grips you by the lapels and drags you along for the ride whether you want to go or not). He was gorgeous, soft, olive skin that smelled heavenly, he wore a thick cable sweater that I could sink my fingers into, and we danced and danced and danced to this song. In fact I think we were still dancing when the music stopped.
So you can see I adore music, particularly from the 80’s which was when all these wild youthful emotions were springing up. It was this love of music and obsession with bands and rock/pop stars that inspired my Mattress Music series. At the time Kings of Leon and The Script were the two CDs being played the most in my house and so they kind of inspired The Manic Machines, which consists of Ian, Robbie, Tim and Dean.
Lily Harlem is a multi-published author of erotic romance, including Mirror Music. Visit her website at lilyharlem.com.
Writer, blogger, and fellow Duranie Andrietta Luna is at the helm for the first RNRHS of 2012. When I first befriended Andi on Twitter, I was a tad envious of her rock star name. Surely, Andrietta Luna had to be on Simon Le Bon’s baby name list at some point. I found her post timely when so much focus is on improving your life and going after what you want. Below, she shares a bit of her journey as a mom and writer, all of which shows that you never know where life will take you. Just do your best to steer your own ship.
Cleburne, TX, Class of ’88
I am divorced and have one daughter who is 20. I was a single mom for 18 years, working two jobs and going to school. I have wanted to be a writer since I picked up my first crayon in kindergarten. I used to make up stories and put on plays for the neighborhood kids. In the 3rd and 4th grade, my best friend Michael and I would write plays after school then put them on for the class. I wrote stories to escape my home life and am so thankful I had that outlet. In high school, on a whim, I joined journalism. That really opened the writing doors. I finally found a place where I belonged. I won’t go into detail, but eventually that dream was stolen, I lost my confidence and shut the door on that desire.
My daughter is grown and out on her own now, so I moved to a new area and started over. I decided to step back into the writing world, even though I was scared to death. I realize now how vulnerable sharing your writing with others makes you feel. I am currently writing reviews for films, books, and music, which I am passionate about. I write for The Blackland Reporter and they have some exciting prospects for me. I still would love to write romance/erotic novels and use my blog as a platform to bring awareness to causes that I am passionate about. My dream is to get paid for my blogging, write full time and travel.
Song or band that reminds you most of high school: Whitesnake. Our graduating song was “Here I Go Again”.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I had a Duran Duran cap I bought at Six Flags.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Bon Jovi
Best show or concert you saw in high school: Def Leppard December 1987 Hysteria tour.
Best high school make-out song: I wasn’t allowed to date so I never got to make out. However, if I had to go back, it would be Styx, Reo Speedwagon, or Journey, “Open Arms” being the number one song to make out too.
Andrietta Luna is a writer for The Blackland Reporter. You can check out her personal blog at mzlunasworld.blogspot.com
Here’s what my 2011, personal and professional (they’re all jumbled together) looked like. It’s not short, but still sweet, and I went by the numbers. I’m very thankful for everything that happened this year, but it’s important that people know that this blog post isn’t just about what I got done. This is a chance to take a breath, look back, and hopefully encourage any writers who are where I was a year ago (aka beating one’s head against a wall). It’s also a big wet thank-you smooch to everyone who has helped me. Happy New Year!
3: number of books contracted…one co-authored short novel (Long-Distance Lovers), one novella (Love My Way), and one full-length novel (Bring Me Back)
2: number of new works close to submission…one novella (Title TBD, but I’m accepting suggestions, I am suffering from a case of writer’s title block), one full-length novel (Hiding in the Spotlight)
175,000: number of words I wrote this year. Not including emails and blog posts and queries and synopses. 175K words of fiction. It might be more. I cut a lot.
187: number of times I doubted what the hell I was doing. (Not an exact count.)
1: number of writing conferences attended…Writer’s Digest Conference in January.
5: number of agents I pitched at the WDC Pitch Slam in January for Bring Me Back.
187: number of times I considered running out of the room or simply throwing up during Pitch Slam.
43: number of queries sent for Bring Me Back. I sent a grand total of 89 between fall 2010 and 2011.
0: number of agents who signed me as a result of Pitch Slam or querying
4: small press submissions for Bring Me Back, one of which turned into a contract, from Turquoise Morning Press. (SQUEE).
1: number of agents and/or publishers I needed to say “yes” for Bring Me Back.
1: number of agents and/or publishers I needed to say “yes” to me on anything. My first book contract was from Ellora’s Cave. (MORE SQUEE).
0: number of hours I now spend worrying about not having an agent. I have accomplished plenty on my own, thank you very much, and when I look back at 2011 and forward to 2012, I can say it’s all mine.
1: number of critique partners I need. Karen is my everything when it comes to getting my words on the page and later getting them into shape. I love her for this.
1: number of full-time cheerleaders I need. My friend, Sara, is the perky one on the sidelines with her hair in pigtails, waving pom poms like a crazy woman. I love her for this.
1: number of incredible men I need by my side. None of this (and I mean zilch, zero, nada) would be possible without the boundless encouragement and support I get from my hubby, Steve. I love him for this and lots of other things, like being the best dad ever to our two stupendous-in-their-own-right children.
Countless: number of friends and fellow writers who help me be a better writer or be a writer at all. You know who you are. I would name everyone, but I would invariably forget someone and then everybody I forget would have to get a hastily written apology note. If you’re wondering, “I wonder if she means me?”, the answer is “Yes!”.
Is there a lesson in all of this? Probably. I guess what worked for me was to keep trying. As hokey and trite as it sounds, persistence really does pay off .
Author Jennifer Anderson is on deck for RNRHS, to which she says, “Thank you for having me on today. I love these questions! Music. Dancing. Love! Love! Love!” I heartily endorse Jennifer’s use of exclamation points here and below, especially when discussing the finer points of Vanilla Ice and NKOTB. The thing I adore most about her post is the mention of plastering her bedroom walls with photos from teen mags. I was waaaay into those magazines when I was in high school. I saved up babysitting money to buy them. I rubbed the ink from the corners of the pages. I oh-so-carefully went from perforation to perforation to remove the posters. Of course, Duran Duran, played a pivotal role in the creation of my one-of-a-kind wallpaper, but I did allow U2 and The Cure and a bevy of one-hit-wonders to grace the outermost corners of my bedroom.
Pacific High School, Class of ’95, Go Indians!, Currently: By day, I pretend to know what I’m doing as a medical biller. By afternoon, I dabble in the PR/Marketing industry as a manager for Turquoise Morning Press. By night, I wrap up in a cape and let my fingers do the walking…across my keyboard.
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: To me the 90′s was the rise of rap/hip hop and I luuuuved to shake my groove thang. Six Flags is like 10 minutes from our high school and there was a dance club there for everyone and they played the best music. We’d come off the dance floor soaking wet. But man, we loved it. I would have to say a tie between Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” or Naughty by Nature’s “O.P.P.” Why O.P.P? Yeah, you know me! Actually, we did a dance for cheerleading to it and wore tie dyed shirts with O.P.P puffy painted on our butts!
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Bopp Magazine was way huge and I couldn’t get enough. My walls were plastered with pictures of NKOTB during my freshman year. Then they died out a bit and so did my need to put up posters. But not my taste in music. I loved it all. Metal, rap, rock, R&B. My favorite CD case was of Aerosmith. You know the one. With cow utters on the front. A close second would be Stone Temple Pilots. I still have both CDs.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I loved all types of music but if I had to pick one group that I didn’t like it would have to be Guns & Roses. Don’t get me wrong, I can belt out “November Rain” likes there’s no tomorrow but Axel’s personality is what did me in. Plus, he got into a fight with a fan in St. Louis and well…no one really liked him after that.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: Stone Temple Pilots, hands down. I was going into my senior year of high school; dating an older bad boy and rode to the concert in the back of a pick-up truck. The haze from people lighting up during the concert was so thick, you could choke.
Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Nine Inch Nails “Closer” ( I have to give credit my husband. He helped me think of it. Oh yeah, we’re high school sweethearts!)
Jennifer is the author of “Knight in Armor”, a sweet romance in the Men In Uniform Anthology released by Turquoise Morning Press. Her debut YA novel Ice Princess is due in April 2012. You can learn more about Jennifer at jenandersonauthor.com