Monday, July 10, 2006


by Patty

I’m a member of the Screen Actors Guild Film Society. Saturday night I went to see “The Devil Wears Prada” at the Zanuck Theater at Twentieth Century Fox studios in West Los Angeles. I loved the movie. It was both jocular and moving. Meryl Streep gave her typically nuanced, Oscar-caliber performance. Stanley Tucci was equally as brilliant. In fact, the whole cast was wonderful. I’m not much of a fashionista but the costumes were faboo!

As I was leaving the theater, I suddenly became aware that I was in UBER-hip L.A. on the Twentieth Century Fox lot watching a great movie with a bunch of actors. Could life get any better for a girl from Yakima?

As a matter of fact, yes. It can and did. On Sunday I FINISHED my third novel. Well, perhaps FINISHED is not the best word. It’s more like—finished. I still have a couple of weeks to tinker with it before it’s due on the desk of my editor, the also-brilliant Kristen Weber of exclamation point fame!!!!!!!!! (see May 1, Weekend Mojo)

After I ran off a fresh copy of the manuscript, I actually had time to read a newsletter that had been left on my front porch. It was from a local realtor, but oddly it contained nothing about real estate. It listed a Web site for the national “Do Not Call” registry where you can put those pesky telemarketers on notice not to ring you up during the dinner hour. It also included some filler copy, quotes from famous people on the meaning of success. I was feeling pretty successful about completing my book before the deadline so I read through a few.

J. Paul Getty said, “Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”

Very funny, J. Paul. Not as funny as our Pauly, but not bad.

Irving Berlin said, “The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.”

Sheesh! Talk about pressure.

Malcolm Forbes said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”

Hmm, does that mean we can’t succeed without failing?

Bette Midler said, “The worst part of success is to try finding someone who is happy for you.”

Sort of sad and gloomy, Bette. I just want you to know I think you’re terrific, and I’m happy for your all your success.

My personal favorite is a quote by Lady Astor. “The penalty of success is to be bored by the people who used to snub you.”

You tell it like it is, Lady A.

After considering what all those successful people had to say about success, I went back to my computer and resumed working on my manuscript. I have two more weeks to rise early, work hard, and hope that I strike oil, in the literary sense of the word.

p.s. There was a very cool article in the Los Angeles Times this week about the new generation of L.A. mystery writers. It was written by Anne-Marie O'Connor and features Paula Woods, Naomi Hirahara, Denise Hamilton, and Gary Phillips. Guess who else got a mention? Moi.
...a new cadre of female mystery writers is exploring the noir of upscale Los Angeles. Jerrilyn Farmer's investigator is a party planner; Patricia Smiley's heroine is a management consultant and Susan Kandel's sleuth is a biographer of mystery authors. Michael Connelly, the bestselling writer whose latest Harry Bosch mystery, "Echo Park," comes out in the fall, said the shift in the genre has given birth to new, deeper characters whose brushes with mortality involve deeper meditations on race, gender and class.

I'm honored to be included in such great company. Check it out. Happy Monday!


  1. Happy monday indeed! Sounds like you're having a good month so far. Hope the good stuff continues.

  2. Congratulations on the milestone, Patty! Although I know how you say the book is never really FINISHED!

    And what great company to be in in the article. Fantastic!

  3. Thanks Dusty and Karen. You guys are great! Don't you just feel that if you had an extra month or year you could turn that puppy into War and Peace?

  4. Congratulations on Book Three, Patty! What's the working title on this one? And I agree that Lady Astor's jibe is the best ever. She made such a great snob.

  5. Louise, the working title is SHORT CHANGE, and thanks for asking!

  6. Congrats to Patty. Finishing the first draft of a book always raises a question. No...not should you have a martini or margarita? What is it you enjoy more...writing? Or having written?

  7. Hands down, at this point it's having written. I'd set a deadline for Sunday, so by evening I felt as if my head was going to explode. A brief respite and then time to start the next one...