Monday, August 30, 2010

TMB--Too Much Betty

All right, I'll be the first one to say it.

I'm tired of Betty White.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think it's terrific that an 88-year-old actress with a healthy sense of humor can get lots of work. I am tickled to pieces that she got enough young people on Facebook to demand she host Saturday Night Live that she not only did host Saturday Night Live, but won an Emmy Award for it as well. I think it's great that Betty has a two-book contract and shows up wherever Sandra Bullock goes these days.

I'm even happy that Betty is a regular on some show on Nick at Nite that celebrates women over 40. All of that is wonderful, and more power to her.

But hey: If I saw my own mother as much as I see Betty White, I'd start to wonder if perhaps a little break might be indicated. When I went looking online for a calendar today, and found the Betty White 2011 Calendar on the "most popular" page, I realized it was too much.

Now, I'm not lumping our Betty (she seems to be everybody's Betty these days) in with such overexposed "celebrities" as Paris Hilton--good luck beating THIS rap, Paris--or Britney Spears. Betty can actually DO something, which is a serious advantage over many of those who will end up on Dancing With the Stars. She's no Kate Gosselin. Whoever that is.

What I'm saying is there are limits. If I wanted to see Betty White at least once a day, I would have asked her to marry me, and probably would have been turned down. But the point is, I DIDN'T ask, simply because that wasn't my goal. I'd like to see Betty, even at 88, be a little bit more selective in her choice of roles. Like, only one every week, and not seven.

Or, it's possible that I'm jealous. It takes months to write a book.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Because I Know You Care

Just started work on the THIRD book in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series (as yet, no title has leapt to mind--well, certainly not one I'm going to USE, anyway). Only a couple of pages in, but I think it'll come together relatively quickly, if not easily.

There's no such thing as "easily."

An immodest statement for those of you who have enjoyed NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED: The second book, AN UNINVITED GHOST, comes in April, 2011, and just between us, I think it's BETTER than the first one. Just sayin'.

Meanwhile, I'm told that NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED is just on the cusp of selling enough to merit a second printing. Readers might not think so, but a second time at the press can be a big deal for an author--it means the book has sold at least the way the publisher expected it to, and can sometimes facilitate an offer for more books in the series. So if you haven't nagged your friends yet and you want to see more books with Alison and her ragtag band of ghosts, guests and, I dunno, gusts, get them to buy a copy! Or buy one for them yourself! That'll force them to read it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What's So Funny?

I appreciate each and every review I've read of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED. Yes, even the one on Amazon where the person said they hadn't read the book yet, but still gave it three stars. But a consistent trend in the reviews does baffle me a little.

Believe me, for an author it's a joy to be recognized. I love it when people give me feedback, even the one time I got an email telling me my book was "one of the four worst I've ever read," which was irritating in that the other three were not listed. And the reviews for DEED have been very generous, and greatly appreciated.

Among the adjectives used to describe the book have been "humorous," "hilarious," "funny," and did I mention "hilarious"?

That stumps me. To me, there are some sharp comments here and there, but it's not a flat-out comedy. Alison has a point of view, certainly, that reflects our New Jersey National Language (Sarcasm), but "hilarious?" Maybe I'm reading the book wrong.

Please, tell me, show me--what parts of the book made you laugh? If I know what worked, maybe I can do it again!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Singles-to-Digital Conversion Project: The Complete List

Herb Alpert: Tijuana Taxi

Casino Royale

Zorba The Greek

The Association: Windy

Badfinger: Come and Get It

Rock Of All Ages

Blood Sweat & Tears: Spinning Wheel

Bobby Bloom: Montego Bay

Blues Image: Ride Captain Ride

Carpenters: Rainy Days and Mondays

Chicago: Along Comes A Woman

Classics IV: Traces

Nat King Cole: Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Judy Collins: Both Sides Now

Bill Cosby: Little Old Man

Cowsills: Hair

Lou Christie: I’m Gonna Make You Mine

The Critters: Mr. Dieingly Sad

Tim Curry: I Do The Rock

Dawn: Candida

Neil Diamond: Cracklin’ Rosie

Sweet Caroline

Holly Holy

The Drifters: Under The Boardwalk

Easybeats: Friday on My Mind

Edison Lighthouse: Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes

Shirley Ellis: The Name Game

Five Americans: Western Union

Flying Machine: Smile A Little Smile For Me

Aretha Franklin: Freeway Of Love

John Fred and the Playboys: Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)

Freddie and the Dreamers: I’m Telling You Now

Gerry and the Pacemakers: It’s Gonna Be All Right

Lesley Gore: Summer And Sandy

California Nights

Grass Roots: Sooner or Later

River Runs Wide

Grateful Dead: Touch of Grey

Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds: Don’t Pull Your Love

George Harrison: My Sweet Lord

Isn’t It A Pity


Howard Jones: No One Is To Blame

Trini Lopez: Lemon Tree

The Lovin’ Cohens: Noshville Katz

The Marmalade: Reflections Of My Life

Paul McCartney: Give Ireland Back to the Irish

Live and Let Die

Mike and the Mechanics: All I Need Is A Miracle

Monkees: A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You

The Girl I Knew Somewhere

Van Morrison: Moondance

Napoleon XIV: They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha!

The Neighborhood: Big Yellow Taxi

New Colony Six: Things I’d Like To Say

Harry Nilsson: Waiting

With A Bullet


The Police: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Billy Preston: Outa-Space

Redeye: Games

REO Speedwagon: I Do’ Wanna Know

Tommy Roe: Dizzy

Bobby Rydell: A World Without Love


Soupy Sales: The Mouse

Bob Seger: Shakedown

Spanky and Our Gang: Sunday Will Never Be The Same

Lazy Day

Rod Stewart: Lady Jane

Sting: Fortress Around Your Heart

If You Love Someone Set Them Free

Barbra Streisand: Time and Love

Three Dog Night: One

Union Gap (Gary Puckett): Lady Willpower

Young Girl

USA For Africa: We Are The World

Mason Williams: Classical Gas

Monday, August 2, 2010

The LP-to-Digital Conversion Project (Final Album List)

Allman Brothers: Brothers & Sisters

Win, Lose or Draw

Beach Boys: Best of the Beach Boys, 1 and 2

Good Vibrations

Live In London

Beatles: Introducing the Beatles

Meet the Beatles

The Beatles’ Second Album

A Hard Day’s Night

Something New

The Early Beatles

Beatles ‘65


Beatles VI

Rubber Soul

Yesterday and Today


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Magical Mystery Tour

Yellow Submarine

Hey Jude

Let It Be

Stephen Bishop: Careless


Red Cab To Manhattan

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner: The 2000 Year-Old Man

2000 and Six Month Man

Cannes Film Festival


Mel Brooks: Soundtracks

Jackson Browne: The Pretender

Running on Empty

Lives in the Balance

Lindsey Buckingham: Go Insane

George Carlin: FM/AM

Class Clown

On the Road

Harry Chapin: Anthology

Tom Chapin: Life Is Like That

In The City of Mercy

Let Me Back Into Your Life

Chicago: Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago 2, 6, 7

Jimmy Cliff: Struggling Man

Leonard Cohen

Phil Collins: No Jacket Required

Bill Cosby: Is A Very Funny Fellow—Right!



To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With

200 MPH

It’s True! It’s True!


Live at Madison Square Garden

8:15, 12:15

For Adults Only

Inside the Mind of Bill Cosby

My Father Confused Me

When I Was A Kid

Fat Albert

Bill’s Best Friend


Those Of You With Or Without Children You’ll Understand

Creedence Clearwater Revival: More Creedence Gold

Jim Croce: Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Life and Times

I Got A Name

Crosby Stills and Nash


Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà vu

4 Way Street

Christopher Cross

Another Page

Billy Crystal: Mahvelous!

Neil Diamond: Love at the Greek

Doobie Brothers: Minute By Minute

Eagles: Their Greatest Hits

Eddie and the Cruisers

Jonathan Edwards

Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy

Electric Light Orchestra: ELO II

New World Record


Balance Of Power

Cass Elliot: Mama’s Big Ones

Duke Ellington: Jazz Greats

Everything But The Girl: Baby, The Stars Shine Bright

Love Not Money


Fifth Dimension: Greatest Hits


Fifth Dimension Live!

Fleetwood Mac



Tango in the Night

John Fogerty: Centerfield

Foreigner: Records

Four Seasons: Greatest Hits

Michael Franks: Art of Tea

Skin Dive

Stan Freberg: The United States of America Part 1

Freberg Underground

Glenn Frey: No Fun Aloud

David Frye: I Am the President

Richard Nixon, Superstar

Art Garfunkel: Angel Clare


Fate For Breakfast

Scissors Cut


Invisible Touch

Andrew Gold: All This And Heaven Too

Steve Goodman

Somebody Else’s Troubles

In Private

Hot Spot

Affordable Art

Grateful Dead: Steal Your Face

Arlo Guthrie: Washington County

George Harrison

Don Henley: Building the Perfect Beast

Herman’s Hermits: Greatest Hits

Billie Holiday: Greatest Hits


Janis Ian: Between the Lines

Miracle Row

Janis Ian

Restless Eyes

Joe Jackson: Jumpin’ Jive

Night and Day

Body and Soul

Mike’s Murder Soundtrack

Big World

Billy Joel: Piano Man

Streetlife Serenade

52nd Street

An Innocent Man

The Bridge

Elton John: Honky Chateau

A Single Man

Greatest Hits 1 & 2

Jump Up

Too Low For Zero

Breaking Hearts

Carole King: Writer


Rhymes and Reasons


Wrap Around Joy


Simple Things

Welcome Home

Touch the Sky


One To One

Speeding Time

City Streets

Robert Klein: Child of the 50s

Mind Over Matter

New Teeth

Bonnie Koloc: Morning

On The Road

Leo Kottke: Greenhouse

Tom Lehrer: Songs By Tom Lehrer

An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer

That Was The Year that Was

John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy

Julian Lennon: Valotte

The Secret Value of Daydreaming

Huey Lewis and the News: Sports


Little River Band: Greatest Hits

Backstage Pass

The Net

Playing To Win

Loggins & Messina: Full Sail

On Stage

The Best of Friends

Kenny Loggins: Nightwatch

Lovin’ Spoonful: Very Best of the Lovin’ Spoonful

Nick Lowe: Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit

The Mamas and the Papas: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

A Gathering of Flowers

Melissa Manchester: Bright Eyes


Groucho Marx: An Evening With Groucho

Amanda McBroom: Dreaming

Paul McCartney: McCartney


Wild Life

Red Rose Speedway

Venus and Mars

At The Speed of Sound

Wings Over America

Tug Of War

Pipes of Peace

Don McLean: American Pie

Christine McVie

Bette Midler

Songs For the New Depression

The Rose

Thighs and Whispers

Divine Madness

Mud Will Be Flung Tonight

Joni Mitchell: Clouds

Ladies of the Canyon


The Monkees

More Of The Monkees


Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd.

The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees

Maria Muldaur: Waitress in a Donut Shop

Michael Nesmith: Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma

Randy Newman: Trouble In Paradise

Juice Newton: Quiet Lies

Olivia Newton-John: Greatest Hits

Nilsson: Pandemonium Shadow Show

Nilsson Sings Newman

The Point


Son Of Schmilsson


That’s the Way It Is


Early Tymes

North By Northwest Soundtrack

Laura Nyro: Eli and the 13th Confession

First Songs

Season of Lights: In Concert

Charlie Parker: The Best of Bird

The Alan Parsons Project: The Turn of a Friendly Card

I Robot

Best of the Alan Parsons Project



Peanuts: Charlie Brown and Lucy

Peter, Paul and Mary: Album 1700

(Ten) Years Together

Pippin Original Cast Recording

Pointer Sisters: Steppin’

That’s A Plenty

Break Out

Jim Post: Rattlesnake

Richard Pryor: Wanted

The Punsters: Boardwalk Santa

Flora Purim: 500 Miles High

Gerry Rafferty: Can I Have My Money Back?

Gerry Rafferty

City To City

Night Owl

Snakes and Ladders


Bonnie Raitt

Give It Up

Sweet Forgiveness

The Glow

The Rascals: Time Peace (Greatest Hits)

Lou Reed: Transformer

The Roches

Another World

Linda Ronstadt: Simple Dreams

What’s New

Lush Life

Dolly Parton/Linda Ronstadt/Emmylou Harris: Trio

Carole Bayer Sager

Buffy Sainte-Marie: It’s My Way

Many A Mile

Little Wheel Spin and Spin

She Used To Want to Be a Ballerina

Judy Small: One Voice In A Crowd

Saturday Night Live

Boz Scaggs: Boz Scaggs and Band

My Time

Slow Dancer

Down Two Then Left

Seals and Crofts: Down Home

Year Of Sunday

Summer Breeze

Diamond Girl

I’ll Play For You

Get Closer

Sudan Village

Takin’ It Easy

The Longest Road

Bob Seger: Night Moves

Stranger In Town

Jean Shepherd: The Declassified Jean Shepherd

Allan Sherman: My Son the Folk Singer

My Son the Celebrity

My Son the Nut

Allan In Wonderland

Peter and the Komissar

Simon and Garfunkel: The Graduate Soundtrack

The Concert in Central Park

Carly Simon: Another Passenger


Come Upstairs


Hello Big Man

Spoiled Girl

Coming Around Again

Lucy Simon

Stolen Time

Paul Simon: The Paul Simon Songbook

Live Rhymin’

Still Crazy After All These Years

Hearts and Bones

Phoebe Snow: Never Letting Go

Against the Grain


Rock Away

Bruce Springsteen: Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey

The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle

Born in the U.S.A.

Ringo Starr: Ringo

Goodnight Vienna

Ringo’s Rotogravure

Ringo the 4th

Stop and Smell The Roses

Inside Star Trek

Star Wars Soundtrack

Stealers Wheel

Ferguslie Park

Stuck In the Middle With You: The Best of Stealers Wheel

David Steinberg: Disguised as a Normal Person

Booga Booga!

Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits

Back to Earth

Rod Stewart: Camouflage

James Taylor: One Man Dog


In The Pocket

Greatest Hits



Dad Loves His Work

Kate Taylor

Livingston Taylor: 3-Way Mirror


Man’s Best Friend

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Three Dog Night: Harmony


Seven Separate Fools

Around The World With Three Dog Night

Toby Beau

Jennifer Warnes

Sonny Boy Williamson

Robin Williams: Live at the Met

Flip Wilson: The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress

Steve Winwood: Back In The High Life

Stevie Wonder: Innervisions

Fulfillingness’ First Finale

Songs In The Key of Life

Hotter Than July