Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Beautiful Art of Not Giving a Shit

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There are so many wonderful things about being in your thirties. For one, you start doing things before midnight, or "slut hours" as my friend's mother calls them. Bar dwelling and dinner reservations happen at normal times, like eight o'clock, and it's okay. You suddenly become comfortable with not shellacking makeup on your face every single day, and in general you just kind of stop giving a shit about the little things. Life is good, I often repeat in my head when I catch myself in those carefree moments where my twenty-two year old self would have shuddered.

I had one of my "who gives a shit?" moments yesterday. After spending the past two days hunched over my laptop, my neck was in serious pain. The stress of editing up to the last second before my book is fully formatted and ready to send off to Amazon, coupled with the fact that I hadn't really removed myself from the seated position for a good forty-eight hours had taken a toll on me. At one point I stood up, looked at my husband, and nearly burst into tears. "I can't do this! I need a break!" I shouted frantically. After pouring me an emergency glass of red wine, he insisted I go to the nail salon for a back massage. One of the great things about living in New York City is that you don't have to go to a fancy spa to get a massage. You can get a quick fix (that feels just as good) for just about a dollar a minute at any nail salon in the tri-state area. "Just get a twenty minute massage, I'll pay. You're in pain babe, you deserve it." It took me all of two minutes to decide this was non negotiable, and I quickly marched my non-showered, greasy ponytailed self up to Mimi's Nail Spa.

It didn't even occur to me that I looked like Honey Boo Boo's mother until I caught a glimpse of myself in the window reflection of Nino's pizzeria before making my way into the nail place. I was wearing a pair of sweatpants with some kind of tribal art design going down the left leg (part of my JWoww Halloween costume from 2010), a sports bra, and a gym t-shirt. I sported flip flops (they were Diane Von Furstenberg - the only part of my ensemble I was proud of), but my toes were begging for a pedicure and the chipped polish was a dead giveaway that I had basically given up on life. As shocking as my reflection was, I immediately let it go. I needed that massage more than air and as I sat there, being rubbed, kneaded, and karate-chopped, I was in heaven. 

Twenty dollars and twenty blissful minutes later, I left Mimi's feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to get back to work. My JWoww sweats and chipped toenails meant nothing. I strolled out onto the avenue and caught a glimpse of myself again in Nino's window. My ponytail was coming undone and my mascara was now on my cheekbones. I giggled and took a photo of myself with my iPhone. Life is good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Labor of Love

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A lot of people (mothers included) say that writing and publishing a book is much like having a baby. I have no idea what it's like to be pregnant, but I have had pregnant friends, and I can attest that we all share in the same sentiment that by the time you're about to birth whatever it is you're excited about, YOU ARE READY. You're tired, you're excited to "meet" your new work of art, and frankly, you just want it out.

I'd say I've been "expecting" this book for four years now; much different than the nine or ten months an excited mother awaits her new addition, but since I'm not actually producing a human being named SPARKLE (though how awesome would that be?) I'd say we even out with the timeline thing.

Last night, I (read: my husband) began the arduous process of laying out the interior of the book. All 142 pages. After nearly chucking my little pink laptop out my fifth story apartment window, we came to a mutual decision that we'd utilize his graphic design skills and turn this mother out in Adobe InDesign as opposed to a word processing program. The result is a much sleeker, aesthetically pleasing book, but a hell of a lot more work. But Ryan is truly amazing and has dedicated himself to this project (as has Cara, my kick-ass cover designer who I seriously could not live without) and I am so blessed to have all of these awesome people in my life who truly care about this book just as much as I do.

To show you just how laborious this process is, Ryan and I spent seven - yes, seven - hours yesterday getting all of the pages prepped for publication. And after those seven hours, we are still worlds away from having a finished product. Between spacing, layout, choosing fonts, and studying every single book I own, there are so many details you need to pay attention to. Self-publishing platforms are wonderful, and I can't say enough great things about Amazon's customer service, but there are still major things that nobody tells you. And even after having spent years scouring forums, tweets, and articles, I still found out last night that you have to add a category to the back cover of your book so book sellers know where to stock it! And that you need to add your own barcode to the back if you own your own ISBN number (many self-publishing companies will do this for you, but if you own the rights to your ISBN, ball's in your court).

But I have to say, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. Through all the tears, all the cups of coffee, and all the moments of sheer insanity where I find myself ready to gauge my own eyeballs out, I am still in love with what I'm doing. I am learning so much and I know that the second that little pink bundle of joy is in my arms, it will have all been worth it.

mission control

what would bethenny do?

what the hell does "kern" mean anyway?

Monday, August 6, 2012


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Three months ago, I made the decision to independently publish my four-year-in-the-making book, SPARKLE. I had envisioned what the cover would look like long before I decided to publish it on my own, but because I assumed I'd get a traditional book deal, I never imagined I'd get to have the cover of my dreams designed. But things don't always work out as planned, and before I knew it, every single detail of SPARKLE was in my hands. 

And I couldn't have been happier. 

I turned to Cara Loper of Loose Lid Creative to help me turn my sparkly vision into a reality, and after three long months of planning, designing, starting from scratch, planning some more, and designing again we finally arrived at a book cover that I could not possibly be more excited about. Every single piece of this book has been an absolute labor of love, and I am so blessed to get to work with some of the best people in the business. Cara's talent, patience, vision (and did I say patience!?) has made me even more excited about publishing this book, and I am thrilled to have her along for the ride. I couldn't have chosen a better designer.

So, without further adieu, I present to you the cover of SPARKLE!

SPARKLE will be available on Amazon and in select book stores on October 9, 2012!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


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When I first started thinking about what the cover would look like for SPARKLE, I knew it would involve a few things: the color pink, something that represented The Champagne Diaries, and something that screamed "there is a gay man trapped inside my body and he loves glitter." 

I went back and forth with ideas; at first I thought I'd do something really glitzy (think scratch & sniff meets pop-up book with George Michael in a motorcycle jacket rising from the center), but then reality hit and I realized I am publishing this book myself which means I am responsible for all costs involved. And unfortunately (or fortunately), I don't have thousands of dollars to pay a company to make that bizarre fantasy a reality.

After weeks of discussing (read: harassing) cover concepts with my designer Cara Loper, we finally decided on something so beautiful, so clean, so girly, and so representative of a champagne girl, and I cannot wait to share with you ladies! 

I will be unveiling the cover VERY SOON, but there's MORE! To thank everyone for their support throughout this process, I am also running a contest leading up to the big unveiling of the cover of SPARKLE!

Here are the official rules:

All you have to do is tweet using the hash tag #SparkleBook between now and August 10th, 2012. And if you don't use Twitter, have no fear! The contest will be valid on Facebook as well, just post something about Sparkle on The Champagne Diet's wall between now and Friday August 10th, 2012. It can be something as simple as "I can't wait to read this book that Cara has been talking about for seventeen years!" or "I can't wait to SPARKLE and shine and get my hands on this fabulous book!"

I will select a winner at random by August 15th and announce on the blog using your Facebook name and/or Twitter handle, and that lucky person will win a very special hand-selected Goddess Gift courtesy of The Champagne Diet! Here's a hint: it involves champagne!

Good luck!

Note: Winner must confirm they are 21+ to receive champagne