Author Archive

Get Instant Fashion Advice

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’ve needed last-minute fashion advice?

I have to say; I was in need of some serious fashion do’s (and don’ts) last Saturday when I was being interviewed live on KRON 4 Weekend News by Henry Tenenbaum.

I’m sitting in the hot seat, hoping my jacket is buttoned correctly, that my legs were crossed in the right direction, that my blouse wasn’t showing too much cleavage, amongst the 99 other worries running through my head.  It was right then when I was saved by the “ding”.

Lucky for me, my BFF Wendy had seen the 15 second promo of Henry and I pretending to text each other two minutes before we were going live with the interview.  This is exactly when she made the mad dash to find her cell phone.  It was a fashion emergency!

Just in the nick of time, she sent me a text that said “Love the jacket – center your necklace and pull up your cammy!” And then I got a “Go get em, you look great”.  I responded back with an “OMG” and then a “Thx, YTB”. Adding to the benefit of badly needed advice I would have never gotten from the men standing in the room, the entire text exchange made me laugh which really calmed my nerves.

Thanks to the power of a few texts and a great friend that’s concerned with the potential of her gal pal looking like a complete idiot, I was able to get some desperately needed fashion advice, and just in time!

My point is that you too can get fashion advice on the DL!  Any time you’re thinking you need some true blue honesty, but you don’t want everyone to hear about your fashion faux pas… just ask your BFF to send some text advice.  To be honest, one of the most important jobs of being a great friend is to make sure your BFF’s don’t wear too-short skirts, don’t pile on too much makeup, and to strongly suggest they ditch the go-go boots and the floral moo moo’s because they’ve gone out of style.  

I’m definitely going to make fashion advice by text my new SOP, but next time I go on TV, I’m going to need to get me some tips on how NOT to look larger than life!  It’s true – the camera adds 10 pounds right to your bottom line, and I have the picture to prove it!  

Reminders By Text Rock

Monday, April 5th, 2010

As I was rushing out the door this morning so I could get to my meeting by eight (my teens were still sound asleep), I thought to myself that I should take a moment to write a list of chores that my little sleepy-heads needed to accomplish.

After all, it’s Spring Break, and I can’t have them doing absolutely NOTHING, can I?

But then I thought to myself “Why don’t I just text them their chores”?  I needed to get to work, and didn’t have an extra five minutes to write down two lists of “To-Do’s”.  So, that’s what I did.  I sent a group text to both of them with what I wanted them to do.

Nicole, my 17-year old responded back in seconds saying she’ll take care of them, and my 15-year old son responded two hours later asking if he could first go to the movies then do his chores right when he got home.  Have I mentioned boys are a little slower at responding to texts than girls?

Once again, sending a text saved me time and I knew my messages would be delivered instantly.  A little bonus was that they each would need to respond to my requests, which is what I love about sending a text vs. just leaving a note that might get conveniently ignored.

Have you ever used texting to send reminders?  If so, what type of reminders have you sent, and did you have positive results?


Harassment by Text On the Uprise

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

One of the newest epidemics in the world of texting is Textual Harassment, a form of harassment delivered by text message.  Textual harassment and techno-stalking are a growing concern, especially because it’s so quick and easy to accomplish, and affects all ages of both women and men.
Textual Harassment is an unfortunate reality that has developed as a result of the growth and popularity of texting, to the degree that special laws have been put in place to protect the innocent.

The laws that define textual harassment vary from state to state, but in California a single unsolicited text message that threatens physical harm or is obscene is enough to meet the definition of textual harassment. If the text doesn’t fall into either of these categories, then the text must be sent several times in order to be considered textual harassment. 

What should you do if you get text harassed?

I – Ignore the Text – DON’T RESPOND & make a copy of the message

B – Block – Call your provider and have them block the number

R – Report – Report the harassment to the police

It really comes down to one question when you’re trying to decide if a text has crossed the line. Ask yourself “Do you feel threatened or violated in any way?” If your answer is “Yes”, stop responding to the texts, keep copies of the messages in your e-mail, and if needed, block their number. If you feel threatened, strongly consider reporting them to the police, which is why you need to document the messages by making copies.
Most importantly, if you get harassed by text, understand that you’re not alone. There is millions of textual harassment cases reported every year in the United States, and it’s my strong opinion that most cases go unreported.
For more information and reports published by the US Department of Justice, Violence Against Women, go directly to their site at: .

Quinton Aaron of “The Blind Side” Take Home Read Between the Lines

Monday, March 15th, 2010

After meeting hundreds of celebrities, handing out over 250 special edition copies of Read Between the Lines, and taking more photos than I care to mention, one of my favorite moments was spending time with Quinton Aaron, who plays the part of the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, in the movie “The Blind Side”.  

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ve got to!  Quinton is wonderful, and as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Sandra Bulluck was also incredible enough to take home Oscar.

Quinton was down to earth, and at the same time, larger than life!  We spent more than twenty minutes in great conversation, then we took lots of fun pictures, hugged, and even danced (He’s hoping for a gig on Dancing With the Stars) and I have the picture of us in motion to prove his worthiness!  🙂

At first, my mom didn’t recognize him, but when she did – I thought she was going to faint!  And the picture of Quinton giving Nicole a giant bear hug is priceless!

The entire day was such an incredible experience; it literally took me three days to recover.  Thank God for my Mom,  my daughter Nicole, and my girlfriends Jen, Venetia, and Jennifer.  Between the six of us, we were able to talk to everyone who stopped by, take tons of pictures, and offered Michelle’s special sugar cookies in the shape of stars.  After that, we asked everyone to autograph the blown-up version of the book cover.  By the end of the night – we had collected over 300 signatures!

I can best explain our day as the ultimate “Coming Out Party” RBTL could have ever hoped for!

More fun SWAG 411 to follow!

Managing the Information Highway

Friday, March 12th, 2010

It’s the age of technology, and we’re all smack dab in the middle of it all.

There’s e-mail, news alerts, tweets, texts, Skype, a multitude of in-boxes, social media sites, blogs, YouTube and phones everywhere we turn.  Not only do we need to understand how to use technology, but we also need to master all the 411 without throwing it into reverse.

Technology can benefit you, but it can also suck you in and waste your precious time if you’re not careful.  And it’s time you’ll never get back.

Here’s a few tips to help you take charge, prioritize, and thank God for Google.

  • Take Charge of your In-Boxes.  Delete what’s not important or doesn’t apply to you.  Install a reputable spam filter to reduce trash, and prioritize what’s essential to your career, family and friends.  Delete the rest.
  • Use Google.  Because of Google’s algorithm – We benefit from the wisdom of many knowledgeable and diverse individuals in just a few clicks.  Viola!  Just like that, you’ll have answers to your burning questions.  
  • Text Tactfully.  Text when it makes sense, and don’t watch your life fly by, by staring at your phone all day, waiting for that next text to come in.  Do yourself a favor and make the call instead of passing hundreds of texts back and forth.
  • Don’t be too Social.  Balance is your key to success when it comes to social media.  Spending hours a day on Facebook?  Do you really have that much EXTRA time?
  • Pick your Passion.  Use the technology that works for you, and don’t be close-minded when it comes to learning new gizmos.  Keep an open mind, and give it an honest shot.
  • Get an iPhone.  I know; this is a tuff pill to swallow if you’re a BlackBerry user like I was just four weeks ago.  That being said, I’ve taken control of my in-boxes, text messages, my calendar (It auto syncs with Outlook) and Google works like a dream.  Oh, and did I mention I can take a quality photo and then immediately text or e-mail it in a snap?  And the App Store…. WAD!  (What a Dream)
We’re all in charge of our own life and which roads we pick to travel down.  Pick your own direction, ignore the tiny bumps in the road, and use the information highway to help you find your way… With simplicity and style of course!  

It’s Oscar Week and RBTL Gets Stoned For SWAG

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Thanks to four of my amazing girlfriends, we finished stoning and wrapping Read Between the Lines and it’s companion iPhone App “OMG!” in preparation for the Academy Award SWAG event this Saturday.

Nothing helps get my gal-pals more motivated than a couple bottles of wine and some hot steamy pepperoni pizza!  With 150 books to embellish with Swarovski Crystals, we had our work cut out for us.

It was no problem!  Jen, Beverly and Michelle stoned, Vinny worked on “blinging” the giant book cover, and I signed, stuffed and wrapped.  We worked hard for 5 hours, but got it done.

Here’s a look at 220 completed books, ready to be given away to celebrities, stylists, and select media who’ve been invited to the upcoming SWAG event, and we’ll be there to witness it first hand.

Next up?  Jen and I finished the backdrop tonight, and next… we need to figure out a way to get all of these books plus the 50 splits of Rose Chandon, 200 star-shaped sugar cookies decorated in the colors of the book, our backdrop, and luggage crammed into my car, for our road-trip to Hollywood!

We plan to get our guests all sugared up from the cookies and tipsy from the champagne so we can get some great photo-op’s.  JK – we just plan to have a lot of fun and get RBTL into the hands of the well heeled.

Did you know that SWAG stands for “Stuff We All Get”?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been given a big bag full of great free stuff, including things like Alligator handbags, iPhones and Swiss watches.  Hmm, I’m thinking it’s more like “Stuff We A’listers Get”.

It’s quite the adventure, and I’m really looking forward to all of it!

Diary of an iPhone Application – OMG! is Officially Available!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

At last, Apple just approved the iPhone Applications I’ve been working on, which include a text lingo dictionary, much like the glossary in the back of the book, Read Between the lines.  Those original terms from the book, along with 100’s of new terms are included in two of my new iPhone Applications.

This process took longer than expected, mostly due to Apple’s new “Clean Icon” campaign.   I just heard earlier this week that Apple has deleted over 5000 Applications from the Apple store, because they failed to measure up to their new standards – and there’s more  to come.

I guess you could say I was trying to “Get Hip Without Getting Deleted” by Apple.  Our primary delay was that one of my App’s (the one with the icon “WTF?”) was rejected as a result of this new initiative. 

Lucky for me, I hired the right person and the right company (Jen @ Presskit in Atlanta) who understands the App creation and submission process, and did a great job bringing all of RBTL App’s into the Apple store.  She’s an engineer with a great personality – which I find unusual.  🙂  Jen’s smart, honest, knows the App business, and she’s found a niche that allowed me to have an App developed for Read Between the Lines.

Officially, we have four Apps in the store:

Free Category – Search “Text Lingo”
OMG! & RBTL – These are both “Lite Versions” that are free, and give you a taste for the full version App, by providing 20 fun text abbreviations, along with an option to preview several chapters of the book, as well as a way to purchase the book right from your iPhone.

We built the “Lite” versions so iPhone users could learn about RBTL, and get a feel for what the full version included.

Paid Category – Search “Text Lingo”
OMG! & RBTL – These are both the complete text lingo dictionaries, and cost .99 each.  They allow you to search through thousands of abbreviations, and share them by e-mail, FaceBook, and Twitter. 

I’m proud to say I’ve made it through this process – thank you Jen!  These fun filled applications launched 2/23/10, and are the best companion to help you communicate with simplicity and style, right in the palm of your hand. 

Have a great idea for an App?  If this is the case, I have some great recommendations for you.  Just post your question – and I’d be more than happy to share any and all of my resources!

Avoid Deadly Cell Phone Obsessions – Just Say No!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Most of us are so busy, we try to do too many things in too little time. Then, to make matters worse, we try to “Get things done” by doing them on our cell phone, while we’re driving.

I know, I can hear you now, because I also hear that little evil voice inside my head telling me “It’s OK, you’re at a signal or a stop sign, so go ahead and check your e-mail or answer that text”.  I admit, I’ve done it – and I was dead wrong!

Why?  Because it’s too often that red light turns green, and there I am in the middle of my answer, and because I like to finish what I start, I’d continue with my message while my car was moving.  I was distracted to a degree that wasn’t safe for me or anyone around me.

If you’ve been watching the news, or maybe even heard about Oprah’s “No Phone Zone” campaign where you can sign her pledge to make your car a No Phone Zone.  The Goal?  Awareness is definitely one of them.  More importantly, according to Oprah “Save a life – maybe even yours”.   I couldn’t agree more!

Nowadays – all you have to do is look around while you’re driving, and more times than not, I can tell that the driver is in deed on their cell phone – and now more than ever they seem to be looking down, texting.

Yes, I’m the author of Read Between the Lines:  A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style, which is about the positives (and the negatives) of texting, and I firmly believe that there’s NO place for texting while driving, no exceptions, ever!

Since I know Oprah has a proven track record of accomplishing her goals with overwhelming positive results and success, I’ve taken her pledge to not text while driving, and only use my blue-tooth while on my phone.  I was pledge number 135643.

Interested in taking the pledge? Click here to make a commitment, or if you need more convincing, you can watch videos about victims of distracted videos.

Personally, I didn’t need any additional convincing.

Diary of Read Between the Lines iPhone Application

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

As of last week, Read Between the Lines two iPhone Applications were completed and submitted to Apple for approval.  Unfortunately, the “WTF?” App was denied, due to the WTF? icon that would be visible in the App Store, visible to everyone.

Apparently, Apple is in the process of “Cleaning up the App store”, and we submitted at the perfect time to be included in their new project.

I minor let down, but I completely understand.  It was one of the first questions I asked after I came up with the idea.  The answer that I received was an overwhelming “Have you seen the smut in the App store?  I’m sure WTF? won’t be a problem”!

It was a problem – so we changed its name to RBTL in order to get approval. The first App – “OMG!” was approved with no problems.

The good news is you’ll be able to find all of the apps if you search “Text Lingo Dictionary” on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010.

While we wait for Apple to work their magic, it was highly recommended that I hire an “App public relations firm” to have the Application reviewed (By Bloggers who review Apps) before it’s released, and to send press releases out to the right people… so I did.

I know, I bet you had no idea that there are companies that only do PR for Apps, let alone Bloggers who specialize in reviewing Apps that are in pre-release status, then blog about them.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone!  I had NO idea such things existed either – which is one of the reasons I’m documenting the journey.

One things for sure… There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t learn five new things about the business of writing a book.

New Author Claudia Pruett Speaks Out

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Ever wanted to write your own book?  If your answer is “Yes”, then you’re not alone.  In fact, I would say a large percencatage of people I speak to say that it’s one of their dreams to write a book.

This is exactly why I like to interview new authors and share their experiences with you, as well as my experiences with Read Between the lines.

Claudia Pruett, co-author of Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make, will be speaking about her newly published cookbook (Published 9/2009) at the San Francisco’s Writers Conference I’ll be attending this weekend.

A bit about her book: Nothing instills a sense of familial well-being better than a meal prepared and eaten together at home. But today’s busy lifestyles, coupled with more and better options from the take-out department, have made the family dinner nearly a thing of the past. Cooking Dinner is a rescue plan for this endangered tradition. Written by two mothers with a passion for Italian cooking, it features delicious recipes that don’t take all day to prepare.

How did you get your book, Cooking Dinner published?

We self published, then collaborated with Mega Productions in order to get a distributor. Our goal was to be available on Amazon, Barnes Noble and Borders on a national level.

Have you found it difficult to get your book into the major book stores?

Not difficult, but it takes a lot of calling and setting up appointments. Our distributor has a sales team who have helped us with this process but we also had to make sales calls. We’ve been able to get our book placed in both Barnes and Borders, on a national basis. We’ve also been successful with independent booksellers across the country.

In your opinion, what’s contributed to your books success?

The recipes in our book work, and they are familiar to people, which really helps. I would say:

• Man Hours – Book Signings Every Weekend

• The Cover – It’s Approachable

• Easy to Read, and Easy to Follow

• Word of Mouth

• Timing – Due to the Economy, More People are Cooking

• Everyone Loves Italian!

Cooking Dinner is more than a collection of recipes… It’s a method to improve family participation and well being.

What’s the most important thing you’ve done as an author to promote your book?

• Personal Presence and Book Signings (I also feed who attend)

• Contracted with a PR firm to get booked on “View From the Bay” and other miscellaneous press

• Because it’s a cookbook, I partner with cooking stores to do demonstrations

• I try to diversify by offering focaccia bread mix packaged as a mix, as well as speaking events

What advice do you have for new authors like me? 

Having a platform or being an expert on something is very important. My co-author and I have a foundation through which we teach underserved kids how to cook. We are also well-known in the community for our cooking expertise and are sought after by local media which helps with publicity and exposure.

It is also important to look for ways to diversify. For instance, I partner with cooking stores to provide cooking demonstrations and they in turn sell my focaccia mix, as well as my book.

If you’re interested in writing your own book, The SF Writers Conference is where you want to be.  For details about the conference, go to