On… The Dating Detox, The Musical

Imagine if life was like Glee – not for the daily faux-climax (the club is threatened! Oh, the club’s okay. The club is threatened AGAIN! Oh, what do you know, the club’s okay. Scooby Doo plots had more dramatic variation. If it wasn’t for those pesky kids, etc) but because of the spirit, humour and of course the songs.

These are the songs I’d put in The Dating Detox, The Musical.

Some are in this list because I listened to them a lot when I was writing it, and a few of them slipped in to the copy. Some, I just think are ace songs. And some are featured in the trailer. (Haven’t seen the trailer? Dude! You are missing out. Click here.) I’ve had all of them in a special Detox playlist for awhile, and it’s high time I shared them with you.

The Dating Detox Playlist

Lisztomania – Phoenix
Get Over It – Ok Go
Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
I Get Around – Dragonette
Dancing With Myself Nouvelle Vague (the Billy Idol version is great too)
Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
99 Problems – Jay-Z
Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Don`t Ask Me – Ok Go
Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
Our Lips Are Sealed – The Go-Go’s
My Delirium – Ladyhawke
You’re So Damn Hot – Ok Go
All Night Long – Lionel Richie
Love Is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar
If You Leave – OMD
Here Comes Your Man – The Pixies
Happy Together – The Turtles*

It’s a pretty standard Gemma playlist: a bit of angry rock-pop, a bit of new wave and hair metal, a bit of OK Go. I am nothing if not predictable, as my mother always says.

By the way – whoever recommended The Like on the last iPod post, thank you very much. I The Love them. (Sigh.) So bring it on, my people. Any more Detox-y songs to recommend?

*By the way, this was one of my wedding songs in April. Everyone sang it during the ceremony. It is impossible to not feel joyful when singing this (admittedly mildly ridiculous) song at the top of your voice – try it.

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On… my internet diet

I’ve been going over my copyedits.

Copyediting is when a person with supposed eagle eyes goes over the manuscript and spots things like, oh, I don’t know, someone getting a drink twice in a page, for example (my characters make that mistake a lot, the little boozehounds).

I’m not sure that the copyeditor really gets my writing, though. One character said ‘ballache’ and the comment said ‘is this French?’

Recently I’ve been thinking about my internet diet and wondering what other people look at regularly. What blogs do you love? What sites can’t you live without (or, let’s be honest, you could live without but would much rather not)? For me, these sites are all creative diversions. I browse to clear my mind after or, actually, between writing. Kind of like recess at school.

www.topshop.com – amen

www.twitter.com – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it

www.mrstrefusis.blogspot.com – lovely, warm, thoughtful (but not self-indulgent in the least, unlike so many) blog – and she loves Jilly Cooper so is clearly a kindred

www.refinery29.com - consistently awesome fashion styling

www.nymag.com – yes I live in London not New York but there’s something delightfully inclusive and happy about this site, and I love their newsy bites in The Cut, Grub Street and Vulture

www.talliroland.blogspot.com – london debut chicklit author who blogs brilliantly

www.gofugyourself.com – funny as hell

www.chicklitreviews.com and www.novelicious.com – someone in publishing needs to employ these girls; their knowledge of the chicklit market is truly awesome and their reviews are ace (not just saying that cos they were nice about The Dating Detox, I pinkie-swear it)

www.adsoftheworld.com – stimulates the creative juices

www.thehuffingtonpost.com – smart, in-the-know news-n-diversions

www.sheerluxe.com – first port of call for any birthday / christening / christmas shopping

www.i-escape.com – for pretend boutique holiday planning

www.vanityfair.com – just a brilliant read, and the VF Daily blog featured moi so obviouslah is especially awesome

www.goop.com - I love her, so there

www.dailycandy.com - like having a clued-up (albeit obsessed-with-the-cool-kids) friend who tells you everything everyone else will be doing this weekend

www.thrillist.com - kind of a daily candy for boys

www.makeupalley.com – i never buy any makeup without checking the reviews here first

www.lettersofnote.com – interesting/odd/important/fascinating letters that always make me sigh and think, in a good way

What about you? What are your favourite sites for playtime?

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On…. summer playlists

Don’t you find that iPods are such needy things?

They need constant attention, especially if you’re like me, and replay songs over and over and over again and thus tire of them stupidly quickly. Then I have to wait to find a new song obsession and set aside an hour, usually on a Sunday, to make a themed playlist for said obsession. (Do you do this, too? How else does one keep one’s iPod fresh and juicy? I don’t know. I am probably going about it all wrong, I know.)

So. This is my new Hot And Sunny Summer playlist. Now, before the slating starts: I know my taste in music isn’t for everyone, in fact, one of the biggest fights Fox and I ever had was when he accused me of being an iPod Nazi at parties*. But these are my favourite songs…. for at least the next 10 days.

Shout It Out Loud – KISS
Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley
Love Bites – Def Leppard
Tweedle Dee – LaVern Baker
Thunderbird – it says ‘Various Artists’ so who knows
Jukebox Baby – Perry Como
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Saturday In The Park – Chicago
Animal – Def Leppard
Jenny / 867 -5309 – Tommy Tutone
Oogum Boogum – Brenton Wood
Cruel Summer – Bananarama
Gimme Little Sign – Brenton Wood

Any ideas for more summery songs?

*I actually think people at parties welcome an iPod Nazi (though I’d call myself more of an iPod Enabler), as otherwise they might forget that gems like Express Yourself by NWA or Wild Thing by Tone Loc even exist, and that would be a tragedy, n’est-ce pas? Fox’s point was that sometimes people want to listen to their own iPods. My replying point was: but my iPod is better than theirs. He then said: see, that’s what I mean, you are an iPod Nazi.

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On… Eastbound and Down

Eastbound and Down is about an ex-baseball star called Kenny Powers forced to retire to small-town America. But God, that doesn’t even begin to describe it. Think this might be the funniest show I’ve ever seen. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Check this out if you’re interested www.kennypowers.com

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On… shopping

My new SheerLuxe blog is up! (Warning: The Maje Dress features… again. What can I say, I heart it.)

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On… a new dress

I think you should all know that I am in love.

You know when you find a dress you love? Like, really love? It happens rarely, for me. I very much like most of my clothes, only tolerate some of them, and outright hate a handful. But never mind all that, they are past flings, forgotten: I have found the one.

That’s right: I love this Maje dress so much that I can’t stop talking about it. It completes me. I am the man who will fight for its honour. Hold me closer, tiny Maje dress.

So I have to share it with you, even though it has nothing to do with writing or reading or uh, anything. I would write more but I have to go now and kiss it and see if it wants anything for lunch and then maybe wash its hem with my hair.

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On THE BEST OF EVERYTHING

I don’t post about books that often, for many reasons. There are much better book reviewers than me in the blogiverse, I read purely for pleasure and it would feel like a job if I reviewed them, and um, I’m lazy.

But sometimes I read a book that makes me want to lie in bed and gaze into its eyes lovingly. A soulmate of a book. A kindred spirit, a bosom friend, Diana to my Anne of Green Gables. (Okay enough with the analogies.)

The Best Of Everything by Rona Jaffe.

The basic premise: five women working in publishing in the 50s in New York, trying to figure out who they are and where they’re going. It’s like Sex And The City meets Mad Men (I know, I hate those ‘x’ meets ‘x’ comparisons too, but they do save time). It was written in the late 50s, expressly to become a film, but as a book it’s standalone awesome.

It was a bit like being in love. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it, and when I was reading it, nothing else mattered. I found myself underlining passages throughout, saying out loud ‘I feel EXACTLY like that!’. Naturally, some bits are un peu outdated (I don’t actually know any girls holding onto their virginity like some diamond-studded albatross, for example) but on the whole, sentence after sentence gave me chills. It’s smart, observant and empathetic. I wish I could go back and read it again.

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THE WINNER…

… will remain a mystery until you read A Girl Like You. (BOOM!)

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