Saturday, March 17, 2012

"And Guest" Two dreaded words

The most terrifying two-word combination that a single woman can read is “and Guest” written in calligraphy on the front of an oversized, ecru-colored envelope.  Even the most self-assured woman is stopped dead in her tracks when she realizes that she is expected to bring a date to a social function and she can’t think of anyone to take with her.

I recently received one of those envelopes.  My friend Sharon was getting married. My first thought was, Oh my God. Who am I going to invite as my guest? I can’t show up alone.  “and Guest” implies that they are expecting me to bring a date.  An escort.  A dance partner.

  I went through a mental checklist of all of the men I know.  Let’s see now.  What about Henry? No, he’s married.  John? No, he’s seeing someone else.  Robert? No, his behavior embarrasses me when we’re out in public.  There’s Carl.  No, I unceremoniously dumped him and humiliated him in front of his friends and co-workers.  Humm.  I wonder if he’s still holding a grudge?

I searched for my address book.  I frantically flipped through the pages trying to remember which men I hadn’t referred to as “The Asshole of the Year” to my friends.  Looking at the names, I wished that I had returned some of those telephone messages from phone calls that I had avoided.  Messages that were left on my answer machine by men while I stood there listening their voices over the speaker as they poured out their hearts onto a twenty-second tape.  As I considered how my past behavior resulted in my current predicament, I reprimanded myself, I have to change my ways.  Tomorrow.

I began to panic.  I suppose that I could respond and tell Sharon that I would not be able to go to her wedding.  No, that wouldn’t work.  I would have to come up with an excuse, a lie, and then I would have to remember it for the rest of my life.  Then I would have to be on my toes at all times and be prepared to convincingly discuss my excuse, in great detail, every time Sharon reminisced about her wedding.  Maintaining a lie for several years is just too much pressure for me to endure.  Lying was not an option.

Wait just one minute!  Sharon knows perfectly well that I’m not dating anyone right now.  Is she trying to punish me?  Is she trying to humiliate me?  How could she be so cold?  I became indignant, That’s it!  I’m not going and that will show her!  Those thoughts faded when reality stepped in and I remembered that the world doesn’t revolve around me and that Sharon’s wedding ceremony and reception were not maliciously planned with the express purpose of embarrassing me.

I thought about being honest and logical.  Perhaps I could call Sharon and tell her that I didn’t have a date to bring and ask her if she had invited any single men who also need a date.  No, then I would look pathetic.  Pathetic and desperate, a sad combination.

I looked at the invitation again.  The date of the wedding was six weeks away.  I had to come up with a plan of action.  Humm.  I could go out and actively pursue men.  Let’s see.  If I met a man this weekend, we could have three, four, possibly five dates before Sharon’s wedding.  We would appear comfortable together and after six weeks there would be a good possibility of some hand-holding and sweet glances.

But there was the very real possibility that I would not meet a potential “and Guest” right away.  I calculated, if I met someone two or three weeks from now, we might only be able to get in a few dates before the wedding.  This could create a familiarity and comfort issue.  What if I don’t know him well enough to determine what his idea of formal wear is?  It could be an expensive suit or a T-shirt with a tuxedo stenciled on the front.

I considered going to a popular restaurant in my neighborhood and making the announcement that I had been invited to a wedding.  I would explain that I had been asked to bring a date and that I would be interviewing applicants from the hours of nine to eleven at the end of the bar.  Along with proof of employment and a valid driver’s license, a list of three references must be provided.  Transients and drunks need not apply.

The weeks flew by and before I knew it Sharon’s wedding day had come.  I had not arranged for an “and Guest.”  I was going to the wedding alone, unescorted.  Things could be worse, I thought.  Sharon could have asked me to be a bridesmaid.

(From The Grumbling of a Chronically Single Woman, By Randi Sherman author of PAULA TAKES A RISK)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sunny promotion

Never in my lifetime has anyone ever said:"Hey, Randi you should go into sales."
Some people are naturals. Me? Not so much.
Yup, I'm personable, funny, hilarious at times. Some people have called me smart and even charming (they have requested that I keep their anonimity, to protect them against backlash) - But a "schmoozing wheeler dealer?" Nope.

So here I am with the book PAULA TAKES A RISK ready to go - and I'm working to come up with some promotional ideas, You know, get my name out there.  Being a relative unknown - scheduling appearances and events focused on the astounding works of Randi Sherman are a little slow in the making.

So I'm thinking - How about a give away?  I'll go out to the super popular SF park, set up a table, maybe have some treats, start up some conversations and trade a book for an email address and a promise to tweet all of thier friends .

That's the plan. I can get my name out locally- during the next sunny weekend day in San Francisco.
"Great!" You're thinking, "It's never sunny in San Francisco. That's a safe and inexpensive plan."

For those of you who are familiar with Mark Twain and his supposed quote: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," you probably don't know that we have some of the most beautiful and mild days here. 

Okay. The plan is set. I have ordered a few boxes of books. I've got some T-shirts and I'll be ready to soon as this rain lets up.

If you have additional promotion ideas - drop me a line.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A little help here

So - I have made it through the labyrinth of self-publishing, writing, editing, reediting, reediting, design, waiting, pricing, ISBN codes, identifying demographics and target audiences - all of it. I have the book in hand. I have followed instruction and the rules. I have contacted hundreds of
editors, reviewers, producer, executives of radio & TV sent Press Releases, About the Author docs, invited them to call me - then - crickets - tumbleweeds blowing across the plains - and now, humbly I must admit two things (1) I have no clout whatsoever and (2) I need help with promoting and distribution. Sure I thought I could do it all ... alas... maybe not and now... I am seeking the help of a professional.

Sure - I know I need to be patient - and I am - just seeking a little help
Agents, publishers, promoters - where are you?
Contact me

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How old do I look?

The other day - I received a note from an old friend who found me on facebook.
She wrote "I cant believe it. You look exactly the same as you did in high school."
Then I thought - "Oh my god! I looked like I was 50 years old when I was in High School"

Monday, March 5, 2012

enjoy chapters

Paula Takes a Risk is finally available - read about it and the author.
Hey - order a copy

Also -Enjoy chapters form The Grumblings of a Chronically Single Woman



Paul, I thought, was a dream come true.  Everything I had ever hoped for, seemed to be embodied in him.  My heart soared every time I thought of him.  Zing!

Paul invited me to his beach house for dinner.  He was going to cook.  Wow.  When I arrived, fresh cut flowers were on the table, the wine was breathing and mood music filled the air.  I was impressed.  The meal was incredible.  The Cabernet tasted as if the grapes were grown for the soul purpose of creating a wine that would compliment our dinner.  I was being wooed and I liked it.

As we sat there gazing into each other’s eyes, everything seemed so right until I began to ramble.  I couldn’t help myself.  My mind raced as I tried to think of clever anecdotes about myself to impress Paul.  Instead, I blathered on with inappropriate and self-deprecating stories about my childhood pudginess and thick glasses.  Besides, I was trying to picture him naked and was having trouble concentrating.

I was dying for him to touch me.  I executed a combination hand-half-way-across-the-table with an interested lean.  This particular maneuver is extremely difficult to do successfully.  Precise angling, attitude, and timing are essential.  You must lean your upper body inward, at just the right angle (approximately forty-five degrees), while maintaining hand placement and eye contact.  The weight is shifted laterally onto one buttock.  It is crucial that the correct buttock is selected. Optimum head and face placement to receive a kiss is the goal. For maximum benefit, lower the eyelids, part the lips slightly and execute a single heavy inhale-exhale combination. 

Finally, Paul took my hand, drew me close and kissed me.  I nearly fell off of the chair and under the table.  I suddenly felt flush.  My palms got clammy, my heart was leaping and my stomach was churning.  Wait. I began to wonder. Was this supposed to be happening?  Was he the one?

Paul suggested that we go for a walk along the beach.  As we removed our shoes and placed them on the porch, I began to fantasize about the movie, “From Here to Eternity.”  Paul would be Burt Lancaster, I would be Deborah Kerr and the gentle waves would roll over our entwined bodies as we kissed in the surf.

We walked hand-in-hand as the surf rushed over our feet.  Everything seemed so perfect.  The fresh air snapped me back into reality and I realized that my stomach was feeling unusually queasy.  Was it the romance?   No.  It was the dinner.  Nausea began to overtake me.  I felt dizzy.  I started to cramp and broke into a sweat.  Oh no. I tried to think it away.  The gurgling from my stomach and the hot flashes were eventually overtaken by the crashing waves of nausea.  I fell to my knees and proceeded to pollute the ocean in my own special way.

            When I came to, I realized that I was sprawled out and the surf was lapping up my, now ruined, suede dress.  I was soaking wet and covered with sand, seaweed and various non-biodegradable items.  I lifted my head and searched for Paul.  He was sitting on a sand dune about thirty feet away.  When he saw me moving, he stood up and walked toward me.  I was hoping for compassion.  Instead, he was disgusted and angry.

 In a sarcastic tone he asked, “Now, was that necessary? You certainly know how to ruin an evening. I suppose you’re too sick to have sex tonight.”

What?  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  What a Jackass!

Without help from Paul, the king of concern, I pulled myself to my feet.  I stumbled down the beach in an effort to catch up with Paul, who kept pace about ten feet ahead of me.  I felt my body becoming chaffed by the wet suede and sand.

When we arrived at his house, Paul handed me my shoes and told me to wait outside while he got my purse.  He didn’t want me to “drip” on his carpeting.

After receiving my purse, I walked, alone, to my car, as Paul went inside the house, dead-bolted the door and turned out the porch light. He acted as if I had maliciously and intentionally become violently ill in an effort to destroy his sex quota.  Of course, at that moment, I wished that I had.  I felt another wave of nausea come over me.  I desperately looked around for a place to heave.  Then I spotted it.  With my hand covering my nose and mouth, I made a mad dash for the porch.  I took careful aim and then vomited in Paul’s shoes.