CALIFORNICONNECTION

THIS IS PART OF AN ACTUAL TWITTER EXCHANGE I HAD DURING AN OPEN FORUM WITH THE FABULOUS EVAN HANDLER LAST NIGHT!  I share it to illustrate two important points:

1.  Wine and social media are a potentially dangerous combination and

2.  Those of us NOT possessing social media savvy especially need to heed point #1

Evan Handler ‏@EvanHandler I often found myself aroused in Maggie Grace’s presence. Does this make me a bad man?

@EvanHandler I often found myself aroused watching you. Does this make me a bad woman? a bad wife? perhaps…

@leannetankel No. The best kind.
Thank you, Mr. Handler!  I always suspected that “I was the best kind!”  That being said, I must confess some of my mishaps during my first tentative forays into the social media minefield.  When I first realized the frightening fact that I had to actually market my book, as opposed to just writing the damn thing and letting the sales multiply exponentially while I slept, I figured the easiest thing to do would be to find an Internet site where the followers/participants would already have an expressed interest in the themes found in Broken Hallelujah:  notes from a marriage.  Ingenious, right?  After a brief Google search, I found what I thought would be the perfect audience or audiences on a site dedicated to groups formed about anything its creator wanted to discuss.  Groups such as, I HATE MY HUSBAND, I PLAN TO CHEAT ON MY HUSBAND, I HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY, I HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY SEVERAL TIMES, HAVING SEX WITH MY HUSBAND MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE, and so on…you get the idea…I had hit the motherlode…In order to post on these surprisingly (or not surprisingly?) well-followed message boards, the poster had to set up an account with–as HIGHLY ENCOURAGED–a fictitious user name. But I used my real name…I mean the readers needed to know who had written the very book, Broken Hallelujah, that would soon enhance, enrich, and–for the better–change their lives.  About thirty minutes and ten posts later, this is what I–and anyone else visiting the site–was treated to, running continuously, like a stock market ticker, across the top of the screen:  LEANNE TANKEL HATES HER HUSBAND…LEANNE TANKEL PLANS TO CHEAT ON HER HUSBAND, LEANNE TANKEL HAS COMMITTED ADULTERY, LEANNE TANKEL HAS COMMITTED ADULTERY SEVERAL TIMES…you get the idea…
I could continue, and tell you about the time I accidentally invited my entire email contact list to view a sample (racy) chapter from Broken Hallelujah and the kind note that followed from our local Rabbi hoping my writing would continue to inspire my religious strivings (I’m pretty sure he never read it:), but I will save that story for another time…
For now, I leave you with this lesson learned:  social media is not for the humorless (or the heavy drinker!)!  And, I LOVE YOU, EVAN HANDLER:)
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An Addendum and a Thank You

Well, I was feeling pretty darn good about dh after Valentine’s Day…I mean, irises and all…delivered early even…what a GOOD BOY, right?  Fast forward two days to when I am picking up my youngest son from a playdate at a friend’s house.  What is right in the middle of her kitchen table?  THE SAME BOUQUET…ONLY BIGGER!  

“I got the same flowers!”

“Yes, they were the one-click special at Easy Flowers.  Did you get two bouquets?”  

NO, I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT!

HARUMPH…

 

Putting all the flower ugliness (oxymoron?) aside, I want to express a heartfelt THANK YOU to inReads, WETA’s site dedicated to readers and writers in the DC area, for featuring my blog in their inBlog section!  Check it out:

inBlogs: Lifting the Veil – inReads
A local author’s take on the sometimes blurred line between fiction and nonfiction.
 

Everybody Knows…

“Everybody wants a box of chocolates                                                                                            And a long stem rose…                                                                                                       Everybody knows…”

Leonard Cohen (BTW–Rufus Wainwright sings a deliciously soulful version of this song…check it out!)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Everybody knows…especially those of us in protracted unions, otherwise known as relationships…how absolutely tricky it is to traverse the oftentimes treacherous terrain (love alliteration!) of gift giving!  Remember Lauren’s lament in Broken Hallelujah that Eric would equate everyday purchases, like a few gallons of gas to fill up her tank, with gifts?  (Those of you who have already read BH should be shaking your heads knowingly…the rest of you should be opening an Amazon window on your iPhone)…For my part, while I may not be imaginative, I at least participate in the universal day of disseminating “love” tokens.  This year I got my dh the same old, same old (boxers with a bulldog print, the statement, “I like it RUFF” emblazoned across the ass, and a pair of actual handcuffs wrapped in plastic and stapled to the groin–I know…BORING!).  I ALSO bought him a 100 piece puzzle of an adorable pug bearing a pink heart on which is printed the sentiment, Be Mine.  You know ANY man in his mid-forties is going to be PSYCHED with that!  And because relationships (especially marriages deep in their second decade) make one, if not sadistic, then mean, I–immediately after purchasing said gifts–called dh at his office and left him this message:  “Hey, Valentine’s Day lunch should be fun…do you want to exchange gifts at the restaurant or later at home…think about it…”  My dh, like Eric in BH, puts gift giving, like vacuuming the kitchen floor, squarely under the rubric, “things I only do if threatened with bodily harm”…and even then, not so much…the only exception being if you are one who is absolutely indispensable to dh’s sense of identity and daily maintenance of his very soul (like….hmmmm….his mother)  (read:  “In-laws” in Broken Hallelujah)…

AND HERE IS WHERE I GET TO ADMIT THAT–PERHAPS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN OUR RELATIONSHIP–I was wrong…

I arrived home, after leaving mean message, to a beautifully wrapped box of fresh flowers.  Now, even though my first thought was that my fantasy lover should be a bit more careful, I was genuinely touched to find the thoughtful irises (my favorite flower) and red tulips (two-lips, red…subtlety is apparently lost on dh!) by our front door.  The enclosed note read:  “Leanne–You are beautiful, smart, talented, and edgy!  An amazing combination.  Love, Adam”

Well, someone is going to get use his handcuffs tonight…

INAUGURAL POST

Aside

My inaugural post ( written while listening to a live version of The Velvet Underground’s Pale Blue Eyes–awesome!)!  After much deliberation, careful consideration, and protracted procrastination, I have decide to take the easy way out…instead of coming up with an entirely new framework for my posts, I am relating everything I write, at least initially, to Broken Hallelujah:  notes from a marriage.  That way, if you have read the book, you will have the immense satisfaction of thinking, “ah, I remember that,” or “that makes even more sense now,” or “wow, I didn’t think that section could get any better,” etc.  And if you haven’t yet read Broken Hallelujah, your curiosity/ignorance/intense feelings of failure will most likely spur you into a frenzy of ACTION–in which you purchase several copies of the book, so that you (and your book group) will never find yourself in such an uncomfortable compromised position again!

Remember Lance, from “Marriage Counseling”…well, here is the real deal..and my attempt at what is known as flash fiction…

PASSING NOTES

He is a teaching assistant; I am an undergraduate. I pass him a note in our Classics lecture:  “Hey, want to sleep together sometime?” I smile at my boldness; he smiles in spite of himself.

We have known each other for two years, ever since Thom Gunn’s poetry writing workshop.  Josh is a serious poet, and most of the undergraduates in the class are too busy writing about abortions and drug experimentation to get what he is trying to do with meter and form.  I don’t really care what he is trying to do with meter and form; I just want to touch his shaggy curls and be near his big papa bear body.  There is something so paternal about him, so safe, that I simultaneously want him to fuck me and to tuck me in for the night.

His response to the note is both expected and endearing:  “Thank you for the kind offer, but I don’t want to wreck our friendship.”  That night, at Spats on Shattuck, a group of us sitting around a crowded table, drinking and discussing the movie we have just watched, Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, I can tell he has reconsidered.

He walks me back to my co-op.  We sit on my futon, expectant.  “Your mouth,” he says, running his finger across my lips before he kisses me.  Sex with him is so sweet that when he comes I want to wipe his brow.  I am on top; I run my hand over his chest instead.

Years later, after we are both married, I hear he is teaching at a university near the city in which I live.  When his first book comes out, I tear through it, looking for a reference but don’t find one.  I think about writing him a note, but, instead, I just write about him.