Sunday, December 21, 2008


Spot on. Delightful. Thank you very much. Except for the part where I'm gently criticized for my copious use of profanity. I've never been exactly sure what irony is but this might be pretty close.
I turned in a first draft that was absolutely riddled with gratuitous swearing. When  the first batch of edits came in,  every bad word was excised. Even as a newbie author, I know enough to pick my battles. I demanded the right to swear. I called it a First Amendment issue. I declared that the teens of America would take to the streets in protest if I wasn't allowed to make full and free use of the language of the streets. In the end, I was permitted one (1) swear word. And, in the above, otherwise perceptive and complimentary review, the 12 year-old writer warns potential readers they might be put off by too much swearing.

In Preparation For My Imminent Return To Scotland...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Song Described By The Lead Character In Hottie As "...the greatest and most moving piece of music I have ever heard..."

The Why Do You Have To Be So Negative All The Time List

Bad Movie

"The Happening":timely premise bled of any suspense, Mark Wahlberg as a science teacher, Zooey Deschanel's big bulging eyes.

Bad Music

"Hard Candy"- Madonna: embarrassing attempt to submerge in the Fountain of Youth. Thinks she's a pop vampire remaining eternally vital by sucking the creativity out of younger producers and performers. More like the still-life-in-the-old-gal-yet feisty mom who won't get off the dancefloor despite the pained looks of her family and friends. Still, good to see she keeps re-inventing herself.

Bad TV

"Heroes": for all the obvious reasons but, most of all, because they're NOT HEROES!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If You Call Something The Best Song Of The Year, It's Probably A Good Idea To Illustrate Why...

Perfume- "Love The World" : Japanese Technopop I Will Have Trouble Remembering Why I Liked So Much Six Months From Now

What's warm, wet, soft, smelly and weighs seven pounds...?

I'm surprised and, obviously, grateful that the bright sparks behind all those sub- Scary Movie spin-offs, those Date Movies and Disaster Movies,  never got it together to concoct an  Oscar Movie. The material is all there: a mentally-challenged, severely handicapped single mother overcomes unbelievable odds, fights the prejudice of the times, escapes from a concentration camp and wins the hearts of the nation with her skill as a country singing children's author and painter.

And now they'll never get the chance. Will Smith has ruined it for them.  Seven Pounds is the funniest, most desperately self-sacrificing, false-Messiah-ing, death-by-jellyfish-ing attempt at an Oscar grab EVER!!!

The Reviews Are In...Is In!

From Kirkus,  Jan. 1

Bernstein, Jonathan


"Firestarter meets The O.C in this mindlessly fun superhero send-up. Smart but shallow Beverly Hills High freshman Alison Cole manages to convince Daddy she needs "Symmetry", a dodgy new plastic-surgery procedure. Thanks to a power surge while in the CAT-scan machine, the already stunning Alison emerges no more symmetrical than before but with the ability to shoot flames from her fingertips. Bewildered by her new power, she turns to uber-nerd and insta-sidekick David Eels, who has read every superhero comic ever written and is eager to be the brains to her blonde. Together they against backstabbing girlfriends, mind-bending evil stepmothers and washed- up movie stars-turned thugs. All while looking fabulous, of course, and coming up with memorable catchphrases like "I'm Hottie. And you're fired!". Using short action-packed chapters, Bernstein, a screenwriter, faithfully details the classic superhero stages: transformation, training, performing rejection and, finally, acceptance. Though this one-joke paperback original goes on a little too long, seasoned chick-lit readers are bound to enjoy this Malibu Barbie makeover of a traditionally men-in-tights trope.
(Fantasy. 12 and up)

One-joke? Boo. Otherwise: no complaints....

Lists Are For Losers


"The Loving Kind": Girls Aloud: reality show-assembled pop puppets don't get more successful the longer they exist in the public eye and they certainly don't get better. Except for Girls Aloud. Certainly, Cheryl Cole's  ordeal as a cheated-on wife and her angelic participation in The X-Factor combined to anoint her Britain's Sweetheart-- thanks for stopping by, U.S readers!-- but the quality of their recorded output is amazingly consistent. "The Loving Kind" is the best of their underappreciated body of sad songs and it's also a clear indication that the Pet Shop Boys, it;'s authors, should consider putting their own career on the back burner and concentrate on knocking out melancholy dance hits for a new generation of pop stars.


"The Visitor": I hate people with too much talent. Tom McCarthy not only embodied The Death Of Journalism on `The Wire' but he's responsible for this touching, unexpected movie  AND he had the presence of mind to see Richard Jenkins--one of the great `That Guy' character actors as it's lead. Best storytelling of the year.


"Mad Men": the last of a dying breed- a show that didn't make you feel like a sucker for tuning on every week and not stockpiling it on the DVR to be watched in a marathon that's never going to happen( I'm looking at you Prison Break and  Dirty Sexy Money. Or, rather I'm not). There's a backlash on the way: I sense people resenting it having it shoved down their throat as The Compulsory Good Taste Show( I was the same way with The Arcade Fire: the more I was told how much I should like them, the see where I'm going...) But this was a season to wallow in: Don Draper lost in L.A, the pee-stained decline of Freddy Rumsen, Sal's sad marriage and doomed crush, Betty and Glenn, Don and The Barretts, Miss Holloway's brief stint in the driver's seat, the ascension of Peggy... 

Secret Shame

"Chelsea Lately: there's going to be something like seven hours of talk shows on every night from next year. And all of them are going to be exactly the same. The same monologues with the same jokes about the same events that happened the same day. The same kind of guests. The same kind of questions. The same kind of bands. There's a lot not to love about Chelsea Handler and her E! vehicle: she uses the little person as a crutch, her sketches are horrible and she needs to be find a sympathetic hair person. But--Letteman, who's had a great year-- aside, no-one has a funnier talk show. Her celeb gossip panels are fun when the mix of stand-ups and gossip leeches rise to the occasion  and deliver bitchy zingers to rival her own. It's way more entertaining when they don't and she turns her disdain on them. Case in point: some guy from E! News was mounting a sincere defence of--I could be wrong here-Lindsay Lohan and Handler shut him down with a wounding. "You think you know these people. You think they're your friends. They're not your friends!"
What a year! What a jam-packed year of multiple postings, of videos, of competitions, giveaways, interviews, angry exchanges, tearful reunions, horrible misunderstandings and unexpected betrayals. Or it would have been had it not treated this blog with the same care and attention as every plant, animal and orphan I ever vowed to take care of. But all that's about to change.  From here on in, I'm going to be  attentive and considerate of your needs.  You want to go out for ice-cream? I'm happy to oblige. You want to stay in and rent a movie? I'm all about that. You want your own space?  I'm REALLY good at that!

Obviously, there's going to have to be some give and take. I'm fully committed to being here for you on a more regular basis and you... what can you do for me? Mmmm, let me think...(Hottie, April 2, Razorbill Books. Available from pre-order from Amazon)...just be you, just keep being the gift that is you, that's all I ask...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hottie now available to pre-order from Amazon and  Borders!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm going to be popping up here every now and then to remind you that my debut Young Adult novel, the superhero comedy Hottie, comes out in February of 09. It's about a fabulously popular and privileged Beverly Hills High School freshman whose friends are so bitter and jealous of her unceasing good fortune that they persuade her to undergo unneccessary  experimental cosmetic surgery. From which she emerges looking exactly the same as when she went in. Except that now, whenever she gets angry or excited or in any way emotional, flames shoot out of her fingers. This has the immediate effect of  destroying her popularity, ruining her relationship with her father, losing her her boyfriend and pulling the plug on the pilot of her reality show. On the other hand, it attracts the interest of a comic-book obsessed geek who flies at the chance to mold her into L.A's first--and cutest--superhero. Sounds funny, right?( But also poignant, too!) 

If only Feb 09 wasn't so far away. The world as we know it could have changed beyond all recognition by then. We could be living in flying cars. We'll have a new president. But what if it's the wrong one? And what if it's my fault? It could be. I'm not a citizen. I fear I won't be able to memorize all the answers to the citizenship quiz(survey? test?). But what if I could have had the casting vote? And I didn't get to use it because I was too lazy and embarrassed about my increasingly sketchy fact retention? And because I didn't vote, now there's a 4PM curfew and dancing in the streets is banned and there's labor camps and book burnings. Which would be especially ironic, seeing as I'm promoting a book about a girl who inadvertantly( and then advertantly) sets fire to things...

Monday, April 28, 2008


Wednesday, April 23, 2008