Friday, November 14, 2008

Guest Blogger: Malena Lott

I am just thrilled that Malena Lott, author of DATING DA VINCI, agreed to write a guest post for Booking Mama. I read and reviewed DATING DA VINCI (you can read my review), and I thought this book was very entertaining. I think you will get a great idea of Ms. Lott's writing style, and especially her sense of humor, when you read her essay about...

Good Friends & La Dolce Vita by Malena Lott

With the November launch of my second novel, Dating da Vinci, a lot of questions have naturally been on my mind. A) Will my addiction to cable news wane post-election? B) Will people still buy books, specifically my book, in the midst of a recession? C) How can I still be regular ol’ Mom when I have the book promotion, consulting work and the holidays to contend with? D) Can I write about la dolce vita, the sweet life, in my book and on my blog tours and really pull it off in real life?

The answers to all the above, is a tepid, reluctant, yes? I wish it could be a more resounding, Palin-esque winking, “You betcha. You just put your coat on and endure the blizzard and don’t complain!” But this isn’t Alaska. I’m not a fisherperson. And some days enduring a blizzard seems like more fun than my to-do list. But here’s how I got to yes.

A) Spending less time with snarky news types does free up some time for the other more pressing issues. Like assisting the kids with the mountain of laundry that’s been adding up. (What, you didn’t think I’d do it myself, did you?)

B) A very prominent independent bookseller told me that books actually do quite well during a recession because people spend money on smaller ticket items such as books, which is seen as a thoughtful gift, instead of, say, flat screen TVs. I like her thinking there.

C) I guess there is no such thing as a “regular ol’ Mom.” We know we all do things differently, and that means I might be the harried mom who might forget her snack sign-up without an extra phone call, note home, e-mail and in-person reminder for a couple of months. My kids have been put on Red Alert. “Mommy is extra busy, so don’t let me forget to feed you!”

D) La dolce vita is quite possible, even in a harried schedule, even during a recession, or after a major setback. In fact, I think it’s a measure of a man or woman how calm one can be during a storm. I liked that Eckhart Tolle said that dealing with a screaming toddler is “spiritual practice.” So, in some ways, I’m well on my way to zen, then! If my widowed mother of two, Ramona, can find la dolce vita, then by golly, I can. And so can you.

I had a big a-ha moment last Thursday night when forty girlfriends, old and new, celebrated a La Dolce Vita Girls Night Out with me last Thursday. I read them a particularly sultry passage from the book. They bought lots of copies of Dating da Vinci for Christmas gifts and gifts to self. We drank fabulous Flirtinis, and I realized that those women are my life rafts. They are the coat in the blizzard, the babysitter when I need to take an hour for a radio interview, the unpaid promoters of my art and ready, willing and able to cast aside their own to-do list to make time for sharing a Flirtini, and a story, with me. In my novel, Ramona shares a Girls Night In with her best friend Anh, making Flirtinis and sharing their hopes and woes.

I invite you to do the same with your best girlfriends. I’ve created a video of how to make a Flirtini on my web site. It’s cheaper than Girls Night Out and a fun way to spend the evening enjoying the sweet life! To friends! Cheers!

Malena Lott is a wife, mother of three, and brand and marketing consultant from Oklahoma. Lott invites you to learn more about Dating da Vinci on her web site, read reviews, enter contests, learn some Italian phrases and watch videos of the author sharing her favorite recipes.

A big thanks goes out to Ms. Lott for taking the time to stop by. I think it would be so much fun to have a Girls Night Out and I am dying to try a Flirtini (check out the recipe here.) I think we can all relate a little to wanting the "dolce vita;" and I'm embarrassed to admit that the part about "Mommy is extra busy, so don't let me forget to feed you" did ring a little too close to home!


Anonymous said...

Malena's girls night out sounds like so much fun!

Anonymous said...

The girls night out sounds like a great idea. Now if I only had some female friends.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Yes, the "remind me to feed you" is somewhat familiar! A close second to "where is your brother/sister and what is he/she doing?!?"

I like the flirtini recipe. It sounds good for a toast at a bridal shower, too.

Malena Lott said...

Thanks for your comments. I have to say my husband is a big fan of the Flirtini, too. Guys just don't like the girlie sound of the name so if you are serving it at a party, you might try a manly name, but then it's pink *and* it's champagne so they just need to suck it up and drink it.
And Dawn, I ask my kids about each other's whereabouts on a daily basis. I need eyes all around my head as they are always off in different directions with their friends, too.
Have a great weekend, all!