I’m delighted to welcome GVR Corcillo to JJ today
With her Ivy League education, white trash sensibility, and pop culture savvy, GVR Corcillo delights in writing chick lit about characters who try not to trip as they valiantly march to their own bongo beat.
She didn’t start writing right away. First, she worked in a greenhouse, a supermarket, a movie theatre, a potpourri-stuffing factory, an electrical fixtures plant, a book warehouse, a metal-perforating factory, a video store, several movie studios, a children’s museum, a radio station, and a bar. She also taught high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles.
But none of these fit the bill for what she always wanted to be when she grew up – a writer. So, she won some writing contests, hit the New York Times Bestsellers List with her first short story, and got a screenplay produced.
Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo, a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, lives in North Hollywood with her husband Ron, a television comedy writer. They are both New York Giants fans.
Off on a Tangent
Thank you, Shaz – I am so psyched to be guest blogging on Jera’s Jamboree! Especially as my first name is Geralyn, and people have been misspelling it with J my whole life. So this is really cool.
In my Chick Lit novel She Likes It Rough, my heroine Lisa Flyte is somewhat whacky, a bit over the top. Definitely a woman who marches to her own bongo beat, often going off on a whim, or off on a tangent. It can make for a funny book with unexpected twists and turns, but there is also a constructive side to going off on a tangent…
“So let’s sink another drink
‘Cause it’ll give me time to think . . .”
Morning commute, could barely keep my eyes open, but when Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” punched through the car, suddenly, a beam of good cheer more potent than a double shot espresso blasted through me.
But I don’t even like Billy Idol. I mean, I had plenty of celebrity crushes when I was a kid in the eighties, and a bunch of the guys were blond and British, from Anthony Andrews to Simon Le Bon, from Julian Sands to Simon MacCorkindale. But Billy Idol was never one of them. I mean, I liked him In The Wedding Singer, but his music had never really rocked my world. So why was I suddenly so chipper, getting my groove on to a song I’d never liked?
After a few minutes, I figured it out.
Platinum blonde British rocker Billy Idol reminded me of platinum blonde British vampire Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I’d been watching on DVD with my husband and our best friend on Saturday nights since Christmas. What fun we have, just hanging out and relaxing for an hour or two, eating Chinese food and ice cream, indulging in and critiquing Joss Whedon and all things Buffy.
Just like that, on a few beats of vintage eighties rock, my mind went off on a tangent and instantly made the connection for me.
I’m going off on tangents all the time, in conversation, in life, in home décor. I can never seem to keep myself on a linear path of any kind because, as Katherine Hepburn says to Spencer Tracy in Desk Set, “I associate many things with many things.”
The orange paisley comforter I picked out at the home furnishings store. My husband stood there looking at me warily. “Really? You want that one?” Heck, yeah! It reminded me of the bedspread I’d had as kid in the seventies, a riot of big orange flowers. Oh, to be six again, to have no reason to get up more pressing than that of watching Scooby-Doo. Those were the days…
Seem silly to buy a comforter based on a time in my life when I wore slip-on yellow rain boots with umbrellas and duckies on them? Maybe. Then again, life can come to feel pretty colorless if you just live it, getting through day by day, then just forget it all.
Remembering, connecting, and associating, whether deliberately or viscerally, add vibrancy, hue, and flavor to the everyday grind. Tapping into other times, places, feelings, worlds, even right within yourself,canexpand life, perspective, and understanding, even if only for a moment. Going off on a tangent – a nifty knack for a writer, no?
A few years ago, my husband I were watching Sunday NFL football. NY Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, third quarter. Pass goes high, Plaxico Burress stretches to catch. He’s tackled on his descent with such ferocious precision the sound of impact makes me wince. The announcer chuckles. “Dawkins waffles Burress . . .” Suddenly, my eyes fill with tears. I’m no longer watching Sunday NFL with my husband, but I’m a thirteen year-old kid looking at Officer Green, standing on my front porch, hands on hips, holding something in his hand.
“Do you own a brown and white dog?”
“It just got waffled down on Layton Road.” Then he hands me Rhoda’s busted collar.
To this day, I cannot hear the word “waffle” used that way without remembering how Rhoda was still warm when we went down to get her off the road.
But all these tangents become the threads of life, never snipped off but left to drift and tangle.
Like all of Rhoda’s wispy trails. Because when I think of that awful day and that asshole cop, I also remember the most amazing thing about Rhoda – she loved to swim. Loved it loved it loved it. All summer long she was jumping into the pool and splashing around, just so happy happy happy. And she made me so happy. And she loved her tennis ball – she obsessed over it. The tennis ball would have taken out a restraining order if it could have. And Rhoda loved sleeping in the corner of the couch when we weren’t home. How do I know? The tell-tale circle of brown and white hair stuck into the couch cushions. All of Rhoda’s tangents twine together with everything else, taking me from the grisly to the gleeful, from the sad to the sublime.
All the tangents in our lives waft and weave together and make us who we are today. Sure, some people go off on tangents and whims, but they’re just following different strings, touching as many parts of life at once as they can. They make tufts that look like tumbleweed while many people make more linear ropes. Is one better than the other, or does each shape just take us different places?
What tangents flutter through your psyche, snagging and connecting the past to the present, the baffling to the beautiful, the trivial to the tragic? Are you a tumbleweed or a rope, or something in between? Have you found your shape yet? Do you want to?
Not a great way to find out about Rhoda … but great you can think about the positives.
I’m always talking ‘off tangent’ Geralyn. Some people keep up with where I’m going but others probably just think I’m random. Tangents can take you to some interesting places!
She Likes It Rough is touring with Fiction Addiction Book Tours.
|6th May||Lost in Chick Lit|
|8th May||MissBookworm Reviews|
|12th May||DizzyC’s Little Book Blog|
|14th May||Inheritance Books with Rhoda Baxter|
|16th May||Little Whimsy Books|
Giveaway on tour is is $25/£15 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card