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Shameless Self-Promotion: My Latest Articles

By Nora Zelevansky / January 17th, 2013

Well, folks, it’s been a while since I shared a slew of articles, so I guess I’ll just get down to it.  New Year.  Same me (and you!).  Yay!

But, seriously, it’s either this or ramble on for hours about The Bachelor and, honestly, it’s too early in the season for that.  Sean is the “Most Sincere Bachelor Ever.”  He’s falling for a trick who he thinks has a good heart.  She’s not there for the right reasons!  Whatever will he do?  (I mean, besides keep her until there are five girls left and then finally see her true colors.)  Why don’t the Bachelors and Bachelorettes ever believe the other contestants when they try to forewarn, when they themselves have seen, during their respective past seasons, that the other contestants have unique incite and are probably telling the truth?  But I digress.

Anywaaaaay … back to the articles.  Because we’re highbrow.  And we like to read.

1. In January’s Town & Country, I wrote a personal essay about the trials and tribulations of developing a big chest for their LOOKING GLASS section called: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.  (The story may or may not still be available on newsstands, as the February issue has likely already dropped.)  You may also want to check out the magazine’s new website, as it just launched in earnest and it looks fantastic.

BTW the personal essay includes snippets about growing up on the Upper West Side, which is partially what inspired parts of my still new novel, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE.  Not to be pushy (ahem, ahem), but if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, now is the time!

2. In this month’s ELLE (that’s the February issue), I offer a sneak peek into Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s lifestyle and Hollywood Hills home.  (Hint: She loves tea!)  It’s both a profile and a design piece, so check it out.  It’s currently on newsstands.

3. For this past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “Image” section, I wrote a story called Beckley Joins The Cool Kids about new shop Beckley opening on LA’s Third Street.  (The area is a local favorite, cool strip of independent boutiques and restaurants near West Hollywood and also where I used to live.)  The store’s owner Melissa Akkaway also launched her own clothing line last year, Beckley By Melissa, and those pieces are worth ogling online too.  I believe there’s a sale happening as we speak?  Also, look out for spring’s Beetle-Print Party Dress.  It’s on my “MUST HAVE” list.

4. Lastly, it hasn’t come out yet, but this Sunday’s “Image” section will likely include another story by me about a new cool, artsy store opening, helmed by a fabulous and interesting chick.  I can’t say more, but keep your eyes peeled!

xo – N.

THE BEST BIRTHDAY TRADITION

By Nora Zelevansky / November 9th, 2012

My friend S.D. and I have a tradition: On our birthdays, we send each other packages of either strange (but enticing) or indulgent foods from companies across the country.

The whole thing started during my sophomore year in college, when SD—with whom I’ve been friends since we were four—first sent me a candy bouquet.  Let’s just say I can’t believe how long its been since my 19th birthday and what we’ve sent each other in that time: We’ve exchanged everything from artisanal Baked marshmallows (support Red Hook!) and Zabar’s cheese crackers to salt and flavored popcorn, dark chocolate spreads and chili-infused brownie bites.

For a while, thanks to S.D., I was even a member of the Jelly Belly fan club (yup, I’m admitting that), which meant that I got advanced tasters of any new flavors that were coming out.  Yeah, I tasted the Dr. Pepper flavor waaaay before it came out.  No big deal.  I’m not bragging or anything.  Don’t hold it against me: It’s not my fault if that makes me cool.

Anyway, this Monday is my birthday yet again.  (They seem to come quicker as you get older, right?)  And today I was feeling a little blue.

This has been an amazing year, for sure.  My husband Drewser and I moved from LA back to NYC, my debut novel was published, I even just returned home from a great trip to LA, where I got to teach a Writing Workshop at Scripps College (my alma mater) and work on a feature for ELLE.

But, in the aftermath of Sandy, this is an odd time on the east coast.  Though, for me, the Obama news is happy as can be.  Writing my second book is turning out to be a slightly different process than the first time around, a bit more pressured, less carefree.  Also, I guess the passage of time always make us pensive.

Anyway, I was feeling melancholy.  But then I received S.D.’s gift for this year!  It was the above super adorable and well-designed box of Parisian Macarons from Macaron Café in NYC, from which I will most definitely sample while writing my NaNoWriMo words today.  Just the kind of writing motivation I needed and something cheerful to remind me that birthdays may be strange sometimes, but they also can be sweet.

xo – N.

PS Does anyone else think that this post should be read to the tune of That’s What Friend Are For?

 

The Best Review That I Missed

By Nora Zelevansky / August 15th, 2012

A picture from the window of Book Hampton in Southampton, NY taken by my friend Rachel Meis

As I’ve admitted time and time again (almost as if I have no impulse control—ahem), for the first few weeks after my book came out, I spent a psychotic amount of my time trolling the Internet for Semi-Charmed Life reviews.

Sad, but true, especially since I nodded so agreeably each time a kind friend told me not to pay attention to the reviews, as reviewers can sometimes forget that there’s a person on the other end feeling stung.  Totally.  I won’t even look.  Until five minutes from now.  When I will be huddled over my laptop, rocking and mumbling like a lunatic.

I read a lot of tweets recounting the lyrics of the 90’s song by the same name and I’m here to report that there are some very angsty people out there and some really big Third Eye Blind fans.  But I also came across some great write-ups, on top of the ones I was lucky enough to anticipate in advance from ELLE, Daily Candy, Flavorpill and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette (to name a few, if I MUST!).

Honestly, I would list every amazing blog write-up here, if I could without seeming like a total … I was going to say “crazy person” but I’ve sort of already established myself as that above.  And, in a way to me, they’re all amazing because you can’t possibly please everyone, but you just have to feel grateful that people are reading the book!

And then a couple days ago, I realized something: I’d missed one!  There are a few major publishing trade publications, who generally review books before they come out.  One is Publisher’s Weekly and they were kind enough to checkout and write-up SCL.  My publisher had mentioned that Booklist, another of these trades which largely targets librarians, was reviewing the novel.  Suddenly, I remembered that I’d never seen it.

I emailed my publicist at St. Martin’s Press, who sent it over right away.  And it was good!  And it kind of captured the book!  And it was from July 1!  And I was psyched!  And here it is:

[***SPOILER ALERT! Gives away a lot of plot!]

Semi-Charmed Life.
Zelevansky, Nora (Author) Jul 2012. 304 p. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paperback, $14.99. (9781250001184).
Chick lit takes a trip down the rabbit hole in this first novel. Twenty-one-year-old Beatrice Bernstein, of the Upper West Side artist Bernsteins, has never left New York City. A flu-induced wish on a mohawked pigeon starts a strange journey through her senior year in college. First, her student housing is a basement apartment full of cockroaches. Then, instead of studying Latin American literature, she finds herself ghost- writing a blog about the art world for socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose. She also gets a new wardrobe, travels around the world, alienates best friend Dolly, foils a plot by thieving hipster goons, and, of course, gets the guy. One thing she does not do is figure out how to navigate Veruca’s ever-changing loft, until she starts to follow disappearing clues found in her precious moleskin notebook. Beatrice is hard not to like, smart but just naive enough to get caught up in Veruca’s fabulous world. The narration is full of giddy pop-culture references, and the story is told with a sort of gleeful cynicism that only fails at the too-neat ending.
— Susan Maguire

There’s hardly ever such thing as a perfect review, but I think, even from the midst of my book insanity haze, that you have to walk away feeling good about the overwhelming positives because otherwise you really will lose your mind.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST J BRAND ELLE STORY

By Nora Zelevansky / July 16th, 2009

Picture 5

That's right.  It's shameless self-promotion time again.  No, but seriously, I have an article out in this August's ELLE about J Brand jeans creator Susie Crippen's new home, Boutique collection and casually elegant entertaining style.  She was sassy, warm, funny and all around kind of awesome to chat up, so the article was really fun to research.  Plus, we got to nibble on her mother's southern recipe fried chicken at the end.

What's better than that?

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST NEW CLIP (BY MOI)

By Nora Zelevansky / April 29th, 2009

 

Self-promotion time (sorry, folks):

I have a piece in the May issue of ELLE, called The New White House, about this amazing Barbara Bestor designed eco-house in Topanga Canyon, where I practically wanted to buy an organic gentleman farm and hangout amidst the lavender (as long as I could dip my toes in that amazing pool too).  Seriously, one neighbor had a wooden bucket of fresh basil sitting outside her gate with a sign that said, “Help yourself!”

The owners, just as fab as the house, eco-business dude Scott Vineberg and Mona Moore Toronto shoe store co-owner Lisa Bush will be opening an LA Mona Moore annex in Venice this summer, so look out for more info on that.

xo – Gossip Girl.  Just kidding.  It’s me.  N.