OOTD - Bold Boutonniere and My Book

The dress that started my love affair . . .  
One muggy afternoon in 2009. . . I did a google search for Anthro's Bold Boutonniere dress and Kim's Anthroholic blog popped up. Ever since then, Kim's blog has turned me into an Anthro junkie and I've never looked back. Kim became my Anthro deity and my Anthro idol. And it was through Kim's Blog Roll that I discovered this lovely Anthro blogging community ~  this treasure trove of fashion fun and inspiration. Tien and Tara . . . their sweet prose, like waxing poetic in my ear; Kathryn and Carol . . . the Courtney Cox and Jenn Aniston of the Anthro blogging world; Roxy, Gigi, Anjali, Lisa and Amy Kelinda . . . their wit, humor and candor had me rolling. And if I shopped like Chloe (of the Conspiracy), I'd have to remortgage my house. Twice. Nothing but love for you Chloe ;-) Oh, I could go on and on . . . 
Dress - Anthro Bold Boutonniere/ Shoes - Dolce Vita

A few years ago, I started writing a chick lit novel and in a tiny paragraph, I mentioned a couple of Anthro blogs and non-Anthro blogs that have inspired me and helped me stay inspired to finish my book. Inspiration doesn't last very long; and I needed to develop the determination and self-discipline to carry on writing once the inspiration dried up. And I admired how all these women in the blogging community put themselves out there and committed to writing every day (or almost every day), even when I'm sure there were days when they just didn't feel like writing. These women became my daily cup of inspiration. They made me get out of my yoga pants and don pretty Anthro frocks and J.Crew cardis; they made me laugh, reflect, cry, think and shop, shop, shop. ***To all you lovely lady bloggers whose blogs I've mentioned, I'll shoot you an email with more details. It's just in a small paragraph where the protagonist lists all her fav blogs that she visits. NOTE: It's only on the paperback editions and not the eBooks (Kindle & Nook)

There's no easy way for me to say this, so I'll just blurt it out ~ My book is out, or as the cool cats say ~ "It has dropped!" Actually, it's been out for a few weeks now, but I've been hesitant and afraid to post about it. For those who know me, I don't  like to draw attention to myself. I'm that girl who would love to just magically fade into the wallpaper. *COUGH* Ahem. So I'll just get right into it so I can get it over with . . . 

What's the book about?
It's a humorous look at what happens on the other side of the phone line, and it's a glimpse into a world we all experience but seldom bother to understand once we hang up the phone. If you aren't familiar with the chick lit genre, it's lots of fluff, with sprinkles of humor and a dash of romance.

***Disclosure  ~ If you find politically incorrect shows like The Office and Chelsea Lately detestable, childish and offensive, then my book is probably NOT your cuppa tea. But if you do enjoy those shows, then it may be right up your alley.
*** This is not a coming of age novel; there is little or no substance. To me, chick lit is like junk food for my brain. I do read serious fiction and heavy lit, but gritty realism gets me down and I hate ambiguous endings. Sometimes I don't want to think deep thoughts; I just want a good laugh.
***There is quite a bit of swearing (mainly by the callers, not the protagonist). And I do take the Lord's name in vain. May our Heavenly Father forgive me.

Why did I write a chick lit book based in a call center?
I've worked in a call center for almost a decade. *SOBS* and I still do. I know this sounds cliched, but my English teacher in college prefaced every writing assignment with this advice ~ Write what you know. And I know too much about call centers. One only need to hear the word "call center" and everyone’s blood pressure skyrockets through the roof. Callers go ballistic and become verbally abusive over the phone, and often feel entitled to unload their personal demons on us. Trust me . . . I've seen many of my co-workers on the verge of tears. And I wanted to tell our story.
Plus, I've read countless of chick lit novels where the women all have fancy jobs, and they fancy men who hold fancy jobs. And I wanted to read about a woman I could relate to. A protagonist who is regular chick with a very ordinary job, who falls for a guy with an ordinary job. Although, the guy is anything but ordinary (I like to think).

How do I feel?
To be quite frank, my stomach is clenched in nerves. You know that sinking feeling you get when you're up on stage after agreeing to act in a play . . . . the curtains go up and you're standing there blanching and thinking, "Huh?!? What was I thinking?!? Now I actually have to perform and be subjected to critics."
Well, that's how I feel. Phew. Just needed to get that off my chest. And I need to just get over my jitters.

If you'd like to help out a small fish fry author (a tiny squid to be precise), I posted a "Like" link for my Facebook page below and on the right hand column. I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of all your support. In the words of another Anthro sis ~ every little "Like" in fb helps.   
p/s Laura, Kim, Marie and Jen, thanks for all your kind words of encouragement. It means a lot to me :-) <3



Lastly, what was the one dress/item that started your love affair with Anthro/J.Crew?

44 comments:

  1. Oh wow! Congratulations! I will have to track this down :) How very cool.

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  2. Ohhh! And for Jcrew it was the blue velvet Bella blazer, and Anthro? Oh wow...so many pieces seeing online, I am not sure...

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  3. good luck with the book! i have added it to my amazon wishlist and plan on picking it up soon (once i pick out another book to get the free shipping).

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  4. Can;t wait to read your book!:)

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  5. Lisa! Your post had me near tears!!! Thank you so much for all of your kind words, and I already told you this but I'm beyond HONORED to be mentioned in your book! I cannot wait to read it - I'm chomping at the bit to get my copy :)
    I wish you all the best :)

    I honestly cannot remember what Anthro piece began my love affair with Anthropologie, but my first piece was purchased in 2004.

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  6. I can't wait to give your book a read. Do your doggies make any appearances? :)

    I came across fashion bloggers the same way you did. I was searching for the recital cardigan when I came across Anthroholic and just like you, I started following others. I even started my own blog (mainly about dogs), but I just haven't been very dedicated in maintaining it.

    I'm an oldie compared to most of the fashion bloggers, so I've been shopping at both for a very long time and sadly I don't remember the one item that started it all.

    Anyway, good luck with your book.

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  7. I am quite interested in your book. Among other responsibilities for my job, I am a first level support person for the application our call center uses. At times, I am in there for the whole day and only hearing one side of the conversation. Sometimes I have waited until a call was over to find out what the "other side" said!

    Congrats on the book!

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  8. WAAA! How exciting!!!!! I just ordered it on Amazon, woot woot! (I can't believe I just woot-wooted, haha!) I'm so proud of you my cyber-star-sister (okay, this comment is getting even weirder) but really, it's so neat! I keep dreaming and THINKING of writing a fiction piece but after all these night writing courses, I think the one thing missing is confidence...So being able to know of someone who had a dream to write a fun chick lit and succeeded in doing it is beyond cool, Lisa! It's, frankly put, awesome :-) Congrats! <3 <3 <3

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  9. Wow, That is really admirable. I used to work at a call center and it was so stressful. Of course I was an almost 20 and really didn't think people would get to me but they do. They have no compassion. You should be proud of "You" I don't have facebook, But I think you should celebrate :) And Yes, All of the Big bloggers are also amazing women that all come together and inspire us each and everyday. Some of us a really tiny Larvae and some of them are Huge Fishums! In Blogland. I Love Chloe too. She is such a sweetie. I am in love with her Valentino's. But I too would have to sell a dog or cat and still need more money!! But I am happy for you. Congratulations!

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  10. Congratulations on your book! How exciting is that?! It sounds fabulous. I requested for it to be made into a Kindle version as well. :) Ay yi yi, I don't know what started my J.Crew obsession -- so many years ago! Anthro is more recent, started by the Chroma Kimono Cardigan. :)

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  11. I love this post! You have so much talent and your writing is always riveting.

    You are an example of inspiration to everyone Lisa!

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  12. Congrats! I've been eying up that ad in the corner of your blog for the past few weeks and imagining how good the book will be! I love chick lit (hello confessions of a shopaholic) so I'm sure your book will be a hit with me! I also love your shoes, very chic. My love affair with Anthro was started when I was 16, my mom brought me into the store and said, I think you'll like this store. Boy was she right! I bought an obnoxious amount of clothes that day, but no dresses, just adorable pants, shirts, and skirts!

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  13. Jess, cmf221 and Chrissy - thanks so much for your fb "like" and for your kind words. you don't have to read it, you've already supported me plenty thru fb. :) And I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

    Kim - thank you! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have found this awesome community. And I hope you'll enjoy it and not be disappointed. I know, I still crazy nervous.
    Thank you for all your warm wishes, it means a lot to me.

    Liz - tee-hee, no my doggies don't make an appearance. It's fiction and the protagonist is actually allergic to dogs. I'm afraid some may read it and think that it embodies me; and in some ways it does, but in some ways it doesn't. I had to make the protagonist her own person.
    p/s Thanks for your warm wishes and I've checked out your doggie blog :)

    Audreybella - Hi, I'm a 2nd level software support engineer for a major bank. But in my book I had to change it to an ISP(internet service provider) and I had to change the location and not mention the bank's name once. Otherwise, it could be grounds for termination.
    I used to work for a company called Aspect that developed call center applications. What app do you support?

    Marie - thanks for the WOOT WOOT sista! I may have had the confidence, but I NO LONGER HAVE IT NOW, lol. And thanks for always being supportive. I heart you girrrrrrrrrrrrl.

    Gabby - thank you. And I am that tiny Larvae :) Oh yes, I am in luurrrrve with Chloe's Valentino's too, but I would not sell my doggies, lol. And she cracks me up. Like her, I am a HUGE Chelsea Lately fan.

    Shopwithm - thanks and I'm glad you did that. I think it'll be made into a kindle version in a year. ohhh, i remember the Chroma Kimono Cardigan, cute cardi!

    Tiq - No, no talent here. I'm not delusional enough to think I'm talented. But I do enjoy writing.

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  14. Congrats!!! I'm so excited for you. :)

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  15. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! That is so exciting, Lisa! I am going directly to amazon to order my copy:) I cannot wait to read it!

    Your outfit is beautiful and those shoes are fantastic! Love them! I do not remember the exact item that started my anthro "obsession", although I do still have the first piece I ever purchased.

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  16. CONGRATULATIONS ON PUBLISHING, GIRL! It is a big deal to be a published author and there should be no belittling chick lit because there is a huge market for it and provides me endless hours of reading enjoyment!

    I'm really kind of excited we've got a real published author in our blogee midsts now!

    I'm giving you a great big virtual toast!

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  17. Congrats on your book! I really want to read it now that you've posted it. Would you be mad if I bought it? :)

    I also came upon the blogging world the same way as you. I was looking for outfit ideas when researching for what to wear for my engagement shoot and then I found Tien's site. Then Kim, and so forth. It changed my world!!! I love this community of ladies who are always so supportive. And we all know in the real world, oftentimes ladies are not always great to one another. But it's different here. That is why I'd love to support you in your book. Every little like counts right? ;)

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  18. Congratulations on your book! That's fantastic news. I hope it does well and you keep writing. A community where you can both inspire and find inspiration really is wonderful :)

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  19. 1. i die for your laser cut flats with ruffles.. SO freakin' cute

    and

    2. I'm so going to have to find your book at a local bookstore. CONGRATS!!!!

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  20. Minnesota Maven - holla, I'm a shopaholic fan too!!! And you have the most awesome mom! I wished my mom brought me into an Anthro store when I was 16!!! I had no fashion sense back then, not sure if I still do now. thanks for your kind words :)

    Kristin - hi and thanks for your warm wishes. And your words of support mean a lot to me. i appreciate the fb 'like' and thanks for always stopping by :)

    Lisa to Lisa - thanks 4 the virtual toast! here's one back at-cha. Hee-hee, I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads chick lit. i wasn't trying to belittle it, just wanted to lay it all out there. it is junk food for my mind but i LOVE junk food.

    Cindi - yes, I would be! don't you dare :P And yes, every little "like" in fb counts, and thank you for inspiring those words :)
    This is such an awesome community and I'm so glad to have stumbled upon it, and it's been great getting to know others thru their blogs, yourself included Miss Cindi!

    kelly and gck - mucha gracias!

    Lisa - Thanks, but I'm just a first time no name author so book stores won't carry my book. It's only avail online at amazon and barnes and noble.com. Thanks for your wishes. And those dolce vita flats occasionally pop up on eBay.

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  21. Congratulations chica, that's so awesome!! heh, I was actually at a book fair event tonight being wined and dined like the old days. I guess the book industry ain't dead yet!! Anyway, the internet is a fantastic way to talk about books and find interested readers!

    I fell in love with the Ursula necklace in 2006 but didn't manage to get it. Fell in love again with the orange Reed shirtdress last spring- that was a major start on anthropologie-ness in my closet!

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  22. Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment!!! :)

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  23. Oh my, what a cute dress, and equally cute and pretty shoes Lisa!
    Congratulations on your book. It's a major achievement and you should be proud. Chick-lits are my kind of book - i love those no-thinking-involved reads. Great after a hard day at working thinking on my feet all day :-)
    And i just want to say that i am totally flattered!! really!! I blushed when i read your post ;-)

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  24. Lisa, congratulations!!! Haha, you're so awesome to have written and published your first novel and I'm really honored to gave been part of that in some small way. Also, I love chick lit. ^_^ It's part of my well-balanced literary diet. ;)

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  25. Congratulations!! That's beyond exciting, and I will most certainly be keeping an eye out for it in the meantime.

    Oh, and my love affair with J.Crew started with the Jackie Cardigan. Always and forever obsessed.

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  26. Eep! I'm tickled to be included in your book. :) Thank you so much for including me!!! I can't wait to read your book, I am a chit-lit lover through and through.

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  27. Sarah - with borders filing for bankruptcy, it is dying, at least in brick and mortar.
    the reed shirtdress, sigh, that's one of the dresses i missed out on.

    Alexis - thank you so much!

    Jen - You changed your profile pic. Love it! And thanks for always being supportive. I appreciate it so very much.

    Carol - thanks. And yes, a well balanced lit diet is a healthy one! :)

    Alexandria - Thanks girl. And please don't get it. I don't want any of the bloggers that I've come to know in a small but sweet way to get it as I feel it will cheapen the whole experience, know what I mean?

    Roxy - I'm glad you're tickled :) And I hope the book won't be a let down.

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  28. Thanks for including me! I am so happy and giddy, haha! What can I say? I'm somewhat vain, HAHA! I can't wait to read this -- with all the stress I've been going through, I definitely could use some junk food for the brain!

    Be proud of your book and accomplishment -- it took hard work and creativity, and you FINISHED it, which is much more than most aspiring authors can say! Definitely let me know when it's available for download!!

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  29. Congratulations Lisa! I know you're nervous, but I hope you're also proud of all your hard work. One of my goals for the coming summer is to read more, and a funny book with a unique perspective sounds like a perfect escape. I'm glad you're considering making it available for download on the Kindle, because that's how I (and I think lots of blog-readers) like to read books.

    P.S. Those flats are so perfectly adorable. I love them with the dress.

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  30. LISA!! I'm so excited to read this! I totally need chic lit to laugh it up in between the non-fiction and dramas. A huge congratulations to you. I think it's so awesome you've put yourself out there. I hope it sells REALLY well so you can right a sequel! If I face-booked, I'd totally "like" you. I'll have MacGyver do it for me. He does facebook. Ahh, the Bold Boutonniere...I've always loved that dress. I honestly can't remember the first purchase...Had to be 2003 or 2004. Wish I could give you a big "you did it" hug.

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  31. Amy K - Sorry you've being feeling stressed lately. Hope you feel better, real junk food usually makes me feel better, ahem, like cheetos, lol. and a good burger and a heap load of fries. And thanks for your warm wishes!

    Mich - thanks! I appreciate the warm wishes and words. I am more nervous than anything else. I don't know if I'm proud. I received countless and countless of rejections in the past so my confidence is a little shot. When I received my first actual copy I was so afraid to touch it, let alone read it. I know, I'm one nutty gal.

    Molly - A BIG thanks for the virtual hug. I really needed one :) I am one hot mess, lol.
    And thanks for having MacGyver 'like' it on fb. I've always been a MacGyver fan ;-)

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  32. Wow, Congratulations! Writing is a very lonely road and I am glad you made it. I'm going to have get one and make you autograph it. :-)

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  33. Yaaaay, congratulations Lisa! It's such a huge deal to have gotten a book published. Wishing you tons of success with it :) (And as someone who worked as a customer service rep for a while...I can soooo relate to your pain!!

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  34. I am sooo excited for you! This might be the first of many books to come! I want to read your book. I work in the phones too, might not be a call center environment since I get to work from home but it's still intense.. ugh!
    Thank you so much to mention about my humble and modest blog :D

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  35. You are too cute, and I am THRILLED for you to have your book published and available to the public - that is such a major accomplishment! I am off to check it out! HOORAY!!!

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  36. Inkmark - thanks for your lovely wishes :)

    Anjali - thanks for your sweet wishes. I think a lot of us have worked in customers service at some point in our lives. yes, it is hell to say the least :)

    Nadja - Thanks girrrrrl. And you're so welcome. Remember me when you're a famous fashion designer some day :)

    Jan - Thank you! Coming from you it means a lot.

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  37. This is SO exciting, Lisa!! I have several long plane rides ahead of me and I will definitely be buying your book.

    CONGRATULATIONS, you published author, you!!

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  38. Congrats on the book! So exciting!! :)

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  39. JG and Kimmie - thanks ladies! =)

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