Stuck recap: Episode 3

Thursday, May 29, 2008

There are some things most people don't want to see on television: childbirth, animals suffering and Bonnie doing ju jitsu.

This episode might suddenly get "taped over" by a repeat of I Know My Kid's a Brain Surgeon or Celebrity Plumber. I spent most of the show huddled behind the couch with the cat, asking the DH if it was over yet.

And no, none of that was played up for the camera. I really did have a hissy fit during the 3000-minute ju jitsu warmup. The instructor was freaking impossible to understand. And something really did snap during that one move between Mary and I.

What you didn't see on camera was that the ju jitsu studio was on the third floor of a building without an elevator. And that cute little restaurant we were sitting in? Add another flight of stairs there too.

I swear, the show was out to kill me. And I was this close to bailing on the whole adventure. Funny, when I remember why I decided to continue, it wasn't just one thing. It was a bunch of things:

Wanting to be able to fully participate
Wanting to belong
Wanting to fit into my skinny jeans
Not wanting to be seen as a quitter
And maybe, just maybe, wanting to prove all those negative thoughts in my head wrong.

And how come Mary got to eat ice cream with her nutritionist? Mine just kept on showing me plastic replicas of food! I thought it was cool the way they showed Magnolia running around downtown (in her high-heeled boots!) like she stole a pair of designer shoes or something. She didn't people; I'm kidding.

So if you ever want to know what I'm like when I get really frustrated, overwhelmed and basically have a total spaz attack, well, there you have it -- Episode 3 is all yours.


posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:38 AM 5 comments

Reality crashes in

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You know, when you're all caught up with being part of a cool television show and learning how to fit exercise into your life, some things may fall by the wayside. Like filing, invoicing, housework, yardwork, laundry, flossing, clutter-busting...oh, and maybe that career thing. ;)

Egads. Today was a sad, sad reminder of how I love to fit 48 hours into one day. It can be done; all you need is a pair of skinny jeans, some tin foil and gravity-defying sneakers.

Not that I don't love what I do, it's just that, at about 10:30 today, I couldn't keep track of what I was doing. After a few emails too many I started smelling smoke. My system had clearly jammed...right before I was about to interview a prominent professional for an article that I have due later this week.

The poor man. I hope he misinterpreted my quiet, non-Bonnie nature as calm grace under pressure instead of total brain paralysis.

Hmmm, maybe he could have recommended something for that. ;)

So, what does a stressed out desk monkey do when the going gets tough? She goes to the gym. You read that correctly. I, Bonnie Staring, of my own free will, jumped onto a bus (after paying, of course) and went to the gym.

Deadlines? What deadlines? I was a woman in need of a break, a distraction...even a chocolate fountain. And yes, maybe I was feeling a little schlumpy since I hadn't done much over the past few days. Unless lifting a 10-pound cat counts for something.

All I can say is, it felt good to sweat. And no one is pointing a gun at my head while I post this. Pinkie swear.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:02 PM 1 comments

Curses, tagged again!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The lovely and talented Maureen McGowan tagged me for this fun exercise. Be sure to drop by her blog for great film reviews and notes on writing. Okay, here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you’ve posted your three sentences.

The book closest to me at the moment is a rhyming dictionary, so I'm going with the second book that's closest to me: Lady & the Vamp by Michelle Rowen.

Here are the three sentences:

If she really had been there, she was gone now.

Holding his hand against his wounded stomach and trying to ignore the pain, he began to make his way through the crowded club, being jostled on every side. As he passed the long bar, the blondes eyed him again like hot-bodied vultures.

My poor Quinn! Will he survive? Will his stomach be scarred for life?

Oh, sorry about that, just got caught up in the moment there. I know I'm supposed to tag five people, but I'm gonna be a party pooper and leave it up to whoever wants to do it. There's enough pressure out there with it being Memorial Day weekend and all. ;)

And I am so glad the little snippet of page 123 didn't contain anything that would make me blush...or start speaking in euphemisms in case the relatives drop by again. Whew!


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:09 AM 2 comments

Souvenir shopping

Saturday, May 24, 2008

When I first heard about two vandals attacking Stonehenge with a hammer and screwdriver, a few things came to mind:

What had Stonehenge ever done to them?

Did Stonehenge fight back?

Then, when I read the news report, I discovered these gentlemen were merely souvenir shopping. Well, obviously the gift shop wasn't open, since it was the middle of the night.

A coin-sized hunk of rock was removed, leaving behind large scratches and a divot.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a t-shirt or necklace than a hunk of rock, even if it is 5,000 years old. I mean, there are rocks all over the place. Some of them even have googly eyes stuck on them and serve as pets for those still lost in the 70s.

And, since only one hunk of rock was removed, how would the vandals share it? Would they each take turns holding the treasure? Or were they waiting for a bounty?

Aha! They're rock pirates! Traveling the world to take chunks out of it, one monument at a time.

The missing nose on Mt. Rushmore? Rock pirates. The Sphinx? Ditto. Wonder why the Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning? The rock pirates got there too.

Of course, it wasn't the same two men who wreaked this havoc on all these monuments. The two come from a long line of rock pirates. You might say they're a chip off the old block. Hardy har har.

Now if only stoning was still legal in Britain -- that would be an appropriate punishment for those two. Arg!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:44 PM 4 comments

Stuck recap: Episode 2

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ugh. Now I know where I earned the moniker of "gym loser"!

I won't lie; this episode was hard for me to watch. Especially since it basically compared Nicole, the hot actress, to me, the couch potato who tends to fill her cupboards (and stomach) with carbs.

At least I can identify a sweet potato. Because we're totally related. ;)

It was very scary for me to go to a gym for the first time. There were so many questions running through my head:

What the heck do I wear?
Would there be chocolate fountains?
What kind of people would be there?
Would they all be skinny?
What the heck do I need to bring?
Was there a snack bar?
How about a steam room?

And most importantly:

Would my trainer Olga suddenly become the shouting-in-your-face Biggest Loser type of trainer I feared?

Turns out my imagination is a lot worse than reality. Though there were no chocolate fountains or a steam room, everyone seemed friendly and no, they weren't all skinny bitches. Olga even said she wanted to start things really slow...probably so I'd keep coming back.

But it wasn't a picnic. Not for a woman who felt that walking up the stairs once was a major workout. And, if I was carrying a can of Diet Coke as well, that counted as an extra half-flight. It was freaking hard. Muscles I didn't even know I had were the ones shouting at me, not my trainer.

So when Nicole told us that she was doing FIVE HOURS of cardio a week, I had a minor heart attack. At that point, Olga had me on an hour a week -- divided up into 20-minute sessions so I wouldn't get overwhelmed.

So there was Nicole, getting blisters on the bottoms of her feet, while I was gasping for breath once I got 3 minutes into my 20-minute workout. The tread on my sneakers still looked brand new.

Hopefully Aden will forgive me for sneaking into his chocolate stash. He made me pinkie-swear that I wouldn't do it again -- especially on camera. ;)

So, what did you think? Ready for next week's episode?


posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:05 AM 6 comments

Embracing your inner squirrel

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Life is running 'round inside of me like a little squirrel."
--Olga Katrina, Grand Duchess of Russia

That's one of my favorite lines from the play, You Can't Take It With You. Mainly because it's delivered with such joy that you can't help but be swept up in its meaning. For me, it sums up the celebration of the little things.

You know, like having enough milk to make your morning cup of tea. Like meeting a puppy for the first time. Like watching a child create a work of art just because the markers and paper are there. Like stopping to listen to the rain.

For this change in perspective, I have to blame a yoga class. And spending some quality time with new friends. And then, once I got home, I finally picked up the phone to call my Grandma and my aunt, who both have at least two squirrels running around inside them at any given time. Oh yeah, the holidays are always fun with my family.

It's amazing how much faster time flies once you're at a certain age. Maybe it's because life's training wheels have finally fallen off. ;) Not that we don't have more to learn; it's just that we should know how to learn by now.

And I find it even more awesome to know that someone besides Dad and my TRW pals is reading this blog. Dolly: welcome and thank you!

So today, to celebrate Victoria Day in true Canadian fashion, I will boldly go outside in the cool May weather and yank out some weeds. Hopefully the squirrels won't attack.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:24 PM 4 comments

The best laid plans...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Today my craziest friend in the universe, Joanne, turned 40. And, in true "woo hoo" fashion, we were going to start the day with an incredible hot-air balloon ride in the country.

At 6:05 a.m., after staying overnight in a very nice motel and eating a bunch of cute little mini blueberry muffins, we were told by the balloon operator that the upper winds were too strong to take the balloon out.

And no, that wasn't a personal comment about either of us.

Now, I'm not much of a morning person at the best of times, but Joanne took the news like a trooper and quickly found another day that we could try again. Unfortunately, it's not until July. She's one of those people who actually shows up to work when she's supposed to. Sheesh. ;)

What you might not know about Joanne is that, even after going through a bunch of bad nasty stuff like dumbass boyfriends, a kidney transplant and turning the most evil cat of all time into a lovable bundle of joy, she still believes in rainbows, dreams and tax refunds.

So this post is for Joanne, who still doesn't have a stinkin' wrinkle after 40 years. Happy Birthday, girlfriend. May the next 40 be less stressful and even more fun than the first!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:20 PM 3 comments

Stuck recap: Episode 1

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yes, I really did have a coupon for that ice cream sundae in my freezer. ;)

First, I have to say what a surreal experience it is seeing yourself on TV. While two of the gals, Nicole and Tracy, are actresses, the rest of us aren't. Well, I'm a media whore, but that really doesn't count, does it?

It's just so bizarre seeing things from the camera's point of view. Different things play through your head, like:

What on earth was I chewing on when they did that close up?

Wow, the camera really does add about five gazillion pounds!

Could I have at least brushed my hair before the cameras started rolling?

And then I got caught up in seeing everyone's stories. Please note for the record that Tracy is 37, not 39. Gotta love it when facts aren't double-checked.

Oh, and I'm a man. LOL

I can't speak for the other gals, but everything they showed about me is true. The "below average" message on the treadmill did happen. I'll get over it one day.

And I can't believe that Mary could hold a plank position for 31 seconds at the get-go! At the time I thought the plank position involved an eye patch and having a parrot on your shoulder.

Did you tune in? If so, what did you think? Are you gonna keep on watching?


posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:01 AM 5 comments

Watch "Stuck" on W Network tonight!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hey guys, if you haven't been over here recently, you may not be aware that I'm part of a new show on Canada's W Network. It's called Stuck, and it's about seven women who feel stuck about their lives, so they band together to do something about it.

Stuck starts airing tonight (May 14) at 9:30 on W Network. There are 13 fabulous episodes.

Consider this your personal (okay, as personal as you can get on a blog) to tune in:

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:08 AM 6 comments

The pause that refreshes

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm really looking forward to Friday.

To celebrate my friend Joanne's 40th birthday (she's the one with the famous seven-layer dip), we're going up in a hot air balloon with the sunrise to start her 40th year on an upward path.

I'm sooo excited. My fear of heights hasn't kicked in yet; I'm sure that'll hit me soon. ;)

And celebrating such a huge birthday reminds me that, even though we still feel and act like 16-year-olds, we're getting old. Like hot-flashes-may-be-starting-soon or bring-on-the-Metamucil old. Eek!

When on earth did this aging happen? Was it when I was sleeping?

Hopefully I'll look like a young 30-something on TV tomorrow...

OMG, the show airs tomorrow! So much for staying calm to avoid any more wrinkles. Then again, I never did nail down that "staying calm" thing. LOL

How do you keep your age at bay?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:20 PM 2 comments

A celebrity moment

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today was such a wild day, I'll need about a week to let it all sink in.

The Toronto Star's weekly TV guide, Starweek, ran an awesome article about Stuck. While I didn't appear on the front cover (sob!) they had a photo of all seven of us on the inside front cover and my story (about being a diabetic and totally out of shape) was mentioned.

It was a great article and if I could link to it, I would. Here's a photo that's similar to the one that appeared in the magazine:

So today, as I was panicking right before the workshop I was going to lead at my Toronto Romance Writers meeting, one of the gals came up to me, Starweek in hand, and asked me for my autograph.

She wanted my autograph! Can you believe it? Little ol' me?

Oh Maya, not only did you totally make my day, you also presented me with my first-ever celebrity autograph moment! It made me feel like a million bucks. Thank you!

Oh, and the workshop went okay, I think. Apparently I talk with my hands when I stand in front of a crowd and with my legs when I'm sitting on a table. Who knew?

Well, at least I can call it a workout. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:20 PM 9 comments

Crazy times ahead

Friday, May 9, 2008

Yeah, I just bought myself a ticket on the crazy train. After taking a look at my calendar for the month of May, I heard bells and saw cute little birds circling around my head. If only I was animated; then my muscles wouldn't hurt so darn much. ;)

Now don't tell anyone, but I'm loving it. Of course, it would be nice to be able to sit back and catch up on the sleep I missed back in April, but then I wouldn't be where I am today: at the computer, freaking out.

All I can say is The Secret works.

I sent out some of that positivity and it's paying me back tenfold. When I survive the rest of the TV show taping, my workshops, my fitness program, the articles I have due, the copywriting assignments, my next WIP's outline...and live to see the middle of June, that will prove that I really am a woman who can do anything.

In the meantime, I'd like to put a song in your head that's been in mine all week:

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:36 PM 2 comments

Love songs vs. romance novels

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Question: Why is it okay for people to write love songs and not okay for people to write books about love?

I don't get it. Romance novels continue to be trashed by literary (or "litterary") types, yet they probably own at least one love song -- and listen to it over and over again.

And why do people listen to love songs? To feel good. And why do people read romance novels? To feel good.

So what makes one so wrong and the other something to be celebrated? Did I miss the memo or something? All of this stems from a conversation I had with an acquaintance about going to the RWA convention in San Fran. She asked what RWA stood for, so I told her:

BONNIE: The Romance Writers of America.


BONNIE: Is that a problem for you?

DUMBASS: Oh no, I just didn't think you wrote romances. I thought you wrote funny stuff.

BONNIE: I do. Love can be totally hilarious.

DUMBASS: Yeah, well, you know what I mean.

BONNIE: No, I don't.

DUMBASS: Well, romances are nice and all, but don't you want to write a real book?

BONNIE: Pardon me?

And then I kicked her in the head.

Okay, I didn't. But I wanted to. Seriously. Next time someone tries to tell me that romance novels aren't "real," I'll ask them if they feel we should take Sir Elton John's knighthood away. Just because he wasted his time working on "those types of songs."


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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:57 PM 8 comments

Happy May 5th

Monday, May 5, 2008

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I was going to do this post in Spanish, but the closest I could come to that was playing the Tijuana Brass in the background. ;)

The show that I'm a part of, Stuck, airs in just over a week (May 14, 9:30 p.m., W Network) and the press coverage is slowly building. Of course, it appears that every other cast member is being interviewed. The producer assures me that it's just a coincidence and not that I scare people.

Hmm, we'll see.

But for those who are interested, there's an article on the show appearing in the Globe and Mail on Friday and we're the cover story for the Toronto Star's Starweek magazine, which comes out on Saturday. Squee!

For information about the show, visit

We're still shooting the last few episodes so things have been kind of, how you say, CRAZY! Yesterday was a 12-hour day -- with no time for napping. Le sigh.

Of course, I have to keep in mind that this time next month the film crew and entourage will suddenly disappear, along with the wind machine and chocolate fountain. No, hang on, I'll keep the chocolate fountain. ;)

And I guess a little part of me (my liver) is kind of nervous about how it'll all turn out in the editing. Already labelled as a "gym loser" who is haunted by being picked last in high school gym class, I wonder what else I may have said that will reveal to the world that I'm either unstable or just someone too freaky for reality.

Then I remember that dying from embarrassment isn't possible: I've tested that theory many, many times before.

In other news, writing is going well. Magazine article assignments are landing in my inbox and I placed in the top quarter of scores for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for The Hot and the Bothered, which is an improvement from the previous year, so all those revisions appear to have worked.

Now I just need to sell it. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:01 PM 3 comments

Where did April go?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I coulda sworn it was right over there by March, and that month is long gone. ;)

This is been a "shut up and dance" kind of week for me, except you have to replace the "shut up" with "stop surfing" and the "dance" with "write". Le sigh. I know I've been working hard because my fingers are achy...and I have a bunch of to-do's checked off that stinkin' old to-do list of mine.

:::decides to dance anyway, demonstrating her feeble Electric Slide:::

Now that May is here (yeah, I meant to post this yesterday, sue me), I can't help but wonder what glorious delights await. I mean, 2008 has been pretty darn cool so far, what with my YA novel coming in second place, actually completing it, getting some awesome magazine article assignments and, best of all, being part of a TV series!

It's called Stuck, and it's on W Network (in Canada) on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m., staring on May 14. Here's the info about the show, which now includes pictures. Remind me not to wear my hair back ever again:

And if that wasn't cool enough, I'm very excited about the creativity workshop I'm leading with the Toronto Romance Writers in a few short weeks. Oh yeah, it's gonna be a blast -- I almost have enough silly string and pork rinds for everyone. ;)

I better post this now before another week goes by.

Hey, what's been the best part of 2008 for you so far?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:00 AM 4 comments