Dirty Words on Clean Skin Offers Up a Gratitude Sandwich

One year ago, I became a published author.  Dirty Words on Clean Skin, my journey from fearful news junkie to activist, detailed the revolting media treatment Hillary Clinton and other politically inconvenient women received in 2008 and beyond. Notwithstanding the teeth gnashing involved in reliving those events, bringing this effort to fruition has been the adventure of my life.  Since I was honored to have this wonderful blog as my launching pad, I’d like to share some of that adventure with you.

This is what the process of writing Dirty Words felt like:

cropped anita rafts 1

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

First things first.  To be accurate, one year ago, I became a self-published author.  No matter the quality of the writing or value of the subject matter, no literary agent would take it on.  Were they afraid to call mainstream media out on the carpet for their grotesque sexism and one-sided reporting?  Did they really believe there was no market for the way women are still treated in this country?

Every part of me screamed that it was necessary to release the book through traditional channels.  While generating significant interest, in the end, too many changes were demanded.  Agents insisted that anything personal be taken out of the book, but what I had to offer went beyond reportage.  It was necessary that the reader be with us in the trenches since pundits’ foul behavior and their ensuing revisionist history had an effect on millions that cannot be underestimated.  Many books and essays were released pushing the “it was all Hillary’s fault” mantra.  The idea that the truth of these events would be buried without so much as a whimper was unconscionable.  Since Dirty Words proved that domestic abuse played out on a national level, the choice to tell this story in a non-traditional manner meant going my own way.

Literary agents also said it was too late for this book and no one would care — unless Hillary planned to run again.  They were right insofar as this has not been an easy sell.  But guess what?  Hillary Clinton’s popularity is through the roof, she is doing much to remain in the public eye and her energy shows no sign of waning.  To the surprise of naysayers in the literati, she is looking pretty good to run in 2016, although it would be foolish to imagine the fight won’t be just as tough.  So, no, it is never too late to talk about the treatment of 52% of the population.

I remained terrified of pushing the snowball up the hill without the backing or street cred of a publisher.  In the fall of 2011, the finished book was ready.  I handed it to my best friend of 30 years, an apolitical and deadly honest person who I thought would be bored to tears.  Her reaction was quite the opposite.   Seeing that I was dragging my feet on taking the next step, she urged me forward.  Her words will stay with me forever:

“You wrote a book about this brilliant woman who the media told to sit down and shut up.  How long are you going to wait for someone to give you permission to have your voice?”

Six months later, I launched my book on this wonderful site.  I cannot thank each of you enough, especially the lovely Miss Uppity, for cradling this effort and giving me so much support.   But the moments before and after were not without their real life drama.  At the end of January 2012,  my mother collapsed.  With her in and out of hospitals and skilled nursing for the months that followed, I almost abandoned putting the whole project out altogether.   I’m sure many have had the experience of family crises pushing their own goals to the back burner.  I made the decision to be there for her and myself at the same time.

DWOCS Front Book Cover onlyIn March, when I had the proof copy, I raced to the hospital to put the book in Mom’s hands, since it is dedicated to her.  She needed to know that I had finished what I started.  Once it started selling and her health was a bit better, I went back for my daily visit and read her a few paragraphs.  With her charming Italian accent, Mom stuck her elbows out and said “Fly, fly.  Spread your wings and fly.”

She must have been channeling.  I’d never heard her say anything like that.

While I made some early mistakes in marketing, I found great publicists who got me on every imaginable radio outlet.  TV, predictably was harder.  I am now often introduced and regarded as an expert on all things Hillary and all things sexist!  And due to the support of another amazing blogger on this site, my book is on the curriculum at Pasadena City College.  I love going to speak to the students there.  A young man said to me, “Well I’m not a feminist but…”  I stopped him and we had the following exchange:

Me: Do you believe a woman is equal to a man?
Him: Yes.
Me: Do you believe women should get equal pay for equal work?
Him: Yes.
Me: Do believe there should be an end to violence against women?
Him: Yes.
Me: Congratulations.  You’re a feminist.

Dirty Words on Clean Skin has spent 16 weeks as #1 on Women in Politics books on Amazon.

It was a nice ego boost to see my name above Christiane Amanpour’s.  She must have looked at the stats and thought – who the hell is Anita Finlay!   While that may not make the book a best-seller by traditional standards, it has sold far more than the vast majority of  self-published works (with the exception of Fifty Shades of Grey, of course.  Maybe there’s a future for me in chick-porn, but I doubt it…)

The book has also sold more than quite a few traditionally published books but, more important, I’ve been able, via radio, to get this message out to millions of people.  It is something I continue to do, both as an ongoing commentator on America’s Radio News Network and The Jerry Doyle Show (#3 in syndication in the country).  I’ve been invited to write for a number of different sites and am now a regular contributor at a large, independent news site, Epic Times, which has its official launch soon.

Five years ago, I blogged under a pseudonym.  Considering that I had spent so much of my life terrified to let anyone know my opinion, to be so public is a sea change that had to be seen to be believed.  As I wrote, “Watching Hillary stand up taught me to stand up.”

Support and respect has come from some unexpected places.  Good things can happen when you walk into the lion’s den.  2012 was a fierce year.  I grew up and out of my old container.  Perhaps dealing with my mother’s failing health the entire time helped the courage quotient since her situation became the scary part, making me less afraid to sign my name to what I thought was risky work.

Sometimes, I’ll listen back to an mp3 of a radio interview and I am bloody shocked at my own outspokenness.  I like that I have learned to speak out.  I’m still wobbly sometimes.  But I do it.

The best news is that Mom is well enough that she just asked for a large print version of the book so she can finally read it.  She gets to enjoy me being a loudmouth, too.

Her life experience is what inspired me to write Dirty Words on Clean Skin in the first place.  It is only fitting that the new book I am working on be about our journey together — and that’ll be a hoot, I promise you!

Having long made my living as an actor, I still managed to get a few gigs last year, but I feel such a pull into this new world that the idea of getting a radio show and reaching out to others, to get past limiting messages that keep otherwise likeminded people divided, is much more where my sensibilities are today.  I am working on it.

pic 2 from HAcker shoot - Copy

All of that started here.

For a trip down memory lane, click here: Anita Finlay Press Kit 4 12 2013

As a thank you, last Christmas I got a great response when I offered two signed books for the price of one.  In honor of Mother’s Day, I am offering that same special from now through the end of May.  If you know of anyone who would be interested, just mention Uppity Woman and write to me at anita@anitafinlay.com and you will be taken care of!  Feel free to pass the word along.  I’d like to make this as affordable for people to read as possible.

Please know that I hold each of  you in my heart for every kind word and generous gesture on your part.  I will always appreciate you for taking my virtual hand and jumping into the deep end of the pool with me.

By the way…what kinds of topics would you like to see a book tackle, whether social or political, familial, personal or professional?

If you could blow the lid off anything, what would it be?  Inquiring minds want to know…


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79 Responses

  1. What a lovely post. I’m so glad this book has become successful, you certainly deserve it. Anita, I remember several years ago on nq, you mentioned that you were working on a book about the 08 campaign and several of us that were on that thread said we would buy it when it came out. I was so happy to get my copy. I really admire you for getting this done, and then having the perseverance to stick it out through the selling and promoting phase. You are an inspiration! Congratulations on a job well done!

  2. First- did I miss the sandwich offering?

    Second – Socal – why are you not in bed?

    Last but not least – Ani, we are the grateful ones. You are the one who risked your neck to tell our story from the beginning to the end of that phase of the big picture. Those were jam packed high paced days that made our blood boil and lit the fires of our outrage daily.

    That you told our collective story with lots of foot notes and citations and diligence made us all breathe a sigh of relief. We were able to let go of the fury – it was now chronicled and published. We were able to nod our heads, tear up, and let go of the pain we carried.

    Your bravery allowed all of us anonymous people a voice.

    I just looked at your press kit – wow! You are a dynamo.

    Thank YOU.

  3. Correction to a previous comment…Lily’s birthday is May 1, so it’s not Tuesday, it’s Wednesday. Sorry, you all have to hold off on the hats and the catnip for one more day.

  4. Ah, Lily being born on May Day. How fitting. Restless spirit that she is. I don’t believe in astrology but Uppity, Lily and I are all Taurus. Strong headed wimmenz pattern there.

  5. Yeah Karen and that ain’t no Bull.

  6. First of May. That’s a song, right?

  7. Guess which of the two genders get 91% off all cosmetic surgery?

    Women must stop the self doubt and not fret over vanity. (The headline is about Meeechelles arms but that is just the tip of the ice berg)


    My “beautiful as she is naturally” sister has had everything done – with much pain, infection and fear. The end result is often disfigurement. Bizarre fake smile, unnatural hard and toxic breasted, scars, weeping infection sores, too taught skin, etc.

  8. You can pick out Botox at 100 paces too.

  9. Wanna see Conan at teh Correspondents Dinner, where all the rich elite get together to show the rest of the country how much they own them?

  10. Congratulations Ani and great post. 🙂

  11. Thank you so much, ladies — I added a question at the end and would love your input if you have a burning desire in this regard!

  12. Karen for Clinton, I could not do otherwise. It became a compulsion!! 🙂

  13. Anita: Thank you for having the courage and the perseverance to tell the story, and for continuing to promote it. I’m sure it’ll have a second surge once (not when!) Hillary launches her 2016 campaign.

    We are all so proud of you.

  14. Love the whitewater photo, Anita!

  15. Lily’s birthday is May 1st. I think it is a sign.

    May is National Asparagus Month.

    I will have those lovely appetizers with Fontina and prosciutto ready for the big day.

    Now is Uppity going to post those pictures of her playing with yarn and fetching (in the neat part of the house*)?

    * My poor condo no longer has a neat part. Living with a little old lady now means I have clutter everywhere. The cards alone are piling up as she keeps them to re-read. And she washes and saves everything. Assorted containers, jelly jars, prescription bottles. . . . oh well, she’s happy which is more than she was in that immaculate senior apartment building.

  16. That is super news on your book. I remember reading you way back, I think at NQ and maybe here. Yeah. Quite the title you have. xxoo!
    VB here Upps & Co. ps: http://about.me/valentine_bonnaire get yourself a page in there…

  17. Ani
    Your mention of Jeryy’s Doyle’s radio show made me think of comments on a re-watch blog of Bablyon 5 (yes, I am a geek). It seems that no episode discussion, review, or commentary is complete without someone mentioning his radio show and that his politics are not within the approved leftist sphere. Without fail, one or more will mention listening , but always with the caveat that their own political views are all within the expected/correct boundaries. Boxlightner is also often mentioned. But no one ever points out the politics of anyone else in cast/crew/staff. They are assumed to be “correct” so they get a pass. The other assumption being made is that everyone reading the review/commentary is also in line with BO’s gang. In other words, people actually believe that if someone also likes/dislikes X (a relatively neutral non-politically affiliated X), then they must have, by default, the same exact political opinions.

    Such examples do shine light on how much pressure there is to conform. Especially when one’s lively hood is so visible to the public.

    You upset the apple cart and did not back down. That, in and of itself, it a major achievement. That you got people to listen is the icing on the cake.

    I am glad your mother recovered enough to enjoy your accomplishments.

  18. Thanks for your comment, Mt. Laurel. The Hollywood environment looks outwardly to be a big herd mentality but those who do not follow (and there are quite a few) are more quiet about it of necessity. I have only the kindest words for Jerry Doyle who always offers me a big forum and is a true gent.

  19. Nice to see you again, Valentine!

  20. thanks, NES.

    And lyn5 — that is me and hubby — I’m the one getting water in places i didn’t know you could get water!

  21. i have an answer to your question but to write a book about this subject you would have to have the burning desire not me.

    I would want someone to further expose what we are doing to earth. Humans are screwing it up (and have been moreso as I age) at an alarming rate.

    I am involved (lifelong) with all sorts of orgs who have put out tons of materials to no avail. We have small local victories then a BP type disaster reverses the tiny acts of millions of do-gooders who reuse renew recycle and who shun chemicals. Etc.

  22. WaChicago officials used poisoned well water mixed with more expensive clean water to save some money – so they could have more to steal.


    This happened in Pensacola years ago. My friends son became toxic and the military and the city officials all knew but did not tell the public. It is now rated WORST water supply in the USA.

    Obama struck his deal with Exelon and their radioactive drinking water that they would self regulate.

    When we ruin our water supply we kill ourselves and others.

  23. Karen for Clinton, thanks for your feedback. This is a serious issue made all the more troubling by politicians on both sides making their deals and selling us out in the process.

  24. Trumping Amenpour makes it worthwhile all by itself. Can’t stand her ever since she pissed off Bill Clinton.

    Just had some wonderful baby lamb chops with a greek salad with feta and some warm pita with tzatziki

  25. I am sitting here doing photoshop work on the computer and turned on that Busch-Mark Sanford (the SC “luv guv”) debate instead of the music I usually listen to. He is such a fucking douchebag. The way he keeps talking down to her and the way he references other women is total piggery. I can’t stand him. God, I hope she wins.


  26. Hate to admit it, but that is what I thought too, Upps. 🙂

  27. The fact that anyone is even contemplating giving Sanford a second act says it all. Would a woman get another chance is his situation?

  28. Anita, what NES said at 2:26 PM.

    I wouldn’t mind a book about the broader issue of our owned Congress Critters. These folks may have gone in with all the best of intentions, but in order to get elected and keep their jobs, they couldn’t do something good for their constituents if they wanted to. It used to be a joke, but I think it should be a requirement, that they wear the decals of their corporate sponsors sewn on their clothes.

  29. SophieCT, thank you kindly. ❤

    …as to the topic, it is the issue of our time. I don;t think I'm the one with the right juice to write it — but I can (and will ) certainly write articles about it. John and I will likely be discussing this very thing on Finlay & Smart Talk tomorrow night at 7p Pac.

  30. ❤ — bloody hell — that is supposed to be a heart.

  31. My self-publishing didn’t work since I have no heart for marketing/pr etc. But I am thrilled that your work has starred. I am hoping for a Clinton/Warren ticket but I’ll take one with either. We must have a woman in the White House. Sen. Clinton was the most able candidate since Gore and it is a shame that we’ll never recover from and a disaster for US when her rightful place was stolen. Keep up the good work for all us humans!

  32. Dem commercial for Colbert-Busch, attacks Sanford:

  33. Re: Sanford. It’s SC, inches away from the state that still segregates proms, for chrissakes. We are talking about the Land of Time Warps. If anyone expects a woman, much less the sister of a liberal comedian, to beat a guy who fucked around on his wife, then i honestly don’t think you’ve been paying attention. Considering the arrangement, Sanford could be caught chasing a little boy naked down the street and he will win. This is the land of the moral meddlers to whom their own rules do not apply. Besides, Sanford is going to marry the woman he walked all the way to Argentina to see. To the Christian Right, marriage is sacred, no matter how many of them you have. And boys will be boys. God forgives boys. God does not forgive girls. God especially doesn’t forgive democratic girls. This race is over.

  34. Anita, for the heart, hit Alt ❤ until you see the ♥! It eventually works. 😉

  35. Boston Bomber Scumbag #2 may avoid the death penalty. I’m sure his age has a lot to do with it, but I think he should get his legs blown off.

  36. Now onto Hillary, 2016. We’re lucky if they let a woman run for president to even imagine a ticket with two women is to imagine scathing defeat. This cannot and should not even be imagined, much less attempted. I am also betting that Americans have just about had it with the far right and the far left, “Up to here,” as they say. Elizabeth Warren will never fly after 8 years of extreme right and 8 years of extreme left blowing it out of their asses, totaling 18 ideological years of alternately fucking up this entire country and getting nothing useful done.

  37. Women should demand that each party nominate a woman in 2016. That’s the only way we’ll ever get a female president.

  38. Women fail collectively at demanding much smaller things than that Lyn. We don’t succeed because we are piss poor at demanding anything. One REAL problem we have is our penchant for letting our own causes be watered down by plunging headon into other causes for people who in turn have no interest in helping women in return. I’m talking about racism, Gay Rights, you name it. Women will ORGANIZE for these causes and do SHIT about successfully organizing for themselves. It’s the truth and it’s horrific to watch.

  39. The other thing the third wave does to dilute their rights is, they have this requirement that fighting for rights should be fun. So you will see a trip to DC to flash dance for “Equal Pay”. Right there in DC, they shake their asses and smile and dance and all they get is guys looking at their hot moves. And these women LOVE it. They are helping to degrade themselves and dilute their causes. Equal Pay is NOT funny. It’s serious shit, but you’d never know it when they “protest”……for they do not protest at all. They party dance. Here they are, right there in DC. Are they on the Capitol steps? Nope. Here’s where they are. This is WINCINGLY pathetic:

    I’m so happy! I don’t have equal pay! And you don’t respect me! I think I’ll shake my ass for you!

  40. Upps, I love the way you put stuff. LOL about the third wavers, although I know that its true…and really pathetic.

    I think Busch has a small chance. I read somewhere she was ahead. The election there is May 7th. When I was listening to that debate, there was a small group of men that hooted and howled every time that pig said anything. He kept trying to make out like she was some sort of crony of Nancy Pelosi! She (Busch) is a businesswoman/family woman, not a politician, and it pissed me off that Sanford seemingly got away with his bullshit. Still, at the end of the debate, when they each had two minutes, she had a way louder applause than he did.

  41. I was reading about the debate on wapo and one of the commenters there said “South Carolina…too small to be a country and too big to be an insane asylum.”

  42. It used to be a joke, but I think it should be a requirement, that they wear the decals of their corporate sponsors sewn on their clothes.

    I think the Nascar look would be just the ticket for congress critters. And “journalists”. And lobbyists. And cabinet members and nominees. And Potus, Totus, Motus and all the rest of the rest of the WH staff. And all the reps at the UN. And it should include entities like CAIR. And those ghostly bundlers. Not just corporations.

    In fact, I think instead of fake seals, BO should hang a shingle in front that reads “Today’s lecture was written by______and paid for by_______.

  43. Thanks, lyn5. still not happening, though.


    per your comment on April 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM, that is correct. I was shocked this past year in ther marketing of this how many women are still excusing this kind of behavior.

  44. Fredster’s got a Must Read piece over at Madamab’s pad. Poor Congrees. Teh Sequester made them suffer at airports. Cancer patients? Well they can just keep suffering.


  45. Ani, I will always remember your posts at the old place. Ah, I thought, this woman can write!

    Congrats on your success with the book. I am so proud of you. Take a big bow and enjoy the applause. You deserve it.

  46. Thanks so much, Beata. Always great to see you!! Who can believe it was 5 years ago… You were always so supportive. I would never have attempted any of this without my blogger pals rooting me on. I hope everyone here in the grassroots continues to bang the drum. The fact that old media is so pissed at new media means we are doing something right.

    It does break my heart however that the STOCK Act was quietly gutted and more of the same keeps happening. As soon as we take the sunlight away, the roaches start congregating again!!

  47. Anita, where are you rafting in that picture?

  48. Ani, I finally have the chance to let you know how proud I am of your book. And how I crowed when the people who I shared it with said to me “I didn’t know that!” It didn’t matter that I had said those things over and ober, it was only when it was in an official publication that my words were given life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Happy “Ani” versary

  49. BTW: in the comment above, “ober” = over

  50. Sorry to come back late to the party — I am so honored that Uppity lerft my post up for two days!!

    SophieCT — I am at the top of that picture laughing, almost falling out of the boat …

  51. Leslie — thank you!! I’m glad they even believed it when they read it. Some will never let go a belief system no matter how much evidence they find to the contrary.

  52. Fredster! If you are here — great post on Widdershins — I gave you a plug on our Finlay & Smart show tonight.

  53. Anita, not where are you in the picture, but where was the picture taken?

  54. Anita, (kindle changes your name to sanitary!) Sophie was asking where the boat was and not where you were in the boat.

    Is it the Colorado river? We have rafting here on the Lehigh and not too far away on the Delaware. It is class 3 or 4, iirc in spring or when they release the dam on weekends in summer.

  55. Happy Birthday, Lily.

    I am one today

  56. Sophie responded before I did. I should have hit refresh.

    Still for Hill has a post up about Rodham -the movie.

  57. Squeeeeeeeeeee. What a doll baby. She was so tiny but she had that same expression – defiance, mischief, worship me, intelligence – all at the same time.


  58. Play time?

  59. defiance, mischief, worship me, intelligence – all at the same time.

    Yes, Aunt Karen–still!

  60. Happy Birthday Lily!!

    She is so beautiful.

  61. Lily is such a pretty girl, and I love her gray stripes. Happy Birthday, Lily! You are a very special kitty.

  62. Gee it would be nice if those great photos were in a post for a proper celebration for a proper Princess. Just sayin’. And a little trip down memory lane besides.

    Better late than never!

  63. Feel free to move both comments with pix into a proper post. It’s a busy workday in a busy week and I am using an iPhone (no picnic with a blog).

  64. Happy Birthday, Lily.Just beautiful. 🙂

  65. Happy Birthday Lily!

    As promised here are the asparagus bundles.


    Now I do mine a little differently. I slice the cheese rather than grate and just sear them on top of the stove. The prosciutto keeps the cheese in place. If the spears are not cooperating, a toothpick does the trick. I also trim a bit more of the bottom stem off before wrapping. Although I often see these served with a sauce, none is needed. I just sprinkle a little pepper on the spears. Enjoy!

  66. Mt laurel, the word die is in diet for a reason. I want those spears but I tried on my bathing suit today and, well, I am starting to resemble my remarks.


  67. Three a – hole friends of the bombers threw out the evidence after they realized their buddy was the bomber. They should all rot in jail for a long time. Poppy and Candy must be so sad for these good college boys who threw it all away.

    Freaking blow their legs off.


  68. What kforC said . . .

  69. Aww, what sweet pix of Lily the Birthday Cat. She’s really grown.

    I don’t know what to make of this, this morning the UK DM was saying a Saudi diplomat told them on the QT that the Saudi gov had warned the US about tamerlan, now, predictably, the ambassador is denying the story. I don’t know what to believe, but I’ve always thought there was more to these brother jihad than the US wants to let on:


  70. Karen, I just read the wapo article you linked and some of the comments, a lot of pc crap about not judging the sweet nice little gf’ers from Khazakstan (more gf’ers being given a prime US university education and thanking us for it by screwing us over). It also said that they could get 5 years in prison. Only 5?!?! If you help a terrorist, doesn’t that make you a terrorist? Either throw their shiftless asses in the gen pop of a really nasty fed pen for 25 years or better yet send them back to goatfuckistan where they came from. Why should the American taxpayers foot the bill for these creeps any longer? Really pisses me off. Oh, and speakiing of your comment about Candy and Poppy, this is one of the comments left on that article:

    “Sharkgirl, I don’t understand this argument. The CNN anchors also indicated sympathy for the three. They aren’t accused of covering up for a night of drinking–they are accused of helping a man who allegedly was involved in a terrorist attack that killed 3 people and seriously wounded many more.”

    Who freaking owns CNN now? God I really hate cable news.

  71. And when I say send them back to goatfuckistan, I mean send them strapped to one of them nice new drone airplanes. Yowza, I’m redneck-ish today!

  72. Tell ya what, Upps–I promise a “proper birthday” post on the one year anniversary of the Great Tiger Lily Relay.

    Mt. Laurel, sadly asparagus will be out of season then. You’ll need to come up with an equally compelling dish.

  73. SophieCT, on May 1, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Happy birthday, Lily!! She is gorgeous. What a sophisticated young lady she turned out to be…she looks so happy and healthy. May you have a long and joyous life together!

  74. I’m sorry I am AWOL. I am up to my ass in alligators. You guys can carry on without me though, because you are such good boys and girls.

    And I’m in favor of the Blow Their Legs Off suggestion. Three little bastards didn’t want their friend to “get into trouble” for killing three people and maiming scores of others.

    I say put em over one of their “friends’s” bombs and let it blow their legs out from under them like they did to Krystle.

  75. Hi Sophie and Karen!

    Well, I thought I was smart — yes, I did misunderstand that question about where am I in the picture — and looking back on it, that was pretty goody on my part! We were staying in North Lake Tahoe. I forget the name of the river…

  76. Ani, until I have my coffee and wake up fully I run on goofy time. I forget/ screw up and have to rethink everything because my brain is in low gear. Then the fog lifts.

    There are lots of jokes and comedy routines baseed on misunderstandings like that one. It was cute.

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