I want to remind you that success in life is based on hard slogging. There will be periods when discouragement is great and upsetting, and the antidote for this is calmness and fortitude and a modest yet firm belief in your competence.
Be sure that your priorities are in order so that you can proceed in a logical manner, and be ever mindful that nothing will take the place of persistence.
Publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in a letter to his son.
1. If you could sky write anything you wanted, what would it be?
2. Did you get drunk at your prom?
I did not go to the prom.I have been drunk.
3. What is your favorite spice to use cooking?
4. What color is your roof?
5. In a land far, far away I live by the sea.
6. In the Miss USA pageant, Miss California was asked; "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?" and her answer was; "Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and in, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman," Carrie said to a mix of boos and applause. "No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman." Do you think that cost her the crown?
Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other and, um, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe bigots should go down hard.
7. Do you watch Miss USA/Miss America pageants?
8. Have you ever driven/ridden on a tractor?
9. For the parents - what cartoon/children show did your child watch obsessively?
I don't remember. It's all a blur now.
10. If I set a level on your living room floor - would it show that it was level?
No. But I'm always on the level.
11. What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Mediterranean Grill celebrating 35 years of marital bliss. I had lamb.
12. What's the picture on your wall calendar for this month?
Field of tulips.
I had to get up and walk across the office to look because the calendar is hidden behind a map of Ireland and I found it wasn't even on the right month.
13. Are you superstitious? It'd be bad luck to answer.
14. If I get into your car and turn on the radio - what type of radio station will I hear?
Have you ever heard of iPod? I've no idea where the radio is set anymore. No, wait, it's set on PBS because I am a closet intellectual. 15. Would you rather wake up with a snake in your bed or a lizard? Are those the only choices? How 'bout a puppy or Jake Gyllenhaal?
16. Do you think schools have changed at all since the Columbine tragedy 10 years ago?
1. Recently Berleen and I discovered the allure of the Twilight series. Have you ever been sucked in to the latest "thing"? (Like Harry Potter, the movie Titanic, social networking, etc. etc. etc.)
kiddo told me last week, we were on Twitter before it was cool. Yes and no. We're on there all right. Was it ever cool? Doubtful. Will someone tell Ashton Kutcher his time is up?
2. What software do you use for your email?
3. Are you comfortable being nude?
4. What is something you plan on doing this summer?
Ocean. Ocean. Ocean.
5. Do you have a favorite movie/book quote? If so, what is it?
"The difference between writers and people who write is the difference between bullfighters and bullshitters." Screenwriting From The Soul -- Richard Krevolin
6. How many email addresses do you have?
More than enough.
7. Is the sky falling?
No, just leaking a little.
8. Have you been to the Grand Canyon?
Why, yes I have, on a trip with my parents when I was a skinny young thing. I still remember people bailing out of their cars to run to the edge and look in. No. Really. It's a hole in the ground and it's not going anywhere. What's the rush?
Had a similar experience on the boat that shuffles tourists out to the Statue of Liberty. As we motor close, suddenly everyone runs to the side facing the statue. I'm left clinging to the oft rail muttering a Hail Mary.
Holy Mother of God, don't let idiots sink this boat. Amen.
No. Really. It's a gigantic metal sculpture. She's got feet but no legs. She is not going anywhere. What's the rush?
I detect a trend.
As I have mentioned before, I am the slowest moving on my team of First Responders. Experience has taught me, this is not always a bad thing, as first on the scene is most likely to be electrocuted, shot, yelled at or barfed on. If it sorts out that way, I am content to follow along, assuring no safety hazard goes unexamined.
Which is my way of dealing with -- if life hands you lemons, hand them back and ask for a Coke.
Apparently, people have been swooshing by me for a long time. What is the rush?
9. When was the last time you mailed a hand written letter?
Back when kiddo was a just a wee college girl, and I was desperately, hopefully, unsuccessfully trying to convince her of the loveliness of a hand written letter.
Spring, when a young heart's fancy turns to thoughts of love.
Or, if you're a screenwriter, to screenwriting contests.
Monday, I sent my latest off on eight such missions, all but two, by digital upload. Felt like a grand old dinosaur then. Never done that before. I can't imagine readers eagerly sitting down to read 100s of scripts on a computer screen.
But, progress it seems, has passed me by. Nearly everyone's gone green and proud of it.
So, I sent my epic into the Ether with a click of a key and will await with bated breath for the Ether to reply.
I've received a grant to produce a photography show about a hot issue here in the West. Because it's political, I decided to read the latest. A net search listed nothing later than 1988. I went to the library.
Since I've been spoiled by the Internet, I couldn't remember how to search the magazine index. Asked the librarian for help. Guess what she told me?
Get on your computer. Here's the password to access a magazine index. Can't be done within the library.
I lament the current state of publishing every time I try to find a book to buy.
Every book I pick up is about serial killers.
Or disaffected FBI agents.
Or FBI agents dating disaffected serial killers.*
When a title intrigues me, I pick the book up.
If the first line of the jacket copy begins, “The bodies were all found with . . . “* I put that book right back down.
Then, I remembered where all the good books are.
I picked up John Steinbeck's, Travels with Charley, and the writing was so beautiful, it almost made me cry.
Of course, with Steinbeck, one must prepare to have one’s heart broken, but I believe that is better than wading through a description of the chambers of the heart as they bleed out in the dust by yet another unrepentant serial killer.*
Now, I’m rereading Cannery Row. I’m keeping my hankie close.
* And now, every other book is about vampires. I don't get that at all.
*”… inscribed on the inner thigh, the name of the agent responsible for foisting all those serial killer books upon us.”