Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There's A Hole In My Bucket...

So much to do, so little time... I don't like calling it my 'Bucket List,' because that just sounds crude and unromantic. Either way, it's different from my Dreams List because dreams are more fluid and are something to aspire to achieve, whereas the To Do List are things to do simply because. Anyone can write a book, so that's a To Do, but only one in a million get published, so that's a Dream. See where I'm going?

On my To Do are: Stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon, then hike down to the bottom (as long as I'm there, I might as well). See Stonehenge (if I could get away with touching it, that's make it a dream). Walk through ancient Greek ruins (if the fighting ever stops). Wear a ballgown (wedding gowns and Halloween don't count.) Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans (and be sober enough to remember it). Be in Times Square for New Year's (I live in New Jersey, and don't understand why this is proving so difficult. I'll blame it on the family.) Lose five pounds (book tours are coming up, along with summer.) Survive getting my three sons through school, college, and into their first apartment (this one is iffy).Learn to use all the buttons on my phone, camera, computer, DVR, GPS, TV, blog, website, Twitter, FB (seriously, why is everything so complicated?) Get my other books revised enough to please my agent (that's a biggie; may have to transfer it to the Dream List). Balance the checkbook (and prevent husband from screwing it up again). Transform my backyard and pool into an oasis, because with all the things To Do (and this is only part of my list), I'm going to need a place to rest.

Monday, March 14, 2011


John Lennon's inspirational song makes me fearful for humanity. Really. Going anywhere, I encounter so many people who are enraged, discourteous, selfish and seriously MEAN. It's impossible to imagine people giving up possessions and materialism when they practically shoot each other for a parking spot, or go into serious debt for overpriced goods. And religion, while the saving grace for many a sinner, is used to justify killing and maiming. Lennon's song envisions a utopia that anyone with five functioning brain cells realizes is impossible. So why do we keep imagining it? Why yearn for something that can never be (like me perpetually being a size six with no gray)? No war, no injustice, no harm, no calories in my latte. Not happening, people! Sad, isn't it? Yet, as I explain to my son for the umpteenth time that people are free to make bad choices even if the rest of us have to suffer for them, there is so much that is uplifting about humanity too. When I had jaw surgery, my family, neighbors and friends rallied round. Even people from my church whom I barely knew, sent me texts, FB messages, prayer shawls, meals, and then visited. The human condition is a conundrum; we are our own and at times our neighbor's worst enemy, and then we are shining examples of the superior beings we aspire to be. Confused? Yeah, me too. It's like we're all dual personality people, like Batman's nemesis Two Face. Sometimes we wear the evil face, sometimes the good. Driving in rush hour brings out everyone's evil face and the cute lol cats brings out anyone's good side. (Even dog lovers.) In the end, we all come back to 'The Choice.' Which path will you take during the many opportunities in the day; the highway to hell or the road to higher ground? I'll try to remember I have the option of being a better person, although it's going to be hard if just one more person cuts me off.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

That's Soooo Not Funny!

Watching the Academy Awards, did you notice that most of the top awards go to serious, angsty, tragic, wrenching, despairing (get the pic?) movies? Don’t we have enough of that in our lives already? What’s wrong with letting a funny movie win Best Picture? Sure, it happens once in a while, although I can’t think that far back (I don’t even remember which film won Best Pic last year), but not often enough. If anything, we should celebrate humor more often. It loosens tensions, allows us to poke fun at ourselves and others, and lightens the heavy load of life we all carry.
That’s probably why I write humorous scenes into almost all my books. Guess I’m funny that way; I love humor when it’s really bad. Puns I adore you! I don’t think David Letterman is funny, but I crack up with Jeff Dunham and his Achmed puppet. The Home Alone Movies (except #4, that was dumb), still make me hysterical every Christmas. Laughter, touted as the best medicine, isn’t employed enough if you ask me.
Take books. How many classics are funny? Only person I can think of that had any sense of humor is Shakespeare. Witty fellow that guy. I’m sure there are more, but no one goes gaga over them the way they do the sad/serious/morbid/moody works. What situation cannot be made fun of? I can’t name any; our human condition allows our creative funny bone to see the lighter side, even if it takes time and perspective to do it.
So, when you read my books, don’t expect to cry, be depressed, ponder our pitiful existence or contemplate suicide. Just laugh it off.

What Dreams May Come...

Dreams are an important aspect of my life; I’m not talking about going to sleep and finding myself romanced by a certain bad boy vampire on TV, but about what I desire most to be happy. At 9, I dreamed about having a cat. That worked out well. At 16, I dreamed of having a fast sports car. Still waiting on that one. Through the years, dreams or actually desires, came and went, either being realized, like love, marriage, kids and my feet to stop growing. Others I’ve discarded; a legal career, a four carat diamond, and staying wrinkle free. (I’d really still like the last two, but reality is so cruel.) There are a few that I hold onto not because they’re the ultimate, like climbing Mt. Everest (I mean really, struggling to the biggest dirt pile on the earth at risk of limb and life? Uh, no.) But, some I hold onto because they define me. My top most dream is to be a successful author. Writing has always been a part of me. It’s in my DNA, although God alone knows where that came from because the only thing anyone in my family ever wrote was a Christmas list or a required English paper (and not too well at that). So now, here I am, my book Sirenz, co-written with my best gal pal (or boy pal or even pet pal, she’s the tops) and published by Flux in June. There are book signings, a sequel, an agent and solely written books being reviewed. My number one dream- just about realized. Almost achieved. Ready to be checked off the list (pending final sales figures; it doesn’t count as a success if only your family and the dollar store buy them). Is that it?
No. As I’ve modified my list (did you think I only had one thing on it??), subtracting, adding, it has become almost a living thing, changing with age (like me). What else is on my list? First, I want my 15 mins. Of fame that cultural icon/artist Andy Warhol says everyone gets. I only hope that I’m dressed, have makeup on, and am not doing something stupid, like choking on a chicken bone. Next, I want some fans, people without a vested interest, to go gaga over my books. I’ve seen bad writers get fans, so there should be some out there who’ll adore me too. (But no hanging out under my window in the bushes; totally not allowed.) Number three is I want to live a long, healthy life. This shouldn’t be too difficult as great grandpa lived to be 97, great grandma 103, and grandmother is still spicy at 104. Go grandma! I don’t do unhealthy things (often), so if NJ drivers don’t kill me, it looks pretty good. After that comes the dream for my sons to live long, healthy, happy, successful lives. Even if it kills them. It’s giving me agita and grey hair. Fifth is world peace. Never happening, scratch that off the list. Another dream is for my husband to stop snoring. Ditto above re: not happening in my lifetime. Finally, (I’m taking the high road here and not being piggish with the wishes), “I’d like to thank the Academy….” Hey, you never know what dreams may come….