“What the hell is a gigawatt?” – Marty McFly, BTTF
BTTF – The Musical
We would not have missed the world premier for all the corona in the world. With Polysporin in my nose, gloves on, scarf around my head, a suitcase full of wipes, Lysol, sanitizer, we headed off to Manchester, U.K. Oh, what a magical night, so many years in the making. The Manchester Opera House was sold out, packed with ardent and I mean ardent (some dressed as the characters, some carrying hoverboards, all super excited to be there) BTTF fans. From the first moment of the show the audience was 1000% engaged, hooping and a hollering. A well-deserved standing ovation at the end. At the after party there were a frightful number of hugs and handshakes (I did not participate) amongst the people, even though I kept shouting (to my children’s’ horror) “No hands! No hands!” Ugh!!!!
Wearing a Vintage BTTF T-Shirt
We all took the speedy, clean train to Liverpool, which was freezing cold (wearing gloves and everyone with a sanitizer spray in their pockets). Gray, drizzly, a biting wind. We toured the Beatle sights; Strawberry Fields, which was a cool old mansion that grew strawberries and John used to sneak into, even though he was threatened they would hang him (Listen for the lyric “nothing to get hung about.”) A beautiful old cemetery where John and Paul hung and sang in the nearby church hall (I think). On one of the tombstones is the name “Eleanor Rigby.” Saw all the houses of the Fab Four. The spot of the original Cavern where they played, which is filled in and rebuilt, brick for brick a couple spots down. Not many people about (thank you corona). Saw some boring sites (you’ve seen one cold big church; you’ve pretty much seen them all) then back on the train to Manchester and into a steaming hot tub.
Eleanor Rigby on the middle tombstone
Indian Wells Tennis Match. CANCELLED – corona!
CANCELLED – corona! (not unhappy about that! As we are learning where to report bullying when your school Crane Country Day School does NOTHING about your child being bullied for months)
Broadway Shows CANCELLED – corona! My heart bleeds for all those performers not performing!
I’m on the case. It has been a while since I’ve been interviewing people, which I love to do. Got quite a few done before “lockdown.” A few more to go. I generally like to interview in person, so people can check me out, my sincerity, etc. I hold my interviewees to be sacred. I will and do protect them, their stories, etc. It’s a complicated case I’m investigating and frequently it gives me a headache! I forgot how difficult and draining it is, especially with people who aren’t interested in being interviewed in the first place. It’s difficult pulling one gem out. It feels like being on stage, convincing them they can invest in me and I have their backs. I have never betrayed anyone I’ve interviewed, never lost a scrap of their memorabilia. I am piecing together a very complex deep dark nasty story. But I’m on it. The best part is I also am doing a bit of Santa Barbara history to round out the story so learning interesting things like both Santa Barbara and Montecito were full of brothels! That should be fun side research.
Contagion Cupcakes by Bakin Bitch
Crazy Times so let’s do crazy things. A dear friend runs ShelterBox, I’ve talked about it before and here’s a link: https://www.shelterboxusa.org/home-page/meet-the-team/ While they are isolating, they came up with a way for us all to be together separately and created a FB Page Cooking Through Corona. I have become a guest chef aka baker. Check it out (the cupcakes are really good!) Next up is Pandemic Pie, because Marie Antoinette really said, “Let them eat pie!”
Excited to announce something I’ve been envisioning for a while that I hope to grow into a yearly event. It’s a 3-day event of women writers mentoring “vulnerable” younger women, helping them explore and grow their ability to tell their story, or the story of their grandmother or their community, whatever they want to discover. It will be a way to empower them in a safe environment and giving them all the various tools to tell a story because their story matters. We will do a deep dive into where they can begin to express themselves whether through podcasts, novels, songs, etc. I already have some great mentors lined up and guest speakers, which I’ll begin to share soon. (Also working on the logo) We also have some amazing sponsors, such as Margerum Wines, Julie Hewett Cosmetics, author Dawn Reno Langley who is donating her fabulous writing journals to the 15 mentees. If you have some swag you can donate to these women please contact me, or if you want to be a mentor. The event will be held this September in Santa Barbara. God willing we’ve gone back to “normal.” Whatever that is.
If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype, I’m available. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktailrecipes before for you all to try. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to join in. A questionnaire is on the website to download for your Book Club.
While researching the style I want to write my “Nancy Drew” story in I read this fast-paced, heart bumping book. I like this author and will read more of her series. This one takes place in LA and she really gets the neighborhoods and the atmosphere down. I always love an LA based story, from James Cain’s “Double Indemnity” to James Ellroy’s disturbing “black Dahlia” and most of the rest of his books. The older ones. I had a couple talks scheduled but since those events have been rescheduled, I have more time to read. Some honorable mentions are Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Which I’ve read before but I’m listening to the audio, which he narrates. So good. And a big fatty I readis “St. Petersburg” by Jonathan Miles. I LOVE me Russian history and have read a ton. This is very detailed (hundreds of pages) but unlike some histories, does not get bogged down. A couple more are in my finished pile.
And what I’m reading or recently read
for complete list, I have everything on Good Reads
as I can’t remember them all!
Reading the above-mentioned book, I was inspired by this poet, journalist, communist, Olga Berggolts. She was barely mentioned in the book, just a couple sentences, but after reading how she was arrested and kicked in the stomach until she lost the child she was caring, I had to do some research. We always think we have it bad, and the times are definitely challenging and probably ruinous for many these days. But let’s not forget what some courageous women went through far worse (let’s hope) than we can imagine. I’ve attached a link to my article I wrote for “Medium” magazine online about this courageous woman. If you can, please go on the link, and give it a clap at the end of the article I’ll be so happy. Olga suffered many personal tragedies. She was imprisoned and beaten by her beloved communists. Yet it is her relentless work, broadcasting on the only radio station functioning during the Siege of Leningrad during 1941-44 that made her a hero. She was a calm, inspiring voice, encouraging the starving, freezing, disease and lice-ridden citizens to not give up. Better days were ahead, and Leningrad would be free of the Nazis. She was right, of course, and though her organs were dying (lack of nutrition) she read her poetry, the poetry of others and conveyed the news to men and women huddled in cave-like rooms with little to believe there was light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget CLAP, CLAP at the end of the article. https://medium.com/@bounddv/a-woman-you-should-know-olga-berggolts-b2f4834ec4f8
See ya between the pages next month . . . lets never shake hands again!