Friday, October 29, 2010

One is the loneliest number, but it's nice to write alone.

About the time that my marriage dissolved, there was a deluge of other things. My nest emptied, and the birds flew far and wide. I moved out of the nest and let Mr. Ex and the Little Missus have it (since she'd already slept in my bed.) Three of my best friends moved away. My agent gave up on my book. Then last summer my mom got cancer. This September one of my dogs and one of my cats died. I realized that in the great infinity of possible bad things, this isn't so much, really. And I feel weak and indulgent when I find myself struggling. So then I buck up for awhile until I decide to have a bottle of wine for dinner. Which has struck me as really stupid recently. So this past week I went to bed extra early on the nights when the man who loves me wasn't around. And lo! And behold! I awoke yesterday morning with an idea for an essay, and I fired up my computer instead of crawling to my espresso maker. Imagine that. An idea that I didn't have to pay someone to wrench out of me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blah, blah, blah

I had my friend Suzanne over for dinner last night. We talked about many things. Politics and the upcoming election. Her job. How the plans for building her house on a lake in Montana are on hold. The menu for the Thanksgiving dinner we are planning to cook together.

And we talked about my divorce. Again.

Let's talk about something else.

I'm over at  again today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Friend Lauren's Book

I have amazing friends, and Lauren Ward Larsen is one of them. This Saturday night I was her date for a shindig at UCLA where she was celebrated as one of the most distinguished alumni to graduate from the Anderson School of Business MBA program during its 75 years of existence.
Oh--and she wrote a book. Not a business book. A memoir that is chilling and brutal--and also delightful and funny. If you know anyone who has suffered a devastating illness, anyone who wants to seize life like there's no tomorrow, tell them to read it. Pre-order before November 15th and Lauren will donate 100% of her royalties to either blood donation, preeclampsia research, or clean water wells in Sudan.

Another Autograph

Downtown again, papers in hand for Mr. Ex to sign. His secretary riding a lunch rush elevator between me  in the lobby and Mr. Ex ensconced above us in one of his two offices in a shiny downtown high rise. I had three forms for him to sign. Two versions of a form designed to release me from responsibility for a joint credit card account I haven't used since my alimony began, and a form from an investment account that has been designated as my sole and separate property by an Interim Division of Joint Assets signed, sealed, and delivered by the L.A. Court.  It should have been simple. It wasn't.
Mr. Ex had already signed off on the Interim Division of Joint Assets which awarded a few things to him and a few to me with more yet to be divided if he's ever cooperative enough to do so. The investment firm had already received the official court documents, but they had a little form of their own for Mr. Ex. to sign. "Where are the forms for the things that I get?" Mr. Ex reportedly asked. "I'm not signing her form until she signs forms saying that I get my things."
Um. No forms seem to be necessary for you to get your things.
Poor secretary.
I called my attorney and left a message suggesting we look into a contempt of court filing. I called my financial guy.
About an hour later, thanks to the financial guy, things were sorted out--at least for the investment company's form.
As for the credit card account, Mr. Ex won't divulge his "gross household income"--a necessary number before the credit card company agrees to let him be solely responsible for the account. But I'm not giving up. I'll figure out a way.
Meanwhile, it cost me 13.50 to park. If I asked him to reimburse me, do you think he would?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Essay Published

Today is the release date for the anthology Saying Goodbye. I have an essay in it called "Holding Him Softly"--it's about handing my son over to the adoption agency when I was 17 and he was was just a few days old.

The book is a satisfying mix of sad and funny.  It would be a great gift for someone who is moving, retiring, graduating, grieving--saying goodbye to people, places, or things.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Handsome, Dark... and fits in my purse

Say what you want about the feel of a "real" book. The smell of paper, the way it feels in your hands. You can keep your dead trees and sniff all the glue that your heart desires because I'm in love with Mr. Kindle. I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's "The Lacuna" on my Kindle, and after I "turned" the last page I went to "My Notes and Marks" to re-read my favorite parts. Things like,"This is what it means to be alone: everyone is connected to everyone else, their bodies are a bright liquid life flowing around you, sharing a single heat that drives them to move all together. If the shark comes they will all escape, and leave you to be eaten." Or, "The past is all we know of the future."
Imagine my surprise at the next item on the Kindle menu, "View Popular Highlights." Yes. The favorite passages of other readers who have enjoyed "The Lacuna" on Kindle. Everyone is connected to everyone else--in a good way. Or at least those of us who read a book on Kindle and like it enough to mark the sections that mean something to us. From the top ten of  the most popular highlighted passages, there is this: "The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know." And this: "Mr. Shepherd, ye cannot stop a bad thought from coming into your head. But ye need not pull up a chair and bide it sit down."

My daughter M. and I once shared a paperback copy of "The God of Small Things" by Arundati Roy. M. read it first, underlining liberally and then gave the book to me to read. I loved seeing her markings-- knowing what had moved her, which bits of prose had leapt off the page and into her heart. I made my own marks and notes as I read, and then she read the book again, taking into consideration what I had noted. Reading as dialogue. Reading as love of a book and love of a person who loves the same book.
Okay, so maybe my experience today with my Kindle doesn't have quite the same depth as that. But the sea of book-love with Mr. Kindle is wider and has more fish. As both a reader and a writer, I have to say it's pretty big stuff to feel the ripple of a beloved writer's words and know immediately that other readers, even anonymous ones, are being encircled by those ripples too.