Friday, April 26, 2013

Dyan Cannon's Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant

Last Sunday I helped pass out information and flyers for the weight loss center I manage. The event was the Houston Women's Expo and was held at the Reliant Stadium. I wasn't looking forward to it, because really: who the hell wants to work on a Sunday? And I was already exhausted from a basketball tournament my daughter participated in the day before, followed by a speed dating event I hosted Saturday night. Yikes!

But it's my job, and for the most part, I enjoy what I do.

While walking up and down the aisles with my fourth cup of coffee, I ambled over to the Barnes and Noble booth. Y'all, I saw Cary Grant's face looking up at me and my knees buckled. I can't imagine there's a woman in the world who doesn't think that man is God's gift to women, dead or alive. I've seen An Affair to Remember about a bajillion times and in that two hours, there is no one I hate and envy more than Deborah Kerr. If you haven't had the human decency to watch it, get on it. Now.

Anyhow, the book with my Grant's face on it was written by none other than his former wife, Dyan Cannon. And no, y'all, I had no idea who she was. I didn't recognize the name. But when she finally took the stage, the voice sounded eerily like (I cringe as I write this!) one of the actresses from Caddyshack II. But I wasn't sure. And then like a lightning bolt, it occurred to me that a good 25 years had come and gone since that movie was released. And yes, I was distracted by the overwhelming urge to throw myself on the floor and weep. 25 years? Seriously?! Hyperventilation time. Was that the last time I'd seen her face. No...Ally McBeal, I remembered. I was ok...that show hadn't been too long ago. Wait a minute...still 16 years! More hyperventilation and agony.

But I digress...

Cannon was married to Grant (35 years her senior) for only a few years, but her story is interesting independent of her relationship with the swoon-worthy leading man. She was nominated for an Academy Award and also directed and produced several films. A singer and songwriter, too. To say nothing of how amiable and interesting and engaging she is.

So, anyway, enough of the gush-fest. Here's Dyan, talking about why she wrote this book. Somehow, after sitting down to hear what Cary Grant's widow had to say, I forgot about my film star obsession and listened to a woman who had her own story to tell, her own wisdom to impart.

And forgive the quality of the video. My Note II is great and I carry it with me everywhere, but it's not designed to film 11 minute videos, and all in the shaky hands of a carb deprived woman who's suddenly realized that she can quote lines from a movie she saw 25 (ugh!) years ago. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Blog: Lit and Life Endeavors

If you haven't yet checked out Darren Hopes, do so HERE.

Hey y'all....

So, I started a new blog. Don't have but one post on it. Trying to get back into the blogosphere, and get around to reading and reviewing more, since I have time to do it now.

My new blog is called Lit and Life Endeavors. I'll be doing more of my observations and scribbling there. Still plan on doing most of my book reviews here.

Labels are a thing I'm constantly struggling against. I'm always telling my girls that it doesn't matter what people say about you. No one can define you but you. But that's probably crazy and a tad too idealistic. Sometimes our own definitions and labels are the most stifling. We fall into ruts from lack of imagination and don't know where to go from there.

I'm still figuring it all out...trying to put things in the places I think they belong, stuff like that.

But anyway, visit if you get the chance!

In this next week, I'll start visiting all your pages more; I know I've been slacking!

Oh, and if any of y'all can help me figure out how to route a blogger url to a custom domain, I'd be forever grateful. I'm a total dunce when it comes to this technology bit.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Year of Good Intentions

Me, center.
So, it's been awhile. I had a solid start at the beginning of last year, careened into a million different endeavors, and was successful at some, a raging failure at others.

I sit here at my favorite mid century desk, a thirty dollar find at a Northwest Houston thrift store, and wonder what lies before me. Everything I've ever known to be my life will soon change. At the beginning of last year, I was a stay at home mom. I soon became a working mom. I will now become a single mom.

Some relationships are flawed from their inception. And some masochistic leanings, or you can call it dogged optimism, keeps them chugging along. It can be comfort, complacence, fear, or just plain habit...

Last year I changed so many things about myself. Things I hadn't been able to change before. Internally, things began to shift. What was good enough before didn't seem to be good enough anymore. And I also noticed that I'd become a less likeable person. I continued to make decisions knowing full and well they were the wrong ones. Before, I'd lived a life built on the decisions others made for me (because I wasn't strong enough to make them myself). But I began to make choices regardless of those I knew I'd hurt and eventually it blew up in my face.

Still, I sit here knowing that what should be, will be. Eventually. God or Fate or whatever you want to call it has a plan for each and every one of us. Mostly, it's not something we think we want. But what we want and what we need are universes apart.

What do I need? What lessons am I supposed to learn? What choices should I be making?

I'm sure I'll fumble and stumble along these answers as time progresses. For now, I feel an invisible hand guiding me along. Remonstrating. Reminding. Urging. Cautioning.

No one can make you happy but yourself. I know this. I've learned this. But it's a truth I have to keep relearning.

Distraction is mere distraction. You can't live life on candy. Or by being caught up in the bright and the shiny and glittery moments.

If it's a secret, then it's something you shouldn't be doing.

Solitude is not the same thing as loneliness.

Last year, I began running. It's not something I do as much as I'd like, especially because of time constraints, but it's taught me so many things. Running is all about capturing the fullness of the moment. About finding your rhythm. About getting your heart and head and hands and feet to sync. It's a symphony of body and spirit, a merging of momentum and will.

And it began to show me that change was possible. Is possible. Keep your head up, your mind clear, your breathing steady, and you can do anything. You can go as far as you want to go.

Our only limitations lie within us. Within the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. When we change the opening line, we change everything thereafter. And we may wander off the right path, or trip, or fall into a rabbit hole, but by taking ownership of every occurrence we become better people moment by moment.

Last year I wondered what Life would bring me.

This year, I wonder what I will bring to my life.

Monday, May 28, 2012

On The Road Read-a-long Starting Post

I'm not a fan of the Beat Movement. I don't get chills when I read Ginsberg's Howl, and I haven't read Burrough's Naked Lunch, and I don't think these guys were the best thing since sliced bread. Or pizza.

All the same, I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read Jack Kerouac's On The Road. Yup, about as close as I ventured to the text is 10,000 Maniacs' Hey Jack Kerouac.

Oh, and I chuckled when I read Truman Capote's insult, "That's not writing. That's typing."

But I've only read one classic this year (Hemingway's A Moveable Feast), and shame is one hell of a motivating factor.

If you'd like to join in on this read-a-long, please visit Wallace's Unputdownables, read the rules, and throw your name in the ring.

Week One's post will be up on Friday, June 8th.

And on another note, are any of you Armchair BEA participants?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Salon and Sounding Off #6

Today is one of those days that I'm frustrated with myself. I have the pot of coffee. I've been sitting in front of the computer for hours. I'm loaded with caffeine and good intentions.

And yet I just can't seem to get anything of value done.

Oddly enough, the universe, as it often tends to do, sent me a message: I'm not alone. That message came to me at about five this morning, when I was doing my daily blog reading. Going through some of my posts at the beginning of last year reconnected me with some blogs I'd lost track of (am I the only this happens to?) And then I got to skipping around, and somehow found a wonderful post from a fellow LitStacker. And then that got me thinking about Sharon Bially's Veronica's Nap, which got me thinking of The Power of Habit, and the article I read in The Atlantic about behavior modification.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Claire de Lune by Jetta Carleton

Claire de Lune

By Jetta Carleton

Published by Harper Perennial

Release Date: March 2012

304 pages

 ISBN13: 9780062089199

Jetta Carleton (1913-1999) the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Moonflower Vine, and her husband ran a small publishing house, The Lightning Tree. Up until recently, only one of her novels was published. Claire de Lune, a novel she'd been working on for many years, had been considered lost by her family--swept away in a tornado. When The Moonflower Vine was reissued, a small Colorado newspaper interviewed one of her friends, who'd read Carleton's unfinished manuscript. According to her, Carleton had been working on Claire de Lune over the entirety of their twenty year friendship.

"Innocence, of course, can lead to error, and error lead to the expulsion from Eden. Or so it is generally considered, although as far as we are told, it was the end neither of Eden nor of the garden. It was the end only of the sojourn there of its first inhabitants. Evicted for the error of their ways, they were forbidden to return...But there are those who enter, on sufferance of the angel, and choose not to know that after a short, blissful time, they too will be driven out."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

3 Novels that need to be adapted for film ASAP

All right. So there are a few books I've read more than once. Books that I'm a little obsessed with. Titles that I keep checking on IMDB to see if there's something in the works. I've got it all worked out in my head, why can't the rest of the world catch up?

So, here are a few novels that I want to be made into film. Like yesterday. 

The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott

 I reviewed this one last year, and I tell you, this novel broke my heart about a hundred times before I finished it. Henry Cage is being pushed out of the company he founded, his philandering ex-wife has terminal cancer, his son hasn't spoken to him in years, and he's being stalked by a sociopath, Colin, who sends Henry pictures of his girlfriend (Colin's, that is). Do bad things happen to people who deserve them or is everything random coincidence?