About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cry me a river

That's what I've been doing this afternoon (I know it's very late on the east coast but it's not quite 9:00 yet here on the west coast). I worked this morning, came home and wrote this afternoon, and then around 4:00 I turned on the TV (first time in almost three weeks).

We have an arts and entertainment channel here in Canada called Bravo - they have movies (mostly art films), Law & Order and NYPD Blue, music, dance, theater. I often watch it on Mondays because they have an evening of dance and I LOVE dance movies. Movies about dance rather than musicals, although I still can't resist Fred Astaire.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I turned on Bravo and watched a movie called My First Mister. Now I'm an addict and I'd never heard of this movie, but I'm telling you, it caught me from the first moment. It's about a teenage girl (Leelee Sobieski) and her friendship with a much older man (Albert Brooks). And when I say friendship, that's exactly what I mean.

It reminded me so much of my teenage years when I'm sure that the hardest thing my mother ever did was not to kill me as a teenager, because I deserved it.

It's a lovely movie, a story I wish I'd had to the courage or the self-knowledge to write - to be so totally honest and open and to allow myself to step into those frightening years when I didn't know anything and thought I knew everything and really only made it through because of luck rather than skill or smarts. There were plenty of times in those years when I know if I'd turned left instead of right, I'd be dead. Or damaged in a way that I couldn't recover from. I was lucky, and Jennifer in My First Mister is lucky too.

I think what I liked most about the movie was that it was about making connections, about making a family out of the complicated lives we all live. And I like to think that that is what my books are all about - about making community, family, connections - maybe my characters start out alone, but they all end up with a community, with a family of sorts, and I think that's crucial in all of our lives. It made me cry partly because it's kind of sad, but mostly because it's poignant and sweet and lives are changed in a positive way and Jennifer ends up with a community - and I'm telling you from experience, that ain't easy for a teenage girl like me, or like Jennifer.

And the internet, the blogosphere, the world wide web, that's a community too, and I'm delighted to be a part of it -


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