It’s 5:30 a.m. and I
can’t sleep because I’m obsessing about all that needs to be
done before my book launching party. The other day I surveyed
the hall where I’m giving “A Stardust Evening.” I stood in the
middle of the gaping peach painted room – big as a roller rink
with a two-curtained stage – and had a panic attack!
“How in the world will I be able to decorate it?” I fretted. “It
will be like throwing a pebble into the Grand Canyon”. Every
designer idea I had would be absorbed by this vacuous space with
an echoing cathedral ceiling that defies hanging anything from.
I need bodies, lots of bodies to fill this space.
So I call my friend who has made party magic for the Olympics
and blubbered, “I can’t do this. I’ve never decorated for
anything but my home birthday parties and my last one was a
“Bye-bye Barbie, Hello 50” theme. How will I ever create
ambiance in a crater?
Well, the wise magpie (as I call her) says, “Concentrate on the
stage. Forget about the rest.”
And this analogy came to mind: when a challenge seems too
multi-faceted and overwhelms you, do the part of it that’s right
in your face; the task that presents itself to you today. Forget
the rest. If you have envisioned the goal it will be yours.
I thanked her, had a good cry, and pulled myself together, which
is my personal recipe for success.
I slept on it and awoke knowing this: I want stars, lots of
stars at the party (both the celebrities in the book and
material stars). I was having an epiphany and drew in stick
figures just how I wanted the room to look.
So, I plundered everything from fabric stores to equipment
rental stores to dollar stores and ended up in some dark,
spooky, smoky places with stuff that looked stolen.
Slowly, an idea was hatching. I’d do balloon magic. Albertson’s
market (Big Al’s as I call them) does fabulous helium balloon
bouquets. God forbid that any get loose and end up in the
rafters, though, because the church sexton told me that the
morning following the party, they are celebrating All Saints Day
in that very room.
I envisioned bringing a bee bee gun, just in case any balloons
become rebellious and escape to the ceiling.
OK, now the problem was how to get the balloons to the church.
I’ve carried, say, five in my car and had to punch them down
just to see. How was I going to get 60-100 balloons there? I
needed a getaway van.
I’m still working on that.
As for the stage, a lovely trio will be playing up there and I
will be sitting beside two friends who will sell books under my
“Give the Gift of Inspiration to someone you love for the
Holiday” sign. One of them had said, “This book is a great
Christmas present. With 62 inspirational stories, a person could
gobble up one each night like bon bons.”
So, I bought it.
Then there will be the life-sized cardboard cut-out of Clint
that depicts him in his Dirty Harry or Rawhide days, I forget
which. My friend promises to drag it to the church. Hope Clint’s
hat doesn’t fall off. We’ll put it front and center on the
stage, as his introduction to my book, and the interview
therein, are going to go a long way in putting StarWords on the
I must apologize here, as Clint and Dina will not be attending
the party. Dina already e-mailed saying they would be attending
the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s event. Drat! How DARE the
foundation choose my night without first conferring with me?
We’ll simply have to look at the cut-out and feel his presence
in spirit. And Dina’s too. That sweet-hearted woman (honestly,
I’ve never heard anything but raves about her from anyone in
Monterey County) must have sent me 2 dozen e-mails and as many
phone calls to encourage me to finish the book.
Well, that’s all for now, as I have a zillion things to do
before the party, such as procure a pallet jack for the truck
that will be delivering the books to my storage space.
Between nervous break-downs – will too many people come? Too
few? – I’m hearing my spirit guide say, “The people who are
there will be the ones who are supposed to be there.”
And I hope that includes you!
StarWords is all about
people who have overcome obstacles to realizing their dreams.
And, so, here I sit trying to clean up the mess that was created
when, at the most crucial moment in my advertising campaign, my
computer’s hard drive died. Yes, Toby the Toshiba – a mere
two-year-old – thumbed his nose at me and I have been unable to
send or get e-mails; produce flyers and PR; compose stories to
update this site, etc., etc. until just now.
But I hear my mama saying, “When things go wrong, that’s when
you mustn’t quit!”
Actually, many of my interviewees have told me this too.
This is how the pursuit of my dream looks now: a ladder with new
sets of problems to be solved on each rung.
There were years in which the conception of StarWords
germinated. Then came the creation, then permission, then
advertising, on and on ad infinitum.
Everything that looked monstrous got solved, bit by bit, and
there’s a honey of a book on its way from Oakland right now.
Yes, a very big truck will disgorge 3 tons of books onto the
asphalt at my storage facility and I’m praying with everything I
have they won’t just leave them there . . .!
and one more Thing . . .
I’m on a beefing roll,
so don’t try to stop me. The other day, Purrsnikitty, little
darlin’, got her tail caught in one of her string toys. For
weeks there had been no problem; she and Tabitha had been
batting the ball at the end of a long string that I’d
staple-gunned to the bottom of their carpeted, multi-level cat
tree (or play station, if you will, which is a misnomer because
the whole house is their play station).
How she got the string tied onto her mid-tail I’ll never know,
but I turned just in time to see her FREAK!!! out. She was so
hysterical, writhing and flipping around trying to get out of
the noose, that I envisioned her actually tearing her tail off.
Probably a broken tail was more likely, but every hair on my
head stood straight up anyway.
As I reached into the fracas to disentangle her, she bit me.
Hard. It actually bled.
So I grabbed a wit (that being, I was scared out of my wits but
I got one back), grabbed hold of the string and yanked it out of
Thereafter, Fuzzywump (her nickname) trotted off looking bemused
and I spent two hours at the doctor’s getting a tetanus shot . .
Now, I live in a prison of my own making: all the mini blind
cords are tied up high, out of reach; I unplug all electrical
cords when I leave the house, and now I have to figure how to
keep the cats from crawling into my wall heater and burning down
the house . . .