Hi, everybody –
Between the book, the show, the summer, and the fact that my computer has been on the fritz for two weeks (still in the shop---I’ve co-opted my husband’s to do this), I am, again, behind. So: I’ll write fast.
I hope all is well with you. I’m so grateful that you want to visit and keep up with my meager goings-on. Let’s see, fun stuff: well, I had a delightful guest on my radio show this week, a young comedian named Wendy Spero (www.wendyspero.com) who has a brand new book out called Microthrills: Reflections on a Life of Small Highs. If you like David Sedaris, you’ll love Wendy Spero. She tells these great tales of growing up with a single mom who’s a sex therapist, and how she’s recently moved to LA and is learning to drive for the first time. “In NY,” she says, “I could get up and go to the deli and know that there was no possibility that I’d kill anybody. Driving in LA, that’s no longer the case.” Anyway, she’s fun and funny and enchanting; do take a look at her stuff.
And last week I had some instruction in funniness myself: I took a
improv workshop, 3 agonizing hours a day. It was called the adult class, but in that context “adult” meant “finished high school.” I felt like Moses. And improv is so, I don’t know, revealing. Plus you have to do these “games.” I’ve never been much for games, even as a kid. They’re worse now. These were games like playing catch around the circle with an invisible ball; you only know you’re supposed to catch it through eye contact. Then, to make it really fun, a dagger throw is added: you catch the invisible ball with cupped hands, the invisible dagger with a clap. When they’re both flying around at once, it’s borderline terrifying. I so wanted to bolt. Much to my credit (and good grief, how could I write self-help books if I couldn’t handle 15 hours of improvisational comedy with sharp, hip, bright, barely pubescent classmates?), I stuck the whole thing out. One of the young guys told me at the end that I was brave. And I thought, “Ya know what, I was.” It was just little-brave, but courage comes in all sizes. Second City
I’m three 10-chapter sections down on Fat, Broke & Lonely: The Stupid Lie that Runs Your Life & the 5 Power Principles for Breaking Free. The first principle deals with filling inner emptiness, the second with food and weight issues, the third with money issues. They’re good. I’m pleased with them and hope you and lots of new readers I don’t even know yet will be, too. Now I’m on the “lonely” part. And it’s a bear. I realize that even fat and broke, as painful as those states can be, can have some irony in them, and you can laugh at yourself and deal with the situation. Lonely is just plain depressing. I’m finding this section very hard to write. Part of it is that it’s bringing up memories with a lot of pain in them. But if I don’t go through those memories again, I won’t have anything to write, so I have to either face the feelings or face missing my deadline which I really don’t want to do. Since I’m way behind on the book with the computer troubles and all, I’ve booked myself a room at a vegetarian bed and breakfast on the
for the last few days of August. I need to get totally away from my life---away from email, the phone, the family, everything. I know it will jumpstart the remainder of the process. Once “lonely” is put to bed (please, God, soon…), I’ll finish up with a section on living remarkably and leaving a legacy. I look forward to writing that. Jersey Shore
James, my 16-year-old stepson, is here from
for the month. He’s a delightful kid, very bright and inquisitive. I wish my book deadline and his visit weren’t juxtaposed the way they are. I’m hoping for a free afternoon to go down to TeaNY (Moby’s coffee shop in the Toronto Lower East Side) where he and I have gone before and kind of bonded. He and William came to my show on Saturday and James seemed to enjoy that. The Sirius studios are very cool with a lot of intentional graffiti and pictures of stars and fully outfitted music studios with bands in them. Although it’s pretty quiet on Saturday when I do my shows (the first one is live; the second one is taped to air on Sunday), I think it looked pretty fly through 16-year-old eyes.
Adair is opening in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe next week, and it will be fun to see her in a large role again. She is so committed and works so hard. I couldn’t have done that at 23.
I guess that’s about it from me for now. If you’re in the NY area, I’m speaking Sunday August 20th at Unity of New York, Symphony Space, 95th & Broadway, 11 a.m. The topic is “The Elegant Art of the Spiritual Life.” It would be lovely to see you. And to you, wherever you are on this beautiful planet, may you have a day that is downright charmed.
My very best,