Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Bunny As Designer

Today, I'm going to create a creator.
The Bunny (well known to all of you) wants to be a living, breathing part of my present (and will you please not how THAT sounds!!! ) novel, and so, while editing said novel, I have changed one of my characters from being

1. male
2. Lebanese
3. jovial and garrulous


1. female
2. a Southern Belle
3. garrulous, but with a snarky humor

This character, the fashion designer Jamal, now Bunny, is going to outfit my heroine, Naomi, in the cream and gold dress she will be shot in during the Academy Awards.
I agree, it's a perfect waste of a very nice dress, but it gets a center role because, well, blood looks just SO good on white and gold.
The Bunny designer has strong views on why to wear which gown to which occasion.
She tells Naomi quite clearly, "NO white dress for the Grammy! You'll be standing in front of a white wall for the interviews, and no one will notice you. Now if you want them to look but not ask too many questions, wear something that will so burn in their eyes that they'll forget what they wanted to say!" and sells her a scarlet and plum silk creation.
At the same time she allows, albeit grudgingly, the cream dress for the Oscars because, "Honey, there will be so many colors on that red carpet, no one will give a damn anyway."
The Bunny's shop is as lush and colorful as an Oriental boudoir. There are the most wonderful things to discover.
You enter through the glass door from the noisy, hot and humid Hollywood pavement and step into a haven of scent, soft music and rainbows. Bunny loves colors, and she loves opulent.
All her clothes hand-made, and the materials she uses are unvaryingly silk or velvet, chiffon or the finest linen. She believes in embroidery and pearls on her robes, and she does not think small in jewelry, either.
"Take me to the Vogue, or take me to the morgue!" she cries at one time.
Well, she cries it at the Vogue party after the Grammy Awards, and she might as well, since she's there, and celebrated.

You see, I don't like losers, and I don't like writing about them, either.
My characters may have a rough patch in their lives, it may even take half their lives, but they never, ever give up. All of them, even Naomi's bad-ass father, has a dream, and a very hard time accepting that his daughter is stronger than him in realizing hers and consequently destroying his.
The Bunny, she wants a store on Rodeo Drive, somewhere between Armani and Valentino, and for her to be the first choice for big Hollywood events.
And I have a good guess that she's going to succeed.
Go, Bunny! It's Vogue!

Friday, November 13, 2009

For the Pea!

In this picture: Tom Hensley, in Hamburg, on June 2nd, 2008. Pic taken by me.

I posted this blog on mySpace in July after our bathroom was finally newly renovated and ready to be used, and at the same time, on the Diamondville Fan Forum. The reply below was posted by Tom Hensley, Neil Diamond's pianist.

Up until today, I had a very clear conception of what luxury in its finest form meant to me.
A Porsche convertible, black, with leather seats and a Bose sound system. Or maybe Bang and Olufsen.
Trips to London whenever I feel like it, with a suite at the Mandarin Oriental so that I would only have to drop off the steps to be in Brompton Road or Sloane street, and there's a Starbucks next door, too.
Carte Blanche for the ground floor of Selfridge's, the designer purse heaven.
Mauve silk Valentino evening slippers, the 1000$ shawl, same designer, that I saw at Harrods last spring, my own MacBook, a large house on the beach in Maryland.
And of course the ultimate luxury trip, attending the soundcheck and time before the concert backstage at my favorite singer's show, but please not here in Hamburg, make that Madison Square Garden or Hollywood Bowl. Or the O2 in London, because I LOVE London.
The sound- and lighting equipment that Neil lugs around, for my musical troupe.
Only it would bring down the ceiling in our old school hall, so no.
Ah, here's another nice one: a performance with my troupe at the Royal Albert Hall!!!!
Attending the Academy Awards, but not somewhere in the back row of a balcony, no, I want to sit up front, too!
The list could go on, of course, as you all know, forever.
But today, I found the ultimate, final, to-die-for luxury right here at home:
my own shower. My very own, newly renovated bathroom.
No more traipsing to the school gym every night for a quick dip, no more brushing my teeth and washing my face over the kitchen sink! A long, hot shower, warmed towels from the brand new heater, white tiles, and also a non-clinging shower curtain (Tom Hensley, cry your heart out!!!).
Nothing, folks, nothing beats that! Believe me!

And here the reply:

I'm afraid I have to quibble...

...with your inclusion of Bang & Olufsen in your fantasy. I once made the mistake of purchasing a B&O turntable which was the biggest piece of junk I ever owned. It destroyed more records than the 1994 earthquake. I finally put it out during a garage sale, attached to a hammer and a sign that read "Bang a Bang & Olufsen $1". A lot of people banged it, but not enough to make back the far-too-high price I had paid for it. Audiophiles, on the other hand, will surely quibble with your inclusion of Bose. The mantra on the audiophile message boards is: "No highs? No lows? It must be Bose." And, now that I think of it--the Mandarin Oriental in London currently has a big construction project going on next door, so unless you like the sound of heavy machinery, you might want to set your sights elsewhere. And as long as you're toting a MacBook, it might as well be a MacBook Pro. Aside from those caveats, feel free to carry on.

Your favorite band member

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nightmares And What They Mean

Not really a nightmare, but a recurring dream, sort of.

This happens: I dream I'm on a plane, which is not nice for me to start with because I really hate flying, but here I am: in a big plane, on the runway, motors humming, the thing vibrating with the will to take off, and yes, I'm WILLING it to take off, too.
Like hell I'm willing it to take off, because all the other times it never properly did.
Well, it actually does take off, every time, but only a little bit. It takes off just enough to make it to the end of the runway, and gain enough altitude to tumble into the forest at the end of it.
Mostly, in my dream, we have to land on a road a few kilometers beyond the airport, sometimes even in a village or small town, no one ever gets hurt, the inhabitants come to look what happened, and there we are: a dazed, helpless group of travelers who made it only just into the air for two minutes or so.
The hard part is not the unplanned landing on a street.
The hard part is being stranded, and the pilot telling us we have to return to the airport, and please take the plane along, so that we can try again.
So the other passengers and I have the chore to turn around the plane and push it back all the way to the terminal, and it somehow - of course - never gets done.
We get served coffee by the villagers, and something to eat, and we wait for the experts to come and get us and bring the plane back on track.

I know, right, that this is the silliest possible way to dream of an airplane crash.
But the point is not the crash in itself. The point is that every time, just before we take off, I'm really PUSHING the plane to take off, and I never manage. Big time fail, with no exception.
Now I've been wondering recently if there's a message here for me.
I'm not good at interpreting dreams, but this one here seems so obvious....
Maybe I'm not pushing hard enough. Maybe my will is not strong enough. Maybe my belief in the ability of the thing to truly fly is not good enough.
Not enough.

So I wonder: will this plane ever take off for me, will it take off the day someone tells me my book will be published?
Will I then, on that night, go to bed, fall asleep and finally, finally dream that the plane soars, and I can see the forest and that stupid village and its friendly people far down below me, while we are on our way to that far, unknown destination I'm heading for?

Trite, I know. And obvious, and pathetic. But it is true, and you know what they say:
No story ever invented is as wild as true life can be.

Fly, my plane. Fly.