Friday, September 30, 2011

I Could Die Happy #7

I could die happy after...

Photo by Rick Flynn

Snow Days

Winter may be my least favorite of seasons, but if it's going to be cold and snow, we might as well have a snow day.   You know, the anticipation of watching television and waiting for your school or workplace to show up at the bottom of the screen as closed.   When it happens, whether you're ten or forty, the feeling is still the same. The one thing that makes a snow day perfect is having tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Could Die Happy #6

I could die happy after...

Performing with the Dayton Opera in The Barber of Seville

In September of 2001 I got the opportunity of a lifetime.  Or at least my lifetime.  I was asked to play Ambrogio in Dayton Opera's production of The Barber of Seville.  It was a small part, but an incredible one.  I played a drunken servant and got paid $900 to do it. I had one line and it was in Italian.  The reason this was so incredible is that I have not one bit of musical ability.  I wouldn't catch a music cue if it bit me in the ass. 

This was one of my first times acting professionally and I was in awe.  I remember sitting in my dressing room opening night.  The curtain had gone up and I was in full hair and makeup when I heard over the loud speaker, "Mr. Flynn, five minutes to places stage right.  Five minutes, Mr. Flynn."  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Could Die Happy #5

I could die happy after...

Photo by Rick Flynn

Meeting people who dance to the beat of their own drums.

I love originality, especially in people.  Maybe it's the writer in me, but when it comes to people, the more eccentric the better. I admire people who have the guts to stand out.  I suppose that's because I have always tried to fit in. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Could Die Happy #4

I could die happy after...

Meeting Faye Dunaway

It was the 1996-1997 theatre season that I met the infamous Faye Dunaway.  It was my second season working at the theatre and I was thrilled when her two week tour of Master Class came to town.  Wow!  What an experience.  What an actress!  What a bitch!  The antics began as she was thrown out of one local hotel and almost thrown out of another because of her demands and the way she treated people.  I personally got the wrath of Faye one night after a performance.  

I left the theatre and headed towards the parking lot to get my car when I noticed she was sitting behind the wheel of her Lincoln Town Car (she had already fired her driver). The car alarm was going off.  She got out of the car and noticed me.

"You there," she bellowed.  "You work here don't you?"

I nodded, fearful of looking her in the eyes. 

"Do you know how to turn off this damned alarm?"

I told her I didn't.

"Well then, what good are you?" she said as she spun on her heels and flew back in through the stage door.

A few minutes later I was joined on the sidewalk by a co-worker.  The car alarm had stopped and Ms. Dunaway came back out.  As soon as she opened the door, the alarm went off again.  At this point she was furious.  And I mean, "Christina, bring me the axe" kinda furious.  My co-worker suggested that we take her back to the hotel in her car.   After a brief conversation, the three of us got into the car.  I sat in the back and caught Ms. Dunaway's bag as she threw it at me.  After a few minutes, Faye became almost pleasant.  When we got to the hotel, I stepped out of the car and opened her door, like a gentleman.

"Oh, I forgot you were here," she said as I handed her the bag.  

The next night I sat in the house to watch the show.  I was so mesmerized by her performance I forgave her "diva" antics.  What an actress!   

After a hellish two week run (of which she only actually went on six or seven times) the theatre had t-shirts made for everyone on staff.  On the front, it said Master Class.  On the back, We've Dunaway with Faye.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Could Die Happy #3

I could die happy after...

Photo by Rick Flynn

A trip to New York City.

I love to travel, but no place feels more like home than New York. Although I've never lived there it's always seemed familiar to me. Comforting.  Either I've lived there in another life, or I've watched way too many Law and Orders.  Any time I visit, I walk away feeling like I could die now and all is well with the world. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Could Die Happy #2

I could die happy after...

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Photos by Rick Flynn

Several years ago, I drove down the PCH from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a friend, in December in a convertible.  It will always be one of the highlights from my life. Everyone should experience the drive at least once.  It's gorgeous.  I fell in love on that drive.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Could Die Happy

A couple of friends of mine have been blogging about reasons to be happy and I've enjoyed reading them each day.  I've enjoyed them so much I've decided to copy their idea.  I'm going to post things each day that make me happy. These will be things that make me smile and help me cross things off the bucket list.  I'll call this "I Could Die Happy After...."

Here's number one.

I could die happy after....

A Golden Girls marathon.  Nothing makes me smile like the antics of Rose, Sophia, Dorothy and Blanche.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Change of Seasons

I can hardly believe today was the first day of autumn. Summer went by so quickly this year. Too quickly.

I'll admit autumn has always been my favorite time of year, but it also flies by as the cool Ohio nights turn into cold, gray days. Every year I promise myself I'm going to savor every moment of the changing leaves, apple cider and pumpkin pie. 

One of my main reasons for my love of autumn is the transitory nature of the season.  It transitions us from the hot blooming summer to the cold, restful winter.  It's nature's time for a nap.  She's earned it and she's ready to slow down and rest for the next growth spurt.

Doesn't that sound like our lives?  I know it does mine.  I can handle the growth, whether it spiritual, emotional, or physical, but there are times I need a break.  I need to allow the growth to settle in before taking on something else. I'm hoping this autumn can be my resting time. A time for reflection.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blazing the Trail or Taking the Well Worn Path?

As I work on revisions for my novel, Postcards from the Desert, I can't help but wonder where do I go from here?  Yes, I know, I have to finish it first, but as I finish the editing and send it to my next set of readers I wonder where it will end up.  Sitting on agent's desk for months before I get the rejection letter (in my fantasy, the acceptance letter) or do I spend that time marketing it myself?

It used to be that most authors took the traditional route.  Write the novel. Do the editing. Look for an agent. Wait.  Look for another agent. Wait. Get an agent. Wait. Look for a publisher. Wait. Find a publisher. Wait. Get accepted. And then the real waiting happens.  Cover art. Galleys. Meeting with Marketing people. Setting a release date a year away. Waiting. You get the drift.

Now as most publishing houses are reluctant to take on new authors, unless they are a famous name, it gets harder to break into the business and get that book into print.  At least with the traditional route.  I saw this recently with a friend who sent her memoir to an agent who seemed very interested. Ultimately, after many months of back and forth and the run around, the agent told my friend she loved the work, but didn't think she could sell the book because the market was already saturated.  So my friend, who has a great book (I've read it) begins again. More queries. More waiting.

Fortunately, we live in an age where we have self publishing as easy as uploading a document to an ebook platform and selling it online with major retailers.  Sure, that means there is a lot of crap out there, but there are also a lot of gems that might not get published the traditional way because they're too risky or unconventional.  As for crap, there's some in the book stores too.  As my partner likes to point out, Snooki has a published novel. What's taking me so long?

I've been following some "independent" authors on Twitter and Facebook and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the amount of time and dedication they put into marketing their work.  Many traditional writers also put in this time as many of the publishing houses now require it.  I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the independents and hope I have that kind of guts when it comes down to it.  

I don't know which way I'll go, but I'm glad to know there are options.  I'm feeling pretty entrepreneurial these days, so I might just have to blaze a trail and find a home for my novel.  I tested the market with my first is a series of novelettes, The Other Side of the Rainbow, a few months ago and I recently got my first royalties check.  It wasn't a down payment on a house, but I was able to buy groceries that week.

But alas, I must get back to the revisions or this novel won't ever get seen by anyone other than my first readers (one who made me promise this would see publication one way or another).  Either way, I won't let you down, Wendy.