Friday, September 30, 2011

What I've Learned This Month

Hopefully, I learned much more than I’m going to talk about here, but I want to speak about deciding to have a fund drive for Wounded Warriors and all the ramifications that meant.

First – a month is too long. I must have worn out you lovely Tweeps, because I was worn out by the need to constantly beg for help. This must be why PBS and NPR do membership drives for one week only – several times a year.

Second – and probably most important – people are endlessly kind. Not only did many buy a book to help the cause but so many tweeters tweeted and retweeted tirelessly. Encouragement came from a variety of corners, both my established friends and droves of unknown tweeps, who are now friends, too.

Third - As I write this, we've reached my personal, final goal of 50 books. I originally started with 500. What can I say, I’m an optimistic! One more day left – today. Perhaps, there will be a few more books bought. That would be lovely, but the truth is that 50 books sold are enough. It’s important to know when enough is reached.

Fourth – There’s no adequate way to say thank you. Just know that I’ve got your back! You can count on me to remember how you helped and payback whenever I have a chance.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Favorite Nicholas Cage Movie

I don’t have a television because I’m addicted to TV and cannot have a real life if I have one; so instead I watch DVDs several times a week.

My library is an unending source of cool movies, documentaries and PBS series. Once in a while I pick up a season of something like Boston Legal and have a personal marathon. But the library pickings have gotten a bit slim. So last night, I rented Season of the Witch with Nicholas Cage, honestly for lack of anything better in the Red Box machine.

Cage plays a medieval knight in an okay medieval tale of witchery. It wasn’t horrible. But here’s the deal – Nicholas Cage is at his best when he’s playing a good-hearted average Joe. He wasn’t exactly knightly, in the traditional sense – rather an irate good-hearted average former Crusader.

The thing is: I love to watch him on the screen – in the right role for him. My absolute favorite film of his is an old one he did with Bridget Fonda, It Could Happen To You. It’s the schmaltzy true tale of a cop who promises a waitress he’ll share the lottery winnings if his numbers come in, as a tip.

He does win and he keeps his word. Cage and Fonda are kind souls who have fun giving away some of the money and treating the neighborhood kids to a day at the ballpark. Havoc ensues with his wife, played wonderfully by Rosie Perez, who divorces him and gets every penny of the remaining money, leaving Cage and Fonda broke and broken.

The world hears of their story and cash is mailed to them in small bills until they have enough to re-open her restaurant and begin a life together; a very happy ending.

Throughout this movie you are pulling for Cage… and Fonda. He makes you love him, even if you don’t wanna. That’s when Cage is at his best. He’s surprisingly a little like Fonda’s own dad, Henry. There is an innocence and goodness that shines through his eyes that makes you believe.

I know actors want to stretch, but as a viewer I beg you, Movieland, let us root for our guy Cage in a relatable role. It ain’t too much to ask, Toots.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Does Anyone Get Along Without Lists?

Red and I went to see “I Don’t Know How She Does It?” today. It’s great taking Red along, because I never have to pay for her and she doesn’t try to eat my popcorn. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan (two guys who are easy on the eyes). One of the plot points revolves around Kate (SJP) making lists obsessively – which kicked off one of our fun conversations. Red listening demurely, as usual, as I expressed myself.

Kathy: How is it possible that she even considers giving up her lists?

Red: Not everyone is obsessive about lists as you are.

Kathy: Well, obviously some people are or no one would relate to Kate’s obsessiveness.

Red: We all know someone like that – for instance, I know you and you are so completely OCD about lists.

Kathy: (puffing up) Who, me? I’m not obsessive.

Red: Really? Then why is there a list for the next book, what you have to do at work, what you plan to get done today, your New Years resolutions (posted on the refrigerator), what to buy at the grocery store….

Kathy: (cutting Red off) Okay, okay. Maybe I’m a little compulsive about it.

Red: You forget, I happen to know that you add things on to the list that you’ve already done – just so you can cross it off.

Kathy: (sheepishly) I didn’t know you noticed.

Red: Oh, I see everything. Remember.

Kathy: You forget that you wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for my list-making. I had a three-page Excel list of plot points and things about you to put into Red Mojo Mama.

Red: Oh, yeah, huh? (suddenly inspecting her Bloody Mary) Did I mention what a great Bloody Mary you make?

Kathy: Luckily, I had vodka on my grocery list today!

Red: Touché, my friend, touché

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Holding on to Childishness

Red and I were blowing bubbles on the veranda today. Watching them float away and burst on cars and trees, laughing and giggling like little girls. That’s how I imagined it anyway, and it made me feel good. So, we talked about it.

Red: If only we had a veranda!

Kathy: Well, we do in my imagination.

Red: Fat lot of good that does us! (chuckling)

Kathy: Hey! Don’t knock imagination. That’s your hometown.

Red: Oh, yeah. Right. Huh?

Kathy: Mmm, hmm. And let’s face it – if I were more of a grownup you wouldn’t even be here.

Red: (looking quizzical now) What do you mean?

Kathy: Well, I’m just a big kid. You know it. I know it and anyone who spends more than a day around me figures it out.

Red: Still, I don’t get it. What’s the connection?

Kathy: Well, I think it’s the child in all creatives that lets loose with the storytelling, the art making, the musical ecstasies. The adult imagination is great for quantum physics and figuring out the financial bottom-line, but it’s the kid that gets into the paints and swooshes them around and the kid who tells wild, crazy, unbelievable lies that one day become a blockbuster movie.

Red: (tilting her head sideways) I guess you’re right. But in the real world childishness “don’t get no respect” (now mimicking Rodney Dangerfield).

Kathy: (laughing) No, you’re right. If you told most people they were acting like a kid, they’d be insulted. Me? I’d probably say, “Great! Must have a story about to break through.”

Red: So, we can still blow bubbles?

Kathy: Sure, but after that – let’s play jacks.

Red: Okay. What if I win?

Kathy: I’ll let you pick the next game.

Red: Deal! Pass me the bottle of bubbles.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Honoring Wounded Warriors

Today, I received an email from The Wounded Warriors Project, thanking me for a donation I had made in honor of my recently deceased uncle. He had been a Marine in World War II, but that’s not why I chose that particular way to give.

My father, who will be 82 in December, has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD.) He struggles for breath always, even when he sleeps. Yet, he wakes up every day and fights the good fight. He keeps on trucking, doing whatever he can to contribute to the life he and my mother share. It’s hard. I watch him and think, “I hope I’m this brave when I need to be.”

My father served 10 years in the United States Navy and, I believe, he might have made a career out of it if it hadn’t been for the protracted absences from his family. Maybe this is why the thing that seems to touch my father the most nowadays is the sacrifice of our military personnel and their families. In particular, for his Father’s Day, birthday and Christmas presents, he always asks that we girls, his four daughters, give to The Wounded Warrior Project instead of buying him something. We do this – what little it is.

The motto of this worthy organization is “To honor and empower wounded warriors.” They work to make sure those wounded in the service of our country are not forgotten and helped in every possible way.

On the way to visit my parents, I remembered the email and the fleeting thought came, “Dad would be pleased by this.” Suddenly, I was struck with an idea that seems too simple, too easy. Maybe it is, I don’t know.

I can do something for my Dad that would make him very happy. I can donate a portion of the royalties for my books to The Wounded Warrior Project. So, that’s what I’m going to do for the month of September.

If you were already considering buying a copy of one of them, please do so in September, from the first to the 30th (so if you’ve already made your purchase this month, it counts.) At the end of the month, I will post my book sales reports on this blog and when I receive my payment from Amazon, 60 days later, I will donate a portion of my proceeds (and post the receipt here) in the following way.


Red Mojo Mama – Kindle Edition - $.75
Red Mojo Mama – paperback - $.75
Tell Them You’re Fabulous – Kindle Edition - $.20
Her Heart – Kindle Edition - $.20

(PS - in answer to a question about this. After accounting for the tax I'll need to pay on the income, the donation amounts to between 51-86% of my income from the books - depending on the book)

I also have Red Mojo Mama available on Smashwords, but frankly don’t understand the royalty system enough to pledge a specific amount. However, I’ll donate a 1/3 of proceeds from whatever sales I make in the month of September.

Let me say here, I am not affiliated with The Wounded Warrior Project and they don’t know about this plan (at least at the time of posting this). They have not endorsed me or my books in any way. This is just a way for me to do something meaningful for my dad.

You can donate directly, by going to their website,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Universe, Please Save Me from Growing Old Mentally!

Red has been nudging me to talk about my fear of becoming an “old thinker” on the blog. We’ve been bemoaning the mindsets of some folks – a few who are actually old and some much younger people. They seem to be stuck in a rut, afraid to try anything new. I told Red to just shoot me if I get that way.

Red: Finally! How long have I been bugging you to talk about this subject on the blog?

Kathy: I know, I know. But it’s a deep-seated fear of mine, so I was avoiding it. See, I don’t mind if my body gets old…

Red: …but you can’t live with no longer being able to think young. Youngly? Whatever.

Kathy: My mind is fairly youthful, I think, but what if one day I stop listening, stop learning. What if I get so stuck on a personal point of view that I can’t consider anything else (now breathing heavily)? What if I quit taking chances or become afraid of everything? (heart palpitations)

Red: You do realize you’re scaring yourself right now, right? Calm down. I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to happen to you…anytime soon anyway.

Kathy: (Taking a deep breath – centering myself) Seriously, Red. What’s the point to life if you’re too afraid to live it? I know people like that. People who turn their nose up at the idea of trying Ethiopian food or have their minds made up that Twitter is for silly people without ever going on it or can’t ever take a chance on anything without weighing every possibility (which, in my experience, is impossible anyway.) They wake up every day and stay firmly in their comfort zones. What a terrible way to live.

Red: You’re right. New thoughts, new ideas, new music, new foods – it’s all part of having your mojo in working order. If you can’t try anything new, you either lost your mojo or you never had any in the first place. What is life without mojo, I ask you?

Kathy: (chuckling) Leave it to you to bring it all back to mojo!

Red: Well…there are some things in this world that are just necessary – courage, a fresh mind and mojo! They are “gotta haves.”

Kathy: You’re right, Red. Do you promise to put me out of my misery if I start acting old, start thinking like I’m already dead?

Red: Deal! Now get back to work on the sequel. (grinning widely)