A sky the color of crayon-blue like the one I'd saved in the wispy,
fragile place called dreams.
The morning desert sun golden on the stucco.
I made it.
I did it.
I'm in Palm Springs, sitting on the balcony of an ancient hotel
where Clark Gable wooed his lady-loves and Marilyn Monroe
dazzled the waiters with her little-girl sophistication.
Novels, screenplays, stories.
Characters swimming in my mind,
their dialogue forming on my lips.
Sequential events mixing with back story.
I can't type fast enough.
A studio wants to see the final draft of the screenplay.
An editor has sent the revisions for the trilogy.
I'm proud of the laughing child who had the highest
grades in the class, who was discovered by talent scouts
during rehearsals of a stage play when she was sixteen.
"Burt!" they'd yelled to the director. "Can we talk to her?
I bless my glamourous mother
who drove me out to put her name on the contract with mine.
"You can be anything you want," she told me,
regaling me with her stories of the old days at
Monogram Republic Pictures, where she hit Bob Hope over the head
with a typewriter when he made advances.
I love words and the pictures they evoke,
stories of passion and joy, the coming of age and living to enjoy it,
mystery and revenge, truth and deceit, wild sex-filled nights,
remorse, ambition, desire.
I don't, can't regret the all-night writing sessions on the floor of the
dining room when my house was too small for my family.
I'm not sorry for the lunches I did without so I could afford postage.
I remember vividly the nine-to-fivers
who couldn't see beyond the mediocrity of conformity,
the editors who couldn't spell, the actor who stole my script.
I've sold five novels.
Three are romances and two are mysteries.
I'm your President and Editor, and I thank you for both privileges.
My romance about Bryan Adams is read around the world.
I have a syndicated column.
I'm writing music for the scores of the ebook
and audio editions of my stories.
I have the joy of pseudonyms.
Victoria Thomsen, Felicity Darling,
Carolyn Forsythe, GOLDDUETS.
Sometimes, in my imaginings,
I picture myself at the Academy Awards. Not as a seat filler.
And I hear my name announced in the Best Screenplay category.
And I walk up the carpeted steps.
I don't trip.
The lush fabric of my designer gown swishes around me,
and I step closer to the microphone.
Every television set is tuned in to hear what I'm going to say.
I begin, "I want to thank my children, my mother,
my father, my husband, my editors, my publishers, my readers,
my agents, my managers, my publicists,
my handlers, the workmen who finally finished my kitchen,
and most of all Nona's.
Because without the Gold Coast meeting last month
I would never have seen the jogger,
with the pumped arms and the powerful legs.
He had a smile....