Acting my age--68 and counting...
I've been hard at work on the novelization of a script that was almost produced by Hallmark many years ago. My dear friend, the late, great Blake "Save the Cat" Snyder mentored me through the beats and celebrated the news at the time.
And then, a "regime change" swept away the execs who'd loved "our" script and our dream along with it.
Hollywood. Happens all the time.
I smile, now, when I think about that awful moment. How my heart sank as that dream ended.
Because while it may forever remain the closest I've ever come to a real "sale," and acceptance into the ranks of the "produced," just knowing that something I wrote was "good enough," warms my heart.
It also makes the novel easier to write, because it has, given all this, already been "vetted." It's a great little commercial romance. And therefore, should be a really easy sell.
But the thing that really moves me is that I'm still writing, period. Still trying, period. That...is what I feel every day as I get down to business.
It's not longer even about whether I sell anything. It's about...writing. And how what a wonderful friend my "muse" has been, all these years. And continues to be.
After a few strange setbacks that I've written about before, I am still one grateful "gal." Sorry about that, but for alliterative purposes, I'll leave it as is.
I will be 68-years-old tomorrow. And only a generation or two ago, the woman I am right now is probably not the woman I would've been at that time.
My parents' generation grew old, visibly, physically, much earlier. I remember them as early retirees. Sitting in huge "his and her" recliners watching "the stories" (soaps) in the lovely suburban homes they'd worked so hard to buy when they were young, Black, middle class couples living the dream. With matching end tables or TV trays crammed with prescription bottles. And little containers for their "plates and partials."
They crumbled like their teeth--and early, too. Not all. In fact, many were deceptively spry despite their various chronic conditions. But constantly at one doctor's office or another each week. They would list their appointments for me whenever we met. Ailments, too.
I was watching Marty the other day--a film written by one of my screenwriter idols, Paddy Chayefsky. And the mother of one main character, a tiny, grey haired woman with weary, dark ringed eyes, announces, with such deep sadness, that she's 58-years-old now. As if that were a death sentence.
I'm 10 years older than that poor soul. And while my teeth are beginning to crumble a bit--they found a chip on one of my front ones last week--I still have them all. Even the wisdoms. Dentists are always amazed. And work hard to keep the full set intact, bless them.
And speaking of wisdom, I've got a lot of that, too. The "life experience" kind. I think that's what I feel so good about. That aside from being healthier physically than many of my elders were at this age, I'm also awake and aware and involved.
Angry, too. Very. Politics--you know that, if you're here often.
I'm not sitting in a recliner watching "the stories." I'm writing stories. And railing against things I don't like. Celebrating things I love.
I do "old lady" things. I'm a grandmother now, which tickles me. And I love casino Bingo.
I've let my hair go grey and I glory in comfy clothes that don't restrict my movement. I don't wear contacts or makeup anymore, either. Good riddance.
And oddly enough, I get more men trying to chat me up now than I did before. I think I look happy. Freer, or something.
Couple of weeks ago this guy passed by me as I sat waiting for a friend outside the casino and then turned right around, came back and sat next to me for a good long while. Trying to get me to give him my number and maybe not go play Bingo with the friend I was waiting for.
He liked my curls. He liked my smile. Which made me smile even more. Nice fella. Married, but that didn't stop him. Sigh.
I went to the Bingo hall anyway, of course. I love my women friends. They're why I'm still so spry. They give me that sistah love that feeds my soul. Sets me free to be me.
And I can be me, now. Completely me. No holds barred. Dope as hell, being able to do whatever I want whenever I want.
There are achy days. Weird stuff happens, too. The latest, these crampy finger moments when one or two fingers kinda pull away from or draw up against the rest of my hand.
Crampy stuff's my biggest problem, actually. Hurts like hell. And you just have to endure it. Wait for it to pass.
I'm learning how to wait better. And not to be mad when I have to. To do something else. And enjoy the "something else," while I wait.
Sometimes the "detour" is better than the original path and plan.
That's life, right? Now, with the wisdom, I know that. And don't fight it so hard.
So...happy birthday to me. And may I keep dreaming and doing things for a good long time yet.
Same to you, too! Have a great day tomorrow, just like me.
And send me some good "juju." I'll be playing Bingo and a big win would be the perfect present...