Thursday, April 24, 2008

Celebrity Sighting: Life Threw Me a Bone

Living in Los Angeles, a celebrity sighting is nothing novel. Most of the time I'm not interested, (except for the time I saw Larry David at the local farmer's market - now that was exciting!).

Yesterday, in my little town, I saw Jamie Lee Curtis, recently made famous by her AARP photo spread and Kristin Wiig's impression of her speed-eating ACTIVIA yogurt. I struggled with not wanting to be another fawning fan. Should I, shouldn't I? The pull was strong.

You see to me, JLC, is not just another beautiful, talented, Hollywood actress, wife of quirky, humorous director, Chris Guest, daughter of two iconic film stars; she's a successful writer whose children's books I've loved for years. In fact, what makes me feel even more of a connection to her (albeit unrequited) is that once upon a time we shared the same idea for a book. Before hers was published I spent months working on my approach but couldn't make it work. She birthed the idea one afternoon and wrote the damn story that same inspiration-fueled night. It's entitled, WHERE DO BALLOONS GO?, and because I had struggled so, when I read it, I appreciated what a phenomenal writer she is. She manages to talk to kids about important age-appropriate issues in a light-hearted and respectful manner. I enjoyed her books just as much as my kids.

This sighting was cool but what made it even cooler was that she asked me about my writing and took the time to give me advice about where to submit my short stories. It's funny. Maybe all this talk about mid-life assessments and reaching for your dreams opened me up to the opportunity to find inspiration from someone I admire. I don't think I would have had the courage to call myself a writer before and most likely would not have approached her. Life is funny that way, it's constantly throwing you bones but until you're hungry enough you don't take notice.

Here are links to Jamie Lee's books. If you're a parent of a young child and you haven't read her books, you must. The illustrations by Laura Cornell are wacky, unique and excellent as well.

Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day
Big Words for Little People
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born
Is There Really a Human Race?
When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth
I'm Gonna Like Me : Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem
It's Hard to Be Five : Learning How to Work My Control Panel


InTheFastLane said...

It's Hard to be Five is one of my FAVORITES. That is really cool that you have that connection, even though your paths diverged. I hope that you are finding your way on your own path.

Manic Mommy said...

That is so cool! I really like her as well because she actually allowed herself to age.

I tend to shy away from celebrity-authored books. I'm excited to have a new writer to share with my boys.

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