FREEDOM, PROMISES PROMISES AND NO LEONARD COHEN
Now that I am back among the living and blogging, having turned in my manuscript I decided I needed to celebrate and instead of going to Disneyland, a place I truly do not care if ever see again; really, last time I was in Toon Town I thought I was going to hurl myself on the spike that separated Goofy’s House from Mickey’s and do myself in right there. So instead of going there I went to Michael’s for lunch.
Now writing a book for many people is not a big deal and in the absolute it isn’t. But I’m a Hollywood animal and I am used to turning things in on deadline to people who are waiting, but, the difference is if it sucks there is always someone to blame it on.
The very thing most screenwriters complain about, everyone futzing and mutzting with our work and getting fired before your car has pulled off the lot after delivering your first draft: And all sorts of dopey people coming in and putting a bomb to your carefully (albeit sometimes misspelled words) as agonizing and sometimes humiliating and upsetting as that can be, if by chance something you write gets made and is horrible, you can blame all those people who messed with it.
So I have spent twenty years in an industry where if the final result didn’t work it was never my fault.
Even today I was IN HOME talking to David and he said “I didn’t know you wrote Shopaholic.” The first words out of my mouth were, “It wasn’t my fault they changed everything.” Screenwriter’s instant gag reflex.
Well with a book, you can’t do that. If this sucks, it’s all on me.
So yesterday when my editor Jennifer Barth emailed and said what time are you pressing send, I said “One o’clock. ” I had done all I could at that point and I knew I was going to lunch at Michael’s at one thirty with one of my best friends Paul Williams and his wife Marianna. I would have to press send first.
Lunch at Michael’s with Paul and Marianna is so much more fun than Toon Town.
And I had that feeling that only comes when you are no longer on deadline. When no one is waiting for you to press send the veil of guilt is suddenly lifted. As all writers know, when you have something due and you are not working on it, that voice in the back of your head is always muttering, you should be working, cut this short, you’re going to be sorry, you’ll only have yourself to blame.
But yesterday that voice was silent and I was able to have perhaps my first relaxed lunch in months.
But then on the way over Paul who is now president of ASCAP started talking about what they were doing the evening, Leonard Cohen was getting a lifetime acheivment award and Paul was giving it to him.
I shrieked Leonard Cohen, you know how I love him, I mean after you he is my favoritie, I have been trying to meet him forever, really, truly I have.
I felt badly being so gooey over another songwriter in front of Paul, but he knows how much I love him and his wife was doing the same thing. I think most women over a certain age, feel that way about Leonard Cohen. Forget certain age, Taylor feels that way about him.
So Paul said he could try and get me in, can you imagine, Paul and Leonard in one room?
But I had promised to take Lucy to see Promises, Promises with my friend Kelly and there is no way I could dissappont her. I promised. And I love Burt Bacarach too, and a promise is a promise.
So I hope Leonard lives a long time and I get to meet him some day. I have come this close a few times now. I know sooo many people who know him, it’s got to happen.
I keep trying to get Glenn to sell his papers, but he can’t for some reason. I forget what it is.
So that was my first day of freedom.
Fun lunch at Michael’s, on our way out we stopped to talk to David Patrick Columbia. While he and Paul had never met they had stories to share and we ended up in his – it’s not a blog – it’s more than that. I was asking him what to call it – it’s his New York Social Diary. ( to hear the stories you’ll have to log onto his site)
And then Marianna and I went to Barneys and bought father’s day gifts for Paul and Glenn, after we stopped at Abercrombie and had our picture taken with the model. Yes we did, just like tourists from Nebraska or thirteen year old girls who have never been that close to a half naked man.
And as promised Kelly and I took Lucy to see Promises Promises.
The first play – I swear to god – she slept though three quarters of. Lucy stays awake through everything. She is usually the one waking me up. She even stayed awake through Catherine Zeta Jones in A Little Night Music. That’s a trooper.
But right after Christen Chenowith sang I Say A Little Prayer For You, Lucy was out cold.
Had I known she was going to do that, I could have gone to meet Leonard.
Today I woke up deadline free and by two o’clock I noticed something was missing, the little voice – nobody was telling me I shouldn’t be in the hardware store I should be home working. Nobody was whispering, “Come on you can’t look at outdoor furniture you have chapters to write.” And no one followed me into the Sag Harbor Pharmacy and yelled “Stop looking at sunscreen you have a book to turn in.” And you know what? I missed it. I like that voice. It’s a good voice to have follow you around.
Monday I’m going out and get myself another deadline – with a baritone- maybe even one that sounds like Leonard Cohen.
MY HEROES – I don’t know the guy on the far right.