What a fun day. I started off being a “testimonial” caller to my dear friend Karen Robinovitz’s show on HSN. Karen’s beauty company, Purple Lab, was debuting on the Beauty Report. I called in to talk about how awesome Karen is, and how fabulous her products are. Karen and I were both struggling fashion journos back in the day, and we wrote two books together, “How to become famous in two weeks or less” and “The Fashionista Files.” The New York Times called our Fashionista book “unexpectedly poignant” and that we were two girls with our “nose pressed against the glass” whose love for fashion had “beggared them both”. Karen and I had a good laugh about that one, especially since back then it was oh so true.
But look at the byatch now!!!
Isn’t she gorgeous?? Karen is the best kind of girlfriend -the kind of girlfriend who will lend you her Proenza to wear to the prom. I’m incredibly proud of her and her new beauty products. (My current obsession is the Silk Sheets foundation!)
After I talked to Karen on Live TV, I banged out a thousand words on Misguided Angel, fixing a knotty problem that I had been angsting about the whole week. It’s so great when the writing goes well, it feels like everything else is going well too.
Then I went shopping to celebrate.
I bought these new Chloe sandals. They are SO cool when you tuck your skinny jeans into them. Rock on.
And my latest obsession are these Ippolita bangles. I have been obsessing about them for a while and finally bought a bunch. I plan to wear them with lots of white linen. White linen, a tan, and a stack of silver bangles. I am READY for summer!
I get a lot of emails from you guys who want to be writers, and want to be published NOW.
Now of course, there are a bunch of young writers who are publishing today.
One of my favorites is fashionista darling Tavi, who is thirteen years old and just adorable. Not only does she worship at the altar of Commes des Garcons but she is also a pretty savvy kid.
Look how cute she is in this bow!
And here she is with the MiSshapes, who were the inspiration for Taj and Johnny’s band the MiStakes in Angels on Sunset Boulevard. (Yes, I know, too cruel to mention Angels since the sequel is not yet forthcoming. But one day, people, one day.)
I sometimes worry what is next for Tavi, if you’re front-row at Marc Jacobs at thirteen, where else is there to go? But she seems like she has a good head on her shoulders and will probably run the world one day.
Tavi, our future world leader.
Of course, not everyone can be so precocious and lucky. But here’s the great thing. If you want to be a writer, you can be as old as the hills and no one will care.
There is no reason to hurry.
Here are some of my favorite writers who didn’t publish until they were ancient.
Judy Blume didn’t publish her first book until she was 31! (Which is not that old really but I remember when I was 12, 14, 15, god knows I thought 31 was geezerville.)
Julia Glass didn’t publish her first book until she was 46! (You guys think this is one foot in the grave, right?) 🙂 And not only did she publish her novel at that age, she even won the Pulitzer Prize!
Well, how about Frank McCourt, who didn’t publish his first book until he was sixty-six! (He was practically almost dead! I joke, I joke.) And he won not only the Pulitzer but the National Book Award as well!
I know what you are thinking…I don’t want to wait that long. I want to be published NOW. Also, I want to make a living as a writer. I am going to be a STAR!
If you want to make a living as a writer, you will have to learn to say YES to everything, and write about many things which you may not have any interest in. Like how to apply sunscreen. (I think I wrote this article every summer for many women’s magazines for many, many years. I never go to the beach now without slathering on the SPF at least AN HOUR BEFORE. You need to give it time to sink into your skin.)
Sure, you could sell your first novel for gazillions and move to Aruba on your advance, but that possibility is about as likely as winning PowerLotto. It’s a jackpot kind of scenario, and it’s not one that happens to about oh, 99.9% of us.
PowerLotto = Publishing NOT!
Here’s the thing about writing. It doesn’t pay that well, at least in the beginning, and it may not pay that well for a long time, if ever. A lot of writers publish one or two books, realize there’s not much money in the game, and move on. I’ve always noticed how there’s always a bunch of these “socialite” writers who come out with a novel or two, are celebrated for it, and are never heard from again. A lot of writers do other things on the side, like teach or work for magazines and newspapers. A lot of writers have financially supportive spouses or parents who help them pay the rent while they write.
You have to be prepared for all of these things to happen to you if you want to be a writer.
You have to love it enough, because writing is a pain, and struggling is a pain, and at the end of the day, you have to figure out if it is worth it, if publishing that book, which no one will have heard of, is worth it, because even when you do acquire a modicum of success, no one you will ever meet socially will have heard of you or your book, because unless you are Dave Eggers or David Sedaris, or have written The Da Vinci Code, Bridget Jones’s Diary, or Twilight—books that have broken through the pop-culture ether so that people who DO NOT READ BOOKS or READ ONE BOOK A YEAR (which is the majority of adults in this country) will have heard of it, and will look at you approvingly.
David Sedaris. The only author that most people at dinner parties have heard of. What up with da monkey?
Someone once said the only difference between a unpublished writer and an published writer is that you go from UNKNOWN to OBSCURE. Most of us toil in the grey zone of semi-obscurity, even with our “New York Times best-selling” banners. (Especially since there are now about 100+ New York Times bestsellers a week.)
But IS it worth it?
Yes! A hundred times Yes!
I can’t imagine doing anything else, and to get paid for it is even better. But I have to say. Even when I was just making $10,000 a year as a writer -when my yearly writing income barely covered my handbag bills, (I supported myself as a computer programmer for nine years), I loved it, and I treasured every cent I made from that $10,000. Whereas the money I made from writing computer programs? I burned through it, as if I were allergic to it.
I read a lot of of articles bemoaning the fact that so many people want to be writers, and that they are all just frog-marching into debt, because if you go to writing school, you are just out $200k and you’re not going to get a cushy law job after you get that masters. But here’s the thing. You don’t HAVE to go to writing school. I didn’t. You CAN if you want to, but you don’t HAVE to.
And SO WHAT if so many kids want to be writers? I think it’s AWESOME! There’s always room for new voices. Sure, it gets tougher all the time, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be the lucky person who breaks through. You know? It could be you! So keep trying!
It took me nine years and fifteen books before I hit the best-seller list.
Revelations, the one that did it for me.
Charlaine Harris wrote twelve books before she hit it big with Sookie Stackhouse!
Charlaine’s advance for the first book in the Sookie Series? FIVE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.
I used to sit in a cubicle dreaming of when my life would change, and when it did, I was ready. I read this EW interview with Tina Fey where they asked her, Did she think all this (blockbuster movie, Emmy award winning TV show, stardom, etc) was going to happen to her? And she said YES. She’d always believed it would happen, and it’s not a surprise to her that it did.
Tina Fey, current world leader.
Be practical. Make sure you can support yourself and your dreams first. Then dream all you want. But remember: there’s no hurry.
Posted on February 17th, 2010
How to Throw an Anti-Superbowl Party
Now do not get me wrong. Like any good American, I like the Superbowl. In fact, coming from an immigrant family, we somehow understood that not only did we have to LIKE the Superbowl, we had to LOOOOVE it. As in, our first year in America we were all decked out in matching red 49er t-shirts and my mom made “bean dip” which was a food substance we had never eaten before. We were very intrigued by this “bean dip” which was a three-layer dip with refried beans, guacamole, and cheese. Processed deliciousness! (I have to add that when we moved to America we all gained about twenty pounds each because, oh, silly us, we thought it was normal to eat fast food all the time, because hey! The Americans, whom we wanted to emulate, did so!)
Bean dip. Just add Fritos. (Or Fritos Scoops!)
Fortunately that was the year 1985, when Joe Montana thrillingly led the 49ers to victory. (I think I can replay that play in my head, we had a VCR and my dad watched it all the time. We always cheered every time. I dunno. It made us feel somehow, very American.)
Joe Montana. Our hero. I wish I could find the photo where my sister and I met Joe Montana at a party in San Francisco. We look like his long-lost Vietnamese children in the photo, we just look SO psyched.
From my family, which was very sports-oriented since both my dad and my brother were both athletes, I married a man who has no interest in sports at all. At first when I met my husband, I thought it was very un-American to not like sports. Like ANY sports? Not even tennis? (which is really so British!) No. Not even baseball which has a patina of nostalgia already and was a sport even nebbishy writers for the New Yorker whom I used to date liked? NO!
NO SPORTS AT ALL! AND ESPECIALLY NOT FOOTBALL!
Which was really, fine with me. Mike explained that in America, there are two camps, especially if one is male. There are the jocks. And there are the geeks. You have to choose which camp you are in. And once you are in that camp, you can never, never never , NEVER like anything that the other camp likes. It’s like the core of his identity.
The jocks like Dave Matthews, pushing people into lockers, and of course, the Superbowl.
Dave Matthews. Bleggh. I knew there was a reason I did not like him or his “music”.
The geeks like the Stars (both Wars and Trek – I love that 30 Rock joke don’t you?), heavy metal, and despise the Superbowl.
Smoke on the Water. Mike says this is “our song”. Which came from someone asking us the inane question, “Do you guys have a theme song?” As in a theme song to our lurve? Mike and I both shuddered at the cheese factor and he answered, “Sure we do. Smoke on the Water!”
Ever since then, it’s been Smoke on the Water.
I even kind of like it now.
Mike’s family has been in America since like the 1800s or something. They are from the middle of the country. They are like Chevrolet-commercial American. They’ve never even bought a Japanese car until the 90s! (And when they did it was a behemoth Sequoia, which was their “small” car since their other three cars were Suburbans.) How could they be American and not like football??? How??? Was this even allowed????
Suburbans. Huge cars. And perhaps not so bad now that all those Toyotas are being recalled, for I dunno, KILLING their drivers?
The Chevy Suburban. It’s got a lot of junk in the trunk.
I have since understood that my husband comes from the Kurt Anderson, Michael Chabon, Zach Braff’s character on Scrubs type of American male. Art rather than Sports. Museums instead of lacrosse. (For those who get the BB reference. Heh.) Conventions good. Arenas bad.
Kurt Andersen. Our hero. When I was a young writer he looked at my clips and pronounced them “very entertaining.” Yeah! Unfortunately he never did hire me to cover fashion for his website. They went under before I got the assignment. Oh well. I would love Studio 360 if I listened to Public Radio. But I do not. (I like to sing along to FloRIda instead of listen to people blather on.) But Mike listens to it and he tells me what happened. I get the Cliffs Notes version of the show.
In honor of my all-American husband, every year we still participate in the Great American Holiday. We have a party. (We do have a giant screen plasma. Some things are shared by All Americans regardless of where they stand on the Jock-Geek divide.) We invite friends over. And then we watch the Commercials. We LOVE the commercials! Superbowl commercials rule! We are quiet and pay attention during the commercials. Then when the game comes on, we mute it and we eat and talk about the AWESOME commercials.
And that, my friends is how to have an anti-Superbowl party.
Come for the beandip. Stay for the Domino’s ad.
Posted on February 5th, 2010
Ideas? I’ve got Ideas!
A friend asked me a question recently, the question was “Do you ever worry you will run out of ideas?”
It’s funny. Usually people ask me *where* I get my ideas.
I’ve never been asked this question before.
The answer is No.
Usually I have so many ideas, more ideas than I have the time to write the books that come from them. Sometimes I have so many ideas it is hard to pick one. And sometimes I’ll have an idea in the back of my head that I thought about a long time ago and am still kind of mulling that somehow ends up in the present book I am writing.
Some books I have yet to write include:
Stuck Up Trendy Asian Bitch or S.T.A.B. -> remember this derogatory term? It was so very 90s. It was hurled against “Asian girls with asymmetrical haircuts holding shiny patent-leather backpacks in SoHo” or so someone explained to me when I was in college. Well, I didn’t have a shiny leather backpack (too poor back then) and my hair was more of a growing-out-perm-hence-ponytailed-all-the-time situation, so I didn’t think the slur meant me. But I thought it was funny (I usually think offensive things are funny) and it stuck in my mind. And so when I was 22 I wrote a novel about three trendy Asian girls living and loving in SoHo. My agent wasn’t able to sell it but it did get the interest of a young smart editor at Little Brown, who encouraged me to keep writing and gave me lots of tips on the publishing business.
I still feel very fond of this idea and someday hopefully I will get to write it. Sometimes I feel I am too old to write it anymore. So if there are any young trendy Asian girls out there who want to write this story, please do so. Because I really want to read it.
Some very trendy Asian girls. Goodness we are a trendy people aren’t we?
Tragic Filipino “Thorn Birds” style novel -> I started writing a few pages of this novel when I was in my late 20s. It’s about a fabulous Filipino Chinese family, beauty queens, mah jong and forbidden love. I found these pages again recently and thought “hey! This is good!” However it has sat on a pile and I have yet to write it. I imagine I will be in my sixties when I write this novel.
Here are some Filipino Beauty Queens. Those are some big-ass crowns! And also, the trophies are as tall as the queens. I could not find a photo of the trophies though. The beauty queen culture is huge in my mother country. In fact I cannot believe I was never a beauty queen! I was robbed of my heritage. (Unfortch my parents thought they were incredibly tacky. Which they are. But still.)
Mack Saves Manhattan -> Harry Potter meets King Arthur in New York. Does that sound like every other Harry Potter clone or what? I wrote about 80 pages and set it aside. A lot of this book ended up in Blue Bloods, including the elite private school setting and the fantasy aspects. The King Arthur aspect did not make it in though. By the time I wrote Blue Bloods I was more into the Paradise Lost myth. Also, when I was writing this my editor at the time told me Meg Cabot was writing Avalon, her take on the Arthurian legend. So I put it aside. I’m fond of it but I don’t think it will ever see the light of day since like I said, the best parts ended up in Blue Bloods.
The Convent of the Sacred Heart. Where I went to high school which became the inspiration for the school in MSM and Blue Bloods. Isn’t it gorgeous? And Lady Gaga is an alumni of the New York branch! Convent girls rock!
Thirty Year Old High School Student Novel -> Remember that article about that guy from Princeton who was a runner who they found out was 31 and not 19? Remember him? It made me wonder, if you could go back and do high school all over again, with what you know now, how would it work? It had a slutty girl protagonist in her 30s who wants a do-over in her life so she goes back to high school and tries to get a fresh start. I wrote about 80 pages. (80 pages for my writing is equal to the 3-month term in relationships. The time when I decide either to stick it out or break up.)
Drew Barrymore starred in Never Been Kissed where she plays a journo who goes back to high school and makes out with her teacher. Probably another reason why I abandoned my novel. Hollywood had already gotten there first! Damn them!
Drew is so cute isn’t she? I love her Globes dress! And the making out with Justin Long!
The Fortune Hunters -> I actually had a contract for this novel, which was supposed to be my second adult novel after Cat’s Meow. I had to cancel the contract and return the money since I got busy with the Au Pairs series and my agent told me I had to “concentrate” as in figure out what to do with my career as I was all over the place (adult fiction, adult non-fiction, YA fiction, magazines, etc.) The novel was going to be based on a serial column I used to write for Gotham. It was a re-imagining of Vanity Fair. Some of this book also ended up in Blue Bloods.
The latest issue of Gotham. That’s Miss Jackson if you’re nasty!
A lot of these failed or non-starter novels are from my 20s, when I was trying to figure out what to write after Cat’s Meow. As you can see, I started a lot of things but then ended up not making a lot of them happen. Nowadays this doesn’t happen anymore, since when I write novels now they are already under contract, but also because I feel like I’ve finally found my niche and this is where I am supposed to be, writing about vampires who are fallen angels, hell hounds, witches and norse gods in the Hamptons.
Grey Gardens, which inspired my new adult series The Witches of East End. (Coming 2011 from Hyperion!) Yeah I know they already made the TV movie but mine is just inspired by the story, not the same story at all.
My friend also asked me if it’s easier since I write a series since I have a “formula.”
I laughed. For me, the fun thing about the Blue Bloods books is that there is no formula. Each book feels like a whole new one to me, with a new setting and new problems. I think if I had a formula I would be so bored. The series keeps my interest because it changes all the time. Sometimes it’s a romance. Sometimes action. Sometimes fantasy. Sometimes a love letter to New York. Sometimes my characters are ancient creatures full of wisdom. Sometimes they are impulsive foolish teenagers. For me each book is very different.
Here is a famous formula.
I don’t think there is a formula for my books but it would be fun to imagine!
SKY + JACK – MIMI / OLIVER * VENATORS – BLISS = BLUE BLOODS ? 😉
Posted on February 4th, 2010
Today’s blog is about doing something even if no one who looks like you is doing it.
My brother has been e-mailing me constantly about this kid Jeremy Lin from Harvard. Jeremy is the first Asian American basketball star with a real shot at the NBA. Here’s Jeremy. Isn’t he hot?
He’s led Harvard to its first winningest season in, let’s say, several hundred years, because unlike Princeton’s b-ball team, Harvard has notoriously sucked at hoops. (Hey I can say this, I went to Columbia where we had the losingest football streak in college history – forty years I think – without a win. And I say this *with pride*. I love being from a non-jock school.)
Anyway, back to Jeremy. I’ve read the countless articles my brother has forwarded me (my bro was a varsity high school b-ball player back in the day—his GPA raised the team’s overall GPA by like ten points. Oh and yes he went to Harvard) and it’s amazing how much racism Jeremy has encountered in his nascent career.
Simply because there are no other Chinese kids who play basketball.
Oh Yao Ming doesn’t count. First of all he’s from China-China, the red heartland, he’s seven feet tall, and he’s seen more as an exception—a glorified exception—to the rule.
The rule says Asian-American kids don’t play basketball.
Here’s a quote from the first article: “Immersed in the game as he was, Jeremy never thought he was anything but a normal kid who liked basketball. Until, that is, the insults came at him, the taunts to go back to China or open his eyes. He was an Asian-American basketball player, an oddity and a curiosity in the cruel world of high school, where nothing is safer than being like everyone else.”
Here’s a quote from another recent ESPN article: “Even Lin, who won numerous player of the year honors as a senior at Palo Alto High and led his team to a state title, famously did not receive a single Division I scholarship offer.”
NOT A SINGLE ONE!
And here’s another quote from another Asian-American basketball player. “Ng, who plays guard at 5-7, believes Asian-American players are often judged unfairly. “People just look past you,” he said. “It’s like they don’t even see you.”“
LIKE THEY DON’T EVEN SEE YOU!
When my dad coached my brother’s fourth-grade basketball team, they were relegated to the “B” team because, hey, what does some Filipino dude know about hoops? My dad used to play college ball, not that anyone cared, and like Jeremy Lin’s dad, he was OBSESSED with the game. My dad always said if you’re an immigrant you have to work twice as hard to get to where you want, and Pop wasn’t insulted. He just sat back and let them see the results. He trained those kids, running drills, teaching them the basics, taking it really seriously.
And that “B” team? Three years later they went on to win the seventh-grade league championship! The “pile” photo where all the players are collapsed in an ecstatic heap on my dad after the last buzzer is classic Hollywood Americana.
Will Ferrell? I have a movie for you.
Except maybe Jackie Chan should star in it.
Here’s a New Yorker article that also reminded me of Pop and my bro’s b-ball domination. Pop was a big believer in the FULL COURT PRESS.
When I first wanted to be a writer, I felt like Jeremy. I just thought I was just a normal kid who liked books. But it did worry me a little, being Asian-American, because while there were some very respected Asian-American authors like Amy Tan out there, most of the Asian-American writers were writing very tragic, sad tales about ethnic issues and alienation that were very heavy and not at all like the books I wanted to write. My favorite authors were all white: Stephen King, Anne Rice, JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert. There didn’t seem to be a way to be a writer, and an Asian-Am writer, without having to write an ethnic book. And I wanted to write The Lord of the Rings, not Joy Luck Club.
The Joy Luck Club. The kind of book I did not want to write. (I dunno. I liked my mom. Heh.)
So what to do?
Honestly, I don’t really know. You just kind of muddle through and you find a niche for yourself and as long as you keep pounding on that door, someone—finally—will have to let you in.
I started out writing book reviews (and always got hit with the ones with Asian themes or written by Asian authors. I’ve read enough tragic tales of China to last me a lifetime), then I found a niche in fashion since no one was covering it at the paper where I was writing. Then you kind of stay in the fashion ghetto for a while, writing about shoes and lipstick, until you get moved up to the women’s mag ghetto where you write about relationships and sex. When I wrote my first YA book the Au Pairs I was really excited because it was a chance to write the kind of fun, frothy commercial fiction that I loved as a kid (I was always thrilled that the company I was working with had been the masterminds behind Sweet Valley High.) And then from there, my editor asked me if I wanted to write horror/fantasy.
And finally! This was it! My chance! To write the kind of book I’d always wanted to write!
I get so many emails from readers who can’t believe someone from their background (immigrant) or who looks like them (Asian) or has a similar last name (Spanish) can write popular fiction.
Of course, now that vampires are hot, there’s all this “TWILIGHT RIPOFF!!” screeching that the genre is getting now.
Sigh. This is lame. It’s a beautiful cover and why can’t any writer write a girl-falls-in-love-with-paranormal-paramour without getting the TWIFIGHT label?
Now it seems I am relegated to the vampire ghetto, or the paranormal ghetto. You know, the thinking that ‘your book wouldn’t do half as well if Twilight wasn’t around.’ Maybe. But maybe, because I did write my book a year before Twilight even hit the shelves, I was just lucky enough to be standing (writing) in the right place in the right time? Maybe? Years after this trend finally fades away to just us die-hards, I’ll *still* be writing these kinds of books.
It’s been five years since I wrote the first Blue Bloods book, which is pretty cool. Here’s an early version of the KEYS TO THE REPOSITORY cover. This is not the final version. (I have no idea what the final looks like yet.) But thought it would be fun to show!
Because I never feel like I’m stuck in the ghetto. In my mind, I live on Fifth Avenue, across from the Metropolitan Museum. 🙂
Posted on February 2nd, 2010
How I Want to Look at Sixty, A new appreciation for Georgia O’Keefe
We went to Santa Fe, New Mexico over the weekend for our annual NYC-gang trip. We have been traveling with the same close group of friends for many years now, and even with the coming of children we still try to get together once a year in a new city. It’s sometimes difficult to agree on WHICH city, which leads to such stories as “The Ottowa Incident” (yes, the gang went to Ottowa: why, I can’t tell you, but safe to say, that was a year when consensus ruled over reason. There was nothing to do in Ottowa but bicker. Although “there were some nice museums” someone will always add.) Anyway, Santa Fe was a glorious host city: the food was divine and while most of the art was quite bad (we are Art Snobs I’m afraid) we did get to visit the Georgia O’Keefe museum.
Being an Art Snob meant that like my friends, I was quite dismissive about Georgia O’Keefe: oh that lady who painted those huge flowers in a pro-vo-ca-tive way. Hmmpf. Sure, some people like them, but not moi, although it would be amusing to see them.
Well, I have a new appreciation for good old Georgia. First of all, when you enter the museum you see this AWESOME picture of her.
And she’s about SIXTY years old in this photo! But look at her! With the flirty smile of an eighteen year old! But the lines of experience and wisdom that comes with age. Hopping on a motorcycle for a ride through the desert! As soon as I saw this photo I thought, I LIKE this woman.
Then we sat through this little documentary they made about her. I knew a little bit about her background (those PRO-VO-CA-TIVE flower paintings) and knew she had been married to the famous photographer Alfred Steiglitz, but I had no idea that it was HIS photographs of her that led all the art critics and the establishment to decide she was nothing more than a painter of “sensual” flora.
His intimate photographs of her caused a sensation and DEFINED Georgia to the world on his terms before she could do it herself. The photos are from their early life together, when infatuation is at its peak, and they are quite wonderful, really. But he was seeing her through this lens of early admiration and new love and while it’s FINE for him to see her that way (as his lady lovah), it seems quite another thing for the WHOLE WORLD to see her that way, don’t you think? (He was also twenty-some years older than her, so there’s another layer for you.)
Here is one that I can show. The rest are NSFW or NSFYAAUTHORTOSHOW.
Georgia had her own exhibition of her flower paintings only AFTER this exhibition of photographs was already shown to the art world. And by then, because Alfred saw his lover as this sensual, sexual artist, the art world only saw her paintings through this lens, and decided those cool oversize paintings of flowers? They were all about girly parts!
Which was apparently NOT WHAT GEORGIA WAS GOING FOR AT ALL. She was experimenting with abstraction, with line and curve. NOT ABOUT GIRLY PARTS.
Here is one of her Manhattan paintings that I love.
It was amazing to me that even if Georgia was so upset by what happened—her art DEFINED by a man—and HER man no less—before she could speak for herself—-she still married and stayed with Alfred and they were together for twenty years until his death. That seems like a lot of love and forgiveness on her part as well.
And it was only after his death and her move to New Mexico that she became known on her own terms. She forged this entire new career on her own, creating new work (those cool desert landscapes and the skull paintings) and having the world finally see her through her own eyes. Anyway, look at that GRIN on that motorcycle picture. Doesn’t she look free?
Her story reminds me of that movie My Brilliant Career, where Judy Davis plays an aspiring writer who gives up the love of her life (Sam Neill) to write books because otherwise, she will be Distracted. The movie seems to say: You Can’t Have it All. It’s the Dude or the Manuscript. I remember watching that movie and thinking OH C’MON! You can have it all! At least, I’ll try to!
With Georgia O’Keefe it seems she had it all—the dude and the art, she lived through the fire of art world put-downs ( the “provocative” label persists till today), and weathered it all, to emerge, in her late years, as a full-on desert warrior artist icon.
This is an iconic photo of the young Georgia taken by Alfred. Intense. Troubled. Sennnnssssual.
And here she is as the Icon of the Desert.
She looks pretty bad-ass right? I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of looking forward to growing old. As long as I can do it the Georgia way.