A Writer’s HBO Movie

Anytime I see Bette Midler and Stockard Channing starring in a movie, I want to watch. Tonight while surfacing I discovered both actress featured in Isn’t She Great . A movie about how Jacqueline Susann writes Valley of the Dolls, and at the height of her success, learns she has breast cancer.

This 2000 film, directed by Andrew Bergman and written by Paul Rudnick, took my breath away.

One, the journey of a writer who did not start her life wanting to be a writer, but an actress. Two, a man who believed in the talent of a woman and marries and supports her on her journey. Third, the desire to succeed despite the storm: an autistic son, breast cancer, and publishers rejection.

A lesson I have learned from author Susann, who also penned Once is Not Enough , The Love Machine, Every Night, Josephine, Delores , and Yargo, persistence and personality.

The Storm

Never underestimate the storm; only know how to row through it. At 9:00am this morning, my mother and I rejoiced at the great plans we saw before us. We connected in a special way that often doesn’t happen until mother and daughter have been through similar storms.

Over the phone, my mother reminded me that count it all joy and to remember that when you stop playing on the side of evil, the storm rushes in, floods your boat, weighs you down, soaks your plans. But you have to hold on and remember whose you are and who you serve.

The day moved along steadily with many wonderful final Christmas treasures for my girls. I praised the Lord from Poughkeepsie to Newburgh and back to Fishkill.

And then, I sat to relax–play Farmville–when the storm drenched me from head to toe. I couldn’t catch my breath. I exhaled and gulped down a mass of water. I choked. I coughed. I, momentarily, grew teary eyed. I listened to the noise, the wind, the sorrow whirl around me. Chills slivered down my spine.

As I settled into the storm, riding the waves, I remember the verse I posted on Facebook this morning: I know who holds the future, And I know who holds my hand; With God things don’t just happen–Everything by Him is planted.

To help me row the boat in the storm the ever true: I know not by what methods rare The Lord provides for me, I only know that all my needs He meets so graciously. What God promises, God will provide.

Students, what r they thinking?

Amazingly, when professors and instructors gather, they chat about students. Despite the subject, educators are concerned that their students are not learning and are careless about earning grades.

I’ve learned earning and getting grades seem to be the same, for freshmen; although not. Many freshmen will say “I tried hard,” “I put my best effort in that paper”; yet that doesn’t constitute an ‘A’. It’s showing up, following directions, and being accountable.

More than anything, freshmen most realize high school is over and professors will not give grades and pass, at least we hope not, student based on looks, smiles and or complements.

Yet, we all want one thing…for our students to excel, to be accountable.

When changes take place

Saturday the check engine lit up on my dashboard. The last thing I wanted to do was pay more money to have another fixed on my car. For the past two years, or longer, I had been forced to take care of the maintenance of my car. At that time I begin to listen to the hums my car murmured.

In order to keep tabs on the routine checkups I created a maintenance list with dates and costs. Every three months, I remember the oil change and if wipers were needed to go to Walmart, which was much cheaper than Valvoline.

Then each time I went to the mechanic, I asked questions, and reread my receipt to verify what was being done to my car. So, in August when my steering wheel began to shake, I knew car trouble and thousands of dollars was about to take place.

And it did. Only I walked into Mavis for one new tire and tire rotation and my rotors checked. I left with two new tires and the ball and joint replaced and a list of need to fix items and their cost. Within the next three week, I budgeted the cost and made an appointment to have my rotors fixed, a bar underneath (still don’t know the official name) and wheel alignment. I actually received a free wheel alignment on my second visit.

I was not quite happy with the ride of my vehicle, it felt like the back jumped and squeaked. But in the back of my mind, I recalled years ago a mechanic informing me that new rotors or spark plugs give the care a different feel until broken in (like a new pair of jeans or shoes).

Imagine my surprise when the check engine light lit up on my dashboard on Saturday and did not disappear on Sunday after getting an oil change without the ability to get an inspection. Not again.

However, today, Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the mechanic at Healy Brothers said I took really good care of my car and my car only needed a diagnostic check, in which the check engine light disappeared. I was ultimately happy with myself. And I remember my $20 coupon to top off my car care.