Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Week Later...

I don't want to re-live last week, not for anything. However, VaTech is pulling together, my daughter's back on campus and going to class, and the healing evidence of all the love shown that great school is abundantly clear. So it's time to try to return to "normal," which is surely altered from what it was on April 15.

A friend and I are plotting a funny, sexy, irreverent, honest look at women over fifty (and over eighty!) who form a friendship while crewing together on the Chesapeake Bay. They'll solve mysteries, help understand grandchildren, support each other in crises, and best of all, "tell it like it is." These women are not only active physically, their minds twirl a mile a minute. We're having fun discovering their foibles and strengths, and right now, how they'll ferret out who killed the 84-year-old's boytoy. Oh yeah, old broads rock!

On a Nascar note, the Richmond race is weekend after next. Can't wait. Already getting the tailgating gear down, cleaning the grill, and plotting a menu to feed three menfolk. Ward Burton's "VT" on the hood of his car in Phoenix meant a lot to me and other Tech fans.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

I've just been through a nightmare, but nothing compared to the one my youngest survived today on the campus of Virginia Tech. She's fine - and with her sister at her university now, far from the lovely campus that has seen so much senseless bloodshed today. I'm grateful, very grateful, that my daughter, when her 8 o'clock class didn't have a professor show up, decided to go for coffee off campus. It's a parent's worse nightmare - being far away when your child is in the middle of a crisis, and you're helpless to rush to her aid. At least her sister was close enough to be there for her.

I was thinking today how everything, like a bad writing day, falls into its proper place of importance, which is slim and none, when you're trying to ascertain if your child is alive after a tragedy strikes. My prayers today were heartfelt and universal - for the students and their families, for everyone involved with the university, and the law enforcement officers who had so much to handle. Thank you to everyone who called and emailed, asking if (s)he could help in any way. It means a lot to me and my husband.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Rule of Law

I've just spent an illuminating four hours at the Rule of Law Conference, where barristers, lawyers, justices, judges, and Lords High gathered to discuss and debate how and what the Rule of Law is, and how it applies to Religion, China, Native Americans, and ....you get the picture. We heard from the Chinese Nelson Mandela, Xu Wenli, the president of the Navajo Nation, Joe Shirley, Dean Kenneth Starr, Professor Kevin Gover, The Honorable James Spencer, Ambassador Seiple, and the Right Honorable Lord Justice Rix, to drop a few names. The list of legal luminaries is incredible, and I just wish that everyone could have been there. The Rule of Law is truly what separates us from the dreck, and discussing how it can, and does, go astray, and how to fix its flaws, gives me almost too much to contemplate. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time.

A charming gentleman, His Honour Eric Stockdale, signed a copy of his book MIDDLE TEMPLE LAWYERS AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, for me, and discussed his writing process. We writers love to talk shop - how much we write in a day, how we research, etc. I can't wait to dig into the tome.

I'm off tomorrow to see my eldest perform in INTO THE WOODS at her college. I can't wait - she's been rehearsing her socks off. That Sondheim is a tough composer!

If you get a chance, try to define the Rule of Law for yourself. Then pay attention to how it affects your life, personally. Study its power in the world around you. It's astounding. Trust me.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New York and Writers

I'm yawning as I write this - I don't think I slept more than twelve hours from Friday through Saturday in NYC. A wonderful group of writers gathered to talk, share, plot, and learn from each other, and I must type up my notes before I lose them in the black hole known as my desk. The industry pros spilled the beans, we talked promotion and its efficacy (and lack thereof), print runs, and publisher support from 7:15 in the morning (on Saturday, no less!) until into the wee hours. Aside from the work aspect, I managed to squeeze in two plays (Journey's End and Inherit the Wind - WOW), and one musical (The Pirate Queen). I'm just not into big, lavish productions, I fear. TPQ was too cold (blowing straight down my neck), too loud (and this is a woman who loves the roar of 800 HP engines), and boring for me, so I left early. I know, I'm an anomaly. Everyone else adored it. I realize my taste in drama reflects my taste in literature, SHOGUN being the exception. I like more intimate tales, character-driven, with a smaller cast. The big stage bores me, no matter how flashy and expensively it's dressed. Reel it in, focus on the inner workings of a man, and you've hooked me.

Now that the fun is over, it's back to work....