The Local Church Ladies Could Hold A Better Raffle
I may be able to write a blog, a novel, and a poem.
I may be able to formulate a three-year-plan for the nursery business and negotiate insurance coverage.
I may be able to bake a loaf of babka.
I may be able to match my blush to the perfect shade of lipstick.
I may not be able to stage a raffle.
What I planned for my book giveaway was this:
Readers would write in and tell me what actress they pictured when they imagined a 50-year-old woman, like Cynthia in my novel, Just What I Always Wanted. Then I would take all the suggestions and have a poll. And the top 3 vote-getters would win a copy of my book for the person who suggested those actresses.
What I didn’t figure on is that several people would suggest the same actresses. And so then if five people suggested Diane Lane, do I need another poll to pick the winners?
And let’s not even mention the fact that I couldn’t even figure out how to do one of those “click on the button” polls. I tried a few times and … well… let’s just say that this is the third time I am typing this.
But I loved all the suggestions.
I loved that you picture someone as pretty as Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock when you picture “fifty”. And it’s encouraging that when you think of Susan Sarandon or Meryl Streep, you still think of someone lovely enough to play “fifty.”
Then there’s Meg Ryan and Courteney Cox and Julianne Moore and Michelle Pfeiffer and Kyra Sedgwick… how encouraging it is to see that instead of a limited supply of middle-aged ladies – there are so many that are so beautiful.
What is interesting is that no one suggested the actress (really two actresses) that I pictured as I was writing the book. It’s not that I was already thinking of the big movie deal (though that would be nice), but rather what I imagined Cynthia looked like. I don’t know why she didn’t look like me, but I knew she didn’t. The look I pictured when I first started the book was Geena Davis. Tall and pretty and quick to laugh. But there’s a funny twist to writing a novel. It took me so long that Geena sort of outgrew the role. Because while she got older, Cynthia stayed fifty. So gradually the image changed, and about five years later, when I was finishing up, I was picturing Julianna Margulies.
But it seems that Diane Lane is the overwhelming choice. And it’s a terrific choice. She’s so lovely in such a real and mature way.
And ironically, she makes an appearance in my book.
Early in the novel, Cynthia is soliciting suggestions of what to do with her retirement, and the patrons at the post office all chime in with the most romantic places to go. And someone says, “Didn’t you see that old movie about the Bridge of Sighs in Venice? The one with the girl who now has a middle-aged bosom but still the pretty face?”
That movie was “A Little Romance” – my favorite film of 1979. And the actress was Diane Lane:
I am delighted that so many of us see fifty as lovely, not old.
But I still need to give away three books.
So I put the names of everyone who commented on post-it notes (except my brother-in-law… he doesn’t count) – and I folded up those papers and my husband drew names.
Not exactly the contest I promised, but my heart is in the right place. My contest-organizational skills just are not.
And the winners are:
1. Valentine Logar
3. Diva For A Day
So send me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll send you off a copy of Just What I Always Wanted.
I hope you enjoy it. (And if you do, please write a nice review on Amazon.)