Friday, October 30, 2009

Ready to Roll

Yo!  Fans! Here I am!  Awake since three and ready to speak. 
Two days of a vice-crunching, throbbing headache caused by, I thought, a severe change in weather was sent packing by Miracle Man Dr. Marc Viafora at Mountain Dove Chiropractic.  It seems to have been a pattern for me at this time of year, ascertained Dr. Marc, who then said, "Let's see if we can interrupt that pattern."  We did.  Not without a sobbing trip deep within, followed by immediate release, a three and a half hour nap, and a peace that permeated my entire being.  Wow!  This Network is great stuff.
That afternoon around four-thirty tiny white dots fell in Pine Valley!  They morphed into large lacey flakes that hitched a ride on Shasta's back as she and I walked through the magical screen of snow that graced our corner of the canyon on Wednesday. 
Twenty-seven degrees right now!  Yippeeeee!  The summer was soooo hot and sooooooo long and sooooo buggy that this is nirvana.
Registered yesterday for The Hollywood Book Festival in July of 2010.  Produced in conjunction with Barnes & Noble, this is a one-day event that brings authors and filmmakers together to further the bringing of good stories to the silver screen, home-screen, any screen.  I am very much looking forward to returning to the scene of my former life as a two-book-on-my-way-to-three-and-four AUTHOR!
Haven't even thought about dinner!
Buongiorno, amici!
Baci, Susanna

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back on the Block!

Hey, blog fans!  Sorry I've been out of touch for a week.  How did it get to be a week?  Whew, time really does fly! 
I've been getting rave reviews from readers of my new book, I Knew It Then: men and women from Sedona to  New York, California and Louisiana to Canada:  "It's magnificent!" "Hard to put down!"  "You're a phenomenal writer!"  "I didn't want it to end!"  "I laughed, I cried, I loved it!"  It is so rewarding to get this kind of response for three years of hard work on so many levels.  Thank you!
Kathryn, Shasta, and I, along with our friend Cheryl, drove north three hours for a two-day visit to Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell in Page, Arizona.  Antelope is the canyon you have probably seen in photos: the colors, lines, and formations look like the inside of a conch shell.  And after being inside that canyon, I can honestly say I felt that I was at the bottom of a dry ocean.  The most exciting part for me, however, was getting there from the toll booth.  Our pick-up truck was full of folks in the bed, so Cheryl and I rode in the cab with our guide and driver Juana.  (Kathryn had been the day before and stayed in the Highlander with Shasta.)
The sand was soft and dry and we skidded in and on and over ridges.  Juana said, "I'm just up from Phoenix visiting my in-laws, who were short a guide..."  Okay, Juana.  At times it felt like we were floating, at times like we were taking off!  But Juana got us there and back safely and all with a smile on her lovely face!
Got some great photos.
Enjoyed the rest of our time at stunningly bluuue Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon Dam and Recreation Area, part of the NATIONAL PARK System!!  How appropos. 
I have to say it was just as good as the first--or any--time driving into Sedona and pulling into our canyon-embraced driveway to relax and sleep in our oh-so-comfy desert hacienda.  I LOVE WHERE I LIVE!!
Dinner tonight?  Cannellini beans with garlic & sage, salt & pepper, and good green oil; polenta fried to crispy outside, moist inside, Caesar salad, and maybe a glass of chilled Vouvray from the Loire Valley in la belle France!  Still staying slim, I am: Italy is three weeks away!
Enjoy the photos and bon appettito!
Baci, Susanna

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Best of The Best!

Man!  I tell you, it was Hollywood all over The Harkins Theater in West Sedona last evening!  The place was packed, the crowd joyous, and Some Like It Hot was never better! Released in 1959 and just as timely, funny, and thrilling as ever, and I've seen it at least 20 times.
Robert Osborne, of course, introduced the film and passed on some juicy morsels:  Billy Wilder, the director of this and many other terrific films, signed Tony Curtis first, then went after Frank Sinatra for the Jerry role and Mitzi Gaynor for the Sugar role.  Yuck!!  Can you imagine how not spectacular this movie would have been with those two, albeit talented and wonderful performers, in it?  Holy moley!  But, Sinatra didn't show up for a few meetings with Wilder, and Wilder, not wanting to deal with Frank's casual attitude, looked elsewhere. Jack Lemmon was a relative newcomer then, and Wilder wanted established star power for his film.  Meanwhile, Marilyn Monroe heard of the project and wrote Wilder a letter saying she wanted very much to play Sugar.  Wilder signed her in a heartbeat, and then signed Lemmon.  Tony Curtis later told the audience that he asked Wilder why he changed his mind about Jack Lemmon, and Wilder replied that Marilyn would get people into the theaters, so he could now sign the lesser known Jack.  Well, Jack was never to be lesser known again after his fabulous turn as Jerry/Dapne! 
Osborne also revealed that Marilyn, apparently a savvy businesswoman, not only took a big salary for starring in the film, but 10% of the gross profits, which made her a very wealthy woman--from Some Like It Hot alone.  And well she should have been for her luminous beauty and irresistable innocence never had a better showcase than this film.
I spent most of the two hours buoyed in my seat, floating on so much unabashed laughter that filled the auditorium throughout the film.  Hoots, hollers, whistles, and wild applause broke out right after the last immortal line uttered by Osgood to Jerry, "Well, nobody's perfect..." and carried on until Tony Curtis was introduced and rolled down the aisle in a wheelchair.  He stood and greeted Robert Osborne as if he were a long lost brother.  A bout with pneumonia last year made him unable to walk well, but "My doctor told me I'll be able to walk again, soon," he said at the end of a candid, warm, very funny, and captivating interview.  The most startling thing he revealed was that he and Marilyn were quite at ease with each other, especially in those very hot scenes on the yacht, on the couch, "lying on top of each other."  Why? Because unbeknownst to anyone on the set of Some Like It Hot, Tony and Marilyn had dated, quietly, when they first came to Hollywood: he 23, she 19, unknowns trying to get a break and make a name for themselves.
In those unforgettable scenes they were comfortable because, as Tony said, "We had practiced." 
He rolled out to the lobby and sat in the chair shaking hands and talking with fans.  I was never a Tony Curtis fan, but after last night, count me in!
That's it for today, blog-fans!  Go out and get your local theater to show Some Like It Hot on the big screen!  Then, you can be high as a kite like I am today!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Author Surfaces

Yep, it's taken me a few days to revive and come down to earth!  But with the help of my Miracle Man Dr. Marc Viafora, Network Chiropractor, spiritual guru, and joyous being, I am riding on a lighter wave of consciousness!  Thank you, Marco!
For some ungodly, or maybe godly ? reason, I have been awake since three this morning and feeling just damn happy!  Put the heater on for the first time this year and am LOVING the crisp, cold, high-desert autumn.  Summer was lonnnnng and hotttttt this year and I am thrilled to be in Columbia fleece jackets (yes, I have a collection of them) and warm fuzzy scarves.
Today is a special day indeed: Tony Curtis is in town showing his artwork at The Sedona Arts Festival and a gallery in town, and The Sedona Film Festival has managed to snag two of his movies to show today as well.  At 7:00 pm will be The Sweet Smell of Success with Burt Lancaster, and at 4:00 pm, my time for the movies, will be Some Like It Hot!  One of my top five favorite movies of all time!  And not only will Tony be in attendance for an interview after the showing, but my pal Robert Osborne from Turner Classic Movies will be here to introduce the film and interview Mr. Curtis.  Wow!  Some Like It Hot on the big screen!  How coooool is that?  I loved this movie so much when it came out, maybe I was 10 or 12, that I sat through it twice, back to back!  Favorite line?  When Joe (Tony) asks Jerry (Jack Lemmon) why he would even consider marrying Osgood (Joe E. Brown, who is a millionaire MAN, and who thinks Jerry is Daphne), Jerry, who is dancing around the room singing and shaking a pair of maracas, reliving the tango he was doing with Osgood moments before, ecstasy imbuing every cell of his body snaps back, "Security!"
There are only two things the presence of which would make this even more exciting:  Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon!
I'll let you know how it all goes!!
Buona Sera, amici...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Whatta Day!

The first ever Sedona Book Festival was a rousing success!  Eight hours of authors, publishers, readers, and shoppers all present to further the art of the written word.  Barbara Litrell and Joe Neri did a fabulous job of organizing the fest and everything ran smoothly.  Thanks to you both!
I must say, after the push to get my book ready, published, and in my house by October 3rd, today I am whipped!  Wanna just lie on the couch and watch a good film.  Yet my mind keeps straying back to the heady times of yesterday. 
Thanks to my wonderful friends and neighbors who came down to listen to me speak and read and buy my books!  And to Rudy Garcia, the man who makes my hair the fabulous conversation piece that it is!
I wanted to go out to dinner and celebrate, but my partner was out of town, and my friend Michaela didn't want to go out.  My first thought was stop and order some pasta at Pago's and take it to Michaela's house.
A few miles down the road I said to myself, "Why pay $15 for pasta that won't be as good as mine?"  So, I went home, changed clothes, grabbed my Bio-Naturae Linguini (organic imported from Italy), Provencale olives (black, bitter, salty), red pepper flakes, and leftover World Market Marinara Sauce (damn good for sauce in a jar) and put 'em in my bag, along with a bottle of Bolla Bardolino (my favorite everyday red wine) and beat it back to Michaela's, where she and my beloved Shasta (dog-child) greeted me with smiles and hugs.  A perfect pair with whom to share my success!
Soon I'll be posting some pix from The Festival on my website and here at the Salon.
Today: more of The National Parks on PBS and guessed it, INSPECTOR LEWIS!