Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Femusing...FeMuse #3

Lucy O'Brien is Assistant Editor at IGN AU, and Carrie Fisher is her rolemodel. Follow her on IGN at Luce_IGN_AU,or @Luceobrien on Twitter.

I've always associated the word 'muse' as a sexual thing...something that inspires because one finds the subject sexy or attractive because of talent, looks, or other things that cause one to think outside themselves. My muses are Bruce Dickinson and Henry Rollins. Both are older men in the music industry, known for re-inventing themselves and helping the world become a better place.

I've decided it's time for me to express my appreciation for the feminists who use their gifts to make this planet a little more awesome with their presence. They don't need to be sexy, it's irrelevant. They just need to be women who make me want to stand up and CHEER.

 There are so many...Emma Watson, Susan Anthony, Gloria Steinem, Lydia Pajunen, Tina Turner, Joy Maruno, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, The list really is endless.

I have decided on three women who I can look at and think "Yeah! They did it. I can too!"

Number Three is Carrie Fisher. And it's not just because of Star Wars, although she's brilliant as Princess Leia. So iconic was the movie, and her role in it, that people still shout "Princess Leia!" and she still answers.

Did you know she's an author as well? Titles I've read are : Postcards from the Edge, Delusions of Grandma, Surrender the Pink, and The Best Awful. There are more. LOTS more. Carrie Fisher Author Page

What I like about her, both as an actor and an author is her willingness to bare all, GIVE all. She's an open soul.

She's blunt and honest. She speaks of her own mental illness without shame, shares it with readers in The Best Awful, and expects people to accept her as she is. She'll have it no other way.

She's funny. She pokes fun at herself in pages, in interviews and in cameo appearances. She'll joke about her experiences in rehab and her weight. That's refreshing in anyone, never mind a Hollywood starlet.

She's talented as Hell. I loved her as Princess Leia. And she was so young at the time! She gave kids like me a REAL princess to look up to, not a damsel in distress. One who put herself in charge of her own rescue when the boys got them shot at. That role was MADE for Carrie Fisher. Who else could have pulled it off?

I liked her in The Burbs. I loved her appearance in Ellen, the sitcom. I loved her cameo in Big Bang Theory. I love her in interviews.

I love her most as a writer. When I grabbed Postcards from the Edge, I confess it was just curiosity. I didn't expect much. So many actors try to branch off into other fields like books and music, only to find they can't make the transition. But Carrie made it look effortless. She spoke to me in her own personality, and somehow it worked. She knew what she was doing. She knows how to write.

I can't wait to rediscover her in her role as General Organa-Solo. Yes, I'm aware it's January, and I'm probably the only person who hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie. I've been kinda busy, so no spoilers, please. There's so many of her books I haven't read yet. I'm very much looking forward to reading those too.

I'm glad Carrie Fisher is back in a new Star Wars movie, because I'm glad I found her again.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Elusive Joy.

She videotaped my wedding for me.
This is the first year I've dreaded New Year's Eve. DREADED it. I couldn't even look at Facebook. It was plastered with bright colors and sentimental drivel about wishes and opportunities and other things I knew weren't coming my way since I'm gearing up for what feels like the hardest year of my life.

Husband still isn't working. Work hours drying up. Bank account shrinking. Impending need to publish, even though I may or may not make a single cent off my work. If I can even figure out all the computer stuff I have to do to get there.

My favorite uncle came to visit, and I tried to make light of it. I don't want to worry him. He's a bit of a hero to me. When I think of my mortgage, I remember him telling me about the years he had to pay 17 percent interest on HIS mortgage. "How the hell did you manage?!" I asked. He shrugged, and said, "We did what we had to do."

We did what we had to do.

When I told him how I was worried about paying my mortgage, at a measly three percent, and that it's half my wage, he assured me, "You'll figure it out." He sounds so confident. After all, I'm his niece. I come from good stock, and a long line of feminists.

As far back as anyone can remember, we had an ancestor named Suzanna, who left her home in Lapland at seven years of age to get a job rocking a cradle for a rich family in England, so they say.  I think she was my great-great-great grandmother. My great-great-grandma was Ida, wife of Captain Mikkelson. I don't know much about her, but I can imagine being the wife of a sea-capatin meant long months alone with the children. Things they don't tell you until you are an adult: My great-grandmother, Lydia Pajunen gave birth to seven children. My grandmother, her sixth,  was her first child to live past three years of age. (She's now 93) Great-grandpa drank too much, so she took courses to become a successful midwife. My grandmother was married to my grandfather for over 50 years, despite the fact that he didn't believe in looking for work. He thought his reputation should bring work to him. They had four boys to feed, so grandma took on any job she could get, including writing articles for the local newspaper.

I want to surrender. I want to just pack in the writing thing and say fuck it. Usually, I embrace change. It's inevitable. It's the only thing in life you can consider an absolute, along with death. Why am I resisting? Because I'm not ready. I don't have the time, energy or money to embrace it. I don't want to self-publish, and I resent the fact that I have to do it RIGHT. NOW.

So tonight, my best friend Mel took me to a movie with gift cards she got for Christmas. The movie was called 'Joy', starring Jennifer Lawrence. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

No spoilers, but a synopsis. Ms. Lawrence's character has a complicated family, and a stressful life. Good thing she's a smart cookie. The story drags Joy through hell, over and over, but she doesn't give up. She uses her smarts to invent a mop, and does everything in her power to make her product a success. She's savvy, determined and doesn't sell herself short. She stays true to herself.

I got the message.

I also got to spend time with Mel, a woman I still can't believe is my best friend. If you knew who we were in high school, you would agree that life is strange. I can spend a few hours with her, and she makes the hurts seems comical and handlable. She makes me happy, and she is good to her core. Time with her today made me realize I'm not alone. And that there are OTHER friends in my life I DO appreciate. As long as I have friends like Mel, Colleen, Kathy, Kevin, The Raju's and the Maguires and so many more, I'll be okay. I'll do what I have to do.

I'll be an armadillo. I feel my optimism returning.