Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It is time for Champagne

I shall be celebrating this weekend properly with a bottle of champagne.

It is not my own good news, but that of a friend.

The late great Molly Ivins said during a commencement address:

"(M)y second piece of advice....you must have fun. You must work at having fun. Let me tell you, you can't put it off. You've gotta have fun while you're fighting to fix the world, because first of all, we don't always win, so it might get to be all the fun you'll ever have, and second of all, it's a better way to live. If you don't have fun while you're fighting to make a better world, what's gonna happen is you're gonna get tired and bitter and cynical and burnt out and just wind up a complete waste to everybody. So just put fun on your list."

I did not attend that particular commencement, but I had the good fortune to see Molly Ivins speak in person on more than one occasion. She mentioned that advice often because she felt it was important.

I agree.

We all need to make it a point to celebrate positive events in our lives.

I will also use positive events in my friends' lives as an excuse to celebrate as well.

Why not?

Life is filled with disappointments, we should revel when things go right.

A dear friend of mine, who I have known for nearly fifteen years, had told me that she wanted to write her memoirs. I know enough about the genre to know that it has its own particular rules and that I did not know enough to be of much help in the writing of the book.

I gave her links and suggestions regarding the genre and thought that she would benefit from a ghost writer.

I helped match her with a fabulous and experienced ghost writer who had worked on many high profile biographies. Unfortunately, the timing did not work out for their partnership.

The ghost writer is a new mother and she tried to step back into the writing life too early, and the demands of motherhood overwhelmed her.

So my friend decided that rather than try to find another ghost writer that she would write her life story herself.

And what a powerful story it is. I helped her with the book proposal, mostly by changing formatting. I also suggested shuffling a few things around, condensing, and some minor editing.

I knew that ultimately, even if it was not rock solid, letter-perfect that it would be the strength of her platform that would make agents (and I am sure publishers in the very near future) work quickly to sign her.

In fact, she had five agents vying to sign her as a client.

Then again, she has been the recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the United Nations Human Rights Commission for her leadership on an issue of global significance.

That leadership is what had also led her to befriend Alice Walker, be a guest on Oprah Winfrey's show, and the distinction of writing and performing her own piece in the Vagina Monologues.

Soraya Miré is a survivor of Pharaonic circumcision, the most severe form of female genital mutilation and she has dedicated her life to opposing the practice.

She made the critically acclaimed documentary film Fire Eyes that was featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the International Women's Conference in Beijing and given the award for Best Documentary at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.

Like I said, Soraya has a platform that would make just about any agent jump.

She interviewed five agents over the phone, and chose the one she felt most comfortable.

I wish her all the best in the world.

I know in my bones that her book The Girl with Three Legs is destined for the best sellers list.

Once she signs with a publisher, I shall celebrate with champagne again.

In case anyone wondered, I try to always have a couple bottles on hand for when Life is Good.

Linda
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