Saturday, July 11, 2009


You are a bit out of breath because you've climbed four flights of stairs while looking around, seeing our shocking pink and bright orange walls, and paintings and posters.

"Come in," I say.

"Wow," or "Gee," you'll probably say. Here in the middle of Manhattan, you don't expect to see a bright green enamel floor, a bright green enamel metal ceiling, and curved white walls.

"We can sit in here, " I say with a gesture, leading you to a curved wall, with a keyhole shaped doorway. (Click and you'll see JC's theater awards in those slots in the curved all)

We walk through the keyhole and there we are. It's a special room, a favorite place for me.

"JC and I have often breakfast here. Even in the middle of the winter, we feel like we're sitting on our front porch on a balmy summer day."

You look up and see sun pouring in from the skylight overhead. In the corner there's a huge bird cage. We had a dog named "Teechie," a cat named Helpie," and three fish tanks, and a white pigeon, "Little Soup" who stunned us when he turned out to be a she, by laying a beautiful white egg.

I pick up large silver ashtray that's sitting on an large beige marble coffee table. "This is JC's trophy from playing a celebrity tennis match as Billie Jean King's partner." (JC, before he became an actor, played high-level tennis -- when I met his family I was open-mouthed when I saw all the trophies he'd won.)

The furniture in the green room is white wicker. I point out the white rocking chair. "That's from my play 'Zinnia,' and the books over there -- that's the baker's rack. I wrote about in my blog -- that's where I keep the Robert Parker, Elmore Leonard, Nelson DeMille books that I've been re-reading."

If you ask me why I re-read them, I'll say what I've said before in a post -- "These writer guys were my teachers when I was working on 'Somebody.'"

I lead you through our dining room. You take a good look -- there's a ten foot white Formica dining table that is shaped like a huge mushroom, with five black and five white folding chairs around it . On the other side of the "push through" for dishes, is a smaller mushroom, the kitchen table, and our kitchen.

Everything is white, brown or orange. The refrigerator is huge. There are cabinets galore. Dancing left and right I can whip up a meal for two, four, or ten people in about thirty minutes. (No kidding, it's my Hawaiian Chinese recipes, and I love to cook, I'm a natural, got a knack for it !)

I ask "Do you want coffee, espresso? Hot tea or ice tea? Where would you like to sit -- in the green room or in our brown living room?"

It's a hangout room -- walls are patches of patterned red squares, rhomboids, and, triangles. Cozy, comfortable -- logs for end-tables, a large black marble coffee table, b0ok shelves and great lamps everywhere.

And a piano -- it used to be black, but with paint remover and a lot of elbow grease, JC and I turned it to a golden sort of brown.

Click if you want a real good look. Yes, my home is unusual, bright colors, wild looking, but practical. Easy to keep clean, and there are plenty of closets. Also a room with a separate entrance for JD (that's now our pantry, where JC makes me rye bread in our bread machine).

There's a real laundry room. I've got my own lime green bathroom, and JC has a white and forest green one. The bedroom is an attic room in the middle of New York City. Real brick, pointed -- no ceiling -- just the beams, and above the beams is the roof of the building. It's cold, brrr cold in there in the winter, but great for sleeping.

P.S. Behind the brown chair with yellow X on it's cushion there's an Em wall . Once upon a time it was just no color burlap. Now it's my eight-foot by four-foot "Heart" doodle -- worth a click. I sat on ladder one evening, and did it with chalks.

It's like a portrait of me. Lots of colors. Lots of styles mixed into an interesting mish-mash that's ... well ... it's like a stage set. I belong here, it's my home-made "home sweet home."

Friday, July 10, 2009


I keep expecting to get an e-mail from someone who's read "Somebody" on my Website -- a complaint.

About Cordelia's immorality.

(Actually, I'm hoping a reader will write me about this. I know from the stats on The Readery, that people are reading my books and downloading "Somebody," but I'm not getting queries from my readers.)

Why would someone complain? Because my heroine has two lovers at the same time. And not when she was young, (or wild and restless -- Cordelia never goes through that phase). But in her sixties, she begins a love affair, and in her seventies, while continuing this love affair, she begins a sexual relationship with the man whom she wanted to marry when she was seventeen. In her eighties and nineties, she is sleeping with two men.

Why did I create love affairs for my heroine at the end of her life? And write the sleeping together scenes, full-out describing the sex?

I wanted to make Cordelia a woman who's active in her old age; not just a grandmother, but vitally involved with what's going on the world. That's a personal dream of mine -- to keep going, to keep learning, building, doing, trying new things till the end of my life.

And my writing, as I've explained, isn't about me. But aspects of me are there, in the character. That's why I'm touting my work-harder-as-you-grow-older ethic. (I haven't studied Calvinism, but I've been told many times, it's a Calvinistic idea)

Cordelia's two lovers are men she's known for many years as dear friends. Toward the end of her life each of them, in a different way, provides her with sexual pleasures, and supports her continuing her work as a congresswoman and editor of a newspaper syndicate.

Her two lovers know about each other and become good friends. All three characters are enriched by their relationship with one another.

Even as I'm explaining this, I enjoy the idea -- lovers, fun, excitement -- I'm saying to myself and to you, the reader -- do what you have to do in order to look forward to each day, to enjoy your time on the earth.

Here's where you'll find the two lovers, and the beginning of the "sex" writing. Take a look."Somebody" Book II, Installment bb. p.661-663; p. 665-667.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We tried to buy a domain for JC, so that we could build a second website for him.

His name wasn't available. I'd heard that people buy up celebrities' names. I wrote D.R. who owned the name. He wrote back -- we could have the name for $1000 if we paid promptly.

I wrote a friendly e-mail back saying "no," asking -- (it was late at night, I was working on a post) -- what do you do in real life, how did you get into doing this? What's your real profession? Does it earn you money? Is it interesting? Fun? I'm writing a blog-- maybe I'll write about this. (I was in a chatty mood.)

D.R. wrote a friendly letter back, He said "I fell into it when I was doing simple, inexpensive web sites, and a client wanted a domain name. It was for sale for US$3000. Yes, it's interesting. I meet interesting people like you, Miss E. I get to use my languages. Despite boring administrative chores, it earns me extra money. But I'm not sure about you doing a blog about me. I haven't given you permission."

I chuckled -- the guy had a sense of humor. My post wasn't flowing, so just for the fun of it, I Googled D.R. -- looked up "inexpensive website designer" and found a D.R. -- in Peru. And family pictures. My scammer was a teacher, at a high school in Lima.

Memories came fluttering in of the scary days when I was stuck in Medellin, Columbia and Lima loomed as if it were a heavenly place I wanted to get to but couldn't.

I was on a world tour. While i was applying for various passports, the man at the Columbian consulate asked me for a date. Apparently he was annoyed by my turning him down. He issued me a work visa. I didn't know until much later, that my visa required me to stay in the Columbia for six weeks.

I'd shipped my baggage (costumes and props) a week earlier from Durban, South Africa. In Medellin, I saw them behind a locked gate. The porter shrugged and summoned the head of security, an unfriendly, snarling official who looked like a tall version of James Cagney. He said my bags were being shipped to Lima, Peru, since I hadn't applied for permission to bring foreign goods into the country.

Whoo -- it was scary. I begged and pleaded! I wept! My tour was under U.S. state department sponsorship, but Columbia's government and the U.S. weren't on cordial terms. The U.S. Embassy in Columbia was closed. (Something to do with trade regulations -- when I arrived I was shocked to see soldiers with shields, long looking guns, and face masks surrounding the airport.)

From an airport pay phone, I called my Medellin sponsor. He knew, and I knew that my performance had to be canceled. If I didn't get out of Columbia and get my baggage, my next performances, my three nights in Buenos Aires were going to be canceled.

"Don't panic," I told myself, drying my eyes. At the Varig ticket counter, I made friends with the ticketgirl. She fixed my ticket -- arranging for me to fly to Lima in two hours and in Lima to connect with another flight to Buenos Aires. Watching the clock and dozing, I waited in a huge empty waiting room till my flight to Lima was called.

At the glass door gate, two soldiers were standing guard, a third solider was checking passports. As I handed him mine, James Cagney tapped my shoulder and informed me that I couldn't leave the country without permission from the police. He escorted me to the police station just outside the airport. They finger-printed me, and said I couldn't leave till I paid taxes on my earnings. (I hadn't earned anything.)

I gave them $300 in travelers checks. Back at the gate, James Cagney stopped me again --"You cannot leave until the Consul stamps your passport."
"After the holiday."
What holiday? What office? Was it the same Consul I'd met at the embassy in New York?
I burst into tears. People where staring, pointing. I rushed into the ladies restroom.

The Varig ticketgirl saw me at the sink, trying to repair my makeup. Tears rolling, I babbled about James Cagney, consuls, soldiers, performances in Buenos Aires. She pointed to the streaks of mascara on my cheek and said, "You fix the makeup. He's my boyfriend. I take care of it."

And she did.

In Lima the porter said the baggage room was closed for the three day holiday. There I was back in the nightmare, weeping, till a man named Emilio Guersey (never will I forget the name), took me to the locked baggage room. My bags were there! Emilio, who was the security officer, simply unlocked the door. Emilio got my bags and settled me and my baggage in the first class section of a British Airways plane for Buenos Aires.

The memories of all that -- the terror of being a stranger in a strange country, the luck, the miracle of finding an Emilio in Lima, Peru told me ... don't get involved, don't play games with D.R.

I called JD. JD got on it. He bought his daddy's name, and registered the domain. And now we're free to work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The Media is controlling me, telling me, showing me, bombarding me what to think, to feel, and how to react.

What is this madness? Yes, people love Michael Jackson, his movements, his music and his story. Having seen him and enjoyed his singing and dancing as a child, seen and felt his powers grow, change, develop, twist, turn, his story became ... a little weird, weirder, downright strange ... yes. marvelous, magical, but... disturbing ...

Take the trip with me, and remember how you felt about the Jackson Five's number one, featured boy... Flash over to the marvelous tumbling jivey dancing of M.J. in the "Wizard of Oz" -- jump to the first time the look of him changed ... remember the glove... the glossy epaulets on his military jacket, the lock of straggling hair, then more and more wet straggling locks on his face.

I remember how it was something girls and boys and men and women of all ages imitated. His changing face had to be ignored, but couldn't be ignored -- the nose -- the oddities, predilections.

What was his sex life? Okay, we speculate privately on just about everyone's most private self. but Michael Jackson's face, the fragile almost feminine look of him, his pink lips, his skin color changing the way it was changing ...?

The clear-eyed, honest, believable way, he explained it away was ... acceptable, almost, but it made us uneasy. We backed off -- I backed off -- it made me uneasy but I still curiously, eagerly, watched. And watched -- interested, enjoying the important, HUGELY, TIMELY extremely important ideas he chose, like "bad," like."black and white" ... while I was blinking away, we were all blinking away the crotch grabbing, and offensive rumors of offensive behavior ...

Because of the universal ideas in his songs -- "We are the World" and not only did he sing it -- he showed it. I remember the huge stadium -- was it for the super bowl? I don't' remember what international event it was for, I just remember the enormous stadium, filled with children of all ages, all sizes, all colors from all over the world.

But M.J. wasn't Princess Diana, or the Pope, or a JFK, RFK, or MLK.

I vote for letting him go into memory, into wherever, whatever part of yourself you keep quietly, privately there for YOU ...

The media is a greedy insatiable hungry blob that will eat everything in sight, including you and me. The brightest, truest most trustworthy commentators commenting, (who are in control of what they feel), seem to me, to be expressing curiosity, amazement, approval of M.J's success. And guilt.

I think there's guilt because they, like us, like me, saw perversion, distortion, sick behavior, and laughed, gossiped, and condemned it, while continuing to be amazed and touched by his talent. And so they reverse gears. And turn around the bad thoughts and love the guy who indulgently and probably accidentally ended his life.

Long live the good feelings, respect, admiration we have for Michael Jackson. I say put away the guilts. The media will keep eating us and nibbling away on him till we let him go and go on with the ordinary important things in our own lives.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Who do you think you are -- taking aspects of your life, putting them into books? Making a 32 page website for your books , taking pow-pow, ouch, eek, oh no, woe, dear God, help-help moments from your life and working them into 300, 400, 800 page tomes ...

Yep, that's what you did. And since YOU are writing this tirade as if you were a reader wandering into The Readery with all those books in a virtual library, you ought to include in your attack on Em, her wry, slanted, sometimes gnarled, knotted and twisted vision of life.

Hey, I tried to pull away from ME. Tried to write about Machiavelli and Savonarola, the Renaissance priest who burned books, made friends with up-and-coming artists, and had them arrested, tortured, burned at the stake. It didn't work. I couldn't find my voice -- couldn't find a place for myself in it at all.

And I tried to write about Clare Boothe Luce -- couldn't do it till I turned her into Cordelia/me. I had to invent a similar but different background for Cordelia, because Clare's reactionary politics made it impossible for me to BE her.

How dare you -- you, a high school graduate, valedictorian because you used your memory, your charm, your ability to work longer hours, harder, do things over and over -- you who walked out on college and hammered yourself into a dancer -- you're using your own little voice ... How dare you write?

I dare. It comes naturally to me. It's thinking and talking and listening and laughing and whispers, and innermost secrets, all balled up, compacted, and yet, easily accessible.

And so much easier for me than dancing ever was ...

'The only other thing I've done that was easy, was teaching children, telling them stories, enacting all the characters while inventing true imaginary tales.

What do you mean -- you mean true and also imaginary?

Yep. The oppositional aspects of real and unreal, are why I do it so well. When things don't fit, my imagination and warrior self (the cook, painter, dancer-improviser who is bored by steps), can mix it together and make it taste/look/feel right, and flow.

If you wandered onto a website like the one you've got, thanks to Fran and Sue and JD, would you read those books? Would you want to download all those pages about invented heroines who are all bits of her, the writer, the one who calls herself EM?

Mmm. I'd be curious. Critical, picky. Curious ... I'd give it a try ....

Monday, July 6, 2009


Watching a television program on Jimmy Hendrix, waiting for him to smash his guitar, we switched to New York City's fireworks.

We're in walking distance from the Hudson River. The explosions made it seem as if our home was surrounded by the enemy attacking in the area. Bombs rattling the windows in New York ... that is a terror to which you cannot reconcile yourself.

We switched to a view of the explosions, immediately aware of more colors, more glittering, cascading flowers, in the sky. The orchestra was playing loud lyrical music when we tuned in, tunes that didn't seem to fit the fireworks, though we knew that the explosions were computerized.

Back to Hendrix, playing left-handed with his instrument behind him, over his head, under a leg, guitar upside down, or flipped over on the floor -- one hand plucking, teeth plucking. His pounding, louder and louder climatic, full-out sounds got us contagiously nodding, toe tapping and thinking "this is sort of tiresome." As were the fireworks --impressing us, not thrilling us.

I found myself thinking Macy's spent too much money on this. And Hendrix madly inventing new, crazy, wild positions for plucking away, singing while chewing gum, seemed to be wowing us, not with his music, but with his tour de force technique ...

The orchestra went into its final medley of "America the Beautiful," "Stars and Stripes," "Glory Hallelujah," with views of amazed youngsters, views of blandly pleased adults. With me thinking, "Enough already," glad it was going to be over in a minute, clicking back to Hendrix out of control, burning, bashing, and destroying his guitar.

We watched the Chuck Berry segment that came next, restlessly waiting, and peeved -- we wanted to hear him play his guitar and perform, and all we heard was experts and Chuck himself explaining his importance to Rock & Roll. Finally, a minute before the show ended, we saw a film clip -- Chuck playing four bars of his "Maybelline" hit song, and three seconds of his duck walk.

It brought us back to news, about the moon-walking Jackson's funeral. Over and over the tale is being told, making much of the sadness talk dreary and unreal.

Spur of the moment we tuned in "1776"' to see JC playing the South Carolina senator, and our personal friends -- Bill Daniels (Adams), Virginia Vestoff ( his wife), Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard , Billy Duell -- the list goes on -- we haven't seen the film and these friends in a very long time. JC was in the Broadway show "1776" when my back was broken in a car crash. Members of the cast chipped in, and bought us four flights of a gliding stairway, so that I could get physical therapy at the hospital.

The movie -- that's a trip -- to see the young spectacularly masculine, sexy, commanding Senator, hear John Cullum singing "Molasses to Rum."

That was a thrill -- the lump in one's throat one gets as we are pulling for the senators to sign the Declaration of Independence -- the final freeze bring tears to our eyes as the Liberty Bell clangs.

Fireworks, Hendrix, Berry didn't say much to me -- but "1776" -- our friends, the music, the songs, the vision was deeply moving.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Wow. When I heard Sarah Palin was resigning as governor I was thrilled. With her pep, bounce, her bubbly feminine ways, this gal could wheedle her way into ... I don't want to say it out loud, I'll say it in a whisper ... into winning an election. She could construct, connive, instinctively find a bridge, a route to the next group of up-and-coming conservatives who want to back-space/erase/ eradicate what's new, and revive all the old ideas of what Americans want to be and do.

Oh please ... I pray ... to you, to the Gods in Heaven, to anyone who'll listen ... give SP another venue ... She is a NAME and that's hard to get, it doesn't happen easily but she's a NAME and a NAME has power.

We know who she is. So give her a TV show. Offer her a double big fat advance on a book. Please, SP, make your name even bigger -- get your vigorous down-to- earth, easy-talking self into galvanizing all the other gals who want to turn back the clock -- make 'em happy. Have talk fests, protest porn or prostitution, promote daily workouts building better bodies and souls, but keep out of government and politics and what our President is doing.

(Yes.. I keep coming back to that. I don't understand all the issues that he is handling right now but the man we so joyously elected because of what he is, what he says, his bearing, his ideas ... I trust. If he's making a mistake he'll rectify it.)

I wrote a post "Green Olives" about the Count the Feathers in a Turkey contest I won.

Count the jackets ... how many? Twenty plus? Does that include the different shades in red, white and blue? I'm not a fashion nut. I just observe. I know one picks the clothes one wears because one wants to make the impression the color, the style conveys.

What about counting Hillary Clinton's pantsuits? Only once did I note the same suit worn twice, and that's because it was an elegant black velvet with a ivory trim around the high collar -- handsome and flattering. She looks sad, tight these days. Is it the state of the world -- Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan..Iran -- how to handle whom, where, and do what? Or is it the state of her life? Hillary taught us by her demeanor, not to peer, wonder and imagine. But with the smiling, laughing and the loving exchange between her and Bill, charade or not, it was perfectly, believably played. They are a good couple, they interact, So I go along with what she/they/the Clintons want us to believe.

Not Palin. Write a book, SP! Travel! Be a celebrity. It's not what you wore, it's your ideas. Please don't be a leader.

If in fact Sarah Palin resurrects herself from the mess she made when she presented us with an improvised explanation of why she's resigning her post as governor -- oh my -- when she gives her next speech let's give her a ton of love, and applaud till we drown her out and shut her up.