He Versus She

Dr. Seuss invented the term “nerd.” Geoffrey Chaucer coined “twitter.’” Vladimir Nabokov gave us “nymphet,” which is probably what you would expect from the author of Lolita. I have no idea who said “selfie” the first time, but clearly the English language has a long and storied history of word creation. Which leads me to our problem, the lowly pronoun. English users need a fix, an injection into our verbal circulatory system that serves as the gender-neutral alternative to “he” or “she.” “They,” as neutered Continue reading →

From Insects to Eggs: Honoring a Creator’s Secondary Characters

Recently, I saw a list of the “best endings” when it came to movies/books. And being that it’s Saturday and a day of fun, I want to go one further and speak about the best “uses” of various items in order to add a little entertainment to the weekend. 1. Best Use of Eggs, Blue Eyes & Mirrored Sunglasses: “Cool Hand Luke.” You can’t beat Paul Newman’s eyes, his eating of FIFTY hard-boiled eggs in an hour to win a bet, and those mirrored sunglasses Continue reading →

Finding JUST the Right Audience

Shortly after I moved to the West Coast in hope of breaking into the movie/TV business, a friend from Manhattan re-entered my orbit. Dick Brooks, a successful freelance film publicist, had also decided to give Hollywood a try. Brooks and his family settled in Beverly Hills, where he quickly engineered a PR stunt that’s worth recounting as one of those Only-in-Hollywood moments. Dick wangled a freelance publicity assignment from Fox, to get the word out about their hot new, just-released feature, The Omen. Handed $4,000 Continue reading →

I was a Psychic Junkie

I was fifteen, an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers. On a trip to my favorite stomping ground, the Anaheim Public Library, I checked out The Hand of Mary Constable (Paul Gallico, 1964). The jacket art intrigued me. The black cover with its disembodied white hand lying on a display stand made me think of stories I’d heard about my grandmother who, as a child had reported seeing a white hand floating around her bed at night when she was ill. This was not a scary experience for Nanny. Continue reading →