Award-winning author Marcia Mitchell is a darling friend ~ a Goddess beauty of light, intellect and writing that I have adored from a far, literally – she lives across the country. She is a dear friend of my godmother, and I’ve been blessed to come to know her over a number of occasions during the last twenty years. But each time I see Marcia, we are like a house on fire with ideas, story, film, history and spies! So of course, when she gave me her latest livre, I laid straight down and read it cover to cover!
By Marcia Mitchell
“What’s left? A fake survey. Fake questionnaires, at least at the beginning, enough sneaky (and borderline illegal) capers, and more hilarious happenstances than one normal person can imagine. Involved in this rambunctious romp into the worlds of sex research, publishing, and equal opportunities for successful women (the Pussycats), are an unfaithful husband, a devastatingly handsome FBI agent (all of Mitchell’s fictional FBI agents are very good looking), a nerdish millionaire, and a wacky government administrator determined to put an end to it all.”
First off, any person who includes “All of Mitchell’s fictional FBI agents are good looking” in a summary is divine in my book! A must-read based on that line alone!
Which leads me to an Alicia segue about my divine grandmother, Cicely O’Donovan who was Queen of Bons Mots ~ She tossed them out like breadcrumbs to pigeons on the Piazza San Marco and we would always just laugh and laugh. But she was quite serious. If we had a troubling day, we would share our trials with Grandma O’D and she would look at us rather puzzled for a few moments, for she would not know what a troubling day was. But then her empathy would kick in and she’d say, “Well, that’s too terrible, but at least you’re good looking!” Enough said. I shan’t ever complain again!
Back to Marcia Mitchell and her book – of course I adored it. But there are reasons that may not be the same as someone else who would adore it, which is the way with art and books – we all have our own experiences. I adored it because I came away THINKING….Hmmm… what would I do? I came away inspired that no matter what seems to try to stop these two women, Susan and Myrna, from accomplishing their goal, they stay the course. They waver, they question, they get discouraged, but they don’t back down. They create something out of nothing and they are determined to finish it – to see it through to the end. Being an Aries, this is something that utterly fascinates me…because there are always new projects to start before the other is even finished!
I responded to it – not because of the zany sex survey… that it is certainly thought-provoking. I’ve worked in Hollywood since the beginning – since the late 1980’s anyway – when sex in the workplace was called going to lunch. So was smoking in the offices, martinis and cocktail hour with all the studio executives. It was F.U.N. I am telling you! Those were definitely the days! But even then, it was less promiscuous than the earlier days before that, when it was more de rigueur, a la Mad Men. Everyone had affairs. It was zaneeee!
But the book is not about sex in the workplace – in the storyline it includes analyzing those such relationships and that unto sex. You may become involved with someone in the workplace, and then what? What if you are the boss and he or she is lower on the totem pole… what to do? Men of course, just do it…but women who are the boss? Hmmm…And so it goes. Questions, answers, surveys. Power, importance, roles.
I was much more intrigued by the gumption of these two characters and their willingness to think fast for survival. They need to support themselves, children and their livelihoods and they have to do it fast. Their answer – WRITE! And WRITE FAST and MAKE IT GOOD and of course, include sex because sex sells, right? Even I know this! I include some swirling sexy fun in my own book, MISS FANCY PANTS ~ so I’m on the bandwagon. And why not? It’s always a bumpy, but adventurous colorful ride!
At first, reading about the survey I thought to myself – I’ve never given much thought about sex and role-playing in the workplace and who’s the boss and should you or shouldn’t you – but it wasn’t true. Most of the men I’ve directly worked with over the recent years have been gay therefore, it hasn’t been a huge issue, but that’s not to say it didn’t come up in other circumstances in the past. Once, I remember in a haze of a smoky dinner with an executive who I thought was a good friend, had the gall to suggest I had to do it with him for a promotion. I just thought he was crazy. “You’re not serious?” were my exact words, as I belted back the martini and laughed… But it did bother me for a long time after that. I thought were friends! I guess, it turns out, I was quite naïve!
This book got me thinking – about the GUMPTION these women have. THEY WENT FOR IT. What’s real about this fictional story is all the trials and tribulations that came with this endeavor. The JUMP they take INTO THE ABYSS of creating this survey to publish. The characters have the background, knowledge and ability. THEY HAVE A VISION and THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN.
This is what I came away with from this book.
I called Marcia right away. “Lovely,” I said, “It’s a terrific book – I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not because of the sex business, but because IT MADE ME THINK. WHAT WOULD I DO? Would I not let fear of the unknown results stop me and just GO FOR IT? I don’t know. I think I’ve stopped myself loads of times. But these characters are SO DETERMINED. THEY DON’T STOP FOR ANYTHING. It was so inspiring for that reason. IT INSPIRED ME TO GET INSPIRED. It was a page-turner not because I care about the results of the survey, but because for all the escapades that they go through, they don’t stop. They keep going, no matter what! So I thank you for it, Marcia!” And I do so here and now.
ENTERPRISING, People. We all need to be enterprising!
I know dear individuals who seem lost and don’t know what to do with their lives. Struggling. We can suggest and suggest, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. They need to find the inspiration themselves. But there is loneliness and all sorts of wayward feelings flying about in the atmosphere. It’s even in the news everyday. People feel defeated before they even start. I’m not so sure that all this technology literally at our fingertips is such a brilliant thing. Even I get lost in the Insta scroll. I forget to look up. The LIGHT IS GREEN, now WALK! But oh! Look at that post, I better “Like” before I look. No. MOVE FORWARD. We must move forward! And look at the person next to you. And… you know what? TALK. TALK TO THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. And ask a question. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? GET INSPIRED!
What’s Up, Pussycats gave me a new perspective. Come at something from a different angle and you just might get a better view. Take a step to the left and then one forward. There, between the tree branches, is a better view.
Be COURAGEOUS. BE COMPASSIONATE, BE YOU!
I love this little sign, I found it on La Brea Avenue near 6th Street on the bottom of a lamppost. It says it. And if you take the time to look – the SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE. They are in a page in a book. They are literally, on a lamp post!
Be inspired and let yourself think about it. Give it a new breath. Give yourself a chance to be inspired with your idea, let it incubate, then do the research for it, then keep on track no matter what. This is what I came away with in Marcia’s Mitchell’s book. It was inspirational for the ACTION these women take. They could have created a baking contest. It was their INSPIRATION to make something COME TO LIFE. So I have been churning, churning out more ideas ever since I read it. And each moment, I have to tell myself, – SELF – Alicia, you can take this excitement and inspiration and just…GO FULLY FOR IT! you can DO IT!!