Tag Archives: funny

When I grow up I wanna be Diane Keaton

8 May

A few weeks ago I was a woman facing her own mortality after three mammograms and an ultrasound. The very next day I went and met Diane Keaton.

Ups and downs. That’s what life is made of. One day you wish time to speed up so you know the results faster and yet it slows so much, to a point you feel every second crawling off your skin and you can pinpoint exactly when it comes to a standstill. The next day you want time to slow down so you can memorize the beauty surrounding you, every detail and every word to last you a lifetime.

I won’t bore you with my story about my mammo scare. What I want to talk to you about is Diane Keaton’s aura.

Let me explain. Changing Hands Library in Tempe announced that Diane Keaton will be touring for her latest release titled “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.” As an author myself I couldn’t pass on the one-in-a-life-time occasion to see in person an actress of her caliber who happens to be an author as well.

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As Diane entertained us on the stage, either cracking up a joke or reading from her novel, a fuzzy/euphoric feeling took over me. I’m not sure I’ll be able to capture in a few words Diane’s persona, worried that I might not do her justice but I’ll give it a try: humble, funny, corky, kind, non-judgmental, energetic, charismatic and bubbly come to mind.

At the end of her speech, Diane offered to sign everyone’s book and take photos with us. Everyone. Like close to 1,000 people. Individual photos. How could I pass on that occasion?

Since I was there by myself, and while waiting for my turn, I began reading “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.” I laughed out loud several times but that was okay, because a lot of people around me were doing the same thing: reading and laughing. Diane’s funny personality shines through her writing. It’s so simple, so average, so ease to fall in love with her as the woman, mother, neighbor, sister and friend that pretty much defines who she is before she’s a celebrity.

I don’t know how other celebrities behave one on one. The closest I ever came to one was Christie Craig and Sylvia Day, fellow authors who couldn’t be more different than the other–one super approachable and beyond friendly, the other not so much. But I can tell you this: Diane Keaton is the most down to earth celebrity you’ll ever meet. She kicked out her shoes on the stage and read excerpts from her book. She stood up for hours after the event, signed every book and took several photos with each individual. She talked to us, hugged us and laughed with us.

By the time I took my place in line for my autograph and picture I was about 20 pages into finishing the book and what a delighting adventure it was! I couldn’t wait to meet Diane. Tell how much I enjoyed her book. Tell her how much I admire her. Tell her how much her attitude toward growing old-er (and freaking out about it) totally put me somewhat at ease. Tell her I too am an author.

Instead I looked at her and totally forgot to speak. Nothing that came to mind was clever enough and I had this out of my body experience where I switched to robotic movements ordered by the photographer: stand there, smile, say cheese.

I didn’t say cheese, struggling to find my voice and reply to Diane who asked is if she knew me since forever, “Cami what are you gonna do after you’re leaving here?”

And I said, “I’ll go have dinner with my hubby.”

“Mmmm, dinner sounds good,” Diane replied in a dreamy voice. “You go enjoy that!”

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I never dreamt of meeting Diane Keaton. I never dreamt of ever reading any of her books. I never dreamt of getting to know who she is, outside the celebrity brand. But I do dream that one day, when I grow older, I’ll be like her. Not the celebrity, but the woman Diane Keaton.

Happy Birthday, Bella!

22 Apr

Ten years ago to the day the cutest, white fur ball was born. Bella. She’s the fourth member of our family and… she’s a VIP. Why?

Well, that’s a simple explanation: she’s a character in my second book A World Apart. A character that lives and breathes like you and I. Someone that’s playful and moody, stubborn and loving, loud and feisty. Someone that communicates without words, only looking at me and I know exactly what she wants.

Let me introduce you … Bella.  She is exactly how Cassandra describes her, “a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose.” She’s also, “A Bichon and Maltese, like two doggies in one,” as Maya explains.
And above all—she’s my very first pet. I loved Bella even before I met her. A friend of mine had a litter of four puppies, sold all of them except Bella. No one wanted Bella—not even her mommy who refused to feed her or even let her come nearby. I told my friend I’d buy her. And so, one August afternoon my friend knocked on my office door bringing Bella. I remember seeing this white fluffy thing middle of my office, her face covered completely in fur, moving toward me until she reached my chair. She smelled my shoes then plopped on the floor, stretching her head on her front paws. Dog’s Cupid hit me that very moment, his arrow still in my heart and will forever remain there. And so will Bella.
She’s extremely protective, thinking she’s a big dog, although she barely weighs 16 pounds. Her bark is ferocious, I have no idea where that deep, husky barking comes from but she sure keeps people away from our house. Neighbors call her Cujo—that should say it all.
And yet Bella is loving, smart, loyal and goofy in many ways. Bella knows how to trick daddy into giving her an extra treat (just placing her head on his knee, looking innocently). She knows how to ask for an extra massage (bowing her head into my chest letting me rub her ears. If I stop she paws at me). She knows how to ask for playtime (bringing her toys and chasing my son down the hallway). And for popcorn, oh boy! She’d do any trick you ask her—from dancing to shaking paws, to speaking and posing like a diva.
What Bella means to me is probably obvious; she’s part of me, part of our family, the daughter I never had but wished for my whole life. And I know her time with us is limited—she turned 10 today, and I had to do something to keep her alive forever and ever, not only in our hearts but in the eyes of the world. And so the idea of portraying her in the book sprouted in my head, becoming clearer that this was the way to go.

I don’t know if my readers will judge me for bringing real loved ones into my fiction work. But I hope they will forgive me and fall in love with Bella as Cassandra and Maya and David did … After all, who doesn’t love a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose?