Tag Archives: memoir

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.

One giveaway ended. Another one continues…

14 Jun

Boy! I’m a busy, busy bee. I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin’. With one giveaway ending yesterday and another one just starting I’m surprise my site is not on fire. Actually it is because you make it HOT. You my followers, my readers my visitors. Can’t thank you enough for coming back for more or simply stopping by.

As promised I’m announcing the winner for the Debut Author Giveaway Hop, just in time for my review of THE LETTER to finally being up on Amazon (check it out here). For those new to contests/ giveaways this is how it works: for each giveaway I create a form where you leave your info. There are a few requirements as part of the contest (either to become a follower, to twitt or to like me on FB). There are easy steps to follow which in return bring you closer to winning the prize. It’s a fair give and take matter with both sides (you and I) winning.

I found quite a few entries that haven’t followed all the requirements and I had no choice but to disqualify them (as I state in the beginning of each form, lately in capital letters) and, after a few tries I finally found the winner.

One e-copy of Marie Tillman’s THE LETTER goes to… Alisia Machado.

Congrats, Alisia!

Marie Tillman’s memoir THE LETTER–5 Star Review

24 May

They say behind each successful man, there’s a smart woman. I say behind each hero there’s a Marie.

The Letter by Marie Tillman is a heartfelt insight into her life after her husband’s death as well as a journey through all stages of grief she’s experienced since then. Pat Tillman’s life had been in the spotlight very little before he died as both he and Marie have shied away from the public eye, preferring the coziness of their home, the serenity of their relationship, the comfort of their love. The NFL player who gave up a successful career as a football player to enlist in the army became an icon after his death in April 2004. The circumstances surrounding his death still create a lot of controversy, including two congressional hearings and multiple investigations. Somehow Marie had to learn how to cope with the media infatuation with her husband as well as with all the attention she unwillingly received.

I applaud Marie for her ability to capture real feelings, real emotions making the book that much more intense, allowing readers a close look into a grieving heart. The book contains very little dialogue, but it’s easy to follow and finish in one sitting. Its simplicity, its reflection on life’s fragility and what matters most as well as how Marie chose to navigate through the murky waters of healing is done gracefully. From a shy lotus lily living in Pat’s shadow, Marie grew into a confident woman, working constantly to keep Pat’s legacy alive. She went through the stages of grief in her own way, at her own pace, and came out not completely healed but stronger.

The Letter is a compelling, poignant memoir, a true story of heroism and altruism behind the deadly lines of war.