Writers Tricks of the Trade VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - Page 35

thoughts on a page very well. In fact, when I was in high school, I had a teacher say something to the effect of “you’ll nev- er be a writer.” Well, that’s all I needed to hear. Challenge me to something, and I’ll always rise to the occasion. My first successful piece was a poem called “Holocaust” published in the Los Angeles Valley College literary magazine called Manuscript. Fast forward a few years later, I was a Child Development Major at California State University of Northridge; a real “po- etry nerd.” In fact, my friends called me the “Jewish Maya Angelou.” A big compli- ment to both of us. Over the next ten years, I continued to experiment with writing, while continu- ing to “find my voice.” I tried my hand at fantasy, prose. The interesting aspect was, whatever I wrote, always seemed to have to have a poetic flavor to them. My next success came from a family friend a few years later, Ron Mclarty. I sent Ron the autobiographical poetic ver- sion of my life, called PORGY’S REVENGE, which came from Broadway’s “Porgy and Bess.” Ron showed it to his publisher, who asked if I’d been published yet. “Not yet.” I said. “I like it.” Ron’s publisher said to me. “She just has to be published first.” Yes! Finally, in 2015, I was published by Archway Publishing (the sister company to Simon &Schuster). When the time came for the back content, I suddenly realized who I could ask for quotes. My mother, actress Annie Abbott worked with Olympia Duka- kis at the Whole Theatre Company. Both W INTER 2019 had young families, developed a fast friendship. It was her friendship with Olympia over the years, which then al- lowed me to ask if Olympia might be in- terested in giving me a quote for the book. “Send me ten poems, I’ll send them to Olympia.” My mother replied. Two weeks later, Olympia Dukakis sent an email to my mother, asking if I would send her the manuscript for my book. YES! A home run even Joe DiMaggio himself couldn’t have delivered. Next, I spoke to my godfather, Joel Zwick. I knew that Joel had directed Tom Hanks in his Bosom Buddies days. Fur- thermore, Joel had been allowed to make the call to Tom Hanks to tell him: “You’re hired!” Joel and Tom have had a relationship ever since then. Fast forward thirty years to the film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Joel was di- recting. Who was producing? You guessed it. None other than his good friend, Tom. So, I asked Joel, “You don’t suppose there’s any chance that Tom Hanks would give me a quote, right?” “Send me eight poems. I’ll send them to Tom.” Another two weeks went by, and I got the quote from Tom Hanks. Okay. Two home runs in a row? WOW! Even the Dodgers couldn’t pull that one off! One of my favorite poems from the book is a poem called I am Your. Here’s an excerpt: I Am Your Crippled P AGE 30 W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE