Archive for the exCerpt du jour category

October 3, 2014

The Andy Warhol Diaries – October 3, 1984

October 3, 1984, was a Wednesday.
Here’s what Andy had to say:

Jean Michel called three or four times, he’d been taking smack. Bruno came by and saw a painting that Jean Michel wasn’t finished with yet, and he said, “I want it, I want it,” and so he gave him money and took it, and I felt funny, because nobody’s done that for me in so long. That’s the way it used to be.

I was going to the party on Malcolm Forbes’ boat for Imelda Marcos. It was sort of embarrassing because I thought I was late but I was early. Most of the people were so old and they were all from my street, East 66th Street — I guess it must be the richest street in the world. Imelda lives on it between Fifth and Madison. Lee Radziwill came. She looked good in a short haircut. Imelda’s gotten a little too fat, though, so if I did her picture I’d want to do it from the old days, when she was Miss Philippines in the pageant. She was being a hostess and she sang, later on after dinner she sang about twelve songs — “Feelings,” and then that song from the war, you know, the oozy-doozy-bowsy-lowsy one. Oh, what is it? “Mares Eat Oats.” Everybody said that once Imelda gets started partying you can’t stop her, that she’s always the last to leave, and it was true, she was going strong.

Then cabbed to Mr. Chow’s where Jean Michel was having a birthday party for this girl who’d talked him into having it for her. He had Diego Cortez and Clemente and people and when I got there he was asleep, snoring actually. We woke him up to pay the check, because I wasn’t going to get this one.

Got home and I turned on the Letterman show and there was — Malcolm Forbes! Talking about everything. And I thought, Gee, what a great name for a magazine, Forbes. They just named it their name. And I started thinking about a magazine called Warhol. (laughs) No no, I don’t love my name so much. I always wanted to change it. When I was little I was going to take “Morningstar,” Andy Morningstar. I thought it was so beautiful. And I came so close to actually using it for my career. This was before the book, Marjorie Morningstar. I just liked the name, it was my favorite.

(now i feel my life is sooooooo boring… yawn)

Great photo of Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol:

One of my fav pieces by Basquiat:

See you next time. Till then…
Don’t forget to DANCE.

The Andy Warhol Diaries, edited by Pat Hackett

August 6, 2012

New Moon… New Beginnings!

I don’t read my horoscope each day, but I always try to remember to read my monthly horoscope written by Susan Miller. And since this is my birthday month — I’ll be turning 62 on August 16 — it crossed my mind that I hadn’t read it yet. So off I went to Susan’s site, Astrology Zone, and this is the part of my horoscope that got me all excited:

Excerpt from Leo — August Horoscope by Susan Miller

Another big moment will arrive at the new moon in Leo, August 17. This is a beauty of a new moon, filled with a plethora of good wishes for you. You only get one new moon a year in your sign, and this is your signal to launch something dearly important to you. I love this new moon because Mars, now in late degrees of Libra, will be sending you greetings, as will stabilizing Saturn, both orbiting nearly shoulder-to-shoulder, from your third house of communication and short travel.

Because so many powerful vibrations will emanate from your third house, you may start to write a book, create an important new advertising or publicity campaign, get more involved with social media, begin to tape a new TV show or learn a role for movie, direct a new movie, write code for a new app, or sign a contract. These are just a few examples to get you thinking of what might come up – you can add many more ideas.

You will have 2 weeks in which to act, but the first week after the new moon is stronger than the second week – the closer you time your actions to just AFTER the new moon appears, the better. Because this new moon is so strong and supportive of you, it appears that the document or project that is on your desk now is different and more vital to your future than most and has enormous potential to catapult you skyward into a whole new realm.

As a Leo of any birthday, you will have a door open for you at the new moon August 17. Take any step that you desire toward a dream. It can be a big or small step, but the point is, take a step. In astrology, it’s when you begin that matters. It would be a shame not to use this potent energy, dear Leo. Most months I tell you precisely how to use the energy of a new moon, and I did list the area of communications, but your chart shows a much broader spectrum than usual is opening up for you, so you can extend this energy beyond that. What you choose to do in the two weeks that follow this new moon August 17 has the power to affect you for a whole YEAR to come, until the next new moon has time to come by and refresh the energy next August.

I’ve already decided to start my “shape up or ship out” challenge on August 20, but I’ll be sure to start ALL my projects in the week that follows the new moon. Simply taking the first steps should be good, right? What do you think?

Wow… what a great birthday present.

P.S.: You can also find Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone on Facebook.

June 28, 2012

Marta, Brenda, and Dorothea

Who are these women and
what links them together?

Well, first came…


MARTA SZABO Authentic Writing - Experiments in Memoir

Lately, I’ve been meeting oodles of cool women on Facebook. Creative women. Gutsy women. Women who are out there living their dreams.

Marta Szabo is one of them.

Co-Director of the Authentic Writing Workshops, Marta has been a writer and an editor all her life. Reading the short bio on her website, I’m amazed at (and a tad envious of) how exciting her life has been to date. From working as an editor in mass-market paperbacks to pursuing yoga and meditation to living in an ashram for over ten years AND spending a year and a half in India… Marta’s exploits make the heroine of Eat, Pray, Love seem lazy and dull. (And that’s only part of it… see for yourself.)

Through her workshops, Marta is making sure more and more people start living their dreams by helping them “return to their most essential, personal material – the content of their actual lives – and to render those stories not in pious ephemeral terms, but in tough, concrete ones.” In other words, Marta helps people unleash the writer within!

A good way to get to know her is by reading her blog, Experiments in Memoir. She’s of course on Facebook, though you may want to start by joining her Facebook Page and following her on Twitter.


It was Marta who shed a light on…


BRENDA UELAND If You Want to Write

It all started with a quote I stumbled upon while reading a book:

“The way to find your true self
is by recklessness and freedom.”
— Brenda Ueland

I had no clue who Brenda Ueland was, but finding myself in need of a quick quote fix, I skipped the research part and went straight to citing her on my Facebook wall.

Then came Marta’s comment: this is one of the best books ever about writing — written in the 1920s or 30s. “If You Want to Write.” 

I immediately googled Brenda and found the following info on — yes — Wikipedia:

Ueland published two books during her life. The first was If You Want to Write: a Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, first published in 1938. In this book, she shares her philosophies on writing and life in general. She stresses the idea that “Everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say.” Drawing heavily on the work and influence of William Blake, she suggests that writers should “Try to discover your true, honest, un-theoretical self.” She sums up her book with 12 points to keep in mind while writing. Carl Sandburg called If You Want to Write “the best book ever written on how to write.”

Her second book was an autobiography entitled Me: A Memoir, published in 1939. In it she writes about her childhood, time in college, her life in Greenwich Village, and love affairs, among other topics. She tells of her affair with Raoul Hendricson, an anarchist who eventually left her for Isadora Duncan. This book was reprinted in 1994. Libby Larsen composed a wonderful song cycle using texts from this memoir.

Thanks for the tip, Marta… “If You Want to Write” is on its way from  I would have ordered both her books but “Me: A Memoir” is too darn expensive for my present financial situation.


And finally, Brenda reunited me with…


DOROTHEA BRANDE Becoming a Writer

(couldn’t find a picture of Dorothea — her book cover will have to do)

As soon as I saw that Brenda’s book was published in the 30s, I remembered another book that was also published in the 30s: “Becoming a Writer,” by Dorothea Brande.

I bought that book in 1993 (I always jot down the purchase date inside the cover), but to be honest with you, I don’t remember reading it. And after flipping through the 186 pages, I admit I find it boring. Still, here’s the first exercise, page 58:

You are near a door. When you come to the end of this chapter put the book aside, get up, and go through that door. From the moment you stand on the threshold turn yourself into your own object of attention. What do you look like, standing there? How do you walk? What, if you knew nothing about yourself, could be gathered of you, your character, your background, your purpose just there at just that minute? If there are people in the room whom you must greet, how do you greet them? How do your attitudes to them vary? Do you give any overt sign that you are fonder of one, or more aware of one, than of the rest?

There is no deep, dark, esoteric purpose behind this exercise. It is a primer lesson in considering oneself objectively, and should be dismissed from your mind when you have learned what you can from it. Another time try sitting at ease and — using no gestures at all — tell yourself step by step how you comb your hair. (You will find it harder than you think.) Again, follow yourself at any small routine task. A little later take an episode of the day before; see yourself going up to it and coming away from it; and the episode itself as it might have looked to a stranger. At still another time think how you might have looked if you could follow yourself all day long from a little height. Use the fiction maker’s eye on yourself to see how you would have appeared when you went in and out of houses, up streets and into stores, and back home at the end of the day.



There you have it — three fabulous women linked together by one burning passion:  writing.


Dorothea passed away in 1948; Brenda, in 1985.
Thank your lucky stars Marta is ALIVE.
Oh yeah!

P.S.: I’ll be reading “If You Want to Write” as soon as it arrives. Stay tuned for my book review.

June 6, 2012

Making a Living out of Living my Passion

Okay, here goes: I’ve decided to make a living out of living my passion. To make something out of what I’m good at. To become sustainably creative and get myself out of this financial rut.

Scary, huh?

But what’s even scarier is to know that if I don’t make a move right here, right now, I’ll be missing out on an opportunity to build a better life for myself. Because at the moment, I’ve pretty much hit rock bottom — the only way left for me is UP.

So the first thing to do is ask the right questions. For this I chose a book I bought in 2009. Back then, I had planned to work through it, but quit.

The book is called The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, written by Gail McMeekin. 

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women - Gail McMeekin

Here are the questions which will help me determine my priorities.


  • Who and where is the audience you want to reach with your work?
  • What is the message in your work?
  • What business are you in, e.g., entertainment, education, enlightenment, fine arts, medicine, business services, or a combination?
  • What percentage of time do you want to spend creating versus something else, like marketing? Create your own time formula and write your own job description from it. Be sure to include time for yourself and vacations. What tasks need to be delegated or how many employees/contractors do you need to make your business work?
  • How much money do you want to make in the future? Remember, you need to project your gross income minus your business expenses and allot sufficient funds for taxes.
  • All of us could market ourselves around the clock. Marketing is an endless task. How much time and energy are you willing to invest in this process? Write a list of marketing goals as the start of a marketing plan.
  • Do you like public speaking or appearing on television and radio? Are you skilled at presenting yourself or do you need some training? Do you enjoy the limelight or dread it? Perhaps you’d rather write articles than be on the speaking circuit.
  • How do you feel about being away from home? Is travel exciting to you or a chore? What happens to your creative energy when you travel? Many creative women limit their travel to a certain percentage of their time and choose where to go.
  • How is your work best presented? Think innovatively about different models. Do you need a multimedia presentation, a Web site, a workbook, a film, or a sales force?
  • How are you most comfortable presenting your work? What kinds of communications with potential clients or customers feel positive and mutually rewarding to you? Will these preferences work for you in the marketplace? Try some experiments. As more of the marketplace is influenced by the Internet, some exciting new possibilities emerge.

*   * 

I’ve made the decision. I’ve committed to changing my condition. I’ve taken the first step.

The goal is to go UP… no ifs, ands, or buts!