Sunday, October 12, 2014

Starry, Starry Night



I sat in the hot tub and gazed at the stars above me. I smiled to myself as I thought how the celestial globes DID look like diamonds in the sky, just like the lyrics in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

I savored the water jets as they pummeled my aching neck and shoulders. I relished in the simple pleasure of a quiet evening sitting, soaking and star gazing. “So what is the big deal about that?” you may ask. Certainly I have thought the same thing at times. I’ve had a hot tub in the backyard for several years. The stars have twinkled before my birth and will go on sparkling long after I’m dust. However, what was unusual about this encounter is not that I enjoyed myself, but why I hadn’t regaled in this experience more often?

When my spouse, CB, is home, the hot tub is not an overlooked box of water and heavenly bodies are never taken for granted. However, when my nature-loving spouse is traveling and I’m alone, I generally find something else to do rather than partake in the pleasures that exist in my own backyard. I thought about this odd behavior and decided that I cheat myself out of this available indulgence because ...

1. CB isn’t there to enjoy it with me.

2. My muscles aren’t sore so why bother?

So why did I finally enjoy the tub and stars? Did I have some magical moment of insight? Unfortunately I slipped into the tub because my muscles were sore and I was out of IB Profen. But the bigger question is why do I feel have to wait until I have a good reason to enjoy myself in my backyard haven? Is there some Puritanical edict that declares the hot tub is off limits if my muscles are not bound up in knots, my cupboards are stocked with pain reliever and my spouse is out of town?

Of course not.

However, somewhere in my misguided psyche I felt like I had to earn this luxury out of either medicinal or marital need. However, while I have the misguided notion that I have to “deserve” to sit in the hot tub, I do feel that I am free to enjoy a happy life. This has not always been the case. Just as I rationed my smiles and laughter, in the past I put limits on my happiness as well.

Fortunately, I learned that happiness is something we can all enjoy. There are no stipulations. We may put a few self-imposed restrictions on our happiness, but these are restrictions of our own choosing. There is no law that we have to punish ourselves first in order to experience joy in our daily lives.

That is not to say that you should quit your job, refuse to clean your bathroom and simply do what you want regardless of the consequences. Happiness isn’t about a life of hedonistic pleasure and debauchery. It’s about enjoying what there is to enjoy and reducing the unnecessary attachment to negativity that eats away at our souls.

So to reiterate, the first tip in this article is to debunk the notion you have to do the emotional equivalent of 50 pushups before you can smile, laugh or be happy. You earned the right to happiness when you took your first breath. Happiness is your right.

The second roadblock to a more cheerful existence is immersing ourselves in negativity. That is why my friend and co-author Jackie and I wrote Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. Remember, you wouldn’t cuddle a cactus, why would you want to hang on to negativity for dear life? Let it go. If you must hold onto something, embrace happiness.

For more tips, please visit our website, EraseNegativity.com or buy the book through Amazon. If you can't afford to buy it, ask the library to carry it. You can also enter “erase negativity” and find us on you tube. Here is a link on three tips on how to erase negativity


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=208XAm-x3R8

Also, if you are in the mood for a little laugh, please view (and hopefully "like") my video pitch for my pitch to NBC Playground for my sitcom pilot, Fish out of Water.






But enough happiness tips for now. There are stars and a hot tub calling my name and I’m ready to enjoy a starry, starry night.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Royal Dreams



I hung out with royalty yesterday. I drove to International Academy of Hair Design in Fiesta Mall in Mesa, Arizona and took pictures of five models while they prepared for two television segments on KPNX TV’s midday show. Two models, sisters Bianca and Demi (pictured below) were showcasing “Princess Hair” and three additional models were modeling hairdos that work great for homecoming.  Brittany Montoya, one of the school’s instructors, was the spokesperson.


IAHD is one of my clients. One of my favorite parts of being a public relations professional is getting them booked on television shows. Yesterday was particularly awesome because we had two segments. I love hanging out on the set and watching the monitors, teleprompters and cameras in action. If I weren’t on a diet I would have enjoyed the cooking show more too (the eating part, not the food preparation.) Whether it is breaking news, lifestyle stuff like how to whiten your teeth or how to host a tailgate party, it seems that every time I go to the station I learn something new. 

Last year, my granddaughter, Rosannah was the princess model for a segment on princess hair. 



Both she and her sister, Briannah were more than willing to be honorary princesses, but since they are now in school (as opposed to preschool) I thought it best to pass the honor to someone else. Little Demi added her own flair by wearing cowboy boots. I’m not sure I’ve seen a princess in cowboy boots, but I liked her spunk. Her older sister, Bianca, told me her younger sibling said, “I do my own clothes.” You have to admire that attitude.

I am a product of the “television generation” and also grew up watching all the Disney movies. Unlike, my granddaughters, I never envisioned myself a princess. My favorite movie was Bambi. I may have dreamed of living in a forest, but I can’t say I ever wanted to be a deer. Princesses like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White just seemed a bit out of my league.

However, television is still a magical media for me, as are movies. However, my dream has always been writing the stories, creating the characters and envisioning the sets. Ironically, one of my latest projects, a sitcom pilot called, Fish out of Water, has its own princess of sorts. It’s a story about a lesbian power couple who are forced to move from glamorous and sunny Beverly Hills to soggy and self-reliant Port Angeles, Washington.


My main character, Stephanie Fisher, is the epitome of the American princess. She is portrayed by Viva Valdez (above) as she preps for the vomit scene. Viva is a truly talented comedic actress. You will definitely see her name up in lights in the future.

Stephanie has three glamorous careers as a model, interior designer and an image consultant. Her partner, Jessica Salmon, is a smart, kind and thoughtful orthopedic surgeon. Below is a picture of Jessica portrayed by my daughter, Brittany Robbins (who has no aspirations of becoming an actress and was simply helping her mother out.) However, Brit did an awesome job acting and helping me with a few comedy-writing scenes. Her sister, Alicia, did all the film editing and some filming (not to mention helping me get the whole project off to NBC.)


But when Stephanie has a huge career mishap that goes viral on youtube, the couple decide to head for the hills – or at least the Pacific Northwest.  I had already written the pilot, but when NBC Playground announced a sitcom contest I enlisted a bunch of friends and acquaintances to help me film a pitch and video sample.  You can view my pitch on youtube at



I sent off my application and samples in May. The semi-finalists were to be notified by Sept. 30. When the date arrived and I hadn’t heard a peep from the home of the peacock, I was a little sad. Other contestants were tweeting they knew some of the winners etc. But then two people wrote that NBC was postponing the announcement for another month. 

I felt a twinge of hope. Sure enough, the next day I had an email from NBC that due to the volume of contestants they needed more time to go over the entries. The new notification deadline is Oct. 31. 
They say it ain’t over until the fat lady sings and she is as silent as a mime. Woohoo. I guess silence is golden – at least for another month. Please send positive vibes my way.

While I never wanted to be a princess I DO want my character, Stephanie Fisher, a spoiled American princess, to live and thrive in the world of sitcom fantasy. She may have her faults, but Stephanie is a lot like a modern-day I Love Lucy. And I think all of us could use a few good belly laughs.
I’m a grandma now. I know I’ll never be a princess and it way too late to be crowned homecoming queen.  With my close-cropped locks I’ll never have an updo either (although I may check out my client’s  $40 homecoming package for cut, style, mani/pedi and makeup.) If you are interested check out their schools or visit  www.beautyschoolrocks.com
 
But if there is a fairy godmother from NBC Playground out there who can help turn my sitcom into a reality, that would truly be a dream come true.