Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

November 12, 1973 Dear Bob  Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are.  Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'. This was so long before  water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross. I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were ; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long eleg

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If a tree falls in the forest ... should it be used to make the paper for my novel?

I’ve been working on a novel for the past year and a half, a process which has made doing any kind of creative writing here in this space more and more difficult. I’ve kept up with my book-to-movie blog at but that’s a very different kind of writing. When giving out factual information, I don’t require inspiration. 

Now I’ve finished the book and I’ve begun reaching out, searching for an agent. An easy sentence to write, a horrifying, intimidating, paralyzing process to undertake. The first chapter, one I was happy with before, now strikes me as sophomoric, tedious, garbage and any number of cliche criticisms. Is it? Or is that my fear talking? I don’t know. I’m in a place where I can’t imagine my novel is worth the paper it’s written on—about 1/3 of your typical paper-suitable tree. Which is why I still can’t find the energy to get back to memoir pieces. My writing brain needs a break. 

So in lieu of a writerly post, I’m posting photos instead. If you follow me on Instagram you might be thinking, for f’s sake, don’t you share enough pictures already? Yeah, I do. But not often of trees. And I do so love trees. Not in the creepy dendrophile way where some tree huggers literally hug—and more—giant Redwoods and the like, the trees literally sexually arousing them. Not like that.

My love is more of the nemophilist variety. That very old word is new to me and means one who loves trees so much they tend to haunt forests and such. A regular Lorax you might say. Anyway, I’ve endowed one of my characters with that somewhat nerdy trait and I happen to know he’s especially fond of Sycamores because of their large, luscious leaves and beautifully peeling bark. Can you blame him?

That’s three pictures and accompanying verbiage, logging in at roughly 210 words. More than I’ve managed in quite a while. Time to look at that chapter one more time.


  1. I like trees, too! I used to take people on winter hikes at a nature center to teach them how to identify trees by the bark. I was good at it then, but it's a skill you have to keep using or it disappears.


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