Thursday, June 24, 2010

If Moms Ruled the Airwaves...

Okay, so some moms are Sharon Osborne and some are June Cleaver. Still, you have to think TV might be more worth watching if there were more moms at the helm. Better language, better plots, a lot fewer interruptions, and a lot less wasted time.

Let me introduce you to my friend Leslie Owens, who wants to claim her 15 minutes (well, she'd prefer 13 weeks!) of fame. Leslie took advantage of a recent opportunity offered by Oprah to plead her case for hosting a talk show on Oprah's forthcoming new TV network. She sent in an audition tape describing why Oprah should give her a show and is now hoping she'll get that chance.

Leslie lives in Greenville, SC, is married to one of the world's truly great men, and has one of the world's cutest little boys. She's pretty, perky, smart, funny, knows what it's like to balance family and work, is kind to her fellow man, and wants to make the world a better place for her child. Now, really, what more could you WANT in a talk show host?! I'm thinking she could take on Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly, and Jay Leno and never break a sweat.

In Leslie's words, however, she's "about five million votes behind," with less than a week of voting to go. I don't think I know five million people but, hey, with a little loaves-and-fishes magic, anything can happen, so I thought if I told you about Leslie, you might be willing to vote for this All American Mom and ask your friends to vote for her, too, because, gee, wouldn't it be nice to have at least ONE hour a day when you don't have to worry if the TV's on while your kids--or YOUR mom!--are in the room?

I asked Leslie to share some of the ideas she has for her show:

Why do you think you'd be successful as a TV talk show hostess?
Because I am passionate about creating a better world for my son and I know every other mom feels the same way about their child. Can you believe there is not already a show for us? Plus I can ‘get my blab on’ with anyone and have a great time in front of the camera. I want to create a show that is educational and interesting and gives every mom a much needed break and a treat just for her--so she can say, “Everyone leave Mommy alone for a little while; I'm going to watch my show!”

Who would you have as your first guest if Oprah's new network gives you your own talk show? Sandra Bullock - she is a new single mom with lots of challenges.

Your video references going into moms' homes to help out with "honey don't" lists. What kinds of tasks do you envision doing?
Organizing areas for book bags, coats, bikes, toys, play rooms, etc.
Cleaning up the garage, backyard or spare room for a safe play area.
Changing fixtures, curtains, bedding, or painting mom's bed/bathroom to help make her space special!

Taking a deserving mom out for a new outfit and arranging a night out on the town for her.

What other regular "features" do you think you might have on your show? I have a million show ideas because, as a mom, you need help with pregnancy, toddlers, teenagers, and it goes on and on. More importantly, my show is about finding out what other moms need help with right now!

I would like to work with the National Center for Missing & Exploited children and feature a missing child on every show. I would also like to have moms send in nanny-cam videos showcasing exceptional and inexcusable child care provider behavior.

Name six people you'd love to interview on your show.
Michele Obama
Jenny McCarthy
Brooke Shields
Katie Holmes
Beth Holloway
Casey Anthony

The moms of the show "Modern Family:"
Sofia Vergara – Gloria
Julie Bowen – Claire
Jesse Tyler Fergusan – Mitchell
Eric Stonestreet - Cam

Here's Leslie's audition tape. Click on the green "VOTE" button to help her out. And if you'd like to throw your hat in the ring to "get your blab on," as Leslie so colorfully puts it, there's information to the right of Leslie's video with details about upcoming casting calls and how to send in an audition tape.
Here's to moms making the world--or, at least, the airwaves!--a better place!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Summer: Dive In to a Refreshing Pool of Words!

It's long been confirmed that I'm a little different. This time of year, that becomes readily apparent when everyone else is carting around the Beach Read of the Week and I'm buried in War and Peace or some such lofty tome. I chalk it up to having been an English major: there are so many classics, and so little time, that I just couldn't get through them all! So here I am, x number of years later (no need to dwell on that number), still reading classics. And I read them during the summer, when the pace is slower, so that I can sit on my porch with a glass of ice-cold, sweet tea and savor every word. (Oh, don't I wish it were so!) No, the truth is, I read wherever and whenever I can sandwich it in between the routine tasks of being a working writer, wife, and mother; sometimes, there's a glass of tea and a comfy chair involved but, more often, it's a bed and a pillow!

In any case, my first choice this summer is Eudora Welty's entire collection of short stories. I've read many already, of course, but I'm looking forward to reading the whole body of work, chronologically. Eudora Welty has always reminded me of my Aunt Eula, a feisty, fabulous woman who raised five of her seven brothers, made a career out of being a Pink Lady, could as easily have been a movie star as a drill sergeant, and made the speed of light look downright lethargic. Miss Welty's words flow with a staccato urgency whether you read them in your head or aloud; she does not dawdle in her tale-telling and her characters brook no nonsense. Those sharp-tongued domestic mavens, slightly off-kilter curmudgeons, and endearing innocents are people I have known all my life, for better or worse, and I love them before I even know them (one of the South's best qualities: we love you even if we do know you!).

I figure it will take me a couple of weeks to get through the entire collection, maybe three if I get distracted along the way (I have a bad habit of reading several books at the same time). I'll report back and perhaps we can chat about some specific stories.

Meanwhile, what's on your reading list this summer?