but who’s counting?

I’m starting to think menopause is a blessing!

Women my age weren’t meant to be mothering.

My daughter’s on Hajj and we’ve been taking care of the oldest two grandkids for about two weeks now, with one more to go.

Grandkids are fantastic! But taking care of them while trying to adhere to other people’s restrictions is exhausting!

Not so much physically, but mentally.

And that’s way worse than physically, because at least when you’re exhausted physically you don’t turn to eating comfort foods you shouldn’t just because you’re too tired to say no to yourself.

Haven’t written hardly at all, except for grant proposals! Omigosh! And they’re like running marathons!

I’ve come to realize I have a really cushy life! Very very nice! Going and doing three presentations on suicide and bullying was a piece of cake compared to the daily grind of mothering!

And it makes me wonder how I ever wrote my first five books back when I was babysitting up to eight kids a day!

Sure I was younger and had a strict schedule, where the kids who weren’t in school all went down for naps at 1 pm to 3 pm, where I wrote, but still!

I haven’t gotten much writing in at all!

It’s like all building up inside me, so I’m feeling itchy to get back to the novel, but I know there’s no point yet.

The only creative energy I seem to possess comes at night after I’ve put them to sleep. I should get to bed early, but it seems that’s when I wake up.

Their mother is very strict on T.V. so I end up restricting even my own T.V. watching so that I hardly even watch the news. I only catch the headlines online a few times a day.

But I find I’ve been craving documentaries at night! Watched a fascinating piece on Edwardian farming in England, on the border of Cornwall.

Now why would that interest you might ask? It’s because back when I’d first read Daphne Du Maurier’s REBECCA, I was so enchanted I went and read all her books–except for MY COUSIN RACHEL. Somehow I didn’t read that one. The title put me off. Don’t ask me why, it just did.

I did read THE PARASITES and FRENCHMAN’S CREEK, but not MY COUSIN RACHEL. Anyway, there was one of her novels, I think it was HUNGRY HILL, that sounds about right, all I remember about it was the Cornish miners and how it was weird to live in a place small enough that you could smell food cooking in the kitchen.

So I watched this documentary on Edwardian farming and it went into the mining of copper and that was what DuMaurier’s novel was all about. Fascinating!

And the other night, and the other night, and one other night before that, I sat down and watched another docudrama, not quite a documentary but almost, about Alfred Hitchcock and the making of PSYCHO, but really it’s a movie that focuses on the relationship he had with his wife Alma Reville.

I didn’t know what to expect, so the first time I only watched it for interest. And then I realized it really was a movie about the unsung hero behind Hitchcock, his wife Alma! Loved the rapport between the two of them! And then I thought that it was going to be it, I wouldn’t need to watch it again, but then I recalled a quote that I thought, “Woa! That really applies to me!” And I had to watch it again to find it and write it down so I could blog about it.

So the movie, which stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as Alma, starts with a tribute to Ed Gein, the kook that inspired PSYCHO, but the real beginning starts with Hitchcock and Alma, the two of them coming out of a packed theater during a premier of North by Northwest and some reporter asking Hitchcock if he shouldn’t just retire now that he was 60 and the best was behind him.

And then Hitchcock just turns and stares at the guy with this nonplussed look on his face. And then next he’s in a tub reading reviews in the paper and he asks his wife, Alma, if he’s really too old? And she answers, in a charming but ironic manner, Of course, you’re positively a relic.

And you can just see him deflate a bit, and the tension between them rises.

It really is a story of a husband and wife team and how sometimes when we’re vulnerable your partner can say absolutely the wrong thing!

And other times, when you least expect it, they can just display the most profound faith in you!

Loved it to bits!

But the quote…

Ah the quote…

Like I said it was really near the beginning. There’s a scene where Hitch is trying to decide on his next project and his secretary, played by Toni Collette (the mother in About a Boy and a number of other movies) tells him that Ian Fleming wants him to do Casino Royale and Hitch says I already did that movie, it’s called North by Northwest, and then she says something about it being just his ‘style’.

And Hitch says (and I”m pretty sure he must have said this, it’s too original a quote to be made up, I believe) that style is just a form of self-plagiarism!

Now how brilliant is that???

And  you get a clear picture of a brilliant man who can’t stand to repeat himself! I mean so many directors just make the same movie, over and over and over again, and they call that their ‘style’!

Hitchcock was wise enough to resist doing any such thing.

And kudos to him for that!

He took risks, and he talks about taking risks, and boy was the making of PSYCHO a huge risk! They almost lost everything!

Anyway, it’s a fantastic movie to watch.

I think it’s a must see for every person in the arts!

And now when someone asks me why I don’t just write another book like…Big Red Lollipop or whatever! I’ve decided that I’ll just look at them nonplussed, with that exact same expression that Anthony Hopkins used to convey a real sense of, “What on earth are you talking about?” and stick to my guns and not repeat- that is not plagiarize- myself!

Forget style!

Be original!

Say things once and only once!