Archive for the ‘Becoming Alice’ Category

Have you ever noticed how your normal life comes to a screeching halt during the holidays? There is no time to do your normal life, like exercise, work the internet, garden, cook, walk the dog, edit on your manuscript, gas up the car, etc. etc. etc. Instead you write Christmas cards, email greeting on card sites, shop and shop and shop. Then you go to wrapping, wrapping, wrapping. Which leads to delivering gifts to anyone living in driving range. Standing in line at the post office to mail gifts out, earlier in the month, has warmed you up for the frenzy you’re in during “the holidays.” I’m half-way through now and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime there is another week of parties, parties, parties. I like parties! And the best part is that I’m not hosting a one of them. Happy New Year, Everyone!


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I haven’t blogged in so long I hardly know how. But, here goes. What have I been doing? A lot of living that’s what. That involves spending time with family, walking the dog, working in my garden, dinner parties with friends, writing a book. Yes, writing a book. But more about that later. What is your passion? A weekend at the beach in Cambria? That’s in California, in case you didn’t know. That’s right, I like to walk on the beach and listen to the ocean roar and the seagulls squeak. Well, it’s time for a glass of wine. Oh, I forgot to mention that.

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Authors Pavilion, Ojai Day

I’ll be signing “Becoming Alice” in the Authors Pavilion on Ojai Day, Saturday, Oct.15th between 10 AM and 5 PM. Hope to see you there.

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Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection between self-image and reality. When I reflect back to my childhood, there was a very strong connection between my self-image and the child that I was in reality. I thought I was not like other children and I wasn’t. I was this scared, funny-looking European kid going to school with a lot of happy American kids. I wrote about that in my memoir, Becoming Alice. Imagine how aweful these poor kids have it who suffer from anorexia when what they see in the mirror, a perfectly normal child, is percieved as a fat kid.

As time went on, my self-image and the person I was in real life became closer. I became an American adult. And the feelings of inferiority and lack of self-confidence went away. I was pretty much the person that I thought I was. It would be up to somebody else to tell me otherwise.

But now a chunk of years have gone by and I think that misconnect between self-image and reality is creeping up again. I still think of myself as a pretty average, normal, American adult. But now I often am reminded that I fall into another category. This incident made me become aware of that fact: I am sitting around at my athletic club having coffee with a group of girls/women (why is it that the older you get, the more likely it is that older women are called girls?) talking about this and that, nothing of great significance. I did notice, however, that most of these ladies with whom I play tennis are much younger than I am. I looked at one of them and was reminded that she wrote me a very nice note telling me how much she enjoyed reading Becoming Alice and that she figured I must be her mother’s age. Okay. And then the cute young thing sitting next to me remarked that she thinks it wonderful that I still play tennis … and she hopes she will be able to do the same thing when she is older.

There it is. There is that word older that doesn’t fit with my self-image. I don’t know what to do. What behaviors should I undertake to fit into that category of old. There is a glitch between my self-image and what other people think of me. I know what I must do. I think I shall just ignore them and keep my self-image as an average American adult.

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I’ve just seen pictures of starving people in Somalia on TV. A large number of them were children, very young children, even babies. There weren’t just a small number who maybe didn’t have food because of a severe drought. There were dozens and dozens of them. Actually there were hundrds of them. The last count was 750,000 children and their parents who walked for miles to detention camps which might give them some nurishment and medical help. Most of them weren’t expected to live. Why had this happened? One reason is that the aid that is being sent to them is being hijacked by radical Islamists. My mind just isn’t able to wrap itself around all this. Are we once again looking at still another holocaust? Or, is this genocide?

Being a holocaust survivor, I went to the dictionary to find out. My Random House Dictionary says that genocide is: the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national or racial group. A holocaust is: a great or complete devastation or destruction, esp. by fire. Therefore, the situation in Somalia is genocide because Africans are systematically dying from starvation controlled by others. The situation of extermination of Jews and others in WWII is called “The Holocaust” because of the millions that were incinerated in the ovens,therfore by fire, in Auswitz and other extermination camps. But how about those that were kept as slave laborers who were starved to death? Wasn’t that genocide?

Holocaust or Genocide? What difference does it make what we call it? To me it still proves that mankind has not moved one inch beyond its barbaric tendencies and I wonder if it ever will. I hate to be so negative on the subject, but I just can’t bear to see “the systemic extermination of a national or racial group” yet another time, be it called genocide or holocaust.

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My blogging time has gone into the following media release: http://www.freepublicitygroup.com/release-alice-rene-aug1011.html Check it out.

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I have been busy writing my book, so much so that I haven’t had a chance to post a blog. Until today. My book is not a sequel to my memoir, Becoming Alice. Rather it is what now is called creative nonfiction. I won’t belabor the point by going into a lengthy definition of that category, but instead I’ll tell you it is about a young woman who basically wants to get married. What woman doesn’t?

In the process of dating and the man and woman in my story have a lot of yin and yang between them. I thought you might like to know what that means. I went to my dictionary and here it is: “Yin and Yang (Chinese philosophy) are two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (Yin) and one positive, bright, and masculine (Yang), whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.”

I object! I have never heard yin-yang used in such a way. I have always thought of it as two forces that pull in different directions, perhaps like the positive and negative in electicity or the currect Republicans and Democrats in Congress. I just had to get that one in there. I personally used it in the back and forth dance couples often do when they first get to know one another. Or, what married couples often do for the rest of their lives.

Being a woman I STRONGLY OBJECT to the negative force being identified as feminine. And who says the positive force is always masculine.

I’ve got to do something to protest. I can throw my dictionaly away. Obviously it is way out of date. Or, I could give up on Chinese philosophy on which I have often relied. My favorite sayings are “He who hesitates is lost.” and “Patience is a virtue.” Perhaps it was Confucious who said that.

In any case I am right about people not always seeing things the same way. That is just part of the human condition, call it yin and yang or whatever you like.

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