publish and be hugged.


as we lie back on the movie starlet counterpane….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe’ve been thinking a lot (always a slightly dangerous activity)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA about Why People want to be published.

because there seem to be Quite a few people around us who, well, might have Wanted to have written a book (too) and, well, haven’t quite got round to it (yet). so when they see a copy of the book SOMETIMES (and only sometimes) there’s a – how can we put this – rueful smile when they see IT.


of course Morrissey sang it wickedly at his best (and with a lovely slightly shiny blue blouse)

it doesn’t matter at all.

we wish them well.

in fact we wish they’d just get on with it and write the bloody book and publish it.



they CAN.

what’s that?


well there’s a Big difference between wanting-to-write-and-communicate-with-the-World and what’s perhaps the True Reason:

wanting to be Validated by the Establishment

(book deal, critics, cocktail parties, protection from poverty, escaping from one’s Past)


for a start: not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Establishment doesn’t run things anymore (and it stopped throwing really big parties when the accountants became mgmt and started looking at the “numbers”).the court(ship) of public opinion (and direct to consumer publishing via mr. amazon and the like, blogs, sharing, social feeds) is Us.

(and are Ever so grateful to Miss French Navy for sending us this clipping about our article in Harper’s Bazaar Australia)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is DELICIOUS.

so there you go – we’ve said our piece.

publish and be hugged.

nobody’s stopping you (but you – as the sages say).

and we’ll be the 1st to buy a copy. but you knew that. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin other news:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.17.52 AMthe DIVINE Miss Vickie Lester has written a blog post featuring the Scar (which is ever so happy to be mentioned, it’s been a while)


htssiacw_p104-2now just in case you’re Very Young, Miss Vickie Lester’s Post features a picture at the top (providing Context and Hollywood deliciousness) of the divine Elizabeth Taylor (not who-we-are-in-RL).

co-in-ci-dent-ally – we have a Quote (about) Miss. E. Taylor framed on our wall from a vintage copy (1981, we believe) of Interview magazine where Mr. Warhol talks about how famous people have this entree to each other that brooks no need to stand on ceremony. 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhaving been around a few famous people in our Time, we can confirm this is True.

there’s a subtle nod of recognition – just like in the corridors at a particularly grand school – between the chosen beauties and those-who-will-run-corporations (while those-who-will-write furiously take in the Scene). 

talking of Fame and wanting-to-reach the Top, we happened to catch Stage Door (1937) last night (that’s a slightly understated allusion – we deliberately picked up the DVD while retrieving the latest cache of Requested Materials at the library). 

have you seen it?

the snappy dialog(ue) is Genius.

I see that, in addition to your other charms, you have that insolence generated by an inferior upbringing.

Hmm! Fancy clothes, fancy language and everything!

Unfortunately, I learned to speak English correctly.

That won’t be of much use to you here. We all talk pig latin.

And I use the right knife and fork. I hope you don’t mind.

All you need’s the knife.


If you were a little more considerate of your elders, maybe Mr. Powell would send his car for you someday. Of course, he would probably take one look at you and send you right back again, but then you have to expect that.

Is that so?

Do you know, I think I could fix you up with Mr. Powell’s chauffeur. The chauffeur has a very nice car too.

Yes, but I understand Mr. Powell’s chauffeur doesn’t go as far in his car as Mr. Powell does.


now that’s writing. 

there were two men’s names on the screenwriter credits (although you know that only the last people who touch a script get credited, right?) but there was something so Heartfelt and dirty (in a good way) and Real that we KNEW the person who wrote the Original words *must* have lived in a boarding house (or similar) for theatrical “girls” in the late 1920s in the sniper fire of midtown manhattan.



“The writer is a writer because [she] cannot help it. It is a compulsion. Sometimes it is called a gift, but actually it is an urge for expression that simply cannot be denied.”
Edna Ferber. 

“Is this, they ask, the story of your life?…Yes. My inner life. The life of imagination and creative ability. Writing is a lonely work but the creative writer is rarely alone. The room in which one works is peopled with the men and women and children in the writer’s imagination. Often they are difficult—but rarely boring—company. This is a fortunate thing, for they are with one day and night, they never leave while the book or play is in progress…” (A Kind of Magic, 1963)

darlings – will you excuse us?

we simply *must* click over to the Los Angeles County Library Requested Materials department to request EVERYTHING by Edna Ferber.

we shall return.

with pictures.

Hollywood ahoy! tea with Vickie Lester (then later with #FrancesHa)


a Most splendid afternoon was had at the house of a certain Ms. Vickie Lester!

we took tea (and calcium-enriched california salads) and talked about Life and Literature and England and Los Angeles

now as Many of you know – Ms. Vickie Lester’s “beat” (as it would be called if she was a lady-reporter on a 1920s Newspaper Downtown with a metal desk and a phone and stacks of spare nylons and Notepads in the drawer) is Hollywood and there was Much to talk about there – and Mr. Lester (not his real-name) was There Too and also has a Hollywood “beat” which was fabulous and oh! oh! we had the Loveliest Time.

bien sur there are pictures!


we took a small gift…..

…..we were going to take white roses – we adore white roses – but we knew that Vickie Lester has a beauteous garden and that would be taking coals to newcastle


is there any American equivalent to that saying?

perhaps “citrus fruits to california”?


the garden was lovely – lush and mellow and sun-kissed (or rather sun-embraced-with-a-vast-bear-hug)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the heat is gorgeous on That side of town

*saidvaguely* (we used the Perfectly Prius global positioning system to get there but it didn’t know that Zoo Drive was closed for repairs or that one of the Freeway On-Ramps (could it have been I-134? we think it might have been) was Also Closed (shock) and so we were a tiny bit late (we hate being late)

but Vickie was gracious and the tea awaited us with a cool glass of water in a lovely rich shade of crimson glass. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

quelle succulents (very California) set off gorgeously with blue shards of glass.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a simple fleur set off with the oil jar – very Grecian. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and rich blooms Everywhere.


silky shadows and falling jacaranda. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and soft breezes through linens and cottons drifting through half-closed windows as if beautiful eyes were lowering their lashes in modesty-ness.

while we were admiring the soft linens there was the simply glorious sound of a piano being played.

yes – yes – it was a Perfectly delicious afternoon.

there will be Many More!

and a book launch (of which we shall speak of when Allowed to do so by Ms. Vickie Lester Herself).

and now to our Evening activity:

Frances_Ha_5the light was still bright as we drove back West into Hollywood-adjacent-by-sunset-boulevard to see the movie Frances Ha.

this was a Charming (and elegantly shot in B&W – very Truffaut and not just the bit set in Paris) look at how Young People live in Manhattan – their hopes, dreams, leather jackets, dancing-to-Bowie (Modern Love and much of it was Very Modern Love in the Script itself), getting by and not getting enough, Modern Dance, Day Jobs, awful jobs, jobs-that-take-people-away and jobs-that-are-only-possible-with-rich-parents as well as Art (and what that takes to keep alive) and apartments and a place of your own to dream and make art and possibly, maybe, find Love.

but mostly it was about love itself.

between friends.

the nicest sort of love.

and after the Movie there was a Q&A (we adore a post-movie Q&A, as you know) with Greta Gerwig not just the Star of the movie but also the co-screenwriter.




and the audience was packed with people in their late 20s who Identified (as the Americans say) with the movie and asked Intense questions about Motivation and goals and dreams and hopes and Why-did-That-Happen and what-will-the-characters-do-next and Why Paris?


that was a question.

Why Paris.

gosh, we wanted to say:

Paris doesn’t need a reason.

and nor do tea parties with lovely authors and conversations about Hollywood and roses and books and designs and citrus fruits and Plans for the future.

no reason required.

because they are both glorious.