First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to the winner of my April contest for the Bartender's Pocket Guide and the Lolita Cocktail Crystals: Maureen McGowan --Yay!! (Especially appropriate since, in addition to her own great blog, she's also part of the blogging trio that comprises Drunk Writer Talk. Maureen, make some drinks for Molly and Sinead now, would ya? :-)
Second, the latest issue of Marilyn Brant News, the e-newsletter filled with scintillating facts and fun (hee!), will be out on Tuesday. And, with it, comes the Very Special Drawing just for newsletter subscribers. During one of my many treks to Office Max or Office Depot (I can't overemphasize how much I love office supplies), I came upon this Italian-made fountain pen with six different color cartridges. Perfect for writing notes to friends or teachers with a flourish...or for signing book contracts! My favorite thing about these colors, though, are their names: Romantic Violet, Friendly Pink, Emphatic Red, Reliable Black, Holiday Green and Inviting Blue. Oh, yeah...choose a color to reflect your mood...or just to confuse people.
Anyway, one person will win it on Tuesday so, if you haven't yet signed up for my free newsletter and you want in on the drawing, feel free to join my Yahoo group . It's information-only, not a chat loop, and I only seem to be able to gather up enough info worthy of newsletterdom about once per season, so it's infrequent.
Finally, a few thoughts I had lately as a result of a random conversation:
Another woman and I were talking about careers, and she said, rather smugly, that she chose her particular medical specialty because she "wanted to save lives."
Now, I have nothing against healthcare professionals. In fact, I've been indebted to them on many occasions. And, despite years of pressure to go into medicine myself--which I staunchly resisted, thank you very much--I believe there are few people who can calm someone down (or stitch someone up) during a health emergency like a knowledgeable and compassionate doctor, nurse or EMT.
But I don't think that's the only way to save a life.
I have memories of times--sometimes weeks or months, sometimes entire years--that were on the dark and painful side. I wasn't physically sick. I wasn't dying. But I also wasn't "fine." And the help I needed to get through those crises couldn't be diagnosed by a doctor, poured into bottle by "your helpful Walgreen's pharmacist" or x-ray'ed by a well-practiced technician. During those gray days, I turned first to novels and to music to get me through and to give me the wisdom, perspective and advice I sought. Those books/CDs/cassettes/records were so vital to my survival, I remember each author I read then, each musician I listened to, and the titles of their masterpieces (whether they were world-famous or hardly known) with a gratitude that's immeasurable, even to this day. IMO, they saved my life a hundred times over, as surely as any antibiotic or medical procedure.
So, I don't want to hear from anyone--whether overtly or implied--that the arts are frivolous. They are not. They. Are. Not.