Editor’s Letter: October 2023

It’s time for all things spooktacular!  Oh, how I love the Halloween season.  I love all of the decorations, the costumes, and the candy.  Matthew (the Maine Coon) loves Halloween.  I can’t get him to dress in any other costume other than his Superman costume.  I tried to make him a skeleton last year. He took the costume off.  So I put his Superman costume on him, and he ran around all day in it.  If I tried to take it off at any point before Halloween was over, he would attack me.

He loves being Superman.  I think it’s because the code phrase for me to carry him is, “Let’s go Superman!”  He’ll get in position and I’ll carry him while humming the Superman theme song to him.  He loves it.

Last year, since we have more dogs than kids in our building, we gave out dog toys and treats, as well as candy and small toys for the humans.  Matthew had so many visitors that day.  He got to meet so many dogs as they showed off their costumes.  He absolutely loves Halloween. He took a few toys for himself, but that’s fine, considering all of the dogs got to take a few toys.  We had treats and toys for the cats, but there were no takers. More for Matthew.

The Interview

If you haven’t caught the new feature on the site called “The Interview,” you should definitely check it out.  I selected these interviews to help inspire you to go after your dreams, no matter what they are.  I started us off with interviews from my hockey writing days with John Madden and Ilya Kovalchuk.  I also posted a recent interview I had with Edwin Walker (Filmmaker).

I hope that you will be inspired, but also find the tools you will need as you follow along in your journey.

I gathered a few of my growing up hockey stories to start The Interview because it shows the human side of becoming a professional athlete and all the hard work they put into the dream of becoming an NHL player. From the projects of Toronto to the Cold War days of Russia, these players share their journey to make their dream come true.

Chasing your dreams is a struggle.  You really have to put in the work every single day.  It is about the journey, not the end result.  The journey is what makes the dream worth living.  The work is what fulfills you and makes you happy.  It challenges you to be better than you were the day before.

And oh, the people you will meet along the way will be more and more incredible as you follow your path.  Those moments will also be more meaningful to you.

My hope is that The Interview will help inspire you in whatever you do, so that you will be true to yourself and follow your dreams in order to define your own greatness.

50 Questions

Another part of The Interview feature includes 50 Questions.  So what better way to start off this part of the feature than with me answering 50 questions. 

  1. Five books that helped shape you.
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
    The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    Twas the Night Before Christmas
  2. Favorite movie. Dune (1984)
  3. Favorite ice cream. Mint chocolate chip
  4. Coffee or tea? Oh, definitely coffee.
  5. Favorite place in the world. At home with Matthew (the Maine Coon).
  6. Most influential person you’ve met. Amy Tan.  Before I became a writer, she knew I was a writer.  She saw that in me before I even saw it in myself.  She said to me when I went up to get her book signed, “When you finish your novel, we can look it over and help you with it.”  She was referring to herself, Scott Turow, and Stephen King.  I told Scott Turow about this many years later.  I even got to meet Stephen King.  I guess I should finish the novel(s) before they die.  They are getting up there.
  7. Who inspires you? My grandfather.  He told me before he died that I needed to get on my path in life.  Nothing would ever work out until I did.  Love would never work out until I was on my path.
  8. Favorite band/musical artist. U2
  9. Favorite song. There are so many. I think right now, it’s George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90.”  This one has been on repeat this week.  The song is about George shaking off what the music industry expected of him, this sex symbol that the teenage girls loved (I had his Faith posters up on my wall).  But he was secretly gay.  This song was his coming out song.  This was his way of saying stick around for the music, and let me be free to be me.  The music video for this song featured every supermodel in the world at the time.  For me (this week), this represents choosing myself and being the person I am meant to become.  It’s about letting go of the person I can’t become, so that I can become the person I am meant to be. 
  10. Favorite actor/actress. Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe.
  11. What do I love about my life? Matthew.  This Maine Coon cat became the child I never had.  When I realized I wasn’t having kids, Matthew came into my life.  I did not miss out on mom brain, the all night feedings, the 2 hour naps, Matthew proofing the entire house, the shit, the vomit. Oh, I got the whole baby/child experience out of this cat.  But the thing I love the most with my life with Matthew is that we upgraded our life back in 2021.  Since I couldn’t get out of the country to move to France, I decided that if I couldn’t get out of the country due to the travel ban (and I had to move because the landlord had served an eviction notice to everyone in the building because he wanted to remodel it), I would just upgrade my life.  So we moved down the street to a luxury building where professional athletes live and movie stars stay.  Matthew has made several celebrity friends in this building.  He is so much happier. Because he’s such a social animal, he has made so many dog and human friends.  He has a whole courtyard he can run around in (he even sneaks into the dog park).  He’s happy.  I’m happy I did this for us.  The whole point was to do something amazing for myself.  I do not regret this happened.  It was a nice consolation since France was put on hold. 
  12. Where do I want to be in 5 years? In the South of France with Matthew, writing, photographing, and maybe thinking about opening up a bookstore. 
  13. Astrological sign. Cancer
  14. What hobby have I been wanting to start? Needlepoint? LOL.  Looks interesting, but I don’t have the time nor the patience to learn.
  15. Favorite song from your childhood. “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney and “American Pie.”
  16. Favorite memory.  My grandmother was living with us in Georgia for a little while.  Something happened and we started laughing hysterically.  I just remember laughing so hard with her.  Probably the happiest moment of my life.
  17. The icon in your life.  My grandfather.  He passed away in 2007.  He was the only person in this universe that actually loved me.  Love is changing who you are to become a better person, because someone kept knocking on your door wanting to be loved by you.  When I was 3, I used to knock on his door every day (we lived next door to each other).  I would say, “Grandpa, are you home?”  Even after I just watched him walk into his home, I’d run over and follow him.  He’d close the door, so I would knock.  He didn’t like me.  He didn’t like anyone, truthfully.  He was a bitter old man back then.  But one day, I saw he was actually hiding from me inside.  I kept knocking.  He kept hiding.  I started to cry.  He heard me, and something inside him changed in that moment.  He opened the door, and his entire life changed.  It was that moment that changed his life to becoming a more loving human being.  A few years later, he found out my parents tried to adopt me out after finally getting the boy they wanted.  My dad was so cruel to me. My grandfather asked him why he hated me so much.  He responded, “Because she was born a girl.”  My grandfather was shocked.  In that moment, he truly hated his son.  My great uncle (his brother) was with him at the time, and they decided to love me.  They could both see that I was not loved by anyone in the family, so my grandfather and his brother decided to love me and to give me opportunities to have a better life.  Before my grandfather died, he told me the family planned to kick me out.  But he had a surprise in store for all of them. When his Will was read, they discovered he had written them all out and disowned them all…except me.  This was how he made sure I knew there was at least one person in that godforsaken family that loved me.  He had written them out because he sat through so many dinners for years, quietly listening to them plot against me and talk crap about me, as if they knew me.  This was the man who believed in me, and he knew I was meant to become something far greater than the person they wanted to believe I was.  He made them pay in the end. 
  18. Longest relationship.  Surita (cat).  She was with me for 18 years. My brother. 41 years together.
  19. What kind of love story do you want?  I thought I wanted the soulmate story, but I’ve learned that this is probably the most difficult love story to have. Although I’ve had more than one soulmate (I just encountered a third recently), I’ve learned that you end up alone in this story.  I don’t recommend this kind of love story at all.  I highly doubt the two living soulmates will change my mind about this.  So the kind of love story I want…it just does not exist for me.  There comes a time when you hope and hope and hope, then you realize it’s just never coming.  Why hope for something that is only going to break your heart? 
  20. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Believe it or not, a writer.  Backup was a police officer (think FBI). Then, I wanted to be a Senator. I ended up being a writer. I was the first intern ever with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, and I worked for the Attorney General, the Senate, and the Republican Party (note: I am a Democrat and they knew this when they hired me). I learned that you always know what you should be when you’re a kid, before the world tries to tell you who you should be. Listen to you as a child.
  21. Favorite season. Summer
  22. Religion?  No comment because you will not like what I have to say.
  23. Favorite subject in school.  I loved French class.  In college, I loved the law classes that focused on victimology, constitutional law, or policing.
  24. Hobbies. Reading, cooking, and writing.
  25. Favorite vacation spot.  The castle wall at sunset in Oia, Santorini, Greece.
  26. Cat or dog? Both.  I’ve always had cats, though, because cats can take care of themselves and I’m not home very often.  Well, I used to say that.  Matthew is more child than cat.  He sleeps during the day.  He starts getting hungry at 4PM.  I’ve come home late to discover he’s tried to get out the can of food himself to feed himself.  Not sure how he was opening up the can.  But simply put, he needs his emotional support human.
  27. Person (living or dead) you would like to have dinner with.  Cary Grant
  28. Have the date pay or go dutch?  Dutch.
  29. Favorite TV show. Supernatural
  30. Favorite fashion designer and why.  Valentino Garavani.  The first designer I ever laid eyes upon their work was Valentino.  He knew how to take the beauty of a woman and create a masterpiece from it.
  31. Toxic trait.  Running.
  32. Do you believe in soulmates?  Yes.  I just discovered soulmate #3 recently.  Edwin Walker asked me about this because, for some reason, in this lifetime, I’m gifted with more than one soulmate.  He pondered why that was.  Maybe because this is my last lifetime?  At least, that’s what the Creator has been saying.  So maybe I’m supposed to come across all of my past loves? I’ve come across two that were not soulmates, but I was definitely married to them in a past life. I had vivid memories of them, and they definitely were drawn to me.
  33. Coolest thing that’s ever happened to you.  When I was 16, Harrison Ford walked up to me to hang out and talk.  When I was 23/24, the Secretary for the Department of Transportation told me that he would rather hang out with me than hang out with a bunch of politicians.  And so he did.  Every time he saw me.  But the coolest thing…2001. Russell Crowe serenaded me with a song.  He sang “Somebody Else’s Princess” to me.  The man the Sex and the City girls masturbated to…he serenaded me.   
  34. Most loved item in your closet? My Fendi tote bag.
  35. Favorite restaurant. Red Basil in Rutherford, NJ.  I haven’t been there in years, but they have the best Pad Kee Mao I’ve ever had.
  36. What do you get on your pizza? Depends on where we are.  Little Italy Pizza in NYC – salad pizza or their spaghetti pizza.  Papa Johns is the Works.  Brick oven pizza – margherita.  Everywhere else – cheese or pepperoni.
  37. Favorite food. Pad kee mao.
  38. What item would you like to add to your closet? An Hermes Kelly bag.
  39. Favorite cookbook.  Right now, it’s Bountiful Cooking.
  40. Favorite author.  Amy Tan
  41. What’s your theme song you would walk out to?  “We Will Rock You,” the Queen/VonLichten version.
  42. Dating/married/single?  Single.  I have not dated in 23 years.  This is likely some kind of record, but when you’re holding out for the right person, you reject a lot of guys before they can even ask.  Sure, there were a few guys in those years I loved, but it didn’t quite work out.  One broke my heart (he still to this day writes songs about how I left him).  The next one showed he had no respect for me and tried to sabotage my hockey writing career (I am still mad about that time when I got multiple text messages from the Philadelphia Flyers media telling me what he did.  Only one person printed it.  The rest refused to print it, tweet about it, or even mention it out of respect for me.).  The next one told me as he was walking out the door how he felt about me, and it nearly ruined me.  I was so heartbroken and devastated over it.  Took a long time to get over him.  In between, there was some other guy that asked me to travel the world with him.  If I didn’t have Matthew, I would have.  But I have Matthew and he’s more important. I think with each one, I thought I deserved a better love. You know this when you love yourself first. I wanted someone who complements my existence. A best friend.
  43. Perfect date. A great conversation.
  44. Favorite drink. Water.
  45. What is your proudest accomplishment?  Being me.  I am more successful than anyone in my family ever was.  I command a higher salary than anyone in my family, not to mention as a woman.  I’ve done more things, met more people, had more amazing experiences in life than most.  Once again, Russell Crowe (right after winning an Oscar) serenaded ME.  I am in the NHL history books as the first credentialed writer to ever be allowed into the press box that was from a website (not newspaper/TV/radio).  A bunch of senators told my rich aunt and uncle (who believe I’m the worst thing to ever have existed on planet Earth), that I was the best thing that ever happened in the Senate.  They all loved and respected me there.  My aunt and uncle were shocked.  Best comeuppance I’ve ever witnessed.
  46. What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love? Flew to X. Did not end well for them in either instance.
  47. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island? The longest really good book I could find, a tool kit & a first aid kit.
  48. What is your goal for this year? To finish my current book projects.
  49. What negative habit have you dropped? Thinking that everything will be better when X happens or when someone comes to save me. I am the hero in my story. I make my dreams come true. I save myself.
  50. The scariest thing I ever went through. When I found out I had a tumor in my parathyroid gland back in 2013.  The doctor told me to prepare for the worst.  Some people stress eat, I stress shop.  I was scared out of my mind.  But luckily, everything turned out ok.  I still deal with the after effects of missing a hormonal gland (like perimenopause starting at the age of 38).  We’re always looking out for the next tumor.