What’s the best thing I love about my work? So many jobs, so little time. As a writer, a comedy writer, for the most part, I do love putting my funny sensibilities into my characters, as I let them live in the plots I’ve come up with. As a script/book analyst, I love helping writers with their musings, putting them on the right track for their characters to live within their imaginary lives. Having owned LA’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH, (1972-1987) I am also the children’s person at BookStar, in Studio City, CA, still trying to inspire young minds. The movie, You’ve Got Mail was based on my life, really, except for two things… no email in the 70’s and I didn’t marry Tom Hanks!
What is my idea of perfect happiness? At my age, waking up in the morning!
What is my greatest fear? Not exactly a fear, but I would say, never having my dreams realized, my scripts being produced, while I’m still in this body. And oh yeah, having a couple of best sellers. Politically speaking, my fear, it’s already happened.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? As I think in most writer’s minds, that my brain stops and a great idea to write hasn’t fallen out of the sky and into my psyche and my soul. More specifically, when my imaginary friends don’t know where they are and don’t want to talk to me.
What living persons in my profession do I most admire? Most admire? That’s way too hard to answer, but one I simply adore is Anne Serling, who has written, AS I KNEW HIM, her beautiful autobiography of growing up with her father, The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling. She’s a wonderful friend and her heart and soul is so filled with goodness and humanity.
What is my greatest extravagance? Don’t really have one, except, perhaps, all the hair products I use on my mop of curly locks. I admit to using about 5 or 6 foams and gels, because, just between you and me, I have no idea which one is actually working.
On what occasion would I lie? What, me lie? Never! My characters, well, some of them have been caught red-handed, but me? Never!
What is the thing I dislike most in my work? I wouldn’t go so far as to say, ‘dislike.’ It’s more frustration, just trying to get from here to there, after I’ve finished a novel or script. But I do dislike and many times sad, when I come to the end of either, because I just feel my characters have more stories to tell, places to go and things to see and do.
Where and when was I happiest about my books? When I let my characters live and go places and do things I had never thought of, for it is they who write the stories, not me. So many times I’ve written pages, printed them out, read them and then shake my head. ‘Who wrote this?” I think. They did. When I teach, I always tell writers… ‘Let your characters live. Don’t have any preconceived ideas of their wants, their thoughts. As writers we have given them life, now we must let them live.’
If I could, what would I change about myself? Probably that I had more patience… especially when driving in traffic. Also, when waiting for an answer from some query I’ve put out into the universe. I really try to ‘be here now,’ but I want now… NOW!
What is the greatest achievement in my work? That I never give up, will never give up, ever. After years of querying, pleading, begging agents and publishers and producers to look at my work, I finally self-published my four novels with Amazon’s CreateSpace. Now three of them are on the shelves at BookStar (Barnes and Noble). I had a bigly, successful book signing when they first came out and thus far have hand sold over 700 copies. Of course, I ‘whore’ myself out to unsuspecting customers on a daily basis, but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. Another achievement I’m proud of is writing, producing and directing a nine minute pitch film, done as a silent movie, for my screenplay THE GODDESS, which is also one of my novels. Written with Whoopi Goldberg in my mind to play The Great Mother Earth, since she wasn’t available, I also play the Goddess in it. You’ll find the YouTube link for it below.
Where would I most like to live? In a world with no prejudice and hatred. In a world filled with peace and acceptance and love and equality for all.
What is my most treasured possession? My memories.
What is my most marked characteristic? No contest. My hair. And I would say, my sense of humor, too. I think funny and funny is a good thing.
What is my most inspirational location in my city? Wherever I’m standing. Fine, my beloved Pacific Ocean.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city? Not an eater, per say, nor a drinker, ever. I eat to live, not the other way around. One place I do love, though, to sit with good friends and lunch and laugh, is Nata’s, a Portuguese Café in Sherman Oaks, CA.
What books influenced my life and how? The first book that I so loved and influenced me was LITTLE WOMEN. Wanted to be Jo when I grew up. Who didn’t? An independent soul who wanted to be a writer. And Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse. I used to read it once a year. It enlightened me so much more than any self-help book ever did. And THE CRONE, by Barbara Walker, which was one of the books that started me on my journey to find out what really happened to women through the eons… which eventually inspired me to write my CRONES AMONG US A City Slickers For Menopausal Women.
Who are my favorite writers? Oh, too many to mention and if I left any out, I might lose some of my wonderful Facebook writer friends.
You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Well, I’m really hoping for reincarnation and to be able to remember this life I’ve lived, but if I had to pick, maybe Cat Stevens. Simon and Garfunkel. Those were the days of great music. Now if I were going out with a bang, Bad Company or Foreigner.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Too many to mention. Maybe a character or two in some of my own novels. Yes, I conjured them up in my mind and onto the page, but on many a day I wish I could be more like them.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The Obama’s, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, women and men who worked their whole lives trying to make this world a better place. And my two fantastic and truly marvelous daughters and my four talented and wonderful and inspiring grandchildren. They too, are making this world a better place.
Which movie would I recommend anyone to see once in a lifetime? Choices, choices. Well, a little British film from years ago, SHIRLEY VALENTINE. She took a risk, leaving her old life, to follow her bliss. I simply adore this little gem of a film.
What role does art play in my life and work? Everything. Simply everything. Literature, music, art, how grey and dull life would be without all of them. They all bring inspiration to my heart and soul. And really, also, aren’t we all works of art?
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My great, late doggie, Buddah. Gone now close to 30 years, he was my… my Buddah. And no matter how many years go by, without him, he is always with me. Always.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Can this old Crone dream? Okay, George Clooney. Wrote a political script, based on the life of Richard Sorge, during WWII, I know he’d be fascinated by it. A German Communist journalist, being forced to help the German Ambassador in Japan, but actually working for Stalin and ended up saving Moscow from Hitler and his the German Army. Have I peeked your interest, George? Of course, Whoopi Goldberg and Mel Brooks, whose voice I ‘heard’ when I wrote the part of the generic god in THE GODDESS. Oh yes, they had a bickering married relationship.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? So many of my writer Facebook friends. Wait! Did I mention George Clooney?
Where can you see my work in 2017? Search my name on Amazon to find my four novels: CRONES AMONG US A City Slickers For Menopausal Women, THE GHOSTS OF WINTHROP MANOR (Beetlejuice Meets Analyze This), THE GODDESS (and I’m not talking Marilyn Monroe, here!) and SWEET JUSTICE A Cautionary Tale Of Corporate Crapola.
On YouTube search: THE GODDESS AN EPIC SHORT
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I believe if passion does retire, be it in writing, politics, anything one believes in, then one is sadly as good as dead.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Anne Sterling. Maria Lennon. Betty Birney. Rene Ashton. I shall think more on this and let Peter know.
How can you contact me? http://www.facebook.com/lindy.michaels
What is Your Story?
Two Day Tour with Peter de Kuster in the greatest bookstores of your favorite city. In Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Amsterdam we offer this unique What is your Story? experience. To (re) write your story about yourself and your work. In the process transforming your capacity to successfully have the creative life and work you love.
In this journey, Peter de Kuster, founder of Passion Never Retires explores with you the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our creative business and life.
“Your story is your art, your art is your story,” says Peter. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our creative challenges, our art, our clients, our money, our self promotion, our time, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Peter, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my creative life and business is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Peter’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your creative business and life.
Become a great Storyteller
That’s why I set up What is your Story? service in the great cities of the world and their great bookstores. A new way to use the power of your story. To guide you to life-changing, eye-opening but often elusive works of literature, both past and present, the books of fiction that truly have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.
In two days with Peter de Kuster you’ll explore your relationship with books so far and your unique story identity will be sketched. You will be guided to books that can put their finger on what you want to rewrite in your story, the feelings that you may often have had but perhaps never understood so clearly before; books that open new perspectives and re-enchant the world for you.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of your session and you’ll be given an instant story advice and books to read to take away. Your full story advice and books to read list will follow within a couple of days.
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of the WHAT IS YOUR STORY? journey.
- What is your Story?
- Are you even trying to tell a Story?
- Old Stories (stories about you, your art, your clients, your money, your self promotion, your happiness, your health)
- Tell your current Story
- Is this Really Your Story?
YOUR NEW STORY
- The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
- The words on your tombstone
- You ultimate mission, out loud
- The Seven Great Plots
- The Twelve Archetypal Heroines
- The One Great Story
- Purpose is Never Forgettable
- Questioning the Premise
- Lining up
- Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
- The Three Rules in Storytelling
- Write Your New Story
TURNING STORY INTO ACTION
- Turning your story into action
- The Story Effect
- Story Ritualizing
- The Storyteller and the art of story
- The Power of Your Story
- Storyboarding your creative process
- They Created and Lived Happily Ever After
RESERVATION AND FEES
The “What is your Story?” fee is Euro 2.495 excluding VAT for a private tour with a small group of 1 or 2 people.
Questions? Contact Peter de Kuster at 0031 6 33661772 or mail him at email@example.com