Thursday, November 01, 2007

FIRST Post: Hollywood Nobody

It is November
, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the
button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her
latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:


Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books,
including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of
was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive
of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright
awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one
thing, it's never dull around there.

Novels by Lisa:
, ,
, Songbird,
, The
Church Ladies
, Women's
Intuition: A Novel
, Songbird,
Living End


Hollywood Nobody: April 1

Happy April Fool’s Day! What better day to start a blog about Hollywood
than today?

Okay, I’ve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and
that’s all I’m saying about it here for anonymity’s sake. But trust me,
I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise
by the age of twelve — in more ways than one, with the way he’s gotten
crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that
fashion disaster has run for cover.

Underwear showing? Not a good

Fact: I don’t know of a single girl who doesn’t wish
the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we
just don’t want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there
is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how
much you’ve got upstairs, if you know what I mean.

I’ve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me,
the worst is really, really bad. Big clue: you’d look just as pretty as
they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them
are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and there’s a lot of
blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are
more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do
you know who have had more than one plastic surgery?

So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little hard on these folks. But
if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt you’d read this blog
for long, right?

Today’s Rant: Straightening irons. We’ve had enough of
them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars,
worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and it’s still ridiculous. Especially
on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum
holds onto that ring. Ladies, there’s a reason for keeping your hair at or
above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette
Bening. Now she’s got it going on. And can’t you just see why Warren
Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early
this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ain’t going to tell why
I’m so glad about that!

Today’s Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful,
and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She
has a prayer chain too. I’m not very religious myself, but you got to
respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless it’s male
Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say.

Today’s News: I saw a young actor last summer at a
Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it.
I heard a rumor he’s reading scripts for consideration. Yes, he’s that
hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here
on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie.
Girls, he’s only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half
span of ages.

I don’t know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star
Violette Dillinger is something I’m looking forward to. Her first
album, released to much hype, hit Billboard’s no. 12 spot its third week
out. And don’t you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"?
This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will
Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall
into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a
half-naked bimbo? We’ll see, won’t we? Keep your fingers crossed that
the real artist survives.

Today’s Quote: "Being thought of as ‘a beautiful
woman’ has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is
essentially meaningless." Halle Berry


Friday, April 2

I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a
cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle
of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.

"What, Charley?"

"Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North
Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to

"I’m still only fifteen."

"It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby."

My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason,
say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But
as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.

Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?

Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic
surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the
time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever
since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from
Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I
have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as

I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!

My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and
just don’t know it.

I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land
on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less
meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call
the Y.

As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?

Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?

Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long
enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or —
shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?

And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?

More on that later.

And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to?
Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I
wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner
room nobody else is allowed into.

But I wonder the same thing about myself.

"You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are
you, Charley?"

"No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine."

I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges
the cops can slap on me.

Driving without a license.

Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.

Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already.

Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift
current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the
man." Or so she says.

I kid you not.

Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley
is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past
infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:

Driving while someone’s in the
trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial
kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier.
Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan
Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go
cooking while we’re in motion.

"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"

"Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway."

"Great, Mom."

"It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."

"But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What
if I say no?"

She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a
bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old.

"I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end
of things, call the shots."

I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side
of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love
my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage
1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.

"Can I at least pull my hair back?"

She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"

Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here
I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at
all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame,
right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold
syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge
conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At
least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.

I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and
slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with
rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled
her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?"

"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.

I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?"

"You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m
sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?"

"Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the
middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina
are we going to? It’s a wide state."

"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that
sound familiar?"

"The Outer Banks?"

"Are they in North Carolina?"

Are you kidding me?

"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to
me all the time."

"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above
TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have
mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in
the DAY. It doesn’t take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is.
And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add,
when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but it’s still just as
true), and that’s
OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think?
The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.

My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my
father. I mean, it’s plausible, right?

The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I
definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy.
More on him later too.

I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y.
I rigged it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do
with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info
and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s
better than nothing.

"Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and
turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and
then Toledo Island’s off of there."


"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."

"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person.

"That phrase should be dead."

Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is
fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma
Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, let’s go."

"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?"

I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the
brake, and we’re moving on down the road.


Sample from Hollywood Nobody
/ ISBN: 1-60006-091-9
Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order
copies of this resource, come back to

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