May 2007

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I am not an American Idol fan, but while hanging out with the boys in Washington over spring break, I got hooked. Both my son and daughter-in-law are avid fans, so Tuesday and Wednesday nights found us in front of the television, cheering and booing. That’s all it took to get me hooked, and I’ve been watching Idol ever since. First and foremost, I think it’s an amazing platform for artists to hone their craft, and it made me wish we had something like this for aspiring writers. I watch in admiration as each week these performers grow. I was truly disappointed when Melinda Doolittle was voted off this Wednesday; it just goes to show how subjective everything is. Out of the top four contestants, (the others, LaKisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Jordan Sparks) I think Melinda had better control of her voice, and performed well consistently. Jordan is awesome, but now that Melinda is gone, my vote is for Blake. He totally won me over with his version of “When The Stars Go Blue”. Then there is Sanjaya Malakar. I mean, even this old grandma fell in love with him when he sang “Besame Mucho” on Latin night, those dark eyes, not to mention that hair! All of these kids are amazing. Something Melinda said after she was voted out shows what a truly generous person she is, “Be happy where you are on your way to where you’re going.” Her words resonate with me, and I am putting her advice beside my computer to remind me on bad writing days to love the process, not just the product.

I’ve been too busy to do much reading, but I did manage to squeeze in Anita Shreve’s Body Surfing. Not her best work, but those who remember the house in Fortune’s Rock, and The Pilot’s Wife, will be glad to know Shreve has found another family to inhabit the beachhouse. I am also trying to read–in between planting the garden and pulling weeds–Francine Prose’s, Reading Like a Writer, A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. Thirty pages into the book, and I’m thinking this may be a book I want on my reference shelf, maybe my own mentor, my own version of American Idol.

Tonight and tomorrow I walk in Relay for Life. Please take a moment to remember those we have loved and lost to cancer, and say a prayer of thanks for the survivors. I know I will.

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One thought on “May 2007

    trevor said:
    May 18, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    I told Michelle this a couple weeks ago: Blake Lewis is clearly going to win. The producers of the show are setting it up, evidenced lately by their insistence he perform a Maroon 5 song this week and the fact he “chose” a Robin Thicke tune to perform as well. American Idol is little more than an elaborate ad campaign for most things Clive Davis, and his marks are all over this. If Blake doesn’t win, I’ll be truly and completely surprised.

    Melinda had to go because she is not telegenic enough; Jordin is a good singer and pretty, but still she’s way too 17. The show has been showcasing Blake, praising him for his “risk”-taking, and marketing him very carefully.

    Don’t get me wrong: Blake Lewis is hella-talented as a performer, but his real skills are in production and arrangement. When that awful management company finally turns loose of him (the contracts they make these kids sign are downright feudal…), I think he’ll make his mark as a superstar producer. Hopefully he lives into the 22nd century to see that happen.

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