How To Become a Writer
The one thing that I never intended to be, in life was a writer. I spent many years being friends and the assistant to a world-famous author. The surprise to me was that one day I stumbled on a story that was to good not to write and I had to sit down in front of the computer and tell my story. I've never been comfortable in front of either a dictation device or a keyboard. I've never felt comfortable talking about myself or anything that goes on in my own life. So what transformed me and made me into the type of person who suddenly sat down and told a story that seems to be out of the wilds of movies from Hollywood?
Moira Chapin was her name, and since the time that she was 18 years old she had been renowned for her love story novels. In ten years she had written 15 love stories that were published by a paperback romance novel company in Manhattan. I had known Moira since we were in middle school together in Secaucus New Jersey. Back in those days Moira was still known as Margie Smith, or as the nuns called her in Catholic school when she was in grade school Mary Margaret Smith. Margie Smith was a very introverted young lady who spent all of her time writing stories and fantasizing about what it would be like to live her life in an amazing love story. By the time she was 18 years old she had made her way to Bleecker Street in New York City and found her agent Blanche Radisson; not to be confused with Radisson's of the hotel chain. Moira put all of her time and energy into writing romance novels and she excelled at it, winning every award that was available in this category of writing. Unfortunately ten years later she was a superstar in the romance world, known the world over for fabulous stories, however she was a bitter lonely woman, and I was her only friend except for her agent Blanche Radisson.
I had willingly wasted at least 10 years of my life following Moira around to the meetings and book signings, and everything that was just traveling from Secaucus to New York and back in chauffeur driven limousines. I didn't date because I had no time since I was too busy taking care of Moira. Over those ten years I sort of faded into the woodwork, invisible to most people who spent their time concentrating on the work of the great author Moira. It didn't help that I had plain brown hair, plain brown eyes, and plain clothing. I was plain. Then came that fateful day when I traveled with Moira to visit her agent Blanche on Bleecker Street in New York City.
It was a beautiful day for a drive and the chauffeur was in a good mood. The sun made the Hudson River sparkle as well as the magnificent New York City skyline. Moira was in a particularly good mood, because she was about to launch her 15th novel. The book was titled," One Impossible Liaison." So far in her career it was the book that Moira was most proud of. Moira was pleased; almost bouncy as if it were with giddiness at her upcoming accomplishment. I, on the other hand, felt sorry for her having no one to share the moment with except for me.
"So, after this meeting how about you and me go out and find us a couple of hunky guys?" I asked Moira.
"Don't be absurd. I have no interest in finding the kind of man who hangs out in a bar," Moira replied.
"Then what kind of man would you like to find and where would you like to find him?" I snapped back. "I swear Margie that you will spend your entire life alone in that big ass house that you built, and you will die all alone with no one there to care at all. Books will not be your friends. In the end books are what you use to even up table legs."
Needless to say Moira didn't talk to me for the rest of the ride into the city. It wasn't the first time that we'd had that conversation, and I was certain that it would not be the last. Margie had always been stubborn, and her alter ego, Moira, was equally stubborn. She was intelligent, she was fit, and she was a beautiful woman. She was the pinnacle of style, and when she entered a room she turned the heads of every straight man there. Her long blonde hair and big sexy eyes gave her almost a Marlene Dietrich look. Whenever she was in the city she stopped off on Fifth Avenue to go shopping. The tragedy of it all was that she had no idea how beautiful she truly was. She'd come from nothing and catapulted to fame and fortune. Ten years later she'd developed the attitude that every man alive was after her only for her fame and fortune.
The chauffeur opened the door for us at Blanche's office building. I followed Moira to the elevator like a child following her mother. I briefly attempted to speak to Moira in the elevator, but she simply stared at me with a glare. I felt like a child, yet she was the one behaving like a child. It was just one more thing to remind me that I was in an unhealthy relationship. By the time we exited the elevator outside of Blanche's office, I was questioning why I was even there.
When we entered the office, we encountered Seth, Blanche's receptionist. Seth, whom I had always considered to be the poster child for homosexuals, was in rare form that day. He had his bleached blonde hair spiked with pink tips, which went with his pink silk shirt and orange tie. He was always overly emotional and his entire face lit up when we entered the room.
"Moira! Darling! So good to see you!" Seth came out from behind the desk and gave Moira a kiss on the cheek. "Blanche only has two meetings ahead of you, so have a seat, and I'll make you some espresso."
"Two meetings ahead of me?" Moira exclaimed. "I thought we were right on time." Moira turned to glare at me again. "You said that you thought we were going to be late. Let me guess, you lied to me again?"
"I was trying to keep you from being late. You are always late for your meetings with Blanche," I said.
Moira didn't reply to me. She forcibly pulled off her coat and virtually flung it at the coat rack. I hated it when she acted like a spoiled child. Fame and fortune tend to ruin people when it comes at too young an age, and Moira was the living embodiment of that sentiment.
The waiting room in Blanche's office was tiny, and there were only six seats to choose from. I watched as Moira turned to choose a seat to wait in; and I saw the look on her face when she saw him sitting against the opposite wall, flipping through a magazine with his bright red hair flopped half way over his face. He wasn't a huge man but he was extremely fit. He wore an old army jacket over a set of camouflage fatigues, with the only thing that would lead you to believe that he was not a soldier were his cowboy boots.
I spent my late nights watching television channels that no one in my neighborhood had even heard of and watching DVDs of foreign programs and movies. I watched cultist shows and movies, and I read elusive books and magazines. Moira didn't engage in such bizarre entertainment, so she had no idea who the man was. His name was Peter Baird, and he was famous in 40 countries for his travel shows and travel books. Everything he did was an adventure, and on television he appeared to fear nothing. He had all of the charisma of any Hollywood star, and he was better looking than most of them. And what was the best part of Peter Baird? He was the only man that I had ever seen to that point in time that stopped Moira Chapin dead in her tracks.
Moira took the chair adjacent to Peter. I took a chair next Moira. For the next couple of minutes there was a very comfortable silence in the room. Peter kept glancing at us, presumably wondering what our situation was, or possibly because he recognized Moira. I wasn't sure which. I kept catching myself staring at him; and each time that happened I jerked my head in the other direction. Looking back I'm sure that appeared ridiculous to him. Moira on the other hand, had no such reservations about social conventions and was staring straight at him throughout the entire silence. I wasn't sure which part of the situation made me more uncomfortable.
"Hi, I'm sorry to bother you, but aren't you that famous romance writer?" Peter asked.
"Yes, I'm Moira Chapin. Nice to meet you," Moira said as she held her hand out to shake his.
He shook her hand smiled at her. "Nice to meet you as well. I had no idea that Blanche was your agent as well. I guess it's a small world. How long have you been with Blanche?"
"That's a long time. I recently switched to Blanche."
"And you are?"
I saw the look on Peter's face. Moira almost never came out of her shell, and this fact occasionally made her appear rude to others.
I grabbed Moira's arm. "Moira, Peter Baird is a world famous travel host and adventurer. His television shows air in 40 countries around the world."
Moira smiled at Peter. "I'm so sorry, I don't watch much television except for movies. Jenny here loves to watch television shows."
"I love your shows Mr. Baird," I said. "Travel shows are some of my favorite shows to watch on television. I wish that your shows were broadcast on television stations in America. To this day I still have to subscribe to Indian television channels in order to see your shows. I do have most of them on DVD, however."
Moira was visibly flustered. "So, Mr. Baird is Blanche representing you for your television programs? I've known Blanche for many years, and I've never known her to represent anyone but authors."
I leaned over and whispered in Moira's ear, "Peter Baird is also the author of 10 books based on his travels."
"I had no idea." Moira was beginning to be visibly uncomfortable. "I didn't know that travel hosts wrote books."
From the look on Peter Baird's sparkling face, I could tell that this was the beginning of a bizarre and volatile relationship between my boss, Moira Chapin and him.