Craft stuff, things to do, prompts, all about character, and a cranky rant
On the prompt. It was the short, loud, bully. Like all short, loud bullies he responded, and relented, to force. He later became the coxswain on the Olympic Rowing team which President Carter prohibited from going to Moscow.He remained short.
On character notes, I just have to share the perfect description of his mother by Preston Sturges:
"My mother was in no sense a liar, nor even intentionally unacquainted with the truth…as she knew it. She was, however, endowed with such a rich and powerful imagination that anything she had said three times, she believed fervently. Often, twice was enough."
Sandy Waterman had changed his first name to Sean, and only when he referred to it as the “name I grew up with” in a Vanity Fair interview did it occur to me that he had indeed been that bad boy 14-year- old up the block, the one who intimidated the neighborhood kids into “borrowing” their bikes for entire weekends, after his had been taken away as punishment by his strict, military Dad. I was two years younger, and managed to avoid being one of Sandy’s targets, but from afar I was fixated on this surly and handsome blond kid who wore tight black t-shirts and got his acolytes to steal cigarettes for him from their parents.
As an adult, I had been unknowingly watching his work for years now as the rakish doctor in “The Practice.” He’d now made a successful jump to rom-com leading man in the box-office hit: “Come Back, Go Away,” and was a sure bet to host SNL before the end of the year. He was so charming in his interviews that I wondered if I misremembered him as a neighborhood bully. Except there was something else, too. Some kind of incident with a girl named Dana, the one the boys suddenly noticed when she entered 7th grade, with breasts that had been non-existent just a few months before.
I called my sister, who’d been in Dana’s class. “I never found out what Sandy actually did to her,” Erin told me, “only that she cried for 20 minutes when I asked her about it. And that was the year she gained all that weight. So I don’t know what happened, but I kinda do.” (Unlike me, my sister could actually keep a secret, so I didn't press further.)
That was also the year the Watermans moved abruptly, evidently to California, according to Sean, the present-day heartthrob du jour. Eventually, his hit movie came up in my Netflix queue, but it only sent me to Facebook to try to find Dana. I couldn’t, but hoped it was because she was happily married, with a new name.
Enjoyed the conversation between you and Meg tonight. Nothing better than hearing great writers discussing crafty things.
Love Meg Wolitzer! Will definitely be attending that conversation.