4/17/09

Wise Women Friday: Christina Schwarz

Words of wisdom from best-selling novelist Christina Schwarz:

Even the desert is packed with shapes and colors.

In college, I had a friend who was like the desert: a surface of monochromes.  She had sand-colored hair that matched her trademark beige shorts and off-white tees.  She could barely look strangers in the eye; she was that shy.

Beneath the surface, however, she was packed with shapes and colors.  She was wild and eccentric.  She was addicted Pepsi, which she hid in the trunk of her Mercedes so that she wouldn't have to share.  She had a trust fund, but she was always borrowing money.  In four years, she never turned one assignment in on time -- or even close to on time.  She only finished her senior art project because a large group of friends spent hours helping her rubber band popcorn kernals into strips of raw silk which she then dyed and shaped into a chinese dragon.  Really, she was an undependable bit of a sponge, but once you got past the monochrome she was also a lot of fun and strangely hard to dislike.

Christina Schwarz, this week's wise woman, does not seem anything like a desert.  She is vivacious and witty, smart and stylish.  She is also unfairly pretty (note to God: in the future, please ration out the gifts a bit more equitably).  

How do I know?

You must remember that I am very important.  In fact, I had Ms. Schwarz to dinner last night.  I made her soup and a pear tart.  We talked about her insightful and gorgeously written new novel So Long at the Fair, her other books, and we even got to hear about Oprah.  She was lovely and elegant and down to earth.  

How -- you're wondering -- did I get so lucky?  Aren't I simple, humble Margaret Finnegan, raiser of Mangalitsa pigs and defender of bacon and goddesses?  Aren't I more at home with a good bowl of flan than bestselling novelists?  Yes I am!  But what you don't know is that I do have a credit card and do know how to use it.  So when my daughter's school held a silent auction and I was allowed to bid on multiply copies of So Long at the Fair and a book club night with the author I staked out that bid sheet.  A few parents managed to get past me, but I am fast with my pen and even faster with my elbows.  When the night was over, the Christina Schwarz night was mine.  

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that the desert may be packed with shapes and colors, but dessert with a smart novelist packs you with calories and conversation, and that is always a good choice.  

17 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

And vice-versa.
There are plenty who are colorful & outgoing on the outside, but actually using it to cover the mono on the inside.

Margaret said...

Well said, Pup.

Shell Sherree said...

Beautifully put, Margaret - and Cafe P. And in turn, Christina was a lucky woman that you know how to use your elbows. I'll bet she had a ball. Did she like Litsa? (I mean to look at - I'm assuming you didn't make her pea & ham soup.)

Susan C said...

Sounds like the evening was a great success.

I wonder what your beige artist friend is doing these days.

altadenahiker said...

I'm sure you charmed the brightly colored socks off her. (I'm not familiar with her work, but will check it out on your rec.)

Linda Dove said...

Mmmmm...pear tart.

And, having lived in the desert a while, I would have to edit: *Especially* the desert is packed with shapes and colors.

You could say I got over the color green.

Petrea said...

The desert can be so beautiful.

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I shall click click away on her links.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I'm glad to hear that Christina Schwarz lived up to your expectations. Curious; if Oprah selects you for her favored pantheon of authors, does that mean your set for life? Do doors fly open, tenure positions come knocking...


what happened to your friend?

Lynne said...

That is so cool, your school auction sounds way better than the ones I used to attend when Kate was in elementary school. I can't believe you didn't tell us about this on Saturday!

Margaret said...

I've lost touch with my friend, I am sad to say. She really was a lot of fun.

Lynne: Oh yeah. I forgot.

Cafe Pasadena said...

MF, you should at least take a wild guess. You might come up lucky on this hot day!

Desiree said...

The sweet wistfulness of the post reminds me of the children's picture book Roxaboxen, about a bunch of kids who create and discover treasures in the desert.

Paula L. Johnson said...

I admire a woman who knows how to emerge victorious from a silent auction.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Have you ever googled her name? or looked into those name search engines? I've just about found everyone I lost track of and wished to connect to again. Libraries have great person search programs installed.

barbra said...

The desert in Eastern Oregon is absolutely gorgeous:

http://tinyurl.com/cxk78e

Margaret said...

Barbra: Wow. That is a stunning shot. Have you ever been there? I didn't even know Oregon had deserts.

J&D said...



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