Monday, March 25, 2013


A Happy Turn of Events
Guest Post by Ellyn Oaksmith
 Me after my Oprah makeover!
Life can turn on a dime. One event can propel your life in a different direction, vastly changing the outcome. Whether or not you believe in the chaos theory, we novelists and screenwriters make a living off this idea.
I had a random stroke of good luck that led to a sea change in my appearance and career. I was chosen, along with 9 other women, to interview Oprah Winfrey for the 10th Anniversary of O Magazine. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know what the criteria were; suffice it to say I was the only West Coaster. 
Harpo Studios, here I come!

I was flown to Chicago, my sister as my guest, and driven to Harpo Studios for a fitting. The stylist looked at what I’d brought, turned to the rack of clothing behind her and found me a whole new look. The only item she used of mine was a belt. The finishing touch was a lovely double strand necklace. I asked if she’d found it in a thrift shop. She laughed, telling me it was purchased in an antique store in New York. Later I learned that it cost nearly as much as my wedding ring. 

The next day, before meeting Oprah, we all donned our carefully steamed clothes and had our hair and make-up done. My reaction, upon seeing my made up face, was to shriek and run into the bathroom. The stylist, who’d seen me hotfoot it across the hallway in my 4 inch heels, chased me, begging me to stop rubbing my face. “It’ll look amazing on camera.” She was right.

The gorgeous flowers given to each of us by Oprah.

The rest of the day was a dream. Lionel Richie and Drew Bees, fresh from his Super bowl win were the guests. Afterwards, Oprah met us in a conference room before leading us to her office where we chatted for 3 hours. She was as charming, hilarious and incredibly eloquent as one would expect.

After the magazine article (Oprah Gets Interviewed by O Readers) came out, I changed a few things in my life. I self-published my book which led to Adventures with Max and Louise being published by Harper Collins. I ended what my children call “the overall phase.” I didn’t spend any more money. I simply paid more attention to what I was buying and wearing and tried to see what that hairdresser, make-up artist and stylist saw in me.

Because what those people do for a living isn’t to see flaws, the way we do with ourselves. They see possibilities. I wish every woman could have that experience. Because what it does is make you realize, when you look in the mirror, you need to use kinder eyes. And believe in your own beauty.

And if all else fails, stand up straight and wing it! 

Happy Spring!

Author Bio:

Ellyn Oaksmith is the author of Molly's story, aptly and endearingly titled Adventures with Max and Louise. A graduate of Smith College, Ellyn holds an MFA from the American Film Institute, where she won the Richard Levinson Fellowship for best second-year screenwriter. She's worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, winning awards and optioning several screenplays. She has also written limericks for coffee cups, worked as a copywriter and PR writer, and even done a stint as a cook on a fishing boat off the Aleutian Islands.

Book Blurb:

Molly Gallagher does not like to be the center of attention. As the mysterious Diner X, her pseudonym for a restaurant review column, she thrives on blending in. But before you can say "medical malpractice," she wakes up from a routine procedure to find that her chart got switched with someone else's, and now her A cup runneth over.

Suddenly, unassuming Molly is turning heads wherever she goes. The man she's been pining for since high school is sitting up and taking notice, a very handsome stranger has captured her attention, and her lifelong dream of publishing a cookbook is about to come true. But Molly feels like an imposter. Will some advice from a very strange place help her figure out how to navigate her new, full-figured world?

Molly realizes her revamped shape might change her life. She just doesn't anticipate quite how much . . .

Buy Adventures with Max and Louise:


Connect with Ellyn Oaksmith:

Ellyn has generously offered to giveaway an e-book copy of her Chick Lit novel, Adventures with Max and Louise, to one lucky winner! You can enter up to 5 times using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday, March 31st, and a winner will be announced on Monday, April 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a fantastic experience--and a great message. How much better would all our lives be if we stopped obsessing over flaws and instead focused on possibilities. Thanks, Ellyn for sharing, and Tracie for posting.

  2. Wonderful Guest Post! Would love to have a copy of the book :)

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    xx, Lauren

  3. I love Oprah. When I graduated college with a journalism degree five years ago and people asked me what my post-college career plans were, I said, "Become a Media Mogul like Oprah."

    Still working at it. :)

    Thanks for sharing your great story.

  4. What a wonderful story! That's so amazing that you got to meet Oprah, though I might have been more star struck by seeing Drew Brees in person. :) LOL, I'm a bit of a football nut. :) I entered your giveaway!

  5. This was a great post! Sometimes it's the small things that ripple out and effect lasting change. I'm a huge Oprah fan and I'm so glad to hear that you won so much more than a trip to Chicago! :-)

  6. What an inspiring post. I'm so glad to hear that Oprah really is as nice as she seems. Your book sounds fantastic and I totally want a copy!

  7. This is an amazing post. It really makes you believe that dreams do come true and we never know where life will take us. I'm also happy to know that Oprah is as wonderful as she seems. What a beautiful message for us all, Ellyn. We definitely need to see our beauty...and talent. Your book looks fantastic!

  8. This post was a great way to start my day! Thanks so much for posting, ladies. I would love to enter to win a copy of "Adventures with Max and Louise."


  9. Great post and a great message! (Gotta agree with the other poster though... Drew Brees! I would have been ALL tongue-tied to meet him.)

    It's hard to not see the flaws, but I'm working on it...

  10. Just wow!!! Very cool! Book sounds really fun!!!!

  11. That is quite the life changer and an incredibly cool moment in life.

    And the book sounds like a fabulous read!

  12. Loved this post, Ellyn and Tracie. I do envy you meeting Oprah, Ellyn! What a fascinating life you're living - really inspiring. Good luck with the book - I love the premise! :-)

  13. This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  14. Thank you everyone for all the kind comments. Drew Brees was pretty impressive. There was a fan there who threw a football with him in the studio right over our heads during the commercial breaks. A nice leveling moment was Drew's toddler completely lost it and his wife had to take him backstage. This glamorous woman in a lovely dress toting a screaming, snot covered toddler. She was a class act, laughing all the way. I hope you all have a wonderful, renewing Spring and thanks again for reading! -- Ellyn Oaksmith

  15. LOVED this post! I want Oprah's stylist to make me over, too! I can't wait to read this novel! I certainly would LOVE to win it! xo cindy

    1. Cindy: If you don't win, keep an eye on Goodreads for another giveaway.... Good luck and thank you. --Ellyn Oaksmith

  16. It never ceases to amaze me, how one event in our lives dominoes into others. I love this story, and would love to win a copy :)XOXO

    1. Jen -- Yeah, both my sister and I talked each other into attending events where we met our husbands. Neither one of us planned on going (and in my case had to be harassed out of my sweats and into the shower) and we each, for some reason, convinced the other to get out of the apartment. And it changed both our lives. Thanks for reading! -- Ellyn Oaksmith

  17. How awesome! I honestly am not kind to myself but I loved reading this maybe I'll take a better outlook! Thanks!
    <3 Tobi

  18. I really enjoyed reading this post - and those flowers! OH! To DIE for!!!