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!
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.
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 . . .
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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.
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