Every year, for a while now, we have friends over on Oscar Sunday for a party. My daughter drove up from Indy on Saturday afternoon, and we visited and went out to eat to build up our energy for an all-day cooking extravaganza. We don’t mess around. When we cook for the Oscars, we try to make Wolfgang Puck proud:) We might not be in his league, but we take inspiration from his go-for-broke style.
The menu this week year: mushroom/puff pastry turnovers, shawarma chicken with tzatziki sauce, beef satay, ham pinwheels, Greek topping bruschetta, fruit pizzas and key lime pie cupcakes, among other things. Mary Lou brought spinach/artichoke dip to die for and deviled eggs. And then Dawn sent her HH with decorations for our living room. I’m talking two fake palm trees strung with white lights, a shimmering streamer “curtain,” banners, and balloons. This is me with the palm trees. At the other end of the room, there were more decorations. Dawn takes parties seriously:)
Dawn and her David, Mary Lou, and John S know their movies. Holly, HH, and I? Not so much. But it’s fun listening to them debate cinematography, best actors and actresses, directors, and costume design. There are so many things that go into making a great movie. Just like there are so many things that go into making a great book–characters, pacing, plotting, voice, setting, and dialogue, among others. Most writers I know study movies to see how they’re put together and what makes them work, then can apply many of the same things to writing.
Every year while watching the Oscars, though, I marvel at how dedicated the people who are nominated are. So are the writers I hear on panels when I attend conferences. And when artists of any kind get down to talking about their work, the ones I’ve heard realize how lucky they are if they’re noticed or discovered, and they can list all of the elements of hard work that went into what they created. It’s a joy when all of that hard work pays off, when everything comes together to let you win a part, sell your first novel, get good reviews, or win an Oscar. But there are so many wonderful, talented people who never win an award, but keep doing what they do and work hard to do their best at it. I applaud them, too.