Monday, January 5, 2009

Peeking in Rich People's Houses

You write what you know.

If true, that would be a devastating thing for working writers. In this world, we'd only write about life at Target, dinner at Denny's, and buying just enough gas to get you there and back.

Readers don't want to read about their lives all the time. So what's a poor girl to do?

Peek in Rich People's Houses and remember everything you see.

A quick story: My friend Alisa just had the pleasure of being invited to the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Nothing like your neighborhood Ballys, the LAAC boasts two, 82-degree swimming pools beneath a glass ceiling, squash and tennis courts, a full restaurant, hotel rooms, a full basketball court, and on and on. Alisa does what I do, which means neither of us make enough to join this club. Still, Alisa went, and the writer in her took in all she saw.

During my time working events for several non-profits, I've had an opportunity to visit the homes of some of L.A.'s richest. While I'm stuffing programs or crossing names off of guest lists, I'm also cataloguing the Ed Ruscha and Francis Bacon paintings on the walls, remembering the jewel tones of the glass in the immaculate mosaic entryways, listening to how They speak to their Guatemalan nannies and coo at their black Standard poodles. I glimpse the sun throwing coppery light over their massive back yards, and listen to the silence of a neighborhood not plagued with guns, illegal firecrackers and L.A.P.D. helicopters.

And after I marvel, I rush home and write.

What about you? What worlds have you visited?

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