Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Dec 18, 2010

I'm in CA now. The Santa Clara Trial Lawyers Seminar has come and gone. It wasn't as I expected, but these things take on a life of their own. Here are some details of the process.

Too crazy busy getting ready to fly CA early tomorrow morning  to respond to most anything but personal emails. This book ambition of mine has caught me half-cocked, wishing I were better organized, wishing I were the speeding bullet it demands of me, wishing I hadn’t waited till this stage in my life to blast open a career with all its demands. I need a secretary, a chauffeur, an accountant, a personal trainer, a housekeeper, a computer person, a wardrobe consultant, an organizer, a cook and companion, all the money in the world and TIME! TIME! TIME! As it is, I’m a 1-woman circus, spinning in circles with papers flying and phones ringing, and ravens barking for their breakfast, and my computer having a nervous breakdown, and piles of clothes of what to wear here, there and everywhere overflowing my 1 carry-on bag, and photos for Nicholas’  B-Day, and the bird water frozen and remember to wash the sheets and clean the frige, and  don’t forget to make a detailed list of everything and everything for the new housesitter whom I’ve never met, and stock up on birdfood, and get the directions to that hotel in San Jose for the Trial Lawyers Seminar where I’m a guest speaker, and mail off 60 books at the post office with the OMG lines that go out the doors and round the block because it’s Christmas! Holy Kamole! Whatever was I thinking?

Rather than get jerked around any more by my endless frets, I decided to change my focus to gratitudes instead and found that basically I had lots of reasons for gratitude: the car didn't break down on the way to the airport; no accidents on the freeway to hold up morning traffic; the lines at security were minimal; I didn't get gropped or overdosed with X-rays but rather given a clean report as I quickly passed through without a glitch; no one stole my bags on the conveyor belt while I was delayed waiting  to pass through the X-ray machine; the plane was ontime; I had a pleasant seat mate; the weather was merciful for mid-December; the plane change to San Jose was smooth; the rental car was one of the best ever: a Toyota Corolla; I didn't get lost in rush hour traffic getting to Palo Alto; enjoyed a lovely dinner with my life-long friend; my room at her house was sweet and comfortable, and I managed to reserve a room in San Jose for after the seminar. So given what all could have gone array, nothing did.  

Then the seminar: Again and again I tried to formulate and mentally rehearse what I would say and how I would enliven my talk. I was scheduled to speak last, following Mark Geragos. I was excited about it.

Tony pulled one of his infuriating numbers of  saying he would appear, then reneging at the last moment, then saying he would come only if I wanted him to, to which I said YES! YES! YES! But at the same time I told the host not to hold his breath. I did a long and good interview that was videoed earlier that afternoon. The other presentations were long-winded and all of a similar multi-million dollar ilk which made me think I should change my talk entirely to fit this legal assembly tort lawyers. No criminal defense lawyers were present. Mark Geragos never showed up,  which was a crashing disappointment as he was the person around whom I had designed this trip.  But I trudged bravely forward none-the-less and had Manu come from Mill Valley to San Jose with his friend Christian to help me with book sales.

So now the big moment was here. The talks droned on and on. Everyone ran overtime. Once lawyers get the mic at a podium you can't shut them up. Finally they called my name, and said “the last speaker, Paulette Frankl, will speak about her new book Lust for Justice, but first, we have someone even BETTER ...” The crowd hushed and Tony Serra gallumped up to the podium! He had come in straight from a hard week in court on a gruesome murder trial, and he looked pretty gruesome himself, utterly exhausted. His skin pallor was grey-green with dark raccoon circles around the eyes.  He was totally drained. He spoke briefly about what it was like to be a criminal defense trial lawyer on a murder trial, then, for the first time, he located me in the crowd and made hard eye contact with me. I beamed him pure energy in the exchange. He sucked it up and one could see the color return to his face. His whole demeanor became vitalized and for the brief duration of his talk he absolutely WOWed the room. Everyone felt his charisma; he had us all spellbound, and laughing and enthralled. Manu commented that here-to-fore he thought my art of Tony was exaggerated and over-the-top but now he saw that it was spot on. Tony was sensational! He really came through.  Then he was gone before I could even say hello, goodbye or thank you. I sold just enough books to cover the cost of my room at this hotel. But given the fact that there were only about 35 people present, and none of them criminal defense lawyers, it was all good. Just to see Tony be his old self like that was worth the whole trip. He truly is lightning in a jar. The whole thing is on video. He was GREAT! I got a good interview out of the thing, and good seed energy was planted in the legal community. 

Tony and I will be doing a reading at the Depot Bookstore and Cafe on Throckmorton Ave in Mill Valley CA tomorrow, Sunday, Dec 19th at 7 PM.

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