Elizabeth Taylor: jewels weren’t her career, but they made her star sparkle even brighter.

Elizabeth Taylor jewels

Sotheby's has just auctioned off Elizabeth Taylor's treasure chest (no pun intended) of jewels.

The booty (sorry!) fetched $117 million, including a necklace that features a 16th Century pearl, La Peregrina, which  had was once painted by 17th Century Spanish artist Velazquez.

That alone sold for $11.8 million, which is a record for the gem.

Also on the auction block was the actress' infamous 33.19-carat diamond ring, which was given to her by her twice-spouse, actor Richard Burton.

Despite all her great movies — National Velvet, Giant, Splendor in the Grass, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf – here was a time in Elizabeth Taylor's life when she was better known for what she wore around her neck, or on her fingers and ears, than her acting.

Personally, I think that's a shame, because I think she was an arresting actress. When she was on the screen, everyone else (well, except Montgomery Clift or Richard Burton) disappeared into the background.

But she was an even better celebrity. In that stellar firmament, everyone's got a gimmick.

Hers sparkled.

Taylor put it this way: "I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can't possess radiance, you can only admire it."

If only one of her earliest suitors, Howard Hughes, had known that. His way of courting was to wear down the prey-du-jour by offering a role in a movie at his studio RKO, cold hard cash–

Or jewels.

None of which worked with Taylor.

In fact, he stalked her to a gal pal's hideway in Palm Springs. There she was, soaking up the sun poolside when Hughes, piloting one of his helicopters, landed on the lawn. His greeting — to sprinkle her with diamonds — didn't get the result he wanted:

She ran away, giggling.

Smart girl.

I guess she meant it when she said, "I have a woman's body and a child's emotions."

Admit it, ladies: don't we all?

Watch the video, below, about Sotheby's auction…

 –Josie

 

NaNoWriMo Tip #5: Show, don’t tell.

whos-afraid-of-virginia-woolf

Because your goal each day of National Novel Writing Month is a word count, it's very easy to fall into a common trap: writing long passages of narration or exposition.

In other words, telling your readers, either via a narrator or the omnipotent third person, what is happening to your characters.

Do yourself a favor and FIGHT this temptation.

Why? Because what you're doing is “telling,” not “showing,” your readers.

Instead, craft your scenes with dialogue. It is much more interesting to your readers to have your characters talk to each other.

No doubt, narration or exposition is also important: for adding atmosphere, for setting up your scenes, for describing where the scenes take place, or how the characters look or feel.

And it utilizes takes more words than dialogue.

But if your characters don't verbalize their thoughts to each other, they aren't interacting normally.

For the majority of us, telepathy isn't an option: all the more reason your characters need to open their mouths to express their feelings.

If you're having a hard time moving from tell to show, pretend you're writing a play. What dialogue would you add to each scene?

Snappy dialogue. Snarky asides. Anger. Heartfelt revelations. All of these expressed emotions make scenes come alive, and make your readers laugh with — or more importantly, fall in love with — your characters.

This NaNoWriMo first draft may not be on par with Arthur Miller or Edward Albee or William Shakespeare, but it will go a long way to being completed if it engages readers.

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Certainly not you!

_________________________________________

HERE'S YESTERDAY'S TIP…

__________________________________________

Marilyn Monroe’s little white dress…

Marilyn
They auctioned off Marilyn Monroe's iconic white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch. You remember the one: as she stood over a subway grate in front of the Trans-Lux Theater, it billowed up around her thighs. The way it was written into the movie, the object was to keep her cool–

Or was it to make every guy watching her get hot under the collar?

That was the case with her husband at the time: Joe DiMaggio. Afterward they had a shouting match in the theater lobby. She filed for divorce soon afterward.

The dress went for $4.5 million. It was sold by actress Debbie Reynolds, who, besides starring in several Hollywood classics herself (Tammy and the Bachelor, The Unsinkable Molly Brown) has a true appreciation for Hollywood lore. For years, much of her collection was kept at her hotel in Las Vegas, where she performed. A bad real estate investment forced her to sell off various pieces. This time around she also sold Monroe's red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (it went for $1.2 million, albeit it was projected to bring $200,000 – $300,000), and another of my favorites, Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from My Fair Lady, which sold for $3.7 million.

Other pieces sold by the auction house, Profiles in History included:

Judy Garland's blue cotton dress used in test shots for The Wizard of Oz, $910,000 (estimate: $60,000-$80,000)

Grace Kelly's rose crepe outfit from To Catch a Thief: $450,000 (estimate: $30,000-$50,000);

Marlon Brando's elaborate coronation costume from Napoleon Bonaparte: $60,000 (estimate: $60,000-$80,000);

Claude Rains' ivory military suit from Casablanca: $55,000 (estimate: $12,000-$15,000);

ElizabethTaylor's brown period dress from Raintree County: $10,000 (estimate: $10,000-$15,000);

Madonna's black evening gown and shoes from Evita: $22,500 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000);

Mike Myers' swinging '60s  suit from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: $11,000 (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); and

– A high-school graduation dress of Natalie Wood's: $4,250 (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Reynolds a few years back. In fact, it was my very first celebrity interview. I remember her as gracious, witty, and vulnerable: she is every inch a star, but a sweet human being as well. I could have hung with her all weekend, if she'd have let me. Seriously, she is that much fun. 

And so candid. She answered all my questions, even the sticky ones. If I find that interview, I'll be sure to post it here.

As I was leaving I mentioned that my favorite of all movies was one of hers: Singin' in the Rain. "I'll sign the DVD, if you have it," she offered.

Stupid, stupid me! Why didn't I think to bring it? I never made that mistake again!

Oh, well. In hindsight, I should have asked her if I could try on Marilyn's dress, just once!

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Just watch the video clip below…

 

Enjoy,

–Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2

THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK
Murder. Suspense. Sex. 
And some handy household tips.

Signal Press – Digital eBook 

ORDER NOW,  from

Amazon.com

BarnesAndNoble.com

Also in in the Apple iBookstore!

Enter The Housewife Assassin's Handbook Contest to win free movie tickets to AMC theaters, or another theater near you! 

I'm giving away $50 in Fandango Bucks
to some lucky winner who likes thriller movies as much as romantic suspense!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE CONTEST RULES…