Thursday, April 30, 2009

Read about Why Julie Writes

The sister website to JULIENEWMAR.COM is JULIENEWMARWRITES.COM, which focuses on Julie's essays and observations. Alan Mercer interviewed Julie recently to give fans some insights into Julie's writing well as her gardening, since Julie's next book will be a photo-guide to her favorite flora!

AM: What possessed you to start writing?

JN: I guess it’s like finding oil. It just flows up… towards you and then it gets in your face. It kind of oozes… into your consciousness and at some point you grab a pencil and a paper… and keep it by your bed and start taking notes.

AM: That’s how you started?

JN: Now I’ve gotten to the point where I have an editor because I have to get better. I have to improve for my sake. The heartland is there, the juice for the writing, the ideas. I’m a good picture maker with words. I’m also good in bringing to life through description.

AM: Is that a natural talent for you?

JN: I think it helps being an actress where you ‘phys-i-cal-ize’ the words to the point where you know you’ve reached an audience. You want reaction and that’s what we all feed off of, not just admiration anymore, but reaction, how to move people. There it is. So writing is essentially telling our own story. I know why I write! Most people live to eat and I write to know.

AM: I believe you met Dita Von Teese and Ava Garter at that last party. You know they love you! They adore you beyond belief. Ava said she was cat woman for several years in a row because of you.

JN: I’m the Halloween kid.

AM: How does it feel to you to know that you inspire legions of fans?

JN: Excellent. It’s the way life should be for those of us who are out there among the antiques surviving.

AM: One of the things you have written about is aging gracefully. Is that something that you feel a calling for?

JN: You bet! You better be. You just notice it, where we are. We notice how important it is to do the right thing. All the things our parents taught us, and if they didn’t teach us, it is three times as hard to learn. If you are not doing the right thing you won’t make it long after the age of fifty. I guarantee you if you are not doing the right thing.

AM: I agree.

JN: A lot of that is not, me first. It’s not… I’m the greatest. Do the right thing. Then the power within you becomes tangible and you can draw on it.

AM: If I am hearing you correctly you are saying that with every year on earth one becomes more spiritually aware.

JN: Usually that’s how it happens because you are not running the four minute mile. You are not breaking records physically so you begin to notice that what you are predominantly is much bigger than physical. Your ideal when you die, and you don’t die, based on what I said…if you have been listening.

AM: How do you describe it?

JN: I’m going to lift off. Let’s put it that way. The sheer joy of happiness, you did it right, everything has been fun…I’m smiling. I am happy…blessed dreams…and I am in a different space. No hospitals, no drugs…we aspire to that. That is a good goal for your finale of finales. It keeps you on the path, if you know what I mean.

AM: Do you feel like a spiritual leader?

JN: I’m not a spiritual leader. I am a spiritual being. I respond to you as the spiritual you. It’s the person I’d rather play with. I’m not going to compete with you or anyone else. I’m not even going to compete with myself. I’d lose. All you can hope to do in life is know that tomorrow is better “somewhere.” Why repeat what you’ve already done anyway and “listen.” I like your questions. They are very interesting.

AM: Thank you. I’d like to know what it feels like at seventy-five to look back over your accomplishments. Do they have the same meaning they have always had or do they have less meaning…or more?

JN: Good question. The answer is yes, they have more meaning because there is a ‘buoyancy’ that these accomplishments give my life today, at this moment. Sure I failed at times and boy did I learn fast not to make the same mistakes again.

AM: Have you always been interested in gardening?

JN: The answer that is clearest to me is that in a garden I was always happiest with my father.

AM: Does your garden remind you of your father?

JN: Any garden reminds me of my father because he built the three story house we lived in. It was built on a hill towards Los Feliz. It looked out over the entire city of Los Angeles. You could even see the Pacific Ocean. We watched Bel Air burning. It was an inspiring place to grow up.

AM: I find it interesting that you say the garden reminds you of your father. Wasn’t he the more cut and dry personality? Wasn’t your mother the more nurturing?

JN: Mother was more companionate. Dad was always, ‘Get up and do this!’ He was a football coach. That’s why I still have a straight spine. I do not slump. Do not put me in a C-shaped chair.

AM: When did you become known for your gardens?

JN: I would put plants on balconies when I traveled and stayed in Hotels. I would grow anything anywhere. I love to touch these things that God made. Every leaf is different. Every flower is different, all the colors and the combinations and the ‘this and that.’ You get down in the grass and you see the stuff that’s growing at the low level. My goodness is that something to behold! I can’t get enough of what grows on this earth. So what I do here is assemble it. We go to all the nurseries and we find out what’s new.

AM: Do you spend a lot of time going to nurseries?

JN: Not anymore. I’ve got someone far more talented than I who knows all the Latin names way beyond me in experience and intelligence. Now I’m the one who is on the lucky side. This really is one of the most beautiful gardens in all of California. Let’s brag a bit. For its size, it’s probably the most beautiful garden. It’s always beautiful here. There is always something blooming. Every morning I go out and see something new.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home