Kay: Melissa McCarthy as the Unlikeable Protagonist

Let’s talk about unlikeable protagonists. A few weeks ago, Jeanne did. I thought about what she said, and I wasn’t sure I agreed with her. Since then, I’ve seen Can You Ever Forgive Me?

For those of you who don’t go to the movies or haven’t seen this one yet, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the life of biographer Lee Israel, who reaches a dead end in her writing career after her agent rejects her latest project. Out of money and desperate to meet her rent and take her cat to the vet, the movie shows Israel first forging letters from famous, dead actors and writers and then stealing such letters from public libraries and research institutions and selling those, as well.

Movie-wise, I thought Melissa McCarthy did a terrific job playing Israel.

Character-wise, I didn’t like her. Continue reading

Nancy: Home Sweet Home


While on a business trip to Chicago this past week, I was riding on the shuttle van between the airport and the hotel, minding my own business, thinking about my ‘day job’ that had prompted the trip, when my writer’s brain perked up and engaged. A woman in the row behind me on the shuttle asked the man sitting next to her whether he had ever visited Chicago, and he said he had but it had been thirty years ago.

It was dusk. The shuttle van rounded a corner. The skyline came into view. The woman behind me told the man beside her, “That’s the way to see the city, with the lights just coming on.”

It was a simple statement, but the tone of her voice spoke volumes. I knew from her statement that, whether she lives there now or lived there in the past, Chicago is the home of her heart. Continue reading