Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Oprah of my dreams

All authors wish they could get on Oprah (Jonathan Franzen notwithstanding) but I literally dream about it.

Last week's show My Baby or My Job: Why Elizabeth Vargas Stepped Down really got my brain fired up. First I wrote two long blog posts about the show and the ideas it stirred up. This sent me into a near-manic midnight writing session that left me depleted for the rest of the week. I had to make a conscious decision to chill out just so I could sleep.

Oprah found a way around even that defense! Last night I had another in a series recurring Oprah dreams. I have dreamed several times that I was invited to her office or the show--and I might glimpse her from afar, but I never had the chance to talk to her. Well, in last night's episode I actually got to sit down with her and Dr. Oz to discuss the show we'd be doing. This was a major step forward and it honestly felt very cool, even in dreamland. (Is that really embarrassing? Too bad, because it's true. Don't you ever feel like there are lines in dreams you'll just never cross, like being able to fly at will, or looking down at the brilliant novel you've written in your dream and actually be able to read and remember what's on the page? That's what it felt like to talk to Oprah.)

There were a number of comical complications that still cast an air of doubt over whether I'd get to the show on time--such as the fact that we'd brought our dog with us and couldn't leave him in the hotel room alone. I figued that Dr. Oz could hook us up with a local kennel....

I have had recurring dream series my whole life. At first they were just scary, but over the years they've evolved into something I listen to. My first recurring dream was tornadoes, my childhood anxiety dream. The second was rivers, which still show up when I face a decision point in life. When I finished graduate school I was considering many career options, from patent law to teaching. I knew in my heart I wanted to teach, but I decided to test that decision by investigating other jobs. After visiting a swanky, corporate law office in a San Francisco skyscraper, I dreamed about several kinds of artificial waterways: sailing a boat in a cement-lined canal, and getting hung up on a water slide without enough water in it, where I had to drag myself along with a lot of effort.

Message received: I chose teaching.

So what about Oprah? She's been on my mind because she really needs to learn more about and have them on as a follow-up to the Elizabeth Vargas show. And I have been very impressed with Oprah's new school in South Africa. She's going to make a big difference in educating a new generation of leaders, critics be hushed. If I did have a chance to sit down with Oprah, I'd recommend that she read The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson. First published in 1995, this science-fiction adventure, set in neo-Victorian Shanghai, imagined an incredibly prescient high-tech future, where an interactive laptop is designed only for the rich. One copy falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell, and another is bootlegged and copied into a device to educate millions of forgotten girls.

Perhaps Stephenson's book is a tenuous link to Oprah's Leadership Academy, but I bet she'd get a kick out of this story that proposes a technological vision that may come to life in the near future. The One Laptop Per Child initiative aims to invent a $100 laptop and make it available to children throught the developing world. Instead of giving children one set of books, they can be given the world of literature and communication through a laptop that has internet connectivity and doubles as an e-book reader. They're just getting started with this exciting idea. My husband has an opportunity to be part of this project--he took the working prototype to a retreat over New Year's and everybody wanted to see it.

So, Oprah, just to wrap up, keep talking about motherhood on your show, and if ever you want to do a feature on Mojo Moms, you know where to find me!

To the rest of my blog readers, if you had a chance to sit down one-on-one with Oprah over a cup of coffee, what would you want to talk to her about?

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Anonymous Sarah Zeldman said...

Ah yes...we all dream of talking to Oprah...

If you're serious about getting on Oprah, I recommend "Get Booked On Oprah: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Guest On The World's Top Talk Show."

I just bought it. Though I haven't been on Oprah yet ;) I think it is worth the price.

You can check it out here:

1:56 AM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

MojoMom, That is so wild - I had a dream about Oprah two nights ago!

Maybe we're channeling the energy to make the show appearance happen?

If I had one meeting with her, I would want to talk about what we can do here in the U.S. to find more ways to empower girls -- the help them get through the rugged teen-age years and show them how much power they can yield if they get involved with issues, and not just shopping and boys!

10:14 AM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

That's great, Pundit Mom! The collective unconscious at work?

As an author I often ask myself "Oprah's not calling--now what?" This is not self-defeating, but rather a kick in the pants to remind myself that I need to make things happen, rather than waiting for someone else to deliver my big break!

2:18 PM  

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