In this “What would they do?” episode, I ask Oscar-nominated screenwriter, actress, & bestselling author Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Instant Mom) and #1 NYT bestselling memoirist and Oprah book club pick Cheryl Strayed (Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things) writing & career questions that stump me (and maybe you, too!). Idols to the rescue! What a comfort to learn that they still struggle in many of the ways I do—and what a relief to hear their best workarounds.
I don’t have to tell you we’re living in crazy times. If you're reading this with one ear tuned to news of the dumpster fires in Washington, and/or other noisy alerts, alarms, and amusements, stay close.
I fell in love with Cheryl and Nia together after seeing the stage production of Tiny, Beautiful Things in Pasadena. Nia was playing the lead role of Sugar—Cheryl's advice columnist alter ego—and although Cheryl's book was one of my favorites, I was wholly unprepared for experiencing the material live. And, can you believe it—these ladies are just as wise, funny, and profoundly open-hearted as you’d imagine or hope for after experiencing their work.
All three of us, as you’ll hear, are currently in the thick of creative blocks. Doing our best to find our way. And yet, it feels like the writing gods were smiling on us as we hashed out our processes on air. (Well, the tech Gods were a little harder to appease. You'll notice a few scratchy cell-phone reception moments, but we do what we can, people, from our homes and in our pajamas.)
I feel like the luckiest person with a call-in conference line and a dream. And, triply so because I get to share these once-in-a-lifetime conversations with you.