Tuesday, August 24, 2010

News to Me...and You!

I have a friend named Laurie Hertzel who writes lovely observations over at Three Dog Blog. She's clever, well-read, insightful and kind. And her new book is finally out.

I never knew until reading News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist that Laurie Hertzel's youth paralleled Mary Tyler Moore's--that is, if Mary Tyler Moore had worked for a newspaper instead of in television. I adore Mary Tyler Moore--intrepid young lass making it alone in the big city. I used to watch her show as a little girl and watched the Nick at Nite reruns as a working girl in my twenties. Mary was stylish and smart and I loved that the show was more about her at work than it was about her relationships as a single gal. Mary Tyler Moore was empowering--it made me see women as capable and career-oriented and happily single. Plus Rhoda lived upstairs from her--how cool was that?

While reading Laurie Hertzel's memoir about her start in the newspaper business at the Duluth News Tribune, I kept thinking of Mary all along the way...Yes, I know Laurie has famously curly hair, but in my imagination, Laurie had this sleek brown bob and wore fantastic polyester pant suits and wrap dresses.

Laurie's story is the real deal, not a made-for-television fantasy. As a teenager she steps into the bustling world of journalism--surrounded by the clack-and-rattle of typewriters and the constant ringing of telephones. In a male-dominated office she comes of age and takes on every challenge they throw her way--from copy editing to beat reporter, news editor to feature writer. Laurie recounts this fast-paced, exciting world in a memoir so compelling that I put it down once. For a bathroom break and to refill my coffee mug because you cannot read News to Me without black coffee and a cigarette. (Well, you can, and of course I didn't smoke while I read it, but darn it if I wasn't smelling cigarettes, as prominent in a 1970's newsroom as in Mad Men.) She references her personal life along the way in her story, but the focus is on her work, her fascinating, challenging, glorious work. News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist is a wonderful (and often funny) memoir of a woman at work in a world where the next story is always breaking now!


I'm giving away one copy of Laurie Hertzel's FABULOUS memoir to a lucky reader--leave a comment to enter, every comment you leave counts as an entry and I'm picking a lucky reader Sunday.

Spill it, reader. Who was your television heroine as a girl?


37 comments:

  1. My TV heroine was Laura Ingalls. Also, my literary heroine, so I was very consistent.

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  2. I refuse to admit to wearing anything polyester!

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  3. My Tv heroine was Belle as in Belle and Sebastian. Can you have a dog?! Why not?!!

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  4. Besides wishing I could grow up to live in an awesome studio apt like Mary T. Moore and besides cheering on Laura Ingalls every time she stood up to Nellie, I must admit I thought Kristy McNichol was very cool in Apple's Way and then in Family.

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  5. Well, I've actually starred in a movie with Mary Tyler Moore (and Ed Asner); ok, starred is slightly exaggerated: I was an extra in two scenes; ok, movie might be a stretch as it was a made-for-tv movie called "Payback" in 1996 (good luck finding it anywhere except on IMDB). But I digress: I'm going to read Laurie's book one way or another and might as well try this (and Laurie better not win this book!).

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  6. My tv heroine -- and there really weren't many to choose from -- was the bionic woman. (How sad is that?) But I never saw MTM growing up, so there you have it. Now? Strong female characters everywhere. Not so much back then.

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  7. I will not win the book, Jim! I, unlike most of the world, have already read it!

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  8. Laura Ingalls Wilder probably. Though Mary Tyler Moore was high on the list as well as Margaret Houlihan.

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  9. In books I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder, but never liked the show. I guess Carol Brady would be my TV favorite. Always so wise! ;)

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  10. It's such a coincidence that you wrote about MTM today. I was just thinking about that show today when I was in the shower. In one episode Lou gives this guy a nickname - Jerkface. For some reason that just cracked me up. So when my friends and I decided we should all have nicknames I decided my best friend should be Jerkface. She wasn't too keen on the idea. If I recall, my nickname was Buster. Back to shows, I loved the girls on the Waltons, watched every MTM, loved Little House on the Prairie, never missed an episode of The Brady Bunch, was a big fan of Carol Burnett, and when I was out of school loved Dana Delaney's character on China Beach.

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  11. The book looks great!
    I loved Mary T. Moore--but I really envied the flying nun! Oh, and Samantha Stevens from Bewitched. How bout that for a combo!

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  12. I'm in the Laura Ingalls Wilder camp--though I also really admired Ma's cool grace.

    The book looks terrific.

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  13. I loved MTM but I also loved the older girl on the Waltons; wanted to live in a big house in the mountains I guess. Thanks for the chance to win her book; I love her blog and now I'll be visiting your blog too!

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  14. I too grew up watching Mary Tyler Moore and admired her courage and strength in the fascinating field of journalism. My dream was to be in print journalism, but I loved that show none-the-less.

    I also loved Hart to Hart, a show about a sleuthing married couple and the wife was a writer! So me!

    My dreams have been to become a writer and I am now, many years later, finally full-out chasing that dream! (not that I am looking for self-promotion here, but I write five blogs, one of which is a work of fiction)

    I enjoyed your review and look forward to reading the book!

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  15. Oh goodness.. Penny in Sky King..she got to fly around with her Dad and she had a horse! If you draw my name please donate it to your local womans shelter..I ordered my own copy and it arrived this morning! :)

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  16. I, too, loved Mary Tyler Moore! I loved that she was an independent woman. She was a great role model for me.

    And I could mention that Chuckles Bites the Dust is still the single best sitcom episode ever made -- ever.

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  17. Loved Laura Ingalls. But I also thought Wonder Woman was awesome. :-)

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  18. I loved Mary Tyler Moore, but I liked That Girl better. Or at least that's how I'm remembering it now...

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  19. Sounds like a great read. :-) I would say that I liked Julie on the Love Boat. Her job looked like fun with all the traveling.

    By the way, the pen came off with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

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  20. My TV heroine was Sabrina, the short haired 'clever' one out of Charlie's Angels. I even had some lip gloss. I could never make my hair shine like hers though.

    I hope you can post to the UK!

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  21. Of course there was Laura on LITTLE HOUSE, but there also was Julie McCoy on LOVE BOAT...so friendly, so upbeat, so ready to make people feel better!

    A Duluth News Tribune book??? How cool.

    Oh, and the coffee in Turkey SUCKS. Really. It's a Nescafe culture, and the famous "Turkish coffee" is only made for tourists and is awful.

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  22. Of course there was Laura on LITTLE HOUSE, but there also was Julie McCoy on LOVE BOAT...so friendly, so upbeat, so ready to make people feel better!

    A Duluth News Tribune book??? How cool.

    Oh, and the coffee in Turkey SUCKS. Really. It's a Nescafe culture, and the famous "Turkish coffee" is only made for tourists and is awful.

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  23. TV Heroine...have to say I always wanted to be who ever Randolff Mantooth was saving on Emergency.

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  24. Oh, I just have to say Florida Evans from Good Times. She never gave up and loved her family with great patience and a sense of humor. The best part, though, was that she had Willona for a friend! I loved how she never gave up! (That she was the first person to come to mind is a bit ironic as I grew up as a very "white" girl in the South whose grandfather would turn off the television if a black person came on the screen...)

    Also, as a writer, I would love to read this book for inspiration!
    Denise

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  25. That's a tough one. They didn't really portray many women as heroine in the 80s when I was a girl. Angela always seemed so powerful smart on Who's the Boss.

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  26. Funny, as I was reading your post and how you related to Mary Tyler Moore, I was also thinking of Laura Ingalls, like so many who have commented before me.

    I guess it also depended on which era of my life.

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  27. Wonder Woman!! I mean, an invisible plane? Awesome.

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  28. I hate to admit it but I loved "that girl" with Marlo Thomas. I think it was the clothes...lol.

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  29. Growing up with only two TV channels, my choices were pretty limited. A family favorite was Bonanza, but my Big Sweetie Hoss was definately not a woman, and there were no regular females on the show. Each time a lady would show interest in one of the Cartwrights, my sisters and I would moan, "Noooo! Don't do it! You'll die!" A few of the luckier girlfriends would end up broken hearted, and on a wagon, where they probably died in an ambush on the trail as they headed back East.

    The leading ladies in I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched had some major power, but they were dominated by their men. Having a submissive wife that was as boring as the one next door was each man's goal. I would wiggle my nose or give a nod of the head and make Mr. No forget that he ever said "Don't use your talents." I'd create a much more appreciative and non-repressive guy to share my magical life with. In a process of elimination, the winning heroine of my childhood television viewing would be Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. Surely she secretly kicked herself for stepping off solid ground and ever taking that damned 3-hour boat ride. Practical and perky, Mary Ann made the best of what was served, and I'm not talking bananas and coconuts!

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  30. Murphy Brown and, um, well, Miss Piggy. This probably explains a lot.

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  31. After some initial hesitaion on choosing just ONE pick...
    It has to be Wilma from "The Flintstones". She was a no 'bull' kinda gal, and the bone through the bun was some fashion statement!
    Who was the Mom on "The Jetsons", she was very cool!

    For the best film on saavy newspaper gals, I love the Cary Grant, Rosaland Russel 40's hit, is it "My girl Friday"?

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  32. For Jane, regarding Jetsons:
    If you hum the tune, the words will come...
    Meet George Jetson.
    His Boy Elroy.
    Daughter Judy.
    Jane his wife.
    The big question is, why did Jane get 'chopsticks', when everyone else's intro was followed by jazzy spaceship driving music? The simple mind of a child remains.

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  33. I liked Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke!

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  34. I'm a follower of Laurie's blog and have been for quite some time. I can't get Laurie's book yet here in the Netherlands and I don't have a credit card to buy it at Amazon. I would sure like to win her book. It would be a treasure to me. I hope you will seriously consider me. Thanks.

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  35. Hey LaVonne, Miss kitty was rad! She never gave up her independence during the whole series. Just like my mom--who was also a LaVonne!!! Born and raised in Bogue, S.D.

    Come see my blog at Frecklefaceddogsrock.blogspot.com

    I'm on Maui.

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Spill it, reader.