Twenty Super Years Ago

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Superman fan. I have been since I was a little girl. And today is a very special day in my Super-history. Today is the day 20 short years ago that I met Superman himself.

Now I’ve met celebrities before. I have tons of stories… some funny, some creepy, but none as extraordinary as the day I met Dean Cain on the wintery streets of New York City, November 22, 1996. Everything we did that day ended in disaster, and yet for some reason we were still guided through the day like a game of Sims to meet Superman.

Dean was scheduled to be on the Rosie O’Donnell show in New York City at 9am. NYC was a 2-hour plus drive for us, and the NBC studios suggested getting there early. So at 3:30 in the morning we were woken up by my mom blaring – and I mean blaring- the John Williams’ Superman theme song. I’ve never woken up at that time that excited before. By 4:30 we – my four sisters, Kelli, Kristin, Aimee, and MaCai- and my good friend Cindy, were piled into the family van and headed toward New York from Connecticut. We didn’t get far though, because our van broke down.

My father was persistent and we were all determined to get there though, so he brought the broken van home and we switched to his Ford Taurus, a 5 seater car for 8 people. Hey, we were rebels. It was tight, but we made it…a little late, but we were there.

Now came the awful part. We were in line, where it was first come first serve, for seating in the studio. All of eight of us rotated in and out of the spot, fairly close to the front for the next two hours. I didn’t switch too much, because I was too geared up to see the show. I probably only left to go to the bathroom, whereas the others would come and go for food or the gift shops in 30 Rockefeller Center. So when the studio people came by to pass out tickets this b***h behind us started making a stink about how we didn’t deserve tickets because we were always rotating, and she couldn’t leave even once to pee. We were like big deal. You could have left and someone would’ve nicely saved your spot. The people weren’t that mean, but this chick just made such a ruckus that I started yelling and shouting at her (emotions were really high) and eventually it was too much that I said, “That’s it. I don’t want to see Dean like this. I’ll constantly have a bad taste in mouth about the day.” And we left.

Outside Rockefeller Center I collapsed on the stairs, mind you right across the street from where the whole Kennedy family (Teddy and John Jr. included) were walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a service over John Kennedy’s death anniversary, crying my eyes out. I was so incredibly upset, because seeing Dean was something I was so close to and it was ripped from me by a nasty woman.  My mom hugged me and gave me the quintessential mom speech of how things happen for a reason and only God knows the reason.

As silly as it seemed, she still prayed with me on the steps that if it was in His will that God would see the desires of my heart and open the doors that needed to be opened.  I remember doubting her words and maybe even scoffing at the thought that God doesn’t care if I meet a celebrity or not. But the hour wasn’t up yet…

We walked the New York streets for a little while until it started to flurry and get rather windy and cold, and we decided it was best to go home. So we smooshed ourselves into the Taurus and maneuvered through NYC traffic, even switching off Fifth Avenue to Madison because Fifth was gridlocked. We were almost to the end of the street, when at a red light my sister Kristin said, “Eryn look, it’s Dean!”

Kristin, God love her, was a tease and I think I told her to quit it. But she turned my head to the window and said, “NO, LOOK… it’s Dean!” And sure enough, IT WAS!

Everyone started yelling, “GO!!” and my sisters pushed me out of the car, right in the middle of the road.

I ran out and stood across the street from Dean taking luggage out of his limousine and signing autographs to the few fans that were outside. I called out his name and he looked up and waved. I squealed to myself and without thinking ran across the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I remember seeing Dean’s face just drop as he said, “Careful!”

I was an idiot, I hadn’t even looked before running. But hey, I made it and in just a few more feet I was right in front of the man I’d been infatuated with for the last three years on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanNow, I know people always say when they meet people outside of film, ‘oh they are so much better looking up close,’ but wow – it was the truth. If any of you thought Dean was gorgeous on television, it’s a different story up close… he’s exquisite!!! Black hair, tan skin, tall, muscular!! oh my gosh, and his eyes… gorgeous almond shaped with sienna brown irises, accented with flecks of gold. I’m not kidding, he is beautiful!

Now, that 20 years have gone by I don’t remember everything he said or I said, but I remember little flashes. I know I asked for a picture and he said sure, but no one else was around at that point. The fans had left, he’d sent his assistant inside the hotel to check in, and my family hadn’t showed up yet. This was before selfies, too, so I had no idea how this was going to work, and I was so nervous and shaky. Luckily, I felt a had on my shoulder and my sister was there saying she’d take my picture.

I ran right to Dean and latched arms around his freakin’ tiny waist. I remember hearing his laughter and seeing his big smile so genuinely happy he was making me happy. It was funny too, because as I was hugging him, I remembered his muscles and leaned my cheek against his chest feeling those oh-so-firm pectorals, then thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve died and gone to Heaven.’ In fact, my picture with him is the face I was making when I leaned in.

eryn-and-dean

My sister Kristin went next, then Kelli, with each of them taking the pictures for each other.

By that point, my mother and my littler sisters  (Aimee was 5, MaCai was 6) came running up behind us. Aimee was yelling out, “Superman! Superman!” and Dean turned around and I heard him aww out loud at her cuteness.

Mom, on the other hand, was embarrassing – as mothers often are- she was saying, “I can’t believe we found you!” and picked up sister Aimee and literally threw her – yes threw her – into his arms. He caught her with a thud, her back to his chest. Thank God he was a football player!

He then knelt and lopped his other arm around MaCai. I don’t know how it happened but I had the camera. I was shaking like a leaf! I was also holding my gloves in one hand. Dean did notice that the gloves were covering the lens and said, “Hon? Hey honey, the gloves are in front of the lens.”

 

I was more enthralled that he’d called me honey, then sighed and realized what he was saying, and tossed to them ground. He laughed at me and I took the picture.

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The cool thing about this day was that it wasn’t an end, but a beginning. Like my mom had said on the steps of Rockefeller Center, God knows the desires in my heart. My desire wasn’t just to meet Dean, but to have a writing career, to meet the man of my dreams who would become my husband, and yeah to always have a Superman in my life.

Because of Dean and this day, I took my love of writing and apply to my love of history to become a historical fiction writer and researcher for other my books. When I wasn’t sure of where to go after college, I chose California because I loved it so much after visiting Warner Brothers Studio (where Lois and Clark was filmed). Because I moved to California, I met my husband, got married, and had a beautiful baby boy. And after meeting Dean again a few years ago, it has opened up far more writing doors than I could’ve ever hoped for. And lastly, the friends I’ve met, because of this man, have been life-long, deep connections I hope never to lose.

So Dean, if you are reading this, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for opening so many doors. THANK YOU for the last twenty years. And THANK YOU for always being MY Superman.

dc-supes

 

 

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My 50 Favorite Words (and 10 least favorite)

As a writer, I am a lover of words. Not just words strung together to make a sentence and eventually a story, but the actual word. There are SO many beautiful, fun, and interesting words in the English language and I’d like to share my favorites with you, broken into 5 categories. I’d love it, too, if you shared some of your favorite words with me as well.

 

Beautiful Words

These are words that sound beautiful rolling off the tongue and have exquisite meaning to go along with them.

Dalliance – A brief love affair

Dulcet – Sweet, sugary.  * One of my favorite lines in a old romance entitled The Princess by Jude Deveraux has this word it in it. “If it isn’t the dulcet tones of my royal wife.” The story was about a US solider forced to marry a Eastern European princess he hated.

Eloquence – Beauty and persuasion in speech

Gossamer – The finest piece of thread; a spider’s silk

Idyllic – Perfect, extremely pleasant.  * I learned this one from the 90s tv show, Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman. Dean Cain, always had the best million dollar vocabulary.

Labyrinth – Twisting and turning. *Doesn’t it even sound mysterious?

Lilt – To move or speak musically. *I always think of the Scottish or Irish accents as being Liltish.

Petulant – Moody. *Another favorite from Lois and Clark.

Quintessential – Classic model.

Serendipity – Finding someone while looking for someone else.

 

 

Fun to Say Words

Give them a try. These are some of my all-time favorites to say aloud.

Bon Mot – A clever, witty remark or comment. *I learned this one last winter from my current favorite tv show Once Upon a Time, when the Evil Queen finally called Captain Hook by his actual first name instead of one of her constant bon mots (:30 mark – ps. ignore Hook’s aggression, he was cursed.)

Cacophony – A collection of various sounds all at once. *This one is often listed as an ugly word, but I think it’s gorgeous, and it’s so fun to say.

Coddiwomple – To travel with purpose toward a vague destination. *”Go West, young man.”

Discombobulate – To confuse or discontent, upset, frustrate.

Hemophiliac – A person with genetic disorders that don’t allow blood to clot.  *This always reminds me Grand Russian family, the Romanovs. The youngest son, Nicolas II was a hemophiliac

Maneuver – A planned and regulated movement.

Onomatopoeia – A words that sounds like it means, ex. Clink, Bang, Whoa.

Paradoxical – Having a nature of paradox, self-contradictory.

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Sepulveda Boulevard – A street name in Los Angeles, CA. * Okay, so this is just a personal favorite. It’s so fun to say out loud. It just rolls flawlessly off the tongue.

Vilipend – to regard or treat as little value.

 

 

Words You Didn’t Know There Were Words For

Who knows what that dangly thing is in the back of our throats? Or what the dot on top of the letter I is? (which subsequently are Uvula and Tittle.) There are plenty more words out there that I didn’t even know there were words for, and here’s a list of some of the better ones.

Agelast – Someone who never laughs. *And in turn, someone I would either not want to meet or would do my best to try and make them laugh.

Algedonic – Something both painful and pleasurable. *Ooh!

Mauerbauertraurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who like you. * I’m pretty sure you’ll meet a person like this in my upcoming novel Falling for Hope. Keep an eye out, her name is Lucy.

Odium – Widespread hatred or digest for someone

Petrichor – The way it smells after the rain. *Or right now, if you live in Illinois.

Philtrum – The vertical groove between the upper lip and nose.

Pogonotrophy – The growing and grooming of facial hair.

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Sockdolager – A decisive retort, ex. A mic drop.

Torpefy – Make someone numb or paralyzed.

Vellichor Strange wistfulness of being inside a used bookshop.

 

 

The Best British Wordsengland-clip-art-free-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-rb6xuz-clipart

Our mother nation, The United Kingdom, has some of the best words, that both mean and sound amazing…especially when they say them in their seemingly proper sounding dialect. And being that my series Falling for Heroes is based around a British family, I have become quite familiar with many of these.

Arse-over-tits – To fall over; to be clumsy. * Gosh, how I love the Brits!

Bangers & Mash – A popular dish of sausages and mashed potatoes.

Bloody – Adds vehement to curses and phrases. ex. Oh bloody hell!

Bollocks – In short, balls. But it’s usually said as in the way Americans say, Damnit!

Bugger – A jerk. Or to go away, if you add off to it. ex. Bugger off, will ya?

Cheeky – Impudent in an amusing way

Fancy – To like someone, or would like something. ex. Fancy a pint? *A personal favorite.

Knackered – Tired

Peckish – Hungry

Rubbish – Garbage, or something untrue. ex. There’s nothing but rubbish in that tabloid.

 

 

Ugly Words

As an added bonus, these words both sound gross, as well as usually mean something unsavory to go along with it. How many of these do you agree with it?

Capitulate – To give in

Coitus – Sexual intercourse between a man and woman

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Fluid – A substance capable of flowing. ex. a liquid.

Lubricant – A substance, like oil or grease, used to lessen friction.

Manipulate – To manage or influence in a skillful, unfair manner.

Moist – Moderately damp. *Does anyone like this word?? I don’t think so.

Ointment – A soft, oily preparation often medicinal for application to the skin.

Regurgitate – To rush back from where it came.

Unctuous – The characteristic of oily, fatty, or greasy. *Funny, how most of these have to do with being oily and greasy. Like it’s a perquisite for a those types of words to be gross.

 

I’d love to hear some of you favorite, or least favorite words in the comments! I could always add some more awesome words to my mental list!

 

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lc

Watch Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman NOW

Third Time’s A Charm

“Meet us at 8:30 on Saturday morning, we’re going to Wizard World!” That was the message I received on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from my big-hearted mom and dad.

Dean Cain was going to be there and I thought it would be impossible to go. More than anything I wanted to meet him and thank him personally for being look and heritage inspiration for the character Mack. Without Dean being on my mind, so long ago I would have never created the storyline for Beneath the Wall.  As many of you know, I originally thought of what life would be like for the interracial child of Kim and Chris at the end of Miss Saigon. That was the trigger, but as I wondered what kind of story I could pull from it, another one came to mind. This one involved the handsome Superman actor, Dean Cain and his own Japanese-American background. My mind stepped back in time to World War II and thought, hmm what if an American sailor met a Japanese woman and they had a child (that looked like Dean)? What if  as an adult, he was sent to fight in Vietnam? What hardships would he go through being purely American but resembled the men they were fighting against? Would his compatriots accept him? If so, who could he turn to when the digs and prejudice got too much? Ahh someone else who could relate to him being an outsider… a woman in a Marine camp.  Bingo! Beneath the Wall was born.

Fast forward to this yesterday. My sweet-hearted friend Shawn wrote me saying, she, too, was going to Wizard World in St. Louis, Missouri and when I thought I couldn’t go, she’d bought a copy of Beneath the Wall to give to Dean Cain for me. I was so touched that she was going to make that dream of gifting the man who inspired my creation, come true. I was even more grateful when I said I could make it, that she was willing to let me give it to him.

At noon, the time had finally come. My mother and I were through the gated area of the convention and Dean was just feet away, but Shawn was no where to be found. My mouth was dry, pores were sweating (Dean was right in front of me) and yet the biggest piece of the puzzle was missing – Shawn and my book.  I paced, texted and finally decided that maybe she’d be in the discussion panel where Dean and actor, John Shea (he played Lex Luthor to Dean’s Superman) would be. No such luck, but the panel was awesome! I was still SO close, but SO far away from making this new dream come true.

John Shea (Lex Luthor) & Dean Cain (Clark Kent/Superman)

John Shea (Lex Luthor) & Dean Cain (Clark Kent/Superman)

I had met Dean before – twice – once in New York City

Eryn and Dean Cain 11/22/96 NYC

Eryn and Dean Cain 11/22/96 NYC

when I was all of 20 years old and then again in California at 21. I had spoken to him on the phone and Twitter last year…Screen Shot 2012-11-22 at 11.07.01 AM all had been wonderful but so fleeting in moment that I never had a chance to tell him about anything important. I tried, of course, but with no such luck.  This time was going to be different – I just knew it, but the longer I couldn’t find my friend, the more I fretted.

The day was dwindling to a close and I knew I couldn’t leave without at least getting a typical fan picture with him. And I had brought another little present for his son, a personalized set of dog tags from Camp Lincoln here in town. I got in line, Dean right in front of me and there, to his right was a copy of Beneath the Wall.  I gasped and he looked at me. I smiled and said, “You have my book!”

There it is, right on the table!

There it is, right on the table!

He glanced at the paperback and with widened eyes said, “You’re Eryn? Oh Wow! Shawn dropped it by earlier, she said you’d be here. This is awesome!”

I squealed and let the few people in front of me get their pictures. Then it was my turn. I stood where the photograph of the two of us would be taken and Dean walked over to me with open arms saying, “Eryn…” as if we were two old buddies meeting after a long absence.  Scan 118Those arms wrapped around me and mine around him. We laughed, he leaned his head on mine, squeezed and the picture was taken. (I’m beaming now, just reliving the moment)

Next, I was brought down to the autograph area where I could have some one on one time. Dean sat and said, “Now tell me about this book. I read the back, it looks amazing.”  I then proceeded to tell him everything I mentioned above about it and how he was involved. Dean just kept saying, “Wow, oh Wow,” all throughout and then with a hand to his heart said, “I’m truly honored. I’ll be reading this on the flight home. I can’t wait.”P1030025P1030027P1030030

I have met a lot of people involved with my book, from local veterans, who I give the utmost honor and respect to in helping me understand what to write for my characters to the men and women still enlisted in the Marine Corp, keeping our country safe today…But meeting Dean and giving him my book was the complete icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae, the diamond in my crown… He’s a fellow writer, a patriot and respects the military men and women as much as I do. If I do nothing else with Beneath the Wall, I’ll be a happy girl.

P1030031In the end, after Dean’s handler came over and tried (yes tried) to chastise Dean for spending too much time with me (to which Dean said, “let her finish,” and I finished the conversation I was having with him before the guy so rudely interrupted), he leaned over the table and said, “Come here,” and gave me an unprompted hug and K I S S! I, of course hugged and kissed him back, we said goodbye and I grabbed my paparazzi-mother on the other side of the roped off area, unable to breathe or think. My dream had come full circle and for that moment in time, all was right in the world.

p.s. when Dean was signing my autograph, his hand slipped and he wrote on me! I was marked!

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lc Watch Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman NOW