me

On behalf of the entire TNB community, I want to send love and appreciation to Cynthia Hawkins, our longtime Arts & Culture editor, who is battling cancer with uncommon grace and determination. All of us here–and of course I’m referring to our far-flung tribe of writers and editors, both past and present–are deeply moved and inspired by you, Cynthia, and we want you to know how much we care about you and your family.

With this in mind, we figure a good old-fashioned, comment-heavy post here at TNB will cheer you up and give you some more good energy. (All readers are invited to join me in offering positive thoughts on the board below.)

The Internet is often criticized for its tendency to keep people isolated from one another—or “alone together,” as Sherry Turkle likes to say. The best thing about this site is the fact that it has so often worked against this notion. Real friendships and deep correspondences have formed here over the years. This is attributable not to the site itself, but to the quality of the people who create it. Cynthia, you embody this spirit as much as any of us. We’re all grateful.

Keep fighting. Keep being a light. And know that we’re thinking of you, and sending you our hearts.

xo
BL

TAGS: , ,

BRAD LISTI is the founder of The Nervous Breakdown and the author of a novel called Attention. Deficit. Disorder.
 
His latest book, Board, co-authored by Justin Benton, is now available in trade paperback and e-book editions from TNB Books.

He is also the host of Otherppl wth Brad Listi, a weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors. For updates, follow the show @otherppl on Twitter.

You can find him online at www.bradlisti.com and Twitter

162 responses to “Love to Cynthia”

  1. Gloria says:

    In addition to being a beautiful, rare source of light and love in the world, nobody talks movies like you do, Cynthia. I think about our collaboration on Tron: Legacy often. So much fun.

  2. Zara says:

    That Cynthia Hawkins with her pixie cut and shining face! Weaving her movie magic writings with humour, charm and a huge amount of knowledge. Cynthia, you ALMOST convinced me to watch a Clive Owen movie. Almost….
    I know you are fighting this with all your might- but know that we are with you all the way, championing your corner. Always.

    • Kimberly Wetherell says:

      Hey. What’s your beef with Clive Owen, Zister? Have you seen Children of Men??? Or more importantly…

      … HAVE YOU SEEN HIM SHIRTLESS???

      • Gloria says:

        Oooooh. I thought the Clive Owen repulsion was Cynthia’s. But I see now that it’s Zara’s. Interesting.

      • Zara says:

        Unfortunately, I have.

      • James D. irwin says:

        Richie Sambora was Cynthia’s ‘Clive Owen’.

        ‘I quote — ”You know how Clive Owen makes Zara’s skin crawl? That’s Richie Sambora for me.”

        • D.R. Haney says:

          How did you happen to remember that, James?

          • James D. irwin says:

            I’ve been reading Cynthia’s posts looking for my comments, and vice versa.

            • D.R. Haney says:

              This board could use more of James Irwin. You were the pepper of many a discussion. Well, the oregano, maybe. Becky was always the pepper.

              • James D. irwin says:

                I’ve been out a lot the last couple of days, and I carry around a very basic phone so I’ve simply not been online.

                To be honest, seeing another 100+ comment thread here and all these names (some of which I’ve not heard in a long time…) is having a strange effect on me. The golden era of TNB was a better time in my life — the best time. I’ve all but given up writing in the last two years, and I’m now experiencing profound regret…

                • D.R. Haney says:

                  From the little I gathered from your Facebook posts, James, I thought things were looking okay for you, James. Anyway, you’re not alone in reconsidering the writing thing; that’s happened with some of our former colleagues, I believe. Listen, I’ve been reading a massive biography of Norman Mailer, and he considered leaving the writing life behind very early, not long after his huge success at age 26, or whatever it was, with The Naked and the Dead. He thought of working in the prison system somehow, after visiting prisons in the course of research for something or the other and being appalled by them, and later he wanted very much to be a movie director. In fact, he directed a few underground movies in the sixties, and then helmed his own adaptation of Tough Guys Don’t Dance, and if the latter had been successful, he would gladly have made other movies rather than write books.

                  I joined TNB at a moment of big changes in my life. My circle of friends was beginning to disperse, so the TNB family became important to me in that sense. You seemed to me a big deal when I arrived here. You were already in the club, so I was wary of approaching you for a while, though I remember that your bio said something like, “Drop him a line; he could use the distraction.”

                  • James D. irwin says:

                    Generally, I try to avoid anything too emotional or self-pitying on Facebook. Things looked up briefly, but nothing came of it. I’m unemployed, and have been for a while. Money is running out. My father has stopped talking to me. I naively believed that things would get better after my parents separated, but instead things are about as bad as they’ve ever been. I tried to approach the new year with optimism, but that got ground out of me before we’d even taken down the Christmas decorations…

                    The parable of Norman Mailer has made me feel better about things. I read your comment last night, but didn’t have time to reply. I sat on my bed thinking about it. Obviously I don’t have much interest in making films, but the same principle applies.
                    I’ve been performing stand up on and off for the last 6 years or so. I’d never really actively pursued it, because I had few opportunities and for a while it was mostly just a hobby. Then in 2015 I was lucky enough to go to Portland (and meet a few TNBers), where I could get on stage 3-5 times a night. It was fun. The beer was cheap. People liked me, and I did well. I got a paid gig, and got to host an open mic all in the space of a month.
                    When I came back, I decided to pursue that full time and write less. And of course, it isn’t the same. In Portland I could walk or take the bus to bars/clubs. Here it’s a £10 train ticket (minimum) to get to a venue. You do 5 minutes. Everybody leaves, no-one remembers you. It’s a hard thing to leave behind though, because I’m pretty good at it, and making a room of people laugh feels pretty good for about half an hour. So I kept doing it, and looking at going back to writing as ‘a backwards step’, or an attempt to cling on to my past. It felt like the boat had sailed. And of course it hasn’t.

                    I realised I’ve been chasing something I can never have. Performing stand up here isn’t the same as performing it in the US. I’ve just been hopelessly trying to recreate that feeling, scrabbling for fragments of self-esteem. It’s taken this — the TNB community reconvening, the example of Norman Mailer and others — to realise that I can go back. There’s no shame in admitting the dream you were pursuing is not, after all, for you…

                    I think we worked out once that you only arrived at TNB a month or two after I did. Although I think I may have seemed like a ‘big deal’ because I had the novelty of my youth, the novelty of my nationality, and the fact that I’d been around for a while before I became a contributor. I was a regular reader and frequent commenter of Brad’s blog, then TNB for maybe eighteen months or so, before I became a contributor. In fact, it was largely the prodding of a few other (Gloria, Tawni, Tammy…) that led to Brad offering me the chance to contribute.

                    I started university in 2008, which was the worst time of my life until recently. I spent most of my time online, mostly at TNB. Even without contributing, it would be a special place for me. It was a fun place to be, to escape to. It was a very, very welcome distraction. It was also a wonderful feeling to be made to feel welcome amongst a lot of people I respected. More so when I started writing. It’s really the only time I can think of where I’ve felt respected by people I respect…

                    That’s more or less verbatim, I think. I changed it later on, but I remember writing something like that for my first ever TNB bio. Over the years I’ve exchanged e-mails with a couple of writers, and saved them all in a special folder. There’s a lot of valuable advice in there, and just some fun discussions…

                    • D.R. Haney says:

                      We were correspondents, at one point, as I know you’ll remember, and in fact we were planning to cobble together a collaboration from our back and forth, some of it taken from the boards. I missed it when it was gone. I missed the boards, too, but then you become accustomed to the new thing, whatever it is, and it’s strange to return.

                      I remember Cynthia telling me that she knew something had changed at TNB when she approached contributors about her Scariest Movie Scenes Ever piece. (I linked to it below.) It was hard for her to get people to participate, but she eventually rounded up enough of them to put something together. I have to say I was reluctant at first, but I was ultimately glad that I wrote something for her. In fact, I was so glad, I approached her a year later about doing it again, just the two of us, and that’s what led to our Frankenstein collaboration.

                      You didn’t ask for advice, so I won’t offer any, not here, except to say that whatever you do, you have to work very hard at it and make every necessary sacrifice. If, for instance, you thought that relocating to Portland, or wherever, would assist your pursuit of standup, then you should throw caution to the wind and find some way of doing it. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been asked about writing by people who imagine they’ve got a book in them, but you can’t just decide one day you’re going to write a book; it’s a process that begins years before the first word is written. Your present problem may be in, simply, deciding what it is you most want to do. That can be hard, I know, but wrestle it out and commit fully when the answer is clear. Don’t go the Hamlet route, and if that’s your direction, it isn’t too late to turn back.

                    • James D. irwin says:

                      I’m hoping this nests in the right place…

                      I found that piece somewhere recently. I think it’s on a USB stick, although I’m not sure what I’ve done with the USB stick. But yes, we have a wealth of correspondence, both from these boards and in e-mails. I blame facebook for the decline in comment boards and in correspondence. It’s easier to post a comment, or a quick message now, and nearly everyone has opted for convenience over substance…

                      All good things come to an end, I guess. Things move on. I don’t really remember how things changed. I think I just found myself checking in less and less, and then hardly at all…
                      I wish I’d participated more in collaborations. That was something I liked about TNB, but for whatever reasons, never ended up being involved with…

                      I’m not sure I’ve ever asked for advice. Things just come up in conversation, or nuggets get shared. It was a massive benefit of being young and surrounded by more experienced, more accomplished writers.

                      I’ve been wrestling with what I want to do for years. I finally feel like I’m coming to conclusions that feel final and right. Part of the struggle has just been not having anything to write… I’ve written two novels. I was reading the second one recently — it was forged in the dying embers of my time at university. And now I have something to write — or, to be more accurate, re-write.

                      I don’t want to do stand up professionally. I think I’ve always known that. I’ve seen how hard some of my friends work at being funny, and it just isn’t for me. When it comes down to the big sacrifices, I’ve never been prepared to make them.
                      And of course the answer is simple. Start writing again, accept that it’s going to be difficult to get back to my best. Work hard.
                      I don’t have to stop doing stand up. I can do it as a hobby. Just because you go bowling once a month, for example, it doesn’t mean you’re going to sacrifice everything to make it as a professional bowler. You just have a few beers with friends, and have fun. It’s taken me a while to realise you can be good at something, enjoy it, but not dedicate your life to it…

  3. Kimberly Wetherell says:

    Cynemaniac: I was overjoyed when you joined TNB; FINALLY there was someone I could talk with about movies! Blockbusters, Classics, Tiny Indies… ALL OF THEM! There are a few true fighters in this world, and you, my dear, ARE. A. WARRIOR! I have rarely witnessed such grace, humor, and joy in the face of adversity, and you continue to be an inspiration, with your deep faith and never-ending hope.

    Keep being the badass unicorn warrior we know you to be!

    xk

  4. D.R. Haney says:

    Here’s my own collaboration with Cynthia, about Frankenstein:

    http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/chawkins/2013/10/monster-bisque-hawkins-and-haney-talk-frankenstein/

    We did that for Halloween, and a year later we were brainstorming about another collaboration, and out of that came this, which I wrote alone, though I would never have written it without input from Cynthia:

    http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/drhaney/2014/11/hello-stranger/

    I wrote to Cynthia privately recently to tell her that our every interaction has made feel better or made me a better person, which I’m sure I’ve never said to anyone else, and I meant every word of it and still do.

    I love you, Cynthia.

  5. Kerry Dunn says:

    I’m not a writer, but I’m a reader. Of the people commenting on this thread I’ve only met Duke in real life. Cynthia and I have been online friends for many years, probably sparked from TNB.

    Cynthia, I’ve been watching you battle this disease these last several years with your humor completely intact. You are an inspiration. I can’t help but think of your girls and how lucky they are to have you as a mom. Please know that even though we’ve never met in the real world, you have been completely real to me and I have much love in my heart for you and your family. Stay strong.

    Fuck cancer.

  6. Cynthia,

    Ever since I began at TNB many, many moons ago, I considered myself to be amongst a rare group of individuals: wise, huge-hearted, and extremely talented. Through the years, those thoughts haven’t changed. You’re a rare individual, my dear. We hold you in extremely high esteem. Fight the good fight, and know that you’ve got all of us here at TNB wishing you the absolute best. Huge love, honor and respect.

    Rich Ferguson

  7. Nat Missildine says:

    I think, Cynthia, you and I first dove into this community of cool writers at almost the same moment. I immediately felt like I’d found a friend, someone who had a passion and wit about movies and someone who, like me, was raising two daughters. There was that joke we exchanged several times that we weren’t actually real people, only fun avatars. But you kept showing too much heart for the idea to really work. I loved your movie list pieces, the video you made about your record collection, the writing and the relief fund for the tornado in Joplin and then the blog posts of treatments, setbacks and rebounds. In every case, your humor and your warmth never changed. I’m so glad I ran into you. I’m a better writer and person for it.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Yes, I’ve been thinking about that record-collection film she did. I need to find that.

        • Nat Missildine says:

          Yep, this piece is a good example of her creativity and dedication that would push me to put more into my own writing. Every time I found myself asking, “Why bother?”, her work appeared as a kind of response. In any case, it’s beautiful to wake up this morning to see all these familiar faces she inspired.

          • D.R. Haney says:

            It’s sad that we’ve all kind of drifted apart and, yes, nice that some of us have reassembled here. TNB was enormously important to me. I remember Ben Loory saying — this was after the TNB crowd had begun to disperse — that he felt almost like he had been through a war with TNB contributors. He meant it in the sense of a shared profound experience that acts as a bond after the experience itself has passed.

            As you may remember, I started trying to compile a collection of essays four years ago — it’s been that long! — all of them about movies and LA, and Cynthia was very much a booster. She used to tell me to hurry up because she wanted to assign the book to her students. It kept me going. I’m still going, and very nearly done, though I don’t know what, if anything, will happen with it now. But I’ve thought of her constantly along the way. Her reaction to each new piece was very important to me, and the essay I wrote for her e-book, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, was the one that kicked it all off.

            • Kimberly Wetherell says:

              Yes, Please hurry up and finish it, Duke.

            • Nat Missildine says:

              First, it obviously goes without saying that you need to finish that collection of essays, however long it takes. I can easily imagine how Cynthia’s input would buoy the writing of it. She gave my pieces a lift whenever she commented, like many of the people in this thread did too. It is a shame we’ve gone separate ways, though the drifting was inevitable as you and I have talked about before. For me, the heady times on the site were like college, only with interactions that were compatible with my stay-at-home Dad lifestyle, i.e. no actual in person carousing and everything widdled down to the essential willingness to empathize and to say so. Amazing still to me how it’s left its mark.

              • D.R. Haney says:

                I’m trying to finish it as fast as I can; thanks for the encouragement, Nat and Kimberly.

                I’m really glad that Brad decided to do the “Board” book, which I enjoyed. I think the book captures a moment not just of TNB but more generally of collective cultural life, before Facebook obliterated the message board, which I think is what happened. Comments that would have gone here in the old days ended up on threads there, and if it happened at TNB, it must have happened to other sites. Message boards seem increasingly quaint. In fact, IMDb is about to get rid of its message board.

                Anyway, yes, Cynthia always found something nice to say in a comment on any piece, and the comment was never mendacious, to use again an adjective that I used years ago to describe some of the commentary here. It’s hard to fathom how important commentary used to be for some of us, including me. If a piece didn’t perform according to expectations in the commentary sense, I was crushed.

                • Nat Missildine says:

                  Indeed, the comments mattered. And I began here as thriving comment fields and the novelty of social media threads existed together to reinforce one another for a fleeting golden moment. But one of them won out. And maniac trolls took over most online public spaces. Sad, but not surprising to hear about the IMDB message boards.

                  So, we can’t let a post devoted to Cynthia go without some more movie talk. Let’s start with this: have you seen La La Land? Does everyone in LA loathe it, or accept some of its charm? I couldn’t shake bouts of boredom while watching it, but still feel the need to defend it on principle. I mean, what, I’m not supposed to be nostalgic about Hollywood fantasies?

                  • D.R. Haney says:

                    Actually, Nat, I was earlier thinking of seeing it tonight. It’s playing at Quentin Tarantino’s theater, the New Beverly, as a double feature with At Long Last Love, the 1975 musical, a notorious flop, directed by Peter Bogdanovich. However, it was sold out, so here I am at home.

                    I’ve only talked to a couple of people who’ve seen it, and they weren’t all that enthused. But it seems to have resonated with those who hand out awards. Personally, I loved Hail, Caesar, and Hell or High Water, of American movies released last year. I’m sure I’ll eventually see La La Land, but I wasn’t, obviously, in a rush.

                    • Nat Missildine says:

                      That double feature sounds fantastic. I enjoyed Hail, Caesar too. But like La La Land in some ways, I couldn’t help feeling that it could have done infinitely more. Probably because I went in wanting to adore it, and was asking the Coen Bros to provide all the answers about God and movies. I was grateful to see the attempt of course and I don’t think I’ve ever seen better recreations of movies within a movie.

                      I hope to get to Hell and High Water this week, which in France is titled Comancheria for some reason.

                    • D.R. Haney says:

                      There are a number of references to Comanche Indians in Hell or High Water, which is set in Texas (though it was shot in New Mexico), so I assume the title has to do with that. I would say that most people I know weren’t interested by the movie. They considered it a tired rehash of others, but it’s right up my alley as southerwestern neo-noir (why is so much neo-noir set in the southwest?) or anyway a crime movie, so, you know, I couldn’t help but like it. That it’s a crime movie is undoubtedly the reason it hasn’t performed well in awards season. That genre, like the horror genre, has never performed well with award committees, with a few obvious exceptions. Comedies haven’t traditionally performed well either, again with some obvious exceptions. Musicals have done better. In the sixties, just before (and even after) the American new wave that started in 1967 with Point Blank and Bonnie and Clyde, musicals repeatedly won Best Picture at the Oscars: The Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Oliver! I don’t take the Oscars seriously anyway, except as a barometer of fashion, and Hollywood fashion seems to stay the same.

                      I’m mostly alone in my enthusiasm for Hail, Caesar, by the way, but I thought it was great fun as a send-up of old Hollywood genre conventions and mythology. It was full of a lot of in-jokes that I could tell mystified the crowd around me when I saw it. The audience was filled with twentysomethings, and there wasn’t a lot of laughter. I reminded myself of Cynthia, when she would show Young Frankenstein to her students: she was the only one laughing, she told me. Anyway, yeah, Hail, Caesar is probably my favorite Coen movie except for No Country for Old Men — there’s your crime-movie exception, as I mentioned above.

                  • Kimberly Wetherell says:

                    Euf. La La Land. For me it’s a “Kate Moss Movie”. Pretty to look at, but there was no meat on its bones.

                    I found myself playing a game of finding all the other movie references it was stealing from while I was watching it, and wishing I was watching all of THOSE films instead.

                    I do hope Hollywood keeps making more musicals though. I live for good ones. This one, however, just didn’t do it for me.

                    • Nat Missildine says:

                      I was able to set aside doubt for a few scenes, but, yes, not much meat on that bone at all. Had it gone on any longer, it would’ve fainted from lack of nutrients. Not that it matters, but I dread its predictable Oscar win over the far superior Moonlight.

                    • Kimberly Wetherell says:

                      Oh, and Nat – I meant to ask – what’s the translation of “Comancheria”? It’s a wonderful film, but I’m not sure “Hell or High Water” is the most accurate title for the film either.

                      I was living in France when the Bond film “Le Monde Ne Suffit Pas” came out, and I’ll never be able to call it anything else (even though it’s a direct translation–it just scans better en Français), but I found “Dans le Peau de John Malkovich” to be more accurate of the film than the English title.

                      Funny, isn’t it?

                    • Nat Missildine says:

                      Movie title translations are a source of endless fun. Often now, if they translate the title at all, they go with something more direct in English, like Trainwreck here just became Crazy Amy. I don’t know why Comancheria because it’s not like that’s a French word. Probably trying to play up the Western angle (that Europeans love) and few can make sense of the expression Hell or High Water.

                    • D.R. Haney says:

                      My comments are nesting weirdly, because I’m not seeing a REPLY button after the Nat’s latest. Now I’m about to see where this one will nest.

                      Wow. A comment about comment-nesting. How old-school TNB is that?

                      Okay, I’m now editing this comment after it nested where it was supposed to go. Why didn’t the earlier one about Comanches, etc?

                    • James D. irwin says:

                      I have no idea where this is going to ‘nest’, and things have moved on a little, but I want to chime in on films.

                      1. I’m thinking about see La La Land again. I was underwhelmed, and don’t understand why it’s being showered with quite so many awards (particularly in the acting categories. It’s not badly acted, but both Amy Adams and Natalie Portman were far better…)
                      It’s a beautifully made film though…

                      2. Hail, Caesar! was one of the most enjoyable films I saw last year. It improved on second viewing too.

                      3. I saw Hell or High Water the other day. ‘Comancheria’ was the working title, and I guess ‘Hell or High Water’ doesn’t translate into French as an expression… I liked it a lot, but was surprised it got award nominations. It led me to expect something incredibly, rather than simply a very good crime film…

                      4. Hail, Caesar! was a lot of fun, although I can’t help but think it helps to have some knowledge of that era of Hollywood. It’s arguably the Coen Brothers’ funniest film, and probably one of my top 5 of theirs.

                      5. All this talk of weird comment-nesting makes me feel like I’m 19 again…

                    • Nat Missildine says:

                      Irwin- Yeah, the acting in La La Land definitely needs no rewards (with maybe the one exception of the moment when Emma Stone’s character is interrupted mid-emotional audition). I’d also go with Amy Adams in Arrival otherwise.

                  • Nat Missildine says:

                    Not sure where this comment will show once I hit ‘submit’ but I’d like to affirm that No Country for Old Men is the finest of the Coen Bros. Then either Raising Arizona or Miller’s Crossing comes in at #2 for me.

                    Comancheria is the name of the region, now OK, NM and the Texas panhandle, that belonged to the Comanche tribe. Have you read the excellent Empire of the Summer Moon? It tells the fascinating Western tale of all this.

                    • D.R. Haney says:

                      Okay, well, now there’s a reply button where there should be one.

                      Yes, I’ve read Empire of the Summer Moon, but I had forgotten that that area was called Comancheria.

                      If you liked that book, allow me to recommend Son of the Morning Star:

                      https://www.amazon.com/Son-Morning-Star-Custer-Bighorn/dp/0865475105

                      It occurs to me that a stranger to this board might not understand our digressions, but digressions were the very soul of the TNB boards back in the day. I used to hear people say that they enjoyed the discussions on the boards more than many of the pieces themselves.

                    • Kimberly Wetherell says:

                      Aha! The region! That makes sense!

                      I’ve NOT read Empire of the Summer Moon, and so now I’m delighted that I can play catch up with you guys!

                      Also, I’m so glad the comment thing worked. It’s what G and I had desperately hoped for. No better way to honor Cynthia than by focusing on films and friendship.

                      I fucking love all you guys.

                    • Nat Missildine says:

                      Perfect. Son of the Morning Star will be my next read in the queue. Probably a good time to learn more about an inept leader who underestimates his opposition, no?

                      But to avoid a tangent into the current administration already taking up too much of my brainspace, here’s another film I loved this year: Cameraperson. No explicit narrative and one small beautiful or heartbreaking scene after another.

                      And, thank you, Kimberly, this whole comment board is restoring my faith in about a dozen different things right now.

          • D.R. Haney says:

            The reply button has disappeared from our thread again, Nat, so I’m not sure where this will end up or that you’ll see it, but I haven’t seen Cameraperson. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until your comment. Anyway, having now googled it, I must say it sounds interesting. I’ll keep an eye out. Also, if you were actually to read Son of the Morning Star, that would be a very rare instance of a recommendation being followed. Actually, I recommended a book to Cynthia, The Monster Show, that she promptly bought and began reading, which was the first and maybe only time that I can remember someone actually heeding a recommendation, from me anyway.

            • Nat Missildine says:

              The more I think about Cameraperson, the more I think it might be the best overall of last year. It’s got a glowing-humanity-per-frame rate that’s hard to top.

              If the comments here overload the system, these replies automatically nest back somewhere on the When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth essay.

              • D.R. Haney says:

                Yes, they seem to be nesting in the right place(s) now, and the reply button is back again.

                I didn’t see a lot of new movies last year, though, ironically, I attended screenings more than I did in a long time, mostly at Quentin Tarantino’s revival house, where I was reminded of the joy of seeing movies on the big screen, something I started to forget with so many home options.

                I saw Jackie on the big screen, and I couldn’t talk one bloody person into joining me. I don’t know that I liked it particularly, but I don’t regret seeing it. I had seen No, an earlier movie by the same director, who clearly is fascinated by propaganda and politics, and that’s the theme of Jackie, who’s portrayed as a kind of tortured artist, creating her masterpiece, JFK’s funeral, even as she’s wrestling with not only grief but existential and identity conundrums. I have to say, I thought Natalie Portman was excellent, but I reckon she’ll lose the golden doorstop to somebody else. There’s a lot of talk about Isabelle Huppert — a great actress with the misfortune, from an American awards perspective, of being a foreigner. “I ain’t never done heared o’ her,” I can imagine a few TV viewers saying if she wins the door prize this time.

                • James D. irwin says:

                  I never go to the cinema as much as I’d like. If it didn’t cost so much, or I just had more money, I’d go at least once a week… I love watching films at home, but there’s something special about seeing something on a big screen in a dark room.

                  It’s a side of the assassination I’d never really thought about — didn’t even know much about. I used to have a history teacher who hated JFK — you could kill half an hour of a lesson by simply mentioning his name. The teacher would set off on all the flaws of the Kennedy presidency. (I also had to stifle a laugh at the bit where Bobby Kennedy is furious that LBJ will get to take the credit for Vietnam…)
                  I’m not sure what I was expecting from the film. It was far from perfect, but an interesting way of doing a biopic. Portman’s performance was very impressive, and in recent times the Oscar’s have really gone for actors playing real people…

                  I’ve heard a lot about Isabelle Huppert. I only saw a trailer for ‘Elle’ recently — it ran before ‘Jackie’. It did that thing where it omits all the dialogue, to hide the fact it’s a foreign film. Foreign actors (and directors) have won awards recently, but I can’t see it. I can’t remember who else is up for it…

                  • Nat Missildine says:

                    The Oscars love to reward French actresses seemingly based on their sheer Frenchness. It’s nowhere close to the fawning that the French equivalent César awards do over chosen American actresses, but this might be Isabelle Huppert’s Hollywood moment. Good thing she’s an especially subversive type.

                    I like what Duke said about not necessarily enjoying the movie but not regretting having seen it. Sometimes that’s all I look for from a movie anymore, not to be brilliant perfection but to create a world I’m glad I visited at least once.

    • Gloria says:

      I fogot about the Joplin tornado work. Such a labor of love.

  8. New Orleans Lady says:

    Cynthia,

    Sending love and light to you.
    As I read through these comments I’m reminded of how special you all are to me. Cynthia, as well as the rest of you, made me feel a little less alone. I’m so appreciative for each you. Cynthia, you are loved more than you will ever know.

    -Ashley

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Ashley, it’s so nice to see you here. God, yes, you were a part of it. You were a constant, and welcome, presence on these boards. How did you find TNB? Were you friends with Brad on MySpace?

      • New Orleans Lady says:

        Yes, I found Brad on MySpace after reading A.D.D. and the rest, as they say, is history.

        I still pop in from time to time but life gets in the way. I miss you all, though. So many memories filled laughter and tears which is strange considering I haven’t actually met any of you.

        Anyway, I’m here now and I’ll do a better job of visiting. Oh! That reminds me, Brad, can we get an app already?!

  9. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    Cynthia, our favorite film goddess, your posts are some of the most inspiring moments on the internet. I was off of social media for a year, and when I came back, it was stunning how beautiful and brave you appeared, and how much I missed you and the TNB community. The love is real, sister. XO

  10. Summer Block says:

    You have always been such an inspiration to me, as a mother and a writer who made it seem possible to be good at both of those things!

  11. Darci Ratliff says:

    We’ve been FB friends for a while now, and I’ve seen the posts over the years documenting the challenges you have been facing. But I guess I felt I didn’t know you well enough to really comment. But I wanted to say of all the posts on your feed I’ve been really inspired by the positivity and love you share, especially in regards to your family. You have a light that shines pretty bright, lady. I just wanted you to know the impact you have, even on a relative stranger. 🙂 xo

  12. Jude Potts says:

    Cynthia: Zara’s mum here. This community gave Zara and I such strength when we went through the dreadful earthquake in 2011. My hope is that it will pass on the same strength to you to get through this shitty time.
    Much love to you from downunder xxx

  13. this. this feels like old times. all of you here in the comments. the back and forth. the community. this original writers’ community. so rare a place in this new not so brave world of the internet comments section. but it was here that so many of us “met”, and cynthia you were always such a presence in these comments, especially when a new piece would go live you would be there, knowing just what to say no matter if a secret had been revealed in trembling “voice” or an injustice fought or an embarrassment exposed. but cynthia, your brilliant, brilliant voice through the years, your words, your gift, always, always, you knew what you wanted to say and how to say it. that is your gift to us. your words. your grace. your humor. your love for the written word and the fragile writer attached to those words. love, light, strength. for you, cynthia. for you.

  14. Joe Hawkins says:

    This is wonderful what you all are doing to honor Cynthia. Her TNB family means a lot to her. I read everything to her tonight. Thank you from Cynthia and all of our family for this tribute.

  15. Zara says:

    Oh, Joe. It’s the easiest thing to write lovely things about your girl.
    She’s so loveable.
    We are sending you, Cynthia and your family so much love x

  16. Amy says:

    I went to high school with Cindy. We were intrepid reporters for the Green & White Review. As you can imagine, she wrote circles around all of us. She was as beautiful then, inside and out, as she is now. Peace & Love Cindy.

  17. Lenore says:

    What a source of unending joy and optimism this woman is. A breath of fresh air no matter what the occasion. Love to you and yours, CBH.

  18. Jamie Blaine says:

    After the Tron piece, which I loved, we joked about doing a tribute to the Smokey & the Bandit trilogy. Which I also enthusiastically, non-ironically love — so I was being serious.
    Cynthia (Texas!) didn’t laugh at me (out loud) & I appreciate it.

  19. 1159 says:

    Love her too.

  20. Marni Grossman says:

    Cynthia- you are brilliant and beautiful and brave! Not to mention funny and a wonderful writer! I consider myself supremely lucky to know you even the littlest bit and to know your writing too! Thinking and loving you and your girls and your husband!

  21. Cynthia! You are the most beautiful, Audrey Hepburn-looking face on TNB! You are the movie queen. You are the witty, smart film lady. . . . and I know you are so much more to so many people! I am sending TONS OF LOVE, and then more love. And then more after that!

  22. Simon says:

    Oh man. CFH is the greatest co-writer an action movie columnist could ask for, especially when it came to Sylvester Stallone’s back catalogue.

    She kicks more ass than JCVD, and I’m so proud to be her friend.

  23. Sean Beaudoin says:

    Cynthia, it was such a pleasure working on the film anthology together. I would readily collaborate with you at the drop of an ebony cigarette holder. Your updates on the escapades of the Firecracker always make me laugh, along with your Audrey thumbnail, which never fails to make me envious of your style and grace. Much love from my family to yours.

  24. And, Cynthia, I love these movies you made. I want you to come to my house, reupholster my furniture, make a picnic table with me and then cut my hair. You’re amazing. https://vimeo.com/173863290

  25. Dear Cynthia:

    I know you personally not at all although we exchanged brief emails not long ago, but I was aware of your health situation for some time through my visits to TNB. I wish you a well-deserved fast and full recovery from cancer. As the old song goes, may you always walk in sunshine.

    With my warmest regards,
    Peter

  26. D.R. Haney says:

    I came upon this last night while addressing a comment — an actual comment! — about a piece of mine here on TNB. It was an exchange higher on the board between me and Cynthia. I wrote to her:

    “It’s very difficult to choose the right Christmas card for a stranger in prison, let me tell you.”

    And Cynthia replied:

    “Well, now you have to write an essay […] titled ‘It’s Very Difficult to Choose A Christmas Card for a Stranger in Prison.'”

    It made me laugh the first time I read it, and it made me laugh again last night. In addition to her many other qualities, Cynthia is a wit.

  27. James D. irwin says:

    The circumstances are heartbreaking, but it’s wonderful to see the old community come together… to see another 50+ comment post on TNB for the first time in a very long time.

    It’s fun to see everyone still has the same thumbnail photographs from the old days. Cynthia always had the best — dressed as Holly Golightly. I hope we get to see it again soon.

  28. Cynthia, my fellow Virgo whose birthday I could never forget because we share the same date, this morning I skimmed through your TNB articles and was reminded why I loved reading your work. That playful, smart, discerning voice of yours never wavered. Being part of the community here helped me through dark times; I always looked forward to your new pieces and appreciated the comments you shared on mine, more than you might imagine. How amazing it is, really, that TNB and social media gave us all a chance to connect and maintain friendships with people we would only know through words and images, rarely face to face. You’ve brought joy to me through your writing, your photos of your beautiful family, your videos of your craft projects, and your example of what it is to be a creative, curious, and courageous human being. You are a light, my friend.

  29. Don Mitchell says:

    Aloha Cynthia — last night I re-read all your TNB postings (that’s right, ALL) and they were wonderful to read.

    How it happened that I don’t seem to have ever commented on any of them is a mystery.

    Thank you for those pieces. They are beautifully-written.

    Don

  30. Irene Zion says:

    Your postings on TNB are a joy to read and reread. No one knows movies like you. I also love reading your FB posts about your beautiful girls. What an amazing family you have!

  31. Cheryl Newcomb says:

    Cynthia,
    Thank you for your humor, your talent, your style, your wit, and for sharing all that with grace and love

    Sending you much love and light. As a fellow Texan and in the spirit of the best of Texas women, give’em hell.

    Cheryl

  32. Tawni Freeland says:

    Oh, Cynthia. Fabulous writer, teacher, and human. You rock star of everything, you. I am so grateful for the creativity you’ve shared, and the beautiful, interesting ways you’ve helped me see the world. I am placing every smile you’ve put on my face with your lovely words and kind actions into a mental bottle, and sending it to you and your family. (It’s rainbow-colored, glittery, and glowing, like your soul… obviously. The unicorns are totally jealous.) I hope some of the joy you’ve given me and everyone else is shining all over you right now. I’m sending endless love and light your way. Always, always, always.

  33. Joe Daly says:

    Cynthia,

    I always thought that you and I should have our own television show. True story. We should have been the new Siskel and Ebert, but we’d use a lot more profanity and we’d only talk about cool movies.

    When I joined here so many years ago, you were one of the first people to welcome me aboard and your Holly Golightly photo remains the single best TNB author photo of all time. Seriously.

    Thanks for taking time out of your life to write so many thoughtful pieces here on TNB. That’s how we all got to know each other, wasn’t it? All of us volleying essays back and forth, building hulking mountains of comments beneath them. Before anybody realized it, we were a real life TNB family and you have always been one of the brightest. Your positivity exemplifies why we all came to this site in the first place. Well, that and movie recommendations.

    Speaking of, I came across our kickass movie column yesterday! Remember that? You picked five music movies and I picked five and then we watched (or re-watched) each other’s movies and commented on them. I loved getting your input on my five and I could tell from your comments that you got why they all meant so much to me. Your list is better though because seriously, who doesn’t love “The Crow?”

    Here it is, in all its rock and roll glory: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jdaly/2012/01/ten-essential-rock-movies/

    Thank you for doing that with me and thank you for being my friend. I’m so lucky to have you in my world and our collaboration remains a cherished highlight of my time on here. Movies, music, friends and writing? Come on – when does life get better?

    Inspired by our feature, I’m going to re-watch all ten movies, one a week starting this week. I’ll watch one of yours and then one of mine and after each one I’m going to enjoy our reviews. Yours are better though- you’re the movie chick, after all. 🙂

    You’re in my thoughts, sweet friend. Thank you for everything.

    xo,
    Joe

  34. Richard Cox says:

    Cynthia,

    I just went back to look through some of your posts and was shocked to realize how many you’d written. You are so prolific! Clearly you are TNB’s resident film expert and I was honored to co-write a post with you regarding Black Swan., where we celebrated that film and also poked fun at Twister! Haha.

    It was nice to meet you in person when you came to Tulsa, right about the time I met Kim. You were a lot taller than I imagined! Sending you positive vibes through the matrix to both you and your family!

    -R

  35. Dana says:

    The first thing that comes to mind when I think of you, Cynthia, is bad ass. It’s not by a long shot the only thing, but it registers first. Your strength, courage and vitality shine through in every bit of you that you’ve shared with us over the years and you’ve really shared a lot. So much so that I really feel like I do know you and by extension a bit of your beautiful family. You’re the sum of so many dynamic parts – artistic, glamorous, generous, bright, kind and tender and a truly gifted and moving writer. You’re a beacon lady, and I’m sending every bit of my love to you and your family…. xoxo

  36. Kimberly Wetherell says:

    Also – a long overdue TNB Family Page has been set up on Facebook for those of you who are interested.

    Seeing all our favorite faces and names here reminded us that we are, indeed, the best kind of family: A Chosen One.

    So we started the page as a place to reconnect, say hello, and keep the vital communication going that has dissipated over the past few years as we’ve all moved in different directions.

    There are no rules or requirements to join, other than to want to. It’s a central landing place to say hello, ask for help, promote the shit out of whatever project you’re working on, and continue to build on the deep and lasting friendships we’ve made over the years.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435415836477796/

  37. Stephanie Austin says:

    I only know Cynthia through social media. Her posts are always a bright spot even through all her treatment. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, she gives me hope that people are good and humanity will be ok.

  38. I noticed that Duke posted a haiku earlier in this thread, so that has inspired me to create my own:

    Cynthia, my dear
    You filmic pixie vixen
    Sweet cinema shine

    You light up the screen
    With your starring role in life
    True inspiration

  39. Tammy Allen says:

    I honestly wish I was an avid reader of TNB. I’m sure you Cynthia are a great writer and human being. We all need a place to tell our stories as they unfold. BL changed my life when I found him on My Space. I can only hope TNB gives you a place to give your writing a life beyond the page.
    I don’t know what TNB is like anymore. All I know is. You Are Loved.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Ah, so you knew Brad from the MySpace days. I had asked Ashley about that above. I remember Brad’s MySpace blog very well. It was amazing how many comments there were on each one. He’d put it up and there would be 200 comments or more an hour later.

      • James D. irwin says:

        when MySpace got re-vamped into whatever it is now, all the old stuff got deleted. I saved most of the blogs I wrote, but lost a ton of messages and comments on other blogs. I wish I there was a way to get it back, to confirm the timeline as I recall it.

        I do remember that I actually heard about TNB before I knew Brad. I wrote about it in an old post. I got a message from Jonathan Evison some time in 2007, trying to entice people to the site. I ignored it, for reasons lost to history.

        Later on I got a message from Brad, who was essentially trying to market his novel on social media. His link was just to his MySpace blog, rather than TNB. I remember commenting on that for a while — that’s definitely where I first met Gloria and Tawni and Tammy. I only got to TNB when Brad linked to it in one of his posts.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Yes, I saved most of my MySpace blogs, or at least I think I saved most of them, just before they all got the chop, but the comments couldn’t be saved. On the other hand, I never got more than a few. I had maybe ten regular readers. It was always punishing to glance at Brad’s blog and see the daily 240 or 350 comments. God, that really was the Wild West period of the internet. It seemed as promising as the Silicon Valley hype then.

          • James D. irwin says:

            Yeah. I managed to save all my old posts, but none of the comments. There were never many, but still. It would be nice to have the artefacts of my past to look back on…

            I miss Brad’s writing from that time too. I miss that whole era of the internet. It was a better time, I think. It was somewhere to escape from ‘real life’ for a bit. Now, of course, the internet and real life are symbiotic…

  40. Reno Romero says:

    Good morning, Cynthia! Well, I woke up and read some of the stuff you wrote on TNB. Had a blast. Saw some names of the old gang and got a bit nostalgic. Man, how times flies. I love the piece you did with Haney. You both are so damn talented. I remember when that piece went up. That Haney feller likes his movies. Well, this morning the desert is a little wet from last night’s rain. Smells dandy. At this point, two things would be great right now: That one day we run a swell 5K together. Bibs and fast shoes. And also that some 3rd grader named Haney would walk into my classroom so I can say,“Haney! Find your seat, sir! Show me your plan!

    Thinking of you, Cynthia.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      I remember when you used to run past Liberace’s house, Reno. I’ll see what I can do about the third-grader, meaning I’ll see if I can disguise myself as a third grader. Meanwhile, Rush still sucks.

      • Gloria says:

        Duke, you’re, like, 6 foot 5 or something. And baritone. You’d be escorted from the premises. All of which is to say it would be fun to see you try.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It would be worth it to say have Reno say, as he’s said to me many times, “HANEY!” and for me to reply, “Rush sucks,” in front of the class.

          • Reno Romero says:

            HANEY! Good morning, sir. Well, here we are again. Yeah, and Rush still sucks. I remember Rich Ferguson trying to tell us they were good. Ha! Probably one of the best times I’ve had. Great night. And didn’t we get into a Howard Stern conversation? HANEY! Didn’t you admit you loved Stern that night?

            • D.R. Haney says:

              I don’t believe I did, Mr. Romero, sir. I was never the fan of Howard Stern that you and Brad were/are. I didn’t hate him, but he always seemed narcissistic to me. Whenever I tuned into the show, he was whining that some celebrity wasn’t all that warm to him at an awards ceremony — that is, if he wasn’t trying to get someone to remove her clothing in the studio. “Oh, come on, at least lower a bra strap and let us see your shoulder.”

          • New Orleans Lady says:

            “Rush sucks!”
            Ha! This image has me giggling.

  41. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Thanks Brad and Gloria for sending out the bat-signal for one of our own. Cynthia, we haven’t met in person but everything I’ve read from you leaves me in no doubt you have the right combo of badassery and humanity to prevail in this thing. Long distance love and all the hippiest healing vibes out to you from Colorado.

  42. Matt says:

    Well hell if this place doesn’t look like the TNB version of The Big Chill all of a sudden. We of course are much, much cooler than that insuffurable exercise in self-congratulatory yuppie backslapping could ever hope to be.

    I remain convinced to this day that Cynthia is the best thing to have ever come out of Texas, and that lone star will never shine brighter than her. Wise, witty, charming as hell, and so prolific as a contributor to these pages I still feel lazy just in comparing our respective archives here. Without her giving me a swift yet encouraging kick in the rear I never would have made the leap from a hanger-on of the fringes of film culture to writing about film itself, right here on TNB.

    http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/mbaldwin/2011/09/existentialism-in-action-a-review-of-drive/#more-72342 There’s a few rough lines here that make me cringe a bit reading it back now, but I’m still grateful to Cynthia for encouraging me to write and publish it. For every line that makes me cringe there’s two that I’m damn proud of, and I was beyond flattered when she asked me to contribute to the Joplin fundraiser project.

    I’ll see you at the movies, C. Always.

  43. D.R. Haney says:

    No room at the top
    We must fight at the bottom
    If we fight at all

  44. This long, wonderful comment thread brings back memories of amazing writing by some of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure to know. And you, among them, with your brilliant, witty essays on movies, were a shining star of the classic TNB days. It’s been a pleasure going back through the archive and reliving old memories.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      I used to really look forward to your latest crazy update about Korea, David. I sometimes thought of TNB as a kind of TV network, and yours was one of my favorite shows, as it were.

  45. Art Edwards says:

    Your work touched me and so many others. I distinctly remember the review of the movie Thor. So much fun, and seemingly so effortless.

    I’ve been rooting for you from afar for a while now. I will keep rooting.

  46. Q-Money says:

    Dear C, what a gutting announcement. You’re always a beacon of light in our weird little TNB family. Much love, much respect, and disbelief. I’m usually full of words, but I have none right now–just sadness. Love to you and yours.

  47. Erika Rae says:

    Cynthia, From the beginning, I liked you for your Holly Golightly, but it’s the sexy pixie stick cigarette that won my love forever and ever. My heart is with you right now.

  48. Cynthia—We’ve never met in real life, of course. Of the TNB crew, I’ve only met Duke, whose niece, on the other side of America, strangely enough was in the same pre-school class as my daughter. Talk about a small world.

    Regardless, I felt like I was fortunate enough to know you in some small way when the TNB crew welcomed me on board what seems like a lifetime ago in 2008, and I’ve been rooting for you from afar ever since your original diagnosis and the return.

    I followed your blog as you began documenting the journey. The day you posted that the cancer had come back, a hollowed out nauseating feeling entered my gut. I wish you nothing but peace of mind, body, and soul. You deserve it.

    As for my favorite TNB piece you did, I gotta go with this gem: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/chawkins/2010/09/whenyouredoingwhatyouredoing/

    (P.S. This thread, the old names and gravatar photos, looks as if a time capsule was opened from almost a decade ago)

    • Gloria says:

      I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic myself. It’s nice to see your tiny face again, Jeffry Pillow. 🙂

      • James D. irwin says:

        more than once in this thread I’ve seen a name and heard Obi Wan Kenobi’s voice ‘… there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time…”

        Also, I don’t think I’ve seen the word ‘gravatar’ used in about 5 years, or anywhere other than TNB… Halcyon days…

        • Gravatars, or as the Internet people call them today, profile pictures. Nice to see you again young Jedi

          • James D. irwin says:

            Haha — not so young any more!

            I think ‘gravatar’ is just a web service for creating avatars. I think that’s the ‘technical’ name for profile pictures. I might be wrong though. Contributing to TNB tested the limits of my computer literacy…

      • And your tiny face as well Gloria. To piggyback on what Slade said below. As divisive as the Internet has become, TNB was the one place on the web where I felt a sense of community. To quote sleazy internet marketers, where I “found my tribe.” I know we’ve all grown up and gotten ear hair over the last seven or eight years past TNB’s heyday. Nonetheless, seeing all the names flow down this long thread in gesture to Cynthia is wonderful.

        And it all began because Brad and Jonathan Evison (who was this guy who wrote in all lowercase and liked rabbits?) likely befriended you on MySpace, back when social media was less divisive and more inclusive and common grounds were found. Remember those days? I can’t do Facebook more than a day and I keep deleting Twitter over and over. How did we ruin the Internet? How? Just kidding. It’s not all bad. Hey, we have this little reunion going on here, right?

    • D.R. Haney says:

      It’s funny, Jeffrey; this is the second time on this thread that someone has written that I’m the only TNBer that person met in life, and I never met as many TNBs myself as did a few others, including Zara, Simon, and, of course, Brad. It’s also funny that my niece was (is?) attending the same class as your daughter, because I kept hearing all this talk about a dance recital on one end, and then I heard it on yours, and I thought, hey, this can’t be a coincidence, can it?

      Of course, James and Gloria, you’ll remember the days of the Star Wars gravatars. Yes, I haven’t heard that term in a long time. Is it a WordPress term?

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        I think the Star Wars gravatars were a Slade Ham special. Gravatar was a company with the cool but non-money-making idea that you could just register an icon for your e-mail address, and any site on which you commented using that address would show that icon. It was definitely popular on WordPress sites, as well as other places. I’m glad Brad was so insistent that regular commenters get one, because TNB’s own gallery of gravatars was always the first visual indicator that you were jumping into some nerdy, articulate, funny, idiosyncratic, argumentative, worldly-yet-down-home action. Not least when it ribboned down from one of Cynthia’s posts.

      • Pre-school together no more, but they have moved on to the same ballet class together. It’s funny. For a solid year, during the pre-school years, I’m passing by your brother in the morning or opening the door for him and your niece, and I had no idea. I see it now—the eyes. The Haneys have that distinct feature. Come this year’s dance recital, my daughter and your niece will be up on stage at the same time and in photos together. Crazy.

        With all that, it’s not like I’m originally from here and you’re no longer here, nor have you been for decades—you’re two thousand miles away. And that when I first met you (via TNB), I didn’t even have kids. Heck, I wasn’t even married. Our first intro was my post referencing my once imaginary friend named Jason, and you said, “I know a Jason.” The Friday the 13th connection which eluded me at the time as well.

        I tell you. Small world. Small, small world.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’ve heard some mind-blowing “small world” stories, such as this: a former friend of mine who was driving across country, starting in NYC, I think, and made a pit stop in Wyoming, where he ran into his cousin, who, unbeknownst to him, was also driving across country.

          I have a relative who takes great (and Nazi-like) pride in his green eyes, a family trait that I share, but my brother Bobby’s eyes are brown. Not that I’m disputing you on a similarity there. As bizarre as this sounds, to me if not to anyone else, I sometimes used to think of leaving the film business to become a cop, mainly because I used to hang out a cop bar, where cops told me I should consider becoming one. I thought maybe I’d fit in better with them than I would with people in the business. Anyway, obviously, I never did it, but that was all before Bobby became a cop, and I’ve sometimes wondered if I didn’t pass along the idea telepathically — but I never wondered it seriously.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Well, look at that, Uche; you mention Slade and, lo and behold, he appears. Yes, I do remember the directive for all regulars to sign up for gravatars, and I love your use of ribbon as a verb, you poet, you.

  49. Slade Ham says:

    I am in San Antonio for shows this week, so I’m writing this, oddly, from somewhere just up the street from you I think. There is a small handful of people that I know only in this digital realm, but I cherish nonetheless. For all of the divisiveness of the internet, its pros include getting to see glimpses of people shining in their day to day lives, and you, darling, are one of the shiniest. I’m happy that I get to drop a long overdue note and tell you just how inspiring watching your past few years has been. Your poise, your smile, your absolute refusal to give up – they are all part of your encouraging glow. You’ve caused ripples in places you can’t even imagine. So from me to you, huge smiles, love, and laughter. I adore the fact that our circles wandered into each other. You and the rest of this TNB menagerie. I dig the hell out of this family. Oh, and Cynthia, that invitation to catch a show remains open indefinitely 🙂 Fight on!

  50. Kimberly Wetherell says:

    For anyone who hasn’t heard the news, today, February 16, 2017, our candle in the wind has blown out.

    Sweet travels, dear Cynthia. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life and for touching ours in ways innumerable.

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