I was driving home from the grocery when the DJ on the radio announced that Robin Williams was dead. It was one of those profound events that will remain a vivid memory for the rest of my life. Then, to learn that the cause of his death was a suicide shocked me even more—for he was a comfortable icon—someone I was certain I would grow old with. Being older than me, approaching age-related milestones and hurdles didn't feel so traumatic; as Robin aged, he seemed to reach out to us and say, "Come along. Don't be afraid." Now, we are left with memories and a backlist of incredible works, but the chameleon is gone. There will be no more movies nor improv interviews on talk shows. It's over.
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I'm taking his death hard because I feel cheated. Selfishly, I expected more. I remember Robin Williams's first appearance on "Happy Days", and I watched every episode of "Mork and Mindy". I absorbed everything possible about his amazing improvisation skills. Many of his movies remain my favorites; Bicentennial Man and What Dreams May Come are so fresh, so unique that I watch them over and over. The breadth and depth of his roles, the way he executed them, was flawless—he owned them, making them not only credible characters, but making them his.
I mentioned his improv skills because his brand and style of comedy was insanely unique. While others prattled on through rehearsed and tired monologues, Robin would appear on stage and explode. There is no other way I can explain the experience of watching and participating as he not only suspended reality, but he twisted it, bent it, chewed it up, and then brought me back to a new perspective of reality. It was always a rollercoaster ride.
His ability to step back and distort perceptions, along with his improv talent, affected my writing and personal life. To this day, I search for impromptu opportunities in which I can make friends and family laugh—not only in a slapstick, physical-comedy way, but also in a manner that words and actions move quickly to suspend my audiences' reality. Then, my mind races ahead as my mouth delivers the setup and jokes. It's all due to Robin Williams.
I wouldn't be a writer if it weren't for Robin Williams. He taught me to dig deeper and "own" the story, pick up on bits of life, and weave them together into a fictional tapestry. I have more than 50 stories waiting to be written, all "what ifs" and "it could happens" That Robin Williams has influenced.
Instead of lamenting his loss any further, I decided to turn this tragedy into a positive. Out of death comes life, and as such, I chose to assemble this ebook box set of my humorous stories, dedicate them to Robin Williams, and donate all my royalties from its sales to a children's home in Costa Rica called Hogar de Vida (Homes of Life).
The Hogar de Vida was founded by Tim and Dena Stromstad. They are missionaries who have helped abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Haiti, Guatemala, and now Costa Rica by building safe homes and environments for them. Hogar de Vida is a Christian-based organization, but I allied with the Stromstads because, like them, I adopted children—two from Guatemala, and my husband and I believe in helping those who help children.
Most of Hogar de Vida's money comes from charitable donations. In Costa Rica, where the average annual income is only US$11,000, local fundraisers help, but financial assistance from the global community is critical.
Thank you so very much for purchasing this box set of my humorous ebook stories. I hope you enjoy reading the two novels and four short stories; I certainly enjoyed writing them. It warms my heart to help people and do so in a manner that acknowledges the amazing talent of Robin Williams and the profound impact he had on my life and writing style. Thank you, as well, for helping less-fortunate children in Costa Rica.