Baby Boomer Woman: Lucinda Sue Crosby

by Anne Holmes on November 19, 2010

Welcome to NABBW member and modern day Renaissance woman, Lucinda Sue Crosby, who says she believes in the power of women, their compassion, and their ability to do so many things both well and simultaneously.

The daughter of a Hollywood actress and a TV announcer, Lucinda Sue has made a made a name for herself in a number of careers, including those of accomplished poet, Nashville lyricist, professional tennis player, Hollywood actress, and most recently, author.

Her new novel, Francesca of Lost Nation, is based on the life of her real grandmother, who she says was the most fascinating person she’s ever encountered. (And that’s saying a lot, because she’s met folks like Lucille Ball, Jackie O, Cary Grant and Arnold Palmer. Not to mention the fact that her godfather was Roy Rodgers, who made five pictures with her mother, RKO actress Linda Hayes, before he ever met Dale Evans.)

Lucinda says one of the main reasons she wrote this novel was her belief that in many places in America, remaining visible and relevant throughout a lifetime is still much more of struggle for women than it should be. She also feels that women over forty are still under-represented on TV, in film, in great fiction, politically and in business.

By the way, if you think Lucinda Sue looks familiar to you, you’re probably correct.  During her actress career she had roles in dozens of television shows and a slew of movies, including seven for Garry Marshall. Perhaps her three most popular movies  are Pretty Woman (as an Olsen Sister), Beaches ( as the TV interviewer) and Frankie and Johnny (as the abused neighbor).

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

Lucinda Sue CrosbyI am an optimistic, passionate, people-loving Futurist. I embrace both quantum physics and a Supreme Being and have had a love affair with the written word since age 3. Knowledge IS power. Lovely manners rule, being so endangered these days. A familiarity with other languages and cultures expands horizons. Spirituality and religion are not always the same thing and at times are not even compatible. Water is THE ISSUE of this century. The disappearance of commonplace multi-generational living arrangements is one major travesty of modern life. Opinions are NOT facts. Fear is a killer. “What the Bleep Do We Know” changed my life.

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

Divorced. Two older sisters (one is married) and a married niece who has two children.

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

Realizing I could actually read at age three. (Long story but the Big Bang moment of my life.) The book was “Eloise” by Kay Thompson. Tea at The Plaza!

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

Self-acceptance. Little regard for what “they” might be thinking of me. Walking the walk I talk. A real commitment to the treasure of friendship.

What inspires you?

Intelligence and humor as well as intelligent humor! Great danceable music and/or music with thought and emotion-provoking lyrics. Grace in others. Excellence – mine and others.

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

The company of dear friends; travel; watching my books evolve from the possible into the real.

Do you have a favorite book or movie?

Casablanca. Superbly crafted, intelligent and often droll dialogue; a love story that transcends selfishness; gorgeous photography; a literate script; character driven.

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

I adore traveling with best friends. Santa Fe, NM! Big Bear, CA; Kernville, CA – I’d like to revisit the British Isles; Maui!

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

Some regular exercise, fresh fruit and superfoods (tomatoes, flax in wheat bread, blueberries; pom; avocado; salmon); supplements; directed intention; positive attitude along with regularly handling lingering anger, pain, resentment from the past

What do you stress about?

Americans are woefully ignorant about where their water comes from and what state their water delivery system is in. Trying to be an inspirational part of the educational process about water knowledge and solutions for adults and kids.

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

I have a certain amount of vanity. I enjoy staying thin. I cut and color my own hair. Am investigating Lifestyle Lift for the future.  But so much about “youth” is ATTITUDE, CURIOSITY, PASSION!!!!!

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how? Francesca of Lost Nation

I have had at least 8 real careers and either made a living or won awards in every single one, often starting from scratch. Although to be fair, I always had a real talent for the next thing – that’s why it became the next thing. Often, two or three career paths at a time were up in the air simultaneously like juggled plates! They have been: Pro tennis; TV and film acting; Nashville songwriting and publishing; sports commentary journalism; water educator; commissioned poet; novelist.

Do you plan to retire?

Not from writing.

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

I am an award-winning environmental educator with a water specialty. I recycle, often buy and sell through consignment, drive a car that gets GREAT mileage, eat my leftovers.

Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

The Big Bang of my life was realizing I could read at age 3.

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

Next phase should be writing/finishing/publishing more novels/children’s books and giving lectures/seminars about all aspects of my writing experience. God knows, I’ve wrestled with enough different types of structure to choke a horse. First novel, “Francesca of Lost Nation” is just released and won its first award from the Hollywood Book Festival.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

Working with adults and children throughout my region to change ideas about acceptable water practices and illuminate Xeriscape as a sustainable yet gorgeous choice. I have also worked politically and am involved in assisting the needy and rescuing animals.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

Besides myself of course, my grandmother – she was a living example of the woman I wanted to grow up to be – the central character in my novel is based on my grandmother. Born in 1893 in small town Iowa, the flesh and blood Francesca was the first woman in her county to attend college; a winning county fair race car driver; an amazing poker player. She embraced the future and change – unusual even now. And she remained relevant and visible till her death at age 95. WOW!

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

My beliefs include the following:

  • I am the change I wish to see in the world.
  • We’re all God’s children … some of us are just cleverly disguised.
  • Golf was invented by the Inquisition.
  • Laughing is the best vacation of all.
  • Intelligent conversation is a total turn-on.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Editor’s Note: In the book Francesca of Lost Nation, feisty grandmother Francesca and her doting 10-year-old granddaughter Sarah, team together for an adventurous summer in 1947 on an Apple Farm in Lost Nation Iowa. Click the link to read the first five chapters.

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