What Was Aaron Spelling's MacGuffin?
Updated: Oct 20
When I saw that Beverly Hills 90210 was on Amazon Prime, I clicked on the pilot episode without a second thought—totally dismissing how one-dimensional and cliche the show was even then. I, without a doubt, craved someone else's life drama. Give me the Dylan-Brenda-Kelly love triangle, Steve's penchant for trouble, Brandon Walsh's slutty, self-righteous douchiness, and I'll even welcome the fact that Donna was always an innocent victim caught in some ridiculous trap. "Donna Martin Graduates!" Or...whatever.
I'll take the shallow problems of Beverly Hill denizens, sprinkled with applicable life lessons along with all major problems, buttoned up within the hour, between commercial breaks, because life can be too much. Earth is hard. Though its vibration was kinda low, 90210 was taking me away and I let it. Thankfully, I received some great news to pull me out of Beverly Hills. I'm not one to boast, and my Beachbody days don't count—I was under the spell of some selfish incantation—but I guess it's okay to be proud sometimes. So, here goes...
While vacationing with the hubs in Arizona, I received an email from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY). I'd entered Train Gone and Mirrors in the "Best Non-Fiction Series of 2023" category. What I hadn't told anyone (until now, I suppose) is that I'd entered Train Gone on its own with a different award contest outfit back in 2020 and won squat. A bit dispirited, I forgot about losing and just kept plugging along, published Mirrors, and entered that as a stand-alone in a couple of other award contest outfits. Again—squat.
I guess no one likes the grim details of an unpleasant life riddled with religious trauma and abuse even if it is sprinkled with hope. Ah, well.
Instead of throwing in the towel, with the above realization swirling in my brain endlessly, I thought, "Try the 'series' category; enter the books as a pair because that's what they are—a couple." I entered both in the series category with IPPY and, again, forgot about it for months. Until I got the email stating I won the bronze medal. I looked at my phone in disbelief. Hubs didn't say anything or even notice me on my phone until I started crying.
"What?" he asked while lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. "Is it your brother?"
(A fair question, my brother is sick).
"No, it...I won!"
"Won? Won what?"
"My books! Both of them won an IPPY for Best Non-Fiction Series!" I climbed on top of him and cried into his shoulder. "My god," I said, sniveling, "I worked so fricken hard. I can't believe I won."
"Why are you crying, then? You should be happy."
"I am. I'm just...it just feels..."
It just feels what? What is the end of that sentence?
I couldn't describe it because there were no words. There are still no words for how I felt at that moment. It wasn't happiness, sadness, relief, pride...it was something else. Something that I think humans do feel and understand when all the bullshit of life and our day-to-day are stripped away and we're left with the spirituality, the wholeness, of ourselves.
Though the awards are grand and I am grateful for the recognition, they aren't the thing. They aren't (and weren't then) the reason for a swelling heart. Sure, they're the impetus for that flow of energy, but the awards themselves aren't something that I'm after. They aren't my MacGuffin. I know the MacGuffin is usually "revealed in the first act" of a book, film, or play but I disagree. I think we spend our whole lives trying to get to that place, trying to snatch that MacGuffin. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but I don't think so. It makes sense in my head.
What I—and some other intuitive, sensitive humans I know—am after is this feeling. Right? Regardless of what you choose to call it, this feeling of having created something that gives other humans some hope, or camaraderie, understanding, and peace—even if it appears in just one sentence—is the thing. It's the stuff Wayne Dyer and Carlos Castaneda went on and on about. It's source; infinite intelligence. Dare I say, God.
Call it whatever, when we do or create something that lifts our spirits, puffs our chest, and others recognize and respond to it, it's an energy exchange. And that shit? It's gold. It's why we're here.
With that said, I can definitively say I'm going to keep writing and publishing. Not memoir, I'm done with that. But what's coming out recently, rather seamlessly via these amazing characters I've been meeting, tells me I'm right where I need to be. On the right track. Communing with otherworldly guides. The Universe is nudging and I'm obeying. Maybe what I print isn't anything anyone needs. But as long as it raises my vibration and keeps my energy high and flowing freely, I'mma keep going.
This has got me wondering, though, what was Aaron Spelling's motivation? I gotta know.