Venus on Mars

What a Difference a Hat Makes

Posted in Author's Notes by janmillsapps on August 20, 2012

Just days before my book launch at Lowell Observatory, I learned that a certain higher-up there feared my book may be too controversial for the blessed Lowell family (who still haunts the place). I was devastated and nearly cancelled my trip, then had a second thought. I could put on a fancy hat and everything would be fine.

Miss Lulu’s hat resting on her beloved Percy’s grave.

Not only did a wear the hat, not only was everything hunky-dorey (way better than fine) – I also discovered I could channel my character Lulu.

Miss Lulu suffered huge setbacks in her life, but her wardrobe never suffered and her outer demeanor remained upbeat. “I am going away now to clear my head,” she wrote after the love of her life, Percival Lowell, unexpectedly married another woman. She had a fancy hat on when she wrote this, of course.

I think a fashionable hat must help keep the head clear. With such finery securely perched on top, there’s no way for troubling thoughts to enter one’s head.  A stylish hat can be the guardian for the soul, the first line of defense against negative vibes.

When I wore the hat I felt strong, resourceful. I could speak my mind without fear of repercussions.  I could see what I saw through the telescope, not what someone else wanted me to see.  I could chat up the very person who tried to nix my visit and feel superior, even when he suggested Miss Lulu (me!) had a weight problem.

“Not when she wore her corset,” I defended my character, myself.

“Well, all that fat had to go somewhere,” he persisted.

The boobs, that’s where it went – I gestured to my upper chest.  Small waist, big breasts. Win, win.

See what I mean? Invincible.

I stayed in character for most of my time at Lowell Observatory, inhabiting my character easily, comfortably. It probably helped that long ago I  (Jan, not Lulu) fell in love with an actual Lowell (who looked a lot like Percy), and he broke my heart.

Now my fancy hat fetish has spawned another benefit. My publicist wants me to develop a one-woman performance piece based on Miss Lulu. I can do this!

Details to come…

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3 Responses

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  1. Vivian Earnhardt said, on August 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Jan, I think that’s a great idea and I’m more than sure that you can carry it off beautifully. Go for it!!!!

  2. Wanda Ritchie said, on August 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Everyone needs a Miss Lulu hat! Amazing what confidence a hat can bring. Our son, Jeff, learned to walk wearing an old hat of his grandfather’s. He held on to the brim of the hat as if it were anchored somewhere. When the hat was off, it was back to knees and hands for “transportation”.

  3. Harriet Ann Ellenberger said, on August 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    A performance piece is perfect for Miss Lulu. You already know her story inside & out, and you’ve already been her, in costume … purr-fect. And she is so worthy of a one-woman show. And think of all the things you can say on stage and get away with (like Lily Tomlin did). Speaking as a theatre-lover, I can almost see this performance already.


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