Bushnell at her Connecticut home in 2012
December 1, 1958 |
|Occupation||Novelist, television producer|
|Spouse||Charles Askegard (2002-2012)|
Even as a kid, I never liked breakfast. I just don't like to eat then. I like to get up and work. I think sticking a whole bunch of carbohydrates in your stomach in the morning is probably the worst way to begin the day.
I've been writing fiction probably since I was about 6 years old, so it's something that is second nature to me now. I just sit down and start writing. I don't sit down and start writing and it comes out perfectly – it's a process.
Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society.
We need to encourage young women to find what they love to do. That is a very valuable pursuit – more so than the pursuit of a boyfriend. When you have that core, you bring that core to every aspect of your life.
Well in the book Carrie was my alter ego. In real life, Sarah Jessica and I don't look anything alike. But people do say that we sound alike. Sarah Jessica is an adorable girl and she is very funny.
I sometimes read in a gossip column that I was at a party when I was in Europe at the time. It sometimes feels I've got a Doppelganger somewhere.
The most important thing to strive for in life is some kind of personal and professional achievement. Not as a man or a woman, but as a person.
I was a freelancer all through my twenties. I did about one story a month and I wanted to write fiction, so the stories that I would do were precursors to 'Sex and the City.'
The reality about being economically dependent on someone else usually doesn't work out for women in the end. It's about being an adult and being responsible for your life. Most women have to work, so let's just get on with it.
I started working for the 'NY Observer' when I was 33. After I had been writing for them for about a year and a half the editor said, 'Your stories are the most talked about stories in the 'Observer'; you should have your own column.'
As I'm writing, certain things become clear to me and certain things begin to feel right and make sense. The pieces start to fall into place.
The '90s are really the 'Sex and the City' woman, and I think, right now, the new contemporary woman is the 'Lipstick Jungle' woman.
I first arrived in New York in 1979. I was 19 and I was going to University in Houston, Texas, and I decided that I knew what I wanted to do and it was time to go and do it. I literally ran away from college.
The key to life is your attitude. Whether you're single or married or have kids or don't have kids, it's how you look at your life, what you make of it. It's about making the best of your life wherever you are in life.
I think when I was 12, I started reading Evelyn Waugh, and I loved Evelyn Waugh so much, and I thought: 'This is how the world really is. If I could be Evelyn Waugh, then I would be happy.'
I love things that are old and glittery, that come with layers of glamour and past lives.
The joke that I make is that there are instances on the TV series that happen to me, – except on Sex and the City they always make it better or worse than real life and I am actually saying that in a joking way.
Sometimes I want to be on 'The Real Housewives of New York.' I want to remind them to figure out how to get along and support each other.
The women I know who have children and have careers, they seem to be very happy. They love their children and they love their jobs. But happiness comes out of being willing to do your work in your twenties to find out who you are, what you love.
If I'm with a man, is that going to prevent me from achieving my goal? What sacrifices will I have to make in terms of being myself, if I'm with a man? Something that young women find out really quickly is that when you start dating, all of a sudden you're supposed to have a role. You're not allowed to just be yourself.
Well I actually do have a country house in Connecticut with a population of 3,000. Like, how small is that? I spend a lot of time there – I write up there. So I kind of have the best of both worlds and I love going up there.
Like it or not, in the end, it's one's body. It's literally what carries you through life. There's a reason for the saying, 'If you have your health, you have everything,' and it's true. Old age, disease – these are the great equalizers.
Sometimes you have to find the passion. It comes from the inside… Everyone has to find it for themselves.
Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society.
I was incredibly determined – I wrote short stories, I wrote the beginnings of novels. I wrote a little children's book and sent it to the editor-in-chief of the children's division of Simon and Schuster and she asked me to write a little children's book for a series she was doing.
I'm really enjoying being single. I'm not even looking to meet anybody, which is so freeing.
My decorating and renovation skills are nil – indeed, I once used a shower curtain from Pottery Barn as 'window dressing.'
I always thought that there was a really good chance that I wasn't going to get married.
I wish I was one of those persnickety types who buys guidebooks and studies them, but I don't have the inclination or time. I'm more of a 'get on the plane, arrive at the destination and see what happens' kind of traveler.
Ever since I can remember I was telling stories and had a huge interest in other people and what made them tick.
There's so many things that mattered so much in my 20s and 30s that don't matter now.
I know I'm not a wordsmith. And I don't write poetry. Sometimes I think I should, because it's really helpful. But I always wanted to write novels.
What I have yet to see is a real woman choose a younger man because he spent six hours a day at the gym trying to sculpt his abs.
I think a young woman's relationship with her father is really important.
I've always been fascinated by young women who come to New York. The characters in 'Lipstick Jungle' were once young women who came to New York and we see their early experiences through flashbacks.
I'm the kind of person who would have liked to have lived at the Plaza. I love crystal chandeliers and gold leaf, velvets and mirrors, Oriental rugs and marble.
I started writing about New York as soon as I arrived. I was 19. I used to write short stories and send them out.
My parents had a great marriage. Interestingly, it made it harder for me in relationships because I knew what a good relationship looked like.
The '80s was all about this idea that women could have it all. You could have a career, and you could have a husband, and you could have children.
I actually don't shop very much. I have a tendency to rotate a few pairs of ripped jeans and an old cashmere sweater.
I have a house in the Connecticut countryside where you'll always find me, summer or winter.
Growing up, nobody I knew even knew a writer. So it was a big adventure and something that I've wrestled with my whole life. I think it's a journey worth taking, really finding out who you are and what you do well.
'Lipstick Jungle' was on the air for 20 episodes – I loved 'Lipstick Jungle.'
You don't have to do everything by the time you're 30. Or 40. All you need is a work ethic. It's what allows you to push through moments of disappointment and self-doubt and fear.
I love Chicago. I lived there briefly for three months and kept a boat under one of those space-age buildings. It was very Jetsons.
I have to tell you, TV is an incredibly difficult medium. The most challenging show to do is the hour long dramedy. It's a very tricky format.
You need characters who want things. They want love, they want recognition, they want happiness.
The fact that a man is open to being with an older woman suggests that he doesn't give a hang what other people think of him. More likely, he's confident, open-minded and willing to make his own rules.
It's a job. When I'm writing I'm going to do it five to six days a week and I'm going to work for four to six hours a day. There's no magic writing fairy. It's just hard work.