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Pin Me ~ Week Eleven ~ from my Perhaps I Might Read Board ~ Hemingway’s Girl

26 Apr

Oh nuts!

You know what happens when you don’t keep up with your blogging? You lose track of dates. And, until you go back and start looking at a calendar, you won’t realize that you think you’re being so good catching up on your blogging only to figure out that you skipped an entire week! Hemingway's Girl

Doh!

So this is Week Eleven’s blog post, but in reality, it should have been Week Eight. I suppose I should shift all my blogs a week, but then I’d never catch up.

At any rate, I scored me a copy of Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. I had been thinking about possibly reading this book (thus, why it was on my “Perhaps I Might Read” board), but it was Book Addict Katie’s review that pushed me to get it.

Book Addict Katie is funny, intelligent and works in a bookstore so you know she’s got double secret, back door access, to book knowledge that the rest of us can only hope to glean from those so wisely in the know of all things books. She has a blog and you can also follow her on Twitter. She is a Dog Mom to Marshall. And for those of us that are cat owners servants, she has cats (Patches & Rory). And yes, they try to kill her, too.*

Happy Thang: It’s the weekend.

*Note: if you are not a cat servant, this might need some explaining. Those of us that are, try most days to please our kitty kitties. Otherwise, they will make us pay. And it only takes one time for you to receive “that look”** to make you shape up and do their bidding.

**That look is the one they give you as a warning. It says, do what I demand, or else…

And that’s why we all sleep with one eye open.

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Stop The World ~ I Want To Get Off and Write

26 Apr

Howdy!

It’s been a few weeks.

Beach Day

It’s Almost Time for the Beach

I think if you ask most writers we’ll tell you that, given the opportunity, we’d write all day and night. Too bad <insert life’s demands here> gets in the way.

When I started this blog, it was supposed to be an outlet for new writing. A (hopefully) regular way to keep things fresh and write about whatever was going on in the world or about things that interested me. It was going to be for those times when I was editing/revising/revamping my novels or plays.

Being a creative type, I have lots of outlets to channel that juicy energy. Sometimes it’s writing. Sometimes it’s painting. Sometimes it’s sewing. Sometimes it’s soaking up life for future inspiration.

And so I got away from the regular course of blogging.

Then, I decided to embark on a regular blogging adventure. I created “Pin Me ~ 52 Weeks of Actually Doing Something With My Pins.” My plan was two-fold: blog at least once a week and make something happen with all those pins I have pushed against my virtual cork boards.

I’ve made some delicious recipes, tried some new nail polish and read a good book. And I was also keeping up with the blogging. Until March 14, 2013, when other stuff got in the way.

It’s nothing major. Just home improvement projects here and hockey games there. (Let’s go Devils! Even if you aren’t making the playoffs this year). And a whole bunch of other must dos.

But, alas, that is no excuse to not blog. I made that commitment and, by golly, I will stick to it. (I hope).

I’ve actually been keeping up with my weekly Pin Me stuff. I just haven’t been blogging about it. So what does that mean?

It means I have seven pins to write about and pronto because I don’t want this stretching out to ten, twenty, fifty…

So here’s what you can expect ~ seven blog pieces coming at you fast and furiously. I’ll probably stretch them out over the next few days, but if you follow my blog via email, expect to get a couple o’emails from me back-to-back. I promise once I catch up, that it will go back to once a week. I think that’s a good amount of email to receive. :]

My Happy Thang is that today is Friday! Whoo to the hoo!

PS…what do you think of the new look for the blog? I might be changing it up seasonally. We’ll see how it goes.

OK Winter, I’m Ready for Spring

2 Jan

There is something magical about the holidays being cold. And nothing beats having snow on Christmas morning. But by January 2, I’m ready for spring.

Which is a silly thing as winter is just getting started. salad

I have yet to find fabulous boots but I did score some pretty sweaters for Christmas and I have a plethora of gorgeous scarves and gloves to wear…but…I’m ready to pack it all away in favor of pretty Lilly Pulitzer dresses and coral painted toes.

Rather than wish winter away, I’m going to tackle it with lots of indoor projects that need to get done. Here’s a few that I’ll be digging into this month:

1 – repainting my bathroom door

2 – going through my clothes and making a donation to Good Will

3 – ridding my office of every single pile of papers

4 – editing manuscript

5 – finishing a birthday painting for a friend that is a year over due

It’s only day 2 of the new year, but already I’ve managed to keep stress at bay. I am also going to start eating some of these stress busting foods.

Happy Thang for January 2, 2013: Making an amazingly, delicious salad at Whole Foods (bonus: they had ranch dressing! Whoo-hoo!)

Page Turner Resolution for 2013

1 Jan

I’m pretty sure it was just last week when I was making my 2012 resolutions. Where did the last 365 days go?

Simon & Schuster tweeted a quote from one of my favorite country artists, Brad Paisley. It was a simple little statement but it stopped me in my tracks.

image

And I thought, “Yes!” It’s so true for everyone but especially for a writer. A clean slate. An unfilled notebook. A word of possibilities.

So here goes my New Year’s resolution: stress less.

What does that mean? I’m going to fill my new book with at least one thing every day that makes me happy. I’m going to call it my “happy thang” in honor of Mr. Paisley. While I’d love to say that I’m going to blog about it everyday, the reality is that life is going to get in the way.

BUT…

I will at least try to recap some of my “happy thangs” every week as I am embarking on another project. My 52 weeks of “Pin Me.”

I love me some Pinterest but I find that I pin away and then rarely go back to review or actually do any of the pins. Oh sure, I tend to pick up products I want when I’m out shopping. And I have made a few recipes here and there, but for the amount of things I had to pin because I didn’t want to forget them, I find myself not executing most of them.

That is all going to change in 2013. I promise to once a week do/make/purchase/ponder/engage in at least one of my pins. It might be a DIY project. It could be a new recipe or I may just enjoy a good quote, but I am going to start utilizing my pins.

So, with that said, be sure to visit my blog again where I will be posting my  “Pin Progress.”

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you today’s Happy Thang. Went for a late breakfast (1pm) with some friends and hung out for a couple of hours talking over coffee.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

PS…What is on the first page of your new book?

Ooh Ahh You Wish You Were A Senior

14 Jun

That’s what was written in shoe polish on the car in front of me this morning.

Through the lettering, I could see a perky girl sporting white sunglasses, bouncing along to the tunes blaring out her window. Her friend joining her in the chorus.

And I must say, it did give me pause. While we waited for that light to change from stop to go, it brought back memories of my high school days and graduation. The day that I thought a miracle would happen. I’d walk across that stage, go to my party, eat potato salad and then some kind of magic would occur. 

The reality was the next morning I got up, went to my grocery store cashier job, came home and did laundry.

Was this it?

Everyone makes such a big deal over graduating high school. And while it was a special day, the ones that followed were ho-hum.

And then I went off to college, spent a semester abroad, graduated, got a car, a place to live, a job and life REALLY began.

So while I might reminisce over the care-free days of being a high school senior, if I had the chance to tell my 18-year-old self what I know now here’s what I’d say…

You might think it’s just more of the same old, same old. But it won’t be. You’ll grow in ways you didn’t know were possible.

You will travel the world and that will change how you look at everything. It will be the single most amazing thing you’ll ever do.

Remember when you went to the theatre for the first time? At the tender age of 10, you’d tell your mother you want to do that one day in New York City.  And guess what? You will.

You’re an artistic person so you’re creative avenues will shift between different mediums. You’ll decide you enjoy writing and people will tell you that being a writer is a tough job. But you’ll do it anyway. You’ll have a weekly column in a newspaper, you’ll write articles for magazines and pen several books. You’ll be a playwright and your stuff will be produced in the big apple.  People will tell you it can’t be done. But you’ll say why not? And then you’ll just do it because…well…why not?

You thought you didn’t need a man. Relationships are great for having someone to be your date for holidays and things like weddings. Then one day, when you least expect it, a magnificent man will come out of no where, walk up and say “hi”.  Your world will be turned upside down and you won’t be able to imagine living one day without him.

While you always enjoyed the security of being close to mom and dad, you’ll move half way across the country and it will open doors for you in ways you never dreamed.

Most importantly, I’d tell Senior me that, while being 18 and graduating high school is pretty freakin’ awesome, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Can You Love More Than One Book At A Time

5 Jun

I love books. I don’t just love them. I ADORE THEM!

My mother has said on more than one occasion that I learned to read before I learned to walk. My early love of reading began with her “Dick and Jane” books.

     “See Dick Run.”

     “See Jane Run.”

And with those two sentences, my heart grew with wonder for words. The longing to be in other worlds and to ride magic carpets on fantastic adventures. It’s no doubt why I ended up with a career in the arts.

As my love affair with books grew, so did my bookshelves. I started out with a small two shelf number that I picked up at a garage sale for $5.00. A larger apartment meant I could add a massive one from IKEA with four shelves, that was taller than me and took up an entire wall. When I moved into a house, I got a second one to match.

Since that time, books can be found in any nook and cranny in my home. I’ve donated quite a few and leant even more to friends. But my book addiction continues to thrive.

It’s probably because I love to read so much that, at any given time, you can find me enjoying between 2-5 books. A friend of mine insists this is not the way to read as it delays getting to the end of any one book quickly. But the end isn’t always what I have my sights set on. I enjoy the ride.

Not to mention the fact that I enjoy reading different types of books at different times of the day.

For instance, I am NOT a morning person. Getting going after that alarm wakes me up is like running a marathon. I’m built for distance, not for speed. So while I’m still trying to adjust my eyes to the light of day, I need a simple tale. One that is easy-going and doesn’t require a lot of deep thought. One I’ll retain the plot after I’ve finished my morning coffee. So I’ve been reading “The Madman of Venice” by Sophie Masson. It has the added bonus of having slightly larger type which makes it nice for my eyes that are only half-open. 

My favorite way to spend lunch is with a good book in hand. So whether I’ve made my own and gone to a park or I’m sitting in Whole Foods enjoying a nice cup of soup or salad, chances are you’ll find me reading (or writing). But on reading days, I’ve been taking “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” by Gertrude Stein. I recently saw a magnificent exhibit called “The Steins Collect” at The Met. Actually, I visited it three times because it was THAT GOOD. My Sweetheart encouraged me to pick up the book and I’m so glad he did. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. And it ties in so well to the collection.

I hate feeling like my time is being wasted. And standing in line always gives me that feeling.  Carrying a book with me has solved that issue. Now when I find myself standing in line (as I was on Saturday to get into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final), I whipped out a book and started reading. It was “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm. It’s upbeat and adventurous without being too demanding on the attention span. I was able to put it back it my purse, get my ticket scanned, buy a pretzel, find my seat and easily pick up where I had left off in the story without having to go back and reread.

Which brings me to just-before-bed-time-reading. This is where I light a candle, maybe play some soft music and generally tune out the world. I save my favorite books for this reading time. A book I have been savoring for the last couple of months has been “Timeless” by Gail Carriger. It’s the final book in The Parasol Protectorate series. The final adventures of Alexia Tarabotti. Normally, I would be devouring her books. They are a magnificent example of brilliant writing with witty dialogue and characters you wish were alive rather than fictional. I don’t want the series to end. I only read a few pages every night. At this rate, it might be next June before I finish. But that’s ok. Because by February 2013, Ms. Carriger will have a new four book series out dubbed The Finishing School. The first book entitled “Etiquette & Espionage”.

So, in answer to my original question, yes I do believe you can love more than one book at a time. Loving multiple books is a bit like loving shoes. You can’t possibly have only one.

The Sketchbook 2012 Challenge

26 Jan

“She decided to start living the life she had imagined.”

My 2012 New Year’s Resolution is in full swing.  It’s been 26 days and I’m imaging, creating and enjoying life the way I always thought I should. This is what I’ve been up to:

~ I’ve been taking full advantage of one of my Christmas presents—a membership to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve been three times including having brunch there. I’m planning on going again this weekend.

~ I’ve been mulling over changes to the novel.

~ I’m taking time each night to relax with a good book and some tunes.

~ I have taken an official “chill” stance. No stressing. No fussing. No worries. Issues are just rolling off of me like water on a duck.

~ And I’m making a commitment to doing something with pencils, pens, paper and paint. Just finished a painting that I’ll be listing in my Etsy store. I’ve also discover The Sketchbook Challenge 2012. As luck would have it, I picked up a couple of sketch books before the holidays. The challenge for January is to doodle. So I carry my little book with me and when the mood strikes, I doodle. It’s good fun. Relaxing. And quite enjoyable.

Here is today’s doodle.

Happy Moment of the Day: Forgetting the woes and enjoying the moment.

Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolution Set You Up For Failure

3 Jan

My sweetheart and I have a New Year’s Eve tradition. We go for a very, relaxing massage, then it’s time for yummy Thai food and board games with our friends. Sometimes we host. Sometimes they host. But it’s a fun, casual way to spend the evening just enjoying one another’s company.

At the end of the evening (actually, it was the early morning), I asked what their New Year’s resolutions were. She shrugged and said, “I don’t have any.” He made a disgruntled face and said, “I don’t make them anymore because I never keep them anyway.” 

He wasn’t my only friend that wasn’t participating in this yearly tradition. I felt the same way a few years ago, but I think it’s because we set our goals too high. New Year’s resolutions have become extreme edicts whereby we promise to drop 50 pounds by June 1. Where we will no longer eat carbs, drink soda and we promise to get a full eight hours of sleep every night. We’re going to save $10,000 in the next year and we will single-handedly bring about world peace.

Well no wonder we feel defeated before we ever get started.

Two years ago I decided that my New Year’s resolution wasn’t going to be so specific and demanding. I wouldn’t put a strict guideline on what I was or was not going to do. I was going to  make it broad and general and when the moment presented itself, I would make that resolution come true.

In 2009, my new year’s resolution was a quote. “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

On January 1, when I made that declaration, I had no idea what that was. I only knew that in the next 365 days I was going to attempt something.

In August of 2008, a director/actor friend and playwright/producer friend and I sat on my patio furniture and talked about wanting to finally do the work we wanted to do. Yes, we all had success with other theatre companies, directors, producers, etc. and we had enjoyed the work we had done. But we longed to do the things we really wanted to do. The roles we hadn’t played. The shows that we wanted to direct. The venues where we wanted to produce. So in April 2009, I wrote a comedy about the pitfalls of social media. About the same time, the three of us got together again and decided to make it happen.  That year, I wrote, produced and starred in not one, but two of my plays in NYC. Could it have failed? Well, sure. But did it? No. Because I didn’t even let that thought enter my mind. We played to a sold out run.

In 2010, I decided to go the way of the quote again. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  – Harold Whitman

On February 8 of that year, I opened my Etsy shop.  I had been wanting to sell online and Etsy made it so easy. With them doing the nuts and bolts of having an online presence, I could concentrate on my artistic endeavors. This was also the year I was selected to be part of the Estrogenius Art Festival in NYC. I was fortunate enough to have three of my paintings in that art show.

It’s with no surprise, that I have decided to keep with my quote tradition. My 2012 New Year’s Resolution: “She decided to start living the life she had imagined.” (I believe this quote is taken from the book “She” by Kobi Yamada).

I’m excited! I have an entire year to do all the amazing things I have imagined doing. I’ll paint more. I’ll read lots. I’ll go to Metropolitan Museum of Art to sketch. I’ll float in my pool and leave the dusting for tomorrow. I’ll wear more sparkles. I’ll learn to walk in heels. I’ll cook new recipes. And maybe, just maybe, this will be the year I learn to play the cello.

Happy Moment of the Day: That after all those holiday cookies, eggnog and delicious dinners out….I am still 40 pounds thinner than I was 2 years ago!

When Old Becomes New Again

13 Oct

We had a beautiful weekend of summer and now it’s back to being fall.

When the temp dropped to 61 degrees, I hated to admit it, but I was in need of warmer clothing. So I dug around my sweater bin this morning and pulled out a little gem I had forgotten about in the last seven months. It’s a sporty black sweater with white sleeves and hood. There are two white stripes  on the left arm only and I always feel super hip when I wear it.

I didn’t wear it last winter due to some *ahem* fluffiness. But I have been watching what I eat (not dieting, just paying attention to calories and sodium mostly) since April and I’ve lost a couple. OK more than a couple as I realized this morning when the overall sweater felt looser and the stripes on my left arm weren’t bulging.

This prompted me to dig around my jewelry box for things I hadn’t worn in a while. I pulled out this fabulous pearl ring that I had bought many years ago from a vintage store. It used to fit snug on my ring finger. Today I had to move it to my middle finger.

Suddenly, in less than a year, my old stuff became new. Things that I couldn’t wear are now on the verge of moving to the other side of that statement (can’t wear because they are too big) which means I’ll have to buy some duds this winter.

One of the other things I pulled out was a silver Celtic knot bracelet. A bracelet I wrote about in my first novel.

It’s less than 18 days until NaNoWriMo 2011 starts and I’ll be working on the third novel in my series. In preparation for the beginning of that new book, I’ve pulled out my old manuscripts and notes.

Suddenly, familiar dialogue and relationships are taking on fresh meanings for me as I read between the lines and get tidbits of information that I can use in this upcoming endeavor.

I am super excited to dive into this next book. My old characters are on the cusp of diving into new adventures and I can’t wait to go along for the ride. And, who knows, maybe one of the characters will be wearing an old pearl ring while she goes shopping for a new sweater.

You Can Quote Them On That

22 Aug

One of my oldest and dearest friends is celebrating her birthday at the end of this month.

It’s one of those birthdays that Hallmark makes special cards for (notice I’m not saying what her actual age is) so I wanted to give her a meaningful gift.

I adore phenomenal quotes. I write the best ones in a little quote book that I take out from time to time and read for fun and inspiration.  

So I thought wouldn’t it be nice to give her something with her favorite quote. There are so many wonderful Etsyians that do cool things with quotes that I was having a hard time choosing.

In the meantime, I asked her about her favorite quote. This is what she said: “Unfortunately I’m not that sophisticated.  I currently have not quotes…”

Which is actually a great quote.

So it got me to thinking what are some of my favorite quotes. I have lots and lots and lots of them, but I think these may top the list.

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” –Robert Schuller

“The adventure you’re ready for is the one you get. Life is short. Go For It.” –Joseph Campbell

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” –George Bernard Shaw

How about you? What are your favorite quotes?

Happy Moment of the Day: Having all the windows open and letting the cool summer breeze blow the curtains.