Monday, February 8, 2016

Motivational Monday


WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN,
I WAS TOLD SUCCESS HAD TO
COME IN MY YOUTH.

I FOUND THIS TO BE A MYTH.

MY EXPERIENCES HAVE TAUGHT ME
THAT IF YOU DEEPLY BELIEVE
IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING,
SUCCESS CAN COME AT ANY AGE.
(Abe Vigoda, 1921-2016
age 94 at time of death)


I deeply believe.

Do you?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG: Fizzle


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Hmm, so it's February 2016, and I've accomplished . . . nothing. 

Okay, not nothing but close to it. I don't exactly know what happened. A few real life incidents arose but nothing serious. I got new furniture for my office that took forever for my husband and I to put together, and my stuff is still kind of in flux. The weather has been funky for our area - cold and stormy, including nearby tornadoes - and that's thrown off some stuff, like exercise. Yeah, so what, right? None of this should've stopped me so completely. 

Probably the biggest issue is that I'm in-between writing projects. I'm dabbling in this and experimenting with that, trying to figure out what to throw myself into next. I'm at the point where no one idea is tugging at me, leaving me standing still, paralyzed with indecision. 

I really wanted to start 2016 with a bang, but so far I've only managed a fizzle. Sigh.

Any advice? Encouraging words? Chocolate?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Motivational Monday


I WATCHED OLD #XFILES 
EPISODES LAST NIGHT AND
ATE CHIPS AHOY.
I AM A PERSON THAT
ACCOMPLISHES THINGS
(Mindy McGinnis)

I pretty much snorted coffee all over myself when I first read this. Partly because it's hilarious, and partly because, if you replace XFiles and Chips Ahoy with Project Runway and Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter candies, you would have . . . me. Even the tortoises have accomplished more than I have this past month.

So, if you're feeling something similar, join me in shutting off the TV, putting down the sweets and making this a better, more productive week - and month! - all around. Like Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!" (See, too much TV. Sigh.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A King and a Lawyer . . .

. . . walk into a bar. No. Wait. Let's try that again.

Stephen King and John Grisham walk into the packed Neel Performing Arts Center here in Florida and proceed to entertain the audience - including me and my husband! - with stories about reading, writing and life, all to benefit libraries and literacy.

Stephen King did the event himself last year, and apparently, when the committee wondered how in the world they'd ever top that, King replied he had a friend who might be interested in participating . . . .

We've heard King speak before and he's always so down-to-earth and entertaining, and it was fun to see that Grisham is the same way. Both men wore jeans, chatted and told stories like the old friends they are, and donated their time to the event (which raised over $200,000!)

Grisham (left), King (right)

A few highlights from the evening:

* When Grisham's first novel A Time to Kill (one of his best, in my opinion) made the New York Times bestseller list, King sent him a congratulatory note.

* Early on, they shared the same editor who bought both King's Carrie and Grisham's A Time to Kill.

* Both men are often approached by fans who praise the movies, not the books. King often responds with "I've written books, too."

* They talked about being famous authors in a society that doesn't really read, how they can pretty much move about their lives unnoticed. (I thought this was an interesting point, although I recognized King when I saw him in the store awhile back while I would've walked right by one of the Kardashians.)

* Grisham prefers print books, while King reads both paper and on screen.

* When asked if he'd ever write a horror novel, Grisham said some people think writing about lawyers is already pretty horrifying. (My husband, who is a lawyer, found this hysterical. And true.)

Oh, and at the end - cookies!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Motivational Monday


YOU WON'T ACHIEVE ANYTHING
IN THIS LIFE
IF THE ONLY THING YOU CAN SEE
ARE REASONS YOU SHOULDN'T
TRY SOMETHING. 
(Janet Reid)

I am guilty - shamefully so - of doing exactly this. 

The reasons why I shouldn't do something race to mind with the speed and the fierceness of a tortoise to banana. (Trust me. You don't want to stand between Larry and banana.) 

I wish those first thoughts were encouraging and positive. But they're not. 

I would love to approach ideas with openness, new experiences with excitement. But I don't.

This just means I have to work harder. I need to elbow my way through the doubt and the naysaying (the way Mrs. Larry shoves Larry aside to get the banana.) I need to push past the reasons why I shouldn't so I can embrace the reasons why I should

And I will. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It Cuts Like A Knife . . .

A chef's knife, that is!

A few weeks back, I talked about 2016 being the year of living creatively, and how I planned on taking a cooking class. Well, the first one was the other day, and it was a blast!

My husband and I have taken Demonstration Classes - the chefs cook and talk while we sit and watch, drink wine and eat. This class - the Basics of Culinary - is Hands On and the wine doesn't appear until the food is cooked and the knives are put away.

A few things I learned:

- you really don't need most of the knives in the knife block. You can use a chef's knife for pretty much everything. 

- the point of the knife is the "toe" and the part closer to the handle is the "heel."

- when cutting up veggies, curl the fingers of your other hand under, making a claw. (I managed to leave class with all my fingers - yeh, me!)

- when seasoning, sprinkle the salt, pepper, parsley, etc from high above the food because that way it spreads more evenly. Too close and it can clump.

We made guacamole and salsa, pollo tacos al pastor (chicken tacos), red snapper escabeche (fish and veggies) and sopaipillas (fried dough with cinnamon sugar and honey - and, oh, honey, let me tell you, they were delicious!)

You know, cooking is a lot like writing - once you know the rules, you can go a little wild, expand and experiment.

And it's a pretty good bet that the next time one of my characters needs to do something dastardly with a knife, we'll all know what kind of knife they'll use....

Monday, January 18, 2016

Motivational Monday


IT ISN'T NECESSARY TO KNOW
EXACTLY HOW YOUR IDEAL LIFE
WILL LOOK;
YOU ONLY HAVE TO KNOW
WHAT FEELS BETTER AND
WHAT FEELS WORSE.
(Martha Beck)

You know those self help books that tell you to picture your perfect life? To imagine the end result then work backwards so you know where to start? I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do any of it. I'd get frustrated and discouraged, trying to picture this, imagine that. It was like watching a badly edited montage of film clips.  

After awhile, I realized I struggled with cementing an image in my mind because my happiness and peace and success could be achieved in more than one way. It's more about what feels right for me, and every time I follow that lead, every time I move in that direction, I live my ideal life. 

Let's follow our hearts and go with our guts. That's how we become our best selves.