Friday, July 30, 2010

A Perfect Life

If my life were perfect, I would be a best selling writer and go on book tours to meet my readers. I would dress like Mary Higgins Clark and buy beautiful pieces of jewelry from I would have the house of my dreams with a huge kitchen with plenty of room for entertaining friends. I would laugh and have fun often. My husband would make me laugh. We would travel. We would have a vacation home near the ocean. We would enjoy great restaurants, live music, broadway plays, art museums, and zoos. I would probably never stop smiling.

In reality, life isn't so perfect.......but I have many things to be grateful for and I'm good at making my own fun no matter what happens around me.

Writers Digest

The latest issue of Writers Digest Magazine came in the mail yesterday. I have already read half the issue. It's full of great writing inspiration, ideas, and motivators to get a writer writing. I love reading writing magazines, writing books, and writing. It's part of me. Maybe I will never have a novel published or more articles published or my poetry appreciated but I write anyway.

I'm grateful for Writers Digest Magazine. "USING FRUSTRATION, HURT AND ANGER TO FUEL YOUR WRITING" by Bill O'Hanlon really jumped out at me in this Big 10 issue packed full of articles every writer needs to read. Often when things happen to me or I feel victimized, I keep it inside and not write. This article talks about the power that transfers onto the page when you write about it. I guess I should write a memoir about living in Alsea the last 10 years, and then another memoir about my feelings and experiences with religion, and then a memoir starting at the beginning in Libby, Montana. I guess my question that keeps raking at me is so I let myself write my heart out with novels or memoirs or juvenile fiction........will it arrive at the destination? will it be wanted? will it be taken out my house when my husband and I leave for a few days? Yes, I feel insecure about it. Number 9 says "write yourself out of or through a crisis," and number 6 says to "write to deal with fears or trauma." I've lived through too much loss and trauma. Maybe I should write how I want my life to be.

Atlas Shrugged

I have been having fun reading ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand. I have read some of her books in college and I am revisiting her writing. This book is about trains, which I love, and a great heroine, Dagny Taggart. It is a mix of philosophy, business, and great drama. I have been reading the 35th anniversary edition while listening to the audio book at the same time so I can become completely lost in the story.

It's fun to read about d'Anconia Copper Mines when it makes me think of my grandfather who was an engineer at the Anaconda Copper Mine in Great Falls, Montana. My grandfather died a month before I was born so I didn't ever get to know him.

The perfect place to read this book would be on an Amtrak vacation as you cross the country from one coast to the other and back again.

My Garden

As I was watering my garden this morning and walking around my yard, I keep being reminded of things that have changed at times when we have been away from Alsea. Take for example, my Shasta Daisy......... The first thing that was done to it was a cutting of the center. I didn't do it. My husband didn't do it. I didn't give permission for anyone to do it. Then the crowded multiple plants stuck together were taken away and out of my yard leaving one plant. I didn't do it. My husband didn't do it. I didn't give permission for anyone to do it.

This kind of stuff happens when we are gone away from Alsea and I want it to stop. I come home to find the center branches out of new trees cut off to prevent it from growing too tall. I know how to do all this stuff or I can look it up in a gardening book or in a gardening magazine or look online at all the great gardening websites. I went through the OSU Master Gardening program in 1999 in Salem, Oregon so that I could learn more about gardening.

No one has the right to come into my yard to tend my yard and garden. No one has permission. I have lots of No Trespassing signs posted and I need to put more up along our 3.68 acres.

The point is that it makes me feel like until this mystery is solved, until I know who is doing this, until it is stopped, I can't leave with my husband for any length of time. I don't have the money for expensive cameras and monitors.

No one also has permission to come into my house. So many things have been missing over the years like photos, journals, books, original art. What is the point of drawing and painting when some of the art that I am most proud of was stolen? What is the point of writing when it is stolen out of my house? How do I protect myself from people coming into my house when I am gone? All kinds of things have been missing--fabric, documents about my inventions and the e-mails to the engineering department at OSU, letters, things I have written, etc. Not fair. How much do I have to lose?

Either it is a professional crook or someone is abusing their position of power and authority to get into my house.

Guess I am staying home. Guess I am not going to Ohio or Washington since no one is helping me prevent and solve the problem. I wrote to two national political leaders with no answers or response. I guess I have to give up all my dreams because everything I try is squelched. Guess I was born into the wrong area, the wrong time, around the wrong people in order to bloom and become all I can be.

Young & the Restless

I've been watching the Young and the Restless on CBS for years. The neverending story teaches, entertains, and shows what can happen as the characters interact.

I love Victoria and Billy together. The fun, joking-around magic, when they are alone away from their battling families, take me to a place in my heart that is full at the moment that I watch. It's rare when the chemistry between two actors dazzle and radiate off the screen in this way. Victoria and Billy need their own prime time show but there has to be lots of fun and joking around with lots of laughter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Publishers Weekly

On page 132 of the July 19th, 2010 issue of Publishers Weekly is an essay that every children's writer, every teacher, every person who cares about gifted children and anyone who loves books MUST read. All children's writers need to read it to see what an impact they make when they take the time to reach out and communicate with readers and how important it is to visit schools.

"Tour of Duty: Why one children's author keeps visiting schools" by Lynne Jonell is worth the price of this issue. I read it to my husband. The first paragraph is what every first paragraph should be and after I read that to him, he agreed to listen to the rest. I didn't get very far before I started choking on tears since I feel passionate about gifted children. I had to stop more than once. It is a powerful essay. Gifted children should be taught in schools on three levels--at their academic level in all subjects and above their level to challenge and for enrichment. Review should not predominate but be kept to a minimum. Now in most public schools throughout the country, gifted children only review. Sad and tragic! President Obama is working hard to encourage excellence in schools but there are few takers for the incentives. I guess we care more about protecting teachers than in protecting the rights of children to learn and to encourage teachers who motivate. Oregon rejected it.

Lynne Jonell's latest book is HAMSTER MAGIC. After reading this article, I can see that her books need to be on the top of the list of all book buyers for children. President Obama bought her book, THE SECRET OF ZOOM for his daughters.

Publishers Weekly is a must read for writers to keep current with what is happening in book publishing. Anyone who loves books can use it as a list of what to read. What I love most are the interviews and articles about and by writers.

Tiziano Ferro

I have a new favorite singer--Tiziano Ferro from Italy. I watched the 2010 World Music Awards. Tiziano Ferro won as best Italian artist. He was the best part of the entire show. He sang "Breathe Gentle." He's young. His music transcends all age groups. Passion exudes from every pore as he sings. He's a world performer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

CBS Watch Magazine

I subscribe to CBS Watch Magazine because CBS is my favorite of the three major network channels. I consistently watch CBS more than any other channel.

The last CBS Watch Magazine had a feature on the Mentalist, one of my favorite shows. Simon Baker is a surfer from Australia who is magic on the screen. I wonder if he knows Aussie pro surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson?

I haven't received the last issue in the mail. I saw it mentioned on television. It's a feature on NCIS, another great CBS choice. So........just where is my issue?

2010 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon

My son, Benjamin ran in the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon. He came in 13th place overall and first in his age group. He had a finish time of 2:47:39. He's sponsored by Seattle Running Company. I'm so proud of him.

Anna, my granddaughter, wanted to run with him when she saw him at the 18 mile marker. She's only 1 1/2. She's amazing, just like her Dad.

Favorite TV shows

My top three favorite television shows are Huge on ABC Family, and Eureka and Haven on the SyFy Channel.

Jersey Couture

Jersey Couture is one of my favorite shows on the Oxygen Channel. It's all about Diane & Co. in Freehold, New Jersey which is an amazing dress boutique with a large inventory of dresses for prom and any formal occasion that can cost from $500 to $10,000. Diane and her daughters, Chrissy and Kim are smart business women who are not satisfied until they find the perfect dress for their customers. This reality show is fun to watch and they are entertainers and funny on the show.

It would be fun to work at the shop so I could have the opportunity to be part of it. I think they should have an additional service for their hard-to-please customers. A computer program or a large notebook with different fabric choices and designs could make a custom choice possible. The woman could choose from a variety of fabrics, colors, and designs. For example, a woman could pick a kelly green silk, with three quarter length sleeves, long length, and a slimming fit. Prompts on the computer program could help make choices easier with tips for what looks best on what figure. All measurements are added into the program. If the woman has original design drawings to incorporate into the dress, this could be given to someone in the store. If there is enough time before the event, this unique design made for the woman who walked through the door could be made for her by seamstresses or a dress designer that contracts with Diane & Co. This way a woman would receive the dress of her dreams and feel certain that her dress is an original that is made just for her.

They have a "fluff me" service for weddings to help the bride get ready for her important day. I wonder if they rent gowns for weddings for all members in the wedding party with a complete fluff me service for all the bridesmaids, bride, and mothers?