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Sometimes Online is Awesome

9 Sep

I don’t know how it got to the point where it’s been six months since I posted anything on here.  That just makes me feel… old.  But, I suppose I found myself a bit overwhelmed by my various online self-induced obligations and needed a break and some perspective from the real world.

Which mostly means I’ve been working on my “real” writing projects, and studying, and reading books that I don’t have to review and spending days and weeks at a time without even checking my email.  (I don’t suggest that last part if you get as much email as I do).

I’m still not sure what my new take is going to be with this multi-blogging project. I’m hoping to get things consolidated down to one pressure-free space. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime….

I ventured back onto Twitter today and found myself wandering down a little rabbit hole that led me to something I had to get on here and talk about.  HitRECord.org is a collaborative project helmed by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt that is just ur-cool in my humbly opinionated brain.

It’s all kinds of artists, film-makers, writers, animators, editors, musicians, composers etc.  just throwing stuff out there and working together to remix it and make it awesome.  If things fly, Joe has the Hollywood connections to make impressive things happen.  But, it’s really just about creating something amazing.  And doing it together.  It’s not about ego or making a name for yourself.  Everything you put up on the site is free to be borrowed from and worked off by others.  This is like artistic utopia people and I’m loving it.

Check out one of the short-films they screened at Sundance and SXSW this year, then go contribute some of your talent and/or opinons to the cause.

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Caught My Eye: Cabfare Productions

26 Jan

Wedding Videos That Make You Want to Fall in Love Again (and live in Seattle)

Don’t ask me how I got there.  I think it started with a book. (What else?)  But, somehow I found these amazing little wedding videos by a company in Seattle called Cabfare Productions.  And I got lost in them. Every one of them is a work of art.  Bet ya can’t watch just one! Enjoy!!

Of Aliens & Ancient Greece

23 Jan

Electra Receiving the Ashes of Her Brother, Or...

Image via Wikipedia

“For centuries philosophers and theologians have debated what it means to be human. Perhaps the answer has eluded us because it is so simple. To be human is to choose.”The Outer Limits

I wouldn’t normally think of juxtaposing Sophocles with little green men, it just happened to work out that way.  I was reading Electra tonight and reflecting on how little we had changed in so much time, how still relevant his work was, marveling at how much I identified with the characters.  I had to admit too, that it did remind me for just a moment of reading science fiction.  The places and the names, the traditions – all so foreign to me, it could have taken place on an entirely different world.

I was sitting in my parent’s living room at the time, and after my dad went to bed I started reading aloud to myself, because… well I guess there’s still a bit of the drama geek forever inside me.   The TV was still on, tuned to whatever station my father had snored through before he traded his recliner in for his bed.  It wasn’t really bothering me as I was rather engaged in my reading.  But, then the sportscasters came on.  I was now annoyed.  And for some reason instead of turning the thing off, I flipped down a few stations to something less obnoxious.

I stopped on an episode of The Outer Limits, mostly because it was quiet compared to the ranting from the sportscast.  It was halfway through the show, but suddenly I found myself going back and forth between the two, watching the show, (an episode involving alien abduction) when it was on, and switching back to my performance of Electra during the breaks.  (Yes, these really are the sort of things I do, when no one is watching).

I have to say it was a rather odd and giddy experience.  The show, with its oddly compelling aliens weaved through themes of  fear, violence, pain, sacrifice and ultimately what it means to be human while the play tackled many of the same ideas.

“My acts untimely and my words unmeet.
But your hostility and treatment force me
Against my disposition to this course.” – Sophocles, Electra

Both stories culminated with dire choice. Sacrifice.  Untimely deaths.

Aliens. Ancient Greeks.  How very little we have changed, and how very much I wonder if we ever will.

Caught My Eye: Maldives

20 Jan

Sometimes I swear Stumbleupon is my best robot friend.  How do they know me so well? I’m actually not gonna think about that too much, because the answer might scare me just a little.  As it is,  I want to just live in their perfect, totally-gets-me interweb. Today I stumbled upon this page with these oh so amazing factoids and tons of stunning pictures of the Maldives.  (Seriously, go check it out, then come back I won’t hold it against you.)

I admit I am sometimes geographically challenged.  I mean, I had heard of the place, but that was about it.  Now, I’m a little bit amazed by it.  These tiny little islands (Hawaii looks like a full-on continent comparatively) are actually a country?  It got my mind spinning and it seemed like such the perfect place to set a story, something fantastic perhaps?  Of course I think a research trip is definitely in order first.  Can’t be done any other way.  I’m sorry, it just can’t. Roadtrip! Err… Um Canoe Trip!  Who’s in?

Through Little Eyes.

10 Jan

Thought Question - Who makes you feel good about yourself.

Yes, I’m cheating today….sort of.  I’m using a prompt.

Honestly, there are so many people who make me feel good about myself.  My parents, my siblings, my friends, aunts & uncles, niece and nephews, teachers, acquaintances.

But here’s the thing.  At some time or another, almost every one of those people has made me feel bad about myself too. So have complete strangers.

Which tells you what?

It tells me, that maybe….just maybe….it’s not about them.  It’s about me.

The only person who really has the power to make me feel good about myself is me.  Because if I don’t let them, no matter how hard they try, it just won’t work.  And I have made myself feel bad about things that I blamed on other people far too often.

Earlier this year though, I had just had surgery and taken a trip to San Diego a few days later. (Not my brightest idea ever.) I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle while I was there.  I’ve always loved being around this particular Aunt, because we have so much in common.  But this time as I was there, it was just so refreshing.  So peaceful.  I realized how nice it was to be in an environment where everyone was happy and full of joy and positivity.

I wanted that in my life, all the time.

I went home and tried to analyze some of the people in my life.  Tried to spend more time around positive people.  But it was hard when I was the negative one.  And I’m not sure when that happened exactly.

So I worked on myself a bit.  Stumbled around.  Fell a few times big.

Spent some time around my five-year old nephew.

And started to get it.

Kids, just don’t know how to stay negative for long.  They have this excitement for life.  Every little detail is a wonder to them.

I missed that.  I remembered that.  It was like a piece of me that I was missing.

So I spent as much time as I could playing in the park, and watching cartoons and trying to remember the wonder of everything.  I started trying new things and creating more and being less afraid of making mistakes.

And, slowly, eventually, painfully at times, that little spark started to grow.

And a powerful thing happened, once I let it in.

It didn’t take much anymore to make me feel good about myself.

And I notice it everywhere now.  All the people I have in my life, that play that role for me.  My support system.  I’ve always been blessed with amazing friends.  And I can see now where they only failed me after I failed them.  So the question I get to ask now is how can I make  everyone I love feel good about themselves.  And THAT is a much, much better question to be asking.

But the person who gave me all that. The one who never fails to make me feel amazing, is a very special five-year old boy who maybe more than anything reminded me how to play, how to look at the world with amazement, and made me feel like someone beautiful, funny, smart, and really important for the first time in a very long time.

(For Ry)

 

prompt via: Thought Questions – Asking the right questions is the answer.

Paris in the Air

8 Jan

“Aimons donc, aimons donc! de l’heure fugitive, Hâtons-nous, jouissons; L’homme n’a point de port, le temps n’a point de rive; Il coule, et nous passons!” ~Lamartine

It’s been an oddish day.  I woke up needing to write, and started working on a scene from my novel which happens to be set in Paris, a city that, apart from clichés and a few Audrey Hepburn movies, I really know little about. I’ve always loved the architecture and the language though.  Why is part of my book set there?  Because I thought the aged, romanticism of the city and stunning landmarks would make an interesting contrast to my future teen techie apocalypse.

A bit later, in the middle of cleaning my apartment, I got a ping on my phone featuring a news-story about the Arizona congresswoman who was gunned down this morning in Tucson.  Truly sad and horrifying.  But, I’m a writer, and a new story immediately sprang to mind this time set in a very different Paris.  Paris of World War II.  I jotted down some notes on that, which led my brain to yet another story….which I’m keeping secret because it has nothing to do with Paris, (that I know of) (it does involve Shakespeare and some time travel).

A couple of hours later, completely by chance I stumbled on to this post over at Expatriotgames. It’s a true love story which made me A) want to move somewhere really cool, and B) wonder what happened to that guy I used to crush on when I was 16 and working at Burger King.  Paul Johnson if  you are out there…..I’m still single.  Ha.

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But, it also reminded me of the fact that my parents will be visiting the city later this summer.  I’m “more than I can explain” excited for them (and of course a bit jealous).  But what struck me was the picture of my parents in love in Paris.  Holding hands and walking down the street and eating great food at cafes and just being adorably happy.  Yes, I know it’s a weird thing to think of, but I’ve said it before (maybe not here, so I’ll say it again), I’ve always looked up to my parents for the love they have for each other.  It’s something I’ve never had to question, and yes, part of the reason I’m so picky.  I want love like that in my life someday.  They’ve stood up for and put up with each other more times than I can count and here they are…45 years later (they met in high-school), and even with Dad retired with way too much time on his hands,  and Mom still pretending she doesn’t know what  a budget is – neither of them has shown any signs of jumping ship.  I figure if you don’t have someone who loves you that much, what’s the point? Mom and Dad, I wish you a magical journey in Paris. But no time travel, thanks.

So… like I said Paris is in the air.  Can you feel it? Try listening to French music, or French kissing… it helps.  No?  Well, what’s in the air you are breathing then?

 

“So let us love, let us love; and the transient hour
Let’s enjoy in a hurry;
Man has no harbor, time no shores;
It flows, we fade merely!” ~Lamartine 

 

 

Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Scenic Railway at Luna Park (Melbourne, Austra...

Image via Wikipedia

Looking back at 2010.

It’s been quite a year.  The best of times and the worst of times, though thankfully, not usually at once, more like an out of control roller-coaster ride in the dark.  At times terrifying, at times exhilarating.

 

How do you measure a year? I wrote a novel, visited Disneyland (once) and Seaworld (twice).  I spent countless days in the hospital and gained a new appreciation for breathing non-sterile air and legs that actually work. I went fishing. I played at the park. I started school (again). I lost 40 lbs (and gained 10 back). I discovered my love of Dr. Who. I read many many books I adored and a few I didn’t.  I gained an adorable new nephew. Connected with some great authors and publishers. I had my first real surgery. Tripled my meager cooking skills. Went on some very memorable dates. Hours and hours of yoga. Started a critique group. I reconnected with some old friends. Made some new ones. I gave up TV (mostly). I got to play Santa. I learned a lot. Most importantly, I became acutely aware of how wonderful my family and friend actually are, and I’d like to think I grew up, not too much, but just a bit.

Family.

I can’t express enough my gratitude to my family for putting up with me this year.  I know every hardship I faced was reflected exponentially in your hearts and for that I honor your love, your strength and your grace.  This has truly been a year that I don’t know where I would be without your never-faltering support.

2011-happy-new-year-wallpaper-25

What does 2011 hold?

Well if there’s anything I’ve learned thus far, it’s that I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises.  (Good thing I love surprises!) But I’m counting on a move across town, starting a new job, possibly some great trips (to NYC for BEA and to  Europe in the summer).  Putting the finishing touches on my novel.  More great classes.  More amazing books.  I’m excited to join the pre-viewing committee for the Phoenix Film Festival this year and will be starting a new volunteer opportunity having to do with yes, books. (I’ll be in the studio, recording audio editions for the blind.) Lots of writing.  NaNo again. I’m thinking of adding some podcasts and vlogs to my blogs, and if I have any time left…sleep, lots of sleep.

My hopes for the coming year?

World peace?  Too much? Yah,  I thought so.  Honestly, my hope, is that I can hold on to the spark of excitement, spirit of accomplishment, profound gratitude and sense of humor that I somehow managed to find in the latter part of this year.  That’s really it.  I have goals, yes, wishes, desires. I’m constantly looking for balance. But, if I can hold to the attitude that sits in my heart at this moment, I’m pretty sure the roller coaster ride this coming year will be thoroughly enjoyable and more importantly, in the end, it will have gotten me to where I needed to go.

Disclaimer: This post was written under the fog of a flu that has traveled to my head and induced that fuzzy-headed cognitive cloud.  Oh and cough syrup.  Extra sentimentality and cheesy if extant  humor can easily be blamed on these extenuating circumstances.

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