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Small Moments

I witnessed a moment I wish I could bottle. I went into Barnes & Noble after leaving my hairstylist. They are just a few doors away from each other. 

I walked by the Customer Service counter in the middle of the store and noticed a tall, white, bald man signing paperbacks. I continued on and did my circuit to check out cookbooks, sci-fi/fantasy, adult fiction, and teen fiction. Next, I made my way through the tables with the specials. This brought me back around to Customer Service. 

The man was still there with a large stack of books he signed. He was talking to another man in his fifties and a head shorter. He had a book pressed to him while he was talking to the author. I picked up the gist of the conversation quickly. The aspiring writer asked the author for advice on writing and getting published. I call him “aspiring writer” because he admitted he was not writing. He was asking the author for advice because he had no idea where to start. 

The author was kind, patient, and attentive with the aspiring writer. I listened to his advice and internally smiled and nodded as it is advice I have heard and read before from other writers. He made eye contact with the aspiring writer, recommended a book (the one he was holding), and gave him the time and full attention others would not be inclined to give. 

I was intrigued and kept “perusing” the table. Not because I needed to hear the advice he was imparting, but because he made an impression with this simple interaction and I was soaking it up. 

I stuck around long enough to find out the author’s first name. Larry. We crossed paths and I think I surprised him when he turned around. He nearly took out Superman on an endcap while we sidestepped each other and smiled. 

That moment with the aspiring writer stayed in my head. I shared it on Facebook and I still could not shake it. 

I was back in the store five days later hunting down the display of books that the author signed. 

Larry Correia is his name. 

Mr. Correia, you may not have sold the aspiring writer one of your books (yet), but you sold one to this writer. Never lose your generous spirit. 

Larry Correia

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Creativity

 

Just one of my jewelry creations

 

I am creative by nature.  I’ve always liked making things.  In 6th grade, I was teased because I would bring my craft projects to school to work on during the time our teacher would read to us.  He let us do what we wanted at our desks during that time as long as we were quiet.  My classmates were aghast that I would prefer to be crafty than play a video game.  Then again, all my classmates but two bullied me that entire school year.

I love being around other creative types.  Stick and I feed off of each other’s creativity.  We can take an idea one has to the next level, and sometimes even to one or more other levels.

I always have some project I’m working on, or some project I wish I was working on.  I love to do needlepoint and cross-stitch, even if I haven’t taken the time to come up with my own designs.  One of my college friends and former roommates taught me to cross-stitch. I can work on it for hours on end. There were many nights I stayed up all night working on a project because I lost track of time.  It’s why I generally try to have the TV on instead of music at times when I’m working on projects.  Music, I lose total track of time.  The TV at least gives me some sense of awareness of how much time has passed between shows or movies.  I never kept any of my cross-stitch projects.  They were always given away as presents.  I think my favorite one is of a kimono I did for Granny and Papa to go on the scrapbook I did for them.  The scrapbook that was confiscated by a certain family member after Papa passed away.  I have not seen it since even though she said she only took it to “scan it in.”  That was 6 1/2 years ago.  *sighs*

The day before Granny passed, Stick came down to spend some time with me and get my mind off of things.  She brought all her jewelry making supplies with her and we spent some time making jewelry, after she taught me the basics.  I was a jewelry making fiend after that.  One year, I made jewelry sets with birthstones for all my aunties, female cousins, Stick, Stick’s mom, and a few female friends.  The set pictured above (which also included a bracelet) was a present for my cousin-in-law for her wedding shower.  She wound up wearing the necklace and earrings to her wedding.  Let’s just say I was over the moon when I saw it on her as it was a great understated compliment to her dress.  Not too flashy.  Not too simple.

 

One of the pages I did for Grandma's scrapbook on the first anniversary of Grandpa's passing.

 

Scrapbooking is probably one of my oldest hobbies.  Since I was a kid I’d put together scrapbooks of pictures with ticket stubs, boarding passes, etc.  This was way before scrapbooking became big business and you had all kinds of papers, cardstocks, and embellishments.  I don’t know where all of those scrapbooks are now.  Probably in my parent’s attic.  Or in some landfill.  Who knows.  I didn’t take them with me when I moved out because they were in the attic.

Anyway.  Stick helped me make the transition from physical scrapbooking to digital.  With all the stuff available, it can be so easy for the computer challenged to do.  Again, I make a lot of scrapbooks to give away as presents.  This page pictured was one of the pages I made for my Grandma.  In our culture, the 1 year anniversary of a loved one’s passing is important.  Since I could not fly home for it, I put together a scrapbook from when we were all home for Grandpa’s funeral.  This was one of the first pages where I really created (with a little help from Adobe Elements) a background paper.  I did another one where I textured the paper I made.  Pretty cool stuff.  I’m still learning what I can do with Elements since I don’t get to play with it much.  I’m still trying to get through all the physical pictures and products I have to clear some space.

 

Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake

 

Cooking is another avenue for creativity for me.  I learned how to cook while I was still young and took over the majority of the cooking in my home when I was in Jr. High.  Once I got comfortable with food, I started playing around.  Let’s throw this in with that, a little of this, then some of that.  Yeah.  I play with my food.  Once I use a recipe a time or two, I start doing my own spin on things.  Papa made a great chili, but he only made it once a year on New Years.  He shared the recipe with no one.  Finally, when I was in college and living on my own in a studio apartment, he broke down and gave me the recipe.  Of course this didn’t sit well with other family members and he had to end up sharing it with them, too.  But he gave it to me first!  I am the #1 grandchild after all.  Anyway, I made it his way a few times, then took off with it.  I have my own chili recipe inspired by Papa.  Pictured is the raw cake that I was challenged by some gluten-free blogger friends to make after we were commented on Facebook about gluten-free cake.  I figured the raw cake was appropriate since it has chocolate, raw cacao to be exact, and it transports me into a chocolate wasteland.

Writing is a major avenue of creativity for me.  I could be happy doing nothing but writing all day, even if it was something that never got published or was just an exercise.  So, what you read on my blogs is part of what I love.  I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember.  One of my favorite poems from grade school was about a fictional rabbit.  I named it Merrit.  hehe  I have dozens of short stories and a couple of books I’ve started but haven’t quite finished.  I’ll share some poems and stuff on here later on.  I do an exercise with Silly Sissy that we call Sketch-2-Sketch on her studio blog.  I write a character sketch and post it.  She then sketches based on my description and posts it.  She’s overly critical of her work, but she does an amazing job with taking my description and sketching it out.  Silly Sissy has tried to get me into freelance writing after I did some copy for a website she did last Summer.  I could jump in with both feet and do it if I wanted to.  I’m not sure I’d get the same joy from it.  There is a difference between writing because you have to meet a deadline and writing because you derive immense pleasure from it.  Some people are fortunate enough to be able to mix the two and enjoy it.  Me, well, it’s too much like having to turn in a college paper.  It was pretty cool to see my copy on a website though.

There are other things I’ve toyed with like fashion design and interior design.  I made my own curtains, shams, bedskirt, and duvet cover over 10 years ago because I just couldn’t find anything to go with the theme in our bedroom.  For a while, I was a Trading Spaces junkie.  You couldn’t talk to me while it was on, unless Heidi was putting hay on a wall.  You especially couldn’t talk to me if Vern was on.  His designs were the inspiration for design of our bedroom.  I have put together collages on canvas for art work.  It’s a great way to display a lot of pictures without spending a lot of money on picture frames.

I have never considered myself an artist.  I just mess around really.  Before I was 10, I took some painting lessons.  My teacher didn’t like that I added to the oil painting and she had to “fix it.”  I thought it looked just fine.  I think she forgot to do some happy clouds on her own canvas.  I never cared for the drawing lessons in grade school.  All those rules in art.  I think that’s why I never took an art class.  I don’t play by the rules.  I just put down what I feel on paper.  Much like I do in all my other creative endeavors.  In college, I really started to toy with sketching on my own.  I just put pencil to paper and let it flow.  I even took a few pictures of myself and friends in an attempt to draw people.  I think I did a fairly decent job.

Bottom line, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m happiest when I’m creating.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Books & Baseball

 

The Reds

 

Opening Day for baseball was Thursday.  I really had no idea until I was awake and was listening to Gamble & Finn on 96 Rock while getting ready for work. The longer I listened, the more excited I got.  It’s Opening Day! I started thinking, If I had known, I would have asked for the day off.  The longer I listened, the more I realized that pro-sports in this city is a lot like Derby in Louisville.  Only there wasn’t 3 weeks of partying before the big day.

I should state that I’m not a fan of baseball.  Not really.  I’ll pay attention now and then, but I don’t get excited for the game like I do with football, basketball, tennis, and volleyball.  Heck, I get more excited about swim meets than I do baseball.

The last time I went to a game and actually paid attention to the whole game was in college.  Knowing and hanging out with a lot of the athletes will do that to ya.  The last game I actually went to was a pre-season Reds game in Louisville against…the Phillies, I believe.  Seems every pro game I go to its against the Phillies.  Make that Padres vs. Phillies since that pre-season Reds game was the only non-Padres game I’ve attended.  We were there with Chaz’s co-workers and their family members.  I really don’t remember the game even though I have pictures of it.  We spent a lot of time gabbing, eating, and drinking.  That’s what I love about baseball.  The social aspect of the ballpark.

Those Padres games I went to with friends.  I never paid a lick of attention.  Stick and I used to be somewhat obnoxious and yell out things like, “Is that the quarterback on that mound of dirt?”  Someone would make it into home and we’d throw up our arms yelling, “Touchdown!”  We got a lot of chuckles around us for that stuff.  But, I’m sure there had to be a rabid fan or two that was annoyed with our antics.  No one ever said anything to us though.

I spent much of Thursday thinking that Stick and her family need to come out for Opening Day one year (while we’re still living in this city) so we can hang out at the ballpark together.  1) We haven’t been to a game together since college.  2) Her Old Man is a Reds fan.  3) Her Old Man is a Reds fan.  You hear that Old Man?  Start planning now!  I’ll make sure the guest room is ready.

 

Just SOME of our books. I mean my books.

 

Thursday night I spent a good amount of time reading before going to bed.  I spent a good amount of time reading while taking bubble baths, breaks & lunch during work, hanging out at my favorite coffee shop.  Okay, I just read a lot.  Chaz calls me a voracious reader.

Someday, I want my own personal library.  Built in shelves, floor to ceiling.

Pictured are just some of our books.  Well, mostly mine.  I have more in the guest room.  We have our martial arts and Japanese culture books in Chaz’s man cave along with his computer geek books.  I got rid of a lot of my books before the move in October.  And yes, those two shelves on the bottom right are all Star Wars books.  My most read book is hiding in there on the left.  V by A.C. Crispin.  I must have read it at least 5 times between 7th and 12th grade alone.

I love books that transport my mind to another place and/or time.  Books that give me an escape from the reality surrounding daily life.  I love different spins on Arthurian tales (those are on the middle shelf on the left) along with spins on other legends like Robin Hood and Joan d’Arc.  I have some favorite Asian writers that speak to my heart. If you get a chance, Banana Yoshimoto is one of them.  The amazing part is that she writes in Japanese, so what I read are her English translations.  The translations are beautiful and poignant.  It always makes me wonder how much more so her work is in Japanese.

Now, if you excuse me, I have a book to finish…

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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