Monday, September 27, 2010

Defogging















Last night, I was driving through a particularly angry thunderstorm. With the rain, fog, and traffic, the only things that made it bearable were "my perfect for driving" iPod playlist, warm cup of green tea, and restless mind.

During one turbulent stretch, I began to panick because I was having trouble seeing anything. The cars around me were were nothing more than a bundle of hazy lights. The rain kept beating down on the windshield, threating to get worse. Of course, I was also thinking about some of the goals and relationships I had as a girl. It seems that the older we get, the more jaded we become, almost as though time coats us with a sticky layer of cynicism. We dismiss dreams as being "too idealistic" or "unrealistic" and instead of allowing our highest potential to shape us, we mold it.

With my rambling thoughts, I realized that I forgot to press the "defogger" button. Something so simple but still forgotten. Within seconds, the fog lifted and everything became clearer. The weather calmed down and the traffic was not as bad as I thought it was. Ah ha, I thought. What a great metaphor!

Every once in a while, when I am becoming doubtful, negative, or pessimistic, I should press that internal defogger and regain some clarity
. It can be too easy to allow time and a handful of negative experiences to pollute our lenses but maybe it is also up to us to routinely defog and whisk away the condensation.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quotes of the Moment




"I thought I might become someone else in time, grafted on to something better and stronger. And then I saw that the running away was a running towards. An effort to catch up with my fleet-footed self, living another life in a different way."

Sexing The Cherry, Jeanette Winterson



To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Elbert Hubbard


Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

Max Planck


Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Mark Twain


What are your quotes of the moment?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

5 Things I'm Grateful For....


1. The Chai Tea Latte that jump started this morning

2. My talented, intelligent, and versatile classmates who remind me every day that no matter how much I am going through in school, I am never going through it alone

3. The anticipation that cascades through me when I open Microsoft Word or dive through the fresh pages of a new book



4. My gray ballet flats that make my feet feel extra special

5. How blogging allows me to connect with so many incredible people I would not have met otherwise!


On that last note, the winner of my giveaway is Laura Marcella! I am so happy we found each other in this busy cyberworld and I know that if we were to meet in person, we would be good friends. She always leaves thoughtful comments and has motivating posts about the journey of a writer!


What are you grateful for today?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Best Kind of Date

Although I like to think of myself as an extrovert; lately, I have realized that I really enjoy spending time alone. Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I am spending an entire evening in solitude. No phone calls, no shared meals, no scrambling to a bar to compensate for having zero fun during the week, no gchat conversations.

I drove to Borders and wove through the Literature section (something about all of those books motivates me to make mine the best it can be). Then, I went home, poured a glass of wine and made some whole wheat spaghetti with broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, and vodka sauce.

I opened up Microsoft Word and I swear that the blank page seemed excited to see me. It has been so long since we were alone together! I can hear people piling into cars, opening the sun roofs, and cracking open beer cans. I can see summer-dressed girls linking pinkies with their boyfriends. I can feel each individual, going somewhere, doing something, with a set purpose. The entire city seems to be vibrating with human interaction and I am by myself.

And I couldn't be happier.




Do you like being alone? When was the last time you took yourself out on a date?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How a Good Setting Can SHOW and not TELL




I found this article on the NYTimes. It was about one of my favorite shows, Modern Family, and how the settings in the show give away so much about the characters.

For example, right when you enter Phil and Claire's home, you are struck with a mix of Pottery Barn furniture, pictures along the stairwell, and a friendly amount of clutter. The atmosphere screams "YOUR CLASSIC AMERICAN FAMILY LIVES HERE!" On the other hand, Claire's father lives in an extremely contemporary, well kept house.

(A great thing I saw when reading the comments: People LIKE it when the setting corresponds to the characters. This in general goes back to our main point that most readers prefer a character's actions and happenings to make sense in terms of who they are.)

Although there are differences between movies, television shows, and books, I think that a setting can say so much. I thought of these questions in terms of my characters and hope they help:

  1. How is this character's living area indicative of his/her financial situation/preferences?
  2. Is she/he alone or have five roommates in the heart of San Francisco? (Ex. A struggling painter would probably not live by himself in a two bedroom place...a prosperous one might.)
  3. How does he/she get to work? What does he/she pass on the way? Any common stops?
  4. Do they like where they are?
  5. What hangs on his/her walls? Is the place cluttered, neat, or in the middle?


Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't already!!

(I will be picking 2 winners!)

*Picture from weheartit.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Name, Design, and a GIVEAWAY!


Hey everyone!

I decided to update the look of my blog so that it was more relevant to my life.

I was inspired to change it while I was breaking bread.

Literally.

This evening, after class, I joined a few of my classmates in slicing and packaging loaves of bread so that they could be packed into brown paper bags for the less fortunate.

I learned today that there are so many children in America who come to school starving on Monday mornings. This leaves them unable to concentrate and as a result, disruptive and incompetent. The food bank that is affiliated with my school collects all types of food from places so that we can make brown paper breakfast, lunch, and dinner bags for these kids.

So many times, I run around with a stormy cloud of stress hanging over my head. It's nice to be washed with a fresh wave of perspective. Yes, I may have an endless "to do" list but my stomach is always satisfied. Yes, I may dread Monday mornings but I always have the ability to eat breakfast even though I may not take advantage of it.

And then I thought, why do I blog? So that I can share these types of thoughts with my amazing blogger friends (and receive so many insightful ones in return)! I am grateful that I am able to blog, that my circumstances allow me to do something that gives me so much pleasure. So don't I owe it (and everything, for that matter) my best and most relevant self? Shouldn't I give back to something that has given me so much?


Sooo, in the name of all that, I will be giving away a gift basket of some of my favorite things which will include but is not limited to:

*A Starbucks gift card
*
Women's fiction novel
*Pretty bookmarks
*Dove
chocolates
*My favorite lip balm
*
Fun pens

and more!!


To enter:


1. You must leave a comment telling me one of your favorite little things
2. Be (or become) a follower
3. You will receive two entries for mentioning me on your own blog
4. Entry period will end in exactly one week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do I Make Things Harder Than They Need to Be?

Before my flight to NYC, I found myself wandering through the terminal. Oh my gosh, I realized. I am forty five minutes early! And without my beloved laptop! What's a girl to do?

Instead of sitting down and people watching or---gasp---doing nothing, I asked the gate agent where the good airport shops are. Might as well buy some gifts or things I need, I thought, as I zipped past the array of restaurants and families. Then it was onto one of the many bookstores. I should start on some put off reading. Or make phone calls. Or whip out my tattered notebook and write.

The point is, after I sped through the terminal to catch my boarding time, I knew exactly what had happened. Through an odd series of events, I forgot how to truly relax. Every hour has to feel as though it is "accomplishing something" or "providing challenge" in order to feel worthwhile.

It made me wonder, do I make things harder for myself than they have to be? Do I find some kind of pleasure in knowing there was a struggle to my "goal" so then---only then--- it must have been worth it?? In a gesture that was equal parts frazzled and liberating, I tucked all of my stuff under the seat and gazed out the window for the entire flight.

Do you ever find yourself doing this?



"You must learn how to do nothing...absolutely nothing"
Winnie the Pooh


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quote of the Moment....


"We're not always wise witnesses to our lives. Sometimes, in spite of tightly clinging to an idea of how we want our life to be, the universe has a plan for us that is braver and better than the one we have for ourselves. The good news is, when we stay open to this, the universe finds a way to deliver us there."

Laura Dave, author of The Divorce Party


What's your quote of the moment?


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Medical Musings: Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

Okay, bear with me on this metaphor (which was inspired by my studying...I know, I know, my life is quite sad).

In a general sense, we are studying different types of diseases and how the body tries to combat them. We learned that there are antigens on cell surfaces. These give a beacon to other cells to indicate that something weird is going on. When the other cells get a peek of these antigens, they start doing things to try and solve the problem.

So, in a nutshell, the appearance of the surface makes things happen and provides clues as to what is going on underneath.

It made me think, wow, even the building blocks of our bodies give hints on their surfaces! Isn't that what our facial expressions do?? And at times, our outfits?


And....what about book covers? According to the proverb, we aren't supposed to allow their outsides to give us perception about their insides. But I do give attribution to covers, whether it is on books or people.

Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Does your appearance ever reflect how you are feeling inside?


"Never judge a book by its cover."
"Clothes make the man."


*Pictures from weheartit.com