Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Scribblings: #321 - Strange Bedfellows

There are many sides to every individual.  And many hats are piling up on my head and merging into one amazing showpiece.

In early childhood I had no fear and did anything my little heart desired.  I created my own magazine featuring my first article on then crush Michael J. Fox and performed tricks on my roller skates.

Always an honor roll student, I majored in accounting and worked in the CPA world.  On the weekends I danced at clubs dressed in my goth meets grunge attire.  Or going to concerts and meeting my favorite bands - Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Faith No More...

I'd always dreamed I'd be a writer like Judy Blume; a cartoonist for the Simpsons; a back-up singer like Wendy & Lisa of the Revolution for Prince; or an A&R rep discovering new rocking talent.  Who knew that 2012 would be the year I moved from the east coast to Portland, leave my CPA career behind and embrace writing for young adults, living a full-time creative lifestyle.

Everyday I'm learning that I am many things.  Creative, shy, stubborn, outgoing, smart, smiling, curvy, curly and beautiful...a singer, a dancer, a traveler, a perfectionist, a writer, a painter, an accountant, a sugar addict, a vegetarian, an animal lover, a friend, a coffee addict, a cartoonist...

And although these attributes may make strange bedfellows, they make up one extraordinary individual.  Me.

The above was inspired by the writing prompt at Sunday Scribblings.

Embrace all that is you.

Becoming Extraordinary

The all day TEDxConcordiaUPortland event, Becoming Extraordinary on Saturday, March 31st was...well, extraordinary. 

For those not familiar, TED is a nonprofit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading".  A conference which began in 1984 brought together three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  On, they post the best talks from the conferences available for free.  TEDx was later created, a program of local, self-organized events to share a TED-like experience.

Thankfully I was early in the coffee line which stretched across the building and sampled my first vegan VooDoo Doughnut - delicious.  The sold-out event with over 600 people buzzed with excitement and anticipation.  There were so many amazing presenters filling my head with so many possibilities and so much needed inspiration.

One of my favorites was Colleen Wainwright who raised $50,000 in 50 days leading up to her 50th birthday for the LA nonprofit WriteGirl.  A must see, especially if you have an extraordinary idea to give back but doubt your ability - a truly humorous inspiration.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Idol: Judy Blume

Growing up, I spent Sundays at the public library and the author I'd go to over and over was Judy Blume.   

Superfudge, Blubber, Deenie, Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself, Forever... My absolute favorite, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.  She's the reason I want to be a young adult author. 

When I came across the Judy Blume Journal Contest, I was super excited.  The first place winner would receive a personalized message from her.  There were other prizes, but I didn't care.  A personal message from my idol?  A total dream come true.

My entry received 146 votes and I was in the top five contenders.  Of the five, Judy Blume selected the three Finalists, a Runner-Up, and Grand Prize Winner.  Fingers crossed, breath held...I remained a finalist and despite the i-Tunes gift card, I was devastated.

On April 6, 2011 while checking my gmail, I almost fell out my chair.  There in my inbox was an email from Judy Blume!  Oh.My.God.  I screamed for my co-worker to come into my office, just so I knew I wasn't dreaming.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oh procrastination...

Even professional writers have days when they'd rather clean the toilet than do the writing. - Octavia Butler

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Donna Summer: vocal on embracing multiracial backgrounds

One week after MCA's death, I woke up to learn that yet another beloved musician that has had a large impact on my life also past. On Thursday, May 17, Donna Summer died of cancer at age 63.

My earliest memory was seeing the video "She Works Hard for the Money" on MTV in the early '80s.  It was the first video by a black female artist to be placed in "heavy rotation."  I loved the song so much, I saved up my allowance to buy my very first LP, Donna Summer's eleventh studio album, also named "She Works Hard for the Money."  I wore the album out so much that the song doesn't sound right without the permanent skips from scratches.

Who knew that over 20 years later she would also have an influence on my writing career.  A friend had mailed me the article, "Let's embrace our heritage of many cultures: celebrate how diverse Black people are" written by Donna Summer from the September 2008 issue of Ebony magazine.  I had no idea that her racial background included Native American, Dutch, Irish and French Canadian.  I, too, am mixed - my father's Black and my mother's German.  So, my main characters are of color who deal with everyday contemporary issues, but from the perspective of someone who doesn't fit neatly into a one race check-box.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Always a bridesmaid...

Even though I moved to the west coast only six months ago, I've already been on two trips back to DC. This last visit was for my 24hr lawyer friend's wedding.  I have to admit, I was dreading it.

I was excited to see all my friends, but I HATE being a bridesmaid, especially a single, thirty-something bridesmaid with no romantic prospects.

My usual angst of feeling uncomfortable in my body and without a plus one, however, never had a chance to surface. During the rehearsal dinner when I was forced to say a few words (with absolutely no forewarning), the moment I looked at my friend, it hit me -- how much I love and miss her and how truly happy I was that she found someone to share the rest of her life with.

Then at the reception, I was super excited to be sitting at a table with my "DC family!" There was no time for silly, woe-is-me feelings. We drank, we laughed, we danced all night...and then felt it the next day at brunch.

When my bubbly brilliant friend commented that this was the first time that our entire group had all been together since August, I was truly reminded about what is most important to me...experiencing love.  Love of friends, love of dance, love of love. Which meant getting out of my head and living in the moment.

Raise a glass to great friends and great times!  Cheers!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday Scribblings: #318 - Wild

My curls have a mind of their own.  I rid the knots with my wide-toothed comb caused by the wind, finger twirling, and tossing and turning.  Step out the shower and they hang past my shoulders in waves, weighed heavy from the warm water.  Air dried, they shrink to my chin and expand.  They quench their thirst and seek to replenish with any found moisture - humidity their favorite dessert.  Depending on their mood and the weather my head wears ringlets, frizz, corkscrews, or kinks.  They never look the same despite the daily routine - wet, comb, and condition.  They live with attitude - bounce and fly for the fun of it.  Curls are crazy, wild, intense, present, and extroverted.  I love my curls.  My curls are me.

inspired by the writing prompt at Sunday Scribblings.

let go & live wild,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Three MC's and One Sad Fan

When I saw my friend, Lisa's text about an hour ago, I was devastated to learn that MCA (Adam Yauch) of the Beastie Boys had passed away at the age of 47 from cancer.

Music is my strongest passion, and I grew up with the B Boys since the 6th grade when I got the record Licensed to Ill.  The unfolded album cover hung on my bedroom wall displaying a Boeing 727 crashing head-on, looking like a smashed out joint.  The tail of the plane had the Def Jam logo and the legend “3MTA3″ which spelled “EATME” when viewed in a mirror.

I remember my first trip to California with my girl, Nyree; we drove from LA to San Diego singing along with then newly released Intergalatic.  Not only did their music rock, but their videos were ingenious, Sabotage my absolute favorite.  I can still hear my dad comment, "You in your Beastie Boy shoes," every time I wore Converse.  But the BEST memory was when I met the Beastie Boys in 1992.

Me and Ad Rock
It was Friday, November 13.  Lisa, Nyree, Ny's friend Heather (pictured above with MCA), and I went to the Beastie Boys, Henry Rollins and Cypress Hill concert at the Edge in Orlando, Florida.

Lisa and I followed Mike D and Ad Rock to Yab Yum (a downtown coffee shop) and somehow ended up on the guest list (see the proof to the left).  After the show we ended up backstage, where they let us munch on their veggies and drink their beer.  Beastie Boys will forever have an impact on my life and love of music.


Lisa, Me and Mike D