Alex and Mike: A Love Story

A few months ago two friends of mine asked me to do a reading at thier wedding, and after I offered to write it for them they said yes. I wanted to share the piece with you along with a recording of a portion I had to cut due to time constraints (and that it didn’t quite fit in with the broader piece). 

Here is the final reading from the ceremony this weekend. 

Continue reading “Alex and Mike: A Love Story”

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Creative Collaboration: We are all the same

This morning I introduced one of my nieces, a ten year old, to the horrors of the Holocaust for the first time.  During a planned trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum we walked through Daniel’s Story – the exhibit directed toward children – and the Hall of Remembrance. When she didn’t feel comfortable going through the permanent exhibition with her parents, the two of us wandered around the National Mall talking about what she learned.

It was an important conversation for me and for her, and while I tread carefully on what details to share much of our talk centered around how Hitler intentionally separated people based on religion and other characteristics he felt were deviant (making a side connection to Harry Potter and Voldemort’s obsession with purebloods). Our conclusion was how ridiculous that assumption is because we are all, in the end, human beings.

This month’s Creative Collaboration looks at an image from S.Fell. Taken at the Baltimore Light City exhibition the image reflects the conversation from this morning. We are in the end all the same.

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Creative Collaboration: And The Waltz Goes On

The inspiration for this month is a waltz. Written by Sir Anthony Hopkins it was conducted by Andre Rieu and has quickly become one of my go to YouTube videos. The piece is at times melancholic and joyful all at the same time. 

For my submission (the only one) this month I thought I would try my hand at writing a very short story where the song is an invisible character. Written on my porch as the sun set (mood, it’s all about the mood) I tried to match each section of the story with one section of the composition.
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Creative Collaboration: Green

For March (we are running about a month behind in the posting) the creative collaboration team was inspired by this instagram from DixonBaxi, a creative company out of London (and the Baxi in the name is my cousin). I was struck by the the way the green and black took up space within the image creating shapes within shapes as they connected together. This month collaborators pulled together some poetry, another healthy dish for you to make, and a color study. Check them out below.


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WordPower

Words have power. Fact. We live in an age where anyone can say anything and be believed. An age where fact checking is only reliable if it aligns with your beliefs. Words. Have. Power.

But power to what? To sway, to innovate, to encourage, to bring hope – and in their absence limit important forms of expression necessary for real communication. A few weeks ago two events brought these thoughts to the surface. And while both cases are based in fiction there are real world implications.

Anthony Doerr and Me
Meeting Anthony Doerr.

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Creative Collaboration: In Dreams

IMG_0613It’s almost the end of March and I realized I never posted the creative collaboration from February. The inspiration that month was a phrase that hangs above my roommates bed, one that looks to our dreams as a refresh button.

I chose the framed image as inspiration for two reasons. The first was that it was a nice contrast to the beauty in last month’s image. The second is that the words force the reader to move along a continuum. As they slowly spread out in the space the last line is the closest to filling the full frame providing stability, strength. Filling a purpose.

And so this month we have three submissions. A photographic series, a musical composition, and a collage.

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Creative Collaboration: Snow 

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Snow by Rob Cannon
New Year’s resolutions are great, especially when you make them with a group of creative and talented friends.

As the last minutes of 2015 disappeared we talked about our hopes for the coming year, including a hope for inspiration. The result:  Creative Collaboration.

Here’s how it works:  At the start of every month one of us sends out a piece of inspiration including, but not limited to, a story, a quote, or a photograph. What comes next (after the inspiration) is up to the collaborators.  Each of us brings to the table a variety of talents – from sketch comedy to music, dance to cooking and a vision for how we see the world around us.

For January we kicked things off with this photograph by Robert Cannon. A gorgeous vista of the National Mall on a snowy morning evokes all kinds of imagery. The result of the first collaboration had the added inspiration of an East Coast blizzard. The result are fun, soothing, witty, introspective, and comforting (and one makes you really, really hungry). So without further adieu here is the Creative Collaboration for January. Continue reading “Creative Collaboration: Snow “

The Heart of the River (I wrote a book!)

 

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You can purchase The Heart of the River on CreateSpace or Amazon.com.

In every story that you read,
a heroine or hero fills a need
and the day is saved—not with luck,
but with courage, heart, and a bit of pluck.

The story of The Heart of the River begins with a family announcement. A little over three years ago I learned I was going to become an aunt for the first time. Excited by just the idea of her existence I put pen to paper and after a few months had a first draft of what would turn out to be a little girl’s journey of discovery.

In the intervening years I’ve learned a lot about book production and what started out as a means to bring joy to now two little girls has ended up to be a true labor of love. Continue reading “The Heart of the River (I wrote a book!)”

Kindness, Humanity, Hope: Hello 2016!

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Sunset from Pacific Grove, California. Credit: Priya Chhaya

Hello 2016!

As we closeout this second day of the new year I have to say that 2015 sped by. There were marriages and babies. Trips and a lot of theatre, and perhaps more importantly, I spent the year doing exactly what I had resolved: In 2015 I took control.

At the start I decided to let my choices and needs dictate how I spent my time-challenging myself to say yes (and at times no). We can say, for the most part, that I was successful.

But what about 2016? Well from a pop-culture standpoint I can’t wait to watch Downton Abbey’s last season (in the UK this is so 2015 already), the X-Files reboot, Hamilton the musical in August and yes, more Star Wars.

I am also looking forward to visiting Colorado and India (at the end of the year) with some other adventures along the way.
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Ten Ham Commandments

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While in the process of trying to pull together a reflective piece on Hamilton as public history, my friend Sarah H. had a dream where she saw me rewriting the lyrics to “Ten Duel Commandments.”

Challenge accepted.

What follows is the first of three completely different posts on the musical. You should be aware I wrote “Ten Ham Commandments” on a five-hour bus ride between DC and Newark, and in doing so I now have a reinforced appreciation for Lin Manuel Miranda’s skills. Seven was ridiculously hard to re-write (internal rhymes!), and refers to a response Miranda gave during his recent interview at the National Museum of American History about what he wanted his own legacy to be. You can listen and read the original lyrics here – with annotations. Thanks to Sarah H. for helping me edit. In the end this parody is really about how much Hamilton connects with a more inclusive view of the past. Continue reading “Ten Ham Commandments”