Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Vacation Thoughts

It's no secret…I love to travel. I've been doing it for years. To see new sites, enjoy different cultures and yes - to rest. But I've also always loved the community you get when visiting a B&B or a small Inn. So different from a large hotel chain, you actually get to know strangers during breakfast. Talk about likes/dislikes. Where people are visiting from. It's all part of the experience. 

I've been visiting Provincetown off and on for several years and here are some things I've learned on my current trip to Cape Cod.

1) Just because a place felt small and intimate on a previous visit doesn't mean the staff, the guests, and the experience will be the same. Do your homework to find the place that best suits your needs. That place that had the community of a B&B may now be so large that guests are just one of many. (And socializing among the guests takes a back seat.)

2) I am not 22. Vacation late night drinking means a zombie day the following day. I should no longer think I can do that to my body and it won't revolt against me as revenge.  

3) One can only walk up and down Commercial Street in P-Town so many times during a week. It can get old. So plan day trips to go somewhere else on the Cape for a change of scenery.

4)  Wow. The Cape is one place I can really relax and let go of regular life. I have caught up on so much sleep this week. Amazing. Next week I hit the ground running, but for now - it has been heaven to be able to wake in the morning and allow myself the luxury of falling back to sleep.

5) Everyone will claim to have the best lobster roll, clam chowder, (fill in food here). Just go with it and know they all mean well.

6) Provincetown caters to different groups of people with different theme weeks. Be careful choosing or you may end up there during "Men Who ReFuse to Shave Their Backs" week. For us, it was "Family Week"…and as much as I love kids, it was a very different trip up and down the street than what we're used to in the past.

7) Piano bars are great places to meet new people when you are in your 40s and older. I can't stand at a dance club, listening to thumping music and think I'll be able to hear what someone is saying. But joining in on a 70s song or a show tune with a stranger opens one up to fun communication.

8) When all is said and done, I could still see myself retiring here at least during the summer months. Maybe one day.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Celebrating Creativity

I am embarrassed to say that I didn't know who filmmaker Robert Bresson was, but after seeing this quote of his yesterday I did my due diligence. I can't help but wonder if with all the films he made, being called one of France's leading filmmakers - if he ever had a clue a simple sentence he would say could touch generations to come.

It is wonderful to find inspiration in unlikely places. I know many that can't stand social media, but I'll see a tweet or a status update and feel as if I've been hit on the head. Lately, my creativity has taken a turn upward (yes, it comes in spurts) and I'm loving the place I've been living in this summer. Some may think it's living in my mind - but heck, I'm fine staying in there with my thoughts. If I'm not creating something, I feel empty. I often wish I could just enjoy life, but my brain is wired differently.

Friday night, I heard the creators behind [title of show] talk about their creative process. And the biggest thing that stuck with me was when Susan Blackwell said there isn't this group of people sitting in some room that get to create everything - like some special club that the rest of us are not invited to. We all have that right. You believe in it? Do it! You have an idea to make something happen? Do it! That is so true for many things in life…and you really never know who else is watching YOU, and drawing inspiration from what you are achieving.

Like Robert Bresson deciding to use untrained actors in his films and attacking his art in a certain way, who knew a simple sentence would touch this American so profoundly? And as many things as I've done in my life, I would never have thought a story on a napkin about a little superhero with autism would offer me the opportunity to speak to as many people as I have had the pleasure. We never know what impact we will make…so live and see what happens.

Today is all about celebrating those people in my life that I see living this way every day. There are too many for me to name them all here, but they know who they are and how they inspire me. To each of you, I say thank you for living your life in such a way that makes others stand up and take notice.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sorry - Grateful

Sondheim used those words in a title of a song from his musical COMPANY and there are times in my life I'm sorry for things, but lately - it's grateful. 

Today I celebrate my three year anniversary of being a published author with Proud Pants.

I'm grateful to say that story has caused me to want to step into a new world and direct a short film.

At that same time three years ago, I was busy preparing my first novel Well With My Soul to be published three months after Proud Pants - three years later, a reading of that play based on the novel was done. Grateful.

Oddly enough, it was about a week later on July 21st of 2011 that I went to my weekly dinner with my godson and created a short story on a napkin. The story was the genesis of the Chicken Boy series and three years and two books later, I continue to share that story with children all over. (I will be taking it to Cape Cod in a few weeks to the Provincetown Library.)

So Grateful.

A friend told me recently this was my year, but if we don't stop and show how thankful we are for each and every year…well, it's like forgetting to stop and smell the roses.

Be grateful for each mountain you climb in life no matter how large or small. Your triumphs may be completely different from mine and that is what makes personal victories so nice - they are personal.