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Archive for September, 2009

As a full-time writer and former Library Director I have been asked for years, “what are you reading, can you recommend a good book?” I try never to say “this book is GREAT you’ll love it!” as everyone has different tastes. When I was Library Director and I got asked that question I would ask the person, 1. what was the last thing you read? 2. What do you like to read about? This way I didn’t gave an 80-year-old patron a suggestion to read “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova as it may sound benign but it’s about Dracula. I loved the book and marveled at the amount of research that went into that mammoth book but my patron who liked cats and cozy mysteries, first of all would have had a hard time holding in while she read in bed never mind the whole Dracula/vampire angle. I also used to tell patrons what the majority of the book clubs were reading as although most like to read whatever is new and hot and got the most buzz or controversy some clubs really picked out a few discussion worthy gems. I used to like to give people a selection and say “read the jacket” you decide after all reading is for pleasure first for most people and education/escape second so a good vampire yarn which keeps me riveted may give someone else nightmares.

But I still get asked repeatedly so what I will tell you is what I have read lately. Some times I am on a non-fiction knowledge quest or reading for research material and other times I just want to read to go somewhere other than where I am or read about a place I have just been or would like to go. My reading tastes are very eclectic and all over the map which is why I think my writing spans everything from poetry and greeting cards to children’s books to Mitch Albom-style novels.

Currently by my exercise bike is Jan Karon’s “Home to Holly Springs” a spin-off from her very popular “Mitford series” which incidentally I read one summer along Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” series. (See why I hesitate to give recommendations?!) For research I have some “magical” gardening books, a book about the day John F. Kennedy was shot and a book of “magical”names and a couple of titles I am looking at adapting into screenplays if someone hasn’t already beat me to it!

For inspiration Janet Evanovich’s “How I Write” sits on my desk as well as “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” a recommendation by Nora Ephron via her book “I feel bad about my neck.” I also just finished “Bel Canto” a book I had put on my “list” and saw that the organizer of the Hint Fiction contest I entered was reading it and there it was on the top shelf at the goodwill the next trip I made. It was a very interesting book and nothing like I thought but the ending left me a bit blah. I also just finished “City of Dreams” another BIG book. It was about New Amsterdam in the few years before it became New York it had tons of history about a time period I didn’t know much about and also a lot of um, hmm well we’ll just call it sex. I was not prepared for it and thought it’s a good thing I hadn’t recommended it to my history buff patrons who just like the history and the wars and not the “smut.” It was a very interesting book as well, however when I got to the end I was like, hmpf. Again I invested days into the story and then it was done with a flat ending on the last couple of pages. I guess in my head when a book is 400-500 pages the ending should be a whiz bang showstopper as a reward for your time invested and a couple of big ones have made me feel a bit cheated however, they were good books as periodically I still think about the characters. So something stuck. Luanne Rice’s “The Geometry of Sisters” was a great quick read, loved the setting as well as “Very Valentine” by Adriana Trigiani. There are Italians, trips to Capri and food it made me hungry. Last night I started “The Girls guide to Hunting and Fishing” by Melissa Bank. It was more of a collection of stories kind of related and at a times I didn’t get the point but by the time I got to the last story this morning I really liked it and was disappointed that I was done and she didn’t follow that storyline more. It was VERY quick read. I’d say it too me 3+ hours at most.

Speaking of showstopper endings if you want a book to confuse you and make you go wow I didn’t see THAT coming. Read “The Lace Reader” by Brunonia Barry. It is set around Salem, Ma. (Good for this time of year) I still think about that book often. The other that made me think I should have paid attention more was Chris Bohjalians “The Double Bind” he did such a good job that after I was done I thought you idiot you should have known something was up and I never caught it. It was that good.

So that is my 2 pennies on what I have been reading. What have you been reading? Any good recommendations? Has anyone read the new Dan Brown? I can’t wait to get a copy! Send me an email or leave a comment with any books you would recommend or wouldn’t I am curious what everyone is spending their time and money on these days!!

Speaking of which If I want you to spend time with one of mine I had best stop blogging and finish writing! 🙂

 

Crane Count Day 72 – 13

Thanks for helping make it to 1,500 hits about 16 days to hit 2,000!!!

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday’s manifestation dinner was great! You chose New York City for us and it was fun. Having been to New York many times we had a lot of  souvenirs/items already so we didn’t need to scout the flea market. RJ wore his FDNY hat we had our dish towels, and our buddy King Kong and I had my favorite NYC sweatpants and socks on. Mike wore his Fauxvado watch he bought on the street in Chinatown and a fun time was had by all. We enjoyed champagne and toast “Happy New York!” I also read a poem I wrote about Times Square. It didn’t win the contest I entered it in which would have included a free trip to NYC as a prize but I love it just the same. In fact since the contest is over I will actually post it below for you all to read. We tried to watch the original “King Kong” but in the joining of our households I couldn’t find my copy. We then tried to watch the latest “King Kong” by Peter Jackson and he couldn’t find HIS copy. I did however find my copy of “Mystic Pizza!!” That’s because I wasn’t looking for it, and that’s the destination meal that started it all so we will watch it sometime soon and we settle for the “King Kong” version with Jessica Lang still a good movie with a very expressive Ape!

So we enjoyed New York and next week will be enjoying greasy food at the Deerfield Fair so you have extra time to vote for the Sunday meal the week after.

Pictures and a poll are posted below as well as my (non) award-winning poem!

 

Crane Count Day 71 – 13!

                                                 “Times (anything but) Square”        by Melissa Rossetti Folini c.2009

In the square that isn’t…

Audio-visual images astound your senses at a pace faster than the speed of neon light.

In the square that isn’t…

There have been planets full of stars, larger-than-life-sized candy bars, and Roxy’s mammoth cookie jar.

In the square that isn’t…

You can witness musical theater or musical television,

or music in the street from a crooning cowboy sans all but skivvies and a smile.

In the square that isn’t…

You can watch information wind its way around a building,

scrolling under a screen of mythic proportions, injecting reality into surreal surroundings.

In the square that isn’t…

You can take a supersized bus ride with the World listening to ethnic snippets and accented

cadences of visitors and workers alike.

In the square that isn’t…

A crystal ball descends every year on the eve of the future

uniting the World in a moment when all that was old is new again.

In the square that isn’t…

Your visit will be as unique as your mind will allow

while you mingle with countless cultures crossing roads and coexisting in the same “square” footage.

In the square that isn’t…

Billboards as high as your home make you appear

 Lilliputian but in no way insignificant.

 In the square that isn’t…

You are an integral part of the heartbeat that keeps the “core” of the city alive.

 

 

 

Pics of our NYC Dinner!

NYC Dinner TableNY Strip steak and a Soft Pretzel!King Kong!

 

Don’t forget to vote! This will be for 2 weeks out not this Sunday. 

 

 

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On this rainy Sunday I am listening the ran on the garage roof and the crows perched in the one tree that is already stripped of its leaves. I am making cranes and making plans! Tonights dinner destination is NEW YORK CITY!!! We are all excited for this one as we have had am absolute blast every time we have gone. I feel very at home there, can’t explain it and before the Mr. came along I was seriously considering relocating there! Some day I’d like to have an apartment there and spend part of our year there. For now though I will settle for having a manifesting dinner that will remind me of the city I love. Tonights menu is:

First, we’ve already had NY style bagels for breakfast, then dinner will be New York Sirloin steak!! New York style pita and flatbread crisps, Waldorf (Astoria) salad, Pretzels! big hot fluffy ones! and black and white/half moon cookies and elephant ears for dessert in honor of our favorite pastry/deli Roxy’s in Time Square. We also have one BIG apple that I picked off our tree yesterday it’s the size of grapefruit! Who knew?? and in honor if the trip we intend to make to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Time Square we will be having champagne! (thanks Vaughn) So lots of carbs (lol) and lots of good memories should make for a great dinner!

Which gets me to thinking about our Japanese dinner. I have been folding cranes for two months now and honestly I could do them in my sleep. It has been a really great experience/undertaking for me and has opened so many doors. I don’t know what I will do when I have reached 1,000. I am close but not done yet. I am getting there though one crane at a time one day at time. Having survived my homemade Japanese dinner I am now excited to eat at an actual Japanese Steak House. Once the project is complete I will pick and evening maybe a Sunday (!) and venture to the Sho-gun(hopefully they will still have there coupons! lol) It will be a big accomplishment to finish these and enjoy the dinner as a reward. As the restaurant and the cranes, even though they will coincide with my milestone birthday are really separate accomplishments on their own so I will honor the cranes and the accomplishment  after my birthday to give that part of the project the closure it deserves. As for the Blog, oh yes I will still be here. The Blog has taken on a life much bigger than the cranes and I have received emails, texts, & comments about how it has helped a few people in various phases of their life whether it was through the writing tips,, the goal motivation, or the Kindness Challenge. So rest assured the Blog will go on!

Crane Count Day 69- 12

Crane Count Day 70 – 10

 

I will post pics from Dinner tomorrow and there will be a new poll!! We’re getting down there on our dinners, and just a note this dinner will be for the Following Sunday as next Sunday(10/4) we will be at the Deerfield Fair stuffing ourselves with fried dough and stomping through horse poop!

 

 

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So I had a nice surprise in the mail this morning. I found out that the very first poem I ever had published was reprinted in the same magazine! The NH Troubadour is a tiny magazine that used to be published years ago and a man name Robert Finlay a local philanthropist and entrepeneur had revived it’s printing last year as a gift to the State of NH. It gets delivered free of charge to Libraries, School, and residents who sign up to get one. I had submitted a poem entitled “Autumn Evolution” and it was printed last year. Well a copy of the Sept/Oct. 2009 issue just came in the mail and they reprinted it this year only now it has its own full page with a beautiful leaf border on it. Very cool! For those of you who won’t get to the Library to check out a copy or didn’t read it last year you can read it at their website:

www.nhtroubadour.com

That was a nice way to start the day and it also gives me the little writing boost that I needed to finish up some other poems and send them out. It’s tough as I have so many ideas swirling and I can’t get them all down on paper and finished fast enough! But that is why I have several things going at once in case I get stalled on a word or phrase or the story isn’t flowing just right I can pick up another project and make progress on it instead of just sitting back and waiting for my muse to whack me upside the head! 🙂

So today will be a productive writing day, I can feel it!  I hope to have more links and publications to share soon!!!

New York City menu is set for Sunday and I can’t wait!! We may even view “King Kong” as we love that movie..haha or one of the 3,000 others that take place in New York!

Crane Count Day 68 – 13!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment. To have some tasks and at the end of the day be able to cross them off and then some!!! It’s very rewarding to see a list with a bunch of lines through it or to be able to say, “I did this then this, and that, etc..and look around and see visible, tangible proof that progress was made. It’s even more gratifying when some of the chores/items were things that have been carried from list to list to list for months. They have been sitting at the end of your consciousness as a big fat loose end and it’s a relief to say DONE! It also gives you that little push to say “I’m on a roll, what’s next?!”

I can’t stress enough the importance of breaking down bigger jobs into smaller manageable tasks. It’s the only way you will be able to actually accomplish something without feeling overwhelmed. if there’s time it’s also fun to do something on someone else’s list and present them with a “surprise.” You did something nice (kind) and they appreciate the gesture and give you a nice big smile as a reward!

Don’t forget to put things on  the list for you as well, like taking the time to paint your nails, taking a bubble bath, or watching your favorite show with a cookie and a coke. They are little things but they keep your spirits up and they help to keep you from feeling resentful and like you’re being taken for granted. If you make a bit of time for you then you will have a happier heart and attitude when you are doing for others!! 🙂

This weather has been wonderful for my creativity and productivity and I am never very far from a pen and a piece of paper as there are days when there is just no creativity to be found and I recognize when the mood has struck and just run with it! It helps to keep a camera with you as well, especially if you are a writer or artist. You can sometimes capture on “film” what you wish to write about later.

Last night on our walk Mike and I saw the coolest mushrooms on a tree but I didn’t have the camera but they spawn a couple of bad jokes and belly laughs. That helped me to remember the mushrooms and if I had been driving by in a hurry I may not have seen them at all. So it helps to slow down a bit and view your surroundings, especially your home. Do you take months of Saturday’s to decorate it but then you are too busy with work and obligations to even notice the pictures you so lovingly chose and hung up? If you’re not going to stop and appreciate your own work even how will you enjoy others? Try and mix things up a bit. Take a different route to work or eat your dinner in the living room. Breaking your routine once and a while and consciously slowing down and taking a look at things will jump start you mind and your creativity. Go ahead use the good towels, they will wash. Eat of the good dishes on a blanket in the living room. It’s your house and your life. Settle down, enjoy it and make it fun and watch the doors open up to your new adventures! Big things start from small changes.

Ok so since today is payday and grocery shopping day the poll is now officially closed! The winner is New York City!!! Sunday we will be manifesting the city that never sleeps, where a giant ape “fell” for the love of his life. I’m excited for this one because as they say “I LOVE New York!”

Keep up the Kindness Challenge and don’t forget to include yourself! 🙂

Crane Count Day 67! – 20

 

 

 

 

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Last nights dinner was great! It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we waited until we had time and could enjoy it properly.

The menu was:

Sanibel Shell pasta, Red Lobster (no more around here but there’s one in Fla!!) Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Red LOBSTER! “Sun” chips, Florida Flip-flop potatoes, Key West Key Lime Cake all eaten on Mickey Plates! It was yummy and thanks to Mimi for the Lobster! And yes, Max had some Lobster, he is a VERY lucky dog!

So Sunday, what will it be? You tell me? Right now New York City has a slim lead.. One more day to vote!! Where do you want to send us next??!!!

 

Yesterday was also a very productive day for cranes and other chores as well as some writing  projects. Seeing the leaves turn and just feeling content with the season and carving out a niche for myself in our new home and in my writing life and tying all the previous elements of our lives together in a way that works is a very relaxing, comforting feeling. I think when your surrounds are familiar and relaxing you are in an environment where you are free to be creative and take a few risks. if your home life is not chaotic you are more apt to go out on a limb knowing if it is too scary you have a comforting environment to go back too.

When you are in your element it makes you feel as if you are invincible and when that happens that is when you need to capitalize on that energy and try and make as much progress as possible! It also helps create positive momentum and when good things start happening and feel happy and positive it create and environment for more good things to happen! My advice when that happens is roll with it! I did. I am not a morning person but due to the fact I couldn’t sleep yesterday I sat up and looked out at the autumn colors that actually appeared to be glowing in the sunlight at 6:30am. The leaves were shiny form the dew and I took a deep breath grabbed my notebook and dashed off two poems. They of course need to be polished and edited but the foundation is laid before it was forgotten and they came so quick I had trouble writing as fast as my brain was creating. These are the moments you can’t force but you need to recognize when they are happening, especially if you are in a creative field.

I know most people don’t relish the thought of winter and cold and snow but if you spend all of the fall obsessing about the winter you will miss the gorgeous colors of the trees and the crisp apples and the fairs. It’s ok to play favorites with seasons but don’t dismiss what’s happening right now to be depressed over what’s coming! That advice spans for all areas of your life as well!!!!

 

Crane count Day 66 – 24!!!

Don’t forget to vote!

 

Florida Manifestation Photos!!

Manifesting "props"DinnerFlip-Flops!Flamingo Lights!

 

 

 

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Today is Florida menu Manifestation day. This means Disney, Key West, & Sanibel are coming for supper! The table is decorated, we enjoyed some orange juice for breakfast and will be thinking about the Sunshine State on this gray fall-like day.

As I talked about time marching on yesterday it occurred to me that I had better check my crane progress as there are less than 30 days until the milestone birthday that started it all. I have made (with help on occasion) 698 cranes! I am very close to my goal, however due to some not so productive days I still have to make an average of 12.5 a day to reach my goal. With so much going on it is quite a challenge but it’s the challenge and the routine and the discipline that I am looking for and even though somedays I feel like chucking it out my big window, those are the days I need to just keep plugging away! Those are actually the days the end up meaning the most as it was a day when you didn’t think you could, but you did and that’s not only empowering but also a learning experience to boot!

I am hoping the blog will reach 2,000 hits/visits by the time I reach 1,000 cranes. I was astonished when it reach 1,000 and 2,000 seems like a reachable goal!!!

Of course since I typed the title of today’s post that song is now stuck in my head. But there are worse things, at least I stopped singing “That’s Amore!” This song, however, even though sung by a tiny Disney cricket still has a pretty cool and simple message….”When your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme!” Ain’t that the truth!! Look at Walt Disney, he had a dream and a cartoon mouse I don’t need to tell you the rest of the story….

Whatever it is you want to do whether it be just to get through today, to be more organized, positive, happy, or to be an actor/actress…Take the step….”makes no difference who you are!…”

Vote in the new poll for Sunday’s dinner – I created a new one as the other posting seemed to keep having issues so if you voted for next week already go ahead and vote again on the new one as it may not have counted before!

 

 

Crane count day 65 – 10 (Total 708!)

 

 

 

 

 

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