Tuesday, December 30, 2014

30 day Content Challenge

Let's start the new year with a challenge to get us in the mood.  We spent December cleaning things up and reconsidering our social media life, and now, conceivably we're ready for a brand new way to approach our blog.  Here are some content ideas for the next 30 days to help you rethink your brand.  After you work through each one, watch how your analytics are affected by each post.

Take a picture of your workspace.  
Let people take a peek behind the scenes so they can get to know you and your business.

Answer a question.
Connect with your audience and customers every day.

Introduce your employees
Here is another change to make more of a human connection.

Share something popular.
Chances are if it's something popular on your site, it will be popular on social media too.

Interview a customer.
A good way to build trust is to show real people using your products or services.

Post a "Fill-in-the-blank" question.
A good way to encourage your customers to share their ideas.

Share something about a community event that you're looking forward to.
This helps you connect with your surroundings and be a part of your local community.

Share something funny.
Look for ways to have fun with your customers.  Just remember to not stray too far from your brand.

Share your story.
Look for ways to share pieces of you with your audience.

Share someone else's content.
This is a great way to build relationships and show that you are a source of helpful information.

Share a Throwback Thursday (#TBT)
Let people take a peek of your humble beginnings.

Post something seasonal.
Look at your products, are they governed by the time of year.  If so, maybe post something about hot chocolate if you're in a snowy climate.

Share some inspiration.
What inspires your?  Is it a picture?  A quote or article?

Highlight a customer.
Is there a customer or a supporter that stands out for you?   Be sure to tag them in your post so they know what you think of them.

Share an event.
Just attended a conference or event?  Don't forget to take pictures when you're there.  Take notes and follow other conference attendees.

Share statistics from your field.
Are there interesting stats that people need to know about?

Ask your audience multiple choice questions.
Another chance to let your audience share their ideas and to boost engagement.

Create a video.
You can create a quick video with your smartphone.

Repeat something that has worked well.
Now's a good time to take a look at your stats and see what's worked and what hasn't.

Share something from your latest newsletter.
Are you sending out a monthly email newsletter?  Great, now just share it with others and you may gain some new followers.

A picture is worth a thousand words.
Share an infographic that you think your audience will enjoy.

Edit and share an image.
Using online tools like PicMonkey or Canva you can add text to pictures.

Correct any  misunderstandings in your industry.
Take a moment to educate your followers.  Think of starting a dialogue about the subject.

Share your favorite book.
Another way to share a bit of yourself.  Maybe create a reading list you think your followers would enjoy.

Share a favorite business.
Give a shout out to your favourite local restaurant.  Share a picture of their store or menu.

Share your expertise.
Let your audience know about helpful tip or expertise in your field.

Post a milestone or little-known holiday.
Invite your followers to celebrate with you and see how they celebrate.

Cross promote within your social media world.
I'm all about bringing my audiences together.

Ask people to join your mailing list.
Let people know what their signing up for and how often you'll be contacting them.

Be thankful.
Being polite is just well, polite.  Show your audience how much your appreciate their support.  Say Thank you.

Hooray!  We made it through!  Now take a look again at your analytics to see which suggestion performed well.  Let me know what worked well for you.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Homemade Clamato

If you are a lover of Caesars, you need Clamato.  But in my homemade frenzy, I've found a recipe to keep things homey.

Ingredients:
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
4 (10 ounce) cans clam juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes hot sauce
5 dashes celery salt
5 dashes crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large container and shake well.
Note-you will need to re-shake before serving.

Stay thirsty my friend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hiring a director and such

Getting ready for my performance on Nov 18th.   I'm going to be off book, so I now I need to hire a director, learn my lines, find props...and I'm going to be an actor for someone else for a week.

Friday, October 24, 2014

More Crockpot Curry

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless chicken breast
5-8 large carrots
1 whole onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 bell peppers
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cans of coconut milk
2 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 jalapeño
Directions:
Place chicken breasts and carrots in bottom of lightly greased pot
Place the rest of the ingredients over chicken and carrots
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Stay hungry my friend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Hero's Journey

While watching #SuperSoulSunday on OWN, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey.   In my creative meetings with my writing we partner, we discussed what the Hero's Journey was.  I enjoyed her perspective on it and how women cannot follow the journey. 

Below are just my notes I was taking as I watched Episode 1.

A restless youngster, who gets called to the journey, goes through the road of trials, suffers through dark nights of the soul, finds his teachers, faces the battle, loses his fear!

Inspires, shows us the way, but never shows women.  You can be the mom, the old crone, the helpless virgin, but you can't be the hero.

Women hesitate on the brink of the journey.  

You don't do the work to change until not changing gets worst.

First comes the call - take this away from me, I don't have the power, I'm not your hero, I'm just a regular person, but the call won't leave you alone.

How do you get the call?  You get the question "What did I come here to do with my life?"   Everyone has had this question, in one form or another.  You can choose to ignore it, or you can choose to pursuit it.  Which is the beginning of your journey.

If you're going to answer the call.   You better be ready. 

Then comes the road of trials. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Writing prompt - Yellow cars?

10 minute Writing Prompt:

All cars should/shouldn't be painted yellow...

Aren't they called buses and taxis?  Wouldn't that get confusing?  All cars should not be painted yellow.  Although I love the colour, it makes me think of mustard hotdogs and big bird, I would not want every car painted yellow.  How homogenous.  How plain and boring.  I am imagining a world filled with yellow cars.  Imagining the different models of cars and trucks.  A yellow Prius or pickup truck.  Even police cars would be yellow.  Now that would be good for them I suppose.  They may write more tickets as they could sneak up on you.  Although, you could also elude them in a sea of yellow, so it may be to their disadvantage.  Yellow cars may also affect crime, as witness statements would be worthless.  "yes, yes I did see the criminal, he drove off in a yellow car".  People wouldn't be able to find their cars and would have to start blinging them out so they could stand apart.  A new mini industry would pop of because of it.  Maybe individualized car horns, you know like a car alarm, but it would help you find your car.  GPS parking apps would be invented so you could tag your car and play a game of "hot and cold" as you got nearer or farther from your car.  Sparkly license plate covers would add another level of personalization to it.  And would it be just one shade of yellow, bright and sunny, or could you veer off into its shades of mustard and...are there other shades of yellow?  Oh, pale yellow, like the morning sky.  Fluffy yellow, like a new born chick.

Click here for the list of prompts in case you need some more.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Writing Prompt - My secret hideaway

10 minute Writing Prompt:  

Describe your favourite hideaway as a child 

I always wanted a hideaway.  I think I'd read too many young adult mystery books, you know Nancy Drew or those hot Hardy Boys and there was this kid's mystery show that played on PBS and they were always sleuthing and writing.  When I was 10, we moved into a brand new apartment building.  I say brand new because they had just finished building it and the parking lot wasn't even finished.  In a small town, it's nothing to have dirt roads on the outskirts of town.  Our new home was right on the edge.  On the way to the marina, as well as an abandoned mill, right next to the baseball field and tennis court.  My friend Joanne and I were walking in the dirt parking lot with a fresh pack of cigarettes we had just found.  They weren't even opened.  So we walked to this edge of the parking lot, that bordered the tennis courts.  There was a patch of rough ground that construction crews hadn't cleared completely.  We found an area that was perfect.  We could the cute boys house across the field, yet we were shielded enough with fallen trees and tall brush.  We hid our cigarettes here unsure of what to do.  We decided to wait until the next day, as we didn't have any matches or a lighter anyway.   We reveled in our new secret space.   Planning on our next day's adventure and that we would bring our lunch and maybe a blanket to cover the ground.  I was already picturing what adventures we could have and mysteries we could solve.  The sound of gravel crunching startled me from my plans.

Click here for the list of prompts in case you need some more.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Writing Prompt - I'm sorry...

Writing Prompt:

I'm so sorry that I can't offer you a less dangerous solution

 I'm so sorry that I can't offer you a less dangerous solution. That's all he said. How could I ever take a professional seriously again? People don't say things like that. But I sat in utter disbelief. This was suppose to be good news. I had done my research. Dr. Robert Hershkowitz was the utmost man in his field. Neuro-biological brain stuff. I can't remember his exact title, but it sounded so smart, yet this brilliant man, who has no people skills, was telling me that he was about to slice off a piece of my brain and it was all going to be OK, he'd done several of procedures similar to this and I would be in good hands. Good hands he says. Good hands? I certainly hope so. A laser was going to do the big cut, through the bone, my skull. As he sat looking at me, telling me about the procedure, all I could think of was what the laser would look like. Would it be like in the movies? A red light beaming through the sterile air of the operating room. A high pitched squeal as it cut a precise line on my newly shaved head. Would it smell? I've heard that burning flesh is gross, but does bone smell like burnt wood. Like a campfire? And when I woke up would it still smell? I like the smell of campfire. When we go camping, I always place my chair in from of the campfire so as the wind blows throughout the night, the smoke would waft around me and settle into my clothes.

Click here for the list of prompts in case you need some more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Writing Prompt - A long time ago...

10 minute Writing Prompt:

Write a myth to explain why it snows
The first time I heard the story was around the fireplace one stormy night.  Cousin Eloise was complaining that it was snowing again.  Uncle Fred, who was sitting in his rocker in the corner put his pipe down and joined us on the floor.
"Eloise" he said, "you musn't say things like that.  The spirits will hear you."
Sure, sure, Eloise thought to herself, here we go again.
"What do you mean?"  spoke the quiet voice of Eloise's younger brother Chester.
"Don't get him started!  He'll never stop" Eloise protested.
"But I want to hear!  Who are the spirits and what will they do?" young Chester countered.
"As the story goes, when it snow, it's because someone angered the spirits.  They complained about the snow."
"Does that mean it will snow more?" wondered Chester, "because if it does, I hate the snow too!  I hate it so much I wish it all melted tomorrow!"
"You don't want to do that little one."
"Of course I do Uncle.  I didn't do my book report that's due tomorrow and if it snows a lot over night, they may cancel school" Chester announced proudly.
"Don't your remember the ice storms? asked Uncle.  The ones where we couldn't leave the house because everything was covered in ice and we nearly froze?  That's what happens.  It's not this fluffy snow that could can play in.  It is the frozen tears of the spirits as they are sad no one wants to play with them.  They are angry tears of wet snow that, when they melt, are tall pillars of daggers, a trap."

Click here for the list of prompts in case you need some more.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Writing Prompt - Dear Pizza Man...

Today's prompt is "Dear Pizza Man,".

Here's what I came up with in 10 minutes. 

Dear Pizza Man, 

I think I love you.  I'm sure you hear that a lot, but please know that I am truly and deeply in love with you.  As I dial your number, I can feel my heart beating out of my chest, I can hardly hear the phone ringing on the other end.  A voice answers and it's not you.  I tell the voice all about how I dream of you and how I can't wait for your next visit.  He takes my message and ensures me that you'll be at my door in 45 minutes.
I hang up the phone and run to my room.  45 minutes!  I need to change.  Fix my hair.  Set the table.  I rifle through my closet.  Laying out several outfits, but opting for a bizzy pattern, lest things get crazy.  I run to the front window and watch as light from the street come through the haze of the sheer curtains.  I look down to my watch.  It's only been 20 minutes.  That can't be you.  I catch my breath.  I am on the edge of my seat as the car passes by.   It wasn't you.  I lie back on the couch and take a moment to remember the last time I saw you, so dapper and professional looking in your uniform.  I know you hate it when I call it that, but I think the colour of that delivery bag brings out the blue in your eyes.  Every time I hear the rip of Velcro I get goose bumps, and look around to see if you're near.  My dream is interrupted by the crunching of gravel outside.  I hear the familiar screech of your car as it comes to a stop.  Jump, jump, jump.  I need to get all this nervous energy out of me!  I do a little dance in the foyer, then peek out the side window as I hear your boots walk the steps to the door.  Doorbell.  I let out a quiet squeal as I compose myself.  I can smell you and I am happy.


Click here for the list of prompts in case you need some more.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The next show...

I am struggling with what to say next.  What my first show wasn't.  Right now I need to get this out.  What I want to say.  But I don't know how to say.  I can see my characters having this conversation, this fight, but it is like me when I try to explain something.  It's me talking out loud working it out, trying to figure it out.  How to say it.  How to not offend.  But that is my problem.  I don't want to offend you.  Who the fuck cares!  Right.  Sorry there may be a few swear words in this.  That's how I talk. 
I love my first show now.  Months ago I didn't.  It's a story that morphed into a show.  It's something, and when it was read for Native Voices retreat I found things in it from the comments of others.  I heard comments, had questions and am ok with the show now.  I have to work on it again now.  I have to finish it.  I have an amazing opportunity to showcase it again and I am scared of it.  Hence why I am a week out and have been thinking about the next show, the spring show, and not sitting with Wanda.  But this next story...what will I write about?  I am trying to let this be a stream of consciousness writing, not editing myself.  I am watching the television and typing.  Just letting the words come out.  I'm now worrying that you are reading this and wondering WTF am I reading and why am I still here.   But thank you for making it this far.
Ok. Ok.  Now on to the next show.  I want to talk about being ndn.  About this struggle that is going on in my head.  This conversation about being ndn.  Who is ndn?  Who can be ndn?  What's the point of being ndn?  I caution you, if you are around me and we have a conversation of some kind, it may end up in the show.  It has to because it is always on my mind and when I have the opportunity have the conversation I relish it.  To get these thoughts out of my head.  I am being brave about it.  But being still cautious with my words.   I keep repeating this because I don't want to let it out.  I want to keep this fight inside me.  Why?  I don't know.  It safer in there?  Safer for me.  People won't see the darkness that my head lives in.  But maybe talking about it will shed some light.  Sorry.  Not trying to be philosophical.  Or is it?  There I go again thinking about you.  You really should appreciate me a bit more as I care very deeply about your feelings.  Or am do I?  I am just being selfish so you don't see the real me.  Hiding in the darkness of my thoughts.  Where no one can see me, or find me.    
Ok.  Really now.  Why be ndn?  I sit in a room full of indians listening to their questions about the movie Smoke Signals.  The hokey ones, the white guy using the word REZ like he owns it.  The director  making the correction and saying reservation.  Was that intentional?  I am trying to get past this feeling of jealously and ownership of others.  No, no, you can't be indian.  I am.  I touch briefly on his in my previous play.  But I can hear the silent gasp from the audience as they form their quiet judgement.   I certainly cannot be the indian police.  That's not my intention.  I'm just telling you, you cannot, are not indian.    I need to say the ugly things.  Get them out there in the world, right?

Ok, I may be ready to write.  It's a start right.  Now let's talk character and 10 minute prompts.  Need to edit for the week!

Keep writing!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Creating a Character

Starting a new play.  How do we start?  I'm starting with the character.  Click this link for a handout.

Video deleted.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Writing and a picture

When I look at a picture or a photograph where I don't know the subjects or context, I am subconsciously making a story up of the subjects.  

This pic was random, and I chose it after I Google SuperNova.  It was the prettiest.  But I was looking for something spacey that had to do with a Super Nova. 
You can do this exercise with a friend, where you each find a picture, then trade.  That way you don't have any preconceived notions (like I do, by picking this photo).

If you're having problems and thinking too much, don't.   If you're having problems figuring out what to do/how to do it, consider these questions when you look at the photo:
  • Connect with the photo (e.g. "I always wanted to be an astronaut").
  • Does a question come to mind when you look at it? (e.g. "What's it like at the center?").
  • Notice the details in the photo and write about it (e.g. "Look at how bright those few stars are, they sparkle like diamonds").
  • Write a caption for the photo (e.g."This is what happens when you fart in space").
Now get comfy, take a minute to look at the picture, set your timer and get writing!


Happy Writing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Writing Prompts - million days of writing, or something like that

Here's my experiment in a million days of writing.
Ok, it's not really a million days, it just feels like that.

The ExperimentTo write everyday.
  1. "I'm so sorry that I can't offer you a less dangerous solution" from Justin McLachlan
  2. "All cars should/shouldn't be painted yellow" from Worksheet Place
  3. "Describe your favourite hideaway as a child" from In Our Write Mind
  4. "Write a myth to explain why it snows" from Writers Write
  5. "Dear Pizza Man..."
  6. "I knew it was a bad day when..."
  7. "Every so often a dreamcatcher must be emptied of the nightmares it has caught.  Who does it and what do they see?" from Reddit
  8.  Describe one thing you’re really good at from Writing for Kids
  9. Thanksgiving day prompts. 123Homeschool
  10. “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” from Scifi prompts
  11. “You can see my love from space.” from Mandy Wallace
  12. How do rainy days make you feel? from Tom Slatin
  13.  
Prompts that I've thought up:
  1. Using a photo. 
  2. "It's a long way to the bottom"
  3. "My last meal would be..."  If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be? Why? How does it taste?  How do you feel about it, since this is your last mean.  Why is this your last meal?..
  4. "Alone on a desert island..." 
  5. "It's 3 am, the phone rings..."
  6. "What's that in the sky?"
  7.  "That was the biggest _____________ I have ever seen!"
Worsheets:
  1. Creating character.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get writing!

My writing has taken a turn.  Nothing bad, but nothing good either.  I've thought and thought about my story.  At times I feel inspired to share my story, but others I feel embarrassed and scared of it.  I am constantly learning and reading articles and watching videos and my opinion and feelings are vasillating (see I've been beefing up my vocab).  

This article from CBC News Aboriginal about Indian Status has again made me pause.  Sure it mentions things that I've always known, like "Not all indigenous people have status", but it also made me rethink my position on everyone having a card.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Roasted Vegetable burritos

Ingredients
1½ cups dry white rice
1 tsp salt
½ Tbsp chili powder
1 large zucchini
1 medium red onion
1 large red bell pepper
8 oz. button mushrooms
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 large flour tortillas
2 cans black beans
2½ cups shredded cheese
1 bunch cilantro 
Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
Chop the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. 
Toss the vegetables with 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin, and ½ tsp oregano. 
Spread the vegetables out over a large sheet pan and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once half way through.
Cook rice according to package directions.
Fluff the rice just before using.
Take burritos and place a damp paper towel over top, microwave for 30 seconds. 
This will make it easier to wrap the burritos.
Place ¼-1/3 cup of rice on a tortilla, add ¼ cup of black beans, ⅓ cup of the roasted vegetables, ¼ cup of shredded cheese, and a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. 
Roll the burrito tightly and wrap in plastic until ready to eat.
Stay hungry my friend!

Green curry with Udon

I love udon noodles! Every time I eat them, they bring me back to the first time I tried them. Hawaii. It's like a vacation in a bowl. I love pasta and I love soup. This is the perfect combination. Because udon is an Asian dish, I'm used to having it with miso and tofu, but when I saw this recipe, it made my mouth water. I love the creamy heat that curry brings to a dish and I needed to try it.

What are Udon noodles?  They are a type of thick wheat flour noodle of Japanese cuisine.
What is fish sauce? It is a Thai and Vietnamese sauce used as a flavoring or condiment, prepared from fermented anchovies and salt.


Ingredients:
Curry Paste:
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Amino (or soy sauce) 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
4 cloves of garlic
1 green Thai chili pepper
1" Fresh ginger, peeled 
1 stalk of sliced lemongrass
Juice from 1 lime
1 shallot, cut in half
4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 fresh kaffir leaves
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Chinese eggplant, diced,
16 oz. udon noodles
Salt and fresh pepper
1 tbsp oil

Directions

Place all ingredients for curry paste in food processor or blender.  Blend until a paste forms.
In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add curry paste and warm for 1 minutes.
Add stock and kaffir leaves.
Bring to a boil.
Turn down heat and simmer mixture for 10 minutes.
Add bell pepper, eggplant and the remaining coconut milk (1/2 cup) and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
While your waiting, cook noodles in salted boiling water until desired tenderness (al dente)
Drain. Rinse.
Place noodles in a bowl, with a hefty spoonful of curry sauce.

Stay hungry my friend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Coffee Creamer Base Ingredients (you can use it as is or add the flavors mentioned below)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk (use non-fat to save on calories)
Add the above ingredients to a 32oz bottle and shake well (re-use an old creamer container if you have one). Like I said above, this makes a deliciously sweet base creamer, but you can spruce it up with your favorite flavors too.

Flavors:

Vanilla:
2 tsp QUALITY vanilla extract

Chocolate Almond:
1 TB cocoa Powder
1 tsp Almond Extract

Cappuccino:
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp orange extract

Strudel:
1 TB cinnamon
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Caramel Vanilla:
2 TB caramel ice cream topping
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Raspberry:
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 TB raspberry syrup

Irish Cream:
2 tablespoon chocolate-flavored syrup
1 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Coconut:
2 tsp coconut extract

Peppermint Mocha:
2 TB chocolate syrup
1 tsp peppermint extract

Cinnamon Vanilla:
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just write

When I began writing my one-person show so many years ago, I was angry.  That anger allowed me to write, but it also held me back.  I was afraid that once my masterpiece was complete, to my liking, that I people wouldn't like it.  That people wouldn't like the opinions expressed in it.  Well, it is now complete.  To an extent.  Is it the story I began so many years ago? (I am too embarrassed to say when exactly I started to write it, I am not that brave yet) maybe not, but it is a story that I am OK with.  But now as I am trying to finish it off, that one tiny moment that I need to clear things up, I am once again faced with a dilemma.  

My story is a one-person show.  Not necessarily my story, but a conglomeration of too many years of conversations and reading.  Over the years I have tried to immerse myself more into the native community.  Meeting and talking to more people.  Learning more.  Discovering more stories and opinions.   As the years have passed, native issues have come more to the forefront.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I'm just noticing them now because I'm looking.  Right now what is stopping me from completing the play is this overwhelming feeling of sadness.  Perhaps it is masked fear.  But it is a heaviness.  As I read the latest headlines, I scroll to the end, to the comment section.  That is the most disturbing part of every article.  The comments, at times encouraging, at times disparaging and sometimes misinformed are the hardest part to read.  They are not an encouraging endorsement for the future of being "Indian".  There is no co-hesive agreement, there is no understanding.  There is no attempt at conversation.  When one party doesn't understand, the next comment(s) is/are slur(s) because they don't understand and they don't want to understand, they want to live in their bubble of ignorance.    And I don't mean ignorance in a bad way, because I don't think it's a bad word, I think you're just unaware, unfamiliar, so you should ask questions and learn more.  Have a dialogue, a conversation.

I have never thought of myself as invisible, though most times I want to be, but we as a people are.  We walk around in our urban surroundings, living life, meeting people, people wanting to share in our visible "indianess" yet they want to live this romanticized story they have made up for themselves, to be a part of something obviously bigger than them, but yet not wanting us to be bigger.

They want to walk around in their ignorance and have you be OK with it.  The saddest part is when I look on Pinterest and the boards that are "dedicated" to Native Americans.   Looking at the historic photos of Chiefs in headdresses next to the required summer festival headdress is the hardest part.

I don't know where this is going anymore.  I am just talking in circles.  I should just write and stop looking at Pinterest.

The Natives
Milk Magazine
Makeup
Buy a Headdress
Department Store display - France
Kids Costumes

Friday, July 11, 2014

A tiny spark

A tiny spark is where it all starts.  Most days I feel like a I am just flaming out.  A big puff of smoke.  As I've said before, I want to share this process with you the reader, but most days I am beating myself up and am sure you'd rather not hear me complain yet again.  But in truth, this is what happens when you're starting out I imagine, you just don't know it because most people would rather not share all the downs that exist.   And I don't.  Trust me there are far more days that I'd rather chuck it all than feeling the wonderful elation of writing.  I am still waiting for that moment. 

What I do love and enjoy are the moments of hope.  The spark that makes you want to go on.  I saw that glimmer when I watched this video.  It makes me want to go on.  If not for one more day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to keep track of post ideas

I am constantly online and always reading others blogs and posts.  It's great to keep up on what others are doing in the world of social media, as well as learn about stuff that I haven't found yet.  My problem is that I have collected a ton of bookmarks in my browser and I sometimes forget about them.  In an attempt to be more consistent in my postings and to keep myself organized I've made the following Google form, in the hopes of decluttering my computer as well as lightening the load on my computer battery (I have a tendency to not turn off my computer because I'll lose the 10+ tabs I have open that I WILL read, but eventually just find more).

This is how I keep track of my ideas.
If you'd like this idea and would like to use it, please feel free to Click Here and make a copy for yourself.  If you don't copy the file and use it, I'll see the info collected and you won't.

Contact me if you have any problems or additional questions.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Crockpot whole chicken

Instead of making a trip to Costco to get a roasted chicken, I thought I would try and do it myself.   I was a bit skeptical and nervous, but it turned out wonderfully.  The spices that are rubbed onto the chicken, help add some flavor to the the skin as it crisps.

Ingredients:
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. fine grain salt
1 whole chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 tsp. olive oil

Directions:
Prep the chicken by removing the "goodies" from inside the cavity.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
Stuff the onion in the cavity and tie the drumsticks together with twine.
Place chicken in crockpot. *

In a bowl, blend the spices together.  Mix well.
Drizzle olive oil over chicken and rub into skin.
Take spices and cover chicken entirely.
Cover crockpot with lid and set on low for 4-5 hours.**



*If you don't like your chicken dripping in drippings, take some aluminum foil and make 4-5 balls and put in the bottom of your crockpot then place your chicken on top of them.

**Cooking times may vary depending on your crock.  Be sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving.

Stay Hungry my friend!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why I can't finish my play

As everyday goes by that my play is not finished, I read more about what is going on in and around Indian Country.  Every morning I wake with a new ending for my play, changing my views depending on what I had read the day before.
You see, my writing takes place in my head in the early hours of the morning.  The grey skies slowly light my bedroom because of the missing slat on my vertical blinds.  I look up at the ceiling to where the time is being projected from by rocket ship alarm clock.   My eyes are slow to adjust to the morning light, as well as the distance to the time.  Go back to sleep I try to tell my brain!  We agree to disagree and I begin to play out the different scenarios the ending could be.  I should reach for the notebook that is next to my bed to get these few moments of brilliance, but my brain convinces me that we'll remember it once we wake up.    This morning I had it!  But as I opened my computer, my brain got sidetracked as we tried to find the file I had made with yesterday's ending.  I lost it.  It is gone.  I had the ending this time.  So I sit and catch up on my social media and the vicious cycle continues.
This morning I was struck by the video from the San Fransisco Giants and their "Native American Heritage Night" where a woman asked a headdress wearing fan to take off the headdress.   What strikes me is not the request, but the general public that is walking by watching this scene unfold.  They may or may not know what has just transpired, but it is one comment that gets me.  I realize that had this been a different circumstance, I may have yelled the same thing, but because this is a native woman being man handled by police I took offense at this woman's comments, "Just shut-up and he will".  I am no better than any one else, I love to watch a good train wreck, but as I slow my pace to watch the wreckage, a part of me feels an overwhelming sadness that brings tears to my eyes.    
With this thought, I contemplate the end of my play.  Wanda needs to make a decision, is she or isn't she?  Well according to the dialogue and her circumstance she is.  

But is there a difference between being Indian and being an Indian?

Great.  Something new to ponder.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fringe Festivals!

When my writing partner and I started our online creative sessions, we were dreaming big.  In one weekly discussion we began to talk about where we would take our shows once we were ready to hit the road.  Another friend had recently gone to Edinburgh for Fringe and we wanted to do the tour of the different festivals.  That talk stopped once we got down to writing. 
But with this new found energy that I have, and the near completion of my show, topped off with my helping out a local Hollywood Fringe show, I am looking back into it.
Last year when I was in writing class, one of my classmates signed up for the Festival.  In a show of solidarity, I signed up my show.  I never participated, because I didn't like the end result and I had honestly forgotten to complete the sign up.   But cheers to motivation. 

What is Fringe?

Fringe theatre is theatre that is not of the mainstream.

Here's a line-up of potential places: (let me know one's you're fond of)

Montreal Fringe

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's a roux(zzz)

Creamy Green Beans

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimed and cut 1 1/2 inch
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth, room tempurture
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Fill a 5 qt pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil.
Once the water begins to boil, lower to a simmer and add green beans to the water.
Cook for about 1 -2 minutes, or until the beans are bright green and softened but still crisp.
Blanch beans and let sit until cool.
Take bacon and dice into tiny squares.
Add bacon to a pan and cook over medium heat.
Heat a large skillet with raised sides over medium heat. Add diced bacon to skillet, cook bacon slowly to render fat and crisp the bacon.
Add minced onion and garlic, sauté until tender and translucent. Add green beans to your skillet and stir.
Sprinkle flour over green beans and stir. The combination of the flour and the rendered fat from the bacon creates a roux, which is essential to getting these beans nice and creamy.
Add chicken stock to your green beans in thirds stirring each time. Add the remainder of the stock, if the beans are still too thick add more stock until you get your desired creaminess.
Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Stay hungry my friend!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hashbrown Cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 15 oz. frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 avocados, sliced and chilled

Directions:
  1. Mix hash browns, salt, pepper, olive oil and 1 cup Cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl
  2. Grease the muffin pan and divide hash brown mixture. Use your fingers to pack them tightly and shape them into nests
  3. Bake at 425 degrees F or until the edges have browned and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes
  4. Crack a medium egg into each nest and season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Top with crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese and parsley
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F until the egg whites set, about 13 to 16 minutes
  7. Let it cool, gently slide a knife along the edges and use a fork to lift it out of the pan
  8. Dish and serve with chilled avocado slices
Notes
If you don't have frozen shredded hash browns, bake 4-6 russet potatoes. Let them cool off, then peel and grate them to form shreds.

Roasted Corned Beef, Potatoes and Cabbage

You can never have enough corned beef.  Forget Saint Patrick's Day, I could eat it year round.  Because I enjoy it so much, I am always looking for different ways to cook it.  There aren't many.

Ingredients:
4 lbs of Corned Beef
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 medium-sized head of green cabbage
2 T olive oil
Sprinkles of salt and fresh ground black pepper
5 large potatoes, cubed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
Trim excess fat from slab of meat, set aside.
Place chicken broth in bottom of roaster, set corned beef on wire rack.

Cover with foil and place into the over for 2 hours, or until meat is to your liking.
Cut the head of cabbage into wedges.  Trim core and stem from each wedge.

Remove from oven and remove the meat from the rack.

Place potatoes in the bottom of the pan, surrounded by all the delicious drippings.
Nestle the corned beef on top of potatoes, and surround it with cabbage.
Drizzle cabbage with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper.
Return to oven for 60 minutes.  Be sure to check your potatoes. 
Periodically check to ensure your cabbage doesn't burn and achieves the desired tenderness.

Stay Hungry my friend!





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Osso Bucco Lamb Shank

A tasty alternative to lamb.

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs lamb shank
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of carrots, rough chopped
1/2 cup of celery, rough chopped
1 medium onion, rough chopped
2 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup of white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tbsp of oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.
In a large ovenproof pot, heat oil and brown each lamb shank on all sides.
Set aside.
In same pot, place carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, garlic and thyme in large pot.
Stir mixture until they begin to soften.
Pour wine and chicken stock over veggie mixture.
Reduce heat to low and  deglaze.
When mixture begins to simmer, place lamb shank(s) on top with bay leaf.
Place the ovenproof pot in the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours or until meat easily falls from the bone.


Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Stay hungry my friend!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Simple Margarita

The one perk of having a job are the happy hours.  I mean, I have a job, but I work from home, so my happy hours are a little lonely.  The good thing is that I know the bartender and everybody knows my name.  The bad thing, not much socializing.  I was so happy to find byRegina.com just in time for the #VirtualHH.  This month the drink is a Mango Margarita.  I'm not big on mango, so here is my recipe for a basic margarita.

Ingredients:

2 oz of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz of good tequila
3/4 oz of Triple Sec*
1/4 oz of agave or simple syrup (more or less to taste)

Directions:
Grab your chilled shaker with ice and
Combine lime juice, tequila, triple sec and syrup.
Shake it up
Pour over ice
 
*What is Triple Sec?
Orange flavoured liquor

If you want more recipes, check out my Pinterest Board.  

Stay Thirsty my friend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Crockpot pork shoulder

Lately I've been eating junk.  So I recently started a new eating plan, along with a weight training program.  It's helped make my life simpler.  I know what I have to eat to achieve my healthy goals.  To accomplish that, I try to cook all the meals for the week on Sunday.  Meal plans are simple.  Eat from a particular list of protein, vegetables and starch.  No sugar.  No dairy.  No wheat.   This leaves for bland steamed vegetables and meals.  So I've been trying to find simple crockpot meals that can add flavor to the pork and chicken that I will be eating this entire 4 weeks.

Ingredients:
2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Directions:
Sprinkle the pork with salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
Place in slow cooker
Mix broth, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
Pour over pork.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours on Low. 

When done, pork should be tender and easy to pull apart.
Stay hungry my friend!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I feel official!

As I've told you before, I'm attempting to document my journey with this play.  Granted, it's also helping procrastinate from not finishing my play.  The following is from the 2nd interview I've done regarding my epic tale (as I like to call it).  

It was very cool going to 7-11 and picking up the L.A. Times and finding the local section.  There I was on the fold on page A-10 of the Burbank Leader and online at Glendale News-Press.





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Just like El Pollo Loco Chicken

Ingredients:
1 Chicken -- cut pieces w/skin

Broiler Basting Sauce:
1/3 cup Lemon juice
1/3 cup Lime juice
1/3 cup Canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper

Basting Mixture:
Mix juices, oil, turmeric, salt and pepper. This makes enough to baste nine pieces.

Directions:
Simmer chicken in a deep-sided skillet. 
Keep the chicken in a single layer and cook until the meat looks milky white and the juices run clear.
Allow to cool.  Make basting mixture.
Arrange the chicken on a broiler pan and baste with enough basting mixture to evenly coat.
Turn and baste and other side.
Turn again and broil 6" from the heat, brushing with additional sauce every few minutes, until skin is golden brown, approximately 5 to 8 minutes for large pieces.

Stay hungry my friend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Statistics and Numbers

I have a new character.  Mr. Frederick (his names comes from watching too much Warehouse 13 while writing, he's a MR. because I needed a male character).
He works for Indian Affairs.
He is a man of numbers.  Statistics.
Here are some numbers that are being thrown around.

Urban Aboriginal People
Indian Status
Stats Canada
The Indian Register
Aboriginal People

More than one million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person, or 4% of the population (as of 2006). Fifty-three percent are registered Indians, 30% are Métis, 11% are Non-status Indians and 4% are Inuit. Over half (54%) of Aboriginal people live in urban areas.

"First Nations people" refers to Status and Non-Status "Indian" peoples in Canada. Many communities also use the term "First Nation" in the name of their community. Currently, there are 617 First Nation communities, which represent more than 50 nations or cultural groups and 50 Aboriginal languages.

A total of 1,172,790 people identified themselves as an Aboriginal person, that is, North American Indian (hereafter referred to as First Nations people in this report), Métis or Inuit in the 2006 Census of Population. The census counted 976,305 Aboriginal people in 2001 and 799,010 in 1996. There were nearly 700,000 First Nations people identified in 2006 as well as approximately 390,000 Métis and just over 50,00 Inuit.

I'm a postcard

Sometimes you need to think things out before you say yes.   That weird moment you pick up your mail and you see yourself looking back.


50 Things to do in L.A.

I've lived in L.A. for some time now and am constantly feeling like I should be out exploring the city.  When I first moved to Los Angeles, I bought all the tour books and went on adventures every weekend.   Within a week of arriving I found Central Casting and was on the set of a studio movie the next day.  #31 DONE.  As the months and years have passed I have gotten complacent about my new city, but am still able to cross off several.  This list gives me a renewed vigor.  I'm hoping to find new food and drink along the way.
  1. Stroll the Venice Canals
  2. Catch the Maltese Falcon at Hollywood Forever
  3. Spot a Celebrity
  4. Go Noir at Union Station
  5. Compete on The Price Is Right 
  6. Explore the Museum of Jurassic Technology
  7. Visit the Getty Villa
  8. Croon with Marty and Elayne at the Dresden
  9. Check Out the Central Library 
  10. Nosh on a Corned Beef Sandwich at Canter’s 
  11. Build a Bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach
  12. Pick Up Fresh Morels from Clearwater Farms
  13. Tour the Stahl House
  14. Ride CicLAvia
  15. Go West to the Autry National Center
  16. See How the Other Half Lived at Greystone Mansion
  17. Hunt Down Replicants at the Bradbury Building
  18. Imbibe on a DTLA Wine Tour
  19. Hike Runyon Canyon
  20. Order a Pink’s Hot Dog
  21. Break the Waves at Dawn
  22. Get Close to the Mars Rover
  23. Learn Improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade
  24. Power-Lunch at the Ivy
  25. Decorate a Rose Parade Float
  26. Sail the Santa Monica Bay
  27. Book Face Time with the Mayor
  28. Have Tea at the Huntington
  29. Hit Boyle Heights for Tamales
  30. Make a Pilgrimage to the Hollywood Sign
  31. Audition to Be an Extra
  32. Bird-watch in Brentwood
  33. Gaze at Downtown from City Hall
  34. Sleep Under the Stars 
  35. Walk from East to West
  36. Head to the San Gabriel Valley for Szechuan
  37. Wake Up and Smell the Flower Market
  38. Seek Out a Natural Stream in North Atwater Park
  39. Roller Boogie in Glendale
  40. Snorkel off Catalina
  41. Live It Up in a Chateau Marmont Bungalow
  42. Surf and Ski in a Single Day
  43. Indulge in a Kaiseki Dinner at Urasawa
  44. Find a Way into Disneyland’s Club 33
  45. Take a Road Trip from the Film Drive
  46. Hover Above L.A. in a Helicopter
  47. Discover a Secret Garden
  48. Watch the Dodgers from Home Plate
  49. Buy a Box at the Hollywood Bowl
  50. Spend an Evening at the Magic Castle
Now lets get going on this list.
Stay hungry/thirsty my friend!

List courtesy of L.A. Magazine!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

About Me

When I find a new blog, I always look for the "About Me" page.  I am always intrigued by the people who write the blog and their motivations for doing it.   Also, having been in the blogosphere since 2004, and being the "proud" owner of 10+ blog names (yes they are all in use), I am always trying to define my space on the internet.  But how to do that?

1. What is your blog about?  Sure you write the blog, but I'm reading your blog for it's content first, then I want to know about you.  Tell me how you came up with the fun name, what it's about and why should I continue to read.

2. Ok, I'm still reading.  Now tell me about you. I want to know why you're writing this blog, what makes it fun for you.  Have fun with it.

3.  Post your picture. Take your time and take a nice picture.  Smile.  I want to see the person behind the blog.  It makes it more personal.

4. Place your contact info here.  I have just read all about you and I'm still reading.  Now I want to know how I can follow you.  Don't make me search for it, because I may just forget what I was doing as I'm looking at the all the tabs I have open.  Let people know they should follow you!

Think about using Google Forms, that way you have a spreadsheet full of information.

5.  More!  Are you in the press? Did you win some awards (that are related to your blog, that 5th grade spelling bee win is more of a fun fact), a short video. 



Monday, April 28, 2014

What's in your sidebar?

I have gone through so many itterations of my blog(s) and I am always wondering what the heck I am doing.   Sometimes you just have to stop and look at things objectively.

What is the purpose of your blog?
A big question, trust me, but once you know what you're doing, it will make your life much easier.  So think about what you want to share with people? Are you working your way through a life event (preparing for a wedding, moving, or a new job)? Sharing your knowledge in a particular area (what's your niche?).

Once you've decided the purpose of you blog, it helps you focus and understand "your brand".

Now on to your sidebar.  What do you share?
  • Profile pic.  People want to to know who they're connecting with.
  • About you.  Keep it short, this is a quick look at you, your elevator pitch.  Keep the long story of you to a tab.
  • Social Media links. Yes you have reserved your brand name on all social media sites, but do you consistently post on all of them (and if you do I want to know YOUR secret!)?  Connect only the accounts where you are most active.  Think Twitter, Facebook, Google+.
  • Email address.  Don't make people work for it.  If they want to connect with you make it easy.  Sure they could go the extra step to CONTACT ME form, but this way is more personal.  Don't forget to use caution at how you post it.  Use text instead of symbols.  youraddress [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
  • Call to action.  What do you want from people?  Do you want followers (RSS or a subscribe option), to give stuff a away (a must have "How to Tweet" handout) or even a newsletter subscription.
I'm still working on mine.




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kale and Red Lentil Soup

The beginning of the year brings me a cold and achy feelings, as well as a craving for soup.  I've had some dry red lentils in the cupboard for quite some time now, and I just need to get rid of them.  With all this crazy talk about healthy living that the new year brings, as well as an unhealthy obsession with kale, I thought I would kill a few birds with one recipe.  Having no patience and 

I wanted soup right away and didn't want to wait 24 hours to soak the beans, so I tried to a quick soak:

Quick soak dry beans:
Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of cool, clean water.
Bring to a boil then boil briskly for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cover and set aside off of the heat for 1 hour; drain well.

But if you have more patience or a bit more of a planner (I promise to get better this year) than me:
Regular soak dry beans:
Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 2 to 3 inches of cool, clean water.
Set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight; drain well.
If your kitchen is warm, place the beans in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation.

Now on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped carrots 1/2 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup french green lentils, rinsed
28 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 cups chopped kale
1 tbsp olive oil



Directions:
Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pot, add carrots and onion. Add a pinch of salt.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until desired tenderness (I don't like mushy carrots).
Add tomatoes, lentils, 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth.
Add thyme and rosemary.
Bring to a boil, and lower heat to a simmer.
Cook until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add more water if neccessary.
When lentil are tender, add the kale and cook until tender.

Stay hungry!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Making you happy?

In some crazy attempt to organize my life earlier this year, I started looking at other blogs and newsletters for this magical message that would help clear up all my woes.  Unfortunately, all it has done is clog up my inbox with over 100 unread emails.  They go unread as I WANT to read them, because I know in there is some nugget of information that will help solve all my problems.  I slowly sift through them, in the wee hours of the morning when my brain wakes me up.  Usually 4AM.  Why am I telling you this?  I'm not sure, if only to help clear my plate by having a blog post for this week, or fulfilling my need to write (and procrastinate).  But in the end, I have found that articles like this are written because someone else is feeling them too.  

When I saw the title "4 ways to find your happy" come across my inbox I thought my search was over (cue cheesy 80s music).  When I open this email and click on the link, utter bliss will befall me.  Of course you know what comes next.  Sheer disappointment.  Not because it did not tell me how to find happiness, but because of what it was asking me to do.


I am in serious trouble here.  What do I value?  What kind of question is that?  Everything!  Right?  Everything is important.  But the more I thought about it, the more I didn't know.  I don't know.  I am stumped and now I will never be happy.  These newsletters are supposed to help me find clarity.  So if clarity is being dropped in a mud puddle, I am there.  What does that mean?? What is important to me? Write my first thoughts and hold on to them? WHAT?  My first thoughts are fear and confusion and I am trying to let those go!  I DON'T KNOW.  Panic and despair has now filled my day, and it's only 4:10 AM. 

I read on.  Next was Live by your values.  Ok, I have values I thought.  But as I am writing this blog post, I am ever more confused:  "Your list could include activities like working out, sticking to a budget, having coffee with a friend...".  I was thinking more of values you know "Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable."  Coffee with friends would not fit my definition.  How will I ever be happy?  Grab some coffee?  If that's the case, Starbucks here I come! 

By 5AM any hope of my finding happiness have been reinforced.  Especially by the last point.  "Helping Others Helps."  I enjoy helping others.  I love helping others.  But then as I continue to read, I wonder if my helping others is as selfless as the post implies.  I begin to look at the places I want to volunteer, the people I help.  Am I being selfless?  Do I have another agenda by providing this assistance?  I didn't think so.  I help others because I genuinely think I can help them.  I enjoy it.  But am I doing myself a disservice by helping others so much and neglecting my own dream projects, am I hiding from my dreams, my happiness?

The last slide provide me a glimmer of hope.  "Look at the Big Picture."  Whatever little setback you have today, there is always tomorrow.

As much as I don't want to be zen (that's a whole other issue);
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”  
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

sometimes you have to be.  So don't be too hard on yourself for what you didn't do, you can't get that moment back.  Look at today and how you can be better.

See a moment of happiness!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Curried Chick peas

Ingredients
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 (15 oz.) cans chick peas, drained
1 (20 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp curry powder 

Directions:
Dice the onion and mince the garlic. 
Cook the onion and garlic in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until softened (3-5 minutes).
Add the chick peas, tomato sauce, water and curry powder to the pot and stir until well mixed.
Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
Stir and continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency (about 20 minutes total). 
Stir the pot every few minutes to prevent the sauce from burning and sticking to the bottom.

Stay hungry my friend.

Monday, April 14, 2014

For DIY social management

Social Media is an incredible beast that we all try to manage.  Some can handle it, or hire people (like me) to help.  But here's some notes if you want to take a stab at it.

Social Media Management Cheat Sheet
Explore more visuals like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Responding Etiquette on G+

Google hangouts is a wonderful sharing tool from Google+.  You can share all with 1-10 people on Google+ Hangouts and keep it private, or schedule a Google+ Hangout on Air (HOA) and share your video with the internet and save it for posterity on your YouTube Channel.
Now with the way Google+ works, every time there is a HOA it shows up on the events page.  You can scroll through Events and see watch what people are talking about live.  
 

If you receive an invitation to an event, there is no need to respond via comment.  If you're excited and want to express joy in the event great, but it is not necessary.  There are option boxes YES, MAYBE or NO.  That's fine, pick one for the sake of the of the host, that way they'll know if they can start the event if you're not there.  Remember, it's ok to say no.  Think of it as a party invite that you need to RSVP to.  And if you you repeatedly get invited and you're no longer interested, just send the host an PRIVATE message and ask to be taken off their list, that way they can focus on other people who are interested and want to participate.  


BUT by the same token, if you're just going to watch the event (meaning event is Public) there is NO NEED to answer.  The host is not expecting you.  Yes it would be great if you watched, but if you don't, there is NO NEED to answer.  Just keep scrolling until you find something that you do want to watch.  It's like watching TV, you don't hit the NO button every time you change channel, you just hit the arrow key.  It's hard to put yourself out there like these people are doing, no need making the moderator even more self conscious.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day...

Writing in the car and Post-it notes



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 11

Get out of the house!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 10

Madness



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 9

VEDA 1

Monday, March 31, 2014

Are you blocked?

Here are some creative ways to replenish your creative juices.
Watch this quick video from Daily Muse and Sarah Chang.


Daily muse is a fountain of videos and articles to inspire and give your job search a kick.
Sign-up for it's daily newsletter.

Day 8

I don't want to do it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 7

Confused.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 6

I did nothing.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 5

Tell People.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 3

Inspiration?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

10 reminders about writing

Notes that I've found on my way to finishing my one-person show.

1. Don’t sensor or pass judgement
2. Start writing and keep writing
3. Have faith –trust that you will lead yourself out of “the forest”
4. Take the detours
5. There is no right or wrong way
6. Screw grammar and punctuation!
7. Coin a phrase – make it up – keep going!
8. The first draft is from the heart – all subsequent revisions come from the brain (that’s where you revise and edit)
9. Start with yourself – then branch out
10. Give yourself permission

Accountability

Well.  It's happened.  My one-person show has come back from the depths of my soul.  After last year's reading, I really wasn't ready to move on with the show.  What had developed after 6 months of working on it, was not what I had wanted.  The story became much too personal for me and I wasn't prepared for that.  After sitting with this story for so long, I was just happy it was done.
But now, I have the opportunity to workshop it with an actor, director and dramaturg.  So I am excited and crazy scared.  I need to write everyday.  I'll try.  That's all I can promise.  So I'm going to vlog about my progress.  


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Yikes....What's a Google Hangout and how do I join?

What? It's March.  I know I hate it when people all of a sudden realize the date and lament on how time is passing.  Guess what, that's what happen as you age.  But I digress.  

WTF?? It's March!!!! JK.  My February was spent producing a play, then on to working on another, as well as some Production Management stuff, plus I was sick.  Again.  Things were busy and I was working to promote a play and try to get more people into the show, as well as working at scheduling people and places.  It was fun working with someone else, thinking up new ideas and seeing what worked, and what didn't.  Because we were on such a time crunch (producing a play through to closing night all in 30 days) was an interesting experiment.

So now that my schedule has calmed down and my cold is finally leaving me (I think) I am at a loss of what to do with myself and having all this time.  Too much time for self reflection.  Too much time to think and not enough focus. I have luckily kept up with my vlogging and trying out new production ideas, as well as experimenting with social media strategies.  


I took time out to write a post on how to join a Google Hangout.  I thought it was about time since I host one every week and I have a new HOA on Fridays and I'd love for people to join, but some are unfamiliar on how to join or participate.  I was going to make a video, but thought against it since Google is always changing how the Hangouts work, how you access and plan them and how to access it.  

Have you participated in a G+ Hangout?  What did you like about it? Was it hard to log on?  
Let me know.  Otherwise, check out my Gdoc on How to Join a Google+ Hangout.
See you online!



Monday, February 3, 2014

Storytelling/Spoken Word Events

Get Mortified
There are a million stories buried in the pages of people's lives. Mortified's mission is to simply help people find them. Share the shame.

Story Salon
The rules of the show are simple: Five to seven minutes of original material performed by the writer.

Highways Performance Space
Highways is an alternative cultural center in Los Angeles that encourages fierce new artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative works.

The Moth
The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A new day

Today was supposed to be my January 2nd.  Done is the traveling, the colds, the constant eating out of feeling miserable and wanting comfort food as well as trying to choose healthy choices while out of town.  


As I turn my head and see the clock's time glowing red.  5:55 am.  I groan, toss and turn a bit and crawl out of bed.  I lace up my shoes, find my ipod and head out the door.  Success!! 6:13am and I am out door.  First day back, I am going to take it slow.  Just down to the end of the block 0.8 miles one way.  I love the crisp air of Southern California.  I can see my breath.   I find "my jam" (Ok, it's not a jam, it's an audio book) and start.  I'm feeling good.  This is great.  I jog.  I listen to the last chapter of the book.  I walk a bit, just because and I eventually make it to the end and back.  This is going to be a great day.  

To continue my new fitness kick, I am even going to eat an actual breakfast.  I'm not big on actual "breakfast food", when we eat out, I usually get a pastrami sandwich or french fries and brown gravy.  But today I ponder a scrambled egg crepe, but open the freezer and see frozen blueberries and decide I will have oatmeal.  I reach up into the cupboard to grab the tupperware container and a bag of polenta falls.  It's opened and as I try to catch it, the tiny polenta grains go flying all over and my day of good health is gone.  

I'm not big on signs, but this is a big one.  Trying to eat oatmeal and I have a kitchen full of hard bits of corns!  No oatmeal for me.  The health gods have frowned on me.  I can't eat oatmeal now.  Instead I reheat the cup of coffee from yesterday and reach for the chili cheese Fritos left over from our Vegas snack food.  Barely day into my new year and I am already done.   It's 7:15 am.