Monday, December 23, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Now, I am glad to be back writing this blog. I am going to be mixing things up in the New Year.
I hope everything is well with you, my friends. You have been missed.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Apparently, I wrong.
I had forgotten that just last week a goat had pissed on my black booties. This is horror enough but then I was reminded of all my other nasty moments within the last few days. I'm going to make a list and maybe, just maybe you will feel incredible about your life after reading this said list.
Horridly embarrassing moments in the life of Russo
1. The goat pissed on my new booties.
2. A donkey kicked me in the shins.
3. The girl who waxed my eyebrows went to town on my flesh. I have a horrid rash on my eyebrows.
4. I got lost in a corn maze. This is nothing huge but while getting lost, a bird crapped on my head.
5. While getting off of the public transportation, I totally tripped.
6. I fell down a tiny hill that I was climbing to see the sun rise.
7. I repeatedly bonked my head on my neighbors potted plant.
8. While walking down the stairs I bonked my head.
9. I slipped into a pile of dog crap while playing in a pile of leaves with my niece.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Instead of going ninety miles an hour, do something that recharges you. Whether that be watching a movie, listening to music or going for a walk. Take the time to give back to yourself, my friends. You deserve it.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Backyard Winter Gardening: Vegetables Fresh and Simple, in Any Climate Without Artificial Heat or Electricity the Way It's Been Done for 2,000 Years.
The thing that works so perfectly with Caleb's books is that they are easy to understand. I know nothing about winter gardening but with his instructions I wanted to tackle this task. Here is the link for the book.http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Winter-Gardening-Vegetables-Electricity/dp/1462110940/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378858941&sr=1-1&keywords=caleb+warnock
Mr. Warnock has a bunch of other books available. One of them is written with another writing friend, Melissa Richardson and it is called, The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Breads, Pancakes, Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls and Muffins.
I've been looking at the Backyard Winter Gardening while recovering from my surgery. I am way excited to get this book signed. Congrats Mr. Warnock. I am rooting you on the way.
*If you are into poetry, Mr. Warnock has a fabulous poetry challenge on his blog. Here is the link.http://calebwarnock.blogspot.com/2013/09/poetry-challenge-2013-useful-question.html
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Also, another writer that I have mad respect for has published a great read. Jacob Dunn writes novels that always make me think. His Shadowhero series is one that I couldn't get enough of and I had to share it with y'all. http://www.amazon.com/Shadowhero-Parts-I-III-ebook/dp/B00E8HYGB0/
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Maybe you have been in a similar situation where you have no control over the outcome. It's scary, difficult and kind of thrilling. We learn the most when we are in these types of situations. May we all have the chance to face the unknown and learn from it.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Let's just say, I got a little too excited. I barreled down the stairs and flew out the door. I moved faster than all the children. I was moving so fast that I totally forgot that me and pavement don't mix well together.
Yep, I got skinned knee and gravel in my hair but it was totally worth it. Live in the moment, my friends. It's a total rush.
Monday, June 10, 2013
You know, it's funny, all the while, I keep thinking that sometimes pain can be a good thing. Pain produces change. It is in our nature to resist change. Maybe we need to run right toward change.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The past 5 months have been all about learning to slow down and rest. This lesson hasn't always been easy because I want to go, go, go. They say there is a season for everything and sometimes the season is to slow things down. Take a moment to appreciate the flowers, the hot almost summer air and the beauty of living. I'm a lucky girl, it's a beautiful life.
Friday, May 17, 2013
IT WAS TOTALLY RUSSO'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! YAY! I JUST GOT HOME OR THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN UP MUCH MUCH EARLIER! BUT THERE'S NOTHING FROM STOPPING ALL Y'ALL FROM WISHING HER A HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALL WEEKEND LONG, YEAH?!!
Happy Birthday to one of the coolest, funkiest, stylin'est, big-hearted-est chicks we know.
Janiel and Maegan
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Instead of letting the fly buzz around, I decided to take that the bug out. Nothing was going to ruin my focus. I gripped the fly swatter and waited for him to land on a surface. Too bad my brain was hyped up on adrenaline because the minute the fly landed on the light bulb, I swung.
Yep, I forgot that the surface was a light bulb. Needless to say, you can imagine everyone's surprise when they heard the sound of breaking glass. I took that fly out as well as the light bulb.
I should have been focusing on my game but instead I let that fly get on my nerves. As a result, I got ribbed the whole entire night about the light bulb. Yep. lesson learned; do not focus on the small stuff.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Today a friend lost her life. She went in for surgery and didn't wake up. She's young, not but 3 years older than me. All the while I sit here and think how lucky we all are to be alive.
We are lucky to see the sunset and feel the chill of night. We often think of luck in terms of money or status but luck doesn't work that way. Today is a day to hug your loved ones. We are all lucky, more so than we believe.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
One I'm going to focus on now.
Monday, April 1, 2013
But that didn't happen. So I'm posting these clips instead. They sure make me laugh. I hope they do the same for you. Happy Day of April Fools!
Monday, March 25, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
The book's title comes from a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs; who comes short again and again . . .
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."Of course, the arena Roosevelt talks about is different for everyone. For a writer, it can be showing your work to a group of strangers, or even a group of friends, for the first time. Sometimes we come out of a critique session with our faces marred by dust, sweat, and blood. But what matters is that we show up.
Since I got the book as an audio download from the library, I don't have a copy to refer to. So I'll share some of my personal takeaways. Someone else's impressions might be totally different.
What stood out for me the most is Dr. Brown's definition of guilt versus shame. Guilt says, "I did something bad." Shame says "I am bad." Therefore, Guilt = productive, motivating, something we can learn from. Shame = counterproductive, paralyzing, takes away our will to try again. The trick is being able to separate the two. Feeling guilty is okay. Allowing the guilt to turn into overwhelming shame is dangerous. Until now, it had never occurred to me that guilt and shame were two different things!
She also specifically referred to the trouble some artists (writers!) have with tying their self-worth to their work. I know I've done this. I can't pinpoint when or why it started, but I've grown up with a notion that as long as I did everything perfectly, I would never have to deal with the pain of criticism. Psh. You can guess how that worked out for me. Now I think that some of the discouragement I've felt when people have (constructively) criticized my writing was actually needless shame. "My work isn't that great, so I must not be that great, either."
Right now, my arena is my very first screenwriting class. Most of my classmates have more experience at this than I do. Some of them are very talented. Yeah, I'm intimidated. But that's okay. I don't have to be perfect anymore. What matters is that I show up and let myself be seen. I've decided that 2013 is going to be my year of Daring Greatly. After all, isn't that just another way to say Challenging the Gnome? Bring on the dust and sweat and blood!
What's your arena? I'd love to hear about it so I can cheer you on!
You can read more about Daring Greatly at Dr. Brown's website HERE
I also recommend her two TED talks, The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
As I lay on my round velvet bed, thinking of Mr. R I got a text from both of my gnomies. Their kind words comforted me during a hard time. My friends, there will be certain things that we go through in life that seem insurmountable but we can't ever forget one truth; we are not alone. In our darkest moments, those dearest to you will buoy you up.
Friday, February 15, 2013
On another note: I spent last night not sleeping and instead watching Big Bang Theory bloopers--which was really awesome for my adrenal fatigue. But I tell you, it made me want to be on that show. You get the sense that these people LOVE working together. Look at how easily they laugh! Look at how they give each other knowing looks, as if they grew up together. I love that!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
But the thing is, we're each testing the waters of What Works And What We Can Contribute To The World. And it's still evolving. It's interesting to me how some people can throw something out there and, WHAM! It settles into exactly what they need it to be. Like my friend Robin of Rurification fame. Or April of Flour Water Yeast & Salt. Us Gnomies? We're still getting there--at least in terms of The World.
Well, just to show you that I still have faith in everyone, and that I'm totally not worried about anyone looking fat, I am going to include a favorite recipe of mine right here on this blog. Ready? (This is actually a recipe from our dearest of darling friends, Loraine Scott, authoress of the Summer Winter Murder Mystery Series. Which is highly appropriate since these cookies will kill you all the way dead from their chocolateness. Seriously. Wicked.)
Now, run along and have a nice, healthy, organized, successful day. And enjoy this blog background because it will likely change soon. I'll be back sometime this week because I can't shut up.
Later, 'maters! Hearts!
(And hey, if you're interested in reading more thoughts, check out today's post on my other blog: The Movie Police. Literally.)
Monday, February 4, 2013
Actually, they're already there. According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 2000 gnomes have popped up all over the city. Don't be fooled by their pernicious cuteness (because they are pretty darn cute). That's all part of the Oakland Gnomes' plan. Today it's just Oakland, but tomorrow, it's the world!
In other news, Prehistoric Shamanism is a neat little blog I've been following for awhile. Every post manages to satisfy both my inner history and mythology nerds at once. The author, Mike Williams, is an archaeologist and a practicing shaman. He also lives in Wales, which always earns bonus points in my book. Thanks to Prehistoric Shamanism, I learned that today is King Frost Day, when the citizens of London used to celebrate winter by holding a "frost fair" out on the ice of the frozen River Thames. Who knew?
So, Happy King Frost Day, everybody! And if you live in Oakland, watch out for those Gnomes!
Monday, January 28, 2013
*The giveaway ends On February 1st. * Monique is an author who knows how to work hard. It's been incredible to watch her journey in the literary world. She's not the kind to let success go to her head. She's helped many people along the way. And many a times she's helped me figure out what to do with my own writing.
At the moment, Monique's running a blog tour to promote her books. Her most current one, Simply West of Heaven is something that my little niece adored. She wants horses so she can be like Ginnie West. My niece is anxious for Monique to return to Utah so she can meet her fave author. (I don't blame her, I wanna see Monique too.)
Major congrats, Monique. We're rooting you on all the way.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Does that make me bad? I used to think so. Did NOT like how much I talked. Worried about my hyper brain making all these whackadoo connections that I was so dying to share with someone. Stressed that I cannot tell a tale without waving my arms about and tourettes-ing my face and voice beyond all recognition.
So I worked on it. Tried to pull back. Felt like I made progress. And then I started writing.
Ack. ACK. I can't write normal. I can't not be a spaz when I write. AND I can't not care if someone isn't reading it. Especially that. I care a lot if someone is reading. And enjoying. And possibly even commenting.
Oh. My. Gosh. It's clinical. I'M A WRITING NARCISSIST! I mean, pure writers don't do that, right? My Gnomies don't do that. Seriously. These two chickiewickies write for the pure joy of writing. They don't die if no one reads or comments. They don't feel all sad inside. They just want to improve their craft. They're freaking healthy. I want to smack them.
Well, I was on the verge of checking myself into an Audienc-aholic Detox center, when my sister-in-law came over and had a chat with me. She asked how I feel when I don't get audience feedback. Is it important to me? Do I feel all woebegone if I don't know that people (or even person) are reading my words and maybe getting something out of them? Or am I happy to write just to be writing.
Pretty sure you know the resounding answer to that.
"Well," she said, in a rough summation of what she actually said, because it was a few days ago and I can't really remember correctly because I've been super busy and have Hashimoto's and adrenal fatigue and isn't that a handy excuse? "Well then. You're a performer who writes. Not a writer who writes. You love audiences. You love the connection and the bonding you get with your audience. You love to know you've made them laugh and smile and think and feel better. When you write you want that too. It's just a different writing personality, that's all."
So I'm not mentally and morally deficient? I'm not self-absorbed? (Well, not completely.) I'm not obnoxious? OKAY, OKAY, LETS NOT PUSH IT A'IGHT?
You know, sometimes, even though you can't really do anything to change a thing, it really helps to know what that thing is. Makes it easier to deal with. You know, like that old saying: "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't." Or something like that.
So, dearest darlings. Know that I write because I love you. And I want to bring joy to you. Laced with spazziness. And I'll try not to weep if no one reads it. And I'll rejoice if even one person does, and hope that it made their life a little brighter. And I'll embrace that part of me. While totally recommending -- from this new and wondrous place of wisdom in which I now reside -- that you do the same thing with your own self. Figure out why you do things, and embrace it rather than reject it. Leverage it for good and happiness for yourself and others. Figure out how it brings joy and be cool with that. Not saying we can't change, but we can change from a place of positiveness. And maybe who we are is great enough, and it doesn't need to change at all. Just be accepted.
Right. That's my nugget for today. I'll try to chat at you again sometime this week, since it's my week and I'm the boss of it.
Have a great one, my friends!
Monday, January 14, 2013
I've been in a serious reading mood lately and my fave author's right now is Candace Gleave. She has a way with writing fresh and real characters. Plus, she always chooses stunning scenery to mesh with her books. In her latest short story, Scarecrows: The Jilted Bride, she combined weddings and freaky scarecrows to make for a freaky ambience.
All her books make for a good read.
Here's a link if you are curious. http://www.amazon.com/Screams-Night-Terror-Prose-Design/dp/1479190497/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1357605916&sr=8-7&keywords=screams+in+the+night
The New Year has brought many surprises. My little brother gave me a card that read: I will always believe in you. One little sentence struck such a nerve with me. I needed to hear his words. We all have a dream that we are pursuing. We give our heart and energy toward this one goal. We need people to believe in us but we also have to believe in ourselves.
Maybe you want to be a writer, artist or whatever just know that your dream is not out of reach.
You can be whatever it is you want to be but you have to believe in yourself.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Even though I don't believe in resolutions, I can't help but think of a new year as a chance for a fresh start. I've been doing some thinking. I don't like New Year's resolutions because I never keep them. It's just setting myself up to start a new year feeling like a loser. However, this doesn't mean I don't have goals. I love to finish things, almost to a pathological degree. For example: I've had an impressive stack of books on my desk for months. My Goodreads to-read list is about a mile long. I can't pick up a new book without thinking, "Okay, gotta finish this baby as fast as I can so I can go on to the next one so I can go on to the next one so I can get rid of this giant pile of books because I SWEAR THEY'RE STARING AT ME WONDERING WHY I HAVEN'T READ THEM YET."
Man, I loved that show as a kid. Clicking "play" made my inner twelve-year-old very happy. And I got to thinking, I should watch the whole series again! That would be so fun! Except there are six seasons, one hundred and thirty-four episodes in all. For a moment, I was seized by my fiendish need to finish something again. Suddenly it wasn't about enjoying some mindless entertainment to distract myslef from the fact I wasn't feeling well. It was about getting through the entire show as fast as possible.
Friday, January 4, 2013
|View from my porch. My house would love to cuddle up and sip orange-cocoa inside that house. :) We ended up with about a foot of snow and my nephew's car.|
Yeah. That was the entire Christmas holiday for our family.
There were no explosions of any kind--either people or chocolate. There was plenty of snow--which we love--and my tree didn't die--which I really love. Psychotically love. Like, I can't take the dead-after-two-weeks-and-now-my-house-might-burn-down trees anymore. And this year I threatened to get a fake tree but was mutinied against until I found a place where we chopped down our own, thus guaranteeing a live tree through Easter. Anyway, tree-angst was gone--and we spent Christmas Eve with family, eating hot-wings and trading embarrassing stories and laughing our guts out until all hours. (Which at our ages and road conditions was only until about 9:00 p.m.) It was grand. We did wrap the whole thing up at New Year's with a rather distasteful gastro-bug, but even then, we stayed friendly. It stayed snowy. And we stayed cozy.
That is the way to start a new year. And I'd like it to stay that way. I'd like us as a world to dump all the spazziness of the past decade or so--and especially the past year--and just be a nice, happy, friendly, kind, laughter-filled population for a while. I'm sure we're more than capable of doing that. We live in a generally civilized world after all.
So, can we do that for the new year? Set a goal to keep it nice. And respectful. And happy to be different from one another. Not threatened. Working to help each other. It's what will make the world keep going 'round. I'm willing to throw that out there and give it a try. You?
If we do it and make it another year, then you're all invited to come snuggle under my fourteen blankets and watch season 3 of Sherlock and season 4 of Downton. I'll provide the cocoa. You can bring the French toast.
Happy 2013, peeps. Time to prove the Mayans wrong.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
So my good friends, did ya survive the holidays? I hope the festive season treated you well. Me on the other hand, the holidays were an adventure. I got covered in chocolate while sitting at the dinner table.
Here are the details; every Christmas eve my family does a fondue meal. We have boiling pots of cheese, beef broth and more. This year we decided to try a chocolate pot. And that didn't work. Did you know that a boiling pot of chocolate will explode? Well, it does.
I was the first to try the pot of chocolate. I had my marshmallow on my fork ready to dip it in the chocolate. Looking back, I should've lightly plopped the marshmallow in the chocolate but nooo, I had to all out jam the marshmallow in the pot. Needless to say, the pot erupted like a volcano. I had chocolate in my hair and dripping down my cheek.
If that wasn't bad enough we all had an enlightening dinner discussion, my cousin gave the whole story line of Fifty Shades of Grey. Aren't you jealous?
The holidays are always filled with hijinxs. I hope you had a great holiday season. Here's hoping 2013 treats everyone well.