Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
The community I feel the most attached to is my online community of mom bloggers.  We are united ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
I love Tiny Dancer by Elton John and Blackbird by the Beatles.  They warm my heart and pick up ... more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
I always say that my life is a comedy, which is certainly better than the alternative.  I often ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
Definitely pasta.  And pizza.  Grease truck sandwiches from college, and brisket from our years ... more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I'm very wary of making long term life plans, since so often things get in my way.  In fact, ... more

Making Play A Priority

I know I've said this but my favorite parts of Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future really were the subject maps. I liked the service map because it made me examine the role charity plays in my life. I liked the learning map because I'm a big nerd....more
It's hard for me to really let go and play, as I always feel like all my time needs to be ... more

Lifelong Learning For The Win

My favourite parts of Kate and David Marshall's new book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future were the subject maps. I loved the subjects they chose to focus on and I really, really loved that one of the subjects they consider a key to happiness was learning. I am going to let my nerd flag fly and say I truly love learning new things. ...more
The early part of my life map was dominated by learning, and my present was very much lacking. ... more

What Does Service Mean to You?

As I've confessed, I'm not one for making life maps or vision boards. That said, I really appreciated how Kate and David Marshall's new book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future, made me take a good hard look at some aspects of my life that I really had been neglecting. One of those aspects was service....more
I had a lot of the same thoughts when completing the service parts of my life map.  I used to be ... more

BlogHer at Home Giveaway #1: The BlogHer ’12 Swag Bags!

It's been two weeks since BlogHer at Home for BlogHer 2012 kicked off, and things are going great. There are hundreds more followers, some fun chatter already, and excitement about sharing in the fun of the BlogHer Conference experience from wherever you happen to live. We know though, that while this Twitter community will be something special, there's nothing quite like being at a BlogHer Conference. So along with connecting and sharing from the comfort of our laptops or on the go on your smartphone, we thought it would be nice to bring a little bit of the 3-D conference experience to you. This means we have some prizes, by the way. We hear you might like those....more
I'm story.  I've never been to a conference, but am going to try to follow along. I'd love to win. more

Lessons Learned from Weekly Writing Exercises

Weekly writing exercises aren't quite as difficult for me as daily morning pages, but I'll admit that I still struggle with them. Yet I still find myself thinking about the writing prompts in Julia Cameron's My Artist's Way Toolkit, even if I don't put a pen to paper. I'm not always good at putting my thoughts down but these exercises are still teaching me some important lessons....more
I think my biggest lesson is that writing is a renewable resource -  the more you write, the ... more