Monday, June 8, 2015

Is there room in your circle?

If you’re geeky that way and keep track of the “National Day Calendar,” then you know today is National Best Friends Day. Apparently, it’s also National Upsy Daisy Day and National Name Your Poison Day. If you’re curious about those two “days” (as I certainly was), click here for more information.

Otherwise, back to best friends…

I don’t really have one BFF, but I do have a husband, a mom, three sisters and a network of friends I think the world of. So first, I’d like to wish a happy Best Friends Day to each of them. Good friends are valuable and forever friends, well, they’re just priceless.

They’re also pretty hard to come by these days. New ones, that is. Periodically, I lament over how the friendship train seems to slow to a crawl after you pass a certain age. I know. I know. The commitment to get to know someone new is an art and a sacrifice. It’s quite an undertaking. And as life gets more settled, spouses, children, routines, activities and just plain old complacency (a.k.a. set in your ways) can all get in the way of establishing new friendships. Sometimes it’s just a sacrifice many aren’t inclined to make.

Although they could be likened to needles in haystacks, I stay open to new friendships, maybe even a BFF one day. I guess I realize there’s always someone out there who can bring something to your world that you need specifically for the season of life you’re in. It could be a fresh perspective on the life you live or a fresh push onto the path of the dreams you long to achieve.

For instance, there may be a writer woman out there who, like me, longs for someone else to “talk shop” with about book publishing, blogging and other writer geek things. Or a woman whose heart is to encourage women across the world, through speaking and writing, to become all God created them to be, just as I do… We’ll never connect if we don’t keep our circle always open, with room for one more.

And that’s what I encourage you to do today. First, I know you have your BFF, so please, make sure you shout him or her out today and wish them a happy National Best Friends Day. Then, in honor of the beauty of friendship in general, just ask yourself this question:

Is there room in my circle?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Things I saw in the park

I needed a change of scenery. I’m sure you’ve felt that way before, right? So, I packed up my essentials:

  • My laptop
  • My bible
  • My journal
  • The July/August issue of Writer’s Digest magazine
  • Two random notebooks
  • Assorted pens (five different ones, to be exact)

Then I slid behind the wheel of the car and steered in the direction of a new landscape.

Initially, I thought I’d head to the local library for a quiet, controlled, you better do some work environment. But instead I set up shop on a park bench in front of a small, man-made lake. Water inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing. And although I prefer the oceanfront, this tiny body of water in my land-locked locale served the purpose.

IMG_3260 The canopy of mature trees waved a gentle, welcoming breeze as I settled down and tried to determine the most important task to tackle. It didn’t take long for my surroundings to draw me in.

There was so much to see in the park today. The partly sunny sky would eventually yield itself to summer storm clouds and passing rain. But until then, it provided the perfect backdrop for two photographers to memorialize this moment in time for a lovely family of four. Here’s what else I saw in the park today:

A three-legged dog (True story…His furry cuteness hobbled along contently, missing one of his front legs. I thought I was seeing things the first time around. Luckily, he and his owner passed me by again so I could take a second look.)

A crouching squirrel (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a squirrel in this position before. He looked ready to pounce!) IMG_3261 A lady in red (I didn’t think to snap a picture as she passed by, but trust me…ALL RED. I don’t know why, but it just tickled me.) A sitting duck IMG_3265 More sitting ducks IMG_3276 A nesting duck IMG_3266 A duck dynasty IMG_3263IMG_3274 A frog on a rock IMG_3273 And two lovers on a swing… I must say a special thank you to the things I saw in the park today. Believe it or not, they helped me accomplish quite a bit before the rain came.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend REplay: Conferences, Concerts & Comic book characters

This weekend, the weather rocked – sunshine, blue sky, gentle breezes. It looks like we actually get to experience spring, this year, and not just spring right into summer. Thank you Lord. I sure do appreciate it.

Friday, I began my day at a Women’s Leadership Forum, hosted by the Junior League of Atlanta. It was an amazing event, complete with two breakout sessions and a vibrant panel discussion on diversity over lunch. I spent the last forty-five minutes or so of the afternoon at the “kitchen table” of Terri Badour-Duckett, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Georgia. At the “kitchen table” attendees “pulled up a seat” to ask questions of some of the brightest, most accomplished women leaders in the Atlanta community. Not too shabby, right?

In other news, the month of May is home to the Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF). For 31 days, we celebrate the beautifully diverse sounds of jazz, and there’s a BIG jazz festival in the park during Memorial Day weekend. Friday night, the AJF hosted a jazz festival kickoff party/concert that featured Canadian band BadBadNotGood (or BBNG). I don’t know where the name came from, but BadBadNotGood was more like GoodGoodPlusAwesome. Seriously.

This trio from Toronto includes Matthew Tavares on keyboard, Chester Hansen on bass and Alexander Sowinski on drums. Three instruments unite to create one crazy unique sound. Their set at the Westside Cultural Arts Center marked their first performance in the ATL. The crowd showed mad love and I was pretty happy to be in the number.

Me_vertical2

Friday night was my first time hearing their music, but I became an instant fan. The melting pot of rich sounds was surpassed only by the energy with which the band totally rocked out. Their sound is a unique amalgam of rock, hip hop, R & B and even classical influences. Then they had a guest saxophonist who threw the set into straight jazz beast mode.

BBNG drew such a diverse crowd of music lovers. I scanned the room and thought to myself, “surely we don’t share the same taste in music.” But on that night for about an hour and a half or more we certainly did. That’s the power of music that I love so much.

I kinda hate that BBNG was booked for the beginning of the festival month. Their sound was just so grand. I think it would fit well on an outdoor stage like the ones set up during the jazz festival’s Memorial Day weekend event. I could totally picture it. Maybe they’ll be on the line up for next year.

In the meantime, it appears these cats don’t have many shows in the states this year, but here’s a list of the upcoming concert dates through the summer. You can check them out on Soundcloud and here’s a taste from Friday night. Dude on the keys, though…. Does he not remind you of Linus from the Charlie Brown cartoons?

We stuffed the rest of the weekend with lots of errands and a three hour movie break to see the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. So, no one told me that when I got married my husband would turn me into a fan of comic book characters. Nope, I didn’t see that one coming. I’ve learned more about comic book characters in the last few years than I’ve ever known in my entire life. Who knew I’d become a Marvel fan? I’ve learned to keep my eyes peeled for Mr. Stan Lee’s cameo appearance in each film AND, most importantly, to NOT leave the theater until the very last credit has rolled. This ensures I don’t miss hints for one of the upcoming films in the, seemingly never ending, Marvel series.

Gotta find me a Captain America t-shirt, too, although I struggle to really decide which super hero (thus far) is my fave. I think I’m leaning toward Iron Man…or maybe Captain AmericaThor? Smh… Anyhoo, the movie was good. That’s all I’ll say about that just in case you haven’t seen it yet and plan to go.

Let’s see, what else happened this weekend. Oh, I bought a pair of sandals and some cute earrings. I love feeling like I got something for a bargain. A cute pair of Nine West wedge sandals (can’t go wrong with classic black) from DSW and two nice pairs of earrings from White House Black Market for just under $50 definitely speaks bargain to me. I have one happy little word for you – COU-PONS.

sandalsand Earrings

Got a chance to grab some hugs from some out of town family members. They were visiting for a Braves game, so that was a real treat.

Oh and we added these little guys to our fish family. FishI know the pic isn’t that great. They’d just arrived in their new home and were swimming around like crazy. You can’t see them all but there are nine of them.

So, now it’s your turn. Let’s hear it.

What did you do this weekend? Are you a Marvel Comics fan? If so, who’s your favorite Marvel comic book hero or heroine?

 

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