May 28, 2014

Road Trippin’, Open to Whatever

See More

Explore Stories

Road Trippin’, Open to Whatever

Open Door. Open Books. Open Mind. Open Heart. These were the four signs in each second-story window of the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco on my recent visit. Inside, a roughly sketched black-on-white sign said: Educate Yourself Read Here 14 Hours a Day I’d like to heed that call for a week or so. I really would. I really could. Later, while descending from the second floor filled with poetry, my friend Carole noticed a bulletin board with brightly colored Post-It notes all over it and pointed it out to me. I loved that it was a call to

Bridging the Adventure Gap with Food

“Nan, I saw this pasta dish the other day,” my mother begins a recent phone conversation on a rainy day. “I can’t remember if it was Ina or Giada who made it.” Ah, yes, we’ve been talking about Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis, both of whom have popular cooking shows on The Food Network, as if they’re our friends for many years. Mom keeps listing ingredients like lemon and arugula and broccoli and I move over to the computer to give it a go on Google. “It was Ina,” I tell her, then begin reading her the recipe for

Letting Imagination Run Amok

Good morning, imagination. What do you have for me today? It’s worth saying that sometimes, isn’t it? I feel strongly about it. Here’s one example of that thinking in motion. One of the first things I wondered when I stepped into an Airstream was, where would I write? Where would I carve out my little corner? Sitting on the bed with pillows propped behind me? Keeping it conventional at the dinette? Spreading out more in the lounge? It made me smile. I love that my mind goes there whenever I’m in a new environment. Ever since being a sports writer

On a Free Ride

One day I woke up and realized part of the word ‘freelancer’ is ‘free.’ Not as in “I’ll work for free.” Rather as in “I am free.” Free to conjure up and explore possibilities. Free to pitch ideas, to learn how to take rejection, to follow leads. Free to structure (or not) my day or my week any way I see fit. Free to shop for health insurance and have it stay put regardless of where my writing and coaching lead me. Free to sometimes be manic, like I should be generating something in every waking moment. It’s all part

Our Lens, Our Journey

Some years ago we had a fun, retro café in my town and it had these coveted chairs near the window. I loved to read there or write in my journal on occasion. One day I met a guy who lived in the community and he called the people who sat in those seats “posers.” He didn’t know I was one of them, but it got me thinking. Was he right? Well, of course in some cases we’re all about the spot that lets us people watch or be close to the action; it’s stimulating. As the outdoor tables in

The Power of Flipping a Mood Switch

“Do you need to sleep here tonight?” the contractor asks, pointing to my bedroom. It is in that moment that I realize I have much to be grateful for, because my answer is, “No, I have somewhere I can stay.” As I write this I have been pulled out of my routine. Because a pipe froze in my building during our icy polar vortex a few months ago, the living room and bedroom in my place need repair and a new coat of paint. The contractors got to work this morning, patching walls and covering all my furniture to get

Going Outside Ourselves

Over the years I’ve been drawn to certain places in the world because of books, television or films that made a destination seem inviting – Paris, Sausalito, Tuscany. But there have also been times where I was sent to a particular place, usually on business, and it was the people that lit me up so much more than anything else. A random hotel in New England for a writers’ conference where I enjoyed my early morning workout and then a chat with the employees opening the restaurant because I’d grab a coffee before heading back to my room to take

Feasting on the Pacific Coast Highway

There was a moment on my recent drive down California State Route 1, winding through the cliffs and curves of Big Sur, that I realized I was thinking about the expansiveness of the Universe while staring at the Pacific Ocean.  I’m used to gazing at the Atlantic Ocean from a beach chair on a sunny day. Jersey Shore, easy, chilling with the family. The horizon is always a clear line. It’s vast, but sky and water meet and it’s clear where one ends and the other begins.  Not so for the Pacific, at least from our elevated perch. The sky-meets-water

My Pen as Lens on the World

I am going through old and treasured books in my home when I come across one called “Idea Catcher” that I’d purchased in Carmel, Calif. in 1997. It’s actually a journal and at the top of each page is a writing prompt – a simple quote or a suggested exercise meant to spur the imagination. Pure joy for this writer, who was on an unplanned solo trip because a friend’s father had taken ill and she had to visit him in South Carolina instead being a part of this West Coast spring getaway. My pen wound up being a familiar

Striving for Balanced and Open

“Can you feel how much more open your neck muscle is?” This is the question from my Rolfer in our fourth session. I’m relaxing on a table in an intimate space and he is behind my head manipulating my neck, under my shoulders. I nod and take deep breaths when he asks me to. “Can you feel how much more open your hips are?” It’s about half an hour later and he’s now positioned at my side and working on my legs. I say yes. I keep breathing. Open. I’m mulling it. Over and over again I have written that