Not bad for a fat girl

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Open Brain – Pour in Inspiration


Day one of the three-day writing conference is in the books, and it got off to a great start. There was only one session to attend, but it was a good one (five were offered at the same time, but seeing as I don’t yet have the capacity to make duplicates of myself I had to just choose one). Young adult novelist Nova Ren Suma presented an excellent session on dynamic openings. The only critique was that her presentation was quite short (twenty minutes of the sixty allotted). True, it left time for plenty of q & a, but I would have liked to hear more from her, even if it was just additional examples of strong openings and why they work. In fairness, she did mention that usually this presentation was done as a workshop, rather than lecture, so I’m sure it was difficult to gauge the timing. Still, the content was solid and her insights were valuable. I’ll definitely be thinking more about my endings as I’m crafting my beginnings as a result of this presentation.

After the session there was time to mix and mingle with a wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvres and a live pianist. I caught up with a friend during this time, and had a relaxing time visiting with her and talking about teaching, writing, and the conference. At that point I had to leave, but I’m excited to go back this morning. Today is jam-packed with sessions, many of them specific to the Young Adult genre, my favorite.

I’m anxious to get going, and to see what new sparks of creativity and energy emerge as a result of today’s learning and inspiration.


Wednesday Wisdom #1

There are many forces of wisdom at play in the universe. I want to share with you some of what I’ve learned over the years. Naturally I have to do it on Wednesdays, because who doesn’t love alliteration?o-PEANUT-BUTTER-facebook

Words of Wisdom

Everything is better with peanut butter.

Who said it

Lila the wonder dog, although she didn’t technically “say” it, but I know she thinks it.

What it means to me

It’s the little extras in life that make it more interesting and exciting and enjoyable. It’s the whipped cream on the frappucino, the hot fudge on the sundae, and the meatball on the spaghetti. All of those things are good without the extras, but the extras take them over the top. Don’t just go to the Grand Canyon, take a hike there. Don’t just go to the beach, splash in the ocean. Don’t forget to add the peanut butter into your life from time to time.



Daily Passion Prompt 18: Inspiration Island


DAY #18:  If you could bring 10 people that inspire you to an island with you and spend one day with each of them, who would they be and why would you take them? 

First off, let’s clarify what I’m envisioning with this particular prompt. Let’s start with the location. The particular island we’re talking about is something you might find at the Club Med of my dreams. It is beautiful and has all the amenities that I might want for whatever activity I wish to explore. Secondly, these inspirational people simply show up for their day and spend it with me, sharing their wisdom and insight. They don’t find it strange, they don’t want anything in return, and they don’t complain of jet lag or headaches or anything else that might interfere with our experience. When their day is up they head back to wherever they came from, and I carry on with my next companion. I also limited my selections to people who are currently alive. Just so it didn’t get creepy, you know? So now that we have THAT settled, here we go.

Maldives_Hibiscus_Island_JY171_350A1. Chris Powell. Duh. If you’ve been reading the BulgingButtons for any length of time you know I’m a big fan of his. Chris and I would have a heart to heart, and he would help get me energized and focused to make the most impactful positive changes to my overall wellness. He would teach me the moves I need and set me up with a foolproof plan. At least in my dreams. Oh, and he’s written books. Bonus: he’s not too hard on the eyes either.

2.  Rachael Ray. She can teach me to cook delicious food that’s good for me and that my whole family will eat with pleasure. She also seems incredibly personable, and she’s an author. She is another person who defined her dreams and went for them, and, I’m guessing, keeps doing just that.

3. Stacy London. The TLC What Not to Wear diva could help me dress this body of mine to best advantage, allowing me to strut my stuff and hold my head high, no matter what the scale might say. Feeling confident and sexy does make a difference, and dressing to advantage has a role in how you feel. And did I mention that she also writes?

4. The Dalai Lama. He’s just so doggone nice. And smart. And otherworldly. And hip. Really, I think he’s got it going on. Oh, and he also has written several books.

5. J.K. Rowling. I guess I don’t have to tell you what she’s best known for, do I? I would love to pick her brain. Where does she get it all?! Incredible.

6. Rafe Esquith, teacher and author extraordinaire. He is inspirational, not only to teachers, but far more importantly, to kids. I would love to have an in-depth conversation on the current state of education and the impact it has on kids. I envision a meeting of the minds that will spur me on to orchestrating ever greater opportunities for my students.

7. SARK. She has written and illustrated many inventive, honest, funny, and inspirational books. She definitely thinks in colors and dreams and swirls. I like her style!

8. Tula Pink. One of the modern quilt world’s stars, she’s a designer and author, as well as a quilt maker. I would love to talk inspiration with her.

9. My son. By day nine I will be missing him terribly. I would love to spend a day in paradise with him without the distractions of school and work and obligations and responsibilities. I would love to just relax and have fun with him, and to connect with him as we splash in the ocean and bite into juicy pineapple, our favorite.

10. Last, but certainly not least, my sweetheart. I would finish this incredibly transformative experience by sharing an uninterrupted day alone with him. Bonus: he would stay the night and we would go home together.

The bad news? This scenario is infinitely unlikely to happen. The good news? I have links to the wisdom of all of these inspirational people, except my family.  I get to see my family in real life, though, so it’s not so bad. Thank goodness for the written word. Although it will never be a perfect substitute for being there, it can still convey a lifetime of learning.