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May 2012

Inspirational Outfits at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards

FabricOver the past few days, I've been thinking a lot about fashion. For one thing, I've spent a lot more time than usual with my aunt, who has a bit of dementia. One of the phrases she keeps repeating is, "I was always into fashion, you know." When you couple that with adjusting a description of a character's clothing in Book Two of the Based on a Dream series, design has been on my mind. 

So, coming across pictures of celebs in their 2012 Billboard Music Awards ensembles had me more intrigued than I usually am. I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts. 

Miley Cyrus: All I'll say is this: I think I've been inspired to create a world where the inhabitants are very uptight because every step in their traditional clothing comes with an element of rear-baring risk. (I jest, but there is a certain other-worldly quality to this outfit, no?)

Carrie Underwood: I looove this dress! I bit prommy, I suppose. Still, the skirt part goes to the extreme. I tend to like "extreme."

Sky Blu (LMFAO): Guy ... I'm doing something with that red outfit of yours. Might not keep it red, but I think I have a place for a modified version of it in Book Two. 

Usher: I think you should have offered Sky Blu of LMFAO your sky-blue suit first. Just sayin'. Still, it looks great on you. Might have chosen a different shirt to go with it, though.

Natasha Bedingfield: Her powder-blue, flowy dress has an alien quality to it. Beautiful! Looks a bit uncomfortable to wear, though. I'm thinking Chloe/Star might have use for something similar in Book Three.

Kris Kristofferson: Dude, I thought  you were dead. Honestly. And I have put you on this list simply because I'm glad to see you are not. Not only that, but your style of dress is looking a bit youthful in its own carefree way. Not sure if the shoes are a detractor or not, though. I'm trying to imagine Treehugger character Tarthimum (another old guy) in something similar. Yeah ... no. I don't think he'd go for it.)

Jordin Sparks: Congratulations, Jordin! Wow, you have lost a lot of weight. And your dress is stunning. Forget about any of the Based on a Dream characters stealing her look -- wish I could wear that!

Kerli: Well. If this outfit doesn't inspire thinking outside the box, what does? I am in love with the periwinkle-ish hair color, though. It has possibilities.

What are your thoughts on the evening's attire?

Cover of Time: Are You Mom Enough?

When selling a story, a novel, a film, shock value is a big deal. It can make or break a piece of entertainment. And I'm not above including shock in my writing. But I'm wondering: Is anybody worried about the poor kid on the cover of Time (May 2012) this month? The debates I've heard about this article seem to concern the breastfeeding debate in general, as well as what makes a good mom, what makes a bad one. For the record, I am a huge supporter of breastfeeding. Age three seems a bit old to me, but that's a personal choice, as is how to feed your child in the first place. I don't care where you do it, either. I don't care if you are discreet about it or not. However, putting this kid on the cover of Time in this manner-- and knowing it will be one of those memorable covers for years to come...I mean how did the parents/Editors see fit to do this? I'm not offended by the photo in the least--except for the fact that someone is going to wave it in that kid's face (literally or figuratively) come 1st grade. They couldn't sit him on her lap with his back to the camera?

Opinions on the wellbeing of the child in the photo? Is it inviting being picked on in the future? Maybe I'm making too big a deal of it?

The Glorious Debris....

DebrisNo matter how careful we might be to step on solid ground, gauging each step to be sure it's not too heavy to crack the path, nor too light that we trip over our own feet, there is no guarantee that the ground will remain solid. There we go, one foot in front of the other, navigating our path, never knowing when, for certain, some unexpected game changer will weaken the ground or obliterate it entirely.  It is then that we need to scramble for a safety net. If we are lucky enough to find one, gratitude is our next course of action. However, for those times when we know the net is far off or just not coming, the only way to survive is to embrace the chaos. One of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver has a passage in one of her short story collections that applies to such times:

"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job.... And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another--that is surely the basic instinct.... Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is."
--Barbara Kingsolver, from High Tide in Tucson

 After reading that, I start to think, "So if there is no safety net, I guess we're stuck weaving our own." I guess we weave it out of hope, resolution, and instinct. Time to surround oneself in "the glorious debris." Time to create that safety net and use it as the framework for a new path.

It's been a great weekend and a rough one all wrapped up into one. Tomorrow, I'm stepping off the path I've been trying to keep together via glue, tape and spit...abandoning it to step out into the chaos I've shied away from. Delicate steps have not kept me safe, only postponed the inevitable. Starting tomorrow, I will allow chaos and debris to help me build a new path--mistakes, missteps, and ticked-off people be damned. 



Beyond My Backyard: Virtual Vacations

I need another virtual vacation. Just for the day. So I guess I need a daycation. Anyway, I can't go away for real these days, so from time to time, I aimlessly search for unique places in the world that I can visit from my desk. And I've bookmarked them for those writer's block moments when I need to get out of my own head. (Just for the record ... it can get scary in there!) 

Of huge importance is choosing a hotel. I can't tell you how much fun it is to explore Unusual Hotels of the World. You'll have to see for yourself. Yeah, I know you don't really need a hotel for a day trip, but money and imagination are not an issue in the virtual world. There are hotels on the water, in the water, up in trees, well ... again, you really have to just see then for yourself. And yes, price ranges are included in the descriptions--and those prices remind me of why I enjoy them in cyberspace. Most recently, I stayed in Chile at the MONTAÑA MÁGICA LODGE  Is that gorgeous or what?

Need a fanciful place to eat? Check out this restaurant in the sky.  Want something a bit more bizarre? Check out the  strangest restaurants in the world.


Villamoura01 (1)
Dinner in the Sky in Portugal

I like my calm, quiet, and relaxation on vacation, but I'm also the kind of girl who wants to experience something new and and intriguing when I go away. So sometimes I'll hit a virtual museum.What can I recommend?  Check out ExploratoriumThe Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and MuseumEllis IslandNatural History Museum of Denmark, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Then there was the time I went to the Great Wall of China. And who could complain about seeing the pyramids of Egypt without having to sit on a camel?  Of course, when life is really kicking me in the shins, sometimes I want to be like Star in Treehugger and just leave the planet. Then I'll go explore a future habitat on Mars. One time I went Space Wandering, but made the mistake of taking my daughter. Apparently, there isn't much difference between that and driving to Florida. On the way to Florida, I get nagged for pretzels. In space I get nagged for Astronaut Ice Cream. No joke.

So take a virtual daycation when the every day has got you down. If nothing else, when this economy perks up again, you'll have some ideas about where to go!

So where would you go on a virtual vacation?