Poetry in Motion

I love these photos of my daughter and her friend, taken right before their recital in June. My daughter loves to dance, practicing ballet, modern, lyrical and jazz. Lucky girls–in March, they’ll be performing on a cruise with their dance company.

Hope is the thing with feathers

that perches in the soul,

and sings in tune without words

and never stops at all.  Emily Dickinson

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Show and Tell: Something’s Fishy

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Remember the book What Color is Your Parachute? 

Back when I was wondering what the heck I was doing as a department store manager that included a) a divisional marketing manager who gleefully chose one of us to humiliate daily, b) being in charge of two multi-million dollar departments on two floors with two buyers and two staffs without an assistant, c) no time to eat, and d) hair falling out in clumps, I decided to re-look at my priorities. Not only did I read What Color is Your Parachute?, I took a career-assessment test at New York University. There was one glaring characteristic missing in my life–creativity! Hon, I should have known.

I recently came across one of my very first picture books complete with illustrations and an author photo in which I’m missing my front teeth. I wrapped some of my books in plastic wrap so they’d look like they came from the library. Cute!

I also came across songs I wrote. I’d play around on the piano and then plot the notes in a music book.

When my parents said they wouldn’t buy me a dollhouse, I made my own out of cardboard. (It actually had a couple of floors!) When I wanted a summer dress, Pappagallo handbags with changeable covers, and an Esprit drawstring bag, I sewed my own.

I learned how to needlepoint, embroider, and knit when I was elementary-school-age. Another creative outlet opened up, and I designed my own canvases and wrote my own patterns.

My first jobs, aside from babysitting and being a camp counselor, were working in stores. I liked retail, but especially merchandising the selling floor and doing the windows.

So, when I left that miserable, weight-loss-inducing department store job, I started my own business. A couple of years later, I became pregnant with triplets. That was the end of the business and time to re-assessment priorities again.

Back to the magic of children’s books, which I was trying to create as a ten year-old. Guess what? I’m still trying.

Needlepoint pillows I made for two sweet sisters. I added the coral to the fishy scenes. Real life fishy scenes from the Mystic Aquarium.

 

 

July 4th, Repost

Wishing you a relaxing July 4th from “down the shore,”

Flags in front of the American Legion post.

to Main Street,

Hot air balloon at festival in Readington, NJ.

to the country,

Liberty State Park, NJ
Liberty State Park, NJ

to the city, 

or wherever you live in the world .

Hon, I was going to quote John Lennon but then I thought you’d enjoy listening to him singing Imagine yourself.

John Lennon’s Imagine song and video.

Amen.

Keynote Speaker Tami Charles’ Words of Wisdom

Author Tami Charles
Charles delivering her keynote speech at the NJSCBWI18 conference.

Inspiration for Everyone

Tami Charles, whose middle grade novel Like Vanessa debuted in March, delivered a keynote speech at the NJSCBWI18 conference this past weekend.

She talked about the value of hope. “Somewhere between no and yes lies hope.”

She talked about rejections. “The word no has empowered me, broken me, and put me back together again.”

She talked about persistence. “You keep writing. You don’t stop.”

And she said, “Step into your greatness.”

Thanks, Tami, for words of wisdom that ring true for me as a writer and also for anyone trying to reach a seemingly insurmountable goal.

Click here to watch a short video about Charles and Like Vanessa. Take one guess which book I’m buying as gifts for some important tween girls in my life.

In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with an incarcerated mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty. Goodreads

Honoring Memorial Day and My Son, Deployed

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Progression of Time and Career

I am re-posting this Memorial Day post with an addition–an amazing photo! It’s my 1st Lieutenant son’s United States Army Infantry platoon. They are deployed to the Middle East, and we are anxious to find out when they will return.

Re-post:

In 2005, my brother took my almost twelve-year old son to Washington D.C.  I came across these photos of their day together and thought they were a fitting send-off to my son who is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the United Stated Army while he studies at a university.

He’s leaving today for mountaineering training in a country very far from home.  I could say how anxious I am about this trip, how world events and politics are sad and disheartening, how I get nauseous thinking about his future, and how much I love him and want him safe and happy.  Instead I’ll  leave you with these photographs.

the Capital
United States Capitol
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
military helicopter
Military helicopter
Almost twelve-years old.
Almost twelve-years old
high altitude rescue training
High altitude rescue training
contracted
Contracted.
My son with proud dad and sister.
Proud dad and sister at an Army function.

And now, for the amazing photo…

United States Army Infantry Platoon.

Poem #SheInspiresMe

My three daughters inspire me every day. Here we are after a day skiing.

The best part of the Oscars, aside from my new-favorite-movie The Shape of Water winning Best Picture, was an ad featuring a poem by New York City-born poet Denice Frohman. Don’t worry hon, I’m not jumping into the fray of commentary regarding who sponsored the ad or the movement it’s meant for–Bmore Energy isn’t the place for that–I just really like the poem!

Click here to see the ad. It’s even more powerful spoken out loud.

Sources: Denise Frohman,You Tube

Tragedy and Tribute

Hon, Bmore Energy is a place for discovery, whether it be a story, new recipe, DIY project, photography or anything else I find interesting. As I pursue my writing dreams, Bmore Energy is where I “stretch before I exercise.” Sometimes, though, I break from my blog’s purpose to share heavier emotions. Then again, since this is a “lifestyle blog” and, in our lives, we will be faced with and have to deal with the best and worst situations, maybe emotional posts are actually parts of the whole.

Jaime Guttenberg

Our families are connected.

I didn’t know her, but her dad and my husband grew up doors apart. Her uncle was the best man at our wedding. Her aunt was my sister-in-law’s best friend. The families were neighbors and friends for years. She went to the same sleep-away camp as my children.

Tragedy. There aren’t enough words or the right words or any words for the evil that Jaime Guttenberg and 16 other people faced this past week.

Jaime’s funeral is today.

In Anderson Cooper’s tribute to the victims on CNN, he said each person’s name and “We will remember.”

In memory of Jaime’s love of dance, Misty Copeland, American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre, posted this on Instagram.

This one is for you, Jaime 🧡 We honor your life in tonight’s performance. This weekend dancer’s across America will wear orange ribbons to honor Jaime Guttenburg, a 14-year old dancer who was killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, FL. Tonight’s performance is for her 🧡#OrangeRibbonsForJaime

Dancers all over the world are wearing orange ribbons in Jaime’s honor, as was reported on ABC News.We’re with my husband’s family friends in spirit. Unfortunately, nothing anyone does will ever be enough.

The resource NCTSN or The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has written guidelines on how to talk to kids about this and other tragedies.