November 29, 2009

So long for now FB &Twitter...

As of today, I'm taking a break from Facebook and Twitter until 2010. I'm doing it so that I can spend more time focusing on the things I need to focus on over the next month or two (like writing!), and to re-train my brain to go to a book or an interesting article rather than to FB or Twitter to fill a spare few minutes here and there. Not that I don't love reading about what everyone else is up to, or what great new pics they've posted. The problem is that I love it a little too much, and thus, has become a bit of a distraction. To ensure that I don't cheat, my husband has already blocked the sites from my computer. I had been thinking about doing something like this for a while, but when I saw, on Twitter of course, that Sara Zarr, one of my favorite YA authors, was doing it, it inspired me to go for it. And you know what? It's only been, like an hour, but I already feel freer in a way. But don't worry, I will be back...

In other news, I just got back from Montreal. The Girls Night Out evening was amazing. I was so honored to be this year's guest speaker, and I was flattered and honored that the event was sold out.  I talked about fear, and not letting it get in the way of following your passion, and it was a great way to remind myself of why I write and have chosen this profession.  I also got to catch up with old friends, see my family, and go to two of my mother's concerts. She's a concert pianist, and since I live so far away, I hardly ever get to see her perform anymore. One of her concerts was part of a new kids' series called Bach Before Bedtime. It was a huge hit with lines out the door, and it was so cute to see so many kids crowded around the stage while the musicians performed. You can find out more about my mother and her Allegra Chamber Music series here.

I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging over the next month. Who knows, maybe my internet respite will inspire me to take it to the blog more often. It remains to be seen...

Lastly, I want to share this amazingly touching essay I just read in today's Modern Love column in the Sunday NYT (see? I'm reading instead of status-viewing). It's a real testament to the power of authentic connection and true love. And I'm just going to come right out and say it: yes, such a thing does exist, even if I didn't fully believe it myself until I met my husband.

Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone!


November 21, 2009

Julie & Julia & me

As I type, I'm mid-flight to Montreal. As you may know, it's my hometown and I'm heading back to be the guest speaker at the 5th annual Girls Night Out event at the Jewish Public Library tomorrow night at 7pm. This event has been in the works for months now, thanks to Penny Fransblow, the extraordinary children's librarian at the JPL, and the wonderful committee that has worked so hard to put it together. Just before I boarded the plane, I heard that it's sold out! I can't believe it, and am so honored to have been chosen to be the guest speaker this year. I'm in pretty great company, as my predecessors are the amazing YA authors Libba Bray, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mylnowski and Robin Friedman. So, if you live in Montreal and plan on being there, please come and say hello!

In other news, I just saw Julie & Julia on the plane. I had read the script back when I was still a film exec, and had meant to catch it in the theatres, but somehow I missed it and finally got my opportunity in-flight from seat 25D. Can I just say that I loved it? I think it was just one of those movies that hit the right note at the right time. And what better way to share my thoughts, than to blog about it.

So, how did the movie inspire me? You'd think it'd make me want to run out and buy Julia's cookbook and try my own hand at French cuisine, but no, it didn't do that (even though I do love to cook). What it did was make me feel a little bit more motivated to finish my book -- and comforted by the fact that, at some point, everyone feels like their projects (in my case, my book) are taking longer than they should or that they will never be done. But the truth is, if you just chip away, little by little, pretty much anything is possible - and anything can get done.  In the end, it doesn't really matter how long it takes, but how well you do it - and that you *do* do it.  I have to keep reminding myself of that because this book has evolved and has taken longer than I expected.  But that's okay. It's a process and this just happens to be the process for this particular novel. It's a lesson I've learned a million times over through my various incarnations (as a student, athelete, etc etc), but one that can easily slip through the cracks, and sometimes all you need is a good reminder, like this movie, that you can get it done.  And a reminder of why you do it -- because you love it (in my case, writing) even if it isn't always obvious.

The other thing the movie did was make me miss my amazing husband only two hours into my one week adventure!
Love is at the very heart of this movie - love for life, love for the people in our lives and love for what we do.
So, I guess I just wanted to say thanks Julie & Julia, for making me take a moment to realize what I've got.

November 11, 2009

Sunset over Hollywood

I went on a sunset hike this afternoon with Rocky and Alex up to the Hollywood sign. It was a rare cloudy day in LA, which made the sunset all the more beautiful. These pictures tell the story better than I could.