Sunset Moment

I love the word moment. I love every part of it—the way it looks and the way it sounds, how its meaning is crystal clear.

It’s now. It’s a flash of beauty that sears your mind forever, because it’s so damn special you can’t help but notice it.

Nothing else can compete with a moment.

This was a moment Mr. H and I shared together last week when we stayed at the Oregon Coast. We were spoiled, with the ocean in our front yard and 60 degree, sunny October days.

I brought my laptop with me, but I never opened it. I read, but not as much as I thought, as I was distracted by the view.

Every evening started the same way, sitting on driftwood in the sand, a front row seat at the Pacific Ocean theater.

There was nobody around. We had beer and a sunset.

And, we had a moment of…

AWE

watching the sunset

HUMBLENESS

oregon coast sunset

POSSIBILITY

pacific ocean sunset

AWAKENING

october sunset

IMAGINATION

dancing on the beach

RELEASE

ballet on the beach

SURRENDER

beach sunset

CONNECTION

dance on the beach

PURITY

dancing at sunset

FREEDOM

sunset dance

MINDFULNESS

walking on the beach

Huge thanks to Mr. H for manning the cam with his usual brilliance.

And believe it or not, we didn’t touch these photos. There are no effects, just moments.

Do you guys have a sunset moment fave?

I’m Having an Affair with My Library

bedtime reading

It all started back when I got my library card, right before summer. I felt sad and confused, having said goodbye to my Milwaukee County library card long ago.

I never recovered from that loss. It took time to heal, to open up to the notion of loving again.

Strange, because I love books so much. I continued to read, mainly on my Kindle or the occasional used book from Powell’s. I wasn’t reading as much though, not as much as when I had my last love—my library card.

Stranger still, my neighborhood library is two blocks away. I would pass it often, lusting over the dusty shelves from the sidewalk, pining over the stories I longed to hold.

One day, fed up with loneliness, I was ready to love again and I got my Multnomah County library card. And so began my library love affair.

As with any new relationship, there were uncertain and embarrassing moments. It had been so long since I had been inside a library, that I forgot to use my “library voice.” When it came time for me to use the self-checkout, and I struggled with the machine, I begged for help in my outside voice. (For those who have never heard me speak, my voice carries far.)

The library stopped—the symphony of whispers, the rhythmic flick of the pages. I blushed and the nice librarian man came to my rescue.

The library resumed its mellow song.

I scurried out of the musty building, a far cry from the way I sauntered in. I looked down at my book on the gum-stained sidewalk and smiled with love.

For the first time in life, I discovered reading outside on a summer night. It was magnificent.

summertime reading

Another first for me…reading at the bar. People read at bars in Portland, so it’s not frowned upon.

wild

Without planning it, my beer and book ended up with matching outfits. Darling, aren’t they?

reading with beer

After a long run with ebooks—unable to grasp the length of the story—I gasped when I picked this one up and understood the life commitment I had made.

thick book

Then there was the one that changed me, long after I returned it…”How Yoga Works.”

yoga book

Instead of getting angry over this cigarette burn, I marveled at its progression through the pages.

burned book

For any book that is well-loved will carry the stained memories of those who loved it.

cigarette burn in book

Traditionally I have been a devout protector of books—never one to write in the margins, highlight a sentence, or burn or rip it for whatever reason. Except for the occasional chocolate smudge that just won’t rub off, I don’t spill on books either.

Why? Because books have always been living beings to me, and I never want to harm them.

As I explored many books this summer, I was simultaneously horrified and fascinated by the dog-eared pages. When I found one, I would narrow my eyes at the page, silently shaming the person who dared to molest that crisp corner. But then I scanned the page, curious to read which sentence or paragraph compelled them to crease it forever.

And because that part touched someone else so deeply, it had the same effect on me. So I decided to fold the corner of a page this time—to leave my mark, to affect someone else through the majesty of words.

a moveable feast

“People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”  – Mr. Ernest Hemingway, from “A Moveable Feast”

** This post is dedicated to the lovely Letizia at Reading Interrupted, who lost her dear furry friend, Baffi.

You have reminded so many of us about the magical importance of loving books and libraries. Thank you, Letizia.

Jumpstart Your Summer Reading…Nola Fran Evie is 99 cents!

nola fran evie amazon

That’s right, darlings! I know we’re all ready to kick this summer into high gear, so I thought a Nola Fran Evie sale was a must.

Beginning today through Friday (6/3-6/5), you can snag Nola Fran Evie on Amazon for the ridiculous bargain price of $0.99!

BUY IT NOW AT AMAZON

BUY IT NOW AT AMAZON UK

If you’re a newbie around here, you can catch up on the background/inspiration behind the story with this homemade indie video by yours truly…

If you prefer comedy, you can watch the bloopers…

If you’re the skeptical type, you can read this and other glowing reviews for my little book on Goodreads…

Working Girl Meets A League of Their Own Meets Mad Men

Not in a superficially descriptive way but quintessentially—as personality forged in the furnace of time. Nola, Fran and Evie sense their lives are dominated by fate, but who they love and how they live actually affect their era (pun intended). How we earn a living and who we sport or consort with are reflections of our culture, yet our choices also affect that culture.

From WWII to postwar boom and beyond, from the demise of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to their current vicissitudes, our title characters reinvent themselves in order to survive and thrive. Nola is our graceful, farm fresh beauty with confidence and too much common sense; Fran is the pretty but feisty tomboy contemplating whether the American dream is meant for her; and Evie is more than merely a natural blond stunner and discomfited Chicago socialite.

While their authenticity begins in the League, it matures when they accidentally meet years later. We follow their journey through the reveries of Jacks, our fortuitous guide, on the cusp of her own life altering decision. Alone in her apartment—with an “invisible” neighbor down the hall, and a diabolical cat performing acrobatics among her moving boxes—Jacks’ serendipitous discoveries in a vintage handbag offer up clues to the unconventional lives of Nola, Fran and Evie, including the men who either dominate or delight them.

It’s the particular genius of our author, to weave the perplexing with the piquant and the heartbreaking with humor, so I was absolutely never let down. The pace is exquisite. Able to richly portray cultural details combined with sexual energy and relevant social commentary, Britt Skrabanek is in top form with her newest novel. This is a thoroughly modern story with a fantastic filmic quality which lingers long after the final page is turned. You’re sure to identify with one or more of her fully drawn characters, but be prepared for immersion in something much more provocative than escapist reading.

The Winner of the Worst San Francisco Hair

san francisco hair

Over the weekend votes were pouring in for my crazy hair from our recent San Francisco trip.

Many of you were much too sweet, saying that I was somehow pulling off a few of these windswept hairstyles. Of course flattery will get you everywhere, so…thank you!

It’s important for us to laugh at ourselves from time to time, right? In this era of social media, selfies, etc., we can sidestep the “image” and have some fun.

Without further ado, the winner of Britt’s Worst San Francisco Hair is…

THE HAIR BASKET

The Hair Basket

 

What people had to say about The Hair Basket…

Carrie  “You could carry your wallet in there. Or your leftovers. Or…”

Mike  “I would call it ‘The Escaping Comb Over’.”

Letizia  “I would love you to put mousse in your hair and just wear it in that position for a day and see what reactions you get. Having said that, you live in Portland where I think anything goes so maybe you’ll just start a new trend.”

Andrea  “Has to be the basket for me, it’s like a piece of sculpture.”

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Nola Fran Evie Cover Master Small

P.S.  Nola Fran Evie goes on sale tomorrow (6/3 – 6/5) for $0.99! 

Britt’s Worst San Francisco Hair…and You Get to Vote!

You know that one classic San Francisco song? The one about if you go, you should put some flowers in your hair?

Well, I am here to make an effing rebuttal.

After an awesome time in Los Angeles, we drove up to San Francisco for a few nights. We did all of the usual things, and paced ourselves so that we could eat as much incredible food as possible.

We worked on our buns of steel while walking up satanic hills with lovely views…

san francisco hillWe looked at all of the people taking selfies at the crazy winding Lombard street and were surprised that nobody got run over…

lombard streetWe had clam chowder at a little place on the water, hiding just outside of Fisherman’s Wharf…

san francisco boats

They wouldn’t let us break into Alcatraz (because every tour known to man was sold out for a week), so we did the next best thing…

alcatraz

And we took one of those goofy Golden Gate Bridge boat tours with the militant tourists that actually scare you with their enthusiasm…

san francisco tourists

But, there’s just one problem that happens when you’re on a boat in San Francisco. Hair.

Most of you regulars around here are used to me writing about somewhat deep and meaningful topics about life. You’ve been here with me through my mother’s breast cancer, a cross-country move, and my overall struggle with the writing path I have taken.

Today is about as shallow as it gets. Because I’m going to discuss how damn awful my hair was on that boat.

What was supposed to be a romantic moment on the bay with Mr. H for our 10-year anniversary celebration turned out to be one of the silliest times we had together.

You see, I chopped all of my hair off last year. It was an impulse purchase that stayed with me.

So, I recently started growing out a very short bob with bangs, which is one of the worst things imaginable for any gal. The hair doesn’t really go into a ponytail, but it’s long enough to go in every direction when the wind is just right.

I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my favorite blue hat to the San Francisco Bay gods, so I braved the boat on my own—awkward bob and all. And, now we have the pictures to prove how ridiculous my hair truly was.

So, let’s have some fun!

Leave a comment below to vote for my worst San Francisco hair by Sunday May 31 at midnight P.S.T. I’ll reveal the results next week with a very special blog post.

#1  The Antenna

the antenna

#2  The Aqua Net

The Aqua Net

#3  The Medusa

The Medusa

#4  The Flock of Seagull

The Flock of Seagulls

#5  The Hair Basket

The Hair Basket

Happy Voting!