Art I Found While Looking Around

stumbleupon Art I Found While Looking AroundIf you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

art Art I Found While Looking Around I originally found this on Pinterest. It comes from an artist named Ivo van der Ent, who hails from the Netherlands and was published in a Singapore-based digital magazine named Kult.

negative space Art I Found While Looking Around

This beauty is from the Malaysian artist Tang Yau Hoong.

This poster was created by Japanese designer Shimura Norita in 2006. It’s titled “Global warming.”

Links I Love: Women, Tattoos, and George R. R. Martin Tells People to Fuck Off

A few years ago I started collecting links I love to share with my readers and Facebook fans. It’s fun for me to do and it also gives you something to browse through during your Monday. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!

I love Mondays. I feel like I get a fresh start and I have a full week to work hard to achieve what I set out to do. Okay, Okay. I’m a total workaholic. What other kind of person would love a Monday? I’ll admit it: I work way too much, but that’s because I do what I love. I get to wake up and blog every day.

Whoever you are and regardless of your level of success, we all fail. In fact, failure teaches us more about how to succeed than success does. I’m always trying new things and as a result, I end up constantly learning from my mistakes. Here’s the simplest bit of inspiration we all need to hear when we fail.

maude 813x1024 Links I Love: Women, Tattoos, and George R. R. Martin Tells People to Fuck Off

Women have always been the coolest people on the planet. This photo is proof that women have kicked ass since 1911: 1911: A female tattoo artist named Maud Wagner. Also the secret history of women and tattoo. 

Do you love A Game of Thrones as much as I do? I am such a fan. In this interview, George R. R. Martin continues to impress with this bit of badassery: “Fuck you to those people.”  (Said to the fans speculating about his health and his death.) I love him!

Have you watched the “First Moon Party” short film? You have to. It’s absolutely hilarious.

Cheers to Monday! I hope this week is as kickass as you hoped it would be!

 

My Dog is a Social Butterfly

Olive is very social and adores people, but this social butterfly took some getting used to. She thinks the more the merrier, while I often want to have some alone time. It’s funny how much we clash, but it’s funny to see her slowly bringing me out of my shell in public. I’m extremely shy in public. I’m the kind of person who would rather avoid eye contact with you than talk to you, and my dog is the polar opposite, forcing me to talk to complete strangers all the time.
Every dog is different, and I had no idea I was adopting such a social butterfly when I got her, but now that I have her, I’m enjoying this social side of life again. When I take Olive to Petco, she has to stop and say hi to everyone who passes her. Especially children. And if we don’t stop to say hi, people stop us and ask us if they can pet her. I think it has something to do with her constantly wagging tail. (Watch out, she’ll hit you in the face with it if you’re sitting down. She just gets SO HAPPY!)
Want to know more about Olive? Find out her breed information and more here.

Eat With Your Eyes

Today’s post is all visual, courtesy of Swedish food stylist and photographer Linda Lomelino. Since I don’t speak Swedish, I can’t necessarily link you to the recipes, but if you do read Swedish, you can find them here or on Linda’s website. These are the most stunning desserts I’ve ever seen. I just had to share!

linda Eat With Your Eyes

linda2 Eat With Your Eyes

linda 3 Eat With Your Eyes

Photos by Linda Lomelino of Call Me Cupcake.

Too rich and divine looking for you? Julia Child aptly said: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” Maybe we should heed her advice and try something as beautiful as these desserts.

A Foodies Dream is a weekend feature, including the best food recipes I’ve found online. All of which I’m dying to try. I’m a foodie and if you’re reading this, you probably are, too. Happy eating & enjoy the foodies dream! Let me know in the comments if you try any of these recipes (or if you adapt any to your own taste). This week’s theme is “Eat With Your Eyes.” 

Create Your Own Opportunities

The world has changed. It’s time for you to create your own opportunities.
creative minds Create Your Own Opportunities

Gala Darling’s blog is a fun read. She recently shared her best piece of advice for writers which I think is absolutely incredible advice. She says:

My advice is simple. Make your own opportunities.

The world has changed. We cannot wait around hoping to be “picked”. The days of relying on a gatekeeper to hand you a golden ticket are over.

This fact scares the shit out of some people, and thrills others.

I can’t emphasize enough how great this is. We writers are living in a world where we can find and connect with our readers. We can discover our voices as we discover the stories we want to tell.

Gala goes on:

But crucially, write all the time. Write for pleasure, not assignment. Write the kind of stuff you’ve always wanted to write. Don’t waste your time helping someone else build their platform. Build your own, instead.

Writing all the time is the key to learning to write well, according to Anne Rice. I love sitting down each morning, hashing out something that inspires me. Maybe only a handful of people LOVE it. Maybe hundreds or thousands love it. But the essential part–the part that drives me to keep writing daily–is that I’m building my own platform. I’m not working for The Man and I’m not driving advertising revenue into their pockets. This is all mine and it feels great.

A few years ago I was working in a small office with a man who had been very successful in business for decades. I blogged anytime I could get a minute away from work, but it was a new hobby for me. After working with me for almost a year, and seeing my drive, my boss looked at me and said, “You need to be an entrepreneur.” His words meant a lot to me, considering the weight they held, but they meant a lot to me because I hadn’t always fit in some offices. I had ideas. I loved brainstorming. I saw through inefficiencies and wanted to make improvements. Being a writer on this blog has made me an entrepreneur. It’s helped me embrace my strengths–the ideas, the brainstorming, the innovation; and it’s helped me work on my weaknesses. My blog keeps me on a schedule and I work harder now than I ever have before (and I have what I consider a great work ethic).

Maybe you’re a little bit like me and don’t fit the “mold” very easily. Fuck the mold. Create your own space and your own body of work. Build your own platform. Write all the time. Create your own opportunities.

More on this subject here:

I wrote this piece on how to become a writer a few years ago. I hope you like it.

Want to know how to build a platform and how to blog for publicity? Read my eBook.

Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

week 2 Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

Welcome! It’s been two weeks since you signed up for or expressed interest in The Girls Who Read book club. We’re off to a great start with so many of you joining the Twitter Party (using the hashtag #TheGirlsWhoRead). I’m so happy to have all of you along for the ride. To get involved, simply read the post below and leave a comment about the book or the discussion questions. Try not to leave too many spoilers if you’ve already read the whole book! Save those for our final chat on July 24th.

book clubs Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

Discussion Questions (And Spoilers)

By now you’ve read through chapter 8 in DEAD UNTIL DARK. And by now you’ve been introduced to all the action and mystery, which is part of what I love so much about these books. The following are a few questions for discussion. Feel free to answer these OR use your own commentary for discussion:

  1. What do you think of Sookie and Sam? Is there any potential for future romance?
  2. How sad were you about Gran?
  3. What do you think of Eric? Do you prefer him to Bill?
  4. Who’s your favorite minor character?
  5. Comment on anything else you noticed and loved (or hated).

It’s not too late to get involved. If you want to join, here are the details:

dead until dark 1 Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

How to Get Involved

  • Read the monthly book.
  • Leave a comment on the blog post which starts a discussion about the book each Thursday and a comment on the final discussion on July 24th.
  • Once a month we will host a  Book Club Twitter Chat, be sure to follow #TheGirlsWhoRead, and @thereallisakerr on Twitter.
  • Share this with your friends.
  • If you’re blogging about the book club, you’ll have a chance to link up your post after July 24th.

Reading Assignment

Finish the book by July 24th!

LIVE Chat on July 24th

Using the hashtag #TheGirlsWhoRead, find us on Twitter on July 24th to talk about the book! See you there! (Find all our book club members on Twitter using this list and Tweet to me if you’d like to be added to the book club list on Twitter.)

This post is part of my new book club,”The Girls Who Read“, featuring entertaining and interesting books we love. I know most of you love to read. Join me for our ongoing book chat on Twitter (or any other social media) using the hashtag #TheGirlsWhoRead and mark your calendars for our first Twitter party on July 24th. You can also use the hashtag #dontreadalone to emphasize the importance of making reading a group thing.

Full details and instructions of the book club can be found here. Follow “The Girls Who Read” board on Pinterest.


BOOK LIST

This book list is tentative and may change at any time without prior notification.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1) Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club  (Kindle/Paperback version)

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 2) (Kindle/Paperback version) Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 3) (Kindle/Paperback version) Week 2: The Girls Who Read Book Club

These titles may also be available at your local library.

An updated calendar can be found here.

Photo weheartit/weheartit/

How To Be Tenacious: A Story

We all experience rejection. The lows are just as important as the highs. They teach us how to be tenacious.

Little girl reading a boo 010 How To Be Tenacious: A Story

When I was nine years old, my parents told me I could be anything I wanted to be. I told them I wanted to be a writer because I loved books. I spent my summers reading book after book after book and I suspected (rightly so) that authors were some sort of magicians. When I read a book, I traveled through this incredible portal to different times and places in history and I met new people, some of whom I took with me in my mind everywhere I went. Reading was the one true adventure I had in my life and it wasn’t until they told me I could be anything I wanted to be that I realized my one big dream was to be a writer. It was like reaching for the stars for me. It was the impossible and they said I could do it.

Dad said, “Then write me a book.”

Around age nine and a half,  I wrote my very first novel. I spent nearly every day that summer in the spare room of my grandma’s house handwriting each page. I had over a hundred pages by the time the summer is over. I love my characters and the story line is fun.

I handed it to my dad and told him it was done.

Age 10: I flipped through a creative magazine, searching for a publisher for my novel. Yes, I was only 10 years old, but I wanted to publish. How else could I become an author? I didn’t forget that I was from a small town in the Central Valley of California, that I was born into a family who had never published or who wasn’t connected, that our town was known more for it’s meth habit than it’s creative successes. I remembered all of this and decided that it made me stronger, more tenacious. This tenacity stuck with me as I prepared my materials and the tenacity stuck with me throughout the rest of my life.

I gathered a few names of publishing houses and researched how to query them. Yes, I was 10. I learned how to write a query letter and how to prepare my manuscript.

I’d prepared my entire manuscript as neatly as possible. I spent time on my mom’s typewriter, carefully crafting the perfect words for my query letter. I attached it to the top of my manuscript and asked my mom to purchase a large manila envelope for me and I asked her what a SASE was. I addressed it, by hand, and bought postage for it.

My manuscript was sent off in the mail to New York. I would wait patiently, hoping for the positive response to come.

                          

The positive response never came. Instead I got a very formal, standard rejection letter stating that my manuscript wasn’t what they were looking for at the time. I don’t know if they acknowledged that I was 10 years old. I don’t know if they were amused. At least they had the courtesy to send me a letter. The rejection taught me an early lesson about the business of publishing.

I stopped writing novels after that. I went through life, tripping through bouts of creativity and falling flat on my face with fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of the audience laughing at me in the plays I acted in, despite the fact that I loved performing. Fear of people reading my work and hating it, or even fear that they would love it and find out I was a fraud. I had been rejected.

And fear drove my life for many years.

                        

I only rediscovered my tenacity. I knew it was there, underneath piles of rejection, tucked away in a box covered with cob webs, waiting to be opened. I found it after feeling a bit caged by the fear that dictated certain creative decisions. And I unwrapped it slowly, carefully, wondering if someone would see me and call me a fraud. The Fraud Police was lurking around the corner. I just knew it.

But I decided to be brave, despite it all. What if I started again and the Fraud Police didn’t come knocking on my door? What if it was a great success like I’d hoped my writing would be as a child? What if, beyond the idea of success, people read what I wrote and loved it and connected with it like I had connected with all those wildly entertaining books I read as a child? For me, that would be true success.

What if I stopped worrying about everything for a moment and just shoved everything out of my mind for a moment: the fear of rejection, the fear of the Fraud Police, the fear of failure. More importantly, what if I stopped worrying about the possibility of success for just one moment so I could blossom into the writer I was born to be?

                        

These journeys are important. The lows are just as important as the highs. They teach us how to be tenacious. They teach us how to be strong. They give our work substance and character and they force us to keep working, even when our work isn’t looking like we know it should.

Being tenacious means we respect ourselves enough to keep going and it means we have hope that one day our work will matter.

                        

Do you remember the first time you were rejected for your creativity? Have you bounced back from that moment?

Photo: Getty Images

The Importance of a Good Blogging Community

Like most good bloggers, I’m multi-tasking. I’m cooking breakfast and reading a fellow bloggers’ newest post. Over the past few weeks, I’ve connected to a number of other bloggers through a SITS Girls Community Building event. I loved it and I wanted to share some of the blogs of the cool ladies I’ve connected with. But more importantly, I wanted to tell you how important it is to find some kind of blogging community when you start a blog of your own.  When I first started blogging, it felt very lonely. Hell, even last year, blogging felt lonely. Meeting these women during the past few weeks has actually made me feel less isolated, more inspired, and has given me a fresh love for something I’ve been doing a very long time.

Some of the wonderful bloggers I met during the SITS Blogging Community Building event have great blogs. I wanted to share some of them with you. Visit their blogs and follow them on Twitter. Tell them I sent you!

Megan @ The Walker Fireside Chats

Lynette @ Victoria Secret Window

Amanda @ The B’s

Nicki @ Lewis Lane Designs

Lana @ Two Teens and Their Mama

Links I Love

A few years ago I started collecting links I love to share with my readers and Facebook fans. It’s fun for me to do and it also gives you something to browse through during your Monday. Enjoy!

orlsinky 005 Links I Love

My parents live and work in Alaska for part of the year. We’ve toured Nome, Alaska, where the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race passes through and finishes. The Iditarod is a 1,049 mile trek through some of the nation’s most extreme wilderness. The New Yorker featured some photos of sled-dogs, some of which are trained for the Iditarod.

As a blogger, my job is to constantly document everything using my phone and computer. The writer of this piece describes why I love documenting everything: “It’s wonderful that we all have instant access to an artistic practice that was once expensive and elitist.” I totally agree. I don’t agree with the author that the practice of doing this is “monstrous”, but we do need a break to actually enjoy life (and most importantly, the people) around us from time to time. Here’s a case for why we should put our phones down.

Beyonce talks about how women can have it all, including sex. (And they can like it.)

This piece explains how debt collectors have been manipulating your mood long before Facebook.

This girl is a) the cutest thing I’ve seen all week and b) singing the Curvy Girls Anthem. Her name is Meghan Trainor and her song is called “All About That Bass.” With lines like “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” and “I got…All the right junk in all the right places”, what’s NOT to love? Just listen to it and tell yourself that EVERY INCH OF YOU IS PERFECT. Because it is.

The Best Part About Dating a Guy Who Loves Dogs

20140618 153553 56153172 The Best Part About Dating a Guy Who Loves Dogs

There’s nothing like this little face to cheer me up.  Thanks to the boyfriend, who takes Olive out as much as I do, I now have the energy to keep up with her again. And more than anything, to enjoy her. No naps yet, though.

The best part of dating a guy who loves dogs is that it’s been fun to see her bond with him. Every day when he comes over after work, it’s like he’s visiting Olive. (She has no idea he’s there for me.) Every time he buys her a new toy, she parades it around the house like she’s the most loved dog ever. (She is.) I love it.

The other day, I started to wonder if Olive was bonding with him so much that she was starting to love him more than me. Impossible, I thought. I mean, I raised her from puppyhood! But when she wasn’t at her usual spot next to the bed near my feet, I went looking for her. She was by his! Okay, not to worry. But then one day when I took her out of her kennel and reached down to hug her, she didn’t come running to my arms. She went to HIS!

I’m not really hurt, guys. It’s endearing. There’s nothing that makes me laugh more than when I greet C. at the door with a kiss, only to find that Olive is trying to beat me to the punch. She’s a little cutie pie and my life has forever been changed since adopting her.