Fun Family Friday...

Yay! For Friday. My parents arrive today from Canada and I am very excited about their visit! It feels like, and has been ages since I saw my Dad, and I miss them both very much. For five days we will mooch about and chat and hang out and read and watch movies and hopefully there will be lots of California sunshine for them to enjoy.

I have already decided that this will be a guilt free holiday. No worrying whether I am getting enough work done, no stressing about what I need to do...just going to take it all in stride, enjoy our time together and have fun.

Speaking of fun. A writer friend of mine wrote me about my last blog entry. He sympathized with the difficulty there can be in changing hats so quickly back and forth between different artistic disciplines- in my case, writing and acting. He encouraged me to essentially go with the flow, allowing myself to focus on one area for a period of time and enjoy the positive results that yielded and still check in with the other, but not force it. Right now, the acting is getting a lot of my attention and going really well, and this kind and wise friend reminded me that this was a good thing. He recommended still writing of course, but not worrying about it, or as I have been told before- not turning it into an unhappy event. And that's when I realized, in conjunction with a follow up e-mail from him that I am supposed to have fun. FUN. And that all my other activities were feeding my writing life, planting seeds in my subconscious that would grow and germinate later, when the tide switches back to more writing time.

This was a really thoughtful e-mail and I greatly appreciated getting it. This year I really wanted a bigger life. Bigger place, bigger circle of community, bigger projects, bigger possibilities outside of myself and the little world of my chair and laptop that I had created. I wanted to do more and experience more and give myself some actual space, both literally and figuratively to grow. And it is happening, and it is a good thing. And I want to thank my wise writer friend for reminding me that all these things...yoga life, writer life, jewelry designer life, friend/family/lover life are all part of a larger picture...life. It's all connected. As am I.


The writing groove...

Falling out of the writing groove is easy..getting back in, not so much. Lately I am struggling with finding my writing rhythm and it makes sense why. We have a new place that we have been fixing up and settling into, visitors and have been back on the hustle. All of these things are wonderful, but the challenge of course is finding a way to keep doing all that I do...and not lose the writing.

One of my friends said recently that when he auditions, it takes his brain out of his writing and it is hard to get his head back into it when the audition is over. I know exactly what he means. Last year, I had a long stretch of uninterrupted writing time and it really allowed me to immerse myself in my work and the words were coming fast and furious. But this year, I have recommitted my efforts on a variety of fronts and my writing life has to share. I am practicing yoga again which is giving me greater patience and clarity and in general less anxiety and more joy. My mind and body really responds to a regular practice, and I am also auditioning more, and that too is yielding great results. And all of it is necessary for mind, body, soul, bank account and the aim of having a larger fuller life. I wouldn't change any of it. Except of course to be able to transition more quickly from one thing to the next. I know it can be done, lots of people wear different hats.

So tell me, what tricks do you do, to switch gears from one thing to the other without taking so much time to do so?


Oscar Night!

I admit it...I love the Oscars. I love the fashion, the fashion, the fashion...oh yeah and the movies that all these wonderful actors and actresses were nominated for. I love the movies, and I love celebrating them, but to me the Oscars are a big frothy parade of great dresses and shiny jewels, because let's face it, by now it's like the fourth award show, and so you already know pretty much what will win, and have already endured, the same tearful faux modest acceptance speech that starts out strong and ends up thanking one's attorney.

But every once in a while, there is a surprise, an acceptance speech that reminds us just how wonderful and meaningful being an artist is, and how winning the gold statue really will shape a previously under appreciated artists life. Whether it's the underdog winning over a star, the little film that could, or a someone as fabulous as Meryl Streep insisting that people give her little known co-star Taraji P. Henson a movie...there is always that moment when my eyes tear up, and my pragmatism and cynicism melt away and I wonder what designer I would wear while making my acceptance speech.


Sweet relief...

Somethings in the air...and it is not these delicious meringues which we saw in Paris. I love this picture of pink frothiness, it makes me happy. I would love to be as light as a meringue these days, but instead am finding myself and noticing that others too, are stressed. People are anxious due to the economy, couples are bickering, work seems to disappear and then reappear just when I am convinced it is gone. In short, things seem strained and tense in the world out there, and it's not just me.

What to do when this happens, this strange pervasive, things are hard feeling? Well for me, the answer is just doing. Write, walk, cook, read, watch a favorite show...all great. But the best was the other morning when I was in the middle of my ashtanga mysore practice, about an hour or more into the primary series of postures, and I suddenly felt relief. Hard earned, sweaty relief from the noise in my brain, the fatigue in my body, the heaviness in my heart that is aching for a friend going through a difficult time. Instead of anxiousness, there was calm, instead of chatter, there was quiet, and I was so grateful for my practice, so happy that I decided to start practicing again.

Today is a month since I started up my practice again and I am definitely better for it in all areas of my life. Of course this doesn't mean that when my alarm rings in the morning, that I don't want to just roll over and go back to bed. I do. Every time. But that's okay, I get up anyways and drag my bleary eyed grumpy under caffeinated self down the street, to the studio, roll out my mat and trust that the rewards will be worth the effort, and they are. And I leave lighter than I came, almost floating down the street, almost as light and pink as these meringues.


Friday night date with my career...

So it's actually Friday 13th...scary...well not really, just the economy, the state of publishing and the lack of work in general out there. What's a writer/actor/namer/designer to do?

Well, the answer in short is hustle. Meetings this week with all my people, new strategies and plans, a new commercial friendly hair cut, new head shots, letters to lit agents who have shown interest, submissions out to others who have requested it, a deadline for an outline and rough draft of a new project...and a big glass of red wine and dinner in front of my computer. It is now nearly 10:00pm and I am going to call it quits on office hours. It has been a long day starting at 8:30 and I have been at my desk since 3:00pm.

Tomorrow, back at it! But tonight...a little frozen Pinkberry with carob chips awaits!


Back on track...

New, new computer? Check. New, new monitor? Check. Car fixed? Check. At last all things seem to be working and I have gotten back on the writing horse and yesterday managed to write 750 words on my new project. It is hard to get back on the writing horse, but I did it.

Writing is like a muscle...it has to be trained and disciplined and worked out...and just like a muscle it can get soft if left alone too long or fed too much junk food...like internet gossip sites or facebook, a little is okay, but when there has been more web cruising, than writing...well that's not okay. And it is really easy to get busy doing other people's writing or spending time on the business of writing, rather than getting down to business and actually writing new material!

After almost three weeks of mysore Ashtanga yoga practice, I have seen how my body has slowly started to remember that it was once flexible and capable of doing more than just sitting at a desk. I have patiently gone 3-4 times a week, gradually building up from 70, 75, and finally today for 90 minutes of practice. I have experienced the wisdom of patience and dedication in my body and have practiced having faith that my practice will return to me and I will once more be able to do asanas that I have long forgotten how. I have trusted that all my hard work will pay off and that in the doing there will be freedom from worrying and more room and ability to do more. I think the same is true for the brain, and true for writing, and I know that for me the two are linked. To be able to write more freely, to improve my outlook, to be able to sit in stillness and focus my mind are just some of the many reasons that I humbly went back to my yoga practice. And if I can take all those lessons off the mat and put them on the page...well then that would be nirvana indeed.


The Fixer...

Yesterday I just made it in my overheating smoking car to the garage. Of course it died 5 times on the way, smelled like burning rubber and just rolled into the autobody shop when I hopped out and yelled "she's gonna blow." Not because it's true...but it looked like it and Jeff had just called me a "stunt driver" and well, I was feeling a little dramatic.

The reality is that my little dirt mobile, as I call it, needs a new radiator. And maybe new brake pads. Although I would really just love it to have a shiny new coat of paint...silver maybe. After getting the bad news that it would cost close to $1000.00 we headed to The Apple store at The Grove, where the nice folks at the genius bar happily replaced my monitor and laptop. And I do mean happily. Having never seen a problem like mine they were giddy in only the way a techie can be to diagnose and treat a new problem.

As for me...I am done with problems, and will now only accept solutions. Got a problem in the apartment? Fix it. Problem with a project? Fix it. Trouble with a particularly challenging yoga posture? Fix it. And the same is true for my brain. Worried about a new writing challenge? Agent representation? Talent insecurities? Fix them. By doing, not worrying, not over thinking, not procrastinating. Doing. As if it were easy. After all, why can't it be easy? If I tell myself this enough I just might believe it, and believing is more than half the battle.



I don't know how a week has passed since my last blog. Okay I do...I have my mother in law visiting, so there has been less time in the office and more time visiting, I had a jewelry show that I was preparing for, there has been a constant stream of handy men doing long overdue repairs in our apartment, my new mac has been behaving badly and I have been on tech support, my car looks like it has died and I shot a spec pilot this weekend where I got the call, got the script and was shooting 3 hours later...and still managed to take a family trip to wine country in Solvang yesterday!

I am tired and feel a little saturated from all the treats that hanging with company brings, but it has been a great visit and I wish for my mother in law that there was more sun and less rain. But really more than anything, I want to not have any more things to fix on my list and just lock myself inside my office and start on my new project.

A new project. hmmmmm heaven.


My new office!

Well at last we have set up our new apartment and I am loving it! We managed to get it done just in time for our first visitor who will be with us for 9 days! Good thing we have the extra room.

There are still little things to be done, like getting all the doors to close and hanging paintings and mirrors and getting new light fixtures...but for the most part is is complete, and it feels so good not to be surrounded by chaos!

Here is a peek of my new office. It has it's own little bathroom that isn't quite done yet and I still need blinds...but I love it. Jeff painted the walls a light purple as it is in the prosperity corner of our home and purple is supposed to be good for that. I hope so. With things as slow as they are in the acting world and the freelance market tight...a little...okay a lot of prosperity would be a good thing...now that we have a bigger place and all!



Okay, so one of the things that I have learned about myself is that I need to be accountable to someone other than just me when it comes to getting projects done. This applies to all projects, whether they be personal or professional, meeting deadlines and goals is always easier if I announce them to someone else. It's why I love taking courses, because not only do I love studying and learning in the company of others, but I know that I will accomplish more when I have to. So how to still accomplish when there is no one keeping track but me?

Well, this week I am taking part in not one but two accountability groups. The first is with a great group of talented gals that I met on line and then in person through Rochelle Shapiro's personal essay writing course, and the other is with a dear friend of mine who is also a self employed, self motivated, actor/writer ...and a virtual doppelganger except for the fact that she is 15 years younger. But all of us women share a desire to achieve more, do more, write more and so starting today we began the week by announcing our goals to each other with the intention that they will be met by our self imposed deadlines, of one to two weeks.

I think this is a great idea! And I really believe it will work, after all none of us wants to disappoint the other and knowing that we are out here in cyber space cheering each other on, is a great help indeed.
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