Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am thankful for this day bringing us two more genius writers that also happen to be my favorites: Mark Twain and LM Montgomery. Isn't it amazing? 5 of my favorite writers born in 2 days! If only Salinger had been premature:) I just found out today that Mark Twain wrote an autobiography that he wouldn't be allowed to be published for 100 years (must be some scandalous things in there!) anyway, he died in 1910, so the first volume came out this year! I must read it. I am presently reading the journals of LM Montgomery and they are a joy to me indeed, I highly recommend them. She holds nothing back (much like her Anne with an e) and I find comfort in her ups and downs and her difficulties and triumphs in writing. I've felt so inspired these last 2 days that I've written 22 pages...hooray the dreaded writer's block has been beaten!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I am declaring today a special holiday henceforth to be known as IMAGINATION DAY as three of history's most imaginative and wonderful writers (who happen to be my personal favorites) were all born on this same day: Louisa May Alcott, Madeleine L'Engle and CS Lewis. Happy Birthday and thank you all for your dazzling, inspiring, edifying works, from A WRINKLE IN TIME, to THE CHRONICLES of NARNIA and LITTLE WOMEN. Hip Hip HOORAY!!
Here is a little more information on these three Icons of Imagination from today's Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of Louisa May Alcott, (books by this author) born in Germantown, Pennsylvania (1832). She's the author of Little Women (1868), a book that over the last century has been adapted into numerous stage plays, an opera, a Broadway musical, several Japanese anime films, and about a dozen Hollywood movies — including movies starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, and Claire Danes.
And this 1868 children's book inspired the novel that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize: Geraldine Brooks's March (2005), which is a retelling of Little Women, this time narrated by the girls' absent father. And in 2008, a dual biography of Louisa May Alcott and her dad won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. That book: John Matteson's Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (2007).
Little Women begins:
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.
The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words.

It's the birthday of the writer who said: "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." That's C.S. Lewis, (books by this author) born in Belfast (1898), the author of the seven-volume children's series The Chronicles of Narnia, which begins with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), the story of four children sent away from London because of wartime air raids. He also said, "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
As a teenager, he went off to boarding school in England. He hated it there. He said that English accents sounded to him like the "voices of demons." Worst of all was the landscape; he first looked at it and in that moment, he said, "conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal." Also, he felt that his favorite poet, W.B. Yeats, — "an author exactly after [his] own heart" — was totally underappreciated in England. He wrote to a friend: "Perhaps his appeal is purely Irish — if so, then thank the gods that I am Irish." But despite all his disdain and contempt for England, he chose to live and teach at Oxford University for almost 30 years — while acquainting himself with other Irish people living in England as much as possible.
Besides fairy tales and children's classics, he wrote theological books, including The Screwtape Letters (1942), a novel in which a demon writes to his nephew; and The Great Divorce (1945), where residents of hell take a bus ride to heaven, and Mere Christianity (1952), based on talks he gave on the BBC during World War II.
C.S. Lewis said, "Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."

It's the birthday Madeleine L'Engle, (books by this author) born in New York City (1918), who struggled to find any success as a writer with novels about ordinary families and ordinary situations. But after reading about the ideas of Albert Einstein, she wrote a science fiction novel called A Wrinkle in Time (1962), about a group of children who have to rescue their father from a planet where individuality has been outlawed. The book was rejected by 26 different publishers, who all felt that it was too difficult for children but too fantastic for adults. But when it came out in 1962, the novel won the Newbery Medal, and it sells about 15,000 copies a year.
Madeleine L'Engle said, "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The In-between

It is hard to be Here
when I'd rather be There
hard to Wait
when I'd rather Have
hard to be Content
in deserts of unrest
and at Rest
in valleys of discontent
I have heard that it is
this longing for
The Other
and I suppose Life itself
is a lesson on
learning to live in
the in-between
with the mischievous fates
of When and Where and How
dancing in my head
breaking the vases
that Peace has so lovingly
displayed on the glass shelves
of my mind
Overturning the furniture
that Contentment has arranged
so neatly
Maybe the trick
is to stand on the sideways sofa
and see things
as I would never had seen them
if I had sat on Contentment's couch
and perhaps if I open the windows
of my heart
the Light will pour in
and reflect off the broken pieces of Peace
creating prisms of Beauty
and unexpected Joy
that could only come
from living in The In-between

Friday, November 26, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for Day After Thanksgiving Thanksgiving and for our wonderful LA family waiting a day so we could all celebrate our many reasons to be thankful together:) I loved the sharing of the food and the cooking and the cleaning together, I loved the talking and laughing and singing and dancing with that little red-headed bundle of love. I loved the look of pure joy on the faces of our dogs as they ate delicious scraps, their eyes bugging out, loved all the make-shift tables and plates and mismatched glasses and silverwear...the word that keeps coming to mind is authentic. Yes, I'm thankful for an honest to goodness, nothing fancy, authentic and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Limoncello moon

Limoncello moon
tasty nightcap for my eyes
dizzying delight

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sad Movies

I'm thankful for sad movies...the good ones...because sometimes there's nothing that feels as great as a good cry. I sobbed for the entire last 20 minutes of LOVE STORY last night -- it was beautiful and funny and sad, and Ali MacGraw had terrific fashion and Ryan O'Neal was actually charming and the dialogue was some of the most fun banter I've heard in a long time -- and it broke my heart. But the difference between a good sad movie and a and a bad one is that the good one makes you thankful to be alive, it points out how fleeting beauty can be, and reminds you to enjoy and be grateful for every moment that it lasts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I loved watching Jennifer Grey just shine on the dance floor tonight in the finale of Dancing With the Stars. I know the show makes alot of people groan -- but to see someone just get past their fears and push past the pain to create something truly beautiful, well it takes my breath away. I'm so inspired how she just went for it and it made me giddy to see her give a nod to her character "Baby" from DIRTY DANCING. Such a GREAT movie! She definitely proved that "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" I wish I could go on that show and learn to dance like that! But I suppose Dancing WIth the Writers wouldn't get many viewers:)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ode to a Saltine

Square, salty and pale
oh you never fail
to heal my hurt tummy
with a crunch that is yummy
Toast is too plain
and rice is a pain
but your box is so easy
even when I am queasy
I can open a pack
and eat a safe snack
Whether two or a plateful
for saltines I am grateful!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Under the frosted panes

I love hotels with indoor pools! The smell of the chlorine, the echos of splashing water and squeals of joy -- it always takes me back to being a little kid when an indoor pool seemed like the epitome of luxury and opulence, royal even. It didn't matter if the rooms were uncomfortable and threadbare -- that hotel was a palace if it had an indoor pool. Tonight Ryan and I swam around under a giant glass dome with the full moon shining like a spotlight through the frosty window panes and we laughed like kids and had so much fun we got kicked out because it was too late. Yep, if I were a Queen, that's how I'd end every night, swimming in my pool protected from the elements, and I would just let the stress of each day float away in the wake of my wicked sidestroke.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Haikus for a night in Connecticut

refreshing night air
cold and clear like spring water
awakens my joy

the full moon looms large
but does not overshadow
his bright sister stars

a delightful chill
dances over the still earth
winter is so near

The Ride

Sometimes I think I want
a straight and level road
so I can make sure plans
for how I'd like my life to go
like an easy steady stream
with a calm and peaceful flow

But life is more like a feather
that on the wild wind blows
sometimes breeze, sometimes gale
zigs and zags, highs and lows
and I've learned the ride is best enjoyed
when I trust and float and just let go

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Future thankful

Billboards are like trees in Los Angeles. There's whole forests of them down Ventura Boulevard and up Sunset. So today I was driving home after physical therapy thinking about how I can't wait for the day when I won't be assaulted by giant billboards for vodka and designer jeans every five feet. That's when I thought of the idea of being future thankful. I'm future thankful for all of the real trees I'll be surrounded with some day. I'm future thankful for peace and quiet and a house with alot of land to roam around and breathe in. I'm future thankful for the day when traffic and smog will seem like a distant memory and billboards a novelty. And it's funny, somehow being future thankful made me present thankful, and that was a lovely discovery:)

Monday, November 15, 2010

My movie

For a screenwriter, it's a special kind of joy to see your words live and breath and dance upon the screen -- and it's especially wonderful when people say nice things about your story. I'm thankful I saw this clip today because it made me remember why I wanted to do this job in the first place and how blessed I am that I get to do something that I love for a living. This is from a movie that I wrote called MEANT TO BE - my first to make it to the screen:)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

quiet night haiku

two puppies resting
at the bottom of my bed
peace cloaked in warm fur

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mother Nature's sense of humor

I was watching the sunset tonight and the silhouette of three palm trees in the distance made me laugh because they looked exactly like Groucho Marx -- just two big bushy eyebrows over a big bushy mustache:) It was awesome and exactly the lift I needed after a long day. I call nature my anti-Kryptonite, because whenever I'm feeling weak or down, I just get a little dose of the great outdoors, and I'm up up and away again in no time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

I'm grateful for my Dad and my Papa and for Grandma Mary (the beautiful woman in the picture above) and Grandpa Murray and all of the veterans out there who have protected our freedom and kept us safe -- Happy Veteran's Day. Thanks just doesn't seem like a big enough word. God bless you all.

Man on the moon haiku

jagged moon above
profile of a thoughtful man
glowing cameo

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pitter Pat

I just watched Oprah 's episode on Teen Heartthrobs and I'm still grinning like a twelve year old. It got me thinking of all those posters on my walls and Teen Beat magazines and button pins on my jeans jacket. The first poster I had on my wall, when I was really young, was of good old Bo Duke (John Schneider) just leaning back on his car and grinning like a mule eating briers. Yes, I guess I am a southern girl at heart. But I would have to say it was John Taylor of Duran Duran who first gave me that giddy teen feeling that he was looking at only ME when he coyly glanced at the camera in those early MTV videos. I also remember writing in my diary that I was going to marry Ricky Schroeder some day. Then came New Kids On The Block and I was actually one of those girls who stalked their hotel when they came to town, praying for a glimpse of Joey or Donny, because surely if they saw me, they'd fall in love with me too:) When I got a few years older it was al about Corey Haim and Patrick Dempsy -- I've always been a sucker for a crooked grin on a charming nerd (ahem, I'm looking at you, Ryan!) It's so awesome that no matter how many years old you are, when you hear one of those songs that first made your heart skip a beat, you still feel exactly that age again...I might have gotten rid of those mall bangs, but I'll never get rid of the memories of the hours spent listening to WILD BOYS by my beloved Duran Duran and YOU'VE GOT IT by those adorable New Kids on the Block. My husband pretty much sealed the deal that he was my real life heartthrob when he made me a video of YOU'VE GOT IT, playing all the New Kids himself (complete with awesome vests and high tops) heart still skips a beat at the thought! Yes, I'm thankful for that pitter patter feeling and for all those cute boys for each generation, from The Beatles to Bieber who helped to make those awful awkward years alot more bearable.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturn's ring

I'm thankful to have my beautiful engagement ring back on my finger after dropping it off last week for a little maintenance and shine:) I misspoke in my earlier post "Princess for ten minutes" when I said it came from a shop called The Paper Bag Princess. It is actually from a tiny, delightful store inside that one called Kurt Rothner’s Excalibur. I truly never thought I was much of a jewelry person until I discovered their vintage pieces, each one so unique, with such stories to tell. I love my ring, it is truly spectacular and it gives me such joy every time I look at it. It's funny, I've never been much of a diamond girl -- I have always prefered some color with my sparkle -- so I was thrilled and delighted when my husband knelt at the top of the Griffith Observatory and held out a gorgeous sapphire ring. It was especially meaningful because on our first date, at that very observatory, we got to view Saturn and it's rings through a powerful telescope -- and when I enthused about Saturn and it's beautiful rings, Ryan said to me "Someday I'll get you one of Saturn's rings..." I was charmed when he said it, but I had no idea he was actually going to stick to that promise. You see, sapphires represent Saturn in gemology -- so he actually did get me Saturn's ring. And now, two years later, it circles my finger, a perfect reminder that the sky's the limit when it comes to true love:)


Last night I had the great joy of attending an award show for an amazing organization called FREE THE SLAVES. It was a treat to sit in the front row so close to all the celebrities - Forrest Whitaker, Ashton and Demi - and to see amazing performances by The Agape Choir and one of my favorites, Jason Mraz. But even better than the celeb sightings and music was getting to witness some truly miraculous stories about people spending their lives working to free slaves. I was astonished to learn that there are 27 million slaves in the world -- more than any other time in history -- in India and Africa, and more surprisingly -- in America. How could that be?? I was so thankful to have my eyes opened and hope I can be a part of spreading the word so that some day this plague on humanity may finally end. If you want to learn more, please check out
I am grateful for the physical and spiritual freedom I enjoy. And I am thankful for the former slaves I had the great joy of meeting last might thanks to the tireless efforts of some real life heroes. One of my favorite quotes of the night came from a former slave who said to his liberator "You are an answer to all of my prayers." What a beautiful thing -- I want to strive in this life to be the answer to someone's prayers -- could there be any greater joy?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sapphire sky

After the sunset
the sky is a sapphire
cool deep endless blue

Friday, November 5, 2010

Princess for ten minutes

I went to get my ring fixed at a wonderful vintage jewelry and designer clothing store in LA called The Paper Bag Princess today and it made me happy for 2 reasons -- first, because when I was in high school I competed in Storytelling (yes, it was a real competition in Kentucky:) and the story I told was from a book called The Paper Bag Princess about a princess who ends up being the hero of the story and saving the prince. Great story. The second thing that made me happy about that shop was that I got to try on a beautiful work of art of a dress, designed by Richard Tyler for Sarah Jessica Parker and beautifully hand beaded. The picture doesn't do it justice...the way the layers of nude tulle caught the light and seemed to make the dress glow from within...and those glorious pink and gold beads...sheer perfection. And the best thing about it was that I put it on and IT FIT LIKE A GLOVE! That never happens to me -- I always end up having to take in the bust and shorten the hem -- but not on this gown, this gown was made for me. Of course, at $8000, I couldn't actually take it home with me, but I loved that it was mine for ten minutes. And I love that it filled me with dreams of walking the red carpet to the Oscars and getting to wear my own perfect dress that was made for me -- one that I wouldn't have to put back on the rack. It was wonderful pretending for a few moments that I might be a woman who could afford such a dress and who could have an occasion to wear it, because as far as that sales lady knew, I might have been. And for a few glittering moments, I was.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unseen forces

Today I saw a science experiment that absolutely awed me. The scientist had a glass box with an open top and he filled it with a clear, odorless gas. This gas was so dense, however, that even though the glass box looked totally empty -- but the invisible gas was able to hold up an aluminum foil boat. The boat looked as though it were suspended in mid air -- but really it was floating along on a river of the unseen. How cool is that?? Unseen forces move the world every day and yet we get so used to them, we forget how powerful they really are. So I try to remember to look for them. To be glad that my feet touch the ground, held in place by gravity so I don't go floating away into space. To allow myself to be amazed when I think about all of the conversations that pass through me in a day from cell phone to cell phone -- waves of sound just flying by. And ever since I was a child I have been enthralled with the you couldn't see the wind itself, but you could see the things it moved, and that's how you knew it was there. CS Lewis once said that he believed in God as he believed in the sun, not because he could see it, but because by it he could see everything. That's how I've always felt about the breeze on the beach, I can't see it, but I can see how it moves everything around me -- the kites that dance, the birds that soar, the reeds that rustle. I love that if you close your eyes, you can hear it whisper, or sometimes you can hear it wail. Love how the wind seems to even have a personality, sometimes it's like a small child playing with my hair, tossing it into my eyes, other times it is wise and gentle, caressing my cheek after a good cry. Yes, I am grateful for all of the unseen forces in my life -- those invaluable invisibles that keep my heart, like the Earth, on its axis.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flying high

I feel a sense of great accomplishment every time I fly remembering all that I went through to get over a debilitating fear of flying, and I am so thankful to be able to fly now and to even look out the window in utter awe of the world with such a view. And I am thankful for two smooth flight this week -- both of which landed an hour earlier than scheduled! When does THAT ever happen? I don't take it for granted. I'm thankful for the understanding I have always received from my family when I was going through the fear, and I'm grateful for their prayers. I'm also thankful for my wonderful therapist Lydia and for Dr. Tom at for helping to give me the tools to work through anxiety. And I'm most thankful to my husband and his calming support and unending's so true what the scripture says "Perfect Love drives out all fear." I am human, so there are still struggles, but I rejoice in the small victories -- and this week there were two!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November night

Battleship clouds patrol the sky
as the sun fades from sight
the pastel shades whisper
but do not put up a fight
on this cool and clear
new November night