Uncategorized,  Week in Review

Week in Review: February 26, 2017

I typically talk about weather in this intro to the Sunday Salon. And truly, the weather has been spectacular lately. We reached a high of 80 degrees on Wednesday… In Kansas… In February.

But the record high temperatures was not the major news story of the week.

I’m sure many of you heard of the hate crime that occurred in Olathe, Kansas. A 51-year-old man, for no apparent reason, shot two men of a different race, and then shot another who tried to stop his escape.

That episode occurred two blocks from my home. Our neighborhood was on lockdown for several hours because they thought the suspect escaped on foot. I was home alone with my trusty, albeit lethargic, basset. The constant whir of helicopters circling  overhead added to the tension. I was locked in an upstairs room, watching the story unfold via FaceBook posts.

We are all still in a state of shock. This lone rogue does NOT represent the mindset of my Midwest town – just as the lone rogue who shot three innocent victims outside the Jewish Community Center in the adjacent town three years ago. This is a scary, troubled world in which we live… and for now, I simply pray for and support the victims of this senseless crime.

Reading:

I’m still reading The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. While a good story, I’m just not progressing the way I’d like – probably because I’m only reading at night before bedtime. I need to set aside time during the day to read as well.

Since I don’t have many book titles to share this week, I thought I might share a few book quotes.

One of my goals this year is to keep a writer’s notebook, which will include beautiful prose passages from other artists. In studying the craft of successful authors, I hope to improve my own writing.

I did not have the opportunity to finish Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King before I had to return it to the library. I will definitely pick it up again once I return from our Europe trip. But I did find some marvelous quotes about Monet and his art.

” He (Monet) was such a renowned painter of seascapes that Rodin, seeing the ocean along the Brittany Cost for the first time, exclaimed: ‘Oh, how beautiful – it’s a Monet!'”

“They (the Impressionists) fragmented their brush strokes into flickering touches of color that seemed to dissolve their painted worlds into shimmering images.”

For those who love books – and bookstores – as much as I do, I highly recommend The Little Paris Bookshop. As I mentioned last week, I could easily picture this literary barge moored along the banks of the Seine, and I am disappointed it does not really exist. I suppose I will have to make do perusing the green boxes of the bouquinistes – and savoring these literary quotes:

“He wanted her to sense the boundless possibilities offered by books. They would always be enough. They would never stop loving their readers.”

“Max had underlined certain sentences in pencil and jotted some questions in the margins; he had read the book as a book ought to be read.”

And this one so perfectly summarizes why I love to travel:

“I’m a firm believer that you have to taste a country’s soul to understand it and to grasp its people. And by soul I mean what grows there, what its people see and smell and touch every day, what travels through them and shapes them from the inside out.”

Writing:

Every writing book, article, blog post and coach teach: Write every day. I used to think that meant hours at a time, and of course, I failed miserably.

But I’m learning progress can be made in the little pockets of time. Fifteen or thirty minutes is long enough to begin a blog post, edit a chapter, or research an idea.

In adopting this new mindset, I managed to complete a chapter in my journaling eBook, begin a new Pinterest board to collect journaling prompt ideas, formatted the Ellie’s Paris Adventure manuscript to be printed and bound, and developed a new blog post series: Leading a Student Tour to Europe.

I’ve learned I am a more consistent blogger if I have a plan. I need to know what I’m going to write several weeks out… and I need to know how the different posts relate and connect with one another. In this new series, I will share my experience as a group tour leader. I will discuss highlights and lowlights, as well as tips for traveling.

I will take a break in April to participate in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, focusing on Journaling, and then I will pick up with the Europe travels again in May. I hope you will join me on this blogging journey.

Movies:

We seem to be in a new Saturday night routine. For the second week in a row we watched a movie to get us excited for our upcoming trip. Last night we watched, Midnight in Paris.

I adore this film.

First of all, there is the cute, innocent, adorable Owen Wilson. His naiveté combined with his boyish good looks make for one excellent protagonist.

Secondly, there is the storyline. I mean, what writer wouldn’t love the idea of traveling back in time to meet such iconic artists as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, or Pablo Picasso?

But ultimately, the true lure of this film is the amazing cinematography of one of the most beautiful cities of the world. The first five minutes is worth the price of the movie. If you want a preview of Paris before traveling there … or if you enjoy a good mental game of trying to guess the location of each shot… this is the perfect film.

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