Monday, June 27, 2011

Feelin' Groovy


Like most children of the seventies, I grew up listening to the incredible music of Simon and Garfunkel. My mother even played some of their songs on the guitar which pleased her three daughters! We had fun singing along to our favorite -- Feelin' Groovy

When I had children of my own, my husband began singing his favorite Simon and Garfunkel song -- Sounds of Silence -- as a lullaby to our children. At a young age they knew all the words -- or at least enough to prompt Daddy if he skipped a part. 

When my youngest son was three or four, I took a photo of him dancing down the hillside amongst the flowers on Table Mountain, dressed in his pink rubber boots and his favorite tie-dyed shirt. Whenever I looked at that photo, the words and music to Feelin' Groovy played in my head. It was the inspiration behind this painting -- done as a class assignment. Mort fell in love with it (sentimental Simon and Garfunkel fan that he is), and now the painting hangs in his office at work. 

We are confident that our daughter will sing Simon and Garfunkel songs to her two children as well!




Feelin' Groovy painted by Lacie Myers 2008



Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.


Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I've come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy.

Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy. 




What is your favorite Simon and Garfunkel song?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Nature of Durham, California


This morning I went for a walk in the country --which in my case means out the front door and down the street. I was alone -- just me and my camera. Since a picture truly is worth a thousand words, I 'll stop writing now. Here is a visual representation of ten things I love about living in Durham:








Some of these photos are taken in my yard and the rest  just down the street.







This post is dedicated to my father.

Have A Beautiful Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The List

I don't claim to be an authority on anything about books. Wait! I am an authority on "Books Lacie Loves," but even that is changing all the time.


As a young girl it was:        
                   The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
                   Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
                   The Little Lame Prince by Miss Mulock


As a college student it was:                 
                    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
                    The Origin by Irving Stone         


As a young mother it was:
                   Charlotte's Web by E.B.White
                   Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
                   Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery


As a not-so-young mother it was:
                   Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
                   The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
                   Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Now it is:
                   The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
                   Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier


So what does it take for a novel to make it to the Lacie Loves List? Well...




First, it has to be intelligently written (at least for it's time period), and by that I don't mean that it includes a bunch of words I have to look up.


Second, the description has to be effective enough that it transports me to another place or time.


Third, it has to make me feel something deeply enough that I change in some positive way because I read THAT book.


Fourth is actually icing on the cake: metaphors, metaphors, enough to make me say, "wow" like I am witnessing some wonder for the first time.


I know I am asking a lot, but there are plenty of writers out there who know how to deliver. I am indebted to them for much of my perspective on life.
                
Since we receive most of our book recommendations from other people, whether family, friends, or librarians, it's good to keep those recommendations circulating. Tomorrow I will be adding a side bar to this blog titled Book Recommendations. If you are reading this, I would like to add your favorites to the list.


Post the title(s) in the comment section below. It's easy! And I will be so excited!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Possession Review

I finished the book last night--Possession by Elana Johnson. Right now I am thinking that book reviews are a bit silly. I can't say most of the things I'd like to without spoiling the story for everyone else. But here are a few things I can say:


1. Elana Johnson presents some intriguing ideas about how technology might be used in the future.


2. She knows how to keep readers up way past their bedtime.


3. Her book made me feel the same way I do when I watch the TV series, Fringe! It raised as many questions as it answered. 


4. When the companion novel to Possession is released in 2012, I'll be reading it to see what Elana  Johnson does next. (When I'm not on the couch watching Fringe


The question is........What should I read next? Any suggestions?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beautiful Illustrations



One happy day I learned about an illustrator named Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931). She only lived 31 years, but her beautiful illustrations are kept alive by every new person who falls under their enchantment. I am one of those people. A copy of this painting hangs in my studio to inspire me:

    Blondine and the Tortoise by Virginia Frances Sterrett 1920
    From Old French Fairy Tales



    I love the subtle variations of color, detailed patterns, and expressive lines. I can visualize how someone might accomplish all this with modern acrylic paints (you can wipe them off and repaint if you make a mistake), but all her work is done in watercolor! She died years before I was born, but I would have liked to spend and afternoon in her studio witnessing her brilliance and asking her questions.

    She illustrated three children's books:
    • Old French Fairy Tales by Comtese de Segur  (1920)
    • Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne  (1921)
    • Arabian Nights  (1928)

    To see the rest of her paintings, go to: sterrett.artpassions.net

    The books she illustrated are all in the public domain and can be viewed and downloaded by anyone. 

    Go to: http://www.archive.org/details/oldfrenchfairyta00sgrich


    Friday, June 10, 2011

    All Sixes and Sevens

    Many of you know that my son, Shane, is a musician. When he was thirteen, after seven years of classical piano lessons, he decided to play the guitar instead. He taught himself, as did two of my other children, and then he and a few friends started a rock band. They stayed together through junior high and high school, with a few minor changes in band members. They practiced in garages, living rooms, back yards, and bedrooms, learning the songs of their favorite rock groups.

    Nicho Ocampo, Nate McKeever, Taylor Bradley, Shane Myers
    (photo by Sid McNulty)


    They chose the name All Sixes and Sevens, worked hard together and began writing their own music and lyrics. They played at school dances, community events, local cafes, a few fundraisers, and participated  in a few local band competitions. They had very limited funds for equipment, but still managed to make some great music and establish a modest local fan base. During their senior year of high school they had a professional recording made of their original compositions, resulting in their first album, Flipside.




    Almost eight months ago Shane left on a two year mission to Romania, and the band began a two year break. The other band members are attending college, and all look forward to more music together in the future. Sometimes when I am missing Shane I listen to that CD just to hear his voice and music filling my house again.


    Click the gray arrow below to hear one of my favorites, Foolhardy Son, words and music by Shane Myers, performed by All Sixes and Sevens





    Thanks for the great music guys!

    If you are already a fan, which song is your favorite? Post it in the comments section, and I can spotlight it in a future post.



    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Twenty Four !!!!!!

    shelves in my studio


    I just counted all the writing books I own (not including dictionaries and thesauri)  I HAVE  TWENTY- FOUR!!!!! Only two of them are left from my college days, so that means I have been doing my part to support my local Barnes & Noble. And yes! I have actually read almost all of them. 

    Tonight I have been enjoying Writing Begins with the Breath by Laraine Herring. It's like "writer's yoga"-- 30 minutes of reading it and I am calmer, breathing more deeply, and eager to write from the depths of my soul.

    Here's a great quote from pg. 61: "The cycle of our breathing sustains our lives. We complete this cycle over 25,000 times per day. This consistency of breath -- inhale, pause, exhale, pause -- is our body's engine. The consistency of our writing practice will sustain the heart of our writing lives. We must show up and put pen to paper over and over and over again, whether we feel inspired or not."


    This is sound advice for anything we wish to accomplish in our lives.


    Have you read any good writing books?



    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Trees, Trees, Trees............

    I should offer a prize to the person who keeps track of how many times I mention trees on this blog. It will probably be often, so if you have something against trees, well...you've been warned.


    When you were a kid did you have a certain doodle or drawing you did over and over? Did it come out of the end of  your pencil or crayon every time you picked it up, without you even thinking? Maybe you were like me and it was the only thing you felt confident drawing? When I was a kid my trademark doodle was this:

                                                                                                 
    And yeah, it didn't even include a body!


     Today, even though I can draw lots of things, I still have a trademark doodle:


    And yeah, most of the time it doesn't have any leaves!


    Trees (even without their leaves) make me feel things that I cannot explain with words. That happened one spring while walking at the Tree Farm in Chico. At times like that, I  just have to paint!


    Canopy     by Lacie Myers 2009

    If you have a signature doodle you'd like to share, paste it in the comments section, or email it to laciemyers7@gmail.com

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Snorkelsnitz Shares A Mad Lib

    A fellow blog reader sent this to share:


    Advice to Prospective Parents:

    Congratulations to all of you *mildewed* mothers and *grungy fathers*. You are about to give birth to a *gold medal*. Remember, a happy child comes from a happy *seat belt*. The arrival of your *carburetor* will cause many *collapsed* changes in your life. You’ll probably have to get up at four a.m. to give the little *heater* its bottle of *leathery* milk and change his or her *bridges*. Later, when he or she is *1 million hundred* years old and able to walk, you’ll hear the patter of little *ethyl chloride drops* around the house. And in no time, your child will be talking *spookily* and calling you his or her “*pump organ*,” and saying things like, “*Holy torpedo juice!*” right to your face. It’s no wonder they are called little bundles of *squirrel gizzards*.






    A New Book to Read:

    By new, I mean it won't even be on the bookstore shelves until June 7th. But let me back up... 

    Mother's Day weekend I attended my first writing conference -- LDStorymakers Writing Conference. I went with an open mind and simple expectations: 

                            1. learn something new about writing and publishing
                            2. get away from home
                            3. have someone else prepare my meals

    On this rare occasion, I got everything I wanted! I spent two days enjoying classes taught by various published authors, presentations given by literary agents and publishing representatives, meeting people who love to write, and eating great food. I learned so much that I am still digesting it all (not my food). Elana Johnson, successful blogger and young adult writer, taught one of my favorite classes. She also passed out cards announcing the June 7th release of her debut novel, Possession, and I have been looking forward to it ever since. Chapters 1 and 2 were available to read online, and they hooked me. Wednesday morning I ordered the book at Barnes & Noble, and 24 hours later it was in my mailbox! I was thrilled! I had her novel sitting on my counter and it wasn't even available in stores yet!  Cheap thrills, I know. 


    Anyway........ if you like fiction......... if you like adventure........ if you like to play with ideas about future life on this planet (no, not aliens)..........try reading POSSESSION by Elana Johnson. 


    I'm reading it. I'll let you know how it is.



    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Mad Libs

    Don't you just hate grammar? In the Myers household we learn grammar by doing Mad Libs -- by Roger Price and Leonard Stern. We even try to improve the grammar of our house guests by doing Mad Libs with them. The result of all this play with words is a collection of outlandish little stories. We must give credit to the clever people who come up with the framework for the stories. (I want to meet someone who has that writing job!) Today my son and I did one especially for "The Blog."


    MAD LIBS
    SPECIALTY OF THE HOUSE

    Here is chef Allyson's award-plunging recipe for 
    Roast Earlobe of Meerkat:  Choose an earlobe weighing about 421 knitting needles. Remove excess glue stick. Add 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and neglected. Season with 2 tablespoons of chopped split pea soup. Add a tablespoon of cough syrup. Sprinkle with a touch of putrefied salt. Add a pinch of ground puce hair clip. Cook at 350 flowerpots for 925 minutes. Remove from the oven when the skin is mauve. Serve with mashed mixing bowls and a lampshade.
     (note: Underlined words were added by us.)

    Since it's June and still raining, try Mad Libs and create some indoor sunshine! If one of yours turns out especially funny, email it to me or type it in the comments section, and I will post it. Then we can all laugh!
     
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