Saturday, July 30, 2011

We interrupt this Weekend to Share a Link...

We have friends and dogs visiting for the weekend, but I just wanted to share a link to a great post by Helen Ginger, over at her Straight from Hel blog.

It contains links to an article about how to publish your own ebook - including purchasing ISBN numbers and formatting in html. Really interesting and informative stuff... thanks, Helen, for sharing your find!

What blogs have caught your eye lately? And what are you doing to enjoy this wonderful weekend weather? Whatever you're doing, enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Following a Dream

As you may know, my "day job" is as a magazine editor, for CapeWomenOnline magazine. We publish online five times a year, with seven distinct sections of articles and information. Currently, I'm in the midst of gathering articles for the upcoming Fall 2011 Issue which will be available online in September.

One of our regular "features" is our Living the Dream articles. For each issue we feature a woman who has made the leap to follow her dreams and do what she loves. We've showcased artists and college coaches, writers and shopkeepers. All of them women who made the leap to do something they love, instead of merely "working."

In the current issue, we feature Nancy Nicol, a Wellfleet artist who has been living the dream for a while now, and wrote her own article to explain her perspectives on life - read it here.

For the Fall issue, we're scheduled to go interview Katherine Fenwick, an artist down in Provincetown who recently made the leap to open her own gallery space and spend all her time making and selling art. The publisher and I went to her opening night party in June, and during the course of the evening she graciously agreed to let us use one of her paintings as our lead image for the summer issue.

That's the artist in the blue shirt, chatting with some of her guests. Katherine has a great story, having grown up in Kentucky, and moving to Cape Cod by way of New York City. A temporary "just for the summer" job left her in Provincetown for the last decade or so, but she found herself sucked into the swirl of working to make ends meet and not creating art. She told me that for the last nine years she's spent all her time tending bar and almost none creating art.

This winter she took the leap and rented gallery space. This summer she is living her dream and working that space.

Her new desk looks nothing like a bar. There's also a working space on the other side of the gallery, set up for her to paint all day as she mans her gallery/studio. I'm looking forward to another trip to P-town to see how her summer is going, and hear about the challenges and pleasures of living the dream.

How about you? Are you someone who is living your dream? Or working your way toward it? If you could choose any job in the world, what would it be?

Monday, July 25, 2011

More photos from Procrastination Camp

My stay at Camp Procrastination continues for yet another week, and what Camp Experience can be complete without campfires and s'mores?

For those who don't know, a "s'more" is a confection created with roasted marshmallows squished between squares of graham cracker and squares Hershey's chocolate bars, piled together to make a warm, toasty dessert. According to Camp legend, they were thus named because you always want "Some More" of them - s'more, get it?

Anyway, the trick is to toast the marshmallow golden without letting it catch on fire. And without catching your stick on fire. Or your hair.

While a big neighborhood beach bonfire is planned for later in the summer (and yes, of course I'm on that planning committee as well - when do I ever say no?) for Procrastination Camp, my backyard fire pit has to suffice. The kids don't seem to mind at all.

Everything is more fun at night by the light of the campfire. Even Procrastination.

What are you doing this week to celebrate Summer?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Procrastination Camp

I know I've been MIA for more than a week... and what a long week it's been.

I left Cape Cod last weekend to take two of the kids to Camp - the oldest to a 4-day intensive basketball camp and the youngest to Girl Scout camp up in New Hampshire. You'd think with the house half empty I would have gotten a lot of writing done... not the case at all.

It's like I went to Camp, too. Procrastination Camp. I mean, I tried to sit at this keyboard but found myself distracted by the rest of my to do list.

I spent a beautiful morning weeding my community garden plot. I also balanced the pool chemicals and vacuumed out the algae, mowed the entire yard, bleached the walls and ceiling of the kids' bathroom and hung new shower curtains, took the dogs to run with their friends one morning at the field, dusted everything in the living room, cleaned my daughter's room and found that journal she wanted to take to camp but couldn't find, cleaned and organized my own desk (I can stretch out my legs underneath it again!) ...

... the week wasn't wasted but it wasn't quite how I envisioned it.

Summer has been bad for my writing this year. I'm not sure why; I've had plenty of moments of quiet and stretches of solitude. But life beckons me away from my desk, telling me there are other things to be done.

And MEANWHILE I wait oh so patiently to hear from the last agent on my list, who holds a full manuscript of my young YA mermaid book... and then I hear on the radio that Stephanie Meyers - yes, that Stephanie Twilight Meyers - is coming out with a Mermaid Project. That Mermaids are the new Vampires. And here I sit grinding my teeth and shouting, "I knew that 2 years ago!" at my radio. Will that mean my project will get picked up? Or deemed a copy cat? I had an agent last year who really really liked the story, but had another author already on his list writing a mermaid project so he "didn't want to cannibalize his own list." I get that, but still. It hurt.

What to do? Wait, I guess. Write more, is what I always tell others but I'm finding it hard to focus.

What do you do when you find it hard to focus? To sit down and write? BICHOK - Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard - easier said than done sometimes. Any advice will be most welcome ;-)

Except, I can't write today either. I have to go over the bridge once again to pick up my daughter in New Hampshire. And I can't wait to hear all about Camp!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Puppy Thinks About Kayaking

Over the long holiday weekend, we spent a lot of time at my mother-in-law's lake house. Puppy got to tag along with us Saturday, and was fascinated by the small boats the kids were using all afternoon. She sniffed them bow to stern, and swam after the kids as they paddled around close to the shore.

She even planted herself in the water in between the boats, as if to say, "I want to try this! Take me for a ride!"

Alas, she is too big and heavy for the kayaks. Last summer, when she was a bunch smaller, I took her out in the canoe and she nearly capsized me at that point. So I didn't believe her when she claimed to want to go for a ride this year.

Besides, she would have spilled our beverages. Because when it was time for the adults to take a spin in the kayaks, we took full advantage of the built-in drink holders!

Maybe next time, Puppy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrating the Fourth

My neighborhood holds its own annual Fourth of July parade, a tradition that's been going on for at least the last 11 years that we've been here. One family started it, but over the years it has grown in size, and now the entire neighborhood eagerly anticipates it, some setting out lawn chairs to watch the parade roll past their home... and really, don't blink or you'll miss the whole thing.

The parade kicked off a little after 6 p.m., led by a decorated vehicle blasting patriotic music through the open windows. The "start car" is then trailed by an assortment of bicycles, strollers, wagons, scooters... and the Red Cup Brigade. It's totally a family affair, but since it's a private neighborhood, and it's cocktail hour... well, of course we all brought our wine (or beer!) along!

The neighborhood streets were lined with spectators young and old, and many small children who merged with the parade as it rolled past their homes.

Most of the kids dressed up and decked out their vehicles for the occasion!

The Chatham parade may have the tiny Shriner cars, but we had a pink electric Barbie Jeep, decorated with red, white and blue trimmings.

(Sometimes the simplest costumes are the best...)

Some of the crowd were also dressed in festive attire, all with libations in hand to toast the parade. It was a great time to greet old friends and exchange holiday hellos throughout the neighborhood.

Sometimes it's the little things that make us the happiest. My family skipped the big parade in Chatham this year, but I wouldn't miss the neighborhood parade for anything!

What did you do to celebrate the Fourth of July?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Check Out the Summer Issue of CapeWomenOnline magazine

The Summer 2011 Issue of CapeWomenOnline magazine is here, just in time for your summer reading pleasure! For inspiring stories of artist journeys, roads to publication, and women making the leap to run their own businesses, check out our magazine!

Our lead image is entitled "Cheese Slice in Paradise," by Provincetown artist Katherine Fenwick. The publisher and I went to the opening of her new gallery and studio last month, and fell in love with her tongue-in-cheek images and humorous take on traditional still life paintings. For more of her artwork, check out her website at

The Cape is celebrating several important anniversaries this summer as well - The National Seashore turns 50, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) turns 35, Cape Cod Museum of Art turns 30, and the WE CAN center turns 10! We have stories and insights on all these events and more, to inform and inspire our readers.

Take a look, check it out, and send us an email to let us know what you think!