Thursday, August 30, 2012

The good things

I've had a terrible year as some of you know, but good things have happened, as they do, and I want to do a happy dance for some wonderful moments this summer.
Is this not the happiest little typewriter you ever saw? This bright watercolor surprised me when I opened an envelope with a note from writer/artist Faith Pray at Sacred Dirt, which read in part: "I offer a teeny bit of book swag and a very small painting I did to fuel your writing muse."

And there I was with a smile painted all over my face.

I admit my writing muse has been MIA, most likely due to the stress and grief I've been through, but I hope to keep working around that. In September, I'm attending the SCBWI's working retreat for a few days in LA. Anybody going?
I've decided to leave this next photo as mysterious to you as it was to me: Easter Island comes to Venice Beach.
Not only giant heads but a carnival hit town that weekend. Except hardly anybody was on the rides, which looked time-shifted from the 1970s. It felt like something Ray Bradbury could've turned into a spooky story.
We had a block party on our walk street, too. Venice Beach has residential streets that are pedestrian-only, with vehicle access in alleys behind homes.

It was fun, chatting, watching kids run about, eating. The food was amazing. I made these strawberries filled with cream cheese (just a tad of vanilla and sugar added) and sprinkled with sliced almonds. Big hit--easy, pretty and like healthy cheesecake.

I met this colorful, friendly lady who vacations on her yacht in the marina during summer and lives in the desert Southwest other times of the year. Like me, she's had bouts with skin cancer, so she walks with this gorgeous purple parasol.
I love when someone turns an obstacle into a celebration.
And, look! A guy reading on the beach! Doesn't this make your writerly, readerly hearts flutter?
I hope everyone had a happy summer. May fall bring us a cornucopia of goodness.

And I have to mention a couple of book releases coming right up:  THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET by Shelley Moore Thomas and Natalie Bahm's THE SECRET UNDERGROUND. Two fantastic writers who will make the middle-grade readers in your life happy when you buy these books.


Jemi Fraser said...

Love the typewriter! :)

And those strawberries look soooooo good! definitely going to try that out! My family will love it :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jemi: Isn't that the best typewriter? Have it in front of my computer table now.
yes, go get some berries and slather them up!

Bish Denham said...

The little typewriter that could... so sweet! And all the other pictures, the strawbs, the purple umbrella, the guy reading...

I'm glad you were able to see and capture the bright spots when they happened.

Golden Eagle said...

That is the sweetest typewriter. :)

Those strawberries look delicious; and I love the woman's parasol. What a great way to flip that into a positive.

Wonderful pictures!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Bish: "The little typewriter that could" Ha! I like that so much I may have to print that above my computer table, too. "I think I can, I think I can..."

Eagle: That's what I liked so much about that lady, as well. She was so out there, enjoying life.

Phoenix said...

I made similar cheesecake-stuffed strawberries for a church event a few weeks back and they were a huge hit, too!

I will also be reading on the beach tomorrow (Zuma Beach, in Malibu) and I'll think of you, and how you, of all the people I know through the blogosphere,deserve good, good things, not just once in a while, but every day.

I hope things continue to climb uphill in your life. Hugs and wishing you all the best. - Phoenix

Stephanie Thornton said...

Wow! I've never heard of stuffed strawberries, but they look delectable! I'm going to have to try that!

Faith Pray said...

Thank you, Tricia! I'm glad the typewriter is giving you a little happy spot in such a difficult season.
I love your photo journal. The snippets of life through your eyes are beautiful and surprising.
And the strawberries look like my kind of dessert! I can't wait to try them.

Sarah Laurence said...

It's good to see that you are getting back to writing.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Phoenix: Oh yum, the strawberries! I may need to make some just to eat them again.
I'm floored by your kind words. Thank you so much for that, and have a fantastic day reading at the beach. Pretty much heavenly, right?

Stephanie: Yes, yes,yes. Berries of goodness. :)

Faith: The painting's giving me a BIG happy, every time I look up and see it. Thank you again.
I'm also pleased you like my photo-journal style. I worked at a newspaper and I love haiku. I guess I see life in a mix of images and words. One of my great pleasures is discovering the little things.

Sarah: I hope I am! It's time.

Megan Frances Abrahams said...

Your photos really capture summer. That's great your writing muse is back. I wish I could go on the writer's retreat. Someday...
Thank you for commenting on my blog. I've been very negligent about it recently, so I'm relieved to know there are still readers out there.

Julie Dao said...

Beautiful, summery photos! Those strawberries look amazing. Glad you're finding some light and smiling a bit even with your heavy heart. Hope that light and smiling come a little easier each day. Enjoy your weekend! <3

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Megan: I'm grateful I didn't lose summer entirely and have an amazing camera in my iphone, always in my pocket. I've been slowing down on blogging, too, but I don't think I'll ever give it up. It's a wonderful place for musing and sharing.

Julie: You will love the berries, and thank you! Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Donna said...

What a darling typewriter. I hope it inspires you. It reminds me of my first--a little one that my mother bought second-hand and lacquered turquoise for me.

Liza said...

Love the reading on the beach photo! I did that yesterday, until the wind blew my umbrella inside out. I had a lot sand in my hair this morning. Hope you are doing okay, Tricia.

LynNerdKelley said...

Hello Tricia! Oh, those strawberries look so yummy. Wish I wasn't allergic to them. Sounds easy to make and delicious and healthy!

Yay for you going to the Working Writers Retreat. That's my favorite SCBWI event. I'd be MIA from writing, too, if I was grieving like you are. It takes time. I'm glad you live in such a beautiful place. I think being so close to the beach and the ocean would be soothing and healing. I hope so. Take care, Tricia!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: I remember you talking about that turquoise typewriter. It must have been a treasure.

Liza: You're a tough reader to hang in until the wind was that strong! I love the tenacity. :)

Lynn: Bummer to be allergic. Can you eat any berries?
Thanks for the kind thoughts. I'm looking forward to the retreat. But I still have to get my pages ready!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Man, all those pics looks great! And i am super excited for fall. I love the food and the clothes and the weather!

LisaAnn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father. It sounds like my chrysalis post is certainly applicable to you, too. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you undergo your transformation.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sarah: I love fall, too, the way the air gets crisp and clean. Maybe I'll go for a mini-trip, a drive somewhere next month.

LisaAnn: You are so right about the chrysalis. I'm ready to fly. :)

Angela Ackerman said...

Hi pat, I'm sorry this year has been a difficult one. But one thing I love about you is your attitude and ability to hang onto the silver lining. I loved seeing your happy moments this summer! :)