Saturday, December 25, 2010

MEGA END OF THE YEAR POST

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone! I haven't posted in a while, and thus, I have much to say. Get cozy, grab a blankie, maybe a cup of hot chocolate, sit back and enjoy.

Congratulations to the Newly Weds Roopa & Rishi
2010 was the year of weddings for my best friends and my year to be a bridesmaid/maid of honor. It was an absolute honor to stand by Sefali, Huong, and Roopa this year as they embarked on their new life journeys. Roopa and Rishi wed in an outdoor ceremony at the magnificent Eden Roc Hotel in Miami, Florida.
On Friday night Auntie and Uncle Dhawan treated us to dinner and a night of dancing on tables and throwing napkins in the air at the Greek Restaurant Taverna Opa. 


On Saturday we had a Bridal Luncheon at Fontaine Bleu. The bartenders were quite talented. Photos are courtesy of Tommie Sledge Ford.




And then after many other festivities, there was a beautiful wedding ceremony at Eden Roc's Ocean Garden, followed by an awesome reception.



And now transition.....


GOSSIP TIME: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Though I may have been vacationing here:

Author extraordinaire Stephanie Perkins transported my heart here:




 This books is light and funny. During this page turner, I totally related to the main character Anna and all of her friends at SOAP. And as Anna fell for Etienne St. Clair, totally hot French-British hybrid guy, I did too. This is an excellent feel-good read.















Aaaaand Transition....again....


Where I am with Writing

I don't have a bright shiny manuscript to top off 2010 with. But, I think I have learned a TON about writing this year. Part of my education came from reading 37 books this year (see sidebar for list). Part of my wonderful education came from the many people who critiqued my writing this year: Diane, Shane, Rebecca, Joshua- THANK YOU SO MUCH! And most importantly, part of my education came from writing, editing, re-writing, editing, re-writing, editing, re-writing. It's a never ending process really. But I feel optimistic about 2011 and can't wait to see where my writing takes me.

A Shout Out to Champion Sports Medicine

I didn't plan on tearing my ACL in March 2010. Losing the ability to skate, surgery, re-hab, etc.... it has been a loooong year. But, I want to give a shout out to Champion Sports Medicine and my therapists Ryan and Nacy. You worked tirelessly to help me get better and gave me hope. And I'd like to give a shot-out and fist pump to my trainer Dedrick. You are amazing! Thank you for kicking my butt into shape and making me believe in myself again. I will forever hear you chanting in my ear, Way to Work! Way to Work!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! See you in 2011!! Peace Out! 

P.S.
If you didn't get a White Christmas as us fortunate Alabamians, I'd like to share some snow with you:
video


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Book Shopping

I always give my ice skating students and close friends books for the holidays. I've read so many great books this year, I thought I'd share my pickings for this holiday season.

Books for a Young Teen (No swearing or sexy scenes)
I know everyone has their own opinion as to what is appropriate and inappropriate for teens. But, I feel like if I had a 12 to 14 year old, I'd be ok with them reading either of these.
Books for a Mature Teen or Adult (warning may contain sexy scenes and/or language and/or violence/scariness)
These were my all time favorites from this past year.
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

NARNIA!!!

Books make the best movies. I guess it's weird that I get so excited about seeing these movies, because it's not like I don't know what's going to happen in them. It's just so cool seeing the characters that you imagined in your head come to life on the big screen.

Tonight I'm going to see The Chronicle of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I absolutely loved the first two movies and I can't wait to see the third. In addition to the great actors and awesome scenery, I LOVE the soundtrack. It's so moving and so indicative of the adventurous fantasy realm that C.S. Lewis created. Check out the trailer (please excuse the MMA fight advertisement in the beginning. I am in no way trying to advertise for two men beating the poo out of each other).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fictional Moral Standards

Yesterday Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) and I were at Wal-Mart buying goodies for the big Sunday night football game, Steelers versus Ravens (woot! woot! Go Steelers!). As we headed for the check-out we passed a table of cakes specifically decorated in honor for the release of Eclipse the movie on DVD. Jacob, Edward, and Bella all depicted in sugary, sparkly icing.

This of course got Sarcastically Delicious ranting and wondering why so many girls swoon for Edward. I explained it probably had something to do with his impeccable manners, his immaculate teenage body, combined with the wisdom of a ninety year old.

Sarcastically Delicious balked when I said ninety, and then retorted, "So you're telling me that Edward, a ninety year old man, got it on with an eighteen year old girl?!?"

"Well, technically, they were married when that happened," I argued.

"Doesn't matter. That's sick. He's a pedophile," Sarcastically Delicious said, his face wrinkled in disgust.

Of course I vehemently argued that Edward was not a pedophile of any sort. But, if you know Sarcastically Delicious, he is not an easy person to debate with because he uses such outlandish arguments. He argued that if a 30 year old woman got stuck in the body of a baby, then according to Edward, it would be ok if Sarcastically Delicious took that baby out on a date. Because despite how the baby looks, it has the intellect and abilities of a thirty year old.

Sigh. What do you guys think?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knowing When You're Ready

December 1st was my first day back on the ice since July. After I had ACL surgery in March my surgeon cleared me to skate (in a straight line only) around last June (of course I did more than just skate in a straight line). When I got on the ice last summer it was really hard to bend and it was painful, but being as stubborn as I can be, I pushed through the pain. And in the end, it just wasn't fun. During that period I also worked too much and neglected my therapy, and then my quad atrophied. It turned into a mess. So to be blunt, I just wasn't ready to return to skating.

When I skated on December 1st (8 months after surgery) however, it was amazing, and it was pain free. I could actually move (for the most part) across the ice like I could before my injury and for the first time I saw that I had the potential to reach my former competitive form, and perhaps with a lot of hard work maybe become even stronger. As I was taking my skates off I realized that I had never been ready over the summer to hit the ice. Ice skating is just way too demanding on the knees and I hadn't been strong enough.

And of course, as in everything in life, this made me think of writing. How we often think our manuscript is ready to query. But, it's really not. But we only realize this after we've let it marinade for awhile in our drawers. Or we think our characters are developed enough in our minds, so we throw them into a plot, which is probably under-developed also, and then you just end up with a shoddy draft.

The published books that we read make it seem so easy sometimes. I don't know how one ever knows when things are ready, when they're really good enough. Sure you can have beta readers critique, and you pick and choose through their comments and suggestions. But how do you know what you should really listen to and what you shouldn't? What if we think we're ready or good enough to ignore such and such and suggestion, when really we're not, and we should be putting more faith in other people's thoughts and suggestions. What if? When? How? I know the golden rule is to listen to your heart, but what if your heart is wrong?