Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Life is for Living

September 29, 2012

In Maine...
My dad said something to me this summer that I’ve found myself repeating over and over again: “Life is for living.”  It’s become sort of a mantra as G and I navigate this particularly busy season in our life.

And then, when I start thinking about how we are inevitably at the beginning of this “season” that will likely last decades as it keeps ramping up, I can feel something similar to a panic attack coming on.  But if I catch myself and say “life is for living!” it somehow snaps everything into perspective, and instead of impending insanity, it just feels like we’re on the right track.

I ran across this earlier today. I’m enjoying the similar sentiment.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
~Mother Teresa

Illustrations from NY Times’ Sunday Review

August 20, 2012

Spotted two especially lovely illustrations in yesterday’s New York Times Sunday Review. One for an article about the environmental impact of air conditioning, by Victo Ngai:

Victo Ngai

And this one about how to be more productive by taking time off, by Vidhya Nagarajan:

Vidhya Nagarajan

Both of their portfolios are stunning.

Nora Ephron: 1941-2012

June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron on the set of Sleepless in Seattle.  Image: TriStar.

“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

–Nora Ephron

Happy Birthday Star Wars.

May 25, 2012

I love looking at these behind-the-scenes photos.

Fun, right?

Ha.

 Carrie Fisher and her stunt double.

And this one has been my screen saver for a while now.

More behind-the-scenes photos here.

Sylvia Boorstein on “On Being”

May 24, 2012

…your measuring stick for how clearly you’re thinking, is if you’re able to be kind.

I listened to this yesterday and found the conversation so inspiring.  (Audio is available for download as well. But I think it’s edited down.)

“On Being” is one of my favorite podcasts. Do you listen?

I’m looking forward to reading Boorstein’s books.

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012: “If it’s true, you tell them.”

May 8, 2012

I realized today that Maurice Sendak is one of those people I had, somewhere along the line, subconsciously, decided would live forever. Like a crotchety, brilliant, Bilbo Baggins, surely he would outlive me.

I’ve been actively thinking about him a lot lately– he was referenced several times at this conference I went to a couple weeks ago, our library is having a show of his work, his recent NPR interview, as well as his hilarious stint on the Corbert Report.  I was impressed to hear that at 83 he was working on a new book,  further solidifying his current role in my life as “long-lasting-career role model.”

One of the first picture books I remember being obsessed with is Outside Over There. Honestly, as a kid, I really didn’t appreciate Where the Wild Things Are, though I loved In the Night Kitchen. But I pored over Outside Over There.

(Incidentally, the books were a trilogy of sorts. According to Sendak:

They are all variations on the same theme: how children master various feelings – danger, boredom, fear, frustration, jealousy – and manage to come to grips with the realities of their lives.)

The story was fascinating and scary: A kidnapping and a baby made of ice! Would I be as brave as Ida, fighting goblins, to save my little sister? (Though I was pretty sure I would have heard the goblins climbing in, even if I was practicing my horn–so negating the need for such a journey. Pretty sure.) Would I ever be able to draw a woman so beautiful as the mother? (For much of my childhood this was one was of my main goals.) I wished for a long, yellow cloak.

The NY Times review states:

It is also obvious enough that its story is really about an older sister’s ambivalent feelings toward a younger sibling, and about getting one’s feelings under control …

Ah perhaps my obsession, as a newly older sister, now makes sense.

Little Bear was another favorite.  He was silly (–You’re not really on the moon, Little Bear!) but relatable, and I had a friend named Emily too.

Years later while attending Pratt, Sendak was interviewed as part of a lecture series. I didn’t know what to expect– I hadn’t heard him speak before. I was thrown at first, but then loved his lack of charm and artifice. His quick witt. At the time his “Wild Things” were plastered all over the city as part of an ad campaign for Verizon.  I remember someone challenging him on that, and I sort of loved his honest response. There was a lot next to his house in Brooklyn that he wanted to buy. The deal enabled him to do so. With a mischevious look, he added that getting paid to compare a large communication company to hulking monsters, was a bonus.

To be dramatic in a way that would probably amuse him, I’ll end with saying that the path I’ve chosen is due in no small part to Mr. Sendak and his books.  “I’m in the milk. And the milk’s in me.”

Video Monday: Sophie Blackall

March 5, 2012

Video Mondays

Are you familiar with Sophie Blackall‘s illustrations? I knew her from her brilliant “Missed Connections” series, and separately as a children’s illustrator, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize they were the same person, until today. Sigh. You’d think I would have put it together after spotting the video above, and seeing the cover of the most recent SCBWI Bulletin:

SCBWI bulletin

But nope.

It wasn’t until I started writing this that I figured it out. But now I’m thrilled to discover her site and all of her work, including another series “Drawn From My Father’s Adventures,” which looks amazing.

What do you think? Did you already have an illustrator-crush on Sophie Blackall?

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss

Today Theodor Seuss Geisel would be 108 years old! 

Dr. Seuss with chuck close

Dr. Seuss

Some things I didn’t know about him:

  • He first used the pen name ‘Seuss’ while at Dartmouth.  The story goes he was caught drinking with friends in a dorm, and as punishment, was banned from extracurricular activities including writing for the college’s humor magazine. So he wrote using his middle name–Seuss.
  • One of my favorite animated shorts, Oscar-winning Gerald McBoing-Boingwas based on his short story that originally appeared on a children’s record in 1950.
  • His first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street! , was rejected 27 times.
  • The Cat in the Hat was published when we was 53.

Did you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book growing up?

It’s hard to choose, but I think mine was Green Eggs and Ham. That Sam was just so annoying. “I do not like them, Sam-I-am!”

“The Happiness Project”

February 16, 2012

The Happiness Project book

Have you guys read “The Happiness Project“, by Gretchen Rubin? (No, I haven’t been living under a rock. Yes, it was everywhere for a while. I just never got around to reading it. And honestly, I didn’t think it would live up to the hype.) What did you think?

In the past year, or so, I’ve found myself randomly researching happiness and learning more about it. I find the topic fascinating and I think this would have been a great book to start with. I’ve been nodding and taking notes (–seriously, notes.) I’m tempted to buy used copies and hand them out to everyone I know.

I say this knowing I tend to get obsessed with books while I’m immersed in them. It will be interesting to see if the glow wears off after I’m done.  Or if I’ll have a dog-eared copy forever.

Curious to hear what other people think of it. Thumbs up?

Video Monday: Maurice Sendak

January 30, 2012

Video Mondays

Have you seen this interview from the Colbert Report?  (Part one here.)

[edit: oops that clip got taken down. You can watch it here on hulu.]

Maurice Sendak is hilarious, as expected.  I love his whole sassy, frank attitude. He’s awesome.

And sort of random, but go with it: Did you ever read “How Does It Feel To Be Old?” by Norma Farber, and illustrated by my favorite, Trina Schart Hyman? Written in prose, an old woman tells her granddaughter the benefits and tribulations of being old.  I read it a lot growing up and one of my favorite parts was about not caring what other people thought of her. How she was old and so could pretty much say anything, about whatever, to anybody. (I’m pretty sure the illustration is of her yelling at a grocery store clerk about the price of bananas. If I can find it I’ll post here. It’s amazing.) Anyways, those interviews reminded me so much of that book.

I just ordered it, but maybe I’ll ask my mom if she still has it. I’m so curious to read it as an adult.


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