Meow Wolf

I didn’t have any idea what Meow Wolf was walking through the doors in Santa Fe, New Mexico – one of my very favorite communities. Author and Santa Fe resident George R R Martin – the Game of Thrones guy – is at the financial helm of this endeavor was my understanding once I started to investigate what exactly this was we were experiencing. Walking into the immersive and discombobulating environment was a bit scary at the same time it was a thrill. My understanding is reactions to it have often been cut and dried – extremes of – love it or hate it – is not uncommon. I LOVED it. It was soothing and reassuring. I felt I wasn’t alone in my way of thinking as I walked through it. It felt more like life than so much of what we’re exposed to in media day-to-day. Ok – you walk through a refrigerator portal into a type of space travel...

Family Travel Adventures

“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” – Shanti “Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures” – Lewis Carroll  “To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson  “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” – Aristotle La Vina Winery near Old Mesilla – Mesilla, New Mexico When are you heading out? Adventure...

Adventure

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” -Eleanor Roosevelt Have an adventure. I have to have them and the best mind for my spirit are outdoor ones. Whitewater rafting is something I have loved every time I’ve done it. Just returned from a trip to New Mexico where we took to the Rio Grande between Taos and Santa Fe. It was one of the best experiences of my life and reminded me – I need to do this more often. We ‘surfed the saddle’ as they called it, experiences several ‘4s’ adding intensity given the high water, and had to duck down flat to make it under two bridges (Whew!) during our day long trip on what’s called the ‘Racecourse’. We’d do this one again in a heartbeat. Here’s what I love about...

Book Talks, Blogs, & Student Journalists

BOOK TALKS UPDATE I’ve had three book talks in libraries and speaking venues in recent weeks and all went really well. One was in my current hometown area and one was back in the hometown where I grew up and the other was in northern Illinois at my brother’s storytelling venue with another author of 13 (!) books. Right at about 40 people showed up between the three and it was good to have a chance to talk with people about it all. Thanks so much to those who made it a point to come and those special experiences with me. BLOG TO LEARN PERSPECTIVE Ever need creative writing breaks? I do. This blog was my effort to give myself a place to practice writing and share some thoughts with clarity. In the journalism classes I teach, one of my assignments is for my students to create and fortify a blog during the semester. Why would I have them do this in a journalism class? I noticed...

I Suggest Joining a Band

Join a band. Do it. Make it happen. Find some friends and get rolling. Don’t overthink it, darn it. Make it happen. It’s so much fun. I grew up playing music as part of a professional family band – as in 9-year-old drumming for full stage productions. It was a time in my life when my family was a bunch of skill practicing fools. Hours a day on instruments and development of various other abilities. I had drum lessons and organ lessons. I taught myself to play piano in college by sneaking into the school auditorium in the dark and fighting my way into a respectable relationship with bass clef day after day for a year or two. I played trumpet in my school bands. I sang in choir. I woke up in the night on a regular basis to my brother playing improvisational piano when he came home from nights out with friends or a date. Creativity was never stifled and always championed...

Book signing & numbers

Just checked Amazon best seller numbers having not worried about doing it at all since the last post I made here. I’m up in all three categories which was really gratifying to see. I’m up a couple thousand in rank in two categories (women and gender studies) and up about 13,000 in a third category (parenting). I’m happy about that. I have an upcoming book signing Sunday, May 5th 2-3p in the cafe at the Normal Public Library in Normal, IL. We’ll talk about my book, the process of writing, and my experience putting it out there. Plus, I’ll answer any questions to hopefully help others make progress on their own writing and personal storytelling efforts. One fascinating thing about this book endeavor is how it works. Book publishing reminds me of my broadcast news media life. It’s a subject few know from the inside, but so many of us are deeply impacted...

Reading About Yourself

I’m comfortable writing about myself. I’ll share my thoughts, feelings, what I’ve learned, what I’ve dwelled on, what I’ve triumphed over… However, talking about myself is much different. I rarely do. It’s one reason many people I grew up with didn’t know my family was a merry band of professional performers leaving on weekends and school breaks to perform all over the United States and Canada – as musicians, jugglers, unicyclists, and, for me… gymnastics. It just was who I was. It was my normal, so what was there to talk about really? That was my thinking. Writing was always different. It was where my heart and head came together to form the ideas I couldn’t even always articulate as well verbally…until I saw them on paper or computer screen. I say all of this to share the inscription on the plaque Illinois State...

IL State U. Broadcast Hall of Fame

What a special weekend at the Illinois State University TV-10 reunion events. Still processing how many talented people have walked through the doors of our ISU student run television station. What an honor to share in the distinction of being in this first Broadcast Hall of Fame class. Here is my speech… Thank you so much Laura and Bob and Steve and the rest of the Illinois State University Department of Communication. This experience is beyond touching. So very meaningful. Your dedication and passion for lifting others up does the university proud. One of the great things about TV-10 that makes it different and special is you create and build a family each semester and year … everyone has each other’s back. I’ve been an adjunct for 15-20 years and I’ve had the pleasure of watching those families form. You’re competitive but you applaud the accomplishments of each person...