Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I've Found My Christmas Spirit

Happy to report, first of all, that both my husband and I are now healthy - and busy with all the myriad projects this Season brings.  I'm happy to be back at the keyboard, and want to share three unique ways the Holiday spirit has been infused in me for this year.

The first is the result of our hosting a small group of people last Saturday night that had us up into the wee hours.  We didn't mind the days we spent getting the house decorated, both inside and out, to prepare for this early December festivity because we both look forward to this magical time of year and all it allows us to share.  We were rewarded with the best gifts of all; the fun, caring and respect of people whose love and friendships we cherish.  As we were cleaning up in the early morning, we talked about all the special conversations we'd shared throughout the evening, the delicious foods brought to the buffet table, and, best of all, the camaraderie and laughter of all present that sparked our Christmas spirit.

Secondly, last night we both were onstage rehearsing for It's A Wonderful Life - The Radio Play with the Wheaton Drama theatre company. (I am playing Ma Bailey and R.J. is doing all the sound effects with fellow actor, Peter Lemongelli.  Oh, yes, and our son is the director.)  Even if you are a theatre veteran, not many have been involved in a production of a re-created radio show.  It is set in the 1940's - we will be costumed appropriately and all the technical aspects are done so the audience is immersed in that period - which adds to the overall fun of being part of it.  The most fun, though, is working with a group of experienced thespians and singers who know how to present a polished performance to an audience.  Better still, these are special friends that can create a journey to opening night a memory in itself.

We worked until late in the evening because we had to infuse all the technical aspects and background music with at-the-mike readings.  That involved lots of stopping and re-doing, which can be tedious.  But no one openly voiced irritation or grumbled about the hour.  Instead, we laughed and kibitzed and made it through, and, as we drove home in the bone-chilling night, we were warmed by knowing we're a part of a talented something  that adds to our Christmas mood.

Lastly, as I read Facebook posts this morning, there was one from my former Entertainment boss at Walt Disney World in which he shared videos of another unique moment from my past (1991). Watching these short films brought tears to my eyes, and lots of reminder images to my brain.

Each year, at the Florida Magic Kingdom, the Cast Members (as employees of Disney are tagged) would experience a special night just for them and their families.  While they enjoyed this private party, management people would work in special capacities to allow the employees to have their Christmas fun in the Kingdom.  Those of us in Entertainment spent that night sharing our talents.  I went back into a character costume, and my boss and his co-working buddies, many of whom were celebrated musicians in their own right, became the Exec Band.

It's been almost twenty years since I left my Disney career, but  those videos had me feeling like I was there again.  Sadly, one of the members - also one of my Entertainment bosses - passed away this year, and that made my viewing even more touching.  What struck me was how it evoked so many other recollections of what it meant to be a part of that Christmas fantasy world, and to create memories for others who took the Christmas spirit home with them because of those efforts.

With all three experiences captured within a week, how could I not be completely absorbed in this Season of Love, Joy and Peace?  Especially when it all came to me as the result of so many friends.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Still Here - Sort Of!

I really do have all good intentions of posting on this site at least once a week, as promised.  I also have an ever-growing list of topics that I plan to share.  Yet, I am also aware that it has been nearly two weeks since anything new appeared on my blog.  Let me tell you why.

About two weeks ago, my husband  succumbed to some kind of cold/virus bug, and is still recovering.  That meant I was playing nurse to him - and he is never ill, so it was stressful for me as well - while trying to work on my novel edit, etc.

Then, one week ago yesterday, I was felled by a virus bug that has resulted in a painful sinus infection.  No book editing, no journal entries; in fact, not much of anything going on for me except lying in bed wishing I wasn't sick.  Oh, yes, and I am in early rehearsals for a play that opens in January and I had to miss those as well!

So, dear followers, I have not deserted my good intentions; they've just been postponed a bit.  However, husband and I are now ambulatory, carrying tissues and lozenges in our pockets and swallowing immune support pills, so think positive thoughts for both of us.  I should be back soon with a more interesting post!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kudos for "The Cotton Candy Road Trip"

It's my intention to include, on my resurrected blog, my comments on books I've recently experienced.  It pleasures me that the first of these I'm going to tell you about is written by a friend and fellow actor, Pam Turlow.

Pam takes you on a dual journey in her non-fiction work titled The Cotton Candy Road Trip (love that title!).  You not only ride along with her as she travels to over forty vintage amusement parks, but you are also privy to her personal journey of life during the three years it took her to write this volume.

Writing in a voice that is true to her nature, one is caught up in all her discoveries, taken on her many twists and turns, not only on amusement park rides, but in her thoughts on the dreamers and doers she encounters that shift her perspective, and, ultimately, her life focus.

I encourage you to seek out The Cotton Candy Road Trip and add it to your list of books to read.  I promise you will be rewarded with lots of smiles and, perhaps, a new outlook on your own goals.  That's what happened to me, anyway.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Celebrating My New Beginning

November 1st:  a new month and a new beginning for this blog.  Before the end of this month, if all goes according to plan, my first novel, "Ribbons" will be published.  In the last year, I have focused on my life rather than my work.  It has enabled me to grow creatively because of all the new and renewed paths I have taken.

Today I just want to thank my loyal followers for waiting for me.  In the coming months, there will be lots to read in here including my journey as a published novelist, teasers about the new novel I'll be working on, promotions and comments, theatre involvement, and, of course, new stories about my home and family.

This post would be much too long if I were to detail all the positive happenings in my world over the past year.  Family and friends, both old and new, have rewarded me with the support and love that have helped me find my new creative energy.

So, stay with me.  At least once a week, I will post something new to share with you.  For now, it's back to final editing on "Ribbons".