Filed under Friday Spark

Friday Spark: the Dalai Lama

Colorful and bright heart collage

Photo by: qthomasbower

The point of life is happiness.

–the Dalai Lama

On Tuesday I was awash in a sort of belated wave of gratitude. And it's still going! Things that are making me happy: Finding favorite quotes from books scribbled in my journals  Snowflake-shaped sprinkles Trading in one stack of books for another. Book swap stores are the best!  Vince Guaraldi. 'Nuff said. Morning coffee dates Rainy days and my purple and white polka dot umbrella. Ridiculous! Going crazy making paper snowflakes ebooks from the library. Ok, are they not the best things ever? You can just decide that you need some book, plop in your card number online, and boom! You have a new book to read. For free! Fan-freaking-tastic. ★Crossing things off my to-do list. Hey, it's about the little things! ★ Charlie Brown holiday cartoons. I will never get over them. ★Discovering that in my teens, I thought a $10 bill was a good bookmark. Hello, found money! ★ Adding cinnamon to my French press for a little zing ★ "Shopping" with my sister via iMessage photos ★ Holiday party anticipation ★ The Hobbit, the movie! (December 14, guys. Hold onto your hats.) ★ Calls from my grandma asking for one of my recipes. (Be still, my heart!) I guess there's a very, very first for everything. ★ Petting all the Christmas trees lining the sidewalks ★ Plotting book gifts for my nephews and tiny niece ★ Cinnamon- and balsam-scented candles ★ Writing by hand. Always and forever!

What's on your happy list this week? The smell of new books? Getting the last good spot in the cafe? Share with us!

Until next week, wishing you cinnamon spice and books half price! *cue all the bad-rhyming groaning in the world* Hah!

Friday Spark: Marianne Williamson

Matador fighting a bull in Spain

Photo by: Kalin Nikolov Koev

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you.

–Marianne Williamson

Get out there and shake things up today! What would your favorite literary heroine or hero do? Do that. Times 1,000!

French presses and page-turners, (xo!)

Friday Spark: President Barack Obama

Enjoying new-fallen snow

Photo adapted from: Taylor McBride

I have always believed that hope is a stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

–President Obama, 2012 acceptance speech

Have a gloriously lovely, productively lazy, utterly enjoyable weekend, everyone.


Friday Spark: Joseph Campbell on Craziness

Underwater divers

Photo by: dMap Travel Guide

Be as crazy as your conscience allows.

– Joseph Campbell

We're at day two of NaNoWriMo—talk about crazy! If you're writing your little fingers off right along with the rest of us, I'm sending good thoughts your way! Here's to a weekend filled with plenty of writing.


Friday Spark: Mark Twain

Pirate setting sail

Photo by: Per Ola Wiberg

Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.

–Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Sending you off into the last weekend of make-believe before Halloween! If you're still in search of a costume worthy of All Hallows Eve, don't forget to check out theseliterary costumes to get more ideas. Yay! Have fun, be spooky, and eat candy!

Friday Spark: Sir Ken Robinson

Caramel apple with brown sugar
Caramel-apple Wednesday was a success!

We should know the limits of our knowledge and understand what we don’t know, and be willing to explore things we don’t know without feeling embarrassed of not knowing them.

– Sir Ken Robinson

I can tell you a million things I don't know. Most recently I've been addressing my abysmal knowledge of how to feed myself. I suck as a cook. I don't know how. (Other than caramel apples, but that's not exactly rocket science!) One of the most obvious things to like about books is their instructional capacity. They teach us stuff! Books, unlike recipes, seem to offer up knowledge instead of bossing us around. You might be thinking I'm off my head now, but listen: one of the main reasons I never liked to cook, despite the attraction fat cookbooks hold, is the fact that recipes are very bossy. They tell you "dice this" and "melt that." Instead of explaining, they dictate. Tyranny! I am not fan. But recently I've owned up to this massive deficit in my knowledge and figured out that if I can think of recipes as an inarticulate form of book, (more of a tool, really), I'm much more likely to give cooking a shot. And between you and me? I picked up a massive book on baking bread on my jaunt to the library earlier this week. I've got a lot of learning to do.

Happy Friday! Just two weeks until Halloween. Yay! Is your costume together? 

Friday Spark: Henry David Thoreau

Dragon and castle in the sky

Photo by: balt-arts

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

–Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Brick by brick, lovelies. All in good time.

Happy weekend,

Friday Spark: Sir Francis Bacon

Reading Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.

– Sir Francis Bacon, paraphrasing Aristotle

When was the last time you spent some quality time with yourself? Spent the day reading? Ranged the streets alone? I'm a huge fan of alone time. Often I find myself being completely strange and laughing a lot at my own jokes, which is enormously satisfying! Bouts of solitude are amazing for creativity because all the little nuances we negotiate with others are dropped. No longer is it strange to converse with oneself or wear something crazy because it just seems right—unless your alone time is public! Next week is LitQuake here in San Francisco, and I'll be going solo to many of the events that take place during the day. I'm looking forward to these enormouslyand the fact that I'll be going by myself is even better because many times I find that others have shown up by themselves and we get to chatting. It's a great way to meet people, but it also lets me focus my attention fully, instead of talking about this or that during the event. If you're in SF for the week, check out the full Litquake schedule and let's hear which events you'll be attending!

Friday Spark: Chuck Palahniuk

Black and white change of vision

Photo by: Locomotive Stillstand

The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.

– Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Talk about unreal—where has September gone? I swear, I don't know what's happened to this month, but I'll bet that's because I've been in a blur of writing and reading goodness. I came out of Wednesday night's book bash with four new books, all for under $17! How I love a good book sale. I'll be busy this weekend with some new projects, my new books (of course), and hopefully a long walk through the park. What will you be up to? (Have the leaves started changing yet?)

Friday Spark: Roald Dahl on Good Thoughts

Sunflare sunset

Photo by: lilahpops

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

– Roald Dahl

Just checking in with you as I continue my state-hopping escapade, small library in tow. Here's to good thoughts throughout the weekend!