Saturday, July 13, 2019

If You Only Have 24 Hours in Chicago...

Okay, I had more than 24 hours. 48 maybe. Give or take.

I was thrilled to participate in a reading of my published short story "Google Answers Everything." I was equally thrilled to take in some of what the Windy City had to offer.

So, at the risk of sounding like a travel blog--here are some great things to do with 24 hours in Chicago--

1-- Have lunch in Millennium park.
Okay, maybe the "bean" thing is totally touristy. Maybe its where all the newbies go and you're overwhelmed with a group of Chicago school kids on their break from something. But it's still well worth taking in...and a good spot for some down time.

With the Cloud Gate ("Bean")

May in Chicago
2--Yes, take one of the cheesy hop-on-hop-off tours...
If for no other reason than to just be able to get around town easily. You learn things, get an idea of where the locals like to go--it's an easy win.

3-- Allow yourself to let go of the cynical. Embrace a chance to take in the wonder of a new place, to imagine what it would be like to take the green line every day, to live in a borough where you can see the Willis tower, where you wonder how the so politely put up with tourist. And marvel at how the locals enjoy the greening of the city after a rabid winter. An emerging. A rebirth.

4-- Visit the public library and the Chicago Cultural Center

I always like to visit the public libraries of the cities I visit, and Chicago did not disappoint.

There are incredible art displays and impressive galleries. 

The cultural center --which is also free-- provided great information on the city in a setting that was spectacular.

5-- Bike along the riverfront and marvel at the many shades of blue of Lake Michigan. And marvel at why there are so many TULIPS in Chicago. 

Tiffany glass rotunda in the cultural center.         

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book on Bipolar Disorder on Sale in Honor of May as Mental Health Month

I’m a bit behind this month---okay, VERY behind.

As many of you know (or don’t know) Mental Health is an important subject to me. 

I honestly feel that if there is still a lot of stigma that needs to be eliminated. I honestly believe if this were any other kind of disease that no one would be treated as unfairly. There would be more Congressional funding for research, there would be better access to physicians, and there would be more funding for mental health centers.

 Could you imagine if this were the situation for major causes such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes? There would be protesters at the Capitol with pitchforks and torches like on the old Frankenstein movies.

But I digress.

The novel I'm putting on sale is "Saint Jude," which was first published by Tudor Publishers of Greensboro (traditionally published).  It's  about a teen who has bipolar disorder.

BTW-- It takes place in the 80s--so you’ll not see any texting, tweeting or yeeting. I still honest to God have no idea how yeeting works.

For the rest of this month, I’m going to have the book on sale for 99 cents.

Here is a link to it on Amazon.

I hope it speaks to you, especially if you or someone you love has bipolar disorder.

John Oliver on Mental Health for May is Mental Health Month

I don't always agree with him...

... but I totally fell in love with him when he did this segment.

You can also read some of my earlier posts on mental health.

When someone you know and love has a mental illness, you have a completely different perspective.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Week at a Magic Mansion

Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities

So if you write during your day job, and you write for a hobby, when you go on vacation you...write?

Yes. As a matter of fact I do.

I wish I could explain the hold writing has on me. Many writers say that to go without it is like telling someone to go without breathing. 

One of the most wonderful experiences I've ever had as a writer/ novelist has been my time at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Writer's bliss. My view from the writing residency.

It's a gorgeous mansion --- complete with a ghost. I'm naturally skeptical, but I've had some supernatural experiences there. (Doors slamming in parts of the house where I know no one is staying, finding personal objects arranged neatly on dresser or "hidden" in drawers.)

The last time I was there, I was fortunate enough to witness a fox hunt. And before you get started:

No, they do NOT kill the fox.

Instead, they do something called "grounding" the fox, where they chase it into a den.
Here are some pictures.

Interesting fact: The hounds all have GPS collars because they often catch the scent of a coyote (and the coyote is far to smart for the dogs). These dogs have been found as far as 10 to 15 miles away. 

I'll post some pictures when my wi-fi starts behaving. I have evidently angered the computer gods.