Chasing Inspiration

Friday, July 24, 2009

Soundtrack Friday

I was going over some of my Texas albums over the last week. I love this band, but hadn't really listened to them much in the past few years. So I'm glad that last week Texas was my featured soundtrack because it led me to an interenet search for all the Texas music videos I've missed because I'm one of those people who has never had cable TV. I know, I know, what have I been doing, living under a rock all these years? Well, no. We're just cheap, but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, I was perusing the official Texas YouTube site and watching all the videos I've missed over the years when I found a video for one of my all time favorite "don't you feel bad because you let me go and look how wonderful life turned out for me, you fool" songs. I listened to this type of song quite a bit in college and if this song had been written back then, I may have had a different perspective on moving on.

It's not angry which is rather unique for this type of song and I was curious how the video would play out. Imagine my surprised delight when the video was a fun romp with Alan Rickman. A tangoing Alan Rickman. He's not the sexiest man on the planet, but he's got style and you really have to give him props for his staying power.

This week's Soundtrack Friday is In Demand by the Scottish band Texas, with video featuring Alan Rickman. I hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Soundtrack Friday

I was going through my DVDs the other day trying to find something to watch that fit my mood at the time. I wanted a story that had some whimsy, some adventure and a little drama tossed in for good measure. The movie I picked up was Ever After.

This is a wonderful rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale. A young woman loses everything as a child - position, parents, affection, her home/place in the world - and yet her spirit is not broken and she continues to dream and work toward maintaining those things she holds dear. Disaster ensues but it doesn't destroy our plucky heroine. Instead, she reaches down into herself and finds that the strength and hope she held on to for all those years was just as strong and real as ever, and enough to get her through. With a little help of her friends, of course.

I love that while our heroine needs others in her life, she is not dependent on others to save her from her situation. She partners, she encourages, she even teaches. But when push comes to shove, she knows she can rely on herself as well.

There is only one song in the movie that has lyrics. Texas, the now defunct Scottish band, lent their song Put Your Arms Around Me to the credits of the movie and I think the song sums up some of the main character arcs in Ever After. I love the song so much that it's been on almost every soundtrack for the stories I've written to date. It's definitely a key song for Mallory's journey and figures in often while she works out who she is in this world she lives in.

Today's Soundtrack Friday video/song is Put Your Arms Around Me by Texas. I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have a confession to make. I am a life coach who helps others grow in many areas, one of which is personal/household organization. I have had a lot of success with my clients. Recently, my personal success has been far less than successful.

I have a home office that I love. Except for one thing. I have way too much stuff crammed into a space approximately 9 ' by 13'. Way too much stuff. Part of the reason for my massive amount of stuff is that I have a hard time throwing things away. Another part is that I am great at organizing other people, but horrible at organizing myself. Maybe it's because organizing the office always falls to the bottom of the priority list these days. Or maybe it's because I have no clue how to best use the space. It could also be that I feel compelled to try the strategies I suggest to my clients so recently I haven't landed on that formula that really works for me.

It's a difficult thing to admit that while I coach others my personal organization is less than stellar. I've fallen victim to stuffitis. And it's time to purge and really let go. My husband wants to share the home office with me. Personally, I think couples should have separate offices but our house just doesn't lend itself to that. For now. As my coaching and writing and *fingers crossed* online teaching worlds grow, I will need a more dedicated space, but that's another discussion for another day. Reality is that I have too much stuff in our home office. And I want to change that.

I picked up a couple of books this past winter while I was living through this economic experiment known as the Great USA Unemployment Game, but I found work shortly after picking up the books so I never read them. I made a commitment to myself that instead of reading fiction this week I was going to read through one of these books to jumpstart Project Home Office Downsize. And, as I tell my clients, I'm going to write down my goals, enlist support to help me reach those goals and check in with my support to see how things are going.

I'm going to be brave and hang it all out here as well. I'm committing to once a week giving you an update on my progress. Since I want to be deliberate about this change and not have it be a blitz declutter only to have the home office become filled to overflowing again this change is going to take time.

I encourage you to join me on this journey by looking at something in your life you want to change and then putting together the plan and support to change it. It doesn't have to be big. Little changes are the foundation for true and lasting changes to our lives. Feel free to share your journey here with me. If you do, I promise to cheer you on!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Soundtrack Friday

I have had a very full couple of weeks. Family visits, marathon cleaning events, packing away breakables in preparation of the next round of renovation demolition projects. Toss a summer cold in and you have a couple of weeks of whilwind activity I can barely remember.

It brought me back to a time when life was chaotic and I felt like I was drowning beneath all the commitments and responsibilities. It was 1996 and my body finally said enough and landed me in a hospital for 9 days. One of the best things to have happened to me, it turns out. I was given time to reflect, to rest and to explore who I was and who I wanted to be. And I had cable tv. LOL

It was during this memorable hospital stay I was introduced to Natalie Merchant's solo career and her song Wonder. The song is about a woman who has found wonder and beauty and strength in herself. It's upbeat and, well, wonderful!

Now, 13 years later, I long for Mallory to feel that same way about herself. I know she's a fictional character, but she has pieces of myself within her and so I want her to see the wonder and beauty in her own soul. And I guess I want to connect with that same wonder and beauty in mine. Especially after the last couple of weeks.

For today's Soundtrack Friday I give you Natalie Merchant and her hit single Wonder from the 1995 album, Tigerlily. As you listen remember that you are one of the wonders of God's own creation. And you are precious. Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

I'm a proud Canadian living abroad. Yes, I consider the USA abroad. lists abroad as "in or to a foreign country or countries" and since I'm not American, the USA fits that definition quite nicely. On Saturday my adopted country will celebrate their independence with backyard barbeques, family gatherings and fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks.

Most of the time I love the country I have chosen to call home. I love the people I have met and the opportunities afforded me. And I love my husband, who is very much an American. But days like today make me long for some good Canadian fellowship. I miss the humour, the knowing silences when watching the news, the nationalism and the sense of community. I miss the chocolate and the fries with cheese curds. I miss malt vinegar as a condiment served with fries. I miss pop being made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. I miss Canadian Coke. I miss Good Host iced tea and Mackintosh's toffee. I miss Canadian beer - oh do I miss it! I miss my mom and family. Especially on days like today.

What makes today different? It's Canad
a Day! The day day where four of the Canadian colonies banded together and decided that they wanted to form a federation with its own government while still under the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom. This occured back on July 1, 1867. On July 1, 1868 Canadians celebrated the first anniversary of confederation, and Canada was in essence born. It didn't become a national holiday until much, much later, but we were able to become our own nation with our own government in a peaceful manner. Not saying the Americans and others were wrong to stage a revolution. Just saying sometimes, if the conditions are right, you can pull away from the mothership in a peaceful and lasting manner.

I wish you all a Happy Canada Day! It is a day to celebrate what it means to be a Canadian. And to celebrate partnerhip and unity. Have a goon one, eh!

Books Read in June

Happy Canada Day!

June was off with a bang! I quickly read a few entertaining books and then life got busy and suddenly all my plans to read my way through the pile of books decorating my bedside table were shoved out the window. I think this is the fewest number of books I've read in a month ever. And that's just sad. Still, they were all great books and I'm glad I spent time with each and every one.

True Love & Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson -- A fun romp and vintage Gibson

Silver Falls by Anne Stuart -- Not what I would term romantic suspense, but a good suspense with some romantic elements. Loved the villian's point of view.

Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher -- A great start to a new paranormal series by Ms. Butcher. Her husband had better watch out. Shannon may end up with a following as big as Jim's! LOL

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward -- Rehvenge's story is not to be missed. I was a little turned off by the hardcover price, but it was well worth it! More romance, great turning points for the BDB and the introduction of some twisty plots.

The Family He Wanted by Karen Sandler -- A Silhouette Special Edition and like all category romances, a quite read. Not my complete cup of tea since the heroine was really young and I'm not, but a well written escape nonetheless.

A Weaver Wedding by Allison Leigh -- Another Sihouette Special Edition and a great little story filled with strong characters, twisty plots, and, of course, a wedding. Another fun escape for a Sunday afternoon.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich -- Gimme more Ranger! While I wasn't completely satsified with the 14th installment of the Stephenie Plum saga, the 15th book delivered pure mayhem and Burg fun. Not to mention a ton of Ranger. I ::heart:: Ranger. *grin*

That's it for June. I told you it was a low reading month. I'm hoping July picks up since there are so many good releases coming out in July. So many books and so little time...