Chasing Inspiration

Friday, October 29, 2010

Contests are fun

 An acquaintance from the Susan Elizabeth Phillips reader board has a new blog and for her blog she is having a contest. And who doesn't love contests!

Sanna's new blog focuses on her love of all things Christmas and romance novels. She is going to start reading as many Christmas themed romance novels as possible between November 1st and Christmas, I think. It's a great challenge. I do enjoy a great happily ever after wrapped up in a festive holiday theme.

To kick off her challenge, Sanna is having a contest for a book cover (made by Sanna herself I believe). The cover pictured above to be exact. Check out her Christmas Reading Challenge blog for more information about the books she has lined up to read and the contest. Hurry, the contest ends soon!

Soundtrack Friday

 I've never been a huge Hallowe'en girl. Growing up where I did it was pretty much guaranteed there would be snow on the ground. Or at the very least very cold making costumes unnecessary under the winter coats, wool scarves, toques (hats), and mittens. Getting free candy was always fun. Unless I happened to get candy I did like. Or my brother decided my stash was much more interesting than his.

What I did love about Hallowe'en were the cartoons. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween Special. The Devil and Daniel Mouse. Any of the Scooby Doo Hallowe'en themed episodes. Young Frankenstien - while not a cartoon, a damn fine movie that I pull out every year about this time.

These I loved more than Christmas specials. Even as a child I loved being a little bit scared. Just a little bit. I wasn't into the slasher movies of the 80s. But I was into reading great creepy books like Lois Duncan's Stranger With My Face and Down a Dark Hall. The Twilight: Where Darkness Begins series, especially Fatal Attraction (not to be confused with the movie by the same name).

I also enjoyed the camp that came with the Hallowe'en themed cartoons and specials. They were often very hilarious and even ridiculous but that made me love them all the more.

Today, two days before Hallowe'en 2010, I give you The Monster Mash done up in one of the campiest ways I have ever seen. Not even a little bit scary, but that's okay. I like it anyway. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Running with the Bulls

Running with the Bulls
Originally uploaded by BaileyC
The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona is a celebration every July for St. Fermin, the city's patron saint. The run is a little over 800 meters long, 903 yards for you Americans. It lasts approximately 4 minutes and has resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people in the last 100 years. From the pictures, it looks like true and utter chaos to have 6 bulls and 6 steers (oxen)

The city of Pamplona advises, "Reunners need to be calm people with good reflexes and in excellent physical shape."

Think about a challenge you currently have.

  • If you were perfectly calm, what would you notice about your challenge? 
  • If you were in excellent physical shape, what could you do?
  • What's the most dangerous thing you could do?  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Soundtrack Friday

This year a lot of my friends are turning 40. We all grew up in the 80s. Went through the disaster that was the 80s style, 80s hair, 80s slang. Not everything was horrible. Most of us became adults in the 80s. We learned a lot about who we were and several of us vowed never to wear shoulder pads that made us look like linebackers ever again. That was a very good thing to come from the 80s.

In a lot of ways, the 80s gave birth to the music video, the techno movement, bubble gum pop and some of the most unlikely one hit wonders ever.

The 80s was also a time of fertile imagination. And camp. Great, fantastic camp. Like this video for this song by 80s power group Duran Duran. I listened to this group a lot in the 80s. Even followed them when they temporarily split into Power Station (with Robert Palmer) and Arcadia. To date, my favorite Duran Duran title is A View To A Kill, which is also the only Bond theme song to hit #1 on the charts.

Back to campy songs. Hungry like the Wolf is fun. The lyrics are possessive, the music is catchy, and the video is cheesy, but does have some great bare chested moments. It's one of those songs that earworms its way into your brain. But it is a song I remember fondly from my youth. So to all my friends who are children of the 80s, this Soundtrack Friday is for you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Follow the Sun

There is this amazing thing about sunflowers. When the flower is a bud, the sunflower will follow the sun across the sky over the course of the day. It somehow knows it needs the sun to grow that bud into a flower head so it tracks the sun as the sun make's its journey across the sky.
Once it flowers the head faces east. Away from the heat that could damage those tasty seeds. It protects itself against something that was once nurturing that may now be destructive.

I often think about sunflowers tracking the sun. They seem to know what they need and they know just how to get it! I wish I was more like that.

I don't always do what I know I need to. I stay up too late reading or watching TV instead of going to bed at an hour that supports good health. I don't make the best food choices. I don't always do the right thing with my time. I don't follow the sun. Or, I don't realize what I needed last week or last year isn't going to help me today. To be more deliberate about my choices, I ask myself the following questions:

  • What repents the sun in my life? What do I need more of? 
  • When does a good thing become too much? 
  • The sunflower's goal is to produce fruit (seeds). Is what I focus on getting me closer to my goal? Or further away? 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Provocative Thought Wednesday

“When I visited my brother in Ngukurr, an Aboriginal community in Australia’s Northern Territory, one of the most amazing things was to see the blanket of stars stretching from horizon to horizon. It was a powerful reminder about just how small this moment of time is compared to the vastness of the universe.”
 ~ M. B. Stanier (lifecoach and entrepreneur)

If you’ve ever tried to gaze up at the stars in the city, you know the distraction of the city lights, the cars; even smog can keep us from clearly seeing the stars. Think of these stars as our goals or the positive things in our lives. When we can’t see them clearly, it’s difficult to stay motivated or to be able to find out optimistic selves.

When we turn off the lights the stars no longer have to compete with the distraction of the city lights and we can see, them crisp and clear against the midnight sky. The same thing happens when we remove those things that distract us from our goals. These things that challenge us right now, they aren’t going to be around forever. The stars will continue to shine whether we see them or not.

Think of something that is challenging or distracting you.
  •  What happens when you clear aware the distractions? What’s the “bottom line” about your challenge
  •  When you are 95 years old, what do you want to say about your life?