Sometimes an ESCAPE can help you find yourself

Several months ago I got a phone call asking me to be part of a two plus day event of informal learning, relaxation and camaraderie bringing together a group of women at a retreat center just over an hour away.  While I was welcome to come as a participant, the organizers asked that I consider sharing my love of books with the group. While I am far from shy, the idea of going away with a group of people without having a particular buddy along was a bit of a stretch. Continue reading Sometimes an ESCAPE can help you find yourself

I’ve moved! Virtually, that is

The combination of unceasingly cold weather and the common cold have kept me close to my computer. With a bit of help, you are now seeing this blog and my website in their new home.  The look is much the same for now but the address is streamlined.  And if you find me from somewhere other than your phone, the subscribe option is readily visible.

The great news about virtual moves is that there are no packing boxes to unload or shelves to build so I am squeezing in some other activities. I’m a bit behind but I am watching the BET miniseries, The Book of Negroes, that I discussed a few weeks ago. The first 2 hours were what I imagined while reading the book, a very pleasant surprise.

My front-burner reading right now is a grand mix.  A discussion of  Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is rescheduled for next week. Lahiri grabbed me from the first sentence and sent me off in search of info on the Naxalite movement in India that is the catalyst for the story. I’m also tasting some upcoming titles on my iPad. Having the chance to find a great story before it has been promoted and dissected to death is such fun. Of course, many of these advance reads are also good candidates for the remainder section of the bookstore. I just abandoned an upcoming novel about George Sand by a writer I usually enjoy. Her writing of semi-fictional accounts of real people is less appealing to me than the characters she creates on her own. An upcoming debut novel by Rebecca Dinerstein landed on my iPad. It is due out in April and I hope to have a review to share. She’s created two parallel threads, each with a distinct narrator. So far it is worth the read and I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

Before I leave this space, I’d like to share the promise of spring. Back in 2010 the DC area was gripped by Snowmaggedon. It took a while, but the season changed and the cherry blossoms bloomed. I spent a glorious day with a camera watching nature reborn and people from all corners of the earth walking the Tidal Basin in celebration of Washington and spring.

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Reading, a portable vacation

Forget the 10835269_904426496256072_731989134103596863_ogroundhog! You don’t need a rodent to tell you that winter’s got a firm grip on the U.S. Like everyone else, I’d be thrilled to have warm winds and long sunlit days but it’s not to be. The upside of howling winds and darkness is the pull of a comfy chair and lots of good books. How apt that February is Love of Reading Month. Continue reading Reading, a portable vacation

Fighting hibernation

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As much as I love reading, an activity perfectly suited for the shorter, colder, darker days of winter, there is nothing like an excursion to keep both mind and body sharp. This winter I’ve found myself a bit stymied in my quest to keep my inner excursionista happy. First off, the weather has not cooperated.  Not that it’s been so terrible but it seems too many times I’ve put something on the schedule and the specter of icy roads/delays quashes the plan. Sometimes it’s a mundane appointment that is then rescheduled on a day that would have been perfect for a good downtown wander. If I were still using a paper calendar my January would be one big eraser-created hole.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.58.55 PMBeyond the weather, a recent change to reading the Washington Post online (except on Sunday) has altered the number and range of local events/exhibits/opportunities that cross my path. Given the explosion of social media marketing and web guides you’d think it would be easy to hone in great things to see and do.  The truth is the algorithms may show you the top three exhibits in town for the weekend but can’t show you the range of museum or gallery shows in the same way the listings in an old fashioned newspaper can. When the seasonal calendar of all theater/art exhibits/concerts for the upcoming months appears it is so much easier to grab a pen, circle those of interest and tear out the pages. Whether you are a local or just visiting, I have a favorite place online to look for something to do – a walking tour, exhibit or lesser known performance – and it’s Cultural Tourism DC. There is an annotated calendar that makes it much easier to pick, choose and schedule. Now that I’ve shared a trick to finding fun, who’s game for a trip to see “Decoding the Renaissance” at the Folger Shakespeare Library? Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 11.20.42 PM