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Showing posts from September, 2015

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If a tree falls in the forest ... should it be used to make the paper for my novel?

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I’ve been working on a novel for the past year and a half, a process which has made doing any kind of creative writing here in this space more and more difficult. I’ve kept up with my book-to-movie blog at Chapter1-Take1.com but that’s a very different kind of writing. When giving out factual information, I don’t require inspiration. 

Now I’ve finished the book and I’ve begun reaching out, searching for an agent. An easy sentence to write, a horrifying, intimidating, paralyzing process to undertake. The first chapter, one I was happy with before, now strikes me as sophomoric, tedious, garbage and any number of cliche criticisms. Is it? Or is that my fear talking? I don’t know. I’m in a place where I can’t imagine my novel is worth the paper it’s written on—about 1/3 of your typical paper-suitable tree. Which is why I still can’t find the energy to get back to memoir pieces. My writing brain needs a break. 

So in lieu of a writerly post, I’m posting photos instead. If you follow me on In…

Walk like an Englishman

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Have you jumped on the fitbit bandwagon yet? Make that ‘walked’ onto the fitbit bandwagon? The fitbit device is all about walking the walk, counting the steps, each one that you take, whether it’s a daily power walk or the steps you take from couch to kitchen, or the car to the corner store, adding up, little by little, until you reach the desired daily goal of 10,000 steps. 10,000 steps?! That’s a lot of walking. Just under four and a quarter miles a day. Who walks that much as part of your daily routine? Because I don’t.   When I got my fitbit back in July I had no intention of meeting that goal. I was already taking a morning walk that I roughly figured at two and a half miles. Two and half miles a day, I thought smugly. That’s plenty. What do you think I am? Athletic? But when I saw both my husband’s sisters sporting fitbits, and when one of them told me she routinely clocks 10,000 steps a day—and she has a desk job—I decided to get on board.  You can get all social with it like she…

Meanwhile at Universal Studios #Throwback Thursday [memoir]

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As a tour guide at Universal Studios in the mid-1980’s I loved visiting the backlot with my fellow guides. Except for that time that guy screamed on the set .... 




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Art+Architecture: The Frank Gehry Design for Louis Vuitton

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I don’t suppose most people go to Paris looking for architecture by Canadian-born, LA-based Frank Gehry but the designer of eye-popping buildings like Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall and Spain’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has certainly made a mark on the city’s urban landscape. Gehry’s designs are always controversial but after seeing the model for the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris at the new Gehry exhibit at LACMA today, I can’t help wondering what the French make of the creation popping up out of the Bois de Bologne like a futuristic sailing ship, ready to take off into the sky?
Model for the Louis Vuitton Foundation; credit: mois
For the time being, the closest I’ll come to seeing the building is here in L.A. where the Gehry exhibit at LACMA has just opened and features a dizzying 200+sketches and over 65 models. Some built, some yet to be built and some that never will. And yes, one of those models is, as pictured above, the model for the Luis Vuitton Foundation. I don’t know abo…

From Victoria Sponges to Schichttorte: The Great British Baking Show is BACK!

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“Those look absolutely scrummy” 
Chopped. Hell’s Kitchen. Iron Chef. Top Chef. Master Chef. Name a cooking competition show and I’ve probably watched it. Not because I love to cook—I can bake it or leave it—but I do love watching other people do it. Last year, quite by accident, we discovered The Great British Baking Show on PBS and promptly fell in love.  The BBC show—they call it the Great British Bake-Off—takes a dozen or so home bakers, puts them together in a pastel confection of a kitchen, under a tent, out in the middle of an emerald green field—last season we watched big fat raindrops plop down into a nearby pond— and presents them with a variety of baking challenges, from ‘simple’ Victorian sponges to Schichttorte (even harder to make than pronounce) until, ta-da, a dozen delightful episodes later, we have a winner. I don’t even think the winner wins anything; not a million pounds, not their own show, nothing except perhaps the honor of wearing the Best British Baker crown. And…

Long Live the Queen

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If I’d been born a few days later, on June 2 instead of May 28th, you’d be calling me Liz instead of Sim. As it is, Elizabeth is my middle name, in honor of the Queen who today becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history! The young princess took over the reigns when her father, King George VI passed away during the night in February of 1952. She was officially crowned the following year on June 2, 1953. So I’m not quite as old as Queen Elizabeth’s historic reign, but I’m getting there. [Insert un-smiley face here] In honor of the day, I’d like to re-share a short piece: I haven't lived in England for years and years. And years. Basically a very long time. The kind of time you cough into your hand over, trying to hide the exact humungous number of years. Long enough ago that any reasonable person could be forgiven for calling me an American. But beware, should you say anything negative about the UK or Queen Elizabeth, my British roots will start showing and my British blo…