Mix Tape Love

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”– The Perks of Being a Wallflower

top ten tuesday

TOP TEN SONGS FOR THE ULTIMATE MIX TAPE (In other words, you should be listening to these songs and these bands!)

side-a1 “The Modern Leper”– Frightened Rabbit

“Poison and Wine”– The Civil Wars

“Time to Run”– Lord Huron

“Hard to Find”– The National

“A Movie Script Ending”– Death Cab for Cutie

“New York”– Blind Pilot


“Ask”– The Smiths

“I Miss You”– Blink 182

“I’m on Fire”– Bruce Springsteen

“Heal”– Catherine Wheel

“Inbetween Days”– The Cure

“Long Ride Home”– Patty Griffin


Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBRing

(Haha…I don’t read good. Lol. I thought this topic was for this week, but it’s for next week. I’ll repost then. Ooops.)

No fanfare today. Just the facts. It’s Tuesday. And that means Top Ten Tuesday via The Broke and the Bookish. I have too much reading to do. That much is clear. So no time for jokes or fancy lead-ins. I have to get right to it so I can start reading ASAP!

top ten tuesday

TOP ELEVEN (which could have easily been fifty) BOOKS ON MY FALL TBR LIST


Photo Story #119

Higher and Better

Higher and Better

When she looks at the buildings that stretch into the sky, she wonders.  She wonders if her life would be better if she worked in one of those tiny windows. Not just better, but more exciting. Would those tiny windows have opened up the doors that she so desperately wants to go through but can’t because they aren’t even visible to her? Would being so high in the sky have brought her closer to her dreams? Would she be important? Would she have really become somebody?

She always wonders this on Sunday nights.


Top Ten Tuesday: Best Book Titles


Tuesday. Right? I have to get up earlier every Tuesday morning, so I’m happy to dread Tuesdays as much as Mondays. But Tuesday also means another episode of Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by The Broke and The Bookish. Click the link to checkout upcoming topics and join in the fun.

“Life moves pretty fast”, said the great Ferris Bueller. And I don’t always have time to stop and read a book. Or a chapter. Or, to be honest, even a page. But something Twitter-sized? Why yes, I always have time for that. For this reason, I looooove book titles. Sometimes a humorous book title leaves me as full of laughter as an entire comedian’s memoir. Or a beautifully written title stays with me for days, just as a gorgeous paragraph would. So my choice for this week’s Top Ten All Time Favorite (insert-genre-here)?





What are some of your favorite titles? Do share!

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Top Ten Tuesday: TV Shows That Should Have Never Gone Away

TELEVISION! TV! DVRing! (Yes, that’s a word!) Fall TV! I know I’m a writer, but I love TV shows just as much as I love books. The best TV shows are those with great characters and great writing. Sadly, I think this is why all my favorite TV shows get cancelled or never last. I’m not big on (non)reality TV or big explosions. I want depth! I want great writing! I want all the things that I guess the average American viewer doesn’t. Ha.

So here it goes…my return to Top Ten Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish!

top ten tuesday


(I know…it’s a top ten list. I’m not good at math.)

5. Southland



“Southland has redefined the police drama genre with its raw, authentic look at the lives and work of Los Angeles detectives and beat cops. Shot on location in the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the series captures a realistic, natural environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life.” – TV.com

Even if I did only start to watch it because I missed Ryan Atwood from The O.C., this show grabbed me from the start with the interesting characters and fantastic real-life situations. It was no glossy police drama. And I miss it.

4. Ed



Ed Stevens is a contracts lawyer at a high-profile New York City firm. Around the same time he splits with his wife (who slept with a mailman), he makes a single error in punctuation when going over a contract. Because of the resulting financial loss to the firm, he’s fired. Despondent, he heads back to his (small) hometown of Stuckeyville — ‘Anytown’, USA. There he realizes he’s been missed by a lot of friends whom he’s missed and he sees Carol, the girl he’d adored in high school. Swept up in roiling emotions, Ed buys the local bowling alley on a whim, moves to Stuckeyville, and determines to win Carol’s heart. His horizons broaden as he settles once more in Stuckeyville, and the series itself settles into a charming, funny, often serious slice-of-life series focused not solely on Ed but on the lovable ensemble cast of people who live and work with him in Stuckeyville.-TV.com

I loved Ed. A lot of this was probably due to the fact that I love small-town America. But this was yet another show with fantastic characters and great writing.

Here is a great article just from this year about the show. It’s back on TV in reruns!

3. Love Monkey



“Record label executive Tom Farrell has an eye for talent. Akas, his boss, doubts his killer-instinct so much that Tom gets fired. So he and a few friends start a minor music label, specializing in a few unknown potential pop/rock-stars, but if they pick right that also means larger labels can offer better deals. Meanwhile, Tom’s sister and confident links him to over-sensitive surgeon Mike Freed and a bunch of basketball mates, including closet-guy TV reporter Jake Dunne.” –IMBD.com

Maybe I just love Tom Cavanagh. Ha. But this was another great show that never got a chance. It loved it because it was about the music business. That seemed like a fresh idea to me. If I had Showtime, I’d love to see if I’d like the show Roadies as well. Anyone got a review for me?

2. Trust Me



They’ll sell everything but their friendship. Mason McGuire (McCormack) and Conner (Cavanagh) are two very different but equally close leaders of the pack in their cutting edge Chicago advertising agency. When Mason is promoted over Conner, the two must learn to navigate their new paths while their personal and professional relationships are tested. “- TV.com

This show lasted one season on TNT. It was an ad agency drama. Eric McCormack, Monica Potter, and yes…Tom Cavanagh. Until this post, I had no idea of my apparent love for Tom Cavanagh. I really enjoyed this one, too. This is about the time that I started NOT watching new dramas because I didn’t want to fall in love with yet another one and then see it cancelled. Now I wait a few episodes to see if it’s going to stick around. I can’t have my heart broken yet again.Go

1. Friday Night Lights



Best. Show. Ever. If I could marry a TV show, I would marry FNL. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

A great article here from Grantland right before the final episode.

What are some current or previous shows I should be watching? I’m always ready to take on more TV!


True Olympic Inspiration

The Olympics are a wonderful thing. They start with strange mascots, oily Tongan muscle men, and Gisele Bundchen walking across a stadium in a moment that I’m still trying to understand as “significant”. She was just walking, right? Then there are all the sports. When else can you flip between ping pong- er, I mean table tennis- and badminton, later tuning into handball and archery? And in between there are all the feel-good stories, like this one about a Brazilian penguin:

The Olympics provide a glorious two weeks of entertainment and inspiration. Both for the athletes and for people like me who are couch-ridden with a hamstring strain. I’m definitely in need of a dose of inspiration, and if you are, too, hopefully you’ve been tuning in. Because Rio has been full of inspiration.

I’m sorry, though, if you were expecting another Michael Phelps tribute because you won’t find it here. He doesn’t inspire me at all. I’m not inspired by his showboating after wins–you know, those five-finger flashes or his I’m-number-one smirks–or his name-dropping Ray Lewis in his final post-race interview. I’m not inspired by this Maryland boy’s fiancee from Plastic Barbie, California either. (Anyone wonder where the sisters are at this Olympics? Guess they got pushed out by the more marketable “love” of his life.) And honestly, I’m not impressed with his Costco haul of Olympic medals. Sorry, not impressed.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 7.32.57 PM

You see, if you can manage to step on your tippy-toes and see around all the Phelps Hoopla, there’s a whole collection of stories being told at this Olympics. Stories of real inspiration:

There’s American marathoner Desiree Linden who said this after finishing 7th, “I put everything out there. I’m not upset at all. I wish I were a little bit better. I wish I would have Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.03.48 PMbeen closer. But we went all in. And that’s as good as I am.” She’s happy to be as good as she is. Even if it’s 7th place. We need more role models like Desiree. And then what about last place finisher Ly Nary from Cambodia who finished nearly an hour after the winner? She’s a scientist, not even a professional athlete, and she finished the Olympic marathon. 24 others did not even finish. And the best part…she celebrated her accomplishment.

How about 400m participant Maryan Muse from Somalia? She ran a time of 1:10:14 in her heat. The camera couldn’t even keep her in the frame because she was so far behind. But lacking the comforts that say, Michael Phelps, enjoys, it’s an inspiration just to see her on the track in Rio. Read her story here.

More inspiration came from Equestrian. Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen quit the Olympics out of concern for her horse. The horse fell ill from an insect bite. Though he was cleared to go, she could sense something was wrong and quit mid-ride. And she’s no Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.07.14 PM“participant.” She’s a silver and bronze medalist from London. Clearly, though, her heart is already made of gold as she said this, “In the arena he felt totally empty and I decided not to continue. He did not deserve this,” she continued. “In order to protect him, I gave up … My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this … So I saluted and left the arena.”

There has been a ton of inspiration in the pool. But most inspirational to me belongs to Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.09.05 PMMissy Franklin. She’s had a terrible Olympics. But she’s kept smiling and cheering on her teammates even while admitting to crying in the dark private moments of her Olympic Village home. Courage is putting on a brave face when everything inside you screams otherwise. That’s more inspirational than any gold medal.

No group has probably been more maligned by host NBC than the US men’s gymnastics team. NBC finally gave them some TV minutes when team member Alex Naddour won a bronze medal on pommel horse. Because that’s how most people Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.11.48 PMare…what can you do for me? No medal = no interest. For NBC it was just another TV medal moment. But for Alex Naddour, it looked like so much more. He missed out on the Olympics last year, and it’s been his goal for four years to get here. He performed the routine of his life and earned a bronze medal. And his tears showed just how meaningful that one medal is.

There have been so many more inspirational moments. Gymnasts Aly Raisman and Simone Biles walking hand-in-hand during a meet in which they were battling each other. The Norwegian wrestler who was dog-piled by his coaches as he won a bronze medal. A 41-year-old gymnast. Golfer Matt Kuchar’s effusive pride at finishing third. The USA men’s doubles team winning the bronze and being so excited that they get to wear the medal-ceremony jackets.

The Olympics are full of inspiration and reminders of what sport is all about, and this year it’s no different. You can be sure when I return to running and Crossfit, I’ll be thinking of Desiree Linden or Missy Franklin or the triumph of some Norweigian man named Stig-Andre Berge. They are the true athletic heroes who should be celebrated and plastered all over our primetime televisions.

(Share with me some of your favorite inspirational moments!)


CHASING EVELINE…Coming Soon(ish)!

If you’ve been around this blog and feel as though you’ve heard this one before, please don’t stop me (who got that Smiths reference???) but instead go here probably because you feel like this (I know I do):

I know, I’ve told you before that I was going to be a published author.  It was humiliating enough to tell friends and family that it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t announce it here, to the world. Perhaps some of you were even wondering, “Hey, what’s going on with that?” Well, nothing. That publisher went out of business before CHASING EVELINE even saw the light of day. And I’ve been pretty depressed since.

Because for some people, publication seems to be either a festive carnival, an all-you-can-eat buffet, or an island paradise. For me, it’s been like a mid-July desert crossing in jeans and a wool sweater.


But that hasn’t stopped me. Either because I’m perseverant or crazy. Or both. But I’ve kept at it (and am keeping on keeping at it with a second manuscript here) and finally CHASING EVELINE has found a home. Pen Name Publishing will bring Ivy and Matt into the world. I am so grateful for this opportunity and to have someone believe in my story and in my writing. February 2018 is the tentative publication date. So there’s no need to clear space on your shelf/Kindle yet. But someday February 2018 will arrive. And when that happens, I hope the world will love Ivy and Matt as much as I do. Here’s what you can expect:

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never find joy in the present.

Chasing Eveline