Tag Archives: author

Trying To Get Organized?

by Kimberly A. Cook

At the end of each year my friend Carol and I say, “Next year we’re getting organized.” We’ve been saying that for more than thirty years now. I don’t think it’s taken. Not for lack of trying mind you. It comes down to stuff and paper. No matter how I try, eventually one day I’m overwhelmed. Today could be that day.

IMG_3078

Spec Ops Cat got a new kitty cave bed last weekend. He loves it. Temporarily put it on the chair. Now it’s permanent. I could use a Kim cave myself.

 

It’s a constant battle. Stuff I can rotate and control to some degree; I purge clothes and books on a regular basis. Kitchen items and towels are a little harder. But paper really takes the cake.

One of the hazards of being a writer is clipping newspaper articles, hoarding books, keeping travel handouts and collecting office supplies. When you have a Scrat brain, every handout, business card and coupon can spark an idea.

Going digital hasn’t helped. The number of bookmark folders on my Samsung tablet alone are mind boggling. So I keep trying.

Add to the mix my Mom’s recent move and all kinds of interesting stuff ended up in my house to process. Of course, that has forced me to get rid of the leftover garage sale items to Goodwill so Subie can actually open her doors inside the garage.

Now, truth be told, if I hadn’t dragged home the wooden park bench from my Mom’s backyard that needs refinishing, the garage would have been okay. Kinda. But once I sand it, scrub it and paint it pink, it will make a fabulous addition to the fairy rock garden this summer. My name is Kim and I’m a project-aholic.

But paper. Yuck. Almost finished sorting the receipts for taxes. Now that is a land speed record for me to have that done in January. Go me.

But, it’s raining and dark outside. A new box of jewelry goodies I ordered has been open for two weeks and I haven’t been able to play with it yet. Its siren song is calling me across the office. Then I have a bunch of Hallmark holiday movies still clogging my DVR.

Plus those Christmas cookies never got baked and the ingredients are still waiting on the kitchen counter. Playing with jewelry parts, watching a movie and eating fresh baked cookies. Forget the paperwork for today.

I’m sure I’ll need to follow Spec Ops Cat’s lead and take a nap too.

Tomorrow I’m going to get organized! How about you?

 

3 Comments

Filed under Crafting

Happy Birthday Beatrix!

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Today is Beatrix Potter’s birthday, that champion of little rabbits in coats with brass buttons.  What better way to spend a Friday than having bunny dreams.

An extraordinary woman, especially for her time, she is an enduring artist, author and treasure. What she accomplished in countryside land conservation with the proceeds from her “little bunny book” is legend and part of the National Trust in the United Kingdom. If you havwen’t seen the movie “Miss Potter,” take a look at this trailer and put it on your list.

Rabbits rule! Go Peter!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Got Secret Sea Lions In Your Camera?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Sun fever. That’s my excuse for no posts the last two weeks. The bright orb came out for three days in a row, so I grabbed Mom and we bugged out for the beach. The Friday traffic was light, the sun kept shining; we were sure we’d get struck by lightning, but nada. Yeah!

IMG_0864

This is one of the coves on the North Point at Depoe Bay. You can see the city in the background along the sea wall.

 

Took my almost new Canon PowerShot SX530 HS with me to put it through its paces. This beauty has focal length from 24-1200mm with a 50x zoom and 16 megapixels for about $250.00. It’s my first foray back into larger body cameras after leaving my metal 35mm Minolta’s behind in 2006 to go digital with the Canon ELPHs. Sometimes you just need a bigger lens. Smirk.

IMG_0862

When I went full zoom from the same spot above, look who showed up? A faithful seagull subject. Thank heavens the clouds came in so his colors show up nicely and he/she is not bleached out.

 

Anyway, a big perk is the plastic body so it doesn’t weigh a ton like my vintage 35mms. When I worked on the newspaper I carried a 28 wide and a 100-250 zoom on two camera bodies and tried not to break my neck. Weighs less than a pound. This seems the best of both worlds, plus no film!

Of course, the manual has so many gadget settings it may take me years to figure them out, but I was out stalking marine wildlife and taking shots to test it. Much fun. Mom is working on her photo skills too, so we were girls on a mission.

One thing I did was make like a human tripod, since I didn’t bring one along on our walk. Both tripods were safe in the car back at the condo. I ended up leaning against a post and bracing my legs and then my elbows on my chest. It helps, really.

The clouds came over as a bonus since we were out at 2 p.m., not the best time for getting photos. But you take what you can get and go with it. When the wind picked up we scuttled back to the condo. Upon perusal of my many pics, I cracked up when I saw the ones of the buoy.

IMG_0827

One photo trick is to get the path to take the viewer into the picture. This one I used both the rope and posts on the left side and the path on the far right. Between trees three and four from the left, is where the buoy is in the next pic.  It’s a ways out there, trust me.

 

Surprise sea lions! The 50x was at its max zoom, I was concentrating on being a tripod and just trying to get the buoy in the frame, so imagine my delight to find sleeping sea lions in my picture, lounging on the buoy. You never know what might show up in your pictures.

IMG_0826

A tripod would have helped this exposure. As the “marine mammal editor” on the paper I was always mixing up the harbor seals with the sea lions. Harbor seals are like fat sausages and sea lions have the big flippers and small ears.  Sea lion on the right, I’m holding judgment on the other two.  Next time I’m taking both tripods!

 

So keep taking pics and being surprised. It’s part of the adventure!

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

A Photo Interlude?

by Kimberly A. Cook         (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

I can’t seem to get my act together with a trash compactor these days, so today’s late post will feature some oldie but goodie photographs. Have a ton of new photos to share from recent adventures, but can’t get on top of things. Stay tuned, some day I might get organized. Maybe.

IMG_6337

You can never go wrong with good food and drink. Two of my favorites here. Perfect for rainy cold weather.  

Then we need to add some beauty to our visual break.

IMG_7608

One of my favorite roses, the Double Delight. Yes, Spring will come again and while a few roses are still blooming now, this gives me hope!

And last but not least, every writer needs a wingman, so here is mine, Spec Ops Cat.

IMG_6942

And I wonder why the paper jams in my printer; must be the cat hair. Spec Ops Cat doing his impression of a paperweight. Good boy!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Photography

Real Books Are Still Way Cool

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The planets aligned correctly last Friday and I combined a visit to my hairdresser and the 10th Annual Rose City Book and Paper Fair. Truly miraculous. Before I knew it I had wandered for three hours among the booths snapping up must have books and getting creative ideas and inspirations. These were my peeps!

IMG_1474.JPG

Original Dr. Seuss? Can you see the number of zeros behind the $? http://www.burnsiderarebooks.com

While I could not afford the high priced books, I could see them and be impressed. In one booth a guy practically climbed over me to get to a signed framed photo of Muhammad Ali. In another booth I noticed a first edition Ali biography bound in leather and signed by the Champ. When I learned of his passing Friday night, it touched me to have seen things he had signed. The greatest of all time.

IMG_1472.JPG

Speaking of greats, how about this display of book authors? http://www.pacificcoastbooks.net

The variety was astounding and I had a blast. The event is put on by the Cascade Booksellers Association and featured 55 booths. Vendors from Oregon, Washington and California displayed their goods. I scampered away with four books; a biography of Hans Christian Andersen from the $3 table, a $5 copy of Hardtack and Coffee, Women Marines; The World War II Era and U.S. Submarine Losses of World War II.

 

IMG_1469.JPG

How is this for an amazing display? Makes you want to pick them up doesn’t it? Zephyr Used & Rare Books

 

It does my heart good to see folks preserving and cherishing these books and items produced by other artists and writers. There were even relief maps built for the World War II invasion in the Pacific, including the mapmakers memories. You never know what you might find.

IMG_1467.JPG

Building 14 items from World War II. About $3,000.00 for the package of relief maps. http://www.monographbookwerks.com

Elvis was in the building and so were cookbooks and some very cool collectibles.

IMG_1477.JPG

Elvis is always in the building as far as I’m concerned.

I need more walls to hang art on and store books. What better past time for an adventure than to hunt for books this summer?

What’s on your book wish list?

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creativity

It’s Snoopy Happy Dance Friday!

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

It’s time! The new “Peanuts” movie opens today. Does life get any better than that? Snoopy is my hero from his military service to his Joe Cool shades and fantastic Latin dance moves. Plus he’s a writer, I have his books. Looks like this movie has it all.

What better way to spend the weekend than a visit with the Peanuts gang. Crank up the sound and let’s all boogie with Snoopy! A dog’s work is never done.

Happy Quirky Friday and have a great weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Curiosity Begets Creativity?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

A couple Sundays ago I dragged, er invited my author buddy Cindy Hiday to go see author Elizabeth Gilbert talk abut her new book “Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear” on her book tour.

My reading copy on the left, I take the dust cover off. My autographed copy on the right which lives on the special signed first editions keeper shelf in my office. Very "Big Magic" indeed.

My reading copy on the left, I take the dust cover off. My autographed copy on the right which lives on the special signed first editions keeper shelf in my office. Very “Big Magic” indeed.

I was so excited to attend even on a Sunday night in downtown Portland. On our way into the theater I saw piles of books. We were each given one. Seventh heaven. I’d already bought the book and had been reading it using pink highlighter and flag tags, but this one was autographed. Yeah!

Listened to Liz read from “Big Magic” and then she answered questions from a huge stack of audience question cards. It was a fun and brilliant evening which ended with everyone singing “Country Roads” with the help of John Denver piped into the theater. Perfect.

It’s so nice to hear an accomplished author speak about creativity as a good thing which everybody has and not some burden guaranteed to drive us all nuts. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book so far.

“(because in the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience).”

“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”

“Possessing a creative mind, after all, is something like having a border collie for a pet: It needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble.”  

‘If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”

“I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”

That last one really hit me in the brain. Wow. I am a very curious person and I’m never more happy than following some research topic or article down the rabbit hole in search of something new. The act of discovery through curiosity is better than chocolate.

Plus fear sucks, so let’s all bypass it with curiosity. Liz Gilbert rocks! I am reading her book in little bits each night before bed, savoring it like a pint of Rocky Road ice cream. If you’re looking for a good book about the joy of creativity, this book is for you.

“Big Magic” is divided into six parts; Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. There are topics ranging from road trips to fairy dust. Who can argue with fairy dust? Put it on your wish list for Santa or snap it up now for yourself.

Got curiosity? You’re creative!

2 Comments

Filed under Creativity