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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Limbering Up for NaNoWriMo

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Writing this blog is like practicing the scales on a piano.  I’m sure to improve with practice.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, starts at midnight November 1.  That’s my signal to put my hands on the keyboard and start pounding away.

Writing 50,000 words in a mere 30 days will not be easy.


Late October Musings

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It’s the first cool evening of the season, the season we call “fall” in Florida.  No falling leaves here.  Our fall officially arrives when the temperature dips below 80 during the day, 60 at night.

(Halloween is usually a summerlike, makeup-melting muggy affair).

Tonight I was not only inspired to make chicken and dumplings, but also to slip in a quick walk around the neighborhood after dinner.  Cool air lifted my hair and my spirits.  I walked faster, reveling in the fading light that was soon replaced with a delightful pumpkin-colored sunset.

Fall, I embrace you!  As I toast your arrival with a cup of hot apple cider, I realize the air conditioner’s still running.

2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Orlando Metro, FL | Making Strides

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In the fall of 1988, my mother learned she had breast cancer.  That’s hardly a surprising diagnosis in my family.  Twenty years before, my grandmother received the same bad news.

At the time, I was days away from delivering my second child, convinced that a little brother for my four-year-old son was on the way.   Mama started brainstorming girls’ names instead.  At the top of her list was Gabrielle Marie (Marie is my middle name).

Mama turned out to be right–when I gave birth to a daughter on October 17, I gave her the name my mother chose for her.  Two weeks later, Mama had her mastectomy.

I’m happy to say my 83-year-old mother, Virginia, is a survivor.  My grandmother lived until the age of 87 (she would have been 102 this month).    On October 29, Gabby and I are walking on behalf of the strong women in our family and for dear friends who’ve had breast cancer.

The link to my page is below:

2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Orlando Metro, FL | Making Strides.

Ode to a Brilliant Boomer

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Everyone’s talking tonight about the passing of Steve Jobs.  At 56, he was one of us, our generation’s one-of-a-kind genius.

He grew up like us, watching “The Jetsons” and “Star Trek.”  And like us, he believed in hard work.

As young people, we all vowed to changed the world.  Steve Jobs really did.

Teaming technology and liberal arts, he single-handedly created desktop publishing.  We bought personal computers for our homes.  Soon, our kids preferred them to toys.  Schools quickly adopted Apple computers because they made learning accessible and fun.  We loved Pixar movies like “Toy Story.”

Boomers love music, so it was only natural that Steve Jobs create something beyond the 8-track, cassette and CD–the iPod.  And the iPhone and iPad brought us hand-held video and communications.  When we were born, TV was black and white and many people still had party line telephones.

As an editor, I marveled at his contributions to graphic arts and typography that revolutionized publications.  Powered by his imagination and drive, he achieved amazing success with his life-changing innovations.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition,” Steve Jobs advised Stanford graduates in a commencement address in 2005.  Yes, he did, and our lives are so much richer for that.