Saturday, September 27, 2008


sometimes my daughter, 2 1/2 years older than her little brother, will snap out orders to him like, "do your homework," or "no dessert 'til you eat your dinner." -and my standard reply is to say to her with a smile, "i'll be the mom, you be the sister."

and a few times this week i've found myself snapping out orders.. about how this city should operate and who should run the country

then i hear a little voice whisper in my ear, "i'll be God and you be sandra,"

helps me laugh and carry on.

Monday, September 22, 2008


i have so many people to thank, i'm not sure where to begin..

but let me begin with bernie, linda & claude. bernie berke, some know, is my former flute teacher and a cherished friend for life.. linda is bernie's wife, another wonderful music teacher and claude is bernie's music partner in crime

and these are exactly the kind of friends you're very lucky to have if you happen to be peddling mag time frames at a leisurely paced art & heritage festival in challenging economic times..

so bernie, for example.. he tells his wife to pick out one of my designs, forces $10 in my hand, and while linda and i make a halloween themed mag time frame together, bernie stands back a little and with a giant enthusiastic voice starts sayin'

"oh! we have so many mag time frames.. we love your product.. you do such a great job!"

and he makes sure every passerby can hear him. -and even though it didn't create any long lines at my table.. i sure felt lucky and couldn't stop smiling listening to him go on like he was

here's his wife w/her mag time halloween frame:

thank you linda and you

and when i say forced $10 in my hand, i kinda mean it. this is a

terrible weakness of mine.. i can easily accept money from strangers, but from friends or family.. very hard. "no, no! you drove all this way.. it's on me. no! no! you've done so much for me already... it's on me. no! don't you dare pay me.. you just helped me with all that stuff.. no! no! this is how i can thank you for..."

and it does feel really good to have something.. some way.. to express a thank you. since i don't bake or cook.. this is my one special thing i can do. so i hit a compromise here with my dear blogger friend, ren man (AKA: jim ott) and his two beautiful daughters: 2 for 1. and want to say THANK YOU to jim, kelsey, melissa for stopping by too and making some mag time frames

and then i want to double-thank my daughter, because she helped so much with designing the magnets, helping me organize and prepare, and then hung out at our table all day. bless her heart.. it was non-stop when i did this at the livermore farmer's market, and based on that experience i solicited her help "i won't be able to do this without you" i told her -and she stepped write up, but it turned out (and you can never really know in advance), that there were long stretches of doin' nothin

but i must say here, if you're commited to hanging out somewhere for a while, downtown pleasanton, on main street, in front of the museum, with live music being played behind you, the aroma of food fair all around you, sunshine, gorgeous shady trees, and plenty of booths and guests for people watching -this is not the worst way to spend a leiusurely afternoon.

but i could not have even had or set up my booth, without my mom's help.. so thank you mom for helping me load/transport and set up everything! -and made the whole weekend extra special to have my beautiful aunt betty, my uncle ernie, my uncle dave.. (all of who helped me several years ago set up at the HUGE hobby industry tradeshow, where i was never discovered, ripped off & robbed and which can now only be seen as "prelude to a bankruptsy")


i've never stopped believing in my mag time frames, and neither have they.. THANK YOU!!

and then all of the pictures i'd like to post write here, are still with my new photographer friend curtis finger, and i won't have them 'til next month.. but i'll be publishing, mag time frames & creative things (one way or another), and curtis came on a sunday -despite a crazy, hectic, schedule & busy life, to take some group/posed and candid photos for the book.. so thank you to my mom friends who brought their children by for some make n' take mag time frame fun and thank you children for your smiles for the camera -debbie, megan, matthew, lisolette, julian, chloe, keeshie, sarah, matthew, virginia, katie

and for me personally.. extra fun to have virginia & katie a part of this book, because they are both in my hokey, hometown, 30 second comcast commercial from 2003, i think it was.. (in the archives at

and speaking of my hokey, hometown, 30 second comcast commercial

the BIGGEST, BESTEST SURPRISE this weekend was having my dearest, life-saving, entertaining, 5 day a week, blogumnist friend LEONARD STEGMANN, and his wife MELINDA

stop by.. (and p.s., that cutey pie blond is not their daughter, but my camera shy niece sneaking in again)

otherwise known as: SQUIDMANN & SPIKE. -what a treat!- a huge surprise! -and that's how we met in the first place, when leonard was working for comcast and came to film my 30 second commercial.. -and i haven't seen him since 2003, but we have had great fun in the blogosphere since he introduced me to his blog in 2005..

he's now posted over 700 blogs, and i've read and commented on nearly every single one of them.. so playful and fun.. absolutely has lifted me out of the most dark and dreadful times..

as i told his wife, "i get to start everyday with a smile instead of a headache" - i just treasure him so - and it was the first thing i did this very morning.. wake up, turn on the computer, read squidmann's post at

and he's had a few events over the past couple years in half moon bay that i've known about, but have not, for one reason or another, attended; and i've had a few events here in the tri valley, that he's known about, but for one reason or another, not attended.. so i just figured that's how things would stay.. that we would never see each other in person, just blog n' comment, blog n' comment..

so just was the greatest, biggest surprise to see them.. made my whole weekend.. and not just to see them.. but to watch my leonard "create his own" mag time frame.. too much fun, honestly..

( i know he's melinda's in real life.. but he's my leonard in the cyber world)

and his wife melinda is a school teacher, so she was so much fun too.. giving him a hard time about his "fine motor skills." these pictures are priceless to me. i had made and mailed a mag time frame some years ago for their turtle ellsworth, and they said the cat was jealous, so here they are making a mag time frame for celine (is it celine?.. sp?)

and do you see the same trend i do?

that i'm not so much sustained by profits, but by inspiration and the love of friends of family.

-and i want to thank God here for that!

and speaking of family.. the extra treat too, of seeing my cousin kristie, who i haven't seen in over 10 years i think, and her two beautiful children i had the great pleasure to meet for the first time (pictures w/curtis).

and speaking of friends, thank you also to debbie and her husband. doesn't this look like a romantic afternoon.. hand in hand, making mag time frames in downtown pleasanton...

and my dear friend jill, and her son..

very cool, mom & me, project, don't ya think...

and my good friend and neighbor cheryl; thank you!

and this sweetie pie here, (daughter of a friend of my sisters ). she just made my day..

made one mag time frame, walked away, and started pulling on her daddy's shirt asking if

she could please make one more..

thank you so much!!

and i didn't get pictures of everyone.. and curtis has many pictures i'm missin' -but thank you to gita too, from amelia's.. she came by, and like bernie, she made sure everyone could hear her when she said, "wow! these are awesome! i love this!" -and she said to me, "you have a facility.. use this place.. (meaning amelia's deli).. do craft parties, whatever you want.."

and mary from centerpointe church.. thank you too! -mary came by and not only made a mag time frame, but asked me about my goals and dreams

" i want to be a famous american writer," i told her (and heard some passersby giggle at my statement)

"what do you write? what have you published?" she asked me

and i told her.. "creative non fiction... three years in a row published in the livermore wine country literary harvest, and recently -solicited- and published in the social cause diet.. creative non-fiction about my volunteer work with the tri valley haven.."

and then she brought her friend elaine, also from centerpointe, over to my table, and she said to me "tell her... tell her about your writing and your dream.."

and i had to say it out loud again.. "i want to become a famous american writer," -and i repeated what i've done so far..

and these words don't just come out of my mouth with ease and confidence. it's awkward and a little embarrassing; but it's true.

and i'm thankful to mary for encouraging me to say my dream out loud, in public; twice.

and big thanks to dianne jones from the museum for inviting to participate in this art/heritage event, and for taking in my mag time frame designs and souvenir magnets to sell in the museum.

and there were a few people.. a beautiful blond lady who purchased several kits, another dark haired lady who bought kits for her crafty daughter

but had i counted on total strangers at the fair -had i counted on the curiosity/generosity of random visitors at the art & heritage festival

it would have been one long, slow and boring weekend. but as you can see from these pictures

i'm very blessed with the kind of friends and family that make time fly.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SO MUCH TO DO, SO MUCH TO SAY.. (me!) sandra, tvgp

which reminds me of dave matthews, and no artist/musician has me more curious about who inspired their songs -crash into me- my God! who is that woman? man? person?

but to point here, to point:

i hope to return to write in great length about scott adam's recurring concern that we are all moist robots -but i have a great deal to do today- so start w/brief notes:

NOTHING has come my way, as a writer/thinker, that lends itself better to human life analogy than computers: we are hard wired (nature) * have default settings (nature) * become programmed (nurture) * accept software (nurture/environment) * reject software * get viruses * reach memory capacity * are sometimes "on", sometimes "off", have a variety of "modes" -toggle switches... caches.. and screen savers (mind keeps going back to...)

we can be programmed (brainwashed) -de or re-programmed...

the list does go on and on....

and i can spend great amounts of time, trying to figure out my own "program" and learning the ins/outs of other people's programs.. what is fixed (hardwired) vs. changable (software uninstall, new install)

and am fascinated with the complexities pharmaceuticals yield: when chemicals can in fact alter personality/behavior -when are we returning a diseased mind to health vs. robbing a unique mind of it's originality and making it standard or God forbid, normal

but foremost in my thoughts write now, is this question/fascination: we (humans) are designed/programmed with the ability to conceal our motives

so that one person can give of themselves altruistically

another can give of themselves, for hidden selfish/manipulative purposes

but on the outside, to the observer, their kind acts might be witnessed as having equal value; similar motivations

and there can be circumstances where there is no way to prove -in a court of law, say-

that one is altruistic and the other manipulative

this is only known to the individual... and for those who believe, the individual and God

for those who don't believe: only the individual

and isn't that a fascinating/interesting/curious element in the design/program of human beings...

why would such an ability even exist? that we can mask lies * be so limited in our public ability to prove/disprove truth...

but we all know there is such a thing as the "truth"

repeating then: isn't that fascinating/interesting/curious.. the value of truth and who has access to it...


lastly, and new page, different journal:

in scott adams's blog TODAY.. he mentions a conversation w/book publishers:

I remember having dinner with a group of book publishers and asking them how many great undiscovered authors there are. They answered unanimously “none.” It was their view that every good author can get published because the publishing industry is scratching the dirt to find them. I think that’s mostly true.

and after i vomitted in the bathroom and returned to read the rest, i thought to myself

who are you kidding?

no undiscovered/unpublished great authors? how can this be..

we have at least ONE WRITE HERE! (thinking here of james morrison's lyrics, i'm not lost, just undiscovered)

but that's just the beginning.. look at the number of "self publishing" businesses...

look at the success of blogs..

look at the number of writing workshops/conferences/local writer's groups in homes, libraries, bookstores across the globe


the number of published writers. to suggest out of this gigantic population there are no great unpublished writers?

between reading random blog posts and attending regular writer's groups, i have witnessed NUMEROUS OUTSTANDING, ENTIRELY ORIGINAL, FABULOUS, ENGAGING, KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF stories by unpublished authors

the publishers scott adams talk to are diggin' in the wrong dirt

i know where the rich soil is.. send them to me! (and with a lucrative contract please)

in my opinion/experience, the process of becoming published.. the queries/proposals..

rejections, -the process itself- very yucky, formal, detached

pulls/requires an energy/discipline/patience almost polar opposite from the energy/verve of the creative writer

who said this to me? kathy cordova? did someone say this to her? ~ writing is art/publishing is business..

and in that business the layers/obstacles keep multiplying.. used to be:

send to the publisher

then, send to the agent, agent to the publisher

but i had to laugh, in a cry kind of way, when i recently found that a writer now needs an agent to get to the agent that might get to the publisher; no shit. look here:

i just couldn't disagree more that there are no unpublished great writers. there is a plethora of unpublished great writers..

and when i listen to or read (or produce) great writing, i'm filled with the desire to make sure it is somehow shared

this desire not unique to me, and the very reason so many self publishing opportunities are born, growing and thriving

kurt vonnegut said it best (must go now to recapture his quote on charlie rose. brb...)

yes.. here it is. and worth pointing out this is from a september 8th, 1999 appearance on charlie rose, and i think (example above) it's only gotten worse for writers

but AGAIN what pleases me, is industry layers/obstacles/failings DO NOT stop the creative process,

the creative process continues; finds its own way; some way... any way...

"well, as i say, people are responding now intelligently, instinctively to all sorts of dampers on their lives. -all sorts of cultural dampers on their lives,

like monopolies of the communications industry

and few outlets for publishing;

few outlets on television

but they're doing it locally anyway

and God bless 'em

'cuz that's smart

'cuz their souls are gonna grow." -kurt vonnegut.