What does it mean to see a “double rainbow?”

DoubleRainbowI’ve seen rainbows in my life, but they have always been from quite a distance. The other day though, I saw a rainbow up close. I didn’t notice it until I heard someone yell out, “LOOK, a rainbow!” We all stopped to look up.

The reason this rainbow was so “amazing” was because we were so “close” to it. There is something very spiritual in seeing a rainbow up close, the colors seem to glow, and as we know it won’t last long, it feels “magical.”

We were all rushing to capture the moment in a photo. The rainbow was so BIG none of us could get the entire rainbow in one picture. So, I took a video below.

As we were taking photos, the second rainbow appeared behind the first one. This felt like the moment in “The Wizard of Oz” movie when Glinda, the “good witch,” appears “twinkling out of the sky” and all the munchkins are in “awe” as they watch her descend from the clouds. We were “ooing” and awing” as well.

So… what does it mean to see a “double rainbow?”

I did an online search. Basically, it sounds like a “pot of gold” is coming my way…

(JUST KIDDING! Sounds good though! I see a Leprechaun dancing…)

 

 

Walk 5 miles… listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour: The Hero’s Journey

Man on mountainThis weekend I wanted to get back into my weekly walking routine. I realized I hadn’t done much exercise in September. So, I dusted off my gym shoes and headed out.

My goal was a 5 mile walk. I scanned my NPR TED Radio Hour podcasts and found one called, “A Hero’s Journey.” This was an outstanding podcast, where I forgot I was exercising. The show started out talking about “Star Wars.” They were discussing how “a hero’s journey” is written. They said there was a 3 ACT formula for writing hero books. First, the hero has a departure (leaves home), then there is an initiation (hero goes on a quest), and then the hero returns (comes back home). Sounds like my life! (grin)

After “Star Wars,” the podcast continued with other stories focused on “a hero’s journey” theme. A woman who wanted to sail around the world and how she did it, a man who became an author/illustrator (his mother was a drug addict, he talks about this), and George Takia from “Star Trek,” talks about his childhood imprisonment in an internment camp during WWII, because he was Japanese.

This leads me to “How To Addict,” a fellow Blogger who writes motivational posts. This week his post, “Shift your focus – fulfillment through work,” was a good one. Like my “hero’s journey” podcast, Doc was sending the message that we should challenge ourselves, not be lazy, instead persevere and feel fulfilled in our work – have a goal.

So, this week is about being on “a hero’s journey!”

Remember: a hero departs, initiates (starts and fulfills his quest) and then returns home.

What QUEST are you on this week?

A true gentleman in the Chicago cemetery!

IMG_4728Recently, I was taking a walk in a Chicago cemetery. It seemed like the normal cemetery with all sorts of tombstones, UNTIL I reached this statue of a young boy. It was so amazing! What a lovely young man, so elegantly dressed. I felt a mixture of sadness and joy as I looked at him. Sadness that he had passed away so young. Joy, because he was so distinguished, a real gentleman.

How beautifully his family honored him with this life size statue. Even at this young age, he looks like the Master of the house! His tombstone was so old, I could not see his name. Walking away I felt he was there to watch over his section of the cemetery.

I thought about the movie called, “Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936).” Do you know this movie? It’s an old one. The young boy in this movie, Little Lord Fauntleroy, dresses very similarly to this young man. If you haven’t seen it, I think you would enjoy it. Box office-wise, it was right up there with “Gone with the Wind.”

image1On the other side of the cemetery, I came across this group of geese. It seemed like a “male outing.” There were so many of them walking, eating and sqwauking at each other. I wished I knew what they were talking about.

As I turned around I saw a fox run by. Could not get a photo fast enough. I caught my breath for a moment, because I had recently read a Chinese story that talked about praying to the “Spirit Fox.” So, when I saw the fox roaming around, I felt it was a spirit running by me.

I had no idea there was so much “activity” at the cemetery. Next time I will bring my coffee, a book, and a lounge chair, so I can really observe what goes on there. VERY INTERESTING!

60 Minutes – Excellent interview with British writer, David Cornwell (aka John le Carré)

IMG_2592Calling all spy/espionage fans! Have you read any “John le  Carré” books? Did you know that the John le Carré books are really written by a British author named, “David John Moore Cornwell?” That was news to me.

60 Minutes had an interview with David Cornwell. Writers are always told, “write what you know.” That is exactly what Cornwell did. First, some background on his father. His childhood had a rocky start. His mother abandoned him at five years old, so he was raised by his father. Cornwell’s father was a charming conman and it appears lived life in the fast line. One day they were well off, the next they were bankrupt and poor, with his father even landing in jail. Cornwell said this taught him a lot about people, life and keeping secrets.

Next, his spy/espionage background came in the 1950s and 1960s when he found a job with the British Secret Service. He was fluent in German and worked for MI5 and MI6 (foreign intelligence service) where he ran agents, was responsible for interrogations, the normal telephone tapping and more. This, you can imagine, gave him some great background material for writing spy novels.

He needed a pen name for his books. Working for the Secret Service meant his books needed to be approved before being published. Once approved, the condition was to acquire a pen name — John le Carré was born!

In the interview he showed his office and discussed how he does research for his books. He handwrites his books and his wife, editor, transcribes them for him. She runs the business side, which allows him to focus on writing. When he travels he has a journal and writes what comes to his mind.

At 85, he has quite a personal story to tell. A few of his books have been turned into films/BBC TV shows, maybe you know, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and/or “A Perfect Spy.”

Cornwell is promoting his latest book, “A Legacy of Spies.” I have some catching up to do reading-wise, so that I know the background on his character, “George Smiley!”

I bet these books are great in audio! If you are already a fan, which book was your favorite?

Seattle -> London, a Librarian sets up an Elementray School Library (books for children)

 

As I am writing a children’s picture book, I have to do research. While my degree is in Elementary Education, I went into business after College. I know, you’re thinking, WHY did you do that. Good question.

Just kidding, it was not lack of effort. Life happens — I moved to California to get married, it was February, I sent out 200 applications for teaching positions, took the CBEST test for licensing, but could not find a job. Nothing! Teaching was not my destiny at the time.

So, I found a job as a Technical Writer. I know, again, you’re thinking, “HOW did that happen?” A twist of fate. I was terrified on my first day. I knew nothing about technical writing. Turns out, I did not need to be technical. I needed to be “smart” and ask the engineers a lot of questions, so I could turn their scribbles into a User Manual. I enjoyed working with the engineers. My biggest question was, “What did you mean by this?

Fast forward to 2015, my heart was “still” with elementary education. I was getting closer to following my passion of writing a children’s book, I had made it to the “research stage.”

One day, clicking here and there, I came across a wonderful Blog called, “LibrarianArika.” I needed to better understand the children’s picture book market AND every week Ms Arika was sharing books she had read, giving her review and sharing lesson plan ideas too.

THEN came the DREADED post: I’M MOVING TO LONDON!

My heart sunk. Did that mean Ms Arika was going to quit writing?

No, she’s back stronger than ever!

Always wanting to teach, she decided to Skype with her old classroom in Seattle, so they could see London (virtual field trip). She wrote a detailed post on that called, “Bringing Literature to Life with Skype.” She used the Harry Potter books for this.

Ms Arika found a Librarian job in her children’s International school in London. In this post, she shares how she was setting up the Library for the start of school, “Week 1 in a new Library: the behind-the-scenes work.” You’ll be amazed at how much she had to do, I was.

I’m excited that she is back! She’s an excellent Librarian and I know her students will one day say, “Remember when Ms Arika read (insert book name) !” What a great feeling that will be!

I still remember my 4th grade teacher, Mrs Landrum, reading “Charlotte’s Web.” Teachers/Librarians have a big impact on our lives! A big thank you to ALL of them!

Vision boards, scrap books, ART… What inspires YOU?

IMG_2548Fall is here, days are getting shorter. I had a pile of magazines to go through this weekend. I decided to work on my vison board.

First picture, what a find! I saw an advertisement selling computers. It popped in my mind that Brilliant Viewpoint is always on “my computer screen,” so I clipped that out. Then, I found, “Set Your Sights: Choose your path and focus on what matters.”

Clip, clip, snip, snip – page created!

Next, drawing. I’m not an artist, but found a video that gave instructions on drawing birds. NOTE: It did take a few tries to get this end result. Into the scrap book.

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I worked in advertising, so I was ALWAYS looking at ads, story headings–anything/anywhere it would catch my attention and I would think, “Ah, I love that! I need to add that phrase to my book.”

Next time you are in a dentist office, shopping mall, library — LOOK, SEE and READ what is around you. I bet you’ll wish you had your scissors handy, because your mind will visualize a NEW inspirational scrapbook page, like this one:

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The beauty of a vision board/scrap book is that it is YOURS!

What inspires you? Take it to the next step…

I read that a dream, is just that — a dream, but a dream written down with a date, NOW that becomes a GOAL! Take the goal and list the steps to get there, NOW you have a PLAN. Work the plan to completion, NOW you have fulfilled your DREAM!

SIMPLE… RIGHT?!

Movie review: “The Founder,” story about McDonald’s (on Netflix)

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Well, I am still in shock after watching the movie, “The Founder,” which tells the story of how McDonald’s (hamburgers, you know) got started. It was an excellent movie, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time shaking my head and thinking, “This is HOW McDonald’s got started and grew??” I had no idea!

As a child, McDonald’s was the place with the “golden arches” and the great hamburgers/french fries. By the way, how do you spell “french fry?” Capital “F” in French? I see it spelled both upper case/lower case “F.” I bet the Chicago Manual of Style would have an answer on that.

Back to the movie review.  WHO has seen the movie??

If you haven’t seen it, I hate to give the story away, but I do need to give a little review. The main actor, Michael Keaton, who we know from the Batman movies plays McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc. Keaton was incredible, clearly he enjoyed his role as a crook! In fact, it occurred to me that Keaton went from playing the noble Batman to being the villainous Joker in this movie!

IMG_2539Why was Ray Kroc a crook? Simple, Kroc took someone else’s company/idea and made it his own. Now, this is a bit challenging. The two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, who created McDonald’s were really “nice guys.” The emphasis is on “nice.” They KNEW how to create, but they didn’t know how to build beyond one restaurant. They hesitated to take risks. There is one great scene in the movie that shows “HOW” the brothers created the assembly line in McDonald’s. Wonderful to watch an idea becoming reality.

Enter Ray Kroc! Now, clearly this guy was driven to make money and he was a visionary! He envisioned the “Golden Arches” everywhere and HE made McDonald’s the name it is today. I don’t have a problem with that. America has always been founded on work hard, make money, your dreams come true.

The issue I have is stealing someone else’s idea and becoming “ruthless” about it. AND WORSE, convincing yourself that “you” were the Founder. Now, Ray Kroc needed to say he was “The Founder” of McDonald’s, because this allowed him complete control in negotiations when opening other locations, I get it, but it doesn’t make it right!

This was an excellent movie/documentary! I encourage anyone who has ever eaten a McDonald’s hamburger to watch it. I’d be curious to hear your take on things. Is Ray Kroc a crook or should he be commended for being a brilliant guy?

Thanks to a long flight with slim movie choices, I watched, “The Founder.” So glad I did! It was an eye opener for sure!

I didn’t even have patience for the stewardess when she came by to offer ice cream. Huh, what — I was in the middle of the scene where Keaton (Ray Kroc) meets his second wife. Oh, I forgot to mention that… YOU need to watch the movie! It’s on Netflix.

Reminds me of the Facebook movie called, “The Social Network.”

These movies made me think, “When is being “driven” not OK?”