11–18 of 18 entries from the month of: August 2010

Quailies!

August 15th

Quail

I’m not talking about Quayle jr., who has started his political career in Arizona running on his family name and a penchant for white lies. No, no. I’m talking desert birds. Did you know these sweet creatures squeek? I was house-sitting this weekend for family friends; the dad feeds a handful of birds each evening as the sun drops beneath the horizon. I threw the cup of seed over the fence as instructed and waited with my camera.

Quail

Quail

Quail

The little creatures scurried from high and far making the tiniest, highest noise. It. Was. Adorable.

I’m appreciating the smallest of Arizona life these days; it’s a challenge to find things you love about desert life this time of year, other than the obvious:  air conditioning, ice cream, cold swimming pools, clean sheets, ceiling fans, popsicles, big hats, shade, etc.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Journal, Photography
Comments (4)

Book Contest Winners!

August 13th

Gig Harbor

Remember when I asked for book marketing ideas? Well, you guys are the most efficient, productive and happiest team I’ve ever worked with. THANK YOU! I got some great ideas (e.g. Facebook page, youtube videos, book club marketing, and “send to Oprah!”) that got me thinking. As promised, the five randomly selected winners for signed copies are:

1. Debbie

2. Traciefree

3. Holly

4. Piccola

and 5. Teresa.

{I’ll be emailing you for your addresses. Thank you again!}

It’s been one of those week’s I’ll never forget. The first 108 copies of my book arrived at my home. I have a contract for 50 copies to be sold at my favorite indie bookstore. I dropped them off Monday. I was contacted by a local reporter for a feature on Monday night and was interviewed. I heard the books started selling at Changing Hands and Amazon on Tuesday. Today the paper’s photographer came to take a headshot to go with the article. Tonight I’ve been invited to a political fundraiser where my book is being raffled as a door prize. I’ve placed an order for another 25 books because there are to be more than 100 people at the signing. Woah.

It’s pinch-me exciting!I keep walking around my office with this goofy grin smiling at everyone and everything.

Gig Harbor

I’ve spent so much time thinking about what this would look and feel like — to see my book on the shelves. And now that it is here, I’ve honestly never been happier. I read many years ago that you should develop some habit that regularly reminds you of your dream. Keeping this in mind, for at least 8 years, every time I visit a bookstore I go to the fiction section and leave space in the “Ds” where my novel would be placed. Today, that book is actually there.

EEEEEEEE!

I’ve been doing a lot of pacing at night after work reading my novel aloud, trying to find the right section to share at the book signing in a couple weeks.  Of course I’ve already got my outfit selected, including a string of Ghanaian wedding beads I’ve never worn (other than the day I bought them, four years ago.) You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl.

And so, life as an author moves forward at a very hectic and happy pace.

Thank you again for coming along on the journey,

Kelli

Tagged
Posted in
Celebrate!, Goals, Good to Great, Media
Comments (16)

Play

August 12th

Julez + Kent

Julez + Kent

Julez + Kent

Julez + Kent

It will come as no surprise that one of my most favorite things to photograph is food. With a new lens in tow on this trip to Washington, I stuck my camera near dozens of plates  to capture what others were about to devour. This was a meal shared with friends at a brewery on Bainbridge Island.

Julez + Kent

I shared this meal and many in the past with Juliann and Kent. I love this photo of Kent for a variety of reasons — namely his wild eyebrows and that he’s two seconds away from one of his characteristic chin-quivering booming laughs.

Port Gamble Wedding

We spend a lot of time together. And a lot of time laughing. These are the types of  friendships I cherish.

Gig Harbor

It’s a sweet life — one in which I crave more time to play.

~K

Posted in
Journal, Photography, Travel
Comments (3)

Matt & Mariah

August 11th

Port Gamble Wedding

I traveled this weekend to Washington not only to spend time with my Italian friends, but also to attend the wedding of Matt & Mariah. M&M are relatively new to Phoenix. I met them at a happy hour several years ago when they’d just arrived. Mariah is a public health practitioner too and we struck up an easy conversation. Now, M&M are in the bowling league and they are Sydney’s proud parents.

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

Traveling to such a beautiful place to celebrate their union was a no-brainer. Wedding at an organic farm on a peninsula in the Puget Sound in August when you live in Phoenix? Also two of my favorite people were also attending? I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.

Julez + Kent

It was the wedding of all weddings. The ceremony, performed by a minister friend from the Church of Canada, was brilliant. I’ve honestly never before heard a minister do such a great job of capturing the spirit of the day, the couple and the environment. He told funny jokes, was sentimental and poignant — incredibly difficult to pull off. Also, he asked the guests to say vows for the couple, ensuring we’d hold them to what they were promising each other. It was meaningful and tactful. He walked a fine line between those who were spiritual and not, and did so with grace.

Port Gamble Wedding

Plus! The ceremony included random performances by many of the talented guests. A man played a harmonica solo at the beginning that had everyone tapping their toes and aching for the dance floor. As a surprise to her new husband, the bride coordinated a handful of friends to sing the chorus from “Love Actually” — “Love, Love, Love” at one point — (as they do in the movie), including a trumpet solo. (The guest actually hid the trumpet in her dress on the way in. We were all shocked that suddenly this gorgeous Norwegian woman was standing up, whipping out a trumpet and quite literally blowing us all away.) And for the finale, the bride’s brother sang a Van Morrison song and played a guitar and had everyone in tears.

This was just the ceremony.

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

Port Gamble Wedding

The party afterward included an open-mic portion of the evening that brought out a handful of random performances including OutKast sung with a ukelele. Imagine thirty people spinning in circles singing, “Shake it like a polaroid picta’!” There was a donut buffet instead of wedding cake. There were fresh cut flowers on every table that were as stunning as the surrounding gardens. And the toasts — the bride’s mother gave a toast that brought down the house. There were guests who flew in from a dozen countries to celebrate with the pair; what a great sign of their friendships and the way they lead their lives.

Such an incredible party, celebration and start to a beautiful marriage. I am so thankful to have been there. I truly feel richer for their friendships and for witnessing such a creative union.

Plus, this one kept me giggling the entire time. We are too much trouble together!

Port Gamble Wedding

~K

Posted in
Celebrate!, Photography, Travel
Comments (7)

Seattle

August 9th

A few shots from a photo walk before the wedding’s rehearsal dinner at Pike Place Brewery:

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Alley graffiti

Wall of wishing gum

Gum wishes

Bolt

Street sculpture

Gaggle

Leaning

Puttering

Beep!

Sail boats!

Pike Place Market:: Graffiti:: Gum Wishing Wall:: Wall Sconce:: Street Sculpture:: Post Alley Folk:: Fountain:: Bus:: Sail Boats

~K

Posted in
Photography, Travel
Comments (7)

Roman

August 8th

I’ve spent the last few days in the Pacific Northwest soaking up rainy weather and laughter among friends. When I arrived Thursday, I was greeted by Shelley, her husband and children, and their friend visiting from Italy. The men had prepared an amazing Roman summer lunch:

Prosciutto + Melon

Washington Wine

Andrea's pasta

Andrea's pasta

Potatoes for Dinner

(And were busy preparing for a dinner we’d later enjoy under the stars)

I had a lovely trip and was spoiled by Shell and Alessandro. It was so very nice to meet their children and get caught up. We hadn’t seen each other since Yellowstone — so it was a treat to sit, gab, eat great food, feel the rain patter above the lunch umbrella and listen to happy babies playing nearby.  {I took lots of photos of this sweet family, but need to make sure posting them online is kosher. TBA.}

She is an amazing hostess! (Including a giant basket of goodies that awaited my arrival, fresh baked sweet breads each morning and more laughter between what was lost in Italian + English translations than I care to explain.)

~K

Posted in
Journal, Travel
Comments (5)

Book Contest!

August 3rd

Front cover of my book

The tricky thing about self-publishing a novel is you don’t have a giant marketing team promoting your work. There are no ads in The New York Times or pop ups when you visit blogs. I don’t have an agent or even a specific website. What I do have, however, is a mighty little blog and a handful of people I consider great friends who live far and wide.

That’s you.

To get my book onto as many shelves and hands as I can, I want to reach out to small bookstores and libraries nationwide. I’m not sure the best way of doing this — my instinct is to send beautifully handwritten cards — but I do know that finding the right people and the right contact information is crucial.

So, dear friends, this is where you come into play. Do you have a great bookstore you frequent? Are you a librarian? Do you know any great ways to market a book? How would you go about spreading the word?  You would be doing me a sincere favor by letting me know what you think.  Leave a comment with the details, including addresses and contact information for those bookstores. I’ll leave the contest open through the weekend and randomly select 5 winners for signed copies.

{Never left a comment? Leave a comment every day? Delurk, please.}

And thank you. For stopping here, for reading, for being such amazing cheerleaders. I don’t need no stinking fancy New York publishing house! I’ve got YOU!

~kelli

Tagged
Posted in
Goals, Good to Great, Journal
Comments (61)

Cézanne

August 2nd

La Brunch

I recently visited the Cézanne exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum with some friends. I’m not sure what it was about this show in particular that made me want to attend; I’ve never taken an art course, much less studied the great European artists. And yet I knew I’d be better off for having taken the time with such great works of creativity.

I wasn’t disappointed.

La Brunch

La Brunch

The collection pairs 16 pieces of Cézanne’s art with a handful of American artists to show the influence of his genius. I know so little about art; again, I cannot explain why I like what I do. There are simply some artists — like Frida and Georgia O’Keeffe — who make my heart beat a bit faster when I’m near their work. Cézanne’s art is glorious. He was truly touched with such a talent.

If you live in Phoenix and haven’t been, consider this my five banana review of the collection.

Get there.

Now.

It’s only $10 and you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get a chance to spend a couple hours with one of the best artists ever, before the show moves along September 26th.

La Brunch

La Brunch

One of the American artists I was introduced to through this juxtaposition of art was Marsden Hartley. Consistently I found myself in front of his paintings dreaming of the scenery, creating the story behind the view and wishing more than anything he was standing next to me and could explain every stroke. I’m looking forward to reading more about Hartley and looking for his work elsewhere. His landscapes are truly breathtaking.

La Brunch

La Brunch

Afterward, we had brunch and discussed which were are our favorites and why. It was such a lovely afternoon with friends and a much needed dose of creative inspiration.

~k

P.S. Apologize to my friend Sarah who’d invited me months ago when I couldn’t attend. Let’s go again!

Posted in
Arizona, Community, Media
Comments (5)