A Mash-up of Trivia & Quotes

Despite my plea last week for a personal assistant, I got bupkis. Though many of you commiserated and admitted you could use one, too. Yet, no one came forward and offered to take on the job. Sigh. Which leaves me back at the drawing board.

As such, I am spinning myself into a tizzy, barely keeping up with the impending holidays. Mind you, I used to be extremely organized and efficient, running my little ship like Captain Von Trapp ran his household. In fact the only difference between us that I can see is that I am nowhere near as handsome as Christopher Plummer (aka, the Captain), and I don’t own a whistle.

I used to always be on top of the holidays, starting my planning early. I’d have my Christmas and Chanukah cards sent out by the Sunday after Thanksgiving, thank you very much. Fast forward to this year, and my holiday cards are still sitting on the kitchen table, waiting to be addressed, etc.

Sunrise, Sunset:  Here in Southern California, we’ve been having the most spectacular sunsets of late. Here’s a photo of one that I took with my cell phone. I don’t do it justice, but you get the idea. Trust me, it was breathtaking.


On Writing: When I write, I love the feeling of words pouring out of me, and sometimes I can’t type fast enough because the words spring forth so quickly. To me, writing is crafting words together in order to turn them into a story. Like working with clay to mold a sculpture. I knead the clay, pinching some off here, making an indentation there. I stretch it on this side and nip it on the other. And finally, I’m done. Through my fingers, I feel that clay turning into my finished product. And then, I post.

For me, the passion for writing sometimes is greater than the passion for eating, breathing and sleeping.

And I Quote And because I love the written word so much, I delight when I find sentences that knock my socks off. Which is why I’m giving a shout-out to these fabulous bloggers, for they have strung together words worth sharing:

“I’ve been so tired and as we speak, I’m suffering a cough that’d make you kick your mama and sock your daddy in the right eye. Should you actually go off and do a fool-crazy thing as that, send me a video, folks. I do have rare occasions to watch foolishness.”Totsymae’s blog

“I toss out F-bombs like salt on popcorn.” – comment by Jayne of Jayne’s World, left on Brenda’s blog, Passionate Pursuits

“We could have Pop-Tarts and cupcakes every day. We’d eat so many that our little babies would have sprinkles for dimples and icing for hair.” – Thoughtsy’s blog, Thoughts Appear

Here’s some insightful words from Kim of My Inner Chick. She started her blog to honor her sister, Kay, who was brutally taken from her family:

“Sometimes voids cannot possibly be filled.

Sometimes emptiness needs to remain empty.

Sometimes we must simply live and love and cherish what is left behind.”

More Food For Thought Attending my daughter’s graduation in June, here’s the takeaway I got from the keynote, Mikail Baryshnikov:

“Am I doing something today that will make me a better person tomorrow?”

I fret about aging and freak at every new wrinkle I discover on my face. But here’s a reminder from Valerie Harper, who earlier this year was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live. She’s still very much with us, and for that we are all blessed. Harper, who played Rhoda, one of my favorite characters on The Mary Tyler Moore show back in the 70s, offers this heartfelt message:

“Don’t go to the funeral until the day of the funeral. Don’t miss your life.” 

She also said this about the women that starred in the beloved, award-winning series. I think it’s spot on:

“Mary is who you wish you were, Rhoda is who you probably are and Phyllis is who you’re afraid you’ll become.”

By the way, did you ever watch 30 Rock? I loved the camaraderie between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. The show was filled with tons of pithy quotes, but here’s one of my favorite lines that Baldwin said early on in the series:

“The Italians have a saying, Lemon: ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ And although they’ve never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.”

And finally, for a little inspiration, I turn to Brittany Dankwa, a high school student who wants to make it on Broadway and won a spot, not too long ago, in the National High School Musical Theater Awards. She says nothing will stop her:

“You can tell me ‘No,’ as many times as you want. You can tell me to shut up as many times as you want. But I’m going to keep going.”

Well said, Brittany.

Final thought of the day: Another year of writing my heart out. Another year of molding words together, and I know I couldn’t have done it without you. It means the world to me when you stop by. So, thank you very much!

Happy Holidays to all my readers!

31 thoughts on “A Mash-up of Trivia & Quotes

  1. Dearest Monica,
    I know I’m late to the party. Too late I’m afraid. I was very disheartened that comments are closed on all the posts previous to this one. I so wanted to comment on the post you wrote about time and “All in a dog’s day.” They were magnificent! I truly loved them, chica! This post served to remind me of the impact words have on us. They leave a mark–sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I love that sunset photo! Oh, to think you’re living in a warm climate while it’s so cold here! You lucky woman, you! Please tell Sir Henry and little Oliver that Roxy found them both to be quite dapper in their photos! ha! Sending you hugs! 🙂

    • Bella, I extended number of days comments are open from 21 to 45. Man, I so wish we could bring Oliver, Roxy and Henry together. They’d have so much fun, and we’d delight in watching them play. Henry would probably not play as much as hold court because that’s the kind of royal he is. Playing is beneath him. But Oliver’s a scamp and would adore being frisky with Roxy. I’m glad you liked my sunset photo. I was walking the dogs and had to race home to get my camera to snap it, and seconds later, it was completely gone. I took that photo right before the sun set into darkness. As for the weather, my daughter told me she had to stay home from work today because of a snow storm. Flights were cancelled and one of my colleagues who was due to come home today was stranded back east. Here, in San Diego, sunny and warm with temps in the 70s. Need I say more? 😉

  2. Happy Holidays to you, Lady Monica! I too, am a sucker for writing and the power of words. Loving Harper’s quote about not missing Life! Live Life as an Art Form, deliberately and passionately. Create something beautiful in the process.

    Be Well!

  3. Each one is better than the last. I love getting to know these bloggers. You are all like family, I feel like I know you well. We have a nice community here! Hope you got a bit of a break this week!

  4. I have been whining (to myself) about my lateness in reading all my favorites, thinking what a terrible friend I am. Then I come along and read, I think “I am not a terrible friend I am simply led where I need to be when I need to be there.”

    Like now, with this, with you.

    Yes, this is a great group of quotes and a wonderful reminder.

  5. Being one that loves metaphors, I’m envious of yours comparing sculpting with clay to writing. Gorgeous – as is the sunset and the other phrases you quoted. And Baryshnikov, how great! I’d love to see him in person, up close, not from afar as I was fortunate to do when he performed. DId your daughter graduate from a ballet school or with a dance degree, or were you just fortunate to have him as a speaker? Happy holidays

    • Thank you so much, Linda, and I’m thrilled you took the time to comment on my blog!

      I, too, love metaphors. So glad you enjoyed my post. My daughter didn’t attend an arts school, by the way. She earned a degree from Northwestern University. Apparently, Baryshnikov’s daughter attends too and is a senior this year. Maybe he’ll be invited to speak again, at her commencement. Doubtful though, as they do try to have someone new speak every year. Cheers!

  6. Your passion for stringing words and ideas together resonates on your posts, Monica, and we’re all the better for it. Thank you! Here’s to a beautiful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  7. What a gorgeous sunset! — and such a perfect image for a post re: the things that keep you (us) going as writers. Great quotes, here, Monica. Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a New Year filled with even more inspired/inspiring thoughts.

    • Deborah, I caught the tail end of the sunset. You should’ve seen it in all its glory! Unfortunately I was walking the dogs and looking down at the time. By the time I realized and ran home for the camera, well, you can see the results. Happy New Year, my friend!

  8. Pura Vida from Costa Rica, Monica. I saw this, and had to write because I so love what you have said about the written word. Although I now spend a month crafting my posts – I miss writing regularly – it is the joy of letting the words flow through me that I most look forward to, it is a cleansing process, cathartic and fantastic. I watch my brain sometimes and see how ideas pop in and out, watch my reaction to a book and how slowly the emotional connection translates to the rest of me, right down to my finger tips. You said it best.
    While we are in holiday mode over here, we are also reflecting on the meaning of life. I lost my mother in -law yesterday. The whole family was able to be together and talk about her amazing life. It is somewhat somber but there is so much joy. We now go back to a funeral and some of the family will leave early to plan everything. Life is short and doing what we love truly matters.
    Have a wonderful and blessed holiday season, along with young Oliver and Sir Henry.

    • Oh, MM, I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s always painful, but sometimes it seems more so around the holidays. I’m glad to hear you and your family can come together and share your memories. That’s so important to do, and part of the mourning and letting go process.

      It’s good to know you appreciate what I wrote about writing. You should do when I come across something that resonates for me: copy it down and keep in a safe place on your computer or by your desk. I always enjoy going back and re-reading these quotes. I look forward to reading your next post soon!

  9. Did you see Baryshnikov? Once, I was madly in love w/ him! (in my ballet diggin’ days)!!

    Love this: “”For me, the passion for writing sometimes is greater than the passion for eating, breathing and sleeping.”” YESss.

    Merry Christmas, my sweet -sweet – insightful Monica. XxxOOO

    • I saw Baryshnikov from afar. It was a huge commencement and the graduating class had the best seats. Go figure. I’m so glad you like my words about writing. I meant it from the bottom of my heart!

  10. I love the Baryshnikov quote. That’s one I should post at my desk. And the Valerie Harper quote goes right along with it. My goal for the year… to make every day count. Thanks for the inspiration! Beautiful sunset photo, too.

  11. I thank you for your heartfelt messages, your crisp writing with nary an unnecessary word. I enjoyed your Lightening in a Jar series this year which sent me back to a time defined by our latest relationships. I remember Mikail Baryshnikov’s quote and find it so down to earth for an artist whose head is in dance. Good luck on the Christmas cards, but really, if folks want to keep up with you, you are just a click away…right here. Merry Christmas, Monica.

    • Baryshnikov spoke with grace and humor. I was surprised that he was selected to be keynote but also impressed. It probably was in his favor that he has a daughter attending the school. Thank you so much for all the nice words about my blog and writing. Have a wonderful holiday, Georgette!

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