While Indiana is consumed with the March Madness of the college basketball tournament – go IU Hoosiers!, another March madness is quietly taking place…80 degree temperatures! 🙂
Friday night we ventured downtown to see the Hoosier Hospitality we’ve been hearing about at the Super Bowl Village in downtown Indianapolis. The weather has been perfect – 50’s and above and no snow. Downtown Indy is perfect for this event because everything is within walking distance including the stadium. It was PACKED, but everyone was in good spirits and having fun. We saw the much talked about zip-line and many street performers. The areas around the concert stage for LMFAO was too crowded to get awaywhere near, but we had fun just people watching. Its nice for the rest of the world to see what a great city Indianapolis is! These pics were taken with my iPhone, so the quality isn’t great, but you get the idea.
Sunday night I’ll be watching the game and rooting for Eli Manning and the Giants to beat the Patriots!
I was listening to a show on our local NPR station “The Art of the Matter” on Saturday and they mentioned a new program called . It is aimed at young adults who are a little old for the ‘Children’s Museum’, but still need a cool place to hang out and experience art and science. The director of the program referenced Leonardo daVinci (obviously) and Michealangelo as examples of artists whose work was informed by science. This really resonates with me as I didn’t start off as a writer (although if you read my last post – Projects – you’ll see that I’ve always been interested in art.) I worked summers in college in the mirobiology lab of Evanston Hospital and have a B.S. in Biology from IU. I still love science even though my career path took a different route. I’ve always felt that my mathmatical/scientific mind helped me to see patterns and shapes, relationships and colors in my art and that understanding science (or perhaps making new discoveries) requires a considerable measure of creativity. My sister-in-law once gave me a terrific complement by saying that I was one of the few people she knew who is both left and right brained. I was flattered, but I wonder, is that really true, or do we all have equal measures of both? I find that my writing incorporates my science background as well. My next novel-in-progress, a YA titled THE FIELD, deals with alternative energy sources (wind, solar, and so-called clean coal) and The Universal Energy Field or Zero Point Field that some scientists postulate permeates every inch of space in the Universe. It takes a bit of creativity to imagine it and a lot of scientific work to discover it. I’ll post a new excerpt to THE FIELD soon!
I love this time of year. I know I am in the minority, but I’m not alone. I grew up in Chicago where it got cold in December and stayed cold until April. We had outdoor skating rinks and skiied all winter. Winters in Indianapolis are wimpy. It was 60 degrees today! There is no such thing as winter sports here. Someone from Michigan once told me the reason people in Indianapolis don’t like winter is that it doesn’t stay cold long enough for them to enjoy it. Interesting fact – Indianapolis is on the latitude with the most freeze/thaw cylcles. It snows, but it doesn’t stay for more that a few days. Not like in Chicago where I can remember coasting onto my ice covered driveway for two months because it hadn’t gotten warm enough for it to melt.
But the real reason that I love this time of year is that there is nothing else going on so I can do projects! In the Spring you have gardening, spring break, and graduations. Summer needs no explanation. In the Fall everyone gets busy with work and school until the ‘Holiday Season’ which basically starts before Halloween and goes until New Year’s Day. But in January, February and March we only have MLK Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s Day. Not much preparation required except buying a card, making dinner reservations and maybe a shamrock or two. Lot’s of time for me to MAKE THINGS! I am a crafter, though some people would call me crafty, and what I really consider myself is a Fiber Artist, since most things that I create are with fabric or yarn. In the 70’s I was into macrame and I made a table that hung from the ceiling with a plexiglass cirlce suspened by a metal ring. It was quite a conversation piece in my dorm room in college. When my children leave for college next fall, I am going to start calling myself a Fiber Artist (and author, of course!) I am also planning to reclaim the basement from my son who has turned it into a recording studio and band practice space. I am coveting a work table from the Martha Stewart Collection – call me Martha!
For Christmas presents this year I made mittens and scarves out of wool sweaters that I felted (basically shrunk in hot water in the wash). Pics below. I have to say I think they turned out cute! Then I made bags and pajamas and pillows! I am even making myself a jacket. I haven’t made clothes for myself in years, but I went to a new, high end fabric store (The French Seam) and found myself leaving with three yards of gorgeous watermelon colored wool. Bookstores, fabric stores and yarn stores are dangerous places for me. Did I also mention that I am making curtains and pillows for my family room? I’ve taken over the living room and dining room and since I like to have my projects out in the open until they are finished, and I have multiple projects going on at once (just like you readers who have multiple books on the nightstand) it’s a bit of a mess. My office is the same way. I’m a pile filer. I don’t agree with the people who say that if you haven’t completed a project within a year to discard it. I have at least three knitting projects waiting in the wings that I may not get to until next Fall, but I will get to them. To me its like when you finish a book and you’re at loose ends until you find your next book. One must always have a project ready to start.
So for those of you who love this time of year for the cold and the luxury of time to create, pour yourself a cup of tea or hot chocolate and get crafting!
I had to share the next episode in the Winnetka, IL coincidence saga. At the Indy Author’s Fair I talked with Margaret McMullan, winner of the National Author Award. We had met before and I went to a workshop where she talked about her novels. One of her novels for adults, “In My Mother’s House”, really intrigued me, so I got it and started to read. It turns out that the family in the book moves to Winnetka, IL!! That really got my attention. Why all these Winnetka references? Stay tuned to as the story unfolds….
I’m one of those people who find meaning in even the smallest things, so when ‘coincidences’ happen I take notice. I believe that coincidences are really the universe giving us little nudges or responding to our thoughts and desires. Several serendipidous coincidences happened to me just recently. In October, I attended the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL) conference in Memphis, TN. The keynote speaker was Margaret Peterson Haddix, a highly regarded and prolific YA author. In her speech she mentioned that she used Conner Prairie as inspiration for her first novel, “Running Out of Time” (see post under ‘Conner Prairie’ 10/14/2011). I live right across the river and about two miles away from Conner Prairie. The really interesting coincidence is this -while I was at the confernce I purchased Ms. Haddix’s novel “Found” and discovered that one of her characters is from Winnetka, IL, which is the town where I grew up and is fictionalized in “Indian Summer”! So what made me pick that particular novel? Is there going to be some connection between me and Margaret Peterson Haddix? (I hope so!) Her books are mostly in the science fiction genre, which is the direction that I find that my writing going. (My science background is appearing more and more in my writing, but that’s a subject for another post).
Then last week I suddenly thought of my son’s first grade teacher for no particular reason. She just popped into my head while I was at the drugstore. I hadn’t seen or talked to her in over 10 years. A few days later while I was shopping at Costco, who do you think I ran into? Mrs. Tobias, former first grade teacher! We chatted for a few minutes and she was stunned to learn that my son is now a senior and applying to colleges. I have to wonder why I thought of her and ran into her.
The third synchronicity was that I called some friends of ours to get together for a night out and then I saw our friend Celia at the church Bazaar (shopping again!). She said that she had just mentioned to her husband that they should get together with us – she hadn’t gotten my message yet. ~ Que the theme from The Twighlight Zone!
So what do these synchronisities mean? Haven’t you ever had the phone ring and you know who it is before you answer or even more spooky, been thinking about a friend and have them call? Do our thoughts somehow communicate with one another remotely or telepathically? I’m exploring these ideas in “The Field”. I believe that we are all connected. I’d love to hear about ‘coincidences’ that have happened to you!
We had a party teen party at our house for Halloween and everyone dressed up – even the dog! Hope your Halloween was Spooktacular!
Its always interesting to me to discover where other authors get their inspiration. I was recently at the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL – October 30th) for a book signing and the Keynote Speaker for the luncheon was Margaret Peterson Haddix. She is a prolific and award winning author of YA and Middle Grade books (something like 29 titles!) and the interesting thing for me is that she lived in Indianapolis at one time. In fact, her first novel, “Running Out of Time”, was inspired by Conner Prairie, a nearby Interactive History Park, which is just a few miles from where I live! She visited Conner Prairie as a reporter and interviewed the actors who portray the inhabitants of an 1800’s historical village for visitors to this “living history’ museum. It gave her the beginings of her idea for “Running Out of Time’. My children and I have always loved her books, so I was excited to wait in line to have her sign “Found”, the first novel in her “Missing” series. Of course I also gave her a copy of “Indian Summer” 😀 , which she gracious accepted, saying that she had just run out of books to read and she needed something for the plane ride home. I hope she enjoyed it!
Margaret Peterson Haddix “Running Out of Time” http://www.margarethaddix.net/books/runout.html