I had a wonderful day visiting a bigger than life-size pop-up book of the New Zealand countryside and a reproduction of sets that you will be seeing on screen in the upcoming movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Book of New Zealand is the world’s biggest “pop-up” story book. Lito and I got to go inside!
It was an adventure to remember…please enjoy the slideshow celebrating travel to New Zealand and the monumental inspiration of the film, picture gallery of my day at the Beverly Hilton, and my exclusive video interview of Kathryn Lim, the Set Finishing Supervisor of The Hobbit Trilogy.
Thank you to Warner Bros. Cine for the great adventure, lunch, and swag! I can’t wait to see the movie!
Do you plan to see it? What is your favorite character in The Hobbit?
Dec 5 & 7: 8:00PM
Dec 8: 2:00PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
For 1001 nights, the frightening sultan is enraptured by the storytelling of the beautiful Scheherazade, ultimately sparing her life. Experience her stories through music as the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful score, which perfectly captures four of these exotic tales in music that is lush, romantic, melodic, and dramatic.
Package up the evening with a Get Your Phil Dinner & Concert offer. Enjoy a special dinner at RIVERA before your concert! Buy tickets for Saturday’s performance and complete the package with a $32/person prix fixe dinner that includes a brief introduction to the evening’s program by an LA Phil staffer.
Presented by LA Phil. For tickets and information, visit LAPhil.com.
“About This Performance
A solo violin is the voice of Scheherazade as she calms the Sultan’s menacing brass fanfares in Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful epic. “All I had desired was that the hearer, if he liked my piece as symphonic music, should carry away the impression that this is beyond doubt an oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairy-tale wonders and not merely four pieces played one after the other,” the composer wrote.
Haydn’s late symphony – the second movement fanfares gave it the “Military” nickname – is paired with Rimsky’s ever-popular and enticing musical tale of the Arabian Nights.
The eminent Spanish conductor has become an audience favorite in recent visits to Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.”
I saw the LA Phil a number of times at the Hollywood Bowl this summer and I look forward to seeing a performance soon at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of my favorite Downtown L.A. venues. Let me know if you make it out to see and hear the performance of Scheherazade, I can’t wait to hear all about it!
I feel most at home when I am in the arms of someone that I love and trust.
I recently had a wonderful experience, the kind that dreams are made of, where all of my family and friends were there to support me. I have been reveling in the joy that completing my book has brought me. I have had so much positive feedback, it is almost too good to be true. Mostly, everyone I know has been encouraging and supportive that I wrote a book and that I self published it and frankly, that I actually did it. I did what I set out to do. That was an accomplishment in and of itself. For once in my life (besides having my children – there is nothing that compares to that!) I have accomplished something that I set out to do that most people never do. I have reached a level of success that I have never reached before. It feels great!
I don’t want to harp on the “poor me” attitude, but I have had to deal with the fact that some of my greatest accomplishments and proudest moments have happened to me since my parents passed away. As happy as I am and oh so grateful for the love and support that I have received from everyone that I care about in my life, nothing can match the level of a parent’s pride. I miss that.
Many of my newer friends who have been “on my bus” with me since I began the project were at my book signing event and that was amazing. My close family was there and of course, that meant the world to me. I couldn’t have done any of this without them. I was so happy and I didn’t even think about anything sad and it didn’t feel like anything was missing at all. I have become so understanding, accepting, and respectful of everyone’s time, effort and energy that I had no feelings at all one way or the other that many of the people that I invited couldn’t be there. My point in inviting them was to let them know about the book’s completion and to include them. I never expected everyone to attend. I was truly grateful that anyone came. My blogging buddies said the sweetest things, like they would never miss it and they even made arrangements to be there when they had other obligations and special events in their own lives, which was overwhelming to me. I can’t thank them enough for their generosity and helpfulness.
I am blessed to have a lot of close friends that have remained dear to me for a very long time. Never underestimate the love of a close friend. Something magical happened when my friend from high school arrived. She is one of my best friends. Chances are she won’t ever read this because she is not a “computer person” and honestly has never read my blog. She came to be there for me because that is what we do. She has been there for me time and time again. She is Roman’s godmother. I am her daughter’s godmother. As co-parents we have supported each other through the best and worst of times for almost thirty years. She never even RSVPd for the event. I sent out multiple notices and emails. She didn’t respond to any of them. She didn’t need to. It was a holiday weekend and I honestly had no expectations. I wanted it that way. But in the morning of the big day she sent me a text that she was planning to be there but she would be late. When she came in the room and I saw her, the magical thing happened. I felt like I could breathe for the first time all day. I had been handshaking and hugging wonderful loving people all day. My brother, my kids, my husband, all were there for me, so it was not for a lack of love. How can I express what it felt like when my best girlfriend of thirty years walked in the door? She didn’t have anything to do with “the project.” She didn’t have anything to do with the writing of the book. No. She lived it with me. She knew the stories first hand. She has been there through it all.
And when she hugged me…it felt like home.
I took fifteen minutes to write down all the things that I could remember that I loved as a child (3-12 years old.)
Here is part of the list and some notes that I went back and filled in of the specific thing that I loved:
Cotton candy – being given a special treat that was messy and fun to eat
Music – happy memories of car rides, singing songs, always having music to listen to
Television – getting up early to watch cartoons on Saturday morning
Movies – going with my parents
Camping – trips with my parents
Driving – long car rides with parents
Dancing – moving to music
Walking on the beach with my Dad, feeling free and getting his full attention
Getting donuts with Dad – special Dad and me time
Going to church – the feeling of peace and hope that I get when I am there
Singing at church – it’s the only place I feel comfortable singing out loud in front of others and it makes me think of my Dad singing at church
Praying – strong feelings of faith, hope and peace
Playing – playing alone with toys and making believe to pass the time
Making mud pies – being told to go outside and play
Gardening – special time with Dad, time in the backyard
Watering the lawn – being given a responsibility, fun on hot days
Going for walks – always fun with parents, it was exercise and relaxing
Taking pictures – capturing images of things I want to remember
Cutting flowers – on nature walks, just because they are so pretty
Having fresh flowers
Crafts – art projects, painting, working with my hands, creating things that last
Writing – putting my thoughts on paper, using ink and pen on paper, using my hands, expressing myself
Hugs and kisses – being affectionate, showing and being shown physical love
Writing letters – correspondence, expressing self
Getting post cards – getting attention, exploring the world outside of myself
Seeing rainbows – little miracles of color
Counting stars – little miracles of light
Wishing on a star – reminders of hope
Seeing shooting stars – memories of hot summer nights
Seeing the sunset – always a treat
The sunrise – a new day rises every day
Fishing – trying to learn something that my Daddy wanted to teach me
Hiking – being outdoors
Campfires – being with family
Easter Bunny – childhood fun
Santa Calus – special memories, being spoiled, believing in magic
Parties – celebrations were always going on at home
Playing games with my parents – being included in things the adults were doing
Roses and Nana’s garden
Auntie Bessie’s oatmeal cookies, tortillas, sopapillas, empanadas
Visiting Auntie Beni in San Diego
I asked myself – in what ways can I add to my life more of what used to give me joy and what still can?
I can embrace a youthful attitude and remind myself of the things that brought me joy as a child that still do to this day. I can reintroduce the simple traditions that I enjoyed with my parents into my daily life. I can go on walks and nature hikes, walks on the beach, and long drives to visit friends and family. I can garden and cut fresh flowers. I can take pictures and capture images of things I want to remember. I can make things for the joy of using my hands and creating something that will last. I can sing out, hum, and whistle joyfully in praise and just for fun. I can make the holidays and celebrations special by doing special things for my loved ones.
I thought about – what is one specific change in my life I can easily make so that I can bask in the kind of joy children savor?
I can get outside more and enjoy nature. Not just in the summer. I can go on walks and really make an effort to spend time in the yard. I can go to church, pray, and sing embracing my spirituality.
Above is a picture of me with my Mom. I was four years old. I remember this day perfectly. I was so glad when I found this picture because I had been thinking about it being one of my earliest memories. I hated this picture when I was a kid because I am crying and licking my tears. But now I love it!
I was with my parents at my Dad’s company picnic. It was a hot summer day. There were games for the kids and I was in a sack race. I won a prize. When my Mom took me to get the prize, a clown stopped us to take a picture. I burst out in tears. I was afraid of clowns, and this one in particular had squirted with me with water from a toy camera earlier in the day. My Mom was laughing and trying to get me to stop crying for this picture. I was terrified and couldn’t explain why. Plus I was oddly interested in the taste of my own tears. I remember the soft material of the jumper that I was wearing that day and how it was my favorite. I remember my Mom holding me and me clinging to her for dear life. I remember being glad I won the prize and how mad I was at that clown.
Now when I look at this picture, I see my Mom’s smile and I feel how much she loved me and cared for me. I realize that I am about the same age now that she was in the picture. I can’t imagine having a little girl now! How did she do it?
Yesterday was a dream come true for me. It was the book signing event for “This is the Sound of My Soul.” Everything went just as planned. My family and friends were there supporting me and making me feel so happy. I had a chance to read my book aloud and it was well received. I felt comfortable and very pleased with myself.
Today is a new day. A day to reflect and to plan. Christmas is coming. A new year dawns. What’s next for me?
Project completed, and I’m just beginning.
To buy the book, please visit my profile page at Create Space https://www.createspace.com/4467005