Monday, May 16, 2011

Crazy For Coral...the Preppy's "Answer-to-Orange"

Ah, coral...first you start out with this biblot from Halcyon Days...

...then add a cute tunic-top motif key fob from Tory Burch and...

...find you can't resist these estate earrings from Ross Simmons...

...or this great handbag from, but of course, Kate Spade which...

...pairs up perfectly with these sandals from Brooks Brothers that...

...finish off this shift dress available through Gumps, ah coral!

This season it's a sea of coral out there... coral hued-orange... a stylish color that's both fun and elegantly-appropriate as we go from late Spring on into Summer's warmer, humid tropical days.

Last month while down in Key West I so enjoyed snorkeling around a coral reef, ah coral!

Last Sunday as I was reading the Scripture lesson in church, I glanced up and saw a sea of coral out in the pews. Now, us conservative Episcopalians will from time to time have a bright color or two and even a Lilly Pulitzer print popping up among parishioners however, this bevvy of brights in the various shading of coral was unusual. Very pretty indeed! I too had a coral-hued dress on in the form of bright coral flowers set out onto a light champagne silk background with the structured shift dress I sported. What fun...

This season there are a lot of fun little "pops" of coral-colored wardrobe pieces and accessories as well as jewelry to add into one's wardrobe. Above in the pictures I've highlighted just a few of some of my favorites available out there by Preppy purveyors.

Enjoy a dash of coral this summer!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing...Anyhow, Anywhere, Anytime...

Writing can be facilitated on this hammock by the sea... well as including sketching-inspirations in a travel sketchbook.

Writing can be structured such as within this library cubby...

...or the un-structured propped-up on my lap in bed with computer gig.

From a comfortable sofa in a cottage by the sea most recently to...

...a cottage's fireplace-side back in ski bummin' days...ah, writing!

Earlier this evening I got to thinking about writing while...writing.

Recently I have put back into my weekly schedule once again assigned-times for me to take my little net book computer plus writing files, papers n' scribbles n' such on into our small local library and SIT MYSELF DOWN to concentrate on writing!

It's funny in a way that the non-fiction writing I do whether professionally as with the aviation column I write every month (and the other columns I used to write plus articles during a sideline freelance career I enjoyed pre-grad school) and but of course with this blog, well, it just flows offa' me. I can sit down at the computer here and in a flash it seems, get these finished. However....

....with my fictional creative writing projects such as a short story collection I've been working on for oh, over a decade now....the writing seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r... not the ideas or the outlines but the actual writing process.

Hence the "dates" I've penciled-in, no, have written in ink into my daytimer.

I did this very same thing while working on my master's thesis project in the midst of a full course load during the last semester in graduate school. The class work I found easy enough to do at home but this thesis work wasn't getting done as fast, and frankly as well, as it should have been. So I tromped off to our library to force myself to have no distractions while working on it. And it worked out great (graduated with straight A's, wheh) so here I am again sitting in a little cubby at the back of our library.

These library-times ground me whereas so much of my writing has been toted-around.

Over the two decades I've been writing more than just papers-for-school, it's been kinda' funny how ongoing writing projects can be dragged around and odd times "found" to do them within.

From tucking index cards and a pen into the inside pocket of my fly fishing waders to dragging around my various journals on trips plus into the woods on hikes and off to the beach to using my work lunch breaks to scribble away for less than an hour... somehow, somewhere the writing's found a way to get itself accomplished.

Lately, with the wonderful tool of the cute little netbook computer James surprised me with as a gift, it's been even easier to chug along with this short story collection.

I always begin all of my writing by actually using a pen to put ink onto actual paper: non-fiction and fiction; paid and just-for-fun; scholarly attempts and attempts at humor; so forth and so on. I like to use plain white paper and a black fine-line rollerball pen so that the writing just flows. Flowing even into doodles at times but nothing restrictive with the initial process of writing for me. As the writing progresses along, then comes the "first edit" of typing it into a Word document. I let it sit a bit and then revisit to rewrite, do another round of editing and such. Writing's a process within which each individual writer needs to find his or her unique pathway for navigating the journeying and enjoying it as well.

There are two things that I hate to see happen to writers out there who are taking waaay too much advice and not just simply taking pen to paper: trying to "write" in some particular way someone else is and also losing their personal "voice". There's a lot of bad writing out there, there's a lot of good writing out there and there's a lot of mediocre writing out there; it'll all shake out as it is ultimately destined to do so it's far better to write as-yourself than to try to imitate another's writing. History proves as well that the popular, well-published writers of each year, each decade, every century that passes by humankind are not necessarily the lasting-literary-greats. So many incredible writers and poets were not even recognized within their own lifetimes or even within the century in which they lived so just keep to it and keep your day job as well.

(Yes, yes...lovely to utilize basic grammer, sentence structure and alla' that but if from time to time or for enabeling your own writing voice these truisms need to be flexed then by all means do that. Don't butcher the understanding of universal language but rather blend it into your own conversing-by-literature, conversing-by-blog, conversing-by-poetry and so on.)

Well, you may not need to keep your day job perhaps but for me at least, it's the times I am busiest within my work, family, home-life, social-life, volunteerism and other responsibilities and activities that I find I get a lot of writing accomplished. I have enacted for myself writing retreats as well as not worked a job or jobs at all for awhile but I write best it seems when I'm challenged to find places and times to squeeze it in. Whatever works eh?

All this from a non-English major...actually from a History and Political Science undergrad double-major, Humanities masters degree, former business manager, current fashion show producer, longtime fly fishing fanatic, ski bum and such who doesn't wear floppy poet's blouses, doesn't quote Chaucer and doesn't think that there is one sole writerly-look or writerly-lifestyle anyway. Just write!

Just write wherever you can, whenever you can and however you can.

One of my favorite things in life is to "run across" a blog, article, poetry chapbook, novella, scholarly tome and so forth which has been written by someone I either have no idea who they are or seem to be non-discovered writers. It's both refreshing and fascinating.

So please...just...write...and share your work with our shared world...............

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hats the older Royal generation!

Sophie's got wonderfully-fashionable, royally-regal royal wedding style!

Something the younger-royals could definitely use a lesson on...obviously

Camilla's showing elegant restraint with her own turn of fashion-forward

The Queen is always, of course, pitch-perfect even in bright yellow....

As for the Middletons? Perfectly-proper, polished and downright regal

Hats off to the older generation of England's royals? Yes indeed!

Amazing enough, aside from Princess Anne (bless her decidedly unstylish heart) the elder royal women really showed some great classic hat style at The Royal Wedding while the younger generation's princessey gals...oh my, oh wow, oh ugh.

The younger royals were (I guess) trying to be more fashion-forward than usual in such a public setting as their generation's royal wedding was with its worldwide coverage but alas, unfortunately so many times this kinda' styling really ends up just being a buncha' fashion-foibles going on!

Unflattering into downright fascicle were the hat choices of Beatrice, Eugenie and Zara. One could make the argument that these hats added high-fashion into the usually quite traditional and staid "per usual" royal attire choices but they were just simply plain ole' tacky hats. That these young ladies are the daughters of Fergie and Anne who both continue to struggle along the road of personal style, well there's little surprise then about this eh?! So let's simply call it like it is however.......

......on the other hand, the hat choices of Sophie, Camilla and the latest royal in-laws, the refreshingly middle class Middletons, were not only elegant but also nicely fashionable.

My top-choice for Best Hat/Fascinator: the choice of Sophie, Countess of Wessex

My top-choice for Worst Hat/Fascinator: the choice of Princess Beatrice

My top advice for the young royal ladies is to actually take some actual-style fashion cues from some of their elders and yes, I never, ever thought I'd ever be saying, er actually typing this!

Kentucky Derby Hattin'...and Mint Julip Sippin'

Start with a festive floral-strewn hat on a bright, sunny afternoon...

...add-in hat-wearin' friends with their mint juleps at hand...

...and top with jockey-jersey inspired cookies ='s one GREAT Derby party!

What a really fun day today was with going over to a girlfriend's house to enjoy a wonderful Kentucky Derby Party with a bunch of great folks!

Both the women and even the men delighted in wearing hats, sipping mint juleps, snacking on incredible party foods and cheering our horses on...the hostess and host did a truly magnificent job... every detail was utterly perfect and the atmosphere such fun for everyone.

Above are a few of the party-pics snapped with my Blackberry which show that yes, indeed, Americans too can wear festive hats as much as those English wedding-goers do, haha! No one sported a "fascinator" however. It seems flowers in the hair or tucked behind an ear we can enact with style but those odd growth-looking things sprouting from the heads and even the front of foreheads like alien attachments, er... us Yanks will just leave those to um, Princesses Eugenie, Beatrice and their bunch.

May "hats be back" in style once again, yes indeed!