Enough about Balance–Let’s Talk Soup

I reflect a lot on how my life is going, mainly so I can be sure to give course corrections when needed. And often in the media today, I see a person’s journey framed as a balancing act.

balancing tight rope walking drawing

I have even written about it in such terms myself.

But today I wanted to reframe this discussion: less about how a person moves through life, and more about what makes up that person.

People as Soup

How do you describe yourself, i.e. on a dating profile? Or how do you think your friends describe you to others?


How do you feel fully yourself? What goes into the mix?

For me, it’s:

  • a gallon of quiet time alone
  • a quart and a dollop of quiet writing time (alone)
  • 1 medium hunk social engagement (a social job or personal friend time may be substituted), chopped
  • 2 c exercise, when other ingredients fully absorbed, roughly chopped
  • 1 T travel, preferably to a foreign country, freshly grated
  • 3 1/4 c consuming (reading is best, but up to 3/4 c can be substituted by video, theatre, and music)
  • 2 medium hunks self care, in the form of cooking healthy foods for myself, sliced thinly
  • 1 T something new and unexpected (check your freezer)
  • dashes of appreciation, validation, and hugs really make this recipe sing
  • don’t forget to let mixture rest for 8 hours each time after cooking

Simmer together and season to taste.

Maybe I turn out more of a baked good than a soup??

But what’s in your recipe for feeling fully yourself? This might be a fun party idea…


Images via Wikimedia Commons and Crushable

When Something Snags Your Attention

What snags your attention?

I like to notice things when I’m out walking in the world, whether it’s the moss, or the clouds, or the typography.

I noticed that I have certain triggers–words or colors or shapes that my brain called my attention to, while I’m thinking of something totally different. Weird, eh?

Here are some examples of things my brain picked out of the landscape recently. What are your triggers?

Shadow Play

condo driveway shadow selfie peter pan

Sometimes it is my own stance which reminds me of Peter Pan.

Sometimes it is two light sources, playing with my multiple personalities on the street.

Sometimes it is those new-fangled LED street lights, which distort a night shadow into a Modernist masterpiece.

Foreign Words

found straciatella cheese expensive zupans one day

This caught my eye and I couldn’t believe it!

I have been searching for something or someone to confirm my find from Albania, in 2007, when I became semi-addicted to this kind of mozzarella cheese called straciatella. It was kind of like burrata, but instead of a molten centre, it has silky stretched strands suspended in liquid.

It may sound gross, but it was divine.

And I haven’t heard anyone who had heard of it…till now, 9 years later!

Now I know how those crazed scientists must feel.

Key Interests


I was walking down Burnside the other day when my eye snagged on the side of a mobile office, one of those shipping container ones used by construction sites.

At the Volvo parking lot, I happened to see “SCOTSMAN” emblazoned on the side, and my attention, so long engaged seeking out references to Scotland and Scottish culture, was caught!

I think this is funny, this extracurricular activity of the brain.

I’m also grateful for it, as I credit it for the mysterious background thinking that is so helpful while writing novels–when things get worked out in your sleep. Thank goodness!

What is guaranteed to snag your attention? What does your brain keep serving up for your perusal? What is it trying to tell 


Images via the Author and WillScot

Readers Connect & Writers Unite!

In every happy, sane person’s life, there is a balance of the three C’s:

many hands busy business woman


I stumbled across this lesson a while ago, and recently have tried to connect one of my Consumptions with one of my Connections:

books piled on table

Reading + Discussing Books

There is the wave of book club activity that bears out the benefits of this combination, but I seem to have bad luck when it comes to choosing and/or organizing book clubs. One had a blowhard I couldn’t handle anymore, a second basically just gathered for the booze, and a third broke up from internecine strife.

So, how else to share the many wonderful moments of pithy social commentary, witty side-eye, and exultant emotion I plow through, week after week? #WednesdayQuote is my answer!

If you “like” Taste Life Twice Publishing (my publishing arm) on Facebook, you’ll see that I post a quote every Wednesday from what I’ve been reading. I only pick ones I think my audience would like, so they usually involve humor, pathos, and/or historical oddities, just like my Titbits posts here on this blog.

Like this one about weather and ships or this one about how furniture shapes us. Cool, huh?

…..ALSO THERE, you will find my word updates on my current Work-In-Progress, or WIP. This is how I’m combining two different C’s, Creation and Connection:

kids writers sharing writing

Writing + Showing Up for Others

Not only does sharing my daily goals make me feel proud of my own effort and discipline, but it gives other writers a peek into another writer’s life.

Just like when entrepreneurs draw back the curtain to show their behind-the-scenes revenue and costs, it can be a powerful source of validation, or normalization, to see someone else struggling, or not making millions, or merely showing up for their job with the same attitude you yourself have.

I did a guest post for Shanna where I explained more in-depth about my process and my results, but I’m keeping up the habit with the Facebook page, GSD accountability, and … here.

Here’s to sharing and being vulnerable, despite the risk! (Thank you to Brene Brown for all she’s done to broadcast this concept!) And here’s to creating, consuming, and connecting, which I hope you’ll do with me here as well!


Image via The Alternative Board, the Author, & Mallon Messages