Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Brunch with Betina and the girls

Welcome to Sunday brunch. Pour a cup of your favorite brunch libation, grab a croissant or (gasp) a donut, and put your feet up. Feel that sun on your face! Ahhhh.

You know, in my office I try to surround myself with stuff I like, that means something to me, that stimulates me. Yesterday, my beloved sister gave me something that went straight to my heart and straight onto my desk: a mouse pad of my favorite critters. . . the Madagascar Penguins. . . in this very pose.

I am now a happy woman. I grinned this morning when I entered my study and saw the mouse pad. I have a feeling it will be with me for along time.

Also on my desk are several stone hearts of different sizes and mineral content. Red Jasper, Turquoise, Laboradorite, Honeycomb Calcite, Dalmation Jasper, Snowflake Obsidian, Adventurine, Chevron Amethyst, Mossy Agate, Tiger's Eye, Blue Pietersite, a Septarian nodule heart that looks like it has big pieces of milk chocolate imbeded in it, and Rainbow Fluorite.

The hearts just please me. I got my first heart stone , a big pink rose quartz piece, several years ago as a gift, then found and bought a large, earthy Mossy Agate Heart. When I'm thinking, brainstorming, noodling plot, I pick one of them up and hold it or rub it. . . maybe to aid in concentration. I don't want to analyze it-- it just makes me feel good.

I love the different textures of the rocks and minerals, the rounded shapes, the brilliant colors, and the play of light in several of them-- which can be mesmerizing. I'm not much for the New Age crystal explanations of crystal resonances that foster "increased concentration" or "drawing love" or "psychic protection." But if some of that stuff happens, that's fine by me.
I'm really drawn to the variety and lush range of different stones in nature and love to imagine the conditions and forces that shaped each particular mineral or stone.

So, in spite of myself. . . I'm a collector. And much as I've tried to ignore or resist the urge. . . every time I go onto E-Bay, I have a look around for stone or crystal hearts. Some are fairly cheap, some are quite pricey. I often find myself yearning for a new acquisition.

So, after all these years and a failed attempt a collecting tea pots (too bulky and too hard to display, even though I still have quite a few!), I find myself my mother's daughter. My mom used to collect glassware that most of the family thought was odd at best, sometimes questionable or downright awful. But she loved it. And later in life, she began to collect elephants. . . always with the trunk up. Go figure. So we indulged her and sometimes took her a little carving we found. She beamed with pleasure.

I'm sure somewhere she's having a good laugh about how you can't escape heredity and savoring the fact that the collecting gene was finally turned on in me. And I'd like to think she'd approve of the hearts. . .

What about you? What kinds of things do you keep around you for comfort/stimulation/interest. Anything at your writing place that helps ground or inspire you? Anything you collect that just satisfies your soul? I know some of the gals in the car have collections. . . let's hear about em and about what makes them so special to you.


lois greiman said...

I'm with y' Betina. My work space is surrounded by things I love. Pictures of my kids (since they no longer gather round it in person much any more). And I most like the weird pics. The ones where they're themselves, kind of scruffy, laughing, ridiculous.

I have a little figurine of Tigger that my daughter brought me from Disney Land. A decorative Native Arabian bridle my son and I made for a costume class he was in years ago. A teddy bear a bookseller gave me while doing a grueling tour in Detroit. A bag made of yak leather my eldest son brought me from Thailand. Little pieces of our history. Nothing too exciting. Oh...and I like my writing awards--proof, you know, that I've done something right.

Funny though, my sister collects heart shaped rocks too. And I have a funky collection of colored glass objects in my south window--wine glasses, tear jars, prisms. Maybe we're somehow related, Betina.

Keri Ford said...

My attention span is somewhat similar to a 2year old. ANYTHING can distract me for variable amounts of time. I can't keep stuff I'm interested in around me while I work, or i won't work. For inspiration, I have to have music, but it can't be the radio, commericials will distract me, playlists on my computer or CDs only.

For collections. My husband and I collect christmas ornaments from our travels. which is great, because they're only out once a year to catch my attention, and they never get dusty from the one month they hang on the tree!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm a rock person, too, Betina. Love them in any form, but especially artifacts like arrowheads and a few stone tools. No, I'm not quite that ancient. My mother made them. (Just kidding, Mama!) Acquired over the years--first in ND. I've done my share of E-Bay, and I have a collection of tiny animals carved from various kinds of stone, and there's a word for them, and it's on the tip of my tongue, and I can't think of it because...

I made the RITA finals!!! RIDE A PAINTED PONY, Single Title Contemporary.

And raise your mimosa glasses for a toast to Miss Christie, who also has news...

Anyone else? I'm tooting our horn. Look to the right before you go through the intersection!

Christie Ridgway said...

Congrats to Kathleen and also to Cindy who just told us that she's up for a RITA too!

And here's what I collect: vintage wedding cake toppers. I have lots of them and display them in my office. They seem right for a romance writer, don't you think? I particularly like the ones that are simply and bride and groom, but I have some that are more elaborate. I will always regret not winning this one on e-bay that came complete with a large weddding party and the minister, too!

Betina Krahn said...

Hey, you guys are the best! It's it cool how we surround ourselves with bits and photos and pieces of our history? I have photos, too... grandkids, kids, sister, Rex. . .

Hey, I just got the call myself! I finaled in the Short Historical for the RITA's for The Book of True Desires. This is only the second time in my (ahem)long career! I was floored. I came home from a Sunday outing with my son's in-laws to find five messages from the same gal on my answering machine. . . the last of which finally left the message that I'm a finalist.

So congrats, Kathy, Christie, Cindy, and whoever else gets a call!!

Time for more brunch mimosas all around! Aw, to heck with the orange juice-- just give us straight champagne!

Keri Ford said...

Congrats ladies! I was dropping in to tell Christie when I saw her name come up on a website, but what do you know, I get here and find out about Kathleen and Cindy! Fabulous News Ladies, and best of luck to all of you.

And on a side note: here's addy where I saw Christie's name if ya'll want to check it out and get your name up there with the other finalists!

Keri Ford said...

AH! Betina I posted and your message came up. Congrats and best of luck to you too!

Betina Krahn said...

Lois, thanks for giving us a glimpse of your working area. . . Kathy, somehow I'm not surprised that we're both "rock people"-- with both love solid and earthy and things that speak of harmony with history. . . and Christie, you MUST do a blog on your wedding cake toppers. What a cool thing to collect! And very romantic, too. And Keri. . . you're such a delight on a Sunday Brunch. . . we'll have to hear more about your ornaments sometime!

And one last mimosa to help us all start the new week with a passion for all we can create!

MsHellion said...

I have a bobble head doll of Captain Jack Sparrow. If I'm in a bad mood, I can touch his beard braids and his head bobbles. I instantly smile.

I also have a stuffed doll of Ghandi to make me remember to be nicer. (So far it doesn't work all that well.)

I also have a 14 inch suit of armor.

My screen saver is a picture of a woman looking up a man's kilt.

Kaitlin said...

Aw collecting...I don't know if this was a good idea or not. LOL!

I collect postcards, mostly because I've never been able to travel. Anytime anyone I know goes somewhere, I ask them to bring back a postcard, if they can.

On my desk at home are a bunch of candles in cinammon & vanilla, a Christmas ornament of Strawberry Shortcake I got a year ago from my mom, pictures of friends and my nephew, and pictures of super hot guys I've cut out of magazines and stuff...because, if that's not inspiration, I don't know what is. :) LOL!