Brave as a Dancing Chicken

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Life | 61 comments

A.A. Milne quote brave

 

Sometimes I’m a chicken.

In college, I actually narrowed down my choice of majors to those that didn’t require public speaking 101.

Bawk.

 

quaker steak chicken mascot

 

 

That chicken with the big grin is my 14 year old nephew. In public, he’s mostly a quiet kid.

But it’s interesting what happens when you put a quiet kid in a chicken suit.

 

 

Braver than he thinks? Maybe.

I could’ve used a chicken suit a couple of weeks ago when I spoke on a panel about the creative life during an SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) event.

At least just to start out. :)

 

writer's panel SCBWI

 

Because I was having an out of body experience nervous. I can’t really remember anything I said, but hey, I did it.

(I’m pretty sure I spoke from the heart , it was practically in my throat anyway).

I was also nervous about the authors fair and book signing. But that turned out to be fun.

 

meeting authors

 

I met national book award winner, Kathryn Erskine. She’s super sweet. She signed a book for me and then even came over to my table and bought one of my books!!

 

local authors fair

(I just realized I picked a table next to the fire alarm. Panic much?)

 

The book fair wasn’t so scary. Writers (and readers) may be a quiet bunch, but everyone was friendly.

 

local authors fair

Sharon Rainey, Richard L. Towers, Nancy Hannan

 

I chatted with authors. I signed some books. I’m pretty sure I didn’t squawk or bawk once.

I’m braver than I thought.

Even without a chicken costume.

 

How are you feeling brave (or strong, or smart) this week? Would you have more courage dressed in a chicken suit? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!

Happy Monday!

signature

 

 
 
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Reading Gives You Wings

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Books | 28 comments

bird book cartoon

I’m spreading my wings!

 

This weekend I will be participating in a local authors fair at Cascades library in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

There will be bunches of SUPER cool author peeps.

 

cascades library fair 2

Super cool author peep, Kathryn Erskine.

 

And books and book stuff.

 

YA book swag

 

And coffee, I’m sure. Although, I should probably switch to decaf.

 

drawing on Starbucks cup

Me + Caffeine (and/or nerves) = Doodles

 

I’m grateful, excited, nervous, but also very CURIOUS. :)

 

Are you spreading your wings? How do you calm your nerves?

Happy Wednesday!

Coleen Patrick

 

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Photo Essay: Friendly Roads and Sunny Faces

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Travel | 42 comments

may the road rise to meet you

May the road rise up to meet you.

hats williamsburg

May the wind be always at your back.

light in window

May the sun shine warm upon your face…

tree and clouds

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

light through doorway

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

**All photos taken at Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg.

 

Historical tidbit I learned at Shirley Plantation: Did you know that it wasn’t uncommon for portrait painters (and their entire family) to move in with their subjects?

Real Portrait Painters of the Thirteen Colonies. Would you watch that reality show?

I imagine the experience hastened the invention of photography. :)

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Coleen Patrick

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The Plucky Crocus: A Sign of Sunny Optimism

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Photography | 34 comments

spring is coming

“Winter lingered so long in the lap of Spring

that it occasioned a great deal of talk.”

~Bill Nye

 

Today is shiny and warm. YAY! I’m going out to soak up the sun. I promise I won’t take it all. :)

What are you grateful for today?

Happy Tuesday!

Coleen Patrick

 

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Nature Selfies: Ready for My Closeup

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Photography | 40 comments

duck closeup

Pony pasture rva

 

fish closeup

chicken closeup

crocodile closeup

Virginia aquarium birds

stingray closeup selfie

macro shot dogwood bud winter

**Photos taken at Meadow Farm, the Virginia Aquarium, and my neighborhood. The last photo is NOT in fact an alien, but a dogwood bud encased in Polar Vortex ice (or what I imagine my fingers, toes, and nose to look like lately).

Anything you’re taking a closer look at lately? What are your thoughts on selfies? 

Happy Monday!

Coleen Patrick

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Slopestyle: I’m Gonna Need a Bigger Cup of Coffee

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Inspiration | 40 comments


penguin coffee doodle

Need a little Monday boost?

Check out the new event at the winter Olympics: Slopestyle.

Snowboarders + obstacle course = super cool flips and revolutions with names like The Holy Crail (ie 1620 Japan Air Mute Grab), the backside triple cork 1440 (three head-over-heels flips and four full revolutions), a cab double cork 900, or the switch stance backside 540.

I feel energized just writing it all down.

 

Are you watching the Winter Olympics? What’s your favorite event?

Happy Monday!

Coleen Patrick

 

 

 

 

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Let the Light In (or Dance Like a Mystic)

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Life | 36 comments

ice cracking Leonard Cohen quote

 

Is it spring yet?

Okay, maybe not. But after historically cold temperatures for the last two weeks here in central Virginia (and six and 1/3 snow days that shut down the city cancelled school), I got a tad excited when I saw the ice melting on the ponds at Byrd Park.

 

 

birds on lake richmond virginia

 

Pond gulls

(probably not their scientific name)

 

Amy Tan writing quote

 

…the stuff I brought home on my shoes. 

 

Bird watching Richmond VA

 

Or, if there are TONS of birds, feel free to dance like a mystic.

 

Frozen lake birds Richmond VA

Spring is coming (eventually)!

 

What inspiring things are happening in your neighborhood? Also, do you think birds’ feet get cold on that ice? ( This last question is from my husband.) We’d love to know what you think. :)

 

HAPPY TUESDAY!

Coleen Patrick

 

 

 

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Spinning Time into Gold or Carpe Snowman

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Life | 44 comments

J.M. Barrie quote

 

How to spin time into gold

 

You will need:

your time

snow

a baby carrot

chopped dates

a few Tic Tacs

and whatever else your heart may desire

 

1. Dig fingers into snow and let the fun begin!

2. Toss aside any pine needles, brown leaves, and the voice in your head questioning why you are spending precious time making a snowman on a weekday morning

 smiling snowman

 

 3. Give your snowman a minty Tic Tac grin. 

 

snowman smile

 

4. Be sure to grin back

 

melted snowman

 

4. When snowman melts, ignore the I told you so voice smirking in your head because

the time passed anyway

and yet you found a way to keep it with you.

 

 

What time are you spinning into gold this week? 

Happy Monday!

Coleen Patrick

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Gulls (and Boys) Just Want to Have Fun

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Photography | 60 comments

focus and take the shot

 

Recently I challenged myself to try to catch some action shots with my phone’s camera.

 

seagulls on beach

 

Not much action here. Just some seagulls, hanging out.

 

seagull reflection

 

Although, some gulls took a little time for reflecting.

 

seagull showing off

 

Others stretched their wings–or showed off.

Can’t say for sure as I’m not really a gull expert. 

BUT…

I do know that birds like bread.

 

seagull eating bread crumb

 

They will crane necks to get bread. 

 

seagull landing

 

They will swoop and fly.

 

seagull frenzy

 

They will get rowdy.

 

seagull standoff

 

Not all though. Some will be cautious–maybe even a bit suspicious.

This gull probably has an agent.

 

beach boys

 

So I moved on to other subjects.

Replaced the bread with a Frisbee.

 

beach frisbee

 

And … action.

 

playing Frisbee on beach

beach frisbee action

catching frisbee on beach

 

What challenges have you set up for yourself lately? 

Happy Monday!!

Coleen Patrick

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Change and Celebrating the Good Stuff

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Life | 45 comments

celebrate quote

 

2013 has been a year of CHANGE.

 

butterfly and change

 

Some good. Some not so good.

All of it unsettling in some way.

 

the art of chasing normal

 

Like publishing. 

And my daughter graduating from high school and moving from home.  

Surreal.

 

times square NYC

 

See the bright lights in the big city? This is where my daughter now makes her home.

Big changes.

Big time unsettling.

But thankfully, finding yourself unsettled is not always a negative thing.

 

dim sum chinatown

 

For example, while eating dim sum in Chinatown last week, I was COMPLETELY unsettled when I noticed Golden Globe winner, Jake Gyllenhaal sitting two tables away from me.

There he was in all his movie star glory, eating dim sum and essentially breathing the same air as me and all that.

(Note: Thank you to Phil for recommending I go to Nom Wah Tea Parlor in NYC.)

I was definitely unsettled. But in a fun and exciting way.  

Plus, that moment gave new meaning to the Celebrity Diet, because I couldn’t eat another bite of food after noticing Jake. 

And by the way, I can totally call him by his first name now. Because I’m sure he was just as unsettled by the woman two tables away with the bug eyes, furiously texting her sister:

 OMG I’m like ten feet from Jake Gyllenhaal!!!!

We shared a moment. I’m sure.

So yeah, there’s been some shake ups.

Which, naturally for my over thinking brain,  has led to a lot of reflecting. 

And reminding myself to celebrate what I’d like to see more of…

 

reflecting at sunrise

 

Like the sunrise–this one was in Virginia Beach yesterday.

 

keeping family close and change

 

Family time

 

building gingerbread houses

smiley face in the sand

 

Smiles

 

seagulls taking flight virginia beach

And soaking up every uplifting moment

And if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t mind another Jake Gyllenhaal moment. Just saying.

 

Wishing you a happy, peaceful, and awesome new year!

Coleen Patrick

 

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