Strength: It’s In There

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Inspiration | 47 comments

strength and sprit

finish strong

finish strong

strength of spirit

jump into ocean spirit

spirit determination run

Strength. It’s in there.


Family. Friends. The pretty cool inspiration in the world around me. Coffee. :) These are just a few of the things that keep me going strong.

How do you tap into your inner strength? 

 Happy Monday!





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Guat’s up? Building a Library, Friendship, & Community

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Inspiration | 46 comments

MLWGS guatemala


Today’s post is brought to you by my son and his Relevance Rising seminar classmates.

For the past year they’ve been raising money and awareness towards their international service project Biblioteca Comunitaria Tzununa in Guatemala.

And last month they traveled there to lend a hand.


guatemala volcano

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala


Fruits of labor

Santa Catarina


Panajachel Guatemala

Panajachel Nature Reserve


tzununa lake atitlan dock

Boat ride from Panajachel to Tzununa

Lake Atitlan


tzununa guatemala journey

The path to Tzununa


clearing tzununa library site

Clearing rocks and weeds for the site of the future Tzununa library.


guatemala library site

tzununa children guatemalaTzununa village children



These last two pictures were captured by the children–they loved playing with my son’s camera. :)


Tzununa school

relevance rising MLWGS


If you’d like to read some more words from the students, check out their Tumblr page HERE.


What’s inspiring you this week?

Happy Monday!


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The Chocolate Made Me Do It

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Inspiration | 69 comments

follow chocolate

It’s probably not a secret that I like chocolate (or most desserts, for that matter).


chocolate tweet


Plus, I’m impressionable, or maybe better yet, let’s say, easily inspired?


white cup doodling

Some coffee inspiration


So when children’s author, Susanna Leonard Hill, posted about this:


The First Ever Pretty-Much-World-Famous Illustration Contest!!!

susanna hill contest


I got caught up in the glamour, the intrigue, the excuse to go to the craft store to buy more art supplies, and well,

a little chocolate hypnosis.

Because Susanna is one of my blogger friends who likes to post yummy chocolate pictures in her posts.

Of course she posts tons of other cool stuff about writing for children, but again there’s that mesmerizing chocolate.

So my creativity took over (as soon as I had a brand new set of watercolor pencils in my hands) and the result is an illustration for a fun story from Susanna’s March Madness Fractured Fairy Tale Writing Contest,

The Princess and the Stinky Cheese

 by Lauri Meyers.


The chocolate made me do it.


illustration tpatsc

Check out more illustrations HERE.


Have you ever experienced chocolate (or any other food induced) hypnosis? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments. :)

Happy Monday!


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Whittling the World Down to a More Manageable Size

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Photography | 52 comments

Susan Orlean The Orchid Thief


Lewis Ginter botanical gardens


flower against sky


world is full of possibility


dandelion close up


Dogwood trees macro

 Do you know what kind of bug this is??? 

It looks like a praying mantis, but it’s about the size of a nickel. What do you think?

Bugs and flowers aside, my daughter came home for a visit last week, so I’ve also been happily focusing on family. :)


What are you taking a closer look at lately?

Tell me, I’d love to know!!

family R C







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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.



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!



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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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