What I’m Into & What I Learned In October 2014


October has become one of my favorite months of the year.  This particular October was a busy and full month packed to the brim with theatre rehearsals, a grueling tech week and two weekends of performing onstage.   It was more warm here in Texas than I wanted in a perfect fall season, but the days that were cool and breezy were my favorite.

*FYI: This post contains affiliate links.  All that means is if you click on one of the links used below, and make a purchase through that link, this blog may be compensated with pennies, at no extra cost to you.  Those pennies go directly back into the running of this blog.  Many thanks!*


What I Read

An Altar In The World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

10% Happier by Dan Harris

Tables In The Wilderness by Preston Yancey

What I’m Reading

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho,  The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg, Breathing Room by Leanna Tankersley, Longing For More by Timothy Willard & Wild by Cheryl Strayed.


Theatrical & Musical Goodness

I was cast in 3 musicals back to back this year – starting in June.  The 3rd show in the bunch was an interesting and somewhat complex adaptation of the Illiad and Odyssey – a through-sung {which means all singing and no dialogue} musical opera called The Golden Apple.  

The Golden Apple was the first musical that transferred from an Off-Broadway to a Broadway run, back in 1954.  Its rarely done in part,  because of the scope of the material.  Performing this work with a 40+ person cast, and a full 36 piece orchestra was nothing short of lush and extraordinary.  I had a small singing role in both the 1st & 2nd act that was fun to do.  But most of all, I loved being a part of an ensemble of performers with such beautiful hearts and fun spirits.

There are a variety of musical styles in the piece, which is somewhat rare in older shows, and delicious to the musical ear.   One of my favorite moments in the show is the last scene. Our production restored the ending that the composer wanted originally.  When it transferred to Broadway, various powers that be thought a large production number was the answer, but I think this one is more powerful.

The simple and loving duet between the main characters, Ulysses & Penelope is entitled, We’ve Just Begun.  The lyrics are sublime, and the tune is one that frequently enters my thoughts and doesn’t leave.    Our producer posted the ending duet online, which I’m thrilled to share with you here.

The Golden Apple

Blogisphere Beauts

The Art of Simple & The Art of Simple Travel: Backpack Simplicity, China Taught Me About Me

…By forcing the art of journaling into a rhythmic part of my nomadic life this year, I’ll better translate both my thoughts and the world around me. Try as I may to escape it, I’m made to process through writing. Pen and paper are my conduit.

…Now that those sidewalks in central China are a few weeks behind me, I remember…what I’m here for. One of our paramount reasons to travel is to live life differently, to walk at a different cadence, to let life pulse a different rhythm. I want my work and writing life to morph into the same, to publish and interact and present the Internet my offerings in altered cadences, rhythms.

~Tsh Oxenreider


Sarah Bessey:  October’s Lady  

It’s the cliche of the season, I know, but I have to agree with Anne Shirley: I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

…Crisp mornings, sharp like a tart apple, wake me up from the stupor of summer. The air crackles with ideas and renewal, this should be the true start of the year, we come alive again.

~Sarah Bessey


Myquillyn Smith:  You Don’t Need My Obligation 

 Do you know that every year I give myself permission to not join in? I think that’s key to being able to create things–not feeling like it’s an obligation. You deserve so much more than my obligation.

I hope today you make time to let the art come to you if and when it’s ready.

~Myquillyn Smith

What I Learned

It is possible to get through a killer tech of an obscure and epically large musical opera, and come out smiling at the end of our opening weekend.  {tech=the week before the opening of a show involving longer than usual long hours of rehearsal.  By opening night, you feel both deep-fried and exhilarated}.  I was grateful to go through such an exhausting and yet artistic process at a beautiful theatre with such kind and wonderful people.   GRATE-FULL.


In continuing my ongoing search for the perfect pen, I started using Sharpie pens.  At first I used the pretty ones with the silver caps, which are fine point.  But I learned that I much prefer the plain looking ones, in part because of their more substantial medium point–they just work better for my writing style.


I had the best of intentions for my 31 Days blogging series, I really did.  I thought performing in a musical, whilst simultaneously writing about it on my blog would be the PERFECT setup.

I learned that I was wrong about that.

I learned that my creative bandwidth wasn’t able to sustain both creating and performing in a musical, and writing about it in a way that would speak to me or my blog readers.  I found myself sitting at the computer, looking at a blinking cursor under a perfectly titled blog post that had no words.  

I wish I was more prolific, or could creatively multi-task, but I realized rather quickly that I will be writing my musical theatre blog series slowly, now that I have time when I am not performing in a show.

I felt all sorts of random guilt about this, until I read Myquillyn’s gracious post.  {see the quote blurb and link above.}   Her sister Emily, one of my blogging favorites, wrote a similar post in the same day, but Myquillyn’s words were the ones that gave me permission first.

Happy Little Favorites

*NYX lipstick in this loverly shadeas well as their buttercream matte gloss in Cannes.

*the routine of almost daily musical theatre rehearsals.

*Celebrating my best friends birthday with a delightful meal.

*Sitting outside in the morning to read and do devotions because TEXAS FINALLY GOT THE FALL MEMO. Yay for cool breezes and lovely temperatures.

*I received my first ever Whitney English Day Designer in the mail for 2015.  Its the most money I’ve ever spent on a planner or organizer, but I think its going to be worth it.  I’m already working on the multiple worksheets English includes that include figuring out your core, your brand and goal setting.  Its beautifully made, and it sure is purty! 



*I found some cheap colored felt tip pens at TJMaxx, and some journals to add to my giveaway collection.   Color me a happy stationary nerd this month!

 What I Ate

*My Fit Foods

One of my friends in The Golden Apple cast {who is the leading man in the video above and one of the most FIT people I know!}  told me about My Fit Foods–a company that sells pre-made quality meals to aid in weight loss and healthy eating.

I took their 21-day challenge, which I admit was a bit difficult for me.  {Mostly because I was not such a big fan of their dinners.}  It was a great help though, especially during tech week, to heat up a meal quickly in the microwave that wasn’t processed food, had a low glycemic index and lower carbs that  actually tasted good.    I especially like their breakfasts, lunches and healthy snacks.  Because they are not cheap, I am now just supplementing my meal plan occasionally with their breakfasts, lunches and snacks and cooking healthy dinners at home with my hubby.

Among their tastiest meals for me were the spinach and chicken enchiladas, chicken nuggets with green beans and a very tasty mashed and creamy cauliflower, and their chicken with mashed gouda potatoes.


*Another delish South Beach Diet recipe: Chicken with Cremini Cream Sauce

*A scrumdillious meal celebrating my best friend’s birthday.  I thought the plate was delightfully arranged, the photo is below.  The creamed corn was delicious, and a much smaller portion than it appears below, which made me feel a tad bit better about eating it. The mushroom hash doesn’t look HALF as good as it tasted—all I can say is BACON makes everything taste better. A foodie-happy meal for sure.



Music Find

*I’m loving the band Johnnyswim‘s newest album Diamonds.


What I’m Looking Forward to in November


Travel, Travel, Travel!  After being homebound with my theatre schedule since June, I’m excited to get out and about and visit family and friends!    I’m extra excited to be attending a retreat near Austin at the Laity Lodge–a beautiful place I’ve always wanted to experience with a great group of people.

I’m also counting the days until I visit family.  My best friend moved into her first house, and I’m looking forward to helping her settle in and celebrating with her.  After a rigorous evening schedule these past months, having relaxing evenings at home, cooking dinner with my husband and hanging out are going to be GLORIOUS.

What were you into this month?

2 comments on “What I’m Into & What I Learned In October 2014

  1. Your musical experience sounds like a blast. I haven’t sung in years, but I was recently convinced to join the choir at our little country church and it’s so fun. I just love the camaraderie that comes along with performing together as a group.

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