Writing, coffee shops & the SCBWI conference

pieOn Heart. On Home.

Lots of crazy, fun things going on, and I don’t know where to begin, or if I even want to write it all in one post … So I will just start with something relatively small and save the something big for later!

I’ve been in Santa Fe for the past two weeks post my conference in Chicago, which was awesome by the way.  It was chance to be professional me, wearing suits and mingling with hospital CEOs and CFOs.  I kind of loved it, getting caught up on what’s going on across the country and on the ground in healthcare.  It gave me some interesting ideas for the future which are in progress, but not enough to share just yet.

So back to Santa Fe.  One thing I’ve been trying to do it hit all the great coffee shops around here.  I made a list using Yelp and screening out any that don’t offer wi-fi.  I’m looking for places where you can get your coffee and just sit and write.  I have a pretty solid list and every day after a workout at Studio J, I’ve been heading to one or two of these places.  I have two goals: Continue reading

Living the definition of irony

Home and Heart

On Heart. On Home.

Irony: an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

1. I scheduled an hour with a pro at the Shellaberger Tennis Center on Sunday, my first full day back in Santa Fe.  I wanted to start playing tennis out here so I could meet more people while doing something fun and getting some exercise.  So I showed up right at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and, oddly, though I managed to put on a cute tennis outfit, forgot to bring my racket!  But even more bizarre was how quiet the place was – not good.  Turns out, the pro doesn’t work on Sunday.  The guy at the desk was nice though and rebooked me for Wednesday.  He also put me on a court with a ball machine and lent me a racket.  So I hit ground strokes for an hour or so, and though it was good exercise, the ball machine certainly wasn’t the company I was seeking.

Continue reading

Making a buck in the Big Apple, Warren Buffet style

GE MoneyOn Money. On Friends.

I spent an evening in NYC recently, running some errands, and meeting some of the friends I made last summer at the Aspen Institute for happy hour.  So great to be out and about and part of some truly inspiring conversations …

But the best inspiration came as I waited for the 10:30 p.m. bus at Port Authority.  New Jersey Transit has set up a few automated ticketing machines near the 400 gates (if you know P.A. you know the 400 gates) … Sandwiched between the machines are about four chairs.  One of them was occupied by a larger woman, shielded by one of those metal wheely carts.  Popcorn covered the floor area around her.

Here’s her gig. Continue reading

Felicity Huffman follows me on Twitter! Crazy…

Heart & WorkThe funniest thing happened the other day.  I got an email alert that Felicity Huffman now follows me on Twitter!  I literally have 5  Twitter followers, that’s all.  I barely use it. I double-checked, and it’s definitely her.  So, I thought, I need to start doing something with Twitter – showing some interesting life things going on around me … But when I looked down, all I saw was this turkey sandwich I was eating for lunch:

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And in case you were wondering, those are kettle-baked jalapeno chips which are awesome, except for the fact that the dusty jalapeno coating makes me cough incessantly.

Somehow, not Felicity-worthy is it?   Continue reading

Ebola outbreak causes a slight change in plans …

Heart & Work

On Heart.  On Work.

Wowzers.

I’ve never cancelled an international flight 2 hours before I was supposed to leave for the airport …. But last Monday, I did just that.  I was scheduled to go to Ghana for about 5 days and then Liberia for a week.  The main purpose of this trip was in Liberia, to visit a hospital in Ganta which is on the border between Liberia and Guinea.  I was asked to do a financial and operational assessment of this hospital.  Problem is, there was an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, just an hour north of this hospital.

I’m a pretty adventurous traveler, and waited and watched to see if they could get the outbreak under control.  But on the day of my departure, six cases had been recorded in Liberia and five of those people had died.  The virus had migrated across the Guinea border.  And though I wanted to get to Ghana for many reasons (I had added it to the Liberia trip), I knew I needed to be smart.  And so the company sending me agreed to cancel and reschedule for later in the year. Continue reading

Thumbs down for HBO’s Girls with a reminder to stay pretty on the inside

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On Friends. On Heart.

Don’t ask me why I was so desperate for something to watch on t.v. that I tuned into Season 3 of HBO’s Girls…  

Game of Thrones.  Check.  Veep.  Check.  Reruns of Sopranos or Deadwood or Entourage?  Check. Check. Check.

But Girls?  I need a take-back on my time.

Criticism of the show Girls is rampant, so no need to rehash the obvious.  But members of the cast, the writers and producers constantly comment that the level of nudity the main character – Lena Dunham – puts out there, attempts to show people as they really are.  Hmm. Continue reading

Start your own business, even if it’s making cupcakes!

pieOn Work.  On Home.

The other day I was in New Jersey waiting for a bus to take me into NYC.  Up the hill in front of me, I saw a store called Ava’s Cupcakes.  I grew up in this town and had never seen that store before.  But what really caught my eye was a Food Network logo in the store’s window.

It turns out Ava’s Cupcakes is a small start-up right here in my hometown in northern Jersey.  The founders started the bakery during the financial crisis to make ends meet and have gone along to win one of the episodes of Cupcake Wars, Season 4 on the Food Network Channel.  Now, they are planning to expand to new locations. Continue reading

Bright Lights, Big New York City!

pieOn Heart. On Work.

This is a post about doing something I love (Heart), but that requires effort (Work)…

Well, it’s tough getting into the city – New York City, I mean – from the outside.  It took me over two hours to drive the 40 miles from my parents house in NJ to the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Truly, a test of patience and will.

Once I was in though, I made my way to the Upper East Side where Tatiana Boncompagni was having a book launch party.  I met Tatiana last year, after I’d reached out to her to discuss her writing and to get inspired.  One of her books, Hedge Funds Wives, is financial fiction which is a genre I’m interested in as well.

I was a bit apprehensive to meet her, not sure how much we would have in common, but we met at an Equinox juice bar (I love Equinox, so felt instantly more at ease) and wound up chatting for over two hours. Talking to Tatiana was like talking to an old friend. Continue reading

Winter break in Florida: playing tennis, biking, eating stone crabs!

Friends and HealthOn Health. On Friends.

In Sarasota, Florida for tennis camp!  I come here every year with two great girlfriends for a week of tennis, biking, stone crabs, and the beach.  The week is all about health and friends, though of course I have to do some work as well while here.  But all is good in balance!

The trip was much needed as the past few weeks have flown by in a whirlwind of work travel and meetings; playing catch-up on bills and projects and just getting over a terrible cold.  When I was leaving Ghana last, I was missing Health.  And I still didn’t have much of a chance to get back on track once I got back to the U.S. since I got hit with a repeat of the bad cold I had in January.  No Bar Method, no spin, no nothing.  So coming to Florida was a much needed kickstart on Health. Continue reading

Find balance in life!

Heart Health Friends

On Heart. On Health.

On route back to the U.S.  Things ended well in Ghana, once I learned to let go of my own expectations.  I found that when I started each morning with a “let’s just see what happens” attitude, I was always pleasantly surprised.

Case in point.

I found myself chatting with the Vice President of Ghana for a good bit about my ideas for partnering U.S. hospitals with African countries.  Never planned on that …

Me with Ghana's Vice President H.E. Amissah-Arthur at the American Chamber of Commerce 2014 Summit, Accra - Ghana.

Me with Ghana’s Vice President H.E. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur at the American Chamber of Commerce 2014 Summit, Accra – Ghana.

I also realized that even though I was super busy, balancing highs and low, I had pockets of down time/quiet time and during those moments and realized I had ennui.   My life for the past few weeks has been completely focused on Work and excluded almost everything else, but most importantly, Heart and Health.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the U.S. to refocus a bit and re-balance. Continue reading