Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Melissa Foster

Seaside Sunset Cover Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Melissa Foster

To help celebrate the release of her newest Romance, bestselling author Melissa Foster,has created a fun Street Team for readers of her books and lovers of the Romance genre. As part of this launch, she will be giving away lots of prizes—and I mean lots. From chocolate gift baskets to autographed books to super swag, she will be giving away more than 20 prizes, and as many as 520!

If the Street Team reaches 500 members by Monday, December 22, every single member will score an Advance Review Copy of her upcoming novel, Seaside Secrets. That means that you can enjoy the newly released Seaside Sunsets and then immediately read the next installment in the series. Pretty cool, huh?

Melissa Street Team Banner Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Melissa Foster

Not in the mood to join the team? Not a problem! You can still enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and autographed book.

Now that I know you’re excited, read on to learn more about Melissa’s Street Team and her newest release, Seaside Sunsets.

About Melissa’s Street Team

Melissa Street Team Badge Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Melissa Foster

Do you LOVE Melissa Foster’s hunky heroes and smart, sexy heroines? Want to tell others about her books and help spread the word while gaining exclusive peeks at upcoming releases? Join Melissa’s Street Team, and become one of her most trusted fans!

Fab fan benefits:  Personal interaction with Melissa, lively discussions with other super fans and romance junkies, sneak peeks into future publications, exciting challenges with great prizes/swag, and fancy badges for your website, blog, and social media profiles.

Join today:  www.facebook.com/groups/melissafosterfans

About Melissa’s Newest Release

*SEASIDE SUNSETS WAS CHOSEN AS ONE OF AMAZON EDITORS’ BEST ROMANCE BOOKS OF DECEMBER 2014

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother–and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sensual, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the blond beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life–and his heart–upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away

Recommended for readers aged 18+

Get Seaside Sunsets on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, or Google Play!

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Word(s) of 2015 … Intentional Breath, Time, Consumption, Production

IMG 4075 1024x1024 Word(s) of 2015 ... Intentional Breath, Time, Consumption, Production

I like this idea that’s come about of choosing a word for the year. I did this for the first time at the start of 2014, choosing the word story. I thought that I would purposefully consider this word but instead I just let it linger in the background of my life, informing me throughout the months. I didn’t focus specifically on finding or telling or revising my story but I consistently remembered to think about my story during different activities of my days. I feel like it taught me a lot, informed me in ways that I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t set attention on it at the beginning of the year.

And so, as we wrap up 2014, I’ve been thinking about my word for the new year. At first I was thinking “breath” because so much of 2014 felt like I was trying to catch my breath. Then I thought of looking up the synonyms of breath because that word didn’t feel quite right. But I sat with that, gave it some space, let it breathe so to speak.

Ultimately, what I determined was that focusing on my breath is an important thing right now but it’s not the focus of 2015. Instead, I have chosen the word “intentional” because I really just want to have more intention around everything that I’m doing in my life. I don’t want to continue to be swept along by the randomness of life and the habits I’ve rutted into. I want to think about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, to consider it without judgment but to make choices intentionally. Maybe I’ll watch TV for 12 hours a day but I want to do so consciously, conscientiously, with awareness, with intention.

While I was still in the middle of deciding between “breath” and “intentional”, I realized that I could focus my intentional energy on specific areas such as breath. I’ve literally been having trouble breathing and I’ve figuratively felt breathless as well. Giving intentionality to my days will help, I hope, with the latter. Intentionally working to attend to my physical respiration is important for the former. I don’t want breath to be my only focus but I do want it to be a focus this year.

So then I was thinking that it could be a quarterly thing … intention around breathing for the first quarter, for example. That didn’t feel quite right but the focus on four different areas of intentionality does feel right, so here’s what I’ve determined. In 2015, I want to intentionally consider:

  1. Breath
  2. Time
  3. Consumption
  4. Production

With breath, I include all aspects of health, starting with the breath. I want to explore and examine some of my history with asthma, medically but also holistically.

With time, I want to increase my awareness of what I’m doing with my time. I want to make intentional choices instead of just letting it slip by, instead of just letting things slip into my calendar that I don’t actually want there. A lot of my struggle to catch up this year was because I agreed haphazardly to things that were fine but weren’t juicy, rich, meaningful.

I want to intentionally consume – food, yes, with attention to its impact on me but also media and anything else that goes into me. I want to select the things that are filtering through my body and mind and not just mindlessly allow them to enter.

In reverse, I want to be more intentional with what I produce, particularly in terms of creativity. I’ve got a lot of habitual writing patterns and some of them are out of date and need to be revisited. I need to look at them with intentionality. I seek to make choices around them so that I feel more fulfilled in what I’m sending out into the world around me.

These things all go hand-in-hand … what I choose to consume and produce is related to how I spend my time, for example. That’s why breaking it down into quarters doesn’t feel right but still having these four focal areas of intention does feel right. So there it is. My 2015 word is “intentional” with a subtitle of Breath, Time, Consumption and Production.

What is your word for 2015?

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4D Things

Last week I went to my first 4d movie (Hunger Games) where my seat shook and the wind blew on me. I’m not usually into action movies of any kind and it definitely engaged me more. I do have to say I was disappointed that the 3D visual effects (no glasses required) weren’t very good because that would have really added the right stuff for me but all in all it was a good unique experience and a terrific glimpse into the future of entertainment.

Above you’ll see a video of the first “4d” printed dress. We’re barely starting to see 3d printing hitting the mainstream and we’re already moving on to 4d. And I love it!

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Crochet Blog Awards

Every December over on my crochet blog I do a series of daily posts recognizing my favorite crochet bloggers for the specific cool things that they are doing. One of this year’s winners, Crochetbug, wrote this very lovely post on her blog today that included the following:

“It is an absolute delight to have my work recognized by Ms. Vercillo. To say that she is tireless in her efforts to promote crochet is an understatement, and her encouragement is a reminder to me, in this season of giving, that sometimes the most important gift is the one where we acknowledge of the humanity and efforts of those around us who do the many things (large and small) that make it possible for us to carry on with our lives.”

I was so touched by the post and the sentiment!

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5 Inspiring, Wonderful Resources on the Simple Joy of Walking

IMG 4324 764x1024 5 Inspiring, Wonderful Resources on the Simple Joy of Walking

I recently wrote an article for About.com about the similar health benefits of crochet and walking. In that post, I shared some of my favorite resources about inspired walking. I thought I’d share those here as well, along with a couple of other related resources that I hadn’t mentioned yet.

  • Walk It Off: A Walker’s Rambles. This terrific blog has a lot of information and inspiration for all walkers including people who have never walked regularly before and want to try it out.
  • Walking in this World by Julia Cameron. This book, part of The Artist’s Way series, is a creativity exercise book that also encourages daily walking as part of a creativity plan. It has great tips and information for using movement-based creativity to improve your quality of life. I love the whole series and I was excited when Cameron added the element of walking to the other daily rituals she was already recommending (journaling, etc.)
  • On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation by Andrea Horowitz. In this book the author takes a simple short walk with experts in different fields and discovers that each person sees different things in the world. It’s an inspiring guide for walking and I found that it also gave me a new perspective that infused creativity into my craft work and writing.
  • The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White. This is one of the first books I ever read about walking and it revitalized my own interest in this simple exercise. It’s a book about Paris, a book about the history of wandering, a book about the magic of walking through the world.
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. I’ve fallen in love with author Solnit in recent years. The first book of hers that I read was the one about San Francisco, which someone had given to my beaux as a gift and he had lent to me. I also read Paradise in Hell, her book about how we thrive in big disasters. And I’m currently reading The Faraway Nearby, a memoir about memory and stories. Wanderlust is her book about walking, about all of the different ways we walk and the stories of walking that are intertwined through time and her own experience of walking in my own San Francisco Bay Area.

Where was the last place that you walked? What did you discover?

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Families with First Order and Second Order Change

During one of our classes the first weekend of this semester the instructor brought up the common scenario of an adult returning back home and suddenly behaving the same way that s(he) did as a teenager. There were so many understanding nods of agreement in the class, from people I know well enough to know that they often do battle with their families of origin in a way significantly different from how they interact with their chosen families. While I understood the reason for this, and I could recognize that it commonly happens, I didn’t feel it resonate as something that is true for me. I’ve been sitting with that ever since the class, mulling it over, and I reached the “aha” moment when I realized that there has been such a significant shift in our family dynamics over time that our new homeostasis doesn’t match the old homeostasis we were in when I was a kid … so of course I don’t feel like a kid in that home anymore and yet I do fall into a certain role or pattern that is different from how I interact in my other situations in life.

Continue reading

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Issey Miyake Fashion and Technology

issey miyake design Issey Miyake Fashion and Technology

Almost every day I walk past a boutique clothing store on my street that has an Issey Miyake fashion display in the window. The volume of this designer’s clothes doesn’t seem like it would work on my body but I’m always so intrigued by what he’s creating. Today Dezeen has an interview with the fashion designer about his new collection and the technology being used to produce it.

Excerpt:

Dan Howarth: How does the technology work?

Yoshiyuki Miyamae: Let me quickly talk about the latest concept before we get into the technology. It’s called Windscape, this latest collection. I was inspired by the natural patterns that winds create. It could be about the shape of clouds, a sand dune changing shape, maybe the ripples on the surface of the water. It’s also to do with lightness. I wanted to express the lightness of those phenomena and translate them to the clothes.

We created paper prototypes of the shapes. We tried many patterns including squares and triangles. We usually tend to work like that and to make one paper prototype takes about a day to make it work. The way I came to this point is through endless research and experimenting at the paper stage and gradually translating it into fabric.”

Full interview here

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What Is Giving Tuesday?

greatgiving What Is Giving Tuesday?

I’ve never been one to participate in Black Friday, that day after Thanksgiving when all of the stores go sale-crazy and people flood in to try to get those good prices. I’m a bit more fond of Small Business Saturday, a spinoff that emphasizes supporting local businesses instead, although I still don’t do the shopping thing. Then there’s CyberMonday, where the big sales happen online. Although I don’t really participate in that one, it’s appealing to me because I’m a fan of online shopping.

Anyway, all of this is a prelude to introduce Giving Tuesday, which is all about de-emphasizing the purchasing of items for the holiday season and re-focusing on the giving nature of this time.

More info:

“On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”

December 2nd would have been my grandmother’s birthday this year.

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