1. You Are Beautiful! A simple statement, but a powerful message. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder of something we already know. Ten years ago, Matthew Hoffman wanted to spread the word, so he had 100 stickers printed and put them around town. He offered to send stickers to anyone who requested them. Now more than a half million have been distributed around the globe. The project has even inspired murals and exhibitions at institutions.

He developed a Kickstarter campaign to document the past decade in a book. The funding goal was surpassed last month. Look for the book this September. In the meantime go to the site to get some free stickers of your own to help spread the message.

You Are Beautiful New Orleans, LA

You Are Beautiful at the Brooklyn Bridge

You Are Beautiful at the Brooklyn Bridge

You Are Beautiful San Jose Airport

You Are Beautiful San Jose Airport

2. Bacon and Egg Man.  So, I was at a book launch party this week at the Tribeca Grand. I say this casually as if book launch parties at the Tribeca Grand are something I do every week. If it sounds far too swanky for the likes of me, it was. I took plenty of photos to give you a taste of it, but sadly, the only one not blurry and dark was this one of the exterior. (It only gets ritzier on the inside.)


But on to the reason I was there: A book party to celebrate my friend Ken Wheaton’s second novel, Bacon and Egg Man.  I’ve read earlier incarnations when it was just a little ol’ WIP, so I’m looking forward to seeing if he took all of my editing suggestions checking out the final results. Writers spend a lot of time in a strange solitary confinement so it was great to celebrate and acknowledge his achievement.

I hope you’ll get an opportunity to pick up a copy. Here’s a down-and-dirty synopsis and then you can read an excerpt here:

Bacon and Egg ManIn the halls of Congress, on the streets, in the media, the war on fast food is on. Tofu may be topical, but bacon is eternal. Bacon and Egg Man, Ken Wheaton’s second novel, is a sly send of up of a politically correct food establishment, where the Northeast has split off from the rest of the United States. The new Federation is ruled by the electoral descendants of King Mike, a man who made it his mission to form a country based on good, clean living. But you can’t keep good food down. And Wes Montgomery, a journalist at the last print paper in the Federation, is a mild-mannered bacon-and-egg dealer on the side. Until he gets pinched and finds himself thrust into Chief Detective Blunt’s wild-eyed plot to bring down the biggest illegal food supplier in the land. To make matters worse, Wes is partnered with Detective Hillary Halstead, the cop who, while undercover, became his girlfriend. Their journey takes them from submarine lairs to sushi speakeasies, from Montauk to Manhattan, where they have to negotiate with media magnate The Gawker before a climatic rendezvous with the secretive man who supplies the Northeast with its high cholesterol contraband, the most eternal of all breakfast foods: bacon and eggs.
Are you reading a book right now that you’d recommend? Share in the comments. I’m always looking for new books to put on my TBR list. I’m reading Elizabeth Strout’s new novel The Burgess Boys. (I won a copy on Goodreads!) Loving it, so far!
3. Airports. When I was in high school, my wonderful literature teacher told my class that she found inspiration at the airport. She said she could spend hours dreaming where people were going and why they might be going there. She’d filled dozens of notebooks with character sketches and letting her creativity run wild. Until then, I’d never really kept a notebook. I’d tried keeping diaries, but after a few entries I’d lose interest. To be introduced to a character / image notebook was really intriguing. Even today I carry a notebook just about everywhere I go.

I hadn’t thought about that in years until I read a post from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. She posed a question to her readers: What is your favorite thing to do in an airport?  The answers were fun, ranging from browsing in the bookstore (a personal favorite) to shopping for perfume at the duty free shop to downing a rum and coke.

So tell me, what is your favorite thing to do in an airport?

P.S. This is another great opportunity to tell your about an upcoming contest I’m hosting in April about my vacation destination. More details to come!

4. What is a weekend? Fans of Downton Abbey will no doubt recognize the dowager countess’s (a.k.a. Maggie Smith’s) now-famous question. Her confusion is understandable for a woman who has lived an aristocratic life, never having to work. I have come to feel the same way, but for exactly the opposite reason. I used to look forward to the weekend with gleeful abandon. A brief respite from the office. The luxury to follow my own schedule. The enjoyment of small adventures. Lately my weekends have become filled with errands and obligations. One task after another in a never-ending sea of chores. Every Sunday night, I’m wondering where the time went. Does anyone else feel the same way? Do you have any suggestions on how to put the f-u-n back into the weekend?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhfpBW-nUWk?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

5. Price that mansion. Part of my neighborhood is an historic district with stately, gorgeous homes around every corner. Here in a new, occasional series on the blog, I’ll share photos and a bit of history of some of these mansions. This place is on the market. Want to put in a bid? Guess how much you’ll need.

Tracy Mansion

This 50-foot-wide neo-classical limestone mansion was constructed in 1912 by the Tracy family, who were in shipping and used it as a family home.

Tracy Mansion

The floor plan is largely unchanged from when the Tracy family owned it. There have only been three owners. This Italian marble fireplace is 8-feet tall.

Tracy Mansion

The mansion has 23 rooms, nine bathrooms and approximately 10,000 square feet of space. These wood panels are made from mahogany.

Tracy Mansion

The curved marble entry hall has bronze doors and Corinthian-style columns.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

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