Posted by: penelopefly | March 6, 2009

And I Feel Fine……

What if I post? Remember REM- Its the end of the world as we know it?  

If anyone has been following, they would correctly assume by the date of my last entry (exactly 24 hours before my first day of my MFA program) that I have been sucked into the vortex of deadlines, facebook, and, oh yeah, parenthood?  At the moment, I’ve been spit out long enough to say hello. I’m alive and well and working my ass off.

Everything I have to say about the residency and subsequent semester- how I like it, love it, manage my time is sure to sound like I’m stringing every cliche about love and fulfillment into a single paragraph. Cliches are my enemy and I root them out while I attempt to produce up to 40 pages of fiction, 2 critical essays, and a 10 page letter to my amazing faculty advisor every three weeks. I’m not known for my skills in on demand creativity and it appears I have a lot to remember about time management.  But I’m working on it. ….And I feel fine…..

Posted by: whirlabout | January 28, 2009

My First Online Gig!

whirlaboutpostTwo weeks into a trial membership at a leading online voice marketplace, 12 auditions later, I got my first online gig!

This audition was for an interactive voice response (IVR) phone system. Nothing too glamorous, nothing that will make me famous. But hey, someone who has never met me liked my work.  I believe his exact words were, “your voice was definitely the best.”

I’ll take that any day.

Posted by: whirlabout | January 20, 2009

Toddlers in my New Sound Booth

whirlaboutpostI did it. I constructed my own portable sound booth for professional voice recordings. Home studio construction is another one of the topics I’ve been reading about voraciously  lately. After all my research, I settled on this version: the Harlan Hogan Porta-Booth.


Obviously, this set-up is not necessarily the cream of the crop for audio recording — no sturdy, sound-proof walls with glass windows allowing me to communicate noise-free with a director who’s listening from the outside — but it does do a very nice job with the type of recordings that I do at home right now (mostly auditions and custom demos).

It was super simple – a collapsible storage cube, some acoustic foam tiles, a low-profile microphone stand and pop filter connected to my condenser microphone and USB MobilePre preamp/audio interface. Plug it all into my laptop and presto! It’s time for take one.

My kids had that honor. Here’s my youngest trying twinkle twinkle.

And here’s my 5 year old with his own creation.

Hopefully I’ll be able to turn this portable sound booth into a little more than a fun and expensive toy.

Posted by: whirlabout | January 5, 2009

Reading and Reading — As if I Didn’t Have Children

whirlaboutpostI have been one crazy book worm lately. For me, this is huge, since I’ve only read a handful of books since giving birth to my first child five and a half years ago.

Typically, all I can squeeze into a day – before melting on the couch after my kids go to bed and the dishes are done and the laundry is folded and the cat is fed and the house is clean – is a few articles from the magazines on my coffee table that expired months ago.

But this Christmas, things were different. Read More…

Posted by: penelopefly | January 3, 2009

Flying Without Children

ulyssespostHappy New Year Butterflies!  My last post found me speculating whether I had what it takes to pull of a vacation, a big santa christmas, another vacation, a birthday party and be ready to show up for my first day of graduate school on January 3rd.  The answer: yes, yes, yes and yes…and somehow managed to live each moment fully. I did discover 3 new grey hairs however (true story).

This morning began at 4:30am.  My husband was up with my first movement offering to brew me a cappuccino and holding my hand as I struggled to stay confident saying goodbye.  My six year old daughter woke with my kiss and I had to walk out the door to the sound of her weeping. Can you say broken nerves? I’ve never been away from my girls for more than 2 nights ever!

Off to the airport for the first time flying without children in over five years! I never thought crowed terminals and crammed planes could feel like a spa vacation.  A 5am phone call assured me Read More…

Posted by: bluewave22 | December 28, 2008

Do what you love…

bluewavepostLately I’ve been thinking, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I’ve had some time during this break to do a lot of sewing and I do love it. Especially this bird:bird

I love choosing fabric combinations and watching as things I think about in the shower come to life. I just realized yesterday that this is my new medium. Now I’m trying to figure out how I can fuse my love of politics, the environment, and sewing into a career?? This Christmas I made reusable shopping bags of American-made, organic cotton. Maybe this could be my little contribution? It just seems so insignificant.  hmmm… stay tuned…

Posted by: whirlabout | December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, All You Butterflies…


 May your holiday wishes come true.

Posted by: whirlabout | December 22, 2008

What is the Purpose of a Blog?

whirlaboutpostI was asked this very question at a Christmas party last night — a glass of red wine in one hand and a chocolate fondue-dipped gingerbread man in the other.

“Just what is it you’re trying to accomplish?,” my friend asked.

“For me…” I replied, “It’s about getting support from friends who are going through the same thing. By writing down what we’re doing, we’re forcing ourselves to take action. We can’t get away with just dreaming about it anymore. We have to hunker down and make a move. Plus, we’re writing this blog together –- so we’re encouraging each other emotionally along the way.”

“That all sounds great,” he said,”but what happens when the blog becomes the focus? When all you think about is what you’ll write next? Isn’t it, then, steering you away from what you’re really trying to accomplish?” Read More…

Posted by: penelopefly | December 16, 2008

How to Gain 5 Pounds in 5 Days

ulyssespostA quick follow-up to my last post: of gingerbread men and breast cancer… all is well.  Six squishy photos later and my breasts received an all-clear!  phew and phew.  

Just spent five delicious (I mean five extra pounds delicious) days with my family at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada.  If I was feeling proud of my regular bikram yoga practice, trail runs, and Moosewood cookbook eating habits, I am now feeling equally horrendous having drunk several mochas per day, stuffed myself with english butter tarts, and eaten decadent restaurant food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  What was supposed to be about holiday lights and cozy christmas shopping somehow turned into a glutton’s fiesta.

Now, satiated and back home (loads of laundry later) I turn all my attention to getting last minute presents, packing for our Christmas trip, packing for our post Christmas trip, making sure my daughter’s birthday party is ready to go by the time we return, oh- and packing for Asheville.  Place your bets ladies and gentlemen, can I do it?  Stay tuned as the countdown to Christmas, a birthday, and being prepared for my first semester of graduate school moves into single digits.

Posted by: whirlabout | December 12, 2008

Where I Find Answers – A Sneak Peek Into One Woman’s Brain

whirlaboutpostI have a trick for you that I swear works. Whenever I’m having trouble thinking, focusing, or finding resolution on any subject, I go for a trail run. Wait! Don’t leave me yet….first, check out my most frequent spot.

creek loop trail

And just for kicks, here are my rug rats on the same trail in winter.

snow walk

boys throw snow

Now, I know not everyone likes to run, or even exercise. But really, to clear your mind and let the creative juices flow, Read More…

Posted by: bluewave22 | December 11, 2008


bluewavepostAfter reading penelopefly’s last post, I’m reevaluating my post. The “c word” really puts things in perspective. I too have a big grey cloud hanging over me.

Late next month, I have a hysterectomy+ scheduled. I feel totally healthy in spite of a chronic cough that has essentially blown a few gaskets that need to be repaired. I know I don’t want to have any more children, but I’m still having a hard time with this.

Read More…

Posted by: penelopefly | December 8, 2008

Of Breast Cancer and Gingerbread Men

ulyssespost I thought baking gingerbread men would be an opportunity to create a special memory with my children.  I scrutinized the ingredients, checking them twice- even three times, to make sure even a spilled milk distraction did not result in a Tbsp rather than Tsp. My little girls placed those bits of raisins and cinnamon candy hearts with the care of a surgeon.

sany0059 Is this the result of a stressed-out mom or an oven that isn’t set properly?  Regardless, those burnt, little Chernobyl creatures seem to mirror my  inner frazzle. 

Last week, I ponied my breast up to the cold plate of mammogram machine.  I did this with the pride that comes with finally prioritizing my own health care.  Unlike last year, when I feared the results and was ecstatic  upon hearing: “you are cancer free.” on my voicemail, this time I went about preparing for school and the holidays without giving the screening another thought.

Then I came home to the message: “Please call us to discuss your results.”. Read More…

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