Thursday, March 29, 2012

Balance and the Writers

Spent a rare morning at home. Usually on my days off, I head out right away, but today I wasn't doing anything until 1. I slept in a little bit, then tried the Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies recipe from the Pillsbury Cookie cookbook my sister Anny gave me at Christmas. I had some raisins leftover from the Irish Soda Bread a few weeks ago. The cookies came out beautifully, crunchy and sweet...and I had just enough time for a quick lunch of leftovers before heading out to Collingswood for my first meeting of the day.

I met Jody Staton at her home in Collingswood, a few blocks down from Vitality Fitness and the Post Office. She turned out to be a slender, sweet older woman who lived in a big, lovely brown house with white trim. I think I've passed it a couple of times on yard sale jaunts. She had whole long shelves filled with tons of books, including lots of books on writing in her small but attractive office. I borrowed three on beginnings, middles, and endings, and we had a nice chat about writing and our lives over cups of tea. I'm glad I caught her when I did. Apparently, she and some family are taking a road trip in her car to Florida and New Orleans in a few days. She's a brave lady. I had a hard time with short road trips to Upstate New York with my family when I was a kid, much less all the way down south.

After I left Jody, I rode over to the Collingswood Library for this week's volunteer session there. I thanked FA and the upstairs librarian for suggesting Jody to me. Turns out she's a longtime Friend of the library and library patron. I didn't end up doing much there. Shelved a few DVDs downstairs and some nonfiction upstairs, then read a book on Rogers and Hammerstein musicals for a half-hour.

Went for a short walk on Haddon Avenue after I'd gotten bored at the library. I ended up at the Collingswood Used Book Seller. I wish I had the time and money to go there more often. I love that place. I ended up with one of the more recent Garfield comic books (Garfield Large & In Charge), the Barbara Michaels gothic novel The Master of Blacktower, and Assignment: Ceylon, another installment in the Assignment spy series that seemed to have lasted from the 50s through the 70s. I used to see those all the time in the early 90s on various library sale tables, but for some reason, I can't even find that many of them online anymore.

I had just enough time to grab water and a snack from WaWa before heading to Yogawood for the 4PM Gentle Vinyasa class. Fond though I am of Karin, I really do prefer the late afternoon Gentle/Basics classes. They're easier to modify and go far slower. Today, Lee had us work on core and back strength, which meant a lot of twists, crunching, and twists. It's so much easier to keep up with these classes, and there's far fewer people and lots more room to work on poses, too. I just wish I could get to them more often. There aren't any Gentle classes in the morning.

Went straight home after class. I grabbed a jacket, used the bathroom, put my books away, and skipped right back out for my meeting with Cassandra at the TreeHouse Cafe in Audubon. That went extremely well, too. She was a petite, pretty, dark-skinned woman about my age with bright, happy eyes. I got to read part of her new young adult novel A Beautiful Girl and see the process of selecting the cover for her next one. We talked about my nephews and cousins and her middle-school-aged sons, her other job doing taxes, my job at the Acme (and why it drives me crazy), and starting websites to sell her novel and show off my work (and Lauren's).

I was very happy when I rode over Nicholson Road and back into Oaklyn. I don't often get to make one connection in a day, much less two. It's always been really hard for me to reach out and talk to people, even when it might help me. I'm really hoping I can finally begin to network and meet more people who can  help my career...and just be friends I can talk to.

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