Cinco de Mayo

Today is the 5th of May—Cinco de Mayo. It brings to mind our favorite Mexican restaurant—Old Town Mexican Cafe and Cantina—in the Old Town section of San Diego. It’s the “Home of the original Handmade Tortilla Makers.” Authentic and delicious! 

While waiting for your meal you can watch tortillas being made—by hand. You can also admire the festive, colorful bar stools.

Belly up to the bar” means to move near something. However, when looking up the etymology, I found all sorts of interesting information. I especially enjoyed this improbable meaning that was said to be given by a tour guide at an old Lexington tavern:

“The origin of ‘belly up to the bar’ goes back to Colonial times. If your belly could reach the bar, you were old enough to drink.”

What is it that you are belly-ing up to?

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Hitching Post

I usually take three two-mile walks each day. Each walk is on a different route, but they’re all in or near the Warm Springs historic district of Boise, Idaho (established in the mid-to-late 1800s), which means I get to see some cool stuff, including relics of days gone by.

Back in the day, it was customary for a horse-drawn carriage to pull up parallel to a perfectly spaced hitching post and set of steps. Once the reins were secured in the iron loop on the hitching post, the driver would open the carriage door, and the occupants would descend the steps.

Hitch your wagon to a star”—the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson—means to aim sky-high and follow your dreams, with the implication that you can achieve anything!

What have you hitched your wagon to?

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Impressions

Our daily walks with Willa, our dog, include a long stretch of sidewalk in the Warm Springs historic district of Boise. In front of several of the old mansions, the sidewalk is scattered with multiple leaf imprints.

Due to the COVID-19 shelter-at-home mandate, I’ve had the opportunity to experience more than the usual number of phone and Zoom connections. Regardless, at the end of each conversation, I stop and reflect on the exchange of words, tone, and delivery style—and I find myself wondering:

– What kind of impression did I make—was it positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing?
– What’s it like to be on the receiving end of me?

What kind of impression do you make?

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Details Please

Two weeks ago, I dangled a carrot to entice readers over to my author website for a sneak peek at the cover of my new book, Indelible. The analytics show that 2,200 people visited lauriebuchanan.com in the week following that post—many of you asked for more details.

I got the idea for the suspense/thriller series while staying in one of the cabins at Hedgebrook, a writing retreat—where women author change—on Whidbey Island, just off the coast from Seattle, Washington.

Indelible takes place takes place at Pines & Quill (a writing retreat that’s a figment of my imagination) in Fairhaven/Bellingham, Washington (a real location). I took these photographs to give you a sense of location:

If you wrote a suspense/thriller, where would the location be?

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Rat-a-tat-tat

And though Idaho is part of the shelter-in-place mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Governor, Brad Little, encouraged its residents to go outside and get exercise—takes walks, ride our bicycles—just not in groups.

We live a stone’s throws from the Boise River Greenbelt. On one of my daily walks, I heard the distinctive sound of a woodpecker. And though I didn’t see it, this looks like where it might have been:

When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were cartoon-laden with the likes of Beanie and Cecil, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Woody Woodpecker.

Rat-a-tat-tat! Rat-a-tat-tat! Spring is the harbinger of new things. Zoom has become my new way of facilitating and receiving what had previously been in-person sessions. 

What opportunity is knocking at your door?

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Shameless Carrot Dangling

If you haven’t visited my author website in a while, I invite you to take a look. Here’s a LINK.

The carrot I’m shamelessly dangling to get you over there is a small preview of the cover for my next book, a suspense/thriller titled,

Indelible: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book One

What book are you currently reading?

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Staying Connected

In my first book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth, I wrote: 

“Communication is the mortar that holds humanity together; it’s the very currency of our society.” 

With cancellations, social distancing, and self-quarantining due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, communication is more vital than ever. 

Today we have social media at our fingertips. The digital neighborhood includes platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Aside from reading people’s blogs, my favorite online way to stay connected is Instagram.

What’s your favorite online way to stay connected?

© lauriebuchanan.com

We Eloped 40 Years Ago

Len and I eloped on St. Patrick’s Day forty years ago. My parents were less than thrilled, but they soon discovered that he’s a terrific guy and ended up loving him as much as they loved me. 

People often ask us the recipe for our success. The secret is in the way we express our love. Here’s a list of our favorite ingredients:

  • Mutual respect
  • Intentional kindness
  • Active listening
  • Forgiveness
  • Quality individual time, balanced with quality together time
  • Personal hobbies, balanced with mutual interests
  • Laughter. Definitely laughter!

What’s your favorite relationship ingredient?

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Plans & Projects

Len and I are fortunate in that we live a stone’s throw from the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. It’s open year-round, and the admission is free. I can, and do, spend hours at a time in there wandering, looking, sitting on the beautiful benches, and thinking.

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ―Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

I feel it. Do you?
That itch to empty the house and scrub it from top to bottom. Only putting half of everything back in and donating the rest.

“It’s the time for plans and projects”—what’s at the top of your list?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Writers’ Institute 2020

I’m excited to present three sessions at this year’s UW-Madison Writers’ Institute March 26-29. 

Without a doubt, I would not have two award-winning books (and a third book on the way) had it not been for this writing conference. It gave me—and continues to provide—the tools, confidence, and support necessary for publication.

While there, I will be available for thirty-minute WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW sessions where I’ll meet one-on-one with individuals to discuss all things writing.

There’s still time to register: https://uwwritersinstitute.wisc.edu

What is the most recent type of conference that you attended?

© lauriebuchanan.com