Friday, December 7, 2012

Life is a Circus Sometimes

Life can be a real circus sometimes.

I took the above photo in France last summer. We didn't have time to go to the cirque because it arrived the day we left, but I'm glad I took this photo of the sign we saw near our house. Le cirque. It sounds prettier and less crazy somehow. If I say "Life is a Circus" you understand that I mean life is a bit crazy right now. If I think, "La vie est un cirque" maybe I won't feel so rattled. It just sounds prettier and less frantic in French. Maybe because it takes me back to that lovely three week vacation in the south of France. I think I need to think in French more often. I think I need a nice European vacation.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lucky Alice Sebold, Author, Victim, Survivor

I'd read the book, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, told in first person about the little girl who was kidnapped, held in an underground room by a neighbor, raped and murdered. I'd seen the movie. The point of view was unique - that of the murdered girl. Riveting book, good movie. It's scary knowing how much evil may lurk in otherwise ordinary appearing people.

The other night I picked up a book from a box full of books my sister in law had shared with me and noticed it was by the same author. I settled in for what I thought would be another good read. I wasn't prepared for this heart-wrenching story which pretty much defined the author's own life.

Alice Sebold is author, victim and survivor. She tells her story in her memoir, Lucky, a seemingly contradictory name for such a sad tale. It begins with the attack as she crossed a park on her way to her dorm one night during her first year of college, and quickly begins to illustrate the attitudes of the people surrounding her, and her own redefined image of herself. The police told her she was 'lucky' because another girl had been killed in the same tunnel. It tells of the attack and her innate survival skills coming into play, the perpetrator's remorse and his sick delusion that she had enjoyed it and him.

Her attention to the details of what she thought would be her last hour on earth ultimately led to the criminal conviction of this young man, but that didn't end the pain. Her story chronicles the aftermath of that night, the effects of which marked her and those around her forever. The life-changing event and her struggles through a new version of her life obviously contribute to her skills as an author. I understand now how she was able to so accurately tell the story of young Susie Salmon of The Lovely Bones from the victim's point of view.

There is hope in the story too. Despite years of following wrong paths in her efforts to evade the pain, Sebold eventually put her life back together. I'm glad she's told both stories.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good Marketing or Poor Marketing?

Here's a little marketing story for you. It was entirely unintentional on the part of the cafe, but it caught my eye. What do you think about it - good marketing or poor marketing?

In Hollywood the prevailing attitude is that any press is good press. If you can't make headlines with your work, make headlines doing something goofy or worse. (Hmmm - maybe it's the same in politics.) As part of my college degree I took a few marketing courses, and when going for my Master's I took another. I have used the knowledge in more than one job, and currently for my own art. (For more on that, please check these blogs: &

In the Midwest and other less rarified air, however, is bad press really so good? I had to stop when I saw what I thought were three wild turkeys on top of a former ice cream stand turned coffee cafe the other day. We had just been talking about the prevalence of wild turkeys in the area a few nights before, so I thought I'd take a photo of this phenomenon to show my husband.

When I got a closer look I thought these turkeys looked a little strange. As it turns out (husband told me) these are not wild turkeys, but turkey buzzards. I'm glad I didn't get out of the car for a closer look. I thought the buzzards and their juxtaposition with the signage made for some bad marketing. Drink our coffee and the vultures will get you?

My consensus (me, myself & I): Turkey vultures seen as turkeys = good marketing. Turkey vultures on roof of cafe = poor marketing.