Posted in Book Reviews, Creativity, Relationships, Writing

A Book that Saved My Week! #LLAFF

Caribbean fruit fly (female)
Caribbean fruit fly (female) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t even remember how exactly we got connected, but Gabe Berman and I became Twitter followers of each other.  I tend to be in awe of people who actually put themselves out there…you know, in print for the whole world to “see!”  So, I saw this hashtag #LLAFF and got a little curious.  I did a search on the hashtag and found others thanking Gabe for sharing his wisdom in his book “Live Like a Fruit Fly.”  I couldn’t hold off any longer, I had to have it.  Last Friday night I ordered the book from and anxiously began my wait.

I received the book Monday evening and read the first few pages.  I read a little more on Tuesday…just enough to get me hooked.  By Wednesday I wanted to immerse myself but reality does hold priority.  Somehow between work and class I managed to squeeze in a few more pages.  Thursday, I had to meet an insurance guy at my rental property so I used the time waiting for him to show up to read more.  Tonight…I finished the book!

So my review is going to be more like a conversation I would have if Gabe were sitting across from me at Starbucks!  As I was reading the book, I took notes, wrote down questions, and reflections about his message.  Like I said in a tweet this evening…at times, I wanted to cry or give him a hug.  Other times, I felt like he is a “brother by choice” who was giving me an encouraging pat on the back to just go ahead and take those steps toward achieving my goal of becoming a writer.

So…here goes:

I love how you speak of “your destiny” as this virtual version of yourself that’s hanging out (like Jiminy Cricket) to consult with you, give you strength, a boost, confidence to make the best choice for yourself.

This particular quote of yours is one I’ll write on a pieces of paper to tape up on my mirror, in my car, and monitor at work:

“Keep your eyes, ears, and soul open.  Follow all leads.  Your destiny is closer than you think.” Gabe Berman

I love the story of your meeting the woman in the cafe!  Your insistent and ever present destiny telling you to get her business card and follow through with her invitation to send her some of your writing–eventually landing you the job at the Miami Herald!

Your breadcrumb concept is very meaty!  For me, having that mental association/description was affirming/reassuring.  I’ve been doing that same thing for years without having an understanding of why I do it.  For me, staying just a little bit longer here, or there…being “okay” with being lost or a little off my journey, or reading/listening to certain conversations, television shows, or demonstrations in a mall, collecting certain bits of information/facts, etc…may have seemed random or pointless (and annoying) to some.  But now I know that I’ve been “collecting breadcrumbs!”

I appreciate how you placed inspirational quotes at the end of each chapter…like this one from William Jennings Bryan “Destiny is no matter of chance.  It is a matter of choice:  It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

Thanks for verbalizing the steps to practicing the art of Active Appreciation!

The irony you described of switching through channels during 9/11 and seeing the Purple Dinosaur (Barney Show) captured well the feelings that hits me at times when I have experienced heart-stopping grief.  When death visits your circle of influence…it is so irritating how the rest of the world keeps right on spinning/moving/talking/carrying on as if “NOTHING” has happened!  Of course it is unavoidable and perfectly rational…but the part of me that’s connected to everyone and everything else just cries out in a silenced scream that begs the world to stop long enough to give two seconds to recognize that a presence among us has ceased to be animated in this time space.  To honor their participation in the dance of life.

I too loved the March of the Penguins movie!  When it finished, a profound sacred silence inhabited my soul…made me want to weep!  My mind raced to find an explanation why no matter how long I have lived, have I not discovered the steadfast devotion and focused purpose towards and between our kind in human society.  That movie shook my soul more intimately than sitting in a church for a year of Sundays ever could.

For those who haven’t read Gabe Berman’s book “Live Like a Fruit Fly” I won’t spoil it for you and reveal any more.  Hopefully this entry will give you enough interest and motivation to click the hyperlinked book title above and purchase your own copy.  Trust me, if you take the leap…like the writings of Kahlil Gibran, this will be a book you reference time and again.  It is written for our time, is sprinkled with Star Wars anecdotes, and is a mental comfort…. truly a pleasure and  joy to read.

Because of the last couple of weeks personal and professional challenges, this book came at the right time and saved me from sliding into a gray funk.  I hope you enjoy reading it and find it just as soul-quenching as I did.  Gabe is an interactive and engaging writer who is as approachable as his book makes him seem.  Go ahead, start following him on Twitter @GabeBerman  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention ladies….as of the publishing of this book…I think he is still an eligible bachelor!

Notes for Gabe:

You have a great friend in Rich!

Do you still tend bar?

Posted in SocialMedia

In Limbo (House Hunting & Selling)

A tablet with the phrase "For sale by own...
Image via Wikipedia

Transitioning from one home to another is an activity one must handle with a great deal of patience and humor!

The whole month of May we’ve been cleaning, fixing, painting, packing–you name it, we’ve done it!  We’ve chosen a new

home and hope to close in June.  In the interim, we’re holding Open Houses on our existing home and thinking of where we’re going to place our possessions in the new home.  I’ve learned so much about prospective buyers over the last two Sundays.  Open Houses are interesting and are definitely an education in marketing/advertising, and communications.  You can tell by comments, body language, and other non-verbals whether a couple is very interested or if they are just looking to expand their awareness of what’s available.

FSBO 4.79 Acres, 4Bdrm 1910 Home
FSBO 4.79 Acres, 4Bdrm 1910 Home

The more we searched in the process finding our new home (both online, and with a Realtor) the more critical and selective we became.  In the end we settled on the first house we physically viewed.  The language used in these transactions/negotiations is interesting as well:  Interest, points, concessions, deposits, appraisals, inspections, escrow, closing, qualification.

You really have to do your homework and know what your bottom line is in making a huge purchasing decision.  If you’re a buyer, I totally recommend working with a reputable Realtor who is working to build his/her business based upon word-of-mouth referrals.  A good buyer’s agent will listen to your needs and advocate for your bottom line in dealing with the sellers.  I couldn’t be happier so far with our CBS Home Realtor!

It is encouraging to see so much interest in our acreage so far.  Tomorrow the report for existing home sales for the month of April will be released.  I fully expect the numbers to be significantly higher than this same time last year.  With interest rates dropping, I’m putting faith in the improved market that someone qualified and interested in an acreage with a move-in ready home will soon be making an offer.