A New Side Gig!

So, the universe has conspired to give me a new side gig... writing!  The editor of Inspiring Lives Magazine gave me this opportunity for  which I will always be grateful. 

I am an advocate of not hiding quirks - they are what makes us who we are.  One of my quirks is my geekish love of Broadway Musicals.  I proudly proclaim it - sometimes heading down a conversational road others cannot follow. And like a Star Wars geek who finds himself faced with blank stares when speaking of Banthas... I taper off and bring things around to a more mainstream topic.  

But evidently my quirk leaves an impression -  and it was the impression I made on Cori Wamsley, whom I met while networking, that brought this opportunity my way.  So when she called to ask if I'd do a review of The Greatest Showman, I jumped at the chance - with a lump in my throat - reminding myself that if I'm not scared, I'm not growing. 

Writing helps me do what I do, but it usually comes in the form of editing or rewriting content given to me. Most graphic designers wouldn't do that, but if I see room for improvement that helps my clients, I offer my assistance. I think it's that aspect of my work that sets me apart.  After all, my business is not labeled as "graphic design", but as "creative services".  What is creativity but a way of expressing oneself no matter what the form?  

So, thanks to Cori, I was pushed to be creative in a new way.  One that was extremely challenging, exciting and rewarding.  The result is shown here.  Click on the image.  Give it a read.  If you haven't seen The Greatest Showman, rent or buy it.  If you have seen it - let me know if my review captures it!


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P.S.  When I wrote the review - as far as I knew - the magazine distribution was local to Pittsburgh.  After I turned it in, Cori informed me that it was going national with my issue.  I'm kind of glad I didn't know that.  Then I was excited that the odds that Hugh Jackman might read it had increased dramatically.  FYI - Hugh has not yet contacted me to tell me how insightful my review is and how it has changed his life - but I'll keep you posted. 


P.P.S. My review of Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen:  Coming in the Fall 2018 issue of Inspiring Lives Magazine available at Barnes and Noble stores nationwide starting October 1st  

Page 48:  Inspiring Lives Magazine - Spring Issue 2018


A Christmas tip from me to you...

If you're like me, you tend to pick up little holiday goodies while shopping for the big day.  Miscellaneous items that might not have use until the following year. But, of course, there's no where to put them since your storage boxes have been stowed away until it's time to pack up the season's decorations.  

For example, I have acquired:
1.  A grab-bag gift & new ornaments that I am using, but I want to hold on to the boxes
2.  Some extra suction cups that I use for decorating my windows  
3.  Some small gift bags & tissue paper that I can reuse

So, here's the trick.... put these things in a gift bag under the tree!  They don't end up forgotten in the spare corner of a spare room where they are discovered again in February.  They don't look out of place, and are right there, ready to be packed away with the rest of  your treasures at the end of the season!  This is especially handy when you pick up some deals at December 26th sales!

Another situation for this bag might be some past treasures.  For example, I have a little elf that has been with me every Christmas since I was teeny.  He's a little on the ragged, worn and fragile side... not quite presentable for company and doesn't quite fit our decor.  But I love the little guy, so this little piece of my childhood Christmases has a protected place under our grown-up tree.  So past meets present among the presents!  

So save some time and effort or keep some memories close at hand this Christmas by using this little trick.  

I hope whatever holiday you celebrate is a great one.  As for me, I am trying to make this Christmas as merry as it can be.  

Do you have any tips for me?  Share them!

What Kind of Fool am I?

"If you don't do what you love, you're a fool”.  

"If you don't do what you love, you're a fool”.  

I can’t help but notice that at least three supremely funny people have died since my Dad passed in March.  My family has speculated that Dad needed to be entertained.  I like to think he needed some peers.  Or better yet - an audience!  

Of course, this post was sparked by Joan Rivers passing.  But for all the funny things Joan Rivers has said, what has resonated with me is a sound bite that wasn’t humorous at all.  Joan states - in her signature brash way -  "If you don't do what you love, you're a fool”.  

On the other hand, Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. 

I’m finally back to doing what I love, so Joan would approve.  To some, leaving the corporate world was foolish, so Steve would approve.  So am I a fool or not?  

2014 has brought various bits of news from my former corporate dwelling that support my decision in leaving.  Not that I was really ever in doubt. So I guess I’m not such a fool.  Sorry, Steve.

As far as “doing what I love”,  I wasn’t at all sure the universe would allow me to do that,   but some surprising doors opened that I was ready to walk through.  As I continue to forge the path that leads me away from my corporate detour, I count myself as amazingly blessed - and no fool at all.  Joan would be proud.

As I continue my journey of hard work and gratitude, I thank those who have put their trust in me as I combine my passion with their passion to produce the materials that make us both look good.  


Daddy's Little Girl

Father’s day is tomorrow.  Since last Father’s Day, I have come to think that life as a series of verbs of being.  Am/is.... was/were.  Things are.  Things were.  I was. I am.  I have had a year of “is” and “am” becoming “was”.  I changed "I am an unhappy Dick’s Sporting Goods corporate employee” into “I was a Dick’s employee”, which became “I am a happy independent graphic designer".  

I left the corporate world to find something missing in my life.  What I found were things to be grateful for every day.  I was grateful for all the little things and, of course, the big things like my husband, family and friends.  One of the best years of my life unfolded with even more amazing things to be grateful for.  The more gratitude I sent out into the universe, the more blessings came.  What I didn’t realize was that as the universe was helping me let go of the past, it was also preparing me for one of the worst things a person can go through. 

Verbs of being change in an instant.  Frank Sedlak passed on March 30th.  He was my father.  

He was funny
He was a beautiful singer
He was a hard worker
He was a good man
He was a wonderful father to me and my brothers  
He was a loving husband to my mom  

Having to say that he “was” those things instead of he “is” those things is painful.  But I am grateful that he was all of those things.  I am grateful to have had such a man help shape my life.  Not everyone gets a great father.  Not everyone gets to have one as long as I did.  It was in that spirit of gratitude that I held his hand and said goodbye. 

I am grateful that In the the last year of my Dad’s life, he saw his daughter change from an unhappy, frustrated, short-tempered person to a very happy woman.  But one thing will never change.  I was, am, and will always be… Daddy’s little girl.