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Five Things That Make Life Better on October 5, 2018

By Lisa Birnbach

Good day to you all,I have tried to start this blog about sixteen or seventeen times. This little blog! I cannot believe how much effort it required. It’s just been that kind of week. And in fact, the last draft was eaten by the Internet, and after throwing up my hands, I realized it was not the end of the world.Perspective. Patience. Wait for my cool head to return. Okay. Ready now.You know how I say sometimes, “This was one difficult week?” Well these difficult weeks seem to be the norm, and so without being (too) repetitious, let’s get to the good stuff.But first, I need to announce that today’s blog’n’ pod will have their first guest! I am pleased to tell you that prolific writer Elin Hilderbrand, who has written 22 novels in 18 years. (I could say her sheer productivity makes me feel like an underachiever, but that would be inappropriate in this space of uplift and positivity.) We have never met or chatted before, but I know that Elin lives on the prep island of Nantucket, which is where her summer novels are set. Like me, she has three children, and she’ll be talking to us while heading to freshman parents’ visiting weekend in South Carolina. Oh the multi-tasking! I just read The Perfect Couple which was published in June, and her next novel, Winter in Paradise (Little Brown) will be published on Tuesday, October 9th. So give it up for OUR FIRST GUEST, Elin Hilderbrand!! Elin Hilderbrand Here are Elin’s Five Things That Made Her Life Better This Week:CandlelightCollege footballBarre classBreast cancer awareness month (Elin is a 4 year survivor)Sandwiches (saved the best for last)Here’s a link to buy her books from the legendary Strand Bookstore. from the legendary Powell’s Books in Portland, OR finally, here’s where you can find Elin on her book tour: now, for my Five Things: A friend once urged me to make room for more beauty in my life. I think he was sensing my rushing-around-the-urban-jungle kind of energy, and I took his advice. I don’t always remember to allow for those quiet appreciations, but I am passing it along to you. As a completely selfish sidebar, I am posting some paintings done by Alex Katz, the figurative painter who is still painting with vigor, at 91 years of age. I adore Katz’ work, the vividness of his palette and the flatness of his figures. I once passed him on the street, was starstruck and became immediately tongue-tied, so I didn’t walk over to him. I used to think the greatest thing in the world would be to have a portrait done by Alex Katz, (even a drawing in pencil on a cocktail napkin would do), but that is a crazy fantasy. Anyway, enjoy these pictures, and if a Katz exhibit comes to your city, go to it!2.    I honestly wasn’t paying attention, but people on social media reminded me that this little book is celebrating its anniversary. 38 years to be exact. Besides making me feel old, I am reminded of what a life changer it was for me, bumping up to the head of the line as a very young writer. Thanks for the memories.3. The music of Stevie Wonder, (above) has joy built right in it. Aside from the fact that his music has accompanied me throughout my life (“Songs in the Key of Life” was an entire year of college. I must have played “Sir Duke” alone about 2,000 times on my crummy record player.), I associate his songs with lots of good things. When my exhibits™ were small, we used to sing “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” together in the makeshift clubhouse we had under the swing set in the backyard of our house in Connecticut. I wish I could play it for us right now, right here, but I don’t think that’s legal. Is it? At least watch his episode of Carpool Karaoke. Medium wale corduroy I am wearing corduroy today for the first time this fall. I love corduroy; it’s the fabric of a campus, it’s cozy. It’s academic-chic. It’s the opposite of chic, too. What’s not to like?5. Robert Mueller. Now more than ever.  Listen to my conversation with Elin on our podcast, and until next time, Be calm and act natural.    

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