Let the Sunshine In

In case you’re wondering, I did not have the musical Hair in mind when I wrote that post title. Because of the previous post, I thought I’d share this photo of the sunflowers, now that all are open.


They look like eyes, don’t they? They see you!

Though this photograph doesn’t show dimensions, each sunflower is about the size of a dinner plate. Such happy, but huge flowers. They came at the right time, too, providing beauty and color to the walkway outside my apartment building. But the fact that they draw energy from the life-giving sun also reminds me of my need to refuel. Ever feel creatively drained? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. When your tank is empty, there’s only one thing to do: fill it. (I learned that from Andra Watkins.) So recently I decided to take some time off to do activities that replenish me.

1. Visit bookstores. I spent a fun afternoon with a friend looking at books at Halfprice Bookstore and Barnes & Noble. It had been too long since I’d walked through either door. At B & N, I was pleased to find books by fellow VCFAers: Trent Reedy, Varian Johnson, and K. A. Barson.

               tumblr_inline_mzvfblpfr51rbhgy4 greatgreenheist-home


2. Hang out with friends and mooch meals off them. It’s great to have a home-cooked meal that someone else prepared, especially when good leftovers result. Even if they don’t, spending quality time with good friends is a gift I gladly gave myself this past weekend.

3. Have lunch with a friend at Panera Bread and dessert at Oberweis. Oh yes. We dared. If you aren’t familiar with Panera, click here. For Oberweis, click here. While Oberweis is known for milk and ice cream, they also have a chocolate layer cake my friend raved about and insisted that I sample. Who was I to say no?

4. Watch this funny, fantastic movie with another friend. I’d looked forward to seeing this movie for months! I’m grateful to say it did not disappoint!


Chris Pratt, one of the lead actors, is just what the doctor ordered. I won’t spoil it for you, however. If you love Marvel movies or stories set in other galaxies (Star Wars anyone?), head on over to the theater.


When you need refueling, what fills you up?

Book covers from Goodreads, except for Varian’s book, which is from his website. Oberweis photo from eatinwheaton.com. Chicken photo from donnahup.com. Chris Pratt photo from insidemovies.ew.com. Guardians of the Galaxy logo from static4.wikia.nocookie.net.

46 thoughts on “Let the Sunshine In

  1. I’m looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy! (Mostly for Karen Gillan, though I’m pretty sure Rocket Raccoon and Groot are going to end up my favourite characters).

    This might sound really weird, but I actually find housework really therapeutic. Just having everything look nice at the end of it is always worth it for me. Though it does mean that cleaning is often a procrastination technique for me, but my other half will tell you I do genuinely get upset by mess, so I see it not so much as procrastination, but as getting myself to a point where I can focus on other things (that’s my excuse, anyway!)

    • You know, if I hadn’t known she was in the movie I would not have known. She’s almost unrecognizable. Ah those were the days when she was part of the Amy-Rory team. 🙂
      I wish I found housework therapeutic. Occasionally doing the dishes helps me think my way through thorny plot problems. But I’m generally not a great housekeeper.

      • I am a Whovian. I grew up watching Doctor Who on Sundays (PBS). I love the revamped Doctor Who. So far, I’ve loved all of the Doctors, especially David Tennant.

      • I watched Tom Baker as a kid, grew out of it, then grew back into it in the modern era. Looking forward to Series 8 in a few weeks!

      • I also grew up with Tom Baker and Peter Davison. 😀 And my favorite companion used to be Sarah Jane Smith until Donna Noble came along.

      • Haha. Donna Noble was a good change of pace and made for some fun interplay with Tennant’s Doctor. My favorite reboot-era companion is Martha, though, because she picked up on things faster than the others, and she evolved into a badass. She was ready to blow up the Earth to stop the Daleks from destroying the universe. That’s a lady not to be trifled with.

      • I also loved Martha though I didn’t love the whole unrequited love business. I like when the companions don’t really see the Doctor as “dreamy,” but instead think he’s a pain in the neck sometimes. 🙂

  2. I love those sunflowers. I think I’m a bit like Emily – getting the house straight gives me time to think and when it’s done, I have a guilt free reason to sit at the laptop and create. Other than that, seeing friends and doing anything with them is always energising 🙂

    • I need to clean too, but I ran off this weekend, leaving all work behind. Though you should see my living room. I have books stacked everywhere, since three bookshelves recently collapsed. Um, yes I love books.

  3. Seeing Guardians on Sunday to celebrate the new book release. Also, we couldn’t get a babysitter last weekend. As for Panera Bread, I like the food, but really wish they would put prices on their take-out menus. I know it’s a minor thing, but it always makes me hesitant in ordering from them.

    • They raised their prices too. 😦 Not happy about that.
      Glad you’re seeing Guardians as part of your celebration. That cover post is ready to go up for tomorrow. 🙂

      • Boo on the price raise. I just got the cover with title and author name, but I’m saving that for Friday. Frustrating thing now is that I could hit ‘Publish’ if I wanted to and skip Hype Week. I shouldn’t, but the temptation is there.

  4. I’ve always loved sunflowers, Linda. They can brighten up even the gloomiest day and mood. Like Emily and Jenny, getting things taken care of around the house always makes me feel good, as does a good run. An occasional trip to Barnes and Noble does the trick too. 🙂

    • The way I ate this weekend, I need to go for a 20 mile run.
      Do you have sunflowers in your yard, Jill? I’m amazed at their size.

  5. Guardians was excellent!! One of the few movies that I laughed to tears in a long time. Chris Pratt was perfect in the role.

    For me, music helps a lot or taking a day trip somewhere. New settings often clear my head.

    • I cackled, Brittany. It was also touching.
      I could use some new music. I’m so done with the Frozen soundtrack. I’ve heard that waaaaaaayyyyy too much.

      • Very touching. Shed a few tears there too. And I’m with you about “Frozen.” Think I’ve reached my limit with the music, movie, etc.

  6. Sounds like you found some great ways to fill up, Linda. They are all Phil-approved, that’s for sure (especially anything involving cake and bookstores). I’ve been hearing great things about Guardians. Will likely have to wait until it gets to NetFlix before I can catch it though.

    • I understand. It’s hard to get away sometimes. There are several movies I’ve missed this year due to deadlines or other obligations.

      I hope you had a lovely birthday celebration, Phillip.

  7. I love the sunflowers! And I’ve been wanting a movie refuel. Guardians sounds like just the thing! Glad you took the time to refill the tank. 🙂

  8. On sunflowers: Near my apartment a road twists through a bit of rolling farmland before hugging the side of billionaire’s estate (she’s long gone, but her estate remains in the hands of trustees). Anyway, about 2 years ago, someone started using those farm fields to plant sunflowers. Acres and acres of them. They never get picked. The road is too windy and narrow to even pull over and take a picture. It’s just one of those “enjoy it in the moment” things.

    • What a lovely image, Eric. I’m picturing that field of sunflowers. They’re so huge, they definitely need their own field. I hope that estate is being well cared for.

      • They used to have one of the best-kept-secret attractions in the U.S. back there… a by-appointment, no-photography, no-parking indoor garden that was utterly spectacular. 9 “international” gardens – French, English, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Rainforest, Italian, Western Desert, and I forget the other. You had to call way in advance to make a reservation, drive up to this little gate, give your name, and then park. Then a van would come, pick you up, and drive you to into the estate to see the garden. The trustees closed it a few years ago, much to the distress of frequent visitors.

  9. I like Eric’s moment 🙂 A farmer near here grew them one year too, but he can’t have had much success with sales or whatever because it was for ‘one season only’. 😦

  10. I love them all, especially mooching off of friends.
    I have a poet friend who writes Sonnets on Saturdays; she goes to a nearby coffee house where a group of senior poets meet in a side room to critique each other’s poetry. My friend gives herself one latte and 20 min. to “sit in” and silently watch and listen…and then she leaves to go and write a sonnet. Last week’s was Ode to a Discarded Cup, and it was a true sonnet.
    When she was finished, she went back with cookies and allowed the group to mooch off her cookie plate in exchange for inspiring her sonnet.

    • Wow. That’s such a wonderful exercise, Marylin.
      I wrote a sonnet for my novel. I can’t say I’m often inspired enough to write them, but I wanted to give it a shot. I admired any poet who regularly writes sonnets.

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