Lawrence the Lighthouse

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How to Face Your Fears "Head-light" On:

"HI -YAH  LAWRENCE . . . " I just love this one. I have lived in Portland Maine for 10 years now. We are a little port city with an old working waterfront. The Portland Headlight has been guiding boats into Casco Bay since 1791. It is my favorite lighthouse to visit. When I made my living as a landscape painter, I painted this lighthouse dozens of times.

     The Headlight always looked like it was in a different mood. But mostly, I thought it looked lonely. The Lighthouse stays up all night keeping vigil, guiding boats into the harbor. Boats that have seen the whole world, but the Lighthouse never gets to leave its post. Sailboats get to leisurely float around. But the Lighthouse is always working. Even the “Working” Boats have a day off for the annual Lobster Boat Races. But the Lighthouse doesn’t get to participate. Always a boat guide, never a ride. Okay okay, I know I am getting all worked up about an inanimate object. And if you really stop and think, this Lighthouse doesn’t really have it all that bad. It gets thousands of visitors every year AND is the most photographed lighthouse in the world! Come to think of it, the Portland Headlight has more Instagram followers than most celebrities!

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     For all these reasons, I just had to write a story about the Headlight. Soon there will even be a book! A family member took me out on his 1968 Columbia Sailboat for a tour of Casco Bay. It was a beautiful afternoon and I was able to take loads of photographs of the Bay, the Boats, and the Lighthouse. These photos will be the background illustrations in the Lawrence the Lighthouse book. I can’t wait for you all to see it!

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Sailing around Casco Bay aboard the "Salt", watching the lobster boats and tug boats race around the harbor while "Lawrence" watches


The Quirky Turkey

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How To Let your Quirks Fly:

LET'S FACE IT. . . We all have a quirk. There is no such thing as “normal”. Sometimes we feel like we need to hide these weird parts of ourselves, especially in social situations including… holiday gatherings. Holidays are another one of those schemas that feel completely different when you are a child versus when you are an adult. I don’t know about you but I LOVED the holidays as a child. I loved seeing my family, eating big meals, having more than one dessert option, listening to music, and shaking my TAIL-FEATHER!!! 

      I'm not sure when it happened, but as I grew older things have slowly shifted. I feel more stress, more anxiety associated with holidays, and family gatherings. Maybe because of the expectations I have of myself and of others. Maybe I just want these things to feel as amazing as they did when I was a little girl. Maybe instead of trying to live up to an ideal or fit into a mold, I just need to be brave. Just be me. I’m going to try and take more steps forward. I’m trying to let more of my “quirks” out. Feel the freedom that I had as a child to be myself.

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     Since starting Story Spectacular. I have heard from people all over who are connecting back to their childhood through my stories and songs. I am so thankful for this. Anyone reading this note, I am thankful for you too. Now come on everybody, let your quirks out. It’s time to celebrate!

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Come on . . . get QUIRKY!!!


The Baby Foodie: Great Corn Crusader

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How to Eat your Way to a Good Story:

SINCE MOVING TO MAINE IN 2007 . . . I have watched this small city become a food destination. It is such a pleasure to taste new foods. To learn about the farmers and foragers who take such care in sourcing their ingredients. My favorite part of traveling is the cuisine as well. The first time I went to Puerto Rico I picked a ripe mango from a tree. Living in Maine my whole life, I never had the pleasure of eating a mango so fresh. It was such a joy! I wanted to create a series of stories for families that would celebrate food from all around the world (without taking itself too seriously) and so… the “Baby Foodie” was born.

               Shrimp & Geechie Boy Grits at Hot Suppa Restaurant

               Shrimp & Geechie Boy Grits at Hot Suppa Restaurant

      The first story installment of "The Baby Foodie" is inspired by a very special family and a very special farm. I had the pleasure of traveling to Charleston SC in 2015 and sharing a meal with husband and wife who in my opinion, (and many others),  make some of the best grits in the whole country. They use heirloom corn and an old gristmill to stone grind the corn into grits. The process is laborious and the results are DELICIOUS! I loved their story so much that I thought a corn farm would be the perfect place for the Baby Foodie to journey to first. Enjoy this tasty tale!

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Geechie Boy Mill - Edisto Island, South Carolina