Archive | June, 2012

Day 181: fearless in the grand canyon :: day 3, happy father’s day

30 Jun

Grand Canyon, Day 3:

It’s Father’s Day.  
I am deep inside the canyon, with nowhere to go but down river. We are approximately 2,000 miles above sea level and one mile down inside the canyon walls. I cannot call, mail or connect with my dad in any imaginable way.

Except, I am sitting in an inflatable yellow boat in the wild, remembering the little girl I once was, the one who followed her father into the forrest of Yellowstone and fished beside him in the creeks of Idaho.

It’s been many moons since I connected with that little girl.
Although there is a part of her I always carry with me. The one that was afraid of spiders and the creepy crawly creatures hidden in the campfire light. But, she loved singing songs and roasting smores with her sticky, chocolate covered fingers. And that made camping, as scary as it was, totally worth it.

It’s Father’s Day down in the canyon.
And, somewhere deep inside my heart I know my father would be proud of me, for pushing myself to the edge inside this vast geological wonderland. For sleeping under the stars — WITHOUT A TENT.

And, for admiring the scorpion situated between the rocks directly in front me while I sat on the GROOVER (Fearless). 

Tonight we will eat filets and celebrate.
Today, we will also spot a bighorn sheep standing atop a rocky cliff, an old male ram with huge curved horns. It is as if he knows he is the king of the canyon. The master of his rocky perch, looking out upon the narrows with a knowingness of time and space and the laws of nature.

Today, we splashed.
We hiked back to a hidden falls, named Elves Chasm.

We frolicked in the water — and jumped fearlessly from a waterfall.

I pumped my hands in the air and yelled “fearless” from the top of the slippery falls, navigating the overgrown ferns, and then making my descent into the water. Plugging my nose the whole way down.

    

And, then the games began. 
HUNKER DOWN it’s called by those who know it.

Two rafters stand on top of the boat, one at each end, holding onto the tow rope, pulling until it’s taut.  Then the tug-of-war begins.

The first to fall loses. 

I played the game twice with Courtney and went 1 for 1 — which means I won once and I lost once.  But, instead of falling into the water I fell into the boat. (Not all that gracefully I might add.)

A game of skill.
A game of balance.
A game of chicken.

Mostly, it was an excuse to get wet and cool off in the hot, desert sun.

That night, at camp, amongst the horse shoe games, bocci balls and ice-cold river showers, I found myself oddly at home.  Comfortable.  Content.

Canopied by a sky full of the Milky Way and thousands of stars, planets, and other galaxies spreading out before us, I couldn’t help but drift back to the night sky of my youth. The camping trips my family would take out into the wilderness.

Back then, I was always the pansie, the reluctant one.  
That scared little girl.

But, here I was, in the grandest of canyons, sleeping amongst the stars and the scorpions, with bats dipping and diving through the air all around.

And, all I could think in my head was, “If only my dad could see me now.”
Happy Father’s Day.

 

Day 180: f*ing friday :: floating fearlessly in the grand canyon (day 3)

29 Jun

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, in Year One,  including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the words:
Floating fearlessly

As in, AMPA.

Advanced Morning Poop Anxiety (AMPA). 

This condition typically strikes between the hours of 4:30AM and 7AM. It directly impacts campers lining the sandy shores of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, before, during and after breakfast.

If you think you have AMPA, you probably do.
It’s mostly mental.

The first sign of AMPA is rolling over in your sleeping bag at the first light of dawn, in a cold sweat, realizing you have less than two hours to use the GROOVER (a.k.a. the toilet, the pooper, the defecation station).

Symptoms include:

  • racing heartbeat at the thought of not being able to use the GROOVER
  • overconsumption of coffee before 5AM
  • standing in line, hoping your colon kicks in before it’s “your turn”
  • praying to the river gods that you do indeed get your “groove on” during “your turn”
  • changing the words of the theme song MacGruber to Mac-GROOVER

If AMPA persists, you have three options:

1) Use the Day Tripper, otherwise known as an ammo can for your “day” use. If using the Day Tripper is your only option you must ask everyone in your boat to paddle over to the side of the river so you can climb behind a secluded spot and do “your biz” while your fellow boaters wait.

2) If you are on hike and away from your boat, you will use a little baggie and then be required to return your stash to the boat with the announcement, “There is a load in the chamber” — without laughing. Or crying.

3) Wait 12 more hours until the next Groover is set up at camp for the night.

(The good news is the GROOVER usually has the best view from camp. I’m told there is a coffee (funny!) table book dedicated to photos from the GROOVER. I was only able to find a humorist take on what overnighters have to pack out with them —– aptly named, Up Shit Creek by Joe Lindsay.)

I experienced AMPA every morning.
I made a pact with myself, in the event where I was not able to perform under pressure, I would go for option #3.

Nonetheless, I quickly relinquished my no coffee rule for the trip — caffeine for a good cause.

Because I wanted to f*ing float — fearlessly.
And we did. 

After figuring out the ins and outs of camp, we packed up our boats, using the most effective means possible — the baggage line.  This is where everyone lines up, side by side, passing items to each other. This method is able to move an entire kitchen, living room and 24 bedrooms into 4 boats in record time.

Next up: THE SCOUT.
We all meandered down towards the water with the roar of the canyon beckoning us down the trail, to overlook and inspect the mother of all rapids, Ms. Crystal.

Crystal rapid is one of the biggest and probably the most dangerous rapid on the river — you can get a sense for her power in this video and the “big-bus eating hole” that her rapids create.

In 1983 the National Park Service asked boaters to get out and walk around Crystal due to dangerous water levels.

And, we were about to run right through her. But, we were going to stay out of the middle (where the hole lives) because we all wanted to be A.B.C. — Alive. Below. Crystal.

If your coffee didn’t wake you up, then Crystal will.
And, believe me, if you haven’t been able to use the GROOVER you won’t need to after Crystal gets a hold of you.

Luckily, everyone stayed in the boat and we all made it through and continued to float on down to the next set of GEMS, the rapids named:

Crystal (7-10)
Sapphire (6)
Turquoise (2-4)
Agate
Ruby (4-5)
Emerald (5)
Serpentine (6)

It was an incredible day — white water, enormous rapids, turns, twists and water soaking in the 100+ degree sun.

Plus a waterfall.
A really beautiful waterfall.

Which I will share tomorrow…

Day 179: fearless in the grand canyon :: day 2 part 2, a bright angel

28 Jun

Just this morning we were at the top of the Grand Canyon, peering over the edge.

From up above you cannot spot the river.
No sign of a roaring, white water beast. Just a canyon of rocks. A bowl of hardened sediment, millions of years old.

The hike down loses about 4,000 feet of elevation.  More than a mile straight down.  Almost an 8 mile hike.  But after 4 hours of hiking and sweating it felt like a marathon by the time our toes hit waters bottom in the Colorado River.

Our first order of business was to send out a search party.
We were missing members of our party.

Where were Kim and Dave? 

August 18, 1869 – “Early in the afternoon we discover a stream entering from the north — a clear, beautiful creek, coming down through a gorgeous red canyon. We conclude to name it Bright Angel’.”    
-Major John Wesley Powell, first American explorers of “the Great Unknown”

After an hour passed Kim, Dave and our guide Tom finally emerge from the canyon wall, as if walking straight out of that clear, beautiful creek in the gorgeous red canyon.

Dave summed it up best —  I knew Kim was tired when she laid down in the creek and didn’t care about her clothes. 

Ah, yes, under the elements we have already given up our attachment to the frivolous condition of fabric on our backs. I personally was sporting  a red splotched shirt with canyon creek mud prints.

Truly.
Fearless.  

As we met our new best friends — turkey sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and host of cookies and trail mix — we were also introduced to our river guides — the people in which were about to entrust our lives.

They were a merry band of tan and muscular individuals who obviously looked more at home in the heat than our panting, dehydrated souls. They bounced from boat to boat, tying things down, grabbing buckets, laying out life jackets and instructing us on how to pack.

You see, you don’t just PACK for the Grand Canyon.
You pack, and then repack to make sure you have what you need.  And, then before boarding the boat, you RE-pack your new pack one more time — after you have packed it on your back down through the canyon.

Once at rivers edge we were assigned large, rubber, black bags, with enormous zip locks. And, we were instructed to remove everything from our backpacks.

Then it was time to get down to business.
Pick a life jacket. 

Grand_Canyon_LifeVests_The_Promise_365

I saw the #1 written on one of the life jackets, just sitting there starring up at me.  I hesitated for a moment, out of fear of appearing cocky — but then couldn’t resist. Hey, I may be a zero in other parts of my life (fear of spiders!) but at least I could wear a #1 on my back all week, if only on my life preserve.

Next came our safety talk with Keith — certified safety officer — who explained everything you need to know to gracefully survive falling out of your boat and being pummeled to death by rocks and 10-rated rapids.

Or, as Keith put it, “survive your own, personal, white water adventure.”

This was important information because we were about to launch into three of the larger rapids on the river — right out of the gate:

Horn Creek (7-9 on a scale of 10)
Granite (7-8)

Hermit (7-8)

Or, as I refer to them as:
Fearless #1
Fearless #2
Fearless #3

I can honestly say I have never felt anything more intense or larger-than-life than being in the bottom of the Grand Canyon — floating down clear, emerald green water with just a tube of yellow rubber and a life preserve on my back — then, without any practice or a trial run, shooting straight into the river and hoping for the best.

There is nothing more intense than the stillness of the water right before you drop into the rapids.  Even if you know what to do, where to place your paddle, how to turn the boat and how to save yourself if you fall out.

We all made it down river to camp.
No one fell out. No one was lost. Everyone accounted for.


We already had scrapes and bruises to show off as souvenirs and one pair of broken Tevas. But, we made it through our first string of challenges — a brutal hike on the Bright Angel Trail in the heat and three kick-ass, rambunctious rapids — all in one day.

Twenty-four of us total. Divided evenly between twelve men and twelve women, about to take on the grandest canyon of all — with the help of eight skilled guides and oarsmen.

But not before we learned how to poop.

That night in camp, Kerrie, our lead guide and “Mama Duck” explained the rules of camp. Mostly the typical procedures of how to wash your hands and set up your sleeping kit, but most important — how to groove.

Urination in a bucket — don’t toss in the toilet paper!
And defecation in a separate bucket — otherwise known as THE GROOVER.

The best news of all — every time the conch shell rings, a camper gets her wings — wait, I mean, she gets to eat DINNER!

Which may have been the best news of all after a long, hard, day’s work.
Who cares if you have to poop in a can — food’s on!

As we set up camp for the night we could hear the roar of Crystal (7 – 10) the rapid just beyond our campsite.

She is the mother-load.
A bright angel.
The queen of the river.
The goddess of the GEMS.

And, we were headed straight for her in the morning. 

Day 178: grand canyon day 2, part 1 :: looking fearless and color coordinated

27 Jun

Sunlight begins to creep into the Grand Canyon around 4:30 AM.

I know this because we slept on the edge of the canyon ledge inside our lodge perched above the Bright Angel Trail. I watched out my hotel window as light surfaced and reflected off rugged rocks in the morning hours.

It meant only one thing — spiders or not, it’s Go Time.
Fearless here we come! 

We met at the top of the Bright Angel Trail at 6 AM to collect ourselves and our walking sticks before the 7.8 mile hike began.

From ages 18 to 77, we were a group of 24 people, all related, loved or otherwise thought of as that special brand of “family” — the kind you can spend 9 days in the wilderness, looking out for each other’s back and best interest.

As we waited for other members of our party to arrive a poster caught my eye.

Can You Run A Marathon? 
The headline on the poster taunted and then went on to explain that Margaret L. Bradley, 24, and a woman in perfect health, as well as, a Boston Marathon runner, died in the Grand Canyon in 2004 from dehydration — even though she was a world class athlete, she died.

The message was clear:
Don’t let this be you.  And, carry A LOT of water.

We snapped a group photo and then began our trek, down, down, down the winding, dry, dirt path.

You would think a downhill climb would be a piece of cake. Easy. Effortless. Effervescent.
At times it was.

There were moments of intense beauty.
But, the hike, while pleasantly downhill, was in the piercing desert heat.

Our guide advised us to stop for water and refill at every opportunity.  So we did.  We also stopped at every water stop and creek, tore off our shirts and submerged them in the cold water.

At one water stop, I completely rammed my head into the man-made awning as I walked by it. I didn’t see it’s low overhang, and as I walked closer to catch up with my fellow hikers, well… I saw stars. 

The wooden overhang was intended to provide a shady spot to refuel for water, but it gave me a huge bump on the head instead (and a bruise to my ego as our trail guide repeatedly asked me if I was okay).

“Oh, great!” I thought. “I’m not even 1/3 of a way down this trail and I’m going to be labeled the token klutz. She probably has my hiker profile called into the Park Service. Six-foot tall, blonde, female. Found woozy with distinct blow to forehead. Scared of spiders. Be on the lookout.”

The stinging eventually went away in my head.  But, then, I doused my bandana in water and wrapped it around my neck to cool off. It seemed like the most obvious rugged, outdoorsy, color coordinated thing to do — I saw at least three other people do it.

But I didn’t see that it was tie-dying my top in red and pink blotches.
The red dye from the bandana was leaking out all over my shirt, making my head wound look like a bleeding contusion that drifted down to my chest.

So much for playing it cool and color coordinated. 
The hike must go on.

After a few hours, we made our way into Indian Garden — 4.6 miles down from the South Rim and the last water refueling station.

A band of mules clomped down the trail with passengers attached to their backs. It looked like an awful way to traverse the trail, being tossed and thrown up and down on a saddle over the rocky cliffs with dust flying everywhere.

Along with mules, I saw a pregnant deer, various lizards, a black snake with a white stripe, and others in our party spotted a big horned sheep.

But, the most aggressive and not-to-be-toyed-with-creature on the trail was definitely the squirrel. 

Yes, squirrels.  Vicious little creatures. 
They hide out and wait to pounce on unsuspecting, dehydrated humans, with their cute looks and quirky behavior.  One stole a Vitamin C pack out of a backpack right from under our nose.

The trail kept going.  
So did we. 

After finally making it out of the corkscrew, a never ending portion of switchbacks and turns, we came to a creek crossing.  There we soaked, almost out of water and drying out from the heat.

Another hiker headed uphill entered our creek water and we stopped him with a very uncomplicated question:
How much further until we hit the river?

He starred at us confused. I noticed he was wearing jeans and white sneakers — not the standard protocol for hiking an almost 8 mile uphill batte in 100+ degree heat. He finally stammered a weak, “I think 30 minutes.”

As he passed through, Justin noticed the man had a plane ticket hanging from his backpack.

I developed an on-the-spot-bullet-proof-theory in my shortness of breath — that man is a fugitive!

You never know…I could be right.

But that man was definitely wrong on his timing.
Because not even 10 minutes later we heard the roar of rapids and spotted the emerald green river with yellow Outdoors Unlimited boats tied up to the shore waiting for us.

We made it!
But not everyone was accounted for…

Day 177: be prepared:: day 1, part 2 of the grand canyon

26 Jun

We arrived back on Martha’s Vineyard tonight.
And, we almost didn’t make it off the ferry.

Just as it was our turn to start up and get ready to drive off the ferry, my car stalled.  The battery died.  It wouldn’t start.

This is a moment to “Be Prepared,” I thought.  You, know, as the Boy Scouts would say.

I learned this lesson last week, as we handed over ALL electronic devices (ipads, iphones, all beeping, flashing, plugged-in-to-civilization items), as we boarded the bus to head to the grandest canyon on the continent.

(Where there are no shops, stores or outlets to run to in case of emergency, I might add.)

It was a 5-hour bus ride from Scottsdale to Grand Canyon National Park.

To help pass the time, Andy and Courtney created a Jeopardy game of canyon trivia, and a few fun facts about the natives — The Davis Family.

So, what did I do?
Panicked of course.

I was NOT prepared!

I never received our Belknap’s Waterproof Grand Canyon River Guide in the mail —  you know, the handy, dandy, little book with all the information one might want to reference before handing over all communication devices, boarding a bus and descending into wild and untamed terrain — with her boyfriend’s family.

C’mon, I’m a Smith College grad for goodness sakes!
I didn’t want to look like a total dimwit, or possibly provoke the label of being blonde. I wanted to sparkle and shine for Justin in front of his family.

Okay, I’ll be honest.
I also really hate to lose.

So, I kicked into high gear, speed reading through the booklet and memorizing everything I could in the first hour of our ride.  The history of the rocks, the people, the plants, the rapids. I recited facts out loud to Justin, who has a photographic memory, just as backup.  An insurance policy of sorts.

When game time arrived, I was prepared.
I felt like that little girl in first grade, pumping my hand up in the air shouting, “Oh, oh, Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer!!”

As we winded our way through the categories, the pressure was on.
Justin and I were in the lead.

Answer:
The amount of water that drains from the Colorado River into the ocean each year?

“OH…. I KNOW THIS.” I thought to myself.  I JUST read it in the guide book as I crammed for this test.

Answers were flying out all over the bus.

What is 1 Gallon!
What is 200 Tons!

And, then my mind kicked into overdrive and I burst out of my seat:

“What is ZERO! Nothing! No water makes it to the ocean!!”

In the middle of my Jeopardy power surge, the thought occurred to me —  it’s probably a good thing this is not the first time Justin’s family is meeting me.  I must look like a lunatic. 

But it was the correct answer. And, I won a prize.

You would have thought I was given a check for 1 million dollars. The thrill of it all!

My grand prize for participation?
FUD (female urination device) otherwise known as Go Girl

Yes, that’s right.  I was now prepared to survive the outdoors and pee upright in case of emergency.

And, it couldn’t have come at a better time, because soon after we entered the great archway of Grand Canyon National Park.  Off to the right, out my large bus window, I saw something that looked so familiar.

It looked exactly as it was supposed to, as if I had been there before — it was that great expanse of red rock, the deep divide of the earth, the crevice we would crawl into the next morning.

That night, we stayed in the Bright Angel lodges lining the canyon edge. It would be our last night with running water before the descent began.

I bought one more item, while rummaging through the gift shops while I still had the chance — a large brimmed hat with the Grand Canyon logo stamped on the front.

That night, as I laid out my clothes and counted everything in my bag, I felt confident that I packed everything a girl would need.

Feeling prepared and ready to go,  I took out my contacts, undressed and stepped into a hot, steaming shower to luxuriate for one last moment before our 5:45 AM call time.

Just as I stepped into the shower and felt the hot water trickle down my back I looked up and squinted at something in the corner of the shower curtain.  Tucked inside the fold and just under the shower curtain ring was a ginormous, brown spider.

Red alert bells rang through my head.  My heart started pounding and I fled the scene.  With water running down my naked body and my limbs shaking I stumbled into the bedroom and  screamed at Justin, “SPIDER!”

He looked up at me slowly and rolled his eyes. “What do you want me to do?”

“Kill it! Go get it! It’s HUGE!” I screamed, knowing he hates it when I ask him do my dirty work and send a spider to the killing field.

Justin slowly peeled himself out of bed and muttered back in my direction, “Okay, fine, but I know it’s going to be tiny.”

As I stood naked, blind and dripping, trying to stay in the bedroom and peer into the bathroom at the same time, I saw Justin jump back a foot from the bathtub.

“That is a huge spider,” Justin admitted as he danced his away around the shower curtain to get another swat at him.  After three attempts the arachnid finally washed down the drain — but not without a fight.

“I’ll give that one to you,” Justin said as we watched the spider’s last leg spiral down the drain. “It was a big one, it could have been a brown recluse.”

“Fabulous,” I thought to myself as I tossed and turned in bed all night trying to cling on a sliver of courage and my mantra to be lovemore and fearless.  “I can’t even take a shower. Just how am I going to sleep outside with spiders for the next 9 days?”

I finally fell asleep around 2:30 AM with the most encouraging thought I could muster.

At least I can pee standing up.

Day 176: grand canyon trip :: day one, part one

25 Jun

Here I am at The Four Seasons, wrapped in a white, fluffy robe, drenched in L’Occitane lotion and sipping a cup of morning tea.

The cicadas are cackling, birds are singing, the morning bunny rabbits with cottontails are hopping under the desert brush. The cacti stand guard all along the Scottsdale hillside, as if on alert to make sure the morning sunshine spills up over the mountains.

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It hasn’t always been this way.

Just yesterday, I was deep inside the walls of the Grand Canyon, covered in the dirt, grime, grit and remnants of 200-million year-old sand and stone caked on my dried out, cracked skin.

It’s just after 5 AM and I am wide awake in a luxurious hotel room, an oasis in the dry, cracked earth, wondering, “How did I get here?”

In my heart I know it is because of Cindie.

Less than a mile from where I sit, stands a sign. It pokes out of a desert road, lined by green golf courses and brown adobe houses.

It was the last stop on Cindie’s ride, a 40-mile bicycle ride where she came up just a few miles short.

A week ago, we drove by this spot, and stopped at this sign poking up out of the ground — an ethereal memorial to an eternal soul. “In loving memory of Cindie Davis Holub.”

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Our bus packed with 27 family members stopped in silence on the side of the road as Cindie’s father explained the accident, how the garbage truck driver saw her riding in the bike lane but didn’t stop — he thought he had enough room to pass.

It’s one thing to hear a story, the account of a tragedy, the loss of love — which has played out in my head and heart, over an over, for two years since that dreadful day. It’s another to witness the space and place, to stare at it with disbelief.

Our bus moved forward then winded its way up to the parking lot of Pinnacle Peak — a rocky structure that can be seen all over Scottsdale — and Cindie’s favorite spot on Earth.

We gently began our climb, inching forward with every step, up to this sacred spot.

You can see all of Scottsdale from here. It almost appears as if you can see all of Arizona and clear over into the desert of Mexico, from high atop this rugged cliff.

I watched and listened as her father and sister, children and nephews, cousins and family stood atop this rocky mountainside and shared stories of Cindie: her childhood, her spirit, and the life she shared as a mother, sister, wife and daughter, triathlete, veterinarian, Patriot’s fan and devoted friend.

As each one opened little canisters and Cindie’s ashes drifted into the dry desert air, spreading over what seems like the top of all of creation, her sister’s words played out in my head, “This is the place Cindie loved most, it’s where she wanted to rest.”

And this is where our Grand Canyon Trip began.
Sure, we had our bags packed with the latest camping gear from EMS and REI, carabiners, Nalgene water bottles, and waterproof sunscreen in order to survive the extreme elements of our trek into the canyon.

We had everything from the checklist sent by Outdoors Unlimited.
We had Teva’s and Keen’s and Chako’s on our feet.

But as we boarded the bus, leaving Pinnacle Peak to make our way to Grand Canyon National Park, we had something even more powerful and important packed in our hearts.

Cindie.

So, it was, as the bus pulled away and we turned toward the sun headed for a trip of a lifetime.
I don’t know who said it first, but we all agreed. Because it’s truly fearless, and full of love. And, it was absolutely the truth.

“This one’s for Cindie.”

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Day 175: How To Blog Series: Bloopers!

24 Jun

The best part….

Before I return tomorrow, LIVE, I want to share my best bloopers with you! In today’s How To Blog Video Series, I share my flubs, mistakes, mess-ups and crack-ups.

Why: Because nobody is perfect and there’s nothing better than a good laugh.

If nothing else: I hope you enjoyed the sights around Martha’s Vineyard this week.

Resources and Inspiration:
After this last week I hope you are ready to blog, or take your blog to the next level. If you would like a quick read and a comprehensive handbook on the subject, or are just ready to get down to business, check out this book:
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

You may also want to follow:
Chris Brogan
Tim Ferris
BlogHer
The Daily Love

Like numbers?  here’s the Top 100 Blogs

Thank you again: to Justin for helping me film this series… (couldn’t have done it without you!)

Enjoy: The quick blooper tour around the island! See you tomorrow…

And, here is today’s video:

Link to the video on YouTube is below:

Why Am I Doing This?
I am somewhere in the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River right now… which means I have no access to computers or an internet connection.  So, while I am taking a trip down the river, I want to take you on a trip around Martha’s Vineyard, sharing both the sights I love on this little island and my favorite blogging tips. 

It’s all in an effort to keep my promise to blog everyday this year and learn to lovemore and fearless. Did I mention I am afraid of the water? And, I am in a raft right now in the Grand Canyon?

I am keeping a diary while riding the waves and will report back as soon as we hike out of the canyon.  

Until then, I attempt to answer the questions people ask me about how to blog in this video series.  It’s not perfect…but it is published! And, that’s the point.

Enjoy!
xo~
Jamie  

Day 174: How To Blog Series: Everything Is Content

23 Jun

What should I write about?

In today’s How To Blog Video Series, I share my thoughts on how to come up with content. The good news is… content is everywhere!

What I wish I would have said in this video:  Expect the unexpected. In life, in love and in blogs! Stuff happens all around us everyday and you can turn this into CONTENT!

Whenever something goes wrong or unexpected in my life I now just shrug my shoulders and say, “That will make a great blog post!”  It’s a good way to get over a bad day, it’s also a great view on the world.

A final word: If you are looking for it, you will find it. Great content is all around you.

See if you can spot: The rocky pier in Menemsha.

And, here is today’s video:

Link to the video on YouTube is below:

Why Am I Doing This?
I am somewhere in the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River right now… which means I have no access to computers or an internet connection.  So, while I am taking a trip down the river, I want to take you on a trip around Martha’s Vineyard, sharing both the sights I love on this little island and my favorite blogging tips. 

It’s all in an effort to keep my promise to blog everyday this year and learn to lovemore and fearless. Did I mention I am afraid of the water? And, I am in a raft right now in the Grand Canyon?

I am keeping a diary while riding the waves and will report back as soon as we hike out of the canyon.  

Until then, I attempt to answer the questions people ask me about how to blog in this video series.  It’s not perfect…but it is published! And, that’s the point.

Enjoy!
xo~
Jamie  

Day 173: How To Blog Series: Stay Creative

22 Jun

How do I stay creative and get out of a writing rut?

In today’s How To Blog Video Series, I share my thoughts on how to stay creative. Let’s face it, we all hit a writing wall. It happens. So here are my go-to, best ideas on getting out the rut.

See if you can spot: how many times I say the word “groove”

What I wish I would have said: I use music to center myself before I write. My favorite tunes? Pandora Radio, Coffeehouse Channel.

True Fact: I wrote a letter to my car once. Seriously.

Resources and Inspiration: Allison Shaw

And, here is today’s video:

Link to the video on YouTube is below:

Why Am I Doing This?
I am somewhere in the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River right now… which means I have no access to computers or an internet connection.  So, while I am taking a trip down the river, I want to take you on a trip around Martha’s Vineyard, sharing both the sights I love on this little island and my favorite blogging tips. 

It’s all in an effort to keep my promise to blog everyday this year and learn to lovemore and fearless. Did I mention I am afraid of the water? And, I am in a raft right now in the Grand Canyon?

I am keeping a diary while riding the waves and will report back as soon as we hike out of the canyon.  

Until then, I attempt to answer the questions people ask me about how to blog in this video series.  It’s not perfect…but it is published! And, that’s the point.

Enjoy!
xo~
Jamie  

Day 172: How To Blog Series: Be Honest

21 Jun

How much should I share on my blog?

In today’s How To Blog Video Series, I tackle the big question of how much to share of yourself and personal life on your blog.

Bottom line: In general, I believe if your blog is purely professional it’s not ideal to share your personal life details. You can, of course, find appropriate ways to weave in personal stories — as long it relates to your theme and enhances what you stand for.

What I wish I would have said in this video:  There were so many amazing and wonderful things that happened to me in my first year of blogging — but, I could not share all of it publicly. Some were too sacred and special to my heart to make public.  But, I did share as much as possible, and I truly believe that is how I found my authentic writing voice.

Note: I share many photos on my blog of friends, events and daily life, but I do not share photos of my friend’s children unless I have their parental consent. I think it’s a good honest rule to live by.

Can you count: how many children’s voices are in the background?

And, here is today’s video:

Link to the video on YouTube is below:

Why Am I Doing This?
I am somewhere in the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River right now… which means I have no access to computers or an internet connection.  So, while I am taking a trip down the river, I want to take you on a trip around Martha’s Vineyard, sharing both the sights I love on this little island and my favorite blogging tips. 

It’s all in an effort to keep my promise to blog everyday this year and learn to lovemore and fearless. Did I mention I am afraid of the water? And, I am in a raft right now in the Grand Canyon?

I am keeping a diary while riding the waves and will report back as soon as we hike out of the canyon.  

Until then, I attempt to answer the questions people ask me about how to blog in this video series.  It’s not perfect…but it is published! And, that’s the point.

Enjoy!
xo~
Jamie  

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