APRIL 19, 2014


Running errands is always more fun in Bondorella. People smile and wave. They gather around when you park. They even roll down their windows at stop lights to ask questions. Yes. Each one of these scenarios happened today on my little run to the Berry Stand and to the market, so of course, my mini-adventure with Bondorella made it into my 100 Happy Days.

Looking back, the entire day was filled with happy. In addition to getting some much needed chores done (my front plants were SCREAMING to be watered), I squeezed in some writing, took Bondorella out on our little berry fetching adventure, hung out with my feller, hopped on the Bonnie Lass, and joined some super fun friends for dinner and a hang out at the Motor Palace.

Yep. I’m going to bed (at 12:45 am) a very happy girl.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!

 

 



APRIL 18, 2014


Yep. Starting today off with a vain, self-indulgent selfie because I really liked my hair this morning. Nothing wrong with that, right? Of course, within an hour of working, it reverted to its usual mess–exactly why I snapped this shot. To prove my hair isn’t always a disaster. That alone should be enough for a 100 Happy Days post, right? But no. The day got even better. I know. Shocking, right?20140418-185434.jpg
Once I stopped admiring my hair, my reporter and I hopped in that fancy news van behind me, and dashed off to our assignment, and oh, what a perfect Friday assignment it was! We got to cover WonderCon!! Woo hoo!

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WonderCon, in case you don’t know, is a giant Comic/Fantasy Convention, with CosPlayers, and Authors, and Artists, and anything and everything about the world of fantasy, comic, SciFi. It’s pretty cool stuff. And I tell ya. There’s nothing like seeing grown men in dinosaur suits.

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See how happy I was? Okay. So this selfie wasn’t intentional. The story behind Selfie #2, is this: Vikki handed me her camera to take a picture of her with some WonderCon girls, and I took an accidental selfie, which she forwarded to me. Pretty funny stuff, man.

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But the BEST part of covering WonderCon, was this little lady below. I noticed her walking around and thought, “Well, she stands out in this crowd!” A moment later, I felt a tug on my sleeve. It was her, asking what I was shooting. I told her. And she told me who she was: TINKERBELL.  Uh huh. Right.

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At first, I thought she was simply role-playing, but then she explained she was Disney’s original reference model for Tinkerbell. They filmed her doing the things Tinkerbell would do so the animators would better understand how to draw those movements. How cool, right? She was a total sweetheart, and certainly made my day a happier one.

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Here’s the link to our story:

 

 

To be totally honest, even though meeting Tinkerbell rocked, it wasn’t my happiest moment of the day, even though I posted it as such. My happiest moment came when I got notification of the Round Two reviews for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entries. My novel CALIFORNIA COTTON is entered, and has made it now to the Quarter Finals. Check out these stellar reviews so far. They put me over the moon.

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ABNA Expert Reviewers:

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

“I think the strongest aspect of this excerpt is the multitude of mysteries. Who is this man? What happened the night before to make ” Amelia” want to leave? What happened 3 years ago between her and her father? All the questions make it interesting and make me want to read more. It’s good. I like everything about it. Good characters, interesting plot, well-written, and who doesn’t like an adventure?”

“Who hasn’t had a day when they wanted to run away from the familiar to go on an adventure? I think the majority have felt feelings like Emily.This excerpt is beautifully written with feeling. The reader has empathy for Emily and her lonesome life. A father that doesn’t speak to her, a submissive mother, troubled relationship and so much isolation. I was vicariously thrilled that she ran away with a stranger. This excerpt was a pleasure to read. I felt immediate empathy for Emily’s situation and her joy of running off with a stranger. I definitely want to read more.This was well written with realistic dialogue, excellent descriptions and the hook needed to make me want more. Great work!”

 

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See why they made me so happy? I’m still smiling.

Until tomorrow’s happy moment… (woo hoo! Saturday!!)

 

Later gators!



APRIL 17, 2014


I had a pleasant day all the way around, with plenty of 100 Happy Days opportunities. I’m mighty tired, though, so will keep this short so I can hit the hay.

A slow morning meant lunchtime at the Motor Palace! There’s something very calming about our little shop. Peaceful. With lots of cools stuff to gaze upon.

Of course, there are always cool cars in the Rodder’s Row parking lot (home of the Motor Palace).

And then I passed this phenomenal beauty on my way to our assignment. WOW! So bummed my iPhone wouldn’t focus. Figured it was worth posting anyway because you don’t see glorious beasts like this cruising the streets too often.

Our news story? The return of Su and her cadaver dog, Riggs, from the Oso mudslide, where Riggs successfully found bodies, giving at least some families closure. Such a precious girl!

Here’s a link to the news story:

My apologies for the poorly written post. I’m beat. Nighty night! The idea of bedtime makes me HAPPY…

My conglomeration:

Until Tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 16, 2014


Some days, our news assignment fights us, like today. By noon, we’d made no progress on our serial killer follow up. We had a one o’clock interview at Anaheim PD to get an update regarding a possible fifth victim, but one interview does not a story make. Our assignment managers reassigned my reporter, and I went on to get the soundbite. Wow. Certainly no 100 Happy Days material there. This paragraph is not at all interesting.

What is interesting, is the Facebook message that popped into my inbox early afternoon from fellow news photographer and pal, Jose:

 

Hi Lori. I love your #100happydays. I’d love to chat with you about it on my radio show tonight.

 

Sure! Why not? Spreading happy is never bad, and the show sounded fun. For the last couple of years, Jose and his twin brother, Angel, have hosted an internet radio show, TWIN TALK, powered by Live 365. About what?

 

“Now you can experience the world through the Twins’ Hernandez distinct points of view:
Differing opinions molded from a life of ups, downs, sideways and out
where the only thing constant is their unique alliance and rivalry.”

 

I had a blast chatting with the guys about trucks, motorcycles, MOTOR DOLLS, the 100 Happy Day project, and why I wanted to do it. If you’ve been reading along, you know the happy day moments are a good counterbalance to the negativity of the news biz, but really, it’s a great tool for anyone to help remain focused on the positive. 100 days may seem daunting, but do it.

During the show, it dawned on me I hadn’t yet made my happy post. While waiting for their call, I’d been playing with some vintage hot wheels in our Toy Room (my writing room), and of course snapped some pictures. They certainly made me happy,  an awesome post, right? But the lighting was sketchy, as you can see, creating one narrow-ass depth of field.

 

And then I did a little head slap. Well, duh! Of course my happy moment was talking to the Twins! We laughed, we sang, we told tales. What could be happier than that? Thanks for making my choice so easy, Twins! Be sure to check out their show at Twin Talk Cast.

 

Until tomorrow…

 

Later gators!



APRIL 15, 2014


This might sound cliche, but my great grandpa always had a twinkle in his eye. And his laugh! Oh my goodness. What a glorious sound. I loved, loved, loved Gramp. Sadly, I got only six years with him, but those six years were a blast, going for whoop-de-doo rides in the Tucson foothills, playing with the bottom drawer toys in the living room, checking out his garage full of gumball machines. My brother and I relished our Gramp visits, as did everyone in the family. There wouldn’t be just 100 Happy Days with Gramp, there’d be a gazillion.

Gramp was my maternal grandmother’s father, an entrepreneur and  adventurer and all around great man. The photo below is a family favorite, snapped by my grandmother (Nannie to us), and although I have no clue what I said to evoke that expression, I’m beyond thrilled she captured it. How awesome is this??

A couple of years ago, I remembered my mom had his old watch. It didn’t work, the crystal was totally clouded, but I wanted it, so being the spectacular mother that she is, she gave it to me. Couple hundred bucks later, and it works like a charm. I adore this watch. I mean really, really adore it.

Pretty simple and sweet way to be happy, huh? Thanks Kenneth Lee Jewett for being the world’s most wonderful Great Grandpa. I wish we would have had more time together, but I like to think wearing your watch gives us just that. Time.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 14, 2014


Okay. So usually I fill you in on my news day, but I’m not in the mood to share details. I will say this: Two possible serial killers are off the streets after (allegedly) killing four, maybe more, prostitutes in Southern California.

See why I don’t want to expand? Let’s instead move on to the 100 Happy Days project, the thing that saves me when the weight of it all makes me sigh.

Unless you’ve been living under rock, most of you know that I write (and not just this blog). My first novel, MOTOR DOLLS, went into print last September after ten long years filled with rejections and frustrations.

One of the toughest hurdles to overcome when trying to get published is getting an agent. I got lucky with Motor Dolls and actually found one passionate enough about the project to sign me. But getting an agent is only one step. The agent must then get an editor on board, who must then get it through the editorial board at their publishing house. It’s a grueling process, one only a small percentage survive. Motor Dolls made it farther than most, but ultimately didn’t make the cut.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down the path again with my other novels, but on a whim about a year ago, I sent my latest manuscript, CALIFORNIA COTTON, to an agent. She liked the pitch and asked to read it. Over the last year, a couple emails went back and forth, the manuscript got passed around the agency for different parties to read, and finally–a year later–I have their notes in my hands. They’d like me to rework a few places and send the manuscript back. If you’re not in the writing world, you probably have no idea how rare it is to get feedback like this. I’m giddy about it. My 100 Happy Day moment came the second I opened the envelope.

On top of that great news? I also found out today that CALIFORNIA COTTON made it through to the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest!

SO… I’m setting aside the Motor Dolls sequel (for now), and diving back into California Cotton.

Right this very minute.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 13, 2014


I love adventures, always have, but it seems the older I get, the more I’m interested in those adventures being of the crowd free kind. Since taxes got in the way of our motorcycle adventure yesterday, we vowed to get out today, so this morning Brian went on the web to find a fun route, and found instead a listing for a small Pioneertown house for an impossibly low price. Just in case it wasn’t a mistake, we threw on some clothes, hopped in the Ram, and headed to the desert with every intention of buying the place if the listed price turned out to be true. Well… it kinda was/kinda wasn’t. It’s up for auction with the super low starting bid. Let’s just say for now, we’re going to investigate further. It’s not much to look at on the outside, but the inside has potential and the land! OH… the land. So very pretty, ideal for a 100 Happy Days post, right?

While we were out there, we went by a few other homesteader cabins for sale. In the fifties, the government gave out five acre parcels as long as you agreed to build a 400 square foot house on it. Many of them have rotted away, but quite a few still have potential, and since we’re looking at this as a weekend getaway/writing hideout, small isn’t an issue.

This one in North Joshua Tree, while not on the prettiest lot, had a fascinating house, like someone just walked away many years ago and left everything behind. The roof recently came off in part, so I imagine it won’t look like this much longer. What a trip, huh? Weirdly that dresser is the EXACT match for the vanity Brian bought me in Winslow. Bizarre man.

We found some treasures in the shed, like this lock, and this Nash visor mirror, but as much as we wanted to rescue them, we chose to be good humans and left them behind.

Because SO MANY images made me happy today, I made a collage for the official post, but here are my favorites, full size.

And certainly, one of our favorite moments of the day was when this dog leaped over his fence and ran along beside us on the dirt road, clocked at 20mph, bounding over bushes and desert junk. He was so stinkin’ cool.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 12, 2014


I fell asleep around nine with a stinking headache, and woke up at quarter to twelve remembering I never posted my 100 Happy Days picture!! WHEW!! I’d feel rotten if I failed just eleven days in. We’d planned on taking a little motorcycle ride, so that was going to be my picture, but then we realized we needed to do taxes. Ew. No happy picture there!!

I did enjoy seeing a couple fun things today, like our shop neighbor Brock’s 1931 VLD. It was nice to see one complete to get some ideas for our own VLD project.

 

It was also fun seeing this Ferrari our shop neighbor Chris had been working on loaded onto a flatbed.

 

But oh man… bed time felt especially good. And what made me happiest?? Remembering in the nick of time to post!!! and WOO HOO! Taxes are done! Nighty night!

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 11, 2014


Another busy day, and I’m beat, so this will be a short one so I can go hop in the bathtub. Yee haw!! Baths make me SUPER happy, but since I’m not ready to post a nekked picture of myself on the web, I’d say bathing will not be included in the 100 Happy Days project. Just know what a significant place the tub holds in my heart.

First assignment of the day took me to Santa Ana, where the District Attorney holds an annual Victim’s Rights March and Rally.  I didn’t snap any stills of it since I was busy shooting video, but I did grab a shot of the old courthouse, which I really like…

 

I must have been in a cool building mood, because I also snapped this one while grabbing a cup of tea before the event, the old water building, one of my favorites in Santa Ana. I’m very happy it is now in process to become a restaurant. Someone needs to do something with this incredible place!

Just as I finished shipping in the video from the rally, I got my next assignment, to meet a reporter near LAX to interview friends and family of some of the kids involved in the horrific bus crash north of Sacramento. I’m not going to share details of the crash because I’m not in the mood to write sad stuff, and this is beyond sad.

SO… moving back to happy.

I passed Randy’s Donuts on my way to our first interview, a favorite for the spectacular giant donut, something that ALWAYS makes me happy. (Plus they really do have good donuts…)

The happy moment of the day, though, has to go to this tree. We weren’t parked in this neighborhood long, just enough to interview a mentor of one of the kids–a very bright, interesting guy–but I tell ya. This tree made me feel peaceful and content and happy and like I wanted to toss out a blanket and lay underneath of it for hours. I love the elegant sweep of the branches, and the wide canopy of leaves. Plus, it makes my beast of a newsvan look quite petite, don’t you think?

Okay. So not one of my better posts, but the bathtub is calling!!!!

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 10, 2014


Woo wee! Today was one of those adrenaline fueled news days, the kind where you don’t even get a chance to… well… you know… Pee. Eww. Sorry to get so personal, but it really is an issue for news people stuck on a story. Not only could I not do–that–I certainly didn’t have time to look for my 100 Happy Days moment! Good thing it found me.

So why was I so busy? Because there was a suspect on the loose with a sawed-off shotgun, a guy who had shot at Tustin police and then ran off. For five hours, there were SWAT teams, and helicopters, and PD everywhere looking for this guy. The coolest part of the day? When the helicopter landed in the middle of the street, loaded two swat officers on either side, and took off again. So super cool! Their takeoff made for a great opening shot to our story.

 

So why didn’t I chose that picture as my 1oo Happy Days moment? Well… I don’t know. I still find it hard to call a news story like this where shots were fired at an officer and in a neighborhood where there are innocent bystanders, “happy.” Visually amazing? Yeah. Exciting? Hell yes! Awesome to feel the power of the helicopter blades? For sure. Not many people get to see the kinds of things I get to see up close. But happy? Can’t quite go there.

What made me SUPER happy today, was this:

Yes. That is a very sloppy almond butter and jelly sandwich, one I threw together at the last minute before leaving for work. I try to take my lunch every day knowing I could be in situations like this, but don’t always manage. Man, was I ever happy I had, since I was tied to the newsvan with no opportunity to go get something to eat. Around one o’clock, when I was starved out of my tree, I was SO SO happy to remember this little guy existed. It’s the simple things, remember?

That’s the face of a happy girl.

Oh! And they did end up catching the shooter after a resident saw him running through an apartment complex. The helicopter guys kept him in their sights as the ground swat moved in. He surrendered. Dude had quite the long rap sheet.

 

And now… I’m ready for some real food, so I’m going to call it a night.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!

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