APRIL 23, 2014


Just to set the record straight from the top, today’s 100 Happy Days picture is in NO WAY a reaction to yesterday’s ” Oh no! I’m anti-social” rant! I didn’t plan, nor stage having actual human beings in my picture. In fact, I ended up in my BFF’s neighborhood purely due to a weird scheduling thing.

Disclaimer done, let’s move on.

Even though I was supposed to work in OC with Vikki, somehow wires got crossed, and I got sent north to Manhattan Beach. It was a happy mistake for two reasons:

FIRST of all, I got to work with the fabulous Miss Hetty Chang, who exudes joy, even under stress!Granted, it was an unpleasant story–one that included sending me into the park’s men’s room–but the extraordinarily beautiful day made up for that, plus, we spoke with lovely people, including this kid, wearing THE BEST t-shirt:

Will be quiet for $100, will be awesome for free!

I’m much too happy to discuss the details of our story, but if you’d like to watch, I’ve posted it here for you to see.

The SECOND part of the happy mistake, was landing for a live shot just a few short blocks from my BFF’s house!! Yay!! Dinner with her and her girls was so much fun!

My pal Jenny and I met during a USC summer film program back in… 1990(?)… I can’t remember exactly. I’m getting old. Things like dates don’t stick in my head. We hit it off instantly because of our mutual love of all things silly. Twenty-four-years later, we are still friends, and still love all things silly. To make things even sillier, her twins, Sydney and Skylar, ALSO love all things silly (they’re eleven… of course they do). So yes. We had an evening filled with silliness. And Unicorns (I don’t know, they just kept coming up).

My BFF is the reason I’m officially doing the 100 Happy Days challenge. I’d shared a link to Sheri Bomb’s blog post on the topic, and while the concept intrigued me, I hadn’t planned on doing it for real–until Jenny signed up. Of course, I had to join her! I love that we’re doing this together. With the hour drive between us, I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as I’d like. Hopefully, we’ll find a way to make it happen more often, because boy! Did I have fun with these girls!

So here it is, a collage of my Day 22 happy stuff, my official post.

Oh! And I have one more tidbit from the day to share, one of those weird coincidence things. This weekend is my birthday. The 26th. When we went to pay for dinner at the counter, Jenny said she wanted to treat me for my birthday… and then the guy handed us our number. 26. Just like my birth date. WHOA. Crazy, right? Now maybe you’ll understand the picture with me holding the 26. Until tomorrow…

Later gators!

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APRIL 22, 2014


A fascinating thought hit me while pondering the 100 Happy Days concept this afternoon, at least fascinating to me, although thinking back, my breakthrough isn’t so earth-shattering.

The notion is this: a person’s happy day posts say a lot about who they are. Duh, right? Sure we’re getting a glimpse into someone’s life through what they chose to post, but the analysis goes deeper, to what portrait this collection of images paint. This observation came about from watching the happy day posts of people I know.

Mom’s posts usually show her pickleball tournaments, lunches with friends, and of course my dad and the grand kids. What does this show? One social bird, that’s what! (My adorable mommy is smack dab in the middle, in black. Isn’t she so cute?)

 

Jenny’s posts, mostly show life with her fabulous pre-teen twins, a picture perfect, healthy active mom.

 

A co-worker posts images with the people in her life who have helped her through a tough year, a true portrait of love.

 

The lovely girly who inspired me to do the Happy Day challenge, Sheri Bomb, posts awesome rockabilly lifestyle shots.

Notice something all pictures share? PEOPLE!!

And then you look at my collection of images. They paint a portrait of a… nature loving loner? Really? Other than my first day pic including my feller, I show no people! Cars–like this adorable Falcon Wagon I followed today–yes, but no people!

Whoa. Am I really that anti-social? Dang. At least I have this adorable squirrel no one but me and Sheri Bomb love.

Okay. While we ponder the deep topic of who we are though our pictures, let’s move on to the news day.

After shooting two interviews for an update on a high school cheating scandal, our managers moved us to another story. Frustrating, yes, but happens a lot.

Our next story followed up on an incident from the weekend, when a man leaving a Duck’s Hockey game crossed a major street illegally, jumped a concrete k-rail divider between the two lanes, not realizing it was an open bridge between, and fell 40 feet.


He survived, but we found out a man six years ago–in the exact scenario–wasn’t so lucky. Our report explored the idea of if, and what should be done. By the way, if you look real close in Vikki’s picture above, you’ll see me down there under the road.

The news story:

By four o’clock, I still didn’t have my happy picture–and I needed one, considering the nature of the story. And then it hit me. Each time I went back and forth between the newsvan and the bridge, I’d look at this weed, and the bright pop of yellow against the dry dirt made me smile. Considering it’s Earth Day, I decided nothing could be more appropriate for my Happy Day pic, than this lovely gift from Mother Nature.

 

I promise, no wacky deep thoughts tomorrow.

Until then…

Later gators!

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APRIL 21, 2014


Yep. Back to work Monday kinda fell flat, I’m afraid. Not a bad day by any means. I felt delightfully happy all day. It was just… uneventful. Didn’t get hit with a bazillion 100 Happy Days kind of moments. An uninspiring news story (visually I mean) didn’t help. Picture-poor stories aren’t a lot of fun to shoot. What do I mean exactly?

Okay. So we had to cover Nurse Safety thanks to two stabbings over the weekend involving nurses. Hospitals rarely let us in to shoot (and today was no exception), so what do I do for pictures? We did one interview with a nurse, who met us outside a hospital where she doesn’t even work. Usually, after shooting the interview, we get what’s called B-Roll, video of the subject doing… something. Not much B-Roll opportunity while standing on a sidewalk.

Next, we went to Cal State Long Beach’s nursing school, and interviewed the director in her office. We hoped to shoot some classroom stuff, but nope. Not allowed. Still no B-Roll. I’d have to rely on file.

BUT.. my walk through campus to the director’s office, brought me this:

I have no clue what kind of a flower it is, but man! Is it ever gorgeous!! The thing was the size of a spaghetti squash. Seriously. It totally made me happy. Although I did have a hard time deciding between the one above, and this one. Both are stunning, but ultimately, the pink won. (By the way, after much Facebook pontificating, my friend Jenny figured out it’s an Amarylis.)

Oh, and I also saw this fantastic raccoon statue, the perfect thing to tease my husband. He’s terrified of raccoons, something about a drunken night in a VW Bus with raccoon’s trying to tip them over.

Anyway… hopefully tomorrow will bring a fascinating adventure to make up for the duldrums of today.

Until then…

 

Later gators!

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19. LAZY SUNDAY

I admit it. We didn’t get out of our pjs today. We spent the bulk of the day, in bed, drinking home-roasted coffee, and working on our respective projects. What a perfect 100 Happy Days, happy day, right? Sometimes you just need to kick back and recalibrate. AND… we were even productive! I’m in the throes of editing my manuscript, California Cotton, and got a ton accomplished, while Brian worked on some upcoming photo books. Did I mention a box of Sees Candy joined as well, complete with cute bunny box?

 

We also enjoyed some of the delicious organic berries Bondorella hauled home for us yesterday, and had a gorgeous pan of colorful roasted vegetables for dinner. See? We weren’t all THAT lazy. Or at least I wasn’t.

 

Unlike Brian, I didn’t stay in bed ALL day (throwing you under the bus, baby). I actually spent part of the morning sitting at my favorite table (the one above with the berries) and working on a novel critique while looking out our lovely plants, like this lavender.

 

May not seem like much of a day, but I’m ending it filled with happiness and contentment. I’d call that a successful, happy day.

Bummer the weekend is over, man.

Until back-to-work Monday,

Later gators!

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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!

 

 

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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!

20140418-185451.jpg

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.

tink_pouting

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_logo

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!”

 

________________

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

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

 

Later gators!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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