Saturday, January 1, 2022

Some of My Favorite Things... Happy 2022!

 “T’was the night after the market

And all through the house

Not a person was sleeping

All because of a mouse…”

I’ll explain in a minute, but first –

I’m super-excited to announce that the Geode Program has been selected by the Watertown Cultural Council as part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council to be funded in 2022, in partnership with the Watertown Boys & Girls Club.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Watertown Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. 



All thanks to Henri, the mouse. And Dr. Roberta Rosenberg. Let me explain.

I was at the Watertown Arts Market, along with about 70 other artists all hawking our wares, when Dr. Roberta Rosenberg stopped by my table, as she was making the rounds to all the artists, passing out brochures about the Watertown Cultural Council, encouraging new applicants. But, what could I do, I thought.

After the market, we packed up and loaded out all our boxes, picked up a pizza pie from Frank Pepe’s as promised, just as the skies started to cloud up. We were lucky to fit in the market that Saturday August 21st, sandwiched right between Tropical Storms Fred (Thursday, August 19th) and Henri’s landfall predicted for Sunday morning, August 22nd).

After pizza, as I flumped into the corner of the couch, what to my surprised eye did I see, but a mouse scrambling up the other side of the couch! I leapt straight up in the air, and then a chase ensued, me chasing the mouse around the couch, under the couch, around the living room, and finally into the kitchen, where we surmised he’d taken up hiding in the back of the refrigerator. Ew.

So we called our neighbor from two doors down, who came over, and told us we needed to get some mousetraps. And that mice really love peanut butter. So, while Susan and John dashed out to Home Depot, I stayed in the kitchen, keeping watch on the refrigerator, like some giant furless cat, to make sure the mouse didn’t come out and disappear.

We baited the trap with peanut butter and set it behind the refrigerator and went to bed, where I would spend the rest of the night not sleeping, waiting and worrying about where the mouse was. And so I had plenty of time to think, asking myself again, “What could I do?”

Certainly at work there are plenty of discussions about STEM and how to reach kids early, and then it came to me: Geodes & Journals. Geodes are the perfect gateway to introduce kids to minerals and rocks and geology, the first science, and all the other sciences and engineering. Journals are the perfect tool to give kids the chance to express themselves in a judgment-free environment, to find their voice, and develop coping skills.

Geodes and journals serve as the perfect metaphor. Crystals form in the empty space within volcanic rocks, and journals provide the blank space to fill with words, thoughts, ideas, and emotions. When we crack open a geode, it reveals what no one has ever seen before. Crystals form as elements in solution precipitate out and organize into a crystalline structure. And what will be written in the journals has never been said by anyone before in just the same way.

 


The next morning, I checked the trap and saw the mouse-shaped silhouette through the gray translucent trap, in exquisite detail, I could even make out his slender little fingers. It seemed we were not so different. I could feel his fear and anguish, so mad at himself for not being able to resist the peanut butter.

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Henri was just about to make landfall, with the first bands of heavy rain predicted to start hitting Boston, so it was the perfect time to head out and release our mouse, who we also nicknamed Henri, to an undisclosed location in nature, back to where he came from. We suspect he hitchhiked home with us from the market, in one of the boxes. And then we set out for another cup of coffee from Kohi in Brighton, just as the heaviest sheets of rain started coming down. 

All thanks to someone asking a question, and my giving it some thought, with a little help from a mouse. I often talk about how things balance on the edge of a feather, which could fall either way, to do or not do, and sometimes all it takes is a little nudge. The slightest of encouragement can make all the difference. Now I’m looking forward to getting to share a couple of my favorite things – rocks and writing – with some lucky kids in Watertown!

In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share a few more of my favorite things from the past year.

Here’s the perfect stocking stuffer, every house should have some of these mousetraps on hand, and peanut butter, just in case!

 


LL Bean nailed it this year with the wearable sherpa fleece throw. I ordered one as soon as I saw it, luckily, as they’re now on backorder, so you’ll be lucky to get one by next Christmas if you order now! It comes in cream and mouse-gray. 


I’ve finally found a paper towel holder that mostly delivers on its promise on one-handed single sheet tears, the OXO Good Grips Steady Paper Towel Holder:

 


For entertainment – here are the best finds on Netflix:

Series:

Jane The Virgin. Five seasons, twenty episodes each, for a total of 100 shows, with each one taking more twists and turns than the last. Turns the classic telenovela style on its head.

Movies:

Stop and Go. A rollercoaster sisters road trip in the early days of the pandemic. Well done!

Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness. A therapist’s travel adventure.

My Octopus Teacher. A story of an unusual friendship.


For your reading pleasure, here is a bunch of my old blogs on the topic of STEM & Diversity:

Bentley STEM Event - Challenge Yourself: http://www.gainline.com/2015/01/

Business & Baseball Part 1: http://www.gainline.com/2015/08/business-baseball-conversation-with.html

The Diversity Question Part 2: http://www.gainline.com/2015/08/business-baseball-part-2-diversity.html

HUBWeek 2015 Retrospective – STEM: http://www.gainline.com/2016/09/

Need something to look forward to? Especially since 2021 turned out to be sort of a repeat of 2020, as the saying goes, “second verse, a little bit louder, and a little bit worse.”

Mark Your Calendars:

March 19 & 20, 2022 – Book Re-Launch for The Happy Clam.

There will be book talks and book giveaways - watch for more details here.

 


Good Reads

Read more about the book here on Good Reads and see who else is reading it now:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54740921-the-happy-clam

 Author’s web page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/254930.Rosemary_A_Schmidt

Soundtrack:

Don’t forget to go back to the July 2020 blog for the book’s soundtrack!

http://www.gainline.com/2020/07/the-happy-clam.html

 

A couple of songs for the season:

Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Like Christmas, by the Careless Sons

https://youtu.be/yQpNe82_Ab4

And recalling the miracle at Russo’s a few years back:

https://www.gainline.com/2017/12/last-friday.html?showComment=1530128678429

 

Still so sad that Russo’s closed this past year!

And we lost Betty White on the very last day!

Farewell 2021! Welcome 2022!

 

Lastly, stay safe, stay well, everyone. We thought things were getting better this summer, but then along came Delta, and then Omicron right after Thanksgiving.

Stay well and use multiple lines of defense: get vaccinated, get boosted, upgrade your cloth mask to an N95, avoid large crowds, and test before gathering. Outdoors is much better than indoors.

If you do get sick: consider ramping up Vitamins C & D to boost your immune system, sleeping on your stomach, taking Tylenol for aches/fever, and monitoring blood oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter, especially if elderly or have any underlying health conditions.

I can’t tell anyone what to do, but I can tell you that you’d be missed if you were gone. It’s all up to you. We’re all in this together.

Cheers to 2022!

 

© 2022 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS



Sunday, August 8, 2021

Mark Your Calendars: WAM!

 

The first-ever first annual Watertown Arts Market is being held Saturday, August 21st from noon to 5 PM at Arsenal Park, located behind the new refurbished Arsenal Yards, in Watertown, MA.

https://www.watertownartsmarket.com/

Over 70 artists will be displaying and offering their goods for sale: paintings, sketches, photographs, quilts, sculpture, jewelry, poetry, pottery, and books, including live demonstrations, poetry readings, and book talks (including one about how The Happy Clam came to be), plus live music and dancing performances. And food trucks.

There is a vibrant artist community in Watertown, that has been quietly humming away this past year, processing all the stress and turmoil, suffering and isolation, and moments of joy and beauty, into their work. Come check it out!

For a full listing of artists participating:

https://www.watertownartsmarket.com/participants

 

BOOK NEWS:

Please do stop by my table for a book talk about how The Happy Clam came to be at 3 PM. Look for the blue umbrella.

Books will be for sale, both The Happy Clam & Go Forward, Support!

Accepting cash and Venmo for payment; working on getting the credit card payment working!

Price Drop! The Kindle version is now marked down to $4.99 while we still have a few beach reading days left in summer.

Cover re-boot, updated this summer:


 WAM LOGISTICS:

Parking is available at the park and at Arsenal Yards; suggest the Purple Garage behind Chipotle. Can also walk in from the gate at the corner of Greenough and North Beacon.

Food: In addition to food trucks, plenty of food options to explore at the Yards: Shake Shack, Chipotle, Garbanzo, City Streets, Ben & Jerry’s, and MORE to come.

COVID protocols will be in place consistent w/ all current regulations and guidance. I’ll have hand sanitizer at my table. While the event is outdoors, we are anticipating a sizable crowd, and so some artists and attendees may opt to wear masks. And it’s also possible that the event could be canceled depending on conditions.

THANKS to the Watertown Business Coalition and the Watertown Public Library for spearheading this initiative to highlight the artists in our community.

RAIN DATE: 28 August 2021

 



CALENDAR:

Sep 25 Faire on the Square

Oct 11 National Coming Out Day

Oct 16 Boston Book Fest – Copley Square

Oct 23 Boston Book Fest – Nubian Square

 

2021 Readers Choice Awards – Don’t forget to vote!

The Happy Clam has been nominated for the 2021 Readers Choice Awards. Voting is open through Nov 13, 2021.

Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/

Category: General Non-Fiction (page 5)

 

Good Reads

Read more about the book here on Good Reads and see who else is reading it now:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54740921-the-happy-clam

Author’s web page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/254930.Rosemary_A_Schmidt

 

Soundtrack:

Don’t forget to go back to the July 2020 blog for the book’s soundtrack!

http://www.gainline.com/2020/07/the-happy-clam.html

 

The Happy Clam is out and available at:

-       Belmont Books

-       Brookline Booksmith

-       Concord Bookshop

-       Bookshop.org

-       Amazon.com


POST SCRIPT

A couple of songs to capture the feel these days:

Lost in My Mind, by The Head and The Heart

https://youtu.be/xjoA4nYBD5U

Catch and Release, by Matt Simons

https://youtu.be/Rip0bX2qrIs

Lastly, stay safe, stay well, everyone. I can’t tell anyone to get vaccinated, but I can tell you that you’d be missed if you’re gone. It’s all up to you.


© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS



Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Happy Clam – 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Category Finalist

 

          



The results are in!

Good news, The Happy Clam was just recognized as a Category Finalist in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. A full listing of Category Finalists and all award recipients are shown on the next two links.

http://www.hofferaward.com/Eric-Hoffer-Award-category-finalists.html#.YLU7MahKiUk

http://www.hofferaward.com/Eric-Hoffer-Award-prizes.html

 

“Schmidt has constructed a thought-provoking examination of what produces happiness and how we can change our lives to widen our enjoyment and effectiveness within our daily, individual spheres.”

Eric Hoffer Awards

Read the judge’s full commentary in the US Review of Books:

https://www.theUSreview.com/reviews-1/The-Happy-Clam-by-Rosemary-A-Schmidt.html

 

2021 Readers Choice Awards – Voting is now open!

The Happy Clam was just nominated for the 2021 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing! Voting is open through Nov. 13, 2021.

Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/

Category: General Non-Fiction (page 5)

 

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award:

More commentary from the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award Judges:

“This short, sweet book is like a long conversation with your really smart best friend. The writing style is casual and funny and very well-informed.”

“I found this to be a very informative and uplifting book. It seems, perhaps at first glance, a very simplified guide to life. However, the personal insights shared, the failures and successes, the tips on how to find the positive and even the recipes all add to make this a very good workbook for living.”

“This book delves into the common areas of psychology and spirituality, drawing cautiously from resources of both. The author’s viewpoint is open-minded about all perspectives in these areas, in fact, the importance of being open to all ideas is one of the themes of this book which is consistently addressed. It is a particularly timely topic right now.”

 

Good Reads

Read more about the book here on Good Reads and see who else is reading it now:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54740921-the-happy-clam

Author’s web page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/254930.Rosemary_A_Schmidt

 

Soundtrack:

Don’t forget to go back to the July 2020 blog for the book’s soundtrack!

http://www.gainline.com/2020/07/the-happy-clam.html

 

The Happy Clam is out and available at:

-       Belmont Books

-       Brookline Booksmith

-       Concord Bookshop

-       Bookshop.org

-       Amazon.com

 

Just in time for the summer, the perfect beach read!

 Stay well!  Keep reading on!

 KEEP CLAM AND CARRY ON!

 

© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

 

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)

 



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, celebrating the day apart or together in these strange times, and Happy Motherless Day to those whose Moms have already gone on to the great beyond, trust me, they are with you still.

Sharing a gift w/ everyone: Jane The Virgin.

On Netflix, five seasons, a total of 100 episodes, a sweeping multigenerational story celebrating the miracle of motherhood. The best of “magical realism,” it will take you on a whimsical journey of many twists and turns. It’s seriously probably one of the best and funniest things I’ve ever seen. Ever. Evah! As we say in Boston.

As a writer of prose, I stand in awe of the fiction writers and their wild imagination, creating entire new worlds unknown.  Thank You! Enjoy! You’re Welcome!

If you’re still craving a little non-fiction, reminder that my new book, The Happy Clam, is out there and available at:

-           Belmont Books

-           Brookline Booksmith

-           Concord Bookshop

-           Bookshop.org

-           Amazon.com


© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)

 





Sunday, November 1, 2020

VOTE!

 VOTE!

Well, it has been four years, and the election is days away, and whether Biden or Trump is declared the winner, the only thing that is certain is that we are a country more divided than ever. The problem far exceeds the individual who has made a mockery of the presidency the past four years. The problem is two-fold: 

-       The people who Trump represents. Even if Trump is not re-elected, we still have to figure out how to mend our country. The people who have supported Trump are not going away.

-       The Electoral College. The current system allows a handful of “battleground” “swing” states to determine the outcome of the election, essentially making my vote not count. This antiquated system should be kicked to the curb, and replaced with a system where every vote counts. Every vote SHOULD count! 

In many ways, Trump is simply the outward expression of the pent-up rage of the far right, white, disenfranchised Middle America. This is less a battle between states, and far more the tension between (typically more progressive) cities and (typically more conservative) rural America.  

I’ve seen so many times, friends talking about people they know who are ardent Trump supporters, and just shaking their heads. They have just given up on them. They can’t even discuss politics with them anymore, because there is no way to reason with them. 

A couple of thoughts jump to mind from my book:

-       You have to meet people where they are.

-       You can’t have a rational conversation with someone who isn’t rational. 

The Trump supporters are not rational. Their allegiance is visceral, and based purely on emotion. Trump crafted a message that resonated with white, disenfranchised voters, and fanned the flames of racism, hatred, and intolerance. 

How would you even start a conversation with them? What is it that has caused them so much anger and pain? I think they’re afraid of losing their rights, their freedoms, and having big government take over. 

I am equally afraid of losing my rights and freedoms. 

One person’s rights extend only as far as where the next person’s rights begin. To some degree, we look to our Government to help draw these lines. 

We need to live and let live, and learn how to live together. 

Apart. Because of course there’s still that: we’re in a pandemic. 



© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS 

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)





Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Happy Clam!




Hot off the press! The Happy Clam, was just released by Amazon overnight, and is now available as a paperback and as an eBook. I hope it helps lift spirits in the midst of this pandemic, civil rights unrest, and political melee.  Enjoy the read!
 
Available now at Belmont Books and on Bookshop.org:



Thank you to everyone who contributed to its making, especially Susan who has been with me throughout the writing process, Meghan Regan-Loomis for her editorial insights, Carol Aust for permission to reproduce her artwork on the cover, Scot Langdon for his photography skills in properly capturing the image, Eric C. Kintner for letting me share his letter to the editor, General Colin L. Powell for permission to share his first rule of leadership, the folks at the Einstein Archives at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for permission to share the quote by Albert Einstein,  the folks at PEEPS ® for just being such truly nice people (and who wouldn’t be, surrounded by yellow marshmallowy confections all day?), my niece Jenny for her support and encouragement through this all, and the encouragement that has come from such far-flung corners of the universe over the years: Linda Francis, Nancy Etcoff, Brian McGrory, Keith Elchert and Gayle Heiby Podczerwinski (my old University of Dayton editors at the Flyer News), and my circle of friends: Lisa Jo, Nancy, Betsy, Joanne & Ali, Patty & Bubba, Judy & Tom, Nancy & Al, Dee & Dave, and I’m sure I’m forgetting people.

And now – the soundtrack to accompany the book!

Chapter 1 – Introduction
“Turn to Stone,” by Electric Light Orchestra:

Chapter 4 – Your Happy Place
“Crazy Train,” by Ozzy Osbourne:

“Sweet Caroline,” by Neil Diamond:

Chapter 5 – Happiness Is As Happiness Does
“Que Sera Sera,” by Doris Day:

Chapter 6 – Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
“Make Me Smile,” by Chicago:

Chapter 7 – Mind Over Matter
“In My Blood,” by Shawn Mendes:

“I Wanna’ Get Better,” by Bleachers:

“You’re Somebody Else,” by Flora Cash:

“Missing Home,” by Flora Cash:

“Hunger,” by Florence + The Machine:

“When the Stars Go Blue,” by Tim McGraw:

Chapter 8 – The Bird Outside the Window
“Ripple,” by the Grateful Dead:

“Box of Rain,” by the Grateful Dead:

“Upside Down,” by Jack Johnson:

“Let It Be,” by the Beatles:

Chapter 9 – Focus On What You Can Do!
“Just the Way You Are,” by Billy Joel:

Chapter 10 – Do You Want To Change?
“Under Pressure,” by Queen featuring David Bowie:

“Changes,” by David Bowie:

“Change,” by Tracy Chapman:

Chapter 12 – Boston
“Five Hundred Miles,” by Peter, Paul, and Mary:

“In the Sun,” by Michael Stipe with Chris Martin and Coldplay:

Chapter 14 – Love Is God
“One,” by U2:

Post Script
“Everybody Lost Somebody,” by Bleachers:

“The Ghost in You,” by Psychedelic Furs:

“Pale Grass Blue,” by Enya:

“Across the Lines,” by Tracy Chapman:

“Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution,” by Tracy Chapman:

“It’s Time,” by Imagine Dragons:

© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt
Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)