Rocking Your “Otherness”: The Creative Benefits From Living Abroad

Reblogged from The ExPat Returneth.

I am digging myself out of a ton of work so I am reblogging some of my guest posts that I really enjoyed writing and sharing.  I blogged this earlier this fall over at Larissa Reinhart’s ExPat Returneth on how my experiences abroad have helped me be more creative and learn to live in my own skin.

Fall semester junior year I woke up one day to discover my crew had all applied to be somewhere else for spring semester and my ex-boyfriend lived on my ceiling. Scrambling to cope, I found myself in Vienna, Austria learning German, living with the Countess and having my otherness blast off my skin like neon in the darkness.  Read More.

To be or not to be…a cyborg?

I may want me a sexy cyborg, but do I want to be one?  That question is sitting on my table, staring at me, demanding my attention. I can’t seem to look away.

A disk in my neck has collapsed, permanently.  Pain and discomfort levels are tolerable but never far away.  The only real cure is to rebuild the disk with titanium and plastic parts.  If I do, that becomes my first inexorable step into cyborg—part human, part machine.

Stop the melodrama, Sabrina. (Yes, I can hear you out there.)  Lots of people have rebuilt parts, my mother included, and for many it’s been a true god send.  As we age, the integration of machine parts into our bodies gets more likely.

But for this future obsessed geek, it’s more than just a medical fix.  Underneath it all, are questions about who we are, where we’re going, and a niggling thought that we should think some deep thoughts about this before arriving at a new shore of what it means to be human.


My real concern with embracing my inner cyborg is once I get used the metal as a medical fix, it’ll be pretty easy to accept it as an enhancement. Don’t believe me?  Take a look at sports and doping.

We want to shine, to be the best.  Bionics—metal superpowers, genetic advantages, new sources of physical (and intellectual) power.   See where I’m going with this.  What happens when we are promised godhood in exchange for a few hours in the OR? Tempting, no?

So yeah, maybe its only a handful of plastic and titanium…now.  But what of tomorrow?

Thoughts?  Fears? Hopes?  I love to hear from you.

Nurturing creativity: Lets share some ideas

I credit my decision to commit myself to writing to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  When my creativity takes a nose dive (guess where it is now) that’s the first place I return to for a jumpstart.  She recommends two tools to unleash creative potential–morning pages and artist dates.

Morning pages are a process of writing three pages daily by hand on just anything that comes out. It helps you work through all your stuff out and just primes the pump before you dive into the rest of your day. Through those pages, my inner need to write fiction (I write non-fiction in my day job) surfaced with a vengeance and here I am.

I struggled over the artist’s date.  Once a week you are supposed to go on a date by yourself and do something whimsical, silly, fun or just escapist to fill the creative well and keep those artistic muscles in shape. Truth is, my life’s so packed with responsibilities and deadlines that when I carve some time out, I don’t quite know what to do with it.  I struggle to rediscover my ability to play like a child.  Over time, I’ve find several me-dates that help refresh my sense of joy and wonder, all fodder for the muse.  Here are a few of things I dreamed up.

  1. Visit used children’s book stores: I love to page through the old books full of illustrations and drawings we lack from the adult fare. (I probably should get more into Manga and anime.)
  2. Pull out a sketch pad, colored pencils and a copy of cartoon drawing for dummies. I had a blast drawing clowns and animals.
  3. Bake an elaborate dessert–something that’s as pretty to look at as it is to eat, drawing out those design instincts when putting the dish together.
  4. Lie down on the grass and just be.

How do you do it? What do you do to keep you’re creativity juiced? I’d love to hear your ideas.

What’s Your Favorite Indulgence? Participating on the #NdulgentHop

I am excited to participate on the Indulgent Blog Hop hosted by the Ndulgent Bloggers.  Not only do we get to share my most indulgent books and other escapes, we are giving away swag.   Read on.

My favorite indulgence is not a book but a pampering at the spa.  A massage, mani-pedi, even waxing–all that stuff.  In my overly-programmed, digitally-embedded, way-too-busy life, carving out some time for my self  is nigh near impossible.  So when I do it, I like to drown myself in in the sensuality of a spa day (hour more likely but a girl can dream). Let’s face it, one can never can have too much touch.

Here are a few others, since indulgence is the theme:

  • Flan, creme caramel and chocolate pudding:  Love how they slide down the throat.
  • A glass of red wine after a long day that drains away the tension in mind, body and spirit.
  • The Harry Potter Series, because it takes  me away from the world and totally out of my own head.  I read most books because they toy with my head, force me to look inside myself, or act as a friend who understands my inner twists and turns.  Harry Potter was a total escape.

What’s your favorite indulgence?

Let me know and you might win a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles (your choice).  I’ll put the names of all those who answer into a random drawing. Winner gets the gift card.

That’s not all.  In addition to my individual giveaways, the Ndulgent Bloggers are hosting a GRAND PRIZE of $100 gift card from WINNER’S CHOICE of Barnes & Noble or Amazon. You can enter using the following link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There’s more to win and more to learn.  Visit the marvelous other writers listed below who are participating on the blog hop and you can learn about their indulgences.  And each one has swag. So indulge!   Thanks for visiting, Sabrina.

Visit the Other Indulgent Blog Hop Writers

Nurturing your inner fantasy writer: Geeking out with Magi Quest

What did I do on my summer vacation?

I ascended to Master Magi in MagiQuest.  What a head rush, flicking a wand to unlock a chest full of gold and jewels;

animate a suite of armor;

duel dragons and goblin kings with ice and lightning; 

and rescue a princess.  I would have much preferred a prince but at least I got some nifty powers out of the deal so I can’t complain.

Why am I sharing this?  Because playing fantasy heroine in a 3D game created in the minds and stories of others nurtures my inner geek and fans the flames of my creativity. (How many cliches can I use?)

Creativity needs feeding.

Play is an integral part of its diet.

So I play.

What do you to do to stoke your inner (or outer) fantasy writer?