The White Lotus, Extra Credit, & Trampolines!

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* Have you seen White Lotus? Please tell me you’ve seen White Lotus!(Available on HBOMax, and no – I was not paid to mention this; it’s entirely of my own volition. But please don’t think for one second that I wouldn’t take that sweet, sweet HBO cash if it were to ever come my way. Honestly, if anyone should pay me, it would be Kevin Costner. But he seems to think he’s made it on his own and doesn’t need my months-long PR campaign. Whatever, Kevin – we’ll see who’s still standing at the end of this!)

Back to White Lotus. God knows we’ve streamed an endless amount of shows during the past year (and counting), but this one was a particular treat, effortlessly combining intrigue, humor, drama, and white privilege into one very entertaining 6-epidsode bundle. Creator Mike White (yes, the title is a nod to his name, as well as the overarching issue he addresses) has managed to present something entirely unique, while also creating conversation around some of the most longstanding challenges our country continues to face. Add an outstanding cast and gorgeous location (the entire series takes place in Maui at the Four Seasons Resort at Wailea) and you have one hell of a compelling binge waiting for you!

Why bring this up now? The reason is twofold: (1) the Emmys are around the corner (Sunday, September 19th at 5 PM PST on CBS) and, though the show can’t be nominated this year, I am assuming White Lotus will be heavily favored for the 2022 awards season and it’s never too early to start rooting for your favorites. (2) I’ve got a deep dive treat for you! If you’d like to augment your White Lotus experience, I highly recommend checking out Liz Prato’s Volcanoes, Palm Trees, & Privilege, Prato’s love letter to Hawaii – a place she both loves and fears destroying as a white vacationing interloper. Sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a certain show I’ve been raving about. ;) Bonus: Prato lives in Portland, and the book is published by our dear friends/fellow Portlanders at Overcup Press! Shop local and travel (at least in your mind) – this extra credit assignment is a win/win. (Photo above of Liz's book takes you to the Overcup Press website.)

* How to push past the uncomfortable? I’m working on some writing projects of my own – one novel and one long essay about a challenging event in my life. Both are arduous for different reasons. Crafting the novel is difficult because I am a “pantser” (see my previous newsletter about the brilliant Shari Lapena) and I’ve hit a wall with some critical plot points. (You know, small things like, “What happens next?”). The other because I have to put myself in a dark frame of mind to access those memories. I don’t like going there, but it’s a must to make it the best project it can be. Both will be worth it. However, in the meantime, I am working on how to push past my resistance. Currently my favorite tools include taking breaks to jump on my mini trampoline, as well as ending the day playing drums. Both move my body and brain in helpful ways. My hope is the trampoline will shake loose a brilliant plot twist! And the drumming helps with the effects of the essay – it’s nice to use math and limb independence to soothe myself after an emotional day. Mental health continues to be an important thing to address as we lumber along in this ongoing stressful time. What are you doing to help yourself? I hope it is something joyful – you deserve it!

I hope you've enjoyed your update! Like this? Help me out and tell a pal – the more, the merrier! Please continue to wear your masks, and stay safe & well in the meantime. You are worth it!

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