Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As we approach the end of 2011, most of us are reflecting upon the year we leave behind.  For me, 2011 was filled with an abundance of change, quite a few lessons learned, and the entrance of some new and wondrous people in my life.  For that I am grateful.

In the last few months of this year, I am learning to find contentment in my life.  It is sometimes a challenge, but for now I am pleased with how things are ebbing and flowing.  Life can change on a dime, just like the weather here in Portland, and we can't always be prepared for what comes our way.  But with a positive outlook and faith that things will turn out the way they're supposed to, I continue to travel on my merry way.

Ups and downs.  Bumps in the road.  Obviously life is not always easy.  But I look forward to 2012 with an optimism I haven't felt in a long time.  There are new friendships to forge, new playwrighting opportunities to undertake and unexplored roads yet to travel.  It should be an interesting year.  But, aren't they all?

Happy New Year everyone. Peace, love, prosperity and health to us all in 2012! 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Planting Seeds

I know first-hand how important it is to plant seeds for young people today.  Whether it is through the arts or some other medium, giving these kids confidence and allowing them to express themselves is so important for their future productivity and success.

Please read the guest post below by my cousin Mike B.  He happily shares the story of a woman who is helping to plant the seeds for young people in her community.  Thanks Mike B for contributing this great post!

Fun Learning for First Graders
When I was young, I used to love reading a feature in Reader’s Digest magazine called The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Ever Met. Some of these “characters” were famous, others were not, but I always enjoyed learning about them.

Over the years, I’ve met a few unforgettable characters of my own—ordinary people who impressed me with their meaningful contributions. One of these people is Kelli Pearson—or Miss Kelli, as I knew her when I began volunteering over nine years ago as a homework tutor in an exciting after school program at a community learning center in my hometown.  

At the time, Kelli was the director of the K-5 program at the center. I watched as she taught and engaged kids, introducing them to the fun of learning. She also had a knack for handling difficult situations, making the environment a welcoming and safe place for children. I was impressed not
just by her ability to teach kids, but to reach kids.

Now that reach extends farther than ever before. Earlier this year, Kelli launched www.SmartFirstGraders.com, a web site devoted to making learning fun for kids. While plenty of teachers find exciting ideas here, Kelli’s main goal is to give parents ideas for helping their kids learn.

Since kids have a way of resisting being taught by mom or dad, the web site’s learning activities feel more like play than work. Who would have thought that playing card games, making bubbles, going on scavenger hunts and baking cookies could be used to teach math and science? But it works, and kids love it. I know because I have used some of Ms. Kelli’s ideas with my young grandson.

Success in first grade sets the stage for young kids to develop into good students, and what better way to do this than by making learning fun. With the help Kelli offers on  www.smartfirstgraders.com , parents can help their first graders reach this goal.

From articles on fine motor skills to tips on how to deal with bullies and mean kids at school, from cool science experiments to lists of classic books for first graders,  www.smartfirstgraders.com is a valuable resource for parents and teachers on math, science, reading, child development, and more.

I am happy to call Kelli both colleague and friend. She taught me how to reach kids on their level, and this has made me a better tutor. If you have a first grader and want to give your child a learning boost while you and your child have a great time together, check out this site. (You can say you heard about it from Mike B!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Back in October I had the great fortune to work with Eleanor O'Brien; a fantastic Portland actress and artist.  I came on board to help create a whimiscal piece of theatre for a local fundraising event.  It was a terrific experience, because not only did I get to work with Eleanor, the entire cast of seven other beautiful woman were delightful to work with as well.

Last night, the piece we originally created for the October fund-raiser was featured again at ScratchPDX. Scratch is an experimental performance space for acts of all kinds to try out their stuff in front of a lively and friendly audience.  Anything and everything including spoken word, performance art, improv, play readings and dance can be featured here.  The warm and welcoming people that host and volunteer for this event made the evening infinitely enjoyable.  There was such a strong sense of community sitting amongst the audience and it was so fun to be a part of this amusing and entertaining evening of theatre.

If you are in the Portland area, I strongly encourage you to check out ScratchPDX.  It runs the second Saturday of every month from October through May at Hipbone Studios. You never know what you might see and experience.  I'm hoping to have some additional work featured in the upcoming months...I'll keep you posted!

Hope everyone is enjoying December.  It's mighty cold up here in Portland, but my heart is full and warm.