judging. in a good way.

darlings

while who-we-are-in-RL is judging (in a good way, because The Bookmarks national digital awards of SOUTH AFRICA asked specifically if she would, you see) we’ve met some Fascinating People and made a few Tiny Alterations* to who-we-are-in-RL’s speech for Tuesday – in Johannesburg (hurrah! flight 5 of 10!) – as she’s giving a Workshop (most exciting) and nodded (sagely) as she was interviewed by the Media (yes, she wore pearls and we applied some helpful make-up solutions to counteract jet lag dark circles) and generally Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves taking pictures in this beautiful country.

take a look!

*sweepingarmmovementlikeontelevisiongameshows*

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we do find twinkle lights just so soothing and, well, beautiful.

don’t you?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this is where we’ve been spending daylight hours doing the Judging for The Bookmarks – we don’t usually tell you where we are (specifically) but this is such an Interesting and groovy workplace (and you could easily find out online as they are a worthy sponsor of the Awards by providing us a space to Judge (in a good way)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as night fell over the mountain tops we took a few moments to feel at peace and tell the jet lag to bugger off (it was descending -fast- into the front cortex).

and then JT came to get us and we had a quiet lovely evening in Town (JT is worth mentioning, albeit under Initials only – a wondrous friend from NYC who just happens to have been living in South AFRICA and is about to leave but waited another week so we could spend time together – and he could pack properly as that takes a while when you move countries – and we should know, love ;-)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the sunlight is very harsh (in an exciting way) below the Equator *shivers* and deliciously warm.

what’s next?

a few more categories of judging…..

there’s also a Networking Ladies Brunch (definitely pearls and a Helpful Hopeful attitude for that one) when we get back to Cape Town (flight 6 of 10!) and then…..well…….who knows…..we’ve got a couple of people that we met before during our International Travels who just Happen to be in Johannesburg and we’ve heard that they’re around and we can sip tea and catch up.

isn’t life just GLORIAous?

what’s that, darlings?

*leansintocamera*

ah.

yes.

you saw the star* on the (almost) throwaway line about us making Tiny Alterations on who-we-are-in-RL’s speech?

and were curious as to How?

please don’t tell her you’ve seen this….

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 12.05.55 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 12.06.31 PM

well, it just needed Our Flair – and there’s nothing to be Lost by using Stills from Hollywood movies starring Mr. Rock Hudson and the glorious Doris Day – right?

plus, did you see what her speech is called?

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 12.07.26 PMquelle subtle title ;-)

at least she mentioned Us.

or there’d be trouble.

*winningsmile*

we ADORE AFRICA.

it’s so big and exciting and brave and new and BOLD.

*bigarmsoutstretchedmotion*

where is the Hogarth Press of today, darlings?

we need to share.

will you listen for a moment?

we Really want to do book 1 = “how to stay sane in a crazy world”.

we have a Most Delicious cover, courtesy of our design competition on 99designs.

we have an introduction:

I used to make my living from writing.

And then it all stopped and so I went and did something else, part of which entailed a whole new look from Brooks Brothers (it wasn’t really me, but it was necessary). A decade later (still working as a suit), I started to write again – during nights and weekends and frustrated lunchtimes and long haul business travel. One of the things I wrote (or which came to me, as I do believe in the whole muse concept) was a screenplay about a character called “gloria”, a trainee angel who sat “up there” waiting for her first assignment.

To occupy the hours she ought to have been studying humans and their foibles, she spent her time glued to the new celestial movies-on-demand channel and became obsessed by Doris Day. So you can imagine the confusion that unfolded when she arrived in modern-day Manhattan. But “gloria” was determined to see the world through rose-colored glasses with a delicious joy at life. So magical adventures started to happen.

I was really stressed with my (by now pretty big) day job. Suddenly I needed to see the world through gloria’s beautiful lens, or I was going to crack up. I started an anonymous blog to give me a place to write in gloria’s voice – it became teamgloria.com – and I started to document “glorious people, places and things”.

But then, in my real life, something terrible happened. My doctor found a tumor, in my throat. After a year of regular ultrasounds and biopsies, suddenly there were three tumors – and a mass was found which required a five and a half hour surgery. My blog became a place to tell the truth about entering the realm of the unwell, under a necessary cloak of anonymity.

Despite a long career in digital, I had never had the very personal experience of writing a blog. It had not occurred to me to do this anonymously before. And my job made it awkward to do under my own name. I had no idea how precious and moving it would be to see people responding, linking to me, sharing my words, and adding their own  “glorious people, places and things”. They gave me strength to go through the frightening and painful experience of surgery and recovery.

It was an incredible experience – I became part of a larger online community of people for the first time – and started to make this book while on medical leave of absence from work, sorting through all the photographs I had taken while traveling the world for the day job. It became, in effect, a meditation book.

In Renaissance Italy, women of noble birth would have a Book of Hours; a devotional object that gave them room to pause, to take a moment, to become spiritually refreshed.

It’s a crazy world out there. Most of us are stressed beyond belief. Perhaps a modern Book of Hours is needed: some beautiful images and a few carefully chosen words to inspire and soothe a troubled soul. Use this book, with its gentle suggestions, as your own little slice of tranquility.

Take the time to look after yourself. Find the gloriousness in your everyday life. Relish the delightful sparks of inspirational magic. You are important. You matter. It took writing as “gloria” to help me realize this. Don’t wait until you get sick, like I did…………..

Over at teamgloria.com we would love to hear about your glorious people, places and things. It would be delicious to meet you.

we have an introductory quote – from George’s first book

Celia

She’d shown me that it was possible to dream big and live large. She’d moved to New York and now traveled everywhere in a glamorous job in the world of high finance.

“My darling I’ve just gotten back from being around the world,” I heard her say without preliminaries. “Twice, actually,” she added while I was still wondering what had possessed me to pick up the phone. It had rung without any reaction on my part. I had ignored it, I could only assume, for as long as was humanly possible.

“I’m dying to hear the news,” she continued. “How are you? Tell me everything.”

On Wings of Affection by George Snyder (c) 2011

(available on Amazon and in all good bookshops)

and we have some Truly Delicious photographs:

with witty captions:

be camp.

and thoughtful observations about Life..

get a new perspective

there are photographs from abroad…

this one we took in INDIA, darlings.

and this one, just before we rushed back to Cathedral Close, for tea (as you can see on the clock, twilight approached).

but here’s the rub (as Shakespeare used to say)…..

we’ve tried to various self-publishing routes – blurb is lovely (but the resulting product was Awfully Expensive in printed form so impossible as a small business concept) – Lulu looked promising – but none are really designed for photography-based books. we even had a Most Encouraging conversation with the people at createspace (shhh, owned by amazon) but they are only equipped for illustrations, not for us….

#sigh.

oh where oh where is the enterprising Virginia of a Hogarth Press type operation of today?

we’d love to pop over there (wherever they are) for tea – with a Sheaf of prints, a thumbdrive or two (with a blue ribbon attached for easy finding in the bottom-of-the-bag), ideas for the cover and a mug of tea in our hands as we nod and listen to Mrs. Woolf and her ideas for us.

it just doesn’t feel possible to do ourselves.

any ideas, darlings?

in the meantime, Manhattan has become a Winter Wonderland.

we awoke to the crunchy sound of those little roller machines that people use to lay salt on the ground and the hush of snow-bound streets and branches heavy with frost.

after a mug of milky coffee and some crunchy vaguely healthy appearing cereal we headed out into the day – tis saturday – so there was therapy (So Many Revelations!) after a long SWIM.

this was our locker at the swimming pool.

crammed with new yorker style black clothing, you note, right?

we are Nothing if not on brand, love.

post-therapy there was a delicious brunch with the elegant and slightly raffishly unshaven JT.

we do love having stylish gorgeous friends.

don’t you?

after all – you are our friends.

so if you have Any Ideas about how to get a lovely small-format photography book (print and e-book) made – Do let us know!

thanks for listening.

we feel better now.

oh – one more thing – the scar did Not Like being under the turtleneck yesterday – tis itchy today. ouch. and another thing – oh, no, sadly, sigh, we can’t share that. just a little romantic possibility that faded like bubbles into the daylight.

deep sigh.

so good for the Art though ;-)

pain.

you Understand, non?

final day of medical leave: 21 days later: so many feelings, no more time.

hmmm. this is a hard one to write.

our last day of medical leave.

we have mixed feelings, to be honest.

a sense of relief (no cancer). a new perspective (god, we have Great Friends). well-rested (not a lot else to do even if lots of the sleep happened during the day and we watched movies and read during the small cruel hours of sleeplessness). well-read (see previous point – the small hours are good with a hot tea and a pair of glasses perched on our nose while snuggled under the covers against Tons of Nice Pillows).

we are also aware that Everything Must Change.

not sure how that will happen.

but we’re ready for it, whatever It Is.

and we have some ideas – including a book and a “kindness kit” business and lots of other hopefully brilliant “gosh where did they come from?!” concepts and the movie screenplay about Holly Hart and her tumors/tumours – hell, yeah, of Course we’re going to fictionalize this Whole Experience – and we’re geared up to write a second movie starring Gloria (see here for more about that)

here’s where it all started…….after the initial “lumps” found back in April 2011, and then the ultrasounds and biopsies and then the Hideous Line: “WE FOUND A MASS AND NEED TO OPERATE” (yeah, it felt like shouting)

Posted on June 17, 2011 by teamgloria

so team gloria has a date for the surgery –

september 9th –

and the rather hideous diagnosis of:

“thirty percent chance of cancer”

and – shocking –

we have three tumors/tumours, not just tobias.

this isn’t the realm of the unwell – it’s a veritable breeding machine inside our throat.

(the rest of this post is here)

and ever since then, we’ve been through So many Feelings (btw, we just deleted a whole bunch of spam in the comments and got Very Cross with one – that may have been an auto-generated-response-bot – that said we were WHINING. huh? our response was unprintable. and thankfully un-typed. isn’t Hitting the Delete Button a blessing, darlings?)

for any reason, if you’ve just joined us (perhaps from Instagram? hello! we Adore Instagram) and wonder what the hell all this talk is about it starts here:

and now we attempt to return to the Day Job. (ahem, no, they don’t know we call it that ;-) #giggle

let’s see what happens next. when this blog returns to documenting our search for glorious people, places and things once more (and our La Vie Jet-Set).

so here are a few pictures from our last blessed day of healing from all-that-has-happened-so-far.

final look at the view from where we take our fake thyroid hormone pills and then the calcium a bit later and have to steady ourselves for the nausea.

we met jT for tea at 10AM (before we had our hair cut to look presentable for Corporate America tomorrow) and he was wearing a magical god from the Incas. it spoke to us so we asked if we could take a picture (we asked jT, not the Inca god).

we then (post haircut) took a walk to meet Jonathan and talk a while and rest at ground support (we wish they had a web site because we’d link to them then but if you’re in the neighborhood/area/locale they’re on west broadway just south of spring).

then Jonathan’s phone rang and his AGENT CALLED (we love these kind of moments) and HE JUST GOT A NEW ROLE ON A TELEVISION SERIES! (isn’t that fabulous). despite his great excitement we persuaded him to pose for an anonymous style shot of the actor, resting, who has just marked down his start date for shooting – he was Very Kind and did this (see below).

we then spent a little while resting (as we Have Been through Surgery just under three weeks ago and our strength is not yet returned) and, after his Day at the Office had ended, the lovely jW (of the CT jW1/jW2) dropped by and we had a brainstorm and a nice pot of tea and a walk (we are getting Lots of Exercise) and then we split some rather nice cheese from a local creamery (so chic and supporting local businesses as we have been doing for the entire medical leave as we couldn’t go anywhere).

and so – tomorrow – back to work. and a New Chapter.

(talking of new chapters – William sent us a final medical leave gift – too kind! of Roy Strong’s delicious book about England – chapter 1 is entitled “Gloriana” – we are Tickled Pink – and will be reading it tonight.)