K is for Kendrick | scrappy little nobody: 10% defiant should be everyone’s goal.

OK, full disclosure, I am not sure if Anna Kendrick was “Made in Maine” but she did grow up here so I’m using that convenient bit of trivia and the fact that I just finished her book scrappy little nobody to include her in my A to Z challenge this year.

I knew scrappy little nobody would be funny. Anna pops up regularly on those “People you should be following on Twitter” lists because her posts are hysterical. I recommend you take a minute to follow her on Twitter if you are not one of the six million who already do: @AnnaKendrick47.

What I didn’t expect was how relatable it would be because other than both being “Made in Maine” there’s not too many places where our life experiences intersect. She started in theater young and was performing on Broadway by age twelve bouncing between New York and Maine ultimately graduating high school early and then moving to Los Angeles on her own at age seventeen. It was a good decision. Other than a little ramp up time she has been steadily working.

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The Travis Mills Foundation & Tough As They Come by SSG Travis Mills

Tough as They ComeI had heard of SSG Travis Mills but knew little of his life experiences or details of his catastrophic injuries received while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan. I was drawn to his story because I had read about the Maine based non-profit that he launched called The Travis Mills Foundation which is in the process of creating a retreat for combat injured veterans and their families.

I have not been directly touched by war. I have family members who have served including four generations of Navy sailors starting with my grandfather down to my nephew who is currently serving. I’ve heard the stories. How my grandfather was away for years during the war and how my mother didn’t recognize him when he came home. How his brother woke up one morning during his deployment to discover the men on either side of him dead, and he carried the memories of the war deep inside. How he hated M.A.S.H. because he couldn’t understand why anyone would laugh about war.

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#atozchallenge | R is for a Review of “Got Here As Soon As I Could” by Sarah Smiley

As my A to Z Challenge theme is focused on Maine, I thought it would be fun to do a book review on a book that has a connection to Maine. Fortunately for me, Sarah Smiley released her latest book, “Got Here As Soon As I Could; Discovering The Way Life Should Be” on April 1st. It’s almost like she knew I would need something for the letter R in my A to Z Challenge. Isn’t it just like a fellow Mainer to do something so nice!

I have not read any of her previous books, but one of my good friends absolutely loved her earlier book “Dinner with the Smileys” so I figured I was in good hands. This latest book is a compilation of articles from her Syndicated Column.  Sarah moved to Maine from Florida about six years ago and she immediately bonded with the state. That’s something I can appreciate. While I didn’t relocate here, I have a great passion for my home state and enjoy how she tells stories that really highlight some of the wonderful things about Maine.

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