The PostSecret Live Show

I don’t even remember how I fell in love with PostSecret. I think someone mentioned it to me, and I checked it out. It’s not part of my routine to check the Sunday Secrets. I own all the books.

When I went to Virginia to visit my in-laws a few years ago, the only thing I wanted to do was go to the PostSecret exhibit at the Postal Museum.

I’m obsessed. I’m aware, and it’s okay.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, PostSecret was started by Frank Warren in 2005 as an art project. He gave out postcards and asked people to write a secret on them. His goal was to get 365 postcards. He got way more than that.

He started posting secrets he received on his blog. They update every Sunday (hence, Sunday secrets). I enjoy reading the secrets, and I keep a folder of my favorites to use as writing prompts.

I’ve never made it to a PostSecret Live show. I’ve always wanted to, but it seemed that every time one came to town, I already had a prior commitment, or I was going to be somewhere else.

I finally made it this past Tuesday.

When I got there, I realized that I hadn’t known what to expect. I didn’t have any expectations of it, but to me, that was part of the fun.

We were set up in a small theater in San Antonio. The show started with three actors speaking various “secrets” as if they were their own. Their voices broke with laughter or tears. It was powerful.

They flashed secrets on the screen. At the intermission, they encouraged people to tweet about PS #pssantonio, then they flashed tweets with the hashtag on the screen. In the ladies’ room, they had post-it notes and pens. Women wrote on the post-its and put them up on the mirror.

They also had postcards for people two write on, then after break, the actors read the secrets of people in the audience. Then more acting and secrets on screen.

As a finale, they had a Q&A with Frank Warren and with the actors. After that, a book signing where I got to meet the man behind it all.

Frank Warren never intended for PostSecret to become a national phenomena. But I think that it speaks to the fact that people want to make connections with one another. Our secrets isolate us, but they don’t have to. As Frank said, any secret anyone has is shared by someone else.

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I always love live events because the emotion in the room changes the event. In this case, I heard people laugh, gasp, or go hushed after various secrets were read. People cried, and no one cared because others were crying too.

This was a bucket list item for me, and I wasn’t disappointed.


P is for Popcorn

As far as I’m concerned, popcorn is a food group in and of itself.  It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.  I like it plain, with butter, butter and salt, cheese, cheese and chocolate chips… The possibilities are endless.

Today’s post is not going to be me rhapsodizing about popcorn (though I could… it’s that wonderful), but about all my favorite things beginning with the letter “P.”  Because, why not?

1.  Popcorn- We covered this.

2.  Purple- Actually, my two favorite colors are blue and purple, but because blue begins with a “B,” it doesn’t get special mention.

3.  Pajamas- The weirder, the better.  Once in awhile, it’s great to spend the day in pajamas.  My pet peeve (two P’s!) is people who go out in public in pajamas.  Okay, you’re sick and need cough medicine… it’s understandable.  But you really needed to shop at Walmart in PJ’s?  Not very classy, people… oh wait, they’re shopping at Walmart.  My bad.

4.  Poetry- I don’t like poetry I have to analyze.  I love Edgar Allen Poe, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, and Yeats.  Want a poem every day?  Go to

5.  Pansies, petunias, primroses, poppies  (They’re all flowers, FYI.  I love flowers!)

6.  Personalities- I find that many people seem to be lacking this essential quality.  Don’t be dull!  Find a personality today!

7.  Puppies- If you don’t know why puppies are on this list, shame on you!

8.  Parties!- Not that anyone ever invites me.  (hint, hint)

9.  Pictures-  I’ll take pictures of anything, as anyone who’s been anywhere with me can attest.  I love to take pictures of people, animals, signs, nature.  Basically, anything that catches my eye.

10.  Pride and Prejudice- Probably the best book ever.  I’ve read it (or at least parts of it) more times than I can count.  It’s one of the few books I have in electronic format, because if I don’t have a printed book with me, I can start at any point in that book and enjoy!

11.  Possibilities- This isn’t me groping for something to write about… see, I already did 10.  I really do love possibilities.  I often say that one of the best things about a vacation is planning for it, running through the possibilities.  Before you’ve done something, anything is possible.  You really do just have to believe.  (Unless it’s something like believing you don’t have to pay taxes.  Unfortunately you really do have to do that, at least here in the US.)

12.  Plaid-  Just kidding.  Don’t wear this.  Ever.  Especially plaid shorts.  A plaid skirt is okay if you’re Catholic.  And still in school.  Or if you’re attending an 80’s party and want to be really retro.  Otherwise, just burn all the plaid.

13.  Pac Man- I don’t care what’s come out since then.  Pac Man is still one of the best games ever.

14.  Paychecks- I don’t actually get mine in check form, but that doesn’t diminish the love.

15.  Painting- Though I can’t draw if my life depended on it (even my stick figures are pathetic), I love to paint, and am pretty good at it.  At least, when I’m painting ceramics.  I love painting cutesy things bright colors.  It makes me feel like I’m creating something.

So folks, that brings this blog post to a close.  If you’ve got other awesome things that start with a “P,” today is the day to share!

PS- After writing this entire post, I realized that my original intention was to blog about PostSecret.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s a really awesome art project in which people send in “secrets” on postcards.  Check it out here:  It updates on Sundays.

The Joys of Used Books

I don’t think it’s a big secret that I love books.  I love buying books.  I love being surrounded by books.  I love reading books.  I tend to stick to the library and buy a lot from Amazon.  I had forgotten how much I loved used bookstores.

Recently, I’ve started spending more time at used booksellers, and I’ve fallen in love again.

At the big chain stores, popular books that someone has paid a premium to advertise are on endcaps and on those display tables.  I do often find things that I wouldn’t have otherwise read.  As a writer, I’m terrible at titles, but I know how important it is.  Titles and covers are what catch my eye when I’m browsing, and I can be seduced into picking up a book on the title alone.

At used bookstores, books seem much more jumbled to me.  They still have the endcaps and the tables, but those mix popular books with books that someone just happened to like when setting up the table.  I’m more likely to find something I wouldn’t have read otherwise.  I love the fact that the books have a story, even if I’ll never know what it is.  Many of the books have things written inside, and it’s clear that they were given as gifts at some point.

I found a bittersweet thing the other day.  I found a PostSecret book with a note written on the inside cover.  It talked about how the giver was giving the book because he had found his soulmate and had the most wonderful year.  It said that he had no more need for secrets as he had given them to her.  He said that he hoped he and the giftee would have many happy years together.  I wondered why she had sent the book to the bookstore.  Had they broken up?  Had it got mixed into a sell back pile by accident?  Had someone borrowed it and sold it?  Had it gotten left behind when they moved?  I’ll never know, but I’ll wonder.

Unfortunately, I already had that book, and I didn’t buy it.  Now I wish I had.  I might go back, and if it’s still there, I’ll get it.

The wonderful thing about used books is that they don’t just tell a story.  Sometimes they are the story.