Category: Behind the Scenes

These are My Archives and Favorite Concepts

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PastaliveIn an effort to be clear about how I invest my energy, I've been looking at how keeping the past alive might be draining the energy I have available to live my fullest life today.

I'm a fan of the past, so that means choosing to hold on to the parts that support my current life, (Get it?  CURRENT?  As in energy flow, and present-time awareness!) and my help me move into my brightest, lightest, shiniest future.  (Light can be both energetic glowing and free-floaty weightlessness.)

This applies to financial investments, space for storage, and energy in keeping friendships alive, too.

So this blog may not look like it once did, or as pretty as I might want it to be, but I've chosen not to pay the monthly fee to keep old projects looking like new. I've chosen a FREE account, because it makes me feel free!  (Because FREE is both without financial cost and without restriction of movement.)

I invite you to join me in being free-flowing and light!  And may my past bring joy to your present. (PRESENT is both NOW and a gift!)

 

 

Categories: Behind the Scenes

My First Featured Article on Beliefnet!

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I'm so Excited!  My article is featured!

  Screenshot

This is truly a first for me, and I was so excited, I had to share with everyone! 

I've been writing for a website called Beliefnet.com for the past few months — a milestone in itself because I've been wanting to write for them for years! 

Why? They feature ALL beliefs from the all major religions, and then some. 

But today is the first time I've been featured on their front page!  The very first of their 4 rotating banners, and with my name just there beneath it!  (Until Monday, July 21st anyway…) 

As someone who's been a ghostwriter for many years, I feel like I've finally stepped out into the sun.  Aaaaaah!  I am fairly certain it has something to do with my lovely friend, Trish Kusal Wilson, who allowed me to use her photographs.  The glory is all the sweeter when it's shared!

It's also a subject that I've never felt quite brave enough to write about, since it's such a touchy one for so many people: prayer — but I've attempted to translate it into something that intellectuals, naturalists and realists might be able to relate to.  See if you can, and let me know.  If nothing else, click to see Trish's glorious photos

I partly began writing for Beliefnet because I thought it would be a good way to connect with an audience that could understand and appreciate the podcast I co-host on Unity Online Radio, called "Pop Conscious: Where Pop Culture & Spirituality Unite!"  It is exactly my ministry style, actually, as I study to one day become a fully ordained Unity minister — rejecting no one and nothing in the world, just using it all to be more understanding, more positive and creative and help make the world a happier place.

Here are links to check it all out, if you wanna!  And if you know anyone who'd make a good radio guest or interview subject while talking about entertainment and enlightenment, please get in touch!

LINKS:

Learn more or contact me at MalaynaDawn.com!

 

My Valentine Cleverness

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Angelbabyheart

I’m feeling terribly clever at the moment, and just had to share!  I figured my blog is the perfect place for such shameless self-promotion and self-congratulation. 

As you probably already know, I write about the mind-body-spirit connection and our place in culture.  At the moment, and for some time now, that writing has been in the form of ghostwriting for websites in the U.S.—more specifically, blogging.  My current clients include a holistic addiction recovery facility, a hospital heart clinic, a wedding venue and a costume company specializing in comic and anime conventions.  I feel clever because I’ve been able to have my own little Valentine’s celebration while writing for each of these clients.

I find it the most satisfying when I can incorporate what I’m thinking about anyway into my posts.  So here’s what I did today and earlier this week:

For the heart health clinic -  I wrote about
  -foods OF love—those that are considered aphrodisiacs, and what their actual health benefits may be.  And
  -food AS love – the concept behind the use of food as a form of affection– especially with children.  This is not always good, since those who feel unloved for whatever reason may end up becoming overweight. I suggested different ways of expressing you care while also supporting the health of those you love.


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Chatting with Former White House Chef Walter Scheib

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I’m gonna start with the moral of the story:

Do what you love to do and share it,

and maybe someone will ask you to do it again.

(Feel free to quote me on that!) 

I’m referring to both how I got my most recent gig, and the guy I worked with on said gig. I was acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies for a “State Dinner” with the former White House Chef, Walter Scheib. He loves to cook, I love to communicate, so ….


 Malayna with Walter-md 
 

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My Freelance Adventure Continued

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Yesterday I tallied up all the articles I wrote for others in 2009 and it came to 570. At an average of 400 words each, that comes to 228,000 words. A minimum of 60,000 words is needed for a novel, so I’ve written the equivalent of three good-sized novels this year—a trilogy! 

Of course if it were that easy to write a novel, I’d paste them all together and publish. But it would seriously lack plot and characters, and other rather important aspects of a novel. 

Just over 100 of these articles (112 to be exact) were written for Garments Without Guilt, a project that I was allowed to attach my name to and even won an award for my part in the campaign!  You can view those articles (and the ones I did in 2008), by following these links, which are also listed to the left of this article: The Garments Without Guilt blog for all  and The Garments Without Guilt business blog.

458 of my total articles were ghostwritten on a variety of subjects. Since I don’t own them and wrote them while incognito (are you picturing me in sunglasses, ducking slightly, while seated at my computer?) I can’t just give you the links. That’d blow my cover. 

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My Freelance Adventure

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GreysOrchidsScreenshot Screenshot from Grey's Anatomy Season 5, Episode 18 "Stand By Me"

As a freelance writer, I bring in the majority of my income by writing for others and taking money instead of taking credit.  When I grow up, maybe I'll accept both, but most of the articles I’ve written for the past few years have not had my name on them, and since they’re written about topics that are not my main focus of interest, that’s fine with me.

But every now and then, I find myself feeling pretty excited about what I’ve written. I usually pat myself on the back and move on, promptly losing these examples among all the other files. But today, I thought I’d take a moment to share.

I’ve written lots of blogs on topics that I didn’t know much about…at first.  Here’s a list: Cremation, Drug rehab, Costumes, Heart health, Internet technology, Divorce, Restaurant trends, and Sensory research. One of the blogs I write is about orchids. I keep myself entertained by making sure that I incorporate topics that are interesting to me. 

This week I got to write one that packs in several: My love of Metaphors and Symbolism, Grey’s Anatomy and their awesome writers, Nature and Science, Psychology and Culture, and playing with those who are clearly in the grip of obsession. 

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Feeling Award-Winning!

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Dailyom-GWG-awards copy

 

I recently found out that a book I contributed to has won an award, and this is on the heels of the THREE awards that Garments Without Guilt has won!

The Daily OM book won Best in Print in the Conscious Living/Self Help Book category from the Coalition of Visionary Resources. 

The first inspiring article in the book was written by me, as were several others, though the story ideas were all by the lovely Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM's editor and co-owner. 

The blogs I write for the Garments Without Guilt campaign have been a contributing factor in our winning three awards: in 2008 we won The WPPED CREAM Gold in New York and the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards in Macau.  Then in  2009 we won an award in the Oscars of Advertising — The Global Effies – making us the first in Asia to win the global award.

So I'm feeling pretty groovy about the work I'm doing, because not only do I get to help people improve themselves and the world, I know we're all getting recognition for our work, which makes it even more rewarding.

 

Colombo Fashion Week, Triumphant!

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After the Tamil Tigers tried to crash our party with their very rude air raid, it wasn’t just the Sri Lankans who were resilient—Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis all bonded with Sri Lankans and representatives from a variety of nations in the hope for PEACE.

Just like the irritation of an oyster becomes a pearl, the interruption of Colombo Fashion Week ’09 only made everyone feel more strongly and celebrate more emphatically.

Bibi Russell, whose show was meant to be the finale on the previous night, started the show with her collection called “Design for Life”. What a celebration!  With bright colors and dancing models all exuding life and the pure joy of being—including a few in red with hand woven red AIDS awareness ribbons. 

BibiRussellsAidsRibbons

Of course, all of her designs are handwoven and handmade, using natural materials sourced in her home country of Bangladesh, where her goal of Fashion for Development continues to inspire me, years after I learned about her while working for Young Asia Television.  P2220015And this year, I got to work closely with her and see how much she truly embodies her ideals. When she had a chance to speak after her show, she spoke only of positive concepts and working together for the good of all.

The next collection to continue the previous night’s interrupted show was “Spiritual” by Shobhaa De.  Beautiful music shifted the mood to a magically meditative one, with a voice over which I suspect was Shobhaa De herself, reading from one of her novels. Lotus flowers, candles, all complementing the simple and elegant clothing also made from natural materials. She took the stage afterwards and also spoke of resilience and strength, peace and hope.

The rest of the night continued the celebration at such a pitch, a second intermission had to be added. The music was rockin’ and kept the tempo moving, (well done Aviva Bidapa!), the designs impressed and the crowd, at full capacity from two nights worth of audiences coming together, reveled in it all.    

If terror was what the air raid was meant to evoke, they failed miserably. They seem to have ended up inspiring and bringing people together instead. Which is why Colombo Fashion Week 2009 ended TRIUMPHANTLY!

Colombo Fashion Week, Interrupted

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Feb 21st, 2009

Last night, I was the compere/announcer for Colombo Fashion Week and thankfully, my hubby, was there too. There was a blackout, so I made a mic-free announcement for everyone to stay calm and stay in their seats. I had no idea it was a response to an air raid.

As you may know, the LTTE, also known as Tamil Tigers, smuggled in pieces of small, light aircraft and then built a small air force of a handful of 2-seater planes.

The lights came back on and I continued, as directed, to get on with the show, blissfully unaware of any threat. I even kept on reading my script when I heard what sounded like people banging on the wall behind me, sticking tight to my "show must go on" sensibilities. At the sight of tracer bullets, I knew that sound was something far more serious.
 
Then the director told me to announce the show would continue tomorrow and tell everyone to calmly move away from the huge plate glass windows that formed the entire West wall of the penthouse ballroom. No one even knew where the emergency exits were, so they all rushed to the elevators, which of course weren't working.

My husband, who knew ahead of time what was happening and had been hovering nearby, very calmly told me it was time to go, and when I said "I have to get my stuff" he explained to me, still calmly, "you need to get away from the windows, because they could fire through them. Get only what you need and come this way." I did and he grabbed my hand and held it tightly as we moved through the crowd to find our friends. He never let go of me until we were safe.

I realized I had left my cell phone, so when it was quiet, we went back to the sound stage-booth-thing and he helped me gather everything else. The emergency exits were dangerously close to the plate glass windows that formed the entire South wall of the ballroom, and also overlooked the Army Base, so he wanted to wait until things quieted down before we took the stairs. We sat waiting in a secure corner.

I had brought a flashlight because they hadn't provided me with any light the night before, and it was odd to read a script by the light of the DJ's laptop. And thank God! I grabbed it and we made our way down the unlit 8 – 10 flights of stairs that may have never been swept, amidst kicked off ladies footwear, with my friend's Dad in tow. He was on his cell phone trying to get through to the rest of his family, but was only receiving calls from his driver who was on vacation in another part of the island, asking if they were all okay.

We found our friends in a covered parking area, and then we began to relax and make jokes. Once we were down among our friends, the info started coming on cell phones. I don't know if you've seen it in the news by now, but the crash I heard was a small plane crashing into our IRS building, which is next to an Air Force Base, less than half a mile away. The anti-aircraft fire was happening all around us, and it seems it actually hit the aircraft, forcing it to crash before reaching its target. You can imagine the gleeful jokes about the destroyed IRS files.

The hotel made an announcement that were given the all clear to turn on the lights and air conditioning, but that we couldn't leave the grounds yet. They played music, served food and drinks, and we all relaxed into the return to normalcy. Our international designer guests from Dubai, Bangladesh, and Pakistan were all unshaken. When they announced that it was safe to leave, a group of white boys– a sports team from England or Australia–were all packed and waiting for a taxi in the lobby. They seemed amazed that the rest of us were all back to business as usual. It's just what I heard the head of British Council saying on the phone to someone "Sri Lankans are incredibly resilient".

I was thinking about the little decisions I made when getting ready that afternoon. I was already constantly invoking Divine Order, because I was nervous, so the fact that I made these decisions shows me I was aligned well. Things like: to remember to take a flashlight, to wear a comfortable pair of shoes and pants instead of a dress or skirt, to not take my laptop, to bring a granola bar or two because the intermission snack trays never made it our way the night before.

I was very grateful for all of those things in the midst of it all. And I was so happy with my choice of hubby. He took care of me, and then helped our friend’s dad make sure his family weren't still up there before we had him come down with us. Once we were downstairs safely, he located all of our friends and kept them in sight.
 
As far as I know, only one person died in the attacks, and the 2 planes were shot down. They missed their targets and caused only a bit of ruckus. Inside the hotel, I didn't see any pushing or hysterics, and the hotel staff were on top of it. The war seems to be almost over, and this was a desperate, last ditch effort to terrorize. I don't feel particularly terrorized actually. I just remembered that while I still had the mic, and it was on, I told everyone to stay calm and hold thoughts of peace in their minds. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for that, now that I remember it!

So there you have it.
🙂

Even Fashion Needs Words!

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CMBpageThis year I'm even more involved with the Colombo Fashion Week.

Last year I was a script consultant and compère (a fancy word for MC–mistress of ceremonies!) and this year I'm involved in the website as well.

Check out this page, which promotes Colombo for those visiting just for fashion week. There are actually three (3) pages with my personal choices to "Shop, Sup and Spa Stylishly" while in Colombo.

I originally had called myself the "Consulting Wordsmith", because it seems more appropriate, but "Communications Consultant" sounds more like a real job. Check out the full Colombo Fashion Week website too, for info on the designers from Sri Lanka and abroad who will be participating, as well as images from last year's amazing shows. It's gonna be so cool!