Friday, January 30, 2015

LungLeavin' Day: Putting a face to a big, scary word

If you're like me, the word "mesothelioma" was just something you heard in attorney's commercials on television and radio.

I knew that it was a cancer commonly assoicated with exposure to asbestos, but that was about it.

Then I got an e-mail the other day from a man named Cameron Von St. James, whose wife Heather (pictured left), actually has mesothelioma.

Cameron asked me and other bloggers to help publicize Lung Leavin' Day, coming up February 2nd.

In Heather's words:

"Nine years ago, I had my lung removed. I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my life. To try and lighten the situation, my sister nicknamed my surgery Lung Leavin’ Day. The name stuck, and now we celebrate it every year."

The celebration has become an opportunity to raise money to raise awareness about mesothelioma.  Over $7000 has been raised so far.

Says Cameron: "The purpose of this holiday is to encourage others to face their fears. Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire. We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!"

When Cameron reached out to me and many other bloggers to help, it was my chance to put a face to a word I'd only heard in passing before.  I hope this post will do the same for you.

Heather's not out of the woods.  She lives with fears about what mesothelioma will ultimately mean for her and her family, but she's a survivor and obviously a strong, determined woman with a deep faith in God.

To find out more about Heather's journey, go here and here.

For more about mesothelioma, go here,

"Frankly, God is the one who gives me tremendous peace. I find that prayer and reading His word, writing scriptures that speak to me, and keeping them in a little notebook for my use is a way for me to keep grounded.
With Lungleavin Day coming up, the opportunity is here to write our fears on a plate and smash them into the fire, I’m going to once again take control of my emotions and overcome. I know I have the power to do it; sometimes it is just making the choice to do so."--Heather Von St. James

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I love big fat magazines (from the archives)

No, this isn't a real magazine, but isn't it funny?
My love affair with magazines


My love affair with magazines actually began when I was a little girl and my parents were missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon.

My mom subscribed to several children's magazines for us, including Jack & Jill, Calling All Girls (later titled Young Miss and then YM), and a small Christian magazine I loved called Young Pilot.

When we returned to the states in 1967, I was just about to enter puberty, and was already beginning an avid interest in fashion and beauty (although I looked a mess.  The junior high years were NOT kind to me!)

Seventeen magazine was 50 cents then, and I remember cleaning the kitchen for my newly-married sister in exchange for a copy of the magazine!

I think at one point my mom even let me subscribe to Ingenue, and I bought Teen  Magazine with whatever pocket money I could earn or plead for.


I still love magazines, but....

What is it about fashion magazines that I love so much?

Some may complain that they're mostly ads, but that's one of the main things I love about them?  I look at every ad.  I love the slick pages with the gorgeous ladies and handsome men, and sometimes I don't even notice what product they're touting.

Here's the deal, though.  For a person on a budget, magazines aren't a terrific investment.

They're expensive.  And honestly, after I read whatever articles I want to read, I'm pretty much done with them.  Then you have the problem of whether to store them, try to give them away or junk them.

Not only that, but you can get most of the info online.

So I try to avoid the temptation at the grocery store register to buy another magazine.

I content myself with a subscription to InStyle Magazine.  Not only do I get the glossy ads, but there are fashions I would actually wear (as opposed to the high-fashion couture which is often more than slightly bizarre), and the magazine remains politically neutral--a trait I value.

There are even practical articles about skin care, hair, decorating tips and recipes.

P.S. Note that both these vintage magazine covers feature the beautiful Colleen Corby.  She was a top print model during my childhood.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm a voice-over artist! Hire me! (a blatant plug)

As I've mentioned many times here, I am a free-lance voice-over artist.

Right now my main form of VO work is recording phone surveys.  If you've ever taken a phone survey for anything from Jason's Deli to Comcast to Auto Zone, you've heard my voice.

However, I'm experienced in many more genres of VO work, and I want very much to expand my career.  I would love to get an agent to help me get my voice out there.

I now finally have a good quality website to point people to for my VO work.  It's Cindy's Voice.

If you're out there and you need a female voice for a project...or if you're an agent...please do check out my site and hire me!
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