Queen of Soul : Aretha Franklin

Last night Aretha Frankin passed away at the age of 76.

I have been a great admirer of her for many years and without perhaps knowing fully well how to articulate it i always felt she had Power. Power, swagger, sexiness, grit. There are many powerful singers but when Aretha sang it was different. She always sounds powerful and strong. Even if its a love song, even if its a plea, it’s strong yet feminine. There is lightness, its not all heavy , when she sings it’s like she is surfing the melody, She makes it her own and commands R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I guess that has been the greatest thing about her music for me. The delivery. When I listen to Aretha I understand soul. It changes you.

There are so many articles on the internet eulogizing this incomparable artist and I am sharing the NY Times article here because I think this resonated with me the most.

We will never see the likes or her again but her music.. her soul will live on. I have listed most of my favourite songs of hers.. which I have been listening to since morning….







2k18, Anne, Eight in the Morning

New Avenues

A countdown has begun in my house. In a little over two weeks I’ll be re-entering the work force after a fourteen year hiatus, with one brief stint of working outside my home seven years ago.

After thinking long and hard, I’ve finally decided to take a plunge into the teaching profession. I’ve done it before, once and for a brief period of time when I was way younger and exploring options. But, as some of you know, marketing and the hospitality industry got the better of me and I never looked back. 😆

What am I going to teach? Literature and World History.

Who am I going to teach? Males. Mid-teen males.

Yeah, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge I think. 😉

Sadly, this means my Eight in the Morning writing will now have to find another time slot. That’s going to be very difficult for me to do. 8:00 AM is something I’ve cherished for years and found a great deal of joy in, it was where I shut out the world and accomplished things beyond day to day life.

However, that doesn’t mean I’ll give up writing. I have too much to say to shut up completely. 😉

Am I excited about my new job though? Hell yes. I’ve spent the last many years watching literature take a beating in academics, with less and less focus on it each year and a tentative interest that’s quickly shut down with words like “no scope,” “it’s for nerd-girls,” “boys will be boys” and other such rubbish. Kids are choosing to not read for fear of being judged, many don’t realize they can and should read, others head to Bestseller lists and turn up their noses at the rest, and picking up a pen to scribble a predictable and cliched story, not edit, and publish it without proper process, because ‘OMG writing is so fun and lookit all these fans fawning over me’  is becoming a norm.

Are those poor boys doomed or what? 😀

But, I guess it’s time, know what I mean? If I can complain about it, I can do something about it. Aside from wanting to get back to work for a while now, this is something very dear to my heart. I love working with youth, I see how quickly they’re misunderstood and I don’t like it, I know they have potential and that it isn’t always given a chance. Shaping minds, opening doors to critical thinking, helping kids see beyond society’s blinders, tapping into their natural empathy, or at least hearing them out and giving them tools to help create themselves. I think it’s important, especially under the umbrella of education.

So, wish me luck?

And, in case you’ve been wondering what else I’ve been doing besides home renovation, then know that I’ve been hitting the books hard and refreshing my brain with a lot of reading/note taking/anxiety battling.

Of course I’m nervous too. Soon, I’ll be reciting Elizabeth Barrett Browning to a roomful of teenagers.


Hello from a M.I.A writer

Hey guys sorry I have been away.. I don’t know why but each time Anne and I plan to do something on the blog some other thing crops up. I have been meaning to do a post for a while and feel guilty. Just got back from work after another long day. It seems I have had five months of this.. hopefully the tide will turn for the better soon. I thought I will share some pics of a recent trip I did since I am also missing that. Hope all of you are doing well please let us know. I miss that I am out of loop with you guys who have always been there despite my absence.

We have been meaning to talk about the stuff we are currently writing being inspired by etc. will do that soon



#Hikkaduwa #SriLanka with my dogs

#wishcation, 2k18, Anne

Wishcation (II): L is for…


Hi everyone!

Sorry we’ve been MIA lately, but it turns out that summer with everyone at home really does kick your ass in ways that it doesn’t all year round. 😆

Chan has been super busy with work and sounded a bit crazy when I texted her a couple of weeks ago, so I backed off and only tentatively texted her again yesterday when she began chatting normally with me on Insta.

Good news: She does not sound crazy anymore. 😉

As for me… Well, my summer cleaning turned into a nightmare for everyone at home. As of last week, all bedrooms are being repainted and refurbished, and I decided to redo my entire closet as well, because I was sick of it being so idiotic. That of course led to the Huz volunteering his services, and now things have gotten quite loud, woody, drilly and bangy in our bedroom, and it feels like our honeymoon all over again.

Who said the passion fades? Bwahaha

So, if you want to know how that’s working out, follow me on Instagram (@annejdl or #annesclosetmakeover) for PG updates. 😀

Chan and I were also discussing stuff, and were thinking of going Live with a chat which everyone could listen in on and join us if you wanted to. Unfortunately, my daughter shut that idea down in five seconds flat with a “Do you two really want to go Live without having done it before? It can get embarrassing, Mom, especially if you both don’t know what you’re doing… Which I don’t think you do.”

So, yeah. We’re going to wait for a while to do that. LOL Chan and I never mess with this girl.

However, we decided if we couldn’t go Live for now, we could at least do a podcast to share with you all. We’re working on that and will post a link once we’re done. Stay tuned, because we’ll be rambling about a lot of things, and especially our writing and works in progress.

Now, coming to your suggestions for destinations to add to my Wishcation list. I didn’t have the time to do much research and a post, so here’s a video of a place close to my heart and one I’ve had on my bucket list for a while. I hope you enjoy it and add it to your list whether you’ve visited before or not. Special thanks to arjuhisis for suggesting the letter. ❤

I’ll check in with you all later. Just got back from chaperoning my kids meet up with friends and I’m beat.

Till next time.




2k18, Anne, Wishcation

Wishcation (I): S is for…

This is one of my favorite quotes on travel, and something I remind not just myself about, but my kids as well. As a family, we’re not into extreme adventure or choosing holiday destinations based on popularity. Budget is always taken into account first, and once we’re there, experiencing what the country has to offer and learning from it is something we all enjoy. The huz and I don’t see much point in taking the kids to places where all they’ll do is eat what they always eat at home, do the same fun things they do at home, and walk from one tourist site to the next like zombies.

Personally, I may have my bucket list with a lot of popular destinations on it, but you’ll also find a lot of far out places, and many that are tucked into little spots on the globe. I’m naturally drawn to islands and endless stretches of beaches, and I love visiting any place that has a good balance of quiet and life. The former because to truly relax, I need to be able to hear myself think, and the latter because I’m a people watcher and am always excited about getting to know people from any and everywhere. Hanging out with the locals in whatever place we visit, is something we as a family love to do. Those friendships last a lifetime.

So, after my post the other day, I got a a few letters and those included two S’s, so we’ll begin with that letter for our Wishcation bucket list adds. If you think this one was easy to pick, then I’ll advise you to run a quick Google check on just how many places begin with the letter S in this world of ours. It’s insane. Dear place-naming people, there are other alphabets! 😆

Let’s start with an image?

I can imagine myself lazing in that for two weeks. 😉

This gorgeous piece of beach is nestled somewhere in the Samoan Islands, which are an archipelago in the South Pacific, a part of Polynesia and Oceania.

When I saw the pictures, I really didn’t care where this place was, I knew I had to add it to my bucket list. There is no way those kinds of blue waters would not grab my attention and steal my heart.

I did a quick search and found even more pretty pictures of stunning coastlines and a gorgeous untouched paradise.

So, I guess when I visit my family in New Zealand, I may make a pit stop first. 😉

I didn’t know much about the food in the Samoan Islands, but I have heard that it’s considered delicacies in many parts of the world. After another check, I see the Polynesian influence is heavy, and also being a classic tropical paradise, there’s an abundance of seafood, and organic fruits and vegetables.

And, of course we must never forget the drinks. 😉

As far as culture goes, the Samoans are well known for three things. Faith, family and music. They mostly practice a communal way of life, and entertainment includes music and dance and general togetherness. I won’t comment on that too much, because like I said above, when it comes to people I like to see and learn for myself.

I’m a little short on time today, so just a quick glance over some Samoan fashion picks (because Chan would kill me if I didn’t include that.) I’ll leave the posts on traditional dresses to her though.

I should be on that beach wearing those and sipping a pineapple Vaifala!

And, then go shopping for these.

And, these.

But, before I end, I just have to toss in this literary fun fact. The quote at the top is by the famous (and one of my childhood favorite) authors R.L Stevenson who lived in Samoa for four years before he died there. Given the name Tusitala which means Teller of Tales, Stevenson was well loved in Samoa. There is even a song of grief still sung in his memory apparently. His home in Vailima was eventually converted into a museum, with a path leading to his grave site on Mount Vaea, which overlooks the sea.

So, bucket list: Samoan Islands. For sure.

Special thanks to LadyRjigthakkar for your suggestions (I hope you liked my pick.) I’ve kept the letter I on the list and will get to it soon.

I had a lot of fun doing this post, and I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe daydreamed a little. I know I did. 😆

Till our next Wishcation destination.



2k18, Anne

Are you traveling this summer?

So, I’m a little bummed out that we may not be traveling this summer. Not that it couldn’t happen, because it definitely could, but there’s a possibility that it may not. And, that sucks for me, because I had a bucket list destination planned, and if this summer doesn’t work out, then I’ll have to wait a whole year, and being patient about things like that is not my cup of tea. I’m the kind of person who makes a travel bucket list in one sitting and imagines I can and should check off all twenty destinations in two years flat. 😆

Anyway, since I was feeling a bit impatient about travel plans this summer, I figured there may be a few of you here who also won’t be traveling (if you are, may I tag along?)

It’s not always easy to just make the plan, pack the bag, and go, right? Life gets in the way yada yada, and we feel stuck in a rut, irritable and just hoping to catch a break (or wishing someone will generously send us a few airline tickets to some exotic destination.) 😉 Traveling is also expensive, and especially with children, and why oh why didn’t we travel more before we had them?

I love my kids, I promise. 😉

So, if you are traveling this summer, where are you going? If you’re not and are feeling as crummy about it as I am, then help me make a Wishcation list. Pick an alphabet and post it in the comment box, and I’ll choose a place starting with that letter and do a post on it so we can have something to drool over.


I don’t care. We need to Wishcation our way through this summer, if all we’re going to do is sit on our butts.