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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Have you ever had some days when all you want to do is sleep? I'm having a lot of those days lately. Maybe it's my brain finally going on strike ("ENOUGH ALREADY!").

It's a fickle organ, though, because as much as I want to sleep, I can't seem to get enough..I'm waking up during the night. Usually around 3 or 4 am, and then have trouble falling back asleep. What do you all do when you get insomnia? I'm trying the usual recommended remedies...herbal tea (I still have some left from my birthday gift from Lissa, Phil, Annie & Tim, plus yummy cinnamon tea from Beckett), which I have in my favourite mug (a bright yellow mug with my name painted in bright letters, also a gift from the Brits). I read. I play my harp. I try very hard to stay offline.

Other insomnia suggestions welcome!

Went home for the weekend. Did a lot of sleeping. :-) Went for brunch at Mildred Pierce's with Jeff, Amanda, and Helen. Went to the Paramount with Jeff, Brian Parkinson, and Bryan Fullerton, to see Charlies' Angels. My fave Angel was Cameron Diaz. Theirs was Drew Barrymore. :-) Afterward, we went to Fune for sushi. Visited with my sister and her family and my Dad, who is now home from Japan. He sent me some photos while in Japan; today's Blathering picture is one of them (a class he taught).

Had a harp lesson last night. My teacher's been away for a while, playing on a cruise ship. She came back looking relaxed and tanned. :-) I've memorized "My Love Is A Red, Red Rose" and am learning "The Dark Isle" by Iaian McLaughlin, arranged by Sue Richards. I'm learning how to do "rolls" now...y'know, the harp cliche ripple-chordy effect thingy. Rolls are supposed to sound graceful and natural; mine currently sound like misguided hand spasms. Also learning "Sakura", arranged by Janet Correll. Kim (my teacher) showed me how to make the harp sound more like a koto by playing very close to the soundboard. She also showed me how to do harmonics, do interesting twangy things with the strings, and using the harp as a percussion instrument with the tuning key and also by weaving a piece of paper into the strings.

Very cool lesson.

Harper friends keep asking me if my harp has told me its name yet. I have to confess that the only name it has told me so far is "Gwyneth Paltrow". I refuse to call my harp Gwyneth Paltrow, so am still waiting for another name.

ovff flashback

Talis Kimberley's concert. That woman has incredible stage presence! And velvet dresses to die for. :-) I'm in awe of her songwriting abilities. Have I gushed enough? What's your favourite Talis song? Mine is "Death Danced At My Party", though her song about books (Let Me Turn Your Pages?) is a close second.

Talis brought me a Cadbury's Creme Egg mug from the Cadbury factory in the UK.

Many thanks to those who filled in gaps in my previous OVFF flashbacks. Mark Peters of Ivanhouse Records did the Karen and Lloyd CD, and my Interfilk auction afghan was made by Pat Whitten (Whidden?). :)

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