My Vote for Person of the Year
 In General

Am I the only one, or are you also having trouble believing it is going to be 2015?  I remember seeing 2015 as my drivers license expiration date fifteen years ago and thinking that it was impossible that 2015 would ever be here. It seemed so very far away.

But, I am really glad to be living in 2015 where we have so much information at our fingertips, and oh by the way, I love my new iPhone 6 Plus!

elements of style

Just this Sunday morning, still in bed with a cup of coffee and my big old phone,  I started reading one of my favorite newsletters, Maria Popova‘s Brain Pickings.  She had chosen her favorite books of 2014 and Maira Kalman’s  new book, My Favorite Things made the list. This led me down the rabbit hole for a couple of hours and I enjoyed the trip so much that I wanted to share it with you today, in my last newsletter of 2014.  Trust me, it is much more interesting than how to get more Twitter followers!

Maira Kalman, is an absolutely delightful human. I first noticed her work a few years ago, with a release of a new edition of the old Strunk and White’s, Elements of Style, illustrated by her. I always loved this humorous little grammar book, but Maira’s illustrations made it perfect (I would have liked it even if she didn’t put a  Bassett Hound on the cover). It is a book every writer should own.

So after I looked into her new book, I went to her website and browsed all her different titles. Luckily, she gives you access to eight or nine pages from each book. I couldn’t resist, and I put in my order for a bunch of them.

Maira Kalman is an artist and illustrator who uses color and whimsey to perfection and her sense of humor shows up in her art. She is a keen observer of people, a passionate dog lover and has an affinity for hats. I believe I would like her very much. Take a look at this video and you will see what I mean.

In fact, I am announcing that she is the famous person that I would most like to meet for coffee; and therefor, I have chosen her as my favorite person of 2014.

One of Kalman’s drawings had a timely message to me.  The drawing is of what looks like dancing shoes to me and I love dancing, but they are walking shoes for her and she says,

The ability to take a walk from one point to the next point is half the battle won. Go out and walk. That is the solace of life.

Maira Kalman walking shoes

From Maira Kalman’s Book, My Favorite Things

This past year, I have not been able to dance or do my 3 times a week five mile Atlanta Beltline walks with my girl friends. One of my knees has far less cartilage than is necessary to go very far, the delayed result of a 25 year old accident on a ski slope. So on January 5th, I am lucky to be getting a brand new knee. I am looking forward to getting back out there!

So go out and take yourself on a walk for me. Enjoy every minute of it. And, my dear friend,  I hope tomorrow you start down the path to a happy healthy and prosperous 2015!

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  • Sheryl Cook

    Maira Kalman is a past cover illustrator for The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. Her illustrative tributes are colorful, whimsical and amusing. May your recovery be swift and your walking shoes put to good use often in 2015. See you on the belt line! Sheryl Cook

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