Changes are a-comin’

Categories: Getting Started
May 20, 2010
Tori Walker Open Book - New design preview

New design preview. Header and top navigation

I’ve been hard at work on a new design for this site.  The current design is lovely but not exactly representative of me.  The new design, on the way, is getting closer to how I see myself in blog form.  The closer it comes to being finished, the happier I get with all it’s wonderful newness.

I am really excited to reveal the finished product, so excited that I had to give you guys a preview.  And trust me, I have been far removed from web design for so long, that it’s been a hard fought battle to get this far.  I’m in the coding phase right now, and I’m actually getting the hang of php, but it was so different from my vb and javascript background that I felt like I was in kindergarden most of the time.

The spiffy new version will include:

  • Separate sections and sub-categories for different topics that  I enjoy writing about, such as House and Home, Inspiration, Community, etc.
  • Hand drawn graphics by me (Woo, I love my new graphics tablet!  More on that later)
  • Easy to follow navigation
  • Lot’s of white space so that content and photos get all the attention.
  • And much, much more…

The only scary part is that once I’m finished this, I’ll actually have to get back to writing, ha!  Please do let me know what you think so far.

Words [I try] to live by…

Categories: About Me,Getting Started,Poetry
February 28, 2010

Tori Walker Open Book My Symphony Post Barn and Flower

To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;

to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

~William H. Channing

A blog journey: Then I met a real-life superhero

Categories: Getting Started
February 23, 2010
Andrea Scher

Andrea Scher of Superhero Designs

So, as I was saying.  I started reading frenchtoastgirl about 8 years ago.  Years later, from her blogroll, I came across the website of Andrea Scher at

What can I say?  My life got a little bit brighter that day.

Andrea is a jewelry designer, life coach, photographer, wife, and amazing mom to Ben.  Her blog is a beautifully written memoir of her life.  Her words are poetic and uplifting, her message is authentic and inspirational, her photography is stunning, and even her struggles provide opportunity for great insight. When I stop by her blog, I feel as though I’ve just had a heart-to-heart with a sister, or at least a quirky and wise next-door neighbor.  It is an essential part of my day.

Andrea also leads a personal development e-course called Mondo Beyondo.  The course is based on a concept she introduced on her blog in 2004 about dreaming impossibly big dreams and then ‘expanding your idea of what is possible’.  The course sells out fast.  I have a Mondo Beyondo list, which I will share later, and on this list is to sign up for the actual Mondo Beyondo e-course.

*Note: You guessed it, I am a lurker on superhero journal as well…so when I say I met a real-life superhero, I really mean that I was introduced to her blog and have been reading it religiously ever since…I’ve never actually met her, but if I did, I can assure you that I would be giddy and starstruck… maybe even more so than if I’d met Brad Pitt.  Can I have your autograph Andrea Scher?

Anyway, it is from this superherojournal that my reach into the blogosphere has expanded exponentially, because Andrea often adds links of interest to her posts.  From here I found amazing poet maya stein, Amy Krouse Rosenthal of ‘Little Pea/Hoot/Oink‘ fame, and so much more.  Of course, one link leads to another, until eventually I read about 15 blogs on a semi-regular basis.

Which leads to my next post in the ‘blog journey‘ series, ‘I heart teh interwebs‘…coming soon.

A blog journey: It all began with a search for a good french toast recipe

Categories: Getting Started
February 22, 2010

I began reading blogs about 8 years ago, when I did a search for a recipe for french toast, and came across an oven-baked delight by none other than ‘frenchtoastgirl’.   Back then, blogs weren’t even universally called blogs yet, they were online journals or personal websites, and it was still a pretty new thing.  I was fascinated that someone would post about their lives on the internet, and someone else, a complete stranger like me, could come along and read it anytime I wanted to.

French Toast Girl

French Toast Girl

Frenchtoastgirl, aka élena Nazzaro, is an illustrator and watercolorist (an incredibly talented one at that), who also happens to really love french toast.  She writes about her life as an artist, mother, and wife, and about finding a balance between these things.  When I happened onto her site, I was instantly charmed by her drawings and her outlook on life (she dances in her car and sings in the supermarket).

First I read about her big list of 34 things to do before she turned 34 (though at the time it may have been 31 things to do before she turned 31).  Then I read about her covert mission to spread messages of peace around her neighborhood in sidewalk chalk as the Mad Chalker.  And I was hooked, I just kept reading.

That was in 2001.

As a side note, I think it would be funny to mention that I know frenchtoastgirl, I even know that we have a lot in common (for instance, we both love The Beatles and Sesame Street, and we both believe in magic,) but frenchtoastgirl doesn’t know of me at all.  I am an anonymous reader, otherwise known as a ‘lurker’.  I have visited her blog about once a week for eight years now, and never once left a comment (Let’s just say that I am pretty shy.)  I suppose this is similar to celebrities and newspaper columnists, but it’s an aspect of blogging that I have a hard time comprehending.

Anyway, see what I mean about the amazing watercolours…pop by for a bit o’ toasty inspiration.

Hello out there…

Categories: About Me,Getting Started
February 19, 2010

I’m Tori. This is my blog.  This is my blog about becoming a published author.

I’ve heard that keeping a blog is equivalent to speaking your intentions to the universe — It helps you get where you want to be. Well, I want to be a published author.  But first, I need a lot of practice.  I didn’t get a BA in English Lit, after all, and the majority of my work experience has been in web design.  So, if you are so obliged to read what I have to say, I’ll test out some of my writing skills on you; try to be inspirational; and share some of my life, goals, and interests with you.

All the while, I will be working toward this goal of becoming published by writing and then (fearlessly, I hope) submitting my work.

Please bear with me, because I will probably make a lot of mistakes (and boy, does it take a lot to allow myself to make mistakes in a public forum.)  I invite your constructive criticism if it will help me to become a better writer.

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m just a touch nervous, and don’t want to jump into the deep end first, so I will start with a few ‘Getting to know you’ posts.  What is easier than talking about myself…everybody’s an expert in that department, right?


“And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anaïs Nin

Hi, I'm Tori, and welcome to my open book. I'm a freelance writer and web designer. This site is my scratch pad for thoughts and ideas, experiences and inspiration. Go ahead, eavesdrop on my life a little bit, you know you want to...