Sunday, September 16, 2012

Looking back, looking forward

Whew! This has been quite a week.  I can't believe it's time to start all over again. I always try to start out a blog post in a positive way, and I know this is a little out of character, but I'm just gonna go on ahead and admit that even the thought of trudging through an entire workweek is making me tired.   This week really took it out of me.  I'll be right back after I take a little nap.

I think I'm going to take this 'out of character' theme and run with it.  As many of you know, my mantra could be boiled down to something like:  Move forward. Don't look back*. I repeat this over & over again to anyone who will listen. Forget about that.Today, I retract it.

Over the past few days, I have been assembling two art care-packages.  These are basically a box or envelope chock full of assorted art supplies, papers, etc.  Anything that could be used to jolt someone's creative juices. I'm mailing them out tomorrow and I hope the recipients have a lot of fun with them.  I picked up a smattering of supplies at the local supply store, and then I started rummaging around in my studio.  Digging in the dusty, little-used corners had a surprising effect. I became inspired! Yep, I inspired MYSELF today.   

I've suddenly realized  that it's good to go backwards every once in a while.  I found the strangest things.  Old blind samples, maps, dried paint blobs, keys, beads, postcards from decades ago.  Pages from books in both French and Chinese.  At the time, these objects weren't useful to me, but today, quite a few of them were incorporated into three pieces that I'm currently working on which are a part of the series The Calculus of Loss.  I stopped working on the packages altogether and started making art. When the muse comes knocking, I yank that door open.  I  found a notebook from two years ago with the oddest scribbling in it.  Half-formed sketches. Lists, reminders. Phrases, words, descriptions, fragments of stories.  Some of these bits and pieces eventually found their way into my works.  In fact, several of them were beaten into shape and published. I enjoyed looking at these drafts & false starts and realizing that they all had a purpose.  Even those which will never see the light of day, will never become part of a painting or a story - they're all important.  They're building blocks. Happily, some of these fragments make sense to me now, and will definitely be incorporated into my work.  Sometimes things just need to simmer for a bit, which is why peering back over your shoulder can be a good thing from time to time.  Just don't get sucked back there too often or for too long.  Another fringe benefit of looking back is that it gives you a chance to see how far you've come and allow yourself to be encouraged by that.

I have received my first ever blog award and I'm really excited about it! See it up there in the upper left?  Isn't it lovely? Rhiann Wynn-Nolet, who blogs at A Nest of Words was kind enough to nominate me and I am truly honored. Pop over to her blog and pay her a visit. I happen to know there are juicy bits of writing on her blog that you'll find inspiring. She's one of those enviable people who manage to make being creative look easy. Which it is not, a fact that I can personally attest to.

I wasn't exactly sure what a blog award entailed.  Now that I know, I  love the concept.  Essentially, it's a game of cyber-tag where getting tapped is a GOOD thing. I'm over here yelling, "Me!  Me!"  It's also a way of networking and helping others to get the word out about their blogs.  When this happened, it made me realize that I haven't been networking and interacting  in the blogosphere as much as I should.  I'm going to get on that! Speaking of interacting - I need a quick word with you regarding comments on this blog.  I recently migrated my Blogger account to Google + and since that time, my commenting capability has been wonky.  If you left me a comment and haven't gotten a reply, I sincerely apologize.  I adore comments and I normally do answer them.  I'm working on a fix, but in the meantime please continue to leave comments  and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

The Reader Appreciation Award has some rules.  In order to participate, I'm supposed to identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you.  This would be Rhiann.  Yes, Rhiann.  I'm also supposed to add the reward logo to my blog.  Check.  The rules say that I should tell my readers 7 things about myself.  I have some curiosity about how the exact number 7 was choosen, but I'm not one to be argumentative, so 7 it is.

1.  I learned how to play backgammon for the first time this weekend.  I'm addicted!  Don't judge.  It's less destructive than meth.
2.  I have a son & a daughter.  They are both currently serving in the Air Force and I'm really, really, really proud of them.
3. I am untethered in time and space.  Not completely, but just enough to truly be pissed off that I cannot live forever.
4. I only post on this blog once a week, but if you yearn for more of me, you can check out my website.  It's still under development, but you can use it to stalk me on the web or e-mail me.  
5. When I was a child, I had an immobilizing fear that Satan could assess the Earth through toilets, but for some reason if you were quiet he wouldn't notice you as much. I'm over that now and I didn't even need therapy.
6. My guilty musical pleasure is Kid Rock.  Every song.  
7. I was once employed as a roofer.  This lasted approximately three days, because that job sucked. 

The final portion of the Reader Appreciation Award involves nominating and informing your favorite bloggers  that they are freaking awesome and have been awarded this highly coveted and prestigious prize.  This is a lot like a chain letter, only way more fun and not creepy.  Hang on, I'm having trouble opening this envelope.  And the winners are (in no particular order)...
  • Teesha's Circus.  This is a blog of the artsy variety and it's fab.
  • Ro Bruhn Art. To read Ro's blog is to be splashed right in the face with color and inspiration. And who doesn't love that?
  • Bitches Gotta Eat.  This blog cracks me up. The latest post is called how not to die alone in your apartment. It's chock full of practical advice like that.
  • (Short) Fiction Collective.  Good stuff to read, only short so you can get to all the other terrific stuff you want to do.
  • Thoughts From Paris.  A witty and angry man who does not hail from France.
  • Curious Worlds.  A blog about writing.
Pay these blogs a visit -  they're some of my favorites!

*I was tempted to add Quit whining, but I'm going to leave that as optional right now.


  1. Love the art stuff you're doing, and the name of the series! I think my #1 most horrible job was packing fishsticks at a factory. The hairnet was the least of it.

  2. Thank you so much, Rhiann! I'm delighted that we've gotten acquainted and can't wait to see what new things you have in store for us on your blog.

    The stinky fish factory sounds horrible! I think you are much better suited to being a world-famous writer.


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