Sunday, October 31, 2010
While we were all out on our two week hiatus from the blog I issued out a challenge you've probably already read about. Each of us had to find something that scared us, and then go out and actually do it.
While two weeks is hardly the time to scramble the money it would take to go shark diving or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane it was just enough time to delve into our own darkness and come back up.
For some of us it meant sucking it up and admitting our passion. By announcing to the world "I want to be a writer.", or "I want to be an artist." we have charged ourselves with the duty of fulfilling these titles.
Something that I think we can each attest to is our own procrastination. Several years ago I ran into a friend from high school and we began swapping "what-are-you-up-to"'s and "where-are-you-now"'s. I told him that I was looking at moving into an apartment above a local restaurant. "Yeah. You said that last time I saw you. Two years ago." It was a slap in the face. I had forgotten that I mentioned it to him years ago- my finally getting a place of my own! I had thought about it, and thought about it, and when my brain was hurting I thought about it some more. I had thought the idea into the ground, but had taken no action towards it.
This tends to be the way of it. A brilliant idea will burn brightly and attract others to its warmth and brilliance. If it is contained too long, the fire will go out. If it is not contained at all, it will burn down everything around it.
Thursday I, with trembling hands, surrendered my fate to The Gods of Credit and purchased a new camera. A Nikon D3000 to be specific. I have loved Nikons since college and have always wanted a nice DSLR to 'play' with. I wanted one, and thought about taking the plunge and purchasing one many times. I'd thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it some more. But never had the kick in the pants I needed to actually go to the store. When my very nice point and shoot camera had finally met it's end I knew it was time to upgrade. While being in debt is something that absolutely scares me to death, and really keeps me awake at night, I knew that I had to buy a new camera.
I keep telling myself that it's an investment and not a splurge. I can now go out on professional shoots and be taken (somewhat) seriously. I have always loved photography and the feeling of being behind a camera. (Now being in front of one--totally different story!)
For my end of the challenge, I had to stare down the monsters Debt & Credit, suck it up and admit that I was a photographer who deserved & earned to have a nicer camera, and surrender to the frightening aspect of being deemed a "Professional". Scary, neh?
Now if I could just figure out how to download them to the computer...
So, what about things that I am simply uncomfortable with? Well, let me tell you that if I had the means, I would go shark diving in a heart beat. I’m terrified of sharks, but find them utterly fascinating. The thought of being in the water with something that is, essentially, unchanged since the dawn of time is both petrifying and exhilarating.
Unfortunately, shark diving takes time and money, neither of which I have in vast quantities. Now what? Here I am at zero hour and with nothing more than the vague notion that given the right circumstances I’d jump in the water with the greatest predator in the world. As exciting as the idea is to me, no one wants to read about what someone might do.
To cut a long story short (too late!), I finally got an idea. I am going to make an admission. Thinking hard on it, I’ve come to the realization that admitting to something and then doing something about it is scarier than coming face to face with a great white. Here it goes:
Hello. My name is Clara Maxwell, and I want to be a writer. I never thought to admit this and then act on it, although I knew the day would come. *deep breath* I want to be a writer, and I have too many ideas. They are all swirling around in my head, combating each other for space in my priorities. As a result, I ignore them all and go play video games to tune them out. I can’t be a writer if I slack off every time one idea trips another in their attempts to get my attention.
So, here is the part that I really wasn’t looking forward to. I sat down last night, wrote down every idea that I have, and then I said goodbye to all but five. It broke my heart, especially since one of the stories I cut was my original story, the one that made me want to write in the first place. I’ve been dreading doing this, but I knew it was inevitable.
I hope that, someday in the future, I can come back and save them from oblivion. Until I am capable and mature enough in my career as a writer, I can’t afford to lug them along in the hopes that I can do something with all of them. I need to focus on the stories that have a real possibility to become something.
Starting with November, I am only going to write and research these five stories in the hopes that I can be a better writer for it.
Happy Halloween every one, see y’all on the flip side!
|Courtesy of Fotolia|
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
In the end, as you know, I settled on making it a community blog where we all pitch in our own stories and do what we do best. Which is, well, to write.
Baking is still something that I get an itch to do. I blame this completely (and happily!) on my mom who is a terrific cook! Her fudge and peanut brittle are legendary. And I know a certain someone who has been hankering for a spice cake for his birthday. (Hi, Dad!)
So tonight instead of sitting down to write more about our much beloved Baba Yaga I decided to do something she too enjoys.
Being the beautiful season that it is, I decided that something pumpkin flavored would have to happen. I poked around the internet and found a delightful, and stupidly simple, recipe for pumpkin muffins.
For those among you who love to cook & bake, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that baking is a sort of mediation. You follow the recipe and you'll end up with something nom-alicious. While you're busy measuring and mixing ingredients, taste testing, lining tins with paper you're mind goes elsewhere. You tend to forget what hasn't gone right and you let yourself melt like the butter in the saucepan. What part about that isn't magic?
And now! For your drooling pleasure- A little pictorial evidence!
What are some seasonal treats you like to bake?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
October saw fit to usher me into this dizzying sphere. A week until All Hallow's Eve: My first view of the world were smiling faces. An Eastern glow hovering above the Charleston river. A warm and breezy morning for the second born's arrival. It is my opinion that instead of wailing and flailing like other children I came about laughing and smiling. A pixie, if you will.
Octobers since have been filled with: apple cider; county fairs; mountain visits; bonfires; red velvet cakes; leaf raking & pile jumping; crunchy leaves underfoot; dress-up birthday parties, and oh plenty (plenty) of orange!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Shwash! Shwash! Dry, brown leaves are raked together. The few from the side yard make a small mound, then Shwash! Shwash! Shwash!, the leaves from the front yard and the back yard pile it high. Limbs left over from autumn’s first windstorm and pinecones the squirrels picked over add variety. The mass sits still then a flick of match and the edges come alive. Crack! Splack! Crackle! The old dead color bursts with orange, red, and heat. The flame eats quickly through the easy snack. Grey smoke moves high over the pile blooming yellow and breathes a slow woodsy aftertaste.