Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Dolls are Listed

I've begun to stock my etsy store with my dolls. I have a few listed, and will continue to list more as I have time to do the photography, and finish up with new designs. It feels great to see them filling up my store. I love how colourful the fabrics are, and I still enjoy their faces (my favourite part of making the dolls I think). I hope yoou'll stop by and check them out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow and Cold

We're still in the midst of snow and cold, I know, it is still winter. But this is the first winter in several years that has been 'normal'. I for one have become accustomed to warmer weather and less snow over the last few winters, and most especially, thaws and unseasonably warm weather ona regular basis in January and February.
This winter has been more like a 'real' winter, lots of snow, lots of cold,and in between, ice and more snow. On the other hand, being stuck indoors can be good for the work ethic and creative work. I've been writing quite a bit and enjoying time to read. I am preparing to teach my Visual Journaling workshop this Sunday, after a very busy Saturday that includes my Natural History class (4 and 1/2 hours in the morning), two birthday parties, one for a 50th, one for a 40th, and my youngest daughter's Kungfu demonstration with a large Chinese New Year feast and celebration afterwards. It should be fun, and excellent food also. Enjoy whatever is happening outside your window, whether it is cold and snowy or warm and sunny.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More cold weather in my neck of the woods, and this makes me want to stay in bed, drink cup after cup of tea and read the stack of books that have migrated to the side of my bed. Mornings feel too early (and really really cold) and evening comes quickly and is colder still. Every winter I wonder to myself about my choice to live somewhere that the temperature actually stays below zero for days on end. Fortunaely, the pay off is the fact that spring and summer, and even fall are so magnificent, they more than make up for the brief deep freeze that we endure most years. Around this time of year though, the skies are often grey, the snow that we have had is dirty and frozen into icy ruts and hills, and the heating bills are feeling monumental. I treasure the time to spend indoors daydreaming (one of my favorite activities I realize), and reading, writing or watching movies and tv. But after a few months of it, we're all abit squirrely and feeling the need to get out of our houses. Valentine's Day in climates like mine is made into a big deal, not so much because we are romantics, but because it is an excuse to dress up and get out for a few hours. I had my Valentine dinner with my sweetie on Saturday, steak and other lovely items, a red rose that managed to survive the twentyseven below zero windchill that night, and an irish coffee nightcap with good friends before we all said 'Goodnight" and hightailed it to our warm houses. Thank goodness for car heaters and gloves and boots.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of us, keep warm!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I've been writing alot recently. I am taking 2 writing classes, one in creative nonfiction and memoir, and the other called 'Writers as Readers". Both are fun, lots of reading and lots of writing. At times, the assignments begin to overlap a little. I've written several peices now about my childhood and growing up. It is astounding how the memories keep coming once I've tugged at the thread. I had never thought much about writing nonfiction and am now finding that I am really enjoying it. This is good, since I have another 2 months of classes left, and quite a bit more writing to do for them. This is a peice I wrote to describe my relationship with reading and writing.

The first book I remember
reading had a main character
named Nell.
She was a farm horse,
I was not amused.
I read everything I could get my hands on.
I read everywhere.
I read in the bathroom,
I read when I was supposed to be doing dishes,
I read hidden under my bed,
I took books out past the flowerbeds
into the wild plum brush and read.
Whatever I read,
I lived, breathed, played and dreamed.
Books were portals into other worlds
that I could escape into.
Books took me places that I had never
imagined existed.
Then, I began to write.
I wrote poems, stories, plays, books, newspapers
I wrote journals and diaries.
I wrote things that I could never say to anyone.
I wrote words that I didn’t know I knew.
I wrote about people I had never known
and places I had never been.
I wrote about worlds and art and love and living
and passion.
I wrote because I couldn’t NOT write.
Most of my childhood, my writing
and reading were seen as frivolous
and relatively unimportant by those
around me.
When I decided to be a writer
I felt as though I were staking my flag
on an undiscovered planet.
I also felt as though I had only a limited
amount of oxygen to survive.
In my early twenties,
a dream came true,
I began work at a small
publishing press.
I spent my days reading terrible
poetry sent in by 90 year old women
and ex-truck driving men.
I had to write back to them and tell them
we would not be publishing their
precious poems.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to tell them how
awful they were.
I spent my evenings trying to keep up with
alcoholic poets and writers twice my age
and tangled in the dysfunctional lives of
blocked artists.
I became a sounding board and a mirror.
I became a shadow self to diseased writers.
Eventually, I began to disappear.
During the peak of this craziness,
as I split up with my boyfriend and all
sanity fell away,
I announced to anyone who would listen that there was no future
for the printed word
and I quit my job and went to
film school.
I stopped writing.
I began to work and think and dream in visual images
and sound.
I felt as though I were swimming, submerged, drowning
and reborn.
I took photographs, made films and
created sound pieces.
I continued only to write in my notebooks.
Years passed,
I married,
had 2 children,
divorced, remarried, had 2 more children,
worked in the commercial film industry
and then
when the crossroads of Hollywood
and family appeared,
I chose my family.
I handed my camera to my husband
(who became a professional photographer in 6 months)
and juggled children and a job in a food co-op.
I stopped thinking of image making
as creative expression, it had
become a way to earn a living.
Eventually, I returned to the commercial photography
industry as a producer and stylist
and made more money than I had ever made before.
I spent this money
on books, notebooks and pens.
I began to lust after words, to yearn
for stories. I tried to write a novel
in a month,
and failed.
I tried again and failed again.
In between, I began to dabble in characters
and settings,
I began to imagine in words instead
of visual images.
I felt as though I were 75 years old
and trying to roller skate again. I could remember
the sensation of flying through a short story or poem,
of gliding through notebook after notebook of imaginative
but I needed to relearn
the craft, the effort, the work
involved in the process.
Now, I have managed to write
4 rough drafts of novels,
I have tacked a creative writing minor
onto the tail end of my filmmaking degree.
I am writing everyday.
I think my wings
are getting stronger.