Writing

Calling All Artists: A 28 – Day Challenge

I’m doing it!  There is no putting it off any longer — I’m finally starting this new year (a month late) with a new personal challenge.  Have you ever read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron?  My writing facilitator from years ago recommended it to me and I have continually referred back to it throughout the years.  At the heart of The Artist’s Way is the practice of “Morning Pages.”  Cameron suggests, no matter what your creative discipline, taking the time to fill three pages first thing in the morning is at the heart of freeing our artistic self.  These words need not be taken too seriously.  The three pages can be stream of consciousness, lists, feelings, thoughts…whatever is in your mind first thing in the morning.

Yes, this will be difficult for yours truly.  I am NOT a morning person.  At all.  I am more of a write-until-my-eyes-water-at-night kind of lady.  And this means waking up to allow extra time — whaaat?!!  However, I want to give this an honest go.  And one way to do that is with public accountability.  (I can always shame myself into writing!)  I figured since the new month starts on Saturday, it’s as good a time as any to start something new.  (And it’s super helpful that this is the shortest month!)  This practice will also be difficult because February is a month full of visitors, parties, and working 3 jobs (two day-time gigs and the studio); but I am going to commit!  Who’s with me?!

Morning Pages - A 28 Day Challenge

 

Come Together — Write Now

I am basically pulling an extreme-home-makeover on this studio this week.  I will have the first writing workshop in this space on Saturday!  The furniture is there, but it’s all the little things that get me.  And because I’m a perfectionist it’s going to drive me nuts if it’s not, well, perfect.  But honestly, I hope that the space is ever evolving — a little different each time you visit.  And you know what — I don’t think my writing will be any different if my light installation doesn’t come together in time (well… maybe!).  I can’t wait to post some finished pics next week!

Salt Water Studio

Slow & Steady

This was the sunset from my building the other night.  It offered the perfect warmth for such a cold night.  And it warmed my heart a little too.  I am making sloooow progress on the studio remodel and because I’m not writing but rather hammering, cutting, scraping, and painting I easily begin to doubt my vision.  As I continue to purchase supplies, materials, furniture and fabric, I have begun to question: just what in the world am I doing?!  But I know that’s just my critic rearing her loud head.  She’s telling me that I’m going to be a big fat failure and that all this effort will be fruitless.  No one will come.  You’ll fail.  And you know what — that might indeed happen.  But at least I will have tried.  I’m not a risk taker.  But I am with this venture.  But as I continue to pour out my heart (and sweat and a few tears), I choose to believe that those efforts will not be returned empty and that I will indeed succeed.

We are so close now — and it’s getting into a marathon mindset that is key for my mental stability.  And I’m in this for the long haul!

Studio Sunset

The New View

Some things are completely unexpected, but you know it’s right when it happens.  For some time I had been planning on opening my physical studio space in one place, but through a series of events I found a different space.  Space *A* is brand new and sparkling (wifi included); space *B* is a bit more DIY.  With much contemplation and a serious Pro-Con list, space *B* has become the new home for the Salt Water Writing Studio.  It will take a few weeks longer than expected to be up and running — which means no more workshops for the rest of the year — but 2014 will bring bright, new things indeed.  Keep checking back for progress reports and the *grand opening*.

New View

A Veterans Day Song

Oh to the have the songwriting chops of one of my favorite American folk singer-songwriters, John Gorka.  And seeing as how it’s Veterans Day today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite’s:

 

Let Them In by John Gorka on The Company You Keep

Let them in, Peter,
They are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires

Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired with the sun
Not wartime’s bloody guns

May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die
God knows how young they were to have to die

Give them things they like
Let them make some noise
Give roadhouse bands, not golden harps
To these our boys

And let them love, Peter
‘Cause they’ve had no time
They should have trees and bird songs
And hills to climb

The taste of summer in a ripened pear
And girls sweet as meadow winds
With flowing hair

Tell them how they are missed
And say not to fear
It’s gonna be alright
With us down here

Let them in, Peter…

That’s the good stuff.  You can explore more of this talented writer here.

john gorka the company you keep

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Pens (and Computers)

Today is Novermber 1 and it is NaNoWriMo — or rather, National Novel Writing Month.  This is a community of writers committed to hammering out 50,000 words by November 30.  You can track your progess, connect with other writers, and tap into their ever expanding resources.  If a novel isn’t quite your thing, WordPress is doing NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month.  It’s simple, just do one post a day for the month of November.  The format is open, the content is yours for the choosing.  You can read more about it here.  And the goal always is to get your pen moving!  Why wait until January to start on a new goal?  Go for it!

NaNo Poster2.47

(print for purchase here)

Poetry Night

The Salt Water Writers met again last night and pushed up against (and with) poetry.  I am by no means a poet, or even a well-read one.  But just like with modern art, I continue to engage and try to better understand why it is that I like something.  I can’t explain why I like some poetry (and some art), but my hope is that if I continue to experience it and try to figure out what it is that I like about it, then I will be able to emulate and/or create something of my own.

It could have been the bright moon or the fact that we’re close to Halloween, but last night was decidedly strange as we were all in a peculiar (read: dark/tired/snarky) mood.  One of our writers created a haunting tale of a hospital scene that was so spot on and used merely 14 words (or thereabouts).  Another wrote about an inhumane practice from a foreign culture; another about the tiny wounds we inflict on one another; and another about a foggy morning and a butcher knife.  Although a lot of what we created was “dark”, the writing poetry was good — and that is still my metric for success.  I love writing with these people.  Maybe I should read a little E.A.Poe this weekend to continue our dark path…

Blood of a Poet

[scene from the film — Blood of a Poet]