Friday, October 28, 2011


I saw a quote last week and really liked it: The earth without art is just eh.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy and extraordinarily stressful. Normally as I go through the busyness of living -- work, grocery shopping, vacuuming, paying bills -- I have characters and plot points playing in the background of my mind. I've come to realize that this background symphony is what keeps me tethered to the world; it's what allows me to get through the daily minutia, it's the light that beckons when the stress threatens to overwhelm me. But, as I discovered, this light can grow dim. When this happens, the world, for me, becomes quiet, muted, dull. The magic disappears. I know that my detail oriented tendencies exacerbated the level of stress I experienced over the past few weeks: I find it hard to let go. But this same tenacity is what keeps me drawn to the magic of creating characters and plots, of creating my own art.

And speaking of creating art: I'm headed next week to a star trails workshop in California. What are star trails, you ask? They are the captured movement of the stars in the night sky. And they're captured by leaving a camera's shutter open for long periods of time away from all ambient light. I'm making my way to Lone Pine, CA by way of Death Valley. I'm really jazzed about the trip - the scenery in Death Valley is breathtaking and I hope to come back with the best pictures of my life. The caveat, of course, is that I'm still a novice in the picture-taking department, but I'll be with my sister-in-law who's just awesomely talented. I got my first in-depth, on-the-fly, deep in the trenches training with her during our trip to Ireland last year. She's amazingly patient and enthusiastic.

Find your art -- create it, live it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Great read:

I've just finished Clifford Garstang's In an Uncharted Country and very much enjoyed it. This is a collection of short stories, filled with warm, honest characters, some of whom make repeat appearances. I took my time with it, reading one story at a time, then setting it aside for a day or a week in order to allow the story/characters time to sit with me. I found that each story was like a small universe unto itself, full of rich details and tremendous depth.

If you haven't already read this collection, put it on your to-read list.