The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In the Eye of the Beholder

          Up until I was twenty-something, I thought only the classical stuff was truly art--Van Gogh, Rodin, Monet and so on. I squinted my eyes and turned my nose up at modern art--art I did not understand.

(Oh! How I wish the days of Rodin were back with us. How well I would fit in!)

        But (years ago) when I took a class about teaching art (as I studied to become a teacher), everything changed. After looking at a painting that had some blue, red and yellow rectangles and squares scattered across the white canvas (which I scoffed at), we were given the same shapes and instructed to create a "painting." Thinking it could be done in an instant, it surprised me how long it took for me to arrange them in a way that satisfied me... how many times I arranged and rearranged the pieces.

(The purpose of the class was to prepare me if I ever had to teach every subject--including art. I also had to take a "teaching music" class and thankfully--for everyone's ears' sake--I have never had to teach a music class. Sioux and singing do not go together harmoniously.)

        Since then, I've done some activities at our local art museum that have totally made me rethink what art is exactly. When you look at a piece of art in a unique way or with a closer lens, it's transforming...  

        I'm a bit snooty when it comes to books and writing as well. There are genres I steer clear of (like romance) and yet, when Lisa Ricard Claro's romance books hit the bookstores, I will be in line to read them. Will her writing transform me into a rabid romance fan? Probably not, but the novels most likely will make me a more frothing-at-the-mouth Lisa Ricard Claro fan.

        On Saturday, I'm going to a writing marathon at Laumeier Sculpture Park. I trust that the art will be inspiring (or at least encouraging). On Monday I'll share some photos, along with (hopefully) a limerick or two. You see, one of my favorite activities--when getting together with writers over lunch or dinner--is writing round-robin limericks. Each person gets a paper beverage napkin, they write a first line to a limerick and then everyone passes to the right (or the left--if you're the facilitator, be self-centered and eye the table up, making your decision carefully, based on whose line you'd most like to get). Each napkin gets passed four times  and then when all the limericks are finished, they're read aloud. 

        Here are a few photos from the park:

        Do you turn your nose up at certain types of art or certain genres of books? Do you have a limerick you'd like to share? Do you have to eat your words often, like I do?  

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Head Like Concrete

        Sometimes it only takes a small nudge to get me moving... to pull me out of my rut... to yank me out of my box.

       A dog rescue friend and I went hiking at a conservation area on Saturday. Taking three puppies on a hike is sometimes a challenge. They want to play. Wrestling on the path is what they think the trail is there for. However, after an hour of walking (sometimes the hills were steep; we had to jump over fallen trees and we had to slink under fallen trees), Radar was zonked out on Saturday night.

      I went walking with Radar at a local park yesterday by myself. Hopefully, I can make that a habit...

      For the past few months I've concentrated on nothing except short writing projects. Memoir pieces that run 800-1,000 words. My longer WIP has sat, stagnating, since... well, since July. Yikes!

      I knew it had been a long time, and planned on working on it on Saturday morning. However, I couldn't find where I had saved it. After checking several flashdrives and my desktop (aren't you impressed I even know what those things are, considering my total lack of tech-savvy-ness?), I discarded my plan.

      On Saturday evening I spoke to a writing friend; Julie lives in Austin, Texas. She casually asked, "How's your book coming?" and after saying that I'd done nothing on it for several months, I searched further. I finally found it and worked on it Sunday morning. Another 1,000 or so words got hammered out--not a lot but way better than nothing.

      My head is like concrete. I know I need to write every day and I know I need to write on a regular basis to keep even a trickle of momentum going. So why don't I do it?

       Perhaps it's a good thing I'd set it aside for so long, because I had to read the whole thing to remember where I left off (at 16,000 words, it's only 25 pages right now). There were minor errors (I've changed the names of the characters several times, so there were plenty of places to spackle) and some things that were not quite clear, so I fixed them as I read.

       Is your head like concrete about some things? What are they? I'd like to know, because two concrete heads... well, they're not really better than one, but we can always hope...