Thursday, June 25, 2009

Should I Make Coffee, Now?

It's just past midnight and I was asleep but the phone rang - a dear friend from Chicago, and I couldn't just roll over and close my eyes again after we hung up. Gosh, I hope he can -it's past 2 am there. I ought to take advantage of the awake state and pick up the infernal book club book I doubt I have any hope of finishing by our meeting Sunday but history has shown so far that would truly have me back asleep in no time (can't seem to get more than 5-6 pages read without zzzzzzzzzzzzing out). Wish there were Cliff's notes for this book - at least maybe I could figure out from them if it's even worth trying to finish. Maybe I ought to put on a pot of coffee and force myself to pull an all nighter reading...

I caught a reference in someone else's blog comment to someone the other day to a character in the book so SOMEONE has actually read the durn thing. This is the 2nd recent book selection by this member of my book club that I would NEVER, EVER have picked up on my own as I don't care at all for sci-fi or fantasy genre reading or movies. And to top my own dislikes/preferences I should have known by an author they chose to endorse the book on its cover that if he liked it I wouldn't because despite the fact he doesn't write that genre, I don't like his books either.

My ex used to read absolutely every/anything. Cereal boxes, packaging materials, old envelopes....if it had print on it he'd read it. Except when I'd intentionally leave an article or book about improving your relationship or communication in marriage or something of the like, of course. Thought of it as bait on occassion but if he 'bit' he got away without taking the hook...
Come to think of it, he's probably read this book intrigued by the title "Wicked" and expecting to find something lewd and laviscious in its pages.

I don't know why I'm resorting to including him in my blog writing except that perhaps, he must have been on my mind when I fell asleep reading while watching Larry King Live. Larry had on his discussion panel re: the SC Governor just back from Argentina a couple of 'experts' who addressed somewhat glossily the issue of sex addiction and I was amazed to hear them both claim that 80% of couples can and do recover their marriages out of such. Guess that makes me a minority, and surprises the heck out of me too. I'd love to talk to a handful of those 8 out of 10 women and figure out the difference between them and me.

And no, I'm not making coffee now - gonna pick the book back up and I'm sure I'll be asleep again in next to no time and probably regretting my late night spillage here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WTJ Week 3 - With SOME Pics

I keep looking at the dribbles I wipe off of my white ceramic tiled counter top in front of the coffee pot and thinking 'THOSE are the coffee spill images my journal ought to have!' and am entertaining the idea of using the journal as blotter/mat like someone else has written they've begun using their journal in place of a coaster. Do I dare? I think I might beginning with tomorrow morning's pot.

That's the wonder of sharing all these baby steps, giant leaps and abandonment we're all putting into Wreck This Journal - isn't it? No matter WHAT we do/try that we've never done/tried before, it's progress!

My 'progress' this week extends beyond the journal and I feel an impulse to brag and I won't do it elsewhere but I will do it in my journal post because I wanted sooooooooooo bad to show I'd done some of what other wreckers had done. I credit the WTJ experience with inspiring the stubborn determination it took to persevere and teach myself to download pics to my new computer from the digital camera my daughter in IL passed off to me, find and learn how to use a program that would resize the enormous files her camera produces, and another one that would assemble some of those pics into a collage-type presentation. These pics show little new that I hadn't already written of, except for the cover on which I claim collaboration credit with Keri Smith - after all, ultimately the content is becoming more and more mine, prompted by Keri's direction.

While much of my time has been spent educating myself re: my new puter, camera and photo editting - I've made my paper chain from that page in the journal coloring half of the chain links only because I rapidly grew bored with coloring those little strips (serendipitously that makes it easier as well to locate the fruit stickers page for adding to), did some additional burning (the additional burn area resembles the profile of a bear's head), wrote 2 of my fave quotes on the outside edges ('You don't know what you don't know' & 'Life is what happens when you're making other plans') and I've been having to plan out how to accomplish some of the other WTJ prompts.

Arthritis prohibits me from being able to climb up someplace high (even my stepladder is now a useless piece of junk to me) so I have finally hit upon the idea that probably the only way for my journal to take a significant fall is for me to toss it UP in the air, maybe from the edge of one of the drop offs of the multi-level topography of our 'yard'. Only draw back is that means a likely soft landing and I'm not quite sure I'm satisfied there's ENOUGH wreckage probability in that.

As for asking someone to do something destructive to that page - seems to me my daughter, Rachel, who initially gifted me the journal ought to have that 'honor' and so with a bit of additional wreckage still to be added by yours truly I plan to mail the journal to her and have her send it back. That ought to qualify for also mailing it to myself as well with a pit stop along the way.

I very much like what Jamie had to say in her Vlog this week about attachment and trust. When I thought about it, I came up with 'trust X action = confidence', which I'm lettering as a sign to go in my desk space. If I trust I can do/be/write/sew/draw/paint more (even better?) additional material and act on that trust to do so I'll produce/become more confident approaching the doing, being, writing, sewing, drawing, painting I envision. Kind of like strength building exercises at the gym. Multiplication! Everytime I (we) DO an exercise in wrecking, I'm (we're) producing added confidence.

Limited or lacking confidence is probably my greatest inhibition in most everything I desire to do. One of the blogs I visited the past few days wrote about participating for the first time, after long desiring to do so, in a drum circle. Her confidence was minimal and she feared being seen as a phony but you could tell in the passion with which she wrote about having done it she found it exhilarating. Don't we all crave/hunger for exhilaration? Maybe my equation should be expanded...(trust X action)+ confidence + action = EXHILARATION! (SIGH - wish for once I'd paid more attention in algebra)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Learned Something New, I Think, Test Post w/pic

Welllllllllllll - I FINALLY got some pics to download from my camera to this computer! Slow and steady they say, right? Now let's see if it will load to the blog. In case it does and anyone needs explanation, this is the cover of my Wreck This Journal - hole punched and shoe laced and with additional author's credit -

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steps Away/Anticipation

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...THAT feels much betta! I could hardly stand the old appearance of my own blog. It felt like an old rustic/primitive camp cabin everytime I looked at it and while I love the old, rustic and primitive the walls were caving in on me. So, this evening I adapted a template to my liking and even changed my profile photo - just steps away, I hope, from being able to upload and share blog pics.
FYI - my companion in this new profile pic is one of the frog statues scattered all over Calaveras County, CA (home of what I think is billed as the world's biggest frog jumping contest) outside the entrance of Twisted Oak Winery last Fall. A couple friends and I were enroute to see Bonnie Raitt in concert at the Ironstone Winery Amphitheater just outside of Murphy's, CA.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Only Words, or is it? - WTJ Week 2 follow up

It's only words, I keep telling myself. I'm having fun pushing myself to be a bit silly and exercise creative brain cells and muscles through prompts in Wreck This Journal I didn't know I even have because my sense of propriety has so buried them. But aren't creative souls hyper-sensitive to the influences of all things in both visual and verbal imagery? What doesn't inspire us doesn't mean it doesn't influence us.

There are aspects of the verbiage used re: Wreck This Journal from the very outset that are troubling and disturbing to me beginning with the subtitle 'to create is to destroy'. I keep questioning whether it's timing and had I not been reeling with sadness over news of recent and current events: the Air France wreckage, the murder of a provider of abortions in his church and a military recruiter at work, followed this week by another shooting/murder on what to many is the hallowed ground of the Holocaust museum in DC by an elderly white supremacist and further afield, the suicide bombing of a hotel in Pakistan - would these words like destroy and wrecking not make me cringe as they do now? I don't think I'm alone in my sensitivity as some have gone so far to have written about feeling something akin to abusive as they imagine their journal's looking back at them with sad, wet eyes as if to say "What'd I DO (to be so mistreated)?"

And then there's the waste - no fewer than 10 pages and I think possibly about another half dozen tell us to wad them up and throw them out or run them through the laundry or burn them or similarly irretrievable acts. Someone yesterday wrote about the money they felt they'd wasted on a gimmick similar to a pet rock back in the day. I kind of have to agree with the sentiment in that 10% off the book price ought to be available as a rebate for what you end up throwing away. I want something to show for the effort I put in - the thought of giving away my favorite page is gut wrenching. (I'm thinking of those beautifully rendered fruits on a fruit sticker page - sigh)

The food stuff is especially ridiculous in summer anywhere I imagine, but particularly in the southwest. I can just imagine with the 'carry it everywhere' practice, having to explain ants in desk drawers/lockers at work or having to use the book to swat away flies at the park or even in one's own backyard and god forbid mice come foraging in the dark while you're sleeping with the journal or how to explain the smell to your partner if you don't sleep alone. And speaking of partners, why all of a sudden your creative space is the smelliest spot in the house?

Already the applause and praise heaped upon one another for spectacularly aggressive wreckage reminds me of school kids cheering while one child kicks another's butt on the playground. Or college kids chanting "Drink! Drink! DRINK! DRINK!" at a beer party. I'm having doubts as to whether I ought to be at this party.

PS- I put this on the page for negative comments in my journal and did my page of 4 letter words this morning (250+ words)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 2

It has been SOOOOOO much FUN browsing the links of others participating in this Next Chapter on Keri Smith's WRECK THIS JOURNAL! As usual, Jamie Ridler's band of followers have ideas I could never have thought of in a million years and they make me stretch because should I come across an idea I'd had or considered I then have to come up with something else cuz it's already been done.

A confession: as I've already stated, my copy of the book was gifted to me last year by my dramatic, creative daughter - a devotee of all things SARK. I think she found it in her college town bookstore and since she holds me personally responsible for her own procrastination and perfectionist tendancies (as if they're genetic) I think the acknowledgements page where Keri says 'Dedicated to perfectionists all over the world.' hooked her and convinced her that Mom NEEDED it. When I'd received it I had NO idea this opportunity to 'do' the book with others would arise and I'd made some conservative stabs at some of its contents - cracked the book's spine, poked pencil holes in a page, drew varying weight/width pencil lines and burned a couple corners of a page. No big deal. And then I sat the book aside and began to think of it as I might the occassional quick scan of a chunky little Doonesbury or Dilbert to illicit a grin or even a chuckle. In other words - a waste of book shelf space or at best a 'basket by the toilet' book. I WAS NOT thrilled when Jamie announced it would be the next Next Chapter book after 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. In fact, I was pretty dang disappointed as it meant not only could I personally not see its worth as a catalyst for group enthusiasm but I already had the book and would not even get to shop and add to my 'collection'.


It has given me genuine belly laughs to see some of the aggressively destructive acts some have taken to wreck their journals! Okay, so the book still therefor continues to qualify for my comedy category of my book collection. But it also crosses over into art inspiration and spiritual inspiration by virtue of the fact that I never could have imagined coffee rings/stains/spills as a thing of beauty and now I do or that 'crazy wisdom' exists in anarchy and rebellious defiance of respectful gratitude displayed in good caretaking of one's gifts.

My Dearest Darlin' replaced my computer last month and I have yet to master getting pics downloaded to it so until I do, I just have to tell you what I've begun in my 'wrecking'. Since yesterday when I edged into Week 1 by the skin of my teeth, I've mostly been catching up with everyone else's wreckage not leaving much time for my own but I was driven to take another, more action oriented look at my copy of this book. I'd done the 'taking possession' part when it was given to me and like someone else admitted I'd already gotten off to a disorderly start by dropping each writing of my name to the line below where it ought to be. AAACK! Oh, well. Seeing some of the technicolored title pages of others, I examined following suit but flipped past my own title page feeling no spark for such embellishment. The next page between the title page and 'this book belongs to' however contains a WARNING and that is where I chose to begin. And so, I began by addressing the warning to myself by name in heavy black marker and colored the entire background yellow, more in keeping with a road sign of caution. I filled in the open lettering of the word 'warning' to give it more emphasis and then I proceeded to de-emphasize some of the words of warning by blacking them out entirely based in part on some of what I've seen displayed by the actions of others in this collective venture thus far and in part on the idea that if successful at it, this book is likely to change an awful lot about ME.
Mine now reads: "Sheila - WARNING: During this process you get dirty. You find yourself covered in paint & any other number of foreign substances. You get wet. You do things you question. You may grieve for the perfect state that you found this book in. You begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You begin to live recklessly."
I then dated and tore that half of the page out and moved it to the blank space beneath the big black 'Instructions' arrow on a following page and secured it with tape. And then still considering emphasis, I re-numbered the instructions themselves and highlighted my new #1 and #2 with color. Old #1 became #5, #2 became #4, #3 became #1, #4 - #3 and #5 became #2 with EXPERIMENT triple exclamation marked and the words 'against better judgement' underlined in red and question marks surrounding 'better'.
LOL - I think a career counselor would suggest I go into editting. Anyone know someone in HR in publishing?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

YIKES! Already????

My copy of Wreck This Journal was a gift from my college age daughter who thought I needed a kick in the backside to get out of my dominating perfectionism that we've all agreed is the primary reason I procrastinate so severely. She was just home for an all too brief visit and one of her areas of inspection included my desk space/ creativity capsule for writing. The hutch above which shelves mostly reference books also has my Wreck This Journal copy which she boldly pulled out and opened and then proceeded to express her profound disappointment in its lack of filled pages. In my defense I told her that Jamie Ridler's next Next Chapter was going be 'doing' that book and was 'waiting' to 'do' it in that rich, supportive context. Seemed so far off yet at that time and I 'was going to' register and excitedly and enthusiastically jump right in when it began. Well, I'm late, as usual...unprepared...but barefootin' and breathless...I'm here.