Thursday, March 27, 2014

Poetry Project

This April, my friend Rebecca and myself have set a personal goal to write a poem a day for the entire month. I've just decided that this can be a project in memory of Script Frenzy, the script writing version of NaNoWriMo, which used to happen every April, and which I just learned has been dead since 2012. I'm a little behind, yes, so lucky for me that does not matter at all when it comes to memorials. Only memory does.

However the real reason we are doing this is to help self-motivate ourselves and each other to write everyday, something that should not be as hard as we find it sometimes. No, we will not be charging anyone $1 for poems as the picture suggests, although if you want to pay us, I'm sure I speak for both of us when I say that you are more than welcome to. For me, the project has another sort of personal objective. My birthday is at the beginning of the month, as are a LOT of friends and family's birthdays, so April has always been an important and special month for me. I also get excited in April, sort of in the same way I get excited for New Years. New age, new start, new life, that sort of thing. However last April I spent the whole month of newness in the exact wrong way: being deeply unhappy. I won't get into it, but I will say it was probably one of my worst Aprils. So this year, I want a re-do.

I can't promise that I won't spend another April for the rest of my life being unhappy, but I can promise to try to avoid such a fate. Lots of people don't care about birthdays, and I understand why. Just another day, just another year, sure. But I personally enjoy getting excited about things, so for me it's just another thing in life to get excited about. What's the point of living if we are not excited to do so? This April I have even more new things to look forward to than a new age. I'm starting a new mini job (very mini), I'm hoping to move to a new place, and it turns out I'm going to find out if I can actually write a poem a day. The quality of these poems will likely be poor, at least on my side, but you never know, it might be kind of funny if nothing else. And I'm sure Rebecca's will be lovely- she is a wonderful writer.

So that is the project, stay tuned to see if we actually succeed. In the meantime (that sounds so negative- why don't we say nicetime? Why does the time between now and then have to be mean*?), here are some links:

Again, HERE is Rebecca's blog, so you can follow her half of the Poetry Project. I'm here on East Coast USA, and Rebecca is across the pond in Dreamy Oxford, so you're getting a whole world of fun with this project.

HERE is a cool thing I saw online today. Cool book, I should say.

HERE is something I wrote as a guess blogger on my friend Tiffany's website. Check out the rest of the Buddha Cat site as well for all sorts of ways to improve your well-being.  Tiffany is a beautiful and wonderful person and you should all take her yoga classes and do her teacher training.

And finally, HERE is a poem I wrote when I moved back here in February, which somehow ended up in the Purcellville Gazette. I didn't say anything about it before because I was sort of embarrassed that it actually was selected- I'm no poet- but seeing as I've just taken on the Poetry Project, I should probably get over it.


*' meantime (n.) Look up meantime at also mean time, mid-14c., from mean (adj.2) "middle, intermediate" + time (n.). Late 14c. as an adverb. In the mean space "meanwhile" was in use 16c.-18c.'  You win again, etymology. That makes perfect sense, but I still prefer nicetime.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

...and yes I said yes I will yes.

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
and my friend Rebecca wants us to each write a poem a day for a month, but I'm not sure which month, and furthermore I'm not sure if I can do that seeing as I'm not a poet and I hardly have enough ideas to write in my blog in prose form on any given day, and I'm not even as brave as James Joyce to try and write this run-on sentence with no punctuation at all, because I'm afraid of readers' heads exploding from lack of commas, or in other words, places where they are allowed to pause, to breath, and to then move on at their own pace (even if just reading in your head, I find it much harder if there is no punctuation, even if it is just in my head and I don't have to actually, physically breath, it's like my brain wants to anyway), so who am I to write a poem a day when most days are uninspiring, as I sit in front of my computer screen day in and day out, applying for any and every cool job in the history of the East Coast of America, trying to then be at least a little creative on the side, when truly all I want is a reason to leave the house, but to leave the house would involve driving, which uses up gas, which I'm slowly running out of the money to pay for, but who really wants to listen to me whine all day about things when I could be  describing all the good things about being here, things I completely forgot I even missed, like driving with my windows rolled down (which I've only been able to do about two days since being back, since it's been pretty much snowing non-stop with the occasional sunny day in-between), or how wonderful it is to have a big desk again after living for a year and almost a half with a desk the size of a shoebox, crammed into the smallest, worst lit corner of my bedroom at my last house, or how beautiful the snow really is outside my bedroom window every day, even if I am slightly sick of the sight of it, or all the fiercely fantastic friends I have here, from all the points of my life thus far, including England, who know all the different sides of me, from all the different times I've been alive, some knowing all of the above and liking me anyway, or my family, who I'm enjoying getting to know as a grown-up, something that had never crossed my mind even for a fraction of a second as being a thing I'd ever find different, or having all my BOOKS in one place again, even if somehow in the move, I seem to have misplaced a few of them (which is driving me CRAZY), or watching from afar the wonderful, wondrous awakening of the museum of my heart back in England, as they inch every day closer to being open for real, all of which makes me exceedingly proud and sad all at once, or having the time between job applications, to spend most of the day reading, a luxury I have not had time for, truly, since I made time for it to read each Harry Potter book in one sitting (I read Every Day by David Levithan yesterday, the whole thing in one day- it was incredible) which, I've always felt, is the best way to experience a book, all at once, uninterrupted (Edgar Allen Poe agrees with me, saying that poetry is the truest form of writing because you can read a poem all in one sitting (I can't back that up, I might have completely fabricated that fact)), and really, truly get lost in it, or having the time to write ridiculous, run-on sentence, stream of consciousness poems (is this a poem? Is it one if I say it is? Is that poetry?) first thing in the morning, while drinking coffee, before starting another day of staring at the snow blowing around and wishing I could jump on board a snowflake and take a chilly ride around the world-

rhyming is for suckers,
and I love you. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Administrator is an Artist

I know a lot of people who want to be Artists. Who want to write the songs that are on the radio, or the next great American novel. I guess I'm one of those people. In the last couple of years, I've thought a lot about art, about how it happens, what it really is and who the people are that create it. I've worked with a lot of different types of Artists in all my many jobs in the past, and also with the countless people administrating the art, the people preparing the rooms and making the calls, organizing the performance and then making sure it's all put together in the right order. I've come to realize that my skills fall in the later category. I'm an organizer, a planner, a maker of lists and ideas, but not necessarily what I previously believed to be an Artist. I always thought I was the least creative person in my friend group; I couldn't draw or paint or read music, even when I tried. Then I discovered writing and though YES, at last! I can be an Artist too! And yes, I am doing that now: I love writing and will never stop, but deep down in my soul, I know this is not where my strengths truly lie. I'm an Administrator. I like making things, but mostly, I like making things happen.

But, I think I've finally realized something very important. One of the women I admire most once told me that she got into office management because she was never actually all that talented at anything, but she was really organized. This, I think, is crazy. Because organization IS an art. The ability to see the connections in things, to take apart an event or a project, see all it's sides and all the things that need to be done and the order they need to be done in, and then put it all back together again and actually make it happen: that is truly beautiful. The Administrator of any given project, organization or establishment is an Artist, because without that person, without those talented people, nothing would ever happen, no matter how good the idea is or how mind blowing the physical art might be. If the Artist themselves cannot do the admin, and no one can do it for them, then nothing will actually happen.

Think of an orchestra. A sea of musicians, all playing their small parts, creating one wondrous sound; but this could never happen without the conductor. Does anyone ever doubt the artistic ability of the conductor of an orchestra? Never in a million years. The conductor has to know everything, has to know everyone's part and how it all fits together. It's exactly the same with an Administrator.

Now, don't think for one moment that I'm saying that all Artists are disorganized, useless people incapable of doing all this list making and facilitating themselves. This is obviously not the case. Many of the greatest Artists out there are self made, and most Artists have to do all their own marketing and PR and administration. Artists, usually, can't afford assistants. Art is not a high paying profession, for anyone associated with it in any way. Most Artists, I've been told on good authority, spend 80% of their time on the admin side of their projects, not on the creative side at all. But Artists are already Artists, that's not what this blog is about. I'm talking to those of you who don't think you are an Artist, but can manage 20+ people to plan, design and build a college campus with your eyes closed. I have news for you, person: you are an Artist too. To me, anyway.

This being said, everything is art. Just like I've said before, that everything is stories, everything is also art. In my little Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of Art is 'the creation of something beautiful and expressive.' There you have it. Science is art, math (even if I hate it) is art, physics is art. Circuits are art, engineering is art, teaching is an art, everything under the sun is art. Even if you can't paint, but you can frame and hang a painting, you are still making art happen. You are making art.

Administration is what I've always done in the past, and what I plan to continue to do. Sure, I'll keep writing the next great American novel on the side, and taking silly photos of pipe cleaner princesses, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm a Producer.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alto Princess

I wish more Disney princesses were altos. When you spend as much time sitting in your bedroom all day applying for jobs as I have these days, there are few ways better to keep your spirits up than to sing along to the soundtrack to Frozen. But, as I've often found with most Disney or animated soundtracks in general, I'm only able to sing the man's part. I don't really mind that much- the men usually get the fun harmonies and the like, and I am a tomboy by nature. But sometimes, sometimes a girl just wants to be a princess. I don't want to sing about reindeer. I want to build a snowman.

Since I clearly don't have a princess voice, the only princesses in this place are made of pipe cleaners. Once upon a time, one such princess found herself on my cork board, in front of my desk.

 There she is.

That's not a very good angle. For anyone. Here she is again.

Yes, she is standing on the neck of a dragon. As is her way. We can trace her royal lineage later, if that's important to you, but for right now I think she is a convincing enough princess with an A+ in dragon taming. She had no hand for needlepoint.

As I watched her, noticing her for the first time since I put her up there, she started making her way down my wall, brought back to life by my attention.

She tried to make some friends along the way, but she is pretty shy. And her mother told her never to associate with bounty hunters, no matter how mysterious and adventurous they may seem. I can completely understand her desire to fly away from this room in a space ship (it's really cluttered and ill lit in here), but she should probably rethink getting in one affectionately named Slave I. But that's just my two cents. Fueled by unrequited love and a desire to see where this story is going, she bravely carried on. I'm pretty curious too.

The battle was not PG, and as such was inappropriate for this blog. 

I get it now. She agrees with me. She could have just said so. Her handwriting is remarkably like my own, but I guess that is to be expected, having taught her to write and all.

The end.


So, my friend Rebecca and I made a pact to each write a blog by the end of the week, which is where this came from. Rebecca, I don't know if this even counts, since it's more pictures than anything else, but here you go anyway. Also, for anyone who might think this is probably not the best use of my time, let me share something I discovered the other day on the LEGO website, one of their brand values:

Fun is the happiness we experience when we are fully engaged in something that requires mastery (hard fun), when our abilities are in balance with the challenge at hand and we are making progress towards a goal. Fun is both in the process, and in the completion.

Fun is being active together, the thrill of an adventure, the joyful enthusiasm of children and the delight in surprising both yourself and others in what you can do or create." 

Check out the rest here.

I think that Play and Fun do not get enough credit once you become an adult. Just because you grew up doesn't mean you can't play. I think if more people took the time to play and let themselves have the sort of fun they did as a kid, the world might be better. If I had to sit around and only write cover letters 24 hours a day until I got a job, I'd probably have worse problems than being unemployed.