A Fresh Start

November 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

After so long away, I needed a fresh start.  You can now find me here.

365 Project: My Top 5 from the First 30 Days & An Honorable Mention

August 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

In July, on my birthday, I began a 365 Project: taking at least one photo (more, so far) every day and posting it on Flickr (though should you ever choose to do so, you can post your pictures wherever you like).  It’s taken me a while to sift through and narrow it down, but I wanted to share my Top 5 from the first 30 days, the ones I liked best.

Without further adieu, here they are in chronological order:

Then there’s the honorable mention:

If you’re interested in reading the story behind the picture, click the link and read it on Flickr.  The nutshell version, as should be obvious, was that I wasn’t having a great day that day, and had few photos to choose from, so I chose the one more true to the day.

I was so nervous about posting that one.  I’m not terribly comfortable in front of the camera, and on top of it, this showed me at a vulnerable moment.  It wasn’t my best work from a technical perspective.   Something about it touched a nerve, though.  I got a lot of favorable responses to it.  (I linked it on Twitter and Facebook, so there are comments there in addition to the favorites and comments on Flickr.)  It has grown on me because of that, and being brave by putting it out there is making me less afraid of turning the lens on myself.   Maybe one day I will feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Finding Focus

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Me behind my camera.

Me behind my camera. Taken 7/24/2012 with Canon EOS Rebel XS.

This is how people have seen me a lot lately.

Words still aren’t flowing freely for me, so I decided to concentrate on photography.  Where the Muses close one door they tend to open another, or least open a window.  I gifted myself a macro lens for my birthday, and thought, “Why don’t I try a 365 Project?”   A little over two weeks ago, on my birthday, I started my year of taking and posting at least one photograph to my Flickr stream daily.  It’s proving to be quite creatively nourishing.

I want to write here more, but I just feel so quiet, and I have to trust that.  Things are shifting.  Ideas are glimmering on the horizon.  But nothing is fully-developed yet.  It’s kind of par for the course when you figure out that you may not want what you used to want, when you’ve spent most of your life doing what’s expected of you and wake up one day and realize you’ve lost your own inner voice in the cacophony and you have to find it again.

In the meantime, photography is my creative focus.  I am shooting more than one picture most days, and finding it difficult to decide between them some days, so I’ll probably post my favorite outtakes here going forward, and maybe the ones I consider my top five 365 Project photos every month.

Words from the Inner She-Who-Is-Wiser-Than-Me

June 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

Tear-blurred world.

Tear-blurred world. Taken 6/22/2012. Canon PowerShot A 3300 IS.

When the tears and tides of doubt,
fear, shame and uncertainty
roll in, thundering, against your shore,
open your arms and your heart.
Cradle your small, hurt self
against your own Spirit’s chest.
Breathe, baby, deep, and release.
Just as these waves arrive,
so must they roll back out to sea.

Sabbatical Views: Adventures in Black & White, Part I, The Bleak & The Beautiful

June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sign of the times: boarded-up building downtown that was once Main Street Mall.

Signs of the times: boarded-up building downtown that was once Main
Street Mall. Taken 6/5/12. Canon Rebel XS.

Woodpile and shed in a sea of clover.

Woodpile and shed in a sea of clover. Taken 5/8/12. Canon Rebel XS.

Rustic fence posts sans fence.

Rustic fence posts sans fence. Taken 5/8/12. Canon Rebel XS.

Grasses.

Grasses. Taken 5/8/12. Canon Rebel XS.

Let Go and Follow the Stepping Stones

May 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometime shortly after 5:30 on April 24th, I walked out of the office I’d been working in for the last time as an employee.  I’d stayed late talking to and laughing with a coworker who became a good friend.  Tuesday this week marked four weeks since then.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about how this sabbatical experiment is going.  I sat down every week on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, intending to write about what was going on, but words wouldn’t come.

The truth is, it hasn’t gone the way I planned or expected.

I planned to spend the first month writing a novel I began last fall.  When I sat down to work on it, however, I found the characters and premise was dead to me.  I just couldn’t get back into it.  It was like my Writing Muse was saying, “You ignored me for months.  How’s it feel?”  Then she flounced off to pout and ignore me.  I’ve been trying to coax her back out, and she’s finally warming up to me.  There’s no new novel or book idea I’ve jumped on just yet, but I am around 5,000 words into a fan fiction story (which no one will probably ever see but me, but in the past, this helped me get around the block), and I’m writing a blog post without sitting here half an hour waiting for a single sentence.  It’s progress!

I also didn’t think I’d feel as much emotional upheaval as I did early on.  It took me until this week to begin to let go of the identity that comes with having a steady office job and what I had been doing in that job long enough to feel any real measure of peace with being out in this previously–for me–uncharted territory.  And I think this is the biggest, most powerful thing to come out of this experience so far.  I hold onto the past too tightly.  I get scared when I don’t know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going and what I’m going to do when I get there, when I don’t have all the details planned and timely executed.  Trust and surrender haven’t really ever been my forte, and spontaneity and improvisation are things I’ve only been able to handle occasionally.

But I’m learning.  I’m learning to let go, to trust that good will come and to surrender to the process.  I’m learning to take each day, each moment as it comes.  I’m learning to allow myself to stop worrying about the future and to concentrate on the present, on what does or would make me happy at any given time.  These are valuable skills to have no matter where this ends up leading.

For now, I’m just following internal, intuitive cues like stepping stones forming my path.

Stepping Stones. Taken 5/5/12 with Canon A3300 IS.

Sabbatical Views No. 2: The Moon And A Misty Morning

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

My Writing Muse is currently ignoring me–more on that later–but my Photography Muse is warming up, even inducing me to play with manual focus and with more processing than I normally would.  Here are a few of my favorite recent nature shots, the moon and some loveliness from a recent morning walk in the mist:

Taken 4/30/12 with Canon Rebel XS + EF-S 55-250mm IS lens + tripod.

Taken 5/3/12 with Canon A3300 IS.

Taken 5/3/12 with Canon A3300 IS.

Taken 5/3/12 with Canon A3300 IS and vignetted/edited in Picasa.

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