Showing posts from January, 2012

Focus, Literal to Focus, Figuratively

Someone on a CBC radio morning show recently waxed rhapsodic about Kodak -- in particular, about the power of having one's own camera as a youngster. You're no longer captive to the grown-ups posing everybody in neat rows, to their exhortations to "Stand still! Look like you're having fun!" I've also found a camera to be a powerful tool -- again, as with zentangles , not for the product itself so much as for the process of taking pictures. For example: now. I’ve been home for a month. I’m addressing the things I didn’t want to do, which I conveniently put off until “after I don’t have to be available to my brother,” by attacking them 25 minutes at a time . For me, it’s really working. However, that leaves the multitude of things I *could* do, some of which I also *should* do. But which ones? How much new work do I look for when current clients continue to say they need me at *this time* but then their schedules slip or they go on vacation? Which of the many re

Zentangling Toward Victory

Speaking of projects that don't go the way you think they will ... When my brother started his stem cell transplant, I was still here in Canada, and I knew I'd be joining him for part of his recovery time in the U.S. To help myself prepare, I started a project. Basically, I did a daily zentangle. A zentangle is an image made from drawing repetitive patterns. This link takes you to the site of those who originated the term and have built a cadre of followers. BTW, it's worth going there to browse awhile -- people do amazing things in this form. For me, zentangling is more like conscious doodling. That sound you just heard is the upswell of voices from thousands of serious practitioners shrieking, "NO! Tangling is not doodling!" (Note: Each pattern is properly called a "tangle." We are not to use "zentangle" as a verb [even when it's noun-ified]. Both of which rules I have broken in this post. Because I'm rebellious like that.)

Hooray! Hurrah! Hip Hip!!

Being married to another writer is...interesting. I learn a lot from him. People imagine we discuss things like Shakespeare and the Oxford comma, and sometimes we do. However, I sometimes think I learn the most about writing, and life, from our conversations about other things. Like toilets. For the past few weeks, we've been addressing various issues around the house. Like toilets. We have a well that's slow to fill, so we always watch our water use. With the holidays, we had guests showering and flushing (thank goodness), so our cistern got low. The cold weather sometimes freezes water in various places in the system, which causes the cistern to fill more slowly (as in, not at all). We were therefore hyper-aware of every potential leak. The kind of leaks that people on city water systems never notice. Including those in toilets, like the toilet on the main floor. Which my husband recently fixed. "Recently," as in about two weeks ago. The picture above shows the cong


Twenty-five minutes isn't a very long time, except when it's forever. Time is funny that way. An aside: I'm home. My brother is not yet at his home, but that will come soon. All has gone well. In the past 25 years, Be the Match has facilitated 50,000 transplants between unrelated donors. Yet only about half of people who need transplants receive them. If your 2012 resolutions include finding a way to make a difference, joining the donor registry in the U.S. or Canada is a great first step. The luxury of a Major Life Event is that you know your priorities and can put lesser things aside. The downside of that luxury is that when your role in the Major Life Event is over, those shoved-aside things are still there. Now that I'm home, I am making an effort to tackle those shoved-aside things. I have had success with a strategy I'm calling "suffer for 25 minutes." The original, part of Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, was "suffer for 15 minutes,&quo