Jed’s back in school and how I’ve missed my pre-pick-up-from-preschool walks. The trick to finding time for these is that I pretend his school is over at noon rather than 12:30, which gives me a half hour to roam North Asheville by foot. And even though I sometimes pick the same stretches of street, I notice different things every time.
For my first walk of the school year, I adopted an idea from Fridaville’s Creative First Aid. Skirt! Publisher and Founder Nikki Hardin has the most amazing brain… I’m just thankful she has a blog so I can get even a glimpse into her thoughts. For this particular activity, she suggests going out and taking photos of only shadows on a sunny day with Instagram. Here’s what I found:
I liked walking with a purpose… other than toning and burning calories in my FitFlops, of course. As a writer, it’s nice to take a break from words and focus on something that’s strictly visual.
What fun themes have you focused on with Instagram? I’d love to see your pics! Follow me on Instagram at (what else?) lindseyliving, so I can follow you back!
I swear I almost cried when I opened Jed’s lunch bag after school and pulled out this macaroni necklace:
I could not believe how moved I was by macaroni. I was prepared for the major early milestones: first word, first steps… but I did not have “first macaroni necklace” on the list of things that would strike a chord with me. I just love little surprises like that.
I was inspired by a poetic Facebook post my friend Ann wrote the other week about her morning walk. She simply stated what she saw, but there was something about it. Apparently, I’m not the only one who noticed, because another friend of hers caught on and added what she saw on her morning walk. Well, I finally got around to taking a walk myself this morning in North Asheville before picking up Jed from school, and have my own to share. It’s a really fun game! Thanks for the idea, Ann:)
On my walk this morning, I saw:
Two girls sitting in improvised thrones in their front yard,
A runner with the coolest pair of purple Nikes that would even entice me to try running again,
A house painted a shade of orange that made me happy just looking at it,
A beautiful bush of blooming blue hydrangeas,
A clever way to display a house number,
And, I don’t know my flowers as well as I’d like, but what I think are a bunch of wildflowers. I love the red and blue/purple color contrast!
I was also accosted by a guy who shoved a piece of paper in my face, begging me to help him win a contest. And every person I passed smiled and waved and/or said hello (creepy contest dude excluded, although he did talk to me). I love Asheville.
In November, my friend Kelly wrote a post about Waiting for Winter. Even with a milder winter than last, we live on a mountain in Western North Carolina with a private road (read: no government-sanctioned maintenance) and have had this view off my back deck twice in the past week:
Living in Austin, Kelly doesn’t have as much reason as I do to bundle up. So she put together a collage of wintry things that make her excited for the cold weather. Already dreaming of spring, but with at least two more months of fires and ice to go, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to remember a few of my favorite things that come with the cold (no surprise, we’re talking style and seasonal beverages, here):
I also found a fun, free photo app for iPhone called FrostyCamera. If you live in a locale where powder isn’t a possibility, or if you just want another fun camera app to play with, you can turn any image into a winter wonderland:
November was National Novel Writing Month, and I signed up for the challenge to write 50,000 words of my novel in 30 days. I will go ahead and say that I did not reach this goal, but I did come away with solid foundation for my novel (almost 8,000 words), which is a lot farther along than I was a month ago!
One of the reasons I fell so far from my goal was that I picked up more freelance work a lot faster than I expected… and I’m not going to complain about that! I’m committed to my novel, but paid work has to come first. And, well, Jed really comes first. I’m learning to make myself write in the off-peak hours: when Jed’s at school, nighttime and weekends. These are not necessarily my most creative times, but beggars (and stay-at-home moms) can’t be choosers. I get my best ideas when I’m driving or in the shower. I’m thinking of getting those bath crayons to use on the tile for my après shampoo brain bursts. And once when I was on the highway and had one of my revelations, I left an all too bizarre message on a friend’s voicemail. Luckily, she’s a writer, too, and wasn’t scared off by a message that involved late night greased-up twister and a has-been, almost famous rockstar. (Cell phone companies really need to allow you to leave yourself messages!).
I wish I would’ve pushed myself harder to meet my NaNoWriMo goal, but am happy that my excuses are positive ones. Hey, if I write 8,000 words a month, I’ll still have a first draft of my novel finished in five months! Not too shabby. It’s just a matter of balancing my “free” time between my novel, my freelance projects, housework and Jed. And I would like to squeeze in a workout or two every now and then. I hate schedules, but I think some sort of order is in order.
Do you stay at home? Work from home? How do you manage your time?
I’ve spent the past couple of mornings copy editing the fall issue of my husband’s magazine. He and his partner in crime, Steve, work out of Steve’s studio. Steve Seinberg is the magazine’s art director and a dear friend, but in his “spare time” he scrapes by as a world renowned artist.
I love experiencing other people’s creative spaces–seeing what they surround themselves with, what music they listen to, what inspires them, feeling the energy. I was working at Steve’s computer and saw this quote tacked above his desk:
If you can’t read his handwriting it says:
In the end you opened your eyes.
You saw yourself seen by my eyes,
and from my eyes you saw yourself:
falling like a fruit on the grass,
like a stone in the pond,
you fell into yourself.
~ Octavio Paz
So beautiful. Although Steve is a painter, a lot of his work is inspired by the written word–the poetry of Octavio Paz for example. It’s been awhile since I’ve been introduced to a new poet who has really grabbed me. I might have to copy Steve and tack this up on my mood board in my home office.
I’m on day five Post Pink Slip, and I’m happy to say I’m out of the sweat pants phase (wearing jeans today!) and starting to look at things in a better light. If you asked me earlier this week, I’d say when one door closes, it gets very dark. Now I’m warming up to the old adage, “When a door closes, a window opens.” Well folks, I’m window shopping. And to get myself in the spirit of things, I found some new muses. Insanely successful women who were at one point in their careers and lives even downer in the dumps than I am now. If they can do it, so can I!
Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and mostsuccessful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
Emily Dickinson: Recluse and poet Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. Yet in her lifetime she was all but ignored, having fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination