This is a stepstool I decorated for a fundraiser my local library was sponsoring in 2008. The idea was to create a chair based on a children’s (or maybe any) book which would then be auctioned to raise money. I chose My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss and used my own manipulated photography. Most/all of the credit for lettering goes to my friend Hillary!
I rarely know how to start these things. “These things” being Blogs…journals. Online diaries. Whatever you choose to call them. With many stories, it makes sense to start at the beginning. There are several reasons I often fail horribly at that. 1- I find it slightly too conventional. 2. I tend to see Things from more than one view, side, perspective, etc…which often means the “beginning” isn’t always where others might think. 3. I love clarity. Clarity generally requires a lot of back story, in my case. Backstory skews the “beginning.” 4a. I love to free write 4b. My stream of consciousness is really curvy 4c. My fingers often go faster than my brain or vice versa? Whichever…the story is either already written or is writing itself, I am just the bag of bones and tendons that puts pen to paper, so to speak. Type. Whatever….
(I probably don’t need to mention, at this point, that I am no good at making a long story short….) But, to get back to what I was getting at…I will just jump in where I’m at, and why I’m writing this particular blog in the first place.
I love to write. I also love photography. Recently, I became aware of a new literary arts journal in the area, and I answered a call for submissions. In doing that, I also mentioned that I would love to help out producing the next edition of the journal, if help was needed (I was a co and contributing editor for my college’s Literary Arts Journal for several years back in the mid 2000’s) As it turns out, much of the collaboration for this new publication, The Watershed Journal (TWJ), is done on-line! And, as it happened, I had a day off on their next in-person organizational meeting, and I actually stepped out of my comfort zone and went. Everyone was super nice and it felt good to be *involved* in something creative again. I jumped in with the online stuff, adding some comments here and there, and volunteering various services and insights. I even went to a photo shoot for a local newspaper that was writing a publicity piece about TWJ’s upcoming reception at an art gallery. It was published this week!
So. TWJ came about from a writing group (WBP) that meets, usually, in a town about 20 mins away from home. The two are separate, but, one of the members of both invited me to join the WBP. Again, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and not only did I go to a meeting, I even shared a piece of poetry! And spoke! Crazy, I know! But, it also felt good. It was a super old piece, but it happened to fit the prompt (which was to be a funny poem…something I have
few one of! So, I didn’t have to get personal or anything, really (although I did a bit when I spoke).
Ok, so. That’s the journal and the writing group. But! There’s more- and this is maybe the biggest one, because it’s all me, not a collaboration! So….When I went to the Winkler Gallery (WG), for the photo shoot, I ended up talking to an artist in residence about how one goes about getting a space in the gallery. Long story shortish- you submit up to six pieces of your work, it is juried by their board, and if they accept you, you essentially rent a space where you can display and (hopefully) sell some of your work!! There is money involved, which initially I was using as an excuse to not even start the process. But. I am a packrat. And I went in to my basement and found enough of my nicely framed and matted pieces from my previous coffee shop and art show entries to submit. I almost used the fact that the pieces were all 2-10 years old to persuade me to not submit them, but I didn’t, because there was a spot on the admission application to explain your work and I mentioned their age and the fact that I DO have current work, and plenty of it, but chose the pieces I did because of their instant availability, lol. IF I get the space, I would also have hand made cards and hopefully loose prints available to purchase…Annnyways (not a real word. I know this. Now would also be a good time to say that I firmly believe that one must know the rules of grammar before one can break them! heheh) Anyways. Recently someone who works in the house where I work quit (this is only important because it means I would be working 12 out of the next 14 days after I heard about the possibility of getting my art in to this gallery…) I know myself well enough to know that if I procrastinate I am likely to not ever get anything done….Thus…I had to move, and move quick. I was scheduled to go to my mum’s old house (a whole OTHER blog story) to help my siblings clean it on my one day off this week, so my plan was to take the long way there, and drop my pieces off at the gallery when they opened at noon, then drive the 2 hours to mum’s place and do what needed to be done there. So, I was on a schedule…not a strict one, but still…I had things to do! So, I stayed up til probably 1 or 2am cleaning my pieces, writing my application, being nervous, etc.
Managed to get up, pack, have lunch and coffee at my favourite coffee shop, and get on the road…Got to the gallery at about a quarter after noon (didn’t want to show up right when they opened). The Open sign was outside…but the gate inside was locked and the closed sign was up.
[Hahaha…I just figured out how to not only add images from my computer, but also from my phone….mwahahaha….]
Anyhow. So, I tried calling the gallery. The phone rang- could hear it upstairs- but no one was up there. I FB messaged the gallery account. Thankfully, the person who answered was the same gentleman who I had talked to about submitting my art in the first place. Otherwise, I might have given up…I stumble easily on the smallest of blocks…However, after a few minutes of chatting, this lovely fellow FOUND someone close by to come unlock the gallery and let me take my work upstairs!!! He arrived within about a half an hour, I left my work, and went on my way….Now. I wait.
Ok, so perhaps I didn’t start at the beginning, but I’ve arrived at the Now. This blog, this website. Some of the things I offered to help with on TWJ were layout, social media, editing, and website. I mean, I’ve built websites…back in the day…I still remember HTML! Apparently that’s not how it’s done anymore. So, to be of better assistance to the journal, and because I wanted an online presence for my photography, I decided to finally sign up for the same service (it had already been recommended to me a few weeks ago, I just never actually sat down to investigate it!) And, while trying to find a domain name that wasn’t taken, I realized that I could use PanicButton Productions, which is what I used to “copyright” my writing under, also back in the day….and this site could be used for both my photography and my writing (blogging, yes, but more specifically poetry, which I hope to start writing more of again…)
And here we are. There is nothing on the site yet, I realize this, and I hesitate to publish the link, even, with such a bare bones base. However, I also hate being vague (while at the same time hate to be so loquacious on FB!) (Can one be loquacious without actually speaking??) I hope this little intro at least provides some clarity to what I’ve been hinting at lately!
Please keep your fingers crossed about the gallery…it would be SUCH an amazing opportunity. Being able to display my work in a *real* gallery….wow….Hopefully, having my hand in a few other projects at the same time will mean that if, by chance, my pieces are rejected (eek…) I won’t fall apart because of it. I will just accept that my work isn’t what they’re looking for, not that it is awful and worthless and unworthy and…etc.
I’m not going to make any promises about my rate of updatage for this blog. Heck, I don’t even know how/if I can put pictures in yet. Especially because at this point, I have to tether my laptop to the wi-fi on my phone just to publish/work on any of this! (At least when I plan on writing anything of any length/substance…)
That’s all for now!