Friday, June 14, 2013

Insert the Sound of me Squealing Like a Little Girl Full of Delight

Like many of you, or so I'd like to think, I will often troll around the interwebs aimlessly. It's usually in an attempt to get my brain out of a fog and distract me from staring onto an empty computer screen awaiting words that should make sentences but have alluded me.

Anyways, today I was aimlessly floating about cyberspace reading about Erin Morgenstern. Having recently ready her novel, "The Night Circus," I wanted to cyberstalk her a bit......
this blog post isn't really about her though, rather something I found reading her blog.

I discovered FLUFFY COWS!

Anyone that is close to me knows that I have a soft spot in my heart for cows. Look at em, with their big ole eyes and sweet dispositions, how could one not love them. I've never been that girl that loved horses, although they are very sweet and majestic creatures. And I am DEFINITELY not in any risk of being a cat lady. Cats are okay, at best, they just aren't for me. Our aloof ways would not compliment each other. BUT cows on the otherhand.....gah, love em. And just when I though they were the best of all the animal kingdom I come across this?! A fluffy cow~One day I will be that old lady with the bagillion grandkids who come to visit the cow who lives in my backyard.

One day, you will be mine fluffy cow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reflection on my "Craft"

I have had a deep admiration of the written word since I can remember. This is not to say I'm a word master. My vocabulary is not esspecially verbose. I do not pretend to carefully craft words so that I may appear an intellecual giant among my peers.

Simply put, I like words.

Storytelling has always been a love of mine. Poetry swept me off my feet during times of what I perceived as angst in my teen years. And journaling has always been an aspect of my daily rituals.

I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity not only to share my words but sometimes receive compensation. Let's face it, in a time when anyone can start a blog and many of those are far more well versed and talented than I, to have the opportunity to call writing, "work" is a blessing.

I was sitting here and pondering all of these things and began to read some of my most memorable articles over the last few years. I say most memorable because they may not be the "best" or even my favorite but they've stuck with me.

Here's just a few:

This link in particular sticks with me because there's a deeply personal aspect to it (I had chosen two originally but it seems as though one link is no longer live). The content includes my children. Anytime a parent is discussing parenting it is and should be a very personal experience. Parenting styles are open to interpretation, they are judged with great vigor and not everyone is going to agree with you. Regardless of how adamant you are in your specific set of moral standards and actions, there is no "right" answer that applies to all parents or all children. It's completely subjectional. Also when writing about your children, in perhaps an imperfect perception, you're admitting what some may view as a weakness. But really any parent knows it's not all fun and games and cute babies and the woes of parenting far outgrow the pooping, puking, loss of sleep and generic "burdens" of parenting.

School Yard Fist Fights

My husband is a fierce music lover. In particular he loves him the Black Keys, he has a broad taste of music but most definitely was on a Black Keys (and anyone influenced by the Black Keys) kick for a time. When we attended one of their smaller concerts I took it as an opportunity to write a review. Not simply because it was an amazing live show but they had just reached #1 status for iTunes sales and the Billboard charts.

My husband naturally LOVED this piece. It was the first of many that he would be like "Oh, Honey" and hug me. His mother was a writer as well and found a fair amount of success writing for publications and even publishing several cook books. Yes, he married his mother. Funny how that happens.

The Black Keys~Sweet Music to my Ears

My first ever real life feature in the Weekly Volcano was bourbon based, naturally. The link is a bit wonky now due to the Weekly Volcano merging with The Ranger though I must say I really enjoyed that article. A. It was about my favorite libation and boasting of new distilleries here in the PNW. B. It included one of my favorite interviews, and interviews for me is something I struggle with a little bit. I understand that I am simply compiling information to include in a piece but I can't help but always feel like I have no place interviewing people. It's an odd sensation for me. This is a close second as far as my feature pieces are concerned. It was a fun adventure, included phenomenal company and the people simply must be informed of such things. Isn't that why we become writers to begin with? To share with the reader?! Besides, even if I had not written it, it's a piece that I would enjoy reading.

Taste Testing Tacoma and Gig Harbor Brews

The next one served as an "AHA!" moment. I had the pleasure of working with some great editors. Some will take your piece to the chopping block and spew out a bit that hardly resembles your voice, your words, your perspective. I've felt different ways about this. Sometimes I feel like, "Shit, that would be in the TV Guide, don't put my name on that." Other times I've have seen the changes made and felt like "DAMN! They made me sound like a genius. Noted." Both are going to happen I suppose and it's all about content, voice and what is relevant for that specific publication. The first of these two was one that the editor served as almost a mentor and professor for me. She took a piece I had originally written and given me advice on how to better improve. The final product was FAR better than the original. The second piece is an edited version of a show review I've shared on my blog already. It's a prime example of an editor changing a piece that morphed it into something far superior. Let's face it, I need and love my editors. They put up with my crap, teach me divine lessons and allow me to continue submitting.

1022 Cocktail Hour

Tacoma Cathedrals

Anyways, there are plenty of other pieces I'd love to share and some far better than these but really the point is that not every piece is going to be a masterpiece. You have to type, scribble and write away~once in awhile you're going to look at something and see the brilliance and other times that brilliance will seem juvenile and amateur and that's a good thing. This means you're growing. Don't even be so good at something you don't think that this is a positive thing.