Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Animalia

PhotobucketBought a fish today. Named him Ceres, like the dwarf-planet and the Roman, earth goddess. I figured the name was androgynous enough to get away with, but it also got me thinking.

(Yes, and he speaks French. If I could buy him a beret, a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes, I would)
According to Wikipedia, Daid Bowie was the pioneer of androgyny in popular culture. And after Labyrinth and white spandex, the title was surely deserved. Pyschologist and theorist Carl Jung, described androgyny as "the balance of anima and animus". Basically, the ying and yang of gender studies. Anima is the feminine inner-personality of the unconscious male. And its counterpart animus, is the masculine inner-personality of the unconsious female.

Androgyny really suits betta fish, as it does for many creatures in the animal kingdom. Where the male betta is of a larger size to the female betta, it also has more colorful scales and fins, creating an aura of flamboyance.

Other male species that display their beauty are:

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Many of the characteristic differences between male and female species, are from the existance of sexual dimorphism in the natural world. Examples of female breeds out-showing males exist as well, obviously seen among humans, but also among birds, reptiles, other mammalians, and even in insects. For example:


PhotobucketIt all comes down to physical attractiveness, mate selection, and breeding. It seems that humans really aren't the only ones guilty of being shallow and who judge others based on "face value". All of God's creatures do it, on some level or another.

So, let men be pretty and women strong-featured, and we will all live in one, big harmonious bliss. Happy mating!
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RECOMMENDATION: Green Porno series by Isabella Rossellini http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKkgUxJxU5M

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On Baking and Writing

White chocolate and raspberries? Raspberries and white chocolate? For the last three days I have been craving these two items and have been mulling over the many flavor- palate combinations I could come up with. Truffles? Muffins? Cookies?

Baking is my usual excuse for not being productive in other ways, specifically when I am finding myself stuck on a certain storyline. And being so often that I get stuck, I should probably not keep sticks of butter or eggs in the house, so I refrain from digging out the mixing bowls. I know I am definitely not the first writer to enjoy the past-time of cooking or baking and will probably not be the last, but how can I stay focused on plot development, when I am craving blackberry-peach pie?

A friend of mine once described me as, "the skinniest, fat girl" he's ever known. Perhaps he's right. I just love food. Eating it, preparing it, talking about it, even photographing it on ocassion. It's no wonder that little tid-bits of foodie-ism, end up in my writing from time-to-time. Seriously, how can you know anything about a character, unless you know something about what they ingest? Remember health class, "You are, what you eat." Maybe that's the foodies' play on, "I think, therefore I exist"?

There is this great scene in the movie Sylvia, where Edward Hughes takes off for the day, expecting his wife to take advantage of her free time to write. When he returns and sees she has been baking, it transpires a little like this:

Hughes: "You've got to write.
That's what poets do."

Plath: "Yes, well, that's easy for you to say.
You go out for a bike ride and come back with
an epic in hexameters. I sit down to write,
I get a bake sale."

Well, I have to say, she still somehow managed to take our breaths away with her prose and definitely did not die of obesity, from eating one too many sweets. Yet, its still a bit hard to imagine such a tortured soul, wearing a cheery apron and pumping out lines of dark poetry, between apple pies.

A lil' food for thought, I guess.

WHITE CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY SCONES

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:
Don't bother mixing these ingredients together. You don't need scones, no matter how decadent they sound. You have 5 hours of writing ahead of you and shouldn't be anywhere near the kitchen. Pass the recipe on to your mother and hope she is in a baking mood.



RECOMMENDATION: By far, the most inventive and delectable truffles out there: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding Routine, Freeing Creativity

I had always assumed that to be an artist, one must live an eccentric lifestyle, in a constant state of disarray and chaos, which seemingly lends itself to the creative process in some way. To me, artists were free-thinking bohemians, who lived without fear or convention, utilizing art as a form of communication with the society they had stepped away from. As though the creative process condoned and fostered, living in the liminal.

I, myself would not define myself as an eccentric, though I am sure there are people out there who would debate this. For as socially-outward as I may appear from time to time, with an air of intensity, I am an immense introvert.Coming from a family of eccentrics and creatively-minded individuals, I intuitively took to the background and became an introvert. I also spent a large amount of time preoccupied with order, because it didn't seem to exist around me. My family even used to joke with me about my obsession with cleanliness and organization, because at five years old, I was already color-coordinating my closets and redecorating my room, every couple weeks. They were the kind of people that took their socks and shoes off wherever they felt like it, and left them. I was the kind of kid, who needed a designated spot for everything.

As I got older I realized my creative abilities were nurtured, only when I allowed for a disruption of the order I had created. I couldn't concentrate on writing for long-periods of time, if I allowed for the distraction of clutter, chores, or errands to clog my mind. I needed to find a balance or routine, between chaos and order, that worked for me.

How I found this balance, was by joining a low-residency, MFA program. At first, I was hesitant to go back to school, being under the impression that I wasn't going to learn how to write better by being told how to write better, but by practicing it on my own. "True writers, write out of necessity above all", I would say. But I was lacking structure, and every routine I tried to stick with, just fell through with procrastination or duty.

Now that I'm involved in this program, I am really glad that I gave it a chance. The program has definitely provided a structure for me, requiring deadlines every month in pages. Forcing me to sit everyday and get the work done, even when I have piles of laundry, if it's a beautiful day, or I just don't feel like it. I am writing everyday as second-nature, without even contemplating whether I have the time. I now make the time.

By having this sort of obligation to writing, as a form of work, I thought it would make me lose enjoyment for one of my truest passions. But what I have noticed, as I turn out more and more pages, I have gotten so caught up in the story itself, that I look forward to getting back to it with each day. And at night when I am finished writing for the day, I am still thinking about "what comes next" in my manuscript. It's definitely a wonderful space to be in.

As a child, being an artist was living with "no rules", painting outside the lines, without a care in the world. But to be a producing-artist, I found that it's a whole other creature. Something I learned I could be, by balancing routine and free-flowing creativity. Right now, I have to say, life is good.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recap from MFA Summer Residency '09

Before I get started, I want to thank everyone who has supported me and stood by me, both family and friends. This year has really been a time of growth for me. Learning new things, challenging myself, finding inspiration and motivation, and really pushing myself beyond the imaginable.

Growing pains are never easy and I seem to be always walking that line between the conventional and unconventional. What I should be doing at 26 and what I want to be doing at 26. But it's all part of the journey, and without all the love and understanding I've been blessed with along the way, I probably would've wound up lost, a long time ago.

I can't wait to celebrate with all of you, when I wind up on the other side!
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Returning home from my 10-day residency, I expected to be met with change, something out of order, or at least a period of adjustment. But to my surprise, everything was as I left it, a little over a week ago.

When I returned home, my belongings hadn't been touched, my work schedule was still in place, my family and friends still moved about in their regular patterns. It was as though time stood still and I was re-approaching "my life" from a new perspective, a fresher outlook, or different angle.

No, things hadn't changed, but I had.

My experiences were eye-opening and genuine. I was welcomed into an eclectic and colorful community of artists. Inducted as a person of passion, lyricism, intelligence, and life.

It had been a long time since I'd felt connected, on a level deeper than first impressions. Late nights were filled with comfortable conversation, laughter, and confessions. I didn't realize how thirsty I was, until I lapped up every word, off of every tongue, with quenching appreciation.

No, things hadn't changed, but I had.

I learned a lot over those intense, 10 days. About the craft of writing, about the industry I was entering, and about myself as a writer and human being. I can only imagine what the next two years will bring. Hopefully a book, life-long relationships, but most importantly, a stronger sense of myself. I am really looking forward to the horizon beyond.

Thanks again!

Love,
Sarah