Thursday, December 31, 2009


Last snow pic of 2009

There's an old adage: Begin as you expect to continue. So I'm beginning with writing.

And a recipe for Snickerdoodles:) Just for fun.

1 cup softened shortening of your choice (butter, margarine, Crisco)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 3/4 cup white flour

Cream together the sugar and shortening then add the eggs and mix well, until somewhat fluffy. Mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt together and then add to the sugar, etc. Roll into walnut sized balls. Roll balls in mixture of 1/4 cup cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar. Place unflattened onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes until flat and slightly brown.

This makes a lot of chewy cookies, but that's never a problem.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A VERY short New Year's list

My Goddess of Compassion wearing her Christmas scarf

I've been enjoying the different lists on my friend's blogs (many of which are listed under the blogs I follow). Being creative people, they've all come up with creative, fun ideas.

This year, I'm having a list of one. One resolution for the new year. One to focus on. It is: for the next year, I'll strive to go beyond my limits. To dare new writing endeavors, to dare new experiences, to expand to my horizons and further and further. Why? Because I've noticed how the more I challenge myself, the more I succeed. Besides, it's fun, in a scary way.

There's an addendum to this short list of one, a resolution to possess compassion for myself, for my flaws and failures. If we don't forgive ourselves, we can't forgive anyone.

What are your New Year's resolutions, if any? Why? Why not?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Greetings!


And here's hoping you're at home (or traveling) with loved ones, safe happy and well.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Creative Product Pay

An uncopywrited photo for some color and cheer and that's the profit, but if I were a professional photographer...

My friends, fellow bloggers and different threads have been discussing the problem of the often low or no pay of many short story markets. This has brought to my mind the ongoing larger problem of what I call the "creative=not-being-real-work=free" problem. From my experience, every creative person struggles with the attitude, "You love doing this, right? So you shouldn't want to be paid, right? Isn't that crass commercialism that will only destroy your passion?"

Funny how nobody ever asks a surgeon or electrician or lawyer who has passion for the work about commercialism, i.e. being paid, destroying the enjoyment of the work. This was first brought home to me while I grew up. My father was a well-known, well-respected artist with his paintings hanging in museums all over the world. Still, often, way too often, someone would say, "You want me to pay HOW MUCH for this work of art?" Or even, "We're friends, this piece is small and Christmas is coming..."

Then, when I started film editing, I ran into the same belief. Editing is creative and fun, so why be paid money? And then was when I realized the crux of the problem. People who are not creative, aren't creative. Therefore, they don't create and therefore don't understand it's hard work. It takes tons of energy and many work hours to create something. And it can be tedious and boring (if you don't believe me, look at the same 10 seconds of film 400 times and then we'll talk!).

What do you think, dear readers? Is this part of the problem? Maybe the main part? Or maybe a comforting illusion?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Time of Deep and Lasting Change

Snow scenes out my front window

The solstice is headed our way. The days are drawing in for the new year. I've noticed that oftentimes this time of year creates frantic, stressful behaviors. Often, people change/shift/deconstruct and reconstruct their lives during the holidays (or shortly thereafter). Why? I believe it is because the world (or at least the Northern Hemisphere) is undergoing a time of deep and lasting change. In the cold and dark, living organisms are not merely asleep (including bears who hibernate--female bears give birth during the winter months). Instead, the living are profoundly...changed, altered, and different forever.

What does this mean for creative people? I believe it is a time to rest, relax and reflect on what's passed then move on to re-energizing and renewing. During this time, it's useful to ask many questions. Such as, "Where do I want to go with my creative passion?" "What's different about my creativity NOW?" "What do I want to keep?" "Discard?" "Change?" "What feels right?" Then I believe it's useful to sit with the questions and not worry about the answers. Let them come as they will.

Dear readers, what do you think? Has this been your experience of the dark days before the return of the light? Or? (And my Southern Hemisphere readers, is this true during June for you?)