Friday, October 06, 2006

PAUL SIMON!! - Wednesday 10/4/2006

Sorry, am I shouting? It’s hard to make myself heard over the Graceland CD blasting in my studio.

Yes, that’s Paul Simon down there. Once again, I was so excited about the event that I forgot to change my camera batteries, so didn’t have many opportunities to take pix. It was a cool night at the Greek, which is—of course—open air. He looked a lot like a Songmaker at one of the campouts we go to several times a year.

We had a miserable time getting to the venue, and although we bought the most expensive tickets that TicketMaster had to offer, we were still back fairly far. How do you get those section A tickets at the Greek and do you have to pay double or triple the face value??

But wow. The music was great. And quite a head trip. He played songs from all eras, all the way from his & Garfunkel days to his most recent CD, which I have been listening to for a couple of weeks. I got teared up during “Only Living Boy in New York,” which I knew from my big brother’s LPs, and “Slip Slidin’ Away” from my own treasured moments of teenaged melancholy.

And then I danced as energetically as you can without hurting your row-mates when we were all out of our seats for “Graceland,” etc.

Amazing band, I have to say. Great depth of talent, which is to be expected.

Would have liked it if he had told a couple of stories, but not everyone’s a talker. (Now Arlo, there’s a talker.)

Great way to start out our month of music!

Big Sky - Wednesday 10/4/2006

Taken from the road up to our neighborhood. The sky just looks bigger when clouds are all stretched across it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Linear Sunset - Tuesday 10/3/2006

On my way to the library, then to my writing group. Sunset over Moorpark Avenue.

You catch the snippets of beauty you can catch, between the lines.

Even Corporate Symbols Can Be Pretty - Monday 10/2/2006

I know, I know. It’s an evil gas station sign shattering the peaceful blue afternoon.

Or, it’s a kind of interesting geometric shape over a more abstract background.

It just caught my eye as I returned to my car from the neighboring grocery store on Sand Canyon. There’s really no defense for it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Getting My Writing Mojo Back

I have been working on a goal, over on 43Things, of getting my writing mojo back. That's part of what this blog--which I've been doing for more than a year now-- has been about. Keeping my creativity going while I denied, then gave into, then got over a brand of depression about my first novel being rejected and my not knowing how to fix it.

I think that this past weekend in Lone Pine really pushed me over the edge from okay-I’m-writing-regularly-again, to the-mojo-is-back! I wrote on rocks, between rocks, under trees, in a coffee house. Last night I wrote two single spaced pages of what will probably be a personal essay based partly on my experiences over the weekend. I can’t wait to get back to it.

What’d I do to get my mojo back? Many things.

Pouted, cried, finally allowed myself to mourn the rejection of my first novel, put said novel DOWN instead of torturing it or me any further (for now.)

Wrote what I wanted to write in various non-novel forms: reworked short stories, worked on personal essays, a secret project, poems, greeting card sentiments, long letters to friends, and my blog. Sent these things out to the world via USPS or the Internet.

Stopped complaining to my writing group that I wasn’t writing. That’s a self-fulfilling problem, because no matter how much I was actually writing, if I kept telling people I wasn’t, it felt like I wasn’t.

Started writing every day for 15 minutes, aiming for 7 days a week, but not beating myself up for missing one here and there. It helped me remember what’s fun about it and what can happen if you just show up, and how it’s not always great, but at least you were there. And I checked in daily for a while with my writing group, which helped compell me do do it.

Realized that I will write, no matter what. And that making art is it’s own reward in many ways. It’s all right to make money with it and to want to make money with it, but it’s also intrinsically good for the soul. Reading bits of The Resilient Writer by Catherine Wald helped here, too.

Signed up for NaNoWriMo, which sounds like good medicine. Got a huge rush when I saw my word count page on the site today. I’m there under the nickname SallyKitt, if anyone wants to buddy up.

Just wanted to say publically that I am reclaiming my creative health. No turning back.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foot and Feathers - Sunday 10/1/2006 bonus

Just had to get a shot of Rocky’s sweet little blue feathers after Hydra swept them out of the trailer as we packed up to head home.

And my foot. Always has to get into the act.

Passed by Red Rock Canyon again on the way home. Some weather was brewing, but we didn't see any rainfall until after we were home and all unpacked. Terrific weekend.

A Much Needed Day Outdoors - Saturday 9/30/2006

We ventured into the Alabama Hills again on Saturday. Hydra was busy with his metal detector, while I trundled up into one of the many spaces between rocks with my camera, notebook and a desert guidebook that was written in 1969. Some beautiful writing in the introduction, etc.

It was shady and cool between the rocks, and the loudest sound was my fountain pen gliding across the page.

This granite is so decomposed that you can actually crumble bits of the edges away with your bare fingertips.

We drove deeper into the hills in search of Gene Autry Rock. The road was quite narrow in some places. See how the side mirrors are folded back?

I hiked up a ways and did some rock-hopping. Love this boulder that dropped down and filled in the gap. I did get a bit of a feeling of not knowing where I was when I'd hit a few dead ends in a row, but it's easy to keep your bearings with the Eastern Sierras on one side.

Hydra played a song in the shadow of Gene Autry Rock. Sounded great out there!

Leap of faith... We just believed that the road was down there below the hood. And it turned out that it was.

Finished up the day at an event at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Took the photo below on our way into a panel discussion about the Owens Valley, partly in relationship to the Manzanar internment camp, which involved a panel of old-timers (some in their 80s and 90s) and audience responses to questions. It was an amazing evening partly in support of the publication of Voices From This Long Brown Valley by Jane Wehry.

Sunset in the Alabama Hills - Friday 9/29/2006

We had a great drive up to Lone Pine at the base of Mount Whitney in the Owens Valley. It was not windy and highway 395 has been recently repaved, so pulling the trailer up there was the best ever.

We’ve got the set-up thing pretty well figured out, and we were able to get from our campground to the Alabama Hills just before sunset.

We followed the Movie Road to a site where a battle scene for Gunga Din was shot and Hydra tried out his new metal detector.

He found a penny! From 2005!

Only 1,994 more and the metal detector will have paid for itself!

In his defense, he did also find several nails, bottle caps, big staples, spent bullet casings, one bullet and a horse shoe over the course of the weekend.