What's that old coffee commercial cliche...? "The best things come to those who wait." Well, I'm in no rush, but 2012's autumn just began which means the year is beginning its wind-down. Typical me, already I've had thoughts of what might be on next year's list, but I want to focus on now. The third quarter is when many of us creative types bail on our projects, so I feel better when I see the check marks in the little boxes. I like to know I haven't given up. And I haven't - I feel great that this week I've checked another one off:
#23 - Post 12 blog entries on Love Them Apples
However I couldn't keep up with my own goals. I was disappointed in myself, but I try to question my assumptions. Perhaps my expectations were unreasonable. I wanted to succeed, so how could I adjust my vision. When I started The List I decided to commit to LTA blog posts once a month - or, softening that a little, twelve times this year. I figured I could at least do that.
At first I did pretty well. In March I posted every week and thought maybe I'd short-sighted myself, but then April was nada. May and June, just one apiece. And then nothing in July and for most of August. I'd stagnated.
It wasn't that I didn't try. I went for a run almost every day. Words formed into sentences as my feet hit the pavement. I brainstormed. I wanted a new writing project to emerge from my pre-epic journey's fits and starts, only when I sat down to write I didn't get anywhere.
Darby's been encouraging me to write a recipe/essay-type book about cooking - sort of Love-Them-Apples in book form - but I haven't had the focus. A love story/recipe memoir has been on my mind for years and in July I even came up with a title, but I couldn't locate the beginning of the story. I pulled out old journals and tried to find a thread, but zip. Meanwhile, during those weeks a woman I know invited me to collaborate on a vegan cake cookbook, so I figured even if I couldn't eek out a sentence, at the least I would learn something about the world of cookbook publishing.
As the fresh picture of myself emerged, it came like static channel snow on our old black and white. I was as nebulous as a cloud of stardust. I couldn't find the words, and I lost my desire to search for them. I just wanted to wallow in the images I'd taken during those few days on my old stomping ground. I took plenty of photos while I was there, but those weren't the images I was looking at. They were the pictures in my mind that captured me. They were sensory rich - smells, sounds, the touch of the rock, the movement of deer who crossed my path, the chitchat of gossip from the old ladies in the Clubhouse office, the look of my old house, and the deep search for buried memories I haven't seen in twenty years.
July and August were the dream months of swirling memories. My subconscious needed to settle before I could understand enough to express in writing. There was no way to go back to the old routine of the first half of 2012, so in a rash desire to do something while I was waiting for clarity to step in, I started this List of 100 Things blog.
And it worked! Writing this blog cleared space for other writing. After a few posts here I was able to get back into the Love Them Apples blog, and finally this week posted my 12th entry there. Yippee doodle. Of course I think I may have cheated on the pancake post, since it was really a re-working of an older post, but it's only September. I'm ahead of schedule.
#33 - Run a race
I didn't know that I would sign up for half marathon, or that I would run the equivalent of that distance two-and-a-half to three times a week every week.
Likewise, when I wrote
#98 - Embark on a New Writing Project
I hadn't considered that the project I'd embark on might be an online extension class at UCLA. As it turns out, it is. And I am. Enrolled. Writing The Personal Essay. Class starts next week.
In any case, that is exactly why I created this blog. Come on, baby, let the insights roll.