I'm sitting here at my computer, relishing the sound of rain just outside my window, and even the occasional growl of thunder and flash of lightning.
Rain is a welcome guest when you've been in a drought as long as we have...when you begin to doubt if your pond was ever full, or if you just imagined it, along with the roar of the little waterfall below your house that seemed to echo the sound of waves on a shore. Music to the ears of this beach-loving girl.
I hope that music has returned to the Hollow by morning.
More than that, I hope this is just the first of a series of summer thunderstorms that will turn nearby rivers back into lakes, and dried-up canyons back into rivers.
And keep the wildflowers blooming...
Rain is also good for reflection, and that's a good thing right now because I was invited to participate in a little blog stroll by my best friend, Annie Lockhart, a soulful artist, writer, and photographer who has always been a source of inspiration to me ... a catalyst for my own creativity.
It's because of Annie that I discovered the therapeutic, free-writing joy of blogging, and rediscovered my love of photography. She's also a gifted artist. You can see her beautiful work over at Annie Lockhart, soulful painting, and find out about her soulful painting workshops.
Now, let me pour a glass of wine and reflect upon these questions...
1. What am I working on?
That's actually a tough question for me. I'd like to say I'm working on my middle grade novel or my picture book or the historical fiction based on my great-great grandfather's memoir.
But the truth is, they are all gathering virtual dust inside my computer while I focus on building my real estate business and taking care of my family. I've even neglected my blog and photography lately, except for images from my morning walks that rarely get published, a few photography jobs for friends, and my weekly sweet! post.
But if life wasn't see-sawing, it would get awful boring, wouldn't it?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
None of my work - my blog, my writing, my photography, and even my real estate business - conforms to any type of niche. I have no specific genre. I'm an eclectic, through and through.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I have no idea. I joke that it's cheap therapy, but the truth is that the process is vital to me, like eating, sleeping, and breathing. It's something that begins as a seed inside of me, but grows and grows and grows until it has to be set free.
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
You'll probably say I'm crazy, but there's a constant voice inside my head, always narrating, experimenting with words, toying with ideas and thoughts. It can be pretty annoying.
My stories come from "what if's", combined with a run-away imagination. I free-write my original ideas as fast as possible, trying not to edit until I've dumped them all out onto the page. Writing can be exhausting and agonizing for me, trying to hear my characters' voices and stay true to their stories.
My photography simply comes from a desire to capture moments in time so I can remember them. I love to share the miracles of life I see around me with others, especially when seen up close and/or at different angles or light.
With writing or photography, I could spend hours editing and tweaking and trying this or that. I'm learning to tell myself, that's enough.
I've met so many talented, creative artists and writers through blogging. I'm happy to introduce you to three of them right now. I met all three while traveling the wonderful world of Blogland, and while I haven't met any of them face-to-face, I call them all friends, just the same, and feel my life is richer for knowing them.
Cyndee Starr is a mixed media artist and obsessive doodler. You can see her work at SheWhoDoodles.com or on Etsy at SheWhoDoodles.
(She turns anything into a work of art with her intricate doodles. Beautiful! I'm lucky to own one of her original doodled shirts.)
Carol Cassara is a writer, blogger and sometime college professor who lives out loud in Northern California with her crazy dog and very patient husband. She blogs daily at www.carolcassara.com
(I met Carol through a network of midlife writers. She's a gifted writer, but she earned my eternal loyalty when she sent a card to my mom, even though she's never met either one of us in person.)
And last, but certainly, not least, is Jim "Suldog" Sullivan, one of my favorite characters in Blogland. His writing can be irreverant, relevent, insulting, funny, and touching, all at the same time! Catch him at Suldog and the following....
Jim Sullivan is a freelance writer from Watertown, Massachusetts. His work has been published in Discover magazine, Funny Times, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, among others. His plan is to win a Pulitzer and a Nobel by 2017 and then spend the rest of his life being insufferably pompous about it.
His latest, in the Boston Herald - http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/op_ed/2014/05/sullivan_mom_knew_what_was_best
He has a piece in this month's Discover, also, but you'll have to buy it to read it. Likewise, the upcoming issue of Funny Times will feature his stuff, but it will cost you. And rightly so. It's funny stuff.
Go read them all now, but be sure to catch their posts next Monday when they get to answer all of these questions!