I thought I would do an ongoing series of posts on works in progress, along with the random harvest series. So much of what we do day to day, whether with our creativity or otherwise, can be classed as works in progress. It could be a learning curve of any kind, a developing relationship, trying out new activities, home projects, even our whole life can be classed as one in the sense that we are always learning, always developing.
Here is a lovely quote I found on this last aspect from Charlie Scaturro:
The second we feel like we are no longer a work in progress is the second we stop making progress.
And the most progress is often made when we are amongst our hopes and dreams and side projects and things that inspire us and things we want to change for the better. It is amongst these things where life exists in its purest form. And it is amongst these things where we usually realize we are a work in progress and we will always be a work in progress.
As unsettling as this idea might be, it is surely one of life’s most important challenges to understand that everything about who we are is not finite and will continue to evolve and grow as time continues to pass.
So what are my current works in progress?
1. I’m cracking on with my memoir/guide. It’s odd, because when I was writing a section of it the other day and I found myself feeling uncomfortable talking so much about myself, namely about my past which I rarely dwell on these days (but which is nevertheless relevant to the ‘story’ and vital to the personal development thrust of the whole), I had to give myself a shake, and say to myself:
‘Of course you’re having to talk about your past! What did you expect with a memoir? Just get on with it and do the evaluating later.
So I think I’m over that wobble for now! But it is a very different writing experience and I’m thankful I’ve read some excellent memoirs over the last few years and have written a few life writing pieces before, as the tone and language can be so much more personal. I’ve just got to remind myself not to do smiles or winks like this ;>) Apart from these aspects, the dramatic shaping, world building, literary language and dialogues, can be very similar to fiction writing. However it does feel a more free form of writing which is refreshing after novel writing.
2. Speaking of which, I’m currently fishing to see if I can get a literary agent for ‘After Black’. Although I believe it to be a very mainstream appeal story for women, my expectations are low, which I feel is the best way to approach it. But the submitting was far easier than when I tackled it before. The covering letter, the synopsis (these days, 1 page only seems to be standard), and the manuscript’s first three chapters. There has been far less emotional investment this time around from me, so I’ve been on a learning curve for this too. And we shall see!
3. Long lost family. I mentioned a couple of months ago that I’d written to an estranged cousin, where the only address I had for him was from 2003. Well, I was in luck. He was still at the same address, and we’ve been emailing back and forth getting up to date and discussing and clarifying some of the family issues and memories from the past, which has been a cathartic process. I was able to send some wonderful old photographs I’d scanned from my aunt’s collection which my sister and I discovered during my aunt’s house clearance following her death. These were pictures the cousin and I had never seen before, so being able to do this felt special. Up-to-date family pictures were exchanged too , as we went from the past into the present. So in terms of work in progress, there has been constructive progress with this and I’m happy with where it’s at just now. I’m the more chatty one, but that’s inevitable ;>)
4. I’m working on a painting at the moment, where the foreground textures have to be build up using three tones of greens. There is a light golden-green in the foreground at the moment, in a flat dense coverage, with the medium and dark greens to be built on top. I’ve been using some embossed wallpaper sections coated in paint as a way of creating texture which you can see at work in the pink field. Don’t ask me why the field is pink, it was a result from a digital filter play around which I liked, so I’m sticking with it. Suggestions of what the pink stuff growing in the field might possibly be are welcome :>) Tall seed heads are to be painted into the foreground on top of the textured greens and grass patterns. Then some detailed finishing will imbue the patterned textures with more realism – hopefully! This painting is being worked from the sky downwards, which is a fairly traditional approach that I don’t always follow.
5. My latest interior design fiddle has been with a small pine chest of drawers. Sick of the sight of the vivid, orangy pine, stain colour, but appreciating the dimensions as fitting in perfectly where the drawers are currently located in one of the bedrooms – I decided to sand it back to a lighter patina and to change the knobs. I founds a wonderful selection of ceramic drawer knobs online (shabby chic style, apparently) and duly ordered them. Results below:
with close up of gorgeous ceramic handle:
6. Next up is that a friend of mine has been inspired by my ‘double crochet stitch’ projects to learn to crochet herself. Fine. But now she has jumped head-first into teaching herself how to do afghan/granny squares from some YouTube videos. Now these have always felt beyond me, and so naturally I can’t possibly let it rest there. I am now learning to do the same, and will let you know how I get on. Certainly no pictures for these yet!
7. And finally my work in progress with a special person as part of my volunteering activities will soon be formally coming to an end. There will then be a transition to being simply good friends, without the necessary volunteering boundaries which normally have to be in place. The fact that this person has dementia doesn’t really seem to hinder the relationship at all, because the bond we quickly formed is firmly in place, together with the way of being that goes with that – and both of these functions operate very naturally. To me, this has been somewhat of a heartening and joyful revelation.
PS. I’m having a change from pebbles to sand for a while on my blog’s background, as I was itching to make a change of some kind. And rather than feeling compelled to convert to another wordpress theme altogether, and the dicy road that may entail!, I played very safe. So gently does it. But I will be having fun with backgrounds for a while!
Wishing you much enjoyment and learning from your current works in progress, whatever they may happen to be.
(top pic, pixabay)