We're in the midst of a massive snowstorm, which was preceded by my Julia's Migraine Weather Network forecast of 'Beware'. My migraines are triggered by low pressure systems, and two of them are colliding over Nova Scotia as I type. I began to feel the system's arrival on Monday. By Wednesday - Snow Day - I really felt crappy. But a year-and-a-half into acupuncture treatment for migraines, and I was able to make it into work, when previously I would not have been able to get out the door.
The Ordeal home from work only added to the misery. An hour's commute became a two-and-a-half hour odyssey, including trudging home for about forty minutes through the pelting snow from the last bus terminal on the route because the bus couldn't make it past the icy intersection onto the road.
Since the storm ate into my blogging time, here are thirteen bits of randomness for your winter reading:
1 - One never knows where blogging will take you. I was approached this week by the local professional theatre to preview their winter season play because the marketing department googled Halifax arts bloggers and found me.
2 - I have had the pleasure of meeting three blog friends in Real Life - Wiley Kinson, Leah Braemel and Apprentice Writer - and hope to add to that number this summer when I go to the writer's conference in New York.
3 - Sixteen years after graduating from film school, I'm looking forward to working on a short project at long last. I did work on several other gigs over the years, including my very first paid writing job for a TV documentary, but this will be the first time I'll be doing something of my own again in years.
4 - I'm preparing to launch a web site this year. Graphics already being designed as you read this. I had to use it as a carrot during NaNoWriMo.
5 - Eight years ago, I joined my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I already had my film degree and felt I was a strong writer.
However, it has taken all of these eight years to really refine my craft and learn how to write a novel as opposed to a screenplay.
6 - During this eight-year period, I battled chronic pain issues from an injury and from recurring, debilitating migraines. I still managed to write, and even started this blog four years ago, keeping up a regular posting schedule.
Since beginning acupuncture treatment a year-and-a-half ago, my pain issues resolved themselves enough to allow me to complete the revisions that kept me from finishing a challenging manuscript. Sometimes roadblocks are sneaky. Sometimes they're not creative or motivational. They may seem unrelated, but some roadblocks may be physical problems, financial problems or social obligation problems that are not the obvious source of one's frustration.
If you can identify them, however, you can tackle them just like any other creative block.
7 - Why friends are so awesome:
Here in Halifax we have a small dance community, but not one big enough to place a book like Apollo's Angels on the fly-off-the-bookstore-shelves list. But when I caught up with my friend Alan in Toronto, he mentioned it right away, as he knew it was quite obviously written with me specifically in mind.
It's a comprehensive cultural history of ballet, written by a former dancer and historian, and it made the 10 Best Books of 2010 list by the New York Times Book Review.
When I went with my bookstore gift card money to the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto to get it, the clerk in the Performing Arts section said they couldn't keep it in the store. He immediately called over to the Eaton Centre Indigo Books store and had them put one on hold for me, telling them, "She'll be there in ten minutes." Holy mackerel! I raced over to grab my copy before it dashed out onto Yonge Street in someone else's bag.
Thanks, Alan, for knowing I couldn't live another day without it.
Thanks, Toronto, for being the kind of city where Apollo's Angels can create this kind of emergency.
8 - When I was at the matinee performance of The Nutcracker during my vacation, a little girl a few rows behind me sang along when the children's chorus began during the snow scene at the end of act one. Not only did it not bother me, it delighted me that she could sing the entire thing perfectly.
9 - I received a lovely bottle of Glenlivet single malt whisky from my brother-and sister-in-law for Christmas, and made the error of not packing it in my checked luggage for the flight home. I'd had visions of crushed bottles from tossed suitcases. Silly me.
As my husband and I wound our way through the security lines, we realized there were too many millilitres of liquid for it to make it through as carry on. I told the security woman when I got to her: "I've got whisky in here."
She very seriously told me to check that piece of carry on as luggage, as if the very thought of having to toss out single malt would make her seek professional therapy. I loved her reverence for my Glenlivet. Highly appreciated, anonymous security person!
10 - I'm quite certain there was not enough shortbread in my Christmas this year. I think I got some at my writers' potluck at the end of November.
11 - Someone who saw the pictures I took of my sister's wedding thought they'd been taken by the professional photographer.
12 - Meanwhile, my friend Marianne - who takes fantastic photos - checked out my camera while we had lunch together and promptly told me to read my user's manual, as I clearly know nothing about my own piece of equipment.
LOL! Because it's true.
13 - I met with writer friends Chris and Charlene for lunch while in Toronto, and the two of them (and I believe a few other friends of theirs) always declare each year to be the Year of Something.
This year is the Year of Re-Invention.
I told them I would be participating fully in that year. Here's a few thoughts on re-invention from Carla Rieger, a motivational speaker:
"I was discovering a new purpose that wanted to be born into my life.
What took so long for me to get through this process was that I didn’t want to let go of the old identity because it was familiar, I knew how to make it work and I was attached to the social approval I received for this kind of work, not to mention the income and sense of security that provided. Yet, trying to hold on was actually creating more problems in my life.
When I finally let go of my old identity and let myself go into the dark and the unknown I started to discover amazing things, parts of myself that wanted expression. The truth was that I didn’t need to change what I was doing but how I was doing it.
It takes courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful for you. There is actually more security in taking an adventure into the new, because in movement there is life and vitality again."