Thursday, January 19, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Fantastic blog post from Jory Desjardins. I'm tempted to copy the whole thing but do hop over there.
'My mother tells me I'm on a writing streak; What's really going on is I'm learning the art of cultivating my connection to flow. I know what times of day I'm most likely to hear the voices. I know that, even if I have a thousand other things to do, if I go to a Starbucks or coffee shop, I can fool my mind into thinking I have all the time in the world. in this unrushed atmosphere the voices feel welcome. I do not look up to the lights at Starbucks and pray for the divine to strike me like a double espresso, but I sip coffee and silently summon it forth. "OK," I say. "I'm just gonna sort of start writing random stuff and you're going to help me connect the dots, dig?" Nine times out of ten I'll hear a voice asking me to repeat what I just said so that it can take in what I've written, and then it corrects me. The voice has great rhythm--it coaches me like my dance teacher did when I was a kid, "Keep your head up! Point your toes. Bop, bop, BOP! Stay on the beat."
After a while the voice gets tired and ducks out. I read what I've written and fix a few typos. I'm bound to read it the next day and curse myself for the typos. But I also marvel at the outcome and wonder, where the hell did this come from? Who really wrote this? '
Posted by m at 10:45 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I got caught in a hail shower and then a hail and sun shower. In Africa we called the concurrence of rain and sunshine a monkeys wedding. I therefore call this the Arctic Monkey's Wedding.
Patchwork blog via 52 Projects
oh and heres a link to Naked Ambition a calendar raising money for Bristol Uni's Rowing Club for a friend
Posted by m at 8:27 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Wow this morning I was experiencing complete frustration. I had earache in the night and still had twinges this morning. As I've had a cough as well and in the autumn was under par for nearly the whole of November I thought it best to cancell my plans for today and stay at home. My plans consisted of moving forward various projects which I want to do to get 2006 on its way. Instead I've been shuffling around the house sending plaitive emails to friends begging for sympathy. Then I checked one of my email accounts and noticed that I've had a ton of emails about my spare room which I'm letting. I then had a few phone calls about the room. So I was able to schedule times for people to come and see it tomorrow. Rather than being a waste of a morning. I've actually been able to do quite a lot just where I am. Sometimes things are different from our plans but I have to remember this doesn't necessarily make it worse just different.
Posted by m at 1:28 PM
I think I've posted about this book by Julia Cameron before. Her 12 week course has made innumerable changes to my personal and creative life. I'm currently doing her follow up book 'Walking in the World' with a friend. In the meanwhile there is a group of bloggers doing it online and blogging about their experiences.
Posted by m at 12:43 PM
Monday, January 09, 2006
I found a great post online in a blog (which I now can't find) about doable resolutions. This person's take was to commit to something for one lunar calender month. Next one starts 14th January. The result is that you have only committed to 4 weeks at a time. It makes a new change or habit less daunting and therefore you are more likely to stick with it.
It made sense to me - once I've got rid of my current cough I'm going to try and implement more exercise.
Posted by m at 4:09 PM
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
I originally was going to have a very quiet New Year's eve with my parents and go to the end of a dinner party held by a friend. In the end when I got to the dinner my host spontaneously proposed going up to Arthur's Seat (a hill in the middle of Edinburgh) to see the Hogmanay fireworks. To my amazement we got a taxi at 11.15pm on New Year's Eve. We got off at the bottom of the hill slithered and slid our way to its middle rib known as Salisbury's Crags. There we had a magnificent view of the city laid out before us. We opened some gin & tonic which we shared to keep out the cold while we waited for the the countdown. It was wonderful. Some of the fireworks were almost over our heads. The others we had a wonderful view including ones being set off over in Fife. Sadly none of my photos will I'm sure do justice. One of our party sang a traditional new year's song (not Auld Lang Syne) and we stumbled off the hill again. I walked home cheerily greeting passers by.
My brother and sister in law due to her work ended up going to the wedding of minor European Royalty during the summer. Naturally we wanted them to tell all. The best bit of the wedding they thought looking back on it was the journey to the reception. 'Green lights all the way!'. The next night after being told this story I got a taxi home and it was zipping along the almost deserted streets. Just before I got to my house the taxi driver said 'The lights have been green all the way'! I hadn't noticed but when he said this I felt a burst of joy. YES! This year which I have hoping to be different - will.
Posted by m at 12:01 PM
People know cars don't drive themselves, typewriters don't write novels by themselves and that Rembrandt's brushes didn't paint by themselves, so why do some people think cameras drive around and make pictures all by themselves? The most advanced, exotic and expensive car can't even stay in the same lane on the freeway by itself, much less drive you home. No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want. Every camera requires you to make manual adjustments now and then as well, regardless of how advanced it is. Never blame a camera for not knowing everything or making a wrong exposure or fuzzy image.
Here's how I came to discover this:
When it comes to the arts, be it music, photography, surfing or anything, there is a mountain to be overcome. What happens is that for the first 20 years or so that you study any art you just know that if you had a better instrument, camera or surfboard that you would be just as good as the pros. You waste a lot of time worrying about your equipment and trying to afford better. After that first 20 years you finally get as good as all the other world-renowned artists, and one day when someone comes up to you asking for advice you have an epiphany where you realize that it's never been the equipment at all.
You finally realize that the right gear you've spent so much time accumulating just makes it easier to get your sound or your look or your moves, but that you could get them, albeit with a little more effort, on the same garbage with which you started. You realize the most important thing for the gear to do is just get out of your way. You then also realize that if you had spent all the time you wasted worrying about acquiring better gear woodshedding, making photos or catching more rides that you would have gotten where you wanted to be much sooner.
I met Phil Collins at a screening in December 2003. It came out that people always recognize his sound when they hear it. Some folks decided to play his drums when he walked away during a session, and guess what? It didn't sound like him. Likewise, on a hired kit (or "rented drum set" as we say in the USA) Phil still sounds like Phil. So do you still think it's his drums that give him his sound?
A fan from Michigan teaches auto racing at a large circuit. The daughter of one of his students wanted to come learn. She flew out and showed up at the track in an rented Chevy Cavalier. She outran the other students, middle aged balding guys with Corvettes and 911s. Why? Simple: she paid attention to the instructor and was smooth and steady and took the right lines, not posing while ham-fisting a lot of horsepower to try to make up for patience and skill. The dudes were really ticked, especially that they were outrun by a GIRL, and a 16 year old one at that.
Sure, if you're a pro driver you're good enough to elicit every ounce of performance from a car and will be limited by its performance, but if you're like most people the car, camera, running shoes or whatever have little to nothing to do with your performance since you are always the defining factor, not the tools.
Catch any virtuoso who's a complete master of their tools away from his or her sponsors and they'll share this with you.
read the full article here via kottke
Posted by m at 11:41 AM