Wednesday, June 27

The Slippery Street

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash
"art is more than a product of your efforts - it should be about feeling, life, attitude, soul..." ~Sergio Bongart

I love this quote, and it seems to me to go with the picture over here. Because it's all about frame of mind. If you focus on the long, slippery, empty road, it's a rainy day...but if you focus on the sky, you can see the sun beginning to break through the clouds, the lushness of the green grass and trees, and you can see that the day is about to change.

Around here, this would turn into a muggy, humid yukky afternoon. The kind that requires a lot of cold beverages and a cool pool to float in. I imagine, with the mountains in the background, that maybe it wouldn't be so humid in the picture. Maybe the ground would remain wet and maybe the leaves on the trees would make that slippery sound as I walk through, and maybe the road would make that swooshy sound if a car were to pass by.

Back to the quote. To me, art is an amazing painting or a great photograph or a really well made quilt. It is something that I can look at, something I can't touch (because museums frown on that sort of thing), and that ability to only look and imagine might, in turn, change the way I look at things.

Which, I suppose, means the books I read (and write) are, in fact, art. Because while I can touch the cover, I can't reach out and touch the sunrise or the first kiss or that horrible, terrible black moment when all is lost. I can experience those things, but I can't touch them. Like I can't touch the paintings at the museum or the quilts on display at the county fair. However, if you ever hear me say something like, "I'm an ahhhtist", please feel free to slap me about the head, mmmkay? Back to the topic of art.

There are days when I look at my computer and I am the rainy, slippery, lonely road: I need to be avoided. I'm focusing on what is wrong with my book or characters or whatever kerfuffle abounds on the interwebz that day. Lately there seems to be a new kerfuffle every day and it's maddening and its tiring and I'm getting of the subject really quickly, aren't I? Those are the days when I'm in the wrong frame of mind. I'm missing that beautiful moment when the sunshine (a review, a new contract, a kind word from my agent or editor) breaks through  to change the day.

Those are the days when I remind myself to change my frame of mind. Not to focus on the slippery road of a bad review or another writer whose career seems to be going places faster than my own. Instead of that negative focus, I look for the sunshine breaking through. Maybe it's a new freelance job or maybe it's a "OMG, how did you make me like *him*" comment from my critique partner. Sometimes it's something wonderful happening for a dear friend. Sometimes it's a bebe moment of triumph. More often than not, that sunshine is as simple as re-reading a sentence that I wrote a week or a day or a month ago that makes me see a character (or something happening in my real life) in a different light. And I realize, even if things aren't all roses and success, that I get to do this wonderful, amazing thing. I get to tell stories and the stories that I tell might change the way someone looks at their corner of the world. Maybe just for a moment, but maybe, that change will be longer lasting. In either case, I've done my job well.

What is your art? How will you celebrate it today?

3 comments:

  1. I love this. I celebrated mine today when Nan listed one of my books as a favorite on FB. Everyone of us needs bolstering up sometimes to get through the muggy or rainy days. Thanks, Nan, and thanks, Kristi, for a great post.

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    1. we do - one of the things I love about the romance writing community is how we lift one another up. :D Thanks for stopping by, Liz!

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  2. Thanks for this reminder, Kristi. Just the other day I had one of those green-eyed moments of envy. Someone I knew from way back who started writing about the same time I did had published multiple books and was doing so much better than me. Thank you for reminding me not to compare myself to other writers. Just sit down and do my own work.

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