Month: September 2014

5 Things – September Edition

2014-09-06 22.05.05I’ve been spending my Sunday evenings writing 5 Things over on Nerd Grrrl Island. I was feeling less than inspired for much of September, and tackling a lot of personal issues, but I promised myself to do 5 Things each week. It gives me a sense of achievement, and it’s wonderful to wake up on Monday morning knowing I’ve already gotten some thoughts down for that week.

My hope is that my 5 Things takes a more creative turn, as that was my initial intent with it. I’d like to have fun with it and write about elements of my life that I may not otherwise share. I’d like to tell stories.

At the end of each month, I’ll share my 5 Things posts over here for those who are not on Tumblr. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Twitter (@4lala) & find me on Facebook as well.

5 Things – 9/7/14

5 Things – 9/14/14

5 Things – 9/28/14

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#MicroblogMondays: The Perfection Monster

Tea Bag Wisdom

Ah, the wisdom of tea bags. I need to write this quote on my wall so I see it throughout the day. The Perfection Monster sneaks up on me, prevents me from calling a new piece of work (whether visual art or writing) done. I’m constantly seeing something else that could be added or tweaked. If I let the Perfection Monster get to me, I’ll never get anywhere. (Yes, I just looked over at a painting that took two years for me to call “finished” and contemplate what lurks in my drafts folder…) Sometimes, we just have to say “DONE!” (or, alternatively, “fuck it!”) and sign that canvas, hit the “publish” button, without criticizing every last brush or key stroke.

I have found a couple things that help keep the Perfection Monster at bay:

1. I read major publications or other works I respect, and find typos. The grammar nerd in me is aggravated by any error I find, from dinner menus to magazine articles, I’m often appalled that something made it past editors paid to check for mistakes and hit the printer. However, if I pull back for a second, and simply acknowledge we all are just humans doing this work, none of us perfect, I realize my writing never needs to meet the infinite (and ever-climbing) bar I place upon myself.

2. When I head to a museum or gallery, I seek out pieces I’m attracted to or works by artists I have deep respect for. I stand in front of the picture and stare, looking for the mishaps, seeing where paint never hit the canvas, where a line was accidentally blurred, where a touch-up calls too much attention. I see that even the Masters, artists I look up to, aren’t perfect either. It’s an important acknowledgement: we aren’t machines. We breathe, we feel, we create. We make things, and a lot of times those things are flawed.

The fact we’ve opened ourselves up to create anything at all, that alone is beautiful, flaws and all.

What ways do you keep the Perfection Monster away? 

Thanks again to Stirrup Queens for #MicroblogMondays. I missed last week, but was really looking forward to coming back to it today. I went over the 8 sentence limit rule, but what can I say? Rebels gotta rebel.

#MicroBlogMondays: 4 Little Girls

The 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham

The 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham

51 years ago, four young black girls were killed in Birmingham when their church was bombed by the KKK. I had the opportunity to visit the church last summer on my civil rights trip. We have made progress, yes, but I look around and find it devastating about how very far we’ve yet to go.

Today I am thinking of Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the four girls lost that day. Too many black children have had their dreams and their potential ripped away from them. Violence and terror from racists, hate groups, the police, and the PIC must end.

It is my hope that in 51 years from now, I can speak of these crimes and heartaches in historical terms only. Maybe, just maybe, we will have learned our lessons and will no longer leave so many mothers to mourn their children.