2011 in review and heading into 2012
I guess I was supposed to do a review of 2011 on New Year’s Eve. Instead I went out and bought myself a DVD recorder and an iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner. Both to help me focus more on the words. After that I made myself a scrumptious dinner, watched the 1982 Moving Pictures concert at the Hordern Pavillion, watched an episode of Moonlight to ensure that my new DVD recorder was playing properly (now that was a dose of 2 Alex’s (Smith & O’Loughlin). I considered adding a third Alex to the mix (Alexander Skarsgard, Eric in True Blood) but then switched over and watched Stephen Fry live at the Opera House instead, followed by midnight fireworks and Rage.
2011 was a year of discovery for me. A year where I moved away from the past, away from the previous relationship and started creating the present and the future I want.
It was a year that I focused on my writing development, my fitness, and creating real-life support networks. It was a year that I met new people, people that I think will be in my life for a long time.
It was a year I did an administrative review of my life: became organised, took out health insurance, paid off loans that had originated with the past relationship.
It was a year that I tested the boundaries of my comfort zone, took leaps of faith, felt the fear and did it anyway: travelling for work to unfamiliar towns to deliver training to strangers, stepping into a management role at work, bellydancing on stage.
It was a year where I seized opportunity. Sometimes seizing opportunities had great results such as the interview with Alex Smith from Moving Pictures here, followed by the Moving Pictures concert.
I published a zine of collage poetry Sliced and Diced, which led to me giving a collage poetry workshop to Bellingen Writers Group. Sometimes the results of seizing the opportunity weren’t what I hoped for, but at least I put myself out there, instead of wondering ‘what if’.
It was a year I spent a lot of time in Sydney – enough to whet my cultural appetite, enough to catch up with friends and family, and enough to remind me why I don’t want to live in that mad city rush atmosphere anymore.
It was a year that I fell in love with Melbourne (again) and for one day considered it as a place I could live — and then it turned wet and miserable again.
It was a year that I learned lots about writing craft and editing — and learned to love editing (sometimes). I did in person workshops with Linda Jaivin, M J Hyland, and Everything You Need to Know about Publishing at the NSW Writers Centre. I did online workshops with Margie Lawson, Angela James and others.
It was a year that I felt the joy and despair of the writing life: finalling in the STALI and bombing out in other competitions with the same manuscript. Finding my readers and finding people who are so NOT my readers. Words flowing, words not flowing. Learning not to compare my dirty drafts with others polished, published writing.
It was a year that I discovered that I work best in binges when it comes to collage poetry. My goal had been to create a collage poem a week – however, when I do start playing with cut-out words, I often have 4 or 5 poems on the go. I went on a collage poetry binge after presenting the workshop and created 18. So this year I am going to have a collage poetry weekend once a month, starting today.
Here’s a couple I prepared earlier (during the binge). I LOVE both of these. I think they should be my theme for 2012.
The first one I will call
The second one is called
I also expanded my creative expression by exploring the combination of words on a photo background. First I wrote the text, then I had to take the photos that complemented or juxtaposed the text. All of the photos were taken at the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. The ‘photo essay’ was about body image and the constant battle of weight. This was published in the Nambucca Valley Writers Group anthology Food for Thought. Here’s one sample page:
I’d like to explore combining words with images more in the future. And with this project, I discovered the joy of photography again.
It was a year that I learned that doing the right thing is not always the best thing. Sorry, Elvis.
So that’s 2011 in review: a year of growth in mind and spirit (and thanks to Curves and bellydancing, not in body) and creating just the right amount of independence and support.
My 2012 goals are posted here.
May we all have a wonderful 2012 full of love, friends and fulfillment and lots of words.