What’s your Six Word Memoir

Let’s continue the creative journey by writing Six Word Memoirs. Can you tell your story in six words? Well I never thought I could, and what I have attempted is by no means perfect, but for a first blush I’d say it’s not too bad.

This exercise is also compliments of Kim Klassen and Beyond Layers. Kim recently came across the Six Word Memoir in I believe the latest edition of O Magazine. I, however, read about this form of memoir in a writing magazine – I believe Writer’s Digest and I just glimpsed at the story, thinking I couldn’t possibly do that! Again with the negative energy and fear leading the way.

Well no longer. This is the year of FOCUS and The Year of Possibilities. So when the prompt came on Monday I pondered it a little and in between cooking dinner I wrote out a few:

Giving to a fault; reassessing this.

Tired. Determined. Perplexed seeker.

Walking through Life. Yearning to Live.

After creating those I came to the conclusion that a Six Word Memoir captures a moment in time. I was convinced of this tonight when I wrote the following after a lovely conversation with my 10-year-old niece:

Bubbling. Overjoyed and Loving that Girl!

So now it’s your turn, capture a moment in your life in six words!

For more on Six Word Memoirs check out Smith Magazine, the creative minds behind this form. You can find them here.

My Creative Story

As I peel back the layers and expose my creativity in Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers class one of the challenges or prompts is to tell my creative story. This was our first prompt last week, but it has taken me almost a week to conceptualize this story and sit here to share it with you.

I hope you’ll grab a nice cup of your favorite beverage and take this journey with me.

As a youngster I did my fair share of coloring, but I was not one prone to start an art project – give me a book and I would be lost for hours. One of my favorite photos of me as a child is of me lying on the floor with my legs bent at the knee with a book in front of me. At first glance you see a child reading, but if you inspect that photo closely you will find I have fallen asleep!

Now my Mom was one to have you involved in several activities and having studied Early Childhood Education she also had many projects for us that included painting and creating. I eagerly joined in, but I can’t say I was pleased with the outcome so I concluded art was not for me.

Early on I did have fascination with cameras and even had a Kodak Instamatic that I used to capture early memories. This would be the closest I came to being creative – or so that’s what I thought at the time. I’m not sure if it was my efforts to emulate my Dad or an early notion of recording history, but photography planted itself in my life and has since become a fixture. By the time I was about 13 or 14 my parents gave me my first and only 35mm Nikon FG that I still own and use from time to time today.

As a voracious reader it would naturally follow that I would love the written word and follow some sort of literary path. My path was not literary, but journalistic. I’m not sure when, but I was fascinated with the news and newspapers specifically. So I took all the English classes offered in school including AP and studied journalism in college. While seeking out English classes I avoided Art classes if at all possible. Unfortunately, I came up during a time when Art and Music were still a part of the curriculum so I really didn’t have a choice. I toiled through the assignments and my Mom even displayed my art.

Creative – not me. As a journalist with a weekly newspaper I used my camera to help tell my stories, and to document family events and my travels. I never looked at this as being creative. Over the years I learned how to do page layout and design at the newspaper, which I used later to create computer generated cards and invitations – creative, not me.

I didn’t take to crafts either. My Mom and sister loved crafts from needle point to sewing and finally knitting – not me. When my Mom took up knitting she and my sister tried to get me to join but my response was “I have two left thumbs.” I did give it a half-heart try, but to no avail. Then a few years later my sister announced she was pregnant with her first child and I decided I would try knitting again. I knit a cute, but imperfect blanket for my niece and I was hooked. Creative – not me.

About a year later when I was planning my wedding I created the invitations and a friend of my Dad’s – a tenured Art Professor and Artist received the invitation and was so impressed he framed my “artwork” and gave it to me. Creative – maybe I am.

My framed “Art” Wedding Invitation

Since that time I have taken up card making, I knit regularly and I have created wedding invitations for a few people. I have also taken up photography again. Today I still struggle with the designation of “Creative” but I’m working on accepting the “Creative” in me with Beyond Layers and renewed confidence.

Wrist Warmers I knit for a friend.
As I close I want to give a shout out to my “Cyber” friends! Over the past year I have met many women who have offered a wealth of advice for free, but more importantly have given me and many others the confidence needed to continue honing our skills. Also, the many participants in e-classes who have offered their kind words when viewing my work – it gives me hope and inspiration! The ladies I speak of include but are not limited to Shutter Sisters, Karen “Chookooloonks” Walrond, Kim Klassen, Kat Sloma, and Big Picture Classes.

What happens when you focus!

2012 is my year of Focus and boy has this been an adventure and we are only 23 days into the year! As I allow my chosen word to marinate and resonate with me I am finding that focus is a very broad and general term.

When I decided to choose a word focus just kept coming to me because while I don’t think I have a problem focusing all the time, I can get sort of scatterbrained – jumping from one thing to the next. This happens primarily with creative ventures and I think that’s because I have developed a number of interests over the years. So I was/am determined to focus on the key ventures and see them to fruition.

To that end I have enrolled in Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers e-course. Now one of the difficulties I have found with e-courses is that life just gets in the way of creative endeavors, but I’m determined that will not be the case with Beyond or with Ali Edwards One Little Word e-course.

So at least once or twice a week I make sure to check in on both sites and to produce a little something related to the prompts.

These are examples from last week’s Beyond Layers photo prompt. The goal was to take a simple image and add a layer, but always keep it simple. I think I nailed it! What say you?

Daisies to brighten your day!

Another take on the daisies

For the One Little Word January prompt you are encouraged to take a self-portrait or have someone take a photo of you. I had not gotten around to this portion of the prompt, so when Kim’s prompt suggested either using a self-portrait or something else I decided to try both for my “keep it simple” assignment.

Selfie leaving white space
Still leaving white space, but a fuller view

Not sure what I think of the selfies, but they’re done! Will do more as the weeks progress.
Thank you so much for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.

A Day of Remembrance

Today many in the U.S. celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by attending various events or by offering a service to their communities. What a fitting tribute to a man who died in service to others – to give of oneself for the betterment of others.

I unfortunately took today to reflect on myself and try to get my “house” in order so that I might be a better servant. This year I have started a new practice of choosing a single word to lead my life. This started as a plan to infuse some life into my creative endeavors and my work on “Plan B” but is involving into a life plan.

A day of remembrance and reflection in front of the fire.

The warm glow of a fire.

My chosen word is focus and according to Merriam-Webster this is what it means:

fo·cused also fo·cussed fo·cus·ing also fo·cus·singDefinition of FOCUS
transitive verb
1a : to bring into focusb : to adjust the focus of (as the eye or a lens)
2: to cause to be concentrated <focused their attention on the most urgent problems>
3: to bring (as light rays) to a focus : concentrate
intransitive verb
1: to come to a focus : converge
2: to adjust one’s eye or a camera to a particular range
3: to concentrate attention or effort
— fo·cus·able adjective
— fo·cus·er noun
 See focus defined for English-language learners »
Examples of FOCUS

  1. She has an amazing ability to focus for hours at a time.
  1. I wasn’t able to focus the camera.
  1. I wasn’t able to get the camera to focus.

First Known Use of FOCUS
Related to FOCUS
Synonyms: centerfastenconcentraterivettrain

As I take my journey with this word I will use it as an intransitive verb, most specifically it is my goal this year to concentrate attention or effort on being a better me in 2012. This means in a nutshell that I plan to look inside and make the changes I need in order to have a positive effect on my personal, professional and creative lives. 
So today I worked on my plans for improvement this year, because Dr. King had a dream that he worked hard for and gave the ultimate sacrifice for; therefore it is only fitting that I work hard on my dreams while remembering him. 

365/66 Photo Challenge – Day 15

For today’s installment of the 365 Photo Challenge I thought I’d go back to the park and shoot my favorite tree seen here, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it during today’s brief walk. Bummer! Not to be deterred I will return when the temps are a little higher.

While I did not find the tree I did have a nice brisk walk and communed with nature just a bit, and that in and of itself is a milestone for me! I am not opposed to walking totally, but when the mercury hovers around 25 degrees you are more likely to find me next to a fire as opposed to traipsing through the snow.

It was actually somewhat invigorating so I may try to make this a weekly habit – just have to bundle up a little better than I did today!

Take a peek below! Enjoy! Also I love comments, so if you’re so inclined let me know you stopped by!

The water keeps rolling…I wonder if it ever actually freezes.