Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shear Common Sense for a Writer

When the opportunity arises for a writer to have a new experience that could be material that could lead to a story or book or poem or enrich life it is a no brainer.  Jump up from your desk and go.  It could also be called procrastination....

Got a call yesterday, the Yazzi family were shearing the last four of their 111 sheep.   I had missed the opportunity over the weekend so I was delighted to know I still had a chance to try my hand at this practice so tied to the life of the Navajo way.  It was truly a sharing, giving experience.

I have missed the lambing...harder to predict.  But the time for shearing is in the spring and most of the lambs have been dropped.

First you have to catch those suckers.  You don't see me in this picture.  While that is happening the shears need to be sharpened.

Tie that baby down.
You don't see me here either.

There is a knack to this.  If you do it correctly the wool of the whole sheep comes away in one piece.  After a while I was handed a pair of scissors.  "This is how the little girls learn."

 Testing the kemp to see if it is brittle.  Lots of jokes about hair conditioner.

A little piece of wool hand spun shows the lovely natural color this will add to the rug.

Neatly, newly shorn.

Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?  .....four bags full.
This one is mine.  Steve won't let me keep her.  All the sheep have names.  Logan(for the grandchild), Hippopotamus (eats like a hippo), Nessa, Ashanti, Zipper, Joker.  This one will be Karen.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I think I could be Georgia O' Keefe

I wish people were trees and I think I could enjoy them then....G. O'Keefe

Sometimes I think I like trees better than people....Me

It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest....G.  O'Keefe

So much of my writing comes from my life in other worlds, other cultures....Me

A mile of elephants with sand at their feet ...create the equivalent of what I felt.  G. O' Keefe 

I too see elephants in the dunes of the southwest....ME

Since I cannot sing, I paint....G. O'  Keefe

Since I cannot sing, I write...I try to paint...I create from what I see and feel and hear....ME

I live for now in the Southwest...Georgia O'Keefe country.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writing is a lot like Painting: Robert Henri at the Georgia O' Keefe museum

"If you paint children you must have no patronizing attitude toward them. Whoever approaches a child without humility, without wonderment, and without infinite respect misses in his judgement of what is before him."
---Robert Henri

Indeed the same is true of writing for children.

I was at the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe in January. The travel exhibit of the work of Robert Henri had much to inspire as did the work of O'Keefe.

So much of what Henri says about painting resonates with the writer.

The artist should be intoxicated with the idea of the thing he wants to express. (Robert Henri)

Do whatever you do intensely. (Robert Henri)

You will never draw the sense of a thing unless you are feeling it at the time you work. (Robert Henri)

Pretend you are dancing or singing a picture. A worker or painter should enjoy his work, else the observer will not enjoy it. (Robert Henri)

For more of Henri's quotes about painting and art and life that will also apply to the writer in us all see:


Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Writer never stops: Silverton, CO

Last weekend found me in Silverton Co. for the last of the season's snowshoeing. The trail was rutted with snowmobile tracks and the snow slushy. But this tiny town nestled in the San Juan mountains offers plenty for the writer's imagination.

It is impossible for a writer to "turn off" even when poor conditions challenge tired muscles .

Silverton smacks of the wild west and is all about setting. Every nook and cranny offers up colorful local detail. I would love to imbed myself here and write. For now I settle for photos and soak up place. After all it is all about location, location, location.
A strong setting here but what about character? I find my self wondering who is the child who lives here? Who explores the abandoned buildings? Who built and plays with this unique wagon?

In a town this size there can only be a handful of children the same age. Perhaps these sleds are enough for you and all of your friends.
Character. Who are the mother's, wives, women who erected this Christ of the Miners to look after the husband's, boys, sons, men who risked their lives in the mines?

And what about plot?

A hike to the grave yard suggests a number of plots and subplots with twists and turns all along the way.

It's all there. Mine explosion, Soiled Doves(think prostitute) a benevolent Madam, suicide and alcoholism....the imaginings begin and the writer never stops plotting.