Quote of the Moment

"It's never wrong to hope, Byx," said my mother. "Unless the truth says otherwise."
- from Endling #1: The Last, by Katherine Applegate

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Good Year for Butterflies

Well, it's been nearly a month. I suppose I ought to update all none of you on how I've been doing, or not doing, with my life.

First off, I might mention the butterflies. This seems to be a particularly good year for them. I lost count of how many I've seen. These aren't just the Western tiger swallowtails, either (which are cool enough, as far as I'm concerned.) It's a fairly wide variety, pretty much everywhere I go. According to my books on such matters, butterflies are symbols of transformations, transitions, and joy at life. They are about seeing where you want to go and who you want to be, then figuring out what in your life needs to change so you can get there. I've seen large numbers of butterflies before, too. After my December incident (which I won't bother rehashing here - seems like everyone reading this already knows about how the Universe tried to kill me to get my attention), and various messages and events surrounding that incident, I've been trying to keep my eyes a bit more open to such things. The lesson of the December incident, as summed up by one astrologer, was essentially Change Or Die. I'm still here, alive and, so far as I can determine, healthy, so I'm hoping my subconscious self, the one that brought me to the brink to begin with, is on board with the whole "change" option and won't feel compelled to give me another prod again, at least not for quite some time. The lesson of the butterflies is perhaps less extreme, but the idea of change is still there.

I'm trying, as best I know how, to get my life on some semblance of a track, headed toward some semblance of a destination. The emphasis here is "as best I know how." We are not a big family for changes. My parents have been married for 36 years. I've lived in the same house my entire life. I only changed schools (barring age breaks) once, over summer break, because one elementary school in town was shut down due to diminished attendance. (Man, that was a long time ago - today, it's reopened and bursting at the seams. But I digress...) I went through Camp Fire from kindergarten through high school, not always with a group or even necessarily as an active participant but because Mom had us in Camp Fire and, dang it, we kids weren't going to quit until she was good and ready to leave. I've only had one real job. In thinking about my life, I've come to the conclusion that there's a lot I just plain don't know, nor am I entirely sure how to learn. One of these glaring oversights in my education is change. I suck at it. Truly, I do. My idea of change is getting hooked on a new series after an old one goes off the air, stops publication, or jumps the shark (that happens in both TV and printed worlds, incidentally.) Intellectually, I know that change is not only inevitable, but even potentially desirable. I know that the life I'm living now is not the life I ought to be living, or even necessarily the life I want to live. And I'm seeing all these butterflies, these beautiful, dancing creatures who make change look so easy and appealing. It's the actual change, it's the getting there from here and knowing that there is a there I want to get to, that's slowing me down. But I'm trying, at least. As best I know how.


Oh. I promised an update on my pseudolife. I suppose I ought to give one. Off of my list from a couple entries ago, the only tangible success has been the first one, Finish That Logo. It's finished, burned, and ready to run this coming Tuesday. Frankly, I'm not overfond of it. I think the background's unnecessary. But, they wanted trees and a lake, so they got trees and a lake. I only hope they still want him. See, the camp site director hasn't gotten back to us to confirm the date of the run. I sent a preview to her supposed e-mail address and haven't heard a peep back. So we're showing up on Tuesday with a silk screen and hoping they're ready for us. At the very least, I want to get some compensation. I worked my tail off on this one, dang it, and if they're going to force me to use a background I don't like, they're at least going to give me something for my time and effort!

It's not exactly on the list, but I did fill another sketchbook. Technically, it was half a sketchbook - it was lost for a while, but I found it again. I had another book running around, but the paper's more suited to dry media, and I do most of my learning doodles/sketching with ballpoint pens. So I've got to make an art store run tomorrow. Never fun on a nonexistent budget, but I'm already going nuts without a sketchbook. I'll take that as a good sign, that I've programmed my brain to consider creativity and art a "must" rather than a "maybe." While I'm out, I'm going to get a cheap kitchen timer. The idea behind it is simple: I set the timer to half an hour (to start with), pick an activity (writing, sculpting, art, playing with my penny whistle), and until that timer runs up I'm not allowed to leave said activity. Even if I'm just dusting my sculpting tools or alphabetizing my pencil collection, I'm sitting there, doing something, for that length of time. My hope is that I'll program my brain to actually create things rather than daydream about creating things or concocting reasons why I can't create things just now.

Speaking of the penny whistle, I've had an unusual urge to pick it up again after... yeesh, it's been nearly a year of not playing. Surprisingly, I haven't forgotten absolutely everything about playing it. I have no idea why, but I feel I ought to know how to play a musical instrument. The trick is finding a place to play where relatives and pets won't bug me, and where I won't bug relatives and pets.

I am still writing (believe it or not), but not at the rate I was for a while. There are a number of factors, most notably the synapse-scorching heat and lingering humidity we've had hanging around the area, but as usual it boils down to inherent laziness. I'm working on it, though, even if sometimes I feel like I'm totally winging it and my readers will clue in instantly that I don't have a clue what I'm writing about. (Not unlike right now... ;-) )

On site news, I haven't really done much. I hope to completely overhaul the Realm by the end of the year, and Skyhaven could use a facelift if nothing else. Speaking of Skyhaven, at least one existing creature is (hopefully) going to get a complete redesign by the next update, and I'm kicking around a couple of new species in my brain that may almost be ready for public display. Provided I can get my claws on a sketchbook ASAP, that is...

Well, I suppose that's it for now.