A new look. / by Christina Rosalie

IMG_5370 Hi. It's about time for a new look around here.

In the process, I seem to have lost a post, but no big deal. It's Monday and its sunny which are two things I generally really love, except last night Sprout woke up at 4am and pretty much didn't go back to sleep the rest of the night/morning. And how I count on those two hours. Oh man. It will certainly be a two latte day.

Now that things are fresh and clean around here, I want to share some links I've found lately that I've been enjoying.

Firstly, Tait Simpsons's photographs. They are full of line and texture and mood. Also Sophik's dreamy summer photos. Especially this one. I've always had a soft spot for old trucks. These portraits by Mikael Kennedy also grabbed me. They are haunting and memorable and somehow almost secretive, like you're there in the room, but no one knows.

Also, a little music. I'm listening to this over and over again. It's in a story I'm working on, and the more I listen the more I love it. Gould was a fascinating, remarkable, devastating musician. Speaking of music, have you heard this? If not, you are in for a treat. It's the kind of mixed up soundtrack that makes sense to me. That music is like what stories do in my head: one talking to another until they become part of another story together.

So. Hi. What are your plans for August? I'll tell you mine, if you tell me yours. I want this month to be outstanding. It's the last month of summer. The month when all the insects start singing in the grass and the blackberries get ripe. Its the month for doing big things.

So I'll admit. I have an embarrassingly enormous writing goal for August. I had a story blindside me the other day, and it won't let go. It's as far away from anything I'm comfortable writing as I've ever been, and yet it's good and the exciting and the characters just keep whispering in my ears. It's all rather discombobulating, as I was right in the middle of my book project, and I have more than one short story on the stove too right now. But it wont leave and is demanding to be written, so I am.

I decided to do my own little August version of NaNoWriMo. Ha. Did I just say little? Not so much really. I am aiming to have about 80,000 words by the end of the month. I know, right? Crazy. I can't help it though. The story must. be. written. And I figure if I write about it here it will be just one more reason to do it.

Also, I am really interested to see how I respond to such concrete writing goals and completely new material. The stuff I've been working on for other book is so different. I have so much material already there that I am constantly tripping myself up with ambivalence and indecision. That story is close to my heart and I love it, but it is a pain in the ass. Kind of like another child.

The new story, though, this hit-me-upside-the-head story is more like someone I have a crush on. I am obsessed. I want to do nothing but sit down and listen to the characters as they chatter amongst themselves. My fingers ache at night from typing, and there is no way, no way at all I can type fast enough to get everything down it seems. And I like it like that. And I am interested to see what happens if I go for it, all out, no hold barred, no excuses.

See, the thing is, I respond well to goals and deadlines whether I want to admit it or not. And I also respond well to doing things in little bite sized manageable pieces. Like the 30 Day Shred, or running 3 miles, committing to 2500 words a night seems like a concrete and small enough goal that it will actually get me somewhere. Like in the neighborhood of an entire novel by the end of this month.

Right, so, off the deep end I go. Tra la la.

What are you up to this month? What thing do you really want to do in that quiet secret compartment in your heart? I dare you. I dare you to do it every day. For the whole month. (PS-Because I'm into doing things big this month, I am declaring it an unofficial delurking day. Please say hi. Your comments are one of my favorite things in the world.)