It was an overreaction, are you surprised?

You know, I think I spoke too soon when I dashed my first draft down as a “piece of crap.”  It’s not so bad when I get through to the good parts.  It’s just going to take some serious editing.  I had only read through the first quarter of the story when I said those things, and of course it was pretty  weak then, because I didn’t yet have a plot figured out.  I just read through the first half (and remember, it is a story in two symetrical halves) and feel a lot better about things, like maybe it wasn’t a waste of a month.  Phew, as they say.

Digitize, my love.

There was a strange and wonderful tide of digital events today.  This morning I arose relatively early (by Christmas vacation standards) to get to work finishing my comic strip by its deadline, and I thought, “The past few times I’ve colored this using watercolors I was definitely underwhelmed,” and so the natural next turn was toward Photoshop.  After a half hour of fumbling around with my laptop’s touchpad my dear brother saw me and said, “Do you want to use my Wacom tablet?”  And I said, “Yes!”  And I forgot how much fun–and efficient!–it can be to Wacom.  And furthermore I’ve come to believe that staying in the lines while coloring is strictly for kindergarteners:

(Click image for a full view) I suppose you could call this a preview (pick up your copies of the Riverwest Currents this January!).  What, I didn’t tell you that my comic strip is about a blogger?  Hm.

Anyway, this evening I went to hang out with my friend Holly who gifted me with a “Finger Beats” drum machine, and later in the evening an old Yamaha keyboard, both of which couldn’t sound less like real instruments, but in the most exciting way.  Born in me were ideas for solo electronic projects or at least experiments.  I guess I’d put my money on “experiments.”

Somewhere in the middle of these two digital happenings my family and I took a trip to the zoo and I fed a cracker to a giraffe and watched an otter dive into a pool of near-frozen water and it was all very organic and I refreshing, with the snow and the cold air and the smells and noises of animals.    I think I’ll always prefer the organic world, but these occasional rendez-vous with the digital are kind of exhilarating.  Anyway, it was a nice day, and thanks for reading about it.

Go ahead, you can laugh all you want.

I took a single semester of Philosophy in college, a course on ethics.  While I don’t regret that I never majored in Philosophy, I do wish I had retained a little more of what I learned in that course.  Partly because it’s interesting to me, but even more so because it keeps popping up as a potential storyline.  Not just an overarching theme–ethics in this modern world–but philosphy is nosing its way in as plot, as characters: philosophers doing things on pages of a book.  Philosophise is an action word.  Something is brewing, perhaps.  But it will require some of that research that I so dread.

Prince of Peace in a war-torn world.

I thought I’d write a little bit more about Mary and Joseph this Advent and in the end I didn’t write a thing about them.  Guessers may suggest it was a Protestant reaction against the virgin Mary (which is not true) or a skeptical mistrust of the earthly father of Jesus, who is barely mentioned after the Nativity story (Did he even stick around?).  But the truth is, I have all kinds of respect and devotion when I think about the parents who raised Christ in this world, I just didn’t have the time to write much about them.  In my private thoughts I did consider what it would have meant for a scared fifteen year old virgin to learn she was pregnant with the son of God, and why her fiance would stand by her in a time in history when it was not only acceptable but even expected that men put women in their place.  I know there was a lot of divine intervention through all of this to make sure that things went on as planned, but even considering that it is pretty evident that Mary and Joseph were some incredible human beings.  Those are the things I didn’t have time to write about this Advent, I apologize.

I have a little time today though, on this Christmas Eve of 2007, and I wanted to just say a few things about the Prince of Peace whose arrival we will celebrate tomorrow.  Something I have been wondering this season is, “Where is the peace?”  Since the birth and life and death and resurrection and ascension of Christ there have been countless wars and holocausts, genocides and massacres, and what’s worse, many of those were exacted in his name.  (My grade school mascot was the Crusader, for crying out loud!) Jesus may have been a pacifist himself, but we don’t go around calling every kind-hearted soul the Prince of Peace.  Even Ghandi didn’t get that kind of a title.  I don’t pretend to know history–I have no idea if the cummulative blood shed was greater in the time before his life or after his life, but I know that this post-Christ era is seemingly infinite and the body-count is growing.  How can we call Jesus the Prince of Peace when there is no end in sight, where violence is concerned?  Jesus may have saved the souls of this world, but he left us here on earth in no better condition than when he came.  Right?  So why the “Prince of Peace”?

I don’t really like to admit that my Advent meditation was, at times, less than adoring.  We’re supposed to focus on the savior, after all, and didn’t I even write a few words about that, about our expectations being horribly misaligned from God’s?  So I continued to ponder it and slowly my skepticism was clouded by a realization.  In Advent we are not only remembering what it is to anticipate a savior–a savior who has already come, as those of us in the A.D. know–but we are waiting this very day for his return, when he will bring peace!  This is one of those ideas that I’ve heard a thousand times–the second meaning of Advent–but I guess I needed to come to realize it on my own for it to fully sink in.  We celebrate the birth of a savior who presently brings peace and quietness to our troubled souls, but we also await a prince of peace who will return and obliterate the suffering of this world!  This is something to get excited about, this Advent.  Peace is coming!  And that name bears all relevance: we await the Prince of Peace.

You will not read my masterpiece of crap.

I spent some time yesterday reading through the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel.  And, ugh.  It is terrible!  I don’t even know if it is salvageable, which is to say that I doubt any of you will ever be reading it.  I think I’m learning that I’m not a fiction author.  It’s not that I don’t have the imagination, I just don’t have the guts to put any of it down on paper.  And I’m not smart enough in anything or willing to do the research to be a non-fiction author.  Which pretty much means that this is it, this blog here.  I’m a blogger about nothing and it’s time for me to accept it, or embrace it, whichever feels better. 

And thanks Arek for taking a look at my code and unveiling the first of hopefully just a few shortcomings of WordPress.

The best thing that will happen this summer.

I could post a YouTube version of this, but trust me, you want to see it in all its glory so just click here.

It’s all I have time to post tonight, but it’s all you need, really.

One thing about Forsythia.

There is a new trend this winter: people break icicles off of their houses and stick them pointing upright out of a snowbank, like spikes. I like this. I probably shouldn’t–I’m sure it is dangerous, but I like the aesthetic. It’s about time we did something creative with our icicles, where previously the British have outdone us, or at least Andy Goldsworthy has:

Andy Goldsworthy is The Man, if I may say so. Remind me to scan pictures of a project I did based on his work. In fact, I’m going to spend ten minutes looking for those pictures right now…

Well, I couldn’t find them. And after I gave up looking I went to pick up some dinner, so actually it’s been more than ten minutes that have passed and I’m sure you are just dying to know what this Andy Goldsworthy project of mine looked like but you’ll just have to keep on waiting. For now I’ll just tell you it involved Forsythia and a pool of mud, and yes, a clumsy neighborhood dog did come very close to destroying my vision, but no, he did not prevail.

Edit: Greetings friends from around the globe–it seems that this is my most popular post, and probably you reached it by searching for Andy Goldsworthy, and maybe you were disappointed to find I didn’t have much more insight to offer on the genius of a man. But maybe you would still accept my invitation to visit the rest of my blog, simply by clicking the magic link which is here. Thanks!

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    Breena Wiederhoeft
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