Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writer? Blogger? Poser?

I have a small blog roll--a few select blogs I've inadvertently stumbled upon and continue to read because they inspire me, allow me to question my own beliefs, make me laugh or cause me to ponder thoughts, ideas and feelings I may otherwise never have pondered.

One of those blogs belongs to David Stehle at The Rest is Still Unwritten. This guy can take a topic like manwhoring and turn it into a piece you can't stop reading, even if it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Then, a day or two later you'll see him pour his heart into a post about the speech he delivered at his sister's wedding.

Today, though, he posed an interesting question: are bloggers writers or literary dabblers?

I think I agree that having a blog, by the very nature of the task, makes you a writer, but can't wrap my mind around who or what makes you a true author.

I know writers who get paid for their words, but whose words are awful.

On the other hand, I know unpaid writers whose words are beautiful.

And then, I know a whole handful of people whose jobs involve writing, but who may or may not be true authors.

Most of my job entails writing, whether it be for newsletters, company reports, fact sheets, signs, handouts, or whatever else the communications plans call for, but I'm probably not what you would call a real "writer".

In my work, I write to be effective, not creative. I'm sure it's possible to be both, but I'll admit that it's easier to be effective.

Perhaps this blog, which started as a way to keep friends and family up to date, will become my creative outlet. I have started to challenge myself to write about topics, not events. Step one? Maybe.

I'm not sure I'll ever know if I'm a writer, but frankly, I almost hope that I never carry that title. Can you imagine the immense pressure that would come with being labeled a writer? Every word expected to be brilliant, ever period perfectly placed.

For now, I'll continue to spew randomness on to this page and if someone chooses to read it, all the better. If not, I'll continue to hone skills, seek inspiration and just put finger to keyboard...for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good setup, bad interior design

What happens when your BF works in electronics.


Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Friday, January 22, 2010

A favourite place

The gurgling noise coming from the espresso machine, the scents of coffee beans and fresh paper swirling together like a little piece of heaven, and the tidy, lined shelves of notepads, journals and home decor items make Chapters/Indigo one of my favourite places on earth.

Even if I have no intention of buying anything, I can spend hours in the store looking through all stuff, both pretty and practical. I'm a sucker for sophisticated note cards, eye-catching leather-bound journals and shimmery, feminine photo frames.

Today I wandered in, ordered my grande skinny london fog and just strolled through the store, once, twice, probably three times and each time I found something new that caught my eye.

Not only do I admire the store for the items I want for myself, but I can find gifts in that store for almost every important person in my life. Today I wanted to buy wedding planners for newly-engaged friends, baby journals for those pregnant with their first children and pretty, scented candles as a "just because" present for my little sis (sorry, Kels, I left them on the shelf...but it's the thought that counts, right? :S)

Anyhow, if you've never taken the time to appreciate a bookstore in all its splendor, the next time you drive by that big Indigo sign, swing in, grab a cup of joe and float through the aisles taking it all in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When you grow up

When you were young, did you dream of being a firefighter? A cop? Lawyer? Doctor? Teacher?

When I was really young, I think I wanted to be a teacher. When I started doing well in school, I decided to be a lawyer. That lasted about three minutes until I realized it was going to take at least seven years of school before I stood in front of the courtroom.
Then, I decided my ultimate dream was to be a sports broadcaster. Not the kind that's on TV reviewing the sports highlights at 11 p.m. (I mean let's be honest, I'm no Jennifer Hedger or Erin Andrews). Nope, I'm talking about the Blue Jays commentators who rattle of stats and call the game. I absolutely loved baseball (to the point that, at the age of 12, I would make my own scoresheets on looseleaf paper and keep "paper score" so I could show my dad exactly what happened in the game when he got home from work) and I knew the batting average of every Blue Jay from about 1992 to 1995. But, slowly my sports broadcasting dream died and I was left wondering just what I would be I grew up. That is, until grade 11.

In B.C. we had a program called CAPP: Career And Personal Planning. I can very clearly remember sitting in the "keyboarding" room completing a career planning survey. Basically, you run through the questions, tally the score and then *poof* you know what you want to be.

I finished the test, compiled my score and anxiously turned over the page to see what I was going to be when I grew up. Our teacher challenged us to pick one of our "ideal careers", research it and then compile a bit of a report. With excitement, I started to read my options:

1. Mattress maker
2. Nut sorter
3. Public relations practitioner
4. I have no idea
5. I am still astonished that it suggested I be a frigging NUT sorter.
6. What the hell is a mattress maker?

I guess you know where I put my effort. I'd never heard of "public relations" before so decided to make it the subject of my report. As it turns out, it suited me to a tee: good English skills, enjoy writing, working behind the scenes, etc. etc. etc. From that day forward, I never looked back.
I called the U of Calgary, figured out what I needed to do to get in, took the right classes at the local college, then transferred the credits to the U of C after moving to Alberta. While spending a year at the U of C was a waste of time (because Mount Royal had a better PR program), it ultimately put me in an ideal place, time wise. If I'd gotten into Mt Royal a year earlier, I'd probably be working somewhere different, probably wouldn't have had a chance to move back to the Okanagan for a few years and wouldn't have made the great friends I did when I entered the college in 2002.

Either way, it's interesting to look back at the paths we've taken to get where we are today.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Or, should I say, what do you want to be when you GROW up?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions

I haven't posted in a while. It's probably because I felt rather defeated after not completing the NaMoBloPo in December. I'll have to set that goal for another month, maybe February or March.

Speaking of goals, it's resolution time. Well, it's actually passed resolution time, but I just can't seem to settle on a few goals that make sense and that I'm willing to commit to right now. It's causing me some stress, but I'm trying to settle on goals that are achievable, make sense for the long term and that I'm ready to throw up here for all of you to read.

I think the other thing I'm struggling with is the fact 2010 is the start of a brand new decade. That seems big. It seems like the kind of thing that calls for some big resolutions, possibly ones that span the decade. Hmm...I wonder what I want to accomplish by 2020. Actually, as my mind starts to ponder this, I'm freaking out, so I'm going to stop those thoughts right now.

There are lots of thing I want to do in 2010: running the half marathon in Red Deer in May, completing NaMoBloPo, setting up a proper emergency fund, learning more about finances, shedding some pounds, reading books (specifically, Half the Sky, Three Cups of Tea and a few other fictional books on my list). But, these goals seem mundane. I have to settle on a few more long term goals and then break them down so that my 2010 resolutions are contributing to some greater long-term plan.

A plan for a plan. Hmm...sounds Type A-ish to me. No?

I'll have to settle on my final resolutions sometime soon, or else they'll become 11-month goals. Maybe my resolution should be: become less indecisive. Or become more "fly by the seat of your pants"ish. Unfortunately, I think both of those are unattainable, so they're off the table.

Seeing that I can't come up with my own resolutions, I'll ask you folks: any ideas for some great resolutions? What were yours?