Thursday, April 3, 2008

It's Alive!

(Click on the thumbnail to view larger image)

Uh-oh, my SoFoBoMo book is morphing—taking on surprising new characteristics, and all those soothing certainties are slipping away. I am confident that this will be all for the better—even excited about new directions. Still, the rapidity with which my clarity evaporated and the ambiguity that has crept into its place are unsettling.

I had been so sure that I had a real handle on what I would shoot, how I would shoot, and some fairly strong convictions about the overall look of the book, if not the specifics of layout and design. However, in just three days of stirring up the feelings that fuel my project, I am back to rethinking much of my plan.

My book is titled—for now, at least—“One Last Look” and is meant to be a visual record of my immediate surroundings for the last twenty years. I knew that digging into my feelings about this move—fear, doubt, buyers’ remorse, and this weird pre-nostalgia melancholy—would arouse all the ambiguity I was already experiencing about the upcoming life-change.

I can’t say the emotions are a surprise. For some time I resisted the project choice in an attempt to avoid the pain. Furthermore, I recognize the lack of certainty as a positive sign that my unconscious is working—eager to play its role in this endeavor. For the moment, I am caught in the struggle for dominance between my conscious mind’s craving for safe predictability and my subconscious mind’s urge to experiment, play and plunge into the unknown. I was so sure this was settled. The next few days should be interesting, as I attempt to hold on through the twists and turns of discovery.


  1. Anita, but isn't this a wonderful journey. I'm letting my artistic side, subconscious, unconscious, spiritual, playful mind run amok! :-) Regarding my project, I have no idea where it's headed.

    So far, in about 2 days of shooting, I've accumulated about 175 pictures, many of them, surprisingly, pretty good and worthy of inclusion.

    I've done the front matter of the book, copyright, dedication, introduction, preface, etc. However, the guts of the book are taking a life of their own.

    I have ideas for sections, or perhaps chapters, but will leave those alone for now. They're still pretty nebulous. It rained last night and is misting this morning, so I'm going back for more!

    I figure that I'll just keep shooting until about April 20th, then start the work of assembly. 2/3 shooting without worrying, 1/3, assembly time. That should be plenty of time to do the editing.

    I'm glad to see that your plans fell apart; Now the real work can begin. :-) Enjoy the journey!

  2. Your final statement is perfectly stated. That is precisely my philosophy about the creative process, and I love your way of phrasing it. I certainly am excited about the new ideas and wondering how they will manifest.

    Your level of progress is impressive. Once again,you are trailblazing and demonstrating how possible this is. I don't have that many keepers, but I feel I could squeeze about 16 out of what I have. With almost half the required number of photos I could fall back on, I feel quite free to veer off into experiments.

    I will always be grateful for having jumped aboard for this wild ride. This has been a great way to cram a year's education into an intensive. I am loving it.

  3. Welcome Mella, and I am delighted that you like the photo.

  4. Anita, about my level of progress. It just seems to be coming together. I am, however, willing to let it go where it will.

    I didn't make it out this morning to shoot because it was going to be a very busy day for me and I didn't want to hurry. So, I just put it aside for tomorrow, when I can spend a couple of hours shooting and zero time worrying about the time and the parking police! :-)

    You know, reading books like Art & Fear, Free Play, and others, have helped a lot. It kind of gives me permission to play, which is another reason why I haven't provided structure just yet. It would take away from the play.

    I'm very interested to see where this is headed. I saw a raccoon the other day. Totally unexpected. I had never thought to include the inhabitants, but, if I get more pictures, it may happen.

    This is fun, isn't it?!

  5. Paul, the irony is that I taught this for 29 years to actors! All the books I read that embedded the concepts in my brain helped me refine my understanding, and persuading actors to put the principles to work convinced me that the principles were sound. Still, when I am the person engaged in the process,I suffer the same fascinating and exhilirating, but disorienting sense of "lostness" that my actors fought. I know better than to fight it—it's gold, but the sensation is still intense.

    I can't come up with many titles for some of the books that inspired me (they are already in Bear Valley), but my most favorite is Rollo May's "The Courage to Create". I also like very much Eric Maisel's "Fearless Creating". Now I should add your list to my library. I never get enough of reading on this subject, and thanks for the tip.

    By the way, I ordered "Book Design and Production" last night, after reading your suggestion to Gordon. Years ago when I was writing my first acting book, I used only Dan Poynter's book, "The Self-Publishing Manual". About five years ago,a student tipped me off on the Robin Williams book, "The Non-Designer's Design Book". I am looking forward to Pete Masterson's take on book design.

    Yes, what a joyous journey. I squeezed out a few minutes today to experiment a bit and do a little writing—writing I hadn't planned to do. Surprise! Some things are developing that are intriguing. We'll see.


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