Monday, December 28, 2009

Back in the swing

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather influences and absorb undercurrents - a paradoxical time of action and reflection, a time to look back and reminisce with family and friends, renew old traditions and establish new ones, welcome the floods of memories and create those to savor in the future. There's the hustle and bustle, the creation of foods from family recipes, the handing down of those recipes, the sharing of family recipes and delicacies with friends. What surprised me this year was the flood of memories as Kendall, Beth and I unwrapped ornaments from four different families, some dating back to the 50's. Kendall even had memories this year of where we found ornaments at Tybee, Hampton and Folly beaches, her trip on the Polar Express train in the mountain when she was three, and the traditions of seeking out various routes to see the best Christmas lights.

But this year, we had new experiences which truly brought back many memories. When Kendall danced in her first ballet performance on the stage, tears came to my eyes as she followed her mother's footsteps to the footlights. And as Kendall sang in the Phyllis Wheatley Repertoire (an award winning repertory company) at local programs (one held in a church way out in the country), she established a new tradition for us, treading new ground, since my family are not known for their sining voice. Beth and I were so proud. And it's strange to see how natural Kendall is onstage, doesn't get nervous at all, while Jeff and I, and even Beth, are shy in front of people.

Because I worked so much over the holidays, I'm eager to get back into my studio and do some creative work, either writing, drawing, or art journals. I finished one drawing this morning with the new pencil set my son, Jeff, gave me to add to the sketches for the art show I'll hold at the release of Shaman Circus. I plan to have a number of sketches of the characters, as well as some of the scenes and have already finished seven paintings related to both Shaman books. I'd like to hold a mixed media event like I used to with The Howling. Not sure what that will involve yet.

And while I mention seeing friends as a good part of Christmas, that's barely happened yet. I've been too busy working at the various jobs and watching Kendall. Bethany and I have spoken briefly at each of our work areas at the mall, but that's not getting together in the fun kind of way. So all of that will have to happen after New Year's.

It's been a busy December with acceptances of short stories and poety and my job as arts and poetry writer for The Examiner, an online national newspaper with local sections. Calliope Nerve published three of my poems around Christmas and a short story will appear in Metazen with a poem, The Quintessential Language of Bridges accepted for publication in Full of Crow in 2010. Plus two of my paintings, Wheel of Fortune and Carnivale will appear in the Chronus Confusium show on Jan. 1st and 2nd. This is a show feraturing thee Inner Circkus as well as other circkus acts at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, SC. Carnivale is one of the New Olreans street scenes from Shaman Circus.

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