Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If it hadn't been for you meddling kids and your copies of Jane Austen...

Walking to work this morning I passed the still unleased space where Olsson's books used to be.

Every time I pass it or an empty storefront I have the same thought.

How cool would it be to own a bookstore?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not totally delusional about the hard work and immense possibility of failure. I've known enough people with their own businesses - shops that don't even include the overhead and trouble of property and landlords - to know that it's more than coming up with a good name and setting up a coffee pot.

But, if the truth be absolutely told, the daydream where I used to own a gallery has been replaced for some time by the daydream where I own a bookstore.

And, of course, travel around in a van solving crimes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When you look for stories you get a lot of Joyce Carol Oates books.

So, you've probably noticed, I'm simply not blogging as much as I did when I finally gave up my decade long reluctance and started up one of these things.

I could say it's the consequence of having two-and-a-half jobs and a house and people to take care of and dinners that need to be made and laundry to be done and floors to be washed and tubs to be scrubbed.

And that's certainly part of it.

It could be finally digging my heels into a new job where I'm rediscovering the excitement of designing again. Or, the thrill of sitting in a room with a group of students and talking about line and form and texture and the powerful thing that is visual storytelling. Or, better, the bigger thrill of having one of those students tell me about something they noticed that never caught my attention before.

Or, and this is probably the best, the fact that I'm actually starting to write again.

It's still tentative. A little scary and timid enough that just putting this post up risks another Nablooblamoow-type disaster.

But I'm writing.

I'm writing about people I don't know who want me to tell their stories. About apartments I've never set foot into and train cars in cities I've never visited.

I'm having long, meandering conversations with spirits again.

I'm not exactly sure what set it off but it might be that I'm finally letting go.

As is his habit The Freelancer sent me an e-mail that, not that long ago, would have pushed me over the edge with frustration and anger. Instead, after admittedly shooting off a few e-mails from the hip, I pulled out my cool, new Urban Outfitters spiral bound notebook and checked in on someone I'd left sitting at her kitchen table for about a week now. Weighing the two emotions beside one another - the angry bottleneck and the rush of creating something positive - I chose to write.

It's not a cold turkey kind of thing I'm sure. I'll get frustrated and angry again. Perhaps in a day or so.

But here's hoping that I keep it all in perspective. If I'm going to get mad it will be because it truly matters to me and not because it's an old irritation worrying my heel like a stone in my shoe.