Five hundred and seventy-seven

Oops! Thursday instead of Wednesday post…

Days seem to blur together right now for me.  One day turns into the next and I forget whether it’s Wednesday or Thursday.  I’m busy trying to get the book finished so my agent can get me a publisher!  I’m working on the editing phase now and I find it presents whole new challenges.  It’s hard to delete my words and get rid of sections.  It’s difficult to figure out what’s best for each paragraph, then each section, and finally the fluidity of the whole thing.  It’s hard to choose what is important and what isn’t.  I’m also trained as a journalist, so therefore I tend to write using the clearest, fewest words to express what I need to succinctly.  I’m not a writer who adds in description words, but I find that when writing a book I have to do this.  I like to leave it up to the imagination of the reader, but my agent is keen to have me use more colourful language.  I’m learning so much every day that it fills my brain and leaves little room for figuring out what day of the week it is.  I’m so happy I have a calendar that I write everything down on, or else I’d forget to show up to work!

Cooking disasters

I do somehow still find time for baking, though.  I find it very stress-relieving.  Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t.  This week belongs in the latter category.  In the wake of my success last week with my Pumpkin Pie Brownie ‘Cupcakes’, this is proof of how the opposite outcome also often happens in my kitchen.  Here is a photo of my attempt at gluten-free, vegan Pumpkin Banana Muffins with quinoa flour, which I couldn’t even stomach eating one of because they were so gross (I brought them to work and my co-workers told me they weren’t that bad, although I’m pretty sure I saw them throwing out everything but the bite they took in my presence):

My cooking and baking have come a long way since I didn’t know how to bake a chicken breast a couple of years ago, but I still have my regular disasters.  I guess you can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes once and awhile!  And at least the act of baking does the job of balancing out my brain when I become too wrapped up in the book – whether it ends up tasty or tasting like bitter banana pumpkin mush.

Three hundred and fifty

One of the fun things about this month is experimenting in photography – not only in the shooting, but the editing as well.  I’m a true believer that the more you do something, the more you learn how to do it better.  Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes.  Although I’m not sure “perfect” is ever achievable, but that’s another debate.

Each time I interviewed someone about their first kiss, or cooked something, or used a coupon, or went on a date, I felt more comfortable and developed skills to help me with these tasks.  The repetition and the experimenting with different techniques helped accomplish what I wanted to.

I remember sitting on the back of our red pickup truck outside an A&W somewhere in northern Ontario trying to get up the nerve to approach a bicyclist walking by to ask him the very personal question about his very first smooch.  I planned in my head what I was going to say.  I mapped out where I would stand and what would be my first lines.  I starred at him trying to figure out what his reaction would be.  He biked away before I even started to get up and walk towards him.  I wonder if he sense my approach and worried I was going to try and sell him something.

But as the days went on and we continued to drive across the country, the questions came more naturally and the approaching strangers got easier.  The more practice the better I got. So without further ado, here are some practice shots and some editing to create fun colours.

“Fun with editing”