Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Writing Every Day

Photo by Kelly Durdel
I've been pretty busy with being scattered these past couple of months.  I've felt my creativity slowing slipping away so I started having talks with it.  Gently trying to coax it back little by little.  Then one day I heard it say to me, "How am I going to come back if you never take the time to sit down with me?"

It's true.  I haven't.  Haven't done much in the way of writing at all.  Back in the day, I would sit down every morning and do a daily ten minute free writing just to get things flowing.  For ten minutes straight I would write without stopping.  I'd write about anything that came to mind.  Much like I'm doing here.  Just keep it flowing to see where it takes me.  Often times I'd discover a blog post or a poem.  Something would inevitably appear after a while.  Sometimes daily, often times once a week.  But, I kept at it. 

You have to keep at it if you want anything good to come of it.  There's got to be some sort of daily practice in your art.  You have to give your creativity time and attention so that it gives you time and attention. 

I've been awfully worried about things I don't have much control over lately.  Giving my attention to them does nothing to help the situation and it draws attention away from the things I love.  I'd like to stop giving those things so much of my attention and start directing that attention to things that bring me joy.  Things that feed my creative side. 
  • Writing without pressure.  Pure writing that comes without the internal editor or the perceived external editors. 
  • Taking photographs of beautiful things.  Things that make me happy.
  • Reading books that feed my creativity and my vocabulary.  
  • Finding joy in everyday moments.
  • Loving without fear.
These are the things I wish to focus on starting today. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


She walks this plane of existence in an empty shell.  It’s the shell that gets up every day to live this life.  It’s the shell she decided to hide away in long ago.  Inside this shell she dreams.

She dreams of becoming an artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated and successful artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated, successful and loved artist. 

Where is she?  Why did she hide away?  Why did she listen when they said she wasn’t a good writer, a good singer, a good photographer, or an artist?  Why did she listen when they told her she wasn’t worthy of success?  Why did she listen when they told her to grow up and be a responsible adult?  Why did she listen when they told her she could never be herself?  Why did she listen when they told her she wasn’t good enough? 

Who told her she wasn’t good enough? 

She dreams of becoming an artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated and successful artist. 
She dreams of becoming a celebrated, successful and loved artist. 

She is an artist. 

Her soul struggles to be seen and longs to break free from the shell that inhabits this plane of existence. 

She is an artist.
She is a celebrated artist in the depths of her soul.
She is a celebrated and successful artist in the creativity of her own heart.
She is a celebrated, successful and loved artist in the far away thoughts of her mind.

She is an artist.

She needs no permission nor acceptance from others to simply be what she has always been.

She is an artist.

W.K. © 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fun With Stats & Lingerie

I just discovered through my blog stats that the phrase "do butches like their femmes to wear lingerie" was used in a Google search and that search somehow lead to my blog.

Let me just answer that question right here and now.  THIS butch sure does!

Anyone else want to answer it, as well?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Note To Myself

Write. I need to write.  I want to write.  I have no idea what to write about. 

No.  That’s not true, Wendi. You’ve had a story or two kicking around in your brain for quite a while now.  You’re just letting life get in the way.  No.  That’s not true either.  You are afraid.  You have a fear of writing that you are doing nothing to get over.  Your first story gets published and you throw in the towel.  How can you top that, right?! 

What is it that you want to do with your writing?  Help the world?  Bring some sort of escape to those who need it?  Want it?  Tell your story?  You’ve had so many story ideas kicking around in your brain ever since you can remember.  You made stories up in your mind when you were a kid to make reality a little more bearable.  Take some time to remember those stories and just start writing.  Every. Day.  You know you want to.  You feel it aching to burst from you.  Just let it.  Allow it to happen.  Give it space and time to happen.  

You need to write in the same way you need to breathe.  Just do it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On To The Next Chapter

My son graduated from The Art Institute of Portland this past Friday the 16th.  I really could not be more proud of him.  Three years and one quarter after graduating from high school he has his Bachelor’s degree in a field he enjoys.  That was my goal with him.  To help him find the field of work he enjoys because if you don’t enjoy the work you do in life, life will be incredibly difficult.  I know this for a fact.  I’ve experienced far too much misery in my past work as an accountant and bookkeeper to know it as anything but the truth. 

Before my son graduated from high school he originally thought about going into mechanical engineering at Portland State University.  Then he took a pre-calculus class during his senior year and, while struggling through it, decided the engineering route may not be for him.  At that point I asked him what he liked to do and to think about finding a career that would include it.  He did some thinking about it and came back to me with the idea of going to the Art Institute for Game Art & Design. 

I still remember taking him to the Art Institute to talk to an admissions counselor.  I sat in the office with them and let him do all of the asking and talking.  While I sat there I watched him completely light up while talking about designing and animating and all of the programs that he already had experience with.  I knew in that moment that I had to figure out how to get him into that school. 

As I’ve learned in life already, loving the work you do is important.  We spend 40 hours a week, or more, making a living. Two hundred sixty days out of our year are affected by our work because a portion of those days are spent at work (if you work 5 days a week).  That only leaves 105 days out of the year for doing the things you love.  If you are unhappy those other 260 days out of the year, chances are you will be unhappy during those remaining 105 days, as well.  So, it’s important to find the work you love.  It’s, in my opinion, one of the only ways to be successful in life.

My life hasn’t been all that easy.  I spent some time in the military shortly after high school, married very young, had my son at a very young age and did my best to support both of us when I finally left his father, as I received no financial help from his father while raising our son.  I ended up working in fields I wasn’t at all interested in because I simply needed to work.  I eventually found my way to college but took classes in something that came fairly easily to me knowing I would be able to make a fare amount of money to support my son and I.  It wasn’t a field I was interested in at all.  I was in it for the convenience of it.  I did what I had to do to make sure my son had a roof over his head, clothes on his body and food in his belly.  I held on to my pride during that time and only asked for assistance from the state for food a few months out of those 18 years. 

Had I made different choices in my life things could have been different.  But, I made those choices for a reason and I sit here today about to drown in debt from not only my own college education but also my son’s and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I have been blessed with the lessons this life has taught me and with an amazing son who has taught me so much about life, creativity and the beauty of the human soul.  For these lessons I am eternally grateful.   

I am still searching for the work I love as I choose to put it off while I raised my son and made sure he was able to find his way in life.  Now I have the opportunity to watch him enter into this new chapter in his life.  A time that is filled with so many opportunities.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will be successful and happy in the field he has chosen.  Which, by the way, changed from Game Art & Design to Media Arts & Animation while he was going to school because he felt that he had more opportunities with the latter.  He is very smart, that one. 

I can’t wait to see what comes next for him. 

My son's animation reel!

Demo Reel - 2011 from Michael Jude Graham on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Last night I attended a Full Moon Gathering with some wonderful women out by the Columbia River.  It's become a monthly event with this group and it was my second time celebrating the full moon with them.  The theme last night was the Goddess. 

After spending some time sitting around chatting with a few of them while my sweetie and I knitted, we spent some time down on the bank of the river enjoying the moon and each other.  It was a wonderfully peaceful and beautiful evening. 

When we walked back up to the fire pit where all of the other women were gathered, one of them had a hand full of Goddess cards that she was letting everyone choose from as a party gift type of thing.  It was dark at this point so I choose to randomly pick a card from the deck.  She feathered them out for me to choose from so I closed my eyes, put both hands over the deck and choose one.

The card that I choose is pictured above.  The Goddess Kali.  If you're not sure of the significance of this, read this post about my name

On the back of the card are these words: "Unleash your passion, embrace it, and revel in the power of your flesh.  Do not fear your own fierceness - affirm it and soar!  We are warriors, and through history this attribute has often scared people.  Fierce women have been given harsh names.  Shed any shame in your fierceness.  Create your call of the wild - a howl or a scream - and choose a time to free your fire." 

This blew my mind.

This is what I call the Universal Synchronistic Postal System.  It delivers all kinds of messages and reminders if you're open to it and willing to listen. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

365.5 New Fence

New fence!

I only took two photos yesterday and both were of the fence I just built at my girl's house.  So, this will be my photo of the day for yesterday.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

365.4 My Supervisor For The Day

Another supervisor.

I'm happy to report that the fence is up!  Ms. Sassy made sure of it!  All that is left is the painting!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

365.3 So Much Measuring

So much measuring.

Even though I didn't take this photo it was taken with my camera so I'm counting it as my photo of the day for this project. 

The fence is coming along!

Friday, September 2, 2011

365.2 - My Toys For The Day

365.2 My Toys For The Day

I started building a fence for my girl's front yard today and these were the toys I got to play with while doing just that.  She decided to go with the Oz Posts instead of using concrete for the posts, which seemed to be a good idea in theory but I quickly discovered today that they don't work so well in rocky areas of town.  Namely, the part of town in which she lives.  After pounding all 10 of them in I ended up driving back to the lumber yard, a quick 25 minute trip one way, to borrow their Oz Post Puller because 4 or 5 of them were in crooked.  Needless to say, I didn't get quite as far as I had planned with the project today but there is always tomorrow.  For today, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

365.1 Happy Girl

I've decided to make a second attempt at my 365 Photo Project.  I feel like my photographs are sort of all over the place as far as subjects, composition and what not so I'd like to use this time to find my style.  Today is day one!  

365.1 Happy Girl