What I Love…That Doesn’t Love Me

Scissors (Photo credit: Uwe Hermann)

I love crafty things, but I’m not crafty. As I’ve told you before, I should have come with the warning label, “Don’t give scissors to this one.” Handing me scissors doesn’t mean I turn into a Gremlin or anything; I will simply destroy whatever I’m supposed to be cutting. Wait. Maybe I do turn into a Gremlin. Seriously, it’s bad.

I have a close friend, Holly, who is amazing with scissors—and anything else crafty. She shares cool ideas for what to do with paper on her blog, HS Homemade, and she just moved her blog from Blogger to WordPress! Am I excited? Honestly, when I found out, I gave a fangirl squee :o! I’ve followed her blog for over a year because I’m in awe of what she can create. It’s just paper, right? But now it’s the cutest little owl or a fancy card set to give as a gift. She shares her scrapbook layouts and easy sewing projects, and best of all are the mushy little messages she slips into her husband’s suitcase when he goes away on business. Valentines are year round at her house! And, yes, she’s just as fun in person as her writing depicts. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

Piano (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

I also have no talent for painting, drawing, or playing an instrument. What is in my mind doesn’t translate easily for me through any form of art but writing. I’ll compose a song in my head and set down any lyrics, but playing it on the piano is not enjoyable. I will visualize an image, and the sketch that follows only serves to frustrate me. My hands won’t carry out what my mind wants to express.

That yearning is key to why certain paintings, drawings, pictures, and musical compositions inspire me. One artist on WordPress continues to talk to me through shapes, lines, and, most of all, through color. Marina Kanavaki’s watercolor work fascinates me. I can’t rationally explain why I like the woods IV, but I really do. I know forest #3 and atom flowers #10 speak to me about serenity of color. Marina uses a ton of green, which makes me happy. Her work reminds me that beauty isn’t always definable.

Two months ago, I started following I like photo..!, where mac collects beautiful photos, many of them scenic landscapes. This blog lets me take a peek at places in the world, highlighting their most brilliant aspects. When possible, the picture includes a link to the photographer’s collection. These are photos I certainly wouldn’t have found on my own. One of my favorites is Lago Maggiore, North Italy. It’s like looking at a fairytale scene.

So, what do you enjoy that isn’t necessarily something you’re talented at doing?


Remember how I talked about cleaning off my desk in January? Well, I reorganized the piles on my desk and went on my merry way. I knew it wasn’t the same thing, but something in me resists putting things away—especially things that prompt me to think, “In future, I’m going to (fill in the blank).”

I think Deborah Chester understands. She posted “Rituals and Excavations” last week on her blog, Chronicles of the Scribe. I wanted to shed tears of joy.

“That’s me! That’s me!” I thought, as I gobbled up each line. Well, most of it is me; I don’t have the satisfaction of having completed The Faelin Chronicles. That’s all her accomplishment. Also, I have a Dropbox account, but I haven’t shifted my physical piling system over to a virtual one. It’s working in some ways but not for the little sticky note-type thoughters.

Here’s what she wrote that really hit home:

I feel like an archeologist sifting through layers of soil. Here are research notes from that last Google search on 19th century plantations. Lower is the style sheet that I needed six months ago. Beneath that is a draft of a magazine article that I wrote–when?–and have yet to polish and market. And … aha! Now I’ve located my favorite pen. Even better, here’s a book weight I’d forgotten about.

You see? She understands. She knows that beneath the piles is that long-lost treasure—something usable, like a desk. Somehow knowing this makes my heart lighter.

Now I’m going humiliate myself and show you my messy, messy desk:

My Desk
My Desk

I have marked some items that are particularly disconcerting. Feel free to click on the picture and commiserate with me in numerical order.

1. Keyboard: This is the keyboard to replace the one I’m currently using because the letters have rubbed off. I like the feel of my old keyboard, so I haven’t replaced it.

2. Dust spray: Something else I’m not using. I keep it up there in its ready-to-fire attitude so that I don’t lose the straw. Previous to doing this I lost three straws.

3. CDs: I don’t even know what these CDs are for. This is my husband’s shelf. His games, like Warcraft and Madden Football, are sitting here. I don’t know what to do with them. He hasn’t played them in years.

4. The inbox: These are things I wanted to find easily at some point, and I don’t know where else to put them.

5. Phonebooks: When was the last time you looked something up in a phonebook? I honestly don’t remember the last time. I find them periodically in my driveway. I throw out the old one and replace it with the new one, storing them here.

6. Weekly Planner: This black binder contains my to-do lists, goal lists, menus & recipes, weekly school assignment forms, course of study for each grade I’m teaching, unit study outlines and lessons, co-op schedules and skit scripts, along with any online coupon codes I want to use. I lose this all the time.

7. State of the Art Monitor: It looks like it’s made of bone-colored plastic from the 90s, but it’s really made of a light-weight, titanium compound developed in the future. It will never die.

(On my screen is a post from The Writer’s Codex. It’s a great one, where Nathan describes his feelings as a writer in one of those terrible moments of doubt. I definitely recommend it.)

8. Zip Drive: I don’t remember what this is. Okay, I really do. Pre-Cloud. Pre-DVD burner. Pre-what’s a kilobyte?

9. Mouse Wire: Yes, this is connecting my mouse to my computer. I had a wireless one, but it started spazzing. The wire is about 8 centimeters short of plugging into the back of my PC.

10. Desk Calendar: Lotta good it does me buried under the laminator.

11. Colorful Folders: There are five folders in the shelf. Three of them contain the edited version of A Lyrical Persuasion (my Persuasion/Phantom of the Opera crossover fanfic), and the other two contain the first chapters of Dragonfly Prince. I like to stare at them sometimes.

12. Basket: So I had this spiffy idea to place the power strip and odd wires in this cute basket atop my desk. I told myself, “Self, you won’t have to move the desk to get to the plugs because the power strip won’t slide off the top of the hutch anymore! And this way you won’t have to use up desk space.” I thought it was a great idea, but the basket looks really stupid.

And there you have it. I hope this has encouraged you, knowing you have a much better system that doesn’t have you working with equipment from the Stone Age.

And now I may never post another thing on my blog. 😛