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Showing posts from May, 2011

Do Other Things

Artists don't wait for approval, and they don't wait for anyone else to tell them that they're good. But they do have to wait until they think work is ready. They are true to the voice (that elusive thing!), and they make that voice as strong as possible through hard work and constant reevaluation.

There. That's my art-centered, self-improvement rant. And, to be completely honest, it's a mantra as well as a statement. I've had a little trouble getting new work down lately. The reason is, paradoxically, because I've been getting more acceptances of my work lately. You'd think confidence would improve, right? Oddly, the opposite is happening. I'm feeling a heightened pressure each time I put a work out there for consideration. I'm rereading my old work and wondering why my current work feels so comparatively inadequate. Granted, when that old work was current, it too felt inadequate.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm having a little bou…

Born from Rejection

Late last week, I got word that To Begin Again won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Short Stories. This is beautiful news, but let me tell you, I'm not here to pat myself on the back! I am humbled, and though I can't make the awards ceremony in New York, I will be there in spirit, imagining what it would be like to accept a physical award for a creative work.
I remember the awards ceremonies I ued to attend for running races, how it felt, walking up to receive a medal for completing a five mile race. I tended to win in my category (for me, it was easy because I was usually the youngest in the race, collecting the 10 & under awards with routine smiles and winks). It was a nice feeling but one that proved a bit underwhelming and always made me think of the next race. Even as a child I knew that awards were a pat on the back, a pat that would be nice but would not carry me to the next race. After shelving the award, it was back to training. 
In this case, I have t…

Responding to Art: Language and Place on the Edge


I looked to her for definition. The artificial. The perfect. She redefined delicacy when she found her place in nature, in images around my home. She held my own rough image, magnified, enlivened, so that I only wanted to close my eyes in front of the mirror, hoping for smoother lines. Fragile, younger then, I looked to her, to art, to the place of light. I look still. And sometimes the light peeks out, around the trees, above the moist and fragrant ground. It begs reflection, tells me to seek other forms of beauty. Look to the whole, it says, redefine.

This image is one of my father's "Mannequin Series". Each piece within the series stars the same mannequin--sometimes pieces of her. She is often photographed in natural scenes or against gritty backgrounds. She creates smooth, gentle lines, always in contrast to the enviornment. In this piece, I like the juxtaposition between the artificial perfection of her hands as they hold up a fragile, mirrored orb …

A Time to Heal

I tore a tendon (I think) in my wrist a month or so ago, which made my work - writing, teaching online, grading, editing - incredibly difficult. I kept my hand as idle as possible for a while, which helped.

In the past few weeks, however, I've been on the computer even more than usual, trying to makeup work that was lost when my computer was stolen. I got a few gigs doing contract work, techincal writing, which will help pay bills (yay!) but also adds to my computer time. So in the midst of all this typing, my hand and wrist began to ache and swell again. I really think I need to stay off this hand and wrist altogether, but I refuse to stop writing in any capacity.

I'm doing my best to work left-handed, and this brings me to my reason for this post. Writing left-handed (my non-dominant hand) is tough, but I've been doing it. The strange thing is, the slowing down of the process is proving oddly beneficial. With the slowing comes frustration, sure, but also a more intentio…

A Fun Essay in Pure Slush

I wrote a little piece entitle On 'Friend'ship, an analysis of the nature of social networking sites. Here it is in PURE SLUSH
After you read it, if you agree with me, 'Friend' me. Here I am on Facebook. :)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MUSICAL-CHAIRS/490246845286#!/Author.Jen.Knox

Coming Back

Oh boy! Things get messy when your computer is stolen. This past week, I've felt like a chicken with her head and feet cut off, spinning around on my ass, trying to figure out which way to go and how to get there. Despite this feeling, however, I have finally begun to catch up with my work. I've been able to salvage most of my writing projects and have quickly recreated lesson plans to get through the last few weeks of the English courses I'm currently teaching. There's still a lot to do, but things are looking far more manageable.

So, now that I've been through this ordeal, I wanted to share with you a few things that have helped me to bounce back quicker from such a loss of information:

1. Dropbox - This is an excellent service, especially for writers, to back up work in a way that is secure. Dropbox saves your writing to the cloud, which means even if you lose your computer and your drives, you still have a saved version of your writing accessible on the web. A Tw…