Tagged: writing Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kimberly Hula 10:25 am on February 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: customs, depression, travel, writing   

    If you dissect a bird / to diagram the tongue, / you’ll cut the chord / articulating song 

    “…people with nothing to declare carry the most.”
    ― Jonathan Safran FoerExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

     

    Here's looking at you

    Here’s looking at you

    I enjoy going through customs.  I like the confirmation.  A declaration of adventure.  Too often travel ends in a whisper.  I spend hours and days planning a trip.  Dreaming up scenarios: a blue bird London sky; a pop-up Parisian dinner party; the glory of a Tanzanian mountain descent.  I dream these up more than I take them on, but the fantasy satiates.  I  visualize a passport thick as a Thanksgiving belly and friends and new family on every corner of the globe.

    So I always welcome the customs line.  I waltz through there like the queen of all things because I am, if only for a minute, the world’s best traveler.  I am an ambassador of my own memory and I relish in the opportunity to confirm that I put into practice at least one fantasy.

    But it is never as expected.  My travel is calculated.  I buy Fodder’s and Let’s Go’s in the hopes of staying safe.  I go off the beaten path in as much as my mass-produced guide has instructed me to go rogue.  I stay in clean hotels, and fare well with my own language.  This is the stuff my family lives for.  A Disney sanctuary of pre-fab comfort and top-grade assurance.  It has effect.  It gets me to go, go, go when I live to keep moving.  This is good/great/ best less the end result; a mere crawl to the finish line – a hoarse whisper of thanks to whatever locale welcomed me that trip.

    I don’t want to whisper.  I want to yell from that Tanzanian mountain top.  I want to crawl into a yurt without shower and dance in the moonlight and fight for my right to speak at a dinner party.  I suppose it’s the experience I’m after.  The fall without net sensation of really living that keeps me on Expedia and believing, imploring, unabashedly reaching for a customs line that will stamp my passport ‘life well lived’.

    What are we without dreams?  But even more, who are we to scrutinize our best efforts to reach them?  Day in and day out I’m hard on myself.  I’m a lame traveler.  A failed adventurer.  I’m not working the job I want; not making the money I thought.  I’m not reading nor writing nor living.  Not, no, nor.  I allow these as refrains in my daily shower song.  But I don’t want a negative to sing to me.  I just want to dream without consequence.

    That’s what I carry to customs.  The realization of dreams deferred.  The overweight parcels of expectation and regret.  But, if anything, I’m in line, which has to say something.

     
  • Kimberly Hula 11:28 am on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: instagram, photoadaymay, , writing   

    Take a Shot at It 

     “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
    Henri Cartier-Bresson

     

    Day 12: Something that makes you happy (Conglomerative Craning)

    By now most anyone that knows me understands that if given the option I’d rather write it out.  Meaning, I’ll defer to text over talk; email over skype; personal readings over public readings.  I’m a slave to my own introversion and while it’s something I’m working on (see: year of adventures makes me uncomfortable), it’s also something I’ve come to recognize in myself.

    All told, this has served me well.  I’ve convinced myself that I like writing and then I write.  I pretty much shun all the other lovely art forms out there because, well, they are intimidating and beyond my realm of comprehension and ability.  Would if I could write and illustrate and pontificate and prepare as others can, but I can’t.  I dead-end with the pen and that’s that.

    Well, maybe not.  This week (month) had me follow

    Day 28: The weather today (Sunny, says Hiro)

    ing the lead of a dear old friend, Ms. Myndi.  Now a new mother, mama Myndi has the Midas touch for making anything (and I mean anything) into a beautiful something.  Of late I’ve been a fan of her photography.  Even more, I noticed that she took part in a ‘photo-a-day campaign’ via Instagram.  This charge had her produce a photograph a day, in accordance with whatever the list decreed.  The results were lovely, often unexpected and always so Myndi.  So I thought to live life through the eyes of the photog and give this game a go. 

    It’s not nearly as easy as it seems.  First off, composition is everything.  That said, composition really is everything.  There is SO MUCH to photograph.  There are infinite stores of color and light and people and places in this world.  There is so much matter that might perfectly depict, “A word I love” (Day 10) or, simply, “fun” (Day 4).  How does Myndi do this?  How does anyone do this?  I thought to find out. (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 10:25 am on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Promising Pals, volunteer, writing   

    The “Write” Stuff 

    “With writing, we get second chances” – Jonathan Safran Foer

    Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?  You might think, and they are quite darn, but kids also have an amazing propensity to say all the things we adult sometimes keep ourselves from saying.  They are compact truth seekers – perpetual ‘why’ yowlers, who keep us on our toes and remind us of the people we once were (which in turn, speaks to who we’ve become).  So while they may not speak in polysyllabics, the ‘stuff’ of their speech should be heeded.  And heed I will.

    I volunteered at a local Boston Public School, The Timility, in a campaign called, “Promising Pals”.  The premise is simple: volunteers (typically professional graduate students and adults in the community) will pair up with an assigned student and exchange letters throughout the year.  At the end of the academic year the volunteers will convene for a school assembly and breakfast with their long-time ‘pal’. 

    Me & Mr. Musse hamming it up

    It’s such a sweet concept.  The assembly: sweeter (but more on that shortly).

    You can request a student, but I had no gender or age preference and rolled the dice.  Lucky roll as I received a letter crafted in fine penmanship from Mr. Musse.  He was a seventh grade student with a love – a FERVENT LOVE – of math.  What luck!  A studious student!  Someone who would appreciate the intent and philosophical push of this campaign.  He employed good grammar!  He showed ambition in education!  Everything was as I’d otherwise request, with one some caveat.

    Mr. Musse hated writing.

    This is a great blow to a writer.  (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 1:27 pm on May 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: consultation, fiction, , writing   

    All Good Things Are Belated in the Retelling 

    It feels fortunate to admit that I’ve been lazy in posting.  Only because THINGS ARE HAPPENING!  The things in point deal with writing and the momentum built from this campaign so I haven’t much excuse, but I am terribly excited to detail my major life changes as I attempt to catch up!  My calculations show I’m 10 adventures behind in documentation.  So, without further ado – the start of my campaign to be better organized and due diligence to Club 52:

    This week found me grumpy, uncertain and in something of an existential plight.  I’ve always been a big advocate of the notion that inspiration lies within, but some days find my optimistic mind-store closed and I try to compensate with the next best thing: drawing inspiration from others.  This is a slippery slope.  Too often I mistake credit with competition.  That’s to say, I look at someone like my dear friend Emmie whose right arm might as well be a paint brush for all the beauty that her mere handwriting produces and think, “Emmie does what she loves.  She has it all figured out.”  And even though I’m truly awed by and happy for her, I allow my own insecurities to consume me.  Enough for me to change the tempo and begin to think, “Why am I not creating?  What do I do?”  And on particularly murky days, an insipid, “Is there anything special to me?”

    This is the self-talk we’d sooner caste off.  It helps no one to be so dour, and on this week, when I felt my mind race with sharp scissors, I decided to try and do something about it.

    I thought simply, “What do Iwant to do?”

    I answered, quickly, “Write a book.”

    (More …)

     
  • Berton 5:45 pm on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: wine, writing   

    Week 7 – There’s a Story at the Bottom of This Bottle, and I’m the Pen 

    I am a fan of pop punk music; I can’t lie.  It is my fun, angsty pleasure.  And there is one line that I’ve always loved in the song, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” by the band All Time Low.  The line is, “There’s a story at the bottom of this bottle, and I’m the pen.”  For those paying attention, you’ll notice that is also the name of this post.  So wow, I’ll be basing this adventure on that quote!  Good power of deduction!

    Now, I’m not one to condone drinking excessively, or requiring it to have a good time.  I’ve seen how destructive it can be to people’s lives.  That said…getting drunk can be fun as hell!

    So when I heard that line a few weeks ago, I happened to also be trying to think of new adventures to have, and boom!  What if I drank a bottle of wine as I started writing a story?  Just sort of see what happens?  Yeah!  Do it!

    This adventure will be good for me for two reasons.  The first is that I’m not a fan of wine.  I have tried countless glasses with friends over the years, and I have never found a wine that I would enjoy drinking, like, at all.  So, by making myself taste an entire bottle, I hopefully will be one small step closer to acquiring a taste for wine.  And if not, maybe the more drunk I get, the less I will care about how disgusting it tastes.

    The second thing is that oftentimes I can come up with great story ideas, great plots, but I never actually sit down and put the pen to paper and write.  But a good friend of mine from college taught me a way to get through writing difficult analytical papers…you take a shot of liquor, then drink beer as you write the paper.  Make sure you do this a day or two before the paper is due so that you have time to edit out possible drunk ramblings, and the many misspellings or dangling modifiers.    So maybe drinking while trying to at least start a story, or create a new one, would be beneficial?  We shall see.

    Now, I am writing this Saturday night (February 18th, 2012).  But I will most likely edit it tomorrow afternoon, throw in the random pictures I may take, and then post it tomorrow night.

    So, without further ado, here we go.

    (More …)

     
    • Kimberly Hula 10:13 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink

      How was your head in the a.m.?! Kudos to you for the writing experiment!

  • eatveggiesdrinkwine 11:17 pm on April 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , career, writing   

    Adventure 11/52: Entering a short short story contest 

    For the first half of my life, I can remember giving only one answer to the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up: A writer.

    I’m not sure how this came to be, other than the fact that I was painfully shy as a child and writing was the one activity in which I felt inexplicably confident. I was first “published” in the third grade. My poem was a simple stanza on the benefits of being me, and it lacked any hint of irony or sarcasm. (This still fills me with pride, no matter how embarrassing the content.) As a 10-year-old, keeping a journal was second-nature, and like many teenagers, I channelled my angst and confusion into poetry which remains, thankfully, unpublished. At 16, I didn’t hesitate to enter my local newspaper’s Halloween horror story contest and was the youngest, by far, of the three winners. I experienced a minor set-back in my dream career when I watched “All the President’s Men” and realized that my intended college major of journalism didn’t seem to be a good match with my introverted nature. In a panic, I ended up majoring in Public Relations, for which I was equally unsuited, but its curriculum left much time to continue writing, through elective classes and my involvement in student organizations.

    However, this once-pleasurable activity soon became a source of frustration. Accustomed to praise and support for my writing, I was ill-prepared for the critiques I received from professors and peers. One of the most painful experiences of my life was listening to faculty advisors and fellow executive board members of the campus literary magazine bash my blind submissions for its upcoming edition. I had plenty of company in the reject pile, but that was of little comfort after what I’d heard. (More …)

     
    • yearof52adventures 11:24 pm on April 25, 2010 Permalink

      This adventure takes an INCREDIBLE amount of strength and will and I applaud you for it. A wide-eyed (see: terrified) writer myself, I am just so very proud of you! This is just the first of many future words! (and if they are at all like your posts, let the words keep coming!)

    • eatveggiesdrinkwine 8:11 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink

      You are so kind, Kimberly! You are a fantastic writer … your posts amazing. And, really, everyone’s posts are so inspiring and lovely. I adore this community’s adventuresome spirit.

    • blueskiesinva 9:10 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink

      What a wonderful post – and what fantastic determination! It takes a lot of strength to keep persevering. I admire your spirit, eatveggiesdrinkwine!

    • uncleneil 9:45 pm on February 18, 2011 Permalink

      I also admire your spirit. It shines through all of your adventure stories. It would show regardless, but a very important part of the “shine” comes from your sparkling prose. It’s a real joy to read. Please do keep it flowing because it nourishes all of us lucky enough to share your fine wines.

  • myndevore 11:05 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: letters, writing   

    Adventure #1: kicking off the year-long adventures 

    Greetings friends!

    This week I worked on two year-long adventures:

    6. Write down one sentence everyday.

    27. Write letters to friends on their birthdays.

    Adventure No. 6 was inspired by McSweeney’s Issue No. 22. This issue contains three slim volumes cleverly stored in a leather bound cover with a magnetic binding. One of the volumes is titled, “From the Notebook: The Unwritten Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Fitzgerald, inspired by novelist Samuel Butler, began keeping a notebook filled with inspiration and ideas for future stories. Fitzgerald kept a list of ideas, a few words here and there to inspire him later. Some of the entries include: The Dancer Who Found She Could Fly, Driving over the rooftops on a bet, and my personal favorite, Girl and giraffe. McSweeneys selected 17 writers to use Fitzgerald’s ideas as jumping off points for their own stories. The stories are included in the issue. Such a brilliant idea!

    (More …)

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79 other followers