Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Word, One Photo, One Step at a Time

Each month I get an email from NaBloPoMo about the blogging theme for the month. This month the theme is “in a word,” and it was a good reminder, in this stuck place I’ve been in around writing, that that’s where it all begins—with one word. Reading the email, I took a deep breath, getting it for about the millionth time that it’s all about back to basics. Beginners mind, or pen, or keyboard. It’s what I tell the women in my writing group week after week. Just begin. Just put pen to paper. One word is all you need. And willingness I suppose; and maybe a bit of trust; to give yourself over, to let that one word take you to the next, and then the next, surrendering to the process that is oh so much bigger and wiser than we are, getting the magic of it all, letting go, maybe even diving headlong into it. One word, one keystroke, one breath at a time.

It’s exactly why I come back to the “word,” to writing, again and again. It takes me somewhere. Destination most always unknown. Deep into the cavern or flying high or somewhere in between, one thing is certain, I am never the same after I write; I am always someplace new.

Back to basics. Forgetting eloquence or beauty or inspiration or even if it makes sense. In fact, I’m drawn to those writers that just put their thoughts down, don’t have to make a proper essay of it, even a proper sentence, random thoughts, pieces of the puzzle that fit or don’t fit but somehow, amazingly, work. If you follow my drift. I’ve seen it in fiction, too, and it’s been some of my most enjoyable reading, when the writer drops you straight into the moment, no leading up or circling, no extra words, just the middle of a scene or thought. Blows me away.

Here’s some good news in the midst of the current—and seemingly chronic—gray zone. I’m becoming a Photoshop user! Joy of joys. It’s been days now, maybe even a whole week, since I’ve felt the urge to throw my computer across the room. And even better news, it is delivering me to the place that I unknowingly craved being, where my love of taking photographs is merging with my hunger, my compulsion, really, to create art. It’s like I’ve landed where I was always meant to land, I just had no idea where that was, other than vague flashes or ideas, tiny bits and pieces of inspiration, just blindly following where the impulse led. Hmm…

Here are some of my first attempts. And honestly, I couldn’t be more pleased. Learning as I go. And just like it’s one word at a time with writing, here it’s one step, one photograph, one lesson, one application, one texture at a time. Somehow, it’s all coming together, leading me where I was no doubt meant to go all along.


  1. I so look forward to your posts Debby - your writing is so real. I'm wondering what photoshop you're using. I have Elements 9 and I'm not using it so much. I took the Skinny Mini class from Kim Klassen and learned some things about layering but it barely scratched the surface. I'm a bit intimidated by it I think and that's something I need to work on. I like what you've done with your photos - the first one is beautiful, the third one looks like a vintage photo, and the fourth like a van Gogh painting. They're beautiful. have a great weekend.

  2. Oh Miss Debby! These images are magnificent.


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