blueberry girl

I went blueberry picking with Kyth & Amy in New Hampshire this weekend. We managed to have lovely weather despite the ever-present summer storms, and we had a marvelous time. I’ve never been blueberry picking before. Apple picking many many times but never blueberries. It takes a lot longer to fill a bucket with blueberries than it does with apples.

I was glad that I’d brought my camera. Berries are fun to capture in their natural habitat. I was struck by how much blueberries look like itty bitty pomegranates in shape, and surprised that I’d never really noticed it before.

I now have about 3 pounds of blueberries. We have been snacking on them but have barely put a dent in the haul, so the rest have been relegated to the freezer. (We have a freezer that works now, thankfully.)

I have always loved frozen blueberries. I would eat them by the handful when I was little and my mom would freeze them, sneaking them out of the freezer and not always leaving a reasonable amount left for whatever baking purposes they had been intended for.

I will endeavor to be better with these. I am probably going to make blueberry cookies tomorrow, and possibly some sort of blueberry cake type something later in the week. Or scones, perhaps.

I like having the ability to take a day trip to pick berries on a farm as easily as we can take a day trip into Boston. And I like that we live in a sort of in-between place that’s not too urban and not too rural. I used to think I was a city girl but I never really was, though I am not much of a country girl either. I am something in between. Or maybe I am all kinds of girls, and I fit better in the places that leave me free to be all of them.

this entry has kittens

I am feeling remarkably proactive and productive today, which is odd for a Tuesday though not so odd for a waxing moon. I have spent today organizing writing things, and I now have a large color-coded chart of the novel hanging above the desk, which will hopefully help keep me motivated and prevent things from getting overwhelming. (I only have 12 unfinished/unwritten vignettes out of 40, which is quite something, really.)

So, pictures of kittens!

While sitting at my desk if I look to my left this is what I usually see:

This is Tessa, sleeping on the file box I keep art prints in. It has been her napping spot of choice when I’m in the studio for awhile now. She gets very irate when I have to move her.

And this is Bucket, sitting on the floor behind me. Though she is not hiding in difficult-to-photograph places today, she is still a bit camera shy. Or possibly just doesn’t like Radiohead.

They are lovely, fluffy things even though they are not terribly helpful.

on intimidation and blank pages

For my birthday last week I was given, among other shiny things, a lovely new paper journal. It was a gift from the Nicest Person on the Internet and it is fantabulous and has my initials on it, so it is special and mine.

Here, let’s start the pictures rolling on this blog already. The kittens will be mad that they weren’t first, but they’ll get over it.

The E.J.M. is hard to read because it’s shiny and gold. I love the contrast of the dark binding and gold embossing with the busy purple swirls. Like it’s a nice proper book with a crazy side.

I have a weird complex about blank books. I love them. I spend a fair amount of time in bookstores pawing through the section with journals and sketchbooks and datebooks. I love the crispness of blank pages and still creaky bindings. I have a collection of them, acquired over several years, ones I’ve bought myself and others that have been gifted to me. 

Several of them are still blank.

I get very intimidated by the possibilities of a blank journal. I can write anything in it so I end up writing nothing. I feel better about writing in journals that are cheap or boring. The pretty ones are the most intimidating, of course. I worry that my handwriting is not pretty enough to fill it, that I’ll use the wrong type of pen. And worse, that I’ll fill in a few pages and then abandon it. 

I can count the journals I’ve filled on one hand. I wonder if I have a short attention span.

The thing is, I really like journalling on paper. I find typing easier, but I like putting ink on blank paper. I like not having to follow the lines. (I always prefer unlined journals to lined ones.) I write in little blocks or swirly lines and I draw little things in between sentences. I am always critical, perhaps too critical, of how the page looks covered in ink. 

Does it matter? No one is judging it save for myself. 

I like art journals as a concept, pretty pages of color and collage mixed with words and thoughts. I don’t have the patience for it, I think. Maybe someday, with the right journal and the proper supplies. For now I just admire the work of others.

I think I worry too much about purpose. Purpose and cohesion. I think of each journal as a whole rather than taking it page by page. Maybe that’s why blogging seems easier. It creates its own whole and I can’t see the infinity of blank pages ahead. Any entry could be the last page. And any entry can be deleted. It’s a nice kind of freedom. 

A paper journal has a permanence to it. Maybe that’s why I find them so appealing in their blank state: permanence and possibility with a pretty cover.