Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hidden Treasure

buried treasure

When G. and I were in Traverse City right after we got engaged, my mom and I went to an antique shop in an old barn. There were several boxes of old records, I and grabbed several of them, choosing mostly based on cover art. We'd already discussed going to France for part of our honeymoon, and since I am a bit in love with French culture, one album called I Love Paris caught my eye. I brought it home, and in the frenzy of the last couple of months, neglected to listen to it even once.

Last night I put it on for the first time, and I don't think I've ever been as immediately charmed by any music. It was just exactly what I think the soundtrack for strolling through Paris should be. Even as I was scrubbing the bathtub and changing the cat litter, I could almost feel myself sitting at an outdoor cafe, watching chic Parisians wander by.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas

Yesterday I had a dessert that tasted like Christmas.

I'm leaving for Kansas City tomorrow, and wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas before I go.

I'm going to make a genuine attempt to post more often, or at least more meaningfully, in the new year.

See you all then.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sit Ups

I haven't been doing much writing the last couple months. Not for my novel, not for this blog. I don't, right now, miss it as much as I wish I did. I've been too busy to miss it, my mind too full of other things. But I think that even if I'm not particularly craving it, I need to do it. It's much like exercising, in a way. I never want to exercise. I do it simply because my brain needs me to do it. My brain also needs me to write. When I don't do one of these things, I can feel the heaviness of its void pushing down on my shoulders like lead.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Doing

You'd think it would go without saying, but I'm surprised by how often I need to remind myself that there is real power and joy to be found in actually doing something rather than thinking about doing it or worrying about doing it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Craving Cider

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005



I've been feeling sort of quiet lately. I guess you can probably tell around here.

Trying to create a successful business is one of the more challenging things I've ever done. It has a lot of highs and lows, and I'm not a very good wave rider. Yesterday looked as though it was shaping up to be a great day -- we had three inquiries from brides with weddings next summer. Even though we're already booked for one of the dates inquired about, I was excited to have the flow coming in, and let myself daydream about how 2006 may be completely full of weddings. Then later in the night came a rejection from the one we felt closest to getting, and it sent me plunging down a bit. There's always somewhat of a sting that April and I feel when we don't get a job we think we're going to get. Our business is also our art, and even though the photos are of other people's weddings, they mean something personal to us.

I know things will work out, and that no matter what, 2006 will be full of weddings. We have a good deal of them already booked to photograph, and with both my wedding and my soon-to-be-sister-in-law's wedding... there will be plenty of cake photos to go around.

But quiet, for now.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Stage Three, The Dress (Part One)


I will admit that I harbored a secret fear that I might be the one girl in all the world who doesn't really look good in wedding gowns. I don't know why I thought this might be, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I am so pale I practically glow, and thus white is simply not my color. However, after having finished my third successful dress hunting expedition with April this weekend, it turns out that my problem is not going to be having to pick which dress offends me the least, but rather which dress I love most. Because right now I love three, and deeply like a fourth, and I still have two more outtings planned during which it is completely possible that I may fall in love yet again.

I've been told that I should picture myself on That Day and go with what dress I can best imagine myself in. All well and good, except I can picture them all, and each one, at the moment I'm thinking of it, seems like the perfect choice.

I feel heartbroken when I think about having to dump any of them. Last night I had a dream that I went to try on the front runner for a second time, and found that it was no longer a dress, but rather a shiny white pantsuit (think Celine Dion). Once I got over being mortified, I was deeply relieved to have a good excuse to cut one choice away.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Firsts and Lasts

Today is April's last day at the company she's been with since we moved to Los Angeles over five years ago. She's leaving so that she has more time to focus on Sweet Monday. I'm really excited about the strides we've both taken to make the dream of our business begin to come true.

(To the five of you who read this, I promise to write a real post soon. Head still in clouds.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Comfort Food

mom's cornbread

Made cheesy vegetable soup for dinner last night, letting it simmer just long enough to make it thick and creamy. I wish I'd had some of mom's cornbread to go with it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


For anyone interested in pictures from our latest wedding, you may see them by clicking in the title of this post.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Stage Two, Where I try to do something besides think about the wedding

Sat down tonight to write for the first time in three weeks. I thought I'd follow behind my dad and aunt and post what I'm working on right now. A little rusty, but:

In the final days before her divorce, Moira spent most of her time watching her new television. It was the fanciest set offered, ordered from a Sears catalog, and delivered by a man to whom she lied and said that her husband was away on business. It was black and white, and later when she would think back on this time, it would seem that her whole life then had existed in the static of gray. She was depressed, although she hadn't really noticed.

The television, which she called the Tee Vee, pronouncing each syllable with such deliberate force that unbeknownst to her it sounded almost ridiculous, was just one symptom. She'd never watched it before, had never even had an interest, and suddenly her days revolved around Lucy and Gidget, women who would have dulled her under previous circumstances.

In the mornings she got up and put on a pair of denim slacks. She knew they were really only acceptable to wear if she planned to spend time in the garden, and so most days as she put them on, she thought to herself that she would do just that, but then never did. Instead, she made herself eggs, two, scrambled, which she bought from the market down the street that received them fresh every morning at 8:45. The eggs and a piece of toast, just black enough to fill the kitchen with the smell of something burning. She'd take the plate into the living room, and rest it carefully on her knees, eating as delicately as she could while taking in the first of her programs for the day. Sometimes the smell of the burnt toast would remain in the kitchen until the afternoon. It comforted her in some way, as if it made the house more full and lived in than her body alone could manage.

In the end it was Moira who had wanted the divorce. Luke, for all his many flaws, was a man of honor who had not wanted Moira to feel the shame divorced women were subjected to.
“We can go on like this,” he’d said.
But she’d heard something different, and so in return she’d said he was right. ”We can’t. We can’t do this anymore.”
It was months before he corrected her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Stage One, In Which I Obsess Over A Barn and Someone To Take Pictures of Us in Fancy Clothes

With the exception of the first couple of blissful days, my eyelids have been doing that weird twitchy thing nearly nonstop for the two weeks I've been engaged. It appears even my eyelids are stressed out by Week One of wedding planning.

Every married friend or relative who has congratulated G. and I has dispensed the same piece of advice: Enjoy this time. On an emotional level, I am. I love the happiness I feel knowing I get to marry the guy who surprised me with breakfast at work this morning out of the blue (and with extra McDonald's monopoly pieces!). I don't love the feeling that if we don't act fast (like, five hours ago fast) we might lose our Perfect Location or our Perfect Photographer.

I will take everyone's advice. Yes, I will. I will enjoy this time. After those things have been done.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good Things Come...

In the quiet corner of a restaurant, surrounded by memories sewn together long ago, before we knew the fabric they would create(though didn't we, always, in a way?).

In the nervous hush right before the first strums of a guitar, played while on one knee, with words full and pure.

In the weight and shine of a ring on a finger.

In new promises made and old promises kept.

I'm getting married.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Novelist Thing

There have been many times during the writing of this book when I have thought that my worst fear about my writer self may turn out to be true. I may not be cracked up to be a novelist.

As I've mentioned before, my book has many short stories woven in with the primary story. Not just subplots (in fact, not subplots at all) but complete, chapter length stories. These stories are the only kind of fiction I'd ever written up until I started the book, and it was always been my deep dark worry that I couldn't write something longer than fifteen or twenty pages. As I've been trudging through the middle of this book, where each page has required grand effort, I've heard a little voice telling me that there's a reason why it's not coming easily. The voice speaks a little louder whenever it's time to start one of the new short stories within the story. The voice screams: "Look how happy you are to be starting this next little diversion! Look how fun this is!" And I have to admit that the voice is right. It DOES make me happy to write those little bits. It IS fun. And maybe that means I can't do the bigger story, and I'm not ever going to be a novel writer.

Or maybe it just means that writing a novel is harder for me than writing short stories, which I've been doing since I was seven. Imagine that.

A & I have another wedding tomorrow. Photos to come next week.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Autumn, here.

i do so love pink

Autumn here is like spring.
Easter colored things grow.
Rainboots arrive on store shelves and are swiftly scooped up.
The air smells of warm earth, about to burst.
There's a chill, but it feels less like the end of something and more like the beginning.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

This Day

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

The man whose office is next to my cubicle often speaks a different language, but I don't know which one.

I wish that oranges were able to be eaten as delicately and easily as apples.

I've been alone a lot this week, and was supposed to accomplish many things, things like writing twenty pages and making something with the Gocco and picking out recipes for the next month from my sadly underused cookbooks.

Instead I accomplished very little. I'd like to say that I spent my (not accomplishing stuff) time frolicking joyfully and relaxing fully and giving myself pore cleansing facials so I would feel pretty and girly.

But no. I slept.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Bright Forever

I'm reading a good book right now (similar in theme to THE LOVELY BONES, for those of you who have read it) which is reminding me of some clever ways to build tension in a story. This is going to be absolutely critical in my novel, and I'm still figuring out how best to do it. I love that feeling I get when I'm reading something and the pieces slowly start to come together and I find that I have goosebumps.

When I finally have someone read this draft or the next, probably a year from now, the first thing I'll be asking when they're finished is if there were any goosebump moments.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Beyond Quantity

In telling myself that in this first draft of the book, I need only get the story down, get the pages out, DO IT, I believe I've let myself slack a bit where quality of writing is concerned. The past few weeks in particular, I've noticed that as long as I write a page each day, I think I've done my job. Nevermind if it's not a page I'd be willing to let my six year old sister read, let alone the world at large.

Some small part of this is necessary. If I were to write the way I always have up until I began this novel, it would literally take me years and years to get it all down, and most likely it would simply never happen at all. I'm usually incredibly picky about every word I write, the result of equal parts perfectionism and the deeply rooted desire to not have to do a second draft. Ever. With this book, I knew from the get go that I would be writing a second draft, which was terrifying at first, then quite freeing, and now downright dangerous.

I had dreams this weekend, both while sleeping and while awake, of writing lovely, meaningful passages for this story. The goal this week is to focus on making that a reality again.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Smoke Meat

If you're not already, you should be reading the story my dad is writing online. There's a lot of catching up to do for new readers, but it's well worth it. The latest chapter puts me at a loss for words.

Monday, August 29, 2005

In California, it's not really possible, except perhaps in December or January, to decide on a Monday that you'd like to go camping the following weekend and have anything successful result. The campgrounds (and there don't seem to be as many as one would think there'd be in a state with so much wilderness) fill up very quickly, months upon months in advance.

Today I'm aching for a far out of doors get away, for the calm that only that kind of thing can bring, and I wish I could make that happen this weekend. If only I had known in February that I'd be feeling blue this last week of August, maybe I could.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

And Improved


A. and I have updated the photography site to include our latest wedding (you've seen a couple of the pictures in previous posts here). I'm really proud of how this one went, and excited to see what kind of response we get from potential clients who visit the site. Click on the title of this post if you'd like to take a look.

One thing that surprised me a little about the photographs from this wedding was realizing how much I still like film better than digital. My new digital camera, as dear as it is to me and as much as it has expanded my photographic horizons, still can't compare to the truly lovely quality that film produces.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Congratulations to my cousin J. on her new job.
She's going to be an amazing teacher.
Those are some lucky fifth graders.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Out Of Place

On Monday night as I parked my car on the street behind my building, I noticed a large but young looking bird land on top of another car. Though I haven't seen a hawk in several years, I used to see them all the time when I was in college in Kansas. I was pretty sure, getting out of my car and walking slowly toward the bird, that I was looking at a baby hawk. It had the hooked beak of a hawk, the yellow legs (feathery at the top) of a hawk, and the squared tail feathers of a hawk. Most key, it had the same distinguished, determined face of other hawks I've seen.

At first I wished I had my camera, as is my first instinct whenever I see something out of the ordinary that affects me. But sometimes its better to just take in the moment as it is, and rely on your own eyes and memory to do the job. I followed him around as he flew from car to car and finally into a tree. I was so in awe of him that I wanted to see where he would go next, but was careful to keep my distance in case he was scared. He seemed so out of place in my neighborhood, among the pigeons and crows who hover on the wires, and I wondered if he felt as lost as he looked.

I hope not. I hope he knew where he was going, and that he's there now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Thursday, August 11, 2005



There's something so stirring about looking at old family photos. This one is of my grandpa and his cousin, probably from sometime in the 1940s. In it he looks so much like my cousin Bronson who died a few years ago. When I see this picture, it comforts me and makes me smile, and for a moment it allows me to imagine Bronson growing into a handsome old man just like my grandpa has.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Second Act

Last week I didn't write a single word of the book. I don't know if it was finally reaching page one hundred that made me feel I deserved some sort of break, or if I was just too wrapped up in prepping for the wedding. I alternated both of these excuses in my mind all week.

Today I'm starting back in and realizing that the truth of it is that I'm just in a really difficult part of the story. I hate writing middles. I think I'm pretty good at beginnings and endings, but there's something so intimidating and complicated about writing the bulk of the story, the gut of it, that I'm nearly paralyzed by it. I wish I could rush on to page two hundredandwhatever and be done with the draft.

I tend to be this way about most things in my life. I'm always uncomfortable with the inbetween. I like to be going somewhere, or to have just arrived. The rest I'm often baffled by and anxious about. The only upside to this is that usually my unrest causes me to (eventually, often much later than I should) take action.

So on to one hundred and one.

Monday, August 08, 2005

It's always shocking to me, whether I'm there as a guest or as the photographer, how fast weddings go by. So much build up for a day that passes so amazingly quickly. I asked April if she had regrets about anything on her wedding day, and her only one was that she wished they'd had more time to just soak it up and enjoy it as it was happening. I'm sure most couples feel the same way. I hope when I get married someday, I'm able to remember to breathe it in a bit.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

April & I have another wedding to shoot tomorrow. It feels good to know I'll be spending the day doing something infintely more important than I do on 99% of my other work days.

Hopefully I'll have some pretty pictures to share with all of you here next week.

Monday, August 01, 2005

what i love

what you love
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

made chicken tikka masala the other night and my hands smelled of garlic for a couple days afterward, reminding me of how my dad's cooking made the kitchen smell while i was growing up. like home, like comfort.

finally made it to page one hundred of the book. haven't printed it all out yet, but am eager to. want to feel the full weight of it in my hands.

filling up photo albums from last summer. pictures that didn't get touched when i was sad, struggling with the break up. now they are going into books in the order in which i grab them. attempting to be less particular and precious in my arranging of things, and just enjoying each for what it is and where it falls.

Monday, July 25, 2005

In Cotton

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I'm craving a trip to the fabric district downtown. Wanting to be surrounded by the colors and the sounds and the questionable smells. By the shop owners who don't speak English and are at once nonchalant and proud of what they've got to sell. I want to run my hands across the silks and the fake silks, the cottons, the blends, the tulle, even the polyesters, and be surprised by what catches my eye.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And Then

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Several months ago, I happily canceled my memberships to a couple of book clubs that I'd signed up with years before. You know the ones -- the constant junk mail generators, the never ending "featured selections" to accept (yeah, right) or decline (always). When I finally wrote CANCEL in huge letters across my reply forms to these clubs, I felt a wave of relief rush over me. Gone was the constant pressure to buy books at barely discounted prices, usually by authors who write at what I consider to be a fifth grade reading level! Gone was the filling recycling bin after recycling bin with their "generous offers"! Gone was the fear of forgetting to decline my "selection" and therefore coming home from work to an ominous book-shaped box several weeks later!

Yesterday, I signed up again. With both of them. Hey, there are a lot of good books out right now! I HAD to.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Good Reason

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

My arms hurt from lugging around a huge lens yesterday at an engagment portrait session. It's always somewhat satisfying to have sore muscles from something other than carrying my groceries, which is what usually does it.

Drove an hour each way for the shoot, managing to keep my newly formed freeway anxiety in check the whole time. I feel proud of myself for that, but still a little sheepish that the anxiety is a factor to begin with. I almost sent April to the shoot on her own.

Will take the small victories when I find them.

Friday, July 15, 2005

for the weekend

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

i'm going to ignore the fact that i have gained five pounds which feel like twenty and i can't seem to shed a single one

the giving up of pasta and potatoes can wait until Monday

i'm going to pretend that there is no little voice in my ear telling me that i'm better off admiring the work of others than creating anything myself

i'm going to make believe that the sky isn't hazy with smog here, that the air is as ripe and fresh with summer in los angeles as it was up north

and allow myself to breathe it

for the weekend anyway

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


safari tent at el capitan canyon
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

So anyway, camping was great. It was technically "luxury camping." There was little to no roughing it. Since (regular, real) camping is one of my absolute most beloved things to do, I was very curious about how I would feel about Camping Lite. It turned out to be pretty much exactly what we needed. Relaxing and rejuvinating without being too taxing as far as having to pack and set up a bunch of stuff.

We did some wine tasting, we rode bikes along the coast, we made killer s'mores. We also got pooped on by two adorable owls. Owls pooping from high up in a tree can do a lot of damage. They covered both of us and our entire table of carefully prepared food. We'd just sliced a bunch of delicious cheese to go with our bottle of wine (which we bought at a grocery store, not at a winery, I am only somewhat embarrassed to say), and the whole lot of it was destroyed by the downpour from the tree. We were, at first, quite horrified. But then we laughed, and are still laughing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

not about owls or cheese, yet.

winery bathroom
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

every once in a while, usually deep into a chapter as i am now, i have a fleeting moment of thinking "my God, i could very possibly be writing the worst novel ever composed."

thankfully, i've been lucky enough to have read literally hundreds of painfully bad scripts at work, and since i imagine the literary world is not much different, i'm fairly certain that my book will probably be only the 338th worst ever.

when we were camping, i sheepishly sang g. a song i was making up about he and i. it was terrible. terrible. and yet i impressed him, somehow, because he loves me.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

"Happiness... not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour." -- Walt Whitman

Varying States

varying states
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

All last week, I didn't feel well. Getting up (early, so early) every day to go to work felt as though it might actually kill me. I started to worry, which is rare lately, given that I've all but abandoned my former love of hypochondria.

But then this weekend I got out of town. G. & I went camping (more on that next time) and it was glorious. I felt healthy and strong (even though I was pretty wimpy while riding bikes, something I haven't done in close to a decade)and alive. The air was cleaner, the food tasted yummier (Though not the wine. I believe, after visiting Santa Ynez wine country this weekend, the SIDEWAYS folks chose the wrong part of California. The wine further north that we had last summer was much better.), my mind felt engaged and full.

Today, back at work, I am sore, allergy ridden and tired. I got a massage yesterday (My first real one ever.) so I feel better than I did last week, but I'm still somewhat stunned at how profoundly my current work life affects my physical well being. I find it fascinating and sad. I'm grateful that I have a very satisfying life outside of the office. I feel deeply for people who have nothing to go home to when they are done with their work day. I can't imagine how one would make it through.

Tommorow's entry: A tale of two owls and some ill fated cheese.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Girl Cat

girl cat, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I think max knows more about the world than she lets on.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


sway, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

For our anniversary, G. gave me a gift certificate for the two of us to take dance lessons together. This is something I've been wanting to do since we first started dating, so I'm very excited about it. I'm also a little nervous because while I'm the one with years of dance training, G. is the one with a natural sense of movement. All of mine is hard earned, and frankly not that convincing. These classes should result in some interesting stories.

This weekend we saw the documentary MAD HOT BALLROOM about children in Manhattan schools who are part of a mandatory ballroom dancing program. The movie follows three of the schools as they prepare for a city-wide competition. I highly recommend this film. It's by far my favorite movie this summer, and I think that would be the case even if the other movies I've seen in recent months hadn't been totally blah. Go see it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Daily Battle

Freshly Squeezed, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I let my brain rest this weekend. With the exception of a few moments, I didn't think about character arcs, about photos that needed photoshopping, about the change of address cards I'm making for my friend, or about the bizarre and frustrating turn of events that has lead cat hair to be a disturbingly more prominent tenant in my apartment than I am. Instead, my weekend was about reading great magazine and newspaper articles, day dreaming about my grand schemes for the future, and eating good food with G.

This was all very dandy and charming until last night when I was forced to remember that I have a lot to do right now. Itchy, unclear things that will require much brainstorming and learning in order to figure out. In almost all ways, I am absolutely thrilled to be doing this stuff. My mind desperately needs and wants to learn new things. But there's another itty bitty part that is scared that I'll be rather bad at it all.

Friday, July 01, 2005


, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

This Wednesday, two of my friends got long-awaited jobs in Chicago. I'm so excited for them that I almost feel as if it is me who will be embarking on the big adventure of moving to a new city and starting a new phase of my career. I'm trying to embrace this borrowed sense of anticipation and renewal, and channel it into my own life. I have a lot on my plate right now, and nearly all of it is stuff that I will have to do on my own, with deadlines I've set and motivation that I've conjured up myself. I'm not very good at this, really, although I've been much worse in the past. I do better when I have someone who is expecting something from me, waiting for me to complete it. I've still yet to fully grasp that it's just as satisfying and important to do things for myself, that in fact, it's crucial for me to feel that way. So much of writing and art must be realized and propelled only by the person creating it. After a certain point, there's very little that outside forces can do for an artist who isn't willing to show up for herself every day.

I am learning, slowly but surely, to be a girl who shows up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Baby Needs New Shoes

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Congratulations, Morgan!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blurred & Bewitched

los angeles blur, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I sometimes worry that I am steering my characters in the wrong direction, or not telling the things about them that I need to tell. I worry that I won't realize how far off track I am until it's too late. In my mind, my characters are fully formed people. I know what they look like, how they react to things and the choices they are inclined to make. It's actually BECAUSE I feel I know them so well that I fear I will underexplain them, keeping them too close to me. Trying to create something as big as a novel still overwhelms me, even though I am about a third of the way into it.

In other news, I wish I were Samantha, and could wiggle my nose while here at work, and arrive home later to find my laundry completely done -- folded and put away and everything.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Flailing About

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Some days (most days) I feel as though there is too much I want to do, and it overwhelms me to the point where I end up doing very little at all.

I'm such a bully to myself in that way.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Happy anniversary, Babar!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Each Year

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Last year, in late spring, Gym and I started noticing these beautiful purple flowers on some of the trees in the city. At first there were just a few of them, but as the weeks went by, the flowers became more plentiful until it seemed like every street was glowing with violet. Neither of us had ever noticed these trees before, despite having lived in Los Angeles for years, and we decided oh-so-sappily that they must have bloomed just for us. On more than one occassion, we half-joked that we could get married underneath one and not need anything else by way of flowers or decoration. Just standing by these trees was magic enough. When the flowers on the Jacarandas eventually faded, and the trees looked normal again, I worried that they might not bloom again, and that we'd missed our chance.

Early this year, when winter had passed and the trees in LA were just starting to think about becoming green again, I was suddenly struck with a fleeting thought of the Jacarandas. Gym and I were broken up then, and in my saddness over that I couldn't imagine that I'd be able to handle seeing those purple flowers, should they decide to reappear.

Cut to a day at the beginning of May when I was driving home from work and a flash of lilac colored tree caught my eye. My heart bounced with happiness. Life had taken unexpected turns in the preceding months, and Gym and I were back together. He was doing reshoots on a movie in London at the time, I couldn't wait to call and tell him to get home because the Jacarandas were in bloom again. Over the next several weeks, we watched the trees get full and fat together.

Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of our first official date. We are going to celebrate it despite the five months we spent apart because blessings, the ones you can count on and the ones that surprise you, ought to all be cherished.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Marking Time

sunset in los angeles, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Yesterday marked one full year that I've been keeping this journal. In going back to read my first few entries, I'm struck by how, on the surface, it appears that very little has changed since then. In truth, almost nothing remains exactly as it was.

Last year at this time, I was struggling with job dissatisfacion, just as I am this year. But now I'm at a completely different job, in an entirely different industry, and my mind set is also quite changed. I no longer put so much pressure on my day job to be a social outlet, a confidence booster, or a form of entertainment. I simply slug it out every day and bide my time while I pursue other endeavors. This doesn't mean that I don't still groan every morning when I get out of bed and prepare to spend my day under the buzzing florescents because I do. It just doesn't cause me nearly the internal anguish it did then. I do wish I could see the light at the end of the Assistant Tunnel, but I no longer feel that if I don't see it by tomorrow, I'll risk plunging into a state of psychosis.

I was spending these same days last year preparing for my first anniversary of dating G. My very first entry ever was about the gift I was making him. I'm working on a new gift for him this year, one I'm just as excited about, one that we're working on together. I never imagined last June that there would be so much heartache and turmoil in our relationship between that anniversary and this one. But the result is that we are stonger and happier, as individuals and as a couple, than we were then, when our relationship already had incredible stains on it that I just hadn't acknowleged.

Last June, Sweet Monday was still not much more than a domain name that April and I owned, and a dream we talked about constantly in order to help get us through our work days. It's still just a seedling of a company, a baby, but it's growing. We're actually getting paid to do what we love, to photograph and create. While our goal of being able to do this full time is a long way off, it's much closer than it was when we were doing little more than hoping for it.

I also wasn't writing much back then. Aside from this blog, I suppose I probably wasn't writing at all, unless you count my daily marathon email sessions with MS. I did a lot of READING about writing, I did a lot TALKING about writing, but I was loathe to actually put down words. Now I am 85 pages into my novel. I don't know if it will sell, or if the only people who ever read it will be my dad and G., but I can't even say how good it feels simply to be doing it.

I read a great quote recently, and stumbled across it again the other day on the blog of Andrea Scher, a girl who I've really come to admire as a wonderful artist and all around great person. The quote is by Van Gogh, and it says: "If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter', then by all means paint...and that voice will be silenced."

In the past year, I have learned to silence, or at least quiet, some of the voices I've carried with me for a long time. I'd like to think this journal has helped me, and I'm grateful for that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

And Ducklings

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

It's the first day of summer and I am craving Traverse City.

Missing the cherry trees, the roadside fruit stands, the antique stores and the quiet water lapping at the shores of Bass Lake.