Our Year of Blogging

This month marks the one-year anniversary for Rooms of Our Own, the webbed site of three “rooms” housing me (writer) at LeeFullbight.com, and photographer Geri Wilson in her own “room”—and right now we have a vacancy (interested parties can contact lfullbright@prodigy.net for a room of your own, “almost” ready for move-in and, naturally, no rent here in Blogland. Our only requirement, if you can even call it that—we’re pretty loosey-goosey, and our “rooms” are autonomous—is that you have a passion you want to write about and know where spell check is, and that you attempt a blog post every couple weeks—or more!—and, yes, I know I just said “autonomous,” but we live in the same “triplex,” a click away, and gotta keep the ‘hood up).     

So when Geri and I started this blog, we were so neophyte-ish we didn’t know about brevity (I still have trouble with this; I’m used to a big canvas!), or what we might look like a year down the road. I had a novel to introduce (The Angry Woman Suite, which wasn’t even out then), and uber-photographer Geri Wilson had a line of greeting cards (featuring her amazing photography) to debut. 

Where are we now, a year later, and what do we think of blogging in general?

Well, Geri is just returned from a photography expedition to Bryce Canyon, so expect those photographs to go up in her room anytime now—I’ve had a preview and they are awesome.   

And The Angry Woman Suite (Goodreads link here:   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13555924-the-angry-woman-suite) is now the 2012 Discovery Award winner for Literary Fiction.         

(One thing, though is unchanged: Baby Rae and I still dance to Gregory Page every night.)

I have another novel in the works, but I also have an idea for something else (based on the truism that we can only talk about our stuff so much and so long without risking emptying a room and/or triggering our own gag reflex—both pathetic)—and it’s this:  

I want to write about other writers, and about other books in particular—btw, I just started Dancing on Broken Glass last night, and I think it’s going to be love.      

So, I will begin reviewing occasionally, starting with Dancing on Broken Glass (next post).

However, reviewing isn’t a permanent thing (what is?). I don’t read as many novels when I’m actually writing one, for two reasons: It’s too easy to subconsciously pick up another writer’s voice, and reading is passive (as in I’d get lazy and never finish my own work). But, until I pick up my own manuscript again (a few more months), I’m enjoying reading novels again!  

As for blogging itself, I do think it’s kept my brain limber, plus I’ve discovered I am totally capable of shorter sentences and paragraphs (and shorter posts!!)—however, I don’t think blogging has yet revealed how funny I am (and yes, I am funny in real life—everybody knows).

“Before I Die I Want To___________”

I’ve been writing some heavier than usual stuff lately, since my husband died, and I’m getting kind of sick of myself. So in my new, lighter (and, most likely, welcome) vein, I’d like to share the gist of a U-T San Diego front page article that recently grabbed me. Here’s the headline:  

Before I die, I want to …”

Sorry, couldn’t resist *smile* . . . but the piece has a really cool photo of a global art project at the corner of Richmond and University, started by Candy Chang of New Orleans and brought to San Diego by local artist Andrew Barajas. The project is a giant chalkboard with “Before I die I want to__________” inscribed a million columned times, and passers-by are invited to grab chalk and fill in a blank.   

The point of the project is to encourage people to reflect on their lives, which most of us don’t do often enough (because, why? aren’t we going to live forever?).

The filled-in blanks run the gamut from “Meet Oprah” to “Go to China,” to “Live Fully!” to “Fail Everyday.”

But what I especially love—and I mean love—is the number of times the word “love” is used. There’s “Love Myself,” “Love Forever,” “Find Love,” “Love Everyone,” and so on. 

So of course I got to thinking what pithy thing I’d write in my own blank. I’ve done a bunch already with my life (because I’ve had a lot of it—I’m not young). I’ve traveled. I’ve seen the world’s most beautiful things and people—and I’ve been moved to tears by unbelievable want and squalor. I’ve worked hard and played hard. I’ve been careful with money and loose with love. I married the right person for me. I’ve had incredible happiness. I’ve had sadness (I appreciate my happiness). I’ve been lucky, and I’ve been cheated. I wrote a book. Two of them, actually. The first one makes for super shelf paper. The second is getting great reviews and selling—simply put: the above is the yin and yang of life. So, what have I missed, or want to make sure I don’t miss?

Actually, this really wasn’t a hard exercise. My former blank reads:

“Before I die, I want to make sure each of my friends knows how much I love and appreciate them.”

For who they are, their own unique specialness. And for the big belly laughs; for being silly with me, and for the hand-holding and instant understandings, and for the space, knowing it’s not necessarily you, but maybe me who needs aloneness to recharge; and for the encouragement and patience—and to the creatives who walk with me, for the beauty of your amazing art, whether drawn, written, photographed, danced, sung, interior-designed, planted—whatever. But not just for your work; for your special joy also. Creatives know their passion; their comfort spot, their “home,” and that inspires me and expands my universe. It’s reassurance that the world we inhabit is a magical place after all. You’re the magic.

Profiles of two recent magical friend encounters: The Playola piece above (and below) was created by teacher and artist, Ana Seeley, visiting San Diego from North Carolina last week … “Playola” is three feet tall, two feet wide, constructed of poster board and construction paper, and cardboard for structure strength. The colors—simple tempura paint—were painstakingly matched to the original you-know-what. C’mon, I know you’re smiling.   

And Geri Wilson, photographer and blogger, posted a collection of rose “portraits” that she photographed at San Diego’s gorgeous Balboa Park. Amazing. Have a good new week, everybody, but before you go, check out the rose collection (while maybe contemplating what you’d write in your own “Before I die I want to________” ?) 


Presidential Projects

Photographer Geri Wilson and writer Lee Fullbright at the Reagan Library (Simi Valley 9.23.11), exploring feasibility of a new joint project.

Toured Air Force One . . . extremely cool.