I’m a bit belated in my end-of-year navel gazing, but there’s been lots of scheming behind the scenes and I’m finally ready to put some things in writing.  It took several weeks of mulling, followed by two raspberry martinis and watching the snow fall outside a tapas restaurant on New Year’s Eve in Quebec City, but I finally settled on my word for 2013. And then I decided to slightly alter it, from “composition” to “compose”, because I felt like I needed a verb this year. This word (or words) relates to several aspects of my life right now, in various ways, although not one of them has to do with music. To wit:

1) I want to learn how to compose better photographs. I’ve done a little reading on the subject, and have started playing around with my own photos. (Thank all that is high and holy for digital cameras, otherwise I’d be wasting huge amounts of film.) The VEB, a former photography major, gave me a tripod for Christmas and I’m looking forward to learning how to use that to help me better understand photo composition. I also set up a flickr account so I can track my progress. 

2) It is sort of a continuation of last year’s word, Story. I actually didn’t write much at all last year, but spent a lot of time thinking about stories, specifically the stories we tell ourselves about the world we live in and our place in it. That’s a bit pensive, I know, but I need to get back to the writing part. (Ugh. It’s so lame and un-original for a wanna-be writer to whine about not writing.  But alas, there it is.) Also – I need to get back to reading as a writer; ie, reading and paying attention to structure, rather than for pure enjoyment.

3) It’s taken me 41 years to realize I do better when my life has a certain amount of structure and routine in it. I was doing pretty well this summer, but then this fall the VEB wandered into my life and my routine imploded. It’s a good problem to have, but I’ve been neglecting a lot of things such as yoga, the elliptical machine at the Y, eating well, taking my vitamins, etc. So in a very literal sense, I need to figure out the components of my life and how to get them to all play nicely together.  Plus, the VEB has some pretty grand plans for hiking this summer and I am going to have to get in much better shape if I am to go along. 

4) After spending months basically binge knitting hats, I have a serious urge to haul out my quilting stuff. Part of this is because my niece G. gave me a self-portrait printed onto a quilt square (apparently this is a common school fundraising project?), and I immediately knew I needed to turn it into a quilt of some sort and give it back to her next year for Christmas. Also, the VEB and I went to Quebec City for New Year’s, and (sort of oddly, given our decidedly agnostic natures) found ourselves at St. Anne de Beaupre. In the lower level chapel, there are mosaics that immediately struck me as good inspiration for quilt blocks:


Apparently, even the Catholics put birds on things (ha ha, Portlandia humor).  At any rate, it all has left me with the urge to compose a couple of new quilts. (Despite several already in various degrees of progress. Ugh.)

Unfortunately, the first order of business for all of this is to clean out my spare room.  When I moved back in May I dumped all sorts of junk in there, including my camera manual and all of my quilting supplies…along the contents of the trunk of my car, old mail that needs to be shredded, oversized throw pillows that don’t match anything but I can’t seem to part with, several half-finished knitting projects, etc.  I wandered in there several times during my holiday break but never managed more than a deep sigh before leaving and closing the door behind me.  This is going to be the mother of all ugly projects – but having a functional studio space will be really freaking awesome.  Now, to just make it happen…


About Lori Allen Writes

Lori is plotting to take over the world one essay, one quilt, and one hand knit sock at a time.
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One Response to Compose

  1. Pingback: Compose – Year in Review | Lori Allen Writes

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