If your life is anything like mine, then chances are you’ve seen your fair share of things go MIA--items that were ,mere moments ago, so tangibly there and then simply weren’t.
Occasionally, a good round of Deep Cleaning will unearth a fugitive bauble or two—at my house, a notable swipe beneath the stove recently brought several cat toys, an errant pay stub, and an old Christmas cookie to justice. But most of the time? There’s no turning back for that stuff that just seemed to hit the highway.
I’ve always had a hard time accepting that something could be here one minute and gone the next. In fact, I did an entire blog series back in ’07 exploring the mysteries of a missing egg salad sandwich, some stray lunch meat, and a blue striped sheet that failed to return from a living room deployment to a Flu Zone. These things just don’t disappear, I reasoned. And that garbage everyone always tosses around about how it “must have been thrown away” is just plain rubbish.
Which is probably why I’ve spent so much time recently trying to chase down some of my wayward dreams and ambitions. After all, any woman who logs time in search of a queen sized bed sheet isn’t likely to give up her own passions without a fight. So I’ve been making a concentrated effort to figure out what ever happened to this big writing dream of mine and to figure out what ever happened to some projects that somehow vaporized straight out of my here and now and into the unknown .
So I’ve been writing—just not here. I’ve submitted some pieces and dusted off an old manuscript. In the meantime, weeks have now passed and my blog--that was, so recently, part of my here and now—seems to have disappeared from the public eye. A handful of friends and a few family members have made inquiries into the dormant state of this forum, particularly in light of the fact that I instituted a Friday Photo School and went AWOL after a single lesson. (More about that in a moment.)
Outside of my close circle, I’m not really sure how many people have listed my blog on their personal roster of MIA mysteries. And in many ways that’s really the point. See, I’ve had this blog for more than five and a half years, but if anyone other than my real life friends, family, and acquaintances read it, I didn’t know about it until about a year ago. That’s because last fall I made a calculated decision to build the blog in hopes of having one of those elusive literary success stories wherein a blogger garners enough of a following to convince a publisher to take a chance on a book deal. I enjoyed the building process and the people I’ve met along the way--but came to realize several months ago that the blog-to-book route to publishing probably wasn’t the path destined for me. And with that being the case, I knew that I couldn’t invest all of my writing time in a pursuit that, though enjoyable, wasn’t bringing me closer to my writing dreams.
As far as Friday Photo School…that got foiled when I showed up for class clutching my digital camera only to discover that I was enrolled in a black and white darkroom course. I thought I could cull enough usable information on basic photography—composition, camera settings, etc—to make a go of the series anyway, but the truth is I spent the first two weeks of class trying to decide if I should drop it, and the next couple trying to catch up after I did drop the course and subsequently reenrolled. Staying in the class was a good call on several fronts, but the truth is I spend most of my class time fiddling with an enlarger and dabbling in various chemicals, which is a lot of fun but does not translate easily into useful information for my fellow photography enthusiasts who don’t have access to a darkroom.
I’ve decided that staying in the class was a good thing, even though it has compromised my focus and shortened my writing time. But even as tangible images are becoming visible through the magic of the darkroom, a more elusive picture has been developing as well. Like the visual stories emerging in fluids before my very eyes, an abandoned fictional outline from my past has come to life once again inside my mind. Even though I am still struggling to find regular stretches of writing time, I’ve made more progress on that project than I have in 8 years.
And as far as the blog? I’ll admit to having no real idea how or if it fits in with my search for new publishing venues, but I’ve missed it enough over recent weeks to know it’s still part of my story—even if it can’t be the whole story. But, as I mentioned earlier, I enjoy it. So I decided to stop for a bit to breathe some life into this little outlet of mine. I don’t really know how many readers will find me again, but if you do, I hope you’ll take a minute to say hi. Searching is tedious work and I’d find some friendly faces encouraging.