2015.08.20

I want to pull back from everything again. I want to work on making my own shit instead of reblogging other people’s shit. It’s a constant thing with me. I feel more like a producer, but I act more like a consumer. Making things is a huge part of my life, even my identity. It’s important to me. I want to be more than a fan in life. I don’t know exactly what I want–if I want to be published, if I want to start a small business, if I just want to sell art. But I want to do more than I’m doing right now. This is the year of using up what I have and reading the books I already own.

I spent all of last year making things with my brain on my computer. It’s nice to make my hands move and do something with an end product I can hold. Even my zines last year were digital.

I have some digital organizing to do. I moved all my photos onto my exHD, but now I need to merge the two together, and I don’t know how to do that. I think I need to–god, anything I think about is going to take forever. You almost have to let it go. In fact, there are a lot of photos that I would be more than happy to just delete. It’s fine. I can let them go. I still have the HD with all the 2009/10 photos stuck on it, but it’s fine. I’ve mostly let it go.

You can’t get stuff back once it’s gone. It’s freeing to live an ephemeral life. There are so many photos that I took just because, and they don’t mean anything, and they don’t really matter. They’re not even that good. What I should do is go through and pick out the ones I would like to print and put on my wall. Then do that. Print them. Then delete the rest.

I’m annoyed I missed yesterday, but it is what it is. I had a good reason. I had to be up early to do jury selection all morning, then I was packing and coming over to Mom and Dad’s. By that point, I just completely forgot that I hadn’t already done it. Because I usually do it before I go to work. Oh well. I made a new record, and I can get back there again. I will make 365 days in a row, but it won’t be this year. I was more annoyed yesterday that jury selection didn’t take as long as I thought I would, and I could’ve totally got back home in time to work. I know that for next time, which is the end of March. Even if it goes an hour longer, I’ll still make it home in time. So I’m not going to take the day off work.

I’m going to convert my digital zines to paper. But I’m also going to sell the digital versions on etsy. I don’t know how to make them different, and if it’s worth it. I think about it like a person’s personal preference. If they prefer digital, I’ve got them covered. If they want the paper, we do that, too. I might just throw the digital stuff together in a zip and sell it off cheap. Because I love the paper. I prefer the paper. I never got excited about the digital the way I did with the paper. This is where my heart is. There’s a reason I’m sitting next to boxes and boxes of paper. I have so much that I just need to use up. It’s crazy. I’m not even going to bother buying anything until I absolutely need it. First, I want to use what I have.

Which means coming up with ideas specifically for what I have. I have the brights and the pastels. I have a stack of white card. I have index cards. I have a lino block and chisels. I have to figure out if I can cut that thing smaller. I have an idea for a flyer. I want to make the catalogue. I need to get a newsletter or something started. (But first I want to come up with ideas, because I feel so horribly guilty about not updating my author newsletter.) Mostly, I just need to do something. Which is what this etsy stuff is. Just getting back into it. Easing myself into it with some old stuff. I’m kinda regretting changing the name of the shop.

I thought it would help me separate the stuff from me, but now I’m worried it’ll mean I can’t sell whatever I want. This shouldn’t be true, though. There’s lots you can do with a “press”. I’m not even technically pressing anything. I’m just lucky I didn’t name it Cameron House Books. That would have seriously limited me. This is just an expansion of an idea. So why the hell not? I’d love to do some vintage stuff, though maybe not kitchenwares–too much shipping nonsense. Maybe I can find some linens and such. I’m thinking about sundries a lot. What do sundries entail, exactly? Could I sell pasta and tea? Could I make spice blends and salt? So it’s a press which makes books and publishes art, but also sells anything else that catches my eye and interests me. I just need to catch the eye of other people.

Can I put up a free sampler? Just pay shipping and handling? Is that a thing? A digital catalogue. Would that work? I really need to get this idea together. It’s been running around my brain for months now. I know it’s a good idea when it hangs around this long. So how do I make it happen? (I also want to make a sampler for fiction. I think that’s an even better idea. With fiction, especially, people need more of an idea about what they’re getting before they commit to buying. And I could leave that one around town, too, so people can decide for themselves if they’re interested.) First job is moving stuff around, making digital paper, and putting up everything I have in the archive. Second job is making a spring zine. Something brand new. Third job is maybe doing some linocuts.

I made my first steps there by making a drawing on the beach and leaving it behind. I pulled the page out of my book and left it, weighted down with a rock, and walked away. I even forgot to take a photo. But that’s okay because I’m going to make more. That’s not even my best one. My best one is still to come. (It’s funny because I made two drawings this morning. The first one, on another page in the book which I hadn’t stamped because I was worried about screwing up. I needed a warm up before I could make something worth leaving behind. It’s funny because that first one was pretty good, too.) It’s a great incentive to make something every day. I have this exercise here to make sure I write. But I don’t have the same thing for drawing. Now I do.

I’m going to make a drawing every time I go for a walk. One for me. One for the path. A few things I’m working through. I need to make a lot more art and just give it away. Put it on Twitter, put it on tumblr, leave it on the beach. Just make a ton of stuff and put it out there. Make so much that people will be forced to give me money because they’ll want to see more. I need to build that audience before I can expect money. And then, ask for more than I’m asking right now. Ask for a lot. Ask for more than is comfortable. Because it’ll be worth it. People will want it. I think I want to take down a bunch of stuff on S6 and just leave the best. I don’t want to have a bunch of things up there which don’t matter.

Make a hundred pictures, and choose one. Make a hundred books, and choose one. Make more. That’s the key.

I need to make a photoset of that cat bus stop for my blog. I need to find some words to post, too. I’m just feeling so nervous about putting words out there again. I’m not feeling it. I’m not in that mood right now. This feels very much like an art mood, rather than a writing mood. This is the problem with being an artist.

Sometimes, you want to make the wrong kind of art. But this is also why I can never be a full-time writer. Because I want to do so much more. I want to try so many more things. And I want the freedom to do that. That’s where the internet, and a blog, and etsy come in. Whatever I feel like making, I’m going to make. I’m going to do some embroidery and put it up–I just have to figure out the best way to present it. Maybe as framed art? I have that Graceland one Megan made me I’m still trying to find so I can frame it. I know it’s somewhere in some box. I stuck it between the pages of a book or something so I could find it later, and now it’s later, and I can’t find it.

I need to work on getting braver about drawing in public. I think writing in public is easier because it’s easier to hide it. People can’t see right away what you’re writing because you write small. But they can see what you’re drawing. Especially if you’re drawing in colour or black on white. It stands out more. Which is why you have to find the right spot.

But you also have to just go for it. You have to be unafraid.

I did the opposite of most of my generation: I stopped watching TV and added a bunch of new sports. I was already a weird sports person. I haven’t been watching much of the cricket world cup, and I’ve been feeling kind of bad about that.

Because of the way the game goes, you don’t see much of many of the players. At any one point, you really only see the bowler and the batsman, and maybe an outfielder or two. So it’s that much harder to get a handle on personalities and team dynamics. It’s like baseball in that sense. Actually, yeah. That’s why it’s hard for me to get into it. Because it’s baseball. And I don’t like that individualness of baseball either. But cricket is interesting to watch. I just don’t have a dog in this fight. I mean, technically, I root for England because I always root for England in world events when Canada doesn’t send a team.

I love my routine. I just need to shift it a bit earlier, and add a few more things. So, I didn’t leave the house until 10 today. Let’s make that 930 tomorrow. Then work on getting it to 9. Maybe do a few days at 930. Let’s do the rest of the week at 930. Then try something earlier. It’s so nice and sunny out, but still damn cold. Doing 30 minutes writing on the concrete benches by the water is tough. It gets so windy down there. I might change it up and write at the Chapel tomorrow. That’s also a little ways into my walk, instead of 14 minutes. I’ve only timed it twice, but both times it’s been 14 minutes. Not 15. 14. Back up the hill and home, all together was only 53 minutes. Which is pretty good actually. There’s a lot of tough stuff in that 53 minutes.

I’m getting a good work out, and I’ve said this before, but it’s just enough to be challenging right now. It’s just hard enough that I don’t want to do it. But I need to. And it’s easy enough that I can do it every day. I should do it every day. Except weekends. I’m saving weekends for doing something bigger. I need to collect a few field trips that I can do easily. Serpentine Fen and Burnaby Lake are definitely on that short list. I love that they’re both loops. That’s important. They’re not too far. Serpentine is very close, but Burnaby Lake isn’t all that far. It’s just one bus to the Skytrain, then not even halfway on the train. A really good day trip, but one I definitely have to remember to bring food for. Serpentine I can do at the drop of a hat, whenever I feel like it.

I think I’d like to make Sundays my hiking days, too. Find that book downstairs of walks in Vancouver. Definitely hit Watershed Park again, but find the other places close by, and even just the ones on the bus route. Like, how hard is it to get to Grouse Mountain on the bus? I should make myself a list of places and how to get there. Then plan the month. Here are four walks and how to get there. What time I need to wake up? What I should pack? I have the backpack. I have all the equipment I need.

This is what I’m thinking with the WCT. I’m reading WILD right now, and it’s reminded me of how much I wanted to hike the WCT when I was a kid. So now I’m looking at the website, and it turns out right now is the best time to plan this trip. Because the reservations open up in March. Then the trail opens in May. It runs until September. And we have all the equipment. I wouldn’t need to buy anything, except maybe some new hiking boots. And if I find those now, start doing weekly hikes now, break them in, I’ll be ready for the WCT this summer. I’d love to do it alone. No camera except my iPhone (maybe? I’m just thinking that I won’t be able to charge it anywhere. Maybe the 35mm is the better choice. I’ve also been thinking about buying a new camera because the auto focus on my Canon is shot.)

Just take a sketchbook and a pencil case with a pen, pencils, some charcoal, and pastels. A book. I’d definitely need to bring a book. I want to do this, and I want to do this by myself. I don’t want to do it because of WILD, but I will admit it’s a catalyst.

I wonder what the uptick in women solo hiking the great trails has been since the book came out. It would be great to do WCT this summer, and work up to the Triple Crown in America: PCT, Appalachian, and Continental Divide. I’ve thought about doing those first two a lot, too, in the old days, when my family used to be hikers. When I was trying to remember the name of the WCT, I kept thinking Appalachian, even though it couldn’t be farther from what I wanted. The Appalachians aren’t even close to us. I don’t even think they ever reach Canada, period.

Even if the hike is just Watershed Park (maybe Tynehead, maybe Green Timbers. Both are easy to get to. On the bus and public transit. When the weather is nicer and warmer, I want to do some North Shore hikes. This summer, I’d like to work my way up to the Grouse Grind. And then I’d like to do the Chief. We have so much here, close by, that I haven’t seen in years.

Literal decades now. As a family, we used to go hiking every Sunday. It was one of my favourite outings. We were an outing family. We had memberships to Science World and the Aquarium. We went to the library–literally across the street from our house–often, always bringing home a stack of books. These things were cheap, almost or exactly free. Instead of putting us in sports (which we also did. We did skating lessons at the arena and soccer for a few years.), my parents packed a lunch and water bottles and put us in the minivan. Then we drove all over the Lower Mainland and the Valley, looking for parks to hike. When we didn’t have the time to go camping, we made sure we got out into the woods on the weekends anyway.