The image above this blog entry is a copy of an essay by E.B. White. According to Rebecca Hall, who produced a collection of White's essays, this piece was published in The New Yorker in 1930. It is an essay that I've read and re-read a number of times as it truly speaks to my heart when I'm experiencing moments of frustration as a writer.
Often when folks hear of one's inability to move forward with his/her writing, they attribute the "plight" to the author having writer's block. While this may be true, I think, in my case, the inability to move forward on composing a certain piece, might be due to the reason White offers re an inability to write about a given topic: "writing about them might prove embarrassing."
For example, seven days ago, December 9th, 2016, I had planed to write about the fact that the date of 12-9 is always known to be a holiday known as Christmas Card Day. I was especially looking forward to doing this because I've created my own Christmas cards over the years (as well as cards for all occasions).
Moreover, since I've recently been able to get my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards into the gift shop at The Raptor Trust (a bird rehab facility in New Jersey); as well as get them into a prestigious shop in NYC's UWS (More & More Antiques); I was looking forward to another "excuse" (Christmas Card Day) to express my gratitude to both of these places for carrying my cards!
I even invested in a figurine depicting an English woman selling cards for the holidays (pictured below) to illustrate what I intended to write re Christmas Card Day.
And since I had been promised by the company, who sold me the figurine, that I'd receive her before December 6th, I planed what I was to write based on the history of this figurine, and on card selling in general. Therefore, when I did not receive it on the day before Christmas Card Day, I contacted the company and was informed I would not receive her until December 12th!
This would be four days after the holiday that I wanted to use as my excuse to write about the postcards I now have been able to sell via certain shops! I had invested in a product to enhance a specific piece of writing; and now, I would not have it by my deadline. She's a figurine I would not have purchased at this difficult time but since I felt she might enhance what I had to say! In any event, that did not happen, and I'm embarrassed to say it caused me angst re switching gears in terms of project lay out.
Be that as it may, the day following Christmas Card Day (which was last Saturday, December 10th 2016), I had the opportunity to go to The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in The Bronx. An image of this institution's facade can be seen below.
The image is from a Wiki Page which also offers detailed information re this facility. My opportunity to visit the place was facilitated by a friend (DDS) who is a member of this institution. DDS had invited me to go there and attend the 12-10-16 holiday concert given by a brass ensemble. He was prompted to make this gesture after I told him a long lost friend of mine had suggested Bartow-Pell's gift shop to be a good place for me to sell my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards; and perhaps even sell the soft-cover version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak Volume One, (seen below in its current format which is available in the iBooks and iTunes store as well as via Amazon); as soon as it becomes available.
I'm now happy to report that after attending the brass concert at Bartow-Pell where I met the person in charge of the gift shop, I've been asked to send her a number of my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards which she will supposedly sell in the museum's gift shop on a consignment basis. I just mailed them to her this past Thursday, so please stay tuned for updates re this matter. Hopefully I will not have a case of "unwritten-embarrassment" when it comes to my coverage of this unique opportunity!
However, I confess that in addition to my Christmas Card Day "upset" last week, another thing which interested me — that as White puts it — I was "unwilling or unable to write about (things that stand out as clear pictures in our head," was the fact that last Sunday was the Third Sunday of Advent. I'm not sure why I didn't write about this, for I took a picture of how my 2016 Advent Wreath appeared on that day (as seen below);
and I've written about this year's First as well as Second Sunday of Advent. In any event, perhaps I didn't write about it because I felt I had already said everything I could about The Third Sunday in Advent when I wrote about the reasons for a pink candle being used on this day (in 2010)!
Saint Lucy's Day (December 13th) also came during my inability-or-unwillingness-to-write week, and I certainly had intended to do so! I even had my photo ready and it is featured in the following image.
Saint Lucy is the one at the far right, standing in her usual place within the bookshelves above my desk. And she is certainly someone I acknowledge as her patronage is associated with many issues including eye-sight challenges, which I have; and writers! But I suppose I didn't write about Saint Lucy this year because I felt I had nothing profound to offer re her legacy!
Then again maybe I neglected to pay homage to her because on her Saint Day, Juan and I did our annual winterizing of my rooftop garden. The work we do is very time-consuming and labor intensive. The results of this past Tuesday's labor can be seen in the photo (taken by Juan V) which s posted below.
I've written about our winterizing process in bygone years here on Blogger; and if you'd like to refer to my entries on the subject of urban garden winter prep, please click here.
The following day, part of my outdoor Christmas decor was "installed." A partial view of my installation of holiday decor can be seen in the following image.
I have an interesting "Canadian Palm Tree" which is off-camera in this picture, but I do hope to include a view of it in a follow-up post which I plan to write after decorating is completed.
But as for my Christmas tree, seeing it prompted me to recall an adorable Mutts comic strip (see below).
For my outdoor Christmas tree has been decorated with suet feeders, my annual ritual that I offer for members of the fauna community who visit my garden. And, as you may recall, the avian community has appreciated my suet ornaments!
This year was no exception, it hasn't taken long for the word to spread among the birds that a Christmas tree filled with suet feeders is back in my garden!
I will already need to replenish them which is not surprising! It has been bitter cold, and so windy, that my Christmas tree toppled over on its side! That's been remedied, for now, and the tree survived the first snowfall of the season as evidenced in the picture below.
So if the tree stays upright, and if I complete my placing Christmas decor in the garden, I should not have anymore tasks standing in the way of writing, but that doesn't solve the fear that my writing about various topics might "prove embarrassing."
ADDENDUM FALL 2018:
The non-hardcover version (or versions) of Volume One within the Words In Our Beak book series that are mentioned in this entry may only remain available for a limited time, but hardcover versions of Volume One, Two and Three can now be found wherever books are sold. Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books.
|MY BOOK SERIES|
Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White Collection, Kaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.
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