Guest post by Pam Goode.
I’m Pam and I’m a mosaic artist. Except not right now.
It’s interesting to me that Staci asked me to write about what I’ve been doing OTHER than “making art.” I’ve made mosaics for 20 years, and the first thing that happened when I started worrying about our global situation was my loss of all interest in art. I don’t know why, but I suspect it was my soul pushing me in a direction it felt I needed.
During the first few days of self-quarantine, I did what everyone did — we cleaned. Now I’m not much of a cleaner, but when high anxiety hits, I become a frenzied organizer. It felt good and positive, and somewhere along that path the universe threw an old manuscript my way and said, “It’s time.” And you know what? It was time.
So I dusted off that hard copy, paid my daughter to type it up, and dove in. I’ve spent almost every quarantine day writing at the table on my front porch to birdsong and endlessly fascinating skies. I’ve walked miles through my neighborhood studying the trees and other walkers, the aftermath of storms, and human resilience, and then written about those in snippets for Facebook. And as of this week, I finished the book. Eep!
Back in the old days, some lucky souls were able to sit down, write a masterpiece, hand it to their agent, and hang out at the farm or the beach or Studio 54 until copies were rolling off the press.
These days anyone can publish and sell via Amazon’s platform. The only requirements are:
1) Some sort of topic and then some words
2) A psychic ability to format your work by carefully following the exact details for your specific software as it would have appeared multiple upgrades ago (which are no longer available for use) and somehow making that work
3) The willingness to trash and redo the manuscript page number formatting daily for weeks until you magically hit upon the exact sequence required — and can instantaneously press save before it reverts
I’m so close. And yes I’m thrilled to be almost done. And yes, the difficulty of properly formatting with outdated instructions has dimmed my ardor a bit, but it has also doubled my excitement over scaling this Everest of a platform.
So I’ve done it. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of me. I’m proud of my supportive family. And I’m mostly proud that I wrestled that bitch software to the ground.
There are stories everywhere — in nature, in the glance of a stranger, in our children, on the open road, or even last night’s pizza. You just have to be open to the whispers.
I’m guessing you have a story somewhere inside. Will there ever be a better time to sit on the porch and start? Even if you don’t finish, I wholeheartedly believe that these are the days for introspection, hard questions, a clearer vision, and coming to terms with your life, your love, your choices, and your future.
And when you finish, I’d love to read it.
Pam Goode is a mosaic artist and occasional writer in Charlotte, NC as well as an avid traveler. So far in 2020 she’s had to cancel three trips that promised soul-altering exploration, so she decided to explore herself a bit. Be kind to those around you.
Congratulations Pam! I always enjoy reading the snippets from your walks. Your braindrops are the most descriptive braindrops and always inspire me. Thank you for sharing with us what you've been up to the last several weeks. I, for one, cannot wait to read your book!
I'll see you all later.