06 November 2011

A reflection on the month of October

October
First month of true autumn (in that leaves changed colors)
A summary of interesting things which occurred
***
~One~
One of my best friends got married. It was adorable and beautiful. Her wife cried a lot, and that was also pretty adorable. (She set me off a few times, too.) We all stayed at a lodge decorated surprisingly tastefully with taxidermied animals. Related: also this month, I read Lifelike by Susan Orleans, who is really starting to appeal to me as a writer.
Picture by Callie Leuck. Going to the chapel! Gonna get married!
***
~Two~
I made cookies with a family and interviewed one of the kids for a "child profile" piece for my Nonfiction Techniques course. Interviewing children is pretty different from interviewing adults! For one thing, I've never been called "Miss Callie" so much in my entire life. Possibly never before in my entire life. Trying to capture a child's voice and energy in a profile piece is an interesting exercise. I am thinking about voice this month -- voice of the subject as well as voice of the writer. Something I can continue to consider in my writing.
Picture by Karl Boykin. Raisin-pecan and raisin-walnut cookies. Best ever!!
***
~Three~
I went to my first Renaissance festival in Maryland with my cousin and her boyfriend. I had a lovely time and learned that corsets are surprisingly comfortable. I've never been called "my lady" so much in my entire life. Possibly never before in my entire life. I could get used to that! And what a vibrant, enthusiastic, fun community! I would love to write about some of the craftspeople who have shops here. I have always been fascinated by historic trades. There was a glassworker at this festival doing some truly beautiful work.
    Picture by Callie Leuck. Don't you love this man's pirate-esque costume?

      Picture by Callie Leuck. Mimes on stilts
***
~Four~
I visited my cousins in Pennsylvania. They have three young children who are adorable, exhausting, and fun. We went to the pumpkin farm, and we ate homemade pumpkin doughnuts. The kids call me "Cousin Callie" which nobody else has ever called me. The oldest two were quite captivated with my camera and took some surprisingly good pictures with it. It made me think people should give children cameras more often: they definitely have a different perspective of the world. Or I should try looking at things from a different angle more often -- literally as well as figuratively!
    Picture one of my second cousins took of a random kid n a slide at the playground
***
~Five~
I performed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" with a group of dancers from Jam Cellar at the Glen Echo Halloween dance in Maryland. We did a good job, had a great time, and I can cross "Learn Thriller!" off my bucket list. Watch it here. It was my first time performing in public. It was a great experience both dancing and interacting with my fellow dancers -- oddly fulfilling. 
Picture by Callie Leuck. Our Thriller instructors! They are usually very attractive people. The costumes were highly effective in being zombie-like on everybody. No sexy zombies in this Thriller troupe!
***
~Six~
I attended the Nikon School digital photography classes in Tysons Corner, which is about 20 minutes down the road from my house. It was a fantastic time; I learned a lot about my digital camera, digital camera editing software, and general photography. I may make a tumblr account. Photography and writing are so compatible -- not just because photography and text complement each other, but because both involve advanced observation skills.
***
~Fin~
I had lots of things to say about all of these things, but what with work and school and, well, all of this happening, none of the details got written up. I was called a lot of things besides "Callie" or "Ms [insert your favorite mispronunciation of "Leuck" here]" which was a very different experience and probably something that I should expect to continue in my adult life. I wonder how many other names I'll accrue.

Lots of weddings lately. I'm fired up about the Johns Hopkins Conference on Craft next summer (It's a writing conference!) which will likely take up the bulk of my vacation days. So if you're planning on getting engaged for a wedding you want me to attend next summer/fall, I would appreciate if you went ahead and got that proposal on the move. Especially if you're going to make me cry. I'm instituting a yearly tear quota.
***
Now You!
What's been happening in your life? What are you learning from it?