Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Photo

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K

A Mini, près du musée d'Orsay, Paris. I love the little cars of France
PHOTO ©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out of twenty-six letters...

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S - & - A - B R E A D C R U M B
T-h-a-n-k-s. That word is just five little letters long but I wanted to say it to you reading this entry at this moment, or any of the previous entries.

I have explained breadcrumbs, and I'd like to shed light on the story behind another blog label: twenty-six letters.

After the election in November, I was overwhelmed with thoughts, opinions, and commentary. Okay, even more than usual, for those of you who know me well! But I didn't want to be that person who abuses emails sending out too much stuff. So I decided to learn how to blog and created this one as an outlet of expression. I began on November 7th, just a couple days after the election, with an image that I felt had taken politics away from being about one individual [candidate] to putting the onus back on us. To step it up. Own it. Do something.


While 'breadcrumbs' is a distinct story I created about coincidences, think of this category as a toolbox. Inside? Twenty-six individual letters. The items in the toolbox can be arranged and repeated in anyway necessary to vent, share, or express. Imagine how the people in our life use these twenty-six tools. The next person you speak with after you read this entry, what will you choose to say to them? We have a choice of how we put these letters together and use them. And it makes a difference. You've told me so. In your own words.

This blog began as a simple outlet for me. But for those times (and I love the random-ness of it) that you have posted a comment here on the blog, or told me directly about something that stood out to you, I would like to use eight of those tools in the box to say a deep, 'thank you.' It means a great deal to me. I believe we're more connected than we realize. And if I inspire you, then will you inspire someone else? And so on?

There are, however, times when one entry needs two labels. And because today's entry about twenty-six letters is also the 26th entry of 'twenty-six letters'... then it also qualifies as a 'breadcrumb.' Nice.
©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Was she serious?

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K
So, will you do one?
I am patient and persistent, as well as passionate about this request.
©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

leçons françaises

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
maigre — skinny
normal — normal
gras — fat

lundi — monday
mardi — tuesday
mercredi — wednesday
jeudi — thursday
vendredi — friday
samedi — saturday
dimanche — sunday

On the day before sacrifice and giving up for Lent, today is Mardi Gras. As our friends in New Orleans would say, "Laissez les bon temps roulez!" Ah, to be oyster-bar hopping in the french quarter. A scoop of horseradish and tabasco. Yum! Well, two years ago I gave up watching television for the entire season of Lent. Gained a great deal of focus. Not to mention more time. Will you be giving up something?
©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Monday, February 23, 2009

One song

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
"One song! That is our uni (one) verse (song). No matter how we separate into individual notes, we are all still involved in the one song. Though, [even just] one small voice within this song can influence the entire being toward either destruction or harmony."
Wow. I wish I could take credit for this one... but it's from "Everyday Wisdom."
Oh, and my apologies, if anyone else got the song (from the Friday Photo entry) stuck in their head over the weekend. It was in mine, too. 'Wound up buying it off of iTunes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Photo

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K

Union Station, Washington, DC
Today marks just one month since Inauguration Day. Clearly we still have quite a ways to go—way beyond these first 100 days. But in the bigger picture, look at how far we've come. In the words of The Five Stairsteps and Nina Simone, I too believe, "oooh child, things are gonna get easier. Brighter." Hang in there America.
PHOTO ©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Saturday, February 14, 2009

10yrs ago — my decision to move to France

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K
Exactly ten years ago today, after several years of travel to France, I was in my little apartment in Chicago when this crazy idea whacked me upside the head...

Go to France. Go live there.

What? Huh! How? I had a perfectly good job as an Art Director with a marketing company in Chicago. Move to France? Is this even possible? School or marriage came to mind as possibilities. But I was in my twenty's and was thinking I was [insert laughter here] 'too old' to attend school. And as much as the idea of marrying a french man is appealing to me, that would not be the way I'd have this year-long adventure unfold.

But even not knowing how this would happen. I knew it would.

I took one step. Then a few more. Found myself up at the Borders on Clark & Diversey thumbing through thick books on study abroad programs. I went home. Made a few calls. Sent a few emails (email was just catching on). Then narrowed to a few art schools. But I wanted to know more. Then in a fluke, or breadcrumb, I learned of AirFrance flights nonstop from Chicago to Paris CDG for $250 roundtrip. Yes, you read that right. I went to France for a few days to see the schools. I chose one in the south of France and never looked back.

Friends and family received a card I made that simply said: "Bonjour Y'all!"

That year, 99-00, was full of photography, painting, living, loving, eating, traveling, sharing, reading, and diving deep into life. I think that's what I do best. But years later how does something like this, so dream-like, so oasis-from-life-like, fit in to, well... 'LIFE'?

I've discovered that a decision like this reminds us, especially on days we aren't 'feelin' it, that we DO have it in us to do amazing things. Even seemingly impossible things. Ten years later I feel I'm again navigating unchartered waters. For different reasons. But much like before, I feel excited, scared, exhilarated, and hopeful. Perhaps all of us are feeling a little of that?

Valentine's Day might be a day for lovers. Or 'singles awareness day.' But since 1999 I've looked at today as the anniversary of when I proved I could live big. Steer my life. Take a chance. I'm invigorated by that year even as I write this. And I look forward to doing it again. 'It' being something that scares your pants off, reminds you you're alive. Taking a chance, even when others think you're nuts. Believing in yourself. Your inner compass. Your vision. Your life.

There's a saying that goes, if you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up way to much space. S' get on out there! See you on the edge.
IMAGE ©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Photo

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K

Guard at the Louvre, Paris.
PHOTO ©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Charging a toll for emails?

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
Being the pack rat I am, work-related emails are a category,
or a 12-step program, all to themselves. Help!
Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload
(or... if it were a letter...)
©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ten Things

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
"...if you’re alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because LIFE is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively." —Melvin Kaminsky
Have you ever sat down to write that list? Not the one to be forwarded to others electronically. But your private list. Ten things you hope to do in/with your life? As I see Hollywood all glammed up and our President the bearer of bad news with the inherited economy, I realize that 'hope' often boils down to a simple something that lets us see just above our own horizon. But I think the list should be comprised of both reachable and unlikely things. This is how we grow. And though we may stumble in achieving some of them. Though we may acquire some bumps and bruises. I'm pretty sure it will all be worth it.
©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Monday, February 9, 2009

Paint your piano

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K
The lead singer from Coldplay gave a simple yet revealing interview to CBS this weekend. He went on to play his colorful piano centerstage at the Grammys. His whimsical spirit, and canvas of a piano with notes to himself written right on it, reminded me of when one of my sisters took red crayons to the white wall all the way down the stairs at our home in Lake Michelle growing up. Then there's this weekend's weather here in D.C. A fresh 68°. In February? A first taste that spring is actually around the corner. And with so many unknowns in our world and on the news. It was so refreshing to get a peek of something 'sure.' Spring will come. In the meantime, with cabin fever. With winter. With unknowns. With a couple more months of cold. Play. Lighten up. Paint your piano.

"Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything
you do, yeah they were all yellow."
Coldplay, Yellow
2009 Wendy Hudgins

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Photo

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K

Dive trip, Fiji.
'Senga na lenga.' Fijian for 'no problems, no worries.'
Everywhere you go, every phase you're in... learn something. Grow a little.
PHOTO ©2009 Wendy Hudgins

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

There is only one of you

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K
I love the free spirited-ness of Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. This is one of my favorite pages from her "Creative Companion" book:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Well, how was January?

A - C R E A T I V E - S P A R K
What part of your idea did you take a chance on? What idea did you push out there just a little? What was your idea that you gave wings to? I did mine. A first for me. What was yours? Like I said, January has ended, I'll show you mine if you show me yours. What a good start to a great year. Welcome to February... we have nowhere to go but up.
©2009 Wendy Hudgins
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