Life as I know it: Taking it a day at a time

I finally set up my speedlight, umbrella, tripod and self-timing remote triggers and did another self-portrait session on Sunday night. It takes about three hours to do these sessions, between set up and shooting time. So I tend to procrastinate on them.

Previously, I thought I only did them for the validation of Instagram likes. I do miss the attention, but ever since I left Instagram, I have seen my photography with new eyes. My self portrait shoots are for me, not for some creepy guys on the Internet, a model who wants to work with me for free, or someone who wants to give me a bracelet to promote their company. I don’t do this for likes. I don’t do this for an audience, although I am trying to get my work seen by a larger audience. I do this for me.

I’m no model and would never consider modeling for anyone else’s camera, but I love modeling for my own lens. It is a way of exposing my soul.

Additionally, I have started writing every day this week. I am challenging myself for one week and seeing how it goes. Last night it seemed at first that I’d spend the whole hour I had set aside for writing tweeting, or staring at a blank page. But I could feel my ideas start to percolate and swim to the surface, the more intentional I made the practice. The last half hour an idea finally came to me, I busted out writing and my hour turned into an hour and a half.

This latest story is about werewolves, so I am hoping to avoid the tropes. I am aware werewolves are a trope, but I am submitting to a lycanthropy-themed anthology, so I think I’m good. But if you have any thoughts on werewolf tropes you don’t like to see, please drop a comment.

In personal news, despite the optimism of my last post, I have had a difficult time emotionally with the state of the world we live in. I had finally adjusted my routine to adapt to pandemic conditions. I need to get enough sleep, take social media breaks, exercise, meditate, stay creative and eat healthy to keep depression at bay. I was starting to work on that, and then the divisions in my country split raw open after the death of George Floyd and I am struggling to be okay again. Because this is not okay and black lives matter. Sometimes the world overwhelms, so it is easy to pull the blanket over your head and hide. I don’t want to hide anymore. My voice matters.

Right now I’m just working on my self care. I’m researching ways I can get involved. My partner is high risk so I don’t feel comfortable standing among a crowd at a protest. Social media activism is inherently dissatisfying. But there are other ways of making a difference.

It’s also the start of Pride month. It’s a different sort of Pride month this year, but I feel in many ways Black Lives Matter eclipses Pride. But I am bi, because the process of coming out is an endless and never-ending cycle for lgbtq people. I am proud of my identity. I did not realize I was bi till later in life, in my 30s. It’s been an interesting journey. If I have the spoons I will try to write an essay about it sometime this month.

Overall, I’m taking things day by day. I’m trying to drink less, eat healthier, exercise more, write more, play music, take photographs. Those things heal me. You can‘t pour from an empty cup. Above all else, I really believe that now is a time to be kind to ourselves. We’re all doing the best we can.

Finally, a few photos from my self portrait shoot. The rest are at https://500px.com/siriusrosephoto/galleries/self-portraiture-shoot-05-31-20-1

Last but not least, I just want to say thank you, thank you dear blog readers, for 50 subscribers and 100 likes! It may not sound major but I never thought I’d get this far.

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Support my creative work? Donate $1 to my tip jars: http://www.venmo.com/denise-ruttan or http://www.ko-fi.com/fieldofstars

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