For a delightful side trip to Colorado, check out last month's photo entries and the winners, now available online at The Fort Collins Coloradoan. There were 99 amazing entries in October.
Every time I look at the photos in this contest, I want to give up writing and take up photography. Buy a new camera. Lenses. Take classes. Study. Take millions of shots. Learn how to use PhotoShop. Learn how to turn my photos into posters.
So I do take a few photographs and occasionally post one on my blog. But I still spend most of my time writing.
I felt the same way about painting in watercolor when I saw Barbara Moore's gallery showing at the Northern Colorado Writers studio. Her work is precise, the colors sharp. I don't know how she does that, because my attempts over the years were fuzzy, the colors bland. I look at Barbara's work and I want to give up writing and buy fresh paints and new brushes. Take more classes. Paint hundreds of watercolors until I get it right.
I took a watercolor class while I lived in France in the mid-80s. And I took a month of Sunday art workshops on painting with acrylics about five years ago. Occasionally, I pull out my paints and spend a relaxing afternoon pretending I'm an artist. But when I clean my brushes and put the paints away, I'm a writer.
And then when Jeff Finlin, a Colorado songwriter and performer, took the stage at the NCW studio last night and performed his songs in his Bob Dylan style, I wanted to give up writing and buy a guitar. Take lessons. Maybe even try to write a song.
I bought a guitar and took a few lessons back in the 70s. It didn't take. A couple of years ago, I bought an inexpensive Sony keyboard ($99 Christmas special at K-Mart). I already know how to read music since I took piano lessons when I was younger. I play with the keyboard from time to time.
Then I return to my computer and write.
At least I don't want to give up writing and become a singer. That would be pathetic, since I'm an alto with a very narrow range. I'd be known as Patty Three-Note.