Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Sweet Vibe of Collaboration

Did you sense that shift in the universe earlier this week? Maybe it was just my universe, but it was definitely a shift.

One of the tasks of my day-job is to write (or more often, compile) the company newsletter. Far different from the topics you see here on, the company newsletter is, of course, work focused and occasionally crosses into the humorous side of the industry. To read one style of writing next to the other, you might swear I have two personalities.

Then again, you might draw that conclusion if you met me, too.

During this week's final stretch of preparing the monthly work newsletter, the other half of my brain showed up. Laugh at that statement, if you like, but that phrasing is saved for only one person in my life, my sister from another mister, my dear friend, my creative life-giver, my occasional kick-in-the-pants person, my laugh-until-it-hurts lunch companion, the other-half-of-my-brain, S.* S is the only person I know -- or have ever known -- to have her own super-heroine alter ego. (Writing that sentence makes me seriously consider making an appointment with a psychiatrist -- for both of us.)

S is one hell of a writer. Her ability to take a normal daily activity and uncover the laughter that always seems to lurk behind the curtains in her world is remarkable. In a few sentences, she renders her reader (or listener, because she is equally as entertaining verbally) helpless to losing control and just laughing until it hurts. Or until the tears come. Or until bladder control is lost. Her words, though, always make one forget what might have been that day's trouble. A gift? Oh, yes. 

S has spent many years moving all over the country in her military family, even living in Asia for over a year, but she has recently moved back to her hometown and returned to work at our company (after nearly a ten-year absence). She was the original editor of our company newsletter, turning over the reins to me when she moved in 2005, but each issue since has felt her noticeable void. Upon her return earlier this year, she said something like, "but I'm not writing for the newsletter again." Yeah, sure. We'll see about that.

This week, though, the shift. The other half of my brain (that's S, you know) contributed to the newsletter and showed up in a big way. Reading the drafts, I laughed out loud so often, the folks outside my office were surely wondering if I had finally lost it. But I had not lost it; I had found it. I had found that sweet vibe of collaboration when my side of the brain -- the informative, policy-focused, somewhat-brooding, Type-A personality -- met her side of the brain -- the funny, irreverent, make-it-worthwhile side. The point of literary contact exploded into one of the best newsletter issues in years. Boom.

It made me think of only one thing: oh, how I have missed her. 

She's the reason I started writing again, you must understand. After too many years away from this thing that I loved, an hour-long telephone call with S slipped into each of us discussing how we enjoyed writing. She never stopped, always maintaining her relationship with the written word through journals, while I broke up with writing years before, leaving the memory of it in the rear-view mirror like a bad date. In that conversation, I confessed that I missed writing, though I did not know where to start again. S said simply, "Rita, just start." Cutting through all my excuses, S pointed those simple words directly to my heart, changing everything. I began writing that night and have not stopped since. 

You see, without S, what you are reading now may never have existed.

Here is where I begin my newest campaign: S should start a blog. The world would not only enjoy reading about her view of the universe, but the world needs to read about it. My chant begins: S, S, S, blog, blog, blog, yes, yes, yes. I would, of course, use her super-hero name, but you get the picture. If everyone reading this can send a similar message to the cosmos, perhaps we can get a response. Believe me, you want to read it. I hope the triple-chant will bring this wish to life, much like Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetle -- oh, I'll stop here.

As July comes to a close -- this beautiful cooler-than-usual July -- I find myself considering taking on a challenge for August. The August Break, a creative nugget brought to you by Susannah Conway, is a month's worth of photography prompts to give the creative juices a boost. It's like one of those vitamin-packed juice smoothies that kick-starts any morning. The challenge may also prompt me to finally dive into the photography book, Shooting with Soul by Alessandra Cave that has quietly spoken to me from my bookshelf. It whispers things like, "I would be good for you" and "You know you want to read me." It's true that I do indeed want to read it, but I keep waiting for a time when I can fully devote my energy to getting the most out of its pages. The August Break may be a sign that it's time to make time.

This recent shift may have opened up a crack of light I had not before seen.

*A little privacy, so she doesn't awake to throngs of fans beating down her door, because she is that good. 

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  1. Oh, Reeetah, you are so freakin' awesome...I love ya, my sister from another mister! See you at lunch and we'll talk about this blogging thing. XOXO

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  3. I agree Rita, a blog for her is a must!


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