Happy New Year! Are you ready to resume life as usual on this first (rainy and cold) Monday of 2011? I am not. I’m having to prod myself into working, as is always the case when I take a break from this space. I’m sure in a week or two I will be back in the swing of posting regularly. Until then, I think I will devote much of this week to sharing my plans for the blog this year. My hope is that once I am done writing about what I am going to write about, I will have something to write about. Zing!
Last year I dabbled briefly in what I called color stories, or monthly pictorials of the Inland Empire grouped by color. It was a short-lived project, one I put to the side once I stopped writing for Inland Empire Family. Although the decision to leave Inland Empire Family was sound (I am open to writing for other websites if it is a paid position or comes with tangible benefits), I found myself missing my monthly pictures. I’m bringing them back with a few changes.
I’ll still be summing up the month by color. This time, I plan to inject personality into the post by including a brief summary of our month as a family. My motivation is completely selfish. I’m not a very good parenting blogger. I’m a good storyteller, and I like to think I am creative, but when it comes to journaling the everyday, I hover at mediocre or, more accurate, insecure and unsure. I have a hard time believing anyone would be interested in our family history (baseball sign ups! homework! visiting family!) when everyone is busy creating a history of their own. My hope is that I will be able to compose a snapshot of our specific family history that I will enjoy years from now in a format that is accessible and interesting. That has always been my hope with my blog: to tell stories specific to our family that reflect the universal themes we all experience. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.
To reduce the odds of suckage, I made sure to plan out the year’s color stories as best I could. That’s the secret, you know, to starting and finishing a blogger series. Organization, organization, organization. If I have learned anything, it’s that editorial calendars aren’t just for magazines. If you are a blogger planning a series, do yourself a favor and plan it out through the project’s duration. Don’t assume you will have time to figure out what you are writing about three months from now. Assume you won’t. Assume your life will continue as it is now: busy, hectic, and full of good intentions. I didn’t plan out my color stories last year, and I found myself struggling later on in the year. Several times I found a color that would have been perfect for one month had already been used, and since I wanted each month to have a different color, I was stuck. It was a problem I could have easily avoided by planning out the series ahead of time. A dumb mistake, but I learn quickly.
Here is my color story calendar for the year. Is it anticlimactic to lay it all out beforehand? I haven’t decided. At the very least, it should be fun to see how well I was able to predict the themes and colors for each month. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I spent several hours last night agonizing over all the colors. Decisions aren’t really my thing, you see. I eventually figured it out, and a reader named Andrea took pity on me on my Facebook page and gave my colors fancy names. (Thanks, Andrea!)
2011 Color Stories
January | Wool
The grays and creams of the first month of the year. The weather is making this one easy, as you can see.
February | Scarlet
Reds of all sorts seemed like a good fit for a month most often associated with romance.
March | Daffodil
The first flower of the year usually pokes its yellow head out of the ground this month, although I can’t imagine anything yellow with all this cold we are having.
April | Grass
Surely it will be warm by April. I hope to see plenty of greenery and at least one picnic. Also, if green would like to appear in the shape of money, I would have no objections.
May | Jacaranda
California’s famous(ish) Jacaranda season is starting up. I expect purples, lavenders, and everything in between.
June | Peacock
Pretty blues to mark the beginning of summer.
July | Silver
Ray Bans, men’s watches, and casual jewelry against a California tan.
August | Cotton
School starts again. Pressed oxford shirts, fresh paper, and the bright white of new shoelaces.
September | Russet
Here come the orangey reds of fall…but not in California. This is our hottest month of the year. The only thing orangey-red around here will be the sun, which will feel like it’s suspended 3 inches from our noses.
October | Cauldron
Halloween! Ghouls, ghosts, and the beginning of early nights lend to a month shrouded in black.
November | Cider
Topaz, caramel, and the brown of loamy earth. Maybe? Here’s hoping. It’s California, after all.
December | Gold
Our church uses gold and green Christmas decorations. It is always so beautiful, and this year only compounded my obsession for brass and gold.
Well, that’s it. What do you think? If you live in the Inland Empire and can think of a locale that fits in, let me know. There are a pair of royal blue doors downtown that I am dying to photograph, and I can’t believe I have to wait until June to do it.