Books Food New Years's Resolutions Our Life Writing

Tunnel Vision, Cookies, and Snitch Pads

My chosen theme for self-improvement this year is “Focus”. Like a photographer narrowing their depth of field, I’m going to highlight three important things: writing, friendship, and cookies.

I got a taste of tunnel vision in the last quarter of 2017. Up against a self-imposed Christmas deadline, I was able to ignore distractions and finish editing my mother’s memoir. Now that I know it can be done, I’d like to keep that momentum.

To support my writing habit, I plan on submitting two essays for publication a month, double last year’s goal and I’m off to a good start. I’ve submitted two essays already this month, and gotten my guest blog about a Mayan wedding published on Pink Pangea.

A good writer reads, so I’ve doubled the number of books on my reading list. This month I finished reading “The Hidden Life of Trees” and have begun reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” For fun, I’m reading Martha Conway’s “The Underground River.” Martha is Maggie’s sister, and Maggie is married to my cousin Brian. I highly recommend this book, especially if you like the notion of a floating theater, are curious about how slaves found their way to freedom in the 1830’s, or are handy with a sewing machine.

I’ve also started a “Snitch Pad,” a notebook I carry with me for jotting down thoughts and observations. I got this idea from “Steal Like an Artist”, a nifty little book that Shelley lent me. If you are looking for ways to boost your creativity, this book is a must.

As for friends, well, I’m fortunate to have a lot of great friends and oodles of opportunities for fun. But, if I’m going to do more reading and writing, I need to get choosy about what makes it to my calendar. This year, I’m focusing on quality over quantity.

Last, but not least: cookies. My Nana’s pet name for me was Cookie, and she baked the most incredible chocolate chip cookies. Ask any one of my brothers or cousins. To honor both my nickname, and Nana’s legacy, Cookies will be my new go-to potluck and party dish in 2018. No more fretting over what to bring, or how to keep it warm, or cold, or whatever. Cookies are easy, and everyone likes them.

Tunnel vision gets a bad rap, but I see it as a way to achieve my goals. If I can stay on track, my life will be productive, nourishing, and fun, and hopefully distract me from the political shit storm we all seek to weather this year. So happy tunneling, or whatever strategy you’ve chosen to make your new year shine!

My Experience at a Mayan Wedding (or, Why I Travel)

The Underground River

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

2 replies on “Tunnel Vision, Cookies, and Snitch Pads”

Good for you…sticking to your resolutions! I love that cookies played a role in how we met! You asked me to bring a bag of choco chips to Nicaragua, then graced us with cookies after dinner one night. They were great…I assume that was Nana’s recipe!

I’m taking your molasses cookies to the next Vegans for Peace lunch for homeless and at-risk people at Love Wins Ministry next week. Forecast: a major outburst of peace and love. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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