Thursday, July 30, 2009

i'm a blogging fool!

My eyes/Copyright (c) 2009 Wendee Holtcamp

I have decided to start trying to blog here more, but every time I open up the browser window to write something I get a mental block and I end up not blogging. So here I go, I'm a blogging foo! As I've mentioned in my previous scattered posts, things have been bleak over here. I've been struggling. But finally, a major change in my life happened recently, the end of a relationship that has been a bit of a struggle for some time. There's love, and wonderful things, but also challenges that we need to set aside the "us" and each move in life on separate paths now. I am trying to get my footing again, and actually it's been a sort of slow process because I have spent the last two months on and off trying to get back to the gym more, trying to get together with friends more. My creativity feels like it's suffered. and the overwhelm feeling is often there because of sooooo much to do, deadlines, projects, house stuff, life...

One positive thing, I have absolutely enjoyed doing the Animal Planet Animals in the News blog - it's such a joy to write! I think I love it because it's so concise, short, and with a quick turnaround between writing and publication. The story ideas are easy to come by because they're based on stories already out there 'in the news' so I just research, talk to scientists or others, write it up, fact check, put it online, add links, add photo, and before long, wha-la there's my article, published!

I am really enjoying keeping up with all the animal news around the world on a more regular basis too. I love being able to pick what I write about. I love science-based stories. I love positive stories in which conservationists are recovering a species, or there's some good news but boy there's a lot of bad news out there too. I try to write about invertebrates at least once a week because they don't get enough media play compared to the cute cuddlies or the big scaries. And speaking of big scaries, next week is Shark Week!! (Not that I think sharks are scary!) I have all shark stories in the hopper. It reminds me of when I dove with the sharkies in the Coral Sea last April... man that was a truly mind-blowing profound experience!! I have been talking with Sean a bit about maybe doing that documentary in the Solomon Islands, or seeing whether we can get some funding! That would be sooo cool. Oh and hey, the 2-hour documentary Mysteries of the Shark Coast - in which I appear with a yellow bathing suit and braids walking through the background a few time, and acting as the "shark nurse" handing Richard Fitzpatrick tools for the shark surgery - may air again next week so check it out! Here;s a cool descrip of the show, but it's on the Discovery UK site. And just for fun, here's a link to a game I helped write shark questions for: Sharkrunners!

So there you have it. Slow but steady wins the race. I went to my Thursday morning coffee this morn with my girlfriends, a group that has sort of withered away over the past months and I really, really miss it! A woman from the group who had moved across the pond was back in town and I'd never met her but truly enjoyed sharing a wonderful conversation with her about New Zealand, Australia, whale watching, dolphins, sharks and the like!

I'm heading to Dallas tomorrow morning with my kiddos to visit my mom and stepdad and my adorable niece Kira who is in town from Cali (she flew into Houston, actually, so I got to take her to the museum and hang out with her for a while here too - hadn't seen her in 2 years before then!). I haven't been to see my mom/stepdad in quite a while though they've come down here recently. And we didn't kill one another! We actually got along quite lovely this time. So life progresses and unfolds in always weird and wonderful and mysterious ways, doesn't it?

Here are a couple of my latest publications:

Lone Parents: Virgin Birth in Sharks. BioScience Magazine (Am Inst of Biological Sciences) July/Aug 2009.

The discovery that sharks can reproduce asexually means that mammals are the only jawed vertebrate lineage incapable of parthenogenesis. But can this surprising capacity make any difference to shark survival as their populations decline?

Blue-Green Mystery - Texas Parks & Wildlife mag July 2009.

"It may be one of science’s most impressive pieces of detective work. Biologists at the Institute for Ethnomedicine, led by Director Paul Alan Cox, believe they’ve found the culprit for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and other “tangle diseases” including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and supranuclear palsy. The tiny neurotoxic molecule BMAA (β-N-methylamino-L-alanine) is produced by blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) found worldwide. The good news? The discovery could lead to a cure. The bad news? BMAA in drinking water could be a health risk even at low levels, but no one’s testing for it in water supplies yet."

My beautiful niece Kira! The photo as taken by and edited by my daughter Savi! This was at the Museum of Natural Sciences. Kira doesn't like her picture taken! She's incredibly smart, and fun and sweet!
Me, in pigtails... I took this one, a self-portrait
My gorgeous son Sam at the beach. Taken by Savi!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the dark side

The sun coming through the clouds in eastern Nepal

Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I'm out of control, and at times, a little hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe

I found that quote in a comment in response to Ms. Single Mama's blog post, My dark side, which I soooo related to! She has been a single mom of a young boy for a while now, and blogs about dating and parenting but just recently has fallen in love. She writes about the push-pull of pushing someone away because it's so much easier to be single, and the things you say that you really don't mean, and the fear, and all that is involved in risking one's heart again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

this too shall pass

This too Shall Pass by India.Arie

I achieved so much in life
But I’m an amateur in love
My bank account is doing just fine
But my emotions are bankrupt

My body is nice and strong
But my heart is in a million pieces
When the sun is shining so am I
But when the night falls so do my tears

Sometimes the beatings so loud in my heart
That I can barely tell our voices apart
Sometimes the fear is so loud in my head
that I can barely hear what God says

Depression is a bitch. It's the long struggle that some of us face, the beast that can cripple you every bit as much as a physical handicap, that can sneak up and bite you in the ass right when you think you've finally got things under control.

It's like another entity that takes over your normal upbeat personality and replaces it with someone who cries all the time, doesn't want to get out of bed, doesn't want to work out anymore, doesn't reach out to friends, really doesn't do anything more than what is absolutely required of each day - the assignments that must be done, the bills that must get paid. There's the confusion of what is cause and what is effect. Is the struggle and strife of certain relationships and friendships and family situations caused by this or causing this? Do I leave and run away and say goodbye, or will that make the depression worse? "My head and my heart are at war" as India.Arie sings in this song that I love. I heard it at the gym on my mp3 player and it spoke exactly what I was feeling.

But then I hear a whisper that this too shall pass
I hear the angels whisper that this too shall pass
my ancestors whisper that this day will one day be the past
so I walk in faith that this too shall pass

The one that loved me the most
turned around and hurt me the worst
Been doing my best to move on
but the pain just keeps singing me songs

My head and my heart are at war
cause love ain't happening the way I want it
Feel like I'm about to break down
can't hear the light at the end of the tunnel
is when I pray for healing in my heart
to be put back together what is torn apart
and I pray for quiet in my head
that I can hear clearly what GOD says
but then I hear a whisper that this too shall pass
I hear the angels whisper that this too shall pass
my ancestors whisper that this day will one day be the past
so I walk in faith that this too shall pass

All of a sudden I realized
that it only hurts worst to fight it
So I embrace my shadow and hold on to the morning light

this too shall pass...

I hear the angels whisper that trouble don't have to last always
I hear the angels whisper even the day after tomorrow will one day be as today
I hear my angels whisper
I hear my angels whisper
this too shall pass

Oh child things will get easier
oh child things will get brighter
oh child things are gonna get easier
This too shall pass

I realized that this concert version does not have the full song...I don't like it as much as the hidden track version on the CD but it's all I can find online.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

nothing gold can stay

Nothing gold can stay.

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost