Creative Monday

Creative Monday!

Actually you can say that about any day of the week, depending on the weather, your mood, your itinerary, and your energy level.

Creativity is much more than starting a new painting or designing a new pop-up card. 

But you already know that.

Being creative can mean taking a virtual online tour of magnificent museum slike the British Museum, London, The Guggenheim in Bilbao, in New York, the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 

Reading is always a step towards creativity. There are milllions of stories out there of people who made history being creative — Steven King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Henry VIII, Maya Angelou, Gertrude Stein. History is full of people with creative, interesting, exciting lives. 

One of my favorite ways of expanding my creativity is finding new recipes online. I tire of the hot dog-french fries menu, so I periodically take a stab at foods I’ve always been curious about but too lazy to buy or make. My husband recently learned a smashing egg foo young dish, and I have stepped out of my comfort zone lately to experiment with a classic French Chicken Basquaise and Cuban Ropa Vieja. Cooking is fun, eye-opening, and very rewarding.

I have also been listening to different kinds of background music while I craft, write, or walk. Lately I’m into Spanish Guitar music and Ambient Japanese Instrumentals. There are podcasts about nature, astral travel, and who knows what else that can tip your scales one way or another to play in the background.

How else can you be creative without investing all your spare time and spare change?

I’m sure you can come up with dozens of ways to expand your mind. Books from the library, free lectures, arts and crafts classes, wine and painting parties — the list is endless. There are crafting challenges and writing challenges and cooking challenges all over Word Press and Pinterest and Facebook — there’s always something to pique your interest.

There is no such thing as being bored in this universe.

All you have to do is take the first step. Make the effort to learn something new or hone a craft you’ve been tinkering with. 

 I haven’t been writing lately (except for blogs), and the itch is almost becoming unbearable. I want to write about “visiting” Paris and its countryside for a while now, which takes research research research. That’s exploring to me. That’s creativity in yet another form.

Creative Monday.

A chance to start again, to continue, to excel and fly and explore.

Take advantage of this opportunity you’ve been given. And spread it out all throughout the week.

 

 

Share the Wealth

 

I just love this stuff.

I just love when creative people share their creativity. There’s so much out there I think my head would burst if I looked at all of it, shared all of it.

All is a big word.

So today I’m going to share some great art from a few of those I follow. Take a few minutes and check them out. You’ll be glad you did. 

 

Annette’s blog Beauty Along the Road,  is about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations. She is thrilled to announce the 2021 Creative Project Coaching workshop, Wild Ember Sparking. This monthly workshop series runs from March through October 2021 and assists you in getting your creative project off the ground, with clarity and purpose, and then supports your ongoing project. If you are curious, please check out the details: https://emeraldmountainsanctuary.com/creative-project-coaching/.

 

I’ve followed Michelle Lee and her blog My Inspired Life  for a bit,  and I enjoy the whole feel of her world. She has poems that will move you (many w/audio), stories that will entertain you, photographs that will uplift you, and people who will inspire you. Like us, she has gone through much, but the calm and graceful way she relates her poetry and experiences leaves a good feeling behind.

 

Elaine runs an award-winning blog filled with stories, poetry, and amazing digital artwork, called, appropriately, Elaine Rose.   Her work is fun and creative and brightens up my day. You can purchase her digital artwork, too!

 

 

 

Laura Kate at Daily Fiber is one of the most creative people I know. If she’s not quilting she’s knitting or trying out new styles in watercolors. Her work is amazing. I never know what she’s going to come up with next! To me she’s just amazing. You have to check out her work.

 

 

Ellen Appleby, based in Noosa Studio in Australia, is busy all the time with the ceramics and cards she creates. She has a very small following at the moment, but has large ceramics talent, but I hope she continues to post her work, for it’s delightful.

 

 

Even though I did highlight a work from The Alchemist’s Studio the other day, I can’t help but show off their work again.  The Studio specializes in raku pottery, which is a centuries old firing technique from Japan. They also make functional ware, pit fired pottery and other pieces of objet d’art. You’ll love their work.

 

 

 

Writing is always inspirational, as it encourages a lot of trial and error before it becomes a song on the breeze. Candia at Candia Comes Clean is so interesting because not only does she write, but has been experimenting with boussekusekeika, sestinas, rhyme royale, villanelles and other forms of poetry. She is exploring Japanese themes at the moment, so stop by her blog for an interesting time!

 

 

Sketchuniverse is a virtual meeting point to find and comment on any sketch, drawing or engraving, made by the historical masters. This blog contains so many new and exciting concepts, artists, and styles, along with traditional creative outlets. It is my inspiration for new and unique artwork. You must stop by sometime and just wander his galleries.

 

Another favorite of mine, Gwenniesgardenworld, is full of beautiful photographs of flowers, cacti, and trees. She has such an eye for nature — I even have a Sunday Evening Art Gallery devoted to her. 

 

I could go on and on with recommendations — I’ve already spouted about Purplerays,  spiritual enlightenment and self improvement quotes and images;  David Kanigan and Live & Learn, whom I’ve learned from for years; Jan Beek, sharing spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity; notquiteold by Nancy Roman, a refreshing trip through getting older;  Tiffany and her Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art blog, a delightful stop for bright and imaginative paintings; and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies, anything you want to know about herbs, tarot cards, charms, and spring cleaning.

 
Good blogs are everywhere. Start one. Read one. Share one.

 

 

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

 

This past week has been the beginning of something good. Positive. Promising.

We are always warned not to get too excited about things we want to see or do or accomplish. After all, it may not happen. Then where will we be? Standing in the middle of the road with egg on our face because we got excited over nothing.

I’m here to tell you that’s the worst advice anyone could give you.

Anticipation is one of the most positive energies you can experience. It’s okay to be super excited about the last day of school before summer vacation or going camping with your family next month.

Why can’t you be just as excited about your creative future?

I got accepted into my first Art Fair last week. Whether shoppers will be interested in my wares is another story. THIS story is that I get to set up a booth and show off my sparkles and bring some smiles into other people’s lives.

Will I make any money? Probably not much. Will I make back my initial investment? Who knows? But I’m doing something I’ve never done before and am looking forward to having fun with it, no matter what.

I’m also excited because in a few months I’m going to expand my blog. I’m thinking of offering Angel Tears to my friends and readers, although I’m not sure how big of an expansion step I’m ready to take yet. But at least I’m thinking about it.

I’ve also started my second I Dreamed I Was In Paris book. There was a lot of research and stress and imagination involved, but I loved every minute of it. I do so love writing, and I want to experience that again. 

Speaking of writing, I also am going to put my first Paris book online for a free download just because. I’ve got other books, too, that I want to eventually share. I don’t care about being published. E-books? Maybe down the line. I’m more interesting in just making people happy right now.

People who hide their work, waiting for the right time to share it with friends and strangers, will never find the right time. No one is ever going to read or see your work if it stays hidden. 

And that’s sad.

What if no one likes my Tears? My books? What if I don’t recoup the investment I’ve made in time, materials, research, and physical effort?

Who cares?

Do you ever recoup your investment in dinners you make that no one eats? Do you recoup the effort put into learning new skills that your employer has no use for? Or the investments you’ve made in buying trombones and pianos for your kids who only want to play video games after school?

I always say it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

Your thoughts may be, “Ah .. but when you get where you’re going, then what?”

I say, “Great! Where do we go next?”

Better to have a lot of places to see, things to do, dreams to aim for, than to sit home, never venturing out at all. Better to share than never to know.

It’s all there waiting for you. Go and have fun with your creativity.

After all — Everything’s Coming Up Roses for Me and for You!

 

 

A Little Poetry

Something different.

A poem from 2011.

Reflections before/during/after writing my first book.

Come along.

 

 

Eternity Road

I see you driving down the lane
Golden leaves guiding you home
Your heart is not in your world
It floats in seas blue and green
Not of your world
You search for shadows
Hoping to make them real
To bring them into your light
And make them whole.

Time and space are curious things
They take shape in the mind
And vaporize in the void of now
We reach to make them our own
Yet they laugh at our being
Our very nerve

You wait, heart in hand
Driving tirelessly to the ends of the earth
I wait for you
Lost in another world of time and spirit
Empty wine glasses
Hold the promise of eternity
Yet somehow I know
You are lost on the highway of dreams

The golden leaves have turned to icicles
The music has stopped
The building has closed, the doors locked
Yet I see you driving down the lane
Trying to find me
Lost in your own world
In your own dreams

It’s too late, it didn’t work
I came to the end of my book
The last page of our hope
Shelved with the dreams of others
Dickens, Mitchell, Austen
Explanations that came too late
Roads that never made their way home

I never give up hope
That you will follow the hidden pathway
To my arms, to my heart
I will wait for time to tick forward
Ever evolving, ever flowing
My heart holds yours in trust
Until you find your way back home

 

What View Inspires You?

Is there a particular place you go to find inspiration for your craft?

Is there a view that inspires you every time you experience it? Music that makes you want to write or paint or knit or carve? Walks or vistas or scenery that triggers your creative muse?

Years ago I used to walk the path behind the University in my town. The paths took me past an open field, into the woods, down groomed and ungroomed paths, to a spot where a huge tree had fallen to its  forever-sleep position some time earlier.

I used to dream on those paths. I planned my B&B strategy there, my novels, my travels, the new-and-improved ME there. A lot of stories came to light in those woods — a lot of love and angst and fantasy came alive as I walked in early morning sunlight or late afternoon twilight.

That was many years ago. Before retirement, before grandbabies, before the pandemic. Days when I vainly tried to turn my data computer job into a writing job. When I dreamed of being published or being thinner or whatever daydreams haunted my world back then.

What made me think about this question today was that I drove down a winding road this morning on my way to the Vet. A road that I haven’t driven on, really, since I left/was let go of my job.

This drive inspired two novels and a couple of short stories and at least one poem I can think of. I hadn’t driven down this road for so long I’d forgotten what inspiration felt like.

Old inspiration.

I now walk my own little patch of woods, looking for faeries and a cornfield that leads to another world and an archway that takes me to Paris. I think my Angel Tears are somewhere in there, too.

But I think it’s time to walk a new woods. Sit on a new shore. Time to find inspiration in a new place, while keeping a foot in my current one.

It’s time to experience the transcending moment true inspiration brings.

How about you?

 

One Step Closer to Being Me

 

As quiet as a shadowed whisper, I have added a new page to my Humoring the Goddess blog.

Angel Tears.

Tears of joy shared by angels who bless us with love and magic (still working on that … rolls eyes).

I’ve finally committed full force to my new craft, which  means I am ready to craft, create, and sell my sparkling wares.

It’s all very exciting.

It’s all very frightening.

I have applied for three craft art fairs this summer. Too many? Too few? What am I doing?

I have already been turned down for one fair. That’s the game. I threw the dice and we’ll see what numbers turn up. Is sharing my crafts with others any different than sharing my joy for writing? Or art? Or my family?

I wonder why I’m so hesitant. So afraid. Why should it make a different if someone likes what I’ve made or not? Am I still not me?

This could lead to a whole psychological discussion, one I’m tired of having. Thinking. I’m going to do what I always tell others to do.

I always say — and I truly believe — that life is too short not to make yourself happy. When you make yourself happy you make others happy. The world swirls around us no matter what we do, and if you wait for others to make you feel better about yourself you’ll wait forever. So why not jump into the foray now and then and share what truly makes you feel good?

I have had fun exploring, creating, and sharing my suncatchers. If I come out with nothing more than new experiences, I have been very fortunate indeed.

Take a look at my new page when you have time. Tell me what you think! Have you taken the next step in your creative world? I’d love to hear about it, too!

P.S. If you can come up with a phrase about angels and their tears that would make a prospective buyer go “Wow. I get it!” hold onto it. I will be holding a little contest with a suncatcher as a prize. 

Sounds like an angel gift to me!

 

Finish Your Sentence the Right Way

You know — there are days when I would post 2 or 3 or 4 times if I let myself.

There are others’ blogs I’d like to share, new Galleries I’d like to showcase, photos I’d love to show you, topics I’d like to yammer about.

But I can only take me one day at a time.

It’s not like I know a whole lot about anything. I am one of those who dabble in a dozen things at one time and am neither an expert nor a consistent follower in most. But how can one not want to share other’s creativities? 

I get so excited when I see other blogs and the things they’ve created. The thoughts they’ve had. The discoveries they’ve made. And I want to show you what I’ve found.

I’m sure what I see and experience is only the tip of the iceberg out there. But it’s the seeing and experiencing that wears me out.

When I look from the outside in, it all looks quirky and fun and a little bit on the wild side. Who wouldn’t love to have this much enthusiasm for sharing?

But looking out from inside, I’m exhausted.

Like I said in last week’s blog, I’m Too Old To Be This Busy, this “do ten things at one time” makes me tired. Makes my brain tired.

Working 9-5 used to make me tired. Raising my kids made me tired. Now running on creativity makes me tired. I know it’s not some blood disease; I work closely with my doctor to make sure all my meds are in line and appropriate. 

It’s the mental chatter that sometimes drives me nuts.

Write a blog! Find a new unique artist for the Gallery! Create a page for your crafts in case you ever sell them! Figure out PayPal! Take some product pictures! Call your friend to see if she got the job! Make a ledger! Read some blogs!

See what I mean? The list is endless.

I’m not really complaining. As a matter of fact, I’m excited that others are finding their rhythms and doing their thing and being creative while juggling a dozen other tasks too. Like I always say. I LOVE creativity. No matter what you’re creating, editing, fixing, refinishing, making, crocheting, painting, I love that you’re doing something. 

I just need to calm down a little and share things one at a time. Do something and complete something. I can’t leave dangling participles out there looking for something to modify. 

And just what is a dangling participle, you ask? Here’s a few from Thought Co.:

  • Oozing slowly across the floor, Marvin watched the salad dressing.
  • Coming out of the market, the bananas fell on the pavement.
  • She handed out brownies to the children stored in plastic containers
  • I smelled the oysters coming down the stairs for dinner.

If my mind doesn’t slow down soon, I’ll be doing all of the above.

In triplicate.

 

 

 

Creativity is Multi-Dimensional

There is something about artists that is unlike most of the population.

We all do the same things — eat, sleep, love, laugh, cry. We all juggle ten things at once, including kids, jobs, cooking, insomnia, and more.

But artists are often so diversified when it comes to creativity. We mostly stick to what we know — or do best — but then after a while we get an itch to try something new. Different. Easy or difficult, it doesn’t matter. We just want to try one more thing.

Bloggers I follow such as Laura Kate at Daily Fiber and Eva Mout at Ursus Art not only shine in their respective fields, but have expanded to include photography, miniatures, painting, knitting, quilting, and a dozen more worlds. I myself have drifted away from writing the Great American Novel #7 to making sparkling crafts to hang in the sunshine.

The point of all of this is to assure you that it’s alright if you put your heart’s desire and life’s work aside for a while to try something new.

Maybe it’s being hibernated by Covid-19 or a stinging winter or temperatures so hot you want to melt that makes you squirmy in your seat. Makes you want to do something new. Something different. Something quirky or something conservative.

It doesn’t matter. You don’t need permission to try a hand at something different.

In the coming weeks I am going to highlight some of the artists I’ve already showcased to share another side of their creativity. To be honest, sometimes I’d find a painting or sculpture or quilt that I just adored, only to go to their website and find a whole array of different projects, styles, and explorations. How do you decide which to show off to your followers?

How do you decide which of your own talents to showcase?

Let all sides of you shine. Show off your work on your website, on Facebook, email your co-workers or have a show off party where everyone brings something new they’ve tried! 

Life is here. Life is Now.

And we all are creative. In every sense of the word. Even if your creation is not up to “professional” par, try it anyway! Show it off! Go for It!

You have heard of “Nailed It!” , haven’t you?

 

 

Amazed by Card Makers!

In taking some time to go through my Reader and actually READ other posts, I came across another amazing artist and her work. 

My friend Candice has a blog she calls This Made Me Smile Today, and she notes that lately she has been “dabbling in card making.”

Here is an example of her work:

 

 

I suggest you go take a look at her blog entry Card Crafting and see all of her amazing artwork for yourself. You will have an enjoyable time!

 

Which One Are You?


I have been working on a product I hope to sell at art fairs next season — if there ever IS a next season.

They are called Angel Tears, and they are homemade suncatchers that indeed catch the light. And the breeze. And the snow.

The pictures aren’t very clear, but  you get the drift. 

Heh. The drift.

I am a long way off on mass production and advertising, but looking at pictures of the work in progress, they all suddenly felt familiar — which one of these hanging sparkles was me?

I can definitely see the stages of life in these reflections. I’d like to be the first one. Bright, magical, and sparkling, twirling gently in the sunny breeze.

But then there is the middle view, the one I am a lot of the time. Still sparkling, weighted with the snow of the world, yet managing to brush off most of it while I hang around waiting for something new to happen.

The last image is me more often than not. Disaster seems to hang on me like frozen sparkles, full of snow and ice, formations created by my constantly moving, and trying to do five things at once.

You may feel just like that third image right about now. Tired of the world, a twinkling star covered in dirty snow. But I guarantee things will get better.

Don’t let the world around you snow on your parade. Or craft. Creativity may lay dormant, but it’s always there. Waiting for you to come melt the barriers around it and take it wherever and whenever you want.

Sparkle is always sparkle, after all ….

 

 

 

Creativity — Again and Again

John Lemke

I know that word is my catch phrase lately, and that lately has extended for the past few years in all kinds of directions.

I never went to college; I was one of those work-right-after-graduation kinda gals. I never took formal art classes of any sort, but I’ve always been in love with creativity.

Being “stuck” in our homes because of this Covid madness, I am finding more and more people are striking out on creative endeavors of their own. If for a commercial end or a play end, people are connecting with that fourth dimension and having the best time hanging out there.

I’ve mentioned before that I have quite a few creatives in my life; one best friend crochets these amazing blankets and jackets; one creates scrapbooks that are museum quality; one has taken to making impressively creative signs to hang around the house or patio. One friend from long ago makes quilts to die for, and another burns the most amazing animal scenes into wood.

Online, everywhere I turn I am finding people talking about their crafts. Even if it’s only in passing. I follow a potter, a quilter, and a number of painters, poets, and writers. Some of those I follow take gorgeous photographs. It’s everything and anything.

It’s so much fun, isn’t it?

Just when I think I’m burned out of ideas and inspiration, I come across someone who has done something wonderful and it gets me going again.

Creative people don’t need to be crafters, either. Some are redecorating their homes, including murals, colors, and textures. Some create garden scapes every spring. Some are refinishing furniture or restoring old cars.

It’s all in the movement.

It’s all about allowing yourself to have fun. Not judging your quality or quantity or expertise.

It’s all about finding that sparkle that’s buried deep inside you and letting it tickle you.

I myself have created what I am going to call Angel Tears, mobiles of a single fishing line made with mirrors and colored crystals. The Angel Tear is the big crystal teardrop that weights the mobile.

Who knows where this will lead. An art fair, an online business — or merely Christmas presents for family and friends.

If you have an inkling about doing something creative, stop thinking about it. Just do it. Don’t judge, unless it’s with your technique that will only improve with practice. Don’t worry who will like it, buy it, talk about it, or throw it away.

That’s not the purpose of art. Of ART.

Let’s have fun this Covid season! What have you got to lose?

Tell me — what is your side creativity project?

 

 

Is Your Work Oatmeal or Coq Au Vin?

I find I’ve been following poets a lot more lately.

Funny, for out of the many worlds of creative art available for our perusal, poetry is not really my first go-to. But I am finding I am being drawn to the poets’ words more and more these days.

Perhaps they give me hope. Perhaps they make me smile. Perhaps now and then they break my heart.

Perhaps I enjoy them because, for the most part, poems are quick reading. Not like a book. (Hey.. want to read my novel? It’s only 225 single spaced pages!)

Maybe reading poems is akin to art. I can spent one minute or five minutes really getting into what’s being offered. The intricacies of artists like Gordon Pembridge and his woodwork, the papercutting skills of Masayo Fukuda, the sky photography of Matt Molloy, or the horror scapes of Zdzisław Beksiński can keep my mind occupied for more than five seconds.

Poetry can do that too.

I just read a poem by The Ink Owl called Sinister Countdown- Damned Love that left me with a haunted tingle in my soul. I just reposted my friend Ivor’s poem Faerie Pantomime that gave me pause for more than a minute. My friend Dwight Roth inked a haunting poem about books called A Found Book. Catherine Arcolio and her blog  Leaf and Twig share beautiful images and haikus every day.  One bite at a time. Jonathan Caswell‘s busy blog By the Mighty Mumford is full of short delights, sure to make you smile. Boundless Blessings by Kamal and Walt’s Writings always stir my heart, too. And my newest addition, Lucy of Lucy’s Works, writes the most haunting and beautiful poetry.

That’s just some of the poets whose paths I cross. Hopefully you have your wandering paths, too.

In the Northern Hemisphere we are starting to buckle down, cocoon, and gather food, drink, and supplies to keep us busy through the winter months. We’ve had plenty of practice the past six months with Covid 19, so now it’s easier to stockpile projects for the future.

I can’t believe that I’m actually entertaining the idea of writing a second book on visiting Paris. It’s still a bubbling cup of water, but I’m starting to get excited.

I also am working on preparing one of my books for free download on this blog. I mean, you all need something to read during the cold days!

So don’t let the Covid and the change of seasons get you down. Write a poem like my friends above do. Can’t concentrate on a whole book? Do a short story, Or a journal.

You may be streaming oatmeal instead of coq au vin, but practice is practice.

 

 

Creativity Blossoms on a Monday

Red October

After a weekend of beautiful weather, beautiful thoughts, and a few picture Art Galleries, I often like to start off my Monday blogs talking directly to you.

I always think about asking how your weekend was — if you even had a weekend. This blog is not like a chat room; I don’t get a lot of feedback from readers as to what they’ve done or what they think or what they feel. Which is just fine. Not many want to “emote” online.

Except for our President.

But I digress.

The face of the Internet has changed in the past twenty years. Like everything else around us, change is often necessary, not always popular, and scary. Maybe not while you’re going through change, but looking forward as change tries to zoom past you.

I truly believe in order to keep your sanity — and your edge — you need to find a way to work creativity into your life. Once a day if possible. You need to do something, try something, read something you’ve never done/tried/read before.

With a full work schedule, kids, grandkids, cleaning, homework, errands, and more, it’s not always easy. Nor, should I say, on the top of your list.

But we all have to find a way to make it so. (sounds like Captain Picard!) Only when we peek into the imaginations of others can we get a better grasp of our own abilities.

Some minds are waaaaay out there. I just did a little research on Aleister Crowley, an English occultistceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer, for a possible Art Gallery blog. Ummmmm, he is definitely waaaaay out there. Putting a hold on that idea.

On the other hand, I’m finishing reading the book Shōgun which has given me insights into the world of the Japanese in the 1500s, their art and their beliefs.

There is always something you can glean from things around you. 

I also truly believe that you should learn one new thing a day. Doesn’t matter what. Look at something new, listen to something new,  experience something new. And I don’t mean watch a new TV show.

With all of us being confined to our houses because of Covid, that’s easier said than done. I don’t always trust what I learn on TV or in a movie. After all, watching the movie “The Hunt for Red October”  I thought there really was a  caterpillar drive – “a ‘magneto-hydrodynamic’ propulsion system that renders the submarine silent by mimicking seismic anomalies.”

There’s not.

But it certainly was a creative mind that created one.

I’m going to start testing my Angel Tears this week (sparkles on a fishing line), and maybe … MAYBE … consider a sequel to my book “I Dreamed I Was in Paris.”

What creative, imaginative, outside-the-box things are you up to this week? 

 

 

 

Appreciating Blogs One Day at a Time

Adam Hillman

Well, haven’t I been busy this morning!

Every week (if not more often) I try and go through my Reader and read all the posts from those I follow. A daunting task for all of us, I know. 

But we followed this or that blog for a reason.

Sometimes we are pulled away from that reason just living our lives. 

Some follow blogs religiously. Every post, every day, every spurt of creativity. Some follow a thousand blogs. Some follow ten. Some follow blogs for entertainment. Others for ideas for their own blogs. Some follow to learn; others to explore. Some don’t follow any blogs — they just wander through the WordPress universe, stopping here and there, commenting, and moving on.

We all follow blogs for our own reasons. And often feel bad when we don’t follow them as often as we should.

I signed up to follow three more blogs this morning. Duh. I could have signed up to follow thirty more, but I want to be fair to those I read. 

As if there is fairness on the Internet.

I’ve stated in the past that not long ago I went through my Reader list and found dozens of bloggers who haven’t posted in a year. 18 months. I wonder what happened to them. Moved on, grew up, became a kid again and didn’t want to waste any more time writing. Who knows.

I try and be loyal to those I follow. Even those I don’t. Time is so precious these days, I know. We need to live every day to the fullest, blah blah. We all know that. And part of being “full” is reading what others think and feel now and then.

Nothing anyone posts is going to change the world.

Mine included.

But I just read a blog called “Unresolved Trauma vs. Unresolved Trauma ∞The 9D Arcturian Council,” an uplifting connection that made me smile, so maybe changing the world comes after all …

One blog at a time.

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

A beautiful thought, beautiful feeling, for the morning …..

 

You will find meaning in life only, if you create it.

It is a poetry to be composed.

It is a song to be sung.

is a dance to be danced.

 

Osho photo credit: Richard Sagredo – unsplash – Text and image source: The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees https://www.facebook.com/695285933892742/posts/3407209282700380/

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

When I’m Not Looking, Art Bombards Me!

David Silva

Are you a fan of the “Arts”? What sort of art calls to you?

Encyclopedia Britannia says: Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamel work, furniture design, mosaic, etc.), the performing arts (theater, dance, music), music (as composition), and architecture (often including interior design).

I can dig all those categories.

Some of us are very invested in the Arts. We are musicians, painters, sculptors, novelists. We show and sell our interpretations of life and the world to others who want to feel what we feel.

Others of us are merely voyeurs. Nothing wrong with that — our lives are so busy  that there’s not often a free moment to just sit and stare at a watercolor or pen and ink drawing. We look, we say, “hey! That’s cool!’, and go on our merry way.

At least we stop.

I think if you love creativity it’s hard to follow only one path. I have a couple of friends in here that do everything from quilting to watercolor painting, from drip art to portraits. It’s such a wide and encompassing world it’s hard to resist playing in it, either by being a voyeur or a participant.

Last night I spent a couple of hours downloading images from an amazing jewelry shop in Japan. Why would I do that? What was I doing there?

As often the case, I don’t know how one thing led to another to another and another and there I was, appreciating the craftsmanship and style of a culture way on the other side of the world from me.

Is it art, though?

I realize my Sunday Galleries are always art from my point of view. You may love Andy Warhol or Claude Monet. You may prefer jewelry artists to barn artists. Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.

That’s the beauty of Art. It’s something different to everyone.

We all have our tendencies, even if we think we are totally objective. I can see I like structure, texture, and designs that make sense (to me). I like landscapes, jewelry, and sparkly things.

But I try and balance that with truly unique art I’ve never seen before. Discovering artists such as Bisa Butler (quilting) or Ron Ben-Israel (cakes) or Tina Lane (glasswork) or Chris Maynard (feather art) has been the most rewarding and fun times of my life. I mean — who knew they were even out there?

Sometimes an idea pops into my head (scary thought!); other times I see a sample on Facebook or a reference online someplace or even while reading. Some pan out, others are just one special thing among a hundred blah things.  And, OMG, just now, while Googling “What is Art?” in images I just found about six or seven new, wonderful, creative artists! See? You can do it, too!

Stick with me. This ride will open your eyes to the creative world around you.

So tell me. What kind of art do you like?

Get Creative — Then Get Outside!

A beautiful summer’s day outside. I should be out there, walking, or at least fetching the dog, walking down the paths, daydreaming of new story lines or what color to color my hair.

Instead, I’m inside, sitting in front of my computer. Final editing, I say. Looking for dinosaur remote cars for my grandson, I say. Ordering the six disc Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, I say.

This is insane. 

I’m going outside in five minutes. I just wanted to share that I have found so many amazing, beautiful, unusual artists for upcoming Sunday Evening Art Galleries that I’m about to burst.

Humankind can be sooooooo creative. Amazing to the point where they put me to shame.

Happy, it’s okay shame, so to speak.

Here are a couple of pictures of upcoming blogs: Take a look and be amazed, too.

 

 

kalamkari

 

 

Jeff Bell

 

 

cars

 

Ellen Jewett

 

 

There are more, more, more. I hope I don’t overcrowd your Reader. But I want to get the majesty and quirkiness and beauty of the Arts out there where it is loved and appreciated — in your hands. 

Continue your creative quest. Keep trying. Don’t be afraid to be the same; don’t be afraid to be different. 

And share your creativity with those around you.  With me. With the world.

Gotta go outside now……

 

 

I’m Finished!

After months of angst and woe and apprehension, I have finally finished my book.

It feels amazing.

I am a lame duck in the writing world. I have written many a novel, a short story, a poem. But I don’t toot my horn often and I haven’t been published, except for an article here and there a number of years ago.

Of course there is editing editing editing to do. But I have followed the road to its end.

I am of the strange sort that it doesn’t really matter if I get published or not. It’s the thrill of the chase that sustains me.

Surely you have had creative moments where all you want to do is — create. You have this nebulous or fairly detailed idea in your head of something you want to make. Pick an art. It doesn’t matter. We all start from a seed, and, if we’re lucky, it grows into a fine, tall, sturdy tree.

Sometimes the seed splits and doubles and all you have to show for your progress is a couple of bushy, out-of-control bursts of color.

Other times, though ….

I don’t know whether I’ll try to get this one published or not. There’s always an e-book or whatever if I just can’t stand not having the world hear about Paris.

But more importantly, I have a finished creative product in my hands.

Something that came completely from my head.

Something that turned this way and that until it became a beautiful vase on the potter’s wheel. A landscape painting of immeasurable beauty. A song that gives you goose bumps every time you hear it. A movie that makes your heart burst out of your chest because it’s so poignant. 

It’s like birthing a baby. You don’t know what it will become, but your life has become richer for it.

Keep your creativity going. Don’t stop. Not if you really want to feel free.

 

 

Hamilton and Beyond

Last night I watched the play Hamilton on the Disney Channel. I have wanted to see this production since it came out four years ago, but never made it to a theater near me.

There is something about live performances that is nothing like a movie or a video or a string of pictures. It’s something fresh and raw. You share the energy directly with the actors; you don’t have an editor cutting out mistakes or miscues like in the movie world. You are right there with every breath they take. Every tear they hide.

This performance was amazing.

That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the performance.

Amazing.

What is more amazing is that Lin-Manuel Mandala did it all. The music, the lyrics, the dialogue.

Every now and then you come across someone who is classified as a genius in their special field. Newton. Einstein. Currie. Plato. Aristotle. People who were able to think “out of the box.” So much so that they are the best of the best in their field.

I cannot judge if Lin-Manuel is in the same category as Einstein, but his creativity provided two hours of magic. Rapping, dialogue, story line, music — a magical explosion of creativity.

We are all genuises in our own way. Every time you create some sort of art you are expanding and changing reality to fit your own personal vision. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you pop through the ceiling and find a way to share your talent with the world on a massive scale. Lin-Manuel certainly did.

But if you can’t pop through that almost impermeable ceiling,  should you just give up and go back to your day job?

What if your creativity is your day job?

What I have seen, through all my years, all my desires and dreams, is that you just have to keep being you. You have to push yourself, both creatively and socially. You want to get more people to view your work — work on it. Want to move forward on the tract of notoriety? Work on it.

Fame doesn’t just walk in the door and say “let’s go.” It may knock and run, pass your door completely, or say “I’ll be back later.”  You have to work hard no matter what comes your way. Work hard to improve, to diversify, to perfect your craft.

And enjoy what you do every day you do it.

It took Lin-Manuel Mandala seven years to write Hamilton. He worked hard, created hard. He crossed the barrier from creative sprite to genius. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. But never give up. Give your art all you have.

Einstein will be proud.

 

 

I See You Peeking In …

I have noticed that the number of followers for my blog has been slowly increasing lately, and for that I am soooo grateful. It means so much to me that you are either enjoying my BoHo Chic Old Lady offerings, my newly discovered Faerie Paths, or my love of discovery of unique art.

And I’ve been thinking. I would bet that more than a few of you are artistically inclined. The spectrum of creativity is far and wide. And I’d love to know about it. About YOU.

I’ve gone on about others’ creativity for years. I have made friends with poets, painters, fabric artists,  and potters. I’ve shared their art and websites to encourage my readers to explore further the gifts we all are given.

If you are developing an artistic talent, why not let me know? You don’t have to be first in your field to talk about your creative direction — just someone who loves what they do.

Send me an email at writing.unicorn@gmail.com and tell me about your art. Do you have a website? Do you have pictures of your work? Are you trying to learn a particular skill? Have questions?  You can also answer this post and I can go through it and put something together.

True artists get excited about other artists. Help promote each other. Encourage each other.

Let me share a little bit about you!

 

 

Happy Creativity

I’ve been having the most marvelous time these past few weeks writing my novel.

Now, hopefully we all have times of pleasure pursuing our creative endeavors. Otherwise, why would we bother?

But I had to chuckle. Not long ago I was writing blogs about fearing research (Research Overload) and overthinking and overwhelming (Am I/I Am Overthinking?).

These were, and ARE, legitimate concerns for most of us any time we think about taking on a project larger than ourselves. And we should  be cautious. We should give thought about exactly what we want to accomplish and how we will get there.

But once we push through all the intimidation, apprehension, and false starts, once we start moving forward on creating our dream work, we find that we can really enjoy the ride.

I found that I didn’t need to fill in the days and nights ahead of time. I didn’t need to have every encounter outlined, every reaction accounted for. That I could follow a general direction and fill it in one research day at a time.

Did I worry myself into an early grave? Hardly. But at the beginning it felt like it. 

At the beginning I couldn’t see how I could possibly create a life-like situation from a non-life situation. How I could be the participant in an adventure I never went on.

Then I started to write.

An introduction. A general feeling. A general direction. I loved to write, so I knew I wouldn’t let my inability to research or function stop me. I researched every place, every reference, every food. I thought about how I would react if I were really to see and do the things my lead character does.

And it became easier.

Your projects will become easier, too. 

Sometimes you do need an exact outline, an exact layout, of whatever it is you wish to create. You can’t willy nilly a landscape painting without wondering about the trees, the houses, the season. Same is true for the design of a mosaic or a mural.

Once you get that general feeling, that general outline, in your head, you can start creating. You can go wild, stay straight, or take a quick left turn, if that’s what your muse tells you to do.

You can break the rules once you know what the rules are.

I still have quite a few things to work out, including the big last night climax. I haven’t a clue yet as to who it is with or what it is or what they will talk about. But I know it will come.

Here’s to each and every one of you having a blast with your creations. Hard work pays off, if only in the heart, often in ways you cannot imagine.

And there is nothing greater than a payoff from the heart.

 

 

Get ‘er Goin’!

I thank you for visiting me and the Goddess this week while I was on vacation with my family up  nort’. Again. It is just a wonderful reprise to the daily grind of politics, viruses, hoarder houses, and such.

Even though these weekends are stressful as far as running around with three kids and three dogs, they are fulfilling. At least until my energy runs out. What these getaways also do is refocus my being to things that really matter in life.

But then you come home, kids go one way, you another. And there you are. Vibrating on the sofa, re-circling, refocusing, recharging and open like a toddler.

And you think — what now?

Who wants to go back to washing and folding laundry and doing dishes and mowing the lawn and sitting at a desk answering phones all day?

Who needs it?

If I have learned anything from this C19 nightmare is that most of us need it in one form or another. Kids need to get out of the house and go to school and see friends and stress over math assignments. Moms and dads need to get out of the house and go back to the office and deal with know-it-alls and office gossip and sales goals. Even retired grannies need to get out of the house and join community organizations that help people in one way or another and meet friends for coffee and get back to quilting or writing or whatever they do.

Sitting in the house day after day with nothing but the TV and radio is not good for the creative spirit.

I have written some of my best stories based on people I’ve worked with, places I’ve driven, conversations I’ve either overheard or had myself. The green trees and grass and wild fields around my house are beautiful, but after a while they lose their stimulation ability.

We need to be curious outside our parentheses. We can’t hide from the world and get settled in and do nothing. The world will keep changing but you will not. And one day visitors won’t be able to distinguish you from the beige flowered couch you sit upon.

After a while without people and places and things you find yourself with nothing to talk about. Grandkids can only tell you so many times about the fish that got away or how many hot dogs they ate one day. You can only talk about the old days so much before you finally become boring.

Without outside connections, without outside interactions, you really can turn into a slug. Even if you’re surrounded by grandkids and dogs.

If they aren’t stimulated by something new, neither will you be. If you can’t get out there and bring new and interesting things into their world they will turn out to be 8am-8pm internet slugs…. and so will you.

So, as much as I loved my time away, I am very happy to be back in my up and down world of the mind. I have projects to finish, projects to plan, projects to give up. And it’s only Monday!

Get on up and out today!

 

 

You Can’t Go Wrong With the Arts

Since we all can’t be out dancing in the street or go to the movies or even hang at the pub with our friends, what are you all doing to keep busy and out of trouble?

I am hoping you have either found a hobby/art/creative outlet for your cooped up creativity, or are working on the outlet you already have.

I remember hesitating and angsting and worrying about researching and writing my next novel. It was too overwhelming. Too confusing. My real life and pretend life were getting too mixed up.

Has that ever happened to you? 

You decide to step out of your comfort zone and try something bigger, better, more challenging, only to be knocked back by the logistics of the whole thing?

I was ready to give up. After all — who can buck the tide? Climb the mountain? Swim the ocean?

Well, after I calmed down, I found out that ~I~ could buck the tide, etc., etc. 

All it took was taking a step back, then moving forward one step at a time. I’m still doing a lot of research before each chapter — I want it to sound right, feel right. 

And most importantly, I wanted to have fun with it.

You may get to a point where you can’t control where your story goes, what you really want your painting to look like. You might get frustrated at not being able to find exactly the right shape or color or material to make your work move forward. 

And you do get to that point where you want to chuck it all in the garbage. After all, it’s easier to do something you know. Something you feel comfortable with.

I am living proof to not give up. To not listen to that little demon on your shoulder that tells you what you want just doesn’t exist.

The arts are a little easier to maneuver through than, say, swimming the ocean. It’s more creative, more forgiving, more expansive, more liberal. And you don’t have to risk life or death to make a point.

I hope that during this lock down quarantine period of your life you are taking care of what matters most in this world. You. Your creativity. Your mind.

Still tossing possibilities around? Stop tossing and start choosing. Make a poster or outfit or put together an art show or start a blog. Try learning that new piano piece or building that jewelry box — stop thinking about it and just do it. Don’t let fear intimidate you. 

Remember — you can’t go wrong with the Arts.

Any of them.

Let me know what projects you have finally undertaken …. 

Get Creative and Share!

Grandkids Get Creative

Today — Every day — is for sharing. Sometimes I’m not up to it, other days I’m buzzing around like a bee with pollen. Today is a pollen day.

I’d like to share some of my blogger friends’ finished artwork. I enjoy following them, and I really appreciate their efforts to bring beauty into the world. I know I might miss some, but that share is for another day. Take a look — follow the links — and enjoy their work for yourself.

 

https://dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/

 

https://friendlyfairytales.com/

Seeing the same four walls
in this endless
pandemic confinement,
but imagining far fields……………

 

https://ivors20.wordpress.com/

There must be a number of silent masks around

Yesterday an old mask flew away at the speed of sound

From behind, the real pieces of what we perceive……………

 

https://gwenniesgardenworld.wordpress.com/

 

https://chaoticshapes.com/

 

https://anthonygrootelaar.blog/

 

https://rakupottery.ca/

 

https://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/

the flowers’ shadows
write their own poem
on the book’s pages

 

https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/

 

https://thelonelyauthorblog.com/

i will love you
in the silence of your reflection
in the echoes of your pain………………………….

 

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/

Painting // passing time
Waiting for Summer release
Ready for a hug

 

 

 

Let It Go!

I just finished an extended, magical, mad weekend babysitting my three grandkids. It was heaven. It was crazy. It was the movie Frozen twice a day for three days. It was donuts and string cheese and playing video games and cuddling. My livingroom looks like a bomb was dropped in it, and it will take me a few days to recover from early mornings and Hot Wheels. I loved it.

It also brought inspiration through my door once again. 

The warmer temperatures are knocking at the door, the sun is making an attempt to shine a little more often, and I even feel a semi-warm breeze now and then.

I’m ready to write. I’m ready to go to Paris. 

I’ve got the whining out of my system, along with the cold weather blues, the stale doggie air, the messy house I’m cleaning. I’m ready to take it all in stride and spend my off moments walking through the Trocadero Gardens or past the Varsovie Fountain. 

I realize once again that my creativeness doesn’t have to make sense. As long as it transports someone from their everyday life to something new and exciting, the sights they see along the way are just that. Sights. 

Human beings are blessed with the gift of imagination. We are blessed with all kinds of “what if’s”. What if I walk an extra block in this direction today? What if I paint these trees pink? What if I add baby bells to this scarf? What if I write a story about wolves?

We are all allowed to doubt ourselves. Nobody said our thought processes were perfect. But we should know ourselves. When we can take that chance and when we should be careful.

I cannot write a straight visit-Paris-and-fall-in-love story. I love reading them, but that’s not me. But I can write a story about a woman who sits in a French garden and has a chat with Edith Piaf in 2020. I can write a poem about faeries leaving footprints in the morning dew-covered grass.

Our imagination is endless. We cannot be afraid of it. We know what is right and wrong, possible and impossible. And between those barriers is a world of practicality and improbability. 

But for whom?

Your own creativity has taken you in directions you’ve never thought possible. You have honed your talent, expanded your horizons, and improved from the day you thought of putting paintbrush to canvas. 

And the more doors you open, the longer the hallway and the more doors appear. Each doorway takes you to a different room, a different thought.

And isn’t that the beauty of being human?

I mean, if I can sing “Let It Go” from Frozen (complete with hand and arm movements) a couple of times a day with a two-year-old, anything is possible.

What are your creative plans for the week? 

A Fantastic Fellow Blogger Artist

Back on November 16, 2019, Laura Kate had an inspirational moment visiting the Gateway Arch in St. Louis:

Inspiration, Gestation, Implementation

INSPIRATION: The idea for creating a fiber object based on the Gateway Arch has been rattling around in my brain for some time. It really started way back in 2012, after my husband and I visited the Gateway to the West museum in St. Louis. At that time, he took a series of photographs showing every possible angle of the Arch at ground level. They are rather remarkable, taken as a group………

https://dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/2019/11/16/inspiration-gestation-implementation/

Yesterday, February 3, 2019, she posted her finished quilt.

Gateway Arch: Nine Views

A culmination of six months spent thinking about and working on it, here is the Gateway Arch quilt. I finishing sewing on the binding while watching the Super Bowl (Yay KC Chiefs!) I feel an odd combination of elation, satisfaction and relief. The finished object is largely what I had envisioned………

https://dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/gateway-arch-nine-views/

You have to go take a look at her post, her ideas, her progress, and her finished product. It is amazing. I am always in awe of those who create marvelous artwork.

Laura Kate is one of those. Check out her website and see for yourself.

Daily Fiber
A year of projects featuring fiber materials

dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/

Revel in the Arts

Svenja Jödicke

I have said many times before that inspiration is everywhere around us…. that all we need to do is OPEN OUR EYES.

This evening I was trying to catch up on reading individual blogs I follow and came across two that really made me proud of the creativeness around me. 

Laura Kate is the energy behind Daily Fiber, a blog about projects featuring fiber material. Not only is this woman into creating beautiful quilts, including designing her own, but she crochets, paints, and sews. What made her stand out in my mind was one of her opening blog: I’m taking a break from knitting and painting to do a little sewing. 

I love it.

To  me, she is a person who hears the song of creativity and follows it gladly. Her spirit is most likely drawn in ten directions at one time, yet wisely she listens to one song at a time while she keeps an ear open for the other melodies.

The Textile Ranger has devoted two blogs to her make-believe mall called TextileTopia and TextileTopia Part Two, filled with real-life artists and websites for readers to click through and enjoy. Her creativity is electric — it makes you want to quilt and sew and make small pieces of artwork and huge murals and garden and stitch and — you get my drift.

I am so turned on by others who are turned on by the Arts. Whether it’s a single pursuit or a confusing cornucopia of ideas and methods that have no direction, letting that creative Muse of yours out into the world does something wonderful to and for your soul.

I’ve been in a rut lately, taking care of some stressful family business, along with the darkness of winter and the adjustment to retirement. I know the best way out of the blues is to play with the rainbow of light and imagination and let my mind (and talent) go where it will.

I’ve got some great ideas for the new year such as making Angel Tears (a hanging cord that sparkles in the breeze), along with photographing some beautiful, falling down barns in my countryside. I hope I can share my adventures with you.

In the meantime, don’t fight the spirit that longs to be set free. Go with it! What have you got to lose?

Tell me about YOUR future creative plans!

 

Let’s Write That Book! — Writing

Finally the time has come! Hallelujah and do the Snoopy Dance! You’ve done your research, got your computer or notebook ready, put some writing music on in the background, and you are ready to go for it!

Here is my list of to-do’s and an explanation of each.

Where do you start?  Okay, for most writers, you start at the beginning. Set the stage. Set the mood. Share where your character is, what they are doing. Start walking down that path that leads to that big turning point in Chapter 14.

But sometimes a writer’s ideas come in a different order. I once wrote a book where I wrote the last chapter first. I knew exactly how I wanted the story to end; I knew the ending before I even knew how they would get there. So I wrote the final chapter first. Another time an idea struck me about a particular love scene I hadn’t gotten to yet. I had a moment’s inspiration, so I wrote that part before my character even gotten into that situation.

It’s okay to write out of order. But for most of us, we start at the beginning. Introduce the cast of characters. You don’t have to introduce the main character(s) in the first chapter. Just make the people you DO introduce are interesting in one way or another.

Prologue? Epilogue?  There are a lot of “how-to” books that tell you not to have a prologue or epilogue. That they distract from the main story. My how-to says that, if you feel a prologue sets a general feel or a premonition to the story, as long as it’s not too confusing or too exact, go for it. An epilogue sometimes works if you want to show how things turned out after the end of the main story. I have a prologue and an epilogue only in my first book; I have a prologue in the third book, which is nothing more than a paragraph from the second book.

But remember — sometimes people don’t necessarily want to know what happens once the “story” is finished. The story you told is finished. Leave their future to the fates. Or another book.

Do not filter your thoughts. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you feel you need to explain settings, surroundings, set up, go ahead and write. You will find yourself cutting sentences and paragraphs and even chapters later. When the magic hits, go for it. Whether it’s the romantic part, the murder part, or the flashback part, just get into what you’re writing. Don’t worry what comes out. You’ll fix it later.

Set a writing schedule for yourself. I know sometimes that’s easier said than done, but if you bring your determination to write into this dimension you will find time. Stephen King locked himself up in a room for eight hours a day. Other writers wrote when they got home from work or when their babies took a nap. It doesn’t matter when you write, only THAT you write.

Often setting a routine is a good way to get into writing on a daily basis. Set up your writing area with things that bring you inspiration. Coffee, glass of wine, notebooks, other books, reference books, music, snacks – it doesn’t matter what you bring to the table. You’ll forget half of the stuff around you once you get going anyway.

Tell others that’s what you’re doing, and do it. Don’t let others’ opinions sway you one way or the other.

Try not to edit as you go. We all do it, but it slows you down mid-thought. If you must reread your work for coherency, write a few chapters at a time. Know that you will reread, edit, and reread your story a thousand times after you finish writing it. Trust yourself and go with the flow.

Don’t use words that are too big for your character. Ever come across a big word in something you’re reading and find you really have no idea what it means? We often write more spectacularly than we speak, but make sure your characters are speaking within their upbringing and influences. If you want your characters to have an accent, if they come from a different time period, read books from that area, catch movies, and research their forms of speech. Don’t use words that are too big for your audience. The reader will eventually get tired of trying to figure them out. Don’t fake your knowledge. Oh – and a P.S. on this point – make sure you know what the word means.

Dialogue. This is one of the hardest parts of any novel to write. Do your characters speak like normal people? Do they think more than speak? Keep their tone the same speaking and thinking. If one character jabbers, make sure they always jabber. If speaking in half sentences is their style, make sure all their sentences sound the same. Think of how you speak with your family and friends. Your boss. The man from the IRS. You have a different tone with different people. Keep that thought in mind as your characters interact.

Also remember your time period. They spoke differently in Colonial times or Roman times than they do in the 2000’s. Don’t use today’s slang to express yesterday’s emotions. There is nothing worse than reading about days gone by and suddenly a character shouts “groovy!”

Make sure your ending makes sense. Have it conclude the journey your characters have been on. It doesn’t need to be a happy ending, but it should be a satisfactory ending. Tie up all loose ends (that is why you write an outline so you don’t have someone dangling out and left to dry). No open endings unless you are positive you are writing a second book. And even then have some sort of conclusion to the adventure they were just on. Let your reader catch their breath. Put yourself in the reader’s seat — no one wants to be left hanging.

Have every book you write be able to stand on its own.

 

NEXT: Editing

Love The Arts!

Artist Trading Cards for International Artists Day

Today I went wandering around the Internet looking for images for an upcoming Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog about Reflections.  During this search I came across so many amazing images.

Amazing isn’t even touching upon the truth.

If I once thought there was competition to get my writing out into the universe, it is mirrored tenfold in the number of creative images artists, photographers, graphic artists, and other creative muses out there.

The world is an amazing place. Artists abound in so many ways, with so many ideas. I am blown away.

Google a phrase, an idea, then go to images or to the websites that pop up. Read the articles. Look at their pictures. Their backgrounds are as diverse as grains of sand. But each of their creations are unique. There are hundreds of versions of an image such as trees or ice or dreams. The visions are endless.

http://www.vetrovero.com/store/c39/Jewel_Bottles.html

Just like the Sunday Evening Art Gallery gallery I just posted yesterday. You have nightmarish paintings by Zdzisław Beksinski sitting next to paintings of lovely Indian women by Raja Ravi Varma, which are down the hall from unusual Chairs, which is some ways from Rita Faes who takes remarkable photos of flowers, who is way down from Pumpkin Carving King Ray Villafane, who is quite a bit away from the famous, beautiful Fabergé Eggs.

See what I mean? Such varied talent, such amazing work. Everywhere.

 

Daniel Rozin

Whether you paint leaves or embroider geometric designs or make stained glass, your work adds nothing but glitter to the Earth’s aura. Every time you write a poem, every time you carve a pumpkin or paint a watercolor landscape you add to the positive vibes of the world.

Just like these artists I came across online who did miracles with bottles or mirrors or paint drops, all you need is a dream and some imagination and the urge to do something fun.

I love The Arts. Don’t you?

 

 

My Creative Muse Is At It Again

nikitaliskov

Happy Monday creative muses!

Last week I told you that, for various reasons, I will not be going to Paris next fall to write. Which is just fine.

Just as I accepted that fact,  my creative muse swooped in and brought me an idea a new book (which I’ve  told you about). Her chatter, at first, is confusing and mind blowing. So much information, so many ideas, and with her Irish brogue it’s sometimes hard to understand everything.

But she also brought a new awareness to my aura’s circle. I believe that, of all of things I’ve written, this upcoming book will be the one that really works.

Do you ever feel that way with your latest creation? That of all of the things you have worked on, all the things you’ve made, that this is the one that is going to take you to that next level?

Do you listen to yourself when you hear that?

Now, “the next level” can be different things to different people. It could be the start of a whole new art collection. A whole new style or technique or genre.  It is usually something you’ve been working towards for some time. A contest entry, an art competition, being published. The next level is something every artist strives for.

I finished my blogs about How To Write Your First/Second/Third Book which I will be posting soon. And I am happy to say I am following my own advice.

I have a story line kinda worked out. When I solidify it I will write my synopsis. I think I’ve decided which point of view I’m writing as. And I have a lot of research to do on characters and settings, for that’s the kind of book I now want to write. I am missing one character I know I need but have drawn a blank on who it is. This is common, too. You don’t always have to have all the details, all the Ps and Qs before you start. Your creative muse will sooner or later bring you the piece you need to finish your puzzle.

When you get your idea and really begin to work on it, you can’t help but get excited about it. Excited about the research, excited about its development, excited about how you will start it and how you will finish it. All mediums are the same when it comes to that tingling feeling that “this is IT.” 

So what are you working on/researching this marvelous Monday?

And I’m talking to you silent readers in the background who are  starting something and finally are ready to talk about it….

Borrowing From Famous Artists

Where do you get your inspiration from? Not just for your stories, but for your paintings, sketches, for your photography?

I love it that inspiration can hit from any direction at any time.

The other night I watched the excellent 2000 movie Shadow of a Vampire with John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, about the making of Nosferatu in 1922 (with a twist). At the beginning of the movie there was a collage of drawings, haunting in nature, perhaps from Nosferatu’s castle or medieval tapestries or whatever.

But these images are wonderfully unique. They would make great stories, great watercolors, great backgrounds for other worlds, other ideas. I see some unique inspiration coming from these. Just because they showed up in a horror movie doesn’t mean they have to stay there. I see abstract sketches coming from these; I see a story about an alien or elf magically appearing right in his horse’s path; I see a cross stitch in muted colors and poem about finding the light.

It’s easy to get inspired by walking through the woods, or watching a sunset. But what about an old movie script? Can you paint a picture based on someone else’s idea? Write a story based on someone else’s story line?

I say — why not?

Start with a Monet and end up with a modern lithograph. Start with an old Twilight Zone episode and ended up with a short story. Make a quilt based on  designs from Picasso or Juan Gris. Make a needlepoint based off a Medieval tapestry. Design an outfit that reflects the architecture of the Eiffel Tower. Use a photograph of a city skyline to make a paper cutting.

We are not stealing someone else’s ideas — we are taking their idea, a creation, and putting our own mark on it. Our own version of it. A pen and ink drawing can come from a passage in your favorite book; a sculpture can be inspired by a child’s painting on a school wall.

One of the creative paths I want to re-explore once I retire is painting. I enjoyed it so much so long ago…who knows what ideas will come to mind once I put brush to canvas? I can see me trying out these designs I saw on a vampire movie one night. I can try colorful drips and drops and splatters like the ones I watched Ed Harris, aka Jackson Pollock, made in the movie of the painter’s name.

I have so many things I want to try it makes my head spin.

That’s what I want you to feel. Take a design, a photo, a paragraph from a book and turn it into something of your own. It doesn’t matter if it turns out like you thought — that’s why we experiment. To see what spin we can put on someone else’s reality.

Have you taken other artist’s creations and turned them into  your own? Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show and thought “that’s really unique — I can do something with that….”? Share with us. Give us ideas!

And anyway — it’s not really “borrowing.” You don’t need to give it back.

Maybe I should have said — TRANSFORMING.

Isn’t that much more fun?

If You Can Do It I Can Do It

Been away for a weekend, loving every minute of it, now needing a vacation from my vacation.

But once reality sets in, when the kids go back to school and the weather starts to change, I start to think about my own dreams and desires and how time flies before you get a start on any of them.

Do you have dreams and desires and goals you have set for yourself that you haven’t quite reached yet? Are you doing anything about them? Are you saying “Mmmyeh…what comes comes…” and half way giving up since you believe they weren’t meant to come true anyway?

Or are you working on those dreams, manifesting your inside outside and really going for the gusto?

A friend of mine in here is a wonderful abstract artist, Anthony Grootelaar (MyMonkey Mind). I’m going to feature him in the Gallery soon. He has so much art created I’m sure he could wallpaper a mansion. I love his colors and his approach and his experiments and his plans. Here I am, telling him he should have art shows and go to art fairs with his wares and all these other extra-curricular things that he probably already has done.

I get pumped up when I see other’s successes.

I know a few other poets through this blog that are marvelous writers. I’m always telling them to publish a book of poetry or offer it on their blog or at book fairs. I’m all for the excitement and sharing of their talent with others.

I know painters, furniture makers, writers. They all are extremely creative and moving forward with their Art.

Yet where am I on my own cosmic sharing scale?

I would like to think that I, too, have a special talent that’s worth sharing beyond my personal computer or now and then on my blog. Yet I cringe when I think about sharing my talent.

For what if it’s not talent?

Why is it so much easier to be enthusiastic about someone else’s work?

There is so much beauty out there — so much creativity. So many new ideas. Forms of expression. Shining stars. I am all for others sharing their souls with the the world. After all, ~I~ am in love with their work — why wouldn’t others be?

But when it comes to our own work, we are our own worse critics.
I’ve been both ways. I’ve thought something was fantastic and it was terrible; I’ve thought something not that great and it was well received.

We will never know the extent of our greatness until we put it out there. And keep it out there.

We have to develop a thicker skin, that’s for sure. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and all. But more than that, we have to be willing to learn. from our creativity. To correct, to erase, admit we made a wrong choice, and start again differently. Better. Smoother.

I have so many plans for my future creative self. Things I want to write, art I want to make. And I want to share it with others. Maybe even sell some of it.

I know I can do it. I just don’t know if I have the patience to see it through.

But you all have taught me something. If you  can do it — I can do it. If you are thinking about it and working on it, I can be thinking and working on it too.

Let’s say together it in Morgan Freeman’s voice!

I think you can do anything you want!

Craft Me This …


I have to say one thing about a creative person — when they get in their “supplies” element, they are like a kid on sugar with a kicker of Mountain Dew. 

People ask us why we like to sit and sew beads on clothes or make little earrings or crochet row after row after row of rows or write boring scenery descriptions or woodwork a cigar box or coffee table. After all, it all seems so boring!

I wonder if these people have truly ever seen creativity let loose in a craft or other specialty store.

I just spent the day with two of my best friends hitting stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s and even Good Will. Talk about kids in a candy shop!

I myself am the novice of the group. I write, and also sew bling onto my t-shirts and other inanimate clothing. My other friends are marvelous crafters. One is big BIG into scrap-booking with an occasional crocheted blanket thrown in; the other sews jackets and crochets scarves and other things. One love LOVES paper and trim and little signs you past onto pages and patterned paper for special occasion pages. The other loves every color of yarn there is, along with long, lingering tippy finger tip touching of bolts and bolts of materials with quilts and little jackets in mind for her granddaughter. 

Me? I get brain freeze in the beads aisle. 

The point is, it’s easy to see why creative people love their craft. When in their element, when surrounded by people who understand why they stand in front of a rack of crystals-on-a-string for 10 minutes wondering what they could sew those onto, creative people leave this universe and enter an alternate reality.

In that alternate world they are Master Creators. They can make anything any time, any where, and it will be so magnificent even the angels will squint and say “holy moley!” Time has no meaning in a creative person’s alternate world; when you’re lost writing that perfect passage of love and passion or pensive thought, there is no time sheet. Love takes as long as it takes to write. No more, no less. 

As I’ve gotten older I’ve started surrounding myself with creative people. Not because I’ve changed friends — but because I’ve found out the people I’ve been around for a good chunk of my life are pretty creative on the side. I know painters, quilters, writers, lure makers, poets, wood carvers, fishermen, wood workers, sign makers, dog trainers, and more. Every one loves their craft. Every one of them strive to be better than they were yesterday. And aren’t we all like that in a way?

So some time when you’re bored, ask your neighbor or friend or co-worker what their creative craft is. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And if you’re lucky, one day you will be wandering up and down the craft store aisle when a sticker or pearl bead or a piece of wood catches your eye.  Then we will be wandering through the store looking for you, calling out your name.

Holey Moley!

Let’s Fly Together!

Sometimes, when I get in that groove, that unusual, special groove that you can’t always find, I feel like I’m flying. I know it won’t last long, and that it will come again, but it definitely is a change of heart, a change of dimension.

I get going … for me it’s writing … and all I want to do is keep going. Writing.

And I find I want everyone else to keep going too.

So here I am with my Monday Morning Pep Talk. MMPT. How goofy. But it’s how I feel.

Are you stuck in your writing? Wondering what to write? To paint? Poetry stuck in your throat?

Come and share those hesitations with me. If I can, I’ll work with you and give you ideas from the faerie gypsy goddess’s point of view.

Just what you need. I know.

But I know how good it feels to break through those barriers. I’m breaking through them all the time.

This isn’t a class, this isn’t an advice column. It’s not a solution nor is it me trying to be you. It’s me trying to help you FIND you. To nudge you into getting started again.

Ask me a question, throw some ideas my way — let me know what you do and where you want to go. Vent, wonder, share, throw some of your solutions out there too. I follow a lot of creative people, so I’m sure if you’re stuck, they may have been stuck, too, and have a solution.

Share your ups and downs, and let’s go down this path together. There’s so much in the world waiting to be created!

 

I Am Creativity

Just had our best friends over for dinner. Greek night. A time of good food, good times.

We talked a little about what we’re up to in our personal life. I told my friends I just wrote a ditty on the fly to remind myself that I am still a writer.

Do you ever take a break and then hesitate?

I have spent a lot of time lately final editing what I’ve written so I can print it out and share it with my friends.

I’ve also spent a lot of time collecting art for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. I have found so many new artists, I am knocked off my feet.

But I’m a writer first. At least here on my sofa, in front of the TV.

Do you ever have to fly off and do something quick to reassure yourself you are what you are?

How funny the human ego is.

What is a writer? A painter? A calligrapher?

Just because you spend your spare time doing anything creative, does it make you what you think you are? Are you an artist just because you wield a paint brush? Are you a writer, even if you only write email copy?

I have learned you are whatever you call yourself. The world does not care for your title. Maybe  corporate America puts a value on what your company has called you. But in the scope of life, no one cares.

That’s why it’s important to call yourself what you are. And not be intimidated by your title.

Do you paint? Do you spend your spare time crocheting or scrapbooking or quilting? Do you scour the Internet for ideas for your art gallery or ceramic blog or your instructional video?

Look.

The world will go on whatever your call yourself. So find a title that fits your soul. Own it.

I am a writer. I may only write a couple of lines for email copy at work, but I am a writer. It doesn’t matter if I’ve written poetry or short stories or full length novels. I have written and preserved copy that can be passed on to generations. 

That’s all that matters.

Follow your calling and shout your “title” loud and clear.

No one will respect you until you respect yourself.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Snowglobes

Erwin Perzy, a surgical instruments mechanic, accidentally created the first snow globe in 1900 as a result of an experiment to try to improve the brightness of the newly invented – and then not very bright – electric light bulb.

He was inspired by the shoemakers of the time, who to get more light from a candle mounted a glass globe filled with water in front of the flame. This gave them a light spot the size of a hand.

One day he found a white powder, semolina, used for baby food.

And he poured it into the glass globe, and it got soaked by the water and floated very slowly to the base of the globe.

This effect reminded him of snowfall.

And this was the very first, the basic idea for inventing a snow globe.

Though Perzy—who patented his globe in 1900—didn’t invent the snow globe, he and his brother are responsible for catapulting the souvenir into the position of tchotchke primacy it holds today.

Seizing on the invention, the pair opened a shop, Original Wiener Schneekugel Manufaktur, in Vienna.

Today there are as many styles as fill the imagination.

 

What If…

What If

Those are the words of imagination. Of exploration, of conquering new worlds. Of trying a new style of clothing, car, or food.

What If

I suffer from a lot of What If. None of it destructive, mind you, although it does hit me when I’m driving to and from work a lot (it’s on an empty back road so don’t worry…I still pay attention..). What if I drove into the middle of that cornfield? What if I turned around and drove straight to the airport and bought a ticket to San Antonio? What if I looked up into the evening sky and saw a dragon flying across the horizon?

What If can be fun. They can be dangerous. 

But they also can be illuminating.

What If takes you out of your comfort zone. Out of your self-conscious ego and self-damaging thoughts. It takes you to worlds where hobbits talk with faeries and American spies get thrown into Russian prisons. It makes apples purple and skin scarlet.  

What If makes you think and daydream without getting hurt. What if there really was a zombie apocalypse? I mean what if zombies were trashing the city, town, closest to you? What would you do? Where would you go? What happens if zombies are everywhere? And you’re stuck in your house? How long would it take you to run out of food? Would you sacrifice your dog or cat so they would go away?

Or what if you were walking through the park on a summer evening and a gnome walked out of the bushes and stopped and looked at you on your path? Or if a faerie landed on your shoulder? I mean, really! What would you do? How would you react?

What If can obviously take you in dark places. What If you and your friend drove off the cliff like in Thelma and Louise? What if you drank a soda that turned out to be poison? What if you fell down the stairs and you weren’t near a phone and lived alone and no one ever came to visit you?

What Ifs are a creative person’s best friend. You can take funny, scary, wonderful thoughts and turn them into make believe. Like a painting. A painting of walking down the street of 1890’s Paris is all make believe. The painter never walked those streets, saw those streetlights, or said good evening to people walking past in hats and long dresses and suits.

But they did say…What If I were walking down the streets in 1890 Paris? What would I see? How would they be dressed? What would the stores look like? 

I  wrote two novels about What If. What If by some accident you woke up in 1880? You knew nothing about the times, the manners, the ambitions of the people you encounter. What would you do?

Keep those What Ifs going. Write them down, paint them, grow them. Let your imagination take you on a magic carpet ride.

Which leads to…what if there really was a magic carpet and you could sit and ride on it? Where would you go? Would it be windy? Could you fall off? Would you fly into birds and bugs and….

Who are you, really?

Thanksgiving is now a memory, the extra pounds an effort.

But I am happy to report that along with an extra pound or two I also regained my enthusiasm for writing.

Do you ever go through those dry periods? Not necessarily that you don’t have anything to write, but that you don’t feel like writing.

Shame.

In search of my creative ways, I have gone back to basics of magic and sky and moon and night and the belief in elves and dragons and alternate realities. Not that I ever left that space — I just feel like embracing it more these days. No one knows if there is anything after this life. Heaven, reincarnation, inner-galactic rebirth — take your choice and go for it.

Get past the barriers of proof and direct experience and karma. Take a chance and believe in something that makes you feel whole. Do unicorns exist? Does it matter? We can’t see sub-atomic particles either, but scientists and the world believe in them. Why can’t we believe in time travel too?

Too often we live under other’s expectations. What we should wear, what we should say, how we should act, what we should believe.

I believe at 64 I am old enough to believe in whatever I want.

So I’ve decided to work on my second set of novels — not the simple time-travel ones, but the ones where the heroine gets transported to another part of the galaxy to help discover what happened to the king’s sister.

I mean — why not?

We can write and paint and dream anything we want. And I’ve decided I’m not going to let any correctional unit tell me different.

Don’t let those around you, from society to your girlfriend to your teacher, tell you what you are. What you should be. Want to be a bard? Be a bard. Want to be a witch? Be a witch. Want to be an abstract artist? Be an abstract artist! You can be a pirate that day jobs as a sales clerk, or detective who works in a warehouse during main hours.

Don’t wait until you’re 64 to decide who you are.

What are you?

 

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 2

A number of you may know (and follow) my second creative friend. David Kanigan creates his blog Live and Learn with thoughts, quotes, research, and philosophy. I mean he’s amazing. I have no idea how he finds the quotes he does. All are thinkers and feelers. He is light and he is deep. I can see his feelings and thoughts through the pictures and stories he shares.

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Lightly Child, Lightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The love a parent feels for a child is strange…

It’s like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who’s lived their whole life in a dark room.

It sends the soul flying.

~ Fredrick Backman, from Beartown: A Novel (Atria Books; Tra edition, April 25, 2017)

Notes:

  • Photo: Kristy G. Photography (via Newthom)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Ethereal and fun, I look forward to his writings every day. You will too.

Check out David at https://davidkanigan.com/.

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek – 1st Day

Roses are Red

Violets are Green

Writing and Painting

Is More Than A Dream!

 

This is a made-up celebration, of course — but is it?

We all are jealous of other’s creativity. In a sweet, supportive way, of course. As shown on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog, I am always in awe of what magic comes from creative hands, minds, and souls.

I follow a number of poets, artists, sculptors, and everyday wise men and wise women, and am always in love with their offerings. So I am going to celebrate my friendly creative friends with my own #AppreciateYourCreativeFriends week! Check them out, follow follow follow (if it tickles your fancy), and have a great time doing it!

My Monday recommendation is Carsten Wieland, an amazing watercolor painter who lives in Essen, Germany. His site is full — and I mean full — of fantastic watercolor paintings. Houses, landscapes, weather — every post he shares is yet another glimpse into a very accurate eye and a very open palate.

Check out Carsten Wieland out at Brushpark/Watercolors. https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/. 

You check in, you may never want to check out!

 

 

How Do You Satisfy Your Creative Cravings?

I am of the belief that writing is as much fun as painting or photography or sculpture or any other Creative Art. Yes, it’s frustrating, time-consuming, methodical, stressful, and more.

It’s also inspirational, spiritual, cosmic, and thrilling.

My problem lately is that I’ve gotten in the driver’s seat of my fourth novel, and although I’ve worked out the story line and am loving writing about my space traveler, I miss writing a short story now and then. I have been perusing various contests and publication opportunities, and I find areas I’d love to try. This one wants a creature story. This one wants supernatural fiction. This one wants pirates and ghosts.

What fun! What adventure!  But what do I write about?

I think I hang out in novel land because the writing is long and real and I can keep the same idea throughout the pages. Short stories require separate thought, separate ideas. Unique ideas. And eventually my love of writing starts slipping on the confusing bed of ideas and plots and endings.

Do you hide in one genre over another? Do you have a desire to paint something totally different yet stay within your safe and more experienced area? Or draw something totally out of your comfort zone?

I have a folder of stories, some finished, some barely started. Few would fit into the guidelines I so fawningly follow. Most of my good pieces are written more on a whim of the moment — an impression on the drive home, an interlude between two or more people at the bus stop. My short stories are based on a bolt of lightning that directly hits me. It’s a lot harder if I’m out searching for that bolt.

I often encourage my blog readers to break through your self-imposed sanctions and to go for it. Reach for the sky — or dig deep into the cavern.

I still believe in that.

But I sometimes think it’s getting harder and harder to dig into that fertile creative ground and come up with something new. Something that will fit within someone else’s parameters.

How do you juggle all your cravings? Do you stick with what works or do you find time to experiment and go off in left field now and then? I’d love to know that there are other seasoned and non-seasoned writers who are as confused and excited as me.

Let’s see now…as the website says…think adventures and hauntings at sea, shipwrecks and buried treasure, treacherous waters, sea spirits, ghostly galleons, giant squid, kraken and sailors gone mad.

I can do that…can’t I?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Edgar Artis

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Edgar Artis is an Armenian fashion illustrator who is using everyday objects and paper cutouts in order to complete his beautiful drawings.

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He draws women and in dresses them in something from the real world.

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Edgar uses flowers, feathers, burnt paper, fruit and all sorts of other materials to make  beautiful dresses.

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His illustrations are full of grace, imagination, and playfulness.

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These are not just your average fashion designs, but real works of art.

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Edgar’s art makes you realize that anything in life can be modeled into a beautiful moment of art.

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You can find more of  Edgar Artis’s amazing creations at   https://www.instagram.com/edgar_artis/.

Don’t Let The Day Ruin Your Day

as-long-as-i-dont-write-about-the-government-religion-politics-and-other-institutions-i-am-free-to-print-anything-pierre-beaumarchaisIt is as if I am handling a puffer fish or prickly bush with my bare hands.

The world of politics is truly doing a whirling dervish these last few months. A lot of my friends are afraid, angry, embarrassed, and/or happy with the state of affairs.

This has led to very charged postings lately, both here and on Facebook and Twitter.

I am happy to live in a time and a world where I can express myself freely. That the Feds or the KGB don’t show up at my office or my house to have a “little talk.” But freedom of speech also can lead to heart attacks, headaches, palpatations, high blood pressure, dizzy spells, acid reflex, and a whole lotta other maladies.

And that’s what I fear will happen to all my friends and contacts if they don’t stop raging.

Let me make this perfectly clear — I AM concerned. I AM stressed. I AM worried. Every morning I drive to work and listen to the news I want to smack myself on the forehead and say “What NOW?” But I tend not to talk about it on social media.

I wonder if all this absorption into the ways of the world are preventing my friends from writing their blogs, poems, short stories, recipes, and whatever else. If it’s draining the desire of crocheters so that all they can do is one looonng doublestitch. If all painters want to do is whip paint at a canvas, ala Jackson Pollock.

I’m sure this madness is not limited to the U.S. I bet if I ask my Australian friends (waves to the few I know out there) or my blogger in Spain or the U.K. or in Germany (keeps waving) I’m sure their country is messed up too. Maybe not as obnoxiously, but just as particularly.

I’m not saying don’t get involved. I’m not saying don’t get emotional. We all need to have our voices heard.

What I am saying is we need to have our creative voices heard too. Don’t let the politics of the moment curb your appetite for self expression. Funnel your emotions into something other than — or besides — social media.

Use your passion to create something that will outlast the politics of the day.  Write something marvelous.Paint something inspiring. Play an instrument like an angel. Show the world you are better than the nonsense around you. 

Because you are.

 

 

 

 

2017 Starts With a Whisper

As I sit on my sofa this first day of 2017, smooth jazz in the background, dogs sleeping on their doggie beds (along with Tom the cat), I am surprised at the strange swirl of thoughts that have threaded through my brain the past few days.

Many are glad 2016 is over — a lot of stress and bad juju last year. Others are building on the positive bridge they started last year. A lot of different ways to go for this supposedly first-day-of-the-rest-of-my-life.

I’ve spent the last several days reading the blogs I subscribe to through WordPress. I feel bad I can’t read people’s thoughts and emotions the day they are published, but I make it a point to sometimes just sit and read. Not glaze through the posts, but really read them. And I found myself responding to quite a few of them.

Some pledge to write every day. One blogger just popped up after a six month absence. Some write poetry, some write tragedy. Some talk about cats, some talk about painting. It’s an amazing mix of talent, and I enjoy getting to know all of them.

I’ve learned to reply with questions if I don’t understand something, or comment that I can’t find the right words to comment. It’s all encompassing — there are bloggers that pop up every couple of months, and I find myself so excited to read something new. Others write every day, and I find myself looking forward to their next view of life. I even go back into the “manage” part of the Reader and click on names I haven’t seen in a while to see what I’ve missed.

This type of diligence makes me wonder about my own blogging. Why do I do it? Is it to achieve fame? Popularity? Do I write to test out my own verbal prowess? Do I do it to share my view of middle age and beyond?

I think we all go through identity crises … all the time. Rarely do I meet someone who has been whole from the very beginning and knows the cosmic truth of inner peace. We all look for approval. For validation. For the acknowledgement that we do exist. In all worlds. As an office worker, as a mother, as a friend — we all try to make the other person proud. We all want that “best of” medal to show that all our mistakes and missteps didn’t mean a thing, because we ultimately turned out to be the “best.”

We all may or may not have natural talent. Most of us just go through the daily grind of work and bills and driving through the snow, telling ourselves that tomorrow will be better.

Well, here it is, 2017. A new year. Is it better?

I hope I am hearing a “yes” from all of you. The more we learn, the more we grow. And the easier it is to circle back to our own soul for affirmation.

My daily job has…is…changing. I have been tapped to be a social media writer, which means that my rhetoric and vocabulary needs to be top notch. It’s a lot of work — much more than I thought. But it is also a chance to show that all my hours of writing blogs and novels and poetry and short stories has paid off.

Anybody can have big numbers of followers on their blog. I am still scraping off the notion that more is better. What is really important is how many people stop and say something afterwards. How many really get what you’re saying.

Take the time today to go into your Reader and read something you missed before. Take a minute to step into their world.

It will truly help you in your own creative journey.

Music Makes Magic

1451272484709104_animateI am not what most consider a music junkie, affectionado, expert, or addict.

I really do enjoy music, though.

I have a soft spot in my heart for banging old tyme rock and roll now and then. Give me Metallica, AC/DC, Motley Crue — any of those wild hair bands. Turn it up and shake the rafters…turn up the stereo and dance in front of the speakers.

I also am a whitebread, Midwestern suburban girl. My growing up years were safe and boring. The few licks of trouble I got into were pale in comparison with others I know. And have heard of. So my imagination has to take over for my lack of experience.

I know a lot of people LIVED the 60s and 70s — hung out, burned out, wilded out their youth, gaining experience and insight I will never be privy to. The high highs and low lows of “those days” are things movies are made of. Maybe that’s a good thing in some ways.

When I’m driving home, windows open, blasting “Sandman” from Metallica, I see dark rooms with strobe lights in the corner, scents of patchouli and garlic and illegal leaves swirling above me, heads banging to the beat, air guitars and beer bottle microphones, some band (I don’t know if its THE band) on a stage somewhere, salty with sweat and concentration, letting their souls mix with the beat of the music, crashing and burning and relighting again with the rhythm of the pounding music.

I don’t see needles and junkies and fights and blood. I don’t see people throwing up on themselves and the depths of depression that are liberated with the music. I don’t see black eyes and lost dreams and sliced wrists and empty bottles of Jack or Fleschman’s.

The same is true when I listen to classical music. The upbeat symphonies like Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake or Strauss’s Emperor’s Waltz, I blast at full-speed-ahead. I see picnics in the fields with women in long dresses and men in frocks and crystal wine glasses sparkling in the sunlight. I see gowns and tuxedos waltzing across an enormous ballroom dance floor, the dresses swishing with the rhythm of the music, their beadery reflecting the glint of chandeliers and candlelight.

I don’t see alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty. I don’t see filthy living conditions, barbaric medical treatments, consumption, or life before penicillin and electricity.

I’ve never been to either world. But I wonder. Does this one-way mirrored vision make me a weak writer? Someone who can’t write about those things because I haven’t experienced these things? Or does it make me a great writer, because I can dive into my own imagination and make the world surrounding the music whatever I want?

When I hear  a ballad or a rock jam I don’t think about serial killers or drug dealers. I think of my youth — the life I lived, the life I never lived. I can identify with the 60s and 70s and beyond because I made it through them. When I hear a waltz or symphony I think of days gone by, a simpler life, of history and time travel and a time when a night out was a buggy ride to town.

And that’s where the stories come from.

Let music inspire your creativity. Let it take you places you’ve been — and places you’ve never been.

Just don’t throw your back out doing the air guitar thing….

 

Roots vs. Vines

newplantThere are books upon books written about men brains vs female brains. How they are wired, how they work. How they process. This is not a blog to debate the validity of such — I am mere more to prove that such assumptions are more or less true.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about creativity. I suggested her boyfriend (a really talented graphic artist) start a website or blog with his art and photography. Show off his work. He joined our conversation, and said he shows his work off on Facebook. To his friends. He said setting up and keeping a site going was too much like work.

I was fine with that. But I had to laugh. Because that’s all I seem to think about. Not just the webpage part — the writing/art/decorating/creative part.

It was like earlier today I called home. Hubby was putting up new pantry and laundry room doors. Very sharp. Very nice. After 15 years of dogs and kids and cats and abuse it is nice to finally start remodeling my house. I started talking about a new wine rack and hanging a new picture I found and maybe a rug under the table and cleaning out the buffet and giving most of the glasses to Good Will and there was nothing but silence on the other end of the phone. I waited for a reaction and could have filed my nails within the time gap.

When we resumed the conversation my hubby said he hadn’t thought of all that. That some of those things weren’t on his top 10 list of things to do. He was back on the door-thing and the sanding-the ceiling-in-the-bedroom thing. The mowing-the-lawn-thing tomorrow. He was nowhere in the creative atmosphere of the decorating-thing or the making-the-dining-room-feel-like-an-Italian-veranda-thing. My mind was twisting and twirling up the wall like a runaway vine while his was forming strong, sturdy roots in the ground.

I don’t know if my creative tendencies are a good thing or a bad thing. Or if they are a “thing” at all. I know we all have a creative streak in us, but some are able to keep it in perspective. Most times I behave myself, but other times I’m off and running without a thought as to time or materials or the end result.

It’s like I finally know what I want and I don’t want to be talked out of it. My Sunday Evening Art blog, my middle-age madness blog, my writing female fantasy fiction time travel novels, all may seem runaway madness to some, but they are life affirming to me. Every time I get creative it’s like reaching up to the sun and getting high on Vitamin D.

I know that that’s just where I am in life right now. Other friends of mine are in the whenever-its-convenient time. Or after-I-take-care-of-other-things time. I’ve been through those phases too. I’ve been responsible all my life. Raising kids, working, making ends meet. I’ve not always had the time to hang with my Creative Muse.

But now I make time. And the pigheaded person in me wonders why everyone else doesn’t make time, too. When my piggy feet touch the ground again, I realize that everybody IS making time in their own way. Not everyone needs a website or needs to get published in order to let their creativity soar. Some do it by just doing it. Period.

But as for me — I am having fun with the pick-out-paint-to-edge-the-new-rug thing and the heroine-travels-through-the-veil-to-another-world thing.

Why not?

 

You Rock!

einstein-1When I started this blog back on April 18, 2011, I must have had 20 blogs already written ahead of time. That’s how excited I was. Before I started my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog, I probably had 10 or 11 artists on hold. That, too, shows how excited I was to get started.

Now days I am more of a on-the-spot blog writer, sharing the Goddess’s humor as she calls. Which is all the time. And my Art Blog’s collection is doubling all the time as I find more and more unique artists to showcase.

This is what creativity is all about.

Doing what you love. When you want to. Because you want to.

I don’t have an anniversary to celebrate, or moment in time to highlight today.  All I wanted to do was thank you all for supporting me, reading me, looking at my art. Telling your friends. Or just checking me out yourself.

I can’t believe there are so many branches to Creativity. I’ve talked to quilters, sculptors, painters, publicists, graphic artists, gardeners, writers, poets, photographers, calligraphers — all sorts of artists with all sorts of stories. Everyone has a different story, background, reason for exploring their creative side.

Think of the things you can create! Dragons, spaceships, murderers, gardens, parentless heroes, ghosts, musical prodigies, statues, symbols. You can change history, travel through history, interpret history. As an artist there is nothing you can’t do.

This is why I encourage all of you to “do your thing.” Know your base is strong and expand from there. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the arts. And the more you do it, the better you get at it.

I just wanted to take time to than you all. For your friendship, for your curiosity. And for your encouragement. I hope we hang together for a dozen more years. I hope you continue to enjoy my art and my pretzel-logic mind. You inspire me, and I hope I do the same for you.

Huzzah!

 

Hellloooo….Cosmos Calling

briliantThe Cosmos is always calling — are you listening?

I tend to block incoming calls, leaving a message that I’ll get back shortly.  And, of course, when I call back, it’s too late. The message has disappeared. Moved On. Taken a Hike. Good Bye.

So today is a good day to start remembering and rewriting some of the messages my old friend Cosmos has been sending.

  •  When the Muse is there She’s there. When she’s not she’s not. Quit trying to make wine out of hot dogs. You can’t force the words, the strokes, the stitches. Leave the door wide open but take your trek elsewhere for a while. As long as it’s creative, even if it’s mindless, it encourages Her return.
  • If it doesn’t have anything to do with your realm, keep your mouth shut. Your conservative or over-the-top opinions won’t change the state of politics or sports or Hollywood. Misery loves company and yakkers need an audience. Don’t be the bigmouth or the enabler.
  • DO stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Abuse is rampant. Child, animal, elder — A bully is always a bully. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. If you notice something, and don’t want to confront the culprit, report it. Tell someone. Be their strength.
  • There is no such thing as a leisurely dinner outside. Especially this time of year. Quit trying to sell us wine and laughter and best friends sitting at a big table surrounded by land and woods. It doesn’t work that way. Just ask the mosquitoes and flies. Or the chiggers that chew your ankles.
  • Wine, chocolate, and whipped cream are the answers to all of life’s problems.
  • Organization is the name of the game. Most of us are O-Negative, but with an infusion of creativity, energy, and optimism, even the smallest o can grow to be a fairly decent sized O. Just put away what you take out, close what you open, measure before you cut, and find yourself a Muse or Spirit Guide to give you a pinch in the keester now and then.
  • Taco Cat spelled backwards is Taco Cat.
  • Universal Truth #6327: Everything makes sense to someone (see Cosmic).
  • The Cosmos is full of random moves disguised as calculated theories. So it is with winning. A few odds: winning the Powerball, 1 in 292,201,338; dying from an asteroid strike, 1 in 74,817,414; attacked by a shark, 1 in 3,748,006; becoming a movie star: 1 in 1,505,000; getting struck by lightning: 1 in 1,107,143; being killed by a vending machine, 1 in 112,000,000; being killed by a coconut, 1 in 270,000,000. Since the odds never make sense, odds are that you might as well give up the odds and go with a sure thing. Like I before E. Except after C. Oh, and there’s an A in there too…
  • Don’t be fooled by the “peaceful life” in the country. It can be just as loud as the city. Birds are worse than car horns.

The Cosmos gave me a bunch of messages this past weekend, and this time I was listening. Friendship is forever, there are stories around every corner, if you connect your soul with the soul of the universe, anything can happen. Then I gave the o’l Cos some advice I’ve learned along the way.

  • Love. There’s 1,000s of chances to find it. Life. There’s only one chance to live it.
  • Creativity is a way of life.
  • Jon Snow is not dead.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Full Circle

A few weeks ago I fell in love with the atmosphere, art, and the Biltmore I found in North Carolina.

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My visit gave me a greater appreciation of the world of individuality, art, and wealth.

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Last weekend I wandered through the competition barn of a small county fair.

When I came upon the Art Show, I knew I had come full circle.

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I realized that this is where it all starts.

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This is where Jackson Pollock and John Singer Sargent began.

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Where Dali dabbled and Wiggans wandered.

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This is where Richard Morris Hunt found architecture and Katsushika Hokusai played with ink drawings.

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Where either because of a parent’s encouragement or despite lack of it, a creativity seed found fertility and grew.

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This is the uncharted land of creativity, of space and design and imagination.

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This…is Art.

*

Pictures courtesy of Vilas County Fair, 2016

and CJA, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Atmosphere, Art, and the Biltmore — Part 1

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 Atmosphere

 

A whirlwind weekend brings out all sorts of thoughts and emotions. Especially when you spend the special moments with people you really enjoy. Kids, mates, friends, cousins — all can bring a sense of magic and wonder to your life every time you turn around.

Spending a weekend in Ashville, North Carolina, was one of those times. It was a little bit of freedom, a little bit of music, a little bit of adventure. Though we live hundreds of miles apart, my friend and I met to renew friendship, share burst balloons, and explore ways to move forward in the world and ways of Creativity.

Every region has its own traditions, its own style, its own way of doing things. Midwest Wisconsin is a lot different from Western North Carolina. Ashville is a decent size city nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Heat, humidity, and lush greenery run rampant through the streets and countryside. The people are gracious, drive like maniacs, and wonderfully creative.

The streets were filled with art galleries, outdoor eateries, and pubs full of music. Friday night the air was warm and humid and the streets full of artists strutting their goods. A bare-chested bearded dude with a pink rabbit hat walked his dog passed a girl painting henna hands and a poet who wrote you a personal poem for a small donation. Musicians of all colors and sizes hung out on street corners and in front of bistros, playing guitars, flutes, and violins. Trios one corner, a girl singing with a guitar across the street, all sharing their talent and the night.

Breweries offered their specialized creations while fruit bars mingled with marvelously unique chocolate shops. Tiny Christmas lights hung over outdoor eating spaces, Italian specialities competing with tapas and Oriental sesame noodles. Young and old strolled up and down the main street, skinny girls with striped faerie leggings walking with women in sun dresses and guys in properly preppy shirts. It was a cornicopia of life and laughs and conversation and music. Something my little Wisconsin town doesn’t offer.

Art galleries flourished on main streets and side streets. Most were closed by the time I wandered past their windows, but the ones who were open boasted Dichroic glass sculptures and abstract printmaking. Some mediums I had never seen before. Offbeat novelty shops brought back memories of the 60s, selling incense and scented soaps, colorfully graphic socks, sassy self-awareness books, unicorn candle holders, and violet gum.

The Village Art & Craft Fair was a marvelous beehive of amazing art and artists. Just like art fairs across the country, the hard work and inspiration of craftsmen left me breathless. I didn’t always understand the method or their behind-the-scenes inspiration, but I did understand the end result of jewelry, mosaic tile shoes, pottery, tables, hand-blown glass balls filled with feathers, and dark ceramic clay sculptures. A lot of artists were local; others returned year after year to showcase their latest wares.

Finalizing my journey at the immortal Biltmore Estate, my whole world of art and architecture and photography and history exploded into one cosmic experience. I was actually able to be in the “now” each and every day. And the “now” was cool, fun, and satisfying.

Creativity is universal. It is the expression of our heart’s deepest secrets, our imagination’s fondest dreams. I really believe that once you open that door new worlds present themselves all the time. Like a symphony, moods and memories are created by each special note you experience.

Find a way to experience it.

 

NEXT:  Art

 

 

 

Off To See the Wizard (of Biltmore)

6d3fa623e931a5471085ff1a8f7651afSagittarius personality traits

Sagittarius is a fun and exciting sign. The explorer and philosopher of the zodiac, they are typically interested in new experiences, new knowledge and new places.

As it is written, so it shall be.

This weekend I am taking an adventure I’ve not taken before. I am meeting my creative, crazy fun friend in the artsy city of Asheville, North Carolina — home of the Biltmore Estate.

No husband. No kids. No grandkids. No dogs. No cats. Just temporarily, you know.

Already I’m happy.

It has taken me 63 years to be able to go off and take a trip through the creative world with my bestie by my side. I can finally submerge myself in art of all kinds — painting, sculpture, jewelry, textiles. Something my hubby could not (in truthful conscience) enjoy.

It has taken me 63 years to get to this wide-eyed amazement point in my life. 40 years ago I was working downtown Chicago, too busy trying to make my way in the business world. 30 years ago I was busy being a newlywed and first-time mom, losing my downtown job and looking for a part-time one so I could be home with my son. 20 years ago I was busing being a full-time mom, trying to my hand at running a B&B while being a full-time soccer mom and baseball mom.  10 years ago I was busy working full-time again, trying to run from bankruptcy and dealing with one son’s college years and the other son’s high school years.

There wasn’t time for unique art galleries or writing blogs or going to live concerts. Guess I was just busy living.

But now the kids are working and raising their own kids and bankruptcy is nothing more than a bad dream as is the B&B experiment. Now is the time for me to reconnect to who I’ve always been. I’ve always been a painter, a writer, a stenciller. I have always had a love affair with the creative side of the world. From faeries to role-playing, from making my own jewelery to writing poetry. I’ve stuffed it into pockets of time and under the leaves on the wooded paths I’ve walked and in the drawers of dressing tables.

Now it’s my turn to play.

Now I get to discover and explore and dream and live the Bohemian life of an artist with someone who is as Bohemian as I am.

If only for 4 days.

I get to meet all kinds of people, people who heard the calling of the Art Muse and did something about it. I don’t need to live the dream to be a part of it.

If only for 4 days.

Make a point to take a side trip out of your reality too, now and then. It’s good for the soul. It’s good for the heart. It’s good for manifesting your creative future.

And it’s damn good for your friendship, too.

 

 

 

Practicing this exercise will make you more confident in your creative work

If you have a few spare minutes, come read Maja’s post…get your confidence back and keep it running. We are all artists!

Business in Rhyme

creativity confidence

Most of the confidence we develop throughout the years stem from our past experiences – predominantly on how other people perceived us and our work. Not gaining enough recognition, pile of rejection letters and even just a random bad comment can blow away all our creative self-esteem – that many people stop creating all together. Paying too much attention on other people opinions can instill  fear that  paralyzes not only our creative outlets but practically our complete approach to life. That kind of attitude leads to isolation, avoidance of trying new things and not sharing our accomplishments with the world.

The good news is that we have control of our feelings towards what creatively we can offer to the world.

When you get to the root of this problem, it’s all about belief and what we chose to believe. You can chose to believe that:

  • you are creative person,
  • your…

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Side Trip — Craig L Haupt

aNow and then I like to take little side trips into the lives of some of the artists I highlight both here and in my Art Gallery.

Although according to his website (http://clhaupt.comCraig Haupt has a degree in Art Education, it’s his love of creative doodles that’s led to a career of whimsical images.

Why I am taking time to share his creativity is simple. On his WordPress blog ( https://craiglhaupt.com/) I have watched him turn this:

 

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Into this:

 

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I love the creative process. Whether it’s writing, painting, sketching, stenciling, it all starts small and obtuse and grows into something wonderful and unique.

Craig’s delightful explanation  “From childhood to present, I have been surrounded by my doodles and countless stick figures that have never left me,” rings true for all of us. There is always some thing, some thought, some feeling, that follows us around all the time. Something we just can’t forget about. Something we can’t let go.

I find a touch of doodle in a depth of color in Craig’s sketches and drawings. To take a scrambled beginning and turn it into something esthetic is no easy feat. It’s not often an artist shows you all their steps, so I thought it fun to share both ends of the spectrum.

You can also see more of Craig’s work at my Sunday Evening Art Gallery http://wp.me/p5LGaO-pZ.

I hope you enjoyed this little “Side Trip”! See you soon!

 

 

Tuesday-Not-Sunday-Evening Art-Gallery-Humor-Blog

They-Wait-in-Silence-4f6276864bf58_hiresI’m sure you’ve seen these posts on Facebook that show a wonderfully huge mansion in the woods/on the water/at the edge of the mountains, and the post says, “If you could live without WiFi and a phone and TV, etc., would you live here?”

Having spent the last five days up Nort’ , I think I can answer a solid “No.”

It wasn’t a mansion; it was a little house we call “The Cabin.” No TV, no Dish/Direct TV, no WiFi, just a DVD/8 Track Player and a radio. For getaway purposes it was ideal. But the times I tried to go online to do some Art Gallering, the signal from my phone was  烂摊子. A mess. So my wildly popular (I love adding my own adjectives) Sunday Evening Art Gallery had to take a Sunday night break.

I also wanted to spend some free time looking for unique artists, following a few leads from friends and followers (I’m always open for suggestions!). Grandkids were out playing, men fishing, cool breeze in the window, quiet except for the sounds of nature, it was a perfect Art Moment.

Yet I could not load any page other than the main one I landed on. No pictures, no links. And I felt like those people who can’t go to the bathroom without their cell phone. I felt helpless. And more than that — pathetic.

During this contemplation time I had a few revelations, too. I think we all get messages from the beyond…all get an idea which direction we should go. But we don’t listen. We — our ego — knows better. So we butt our heads against the wall and keep trying to recast the same pot.

What works for you? What feels right? What feels out-of-sorts? Are you happy with your blog? Are you happy with your craft? Would you sometimes rather do B than A? K rather than E?

I have found a new love affair with Unique Art. There are so many wonderful, unique, unusual artists sharing their work with the world that I’ve never heard of, never seen, never imagined until these past few years. And the thrill I get out of sharing them with you is the same thrill I get when I’ve written something good.

I can feel that same energy when I talk with people who are hooked into some sort of creativity. Their eyes glow, their breath shortens, and their dreams spill out through their words.

I want you to have that glow, too. I want you to sparkle like the fireworks on the 4th of July every time you think of your craft. You will crash and burn and agonize and think and dance and fly. But you will grow and learn and sparkle, too.

I suppose I will wait to introduce a new artist to the Sunday Evening Art Gallery. No need to rush amazement, is there? But because I can’t go long without sharing some kind of art, I will publish a new Gallery.

Don’t go too long without doing your creative thing, too!

Finding Dorothy’s Shoes

Ruby-slippers-wizard-of-ozI absolutely love when comments on one blog flow into thoughts and inspiration on another. That’s why I love following the writers I do.

In her blog, A Journey Called Life, (https://architar.wordpress.com), my friend Archita wrote a story called “A note from the evening” (https://architar.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/a-note-from-the-evening/). It is a first-person narrative to someone  — a friend, it seems — to that friend’s ego. To that friend’s mind. It has to be to their unconscious mind, for the conscious mind was not listening.

Her short tale explains all the motions and routines the narrator will do for the friend who never stops complaining. For the complaining is nothing new. The friend cannot see past her stubbornness to change her direction in life; the friend who insists the narrator has the banquet and the friend barely the leftovers.

It made me think and then think again. First I wondered if the friend was (figuartively) me…me in other situations. We all have the tendency to whine — life is never the bed of roses we dream of. But I hoped — still hope — that I have found a way out of that tedious state of blaming the world for some of my own bad decisions.

The more I thought, the more I realized that I have friends like that, too. I think we all do. People who just can’t get out of the whirlpool. People who don’t really want to get out of the whirlpool. That it’s easier to complain and point fingers than to do something about the situation.

Many situations are hard. There is no denying this. Life is hard. But life is also good. There is proof of that all around us.

You will continue your story- about children, about how busy you really are, about how you never had any help, about how only death can bring you your peace. Then you will ask me if I watched your favorite show on TV.

I often wonder how people get out of the whirlpools they swim in. It takes determination. It takes work. My dad and father-in-law both gave up smoking after 50 years of two packs a day. That wasn’t a walk through the roses, believe me. My friend is going back to school to get her childhood education degree, and she is in her mid-50s. Another friend has had multiple operations on knees and shoulders and had cancer in his pancreas and still manages to go camping with us a couple times a year.

Who is to decide what is too heavy a burden to bear? Who is to decide what is enough help?

Let me tell you, death looks terrible on poems. Death looks more terrible when it’s just news. Death never gives peace. Life is peace. In living, in grief, in celebrating, in friendships- you find what death lacks- a life.

Archita and I bantered back and forth in the comment section about when it’s time to listen, when it’s time to intervene, when it’s time to walk away.  It’s not easy to know the difference between being a friend, a sounding board, and an enabler. From drinking to being unemployed to being divorced, the path out of the darkness isn’t an easy one to find. But I believe we all have that inner knowledge that lets us know where to draw the line between all of the above.

I suggested she suggest the magic release of Creativity to her friend. I  know so many who have turned to the Arts to save their souls, to release their souls, to find their souls. That’s why I encourage it so much. It doesn’t matter if you crochet or make scrapbooks or write poetry. Your love for artistic freedom makes you better and better. A better artist, a better person, a better friend. Archita found her own soul again through creativity — she only hoped her friend could, too.

But that’s another story.

Do go and read Archita’s blog if you find time. You might find yourself in her shoes. Which, in the end,  just might be Dorothy’s shoes.

Saturday Morning Reflections on Creativity

 

15 - 1[3]1112335Lazy Saturday mornings always bring out the philisopher in me. Especially when I listen to Martini Music from the 60s in the background.

Ever take one of those online tests — What is your favorite (fill-in-the-blank)?

Sometimes they’re easy. Favorite Food: Spaghetti. Favorite drink: Milk. (I know..boring…) Other times it’s a little catchy. Favorite Music? Ah…in what category? Favorite Book? Again, I need a genre. Favorite Dessert? Now, you really need to specify…

So it is with picking out an artist’s work for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog.

Sometimes it’s easy. Judit Czinkné Poór specializes in incredible cookie designs. Craig L. Haupt does whimsical abstract images. Jackson Pollock does…well, does Jackson Pollock things. The biggest problem with these artists are which 6 or 7 (or in the case of the larger Gallery, 12-15) images showcase their artistic range.

I come up with fantastic artists that span several techniques. Selecting which style or gallery to highlight is often an arduous task. Louise Bourgeois not only sculpted giant spiders but was actually best known for her representations of the female form and dreamlike imagery through paintings, prints, and installations. The Universe not only holds the glory of galaxies, but planets, stars, nebulas, gamma ray bursts, and galaxy clusters.  I have had artists that are not only great sculptors but painters and sketchers, too.

How do you decide which side of their diamond to polish?

I have learned that sometimes an artist’s fame is not the same as an artist’s flame. Often what strikes an audience as unique is not necessarily what made them famous. I highlighted Luke Jerram‘s extraordinary microbiology glass works, but if you read his website, he also designed a sculpture based on the Tōhoku Japanese Earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 2011, and solar-powered kinetic chandeliers  that consist of dozens of glass radiometers, which shimmer and flicker as they turn in the sunlight. Who knew?

Artists are such an eclectic lot. Writers, sculptors, painters, graphic designers, all have their favorite form of expression, their main obsession. But I imagine you can be 150% into oil painting and 150% into charcoal sketching and 150% into pen and ink and still find 150% to spend on computer graphics.

It’s all relative.

When I find an artist that I think my followers would enjoy, I research all their work. Often that’s a daunting task, for those who are truly creative, truly gifted, spread out in a hundred different directions at one time. One branch of their creativity is just as amazing as the next.

It’s not much easier when I pick a subject to highlight. In digging around, I often find 35-40 great representations under the headings of things like ice sculptures or paperweights. Each picture is more fascinating than the next. I try to include my favorites and others not in my top 10, just so I can show a fair representation of what the artist/subject is all about.  After all, my favorite color may be blue, but yours may be red. And who am I to confront the difference?

That, to me, is the essence of an art director. Of a museum curator. Exploring the creative mind, the unique palate, and choosing just the right combination of awe and familiarity to showcase. We all do this in our own way — look at the pictures hanging on your walls. The crystal pieces on your mantlepieces. The books on your shelves. The flowers in your garden. The colors you pick for your outfits. The way you arrange your bookshelves.

You have created your own atmosphere with the gifts from the creative world. You are abstract, you are conservative, you are orange-reds and country blue. You are Amish and Renaissance and Science Fiction and Chick Lit. You are poetry in motion, an art critic in your own right.

And that is a beautiful way to spend your life, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

<a href="http://feedshark.brainbliss.com">Feed Shark</a>

Writer’s Block

thWriter’s Block.

Is it real? Or is it all in the imagination?

Some people say they never get it. They’re never stuck for something to write. Others have it hit them all the time. They mistake the block for not having enough determination or desire.

I find that Writer’s Block is merely a drop in the bucket to the larger malady, Creative Block.

Know that this hits all creative arts, from writing to painting to making a quilt to sketching scenery. It IS real, and it DOES matter when you are zapped with it. It’s not a shade of pretend or indifference. It’s a real emotion. Writer’s Block is not only the feeling of not having anything to write about. It’s the feeling you don’t want to write, period. It’s lack of desire, the inability to finish, or too much preliminary writing/research to do before you get to the “good stuff.” It’s working on the same old story and not being able to pull it all together.

A fellow blogger (https://victoriakgallagher.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/writers-block-sucks/) puts it this way:

There are ideas whirling around my mind but the perceived inadequacy has been very overpowering. It’s won out and I really don’t want it to. Perhaps writing this is a ‘good enough’ start and more writing ideas will come eventually. Writers block is not a fun place to be in, but knowing that there are others who have the same scenario, in a roundabout way, helps, especially if they have ideas on how to break free from it.

This is how we all feel from time to time. Sometimes the answer, as Victoria says, it to write a short blog. To write something, whether or not it’s of publishable quality.

But sometimes the inadequacy, the not-wanting-to, lies in a well-hidden secret woods in your body, and only comes out during certain combinations of hormones (male AND female) and full moons and stress and a weird look from somebody you don’t know. Who knows what kicks in the self doubt. But something does, and before you know it you’re rolling down the hill like a snowball, collecting debris and sticks and mud to fling at ourselves along the way.

This is not a reflection of how we feel about our craft.

If you are a true artist, your craft comes from your heart. Loud and strong. All the time. You love to paint. You love to play the guitar. You love to write. Nothing you (or anyone else) say can change the feeling of magic that fills you once you’re in your groove.

But being a true artist doesn’t mean you’re living the high all the time. There are websites upon websites about famous creative people who had bouts with depression, alcoholism, and other numbing illnesses. Some survived, some didn’t. The internet is also full of websites about how to work through creative blocks. Any one of their tips could be the one for you.

I think of Creative Block block not so much a wall as a chain link fence. You can see through it, you can see the future of your craft, but you just can’t get past that fence.

Your love of your craft hasn’t changed — just your ability to move past the fence. If you just listen to your heart, get past the junk that comes at you from all directions (especially yourself), and hold onto that love, you’ll get back in the groove soon. Leave your own work behind and explore others…the masters of painting, sculpting, designing. Let their work inspire you. You can’t compete with them, for you are NOT them…you are you. And how wonderfully unique that is.

If you love your craft, your heart and soul will find a way to bring you round back to where you left off.

And with infinity being what it is, you’ve got a gloriously long journey ahead of you.

Let’s Open Another Door

Well, it’s March 3rd and I’m done.

Any of you who live in the northern half of the U.S. — or any country, for that matter — know what I mean when I say I’m done. Done with the snow, the cloudy days, the slush, the slop, the depression, the driving-like-a-little-old-lady kind of days. I’ve had my snow for Christmas; my grandson has made his annual snowman, I’ve spent a weekend at the ski lodge, and scraped and cleaned the snow off my car more than I care to tell you.

It’s supposed to be 64 degrees next Tuesday, and that’s not soon enough for me. I know it’s a false spring and all that, but go ahead — fool me — I don’t mind.

About this time every year I get tired of writing, too. Tired of sloshing around emails and sites, tired of editing, tired of being witty, nifty, and wise. Since I like to think of ALL of us as multi-artistic, I’m ready to clean out closets and get ready for my move to BoHoChicland.

I’ve got bags of beads to sew on sweaters and tops; I’ve got wire and string to restring my broken bracelets; I’ve got crystals to make more bracelets; I’ve got appointments with Good Will and other second hand places to help me restructure my wardrobe. Clothes never used to make me feel better, but these days, I’m open to discovery. I’m tired of looking like my great-grandmother (like I know what she dressed like..)

Besides the clothing overhaul, I’ve also got books I need to finish reading, hair to color, skirts to shorten. I need to open up the windows and get some fresh air in my stale house.

So let’s get going.

They say when God closes one door He opens another. He’s been really generous with me, because he’s opened about 15 doors. How generous.

So if you get writer’s block, go open another door. Remember — you are an ARTIST — category optional. Don’t worry — your main obsession will always be with you. But sometimes you just need a change.

Like the weather.

And who knows — maybe a closet full of beads will fall out on your head.

Listen to your Body

GIF By George RedhawkDoes your reality often get in the way of your creativity?

I am certain every creative sprite wishes they had more time. More time to write, to pick out beads, to carve, to crochet. To practice the piano or the guitar. And perhaps that desire to “have more time” is what keeps the creative juices flowing.

But what if reality gets in the way?

Not being able to create on a regular basis can cause more physical problems than you already have. Anxiety, depression, frustration, all can lead to higher blood pressure and a host of other maladies. Having a creative outlet is like poking a hole in a blister: it vents the pressure and allows the healing to begin. Or continue.

There are a number of circumstances in my life at the moment (none of them bad), that are preventing me from getting to the writing/editing/publication of various projects.

And I’m not okay with that.

Yet I have to be okay with that. Because if I don’t take care of the body, the mind will be the next to go.

I truly believe that creativity is useless if the vehicle you’re using to express it is working under par. That you need to take care of yourself before you take care of your sculpture. Otherwise, you’ve only given a part of your essence to your project. Not all of it.

Working full time, my only “free” time is evenings and weekends. Add cleaning, cooking, shopping for necessities, paying bills, and paying attention to family and friends, and the wind of creativity shrinks to half.

And half of not much is not much.

One of the problems I’m dealing with is insomnia. It might be because of age, medication, schedules, one or all of the above. Nonetheless, while that initially sounds like an opening for “more” time, it really is a stab in the cortial and subcortial network (Research  Uncovers How and Where Imagination Occurs in the Brain, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/imagination-brain_n_3922136.html). The less sleep you get, the more tired you become. The more tired you become, the slower the synapses connect. And, of course, the less synapses connecting, the duller your creativity.

While I’m finally off to the doctor to work on this, I realize that, for now, If I want to sleep longer I have to get to bed earlier. Which means less stimulation before bed. Which means…you get my drift.

The point of this blog is to encourage you to listen to your body. Really listen. Take care of what ails you now. Being burned out, over-stressed, lethargic, hyper-active — or worse yet, in the hospital — does little good for anyone.

Especially for your Muse.

Deny if you will, but we all have a muse, a spirit guide, an angel, who opens our hearts and heads and minds and helps us tap into that never-ending waterfall of creativity. Once you accept that, you have to learn to take care of that muse. Which, in the long run, is taking care of yourself.

Your craft can wait. Not stop — wait. Instead of planning it by big steps, plan it by baby steps. A little today, a little tomorrow. Along with dealing with insomnia, heartburn, diverticulitis. Deal with your body so you have room — and time — to deal with your Muse. And your creativity. Never give up your dreams — just adjust them to fit your schedule.

Once you achieve balance, you can hit the easel/notebook/kiln once again, pulling your hair out, biting your nails, wondering if you’re ever going to create anything worthwhile.

But that’s an over-reaction of a different color.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Sunday Evening Art Gallery

www.sundayeveningartgallery.com

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This quiet evening I thought I would introduce you to world you may not know exists

A world filled with even more views of creative inspiration

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If you have enjoyed sitting back on Sunday Evenings

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enjoying the discoveries of creative artists of all genres

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Then you will love the full version of my Sunday Evening Art Gallery

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Click on any of these images and see more magic

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Explore more creations by these amazing artists, these amazing minds

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Art that is limited only by the artist’s imagination and talent

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I have collected dozens of extra images that could not fit on my Goddess blog

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Images that deserved their own gallery

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I add new galleries every week — I collect so many images on each journey my arms and blog cannot hold them all

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So please come and visit a world of unique images and unique artists

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Come see what creativity is really all about

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And if you like what you see, come back often.

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And please — tell your friends what a world you have discovered!

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www.sundayeveningartgallery.com

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tal Peleg

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

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Or is it beauty is in the beholder of the eye?

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Israeli make-up professional and blogger Tal Peleg paints scenes from fairy tales, imagery from classic novels and pretty embellishments  —  including intricate designs of sushi — onto tiny areas of the face using only liquid eyeliner and eyeshadow.

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One needs a steady hand, a feel for color, and a wonderful sense of play. Tal Peleg has all of that and more.

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Tal says she loves art, color, creation, makeup and all that between.

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Looking into her eye — into her eyes — you see her love of all of the above

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Tal Peleg shows the world that color is makeup’s best friend — and every eye reflects it

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Tal Peleg’s incredible eye art can be found at the following websites:

https://www.facebook.com/TalPelegMakeUp

http://www.tp-artwork.com

http://www.boredpanda.com/eye-makeup-art-tal-peleg/

I Want It All

a4d9a6e95ab9b4ddaac67a2adb860cb5Are you your own best friend?
Or are you your own worst enemy?
Have you found a way to balance the two?

I have the world’s best intentions — I really do. And sometimes I’m even able to carry them out. On the other hand, sometimes my intentions last as long as a thought. Big burst of emotion/intention, then big hit of sidetrack/misdirection.

Now that I’ve finally found the loves of my life (except from 9-5), I am finding it nearly impossible to balance it all without falling asleep at my desk.

Everything is temporary, I know. My kids living with me for a few months has been the greatest gift I ever could have received. I spend my day thinking of what my GB and I can do when I get home. He is a bundle of energy (vs my total lack of it), so I try and plan accordingly. I also plan time for him to be alone with his parents. After all, they all WOULD be alone together if it weren’t for me. First act of balancing.

But spending the 5 hours (ideally) between work and bedtime have drastically cut the time I have to spend on the other love of my life: writing. Specifically (at least at this moment) my blog(s).

I know there is no comparison between flesh and blood and words on a screen. No comparison between talking to my daughter-in-law and responding to posts online. This time will soon be gone, and I’ll have evenings to myself once again. Every day is a new experience, a new adventure. Who want to miss that?

But I am a Sagittarius, and I want the glory, the excitement, the magic NOW. I am an adventurer, even though I may fall flat half way through my trek. And I (like all of you) are multi-dimensional. I love creating, researching, building, perfecting whatever it is that sets my heart a flutter. My blog (especially the Art one) is quenching my thirst for personal satisfaction. It is something I can call MY OWN. Not hunting or fishing like the boys; not going back to school like friends; not raising children like my kids and friends kids. It’s something created out of my soul and warmed by the sun and fertilized by the moon. It’s something that has turned from a fad idea to a real pursuit of the extraordinary.

I think I suffer somewhat from the life-is-running-out syndrome, too. I’m getting older:  there are fewer years ahead of me than behind, and there’s tons of things I still want to do. I’ve given up dreams of visiting the museums of Rome or wandering through the moors of Scotland. Discovering the planet China is off my list, too. But I can still do things that make me happy, that make me proud. I’m just running out of time to do them.

My circadian rhythm is so out of whack I doubt I could get it back in line with a baseball bat. I get home, am awake, creative, love the evening, the sunset, the kids, the night. Then I can’t fall asleep. Midnight, 1, 2 a.m. and I’m still cruising through the galaxy. I get up at 6 so four hours of sleep isn’t doing it for me. I’ve tried everything to calm down at night. My fear is that I’ll have to give up everything creative if I want to sleep. Or clean my house. Or even make it to work on time.

I admit it. I want it all. I’m too young to retire, too poor to quit working. All of you creative sprites know how it is when you just start getting into your project and you look up at the clock and it’s midnight. Einstein’s time travel continuum has struck again.

So. I ask you. Any suggestions on how I can do it all?

In this lifetime??

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Intermission

Tonight’s Gallery is a break between worlds. A pause between dreams.

 

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I am so delighted with the direction of the Sunday Evening Art Gallery that I am taking time to make it whole and circular and ever spiraling.  I hope that every Sunday Evening I bring more magic into your life; more sights to share with family and friends; more ideas to bring creativity to your own life.

 

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I hope to expand my site http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.wordpress.com into a continuation of the uniqueness I find around me. That includes changing the domain name and making it a presence like no other.

 

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So for our intermission, let me share a few of my (amateur) photographs of the world around me.

 

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Let us wander the roads and lake shores together, setting our imaginations of fire, and find out what lies just around the corner…

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Cats and the Strawberry Moon

catI had a case of the crabbies today, par for most who have to work a whole week after only have worked 4 days the week before and none the week before that. It seemed a number of people I encountered today were a bit “off” as well. I would blame it on MR (can’t say…I promised), but I think it’s just a case of I-wanna-be-anywhere-but-at-work syndrome.

Tonight is/was the Strawberry Moon. You’ve undoubtedly have heard of it — a full moon, close to Earth, makes for one giant strawberry in the sky. So me and my adventurous self took a walk down a wooded path to the back gate which faces a huge corn field, and waited for the moon to appear.

I always think myself a bit weird to begin with, but pacing up and down the tractor road along side newly sprouted corn, waiting for a moon that could show up anywhere across the horizon was plenty weird, too. I’ve waited for moonrise before — I even blogged about one incident (Moonlight at Sunset, http://wp.me/p1pIBL-4e, if you want to go back that far)  eleventy twenty nine years ago (that’s how my grandson counts).

There was a tractor plowing/planting in the field, and I’m sure he caught sight of me once or twice. I didn’t want to have to explain what I was doing tiptoeing around his field (even though he’s a good guy and wouldn’t mind), so I occasionally ducked in the hedgerow lining the path. What a weirdo, too.

But all my weirdness was well worth it when the moon rose. It was indeed a strawberry color, huge and ripe and round and lovely to behold. It was at that moment that the crabbys disappeared…who could hold a grudge against the world with something so awesome in the night sky?

It’s these moments that make me feel so small, yet so immense. If there is no heaven, I want to be able to absorb these cosmic moments as often as I can. For nothing is as holy as a phenomenon in space.

I used to be an astronomy buff; I took classes at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and even bought a telescope. My scientific side melded with my fantasy side, and a true appreciation of science fiction was born. I think it’s true for all creative people. Thinking of places you can go, things you can invent, spaces you can fill, all overwhelm the senses. Creativity isn’t pidgeon-holed into science fiction realms — I have seen pottery and jewelry and wire sculpturing that escape all dimensions. And all that creativity makes me wonder — what’s next?

When you see the immensity of the moon, something real and bright and ever changing, how can you hold a grudge with the world? Get out of your house, out of your room, out of your car. Go out and experience the Goddess in her every changing glory. Then bring Her energy into you and let it turn your imagination into reality. Be inspired.  Be creative. Be whole.  If the moon isn’t your thing, try the sun. Let the warm rays fill you with hope and strength. Or Mother Earth. She’s a phenomenon all unto herself.

Let go of the crabbies. They never helped anyone get anywhere anyway.

Since my thought earlier today was of writing a blog about cats, I leave you with the image above. Cats and Strawberry Moons have the makings of a wonderful story. Or necklace. Or painting.

Don’t you think?