Getting Back on Track

Monday, a new start to a new week, and a good time to review goals and look at what you want to accomplish this week.  It is November and I am off to a slow start for the month, but it is better to start late and slow than to not start at all.  So two challenges this month, Nanowrimo and the Art Everyday Day Month.


My thought for the day was that it is Easier to get where you are going if you focus on what is in front of you, not what is behind you. I am making a plan and getting started. What are you doing today to get you where you wish to be?




Reflections- Still life of a Victorian Mirror with reflected wash table.Ever since I read through the Looking Glass as a girl mirrors have held a certain fascination for me.  This is another shot taken at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum.

When composing a picture such as this, I look for the story elements. The things in the picture that would make me look at it and wonder what about….

By using the mirror, I was able to capture a bit of the room. Whose room? Who are those people in the photos, What is their story.  I love the wash basin and pitcher, for me that is what really draws me in.  The romantic side of me says wouldn’t it be lovely to get up and use such a beautiful wash basin. The practical side of me asks who is going to clean that bowl out? Whose room is this?  The lady of the house or the maid who gets to clean the bowl. 

If you could step through that mirror into the past, would you?  Does it matter if you would be the lady or the maid?

I plan to use this as a writing prompt for today, as there are so many what ifs that it brings to mind. What stories does this picture bring to mind for you?

Pink Pelicans


My daughter has an assignment to find a picture that inspires you to think of a story. It is for a short story project they are doing in school.  I take lots of pictures that are exactly that, things that I see that spark something creative in me.  A lot of times I am not sure what the final outcome of the picture will be. Some are starting points, such as why are these pelican pink?  Some will end up as part of a digital collage, Some I will turn into a painting, removing all the clutter that ends up in so many pictures.  So much of “being a creative person” is  taking the time to gather these inspirations, and then let them develop into something new.  As we started looking at pictures I was directing her attention to the stories that I saw in so many of the images. She however saw different things, and different stories.  She ended up choosing 6 pictures, which I promptly sent to the printer.

As it always seems to happen, go to print homework, and the ink is running out.  It struck me as funny that what happened is that they all ended up with odd overtones of pink.  (No, my pink pelican picture was not one of them, those silly birds were actually pink.)  This was not a good effect on four of the pictures, but a pink Big Ben against a baby blue sky, and a surreal pink picture of a Dali sculpture were the final picks.

It is always a pleasure to see people making these creative leaps to their own final product. It just reminds me of how important it is to being open to seeing the possibilities. We could have been rushing out on a cold night to try and find a new print cartridge. Thankfully she was able to see past the idea of it being “right” to the fun of a surreal sculpture in surreal colors.

So back to those pink pelicans, the reason they are pink is they are eating the same thing that the flamingos eat. It makes them pink, just not as pink as the Flamingos.

I was a little sad to find this out, I had a much more interesting story going in my mind.  Hmm, Maybe I should write it.

50,000 words is a good start.

nano_10_winner_120x390-8Over the last couple of days most of my energy, creative and otherwise went into finishing the challenge of writing 50,000 words in the month of November.

I am excited by this in that this time around I finished it when I was gainfully employed, and  maintaining my commitment to the art gallery.  The first time I won Nanowrimo I was unemployed.

The following year I was unable to do so. I let that discouragement allow me to put my writing on the back burner. I never quite gave it up, but it certainly took a backseat to all the other stuff.

This year I not only managed it, but I learned a lot.

One thing that has me kind of sad it that I will no longer have my little month graphic that will show a red day if I do not write, and I fear that it will show a red day for the last day, because I have already won.

I don’t know what happens if I up my word count above the confirmed win. It lets me add my count so I can keep going and avoid the dreaded red square.

Now I want to find someone who will code me a widget to enter daily word counts in it.

Endings and Beginings

The month of  November is drawing to a close, My Nanowrimo Month I am still going strong and have avoided having any red days. I just need to get through today and two more.

I am excited that I am almost caught up to the suggested work count. It is my hope to meet and exceed that for tomorrow.

Also,  the season of Advent starts tomorrow. For years now I have been having a hard time decorating for Christmas. Christmas was the season of the year  that my Mother loved decorating for.  When she passed away I found it hard to get into the mood for decorating. It was easier to just stick to the basics.  This year, I plan on returning to decorating, but taking my time with advent as a period of preparation. Today I had a great time creating an all new window for the art gallery.  It was the fun of Christmas decorating without the painful memories. I think it is time to just focus on the good memories.

The super secret project is going along, but I have run into some execution snags, partially due to devoting a lot of time to writing.

The Llama is still simmering on the back burner, along with a very cute panda.  I need to go add to my word count so that I may head off to bed.

Happy creating everyone.




Memories, ©2010

Lots of words yesterday. More words today, but I played around with what  I want for  a cover for the story I am writing.

I did not manage to create the cover, but I did like this image.
The needle felt is on hold while I get a little more caught up in my word count.  I am thrilled that I am stringing a series of green days together, I just need to make up for some of the yellows and oranges now.
My Nanowrimo Month

November 2

Nanowrimo continues I am at 1315 today.  Although my widget tells me I am off to a slow start, I know that for me it is a good start. I have always been a slow starter on this.

I have 20 writing buddies, of which 7 are showing a word count so far.   Yesterday I was too tired to post any pictures from my joint project with my daughter and her friends.



This is her Halloween Costume. It is her original design based off of a character in a video game.  The game is story based, with the characters going to different worlds that have distinct styles of dress. This is her “Halloween Town” design.

It is a lot of fun to collaborate with my daughters.

And now it is time to write. A phrase that will always remind me of the wonderful Julie Jordan Scott.

By Will, by Design, by Desperation or by Chance.

Yesterday I was surprised by the number of ways by which people said they were motivated to create. Maybe motivate is not the right word, it was more about the methods they employed to keep themselves creating.  Author Bob Vardeman wrote about writing bDSC02778y will. Others were very excited by a program that is called something like Write or Die. If you do not produce so many words on the page, the software provides negative feedback up to knowing it will start erasing your words.  In thinking about why the others methods worked for them and why they would not work for me, I realized that I would do much better with a software program that provides positive feedback. For example, I love the little meters in Nanowrimo that chart your progress.

I also read an article that lists the five most common driving forces as Guilt, Resentment and Anger, Fear, Materialism and Need for Approval. (In the November 2010, Art Calendar, Living with  an Abundance of Purpose.  While the article was all about how to change those into something positive, it saddened me to see those as a given.  I work for an attorney who practices family law, so I will not dispute them being common, but the most common is what disturbed me.

I create because I enjoy it.  I teach and blog because I want to share it, and engage in a discussion about it.  I started examining what motivates or drives people when  creating.  Bob is a full time author so making a paycheck influences his choice to write. That does not translate it into materialism in my mind.  Those who were excited about the new software were motivated by avoiding the negative for a whole variety of reasons. It is my design to create on a regular basis.  Taking advantage of the ebb and tide of creativity that I believe exists. Some of my best writing occurred near the end of Nanowrimo two years ago   I was desperate to get caught up and achieve the goal of winning.   Sometimes I catch shots like the one I used as an image today.  Although it is blurry, I love the sense of motion it conveys.  It was taken as part of a series of snapshots of my daughter’s dance recital, by chance.

I like to think of it all as being part of creating by design, to take advantage of the the desperation and chance.  Where I think of design being different than by will as outlined by Bob is that I would look at his watching of the movie and analyzing the contents as part of the process of writing, rather than a break from it.  This might be why he is a full time author and I am still working a day job.

What it all comes down to in the end, is finding something that works for you.