Friday, December 30, 2011

Train Station turned Art Gallery

This is one of my favorite spots. I stayed in Black Mountain for part of a summer to work on my photography in a different location. The revision of this photo got away from me. Couldn't remember the steps by the time I finished. So I decided to show you the before and the after.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Today while trying to organize my thoughts (a considerable feat) for the upcoming start of the New Year, I hit on exactly how I want to approach it. I thought it was such a good idea that I decided I would blog about it.

I was out running errands at the time, and as is usually the way of all bright and wonderful ideas, it disappeared by the time I returned home. So, I worked on my other blog for a while.

After a couple of hours, my mind still wouldn't budge... so I started making my rounds of the blogs I follow. Luckily, I popped onto the wishstudio blog where the Dec. 27, 2011, post was about a word of the year.

Intrigued, I clicked a link in that post to a 2007 post by Christine Kane. There it was ... an idea that was a bit different from mine but with enough similarity to remedy the log jam in my brain.

Her idea was to concentrate on a word rather than a New Year's resolution and have that word tell you how to be rather than how to live.

My idea was similar, but I had personalized it by picking my word and seeing myself using it to slow life down a bit.

Before I continue.... to satisfy your curiosity, my word is   ... DELIBERATE..., and here's how that one word is going to make a difference in my new year.

First of all, 2011 is all but over and I feel it never really started for me. I mean, I never got a firm grip on it.  Whoosh!!! It passed me like a speeding train, and I was too disorganized to slow it down or jump off.

I realize that the reason the year went too quickly is because I have just too many major projects going at once. For example, I have six blogs and am currently trying to eek out the time to write three books and keep up with my photography. I'm not looking for any sympathy here. I have done this to myself and I do love everything that I'm doing.  However, what I don't love is that it all seems out of control. word is ... DELIBERATE...

Everyday, deliberate will be the first word I say in the morning.(oh... some mornings I realize that "No Biting!!" will be the first words out of my mouth.... I have two new kitties I'm training and they do love to wake up my toes first); but most mornings I will remind myself that I'm going to approach life in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.  No more "piling on."  No more saying yes to everything. And, there will even be some priorities set and some activities eliminated or at least postponed.

I'm not sure how this will all work out, but I'll post an update now and then to let you know how I'm doing with it.

How are you planning to approach 2012?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Never too late for a poinsettia...

I almost forgot to use my poinsettia shot. I've been saving this for a long time. Last year, I forgot to post it. This year, I meant to post it earlier. I love this shot. I usually like the red ones better, but this one does pink proud.

And here's a shot a little closer to the flower.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bugsy's Dream

I just finished this one for my brother for Christmas... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Deck the Halls

My friend Cindy brought this to my attention. Hope it brings a smile to your face too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quilt Cat

I put this guy up in my Etsy Shop a few days ago... He's a quilt cat for sure....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Decorations Not Needed

So... it's time to get creative and decorate for the holidays.

Now, I could get a tree, but my boys (Knuckles and Bugsy... cats) would have just too much fun stripping it of all the ornaments....

And I could put lights around my windows, but the boys (K and B, again) would have too much fun chewing through the cords (fun until they electrocuted themselves).

And I could bake cookies, but that would be bad for me (not the boys this time).

So I think I'll just put up this picture of the ornaments, go put the wreath on the door and call it a day.

Hope you have a bright and cheerful holiday season... with or without decorations.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Writing in cursive is important to our souls

I just bought a new fountain pen.  It's the Noodler's Ahab Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen...  I bet you didn't know that a fountain pen could have such a specific name. Well, it does. And here's a picture of it.

My friend George, who started me on this obsession, sent me an email that I should wash the pen out with soapy water and ammonia before I use it. It'll make it work better.  I'm off in a few minutes to buy ammonia. That's how dedicated I am to writing.

So, now, the news is telling us that the schools aren't going to teach cursive writing much longer because the kids are all using their thumbs to communicate.

Wow... A whole section of my life would have been obliterated if I hadn't learned to write in long hand.  I hope those great developers of the school curriculum reconsider.  Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to write, the joy of feeling a new pen in their hand and the utter bliss of making scribbles turn into something beautiful once in a while.

That's just what I think about that....

What do you think?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Good Morning....

It's Cyber Monday.  Support small businesses today. If you're looking for greeting cards with a special feel, stop by my Etsy Shop today.  

Have a great day...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Tree... Happy Thanksgiving

Just posted this pen and ink drawing in my Etsy Shop. It'll make a great present for one of your friends.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good Morning or Evening as the case may be...

Big Doings over here. If you happen to be in Florida this weekend (November 19 and 20), don't miss the 15th Annual ArtWorks Fine Art Festival in the Eau Gallie Arts District on Highland Avenue in Melbourne, Florida.  It's a wonderful art show and all the artist spend the weekend demonstrating their art. 

In addion, in conjunction with it, the Meet the Authors Book Fair is taking place in the Eau Gallie Civic Center at the same time. Stop on by... I'll be there with Flat Max and my two books.  Would love to see you. 

I'll report in on Monday on how it went..... Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

I'm having a great time with National Novel Writing Month this year... 

 My current word count is 24,594... gotta love it!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update....It's the 6th day of 30

Helping with NaNoWriMo.? Yep, I'm in charge of research!

Okay the writing frenzy continues. NaNoWriMo is going well this year, better than any other year. Of course, I have a better outline this year than any other year.  I'm working hard but looking forward to each writing session. 

How are you doing...?

I'm at 15,592/50,000... yahoo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi tech... not always my first chioce...

Sometimes hi tech is just more trouble than it's worth.  I was reminded of this recently while cat sitting for a friend. She has gadgets galore and I often coveted many of them.  Well, no more... one after another, they all  went on vacation from their assigned duties.

First, my friend has a timed feeder for her cat.  The device held enough food for the entire two weeks that she was gone. Trouble is, if the thing doesn't spit out the food, no one gets fed.  On my first day of  cat sitting, the cats were a little more excited than usual to see me.  I gave them extra pats on the head and a treat when I left.  I surveyed the house, checked the litter, and checked the robot vacuum and left.

The next day, the cats were even more excited to see me and I was gratified to know that they were finally learning to appreciate me.  I completed my routine and sadly I left without realizing that the feeding machine was not working.

The third day, when the cats were almost frantically excited to see me, I pushed my ego out of the way and grew suspicious.  Usually way before  the third day, they realize that their parents are away and grow tired of seeing my face come through the door.  When I went into the garage where the feeder is kept, I immediately realized that it wasn't working...the container was filled to the brim and the cats were dancing and pointing at it.

I took a quick look at it and realized that, without an instruction book, I wasn't equal to programming it.  Luckily I found a bag of food in the pantry and all was well.  The cats sighed that they were getting food and I was relieved of the responsibility of them liking me more than I knew they should.

My friend has a third pet... a robot vacuum cleaner. It truly is amazing when it works right, but when my friend went on vacation the robot decided to do the same.  It made a half-hearted pass at the house one day, but on one of my visits during the first week I found it hung up on the leg to a desk in the den.  I looked at the little screen for information. It said, "My battery is low. Return me to my charger."
So, I picked it up. Immediately, the screen changed and the robot said, "Put me on the floor."

I put it down and the screen changed to "My battery is low. Return me to my charger."

Okay, little fella, I thought.  You can't have it both ways. So, I picked it up and carried it to the kitchen to charge up.  I checked the next day and it was fully charged. To my knowledge, however, he never left his base again. I guess the trauma of the previous day was just too much for him.

My third techno calamity involved the litter box.  My friend had just purchased a fancy new litter box. Oh, it wasn't one of those mechanized ones, but was one that you roll over onto it's top, making it collect all the "debris" in this little drawer.  You just empty the drawer and don't have all that shoveling and sifting action ... easy peasy, right?  Not for me.  It worked a couple of times before the explosion.  One day I rolled it over and the top came off.

Obviously, all the "debris" did not end up in handy drawer that day.

I don't know what all this has to do with writing, but just thought I'd remind everyone, as  was so clear to me during and after those two weeks, that hi tech is not always the most efficient way to go...

Have a great day.... I'm off to use my pencil to write the lo-tech way for a while. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Preparing for Nano...

Doodle-doodle-doooooo... Once in a while I just like to doodle. Nano is coming up in a week.  Do I have time to doodle? I don't think so. Yet, this is what I produced yesterday instead of a nice concrete outline for the book I'm going to write during National Novel Writing Month.

So, are you participating in NaNo this year? If you are, are you ready?

If you don't know what NaNo is... click here and have a look and join us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Special... The Zen of Max


ACT NOW: I'm having a special sale from now through October 31st on the Kindle version of The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps)I've lowered the price to $2.99.

The Zen of Max is a touching story of friendship and unconditional love.  I began writing the story of Max's life a bit before he crossed over the rainbow bridge, and I finished it two years after he died.

Yes, it's the story of his life, but it's much, much more. It's filled with humor and the highs and lows of everyday life, but it also contains Lessons Learned... The lessons of life as Max would interpret them.

I hope you will take advantage of this special offer and buy a copy of The Zen of Max on Kindle. It's a great gift book and will give you a chance to try it out. After reading it, you might want to order paper copies for your friends and family for Christmas.

Let me know how you like it...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bugsy's direct route to creativity

This is Bugsy. He loves to get inside sacks, boxes, and, in this case, the quilted bag I use to carry my laptop.  He just happily curls up and enjoys the inside-ness of the chosen receptacle. I really don't think he has any deep thoughts beyond the bag. And that's the beauty of Bugsy.

I envy Bugsy's adaptable nature and his ability to just wipe his brain clear of anything but the most immediate of experiences. He takes be here now to a whole new level  . It seems to me that I'd be a lot more productive if I had a magic bag I could enter, curl up in and use to clear my brain of all the ambient interference.

Until I develop the magic of Bugsy, I'll just keep working with what I've got and grab a handful of creativity whenever I can.. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reflection of Fall

In Florida, we never see this. I took this picture at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake, Virginia a few years ago. I can smell fall in the air when I look at it.

Have a great fall day wherever you are.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Creative Activities

Do you spend time daily working on activities that encourage and reinforce your creativity? If so, what are they?

Mine are... freewriting, sketching objects in my environment and doodling.

There's no way to measure if they help, but I can't imagine that they don't.

Have a great day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September is.National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month

Wow... we almost missed this. Only one week of September left... If I'd only discovered this at the beginning of September, I could have been milking this for 24 days...

Oh well.... there's always this week...

You see it's ... National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month.

I'm not sure Hallmark has a card for this one, but you could check. If not, send a writer or editor an email and tell him/her how much you love and appreciate what they do. That should do it. Unless they read this blog post or a blog post of another writer and editor without enough to do, they probably don't know about it anyway.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What do you do with your insomnia?

Bugsy: Chief Organizer... ha!

Obviously, you can tell from the time stamped on this blog post that I pull myself out of bed and get a little work done when I have insomnia. This may or may not be the best way to get back to sleep. I figure it's better than stewing about not sleeping. Whatever works....right?

During this particularly insomnia, I started thinking of all my writing and art and quilting projects I've started and how to organize myself once again to finish them. Isn't it just a bit frustrating that the very minute we get ourselves totally organized is the very minute disorganization starts again. Hey... I've decided to just accept that. It's part of creativity. Right now is a particularly disorganized period, so I'll use this insomnia to straighten my desk and put everything in some semblance of order.

What do you do when you have insomnia...?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farmer's Market: A simple thing


It's always a joy to go to the farmer's market on Saturday's. I love all the reds and the greens of the peppers and the tomatoes. Once in a while, I like the simplicity of the beige of onions in a beat-up, old basket.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hidden stories.

green gables - another view

As writers, we love to tell stories. Many times I'll see an old building and wonder what stories are lost within it. That's the case with Green Gables. I took this picture some time ago. I drove by it a few days ago and found that it's in even in worse shape now. I've always wondered what stories it has to tell. We should not only record our fictional stories, but the stories of the people and places around us.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Turning a Corner...

I love the term turning a corner... It has a positive connotation. Otherwise, we would say backsliding, wouldn't we? But rather than a term such as improving, the term turning a corner tells me that something positive is happening.

I love this photo of the corner vine. It draws attention to the doorway to the right and leaves me wondering what treasures I'll find within.