Archive for the ‘authors’ Category

Welcome to 365 New Days!

Sedonar….I don’t remember, and I tried a Google image search to no avail….

What a productive couple of days getting ready for the new year – and what an interesting past year it has been with medical issues. We are in the recovery state of both stroke and cardiac rehab, and more on that as I continue organizing
myself. The photo is part of a clean-out of iPhoto and part of our developing new photographs for the Milton Artists’ Guild.

For the last couple of days I have been doing a brain dump of all the flotsam left from nearly 3 months of not doing anything. All my plans for NANOWRIMO went by the wayside after the first day sitting in ICU – all my plans for writing while Hubby was napping came to basically nothing – especially after the unexpected stroke and the speech therapy.

I still am trying to reach 1000 blog posts – thought I would do it this year, but nope. Now I need to build everything up again….and I’ve been away from Scrivener (my writing purchase for all my good intentions) long enough I have to relearn it.

Getting myself organized –
brain dump
organize categories
put loose ends into various categories
keep adding to master list as more loose ends come up
get new notebook
create goals for 2018
write categories and then list what goes in each one
set January goals
add dates for the year throughout the notebook
…and just like that (well, after 3 days) I am organized.

NOW THE ONE THING I have to be careful of – don’t obsess over all the lists…I kept last year’s notebook organized and worked with it for up to 8 months off and on. That was major for me. The notebook comes with me every time I am out, I take notes on the back pages of each week, and I do love crossing things off…not so much moving them to the next week. I had to carry over photos for a good friend for 9 months – she finally got them for Christmas – so it’s not on this year’s list at all!

GOALS FOR 2018
local poblicity on tv and other media
increase monthly art income
create at least four new large art pieces\take a major trip
complete cardiac rehab for both of us
teach classes and workshops
continue political activism
Join SEABA
find and go to the dentist
find a good photographer for fabric photos
launch photo line
additional sources of inc0me
join and write for Medium – done!
new moon checks each moth
5 pounds a month

These all see very do-able, based on what we know is ahead of us for the year.

Now getting to the January goals:
arrange Art LEague speakers for February
Join SEABA
Join Medium
Start Cameron poetry project
5 pounds
decide about joining or not NVAA
Shutterstock additions
new inventory for Milton Artists’ Guild
AARP tax appointment for February
Self-care (daily meditation,yoga, walking, flossing – I know, seems picky, but it helps me be accountable to myself – I have to give myself some self-love this year.)
cleaning
Shelby baby quilt
solve Verizon cloud
speech therapy outpatient set up for hubby
doctor appointments
3 days a week for 4 weeks cardiac rehab
Update BCA
finish lap quilt top
join Green Flower for one month
MTD newsletter

all thank yous

Seems like a lot, but I have already crossed off two – THREE –  things, and the first week of Jan 1 – 7 definitely seems do-able. A lot of what I do is add things as they occur to me, and then I move them to when it seems feasible to complete them. I have my categories that I can check each month and make sure I am working on getting through those.

Next time, my word of the year – AGAPE.

How are you getting organized for the new year?

Summer and Fall of Enlightenment – Part 2

A lot of new authors this summer – keeping the public library very busy! I think I am done with romance writers for a while – too much new and interesting stuff I am discovering! I do need some new sci fy to keep me busy. But first, Noah Gordon – a new author to me. Started with Shaman – great historical picture of medicine in the 1800’s as well as in-depth looks at life in Indian country, biases/prejudices about native Americans and Jews, Civil War and medicine. Long involved stories, well written, and really great description. This main character had so many dimensions, and a love and dedication to everything involving medicine, even when it meant being a war surgeon on the front lines of the Civil War. The story revolved around the father and son, and you could see the influence of one on the other.

This is the kind of historical fiction I love – broad, sweeping, involved, accurate….all great attributes, and you are very sorry to see it end…another trip to the library for the next book by him. It reminds me of a lot of the historical fiction I read in the 60s and 70s ‘- long historic family stories, great characters, but his later books are so much better in terms of depth of character and involvement. So yeah, it will be hard to go back to basic romance. (D0n’t want to forget to mention Five Smooth Stones from the 60’s – LOVED that book.)

Gordon’s second book was The Physician – absolutely amazing – medicine in the 11th century, with a very detailed look at Jewish life, medieval England, travels to the Middle East, and the role of Islam in teaching medicine. Thoroughly researched, fascinating picture of Jewish and Islamic life entwined, the early study of medicine, and the classical study involved to become a “hakkim” – physician – at the time. I was left at the end of the book thinking about the amazing life this main character led, all he had learned, and he ends up content doctoring in a small herding village in the wilds of Scotland for the rest of his life, as a practicing Christian, after years of immersion masquerading as a Jew. The conflict between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity is well-developed, and yet Islam seemed to be the more forgiving of the religions to difference.

I still am processing how I felt/feel about his leaving all the knowledge and learning behind as he retires to Scotland – it kind of coincides with how I feel about not teaching any more. I’m retired, but I still feel like I have much to contribute. When I have the learning that Rob Cole had, how could I leave it for the rest of my life? After this I read The Last Jew about Jewish life in Spain during the Inquisition. Some of the same thoughts- such a revelation about Jewish life, the Inquisition, and the horrid excesses and cruelty of the Inquisition and the Catholic Church. I am once again appalled at the excesses and intractability of organized religion, which has led to some more of my readings in other ares – for other blog posts.Now I am reading what turns out to be his first book from 1965 called The Rabbi.  Not nearly with the complexity of his later books, but still a good character study.

I am jealous at his ability to write such descriptive phrases – so I set myself a task to see something each day and try to describe it – which I do and it seems so “straight-forward” and bland (as did Hemingway) , but then I try and turn it into a simile or metaphor just to play around with the words…interesting how quickly I seem to go for a cliche – so something for me to work on. Love me my word play!

 

…and in looking for these, I discovered a third Cole book in a trilogy – Matters of Choice – need to get back to the library!

Art in 2016 – Part 4 Review – Classes and Shows…and a Book!

This was a big year for showing our work – many more options and acceptances than most of our time in Arizona. We taught a beginning marbling class at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, NY, and in the process of chatting, we became part of their arts curriculum grant project. I’m really looking forward to this activity; I miss the days of working with The Kennedy Center to bring integrated arts into the classrooms in the Chittenden East School District in Vermont.A lot of great memories from the conferences, and then great memories from arts work within the district (need to do a blog post and reflect on the work we did….)

A couple of pictures from our Saranac Lake class, followed by an individual machine quilting class I did for a fellow artist who wanted to expand her techniques. Mary Hill is a mixed media artist, with vibrant work.

We spent Vermont Open Studios sharing space with Mary over Memorial Day Weekend. LOTSSof great discussions on marketing!!

It was a challenge to plan for what could take Mary’s already wonderful art to the next level.

Mary Hill’s “experimenting as a result of our machine quilting class:

Plus, since May I have been working on an interactive teaching manual for the ebook Interactive Edge of the Sea. This takes all I have worked on in curriculum in 40 years of teaching and brings it together for teachers, with a modern update on using all forms of new assessment and social media within the classroom. My hope is that this manual becomes a template for other disciplines, as there are a lot of useful interactive teaching techniques – and everything is correlated to current educational standards. A labor of love with my second mom, Betty Hupp. Here’s the cover:

A snippet of the lesson plan section….

We are just about done with final edits, and after the first of the year it heads off to coding. I have a lot of links to check to be sure they all work!

Bunches of shows…..here are pictures of our small pieces at Sweet Grass Gallery in Williston, VT for the month of November.

There’s still more…..stay tuned!

My Nanowrimo……

Cactus Fountain, part of Digital Marbling series

Cactus Fountain, part of Digital Marbling series

So November has come and gone…..I lasted much longer for this National Novel Writing Month than previous times. But….I accomplished what I wanted to, as well as learned quite a bit about this new book. I needed a jump-start on book two – I’d gotten about 4000 words written before we left Arizona for the move. Then I did a chapter the end of May that I loved, but then….nothing. So I figured this would be the jump-start I needed, and I was right. 32,000 words later I now know where the book is going. I discovered that while I am a “pantser” to a point – someone who just let’s things happen – I really needed to plan this second book more carefully, especially in what I wanted it to specifically accomplish.

Consequently, when I wasn’t writing, I was thinking – a lot of time spent in the chair with a notepad, following plot points and the like. I realized that this will be a tough book to write – I now know most of the story, but I do have a lot of research to do on various aspects: Native American tribes in Arizona, indigenous peoples/First Peoples information, more banking information, water issues (even though I did a lot of research on that during this past winter).

Now I am ready to set time aside each week – working out marbling and art with the writing and finding a publisher. I’m looking for a new blog – bought a domain name just now, and as things are set up, I will start writing regularly there and sharing process. I miss my writing group in Tucson – every Tuesday for two hours – just writing, no talking. Haven’t been able to find a like-minded group in the area, so I will need to motivate myself.

Doing bartering with an editor/author in Las Vegas for her advice in exchange for a marbled gift basket she would like. I also have another contact who as self-published with Lulu.com, and I am looking at Northshire indie press, down in Manchester, VT. I finally feel like there is momentum, after 7 months of NOTHING – not even a no-thank-you from agents. This book will see the light of day!

Back Again….Hopefully Longer….

Holiday2011C

It’s been an interesting year. Two years ago this time, I looked at my blog and was 200 posts away from 1000. I thought no problem, I can do that easily. Well, I am still about 185 posts away from 1000. Life really has gotten in the way, with illness, depression, and a sense of disequilibrium. It has taken a while to determine what paths I will be following.

It is also ironic that while I haven’t written many blog posts, I have written 110,000 words in a novel. This has been ongoing since August of 2013. I am nearing the end of what looks to be volume one of a trilogy. It is my way of processing political events in this country and trying to deal with how this country is changing. It has meant some interesting research (what is the saying about a true friend? One who will clean out your browser history after you die?). I’ve delved into some pretty terrible things on human trafficking, read lots of government reports, and overall tried to get up to speed on policy that I haven’t spent much time caring about in the past. It will be interesting to see if I can find a publisher….in the meantime, I have started a webpage for the book: http://the-secession-wars.webnode.com/. This is very much a work in progress, and I want to include writing tips as I finish up the novel.

I’m doing a lot of quilting. I’ve been slowly moving away from the marbling business, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. We still enjoy marbling, but the business end of it is tedious. I have lots of projects using the fabrics I have, but not the energy to do anything. I have been quilting other projects, and I have four commissions for quilts lined up: for a good friend, for a new baby,
for my yoga instructor, and for my great niece. I made the commitment to myself that when each of my eight great nieces and nephews turn 13, I will gift them a quilt. Gracie is the oldest, and she turns 13 this August. I want to have the quilt finished for when we move back east and stop to see them on the way. I found a great fleece in her favorite color for the backing, so that’s in the queue.

I’ve also taken up sketching again, through a couple of Craftsy classes. I did some sketching on the road this summer, but I want to make this a regular habit. Pen and ink has always been my medium (and charcoal, too), which is probably why I took to zentangles so quickly.

I have joined a weekly writing group to make my writing more of a regular practice. We meet for two hours and just write – a brief statement of intentions from each person in the group, and then it is total silence for writing. It’s been great, and I think it will get me back to blogging on a regular basis.

So this is a quick catch-up, more so for myself, as I look back on what has happened over the last years.

Till next time…..

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