Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A (woefully) Brown Christmas

    There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
       Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.  ~Mark Twain
      The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain
     I think the problem with my writing is that I will spend hours waiting in vain for lightning to strike when a thousand lightning bugs will light up my life just as well. They will give the lightning a place to strike later on in the writing process.

     What's with all of this brown mud? Really? Where's the snow? The ice? The frozen ponds? The ice-crusted windshield- well I don't particularly want that last one. For people who live in Louisiana, winter is just another time with mud. Lots and lots of mud. If we get anything besides rain, it's whitish sleet that can, if one stretches their imagination the length of the Mississippi river, be called snow. If you're desperate. Which I all too often am.

     Enough with the three word sentences. Work on my ebook is currently nonexistent. I have to find a person well-versed in grammar to go over my chapters as I write. And also I need a person who reads almost as much as me to criticize the heck out of my plot. Or of the lack of one. So much work to be done before anywhere can be reached progress-wise. I think I am in grave need of a book on writing and grammar. Thankfully, my beloved mum is also a writer, and has a multitude of these. Thank the ever-loving heavens for the oddly strong resemblance between my dear mutter and I! Some may question my use of the word "oddly". These people were clearly not at my great-grandmother's house last Christmas.
I use the word "oddly" because, after all, how many people can honestly say that they've been mistaken for their mother? By one of their mother's aunts no less.
Granted, her eyesight does not rival the sharpest of the class Aves. Her vanity prevents her from donning that ever-present pair of spectacles that dangle from her neck. All of this taken into consideration though, how many people have my unique claim to fame?
Thankfully, my Mere is quite a stunning woman, so it's no hardship to be mistaken for her. But what a thing to say to a sixteen-year-old.

     Even though I've not made much progress, there is a person who has made me quite happy in a way that is easily overlooked. I'd love to thank Erika from Cafe Fashionista for always commenting on my infrequent posts. It's so nice to get regular comments from such a successful blogger! And one with such impeccable taste.
And here's the required random Christmas video!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It was the tryptophan, I swear!

Ooooh. I just remembered.....
 It's 10:42 here, and I just remembered to post a thanks entry!
Thanks to all you guys who posted Thanksgiving entries! You jump-started my poor turkey-laden brain!

Well, honestly, I have a LOT to be thankful for. My friend Miranda is doing really well lately, (Thanks for the well-wishes guys!) two of my best friends who have been at each other's necks lately made up a few days ago, my family's doing well, I'm not late for any deadlines (that I know of), and lastly, tomorrow is Black Friday, and I'm going shopping!
My life is doing well right now, and if I can only find a job that does not entail flipping what passes for beef at some fast food places, everything will be perfect.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope all of your wishes come tru- wait that's the wrong holiday......
Oh well! I hope your wishes come true anyway!
So have a happy (not late yet) Thanksgiving guys!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quote Ninja: Regarding friendship, hard times, and the friends who help you get through them.

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." ~ Robert Southey

"The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are right." ~ Mark Twain

"If my friend was to jump off a bridge, I wouldn't jump with them, I would be at the bottom to catch them."
- Anonymous

"Promise you won't forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave."
~Winnie the Pooh~

And that last quote basically sums up my feelings today. One of my very best friends had a birthday on October 12. She had just gotten her license, and was excitedly looking forward to when she can use it to  drive again. My birthday was on the 8th, and we had planned to do something together. But, unfortunately, that was impossible.
You see, she has cystic fibrosis, and, just a few days before we went see her on the 24th, she was admitted to the hospital because her pulmonary functions have dropped dangerously low, and she is losing far too much weight far too quickly.
She hasn't had the best time of it. A few months ago, she found out that her knee joints were disintegrating. This would be bad enough, were she not an accredited dancer, and started teaching dance at the age of 13. Dancing was her life, and the doctors told her that if she didn't stop dancing, her joints would disintegrate that much faster. She was devastated, but she soon made her peace with it, and told her friends at dancing.
It wasn't well received. Her friends completely abandoned her, accusing her of horrible actions that she could never commit. They soon started attacking her mother in stores, yelling at her, causing my friend to have to hide behind some clothes so they didn't see her.
She was pretty depressed (for her) for a while, but then, she again picked up the pieces and cheered herself up again.
Then, the girl that used to be her best friend started spreading her hateful rumours all over the place, causing a lot of trouble and anxiety.
All of this stress took it's toll and landed her in the hospital. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time her "friends" had hurt her, and it was harder to recover this time.

So we met in the hospital, I had cried for hours the day before at how much she was going through, but when she saw me through the door, she grinned widely and immediately sat me down next to her so we could talk. We had a great time giggling and agreeing on how mean some people could be.
When we exchanged presents, I handed her a card with an itunes gift certificate on it (she's completely nuts about music, and the present I had gotten earlier wasn't usable in a hospital, so I'm going to give it to her later.).
She gave me a bag holding a rust red wrap-around bracelet. If you know me, you know I'm completely obsessed with bracelets. It was the perfect present, and I completely loved it.
Then she said "I have one too. It's kinda.... like... a friendship bracelet."
I immediately jumped on her to hug her, almost crying, saying it was so sweet of her to do that.

I will always be amazed at the fortitude of the people who have cystic fibrosis. They go through so much, and many of them like my friend, manage to stay so cheerful. Life's given them some hard knocks and they just get back up smiling. I am always proud of her. I wish her the best life she can have.
And I hope she will always keep smiling as widely as she did on the 24th.

Good luck Miranda! I love you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote Ninja

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.  ~Scott Adams

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.  ~Pablo Picasso

Well, as I am a complete quote maniac, I've decided to make a recurring quote section on my blog!
Both of these are very true.
Someone asked me recently when I would start to actually sell my art, as opposed to preparing to sell my art as I have been for the last few years...
I hemmed and hawed about it until I was able to worm my way out of the situation, but that is a very good question.
I have been improving and preparing to sell my art for several years. I've had people say that they would definitely buy my art. But when I look at my paintings, all I can see are the multitude of slipups and mistakes on the paper. It will never be perfect. 
I guess, as Scott Adams said, I will have to learn which ones to keep.
Then, there is always the excuse that it is too personal to sell. Well, we've got to make money some way, don't we?
So, I will endeavor to be less picky about my art in the future.

Does anyone else have the problem of being too perfectionistic when it comes to their craft?
Tell me if you do! Got any monstrous paintings from that period of depression you went through after your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you? Any from that period of anticipation when you were pregnant?

On a completely different note, and one that is on the complete opposite end of the emotional spectrum than my emotional revelation, I have discovered a video of two adorable baby rabbits in soft drink cups!
So adorable!
Got any videos that you've uncovered that are so sweet they're viscous?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Well, today is a beautifully brisk 73 degrees, and the sun is shining, and, after my obligatory five hours of cleaning, I went to paint.
Now, if you ask anyone in Louisiana, they will tell you that 73 degrees is pretty rare to have in early October. Not to mention less than 50% humidity! We usually have around 85-90 degree weather about this time of year with roughly 75% humidity. Therefore, I was justifiably excited about this turn of the atmosphere.
Sadly, nothing that is presentable resulted. With my student-grade watercolors in hand, I hiked through the foot-tall grass to a small pile of scrap metal topped by a flat piece of what used to be a plower (I think). I climbed on, set up, and found something to paint.
Now, if you were there, it probably would have been comical. To me, it was beyond irritating.
Here's how events progressed.

My kitten, Ash, suddenly decides that she needs to tackle me and send me sprawling onto the ground (and on top of several blackberry bushes).
My kitten

Thankfully, I hadn't opened anything potentially messy yet. After I had sent her on her way, I set up my watercolors, and brushes, and supply of water....
And proceeded to have nothing happen.
I stayed outside for several hours. My ink spilled, I found that I had bought the wrong pen nibs, my kitten returned and knocked over my water can, I discovered that ants love my feet, and the wind kept grabbing my pages and sending them merrily on their ways.
Besides several doodles, nothing significant resulted from all of my expectations besides a few abstract paintings. It's too bad. The pictures I took of the scenery around me will tell you how pretty the day was.

And on top of that, the ink I had brought with me, supposedly archival, was not waterproof. The label said waterproof. But it was not. Definitely not.

Laugh at my comedy of errors friends. Please. Laugh.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fashion Yearnings and..... Creativity blocks??

“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” ~ Robert Frost

I stole this quote from Copyblogger
That's right.
I'm a thief.
And I totally want a katana. (But my psychiatrist says not to trust me with sharp objects.)
And isn't this quote just true? You get up in the morning, the remnants of that amazing dream drifting around your little head, so you jump up to go try and draw out an idea from that dream, or try to write it out in a story that actually makes sense. You get in front of the paper (or computer screen) and proceed to dump out.....
All of those ideas have just flown away in terror at the sight of a blank page.
This ever happen to you?
It happens to me more often every day.
And then, later in the day, when you're taking the subway to Quincy Market (my favorite of the three places I've actually managed to see in Boston), or when you're taking notes at a lecture, or in the middle of a business meeting, that idea will make a miraculous recovery and clamour for your attention. Of course, you can do nothing, and it promptly disappears again.
Sound familiar?
Same story, and an annoyingly similiar series of books follow it.

On a completely random and equally confusing note (You will be getting these random memos a lot if you stick around, dears.) I have a sudden yearning to go to a coffee shop.
Not a syndicated giant like Starbucks either. A small, many-windowed cafe with cute little tables set both indoors and out, and a well-lit interior with a cozy atmosphere of lazy sophistication.
And then I want to sit with a sketchpad in hand, and draw the houses and people around me.
And what makes me want this so wholeheartedly, is the latest update of the blog Cafe Fashionista.
This woman's posts make me yearn for subtle sophistication and warm cafes with pretty women wearing Rory Beca Theresa V Necks and Fiona Platform Snap Booties and of course lots of handsome men!
I'd feel so out of place, yet so blissfully happy...
It'd be like heaven for the fashion-wannabes.
And now, my dears, I am waxing poetic, which means that it is time for my 4' 11" behind to get to bed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

That Delicate Feeling

Do you know that delicate feeling you get on those clear, crisp fall days? That everything is new, and all the little anxieties don't really matter that much?
Whenever I listen to Waratteta by Gabriela Robin, I always get that feeling...
It's such a pretty song! It inspired me so much that I actually drew something. Le gasp!
Will wonders never cease, eh? Problem is, I did it on a flat surface, so perspective basically ruined the proportion...
Oh well...
I guess I'll just chill to Waratteta to calm myself down some more! :)