Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have put together a list to encourage you as you work hard to achieve your dream.
1. Don't worry what others think! Don't worry what the news says about the economy. Don't worry about if it makes sense. Follow your heart.
2. Follow your heart but think through it. Make sure you are making good decisions. Don't jump into anything until you are sure it is the right time.
3. You will have highs and lows; you will have good days and bad; you will be encouraged and discouraged. These are all normal occurrences.
4. Everything takes time. Take baby steps. Be patient.
5. Take chances, but be careful of foolishness.
6. Don't be afraid of failure, but be prepared to fail. Every great person--inventors, scholars and even the pauper, has failed before making a great accomplishment.
7. Negative thoughts will always be one minute away from the next; take them in, process them and dismiss the nonsense. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of what others may think, fear of fear. These are all legitimate, but don't let them keep you from persevering.
8. We all need to take a break at times; don't be afraid to get away from what you are persuing in order to get a fresh start. Sometimes clearing your head helps you to see things differently.
9. Seek council when needed. It is important to be smart about your decision-making. Study, read, collaborate, find resources that will help you to succeed. Don't be foolish.
10. Learn new skills; be willing to educate yourself.
Bonus. Put one foot in front of the other...before you know it, you will living your dream.
So take heart! Use your skill of determination and don't be afraid of failure. Learn from your mistakes and don't let them control your life. Doing something new is never easy, and it may bring you to a place you never expected. Good or bad, this is just another step to building your character and who you will become. Mostly, remember that it's ok to take chances, but be smart about your choices. Look to a new year, a new decade and an evolution of change as we grow accustom to the 21st Century. 2010 is going to be a prosperous year.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Debbie of Nashville. She recently found herself unemployed due to the economy. This might seem terrible to many, but Debbie has turned it around to make it a positive change toward doing the things she's always wanted to do. Taking on uncharted territory, she's traveling to new places, meeting new people and getting a chance to take on challenges she would have never experienced before. Although her future is unsettled as far as her career, she is moving forward...finding that there are many new doors to be opened. These opportunities are opening up a network of newfound contacts for her future endeavors.
This is just one story during a time when the economy has flipped over the apple cart. Don't dispair. You may find that even during the toughest of times, there is a diamond in the rough. That diamond -- it's YOU!
Diamond in the rough
Someone (or something) that has hidden exceptional characteristics and/or future potential, but currently lacks the final touches that would make them (or it) truly stand out from the crowd.
or, someone that falls into unfortunate circumstances but works to better themselves.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Our biggest problem...fear. Fear that it won't happen, or that we will lose money, or that our product will fizzle, or that people won't buy, or the mindset that it will only happen to someone else.
Chance! Take a chance. Charge! Move forward. Chill! Watch it happen. Words to think about, and words to live by. I have been working on a few projects of my own. Between work and home and new endeavors, it seems like it's almost impossible. But I'm here to tell you that even the space shuttle got off the ground. Can you imagine all the struggle that took? So be encouraged - go back to your writing, your camera, your blogging, your shopping, your craft and take it to the next level. We've moved past everything being supersized--we are now in the time of hyper-viral networking. It's something you can use as an advantage.
Inkwell Alley is all about community and pushing your dreams forward. We love to promote the arts, the artistic, the creative, the dreamer, the entrepreneur...that means YOU! Be a part of Inkwell Alley. We love doing feature friday and look forward to working with you to promote your dream. Everyday is another day toward your future.
If you feel you have something you would like to contribute to Inkwell Alley - a recipe, gardening, art, writings (fiction or non-fiction), ideas or anything about yourself, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to hear from you.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Five Fun Factoids About Me (Debra)
>> I love chocolate. From M&Ms and Kit-Kats to Dove Bars, I have always loved the feeling of chocolate melting in my mouth.
>> I have a rare medical condition called Dysautonomia. It means that my autonomic nervous system malfunctions and doesn't control my heart rate or breathing like it should. My heart rate will go low then high then back to low. It's a pretty interesting condition. You can learn more about it here: http://www.dynakids.org/what.jsp
>> I've been writing since I was seven years old. I write both non-fiction and fiction. One day I hope to be on the New York Times Best-Selling List. (If you're gonna dream, dream big right?)
>> Fall is my favorite season. I love watching all the changes taking place like the falling leaves, the cooler air and sipping hot chocolate while writing.
>> I run Novelist's Café.com (http://www.novelistscafe.com/) where writers can come for daily inspiration. Stop in and leave a comment sometime.
Thanks again for this cool opportunity! : ) Debra
Monday, August 24, 2009
Anyway, in a sense I guess it's normal to crave feedback because if people don't like what you write, it's going to be a challenge to do what I want, which is reach into readers' chests, grab their hearts and mold it such that it opens the floodgates for emotions, ideas and perspectives that the reader hasn't considered or has been afraid to confront for whatever dark reason. But on the other hand I need to be develop a maverick's swagger with my pen. I need to go for it and not care what people think. People can and will loathe what I write, but that doesn't mean it didn't need to be written. I've received an awful lot of rejection from agents, editors but I can't give up. My psyche depends on entering the realm of the published, where authors flip the freshly printed pages of their books under their noses.
I'm not sure how to conclude this blog entry. I like everything I write to be precisely packaged. But maybe this time I'll let go and just leave you with this thought, the anticipation that the next time I blog I will be a maverick. I will take off the perfectionist hat and let everything and anything on the tip of my brain explode onto the page. And I think it will be quite refreshing for everyone.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
>> I love modeling, photography, camping, football, swimming, baseball, being outdoors, shopping.
>> I have lived in Michigan my entire life. I grew up & lived around fashion my entire life. It started with my grandmother who was into pin-up modeling & then my mother followed her steps.
>> My true passion of Vintage & Pin-up fashion came to be about 15 years ago, I love the 60s Mod-look the best.
>> My best overall quality is the never-ending love for my children. I spoil them , as I should. They're only children once.
>> My worst overall quality is definitely I am very outspoken. I love to laugh & enjoy making people laugh. I am a very down-to-earth person.
Notes from Inkwell: Don't miss out on Mary's blog. http://retrothreadz.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So now I'll tag ten interesting people who I know will have lots of fun stuff to tell us about themselves. 1.boylerpf 2. patti trostle fine art/ 3. claudia finn artist/4. anita rae of allie cates 5. paperwerks 6. peg of bistro305/ 7. claudia finn/ 8. joanne/9. am lindsey of indiestyleblog/10. addictedtobooks/
I hope ya'll have fun; it'll be great to find out something new about you! Audrey (sbass)
Friday, August 14, 2009
>> Favorite way to wrap a gift, and easiest, is to buy colorful nesting boxes at The Container Store, run to Michael's to pick out silk flowers and puts them together. "It adds a really nice touch to the gift!"
>> Soledad Almonds from Sahale Snacks - delicious!
>> Couldn't wait for the new Harry Potter and Twilight Series movies, and for Adam Lambert's new album. She states, "The fact that I say "album" lets you know I am not 16. :)"
>> This Retro Floral dress from Ann Taylor Loft. ("I wish it was a bit longer")
>> Experiencing a new backyard...moved last September!
>> Communication Arts, my favorite design publication.
Pendant Above: Friendship
Congratulations Alisa on your success. Inkwell Alley wishes you well and looks forward to any new updates! Information compiled from http://dailyviolets.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post.html
Written by sbass of Inkwell Alley
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Either the well is too empty or too full. There's either writer's block, that infuriating syndrome in which you look at white paper and stare into blank space for what seems to be hours on end, or information overload. The latter was the case last night, when I wanted to blog, make Twitter contacts, work on my book, work on my coffee table book and simply find a way to strike gold, both literary gold (i.e., a spellbinding new chapter) and any subsequent literal gold, aka, bread, cash, duckets, ben franklins. (Think Lucy in Charlie Brown's Christmas...nickels, nickels, nickels, oh how I love the sound of cold hard cash).
So I decided to work on Indigo Sun, the big piece of autobiographical fiction that I have been wracking my brain over for almost a year. After five minutes of reorganizing some of the chapters I noticed that I am only at 22,000 words on that book. My dreams seemed to shatter before my eyes: the publisher I was hoping to snag requires manuscripts to be at least 75,000 words! I'm not even halfway there. I felt like a pawn in CandyLand. You're moving along the colored squares just fine, you're almost at the board's zenith where the queen stands with her sparkling wand and then you draw The Plum (sing: dun-dun-duuuun) from the stack of cards. To refresh your memory, The Plum's orchard is at the very beginning of the CandyLand board.
Overwhelmed at the thought of penning 50,000 more words to a novel (or shall I say novella?) that is (was) almost completed in my mind, I just abandoned everything for the evening: the blog, the books, the optimism, the dreams. I had literally made myself sick, just as sbass and I had discussed earlier that day. We take on so much, we get so excited and then we're wallowing in nausea.
I downed a shot of Pepto, went to bed and here I am, back in the saddle, trekking through the Plum's orchard.
image courtesy of
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Renato is a young economist who works as a researcher at a Guatemalan institute that focuses on the links between the economy and the environment. His job involves learning, critical thinking, calculating, writing, and convincing politicians and human beings of the benefits of using natural resources wisely. Although he enjoys his work very much, everyone in high school thought he would end up in advertising or journalism, given that he was a bit of a class clown with a dominant artistic side. Heck, he thought that himself, but he needed a career that could pay the bills, and was well aware of how poorly paid and exploited creative artists were where he lives (which is unfair and a shame). That drove him into Economics. Go figure. Of course, he found some sort of financial security in that field, which means he is now a bit uptight and somewhat snobby during work hours, but after five o’clock in the afternoon, just like Dr. Jekyl, he slowly becomes creativity Mr. Hyde. --Oh, and he stops talking and writing about himself in the third person.
Hello, I’m thrilled to share some thoughts with The Inkwell Alley’s beautiful readers and followers. After that long introductory paragraph you might still be asking yourselves why I’m here. Trust me, I am too, but our awesome hosts, Sbass and Monica were kind enough to let me share my creative side with you. Now that I’m out of college and have some time for myself, I decided to get more serious about a hobby I started three years ago. I’ve always liked drawing in different mediums, including digitally and have done it since I was a kid, but in 2006, I became absolutely fascinated with a music video animated and directed by Australian artist Bernard Derriman called Everyone else has had more s e x than me. I could not believe that the little singing bunny was beautifully drawn sequentially in Adobe’s Flash. Until that moment, I thought that software package was used only for interactive websites and lousy e-cards. A couple of Google searches later, I stumbled across Adam Phillips’ superb Brackenwood shorts. My jaw dropped and I haven’t been able to fully reattach it to my skull. I have spent the last couple of years trying to figure out how they did what they did, and now I think I’m ready to turn those stories that play constantly in my head into some nice 2D animated clips. Yes, I am an animator wannabe! Although, the proper term you would use to introduce me at fancy dinner parties is animation hobbyist, thank you.
Finding out about animation was not an easy task, though. That’s why I created my blog, “I’ll tell you a story…”. I want to share all the pitfalls of making animated clips for the first time so that others may learn from my mistakes. I would like to invite everyone to visit my blog at its new address http://www.telluastory.com/ but most of all, I want your nice comments to pressure me into animating more, since I tend to procrastinate a lot. I blame it on my day job, but who knows, I might just be lazy. Since this is a ten point, list post (say that really fast), here are the things you’ll find at my blog:
>>Software. The computer is a nice alternative to paper and pencil in the 2D animation world. It will never replace traditional techniques, but it can certainly help speed things up. I will sometimes refer to software specific issues in how to’s.
>>The creative process. Creativity will pick the most unexpected time of the day to strike and one has to be prepared to welcome it. I’ll share how I first visualize ideas and the results, which are often scanned-in napkins or pieces of paper.
>>Concept art. Sometimes you want to share your vision before it’s realized. Besides, it’s just nice to see how everything will turn out.
>>Writing your story. I’ll show you what I’ve learned about how scripts are written and where to find tools to help you improve your stories and their layout.
>>Character development. This is one of the most important parts of the animation process. I have neglected that with awful results, but that has changed. I’ll show you some of my model sheets.
>>Cut-out vrs. frame-by-frame animation. I’ll show you when I have found best to use each of them and how to go about a combined approach. How do you create the illusion of motion with static drawings? Let’s find out.
>>Background creation. Your animated characters need a place to live. I’ll show you how to create nice backgrounds using digital tools.
>>Drawing perspective. Perspective is one of the things that some people find more difficult to learn. I’ll show you some shortcuts to get it done quickly and accurately.
>>Special FX. This is what I find the most fascinating. We’ll learn how to draw water, smoke, light effects, fire and other neat things.
>>Production. We’ll familiarize ourselves with the various stages of production, including sound, ink-and-paint, editing, and many others.
My goal is to make nice animated clips that people will enjoy watching. My first project attempts to rescue a couple of spooky stories from the Guatemalan oral tradition. A year from now, I would love to publish a book about this whole process. Do you want to help me write it?
Written by Renato Vargas: http://www.telluastory.com/
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/rindolphus
Monica & Sbass would like to thank Renato Vargas for taking the time to be a part of "Feature Friday" on Inkwell Alley and look forward to future updates.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The sensation I speak of is vertigo. I've had severe bouts of it lately and it has really interfered with my life, especially my creative life. I spend all day merely trying to survive work, feeling my muscles constantly braced for when the imaginary axis threading through my body abruptly tilts a few degrees. Hence I come home exhausted, shelving the book I am working on and the Inkwell Alley projects I would like to do for yet another tomorrow. But I am a fighter--I type with a slight feeling of imbalance right now. Perhaps it will also alleviate my frustration if I can realize that even when something seems to only take, it also gives. Vertigo has put a clamp on my sense of well being for now, but it has also given me a new sensation that I can use in creative writing.
Trying to cling to the silver lining,
image courtesy of flickr.com
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
After Ben graduated from college he spent four years working in Alaska. He enjoys photographing the wilderness of western North America: the mountains, streams, meadows, forests, and wildlife. Ben has journied through the Rocky Mountains, the southwestern deserts, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Alaskan tundra searching for a unique photographic opportunity. Take a look at their photography and other creations at: http://www.shanasshop.etsy.com/
>> Shana’s Shop is actually named after Debbie's dog, a 6-year old German Sheppard mix who likes playing in the park and would chase rabbits all day long if she could. After trying to find a name for the Etsy shop for weeks, it just seemed right to name it after the dog!
>> Ben is taller than Debbie even though he isn't older. When they were younger everyone always thought Ben was older just because he was taller. Now that they are older, people still assume Ben is older even though he isn’t!
>> Debbie loves to make things. When Debbie bought her first home she couldn’t find any furniture she liked. Eventually she ended up making most of it.
>> Together Ben and Debbie really complement each other. Their creativity and ideas bring a true balance to their Etsy shop. At Shana’s Shop there is something for everyone from beautiful photography to unique glass magnets and even scrapbook supplies. Please take a moment to visit Shana’s Shop http://www.shanasshop.etsy.com/. Grab a cup of tea and spend a few minutes looking around and leaning a little more about this fun brother and sister team.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Above: Vintage Pink Set or Sewing Projects Description: Well..I love pink and this is full of pretty pink! Includes 1 Advance dress pattern (teens size 14). The cover has tears on the corners; it looks as if this pattern was never used.5 feet of cute pink rick rack1 yellow plastic thimble
------------- feature friday written by jen ----------------------
As soon as I had my first child, Lindsey, I knew I was meant to be a Mom…and that would be my most important job ever! I have three fantastic children! Lindsey, my oldest daughter, is 26, and just happens to be my best friend! She definitely got her talent from my Mom (I think it skips a generation!). She’s always creating as you can tell by her blog http://www.linques.typepad.com/ My handsome son, Mark is 17 and will be a senior this year! My daughter, Katherine just turned 16 in March and is actually traveling in Europe right now with a group of students and teachers from her high school!
Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for antiques! My fondest memories of beautiful antiques, were rummaging through my Great Aunt Esther’s 250 yr old Rye, NH house…oh the things I found in that attic…if only I had all of them!
My daughter Lindsey was the one that encouraged me to start my Etsy shop back in April 2008 when I was laid off from my job! It’s amazing how you can turn things around when you follow your passion!
Above: Retro Cool Knowles Golden Foliage Blue and Gold Teacup and Saucer Set of 2 Description: I just love this gold and sea blue leaf design..it has a great retro feel! This is a set of 2 teacups and 2 saucers by Knowles. Marked "Knowles", "Golden Foliage", "Four Seasons", "Casual China".
Let’s see…I am supposed to think of 10 things you don’t know about me..and should try to be clever..or funny I guess!
#1 speaking of funny…I am sure anyone that went to school with me will describe me as being very funny! I always loved (and still do) making people laugh! I also got in trouble in school for being funny!
#2 I feel bad for my family right now..especially my dear husband, Bob! They have put up with me collecting all of these beautiful vintage items, that are now taking up the entire house!
#3 I am so addicted to twitter..well, I’m guessing those that know me on twitter, know that that is not a secret!
#4 I am more comfortable with who I am now, than I ever have been!
#5 I love clothes and have an entire bedroom devoted to my obsession! My husband turned one room into an entire walk-in closet for me!
#6 If you haven’t been able to tell from #5, I can be a little obsessive! #7 I believe if everyone would just try a little kindness, the world would be a better place (and I don’t care how mushy that sounds!)
#8 I’d rather have just one true friend, than a bunch of so-so friends.
#9 I love to cook…and I love to eat!
#10 and #9 is why I also love to workout!
Above: Vintage Wire Mesh Pretty Little Butterfly Brooch
Inkwell Alley Notes: Jen loves her milk glass. She even opened a shop exclusively filled with all kinds of milk glass treasures. Her collection is phenominal.
1. Fenton Milk Glass Covered Footed Comport Description: 8 1/2" tall including the lid, milk glass, hobnail...even better yet..Fenton!Great candy dish (don't tell anyone where you hid it!). Made by Fenton between 1953 and 1968. 2. Cute Vintage Milk Glass Covered Hen Description: Cluck cluck! What a cute milk glass hen covered dish! From bottom to top of her tail she measures approx 5 1/2" tall. The base is oval with a candlewick edge and measures 7 1/8" x 5 3/8" with a depth of 2".
More Interesting News: Jen is recognized!
Etsy's Handmade Blog asked their readers to nominate their favorite Americana decor items. Out of all the contestants, jenscloset with her Vintage Ruby Red Candleholders (above) stole the show and got the most votes. Inkwell Alley Congratulates you!
>>This is just a snippit of what Jen has...she has so many beautiful items, it's hard to list. Her original shop is http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ Be sure to check out her other shop http://www.mymilkglassshop.etsy.com/ for milk glass as well as http://deerlyneeded.etsy.com/ for fantastic jewelry supplies! You can usually find Jen at http://jensvintage.blogspot.com/ She is now a member of the EtsyVintage Street Team http://team.etsy.com/profilest/vintage.shtml and you can usually find her at http://www.twitter.com/ @jenscloset
Written by Jen. Inkwell Alley would like to thank Jen @jenscloset for taking the time to chat with us; we really appreciate her talent and her shops. We look forward to shopping with her in the future. And as always, we will continue to help promote your talents and we wish you well in your future endeavors! --Monica & Sbass
We all have our own tests, our own inane maneuvers that we perform in solitude (usually after getting out of the shower or when trying on clothes) and use as absolute barometers of thinness and beauty. Unfortunately, I have several and the one I have been doing the longest is the Inner Thigh Touch Test. I started taking ballet and tap class when I was twelve and, at about age 14 and 15, everyone starting changing--except me. Most girls' pink tights were stretching thinner across their thighs and their black long-sleeved leotards swelled in places--butts, bosoms and hips--where my leotard still clung flat to my bony body. One day we were all facing the mirror and standing in first position--heels touching, toes turned out. I looked down the line, making mental notes: Her knees are almost touching, her knees don't touch but her thighs do, her thighs only touch at the top, where that really bulbous piece of fat first starts to form; skin is rolling over her hip bones, and, damn, her calves even touch. And then I looked at me, a stick poking out at harsh angles in Spandex. My legs were separated from each other from ankle to the bottom of my leotard. You could drive a tractor trailer right through and it wouldn't bump into anything on top or the sides. Every time I went to ballet class, I took note of this and beamed from within. I wasn't the prettiest girl or the most popular; I wasn't well-versed in pop culture or the latest trends in fashion, cosmetics and hair, and I certainly didn't attract the boys. But, gosh darn it, I was skinnier. My waifishness and height was all I had. And it's still all I have. Although those inner thighs seem to creep closer and closer together every year...
photo courtesy blogs.guardian.co.uk/theatre
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here are five things that a few people know about me but it’s not mainstream news. One of the topics, #4, is something I haven’t spoken about much on the Web at all, except to make a few stray references to it.
So, there you go. An exclusive for Inkwell Alley! LOL..
#1 – I wrote my book, Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers, back in 1999 because I had severe writer's block.
It all started when a friend used the term “fear of writing” to refer to my condition. This triggered something in my subconscious and the material for a book—including 112 fun and therapeutic writing prompts—started pouring out of me.
Luckily, at the time I was working from home and could determine my own schedule. My boss was in another city. As long as I got my work done he didn’t check up on my schedule. I’d put the “office” on voicemail and go to my favorite coffeehouse to write.
I was so on fire, I wrote the book in only four months. And then I self-published it. Then panic set in! After that phase, I set about overcoming my intense shyness by learning how to promote my book and build an audience.
That was back in the ancient days—no Twitter, Facebook or blogging—and I had to start my online book promotion with an old-fashioned Website and email newsletter. LOL!
Ten years later, I’ve made many friends, helped many writers, cured my own fear of writing and learned tons about writing, livin’ and lovin’ life, book promotion and the Internet.
If you've got a specific fear that dominates your life, I highly recommend writing a book about it as a way to turn that fear to your advantage.
#2 – I often use Dragon dictation software when I'm writing something of any length. I'm using it right now to write this Feature Friday for Inkwell Alley.
Some purists may call this cheating, since it doesn't involve typing or handwriting. But I've come to believe this: anything that helps you get more writing done is fair.
I still have to edit everything I've dictated (and not only for my own mistakes: for example, Dragon typed the word “purist” as “jurist”). So I never lose touch with that hands-on involvement with what I've written.
Dragon can type as fast as you can talk. It's fantastic for those times when you're so inspired you can’t type fast enough to keep up with your own brain.
#3 – I hate the taste of brewed coffee. I stopped drinking it many years ago because
a) spots would appear before my eyes after just one cup
b) I discovered cappuccinos.
I now refuse to drink anything but espresso drinks (my favorite is the breve—a latté made with half-and-half). This has also helped me cut down on the amount of coffee I drink, because I find espresso drinks so much more satisfying than the thin, yukky brewed stuff.
#4 – I’ve long had an interest in alternative healing. I used herbs and diet changes to help my daughter avoid surgery for glue ear. That happened when she was little; she's now 25 with a baby of her own.
I've also almost completely eradicated my severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by using natural means, such as acupuncture and CranioSacral Therapy, as well as energy healing methods for the aura, chakras and meridians.
I used myself as a guinea pig and tried probably hundreds of different things until I found what worked for me. Eventually, I’d like to start a blog to recommend various healing products and services.
#5 – I'm writing this while taking part in a 10K Day for Writers that I've started hosting at my blog every month. This is an event where a bunch of writers get together and challenge ourselves to try to write 10,000 words in a day.
We communicate by posting two-hourly check-ins on my blog. The idea is to encourage and support one another's creativity.
It's an incredible feeling to be in a group of writers who have agreed to mutually support one another. I’ve fostered many such groups over the past ten years, but the 10K Day event has a special energy of its own. It combines the power of the Internet to bring people together, no matter where they are in the world, with the best side of our writing spirits. In my opinion, that’s when we glory in the creativity of others as well as our own, instead of focusing on critiquing one another (or, as happens in some writing forums, conflict and harassment among writers).
I'm using this Feature Friday as a warm-up for my 10K Day because I knew it would be fun to write. And already it’s given me a word count of 1,232 (before editing) in less than an hour.
Plus, good ol’ Dragon’s helping me do it faster than I could type myself!
MILLI THORNTON is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers and still misses Australia, where she lived for 25 years. A bit of a gypsy, she currently lives in Ohio with her husband. Milli blogs at the Fear of Writing Blog, Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Call me sensitive, particular, needy and just plain hard to please, but when it comes to my writing environment, it’s crucial that several elements be in place. In other words, I’ve found that some of my most outstanding prose takes to actual ink on paper when the air temperature is between 45 and 50 degree Fahrenheit, the air quality is green (or good) on the weather charts and the sky is overcast; when I’m wearing indigo jeans that make me feel skinny and a sweater that makes me feel as if snuggled up somewhere in a ski lodge.
I write well when no one is around—not talking upstairs or breathing next to me—and I love when thunder rumbles in the distance, not clangs over my head, when dogs bark in the distance, but not next door. My ability to draft a masterpiece is directly related, I think, to my basal body temperature, my hunger level—I can’t be starving and I can’t be bloated—the clarity of my skin and my mood: depression breeds too much angst, anger, insanity; sadness, extreme pathos; happiness, shallowness. Jaded, bitter, aloof, independent, defiant, determined, hopeful, energized, focused, level-headed: If I don’t feel any of these productive characteristics, I might as well pretend I don’t know what a pen is.
I’m inspired by mountains (no where near where I live in rural South Carolina, the antithesis of creative energy), shop-lined, oil-stained city streets (also non-existent in my current environs) bustling with women in business suits and tennis shoes, hot dog and funnel cake vendors, ticket scalpers, guitar players, street painters, international characters and culture. Culture—oh how I do miss the laidback, Polish-Catholic culture of Baltimore, the origins of my entire immediate family. There’s this one street near the harbor and not far from Sip n’ Bite (a hole in the wall that serves the best breakfast and Baltimore special, scrapple) that is full of Polish shops: bakeries, imported crafts, religious article shops. It’s not a flashy street; on the surface it looks like any old street. No neon signs, not a lot of traffic or people. But when you’re strolling the sidewalk you can actually see the displays in the window and the battered signs over the doors. And the smells are wonderful: pierogis, kielbasa, babkas, breads, the aromas of which just waft warm and fresh right out the doors.
I need to transcend my current setting—hot, subtropical climate, retirement community, artistically infertile—to subconsciously and emotionally get where I need to be in order to write.
Given all that needs to be in alignment for me to create, it’s a wonder I get anything done.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
>> 1. I drink coffee all day. Whether it be to help be out of bed, ease my tension, or help me study, I sip coffee throughout the day. In the mornings it wakes me up. In the evening, it soothes the nerves (which makes for better sleep). And during those dreaded 9 month stretches of pure hell (nursing school), it channels the ADHD into OCD (which isn't much better, but at least I'm focused!).
>> 2. I have a coffee cup collection. Doesn't matter what store or what I'm actually shopping for. If I see a cup I like, I have to have it. When I have my own home, I want an entire wall in my kitchen devoted to my coffee cups with each one in it's own little nook! (This is a smaller scale of what I want. As seen in the television series The Gilmore Girls)
>> 3. I can make one eye go side to side and up and down while the other stays put. I don't know how I learned to do it or why I first tried. It's great entertainment for kids!
>> 4. My only allergy is to a drug called Chloral hydrate. It is commonly used as a sedative and sleeping medication. My reaction is opposite of what is desired. My sister (who is also allergic) was given this once prior to a dental surgery. She was put in velcro restraints because of the reaction but managed to work her way out of them. As a result, I am now terrified of taking any sort of sedating medicine or sleeping pill regardless of whether Chloral hydrate is in the ingredients.
>> 5. I never forget a face. I sometimes see an old kindergarten classmate in the supermarket and still know exactly who they are even though I haven't seen them in fifteen years. I've learned not to speak to them though.
>> 6. I played Clarinet for five years (put it aside about six years ago) but can still pick it up and play from memory just like I've been doing it all along. I even have a bad habit of moving my fingers to songs, simulating the finger positions I believe would be needed to make the song I'm hearing.
>> 7. I hate touching any sort of paper when my hands are dry. I get the same feeling as when I hear nails on a chalkboard. I'm getting over it though. When I'm doing clinicals rotations for school, I wash my hands a lot and flip through papers and charts.
>> 8. I find it hard to eat some things of more than one consistency. Examples: Potato salad with onions, Jello with fruit in it. I also hate my foods mixing together, and if I feel it necessary, I will use and second plate or bowl.
>> 9. I'm always jealous. Every person I know has or does something I am jealous of. Clothes, car, money, hair, good grades, ability, favor, where they live, where they go, who they know. Absolutely anything is subject to my jealousy. But don't worry, in person you'll never figure out what it is you have that I want.
>> 10. I can deal with bodily functions (poo, vomit, urine, mucus) easily, but I can not deal with feet and teeth. Anything to do with feet or teeth grosses me out. I very nearly passed out while observing a tooth being removed.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
It looms before me, a flashing white rectangular box that is a treasure trove of goodies. The cookies and cream ice cream in its waxy container that will put rolls on my hips; the frozen pizza that, when warmed in the oven, will sizzle and slide with grease, a sludge that will strain my arteries. And then there's Robert's leftover mozzarella sticks from our favorite diner; those thickly breaded logs of chunky cheese, a cork that will block the intestines. Pudding, divine and smooth on the palate, but a padding for the waist. Oh God—then there’s the red velvet cake, a wad that stays packed for hours in the stomach because it’s essentially a congealed mixture of dough, fat, eggs, fat, dough, sparkling sugar and, did I mention fat? Fat—I hate you; Fat—I love you; especially when you’re dancing in that red velvet cake, an enigma that is not chocolate, that is not vanilla, but the best, the most decadent of both. It’s moist and compact under a slathering of butter cream icing.
There’ only one thing left to say: Thank God I play tennis. Because I love my food.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
>>June's everyday life: Isewcute's love for making things goes beyond 9 to 5 as she extends it into her every day routine--wherever she goes, she's always prepared to work on her artistic endeavors! A true craftster, with a sketchbook in the car & a crochet hook in her purse, always ready at a moments notice. You can just picture June as she gets ready for her overnight travels--it's a must for her to take a bag of projects as big as her suitcase--ya know--so she'll have those supplies handy whenever the urge strikes to start a project.
>>So what else does June do? She visits http://www.craftster.org/ to see what others are creating--here you can also find some of what she categorizes as "the non-etsy stuff" she’s been making. June says she's always busy with a half dozen projects going at all times--all in different stages of completedness.
>>What makes her so well-rounded? June used to work as a full-time toy designer until she had children…now she enjoys being a full-time mom of 2 children under 5 & part-time crafter/illustrator/toy designer for hire.
>> What does June's day consist of? Currently her work is just a natural part of everyday life…like eating and breathing! And she's loving every minute of it. Since she's her own boss, there's little pressure to succumb to. No rigid, daily deadlines--just a unique schedule as she works around the kids!
At right: Sweet Hearts for a Sweetie Resin Candy Sprinkles Hearts Charm Bracelet ...it doesn't get sweeter than this...by isewcute
>>What does June love most about her work? June says, " The best part about making things…especially custom orders is that the person who receives one of her creations is going to have a little piece of June." She adds, "she does get attached to her work, and sometimes it’s bitter sweet letting one go." But no worry, June's heart is in her craft as she makes what she likes….designing jewelry for teenagers and adults who are kids at heart. She takes special care to make a quality product that will be around for years. She even has some hand-embroidery patterns (the detail is exceptional.) "In the future, who knows…", June says, "I may introduce some of the other things I make & expand to selling drawings, photography, and art dolls too!"
>>What inspires June? Music is probably the single most inspiring thing to June when she's doing her work… June says she needs music like some people need air! Her taste in music is pretty broad…loving everything from Mozart to Metallica. Her comment was, 'If a day is dreary & glum, I put on some good Irish drinking songs to whip up some new resin jewelry to!' Wow, what a great gift idea - note to self, I must check out resin jewelry... :)
>>In Summary: As you can see, Isewcute (June) is passionate about her work. Her enthusiasm is apparent as she talks about her craft, 'I have a lot of fun & if it isn’t fun…I don’t do it! I love what I do…and hope that others will love it too!'
>>Where you can find June: On etsy: http://www.isewcute.etsy.com/ Her blog where she features kids, crafts, and great etsy finds: http://www.isewcute.blogspot.com/ As well as on craftster…my username is: I Sew Cute http://www.craftster.org/ …if you’re the crafty type, bet you’ll love craftster!
June has a great selection of items, so many to choose from--be sure to check them out! Her technique and artistry is superb, and her passion for her craft is part of what makes her items so beautiful. Thanx June for sharing your story.