This was a tough summer to focus on doing anything and writing and painting just dropped from my top 5 list of ‘favorite things to do’ and landed on the bottom next to ‘cleaning out my photo files’ (i.e., things I never get to). There just were not enough hours in the day and most of them were spent wiping up pee and mopping floors.
One of my dogs, my sweet Meko, was on daily fluids that we administered to keep her kidneys working. At 3 months shy of reaching her 15th birthday her small frail body could no longer tolerate any food and we knew it was time. My focus was taking care of her needs as best as I could. Nothing else mattered. I would set my alarm to go off several times during the night to put Meko out. Because of the fluids we were giving her, she could not make it through the night before she had to pee. And now, getting back on a regular schedule has also taken me a little time.
Fall has always been a life-changing season for me. And so, I begin anew, setting goals, painting, and completing at least one, maybe two, books before the end of 2016.
This newsletter is dedicated to Kameko - November 29, 2001 to August 26, 2016. Rest in Peace my sweet girl.
Writings & Musings
Making Time for What You Love
As I mentioned under 'Welcome' in this newsletter, I found it very difficult to concentrate on writing much of anything these past few months. I thought about my college days and the single mom classmates who were working their way through school while also raising a child or two. I wondered where they found the time to do it all. Perhaps the secret is somehow related to age: we have more energy when we are younger so we can spread ourselves thinner without too much strain on our physical health.
But finding the time to do anything, particularly writing, when you already have too many responsibilities is about learning the art of juggling. To help you keep all the balls in the air, here are a few tips:
Carry a small notebook and pen to record inspiration when it comes to you. I always have pen and paper with me should a story idea or a development for a story that I’ve been working on come to me.
Go to bed a half hour earlier and set your alarm to get up a half hour sooner to give you time to write. I also used to take my lunch hour in my van where I would eat and write. I also enjoyed the quiet of being away from my job for that hour; it was very reviving.
Maybe part of a time suck is television. TV has become such a part of our lives (and an addiction) that hours can pass before we realize we’ve spent the entire night couch potatoing. Same can be said for sitting in front of a computer screen. Whenever I post to my blog, I’ll check the next day on Facebook to see if it is there and before I realize it, a half hour has passed. That time could be put to better use such as, working on my novel.
If you are serious about writing perhaps you’ll think twice before sitting down on your favorite sofa with a bowl of popcorn in one hand and the TV remote in the other.
I’ve been painting fruits and veggies, one of my favorite subjects, but I recently switched over to horses. In my last newsletter I featured a horse painting and now again I have another horse painting. But since I painted so many fruit and veggie paintings I had to show a couple of them here, also.
This was a fun painting to do since the peach is so much bigger than the cherry. But the stem, to me, really makes the painting the way it lays right across the top of the peach as if to say, you aren't so big, I have a stem!
I loved the way this painting came out - the purple onion, which is so much fun to paint, snuggled up beside the green pepper, look like you could pick them both right off the page.
Summer fruit is the best: the peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and more. Not only do I love painting fruit but I also enjoy eating fruit and have it almost every day for breakfast. Sometimes I buy fruit and veggies just because I want to paint them, too.
Although our vacation was supposed to be a relaxing one, we also did a little business. When you have your own business you really can’t do much without thinking about and promoting your business. Sometimes it makes it difficult to really relax. But we did the best we could and did explore places around Mount Desert Island in Maine that we hadn’t explored before. And I also spent some time writing and painting – we had a couple of days of rain and working on my painting and writing seemed like the perfect activity for me to do.
We also made a couple of planned stops that were fun and interesting. We visited several of the libraries on the island and I donated a copy of “Eddie Easel and the Case of the Missing Green” to each of them. They were all very impressed, thrilled, and grateful that I was donating a copy of my book. I was equally impressed with the libraries that were each unique in their own special way.
Southwest Harbor library appeared small but went on and on inside and had a fun children’s section, full of activities and books that were organized by the children’s librarian, Susan. The Jesup Memorial library in downtown Bar Harbor was a bit cramped but Mae, the children’s librarian, was thrilled that they would soon be expanding to the building next door. A sweet but small library, complete with a fireplace, is the Bass Harbor library. The Northeast Harbor library was a bit more modern but also had a children’s librarian and a generous-sized room. And finally, the Seal Cove public library, small but quaint, had the best view of the harbor.
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
"Chico" Sample Mini Animal Portrait
The Lakes Region Art Association Gallery is located at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton, NH. The hours are 10am-6pm on Fri, Sat, and Sun.
A Timely Reminder
I really hate to bring it up, but, the holidays are coming up and if you understand how fast time flies, you'll thank me for the reminder!
At the LRAA Gallery we are planning some events that will hopefully bring people in to check out what we have to offer and see what awesome paintings, prints, cards, and a few books some of us have for sale that will make great gifts.
Another great gift is an animal portrait, which I offer for $55. Now, this might sound really inexpensive, and it is, but it is only 5"x7", and is an unframed acrylic painting of your dog, cat, bird, horse or whatever animal you call your pet, in my more painterly style instead of a photorealistic style.
Not only is it a great holiday gift but also a great thoughtful gift for someone who has recently lost a pet.
On My Easel
As I mentioned under "A Timely Reminder", the LRAA Gallery is planning some special events for the holidays and one of them, that I am participating in, is the "6x6 for $66" holiday event. For $66 you can purchase a painting on a 6"x6" gallery-wrapped canvas that has been painted by an LRAA member. The completed paintings will be on display at the LRAA Gallery and also at Vynnart Gallery in Meredith, NH.
Therefore, on my easel for the next couple of weeks will be these two 6"x6" canvases. I have decided on one painting that I want to do and although I have not come up with a subject for the second canvas, I am narrowing it down. We just spent part of the day driving around looking at the gorgeous foliage in New Hampshire. We came upon a farm that had a couple of big Morgan horses and also a group of alpacas. I got some great photos so I think I might have to paint one of the adorable alpacas. What do you think?
As I write this, we are finishing up on my next book, “Mouse Bound”. The cover is in its final stages of completion and the book has undergone several edits.
We have been in contact with our printer and, once we send them the file of the completed book, they will send us a review copy. When we approve the copy it will be just a matter of days before the book will be ready for us to pick up.
I’m always excited when I have completed another book, particularly since each one, so far, has been very different from the last one and “Mouse Bound” is no exception. As always I look forward to feedback from all of you who are kind and generous enough to purchase a copy for yourself or for someone you love.
Someone who is an author, an artist, and an entrepreneur. Any person who writes or has a published novel, who paints fine art/illustrations, and also has established businesses using the combination of artistic talents. - DJ Geribo
What I'm Reading
What am I reading? What am I not reading is more the question I should be asking. I’ve been bouncing from book to book for quite some time now (pretty much the entire summer). My attention span is that of a 2-year-old. It doesn’t help that every time I go to our swap shop, I find 4 or 5 more books that I want to read now. So many books, so little time to read them all.
I wanted to read Pulitzers this year (and last year I think, too) and did read a couple. But one of the books I recently got at the swap shop listed the Top Ten Favorite Books as chosen by a number of authors. The books that many authors chose again and again became the Top Top 10 Favorite Books. These books are now on my short list, along with the Pulitzers. And now I have to just pick one and read.