Monday, October 31, 2011

Narrative

I am both a writer and an (amateur) artist. Both are creative pursuits. You would think they would work well together, right?

Not so much in my case.

Both art and writing are all about telling a story, really. But they use such completely different parts of my brain! That works out great when I am trying to take a break from one by focusing on the other -- but there are so many ways in which it would be handy if there weren't a brick wall between the two pursuits for me.

In art I tend to concentrate so much on my skill (or rather, developing/practicing my budding skill), that I start without a narrative. I get an idea and I run with it, not stopping to think, "What story does this tell?"

I've been writing since I could pick up a pen, so when I write I concentrate decidedly less on the skill and more on the story I'm trying to tell. So I don't stop to think about the beauty, the poetry of my words. Now, granted, most of my professional writing is copywriting, so "poetry" doesn't really apply -- so I am referring more to my fiction writing. After the story is told, I go back and polish the writing during the editing process. (This doesn't work conversely with art -- I can't as easily add the story after the initial piece is done. This is why you see so many unfinished pieces from me!)

Oh, but if those two worlds could merge!

Jeremy tells me, "You're a writer, honey. Come up with a story before you start drawing. That's the narrative for the piece." Easier said than done. If I get into writing mode, I'll have six pages of fiction written and it will be bedtime -- no art created. Art, for me, is spontaneous.

Writing this post, I now have an idea for a solution. At least for the art part. Maybe I'll come up with a bunch of little narratives. You know, start a little file. Then when the inspiration to draw/paint hits, I'll have a stash of ready-made stories to illustrate.

See, people, now this is why I blog. Sometimes I just need to "talk" through an issue. LOL

Contact Card

I'm heading out to Houston in a few weeks to join JoAnn at the Houston Start Up Weekend event.  I figured I should probably have some up-to-date contact cards with me -- and nothing says amateur like a template.  So I designed my own.



You can't tell from this photo, but the card is heavy stock with a gloss finish.  I drew the illustration in Adobe Illustrator, and colored it in Photoshop.  Simple, unobtrusive, and conveys the fact that I'm a writer without me having to put the words "writer" on the card.  (This is really a contact card versus a business card, so pigeon-holing myself with the word "writer" on the card wouldn't be wise.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

No More Examiner

Well, I quit the Examiner.  What a big fat waste of my time!  Those types of markets make me so mad -- they take advantage of writers, big time.  For those two articles I wrote, I earned a whopping 34 CENTS.

I am a professional writer.  I do this for a living.  I'm not an 18-yr-old newbie looking to build a portfolio.  I have a hell of a portfolio.  So if a client doesn't pay my minimum hourly rate, the decision to do the work for them or not is an easy one.

So I put in my notice.  And since they don't send out a check unless it's more than $10, I'll never see a penny for my work.

Anderson Farm

We were all still pretty sick today, but we managed to get to Anderson Farm so Scarlett could pick out her first pumpkin.  The animals were her favorite part, but the pumpkins were a close second.

Anderson Farms in Eerie, CO

The petting zoo included goats, rabbits, chickens, geese, donkeys, llamas and ponies.







We got to feed the Scottish Highland cows on the hayride.







Tower of tires!

Our Buggy can really fly.

Her first pony ride. She reacted the strongest to the ponies out of all the animals.


If I had let her, she would have played in the pumpkins all day.



Scarlett "helping" rake the leaves

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sicky Sicky Sick

Well obviously my lack of posting for the last week and a half had mostly to do with traveling.  But my excuse since we got back home is I got STREP THROAT.

There were 17 of us total on the trip to Orlando.  And Vanessa was just getting over a cold and Anthony had just developed one -- so you can imagine how that went with 17 people in close quarters.  Every last one of us got sick at some point during the trip.

Scarlett got a horrible fever early Sunday morning and it didn't break until Monday night.  And Jeremy and I started getting the sniffles shortly after.  Our poor little Bug held it together so well, but Monday the sickness and exhaustion caught up with her and she was a crying mess off and on.  But even so, she still lasted long enough for us to do all the little kids rides and shows with her.

I was so sorry that Scarlett had her first cold away from home, and during a trip that involved long hours away from a quiet bed.  I felt like the world's worst mother.  But she was my little trooper and she did SO well given the challenges.

So anyway, Jeremy and I both got sick too, and when it started to hit me the hardest on Thurs-Fri this week, I worked from bed while Jeremy and Scarlett curled up in the living room downstairs.  By Friday morning, my sore throat had reached a new level of searing pain and I got myself and Scarlett to the doc as quickly as possible.  I was diagnosed right away with strep, but luckily Scarlett only had a cold.  The good news out of that is that strep is treatable -- so after a day and a half of taking penicillin, I can swallow without tearing up.

I just hope we all feel well enough to celebrate Halloween.  We at least wanted to take Scarlett to the pumpkin patch or Boo at the Zoo tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Orlando Trip in Pictures, Part 4: A Few Random Pics

Her first fruit roll-up


She got the bug that was being passed around our group, so she spent a lot of time like this during the last two days.

Scarlett is so cool

Jeremy and Scarlett got matching Marvel sweatshirts. Hers is a little large on her.  LOL

Orlando Trip in Pictures, Part 3: Disney's Magic Kingdom



Dancing to the music (which she did a lot of on this trip)


She liked this carousel WAY more than the one in Dr. Seuss Land -- no tears on this one!

It's a Small World ride

Character dinner at the Crystal Palace -- she LOVED Pooh!


She was okay with Piglet as long as he wasn't looking at her.

This is what she thought of the Jungle Tour ride.  Zzzzzzzz.


I had no feeling in my arms after this ride. And no, Jeremy is not drunk.

Orlando Trip in Pictures, Part 2: Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios

Her first safari ride


At the Beauty and the Beast show



Playing with her light-up Minnie at the Fantasmic light show

Giving Minnie smooches