ACEO of the Week – 05/20/17

May 20, 2017
Landscape #11

Landscape #11
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

 

Often, I’m very glad when I see ACEO’s go off to someone’s home. It cleans out my space and gives me the urge to paint new ones. This is one I wish I had kept. I still kick myself for not keeping this one. Maybe that means I’ll get inspired to paint a larger piece. We shall see, won’t we?

Trust me on this: if you ever see a piece of art you want, buy it before someone else does. You might regret not having that piece later. There are a couple works by other artists I wish I had. One piece I’m thinking of now was a beautiful gesha painting. The artist, a girl much younger than me, passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. Very sad. I think about all the art she had within her that is now lost to the world. And, I’m certain the gesha painting is far beyond my grasp now as I’m sure that if she still had it at the time of her death, there is no way that her family is parting with it now. Understandably.

And, if you have art (whatever that is: painting, writing, poetry, cooking, sewing, creating a loving home, taking care of your family, whatever – everyone has something that is an “art” for them) in you, don’t let it remain there. Get it out.

If you don’t think you can, check out last week’s blog for a reminder. Time is the commodity you are given in your life, but you have no idea how much has been doled out to you. Use it wisely. Imagine the possibilities. Then act. How you spend your time and what you give back to those around you is your rent for living. Make sure you give value for having lived.


ACEO of the Week – 05/13/17

May 13, 2017
Tree House 0906 #3

Tree House #3
3.5″ x 2.5″
colored pencil on paper
©2006 Dawn Blair
Not for Sale

I thought I’d have a major throwback this week. I’m always saying how much someone can progress if they just decide to do something and then do it.

It really is that easy, whether you want to gain a new skill or change your life.

Two step method:

  1. Decide — nothing happens until you absolutely make up your mind to do something.
  2. Act — you must take action on that decision. Even if you don’t know the whole path, start. Do what you can where you are at with what you have.

Google exists to give us answers. When you hit the question of what to do next because you’ve hit your limit, search. Searching is still taking action, but don’t stay in search mode for too long. Get just the answer you need and move on. Don’t expect to have all the answers at once. Some times you have to swim around in the waters to see how it feels. It stretches your comfort zone slowly, gently.

Equally important, but is something that develops naturally over time, is when you decide that you DON’T want to do something.

So, why does this ACEO merit being the ACEO of the week? Because it shows you and me how far I have come as an artist. I mean, look at that waterfall! Atrocious! I have learned so much about that, and about painting water since then. I didn’t just have the knowledge; I learned and I practiced. I now get regular comments about the water features in my newer paintings. But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t first decided that I wanted to learn to draw. Yes, my request was that simple. I wanted to know how to draw. Then I acted by taking a class. Then I decided I wanted to learn to paint water better. I read books, I took another class where water was a primary feature of the painting we were doing, and I practiced.

Look back at this blog to see where I was just 4 years later.

Or a painting from around that same time.

While it’s hard to not be jealous of someone as you admire and where they are at, just know that the only thing that separates you from them is that they had made the decision to act much sooner than you and then put the time in. You could be there too. They might even be willing to show you the tricks so speed your own journey along. Don’t let another moment get away.


Progress – 05/08/17

May 8, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,450 words

Writing month to date total: 8,408 words

Writing year to date total: 112,562 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 5 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May. I really thought I was going to have it done this week, but I just couldn’t put in the time I wanted.

Week’s happenings:  First, I want to give a big Happy Birthday shout out. I won’t say who it is that is receiving it, but I know that the receipent will get it.

Well, Adrian’s hands are still healing from the bike accident over two weeks ago. He’s almost there. So I’m still walking Merlin in the mornings and evenings. That’s what’s really cut into my audio time, but in some ways, it’s kind of been fun doing that chore. I occassionally even run with Merlin for a block or two and that’s really been interesting. I think he’d be a good dog to jog with. He keeps me inspired and moving. And he loves it. Unlike bicycling ( which according to my app, I rode for 41.5 miles in April — holy cow!), I can’t keep up any distance with jogging. It’s hard on my knees, but I am up to about a two blocks, so I keep reminding myself of the Zig Ziglar method of running (a block and a mailbox) and that’s really what I’m doing.

I went and got my other son from college. I can’t believe it’s summertime already. I know it’ll fly by and I’ll be sending him back in no time at all.

Then, on Saturday, I had a show; it was the Jerome Music Boosters’ Spring Craft Fair. Just one day, but I did set up Friday night, so I only had to walk in on Saturday and start to share my enthusiasm for my stories with people. Then we packed up Saturday after the show. I was tired and went to bed early that night.

For the writing, I’ve been focusing on a story called Mystery of the Stardust Monk and the next novella in The Loki Adventures. I feel like I’m two-thirds of the way done with Mystery and about a third of the way done with Loki.

In other news, I’ve tenatively scheduled Prince of the Ruined Land to be published on June 13th. This is not set in stone yet — I’m waiting to hear back on what I sent out before moving forward on it any more than to close my eyes and point at the calendar for a date.

Well, time to carry on now. See you next week!


ACEO of the Week – 05/06/17

May 6, 2017
Evening Tree #9

Evening Tree #9
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Looking up and dreaming about everything that’s out there among the stars.

I’d really hate for this to be the only planet with life on it in our whole universe.

Is it any wonder that I write about other worlds?


Progress – 05/01/17

May 1, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 9,518 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  806 words

Writing month to date total: 27,065 words for all of April

Writing year to date total: 104,154 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I have been taking care of my son still after his bike accident last week. I think I’ll have another week of cleaning and bandaging his hands every night. We’re still picking out gravel. Bikers — always ride with gloves! I’ve also gotten in at least half and hour of walking every day in taking the dog out for morning and evening walks, so that’s been good. I’m the only person who is still bundled up though. Until the wind stops, I won’t find any warmth in the days. I don’t care if it’s almost 60 degrees out now. It still feels like 40 to me. Thank goodness for my “no hat hair cowl” from Stacy, which I’ve been wearing to keep the wind out of my ears. It’s black with flashy gold trim around the face, so I feel pretty when I wear it too (added bonus – grin).

Writing-wise, I had my best week of writing so far this year at 10,324 total words for the week. I finished drafting the manuscript for the second origin story in the Ninjas series titled Space Ninjas Aren’t Real. It ended up being way more serious of a story than I thought it would be. I’d hoped it would be humorous and more along the lines of The Loki Adventures, but nope, it had other plans. I still see an edge of humor in it, so there is hope that by the time I bring the character to the real ninja story, she’ll be my funny one. We shall see. These characters have minds of their own.

So, if you’re curious about how all these things I’ve added up work out considering that you’ve been seeing a word count here but for a long time I hadn’t actually been finishing things, here’s how it goes:

During the end of March and in April, I created:

2 stories under 10,000 words

1 story over 10,000 words

2 novels (1 currenly 89,000 words long and the other at 85,000)

So that’s approximately 204,000 words that have come together in the last month. That’s really not to shabby.

I currently have one story that is coming up on 10,000 words, plus I have a good start on the 5th book in the Sacred Knight series, and I am over 3,000 words into the next Loki story. I don’t expect that May will see quite the same number of completions as I saw in April. I really think it was strange timing that it all worked out that way, but I do want to illustrate that if you keep working at something, eventually you will see results.

Also this week, I redid the cover for By the Numbers. And I prepared the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Sacred Knight #4). You can see them here.

I listed By the Numbers online, so it is now available for purchase. Yeah, getting the story ready for publications was certainly now how I imagined spending my Friday afternoon, but it’s what I got done. I now have copies of The Doorway Prince and History of a Dead Man. I’ve ordered copies of By the Numbers which I hope to have by this weekend when I do a show, but we’ll see. I’m not counting my chickens there. I got the first set of books mentioned super fast. I doubt I can be that lucky again. But it would be cool.

The show? For the sake of time, here’s a link with all the details. 

I mentioned that I was working on the new Loki story, right? Well, he’s babbling in my ear now, so I better go and get to work on him. Ever since I told him that he was next in the funnel and actively got back to work on the document, he’s been charging ahead as normal. I fully expect that I’ll be up until 3:30 a.m. again. See you all later after I’ve gotten some sleep!


Two new covers

April 30, 2017

If you’ve been reading along with Ninjas: By the Numbers during the month of April, you saw on each post the picture that I thought would be the cover. I had a thought that I’d try something a little different with it and that didn’t work out. But like Bob Ross, I had a “happy accident” with it. I think it’s definitely the touch I needed for the cover. Here’s the updated cover:

By the numbers cover small

If you missed part (or heaven forbid, all of it!), you can get the full version in print or ebook here.

I also sat down yesterday and made the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Legend 4 of the Sacred Knight series). Here’s a peek at it:

Prince of the Ruined Land cover small

I still don’t have an official release date for it, but that will be announced shortly. I’m betting I will figure something out this week. All I keep thinking is that my blue and gold hero is back so Holy Sapere Martias better watch out. (grin) Yeah, I’m a little EXCITED!!!!! Best yet, with the new rate at which I’m writing, it won’t be long until we get Legend 5 in the series. Are we there yet? (Okay, I admit, when it comes to Steigan and his story, I’m unbearable. Sorry, DWS, but Steigan is my special snowflake; I can’t help it.) He just jazzes my world and I am so thankful that I get to share his story.

There will be so much more in my progress post tomorrow, but I just couldn’t wait to share these updates with you. Thank you for being here to celebrate with me! And if you’ve been enjoying my stories, remember to spread the joy of reading as entertainment with all the people in your life.


ACEO of the Week – 04/29/17

April 29, 2017
Doorway 2014-43

Doorway 2014-43
2.5″ x 3.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2014 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Whatever you do in life, spread hope. You might just be the candle that lights the way for someone.