Sketchbook ramblings

Sometimes I like to go back through my sketchbook. I find interesting things.

Here’s a partially inked picture of *shock* Steigan. I use to draw him more than anything else. Not so much these days, but every now and then he pops up.

You can see that it’s over 2 years old.

More interesting is that on the next page, I found this statement that I wrote:

His eyes are older,

Yet they still mock me.

Temptation leave me be.

I am an idiot.

His eyes still haunt.

My heart grows none the wiser.

Just have to say, “Say what?” I found this to be a completely odd statement in my journal. Who the heck was I talking about? Was it just words that popped into my head? I have lines that do that sometimes, but I generally write them down in an idea file, not in my sketchbook. This makes me think I was actually referring to someone. Besides, words like “I am an idiot” don’t usually fill the snippets that land in my head; that also feels more like me talking in my head.

Since this was also dated around 2017 and there is absolutely no clue as to what I was thinking about on that day, I guess this will fall off into the mysteries of mankind. The world will never know what adventure I was on that day which led me to write these words.

Oh, and it’s more proof that I am no poet. But I do enjoy it when my past self leaves my future self some tantalizing mysteries.

Ladybugs

Just a quick note to let you know that my ladybug painting is now available on Zibbet.

Ladybugs
7″ x 5″
acrylic on canvas
©2019 Dawn Blair

I have always loved ladybugs. I remember going out on the ranch when I was younger and looking for ladybugs. I’d talk to them, or rescue them if I found them in an area where it might be dangerous for them (they were down too low and the irrigation water was coming, they were in a patch of grass about to be invaded by swimmers coming in to set up for the swim meet, etc.). They use to come and land on me all the time; they still do, but not as frequently because I’m not outside as much. It was actually because one landed on me, sparking my memories, that I decided there would be ladybugs in this picture.

I suspect we’ll be seeing more ladybug pictures in the future. For now, I have started here.

A tree dreams

Once again, I’m going to start with the last picture of the prior painting blog. This is where I was at when I started “fixing” the nebula. I almost stopped here, but I felt like the colors were too soft now.

img_7334

Black needed added in.

img_7335

I knew I needed to make the color more dramatic. It just felt too soft and everything blended without a draw for the eyes. So I intensified the hues with another layer. If you look carefully at the next picture, you can also see the splattering of stars.

img_7336

Time for the final stars and highlights on several of them. There are 7 glittering stars in that sky created by the dreams of a tree.

img_7337

Come see the original today at the Jerome Music Booster craft show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Happy adventuring!

The nebula develops

Honestly, I never expected the nebula to give the problems that it did. I thought I had this.

Yeah, right.

Okay, here is the last picture from the last blog so you can recall what it looked like.

img_7329

Here I blended the colors together. Oh, and I also added the sparkles to the tree which I wanted.

img_7330

So I thought it was all well at this point. I just needed to add in some dark spots.

img_7332

That was when I realized I had a mess. Giving the top a moment to dry, I filled in the ground beneath the tree. I wasn’t certain that I even wanted ground, but after I got it in, I decided that it had been the right thing to do.

img_7333

I had the thought at this point that I wanted the nebula to reflect the colors of the tree. I went back to some reference pictures of nebulae and tried to decide what I wanted to do. Here’s what came about:

img_7334

I’m going to leave this blog here for now. I’ll post the final on Saturday. As I will be out at the Jerome Music Booster craft show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can come see the real deal there.

Until then, happy adventuring.

The tree develops

Happy May Day!

Short blog here. It really didn’t take long for the tree to take form.

This is the second layer of the tree. Also started some highlighting on the trunk so it can take shape.

img_7328

Now for the full highlighting of the tree.

img_7329

Happy adventuring until next time.

Space on a long board

I’m working on a new space nebula painting and I’m hoping to have it ready for the Jerome Music Boosters’ craft show this weekend.

I had picked up this board that is 20″x10″ and I had thought I would paint a kind space nebula on it. Then I had another idea.

In order to start it, I had to plan where the “mist” would be and let it guide me to placing the nebula.

Are those dark clouds now on top of the mist at the bottom. Nope. Let’s see if the next picture can give us a clue.

Ah! There we go. It looks like the beginning of a tree. Stay tuned to see how this develops!

Progress – March 2019

At first, it was a relief not to do the weekly progress blogs. I could put the words to my story instead. I was kind of glad that I had released myself from that self-imposed obligation.

Then, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been missing them. Not doing them weekly, but the chat I had here. It was a time when I could talk to myself about what had gone on — granted, a very public chat, like talking to yourself while walking down the street. *grin*

I decided I would like to resume it, but on a monthly schedule. I hope you will like that too.

March has been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time at work, more than normal, which has taken me from my business. I can’t wait to get back to my usual routine there too. The weather has been good on a few weekends, so I’ve gotten some yard work done. Feels weird to be getting to it before May. Right now, I’m sitting outside in the sunlight with my dogs. It’s good as long as someone doesn’t come along walking their dog. Merlin doesn’t handle people or dogs (or anything not part of “the pack” very well). I’ve also been doing some work with vibration toned music in order to increase my energy (because I found that sunlight wasn’t doing enough as it usually does to brighten my spirits). I will say that I’m very glad I decided to give it a try. Normally I’d be all like, “Yes, everything is energy and vibration is nothing but a waveform energy. I don’t think different frequencies is going to help at all.” Let me just say that it does. I am feeling much better, much more relaxed and vibrant. I’ve also gotten back to meditation. All while getting words done.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been spending very much time with audio. I’m lucky if I get 10-15 minutes a day in, but I’ll take the baby steps.

I also haven’t gotten any painting or drawing done lately. Not for lack of trying here. I am back to arguing with myself about it. Long story short, I’d be better off if I’d just admit to myself that I don’t feel like drawing or painting at the moment and go and edit a story. Instead, I just waste time. Not minutes either. Like hours! It’s very frustrating. And I know the way out of it is action. Which only makes me angry at myself because I know just what needs to be done and I’m not doing any of it, or getting anything accomplished. The achiever in me hates that!

I need to take a moment and plan out my business for the next quarter, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m wondering if I should go monthly with my planning as well. I haven’t made a decision about that yet either. This is one thing I know I need to do with thoughtfulness, not from the low-energy state where I’ve been. It’s best for me to wait for now.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Daily word goal reached for 233 days! Weekly word goal reached for 36 weeks.

Writing for the month of March: 24,635 words

Writing year to date total: 73,375 words

Drawing/painting for March: a few sketches – nothing to write home about.

Audio: About 8 and 1/2 hours recording and editing audio. I have lots of chapters started on editing, but I keep discovering lines that haven’t been recorded. Haven’t had time to get in the booth and get the missing lines recorded. Soon!

What happened?

Let’s chat, shall we?

Let me start by saying that I’m trying an experiment and moving the free fiction to Friday. I want to see if it has better results there. (catch last week’s now) Not going to lie. This is all about the exposure. Me running the free fiction does no good if only a few people are reading it. I want more eyes on it.

If you were looking for my progress blog that I usually run on Monday and didn’t see it, you’re not imagining things. I didn’t run it. I had originally thought that it would be a way of me being publicly accountable, and I still like that idea, but I’m not sure anyone really cares. I thought someone might be interested in seeing how all gets done in my life and the incremental baby steps it takes. I had hoped that it would inspire others. Instead, I feel as if it didn’t have the intended effect. I also didn’t come back to review it like I thought I would.

Feeling like no one really cared culminated with other factors (cold, snow, gray skies, working many hours, little sleep, and a desperate need for sunshine) into a massive depression for me. Massive.

I don’t like talking about my depression or admitting that I have it. I’ve seen others with depression and mine is very mild comparatively. Usually I can resolve mine by getting more sleep. Not this time. I had the stupid little voices working away in my head and they wouldn’t leave me be. I began to feel destructive. Worse, I couldn’t cry. I felt as if I could vent with tears, things might be okay.

Continue reading

Progress – February 18, 2019

Let me here a big “Woo-hoo!”

WOO-HOO!

Oh, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. *grin*

I know, you want to know why you have to give a big congratulatory whoop. Here it is: I finished my read-though edits of Tangled Magic last week and got it to my reader. She, in turn, sent me back my story Alexander’s Den. Now I just have to edit up those corrections.

Books I ordered to restock my supply for Wizarding Dayz come in. I’ll be heading to Sandy, Utah, for that later this week. I hope the weather is good for driving there and back, as well as for my son who is coming home from Pocatello to help me with the show.

I finished the 18″x24″ painting I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks. I hope to have more on that later in the week — planning on doing the progression painting photos on the blog. We’ll see if I get there or if I’m too busy getting ready for the show.

Also spent some time in my booth getting audio recorded since I won’t be doing any for a couple of weeks.

Here are the numbers for this week:

Fiction words written last week:  4,206 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,228 words.

Daily word goal reached for 191 days! Weekly word goal reached for 30 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  14,938 words

Writing year to date total: 40,102 words

Drawing/painting last week: As I said above, I finished my 18″x24″ acrylic landscape painting. I posted a photo of it online and it seems like people are enjoying it.

Audio: I spent 2 hours editing and recording audio. It was very slow because as I was merging in the dialogue for a chapter, I kept discovering missing lines. I tried to go onto another chapter, but I wasn’t ready for that any other chapter later on down the line either. So, I had to wait until I could find time to get back to it. But now I should be good again, so I can get back to work on that. It did give me some time to, oh, sleep and work on the edits for Tangled Magic. I think that’s the reason I got through the edits. I guess that’s one of the good things about doing multiple things.




Progress – February 4, 2019

It was suggested to me last week that one of the reasons I might have been feeling so tired was because of the weather. I forget how cloudy days have such an effect. I made it a point to let more sunlight into my office and that certainly did help. I also reminded myself that I had to take better care of myself — I’d let that slip and I’m sure it also took it’s toll. As a result, I got a lot done even with my day job taking up extra time as it always does at the end of January.

So as soon as I started to get my energy back up, I got to work on the cover for Cirvel’s story, which I think will begin to run next week on my blog. It’s still in draft form, but I’ll have a cover reveal later this week. I also realized that I never finalized the cover for Walk the Path, the second part of Rivic’s story. So, I have that to be working on. Maybe getting it done will help invigorate me to get the edits done for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path. I’m about three quarters of the way through Tangled Magic, but I have found a big section that needs some help. Basically, I have Rivic leaving Cirvel’s chambers and having a fight with Nyree, chapter break, then Rivic is returning to Cirvel’s chambers. In rearranging scenes, I ended up butting these two up against each other. Something has to be fixed. I’m not sure what I want to do, if I just want to have a short transition or if I want to fill the space with another scene. The latter feels as if that’s the best option, but I worry about being able to balance the books. Yep, I’m glad that I’m writing them together.

I also had an experience were I looked out a window and saw something red hanging from a tree branch. It was merely a speck that I could barely see, but I wondered what it was. It was one of those moments when I felt a character invading. She told me it was a ribbon and now that it was red, she knew that her beloved was dead. Within 900 words, I suspected that I was writing the story about how the Plenelians came to hate magic. I’ve always wondered why. It’s been a question I’ve been pondering for nearly 30 years. Yes, a story I wrote that long ago featured the Plenelians, but I didn’t realize it at the time — it actually came in splitting the first draft of Rivic’s story (back when I’d been writing it for Nanowrimo) that I realized my character was a Plenelian. Yeah, if you’re confused, try being in my head for a while. *grin*

That story had now created over 3,000 words this week. Write it down while it flows.

I returned to work some on Elliot’s story when Cirvel’s slowed down. Since those two tie together, I have a feeling I’ve got to get them to work in conjunction. I found a huge hole in Elliot’s story — there’s a plot element from a long time ago when Elliot’s story was originally a romance (remember that time from 30 years ago I’d mentioned earlier — yeah, same dumb portion of my life, back when I believed in romance). Anyway, that aspect of the setting has got to go. I tried to keep it, but I find it interfering with the story I’m trying to tell now. I had to go have a chat with Cirvel about what he was trying to accomplish. That interview is going slowly; the man can be stubborn when he wants. However, I think I have what I need to know, but there’s going to be some rewriting on Elliot’s story to clean out the junk. And you know, I’m rewriting this whole damn book all because there is one scene I want to preserve from the defunct romance. One scene. I have almost the whole manuscript sitting in a drawer. How easy would it be to pull it out and just retype and publish that? Very. But I can’t get behind that story. I didn’t realize then that it was part of Cirvel’s story. I don’t want to tell it as a romance any more. I changed Elliot’s character completely. They really are no longer the same story.

Don’t worry, the original version of Quest for the Three Books was a romance too. That turned out much better because I took the awful romance out of it.

Okay, there is a part of me that misses the romance, back in that time of my life where I could believe in it. Why? For the sake of not running this blog too long, I will tell you tomorrow. How does that sound?

Great! Onward then.

I finished the edits for the audio for Oxygen and I got the audiobook cover done for that. I still need to make a correction before I upload the audio, but it’s a simple correction. I just need a moment to do that and start the upload.

Meanwhile, I’m back to recording Manifest the Magic and I’m hopeful I can salvage the voices I have already done. I merged in voices on the first chapter and I like the way it sounds.

I also finished another space painting this week. I hope to have more on that later this week too.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  5,093 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,333 words.

Daily word goal reached for 177 days! Weekly word goal reached for 28 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  25,164 words for January , 3,851 for February so far.

Writing year to date total: 29,015 words

Drawing/painting last week: Finished a 9″x12″ painting that I want to incorporate into a larger painting. Also still working on that larger piece I started last week.

Audio: I spent 6 hours editing and recording audio.