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.
This blog comes about because of a post I saw on Facebook. I’m posting a clip of it below without any names.
Simple enough until a Debby Downer had to comment that these was words of hope until the darkness smothered you. I am paraphrasing, but barely. I was tempted to leave a comment, but couldn’t bring myself to.
I woke the next morning with this still ruminating through my mind.
I am not immune to the events of the world. Were I to be completely honest, I would admit my extreme dislike of humanity. I’ve spoken this aloud a few times, to which those around me delight in reminding me that I am human. A flaw in my character, believe me.
But I write because I want to have hope. Note that I didn’t say that I had hope, but rather that I want hope.
I do like several person on this planet we call home and cannot escape. But, I write to hang out with people who are champions and take on mantles that lead others into better lives. I write so that I can show people how to have courage, how they can choose to be better.’
The more I thought about this, the more I remembered that we all have choices. I usually say that in conjunction with people doing something that they want to do: write, paint, dance, sew, cook, whatever their talent is that they want to follow. But we have choices in our entire life.
I personally think that Debbie Downer is watching far too much news and hanging on every bad thing that happens in the world. Most people do. Now, I’m not advocating being uninformed, but I am saying, “Turn off the news!” When you listen to the talking heads (and that is just what they are), you pick up on their emotions. Those emotions influence what you are feeling along with their words. It imprints you, and usually negatively because good news doesn’t sell. Only misfortune gets ratings. So turn that crap off.
Then, when you read the headlines in the newspaper, as yourself if you want to bring that energy into your life or not. When you see a story about a girl being killed when hit by a truck, is that really something you want to spend your energy on? It’s not going to bring the girl back. Her family feels miserable. The driver of the truck, we hope, feels guilty and terrible. But it doesn’t change the situation. Do you really need to know more than the headline? Probably not. Why let it tap your energy any more? Make the choice to move along. Go read the story about Toys for Tots needing more donations. That’s actually something you might be able to help out with, to make a difference.
The Hermit use to be one of my least favorite cards of the Tarot, and one I got quite frequently. Then one day I read a great description in one of the books with a new deck I’d gotten. It talked about The Hermit, solitary, holding his light up for the world to see. He was a beacon, choosing to be alone, an individual of his own thoughts and actions. Someone could look upon him and his light and see a life worth living. He walks in the world, but does not let it taint him. Since then, I have taken that to heart and that is how I have chosen to live my life.
I might be human, but I am striving to be The Hermit. I want to be the reflection of what I wish to see in the world.
I don’t always succeed. I am, after all, human.
That won’t stop me from trying.
I realize I’m in charge of my choices. Every day, every moment. I can’t control the energy of others, but I know that I am responsible for my own happiness. Instead of concentrating on outside factors that I cannot control, I will focus on myself and what I can do.
This is my mission for 2019. I’d love for anyone brave enough to read this blog to join me. I may only be one, but I will be a light. If you join me, we make two. Maybe a third will join us, then a fourth. Be strong. Be love. Be the light.
Last week I wrote about three space paintings I was currently working on. I’ve still been whittling away at them, but I think I finally finished one of them. Maybe. At the moment of this writing, I’m waiting to see how dark the acrylics get after it dries and cures completely.
Let’s have a quick look back at the painting from last week:
Every time the starburst in the center dried, it got darker and darker. I kept having to paint it over and over to brighten the colors. Here’s the next layer:
At this point in the painting, I was really thinking about painting this over and starting anew. I liked some of it, but it was no where near what I had in my mind. Yet, I likes the gaseous clouds, so I thought I’d keep working. What could it hurt, right?
Note how much the centered darkened after drying here on this next picture compared to the last. It might not seem like a lot, but it was. In fact, this might actually have had another yellow layer put over it before I took the picture. Anyway, this was the first star layer.
I’m still continuing to work on the space paintings. Here’s my next step in their progress.
This one is the cloudy nebula.
Trying to get a second layer on there without killing the first. The paints are still wet in this photo, so I’m certain they are much brighter than they will be when they dry. It really is scary to see how dark it gets. Its like I walk away from it, and then when I come back it’s so much darker and I feel like I’ve lost all the light. I begin to wonder if I will be able to pull any of it back in.
This is now the fifth time I’ve started this blog post. The writing is not coming easily today and emotions are getting in the way.
I wish to send my thoughts to Stan Lee’s family and friends. While I never actually had the chance to meet him, my son ran into him several times at conventions. I would like to think that we would’ve gotten along quite well, both of us being creators and all.
I am thankful that I get to be a creator. Even on days when the writing isn’t going well. I know this too will pass. It, more than likely, is actually a stalling period right before a major idea strikes. Pregnant women often talk about how the baby stops moving right before it’s born, as if the child is conserving energy. Well, that didn’t happen with either of mine that I recall, but I know it happens with ideas. Usually there is a short time where I feel lacking all creativity. Then, suddenly, BANG! The story is out of the gate.
I knew that I didn’t want to draw a cactus, at least not a plain cactus, since that was the “low-hanging fruit” on this picture. As I let myself start thinking deeply about this prompt, I started thinking about what makes me prickly. The topic started to make me uncomfortable, so that’s how I knew I was on the right path. I started thinking about how once someone has been hurt by love, they can get prickly and not want anyone close to them.
Several years ago, I went to the park and sat alone in my car. My boys were off visiting their father. I was lonely and couldn’t stay at the quiet house any more. So I sat at the park and watched the clouds drift by. And cried. Okay, I’m going to admit it now, I cried. Hard. Long and hard.
Something encouraged me to open my eyes and look toward the sky. I did, and there was this cloud floating along that looked like this twisted genie lamp. I grabbed my sketchbook and drew it out. Then I did another, and another. I went home and continued drawing these all weekend long. It’s not like I was filling pages, but whenever I felt the mood to let my hands draw some elegant curves.