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!

Progress – January 28, 2019

There are some weeks when I am just tired. Last week was one of them.

In trying to reboot my painting, I have several decisions to make. That lead me, of course, to research to find tools that will help me and that, obviously, leads me to testing several different tools to see which one(s) I like.

What frustrates me is that I had a tool I liked. It had years of data in it. I did want to clean it up some, maybe divide the database. But because of changes in technology, the program doesn’t work quite right any more. The company that developed it still has a website that for the last two years has asked for patience while they update their systems — they want to move to a cloud platform. However, I’m not sure they are serious about that any longer. I have exported the artwork data from the program, but it’s not easy to import without a lot of cleanup, mapping fields, and making it fit a new program.

With that experience, I don’t want to start something else that could potentially disappear or become obsolete. Which makes me think about paper files — good until a fire, or flood, etc.

So, it makes me leery to pull the trigger on anything. I don’t want something I will just end up rebuilding in seven to ten years. I realize that technology changes and that we have to have forward movement, but it seems like everything always needs constant updating and when a business no longer wishes to continue, they just close up. No one wants to build for a legacy, only for the current moment (and dollar, though I’ve read that the average lifespan of a solid business is about 30 years). It makes me tired.

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Progress – November 20, 2017

This has been a week where I feel like I’ve been busy but I can’t say that I’ve been productive. There is a difference and I generally try to stay away from busy work to do productive work. Yet, this week I’m not sure it was a success.

I promised myself that I would take my time in getting Quest for the Three Books up as the replacement for The Three Books. Yeah, well, it hijacked my life and I had to get it done. After all, how could I put out another book (Space Ninjas Aren’t Real on 11/21) listing The Three Books and having one more book I will have to correct? That is

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Progress – 02/20/17

Fiction words written last week: 7,883 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  985 words

Writing month to date total: 19,341 words.

Writing year to date total: 41,471 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 6 hours on editing  and recording audio.

Week’s happenings: I feel like I’m just about back on my game. I started my read-through of the 4th Sacred Knight book. I actually made headway this week, until Friday. Then I started having the urge to watch a movie. According to my spreadsheet that I keep, I had accomplished my daily writing goals (the minimum I need to reach in order to get to my yearly goal) every day for 7 days. I was so thrilled that I had the streak going on. Several of those days, I was far above my limit, meaning I was catching up on my prior days where I hadn’t reached that goal. But then Friday afternoon I started feeling the need to veg out and watch a movie. Mind you, I love stories. Movies are probably my favorite way of taking in a story because it only takes about two hours, but I generally feel as if I’m wasting my time when I should be writing my own stories. I literally have to remind myself that I’m watching a movie to take a break. But when I want to kick back and only be entertained, that’s usually my clue that I haven’t take an a recreational break in a while and I need to come to a full stop for a bit. Saturday I got my wish. I watched Howl’s Moving Castle. Dianne Wynn Jones was a wonderful storyteller. I want to be a writer just like her when I grow up.

On Thursday and early Friday, I thought I might even get some painting done. I thought that I’d spend Saturday writing and have reached my weekly goal so that I could spend Sunday writing. Obviously that didn’t happen. I have spent a lot of time thinking about that dream I spoke about in my blog last week and I’ve had so many additional insights about it. I feel like this week I’ve only aquired my inspiration that anything else since I still haven’t progressed forward with it.

I made several corrections to audiobook edition of The Last Ant, so I hope to have those merged this week and begin on my final mastering work. I’d like to have it up in a couple of weeks but we’ll see what really happens. I also spent some time trying to resolve some of the issues which make editing audio so painstakingly long. I re-recorded the first chapter of The Three Books (AGAIN!) and I need to listen to it to see if I’m making any progress. I feel like every time I move forward, I take two steps back. I look at the fact that I’ve spent 21 hours so far this year doing audio work and I tell myself that it’s 21000 words I could have written. Am I having fun yet? No, this is more damn work than I’d planned on. At times it really ticks me off. But then, I get in the booth and start to tell my story and suddenly I’m blissfully sharing my story. If I could actually get from booth to listener with ease (okay, I know it will never be as easy as I had orginially thought it would be, but not spending so much time editing everything would be helpful), I’d be delighted.

Maybe I’m still feeling tired overall, maybe I need more of a recreational break, maybe I’m feeling a little frustrated, maybe a little of all of the above, but I feel like I have so much more to go and too much to learn. In every aspect of my life, there are things that I love to do and I want to be at a certain level that at the moment it seems it will take me forever to get to. I want to be a great storyteller with innovative ideas like Dianne Wynn Jones. I want to be an artist that transports viewers to beautiful, magical places. I want to be a good enough voice actor that people love to listen to my tellings of the stories. Am I wanting too much? Would it be better if if I wanted a simpler life? But I only have the spot where I’m at. I can’t climb the mountain if I don’t start. I must keep putting one foot in front of the other, putting myself out there with what I have. That’s all anyone can ever do. And maybe if I’m lucky, this week I’ll be better than the last week.

Be you

Study painting
acrylic on canvas
©2012 Dawn Blair

Does a cat ever worry that it needs to be more of a cat?

Does a tree ever try to become a tulip? Does it ever try to have straighter branches? Or maybe bright blue leaves?

Isn’t it time that you just be yourself?

What a Monday!

Okay, it’s been a day. I won’t go into all of it, but it’s been a Monday oh so totally.

Woke up to a couple inches of snow, not that it was unexpected. But today, everyone and their dog decided to drop their kids off at school. Traffic was backed up a whole block. I couldn’t get the boys any closer to school than I usually do unless I wanted to be stuck in traffic for at least half an hour.

Then, I had to pick the boys up right before school got out for an appointment. I was waiting for my oldest and when he showed up, I was irritated and ranting at him for taking so long as we left the school. I walked right in front of the buses lined up for students and out to where cars were coming in and slipped on the ice. My son tried to step around me, but slid himself. He worked very hard to not fall on top of me.  In the process, so I would learn a bit later, he ripped his shoe in half during the fall. Ripped the bottom right off. And the other shoe had a smaller tear in it. I couldn’t believe the shoes just blew out like that.

Then I get home and start reading the news and see that the Twitter accounts were hacked in the same weekend that I signed up for the account. That is so my luck!

But, I count my blessings. If this is the extent of the drama in my life, then I am very fortunate. There’s so much going on in the world. I know that people are all wanting to know about the death of John Travolta’s son and read about the details of Madonna’s divorce. In my own town, I know of a woman who just walked out on her husband and kids. In another family, there was a girl (the same age as my youngest son) that died of hypothermia on Christmas day when her father let her and her brother out of their stranded car to walk home to their mother. The brother who barely survived the incident shares many classes with my son. Today was the first day back at school after the holidays. I asked my son if the brother was there and he wasn’t, which I thought was good. I couldn’t imagine being that mother waiting for school to get out knowing that one of her children was coming home while the other would never walk through the door again. Yet the whole world (according to a news statement I heard this morning) was going to be mourning the loss of Jett Travolta. No, sorry. While I am sorry that the Travolta’s lost a child, I feel less sympathy for Jett knowing that he lived a life of privilage than I have for an underprivelaged child who died in the snow long before she should have because of an intoxicated stupid moment on the part of her father – the person who should loved and protected her the most. Appreciate the people around you because you never know when they will be taken from this life. I very much believe in John Edwards’ saying of “Appreciate, communicate, and validate.” Sorry, I have probably ranted on about this longer than I should have, but it’s been nagging at me for a week, even before I knew much my children knew the little girl and her brother, but my heart goes out to this family. It makes me wonder why people can spend so much time caring about the Brad – Angelina – Jen triangle when we have so many lives around us that are not so far removed and that we should be caring about.

Don’t even get me started on most of the brain rot they call good television!

Okay, next time: more art, less depression! Just wanted to let you all know that I do stick my head up out of the sand sometimes!

And the painting goes on

Hi, everyone!

As always, it’s been a madhouse here. But, wishing the hectic roller coaster would stop and let me off isn’t an option.  I’ve signed up for the ride so I’m stuck until it comes to a full and complete stop. So I’m just trying to keep my hands and arms inside the vehicle until then.

I know I keep swearing that I’m going to get started with my eBay items again. And I am. I promise. Eventually. Please keep checking. It will happen. Let me know you’re looking and not finding anything and that will help to spur me. Of course, if you’re wanting something now, you can always go to my website and see what’s available. It’s hard right now though. I had a style I was working toward and had a lot of great comments on and good sales. However, it wasn’t something I could see myself doing for 60 years. So now I’m working on painting more traditional landscapes but I find myself stuck and able only to “paint by numbers.” Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but it feels like it. I’m suddenly worried that I’ll never pull away from this student work and “find myself” again. So then I’m forcing myself to experiment, and let me tell you that’s working out so well– NOT! The level that my sarcasm has reached should tell you just how bad it is. Okay, I’m breathing now. I swear I’m just trying some things out, trying to adapt my old style with all the techniques I know now. It’s got me a little frazzled. Much like children that won’t go to sleep when they are told.

Here’s a piece that was finished a little while ago.  More will be posted here as soon as I get them downloaded from my camera.

Waterfall

Oh yes, I’m still painting away. Not getting things done as quickly as I always hope I will. More like the turtle than the hare in this race. It doesn’t help that I’ve spent a large amount of time repainting canvases too. It seems like for every painting I finish, I start 3 over, hiding their atrocities under a thick layer of gesso.  But compared to photography, I’m doing well — there it’s for every 1 picture I keep, I have 50 more in the back files never to be seen. It’s all relative!

Until next time….