Progress – July 9, 2018

July 10, 2018

My 4th of July started at 6:30 a.m. It didn’t end until 1:30 a.m. on July 5th. With the exception of sharing meals with my boys and all of us playing Legendary (where we finally managed to beat Thanos!), I spent the entire day getting ready for Salt Lake Gaming Con. Just so many little things that needed to be done.

I didn’t get a word written that day.

I also have been so tired (with some other things going on too) that I just didn’t get this blog done as I normally do. So, it got delayed a day.

I did manage, in the extra time, to get my dictated words transcribed, so I got to add them into my numbers. I just was too busy running around last week and didn’t get enough written. Yes, that means I didn’t get my full word count done, so I once again start at zero.

I’m not sure how much I’ll get done this week either. I’ve got Wizard World Boise coming up this weekend. Fortunately, there’s very little for me to do to get ready for that show now that I’ve done most of it for Salt Lake Gaming Con. If you want to get 20% off tickets for Wizard World Boise, please use code SKYS20 at checkout. This is not an affiliate code and I don’t get anything in return for you using it. It’s merely a discount.

I should say that Salt Lake Gaming Con was fun. I met some really great people and I’ll be sharing more about that here later on in the week (unless I get too busy, then it’ll be next week). I also learned about some other shows in the area and am trying to book more. We’ll see what comes out of that.

Well, right now I want to go get some sleep.

Then, I have to figure out what my Wednesday fiction will be. (yikes!)

Fiction words written last week: 3,915 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  106 words

Weekly word goal reached for 0 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  4,642 words

Writing year to date total: 174,351 words

Drawing/painting last week: I varnished a ton of ACEO’s for my shows – yes, new miniature artwork if you come see me at a show.

Audio: I spent less than an hour editing audio. Yep, this hit the floor this last week too.

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Views from Salt Lake Gaming Con

July 6, 2018

Some views of and from my booth:


Progress – July 2, 2018

July 2, 2018

Greetings, fellow adventurers.

One of the things about traveling through time and space is never knowing what germs you might come up again. Generally, I found that the Wellness Formula by Source Naturals is wonderful for keeping me healthy (note: these are affiliate links). I swear by the stuff and never leave home without it.

However, in my latest travels, I came across the Bratlitski Sa Mucus Flu, or at least that’s what the physician at Bayllor told me. She recommended tripling my Wellness Formula (see, the stuff is even recommended on other worlds), doubling my intake of doTerra’s On Guard formula (yes, I do recommend doTerra’s essential oils — I’ve tried others, but doTerra’s is truly better than any of the ones I’ve tried — PS. I hate MLM’s, so for me to be a part of doTerra’s system says something about my belief in their oils. I can sell them, if someone wants to get them through me, but I’d rather be out playing in time and space, so I don’t get aggressive about selling doTerra. Besides, that’s not why we’re here today),  taking some Slippery Elm along with some of Source Naturals Throat Spray (that stuff is wicked but does seem to work well), and decreasing my activity until my body demanded that I just sleep. I still went and walked for over a mile that day, but come afternoon when I got home, I crashed. I slept, broke with bouts of trying to eat and drink some, though it did make me nauseous at one point, so I just went back to bed.

The next morning, I woke with a hoarse voice and my head is still terribly congested. Bratlitski Sa Mucus Flu is a lot like major head congestion. Not fun. It certainly put a dampener on audio work because I couldn’t hear what I needed to fix in my audio.

Fortunately for me, I’d gotten a lot of things done early in the week, so taking this time off didn’t hurt me so badly, unlike last weekend where I had to get all my words in during those two days.

I have been trying to get back to painting all week. Before I came down with the Bratlitski Sa Mucus Flu, I got my palette all set up, went and dug an easel out of storage, and even prepared a couple canvases. I’d like to have some more quick pieces done for my shows. I even watched some YouTube videos to help inspire me. This one guy I found talks about doing paintings in 10 minutes — haven’t I always said that you don’t need a whole lot of time to take baby steps toward your dreams? He is definite proof that once you have the skills for your creative craft, you can certainly increase your production. I think an 8″x10″ in ten minutes (sometimes a little longer) is fast painting. Someday I hope to get there. At least he’s inspired me to do it.

Now we fall into July which is going to be a busy month. I have two shows (Salt Lake Gaming Con (booth #58) and Boise Wizard World), bike rides, company coming, other obligations, plus my usual travels through time and space. I am so excited, even though I know it’s going to be busy. The next busy month will be September. Guess if I was going to get the Bratlitski Sa Mucus Flu, now is a good time.

Well, it’s time for me to go take a round of my medicines and rest some more. I want to recover fast. Much left to be done before the quickly approaching Salt Lake Gaming Con.

Take care, fellow adventurers, and never leave home without your Wellness Formula.

Fiction words written last week: 4,357 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,697 words

Weekly word goal reached for 5 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  27,348 words for June, 621 words for July.

Writing year to date total: 170,330 words – halfway done with the year and over halfway towards my goal.

Drawing/painting last week: I set up my palette and did some sketching, but that’s all

Audio: I spent 3.5 hours editing audio.


Self-Improvements

June 12, 2018

I’ve learned skill I never imagined I’d be learning. Plus, I work at learning new things all the time. I think it’s important to always be improving yourself.

Okay, the “advice gurus” these days are always touting how “entrepreneurs or people wish to be leaders” should specialize and niche down — hand off the things that they are not good at.

While this is fine most of the time, what about when you are raising a family with no outside help? There is no one else I could hand things off too that would just do it for free. What are they going to work for? Exposure? (Okay, that’s a bad artists’ joke — doctors, plumbers, accountants, lawyers, etc. all expect to be paid for the work they do, but when it comes to artists (whether it be writers, photographers, artists, actors, etc) they are often asked to do a job as a “favor” for free because it’ll get them great exposure with all the people at the wedding, event, social gathering, etc. Annoying!)

Yeah, trust me, my plumber doesn’t want to come fix the pipes on my old house for the exposure of having his truck out front, even if I were to pay for supplies myself. (“But other people in my neighborhood might need your help and imagine how much business you could get by having your truck there.” Okay, I actually have a plumber living across the street from me, so in my mind, Loki is really laughing at me right now asking if I want a plumber fight on my hands.) So, I learned to fix things and put in my own elbow grease.  Read the rest of this entry »


The energy must give you permission

June 1, 2018

I heard several profound things at Anime Oasis in Boise, Idaho, last week.

One panel I attended was on cosplay characterization. Now, cosplay is not something I do though my son loves to dress up in costume (also different than true cosplay where you not only look like the character but act as them too). I thought it might be interesting to see different people’s takes on getting into character. It might provide me insight into designing my own characters.

I wasn’t disappointed.

There were several things that I “knew” in the back of my mind, but that I hadn’t ever really put into practice. A lot of that comes from writing about heroic characters, I’m sure.

Now the actor who cosplays as Jack Sparrow was on the panel, answering questions as Jack Sparrow. He has attended several cons as Jack and does not break character, except for maybe when he actually met Johnny Depp. For the panel, they had a stretch of ten minutes or so where the actor removed his Jack Sparrow wig and answered questions as himself.

He said probably the most profound things I’d heard at the convention.

He asked the audience how many people liked to cosplay because they believed they were the character. Not only did no one want to respond, but everyone kind of looked around as if not sure if he’d lost his marbles.

I whispered to my son, “Does it count if we’re writing, not cosplaying?”

Then “Jack” announced that a character was not a person, but rather an idea. While I could see where he was going with this, it was also something I felt. He continued to say that you needed to have permission to access the energy of that idea.

I wonder if anyone felt as in agreement with that thought than me. I wonder how many people thought that cosplay was nothing but dressing up and pretending.

I have spoken about how my stories have an energy to them, a life of their own, and I’ve probably even mentioned it for my characters. Even Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic mentions how she didn’t listen to one story and it went to another writer. But the idea that you have to have permission from the energy to gain access to the idea really made me stop and think.

Does some permission come easier than others?

Loki’s novellas are very easy for me to tell, but yes, he came to me and started talking to me. I was receptive and he kept going. Believe me when I say that I’m not trying to think things up with his novellas; I’m always in too much of a hurry to get things down. He talks, I transcribe. But his energy is not always available to me. I feel it when he withdraws and when he wants me to focus on his story.

All of Sacred Knight and Onesong have been huge stories which feel bigger than me sometimes. I know I have to just keep treading with one foot in front of the other and not think about the whole picture. Yet, I also remember a time when I didn’t have permission to tell this story. It took years for me to get back to it.

Dragons of Wellsdeep is another that I don’t always have permission to write. As is Stonecharmer — in fact, it was only earlier today that I felt like getting back to it. Am I now ready to access another part of the story. Did something happen in my life which unlocked something I need for the story. Is it an odd sort of gamification that goes on? Did I earn a trophy that lets me pass to the next level?

But not only can I see it so clearly with my writing, but with my painting as well. As I’ve been thinking of this concept over the week of having to have permission to access the energy, I recalled writing at one point that I hadn’t really painted a whole lot since my mother’s death. I literally had a series of paintings that downloaded to my brain that day. I have not been able to paint them up. And since then, I’ve hardly painted. I feel as if I did have permission to see these scenes, given to me at a very trying moment, and I rejected them. Is it possible that the energy as a whole revoked it’s permission toward my painting?

Could this be the same reason I couldn’t write for several years (as I mentioned above)?

Yes, I can see it.

I remember feeling so distraught and lonely when I couldn’t write. It hurt. A friend told me I needed to grieve and I did. Once I felt myself healing from that, my writing came back. This wasn’t overnight, none of it. It was a long road.

I would like to avoid taking that long path with my painting. I do want to paint, as much as I wanted to write when I literally couldn’t. Yes, this feels similar. But now I know that I need to respect the energy and have it’s permission.

I don’t what this means, either for the short term or the long term, only that I do have a new respect for the artistic process both as a writer and a painter. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be more to come.


Expanded creativity

May 15, 2018

I haven’t shown any of my paintings for a while. Mostly because I haven’t painted in a couple months.

However, recently I had a friend purchase some of my artwork and I’m fortunate enough to see how she used her own creativity to expand upon what I had done.

Sally had this extra frame she’d purchase, but she hadn’t known just quite what to do with it until she saw one of my blogs on my artwork. She asked me to show her what paintings I had for sale. Happily, I brought in my box for her to dig through.

She picked two which really spoke to her (as is a great way to pick art — gee, imagine that: you buy art that you want to look at. Simple. *grin*).

Here’s how she put it all together:

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“I like hidden things,” Sally told me. “I like things that make you think.” She said that my paintings reminded her of The Secret Garden and that she wanted to know what was behind the doorway. In her mind, it goes to a place hidden away where the swing is.

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Listening to her talk about it reminds me why I like to paint: I get to create my secret place, my hide-away. Writing gives me a place where I can have people dealing with strife. But painting is where I am completely alone in my own little mental exploration. I’m never alone on my writing adventures, but I am when I’m painting.

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It’s great to see something that I created be part of a larger piece of someone else’s creativity like this.

Thank you, Sally, for letting me share!


ACEO Painting – February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

Another ACEO I painted last weekend. I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of painting on these canvas sheets. Practice, practice, practice.

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Landscape
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2018 Dawn Blair