Progress – 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.


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. 

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Progress – April 30, 2018

I can’t believe we are here at the end of the month. A third of the year is now done.

Hmm, that brings up an interesting question: why do we divide the year into quarters and not thirds? Maybe this hits me strangely now, because I just did my quarterly business meeting with myself over the weekend. I chided myself, as is best when you are having a meeting with yourself because people look at you strangely when you blur out random admonishments at them (Dude! Really? — seek what I mean), that my meeting was coming awfully late; I’d already lost the first month of the second quarter. I’m already starting off this quarter behind. But, considering that people are so naturally tuned to the number 3, why we don’t have 3 thirds with 4 months in it? As I sit here writing and wondering this, I must wonder if I should move to a setup like this. It would force me to think four to eight months ahead instead of three (or two as usually happens) to six (or five) ahead. You know, I might try that for the rest of this year and next year, just to see if that fits my internal nature better. (No, my dear accountant friends, my bookkeeper side is not having issues with that. I already work monthly and yearly, but quarterly only effects me for payroll reports. I am not bothered one bit by shifting my thinking this way.)

I finished the draft of Onesong. There’s still something nagging me about the last chapter, but I’m trusting the process that I already have something rolling around in my head and I just need it to spring forth. It will. It always does. I’m not forcing it right now. And, some of it may come with where I decide to split the story. It’s right about 140,000 words total after all the extra stuff is chopped off. I haven’t looked to see if some of that fluff really needs to stay in the story. I also have a list of things that I kept thinking needed to happen which I need to sift through and see if it’s really as important as I thought it was when I started the list. (which reminds me, I have another Anne Dillard quote that I found when I was researching my previous blog to make sure her words hadn’t been pulled out of context. It pertains to this list exactly. I must write that next blog.)

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Where your decision comes in

A lot of people want to be creative, to write a book, to learn to paint, to do pottery.


That single word is a chasm that must be crossed. It implies lack, that something is missing. Saying, “I want a new car” means that you don’t have it in your life. Much different from “I’m going to buy a new car today.” Standing at the brink of “I want to write a book (or whatever)” is making a lack of the actual doing.

Decision is the faith to make the jump across the chasm. It is that step from “I want to create” to “I am creating.”

And that stirs up a lot of fear. In going from lack to having, there is a big change. Change always evokes an emotional response. Once you realize the demon standing between “I want” and “I am” is purely a primal response trying to keep you warm and safe in the status quo, it’s easier to move through it.

Every action has a reaction — meaning to act again. Once you’ve gotten one page out, one painting out, one bowl done, you take those new skills forward to the next project.

Gee, what do you know? You are now making art.

Create away!

Let’s talk bookkeeping! Part 1a – Assets continued…

As an artist, there is one main asset I didn’t even cover in my last post yet it is the most important of all. Even more important than cash. Really? More important than cash? B…b…but cash is king! What could possibly be more important?


You are the one thing that bookkeeping can’t account for and yet you are the most important asset there is. No one can make your art like you. No one can even make you create art. You are the one that has to make the decision to do it and to stay with it.

Inspireation Falls
36x18 Acrylic on wrapped canvas
© 2010 Dawn Blair

You need to take care of yourself.

I never realized how important my hands were until I had both of wrists in metal braces and could barely wiggle my fingers.

My mentor was a fantasy author who loved her characters so passionately she wrote several books about them, had a screenplay worked up and was talking to people about getting it made into a movie, and had written the musical score to go with the movie. But she smoked and it killed her. While her books were published (and faded into obscurity), she never got the movie produced. It died on the vine. I think of her when I hear Wayne Dyer’s quote, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”

So do stop every once in awhile and make sure you’re taking care of yourself. This not only includes eating right, exercising, and pampering yourself (along with all that other ya-ya people always say when they tell you to take care of yourself), but to take a moment to relax, read, learn, practice. You need to stay sharp physically and mentally. As they said about the Sword of Gryffindor in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie part 1, take in that which makes you stronger. Try something new. Keep adding to your skills. Yes, you can take certain expenses in your own development, like the cost of classes, but as I said when I started this piece, you are one thing that can’t go on the books and knowledge is something that can’t be taken away from you. Those unique skills and your knowledge combine to become your style and your voice — it’s how your art ends up expressing itself to the world.

So when you’re doing your monthly financial evaluation as I’ve recommended before, ask yourself what you’ve done for yourself lately. Don’t let your art die on the vine. Keep growing the asset that is you!