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28 May 2010

God Made Long Weekends


This is where I spend the majority of my life at the present:


This is where I wish I was spending the majority of my life at the present.

Yes, sea kayaking in Wales. What? Tahiti? Why go to Tahiti when you can go to Wales ?!? (Yes, folks, I'm strange...)

But alas, while I dream of the Welsh coast while working in office world, I do have one, comforting thought (at the present):
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!!

Three day weekends are always a pleasure, even if it just gives me an extra day to catch up on the laundry. Technically, I get three and a half days (I get out of here around 2 today). I'm hoping to weasel away some time to get some writing done, and get some supplies ordered for a new art journey I'm desperate to embark upon.

What are YOU up to this weekend, lovelies? I know, it's only a three day weekend here in the States and I sincerely apologize to my international readers for harping on the whole extra day off thing.

Whatever you do, have fun, enjoy yourself, and pause for a moment to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day in the first place.

Happy weekend, kids! See you all Tuesday!
Jen

(So, I WAS going to post a bunch of pictures but for some reason, whenever I decide to add pictures and then put text in between them, it likes to mush all the text together. And that makes for some seriously ugly postage. So I added links. It's an interactive post, kids!)

26 May 2010

Because sometimes you just need a laugh.

"You can't deny laughter;
when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair
and stays as long as it wants." ~Stephen King







Ever been wandering through a bakery and saw a cake that made you gasp in horror? No?!?! We-he-ell, do I have a site for you: Cake Wrecks
Don't say I didn't warn you...
Had any good laughs today? Do share!
Happy Wednesday,
Jen

25 May 2010

Getting There


no, this is NOT what I have been subsisting on for the past three months.
keep reading and you'll understsand...er...hopefully.

A great big "THANKS A BUNDLE" to all my fabulous readers (ahem...that means YOU!). I'm feeling a bit better, not in as much pain today but still a bit "blah". You do know that's a highly educated sounding medical term, right?

Doctor: So, how are you feeling today?

Patient: Blah

Doctor: Gads! I had no idea it was so bad!

I'm not really sure what's going on (no surprise there...) but I'm doing some research and haunting the herb shops like the smell of three week old Limburger.

As I sit here at work, marvelling at how slow the clock seems to be working today (maybe it's feeling as sluggish as I am), I thought I'd do a little Googling for blog themes. I'm sort of addicted to graphic design and like to daydream about the day I'm able to html and css my way to total design freedom.

Until then, I'll shout out a great big THANKS to all the designers at The Cutest Blog on the Block,
Blogger Templates, and Shabby Blogs take all the glory.

[Just for beer and skittles I searched for "pimp my blog" and lo and behold, it doth exist! Can I get a feather boa with that? Blue please. Thanks.]

Lethargically yours,
Jen

24 May 2010

Not so much a post as an interruption...

I'm not feeling quite as spry today as my self would like to be feeling. Yes, I'm still sitting at work, glaring -er- staring at the computer, but the fog that's been hovering around the olde grey matter for the past few months has finally descended and it's taking all I can to meander about these few words.

My apologies. Here's to a brighter (and less painful) tomorrow!
Cheers,
Jen

21 May 2010

Friday Roundup, a bit about genre, and ridiculous Wild, Wild West speak


So...

Last post I dropped a little hint about some new forays into the great, wide realm of genres. Genre busting. Yep. That's me. Pulling out the big guns and kicking in the saloon doors. I'm rounding up some rogue genres and I'm curious...

Any of you write in these here parts? If so, let me hear from you!

Supernatural Thriller: Okay. I just spent 30 minutes trying to find a decent definition of the "supernatural thriller". Apparently there's not one. But they do exist. Just ask Frank Peretti.

Now I am in no way comparing myself to Dean Koontz, Bram Stoker, or Stephen King. That would be stupid. It's just that I have recently discovered that I really, really enjoy a good ghost story. Something creepy (not gruesome) that makes me think, that makes me sleep with the light on, that makes me jump six inches off the sofa when something upstairs falls suddenly at 2am. But to say "I write ghost stories" sounds a big dicey. To say, "I write horror" makes people want to sprinkle holy water over you and make the sign against the evil eye after you've parted ways. But a supernatural thriller? Hmmm...a good old M. Night Shyamalan crossed with a murder mystery that all happens on a dark and stormy night somewhere in distant Algeria. Now you're talking. Of course, you can UP the "supernatural" quota and put it on a distant planet, in the distant future, or maybe the past. Would that make it a "Supernatural Sci-Fi/Fantasy Thriller"? Or how about some good old Dark Fantasy that makes you hunker down under the blankets because you're afraid (genuinely afraid) the evil elves WILL come out after night fall?

After writing all of this I have to wonder...IS there a genre for what I want to write? Perhaps you can help me. Ghost story? Check. Mystery? Check. Dark Fantasy? Double check. Psychological "holy crap I never saw that coming" moments sprinkled throughout? Ah...triple check. Real life or death situations that make your pulse race? Yep. Enough "scare" to make you check over your shoulder at least a half a dozen times while you're writing it? Definitely. No gore, guts or unrelated, totally unnecessary sex scenes. I'm all for some good old medieval violence (a la Brave Heart or Lord of the Rings), but I really don't need to see the old intestines spilled when the axe murder goes on a rampage, capisce?

Genre #2. Are you ready for this one, because I bring this up at random and usually get some rather bizarre looks.

Steampunk.

Oh yes. There IS a Santa Claus.
I have long searched for an aesthetic that bound all my bizarre and slightly random yearnings, tastes and penchant for brass castoffs at the thrift store in one handy-dandy, all-inclusive resort stay.
"Have you ever heard of Steampunk?" my sister asked innocently one day.
No. I had not.
Imagine my surprise when I did a good old Google search and discovered heaven. I'll let you do you're own wandering in my newly encapsulated world. Try here, here and here for starters. You'll either fall in love or shake your head and murmur aloud how very, very, very bizarre that Jen chic is. Either way, I'm smiling. I've just opened your mind to a much larger world :) Kind of like my art history professor did when she made us memorize the types of columns on classical buildings. Yep. I still shake a fist at the sky when I pass by a Doric Column and feel the sudden urge to announce to everyone that's what it's called. She told us we'd curse her name. She was right.

So, what to do now?
Research. Which means : READ.
Torture, I know.
But I want to get it "right", you know? Not make those who have been following these genres for years pick up one of my lovely paperbacks, read the back and write hate mail with their quill pens and threaten me with their steam powered butler-bots (of course, if they sent over a fully functional robot that may be really cool...).

That's where I stand, dear readers. I'll be scouting out used bookstores for some oldies, some newbies, and some classics (a night of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells anyone?). Of course, movies will need to be watched. The basics are there, have been, all along. I see them in all my writing. It's just that now I have some labels to smack on the shiny packages to give reference. Huzzah! And while I'm not usually a fan of labels, knowing where your book should sit in the old Books A Million will help when the time comes to write that query.

In other news:
My mom's in Alaska. ALASKA!! Can I tell you how proud of her I am?!?

Someone else out there is as fascinated with airplane toilets as I am.

And, did you know, it IS possible to smell like last nights lobster dinner? Oh yes. It is.

Happy weekend to all!
Jen

Disclaimer: this post is insanely long and ridiculously written. However, I was in much pain this morning, did not sleep well, and had coffee against my better judgement. I'm just sorry you all had to pay for it. My apologies.

19 May 2010

What ScriptFrenzy Taught Me

During the month of April, there were a lot of bleary-eyed, caffeine infused, panic stricken writers all across the world. We typed when we should have been working, we typed when we should have been cooking, we even typed when we should have been cleaning out the litter box (gasp)! Was it for glory, for fame, for fortune? No. It was for one,very simple reason: to have, at the end of 30 days of frantic writing, a 100+ page script.

And I finished.

Now before you oooooh and aaaaah and throw heaps of flowers and Mardi Gras beads in my direction, let me clarify "finished". There is, at this very moment, a 109 page script-like substance sitting in the confines of the inner labyrinth of my computer. I haven't looked at it in weeks, not since I finished it. I say "script-like" because it's not technically correct. Its got dialogue, scene cuts, bold type and strange formatting but if I handed it to Spielberg tomorrow he'd probably run screaming from the pile of papers in my hands.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of myself for finishing. It's the first time in a looong time I've finished that many pages much less actually finished a manuscript of any type. I have a nice, loose, pathetic script just waiting for me to edit and polish it. More than that, I have learned something very, very important about myself in the process.
I am not a script writer.

And I'm perfectly ok with that.

Most of what we as writer's do, in the beginning, is fumble around with genre and voice, habit and discipline. Yes, I'm still in the beginning stages. I've been writing, seriously with the thought of eventual publication in the back of my head, for fourteen years. It's been an off and on, love/hate process, but ongoing. Habit and discipline I struggle with. Current situations are not conducive to an ideal writing schedule (lame excuse, but true). Habit? Well, I write when I can. When I have the energy. I tend to beat myself up over this but I'm learning to ease up and take it as it comes. Voice? That's coming, finally, after many moons of typing words and writing things that feel choked and stifled. Voice is emerging and it's a timid thing indeed. As for genre? Well, that's emerging as well. Not so timid. More...cautious for the simple fact they (yes, they) aren't the most popular fish in the barrel. And I'm cool with that. Actually, I"m relieved. But I also have my work cut out for me, researching, hunting down books in those genres and reading, devouring, studying the "masters".

ScriptFrenzy taught me I'm not a script writer. It brought out a strange, ethereal voice that I've been afraid of and a genre possibility I've been dodging. In fact, it inspired two other stories, one of which I'm working on now. Sorry, it doesn't have a title yet. I'm terrible at those things. It will come, though. Probably when it's almost finished...

Have you ever done anything that completely shifted your perception of yourself as a writer? Did you come away relieved, as I did? Or frightened, as I did? Intimidated? Wary? Lost? Yes, again, as I did.

Cheers!
Jen

PS: A big HELLO to my new followers! I see you down there! Sorry I haven't had a spare moment to come by and say hello properly. But I shall. Thanks for following!

17 May 2010

A Bit of Monday Randomness

A great big THANK YOU to all you wonderful people and your fabulous comments on my little poem. Really, your kind words do more than you could possibly know :)

***
Jon and I were walking through Target last night and heard a mom teaching her kid a song. Precious, right? I'll let you decide. Their song of choice? "I like big butts and I cannot lie!"

***
We bought a harness for our cat so we can take him out on walks. He wants to go out so badly and feel wild. The harness was for medium sized dogs. It was too small. O_0

***
I've started a new story, dears. It's beyond bizarre but I'm enjoying tripping through uncharted seas. I'll keep you posted and may even post a wee bit of a teaser now and then...maybe *wink, wink*

***
We have a dryer now! Which means our clothes will smell clean, be wrinkle free, have no more globs of cat hair on them AND we don't have to tromp up and down the stairs carrying arm loads of wet clothes to the upstairs office to hang up to dry. Heat rises, right? It was the best place to hang them.

***
I have reason to believe I'm allergic to metro Atlanta. Perhaps I'm allergic to the south all together. I had no breathing problems while in California, Ireland or India. Hmm....

How was YOUR weekend?

13 May 2010

Words

Words tipple tumble from my inkstained hands
and I watch them skip and scatter as they fly

Off page to atmosphere they twinkle
building worlds of adjectives
and little paper houses with inkstained flues

They stipple and they stopple
staining all within their wake
consonants and vowels plinking plonking over waves

Surges of emotion
a parade of little things
waxing so poetic

Epic weavings rolling by
telling stories, trudging onward
keeping flashlights lit all night

12 May 2010

Nerds are people too


I have a confession to make. I'm a nerd. Yep. A nerd. A big one.

I was raised on Star Wars. The ORIGINAL trilogy. And while I'm all for Ewan MacGregor playing the young and dashingly handsome Obi Wan Kenobe, I'll vote for episodes IV,V, and VI over the "others" every time.

I've been wandering around the Internet a LOT lately. Rather mindlessly, but I usually tend to stumble upon something interesting. Sometimes frightening. Most of the time amusing. Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to share with you guys some of what I've found and, yes, admit to being a nerd.

Plus I got the opportunity to use a picture of Han Solo on my blog :)

I get inspired by the strangest things. I honestly can't remember how I found BLDGBLOG but I have spent hours wandering it's archives, gazing in awe at the architecture, imagery, and spectacular imaginings of writing Geoff Manaugh. He posts maps and geological surveys and his article on the Mount St. Helen's of Glass got my fantasy writer brain all excited. Prepare to spend several days going through this site. I had to stop. The tech speak was beginning to wear on me but I seriously feel smarter after wandering those archives.

Wonder of wonders, I just remember where I discovered BLDGBLOG: Dark Roasted Blend. Not only do I love the sound of the site, but the random links will cause you to go through a pot or two of your own choice of java before you realize it. Are you in the market for some origami inspired sculptures? How about a video of the Galapagos bat fish? If nothing else, do take a moment to look at the Flags of Forgotten Countries.

I haven't lost you yet, have I?

Good.

Are you tired of the same old stuff being played on the radio? NPR music may be your saving grace. I've discovered more talent there than I've ever heard on the radio. I rarely listen to the radio, to be honest. I'm usually listening to random stations on the Internet like Celtic Fiddle stations, Folk music, or World Beats. Classical Baroque is a favorite to work too and I love writing to Loreena McKennitt and movie soundtracks. If I get a wild hair, I crank up the Dave Matthews.

I also enjoy the shows on good old NPR. Prairie Home Companion is at the top of my list. As is the Thistle and Shamrock.

If nothing else, you can always wile away the hours wandering through the digital compendium of Mrs. Grieve's Modern Herbal. Over 800 plants are profiled here with their medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic properties as well as some interesting folk lore. Plus, I'm a sucker for old botanical art and this place is loaded with it!

I won't pester you any more with my nerdy ramblings. I do love sharing the strange and unusual links I find. I always wonder if anyone else out there gets a kick out of things like this. Seriously? I have to wonder how many (if any) they sold!

Have any nerds in your life? Are YOU a closet nerd? Be brave! Speak out! Or, at the very least, go hug those nerds close to you :)

Cheers!
Jen

11 May 2010

Why all the changes?

Change is good. At least, that's what I hear. I'd have to agree, considering I'm the type of person who moves just because she wants a different view, who is ready for another job after a year and a half (tops), and thinks the idea of living in another country is perhaps the most exciting thing ever.

Maybe it's just in my blood to crave change. Hence the blog. It looks different. It feels different. I'm happy with that. It even has a different name. Why? Well, honestly, I LOVE the word Woolgathering. I do. It means and indulgence in daydreams. Master Webster does describe it more as an unhealthy attachment to daydreams, but it's my blog so I tweaked it. However...it sounded so disjointed. Very up in the air. Woolgathering. Whatever, whenever, however. I like that. Spontaneity. Devil may care. What if?

That's all well and good except I felt disjointed. I felt no sense, no rhyme or reason. I'm not looking to create a regimented blog that posts Monday - Friday at precisely 10 o'clock. Um, that would be a bit predictable, don't you think? What I realized I lacked was direction. I was floundering, you see, to come up with fabulous writing links, witty repartee about the act of creating disobedient characters, and brilliant musings on the writer's life. That's a lot of pressure. Oh I have a nasty habit of putting too much pressure on myself.

Consider this change of plans a new mode of blog transportation. A way for me to reflect on life, not just writing, but all aspects of life. We are, after all, more than just pens and ink, more than just that which we craft. And that's a very good thing. We need multiple dimensions. That's how we gather friends, how we relate to so many different people on this fabulously diverse planet we live on.

I want to try new things, new adventures, even if they only take place in my kitchen or in the park two blocks away from my front door. I want to experiment with new art forms, find my niche, and let it grow. And I want to continue writing and word-crafting and getting feedback from you wonderful readers. Not to mention I want to continue reading your amazing posts. Truly, they touch me. I hope I convey that often.

Have a blessed day. If any of you have been touched by the flooding or the tornadoes or the oil spill of late, my prayers are with you and your families.

Cheers,
Jen

07 May 2010

Training Dragons

We all have them. Those ... things that lurk in the dark places of the soul. We're afraid of them. We hide from them. We avoid them. Usually because we know they are EXACTLY what we must do. But we don't understand them. We've been told "it doesn't make sense", "that's not the way it's done" , "you're crazy to think you could ever accomplish anything", etc.

We have good reason to fear it. It's huge! It's wild! It's untamable. It has sharp, pointy teeth and may eat us (at, at the least, squish us).

Nevertheless, it won't leave us alone. It taunts us, haunts us, throws things at us from the dark corners, Corrals the dust bunnies into a revolt and leads the revolution through the house at 1 a.m. All sane people are asleep. You, however, are wide awake, listening to the war march of a thousand, pattering paws.

You kick off the covers, roll up your pajama sleeves and tip toe into the attic, where the commotion is. Of course, you take a baseball bat with you, just in case. You're not ready to confront the monster, but you have no choice. If you don't face it, you'll never get another night's sleep. Your days will continue to be a constant battle between avoidance and fear.


And it's big. Huge even. What were you thinking? Maybe, if it didn't see you, you could sneak back downstairs, cover your head and - uh. oh. It saw you. Um...
Some bread? Or a block of cheese? There's a fruit cake in the pantry from six Christmases ago. Maybe an offering would work. Bribery?
Nada.
It roars, you run, halting at the top of the attic steps. Something moves you to turn around. It's watching you. The eyes of a hunter but also the eyes of someone who knows more than you. It's the need for that knowledge that makes you turn around and do the impossible.
You reach out a hand, willing to sacrifice life and limb, to finally discover if this "thing" is really as fierce as you have grown to believe.


And you're shocked to find out you were wrong.
It takes time, a loads more courage than anyone dared believe YOU could have, but you spend time with it, get to know it. Discover it has a name.
Novel
Screenplay
Oil Painting
Calligraphy
Sword smithing
Bread baking
House building
New Job
Small Business Ownership
Motherhood
Life

You suck in your breath, leap into the air and find...
You're flying.
The very thing you feared is now supporting you, lifting you.


It's certainly not smooth sailing. There are up drafts and down drafts and other dragons along the way. You dip, you twirl, you even crash. But it's still there, you're still there. And you get back up and ride again. And again. And again.
And one day.
Someone shows up.
"So, I hear you're ________ (fill in the blank) now."
"Yeah."
"Let's see."


You know what that means.
What if they hate it?
What if they hate you?
What if they don't get it?
Guess what?
They just might not.
In fact, one of the risks you signed up for when you first stretched out your hand was the fact that everyone you know could turn their backs on you.
But I have a secret to tell you.
You're not alone.
There are more like you out there. More like me. It sometimes takes a while, but you find them, eventually.
They're lurking in corners, hovering over keyboards, sipping 162 cups of coffee while they eek out just three more words. They're in the bakeries late at night, in the classrooms after hours. They're investing all they own (all they don't have even) to make the idea, the dream work. They're staying up late with a sick baby, they're in the hospital with a dying parent. They're tilling up rocky ground, refusing to believe the flowers won't grow.

The key is keeping at it until you find another. And when you do, you'll fly together. Sometimes along side each other. Sometimes supporting one another. Sometimes you may have to fly for them, and they, in turn, will fly for you.
One day your realize: had I never dared to discover what all that racket was, I would never have enjoyed this view. The adventure would continue to be just a dream.
So...what are YOUR dragons?

Happy weekend, happy Mom's Day, happy happy,
Jen
All images found via google images and belong to Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon


06 May 2010


So many kind responses. Thank you all. I hesitate to post my doldrums, for fear of being one of "those" blogs (all negative and hive-inducing). But I am what I am and I've learned that opening up can sometimes be the best therapy. You guys were more than gracious in sharing your remedies to creative struggles. It seems the common thread is this: Keep Moving Forward (hence the little "keep truckin' " picture at the bottom of my sidebar).

Moving forward. I have heard this phrase countless times, internally, externally, through reading, in movies. Lately, it pops up on a daily basis.

Right now, moving forward beckons me to be more authentic, more myself, less concerned about others and their opinions and whims. To be grounded in who I am and not wandering, wavering.

That's one of the reasons I changed my blog name. "Woolgatherings" is such a wonderful word, so rich and playful. And yet, it signifies an ambling mind, a wandering, drifting sort of existence. While I will always be a daydreamer, I'm ready to reel those dreams in, build some foundations and begin construction goals. "From Inkstained Hands" sums me up perfectly. I have my hands in something all the time: ink, glue, dirt. And it all tends to stay with me, stuck under nails and smudged on my wrists and elbows. But none of these stick with me longer than ink. Ink from my trusty pen which I use to write my first drafts, my overflow of daily thoughts. Ink from the calligraphy pen I have begun to pick up again, dipped in an inkwell, running down my hands until little rivers of green and blue appear for all the world to see.

Marvelous rivers of words, flowing, tumbling, sailing across an ocean of paper. Crafting stories. Sculpting words. Building worlds.

What stains your hands? Is it something tangible, like ink or soil? Perhaps flour, sugar and a bit of cream? Or maybe it's love, compassion, kindness, or a stray cotton thread from the coat you gave to a homeless man this past winter.

Keep calm and carry on,
Jen
(PS: if the type is too small on the picture above, click on the picture to read the quote. it's worth the effort :))

04 May 2010

When a struggling writer goes to a Renaissance Festival


I LOVE the Renaissance Festival. It comes every spring to Fairburn, Georgia and my husband and I always go, usually twice, but the first time is on or around our anniversary. It was the first place we went on a date. I love being surrounded by a different time, by people who craft a life out of passions and art and craft and talent. It's a brave life, or so I think, that they lead. Perhaps they have nine to fives. Perhaps they only do it on the weekends because it brings them much needed joy and respite. But I like to imagine it's what they do all the time. The glassblower will go back to his studio in June and create more wares, sell them via 21st century means, and travel on to the next Renaissance Fair, far, far away. The bookbinder, the candle maker, the acrobats, the hatter, the jeweler: masters at their art. Years of practice, of sacrifice, of failures and successes.

And every year I pause and ask myself: why am I not there yet?

Do I want to live in a festival? Honestly, yes. I think it would be a blast to waltz about in medieval garb, speaking the king's English. But there's more to that "out there". More life, more people, more opportunity.

One year is a long time. It is. 365 days. 8,760 hours. That much time to hone my craft, to get my elbows dirty, to cake the ink on these fingers and nails. And yet another hour ticks by and nothing. Emptiness.

My heart has felt that emptiness for a long time. It's not just the Renaissance Festival that reveals it. It's the articles, the quotes, the lives I see daily who have stepped out in faith to accomplish their dreams, who have persevered, who have fought and bled and died a little just to see the dream birthed.

It's a struggle daily to sit and feel this sense of un-accomplishment, of nothingness. It's hard to show up at family reunions and grin and nod when everyone's talking and asking "So, what is it you do again?". Shuffling feet, looking away, trying to find an excuse to get another plateful and not answer the inevitable.

I long to smile, to greet the question enthusiastically. "I'm a writer and an artist." I'd hand them my card. They would smile, maybe even, wistfully, sigh and say, "I wish it was me." To which I would reply, "It can be! Let me show you how."

But for now, I fight. I ache. I long. I weep. And again I fight and fight and fight. Why? Because it's what I believe in. No matter how many hours I must sit and do the monotonous while dreaming of the great, of the work that will take me to the hurting and the hungry. I fight because I know that to give up is to die. I think I also fight because I know, deep down, somewhere that's sometimes un-mappable, that it's meant to be and if I just keep going, moving on, I'll get there. And perhaps one day, I'll be able to help another struggler through my own stories. That is, after all, what we're here for.
How do you handle the downs of this creative life? How do you keep going? We all struggle and we all triumph. If you're struggling at the present time (as I am) don't give up, keep fighting, and by all means, keep in touch. It's never good to walk alone. ~ do forgive my long ramblings.

Have I really been gone a month?


Hello blogland!
How have you been? I've missed each and every one of you but I must say, the break was much needed. I ended my online sabbatical with a four day weekend this past weekend and can I tell you how much I needed it? I will anyway. I REALLY needed it! Lots of decisions were made, things cleared up (mostly my muddled brain) and I wrote a script.

And I discovered I am NOT a script writer. Meh, I finished the thing in under two weeks (we had a month to complete it). Trust me when I say it's not technically accurate, but I did it. I wrote a script. Talk about an exercise in restraint! I'm a description writer, not a conversationalist so it was quite a stretch. BUT I did discover a wonderful way to outline a general plot and work on conversation. So all was not lost. On the contrary, I gained a lot of insight into my own writing and now know if I ever need to spit out 100 pages in two weeks, I'll just sit down and pound out a script.

In other news, and this might not be great news, I'm letting my second blog, Sagewood Manor, sit idle for a while. As I said, a lot of decisions have been made and one is to back off from the business planning for a while. Not that I don't still want to be my own boss (believe me when I say the four day weekend confirmed that desire), but the art has suffered for the sake of the dollar. Art can not be created for the sake of money. Making a living doing what I love, creating with my hands, with words is my dream, one of my life goals. But I've lost the passion, the zeal to create art for art's sake and I need to step back, reassess and begin to enjoy creating again. I hope this doesn't disappoint you. I was hesitant to announce it but it must be done and I'm ever so much peaceful because of the decision. I'll post an announcement on the blog and you'll be the first to know when that status changes.

Speaking of changes, how do you like the changes here? I wanted to make the blog more about life and writing and art and less a struggle to come up with writing news daily. I'm a writer, yes, but I'm so much more and the "so much more" part of me was slipping to the wayside. Hence the changes on both blogs. Of course I'll still be talking writing, just in a different way.

Anything else? Celebrated my six year anniversary (Yippee!) by going to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, drank way to many drinks from Starbucks, saw "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Where the Wild Things Are", got rid of a dumpster full of old magazines (don't worry, I recycle), planted a veggie garden, and really enjoyed life for the first time in years.

All in all, it's been a good time off, but it's good to be back and see where this wild ride takes me next.

How have YOU been?