Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where is Life taking Me?

2010 is shaping up to be nothing like I could have ever envisioned.

I've just come back from a great trip to Dallas, Texas. I'm working on the possibility of moving and being there at the beginning of next year. Life is spiraling and I can hardly complain.

but...I miss writing. I miss painting.

I've been focused on getting the business aspect of my art together and it's left me with little to no time for pure creativity. I need to get back to the basics...and soon.

This year has brought many good things with my art. I've branched out into creating prints, greeting cards, and charmed art from my original art pieces. I'm hoping to eventually get into magnets, shirts, etc. One of my art journal pages was published this past August in "Many Hands, Many Lands" on Blurb from Gary Reef's online community. You can purchase the wonderful book filled with pages of inspirational art online at .

It seems like all my posts during the past few years are cries for more creativity. I'm doing it, just not as much as I would like to. There's so much more to being creative than just writing or creating art. The business aspect of it all is where the "hard" lies.

But despite the changes in my life, I'll be back on track with my writing and my art soon. I can feel it, just around the bend.

Its funny how things are sometimes. I'm loving all aspects of my life right this minute. I've been living a more healthy lifestyle, well up until 2 weeks ago, but I'll get back to that soon. I've lost 13 pounds so far and plan on going for many more this time around.

I'm looking forward to all of the changes coming my way. I have so much hope for the future.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Change Is Upon Us

It's amazing to me how there are special moments in our lives that shine in ways that you never expect or hoped to expect, and you simply know you will carry these treasures with you for years to come.

I sit on the cusp of living a truly creative life, and all I can do is smile. My muse is back. Not that she left me, she simply needs vacations as much as I do, and I can totally understand that!

She was vacationing somewhere great, I'm sure; and I cannot wait to hear the details of her travels. But that will come later. For now, she brings gifts from her travels: images and words of how a jaded vampire crashes into the life of a sexy baker, as they work together to solve another death, find a killer, and save themselves.

This story has been brewing for months now; waiting, percolating. This all began as a short story I wrote in 2007. I simply knew the main character deserved a chance to have his story told. And the time is now. I can't wait to learn Fin's story as he meets his heroine, and they fight to save themselves (and the world) from some catastrophe or another.

My artwork has taken off. It's amazing to me that I started my artful journey less than a year ago, in July, 2009, and I've gotten this far. I am so grateful for all of the love and support I receive that enables me to reach for my dreams! Thank you cheerleaders, I love you so much!!

I see a dream of my future held deeply in my heart, hoping against hope that it will lead to something. Some things do, some don't. You just never know where this journey will take you. Until then, you'll find me covered in paint or ink, typing and drawing from the heart, while I wait, ever dreaming...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Awaited Journey

May 23, 2010 I traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana with 2 friends in celebration of birthdays (me and Katrina - Happy Birthday, Katrina), to check out my artwork at the Rougarou Trading Post art gallery, and to drop off some more goodies.

Talk about a fun-filled day complete with laughs, good food and drinks, and did I mention laughs. Chris and Katrina, you guys are a hoot. I'll take a road trip with you anytime!!

I find it very fitting that the picture on my blog of New Orleans has been a constant in my writing/art life since the beginning. Its funny that my artwork would first be showcased in this city of my heart!

Here's a glimpse of my artwork.

The layout is great. Not too sure about location. It is located right near the checkout, but we all missed it, twice. Another friend of mine took a trip to NOLA and stopped by to see my artwork. They had a hard time finding it, too. We were looking for it and missed it. Doesn't bode well for those that have no idea who I am. How will they see my artwork, I wonder?

Well I'm back to my writing. A new story is percolating. While its doing its thing in my head, I'm working on a plot board, combining my art with my writing goals to keep me writing.

Feeling good. Looking forward to a 3 day weekend. I really really need this one! And I'm in dire need of some art time!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time Marches On

It definitely feels like life is flying by. The days flow from one to another so seamlessly, one wonders where their life has gone.

I still feel like New Years was just yesterday but it is already May. OMG.

I'm forever working on growing the Business side of my art and writing. A new story is percolating in my head. I'm hoping to have the storyline plotted out and to start fresh with a NANOWRIMO of my own in June. I know I can do this. But this time around I'm starting small, 30-60,000 words tops. Otherwise, I will once again intimidate myself into quitting.

I can't wait to head over to NOLA next weekend to see the layout of my art at the Rougarou gallery. My excitement is the only thing keeping this week from passing any quicker. I just received blank greeting card prints of my original artwork and they are fabulous. I purchased them from Great website. Great end results for those that are interested.

Life is throwing me some interesting curve balls at this time. I can't wait to see where it all goes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Road to an Art Gallery!

My blogs have become non-existent during the latter part of last year and beginning of this year. So much has happened/changed in my life; I hardly recognize this life as being mine.

I changed jobs, traveled to Europe, and accepted more responsibility at work.

All this means is that I've become more separated from others and lost within myself. The business of writing and art brings a whole new dimension to the act of creation. As if it isn't hard enough to get 'er done, now there are worries about portfolios, promotion, marketing, career plans, resumes...ugh. It's quite daunting.

In 2009, writing took a backseat to starting the business of art and all that it entailed: putting my art for sale, making my first sale, artist portfolio, writing portfolio, creating art, etc.

A lot of work was done until I left for Europe. Since I returned from Europe, I gained more responsibility from my day job, requiring more sleep than normal (lol). (Man, I am soooo freaking tired lately!)

Tax season is always a trip. So many receipts to itemize and get to my accountant. Sadly that took 4 months until the bitter tax deadline date.

Now that taxes have been turned in, it's time to get my writing desk, studio, car, and house in order. Always something to do. I spend more time shuffling papers than anything else.

One of the problems I struggled with was having so many finished canvases collecting dust around my home. Now, I'm proud to announce, that yesterday I drove to New Orleans, Louisiana to drop of ten pieces of my original artwork at Rougarou Bayou – Riverfront Trading Post, "located on Level B of Riverwalk Marketplace, (which) features an eclectic collection of original art and artisan crafts from more than 60 New Orleans and surrounding area artists...features glass art, handcrafted... jewelry, candles, photography, collage and fabric art, and mixed media creations."

It amazes me the mysteries of life: "The Rougarou (alternately spelled as Roux-Ga-Roux, Rugaroo, or Rugaru), is a kind of werewolf in the Cajun folklore of French Louisiana". This is funny because as a paranormal writer, who has been working on a werewolf series for the past two years, it's quite fitting that the first art gallery where my work will be displayed would be named such, and I've been dying to write about a loup garou!

I faced what many writers and artists face, dreaded rejection, moreso than acceptance for the past couple years. Rejections happen and this we know. We understand we need a thicker skin, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

I was stood up at an important appointment with a business to review my art porfolio this year. It left me shattered. A wise friend at work, Darcy, said, "girl walk it off; something is better out there for you." (Thats the jist; I can't remember her words of gold today; hey I was working. I was probably stressed/depressed already on top of the new depression. lol) But Darcy, girl were you right!

I have now updated my artist resume with the gallery listing and plan on getting back to the writing and art(ing) work as soon as my life is set to rights. I have been working on phase two of my art journey: jewelry charms and greeting cards of select pieces of my artwork. Those are in process and should be available soon.

I am a writer at heart. Anyone who knows me knows this. The art just came out of nowhere. But the difference, which I love between the two, is that art gives instant gratification. You start it. You finish it. You review it. You fix it; hey maybe you don't. But the bottom line is: it's done. Sure, ten months later you can revisit it and fix a few flaws, same as writing, but with writing there are edits, critiques, rewrites and so much blood spilt.

I attended my first Women of Faith Conference, which rocked my world out of axis. I'm still trying to recover with the new good stuff that it has brought into my life: being reacquainted with faith, a new hope for Edit - the little girl from Bolivia I am sponsoring, strengthened friendships, and an upcoming mission trip to Mexico.

It's been a wild ride, and I really wish I had the time to get done all of the ideas / plans that run through my head done. The European story and canvas series are fighting to get out. But I haven't had a chance to take a breath, much less get them started. Where does the time go, I wonder.

Hopefully, I will get back to the studio quickly. I've missed writing, blogging, and reading blogs. It's definitely time to re-prioritize things.

Food: none
Drink: Dr. Pepper
Music: none, I need a nap.
Mood: very very happy and mello!

Monday, March 8, 2010

D.B. Grady Blog Tour

On the Business of Books and Bruce Campbell
Welcome to week 2 of the Red'>">Red Planet Noir blog book tour. Mindy was very kind to offer this space today, and suggested I write about the business of writing.

On most days it feels like what I know about the business of writing, "you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first." (To borrow a line from Douglas Adams, who no longer needs it.) I went into the business blind and naive. I did my homework. I read all the right blogs and websites and books, but everything I really learned has been through one mistake or another.

So I wouldn't presume to give advice, and anyway, the publishing business is in turmoil and nobody's really sure what's up and where's down. But here's a good social suggestion: until you're published -- until the contract is signed, anyway -- don't tell anyone you're a writer. Yes, you've written millions of words. Your mom loves them. In your mind, you're having dinner parties with Richard Russo and Philip Roth. But unless somebody's written a check for your words, just say you're a prostitute or drug dealer. It's a lot easier for everyone involved.

There is a perception out there that once you've completed a manuscript, the book is magically published, and Barnes and Noble has immediate plans to erect a turret display. Non-writers don't know about arduous months of queries and rejections. The contracts and copyediting and delays. The sweating over the cover and everything else that comes with typing THE END.

Before Red'>">Red Planet Noir was released -- before I'd even been accepted by a publisher -- the most common questions I heard was:

Who do you want to be in the movie?

After the book came out, the most common question I heard was:

Are they talking about a movie yet?

(Runner-up question: Do you think you'll get on Oprah?)

These are innocent questions, and completely understandable. (God I wish they -- whoever they are -- were talking about making a movie. And Oprah, I've got rollover minutes. Let's chat.) I have no idea how contractors build houses or how cash registers work. Why should readers know how books are made?

Numbers vary depending on the source, but two frequently cited statistics say that forty percent of people read one book a year, and twenty-five percent of people read no books at all. That means if someone's read a book, it was probably written by J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, or John Grisham. In other words, in the universe of the average reader, every book written really does get made into a movie.

Once you've said, "I'm a writer," but no book suddenly appears, people look on you with pity. "He's a writer," they say, but the same way they might say, "He's homeless."

So start with drug dealer. Beat them to the punch.

Here are a few things I've learned though error and inexperience. Your mileage may vary:

1. Get an agent. I don't have one, and a great many of my headaches could have been avoided with someone savvy on my behalf. Stephen King advises not to bother with an agent until you've made enough money worth stealing. He's probably right, but at the same time, agents open doors to publishing houses that my query letter alone never will. If I don't snag an agent with my next manuscript, I'm shelving the project and starting another. It's that important.

2. Set in for the long haul. You might get an immediate yes. My editor at">The Atlantic has never had a piece of writing rejected. (And I believe it -- he's a genius.) I've not been so lucky, and I think my experience is in line with most writers. There's no shame in it. His Holiness Philip K. Dick wallpapered his study with rejection slips so that he'd never forget how lucky he was.

Even once you get that wondrous yes, don't expect things to steamroll along. Red'>">Red Planet Noir was supposed to be released in August 2009. Then November. Then the first week of December. It didn't appear on Amazon until midway through December, and because of a database mistake in Ingram's [the distributor] database, wasn't available for order by bookstores and didn't proliferate across the web until January 2010.

Frustrating? Only until the first glass of Scotch in the morning, and that last drop by mid-afternoon. (Then it became frustrating again.)

Every delay was a comedy of errors -- nobody's fault, really -- just a lot of one-of-those-things. In the end, my publisher produced a fine book that my mom really likes. (My mom is reading this, and I promised I'd tell her hello. So: "Hi Mom! Stay out of the comments!")

3. Build a platform. This is the one thing I largely did right. By the book's release, I had a relatively strong web presence and an active Twitter army eager to help get the word out. I suspect that well over half of my sales are due to the kindness of strangers.

4. Join a local writers group. Through my group, I've met authors, editors, journalists and readers who've supported me in ways I never expected. And this isn't even to mention the tremendous collected wisdom and infectious enthusiasm for the written word they've shared. They're my home field, and I love them for it.

5. Attend conferences. Don't bust the budget on this, though. (Warning: that might be bad advice. Maybe it would be worth the plane ticket and hotel room to fly to San Francisco or wherever.) Don't overlook the locals:

Louisiana has three major writing conferences that I'm aware of. I'm pretty sure every state does. You never know who you're going to meet. And I've never failed to learn something, get inspired, or make a new friend or great connection.

6. Have your book contract reviewed by publishing contract lawyers. Obviously, a good agent can handle this, but it's also a free service for members of the Authors Guild. I wasn't a member when I signed a contract for Red Planet Noir, but I am now. (Check out their site for membership eligibility. These men and women are fighting the good fight on our behalf.)

7. Don't expect to get rich. If you want to make more money than a writer, get a job at Burger King.

8. Don't settle.

These are just a few things I've learned the hard way. I've stepped on quite a few other land mines (so far), but I've got to save something for cocktail parties when I'm fabulously successful. Or something for the bartender when I'm an abysmal failure.

And just for the record, Mike Sheppard, the protagonist of Red'>">Red Planet Noir, can only be played by Bruce Campbell.

If only they'd call.

Tomorrow I'll be at">Ody Granados's blog explaining, "how an I.T. guy ends up in Afghanistan and how a soldier writes this awesome book, now available at" (His words, not mine, though he's clearly a man of good taste in literature.)

Thanks, Mindy, for inviting me to write today! I hope to see everyone tomorrow.
D.B. Grady is the author of Red'>">Red Planet Noir. He can be found on the web at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

To Health Insure or Not To Health Insure

I'm taking my blog to a whole other level today.

Yes, you read that right, Mindy is serious! Seriously tired of money and health issues.

Money and health insurance are issues we all deal with, and as they are in the forefront of my ever-tired mind, courtesy of the new sexy black walking boot I'm forced to wear, which is paid for solely by my wonderful self, I feel the need to spread the knowledge your way.

Hopefully my trials can shed some light into the lives of anyone struggling with these issues and hey if you know something I don't (which I'm sure just about everyone does as I avoid the realities of life) then send some knowledge my way, my friend.

I'm currently battling previous choices and an economic crisis after crisis that has resulted in my current situation, making half of what I used to make, with lower health insurance that covers absolutely nothing.

When you are cutting expenditures left and right, battling for every dollar spent on your monthly budget, how do you decide what to keep and what to cut?

My previous health insurance spoiled me. I know what happens when you have health issues which you ignore and eventually things are worse than they ever had the potential of being. So I go to the doctor whenever I notice something amiss.

A young, 30 year old single female, suffering from a health problem list a mile long, what's a girl to do?

I purchased COBRA for 2 months after leaving my last job at a whopping $500 a month. The research for insurance options out there was quite eye-opening. High monthly premiums, copays and deductibles filled my google pages. My options were averaging about $250 a month.

My research brought me to a choice which I thought was reasonable. I learned about short term medical plans. For about $80 a month I received short term medical insurance coverage for a 6 month period. This plan allows for 2 short term periods of coverage (12 months total) but anything happening before each "term" takes affect is considered pre-existing and is not covered.

There goes my bi-weekly allergy shots. So basically I'm paying some money each month and all doctor visits are applying toward my current deductible. I will almost reach the deductible amount and it will be time for my new "term" to take affect if I choose. So I will be starting my deductible from scratch. What a mess!

So the research of viable insurance plans continues. I'm reading on mini-med plans and gap plans, with barely any options in sight. My prescription medication has become optional and all bet fallen off of my monthly budget. My doctor about fell out of his chair when I explained to him that I stopped taking the medicine, cold turkey. So those were withdrawals I have been experiencing in the past few months, who knew. (That really explains so much!)

With a struggling job market, employers choosing to leave employees part time to avoid additional costs and preventing them from acquiring healthcare, it seems that dropping insurance and "taking my chances" may be the only option available in my future.

I have two more months before it hits the fan and I have to make a decision on what to do next. Hopefully, the tides turn in a direction that is more affordable so that my "health" doesn't become optional, too.

Are you taking care of your health lately? Researching other options available? You may wish to research whether the alternatives to regular healthcare (short term, mini-med, and gap) would benefit you in any way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise

I have recently reacquainted myself with one of my most prized tools as a writer, my critique group. Scheduling conflicts have lead us astray for the latter half of last year, but we are reevaluating and changing days and it looks like we may have found a happy medium.

Our little group originally consisted of 6 writers in varying genres but with a common denominator, we love to write and are passionate about getting our stories down. Our stories range from novels, short stories, thriller, science fiction, crime, fantasy, articles, business writing, throw in some poetry and snapshots of life and we have it all.

Having a critique group is priceless. Everyone brings varying degrees of input and insights. A great group can help by asking you the questions you didn't think of in the first place, further fleshing out characters and scenes, and helping you find markets you didn't think of for your work.

I get the best of both worlds. I get a fantastic critique group complete with masterful brainstorming sessions. Meeting over drinks or dinner, we throw ideas around, play what-ifs, brainstorm plot and characters.

With such a crack team, I know our writing will be better than it ever could have been working alone. And the fabulous support system it brings isn't so bad either.

I left our meeting yesterday invigorated and ready to plot and work that short story that has been brewing in my head onto paper, and better equipped to say what I wanted to say on the first draft instead of playing my favorite game of chasing my writer's tail/tale (ha, works both ways).

I sprained my ankle last night. Slept horribly in pain without any meds or ice or anything needed to fix a sprain. I headed to the ER this morning to spend money that I don't have and to get info that I could have retrieved off of my wonderful computer. Life is grand indeed.

Pain induced combined with sleep deprived, I made poor decisions which may affect my already straining working life. But I can't change that now. What's done is done and will have to be dealt with as it happens. I can just pray for mercy and hope for the best.

If there is anything worse than being at home, bored, tired of reading, tired of sleeping, miserable, elevating/ice packing/compressing a swollen foot, I just don't know. Relief came by way of the wonderful FEDEx man who delivered a package of art supplies I ordered last week.

With an elevated foot and using my "new to me" wonderful drawing board that my mom picked up at a garage sale for $1, I worked on my current art work in progress, my self portrait. I just wanted to tell my artsy friends out there about a product that I love, love, love.

Tim Holtz distress ink crackle paint is a must have. (I'll add pics later once my invalid stage ends). I'm a fan of using crackle paint, and the old way that I did it included mixing a cheap crackle medium with the acrylic color of my choice and painting it onto the page. Other than having to wash the mixer, there really isn't any other steps than that and its super easy.

But the ingenious behind Tim Holtz products never fails to astound me. The paint is thick and gooey and the end result crackle affect alters in size based on the amount of paint applied on the area. It dries quickly and works favorable with a heat tool. Tim Holtz distress ink pads can be added (once fully dry) to enhance the antiquing affect and look of the cracks. Truly fabulous. I love love love it. Get it online at or

Art heals in more ways that we ever know or understand. Looking back at my original art journals, the pain flows off of the pages. I sometimes wonder how I lived with so much anger and hurt. My more recent books are fresh, healthier, happier.

Yet sometimes I feel that opening myself up to art may have stinted my writing capabilities. My words are not as sharp and great as they used to be. Maybe I'll have to sacrifice my old writing style for my art. Hopefully, there isn't a limit to the amount of creativity available. Either way, this is something I will deal with as it comes.

I'm a writer, an artist, and a liver of the creative life. What will you create today?

**Note: I have not been paid for or by any company, etc for posting this blog. All products discussed were purchased by me with my own hard earned cash from the retail and home health businesses.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Turning Tides

It seems I only post when I have some bad news to share. Or maybe its just that there is only bad news going on in my life. Anyways, this was a rough week. I found out that I will be losing hours at both jobs. 15 hrs from my main job and still not sure about the second one.

I've been searching everywhere looking for the next career path for me, and I just haven't found anything. Its hard to find a career path in life when all you know for sure is that you want to eventually be able to write and create art full time. Distant dreams that require more work on my part if I ever hope to fulfill them.

Going to college is a constant goal of mine because I have a constant need to learn new things. Being a college graduate is a goal that I set for myself a long time ago. I wanted to be the first in my family to graduate and that alone is the only reason that motivates me to finish my degree. I am 6 classes away. So close and yet so far. I will graduate one day; in what, it doesn't really matter. But one day I will be able to say, "I started, I stopped, I tried again and again, and I did it. I graduated!"

But regardless, the fact is that my college choices do not affect me in terms of setting the path to lead to my "dream job." I can be a writer and an artist without ever receiving the slip of paper that says I stuck it out, against all odds and without any financial aid. But I want to be a writer and an artist that completed a goal of graduating from college that she set for herself so long ago. But for now this dream is on the back burner as I struggle to find a place for myself in the working world.

Reviewing past choices, I realize that I may have been hasty in my past decisions. But either way, whats done is done and this is the path before me. Sink or swim time.

I had an appointment with a business this week regarding possibly exhibiting my artwork. After being stood up, I had a momentary period of bitterness and depression. But this is only a minor dip...I will find a home for my art soon.

I visited with my critique group for the first time in eons. It felt wonderful. I missed those guys and gal so much. Their input really makes in difference in my writing. We are two short from where we started, and I miss those guys a bunch and pray that life will somehow bring them back to us. But as with all other aspects of life, what will be will be.

I feel that the new amount of "free" time I now find myself with will aid me in my goals. I have a career plan but now I need to work on my writing portfolio. It's time to get things in order. I have a few short stories percolating and a few submissions to send off. It feels so good to be back to my writing. I'm taking an online course on drawing and I love how casual it is. I put creating art to the side while I work on getting my house and art studio back in working order.

Artwise, I'm working on a project called Paint and Pass with 4 fellow artists and friends. I finished my portion of the piece and sent it to the next person on the list. I can't wait to see the finished product which will look great on my wall!

I can now find a balance between my health, home, and career goals, thanks to this new found free time. I can have time to truly work out, work on the relationships that I've neglected this past year with the ups and downs in my life, and sit butt to chair and write, draw, paint, create.

February is a busy month for me. I have so many deadlines for the end of the month, and I'm not quite sure if I will meet them. I mailed off one set of ATCs but I have 3 more sets due by the end of the month. I have a week to go and I better get a move on it.

There is a perfect short story competition that is unfortunately too close to meet, but the theme is one that I'll add to my to do list as its one that I know is a story for me.

My goals are to finish things. Start smaller instead of bigger. Get one level done and accomplished and then move on, "inch by inch, page by page" is my new philosophy.

Good times are up ahead. I put my faith where it belongs and know that I will be taken care of. All I can do is the best that I can do and know that the rest will come.

So I'm off to do a bit of writing before work. The tide is about to change for sure. I can feel it! Happy creating!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Career Planning

I awoke fresh and ready for life after watching a great movie, Leap Year, and getting a good nights sleep. Now I believe I will dust off my superpowers and take over the writing world...well maybe not so much...but I am ready to kick my writing life back into gear.

I've learned many things over the past year. Most of all I've learned that I cannot suppress who I am and what I want most in life. It always has a way of seeping out of the cracks and crevices and finding itself smack dab in my face, each and every time.

So I need to find balance - a way to feed my need to continuously learn new things, my art, and my writing. I can now look at my current hiatus away from the university classroom as a time for me to figure out how to find a balance between all that I want without fear of any other responsibilities aka procrastinations "getting in my way."

I spent yesterday in the presence of Writers Guild of Acadiana members, friends, and Cherry Adair. That woman is amazing. She bounced all kinds of knowledge and tips around us in a blazing orange ball that is her astounding energy...where does she store it, I wonder?

So now I sit and stew and plan...on making and finishing a career plan....and getting back to my first love, writing. I started writing my novel, Wolf Moon, in March, 2008. I fiddled a bit on it until NANOWRIMO 2008. Now I am the "proud" owner of 90k words of a story where I'm chasing my tail with nowhere to go. But I'm not putting it down even though it should be considered 'dead' and be buried.

I will poke and prod that thing into making a plan, outline, beginning/middle/end, etc...I will get this done. I'm giving myself one more year to finish her up...or I'm sending her to the trash pile. So what's it to be? I guess I need to start planning and writing.

I dusted off my wonderful binder filled with character sketches and pics and bios. I located all of my files under the drab that is my scary documents folder on my computer...and I'm sitting butt to chair and I'm going to figure it out.

Yes, I still need to clean my house which is falling down around me since I finished my last semester and went traipsing around Europe, and I still have bills to pay so I'm working 90 hrs a week, and I still need to get my butt into shape and start working out more and eating healthier as I cannot afford to eat out every day anymore.

But despite all of these needs, which are probably not going to change - any time soon - I need to live a creative life. I figure if I can work on my art pieces during my lunch hour each day at work, then I can be free to write and exercise, if I can walk after that shift of work, at night.

Totally doable and I cannot figure out why I was so dense I didn't see it before.

So thank you, Cherry, for lighting an orange energy bubble under my ass and inspiring me to sit butt to chair and get it done. 365 days. That's all I get. Starting NOW!

Pray for me (and that Wolf Moon makes it out of this goal alive!)

***For some reason, I've pondered this the whole day and the thought of continuing with this story gives me the hives...but starting from scratch, I don't know if I can do that...what to do what to do...I guess my first decision will have to be whether to give this story a chance or put it away to let something new come out! I just don't know what to do with myself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Constant Pondering:

What the heck am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?!?

I just returned from a 2 week trip to Europe - my first. It was wonderful. Paris was cold and dreary but beautiful and inspiring. The food - not so great. The start of the trip was filled with jet lag and sleep/body changes associated with waking up in one time zone and flying around the world to another.

We finally got everything in sync...and it was time to travel to Spain. The train ride - long train ride - from Paris, France to Barcelona, Spain was interesting. The countryside took my breath away, inspiration flying out of my pores. I couldn't seem to absorb it fast enough. We rode first class all the way to the border - quite an experience. Then the second part of the trip, we rode in, what must have been, the first train ever made. It was long and slow and bumpy. I watched a couple next to me make a love connection. People-watching at its best!

We flew from Barcelona to Malaga, Spain, to what will be one of my new favorite cities to visit. I climbed a freakin' mountain, thought I would die from doing it, but hey, I made it - however slowly! We walked all around the beautiful city from beach to border. Enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the cafes, wines, pastries, tapas, shopping, sites.

And still it's so good to be back this freakin' cold weather! It was wonderful weather in Spain and freezing temps back weird. I have so much hope for 2010. But I'm right back to the question that has been on my mind constantly for the past few days, weeks, months, years...what the heck am I going to do with my life???

I'm 30, single, nothing to hold me what is?!

I have no idea...but I do have a new "5 year plan"! So exciting and the details are all my own - a secret! I'm looking forward to normal temps in my old house so that I can start cleaning and reorganizing my life. Once my studio is back on track (I was so productive the last few months of 2009 - my studio is a nightmare!!!), I'm planning on taking an online art class.

I've never taken an online art workshop. I did purchase the DVDs from two workshops of a favorite artist of mine, Tamara Laporte. She taught me so much in her dvds, but I want to branch out, learn from others. I fought with my decision, who to go with: Tam, Julie Pritchard, SuziBlu, etc...nothing quite matching what I envisioned.

So I struggled with determining which online art class / workshop I would join. After 2 days of research I was right where I started...dreading the "only other option." But I refused to give up and dug deeper. And sure enough...I found a winner: Monica Zuniga from . Her work is fantastic and makes me want to fight the freezing temps in my old, uninsulated house to get that studio in order...stat!! I look forward to the learning ahead of me.

Now that I am not formally going to university, I can get back to other things...writing, exercise, cooking, art...okay okay so I never really "got" into cooking in the first place...or exercise for that matter...but there is no time like now to start. I'm searching for better job offers and hoping for the best to come in 2010. I look forward to the changes that this year will bring, especially since I'll be stuck at home since I spent so much money on my vacation!

I can't wait to get back to my writing. As far as I can see, I'm thinking the beginning of the year will be for taxes, writing and art classes...and the second half - who knows. None of my plans ever happen so I won't bother past these hopes and dreams.

What are you waiting for? What do you plan for 2010?