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.

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