Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Creative Every Day - Drawing

Week two of the Creative Every Day Challenge, and I've found my long lost passion for drawing. Below are two pieces I drew. It's inspired me to keep working at it. I even bought some new art supplies!

Farm house inspired from a how-to draw book.
Kind of faint. I'm thinking of adding colour.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Fairy Ring Flash Fiction Contest

This is my entry for Anna Meade's (@ruanna3) The Fairy Ring Flash Fiction Contest.

A Night for Shenanigans

It happened on a night, much like this. An indigo sky with twinkling stars above me, and the dewy grass of a cool spring night lay below. I’d settled in under my favourite oak tree for a moment of blissful peace, when something caught my eye near the pond. My gaze was drawn towards the water's edge involuntarily, searching for the culprit. Perhaps Tommy had followed me down.

"Tommy, is that you?" I called out, but only the crickets replied.

"A trick of the eye." 

I mumbled, removing my shoes and socks, anxious for the feel of dewy grass between my toes. I could feel the weight of the world sliding off my shoulders and I let my gaze drift towards the pond. The water reflected the sky above in perfect symmetry.


A giggle startled me from my thoughts. I searched around for the source.

"Who's there?" I asked, but there was no reply.

I shook my head, certain I was imagining things when I noticed my shoes. Despite my careful placement, a sock was missing. 

"How odd." I grabbed them and felt inside to make sure.

I set them down, wondering how a sock could disappear in such a strange manner, when the giggle returned. Again I looked down at my shoes and was shocked to see the other sock had disappeared too. I jumped up perplexed, staring at my shoes.

"This cannot be."

It was then I saw it. A twinkling light, dashed out from a nearby rock. It circled my shoes, giggling. I rushed over, desperate to find a logic answer for the irrational thoughts racing through my mind. Alas, I was too slow and the lights too fast. They flickered out in a flash revealing my socks, neatly folded on top of my shoes.

Art Created for Healing

This past weekend I lost a family member unexpectedly. His death was not only unexpected, it was tragic. He was not only my step-brother, he was my friend.

In sadness, I found myself turning to art to express my feelings of loss. This piece was created in his memory. The meaning is incredibly personal, and so I will not explain it, but I wanted to share. I used paper, oil pastels and charcoal to create this. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Photo Credit - AllMotivated.com

Isn't it weird how acronyms are taking over the world? We've become so obsessed with saving time, that speaking and typing full words are too bothersome.

*le sigh*

Okay, I didn't come here to rant. Not today, anyway.

I'm here to give you an update on a commitment I made WAY back in January, to write 500 words every day. You remember, a little challenge called #WIP500!

So like most resolutions  unresolutions, I came out of the starting gates like a bat outta Hell. Pfft 500 words?! Dude I 'll do 600 or 1,000 or maybe 3,000! I was feeling all smug, basking in my own awesomeness (not that I would actually do that) and thinking Damn I could do this all year long - NO problem.

Can you say famous last words?

So the third week of January hits and my real life commitments start building up again after the Christmas and New Year hangover. (I'm not talking drinking here people) All of the sudden I'm struggling to write anything. Sure I was still blogging. Sure I was participating in Five Sentence Fiction, but I wasn't working on my WIP. Not getting in those 500 words per day done.

Houston, we have a problem.

I managed to stay afloat by banking a few extra words when I did get a chance to write, but then it happened.


I logged into Cara Michael's website and received the electronic equivalent of a bitch slap (sorry for the vulgar language it seems appropriate here.) I had slipped below the accumulated total. Granted it wasn't by much. I think my percentage said I was at 98.42% which is still really awesome, but I was used to seeing that percentage WAY higher. I liked thinking I was giving more than 100%. Made me feel awesome. 98.42% is a fantastic number and seriously if I had scored those kind of stats in school...well, let's just say I'd be doing a lot better for myself right now. Or not, it's hard to tell. The point is, I was behind and I wasn't happy about it.

So yesterday I took my lovely MacBook Pro to work and clicked away at those keys all lunch to get them 500 words, and I did it. Today I managed 500 words too. I may not be getting the 600 or 1,000 or 3,000 words a day like I did before, but hey, it's called #WIP500 not.....


Just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Are You Participating in #WIP500? How Are You Managing?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Creative Every Day - Tea Party

As part of my pledge to be Creative Every Day, my first post is about a party I hosted. Not just any party, a Jane Austen Tea Party!

This wasn't the first tea party I've had. Two years ago I invited my closest girlfriends over and we sat around drinking tea, eating yummy treats while having a good chinwag. This year I decided to try something a bit different.

There was still tea and yummy treats, but I also decided to set the dining room table, play classical music and put together a little goody bag for each friend. The gifts were tea cups, a notepad and a gemstone. While the gifts were the same in essence, they were also different. Each gift was chosen specifically for their personalities and their interests. This tea cup and notepad was for my friend Becky. She loves music and the colour pink.

Once I selected the gifts I wanted to wrap them up all pretty. I found some tissue paper and ribbon in my scrapbooking supplies. I keep every spare piece of ribbon I find, sometimes they pay off! For name tags, I used light purple card stock and stamped their names in black. It was a personal touch and fun to do!

To decorate the table, I printed out various quotes from Jane Austen's books and placed them in a photo stand, in front of the gift. It was fun searching through quotes and using funky scissors to cut them out.

Picture by Rebecca Waczko
What about the yummy food? Well, I splurged and custom ordered cookies to match my china set. I also served petit fours, fruit and scones.

Okay so that's gifts, table settings, music and food, but what about the tea?
Instead of selecting one tea for all of us to drink, I gave the girls their choice. I set up my kitchen table with multiple teapots and 8 varieties of loose leaf tea, even some hot chocolate for a friend who doesn't drink tea. The flowers on the table helped us forget that outside it was blustery and cold.

All in all the party was a success! We had some great laughs and even better conversations. I think it helped bring out all of our creative sides!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Creative Every Day

Sometimes the Universe is quite clever. No wait...it's ALWAYS clever, it's just that sometimes I'm not paying attention.

Today I was, and it paid off.

While catching up on my emails, I read a post by Cate on her blog CommuniCATE that struck a chord with me. You see, she discovered a challenge called Creative Every Day.

Naturally I was interested, so I followed the link for more info. Creative Every Day is the brainchild of Leah Piken Kolidas and she encourages people to be creative, every day - get it?! Knew you would!

This challenge isn't just for artists in the traditional sense. Leah promotes creativity in a broader sense.

Your creative acts could be in cooking, taking pictures, knitting, doodling, writing, dancing, decorating, singing, playing with your kids, brainstorming ideas, gardening, or making art in the form of collage, paint, or clay...or whatever! - Leah

Immediately I knew the Universe was trying to tell me something. Yes I am a writer, but I am also creative in other ways too. So each week I will post about my creative journey. I'm excited to incorporate this into my blog and my life.

Oh! Did I mention that Leah is an artist? Yeah, she has GORGEOUS works of art that I'm already planning on purchasing for my collection. I mean what better way to get in a creative mood than to be surrounded by art?

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up! Be creative and do it now! Leah's made it so easy, it's impossible to say no. 

*Special thanks to Cate for blogging about it and Leah for being a creative inspiration!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grimm Brothers, Eat Your Heart Out!

This post is not about writing. Not even a little bit. It's about a girl and electricity.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who suffered terribly at the hands of a monster. This monster was called Migraine and it enjoyed squeezing her eyeballs until they felt fit to burst. It was tragic and heart-breaking painful and she spent many hours hiding in her big fluffy bed with the blankets pulled over her head.

One day she felt brave enough to decamp and seek out a change of scenery. She found a lovely bed-like structure that was comfy enough to suit her, and a room full of exciting electrical appliances. She was most happy, for a time.

As she watched her favourite movie, Pride and Prejudice on Blu-ray and TV, she began to feel a little bit better and forgot all about Migraine. Migraine - like most evil monsters - did not like being ignored. He stomped around and rallied all those nearby, against the girl. Then POOF, it happened! All the electrical appliances turned against her, joining Migraine's evil plot to keep her helpless. They shut themselves off in rebellion.

The girl was most distraught. Her first instinct was to call her companion who was being kept away by the almost equally evil monster, Work. She picked up Telephone and pushed the tiny buttons, but alas, Telephone was in on the evil plot against her.

I know! She thought. I will use MacBook Pro. He has always been faithful.

But to her surprise, while MacBook Pro offered her his support, Internet Router did not. And thus she was unable to contact her companion. Sadly, she roamed the room in search of some comfort.

I know! She thought. I will enjoy the last bowl of soup.

But once again, she was foiled. The soup was cold and Stove and Microwave were being mean as well.

Brrrr! She thought. I am very cold despite my cozy sweater. I think I shall ask Furnace to provide me some heat. 

She walked up to Thermostat to call Furnace, but Thermostat just gave her a blank look and refused to call Furnace. 

This is most inconvenient! She stamped her foot, folding her arms across her chest. Migraine laughed and ran by, squeezing her eyeballs just for fun.

She doubled over, crying out in pain, while Migraine whispered with his electrical friends. 

I need some tea. She whimpered. Please Kettle, I beg of you! But Kettle laughed and nudged Migraine. Thick as thieves, they were.

Feeling defeated and wallowing in self-pity, she stumbled back to her bed-like structure - which was comfy but not nearly as much as her bed - and pulled the blankets over her head.

I will not taunt you ever again, Migraine. She whispered before falling asleep.

When she awoke an hour later, all the electrical appliances had decided to play nice again. She thanked them each a thousand times before setting off to make some tea.

The End.

The moral of this story is this:
We have become astoundingly dependent on electricity, so don't piss off a migraine.

Wait - WHAT?!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And The Award Goes To...

After much time spent reading, pondering, and re-reading - five Blog Hop winners have emerged. This task was by no means easy. All of you deserve awards, and I'm not just saying that! If you haven't read all the entries, you should, they are amazing!

Here are the lucky bloggers and their corresponding prizes. We also have an awesome badge to spice up your blog. Who doesn't like BLING, right?

1st: 50 page critique by Lillie MeFerrin - "Between the Lines" Bullish - Ruth Long
2nd: 25 page critique by Me - "Forest Flowers" Donna McNicol
3rd:15page critique by Angela Goff - "Out of the DarkJo-Anne Teal
4th:10 page critique by Daniel Swensen - "A Beautiful Place to Die" Brewed Bohemian
5th: A copy of Stephen King's On Writing - "Extinguishing Souls" Gwen Tolios

Please make sure to grab this awesome BLING for your blog!!

On behalf of Lillie McFerrin, Angela Goff, and Daniel Swensen, I'd like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone for participating. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction


Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction. This week's word: Shiver

The clouds rolled in long before I opened my eyes, casting shadows that only touched the tips of my dreams. A rumble, building like the cascading beats of a tympani drum, reverberates in the distance. I awake, not startled, but comforted by the first fat drops kissing my cheeks. The air is thick with static and the icy hands run their icy fingers down my spine. It's most certainly too late to run.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Day I Realized My Writing Was In Shambles

I am a writer.

Yes, I know you knew that. You are all very clever people. In fact, I am certain most of you know that being a writer isn't just about writing, right?

Correct. Being a writer entails a wider spectrum of tasks that one must consider. Writing on it's own, just isn't enough. You must read - a lot - and you must enjoy it.

But there has always been one aspect of writing I avoided like the plague - which my friend Dasia has right now. Not for realsies, but she does deserves a virtual hug -  editing.


Yes, editing has been something I've tried to avoid for much too long. I've been doing a darn good job of it too. Tossing completed first drafts into my own slushpile, to be edited later.

Later just never came. Until now.

I'm not at all addicted to Twitter <---sarcasm for those new to the planet. As such, I would never blame it for my sudden panic attack.
If, however, I was addicted and if  I wanted something to blame, then it would be Twitter. I was trolling Twitter and my favourite blogs, when it hit me. Everyone is SO much further ahead in their writing career. I use the word career loosely, as I know some people will say... I haven't made any money off my writing, therefore it is not a career. You lie, Angie! You LIE!


My panic attack unfolded as such:

Huh, everyone is submitting query letters and contacting agents. OH EM GEE, should I? Wait - there's nothing for me to flog. I haven't actually finished  anything. DAMN IT! 

So this, my dear reader, is when I realized that if an agent came up to me tomorrow and said:

Hey! You are rockin' awesome! Can I see some of your completed manuscripts?

(Let's pretend this could happen, okay? Okay.) 

I'd have to say: Umm, no. Nothing is finished.

*Le Sigh*

I could very well miss out on the opportunity of a freakin' lifetime, all because I was too lazy - or whatever other excuses I've used - to edit.

Right now my dear buddy J. Birch is totally shaking his head at me. Sorry, Dude.

So there you have it. Two first draft novels complete, three in progress, four short stories, and countless poems, all waiting to be looked at. SHAMBLES, I tells ya!

My aversion to editing only extends as far as my own work. I am more than happy to help others. I'm part of two critique groups and always willing to give feedback to anyone. Apparently I am above helping myself?! In the immortal words of Charlie Brown - Good Grief.

No more tossing my first drafts to the side, for later. No more excuses. Time to suck it up, buttercup! I started editing my NaNoWriMo novel so when this mysterious agent does show up, I can whip it out with pride.

That does sound scandalous, doesn't it?

From Migraines to Metal

Good day, dear readers!

You may have noticed my mysterious absence this past week and wondered...

"Is she alive?"

Answer: Yes I am, thank you.

I received a surprise visit from a migraine that moved in and stayed five days. It was nasty and it stole a week's worth of blogging, writing, editing and reading. The nerve of some migraines!

I am more than pleased to say I am back, I feel human again, and I'm ready to start kicking butt!

Thought I'd get this party started with a little Killswitch Engage.


Rose of Sharyn by Killswitch Engage