Aug 102016
 

About a week and a half ago, I was in NYC with my family and we stopped at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a day of fun. While there, we saw the exhibit, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” It is about the place where old-school fashion techniques meet technology. It is also about how one technique isn’t better than the other, rather, how both traditional fashion techniques and new techniques in fashion using technology can complement each other. What I found most fascinating about the exhibit was watching the production of the pieces, the hand-beading and stitching, and the intention behind each piece. Great stuff!

Here are some of the most striking pieces I saw:


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If in NYC, I urge you to check this exhibit out. It is quite beautiful.

I find that viewing beautiful things inspires me to not only find the beauty in life, but also to bring this beauty into my writing and other creative projects.

Happy creating!

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Oct 072014
 

My life is always changing, which means that the space around me is always changing. After my first update, I worked on my office closet again and here are the results.

I stated that I wanted convenience, space, lighting, and color. I think I have achieved all of that and more.

Here is my current space:

closed and open closet doors

And here is a close-up of the interior: office closet
Here is what I did to achieve my dream space:

For convenience, I had an outlet put into my dining room and it is wonderful. I no longer have to avoid cords sprawled across my floor.

For space, I purged a ton of paper. I still have one small bin that I need to go through, but everything else is in files on my desktop. Sure things need to be separated, but at least all of that paper is out of the way.

For lighting, I used a clamp lamp, which can be moved around anywhere. It’s a great tool to have. I couple that with my overhead light above and it works beautifully. I believe that a workspace needs plenty of light to be functional.

For color, I added a city scene that my son made and put up photographs and desk toys. These pops of color are like tiny pieces of happy energy that help me focus.

For organization, I added a DIY combination cork/dry erase board. I made it using an old cabinet door and a pack of square cork and dry erase tiles. I used stamps and white paint to make patterns on the cork, which gave it a little bit of personality. I love my cork/dry erase board and use it every day to keep track of ideas, to-do lists, and important reminders.

I also organized my writing books by color. Organizing books by color makes your space look well put together. Try it yourself.

The best part about my office closet is that there is a place for everything and when I’m done, I can just close it up and join the real world.

May you find your perfect work space in your home as well!

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Oct 072013
 

A few months ago, I stopped working on my novel. I was scared to finish it because I knew I’d have to tackle some painful childhood memories and I didn’t want to deal with them. I wanted to leave them in the past where they belonged.

I did everything to prevent myself from thinking about them including starting new projects, planning trips, and drawing, but it didn’t work. I had the urge to finish my novel, but I couldn’t. Not until I dealt with some issues.

I made the decision to stop pushing away the pain, even though the thought terrified me. And I knew a scratch of the surface wouldn’t do. I was going to have to sledgehammer that bad-boy open. I needed to feel every emotion.  It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was downright painful, but this is bleeding on the page. This is writing born from pain. This is the feel of writing.

I jumped in head-first and started off by interviewing my parents and then each one of my siblings. It forced me to look at the same situation from many different angles, which is a phenomenal gift, but difficult. Their truth was not my truth and vice versa. Since we’re all individuals with our own take on each situation, our perceptions were different. I had to come to the realization that this is okay. This is real.

Then I had my sister interview me. In the middle of the interview, I let everything go and shouted out my feelings. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. It shocked me, but it was also liberating.

I’m glad I decided to interview my family because it recharged my novel. I am now able to look at it with mature eyes.

The process of writing this novel has been incredible. It has broken me down mentally, built me up, and challenged everything I am and thought I was. I am emotionally drained, but enlightened in a way I never thought possible.

I didn’t want those memories to bleed into my current work, but the truth is, that wasn’t authentic. I needed to bust open the memories from my past to write what I am meant to write and I’m glad I did.

Now back to work.

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 Posted by at 6:23 pm
Feb 062013
 

This past weekend I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. It didn’t hit me until a day later, but the storyline reminded me an awful lot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is about a father and daughter struggling to survive before and after a devastating hurricane in Louisiana. The Road is a story about a father and son traveling in a post-apocalyptic world looking for food and shelter and just plain trying to survive.

In Beasts, the story is about a father and his child, a daughter. In The Road, the story is about a father and his child, but in this case, it’s his son. In Beasts, the hurricane signifies the end of the world. In The Road, the father and son are living in a post-apocalyptic world. In Beasts, food is scarce. In The Road, food is also scarce and it is very much feast or famine. In Beasts, the father is a hard son-of-a-gun. In The Road, the father is a hard son-of-a-gun. In Beasts, the mother leaves her family. In The Road, the mother also leaves her family, but in a much different way. In Beasts, it’s important to the father that his daughter be as tough as nails and independent. In The Road, it is essential that the father teach his son how to survive and how to be independent. In Beasts, when the daughter gets emotional, the father gets angry. In The Road, when the son is sympathetic to a starving old man and takes action, the father gets angry. In Beasts, the father is sick and deteriorating. In The Road, the father is sick and deteriorating. The endings are virtually the same.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is based off of a one-act play called Juicy and Delicious by Lucy Alibar. In it, the protagonist is a boy, which makes it even more like The Road. Check out this interview with Lucy Alibar: Interview. Juicy and Delicious was published in 2012.

There are two main differences between Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Road. One is the setting although a good argument can be made that both are apocalyptic. The other is why the authors came to write what they did. Cormac McCarthy said The Road was inspired by and written for his son. Lucy Alibar said that Juicy and delicious, the one-act play in which Beasts of the Southern Wild was based off of, was written because she was trying to deal with and process her father’s sickness. Although both writers were inspired by two vastly different relationships, the plotlines are similar.

The Road was published in 2006 and won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. To read more about it, please visit: http://www.pulitzer.org/works/2007-Fiction. Here is an interview that Oprah Winfrey did with McCarthy back in 2008 about his work as a writer and his book, The RoadInterview.

I would recommend seeing Beasts of the Southern Wild because it is wildly engaging and well done. That said, I would also recommend reading and watching The Road for the same reasons.

What are your thoughts?

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Sep 092012
 

Once upon a time there lived a little boy who woke up very early one Saturday morning ready to go outside. He shook his sleeping parents awake and told them of his plan. After eating breakfast they headed downstairs and began walking towards Division Street for they heard there would be a DIY festival of magnanimous proportions. To their delight the festival was filled with beautiful and magnificent handmade things!

The little boy and his parents walked from booth to booth looking for the perfect item and finally, they saw it – a light blue whale sitting inside of a colorful honeycomb. It was the most wonderful toy the little boy had ever seen. He picked it up and squeezed it with all his might as it was love at first sight. He would name this little whale Wally.

He loved Wally as much as any other toy and carried him around where ever he went, even to Costco. While walking around, the little boy’s mom asked if she could carry Wally so he wouldn’t get lost, but the boy said no as it was his toy to care for. After their shopping trip they went home. That is when the little boy noticed that Wally the Whale was missing!

His parents called Costco and found that it had not been turned in to the lost and found. The little boy was so heartbroken and distraught that he cried and cried. His parents tried to console him, but his pain was immense as he had lost one of his greatest friends.

The little boy would ask to start a search party, but his parents told him before they did that they would try to locate Wally on their own. They called Costco again, but Wally the Whale had not turned up. This upset the little boy so, but his parents had a plan.

It was the festival’s last day of operation and his parents went to the same booth to see if another Whale was available for purchase, but it was not. Instead, the little boy picked up a small, blue squid and gave it a huge hug for he loved it almost as much as the Wally the Whale. The squid made the little boy so happy that he asked his parents to buy it for him and so they did.

On the way home, the little boy told his parents that he loved his new squid, but that he would always have love in his heart for Wally the Whale should he ever return.

The end.

This is a totally true story! The Whale and Squid toys are available for purchase from Zooguu. Check them out if you get a chance. Their toys are super cute!

The other two businesses that caught my eye at Renegade were Tumbleweeds and Stak Ceramics. Tumbleweeds makes amazing wooden sunglasses. My favorite ones were heart shaped. Come on people, who doesn’t like hearts?! You can check them out here. Stak Ceramics makes some of the most unique and beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. I especially love functional pieces of art and if you do too, you need to check this place out. For more info about Stak Ceramics click here.

I had a great time at Renegade and hope you did too! If you didn’t get a chance to make it this year, remember there’s always next year. For more information, please visit: http://www.renegadecraft.com/.

Laters!

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