#Rock My Ambidextrousness

Back in March, as fine motor skills returned to the hand of the broken arm, I was at odds. It took time to learn to draw left handed during physical therapy and recovery because the exercises to regain mobility fatigued my hand and arm. In order to get any illustration work done, there was no choice but to learn to draw left handed. In fact, typing one handed was frustrating and using voice recognition software to transcribe was not fun either. I ended up writing by hand quite a bit. That made transcribing one handed, and as I was able to type with two hands, much easier. If the injured arm hand got tired, no biggie it was already written down.

But as the nerves and muscles started talking and working together and strength and stamina returned, the prospect of handwriting was now an option. Though the script was shaky, I found a very cool way to practice letting my creativity flow and keep the away the drudgery.

Now as I share, let me say that this is already a very popular party that I arrived late to, but just incase you don’t know about it let me share for you to check out.

There is a youtube video that explains it –
A Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/RockYourHandwriting/

The organizers are:
Kim at TinyRayofSunshine.com www.tinyrayofsunshine.com
Kara at BoHoBerry.com bohoberry.com
Dee at DecadeThiry.com decadethirty.com
Jessica at Prettyprintsandpaper.com prettyprintsandpaper.com

You can find the monthly prompts at Tiny Ray of Sunshine

Posting on Facebook, pin interest and Instagram with the hashtag rock your handwriting (#rockyourhandwriting)

Check it out.

Handlettering Revisited

It was while planning this project some time was spent considering hand lettering; an idea that was dropped because it wasn’t apparent that I would be able to do that type of fine work without considerable practice when I broke my forearm. Thankfully in the last four months things have changed and I am currently revisiting that decision.

To be honest, the idea of making more of it by hand, instead of using so much computer programming seems far more appealing. So in addition to learning a bit more about painting with acrylics, add working on lettering. (My mind might change again before the final galley.)

This is a labor of love. As much as I want to finish it quickly, and still put forth my best effort, I have found myself outside my comfort zone. Invading skills that others I admire have is a bit awkward. They have studied and accomplished abilities that are far and above necessary for this project; I have doubts as to how much of what I have learned will ever be used again. My appreciation for their talents has increased and that will remain even if I never take up another brush or sketch pad again.

Something that has come through to me this last year is that no one has to be exactly like anyone else. Every piece of art has the right to have appreciation, even if the only admiration we can muster is appreciating the effort that has gone into the creation. We aren’t all going to like every painting. Not everything will speak to everyone.

There are beloved writers that just don’t make me devour their words- while others I can’t find enough by them to read to satisfaction. My favorite writers someone else just might not like at all. We all have preferences.

My preferences are priority in my own writing, and as I move forward with illustrations, that too is heavy handed with my likes. Even if sometimes I struggle to try to create images on paper that are merely ideas in my head, I want everyone to like what I do, but that is not how this works.

Remember that your best may sometimes be considered less than by others and not let it get to you. That is a tough lesson, I am still learning it.

Daisy Mae and Me and Dinner


Have you ever eaten in front of a dog?

No, wait. . .

Have you ever eaten in front of a companion dog?

Oh, wait, even better still . . .

Have you ever eaten in front of your companion grand-dog?

I have.

It looks like this.






So, many times closet cleaning has involved trying different methods, the latest craze was tried out of frustration. I don’t like cleaning. The less there is to clean the easier and faster it is. This new cleaning fad, that has been around for a while, finally caught up to me. Joy.

Previously my most successful method of thinning the household was giving three good reasons to keep it and one of them could NOT be – I got it as a gift. The dent it made was the greatest, until now.

It started with going through my clothes. Yes, before I heard the audio book. I read briefly what I found on my internet search of the method. It really cleaned out my closet and dresser. Pleased with the results, I went through the kitchen. Still delighted, I then got the audio download of the book, Joy of Tidying . http://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487172141&sr=8-1&keywords=tidying+up+kondo

My hubs and I listened to the book together at bedtime. Heck of a bedtime story, it took a few nights longer than necessary because to be honest, we did fall asleep. But we have been going through our things.

This joy thing? OH, MY! I threw out bags . . . No wait, I don’t mean little bathroom trash bags. No, I mean the big bags. Bigger than the tall kitchen bags, the really big yard bags. The most I got in one day so far was four. Most days clearing out there is one to two of those big bags. Even some furniture items have gone looking for new homes.

Thats how well this joy thing works. I will admit that I had to retrieve the broom from the trash because the direct link to joy was not immediately identified. It does indeed bring me joy, in the form of a clean house. So, fair warning here, cautiously thin your cleaning supplies and housekeeping accouterments.

This process does prove to take longer time frame than the other methods. It isn’t a method that one can sustain interest and emotional connection for hours on end. A couple hours at a time is max, depending on how emotional the area or type of items. (It helps to pull all the like items of one category from various places through out the home into a pile.) That adds time required to gather those items. However, this does make the tossing out a lot easier when you see how much of one thing/category/type of stuff that has amassed a presence in the home.

I have put aside the process and give myself a break here and there. So the time frame Marie Kondo speaks of is probably far more accurate than I originally thought. She suggested six months, if my memory is correct. I believe it.

This joy thing is complicated and emotional but also a productive way to thin the amount of stuff in my home. I like it.

There is room to draw now, keeping up with ideas and writing has time and place in my home.  It isn’t just time you have to make for your passion, you have to make space for it as well.

Routes, Maps, Paths, or How I Got Here

There are many career paths with predetermined points along the way. Then there are some that don’t. The arts definitely have both kinds of paths.

The creative path tends to meander considerably, at least for me. Admittedly, coming off of nursing studies, with a straight forward check list and predetermined professional certification has been an adjustment. Writing was a distinct mental shift.

Learning to relax, get off the procedural focus and into the flow and ebbs of creativity, mostly it has been adjusting to the ebb has been tough. Going back to college helped some in learning how to best use those creative down times. Sometimes it has felt like being lost without a map, until a community of fellow writers shared their experiences, making me feel normal.

Many writers often uttered the cheer “WRITE!” Learning to write when there wasn’t inspiration was the biggest hurdle to clear. Just write. You can’t learn to edit yourself without something written. You can’t critique your own work, or have anyone else do it if you don’t have stories to work with. That’s the truth!

The quality really doesn’t matter. Anything practiced improves, same holds with writing. So it takes sitting and writing. Handwritten, typed, keyed on a computer, doesn’t matter, the production method, on the initial draft. Even if it is told out of order, misspelled, and grammatically incorrect.

Discovering a process that works for me to create the work has had its ups and downs. Looking back, my own efforts to push myself muddled the works. Now that the process is more or less lined out and some structure, some writing and illustrating are falling into place. It may very well mutate before long, doesn’t matter as long as it exists in some form.

The last three years have been an educational experience. Professionally and personally this has been subtle, “ah-ha!” moment. It seems to be a common experience writers all go through pursuing our dreams, learning about ourselves, as well as the skills that we need to fulfill them.

Once dreams begin to be fulfilled, what comes next is to dream BIGGER!