Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I love this artist...

I've been admiring Matt Muirhead's work at Yabba Pot and Evergreen Cafe lately. Evergreen is featuring three typewriter pieces that are four times larger and much more involved than the image above (see more here...). I am crazy about them. CRAZY. I want all three to be hanging next to each other on the wall next to my desk right now. For now, I'll have to settle for a smaller, but just as lovable version, which I picked up yesterday afternoon at The Art Under Ground Studio on The Avenue in Hampden. I feel joyful everytime I look at it, which is why I plan to take this concept and finally get a tattoo.

Friday, July 3, 2009

56,364 words, a lot of post-its, and a surprise!

Finally, my husband and I cleaned out our cluttered and neglected office. Its probably only 90 square feet of space...and we share it. Last Saturday we rolled up our sleeves and got rid of eight garbage bags filled with paper. We also rearranged the desks, brought another bookshelf into the room and voila! It feels like a Zen Monastery compared to its former state. I couldn't have been happier working from home this week.

A lot of things have shifted recently. I was on a really regimented schedule over the past couple months and I needed a change. I've just let go recently. Instead of going to the gym everyday I've been taking long walks at night with Steve. Instead of reading novels, I've been reading blogs late at night and jumping between five different books that cover a wide range of topics. I've pulled way back on my writing, which has given me perspective and now I'm ready to dive back in with fresh eyes and a clear(er) head.

I'm almost to the "end" of the first draft of my novel. Last weekend, I was becoming overwhelmed trying to keep the plot straight in my head. Plus I couldn't see the conclusion clearly. I've learned a lot from Kris and Brian (my rockin' bosses at CSL), especially when it comes to the creative process. I remembered a picture they had shown me of a dry erase board covered in post-it notes, which they had used to organize one of their largest projects. This seemed like a perfect solution to plotting the progression of my story.

For a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, my husband and I sat in our kitchen and thought through the entire book. He knows the story pretty much as well as I do, since I've bounced almost every idea off him, he has read every page, and he has some kick ass ideas of his own. I don't think I would have gotten this far without him to talk through it with me.

Anyway, what you see above is what we came up with. I moved it next to my desk for easy reference and I'm trying to copy it all down before I leave for Woodstock on Sunday. I'm a little more calm about my progress. I'll get there. Slowly but surely.

Another wonderful surprise last week was an unexpected gift from Steve. Last summer, Steve and I took a trip to Bar Harbor, ME. We stopped at a musical instrument shop one day and I picked up a viola for the first time in ten years. I was instantly inspired to start viola lessons again and I found an amazing teacher in Baltimore when I returned home. I was also lucky enough to borrow my teacher's viola (it could make anyone sound good, its gorgeous, I want it!). I took lessons in the fall and winter, but ended up quitting when fitting in practices became more stressful than enjoyable. Ever since, I've said that I regretted quitting. Before ending the lessons, Steve and I recorded a song together for his band, The Freeminer Birds...

A few weeks ago I decided to renovate my vision board and a picture of a viola ended up in the upper right corner. I didn't know how I would pay for lessons, if my teacher was still available, or how I would fit the lessons and practicing in my schedule. I just knew that the instrument still resonated with me and I wanted it in my life. A couple days ago, Steve called me up and told me he had contacted my viola teacher. She was happy to take me as a student and could lend me her viola again. She also said not to stress about practicing and that we would do the best we could with the time that I have. I was speechless. My first lesson is Sunday and I couldn't be more excited to start playing again. Again, I am humbled by the power of the universe (and my incredibly thoughtful husband). Thank you!

I'm also very excited to be doing a little blogging at Crazysexylife.com. I've been behind the scenes since we launched the site and now I'm posting a blog every now and then. Our blog posse is flourishing and packed with trailblazing change-makers. I am so grateful to be a part of this inspiring group of people. I have to pinch myself sometimes. Is this really part of my job?

I love nights like tonight. I'm sitting at my computer, which faces a window overlooking our backyard. Its a cool night and I don't have any obligations. I can catch up on my favorite blogs, my novel, listen to music (right now its Tegan & Sara, So Jealous), and update my own neglected blog. My husband is happily recording music in the basement. The second Freeminer Birds album comes out soon!

Time to push past 56,356 words...

Monday, June 8, 2009

49,079 Words...

Blogging about my word count is keeping me motivated. I know, I know, word count doesn't matter, but those silly numbers make me excited for some reason. I'm currently in the fourth week of The Artist's Way, which is still fantastic. I've stayed faithful to my morning pages. This experience is also unearthing some things that have been bothering me, which I was conveniently ignoring.

For one thing, I've just stopped caring about my cluttered, dirty house. I brush it off, saying "I don't have time" or "Who cares? We're not going to live here for much longer anyway..." But its gone way too far. I would estimate that we don't need 50% of the stuff in our house. 25% is probably garbage (not literally, but it could be thrown out) and 25% I'm sure we could donate. It's time to devise a plan. One corner at a time. Although I'm not there half the time, it doesn't mean that the house doesn't need some TLC. The basement scares me the most, *shudder*...

Anyway, that's all for now. 49,079 words complete!

Friday, May 29, 2009

41,000 words

Its been a long time since I've posted here. Many wonderful things happening. Crazy Sexy Life is busting at the seams and I am loving the beautiful journey we are on, which has me traveling between Baltimore and Woodstock every other week.

Here is a list of things that make me very happy right now...

1. I'm reading The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron. After finishing a 10-week creative writing course, I've started Cameron's ten-week program. I LOVE it. Especially the three daily morning pages and the weekly artist date. This week I visited the lovely psychic Aurora at breathe books for my artist date. As soon as my eyes pop open I'm giddy about my morning pages. The book and its exercises are opening up many creative doorways.

2. I've written 41,000 words in first draft of my novel. I have a 3 pages per day goal for the next two months. Hopefully that will bring me to the end of the story so that I can begin the first round of revisions.

3. I just finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and I'm back to Looking for Alaska by John Green. I took a hiatus from LFA so that I could read Outlander, which I loved by the way.

4. I've started working with a trainer (every other week). Over the past six months I've been going to the gym without a lot to show for it. I'm usually more successful if I'm accountable to someone or something, so here it goes. I'm very excited to see some results over the next couple months (finally!).

That's all for now. Another week in Baltimore and then its back to Woodstock! Time to write my 3 pages for the day...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dorky Book Lust

I am obsessed with reading more than ever. As a kid, I thought it was silly to read books that were written for kids my own age. I tried to read Shakespeare, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and even Dostoevsky. Of course, I was bored, confused, and thought that reading for fun sucked. Now that I am way beyond the age of young adult literature, I've started reading it. My descent into this genre began with the Twilight series.

From Christmas until about two weeks ago, I read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series, thats eight books of Louisianna-Vampire-Love-Mystery mania. Although this series isn't YA, it may as well be, except for some of the adult content... Now that Sookie is on hold until May, I've started three other books and I can't decide which to focus on.

First, I started Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which was a little slow in the beginning. Plus, it was big change from the fast-paced, fun reading I had been doing. The descriptions of Scottish countryside were putting me to sleep, but now that I'm a hundred pages in, I love it! There is something to be said about building a story...

A few days after beginning Outlander, my good friend (who also loved the Twilight series and is an avid reader of all genres) gave me Looking for Alaska by John Green. I started reading it that night and was instantly drawn in, especially by his amazing sense of humor. He reminds me of David Sedaris, one of the only authors that actually makes me laugh out loud.

A few days ago, I saw an advertisement for the Twilight DVD and like a putty in their hands I went to Amazon immediately and ordered it. Of course, I couldn't pass up ordering Host by Stephanie Meyers as well. I'd like to add that this would be on the shelves in the big people part of the bookstore, thank you very much. As soon as it arrived, I cracked it open. Its very different from the Twilight series and I look forward to seeing how she has evolved as an author.

I've stayed true to writing my three pages or more each night and tomorrow I'll receive feedback from my writing teacher, who I love! We had our first discussion last weekend and it was encouraging and helpful. Looking forward to her ripping apart last week's submission.

I've also been very faithful to the gym:) Why not? I catch up on my reading and I can't work there or be on my computer. I look forward to my techno detox everyday.

Only a few more days in Baltimore and then its back to Woodstock for a week. I'll be spending a little time in NYC too! My brain is fried. Over and Out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back to Charm City Tomorrow

I can't believe I'm getting back in the car and driving to Baltimore tomorrow night. This week has flown by. CSL.com is bursting with new trailblazing peeps and I'm so excited for their blogs to arrive! Here is where I've spent most of my week. KC encouraged me to start a vision board on my bulletin board (top left) and surprised me with a little plant friend this week. For some reason Mr. Plant always lifts his leaves up toward the lamp late at night. I've become quite attached to him this week. I've never had luck with plants, but it looks like I'm doing ok with this little guy. I'm sure he'll be in good hands while I'm in Charm City for the next ten days:)