The Continuing Story of My Second Draft

bryan-jack-building-house
‘Jack Built My House’ by Bryan Fink

I’ve posted several times about doing the second draft of my book.  This is the latest installment in the eighteen-month story of my efforts.

One word describes things at the moment.  Confused.

I’m adding others.  Messy.  I am okay with messy.  Messy happens in all my creating at some point.  It gives me possibilities.  Having been a neat and tidy child, as an adult I enjoy messy.  Also, I know how to go from messy to focused, a useful talent.

Another word.  Procrastinating.  Somehow, and I have said this before, other jobs and delights keep taking precedence over my second draft.  Strange how that happens.

Yesterday I am telling one of my fellow artist-writer friends about this.  We come to the conclusion I need to clear a chunk of time for only the draft.  Yes.  I do this.  Now marked off in my diary is February through May.  My friend will meet with me throughout this time to help me keep accountable to myself in getting the draft done.  Cool.

A third word.  Blind.  This draft feels like I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle without the picture from the box top to tell me how things should look.

I tell this to another artist-writer friend.  She talks about finding the arc of the story, a kind of outline.  Oh.

I know about outlines.  I tried one out at the start and it drove me crazy.  I learned I am a writer who feels her way through the story.  As Nanowrimo fans say, I’m a pantser, not a plotter.

I am very visual in my thinking.  My friend says ‘arc of the story’.  In response, I see the image of an arc drawn on a big sheet of paper, with me writing sticky notes all along it.  This makes sense.  A way of creating an outline that works for me.  Here is my picture of how things will look when I am done.  Yay!  The picture will likely shift as I go.  That’s okay.  I still have a picture to play with.

Continue reading “The Continuing Story of My Second Draft”

List for Living My Creative Life

Old Coyote Trick (standing out)pinkdetail2
Old Coyote Trick-standing out (detail)

Begin where I am.

Open my heart and feel all my feelings.  They tell me where I am and where I need to go.

Daydream.

Be a child and do what I love.  Imagine.  Play.  No rules, no expectations, no schedule.

Be curious.  Experiment.  Explore.

Ask questions.  Be okay with not knowing.  It gives me a big space in which to be.

Be okay with the new and different.  Be okay with change and transformation.  That’s what creativity is all about.

Let go of control.  Let go of judging.  Let go of using other’s truths, and find my own.

Be okay with not being perfect.

Use everything, including mistakes (they lead somewhere different).  Allow and accept.  Trust what shows up.

Be in my body.  Notice what my senses notice, right here, right now.

Move between creation and rest.  Do.  Be.  Do.  Be.

Laugh.  Enjoy.  Let happy happen.  Even better, choose happy.

Be with those I love who love me back.

Find friends who love to create too, and inspire each other.

Love my creativity.  Let creativity love me back.

Love my life.  Let life love me back.

Let my life be a playground, a petting zoo, a test kitchen.

What I am saying here in every line—Choose Love.

_______________________

In this post:

‘Do.  Be.  Do.  Be.  Do.’  This comes from Amit Goswami, in his book Quantum Creativity.  http://www.amitgoswami.org/

Hello, You’re Fabulous!

sandysbookMy cousin has written a book and published it. Hello, You’re Fabulous! by Sandy Slovack, M.A.

I’m jealous. Writer’s jealousy. And I’m laughing at myself as I write that, because I wouldn’t be jealous if the book was terrible. It’s not. It Is Good (capital G!).  I know this because I’ve been playing with Sandy’s book the last few weeks.

Sandy and I have known each other a long time. (No, I’m not telling you how long.) We talk about life, and laugh non-stop when we’re together, allowing brief pauses for wine, coffee, and food. We can be ourselves in our conversation, making mistakes, being goofy, and being wise all at the same time.

This is what I know about Sandy. She believes in people. She sees the pain and the brilliance and the possibilities. Beauty. Love. She learned to do this for herself, and then shared it. And this is exactly what her book is about.

The pain and brilliance and possibility in each of us. Learning to see this in ourselves. Learning to accept this bright shining being is really us, mistakes and wisdom and all. Learning to be this in our lives. Loving ourselves.

The book is a conversation. Not just reading. Doing. Asking questions. Listening to our heads and hearts, and answering. Discovering what we’ve been telling ourselves, and changing the stories that need to be changed. Choosing to believe in ourselves.

Choose love. This is what Sandy is saying, and offering us a path to get there. Thank you, Sandy.

_________________________

In this post:

Hello, You’re Fabulous!, by Sandy Slovack, M.A., Balboa Press, 2015 http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-000931970/Hello-Youre-Fabulous.aspx

Sandy’s website – www.SelfEsteemSolutions.com

 

Tell me I’m an artist

misc.pics 128When I was eighteen, I tried to become an artist.

I loved school and I believed in school, so I got myself accepted to university and started my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I thought courses and a diploma and those letters, BFA, after my name would make me an artist.

I thought being an artist came from outside. Like being knighted. I dub thee ‘Artist’. One of my art teachers would surely tell me, ‘’Cat, you are an artist.’’

All through that year, I hoped someone would see me, the artist me. I didn’t say it out loud, or whisper it. I never wrote it down on paper or the covers of my sketch books or a bathroom wall. Tell me I’m an artist.

I was so desperate for this, it must surely have been printed across my face. It must have leapt out of every piece of art I created (both the amazing and the dreadful) and every essay I wrote.

It didn’t happen. No one said these magic words.

I left the Fine Arts Department after that first year. I got my diploma in Business Administration instead, and went to work for the government.

Yes, go ahead and laugh.

Continue reading “Tell me I’m an artist”

Knowing

laid to rest east detailI am six years old.  I know I am a writer and an artist.  I know I am a creator.  I translate the world into image and word.  It makes me happy, gives me joy.  I am in love with writing, drawing, the world, me.

I don’t choose it.  I just do it.  I look at the beauty of the world.  I feel it.  I write it.  I draw it.  Whatever comes to me goes onto the paper.

This is play.  Easy, fun, exciting.  New all the time.

I know who I am, my true heart.

Fifty years later.  Here.  Now.  Who am I?

I am Cat, recreating herself in her true image.

Shedding old patterns.  Shedding all the things other people told me I was and was not.  Shaking off what no longer helps me on my path.  Refusing to accept what I know is not true for me.cathy.img447 Dec 66

I am moving back in, this place, this heart, true to myself.  True to the six year old who knew without doubt.

Draw.  Write.  Play.  Love.

How to create sideways

 

banfftable.detailI am a sideways creator.  I travel my own route, follow what feels right to me.  I will listen to what others say, and test out their rules and their methods.  If the rules or the methods feel right, I use them.  If not, I shift a bit to the left or right, sideways, the direction my heart is telling me, and go forward from there.

These are my current rules for creating sideways:

  1. I am the Creator of my creations. No one else is.
  2. There are no Rules with a capital ‘R’.
  3. I get to make up any rules I want for myself, but I can’t impose these on anyone else.
  4. I can add, change, discard, and break my rules any time I wish.
  5. I can make up different rules for each thing I create.
  6. I can make up no rules at all for my creating.
  7. My rules are only a starting point.
  8. I can try out anyone else’s rules if I feel like it, and see if they work for me.
  9. The best rules come from my heart.  What do I love?  What feels good and makes me happy?  What do I want to play with?  What do I want to share?
  10. My rules are play.

There are key words here for the creating sideways method.  Feeling.  Heart.  For myself.  Love.  Happy.  Play.  Share.  This is all I need, all I need carry with me into my studio and into my life.

Faith and the Mountain

Laid to Rest (north) - detail
Laid to Rest (north) – detail

Faith moves mountains.

I know it does.  My faith has helped me create mountain-sized things in my life.  Many of them.

My faith not only moves mountains.  It is the mountain on which I stand.  From the top I see 360 degrees, full circle.  I see exactly where I am here, now.  See all the possibilities.  I feel into my heart, my passion, while standing here.  What do I love?  And there, yes, way over there, something lights up in the distance.  That’s where I want to go.  There’s my desire, my direction, my creation.

Now I have a creation journey ahead of me to reach what I see shining in the distance.  This journey is easy.  I create it, walking one step at a time.

Easy.

Before I take the first step, I pack up my faith mountain.  Yes, this mountain is very flexible.  I can squash it all up, the whole thing, and fit it into my backpack.  You’d think a mountain compacted to backpack size would not be going anywhere.  But my faith mountain weighs nothing.  This is a floating mountain.  A helium balloon of a mountain.  It carries me.

Say it again.  My faith mountain carries me.

My faith mountain helped me create this blog.

Continue reading “Faith and the Mountain”