Writers Need Other Hobbies, Too!

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Pictured I colored and sent to my Mom, lol πŸ˜›

Slept in super late this Sunday as per usual, and made pancakes and bacon for brunch. Got some stuffed pepper soup stewing away in the crock pot, and here I am sitting here at my desk spending some quality time soaking in my light box’s rays.

Sundays are usually lazy days for me lately, and today I am feeling creative. I have not been the most diligent writer as of late, but I must not let writer’s fear get me down.

All my activity in the kitchen this afternoon, reminds me how important it is for us writers to have other hobbies besides writing.

You need to give yourselves a chance to be creative with everything.

Lately, I’ve been coloring, working on a cross-stitching project and baking more in the kitchen. Although, sometimes I use these activities to procrastinate on writing projects that I should be working on instead, I feel a sense of freedom on working on other things.

Expand your horizons – be open to new ways of creating.

Chefs are creative when they are in the kitchen; painters dabble with different textures, different colors; bakers create freshly baked masterpieces of flaky, buttery bread and crusty goodness.

Athletes create different exercise routines, different ways of pushing themselves to the next level, of knowing what they can and can’t get away with when it comes to their bodies.

As writers, we have to get used to thinking about things in a different way.

If you just stick to what you know, or if you stick to one thing, you may become an expert at that one thing but you will limit yourselves when it comes to creating.

Writers know that the more you know the more knowledgeable you’ll become and the more useful your writing will be to others.

Never limit yourself as a writer, or as a creative person. Craft, paint, hike, climb, explore, taste and try new things.

We never know what will spark that next great inspiration. What do you like to do to stay creative?

Happy Writing!

 

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A kaleidoscope of Love – show your holiday spirit!

There’s been something on my mind lately and that is Love.

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Art done on Paint; by AJM

What is it exactly?

A discussion in one of my college classes about love suggested that love can be varying. We were talking mostly about the love that you feel towards someone – how someone described as being in love as a sacrifice of themselves, to be so consumed by another person, you forget who you are.

ToΒ love someone is to put that other person before you, to care that they hurt, to want to make their passage in this world as easy as possible.

So, the question on my mind is: How do you know when it’s real?

Even as I write this, I find it ironic that every other song on my Pandora station has to do with love, or even has the word in the song. Love is everywhere. It is in the very fabric of our being; to find that place where we belong, where we are appreciated, where we are needed.

In my opinion, it is simple, really. We seek to define love to understand it. We give it different meanings and write different definitions for it. But real love shouldn’t need to be defined, it is only felt. Whether it makes sense or not, is beyond the point.

With real love we risk real heartbreak, but it is a sacrifice that everyone must accept to find where he or she truly belongs.

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Me and my cat Milo, when he was a kitten. What a goofball!

On that note, I’ve decided to focus on something else this holiday season…and that is giving gifts to show the ones I love how truly thankful I am to be known by them, to love and be loved.

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Every year I struggle with Christmas and the fact that it is so commercialized! (I blame the years I worked in retail. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday!) I’d decided to do a few things to bring myself back into the holiday spirit and to focus on the love and selflessness that the holiday is meant to show:

  • make my own gifts this year; instead of focusing on buying, buying, buying
  • bake more!
  • cherish the memories, never miss a photo opportunity!
  • try more outdoor activities

What are you doing to get into the holiday spirit? Thoughts below if you got them!

Happy Halloween!!!

I know it has been a while since I posted last and I’m going to try to make up for it in the next coming weeks…

On another note, I recently acquired Photoshop again and I thought I’d do up a little something to celebrate. It’s amazing what you can do with just a picture, some paint tools, cut and paste, and filters. (Gotta love those filters!)

Anywho, enjoy!

halloweenThe black cat in this picture actually belongs to a friend of mine. Believe it or not, the cat really is about the size of a big pumpkin, he’s HUGE. He gets mad whenever I pick on his weight. It’s hilarious though, if you could see this cat waddle…

Anyway, hope everyone has a safe holiday!

And go crazy!! πŸ˜‰ Have a good one!

Can you guess what color I am?

Dusk at Binghamton University’s wildlife reserve.

It’s early morning, and I really should be sleeping, but thought I would post my latest assignment from my writing class. It really is forcing me to stretch back into that creative mold and realize just because I’ve been to a few college classes, doesn’t mean that I am the expert that I think I am – sometimes I forget that we writers can get cocky sometimes. πŸ˜‰

Anywho…the assignment was to describe a color and do this in the first person. (Pretend we are essentially the color.) The bit I wrote was a broad scope of how one color can be many, but I like the phrases I got here:

I am that periwinkle color of a forgotten sweater. I am royal, I am sweet, call me what you want; pop in your mouth grapes, a plum, hanging loose from the vine. I am everything that you want to go right in your life. Find me on the highway, stripped from its owner; a scarf blowing in the breeze. A dark, bleeding sunset, a midnight sky so inky. I am velvet, I am happy beams of ambrosia, lavender, freesia. The sparkle in a raindrop, no larger than a pin-prick. Find me soaring, the color of wind, grey and regal. Find me goofy. A bulky mauve dinosaur that everyone hates. Flowers in a field of straw, choking out the other plant life. Birthed by two colors, given life from two opposites, warm, cold, light and dark.

What am I?

The House On Mango Street

Every writer has a moment where it all began. That point in their lives, where they were 10, or 14, or 42, where they realized that words can be something more than dots and slashes and letters on a page…that words can take you places.

For me it was a book called, The House on Mango Street, By Sandra Cisneros, which I read in eighth grade. The middle school that I attended had a new eighth grade teacher that year; a man from New York City named Mr. Van Dright. He was a bit unorthodox for an upstate New York school strict on curriculum and following the rules. He had long dark hair and grizzle on his face, who wore a leather jacket and drove a motorcycle when he wasn’t in school, who reminded us often how thankful we were to attend a school that was safe and clean with no metal detectors.

And although this unique teacher from the city was forced to resign before the following year, what I remember most about him was that he was an artist. He had that look in his eye of a person who had stories to tell. He showed me, although he probably doesn’t know it, (a very insecure and shy fourteen year old at the time,) that books and words could be something more, you just had to dream them.

“In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing.” (Cisneros,10)

This is from a passage in the book entitled, “My Name.” I remember him reading it to the class that day. What does that mean, he asked us. A name like the number nine?

Perhaps it was because I was obsessed with names. Wondering what it would be like if I had a different name – to separate myself from the ten other girls named Amanda in my school. (I really did graduate with about 5 of them.) Perhaps it’s because later on in the passage, the narrator goes on to describe her name, “as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth.” (Cisneros, 11)

Up until that point in my life, I’d never given much thought into the meaning of words, how with a simple sentence you can describe your name as muddy and we know how you felt about whatever it is you were talking about.

My own writing as of lately, has become its own kind of muddy and I thought I’d take this time to go back and remember where it all began. How words can have inspiration just by how they sound in your mouth mixed around with a word or phrase that can have nuances of meaning. How something simple can change the way you think and view the world. Muddy. Muddy. Muddy.

Nothing was as clear to me as those words on those pages. I wanted to write muddy too.

Hurricane Sandy – Check out these cool pics!

Well, still getting battered by the hurricane up here in upstate, NY and probably will until tomorrow evening, (the wind outside right now is terrible!) Can feel the cool air blasting through the cracks in the windows and downstairs in the basement the water is creeping slowly across the floor as it seeps into the house…

The power went out for about four or five hours and we broke out the candles. Ate dinner to candlelight, wondered at the silence when all the humming of machinery is turned off and I cradled my phone to my chest and then sorrowfully shut the power off to save the battery for tomorrow.

I did grab my camera, which was fully charged (and clung to that – yaay an electronic device!) and was able to take some pictures of the storm.

Was playing around with the light settings and got this…(I am not a photographer by any means but like taking good pics as well as anyone), but imagine my surprise when I got this!

Anyway, well the power came back on an hour ago, we turned the TV on to check out the news and I thought I’d share these pics. I’m a tad nervous because I have to be out and about tomorrow – so fingers crossed!

Prayers and thoughts go out to those that were seriously impacted by this storm!

I Am Me

I’ve been in a bit of a down mood today and no matter what I tried, (TV, music, chocolate)…I couldn’t seem to get myself out of it. So, even though I didn’t want to, I went for a walk down the road.

My doctor always encouraged me to exercise…says that it “lightens the load” in more ways than one, and not just physically…

Cow in the field down the road from my house. Why they feel the need to stare at people walking past them, I have no idea.

Cows ogled me as I trudged past. In my peripheral vision, I noticed the trees a burnt red and orange. I look down at my feet and see a brown, and black fuzzy, wooly bear caterpillar, creeping its way across the rough surface of the road. Bugs flew up at my face. Bugs! In the middle of October. The sun was warm on my green sweater and on my matching green headband, the sharp, cool air biting at my cheeks, which are pink from the air that doesn’t want to make its way into my lungs.

I thought about why I was upset, thought about the scenery around me. Felt my mood like it was a physical being, felt it weigh me down in my chest. Inside, I wonder and agonized: Am I good enough? Why do I feel so worthless?

And while I’m wondering why the black and white cow in front of me keeps staring and staring, something prompts me to turn around and I’m greeted with this view:

No matter how grey you feel inside, there is beauty still. As emphasized by this beaten down tree in the field I was walking next to and the rainbow soaring above it.

I don’t know what made me turn around; divine intervention, an epiphany? But I’m glad I did. It felt like one of those moments where I was faced with the reality of my situation by the visuals around me. And as corny as it sounds, it felt like a promise.

“I will not abandon you. You are not alone.”

There is still beauty inside, even though I felt so crummy. And I hold that warmth inside of me and I am happy still. Partially because of my walk, partially because of the air that forced itself in and out of my lungs, partially because of the scenery; because I know I am alive, because of the sharp air that pinched my cheeks awake. But mostly because I know that I am beautiful.

Rainbow above the burnt, orange trees.

I am beautiful mentally, physically and all the other ways in between. I am a beautiful writer, poet, woman, child, daughter, comedic and friend.

And when you learn to love yourself, you learn to love everything around you. I am worthy. I am a friend.

I am…me. πŸ™‚

The Beauty of Fall

Trees starting to show their color in a field next to my house. Hopefully we will get some sunny days soon…

Although, I hate the cold weather, I sometimes forget how lucky I am to live in area where I get to witness the changing of the seasons.

To see the beauty of fall: the robust reds, the bright, yellow-greens and oranges of all different shades; light orange, red-orange and some the color of grapefruit.

Bright yellow trees on the corner next to my house.

The smell of the crisp, cool air, the wind that’s got a bite to it; the smell of wood smoke, a hint of sweet, tart ripe apples. Yeah, this is fall, my fall, and I realize I appreciate it a bit more this year than I ever have before.

I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old…Maybe I’m finally realizing that although new places are fun and exciting to see…sometimes, nothing can beat the comfort of home!

Colorful trees in the field behind my house.

Craptastic Cover!!

My craptastic cover for my short story “An Interplanetary Dinner” that I just created in Photoshop!

So, be a dear and go check out my new Short Stories page…it’s up there ^Β  πŸ˜€

Did I mention how much I love Adobe Photoshop CS6?! I gotta see if there’s a used version I can find somewhere…my trial is almost up! 😦
Aww…