Switching Over

Paintings and Prose is making the move back to Blogger!  For a few reasons, but mainly because I get a lot more traffic and views over there.  WP restricts too many things unless you want to shell out cash, and I’m not into that.  Everything that’s restricted here is already a feature of Blogger, so it just makes sense to me.

All new posts starting Monday will be going THERE TO BLOGGER  This isn’t going to disrupt anything at all, so you won’t miss out on content, and you won’t have to readjust to a new posting schedule!  It’ll be a seamless move, so no worries.

This blog will stay up for a little while for transitioning purposes, but after a while, it will get deleted, so if you would like to keep up, please make sure to follow the new one over at Blogger!

Walkabout atWalkabout

One of my personal goals this year is to check out cool things to do around town, and in the local area.  Partly to have something somewhat interesting to talk about, and partly because I really don’t think there is anything all that great about this area.  Trying to prove myself wrong, I suppose?  Aaaaaaaanyway.

My husband and I recently checked out a coffee shop that is pretty popular among the citizens of Nixa, known as “Walkabout”.  It’s a coffee shop with a very Australian vibe, and I gotta say, it had some pretty damn yummy coffee!  Religious quotes and passages aside, it was a neat place-I really enjoyed most of the decor, and the owner has such a cool accent.

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My drink was called a “Dirty Wallaby” which was hot chocolate with white chocolate.  It was good, but not very sweet.  Luckily, they had Sugar in the Raw packets, so I added a couple.

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It was a fun experience, checking out something new!  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to add more posts like this!

Monthly Goals May, 2017

I’ve been following a lot of authors and artists lately, and following some of their examples in an effort to advance my own creative pursuits.  One thing that a lot of them do is set personal goals to try and achieve.  Jenna Moreci’s method is probably my favorite.  Oh–if you don’t know who Jenna Moreci is, she is a HILARIOUS and relatable author and Youtube vlogger (I think otherwise known as a “booktuber”?).  You really should look her up!  Anyway!

Jenna makes quarterly goals for herself, and she makes too many to be able to achieve on purpose–the ones she doesn’t make she can rollover into the next quarter.  Well, I’m trying to gain better focus and self discipline, so setting goals is something I feel I must do!  Only, quarterly goals might be too easy for me to forget about, so, instead, I’m going to make monthly goals, and post them here at the beginning of each month, and we’ll all get to see how wonderfully I do, or terribly I fail.

  1. Work out the outline for The Legend of Yla (I highly doubt I’ll get a damn thing done on this)
  2. Workout each and every day
  3. Create a list of artwork that must get done
  4. Create at least three new pieces of artwork
  5. Find an amazing website to get resources for writing, and writing prompts for future blog posts
  6. Begin writing Shards of Reverence
  7. Make my new desk
  8. Completely clean up the bookshelf corner in my bedroom artspace
  9. Keep up the good work of posting every Monday
  10. Get 200 followers on Instagram
  11. Get 100 followers on Twitter

I made more goals for myself than I think I’ll have time to achieve, but the point of making the goals isn’t necessarily obsessing over making them, but working at them to the best of my ability.  Even if I don’t meet them all, I’m becoming a stronger, more focused, and more capable writer, artist, and all-around person.  I already feel like this blog is helping a ton, so this is really going to catapult me to my success!

The Reasons Why

A lot of authors and writers-and creative people in general-get asked often just why they started doing what they’re doing.  For some, it’s a pretty simple answer; they read a book that sparked their passion, or saw a painting, or watched a TV show/movie and just started working on their passion.  For others, it might be a difficult question to answer.  Sometimes, this sort of thing just happens to us.  For me, maybe it was a little bit of both?

Growing up, I’ve always been a creative kid.  I didn’t have the most productive or interesting childhood.  I think a lot of my early memories consisted of me spending days at abusive babysitters and having conversations with a stuffed bear when I was locked in a spare bedroom all day.  But, one fond memory I have is of a certificate my second grade teacher gave me, commending me for my creative writing skills.  I think my grandma still has it, actually.

I digress.  Writing and art have always been fun and relatively easy things for me to do, but it was never really a passion of mine.  My passion was digging holes in the dirt with stolen spoons when I was a little kid.  Those were the best times!  If only I could get paid for that, I’d be a billionaire–but anyway.  It wasn’t until I was in junior high (about 12 or 13 years old) when the fire for writing was kindled in my soul.

I had a dream.  Pretty cliche way to start this sorta thing, huh?  I never said I wasn’t into tropes!  I had a dream about being in a forest clearing, with a pond of silver-blue water in the center, and a silvery fog all about.  Then, unicorns came crashing into the clearing to drink from the pond.  And that was it.  I loved the dream so much that I felt compelled to write it down, and I made up a story to go with it.  I wrote a few pages in a few days, then shared it with some friends who seemed to love it.  I loved writing it.  I remember thinking, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had with something like this.”  I didn’t think about editing-I didn’t know about editing.  I just knew that WOW, writing is freaking great.

I wrote a few other things in junior high-none of which I have anymore.  But, then high school came around, and I joined Intro to Creative Writing my freshman year with a teacher named Mrs. Lambert.  I hated her my freshman year, lol.  I think every freshman hated her-she hated freshmen.  But I loved the class.  Writing poetry and stuff, come on.  Cake!  All of it.  My sophomore year, I took Creative Writing, which was only supposed to be for juniors and seniors.  but, Mrs. L liked me enough to let me stay.  I have never grown to respect a human being as much as I did Mrs. L.  Sure, I was lazy and never completed my assignments on time, but it was because of her that I learned what was inside of me my whole life.  A passion for writing.  A pure passion.  A need for it, to experience the emptying feeling when you sit for HOURS and just write.

I remember when we were writing our short stories in Creative Writing class.  She walked by my desk and asked how many pages I had written so far.  “Thirteen so far, but i’m only maybe halfway through it,” was my answer as I feverishly wrote more down.  I was practically possessed by that pencil.  well, she flipped out and told me that she can’t possibly read all of that when she has 40 other stories she had to read.  Because of me and another girl, she told everyone there was going to be a 2,300 word limit.  I was already WAY beyond that, so I was a little miffed.  I had to cut so much out.  It  pained me.

But, when she handed me my short story back, I was so sure I’d get a bad grade, because it felt so rushed and empty.  She told me she read it twice.  Twice!  I think I almost cried.  I still have that short story; it’s a treasure, and it’s very precious to me.  I took every class Mrs. Lambert taught all through high school after that.  Towards the end of senior year, she pulled me aside, and said to me, “Don’t waste this talent.”  She had been the only person at that time who had any belief that I could and would be a great writer.

I’m not going to waste this.  I’m not going to give up on this, ever.  Even though the people who don’t believe in me far outweigh the ones that do, it’s the ones that do believe in me that are held higher in my heart.

I’ll always want to prove you naysayers wrong, but I never want to disappoint the ones who have faith in me.

So I’m Considering Selling My Soul

Almost literally!

Look.  Listen, I’ve been getting more and more into making art these days.  I admire so many amazing artists who seem to be either making a living, supplementing their income, or well on their way to one or both of those things–and I want to be one of those artists!  I want to be able to at least support my hobby with the money I make from what I can create.

So, it brings me to my idea of selling my soul over to those who would have me draw things for them.  As opposed to only drawing what I want when I want.  Some people call doing this “taking commissions”.  Either way, it’s the same basic idea.  You give your time to someone else in exchange for a service, and they pay you!

Commissions are a pretty big deal to take on.  It requires a huge level of commitment-not only on your own part, but on your clients’ part.  They’re trusting you to do something for them in a timely manner, to the utmost of your ability.  You’re trusting them to give you your damn money, and not be an asshole as you work on their commission.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that sort of thing, but at the same time, if I don’t do it now, I feel  like I might never.

It’s a daunting idea.  I have to be mentally ready to partake, and i have to figure out so many other things.  But, I would like to do it.  Just not sure when.  This is definitely something I’ll post more about later on!

Peace!

Ugh.

Ugh.

I missed a post for the first time. I’m certain it won’t be the last. Not by a long shot!  If there’s 9ne thing I’m really good at, it’s missing deadlines! But, here I am and I am here to post!

I’d say I have a good excuse for missing mypost, but honestly, I really don’t.  It’s been a busy week around here. Running errands, cleaning and just plain being a wife and mom-type stuff.  Plus, to top it all off, I have not been feeling well. I figured it was a cold, and maybe a sinus infection, but my friend seems to swear I have allergies? I have never dealt with allergies before, so what do I even know? All I know is, this sinus pressure and these headaches SUCK.

But, anywho. That’s been my week. I figured I should at least touchbase and assure the masses that I’m still here and still planning on making something great out of this simple little blog! I’ll be back next week-on time-with some new posts! For now, I’m gonna just chill out and be a mouth breather.

Ugh.

Flying by the Seat of My–

There are probably a bujillion blog posts about this particular subject, and I’m about to add my own to the mix:  outlining vs. pantsing.  I’m no expert on writing; I’m just a writer, not some worldly scholar or anything.  Everything I know (or think i know) is based on my own experience with the subject, so my advice is to take what I say with a grain of salt.

While I’m sure there are others, the two most well-known styles of writing are known as “outlining” and “pantsing”.  They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, and there are many authors and writers who sing praises of one or the other.  I’ve had the opportunity throughout my life to play around on both ends of this spectrum, so I think I’m at least somewhat qualified to give you my “expert” (I use that term loosely) advice.

Outlining involves a lot more work than pantsing.  It’s the careful planning and laying out of a story in its entirety before actually setting about writing.  For some, it can take a day, while others, years.  I’m working on a very detailed outlining and world-building process of a large saga, and have been for almost two years.  It’s pain staking and can often get boring-especially when all you want to do is WRITE, dammit!  While it does have its moments of inducing extreme boredom, it can also be a lot of fun seeing something take shape out of nothing!  You’re paving a defined pathway from the start to the end, and it’s just really cool to come up with options for all the different paths your characters can take before you plunge into the real shit.

Pantsing.  Pantsing?  Kind of a weird term, right?  If you’ve ever heard the analogy, “Flying by the seat of your pants” that basically sums up this style of writing in a chaotic package.  It involves almost no work.  Once an idea pops into your head and you can write that opener, you’re golden!  You just write and write, with no plans on well, planning.  You might make notes to yourself along the way, but for the most part, you let your characters take the helm.  For some, this method works perfectly well and they can conjure up some pretty amazing shit!  For people like me, who lack focus and get distracted way too easily, it’s a death sentence for any plot, no matter how good or bad it is.  For so long, in my early years, pantsing was all I knew.  I didn’t know things like outlines existed until my freshman year of high school.  I still never used an outline seriously beyond the sole purpose of making a grade in creative writing class until long afterwards.  I’m a pantser to my core!  But, I’ve abandoned so many stories because pantsing leaves a writer vulnerable to hitting writers’ blocks and plot holes galore.  It’s a messy process, and it takes brave souls to traverse it.

If you’re a brand-new writer, and it’s too late for you to escape (if not, then TURN BACK!  TURN BACK NOW!) this curse of being consumed with fake worlds and having fake people running amok in your head, I highly recommend outlining your ideas.  Pantsing is great if you’re needing to get a certain tf out of your head NOW, but beyond that, it leaves you open to attack by the dreaded writers’ block.  and none of us want that.  There are all kinds of resources on the internet for helping you get started on outlining.  I will post a bit later more on outlining and my own process.  While there are two basic styles, every author adds their own little bit of flair to it to make it easier for theirselves.

While I have played with both areas of the approach to writing, for me, outlining is a far more rewarding process.  It can be more stress-inducing at times, but the end result is worth it all.  I still pants for smaller things like scenes and writing prompts, but for the most part, I’ve converted to being an outliner.  Praise be to the Plot Pyramid!