Monday, July 30, 2012

New Project 'The Dragon's Lair' is published on

I just published a new project 'The Dragon's Lair' to my Behance portfolio:

This features some of my fantasy dragon art that I've worked on for the past couple of years. Please stop by and check it out! Thanks! 


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Electronic Muse, in a Different Form

Sometimes writing in a completely different place can make a load of difference. Usually, I compose my poems, novellas, etc. on my laptop. That way, I can keep an eye on my kids while I write. I learned a while ago that being stuck on my desktop invited all sorts of mischief. My daughter Christina's newest obsession is getting into the refrigerator and spilling all the milk. She's autistic and has sensory issues; anything liquid is fair game for play. With the laptop, I could keep a watchful eye on the kitchen and work on my writing.

I'd hit a slump not too long ago. The words simply wouldn't flow at all. The whole process was like pulling teeth while playing a banjo with your toes and untying shoelaces with your teeth. Not fun, especially when this dry spell stretched on and on. I wondered if I was ever going to get my groove back.

Several weeks ago, my in-laws came to visit. My MIL gave me her old iPad. I spent time transferring my documents, downloading apps, and stumbling my way through the navigation. Yes, I'd worked with Apple computers before...back in my teaching days. For years, I've been more of a PC person, thanks to my computer software engineer husband.

Eventually, I figured out how to back up my documents on iCloud and work my way around Pages. The iPad was a lot more portable than the laptop. Not to mention, I could read stuff and still 'snoopervise' the kids. It still took me some time to get used to the new format, but once I did...

Today, I brought out last year's Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month, November 2011) project. It looks like I can develop two novellas from this mess. So I downloaded it to the iPad and got to work. I found it surprising easy to get lost in the writing. After the girls finally settled for their nap, I continued to scribble, move passages around and delete the parts that weren't working.

Next thing I know, I look up and it's already 5 PM.

Whoa. That hasn't happened to me in a while. But it's a good feeling...that I've finally gotten headway on some projects on which I'd been stuck for weeks. All it took was a different electronic venue to wake my my Muse. Change can be very, very good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Art on Vacation

I'm in Myrtle Beach, SC this week with the family, on a well-earned vacation. The change of scenery has done me a world of good. We're in a hotel room right off the beach. The kids have frolicked in the surf. Christina in particular has really enjoyed the water. It doesn't matter if it's the ocean or the pool, she's there. I've spent some time on the balcony overLooking the beach, sketching all I can see. We've driven around towards the Boardwalk on the Beach, and visited the Ripley Aquarium. Sharks, stingrays, fish, coral, sea dragons, horseshoe about inspiration galore. I'm in the process of doing research for fantasy art...and the aquarium visit gave me some ideas. The beach houses here have interesting architecture. Some have sweeping staircases, some have stucco roofs and patios like New Mexico ranch houses. Others are whimsically decorated in nautical themes, others have tall marble columns on the porch, ivy-covered walls, and iron gates. Even the restaurants have kitschy names ("Shiver My Pincers: Crabs and Cold Beer" anyone?) and the ninety million mini putt-putt courses along Kings Highway have a sort of...interesting charm. Aztec temples, pirate ships and misty greens? A jewelry kiosk in the local mall had nice pieces. Handmade necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I found a jade butterfly in a simple silver setting for about $25, with a silver chain included. Opals, jade, amethyst, Swarovski crystals...and designs from Egyptian ankhs to Celtic knots, and I trip ate wirework. It was thrilling to see a master jeweler at work and talk with him about techniques. My hands don't allow me to do a lot of wirework any more, but the designs gave me more ideas for future projects. My favorite vacations always combine family memories and artistic inspiration. This is definitely one of those. Annie