Monday, 28 July 2014

My poor neglected blog

My blog has taken a back seat to many other interests of late. One of the best things any writer can do is to live their life. Experiences add authenticity to prose and poetry. How can we write about a thing when we have nothing with which to compare it?
 I completed the art work for one writer and have begun some concept drawings for another. My new chair and desk have arrived and I am so very excited to have a brand new chair just for me. I took it for a spin around the kitchen and got in touch with my inner child. I had to adjust all the other furnishings to fit the art desk in perfectly and it all worked out well.
I have decided a move to the city may well be on the cards so in anticipation I hired a skip (large 3metre rubbish bin) and promptly filled it with old and broken bits and pieces from the yard, the shed and the house. I have been sorting out excess clothes and bits and bagging them up to give away to various places. Charity/church op shops are always good for clothes, small furnishings and bric-a-brac. Books will go to book sales for fundraising. I promised my sister she could have ALL of my decorations and any excess crockery( my old catering crockery is still in the shed) and I offered some people various bits and bobs that I will never use again so they might as well get some use out of them.  I like the feeling of cleaning out the things I no longer need and knowing they will find a new lease of life in someone else's care.  I suspect that when and if I do finally move again I may well need another skip but for now this one has done its job. Oh and I ousted dozens and dozens of spiders, mostly redbacks.
I don't like to disturb them but in the interest of clean up they had to move. Sorry girls.


week 30 of the 52 week challenge is themed Sydney. Not a city I am fond of, I found this a difficult challenge to come up with an image. I found Sydney a difficult place to navigate both physically and socially although I do have one or two fond memories that became short stories. Anyway here are my submissions on this theme.

 This piece is inspired by how I felt each time I visited Sydney, the going home part was the best part. No matter how I travelled, train, aeroplane or car each mile/kilometre closer to Melbourne increased my sense of homecoming. I enjoyed visiting the touristy things of Sydney. I went to Paddy's market and The Rocks, I went on the ferry to Manley and back and up the Centrepoint tower, I took the light rail around the city, went down to the Quay, across Hyde park and out to a concert, Bondi beach and over the Harbour Bridge, the old aquarium and shopping in Oxford street. I went to a nightclub and used a pick up line to gain a dance partner, I pretended the nightclub crowd were my guests and hugged them all. They thought I was pissed or stoned and I was neither but I made them smile and they hugged me back. I went to a wedding at King's Cross, the bride arrived in her leathers and stripped them off to reveal the crushed wedding dress she wore underneath. I won jewelery in a competition, wore sparkling bug eyes on springs on my headband, crystals on my face and hands, glitter in my clothes and danced until I dropped. Sydney was loud and brash and busy and exhausting. I wrote tales about my time there and made people smile. I won a heart and let him go. I lost my heart and smile at the memories. I was glad to go home.

This little piece is inspired by Pixar's animation "Finding Nemo". Every child who ever saw that movie memorised the address on the facemask right along with Dory. My favourite non existent Sydney address is P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney, NSW.
I am still practicing with copic markers and was quite happy with my rendition of Dory, not so much with Marvin but I do only have two shades of orange.
I love playing with all the new materials this year although I am still timid about digital. I have a tablet to try some time soon, probably when I return the copics to their rightful owners.

Anything else exciting to share? Politics sucks! It is important to be well informed but lately Australian politics makes me squirm with shame and embarrassment. Statistically the current government should not be in power. Less than 32% of the voting public voted for them at the last election, meaning 68% voted against them. The opposition actually had a higher primary vote. People were voting strongly against both the leading parties in protest at what we all saw as incompetence. Unfortunately our voting system allowed for second and third choices on people's ballot sheets to sway the final result to the arrogant smug egomaniacal narrow visioned money hungry gutless fools who took the baton. I don't understand how they could possibly be in power with less than 32% of the primary vote? If it were not for vegemite and eucalyptus I would consider shifting somewhere my vote would be respected.

I have three days to write 44, 000 words. I was not able to sit and write for quite a bit of this month so I doubt I will make my camp nanowrimo goal unless I can write 15k a day. It is doable. hmmm maybe I should get a good night sleep.

I achieved my 12 x 12 picture book draft for the month and did my revision so I have my badges for both.

I completed all the anthology pieces I was committed to doing and sent them all away and just have some art work to complete for one and I am done with anthologies for good. I might just do the art work on my pretty new desk tomorrow. I bid you all a fond goodnight. Dream sweet and I shall send you a new missive in a week. HUGS

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A week later

Today is Sunday the 20th of July. I like a date at the beginning of a post so I can tell how current and relevant it is. Sometimes it is very difficult to get basic information about a piece of information on the internet. My daughter is studying her second last year of high school and needs to find information that is current and relevant and it is not always a simple task to verify.

It seems my posts will be weekly. I purchased a heater fixing the chill problem so no gloves this week and have put a chair and art desk on layby(lay away/payment plan).

 Here is my desk (or a similar one)and I am so excited about it. I am tired of using the window as my light box and I need a desk I can work on without having to pack up to eat dinner on it. All artists make do with what they have in the early days and I sure have done a lot of make do over the years so I am totally excited and grateful that this year I can afford to buy a new desk.


 The chair is something I have thought about for quite some time and after a week of not being able to sit or lay down or walk or do much of anything, I went out and paid a deposit on a really good one. It is a Testarossa office chair which looks like this

a perfectly beautiful and comfortable chair for anyone who might intend sitting for long hours typing up marvelous manuscripts. However I thought if I was going to have a midlife crisis and purchase a Testarossa it should look like this....

 or this

and because it is a mid life crisis I should have an attractive hood ornament draped over the bonnet something along the lines of

 this young man
or this young man.
There is no point having a mid life crisis without the sports car and nubile young personage draping themselves....oh well I must not be mid life yet. |So what I am doing is Summer school
except that it is winter here.
 This is the breakwater in Warrnambool taken by Angie while at lunch
 and the same day there was a good snow on the Grampians, taken from the verandah by Anfie
 This was shared by Denise and is in Great Western but I don't know if that is NSW or Vic.
 and this was Sharon's pic of Marysville
and so is this one.

Winter school it is however I am joining a lot of my northern hemisphere writing sisters for a summer school which I hope will boost my flagging enthusiasm for all things picture book.
http://nerdychickswrite.wordpress.com/ 

Kidlit Summer School 2014: Building Character!

 I will be learning how to build my characters into engaging and brilliant little plot drivers.


I have written a draft for 12x12 this month but have not done much revision of it and I pulled out of WOW because I was immersed in a novel and wrote my 81k last month. This month I am doing camp nanowrimo and so far have 6k of 50. If I write 4.5k a day until the 31st I should make it and I am quite capable of 4.5k a day when all it well in the sitting and typing department.
I am however learning a whole lot of things about art and working with writers to make art for them. It is a challenging process and because I am old school in my art skills I have to learn a lot of things about digital uploading. I have learned that I need very clear directives in the brief and a session to nut out the requirements of the book. I am not sure I will do this again and having said that I picked up another commission for art for a story going straight to e publishing.

The 52 week art challenge is growing and growing. There are over 2000 people joined and many uploading art, some sitting back simply enjoying the art and some bravely teetering on the edge of leaping in. This week's theme is Plane. I am disappointed that 99% of pictures have been aeroplanes(UK) or airplanes(US) rather than planes (tools) and plane (geometry). I have not yet made any art for the challenge this week.  I did have some more for feather which was last week's theme. It is titled The Dying Swan and inspired by the ballet Swan Lake.

I outlined my images in chalk on scratch paper then scratched out the dancers.

Okay well I have been sitting here in this chair for way too long. I am grateful I can sit at all this week and have diligently done my physiotherapy to be able to do so. Thank you for your kind wishes for my well being. It is such a joy to read supportive words from people far and wide.

Time to go.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Friday 11th July

Today is not a birthday for anyone I know. It is cold with a high of just 13 and 7 the expected low. My eyes are twitching from too much screen and we are all on a frenzy to clean. Clothes from the wardrobe and boxes of things to send to the op shop. Yesterday a door knocking fund raiser came in out of the cold. I made him a coffee and gave him some gloves and sent him on his way. Nice lad, obviously chose not to read my do not knock poster on the door.
Today I am pleased to say we are up to date on the washing after the machine repair man came Wednesday and removed the paperclip from the pump which had prevented the machine from working.  $88 later I was thankful it was a simple repair job. I now have a basket of things to whip down to the dryers at the laundromat. Not quite dry when the rain came down but we had managed to get several loads dry in the brief bout of sunshine.
I was expecting visitors at 2pm and had different visitors instead. A young mum dropping in some baby clothes for another young mum due any day.
The lawn mowing team came and left without mowing because the grass is still too short since the sheep ate it all. That saved me a few dollars.

I have not been writing this week. I have instead been drawing and tidying up the art folders on the computers and transferring my art to pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/ceciliaaclark/ 

Driving to dinner on Friday evening was an adventure. I was supposed to stop at one house before arriving at the other but I was caught in a downpour so heavy I could not see in front of the car and missed the first driveway altogether. My windscreen wipers were flipping back and forth to no avail and the little car aquaplaned in the sheets of water across the road. I finally arrived at my destination as the rain eased and was able to get out of the car without a drop of water on me.



Saturday and Sunday flew past without a blink and today is crawling along in comparison. I went out for afternoon tea on Saturday after four hours of grocery shopping and driving around town running errands. Leaning in and out of supermarket trolleys and clothes dryers is not good for me and by Saturday afternoon the pinch in my spine had become a red hot poker and I found it difficult to enjoy the company of my friends. I went home to find the plumbing backed up and in spite of a plunger and caustic drain cleaner I could not make a difference. On Sunday I finally called the plumber when the drain was overflowing into the lawn which is probably terrific for the lawn but not so terrific for the aroma. The plumber rang to let me know he was babysitting and could not come until Monday. His apprentice turned up at 10 not 8.30 as promised. I had had almost no sleep with the pain intensifying in my back and the big boys being noisy on their keyboards and finally a call at 4.02am to let me know a baby was making his way into the world. Too little sleep and I don't believe the plumbing issue has been dealt with but time will tell.

All this means I have not written a thing for over a week. Well that is to say, I have written a picture book draft and I wrote a short story based on weird thoughts I was having last night but my novel has made zero progress. I will rectify this as soon as my back allows me to sit longer than a few minutes.

Okay before the week is up here is the 52 week art challenge on the theme of Feather. Titled; 'Fascinators' and is done in pencil on cartridge paper.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Fifth of July

Today is the fifth of July. It is 2.16am and my sleeping patterns are all over the place. I have been pinning my art work on boards on Pinterest and it takes a lot of time. It is amazing to me to see my art work all in one place and to realise just how much art I have been doing this past year. Like my writing I am trying out all sorts of new things and having a forum like the 52 week challenge I am able to feel encouraged and supported by the 1900 other artists from around the world who are also contributing their art as they too try new things and brush up old skills. When we don't have enough place to share our art we can make it and Tania McCartney has done a wonderful job of providing that space. Now she has two assistants to keep it all in line as it grows exponentially week by week.

My gallery button now takes the click through to my pinterest. I have started putting in boards for my anthology contributions and wall murals past and present. It will take a while for me to upload it all but I will feel better once it is done.

here are this weeks art pieces for the theme SNOW


a snow gum in fog. Copic markers and pencil
 a snow scape. Copic markers
snow fairies, copic markers
Mixed medium, copic markers, chalk pastels, gouache and pencil

then I did a little cropping and enhancing with digital which I haven't had a lot of time to learn effectively.



I am in the middle of making art for another writer who has a middle grade book well along the track of being publishing ready. It is a fascinating journey to work with another author to try and produce the images that are her vision. It adds a whole new perspective when trying to make an image that is satisfactory to two people.

I think I almost have it though.



Last month I entered the Romance Writer's of Australia 50/30 as I have mentioned and at the 30th June had written 81101 words. I finished off one novel and began on a new one. the new one is almost at 50k already with the 5k I have written so far this month.

This one feels like a trilogy in the making as I have a whole cast of characters and some interesting plots lines to weave together.

I am going to make a wish board and put on it the kind of things I hope and desire for the future.

Oh another rejection today (that makes ten), the story I pitched to Allen and Unwin's Friday Pitch did not elicit a response so I shall pop that in my rejections folder and start hunting for a new potential home.

Oh dear it is 2.30 now and I need to sleep so I shall finish up here. Looks like once a week is where my blog is going to sit. Hugs everyone.