February 1, 2016

sending you warmth

and some inspiration from one of my favorite artist/bloggers, Lori Vliegen.  just looking at this makes me feel a little warmer here in chilly Montana.

December 21, 2015

update on Josh's cgi entry

for those of you who read my interview with my son at the beginning of December for IWSG, here's an update. the contest website posted the winner and runners-up.  he's very pleased that he lost 1st place to such a great winning entry.

December 2, 2015

IWSG - Do What You Love

This is supposed to be where I put my catchy intro about my 19-year-old son Joshua and his CG art and how I interviewed him about his art for IWSG day so he could encourage us... but I didn't sleep last night and my brain is in a fog, and since the time for posting is drawing near, I'm using this as my intro. Not catchy, but to the point. 

MG: Why did you decide to learn how to make computer generated art? 

JG: It’s kind of always fascinated me, you know, just from watching Avengers and Lord of the Rings. I like making stuff that doesn’t exist, bringing it over to the computer, and making it look as if it could exist. 

MG: How long have you been at it? 

JG: About two years. 

MG: What has the process of learning been like? 

JG: It’s been really hard. 

MG: Why?

JG: I think it started off with my mistake of not learning the basics at first – I kind of skipped the basics and went from intermediate to advanced. I compared my work to other people’s work and I thought “There’s no way I’m gonna make something as good as that.” 

MG: What did you do to overcome the difficulties?

JG: I just kept at it, time and time again, making stuff that looked “eh” and just pushed myself to be a better artist. 

MG: What’s your favorite part of the process? 

JG: Getting an idea and then looking up reference images and just finding what I’m looking for. 

MG: What’s the hardest part of the process? 

JG: That’s an easy one – taking the reference images and trying to build the 3-D models (CGI artists call them assets). That’s also the most satisfying part when it’s over because I like the challenge. 

MG: Have you ever felt like giving up? 

JG: Oh yeah. It’s just, you don’t feel like you’re improving and it can be very discouraging when you try to post that stuff online for people to see and they’re like, “Wow, why would you post that on the internet?” 

MG: Why have you kept going? 

JG: Something in the back of my head says, “Who cares what these people say or think?” And I love what I do. I can’t imagine myself not doing it. It would kill me to not do CGI. 

MG: What would you tell other creative types who are just starting, or who feel like they should quit?

JG: It’s going to be tough in the beginning. You’re going to feel like you’re not getting anywhere or there’s no point in doing what you’re doing, but if you love doing it, like I love doing the CGI art and all that, don’t give up, no matter what anyone says. If I’d stopped at the first crappy comment on my first piece I showed to the public for a contest , I wouldn’t be giving you this advice right now and I wouldn’t have started my own blog. 

You can find Josh at C G Alchemy. To read other IWSG posts, click on the IWSG image under the Snoopy cartoon.  

September 2, 2015

IWSG - on perfectionism and making mistakes

today, i'm letting other people encourage you. first, a quote from Anne Lamott, part of a facebook post she wrote on May 12th. 

Here’s how to break through the perfectionism: make a LOT of mistakes. Fall on your butt more often. Waste more paper, printing out your sh--- first drafts, and maybe send a check to the Sierra Club. Celebrate messes — these are where the goods are. Put something on the calendar that you know you’ll be terrible at, like dance lessons, or a meditation retreat, or boot camp. Find a writing partner, who will help you with your work, by reading it for you, and telling you the truth about it, with respect, to help you make it better and better; for whom you will do the same thing. Find someone who wants to steal his or her life back, too. Now; today. One wild and crazy thing: wears shorts out in public if it is hot, even if your legs are milky white or heavy. Go to a poetry slam. Go to open mike, and read the story you wrote about the hilariously god-awful family reunion, with a trusted friend, even though it could be better, and would hurt Uncle Ed’s feelings if he read it, which he isn’t going to.

Change his name and hair color — he won’t even recognize himself.

At work, you begin to fulfill your artistic destiny. Wow! A reviewer may hate your style, or newspapers may neglect you, or 500 people may tell you that you are bitter, delusional and boring.

Let me ask you this: in the big juicy Zorba scheme of things, who **** cares?

and here's what a few other people had to say...  

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book, 1927

Never say, "oops."  Always say, "Ah, interesting."  ~Author Unknown

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. ~Niels Bohr

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. ~Edward Phelps 

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. ~Colette

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes. ~Mel Brooks

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work. ~Thomas A. Edison

for more Insecure Writers Support Group posts, use the link on my sidebar. now go out and make some mistakes!

August 5, 2015

IWSG - Shine...

when you're insecure in your writing, remember this quote from Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

for other posts on writing when you feel insecure, click on the link on my sidebar for the Insecure Writers' Support Group.

July 1, 2015

IWSG - overcoming our fears

today, i'm sharing what others have to say about overcoming our fears about writing...

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…You must do the thing you cannot do.”~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~ (not exactly a writing quote, but appropriate just the same.)

“You are a writer. Right now. With only what you have in your head as it is. You don’t need anything else. You are a writer. You just need to keep writing. Don’t let the Writing Fairy tell you that you aren’t. That you need something more, that you’re pretending to be something you’re not. Hemmingway wasn’t Hemmingway when he started. He was just a guy named Ernest who sat down at his typewriter.” ~ Joseph Devon

“Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer, you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act–truth is always subversive.” ~ Anne Lamott,Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.” ~ Bonnie Friedman

“Anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer.” ~ Harlan Ellison

“If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint . . . and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~ Claude M. Bristol

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’“ ~ Mary Anne Rademacher-Hershey

“I will go so far as to say that the writer who is not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium.” ~ John Steinbeck
“You fail only if you stop writing.” ~ Ray Bradbury

“You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working, steadily day by day, quite steadily, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures.” ~ Anton Chekhov

“Every day you are afraid. Every day you move through fear to your desk, and as soon as you pick up your pen, or read the sentence left over from the night before, incomplete, needing an adjustment in rhythm—a stronger verb, a slash of color or the taste of bitter herbs—in that moment of solving the problems all fear dissolves. You are writing again.” ~ Sophy Burnham

“You’re not afraid of writing. You’re afraid of failing. We all fail. The courage is in the trying.” ~ From the movie Shadows in the Sun ~
to read what other encouraging posts about our insecurities, go to the Insecure Writers' Support Group blog. 

June 2, 2015

IWSG - on scrapbooking vs writing

reaching back into the annals of my blog, i found this post from 2009, where i ranted about working on my sequel (which, i hate to admit, means i've been working on my sequel for 6 years --- yes that's right, i said SIX years. either i'm very committed to this story or i'm a little nuts. take your pick.)

ahem... back to what i was saying about this post.... i used to be an avid scrapbooker, which goes back to 1996, back when scrapbooking was just starting. and then i found writing in 2005, and became an avid writer and gave up the scrapbooking. (i'm thinking about going back to it soon, but need a craft area and that's whole different rant.)

so, without further ado, or additional chasing of rabbit trails, my post from September of 2009, entitled, "(insert appropriate title here)"

i think i'll go back to doing scrapbook pages.

i can only speak for myself when i say that...

scrapbook pages (sbp's) do not require multiple drafts to get them "just right."

sbp's are always self-published and no one cares. (side note - this was back when self-publishing was a last resort - a lot has changed in 6 years.)

sbp's do not make you want to tear your hair out.

sbp's can be finished in an hour or less.

sbp's do not wake you up in the middle of the night, demanding to have you create one.

sbp's do not argue with you about how they want to be created or where to place a picture.

sbp's do not need timelines or calendars to help you remember where to place something because a quick sketch will do.

sbp's do not require hours of searching for that one piece of information that will make the page perfect or add page depth or realism.

sbp's do not care which point of view you use to get the idea across.

sbp's can be placed wherever you choose to place them and can be rearranged with very little problem.

sbp's do not require the help of a scrapbook critique partner or group.

sbp's can be done in a group setting while you converse with other scrapbookers.

sbp's do not require absolute quiet to complete.

sbp's do not require isbn's, out-sourced cover art, a three-year commitment to amazon.com, a barcode, multiple proofreaders, special formatting, or the purchase of proof copies.

you will never dream about kissing one of the pictures or embellishments from your scrapbook page.

no one cares about spelling or grammar on a scrapbook page.

people who have never scrapbooked will love your pages and will never tell you how they thought it could have been better if only you had done xyz.

if someone happens to not like your sbp, you won't go into a deep depression over it.

a scrapbooker has no problem calling herself a scrapbooker or paper artist, despite never having a layout published in a scrapbook magazine.

most of the time, scrapbookers are not under a tight deadline.

there are no scrapbook agents or editors out there telling a scrapbooker what to do, or asking how many other scrapbooks there are in the series, or what the scrapbooker is going to do to promote her scrapbook, or if the scrapbooker already has a fan base.

on the other hand...

sbp's do require all kinds of materials that may or may not get used, and you have to transport a lot of equipment if you want to scrapbook with other people, and i am the kind of scrapbooker who agonized over getting a page just right.

so maybe i'll keep writing.

or maybe i'll just surf the web.

pardon my ranting, but i think i have a book to go back to.

(for more IWSG posts, click the picture on my sidebar.)