Posts filed under remembering art

on grabbing my book for free.

Stories are meant to be shared. This is what you'll see when you go to Story Cartel's home page. It's a pretty cool concept and has hosted authors like Max Dubinsky and LL Barkat. It's a little like Noisetrade. You subscribe for a certain book and receive a link to the digital copy for free. All they expect and hope for in return is an honest review. During January, Come Alive is one of their featured books.

These past few days have been a perfect storm of timing. I told a friend earlier this morning I feel as if I'm juggling an insane amount of wound clocks. Come Alive was supposed to be off online shelves by today. It's not and I've been told whoever is in charge has said it will be off when it's off. 

Of course, this doesn't bode well for the week I'm placing a book in the midst of a subscribe-to-review promotion but I'm learning to breathe deep and just accept it.

This doesn't mean rolling over and letting others walk all over me. This doesn't mean not trying to figure out how to expedite the process to get the book off and on the shelves as smoothly as possible.

But it does mean coming to an understanding that it will take as long as it will take and sometimes, there's a whole lotta grace involved in just sitting back and letting it all work out the kinks.

So I'm emailing a bunch of people today and sharing with you the opportunity to get my book for free. Later, I'll have a story-coaching session and will probably put another layer or paint on the canvas I'm working on right now. And in the middle of all this, I'll try and ink out some words for Kevin's novella - because really, at the end of the day nothing changes the truth that at the core of my being I am a writer who wants to share good words that inspire.

 

So, I hope you take the opportunity to grab Come Alive completely free while you can - while we're working out some kinks and getting things in order. Until then, tell me how you're doing?

Posted on January 7, 2013 and filed under remembering art.

bartering art for fame.

215111_10152335480090004_650543507_n On a good day, about 100 people will visit this site.

And regardless of how much of my insides I spill forth onto these pages, I understand the likelihood of me reaching a larger audience are slim. Why?

I refuse to barter my art for fame.

This past summer, I stood in my best friend's bathroom and composed a poet-line with magnet words :: girl, we writers howl and heal porcelain bone. I pieced these words together because if anything, this is what I want from my writing. I want you to hear me howl. I want you to experience the healing of broken words. I want you to come away feeling a little more whole - not because of what I said, but because of what you felt. I pray you feel a little of the holy in my words - that I've stepped aside long enough to let Him in to those spaces between reality and magic.

So here's the thing :: this here blog? I howl here. And well, if you take a look at some of the more popular blogs focused on writing and getting your voice heard, there's not much howling going on - there's a lot of repeats. A lot of mimicking.

A lot of bartering art for fame.

I won't do it.

I've been studying trends lately. Watching the bestseller lists, quietly observing what it is people want to read. And I see it - they want escape.

And I get this. I do. But I can't offer it - not in the way they're wanting me to give it. I realize this with a bit of trepidation because I know what this means.

So, I'll take you 100 readers. I'll continue to howl and weep and claw at this debris around me in order to find some beauty. I'll hold the mirror up so you can look in it and see the purpose built inside your bones. I'll dance and celebrate and point to life's rhythm pulsing in the rustling of trees and the gentle steps of babies.

But I will not barter. I won't.

I'd rather peel back the veil on what it means to write dangerously and with intention - holding close this purpose of beauty within pain - even if it means I won't ever see fame.

Posted on December 20, 2012 and filed under remembering art, this-here blog.

breaking free of autopilot

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Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way (Edward de Bono)

I could feel it creeping up on me: this not caring. Words failed me and canvases stood waiting - blank.

I questioned my ability to live life as an artist - it wasn't like I was creating something. So I watched a lot of TV, washed a lot of clothes, did a lot of cleaning and for the most part, avoided the one part of me aching to be exercised: my heart. My words. My art.

In his book The Crowd, The Critic, The Muse, Michael Gungor writes about what it feels like to live as a creative. He says "only real things get to create things, not ghosts or phantoms. Dead souls do not produce the same stuff as living ones do."

And I get this. So much. 

It's easy to fall into a rut - to experience burnout. It's easy because our culture believes to live numb is to live normal, and this is not okay.

As an artist, I know I'm about to burnout when I stop myself from feeling. 

In order to avoid this, I break open my art journal sitting closed for too long on my desk. I do it even though sometimes, most times, it's the last thing I want to do because I know the honesty will hurt. I know the feelings and words and questions and doubt rallying for attention inside my heart will spill out unheeded.

I exhale paint and let it fall where it may. I pull out a canvas and scratch prayers on the blank space only to nail them down with color.

I sit and let myself read.

I let the words spill - regardless of what it looks like

Usually, I get honest. Words start forming and suddenly I'm not tired anymore. Suddenly I'm aching for a pen and paper and writing, writing, writing until I'm absolutely spent because the emotions just keep coming and I have to capture it - have to grab those words while they're here.

Sometimes, this looks messy.

But, I want to be honest. I want to know what it means to feel. 

I don't want to be on autopilot.

I'm learning what this looks like for me - what it means to separate myself just enough to grab a breath before going deep once more. It's not always clean - not in the least. But it's good and it's holy, even if it's broken.

How do you fight autopilot? What keeps you from creating?

Posted on October 26, 2012 and filed under remembering art.

17 1/2 by 17 1/2 {a deeper story post}

17 1/2 inches by 17 1/2 inches. This was Emily Dickinson's desk.

Makoto Fujimara says this is all the space one needs to change culture. He reminds us to create in quiet - to usher in holy by letting the soil ruminate.

Because every good farmer knows the best kind of soil goes through many winters. 

 

...I'm over at Deeper Story today. Join me?

Posted on September 30, 2012 and filed under remembering art.

Indiscretion.

Claire took another glance at her watch and worried her upper lip, fighting the nausea threatening to overtake her breakfast. He was late. He was late and he was never late. She pushed back the thoughts begging for attention, the ones where David lay in a ditch somewhere or where that petite blonde pressed herself up against him and got lipstick all over his collar. What was her name? She worked in his office...oh yeah. Kelly. She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. He's coming, she told herself. Just relax. Taking deep breaths, she reached for logic. He may be late, but only a few minutes. A few minutes wasn't enough for panic, right?

She wasn't known for her logic.

She folded and unfolded the corner of the book she was reading. Only half paying attention, she found herself glancing up every time the front door opened. She was nervous. Finally she gave up on reading and shoved the book in her bag, forgetting to snap the cover shut.

Movement caught her eye and she looked up to find David rushing in the front door, his eyes only on her. His broad steps are what caught her attention in the first place. Walking in the coffee shop where she worked, she noticed the way he looked ahead while walking, daring others to look him in the eyes. That morning, she couldn't help herself. So used to other people looking at their phone or avoiding eye-contact, she found his eyes and couldn't look away. She took the dare and ever since then she's been lost in his amber eyes and purposeful gait.

Her friends told her she'd been hypnotized by love. She'd roll her eyes when they said this, responding with something like, well, if  it's true, I never want to wake up from this dream.

They'd really get her then, calling her too romantic for her own good and in for trouble. She never listened to them. At least, until recently. Lately, she was beginning to wonder...

"Hey" his baritone echoed inside her and she barely had time to smile back before he kissed her cheek, sat down across from her, glanced at his own watch and found her gaze again. "I'm sorry I'm late - traffic was horrible."

Claire felt her heart slow down again to a normal rhythm. It was just traffic. Pictures of him in a ditch or pressed up against Kelly disappeared and she reached for his hand.

"No worries, babe. I was just reading."

"Reading? What book?" His eyes scanned the table and automatically fell to her bag laying half-opened underneath her chair.

She felt her hands tighten imperceptibly and closed her eyes against the impending fall. She knew what was coming. She forgot to close her bag and the book was hanging out of the fabric, cover exposed.

David froze and glanced back at Claire, his face stoic.

"Claire?" he whispered.

She followed his eyes, What to Expect When You're Expecting peaking out just visible from her bag.

"Yes?" she hesitated. She'd stall all afternoon if she had to, scared of his reaction. This wasn't how she wanted to break the news but it all was happening so fast and she couldn't stop it - she felt like she was on a speeding train, David running along the track beneath her.

"Are you..."

"pregnant? Yeah. I am. Found out this morning," she cleared her throat and went deep to find whatever strength she could, "I'm uh...two months."

David let out a whoop and jumped from his seat. Claire blinked away her shock, unsure of this David before her - uncool in his response. She was expecting a nod maybe - perhaps even a smile. But whooping and hollering? Pumping his fist like he won a prize? She looked around to see if anyone noticed.

She didn't get very far. David grabbed her hands and pulled her from the seat, drawing her close against him. She could smell his aftershave, feel the slight dampness of the humidity underneath his shirt. He was whispering in her ear - things of the future and how happy she made him and how she would be a great mother. She couldn't focus on any of this, though. She couldn't hear what he had to say. The spell had been broken.

Right there, underneath her nose, was an imperceptible mark on his collar. Bright red. Leaning closer, she could smell the afterglow of flowers and citrus.

She leaned back sharply, finding his eyes. Pushing away she reached for a napkin and helped clean his collar, revealing to him the mark of indiscretion now left behind on throwaway cloth. She slapped him, then. Slapped him hard and fast without even thinking, leaving behind a mark of her own. Reaching for her bag, she walked out of the shop and never looked back.

She didn't even bother to let David know the baby wasn't his.

 

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Posted on June 4, 2012 and filed under fiction, remembering art.