Sunday, January 27, 2013

Art Journaling

"Art Journaling" has many definitions.  I see it as a place to create, combining art and words to express ideas, and experiment with various materials.  An art journal is a safe space to carry-on interior conversations and express oneself.

There are excellent websites, books, and workshops to aid one in how to go about getting started.  If you are stuck or need information about how to do something Art journalist are a community of people who will help you get unstuck. 

I am in the beginning stages of my Art Journal, "Dreaming.”  I am gathering art materials to experiment with such as pictures from magazines, photographs, type, sayings, paints, and markers.  

If you have an inner critic, you will have to find a way to silence it.  Work freely, and remember mistakes can be a starting point for a different point of view. I have and inner critique and hope to ignore it as much as possible and find freedom of expression a way for me to reconnect with myself.

Following are links to inspire and to offer instructions as to how to do somethings by those who have been journaling for a while. Check them out. If you find a website that is helpful drop me an e-mail at Thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Did you ever hear a word and fall in love with the way it sounded? You may or may not know its definition, but it just has a certain rhythm or tonal quality you enjoy.

SMARMY is one of those words for me.  I have heard it used quit a bit lately and thought I'd share this newfangled popular word.

 [ smahr mee ]   

  1. excessively ingratiating: excessively earnest and ingratiating in manner
Synonyms: sycophantic, groveling, creepy, unctuous, oily, slimy, ingratiating

Example Sentences:

 His smarmy prurience becomes a factor in national policy.

He calls chroniclers of the decline of higher education witch hunters and smarmy seekers of nostalgia.

The smarmy premise will, no doubt, turn out to be life-affirming.

It comes bound in an annoying leather case that smacks of smarmy corporate importance.

From a watchful father figure he becomes a smarmy suitor and eventually a wildly jealous and possessive warden.

It is uplifting and sentimental without being moralistic and smarmy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Delightful Read: The Great Pearl Heist

The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace

This book is like sweet onion soup with many layers and surprises.  One minute it tastes like an onion and the next minute you get a sweet variance of something caramel tasting.  It is a book about The Great Pearl Heist, but it is also the history of detective work, English Thievery, writing novels, and the jewelry business all cooked up into delicious hearty soup.  One comes away with an appreciation for many things like pearls, detective work, and the criminal mind.   Never a dull moment, this game of Cat and Mouse lures one in and you are in it until the end.  Like the satisfaction one feels after a good meal, one walks away with the feeling of more than just reading a book for entertainment.  Kudos to Molly Caldwell Crosby:  Well done! Well done!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Can You Say...Delicious!

Classic and Timeless...

If you're passionate about Merlot, make Little Black Dress your "go to" red.
This wine is rich with aromas of ripe black cherry, cranberry, and warm herb, complemented by hints of vanilla and toasted oak.  
This medium-bodied Merlot can seduce even the most experienced of palates with its nice lingering finish.

The best wine I have tasted in the last eight years!
The Little Black Dress Merlot 2010 is by far the best Merlot I have had recently.
If you can afford it, buy it by the case!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Check Out Writer's Digest for Ideas

The following article from Writer's Digest is about how to keep ideas flowing.  Many writers use these simple tools to gather ideas, interesting stories, and topics for future writing.  Check it out and follow Brian Klems and Kevin Kaiser.  Subscribe to Writer's Digest and keep up on writing contests and what is happening in the writing world.

How To Never Run Out of Ideas

Categories: The Writer's Dig Tags: Brian Klems, online editor blog.

Many people want to know where ideas come from. It’s very simple: everywhere and nowhere at the same time. You simply have to pay attention so you recognize them when the time comes. They always begin outside of you because there is no such thing as an entirely original idea for writers. There’s nothing new under the sun, there’s just our reinterpretation of what we see.
Capturing those moments have become a ritual for me, and the process has give me some tools to use to inspire me and jumpstart my creativity. Specifically, two tools have saved me more times than I can count: The Turn of Phrase Book and my Spark Log.
—by Kevin Kaiser

Turn of Phrase Book

I’m always looking for a new way to say something, whether it’s describing the sky or an emotion. To help me find inspiration when I most needed it, I started keeping track of the coolest turns of phrase I stumbled upon as I read my favorite novels. I call it my Turn of Phrase Book.

I use the Ever note app on my iPhone to do this because I can take it anywhere I go. As I’m reading something and come across a wonderful turn of phrase I enter into my TOP book. My book also contains favorite lines from movies or TV shows; anything that catches my ear goes in the book.

During those times when I find myself looking for a new way to say something in a story—for example, describing a sunset—I go to the TOP book and flip through it. I’ll always find something fresh that breaks my imagination loose.

The Spark Log

The Spark Log is a bit like the TOP book, only it’s concerned with capturing story ideas instead of specific words or phrases. I know of many authors who have something similar. Real life is stranger than fiction, and following the news proves that.  As I’m reading through the news or magazines, I always stumble across a fascinating tale that captures me—a giant eyeball that washed up on a Florida beach, an World War Two submarine that was found off the coast of Hawaii that still emits a low humming sound. The stranger the better.

I keep a log of every item that’s interesting and then regularly browse through my macabre collection to see if anything sparks a story idea. Sometimes it does and other times I wonder what I was thinking when I archived that story about the garden gnomes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that may or may not be responsible for a neighborhood’s missing dogs.

Both of these tools have helped me innumerable times when I was bogged down and couldn't come up with a writing idea to save my life. Developing the habit of paying attention to the world around me, capturing the weird and wonderful ideas that I bump into, and then using them later as imagination fuel have changed my writing process completely.

Want to learn more on getting started in writing? Expand your writing knowledge with these great writing books & videos:
Guest column by Kevin Kaiser, who is the author of @WriMo: A 30-Day Survival Guide for Writers, the profits of which go to support the future of NaNoWriMo. He blogs about how to write for a living without losing your soul. Follow @KevinSKaiser on Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Enjoy funny parenting blogs? Then you’ll love: The Life Of Dad
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I have five books due back to the library soon and over the holiday season I have not read a stitch or style.  Therefore, tomorrow I will be staying home; washing laundry, cleaning off my desk, and carving out some reading time in between.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013