Distracting Myself

…and hoping for some inspiration!

So Wattpad is having this contest that’s in partnership with Harlequin and it’s called So You Think You Can Write. In this case it’s the next romance novel.  And the winner will have the chance for a 2-book publishing contract with Harlequin.

It took me some time to think about it, what with forum talk about how Harlequin is the worst there is for writers and something about a 2.6% payday per book sold once everything else is deducted. It’s disappointing to say the least and enough for me to just say, screw it! I’ll just self-pub.

But then it hit me! I’ve already self-pubbed! Now what else haven’t I tried? For one I haven’t even done the legwork to get myself an agent, neither have I shopped my novels around (so busy self-pubbing, that’s why). So what have I got to lose?

So as of yesterday I threw my hat in the ring with a new novel, and now I’m stumped. What do my characters want?

It’s one thing to write because you want to write. It’s one thing to write something that fits some sort of mold and in this case, a romance novel. 

So while I figure out how wealthy families can feud over inheritance and what can one carry as far as something valuable enough to go after, I’m drawing. And coloring. And kinda doing everything but write despite a looming deadline.

AKA getting those creative juices flowing…

Flawed #2

It should really be titled Flawed No More because I think it actually came out well (except for that carelessly shaded white shirt but then who cares, right?).

I’ve realized now that ever since I started drawing in mid-April, after I decided to no longer teach the science courses at the school (and reconciling my feelings over that, money versus happiness), that each of my drawings is a meditation on something.

This one was one about making what I considered flawed un-flawed – about learning from past mistakes and making lemonade out of lemons.  It’s about not being afraid all the time over what I consider such a flawed piece because it actually isn’t.

So what if it doesn’t look like the original image? It’s an interpretation of something I’m seeing through my mind’s eye and through the filter comprising my thoughts and my fears, even my culture and my environment. Pretty loaded but through it all, what I had considered was flawed emerged, I think, beautiful.

Like life.


 A meditation on my fears. This is one of those “quick studies”, as a way to study a feature or features I like in a face – but even now, I can see the flaws here, like the pen failing to catch the beautiful lines of his nose or his jaw line drifting far too wide. 

Yet if I dwell on those flawed marks of my pen, I lose the big picture. I think he’s still beautiful, even if I failed to capture the original lines. Much like my life. Sometimes I focus too much on the shortcomings to see the beauty in the whole package.  

Garrett Neff from the latest #NeimanMarcus editorial 

Doodling …

 …when I should be writing!

I’m on the home stretch of the second book of my Loving Ashe trilogy and I’ve kinda lost steam. Bad time to lose steam when the scene is set at a BDSM party and should have lots of steam, right? 

But between that birthday and everything else, I lost momentum and need to get that back one way or another so I can write the penultimate chapter and of course, the finale.   And then go back to the first novel and do the major edits. 

Sorry about all the boring mumbo jumbo, but it sure hasn’t helped that instead of writing I’m doodling. 

But it does make pretty eye-candy! 


Well, he was bound to make an appearance within the pages of my art journal, though I didn’t get him quite right.  Still, it’s nice to get that out of my system, especially since he was the one who got me writing again, after a ten year hiatus.  Why the hiatus?  Well, life happened.  I was miserable though I didn’t know why – till I started writing again, and the house hasn’t been tidy since.

So if you don’t recognize him (it’s hard because I drew the eyes too large), it’s Richard Armitage, from one of his first selfies on Twitter last year.  I should have picked a better picture, but it is what it is.

Today also marks the day that someone on Wattpad was brave enough to tell me what was not quite right with my novel in progress, Loving Ashe.  I basically took the cowardly way out with the ending.  Instead of writing the ending I really wanted, which was quite like “killing” my darling protagonist, I made everything just right and perfect.  No whoa! you didn’t! factor definitely.  And I’m glad she pointed it out because it’s been bugging me all this time – why I took an otherwise perfect novel and gave it such a blah ending when I already had three chapters of that finale done and dusted.

But at least it’s still a work in progress though. It just means maybe this time, I’m writing the ending as it was meant to be.  And wouldn’t you know it?  That novel started out as a Daily Prompt writing challenge right here on my blog exactly two years ago – with Richard Armitage in mind, no less!

A Collaboration


My 5-year old wanted me to draw a girl named “Annie” and he started with telling me what she looked like though after the face was drawn, he lost interest and from short hair (thus the bangs) he changed it to long hair. 

I think we’ll go far, my little man and I…

Here’s To Another Year of Being Fearless!


Channeling Frida for my big day 🙂
Yup, it’s my birthday and I’ve decided to channel Frida Kahlo for her fearlessness.  It’s one of the things I’ve decided to be this year – being fearless – since I’m not getting any younger, and really, life is just too short to be afraid all the time.

Back To The Drawing Board

I finally dug out my art supplies, which includes a small (5×8)100-page Fabriano Artist’s Journal that I am finally using.  It’s only been 5 years since they’ve been stashed in the garage, and almost 10 years of not actually drawing anything on paper although I did do some illustration last year, which lasted 5 days and only with pen – no color – for Sketchuary.

Though I’ve long dabbled in computer graphics, I miss the feel of pencils between my fingers, the way textured paper feels under my skin and most of all, seeing the work blossom in front of my eyes (which are in need of glasses, it turns out so I’m finally digging out my glasses as well and just finally got an updated prescription).

So if you’re wondering what’s with all the drawings – that’s why.  And this time I’m tackling color.  It’s amazing the things I’m beginning to see now that I’m paying attention to color more and more.  While I can write about a beautiful sunset, drawing and coloring it is a whole different animal.  A sunset is no longer as simple as I thought it used to be – it’s an organic arrangement of yellows and oranges and reds (and sometimes not even reds) and green grass is just not plain green but an explosion of different shades that I’m now determined to capture on paper.

I wonder though how to tackle subjects I see on social media.  Do I ask their permission first if I see a non-commercial picture on Instagram that I want to capture on paper?  I don’t know.  I don’t want to draw icons and stars all the time, and I’m not ready to draw out the stuff that comes out of my head  (they’re dark).  How does that work?

Piercing Curious

garrett neff instagram

A lot of people who know me have no idea I draw or make art. I guess I’m more known for my work as a massage therapist than my writing and even my drawings.

With my recent decision to step down from teaching massage after seven years (I’ll keep my private practice though), while it was depressing and one of the scariest decisions I’ve made so far (and not yet formalized), I’m amazed at the creativity that has been unleashed since that last class. It’s like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders and all because I need to devote time to write and not only that, but after finally coming out of hiding from all the writing, I have discovered my muse and have become more inspired to do more.

It’s scary when one ventures out their front door, indeed.

Anyway while my ramblings have nothing to do with the blog post, this is from model Garrett Neff’s Instagram and his captioned musing over getting an ear piercing – or not.

This picture is also what I sent my mom for Mother’s Day and is her favorite, prompting her to say, “See?  If you only took art when I told you to that summer instead of karate, you’d be a famous artist by now!”

Mothers know best, right?