Sunday, March 30, 2008


Wouldn't life be lovely if we were accompanied at all times by a soundtrack like characters in a movie?

Today, while in the garden, the music from a Jane Austen movie kept running through my head. I'm convinced the gentleness of the music aided my garden design. Maybe it even kept dirt out from under my fingernails. lol

I don't want to load up my iPod (still sitting empty after all these months) with music and words. I want the music to flow and float around me like the breeze, always at the proper volume and tempo for the scene.

Of course, after a bit I'd need to move from Austen to Aerosmith.

Maybe it's good that I only hear some things in my head.

What would a soundtrack of your life sound like?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ta-Da Friday ~ March 28, 2008

White petunia

This week has been packed like a overstuffed piece of luggage with creative moments and insight, but not so much with actual production. Too much play time with friends. However, we spent one afternoon enjoying the right-brain creative exercise of window shopping in some small artsy shops and galleries. (New textures, new materials, new thoughts about putting together various materials.) Plus, we had some fabulous conversations about creativity and our various endeavors.

Yep, lots of ideas swirling in my heart. I'm itching to get started.

What's your creative soul been up to this week?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Creative Friends

Red tulips
Is there anything more precious than an old friend?

Friends from long ago, delightful and dear, are in town this week. What an experience! Hugs abound. We've told stories about our families, shared favorite books and movies, shopped in ridiculous places, and eaten more than we ought. My muscles ache because I've laughed so much.


These are especially dear people because they are creative souls. Successful photographers, consultants, and business people, they are at once both encouraging and demanding......How's my writing going? Do I miss photography? Have I thought about pursuing this or that option? Where am I headed? I'm so proud of who you are and what you are doing.....All those questions and comments sprinkled in with tales of their own passions and pursuits.

Inspiring, emotional, exhausting, and exhilarating all at the same time.

I wish for you companions such as these. People, who with kindness, love, and joy plumb your creative depths, dust off your dreams and hand them back to you with a wink and a smile. People who have wrestled with the demons particular to creative souls and lived to pass on the wisdom gained in the struggle. People who love you with enthusiasm whether you are a creative success or not.

Even better, I pray you will be that someone to another person.

No, there is nothing more precious than a friend of many years.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Rose Prunings

Rose clippings w daffs

One Third of the Rose Clippings from this Spring

We've just finished the 'editing' season for our roses. You may call it pruning at your house. Trimming begins here around Valentine's day and continues until we drop from exhaustion or blood loss, which ever comes first.

Despite dealing with thorns, pruning is a meditative process for me because we hand prune, one branch at a time. One branch times the dozens we may take from a shrub, times the number of roses we have. That's why we call it pruning *season.* This is never completed in an afternoon. The idea is two fold: to increase the health and vigor of the roses first and foremost. Second, to keep the roses from becoming out-of-control monsters that eat neighboring plants, pathways and people.

The same thinking process I use in pruning the roses, I can also use in 'pruning' a written piece. I've even used this system to help me plan a scrapbooking page and a flowerbed or two. I dare say you could use these thoughts to edit your schedule or goals list.

Got your clippers? Let's get started.

First, look for dead wood. Any canes that froze out or are broken or damaged goes. That certainly applies to writing. Any sentence that doesn't fit the overall theme of the piece or any sentence that is dead needs to be removed. Be honest with yourself now. These are the easiest pieces of your creative effort to remove. Be tough and get started.

2. Any branches that shoot from one side of the rose across the middle get trimmed. I want to open up the inside for better air flow. In the same way, an idea that takes your writing in a different direction from the overall piece needs to find a new home. While trimmings from the roses get tossed, an idea trimmed from your writing may need to be filed for future reference. You do have a 'compost' heap for extra writing ideas, right?

3. Remove twiggy growth. Clean up the weak growth on your shrub. The same applies to your writing. If your point isn't strong, if it isn't supported, if it just doesn't belong, snip.

4. Next, step back and take a look. Check the overall height and shape of the rose shrub. Is the plant lop-sided now? Are one or two branches reaching over a pathway? Is it simply too big for the space? In the same way, is my written piece too long for the editorial requirements? Two thousand brilliant words will not make an editor happy if he or she asked for twelve hundred. Am I making the point I want to make in my piece? My fiction especially tends to be full of rabbit trails and dead end paths. Decide what the point of the scene or article is and trim away all the excess matter.

When in doubt, I take it out.

Okay, not really, but I'm learning. Just like every creative parent, I fall in love with my lil' darlin's. I've learned to be ruthless with my roses because they grow faster than weeds in my Texas climate. Sometimes I feel like a tamer facing down raging lions in my garden. I've also learned in my writing that less is more. One of the hardest lessons I had to experience as a writer was that seventy five percent of my wonderful, incredible, and fascinating words and research would NOT end up in the magazine article. Ouch!

Poetry teaches us that fewer, but well chosen words make a larger impact. In scrapbooking and photography, we understand that two or three wonderful images are easier to enjoy than a dozen mediocre ones.

Now it's your turn.



clip, or

rip something


If the process draws a little blood, that's okay. You'll be stronger for the struggle.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ta-Da Friday ~ March 14, 2008

It is me or are Fridays happening faster and faster?

My week was swallowed by a nasty cold, but I still got a bit done. My main project to finish this week was an editing job for a client. Whew....I have to make the final discs, but that is done. Yay!

On tap for the weekend is some painting projects, re-designing the backyard water feature (bigger!), and re-designing my front flowerbeds (also bigger!) I hope the lingering remnants of my cold clear out so I can have fun outside.

What's been happening in your creative life this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ Spring Photo Safari

Star Magnolia
Star Magnolia FTBG

Saucer Magnolia
Saucer Magnolia purple FTBG

Unsure what this is...Lily of the Valley?
Lily of the Valley FTBG

Redbud trunk
Redbud blooms FTWBG

Closer pale yellow daffs FTBG

A heavenly smell...winter daphne
Winter Daphne FTBG

Squirrel on a bench
squirrel on bench FTBG

Monday, March 10, 2008

8 Random Creative Things About Me

One of the memes circulating the blogosphere is the 8 Random Things theme. I've decided to give it a creative twist and make it 8 Random Creative Things About Me.

Here are mine:

1. I love the color purple. Deep, rich, and on the blue side, not the red. Royal. Makes a statement where ever I use it.

2. I love the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. The first time I saw one in person my skin sizzled with the awareness that the painting wasn't created by an ordinary person. In my quest to see as many Van Gogh's as possible, we've visited the Orsay museum in Paris, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and the Kroller-Muller in central Holland.

3. I'm not a modern art person. Sometimes I find things I like, but most of the time modern art seems like someone's idea of a joke to me.

4. I love writers who can draw a visual in my head with their writing. Put me in a place and time and let me live there for a while and I'm a happy person.

5. I speak dialogue out loud when I'm writing. That's why it is crucial for me to work in solitude and silence.

6. My favorite songs are generally related to a movie or real event in life. I'm not a music for music's sake type, but I can hear a song and know when and where it has been used in a movie.

7. I love texture. In paintings, in fabrics, in the garden, or on the surface of a photograph. Hands-on crafting is my favorite because I like to touch the objects.

8. Gardening is a like planning a slow motion fireworks show. This area shines for a few weeks, that area next, then later other areas pop with color and scent.

I'm tagging eight of you to participate in this exercise on your blog. Remember make it your own.

Tim at Thoughts from Above1
The Divine Miss M from Pottermom
SusanC at Homeschooling Writer
Rose at Quilted Hills
Lisa at PercyTruffles Place
Paige at Paige Pearson Photography
Steven at Blue Like Me
Becky T Ahem.....fill up that blog, girl!

Have fun!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ta-Da Friday ~ March 7, 2008

Busy and reasonably productive week here creatively speaking.

Last Saturday was lovely, sunshine and warm temps. We fed our garden fever (you do feed a fever, right?) by going to a garden trade show, a plant nursery, and the Botanic Gardens in Ft. Worth. The Gardens stroll turned into a fun photo safari with The Pilot Guy and I snatching the camera out of each other's hands.

I stripped a porch swing to prep for a new paint job. Power sanders are fun.

The big creative fun was photographing the snow on Thursday. Just under five lovely inches of pure white fun.

Here are a few more photos from the day...
Birds on porch swing
Garden angel in snow
View from the front door...
View from front door
Bunny tracks on the front porch
Bunny tracks on fr porch
We were supposed to be at a baseball tournament yesterday. I guess this guy didn't get the word.
Baseball guy in snow

I finished piecing my lap quilt. I'll post photos tomorrow or next week.

What creative fun did you have this week? Tell about it in the comments. Feel free to link to a photo in your own blog.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Okay, before you northern gals like Rose fall down laughing, please understand...we don't get SNOW. We usually get ice. Snow, fluffy, white, and wet, is a true joy.

Texas is getting a fine taste of late winter today with a snow storm that arrived faster than expected. Instead of arriving after supper, this storm bullied it's way in for lunch causing havoc with streets, schools, and afternoon ballgames.

The flakes are huge and plentiful. I'm having trouble just staying inside because it is so pretty.

The camera and I have been outside a lot.

The beginning....
Front of house snowflakes

Two hours later....
House in lots of snow

Tulips are just beginning to open....
snowy tulip

Daffodils in the snow...
Snowy daffs

Hyacinths ~ white on white....
Hyacinths snow

Who says Texas doesn't have four seasons? We've had at least that many this week alone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ Thorns

Sombreuil canes
We can gripe because roses have thorns,
We can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An Inspiring Hour

While hiding in the warm car while waiting for Nathan's baseball game to begin, I paged through a couple of magazines from my bag. Have I mentioned how much I love magazines? Have I mentioned how cold February baseball bleachers are? Thank God it's March.

These are random phrases from both articles or advertising that caught my eye and my spirit.

"Instead of staying safe, shake things up."

"......add zing...."

"I love to sweat the small stuff because that's what we handle and live with every day."

"......a writer's studio occupies a tiny cabin behind the cottage....."




"....notice the details...."


"I think art plays a role in everything; it's humanities lifeblood." Cleola Williams

"Find contentment"

"It's all about appreciating the small things that make our lives more beautiful."

All of these speak to me.

Do any whisper or sing to you?