NaNoWrimo Update – It’s the Last Week

I thought I’d give an update on how I’m doing for NaNoWrimo so far this month. Let’s just say that during this last week of the challenge I’ll be writing A LOT! I’m behind just like I was last year, but just like last year I feel very determined to reach the goal. I’m definitely not giving up. I won’t give my word count at the moment, but I’ll say that I’m not so far behind to make this seem impossible, but I’m far enough behind that I’ll have to stay very committed to writing this week to reach 50,000 words.

One of the problems I’ve faced this year is that I wasn’t really happy with my writing in the first two and a half weeks. I wasn’t feeling connected to it. I realized this and re-focused and was able to get back on track, but it definitely put me behind. The good news is that I’m enjoying my story again, and enjoy the writing process, and it’s making the words come much faster. If I can keep this pace, I should have no problem hitting 50,000. I’ll update again at the end of the week. Hopefully I’ll be able to say that I’m a Nanowrimo winner!


It’s time for NaNoWrimo!

It’s November which means NaNoWrimo is back, and I’m going to participate again this year. This will be the third year in a row I’ve done it, and I’m pretty excited for it this year. I’m going to do things a little differently this time. I plan to work on my main story, but I’m also going to possibly work on a few short story ideas as well as write some posts for this blog. I’m not really a writer, but it does help get my creativity flowing, and I really need that right now. Hopefully this will be a great way to get some ideas down on paper.

For those that aren’t sure what NaNoWrimo is, it is writing challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That comes to about 1667 words a day. It’s not as hard as it seems, especially when you focus on the smaller daily goal, but it can be a challenge. For me it has always sparked my creativity, and as an artist it helps generate ideas for illustrations. If you have any interest in writing, I recommend giving it a try. You’ll push your creativity further than you realize it can go.

My Pets 1 year later

I’ve been sick for what seems to be most of spring.  I’ve been dealing with bronchitis now for about a month, and I’ve been exhausted.  But, I’m finally starting to feel a little better, and even had a chance to get out and do some photography.  I have lots of new work to share!  But, before I get to that, I wanted to show off some pictures of my pets.  My cat, Ripley, and my snake, Hissi, both recently turned 1 year old and I love to see how much they have changed in their first year.


Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good holiday season.  To be honest, I didn’t but I was still very blessed overall and was very happy to be with family.  I was going to write about some of the hardships that came my way in December but I’ve decided to go a different route.  It’s a new year so no need to dwell on what didn’t go so well for me last month.  The reality is that 2018 might actually prove to be a more difficult year for me, but I’m not going to focus on that tonight.  Instead, I’m going to concentrate on small goals that I can control.

Of course New Year’s Day is naturally a good time to reflect on goals, and I think one thing I’d like to do differently this year is actually make more specific goals.  Not something so broad that it becomes meaningless  For example, I want to build my portfolio.  But what does that even really mean?  That goal is too broad and I’ll likely not  get anywhere with it.  What will it take to reach that goal? How many pictures?  In what style? What theme?  I’ve realized I don’t always give my goals the structure they need for me to attain them.  So, tonight I think I’ll sit by myself think through some of these goals, write them down, and be prepared for a new year.

In other news, here is a landscape painting I did for my dad and step-mom.  It is the first  landscape I’ve painted, at least from what I can remember.  I used one of my husband’s photographs as reference.

dad's painting small

NanoWrimo 2017

This doesn’t have anything to do with art or photography, but I wanted to share that I’m a NanoWrimo winner!  Woo hoo!  For those that have never heard of NanoWrimo, it is a writing contest with the goal of writing 50,000 words in the month of November.

My word count ended last night at 50,182 (roughly about 100 word document pages), and it feels so good to reach that goal.  I struggled this month.  The second week of November I got very bad news about the health of a loved one, and I just couldn’t concentrate on anything other than the shock of hearing that news.  I didn’t write for about a week.  I’m not totally sure how I managed to finish, but the hard worked paid off and I reached the goal.

I do NanoWrimo because of the creative challenge.   And now that it is over, I do want to continue to work on finishing my story and editing, and of course illustrations.



Hissy Fit

I’d like to introduce the newest member to my family.  This is my ball python, Hissy Fit.  I call her Hissi.  Long story short, husband came home with a snake.  Wife was super mad at husband.  Wife held snake and immediately fell in love.  Husband ran out and got a snake for wife.

So, now we have Hisser and Hissi.  I’ve had her for almost two months now, and she’s doing great.  She is the first reptile I’ve had, so it has been fun learning about these animals and how to care for them.

I love her cute face.




Nanowrimo winner!

I’ve been missing in action a bit last month, and that’s because I participated in Nanowrimo, which is basically a writing challenge with the goal to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  It stands for National Novel Writing Month.

I reached the goal!  My final word count was 56065 words, which turned out to be about 106 Word Document pages.  I had done Nanowrimo about ten years ago, and decided to do it again this year to exercise my creativity.  I was hoping it would help inspire some art ideas, and it definitely did.

My story isn’t finished, not even close.  So, I think my goal for 2017 is to finish it, do editing and work on illustrating the story.  It will be a fun way to build my art portfolio.

End of Summer Sketchbook Challenge

I’m going to let you know a little secret about myself.  I’m an artist, but I don’t often sketch in a sketchbook, at least not in a way that you can imagine most artists do.  I tend to get an idea in my head, draw it and finish it.  I don’t do a lot of doodling, thumbnails or sketches beforehand.  I don’t draw daily.  I believe this hinders my creativity and experimentation with compositions.  What’s worse is that many of my ideas never make it to paper.  How many of you can say the same thing about your own ideas that never come to fruition?

I’ve decided to try to do a sketchbook challenge for myself.  I’ve tried before and failed, but I’m giving myself another chance.  What is the challenge?  It’s simple.  I just need to completely fill one sketchbook by October.  Two full months isn’t really a lot of time to fill a sketchbook, but I think the shorter deadline will keep me focused.  I’ll share my progress and thoughts as I go, and show the sketchbook at the end.

I want you to do this with me! Maybe you aren’t an artist, but maybe you like to write.  Make a goal to fill a journal, or write so many pages or words.  Maybe you are a photographer.  Make a goal to take pictures daily, or a certain number of pictures by October.  Maybe you like to color.  Fill an entire coloring book.  It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do, the point is to push your creativity further.

You are welcome to share your progress with me along the way.  I’d love to hear from you.


Cornea Transplant

Life sure is funny sometimes, like years ago when I decided I wanted to be an artist but was also diagnosed with a somewhat serious eye disease.  An artist that can’t see very well!  I guess that isn’t funny at all. But, that was the card I was dealt.  I was diagnosed with Kerataconus, and I struggled with it for many years until it got to the point that my cornea was scarred down the middle and my vision was very poor.  It finally came time to do a cornea transplant.  This happened a little more than two years ago.

For some reason it has been on my mind today.  I can’t believe it has been two years already.  The entire experience was very surreal for me; understanding that a stranger was going to die and I’d receive his/her tissue, accepting that part of my eye was going to be cut off and part of someone’s eye was going to be stitched to mine, and dealing with a year long recovery that was sometimes uncomfortable. It changed my life.

I never want to take for granted the special gift of sight I received.  I am so grateful.  I told myself then that all I could do to somehow show my gratefulness to my donor’s family was to use that gift to the best of my ability.  I had decided to work as hard as I could on my art and to learn as much as possible.  Two years later, I believe that I have lived up to that personal goal.  I don’t know my donor or his/her family, but I’d like to think they would feel honored.  I of course will continue to do everything I can to learn and create to the best of my ability.  Maybe someday they will see how their loved one changed my life.

Cornea transplant stitches