Keeping the Crayons Sharp

Adult coloring books are such a ginormous hit these days. Ironic isn’t it? That we spent most of our lives  rebelling against the lines,  determined to not be limited by the lines, coloring outside the lines, driving outside the lines . . . OH wait,  that was just me.

The following are a few LINES that  my new bullet journal allow me to color outside of. I swear, I am having an OCD overdose.  I may have to send Ryder over at some manly roses or a plant or something. You can all thank my friend Dana from Satin Sheets Diva for the continued bullet journaling posts.

I know there are all sorts of creative people on youtube sharing about their artsy fartsy journals,  for now I am happy that I  have one journal not five for various functions. (By the way, not making fun of those –  they are brilliant.  I’m just not there yet. They give me something to shoot for!)

Where was I?  OH yes . . . the lines that I am coloring outside of:

  1. In submission guidelines in a 1980 magazine, the submission was required that your sentences in the manuscript read from left to right, top to bottom, the exception being only for poetry. HA! HAHAHAHA! I Laugh in the face of proper ordered wordage. I can write down the side of my page, I can write diagonally across the page, I can even write from top to botom if I choose to do so because it’s mine, Mine, MINE! In celebrating this newfound freedom, yesterday’s journal reads like this:  2016-02-04 11.20.22
  2. Same submission guidelines (Yeah, I found an old Writer’s Digest while cleaning out my basement.) A good way to break into freelance includes editing grammatically weak tattoos and ghostwriting hate letters to the telephone company. WHAT????  What does that even mean? By today’s translation does that mean that I should go get a grammatically incorrect tattoo in protest of  one of the phone companies?  Sprant with a circle and strike through? Or maybe I should go retro and get a bell with a circle and strike through.  I *heart* Hal – on a tee maybe. That may be way before many people’s time, maybe not. I dunno,  I’ll have to think aobut this one.  This one may be rebellion fodder for another day.
  3. Do not bind the pages together of your manuscript s together with C-clamps.  I had to laugh. Of course the  innner child finds the humor of this irresistible. My solution –  not a C-clamp, but these things are so handy! Since this is my first go at this venture,  I’m not really worried about anything super cool. Come on,  the notebook was 33 cents! 2016-02-04 11.17.18
  4. The placing of smiley face stickers on or about your manuscript does not measurably enhance its appeal.  Get thee behind me Satan!  Of course it does! Smiley faces are the bomb. It lets you know of your happiness  level on those days that you feel like the storm clouds of life are following you around. Smiley faces are a necessary addition to any  journal or calendar or notebook or  anything. (See image above with smiley face addition.)
  5. To sell inspirational pieces and lovely poetry you must have a three part name and  credentials behind your name. Ms. Ellie Mack the Divine! How’s that?  That’s five parts. Why aren’t you laughing? I will come over there and “inspire you” to laugh one way or the other buster. Let me tell you my lovely poetry.  There once was a lady from Mitts who had  these really big . . . . .  moving on. I’m not sharing my poetry. I am not a poet. I have notes. Notes that are mine not anyone elses and are for my eyes only.   I have quotes. Quotes that are meaningful to me because it’s MINE and it’s for me.  YES,  I am being a selfish bitch! I’m over 50, it’s allowed.
  6. Dont seal the SASE. BWAHAHAHAHA! Billiant.  I would have never thought of that on my own.  Now If I can just come up with some place I need to send SASE to. . . (For you younguns that don’t know what SASE is –  Self Addressed Stamped Envelope)
  7. Use top quality ink, never handwritten in pencil. Seriously? First off, who would submit  their work even in 1980 handwritten?   If it were back in the 1800’s maybe but 1980?  I mean we had these huge typewriters that weighed as much as a grown man.  By 1985 we had dot matrix printers available, granted typed was better than that, but still. So, . . . just to be  kitschy, I am dedicating tomorrow’s journal entry to crayons. Do they still come in the big ultra pack with the sharpener built in? I may need to run to the store tonight and buy me a box. OOH! Then I can make a rainbow bridge with my favorite colors and add gold glitz and silver around the edges. I may have to make my own coloring page. I haven’t actually used crayons in a long time.  I think I need some.

The deal is this is MY journal.  You do what you want in yours, I will do what I want in mine.  It’s for my eyes,  for me to keep my daily grind from grinding me down to nothing. It’s to keep on track and not miss apoointments and have a bit of reflection for successes and failures.  It’s a way for me to track my blog posts and hit my goals.

Nex time (bullet journal blogpost) I’ll share a little about my layout and what I’ve already tweaked.  This is the main reason why I love this system – I can personalize it in whatever fashion that I want to, or not. If I don’t want to write a bunch of stuff that day,  I don’t.  If all I want to do is write down my todo list that’s fine.  If I am feeling particularly long winded then I can write like the wind.

Live it OWN IT Love it!

(Words borrowed from one of my mentors!)

Write on my friends, write on!


My Secret Garden

I have  been given the opportunity to take part in

The Creative Promoter’s 2nd Blog Carnival.


Thank you Lisa Anne Wooley and Fred Charles!

 The theme: Places where we find creativity.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.  All rights reserved to the artist.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image. All rights reserved to the artist.

Creativity  is something that comes from within.  The art of creating something, whether a craft project,  a painting, woodworking,  writing, music – they are all expressions of inner creativity.  When I first read the theme for this project,  I read it as inspiration, or the places that inspire creativity.

There is something magical that happens when  the spark ignites a Creative’s passions.  I can find  no pattern,  no specific  commonality to what  will  ignite that spark.  It has varied from sitting on my sofa flipping through a  home improvement magazine, to walking behind a push mower, to  planting seedlings in my garden.  I’ve been inspired while riding in the passenger’s seat of a car and even while I was driving alone with the radio blaring.

Turbulent skies

Turbulent skies

While some people say that the beach inspires them,  I feel that a beach setting in a tropical paradise does more to bring peace, calm and  relaxation  to my normal stressed state of existence. Some are inspired by mountains but while I admire the beauty and majesty of them,  I don’t feel particularly inspired in a creative way.

The settings that  inspire my creative nature are varied,  but if there is a commonality to them  it would be  something out of the ordinary. Here are just a few:

  • An old abandoned house that has fallen in disrepair that at one time must have been a statement of status.  (Inspired Arturo’s Treasure; mystery intrigue tale of pirates, buried treasure, betrayal, and  romance that spans generations. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • An eerie boggy creek bend that  has recently flooded and is alive with insect noises that  gives an audible  hum in the air. (Inspired Blight Creek;  a zombie tale of a different nature. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • The dressing room of a bridal shop where my daughter tried on Prom dresses. (Inspired Death by Design; Haute Couture styles to die for! [Watch for it in 2017])
Abandoned  estate home in St. Louis.

Abandoned estate home in St. Louis.

I think more than any setting or place that inspires my imagination is the magical game of ‘What if’?  While sitting in a restaurant that my husband and I frequented in our dating years we observed a young man get on his knees and propose.  It was a heartwarming sentimental moment that  brought a tear to my eye.

It sparked conversation between my husband and myself of our beginnings, and as I mulled that over and over in my mind  it sparked What if? in the scene we had witnessed.  What if the couple were perfect for one another,  but his ex decides she  isn’t through?  What if there is a tragic accident?   What if she goes to jail?  (Red Wine & Roses scheduled for release in 2015!) (Oral Dilemma, scheduled for fall of 2015)

I know people who play the ‘what if’ game in their own lives,  constantly worrying about things that will never happen.  Worry is such a useless time waster. The majority of the times those things we worry about never happen.  But in the fiction world, anything and everything can happen.  We can throw our characters into  the fire,  into the next fire,  into the impending disaster,  into and out of relationships, give them an incurable disease,  poison them,  shoot them, and basically wreak havoc in their  fictional lives to play out the scenarios that would send  ordinary folks to the nut house.

It sounds disturbing when you  summarize it concisely like that,  but it’s  the game  many writer’s play  to create some of the best fiction out there.

Once the ideas begin to form, I create a file for them in my ideal garden.  I have a cheap spiral  journal  that I picked up on clearance that I jot down ideas.  In this journal are some sketches of  characters,  sketches of objects from a story idea, and notes about a particular story or character.  Some are all on one page,  some are spread over several pages.  If there is any one  place for my collective creativity, it would probably be this journal. I also have files on my computer and  external hard drive  with  the information once I piece a few things together.

Last summer my daughter was helping me clean  in the basement.  She picked up this journal and tossed it into the trash bin.  I about came unglued. I yelled, screamed, ranted, scooped up my precious journal and ran upstairs to hide it away for safe keeping.  When I was alone with it later,  I opened it, reliving each moment of excitement when I  initially had these inspirations and  gained a new refreshed zeal for a few ideas that had  sat unattended for a while.

Don’t judge me!

It’s funny, my secret garden journal sat in that stack for  a couple of months forgotten while life decided  there were other things to demand my attention.  My rediscovery of this treasured object that looks like a dime store  worthless  notebook reignited my passion like it was  rocket fuel.  Just like in a natural garden,  you leave the seeds covered with dirt for a time, hidden away they begin to germinate. So in a sense another place that I was inspired was a musty cobwebbed basement. Weird, I know.

As I poured over  each and every page, I saw that I had  more  than I thought I did when it was set aside. I saw connections that  I didn’t see before.  Like a Vining plant climbing a trellis, my notes had a thin thread of  the overall theme woven through them.  My true creative nature  flows when I have the pen in hand.  This is the incubator,  the hatching process.  Taking  raw materials – the  boggy creek,  the snooty sales clerk, the young couple – and  formulating my ‘what ifs’ into  a tale of mystery, romance or whatever.

The physical act of writing, pounding out the story on the keyboard  varies between two  stages.  Stage 1 is the driven compulsion to get the story out of my head, where the characters are playing out the scenes faster than I can type.  This is when I am in the flowstate,   when I am immersed in my fictional world. It’s a magical place, a mystical place that  real life demands summons me from too frequently.

Stage 2 sadly is where I have spent most of my writing time.  This is  the disjointed, interrupted, distracted part.  It’s difficult to get back into the flow state of writing when you’ve been distracted from your plan for  the umpteenth time.

Sadly, this is the state where I have to function  more effectively than I have because I don’t just have  ten hours in a day of uninterrupted time to  get things down  onto virtual paper, as is the case with most of the authors I know.  We have lives, families, obligations,  and jobs that demand our time.

Whatever inspires or sparks your creativity, make it a priority in your life.  Pursuit your dreams with passion, in whatever manner you find that works for you.

There is no one place or location that inspires me  to be creative.  Ideas come to me in some of the strangest places. My secret  garden, or inner sanctum’s outer expression would be my  journal.  I’d like to say that it was a nice leather-bound  journal resembling something of an ancient handwritten book,  or as fancy as the Book of Kells,  but alas it’s not.  It’s a meagher little dime store notebook but it works for me.

My Precious - the secret garden journal

My Precious – the secret garden journal

What inspires you?  What sparks your creativity?  Is there a special place that ignites your creative juices?

We are all different, inspired by different things, have different ideas  on how to execute that creativity. I for one am glad for the differences.  It would be pretty boring if we were all of the same hivemind.

Write on my friends, write on!

 Go to CARNIVAL, Lisa’s blog to find the links to other bloggers posts in this  series!




The Creative Mind

Quotidiandose does not own copyrights to this image, all rights reserved to

Quotidiandose does not own copyrights to this image, all rights reserved to

Creativity is a fascinating mental playground that eludes the analytical thinker. Logic and reason are first and foremost in the minds of most adults. The traditional job force embraces and encourages the analytical, mechanical, scientific, and non-thinking modes. My coach recently argued her point that there have always been creatives, although it has recently changed from being called creative thinkers to being a creative.

Yes, there has always been creatives in the workforce but we weren’t appreciated. I was encouraged to stay inside the guidelines, do the job, don’t think outside the box, stick to the status quo and produce widgets. My creative side was stifled by 200 pages or more manuals of standard operating procedures. I was sent to sensitivity training. I was sent to a procedures and protocol class. In other words, they tried their best to get me to conform. (You should be getting a visual of that 1927 Fritz Lang classic movie – Metropolis.)

There have always been the creative among us, but they are often ridiculed, called dreamers and told to get a real job. Many artists never profited from their work. It was only after their deaths that some of the greatest creatives were even recognized. Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”. Do you think his theory of a heliocentric universe was received by the church? NOT A CHANCE!

The traditional workforce is diminishing. The traditional manual labor jobs are going overseas as well as the technology jobs. There is no better time to embrace your creative tendencies than now! Creatives can think outside the box. As Gunnery Sergent Highway stated in Heartbreak Ridge, “You’re Marines now. You adapt. You overcome. You improvise. Let’s move!” Only in our world we will substitute creative for marine unless you are both in which case – I want to be on your team.

Creativity works in sometimes what is considered mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Their thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we need them most. Creative thinking requires complex cognitive skills yet is completely distinct from the thinking process.

Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. Scientists now understand that creativity is far more complex than the right/left brain distinction would have us think. This being the theory that left brain thinkers are rational and analytical, and right brain thinkers are creative and emotional. Creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways, and emotions, and we still don’t have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works.

And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it’s not just a stereotype of the “tortured artist” — artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.

“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” states Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”

So when a creative person tells you it’s about to get a little messy you best believe them.
While a creative is difficult to pin down, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors that are common.

Do not confuse these traits with any excuse for laziness or slothfulness. Most creative types do end up in the traditional workforce at some point because, well we get tired of eating peanut butter and living in bad neighborhoods. In fact, many creatives that I know work a traditional job while pursuing their artistic dreams on the side, or in their spare time often forgoing meals or sleep.

What are these traits? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out. I intend to make a whole series on this topic, because I myself am tired of the stereotype, of being called lazy, tired of being told to get a real job. Hello? I have a “real job” plus a side job, plus the parenting – which is a 24/7 job.

If you see something that grabs your attention leave a comment. If you want to contribute to some of my upcoming posts, contact me.

Write on my friends, never underestimate the creative “force” within you!

Gone With the Wind?


Amazing!  Absolutely amazing!

This is the kind of stuff that only happens to me,  or is it? I’m at the park doing my walk/jog for my morning workout and my brain is working overtime.  I know what I’m going to blog, I know what I’m going to write, what the characters are going to do next, the conversation that is going to take place, the cliffhanger before the next chapter, I know  how I’m going to bridge the scenes I am working on.

Then comes the hill. It’s only a slight little incline, maybe a 10% grade with an elevation change of about 50 feet.  Not really a big deal.  At the top I ran into my cousin and we talked for a few minutes.  Ooh shiny!

My mind is playing over the scene in detail now,  down to the clothing choices.  Really Roxanne?  That was the best thing you could wear to announce your engagement?  Hey look at that goose over there with the babies,  there must be eight little goslings  and the rest of the geese have older goslings.

At this point the  humidity ( 78%) and the temperature ( 86F) are getting to me when Runkeeper announces  ” thirty-five minutes.  1.48 miles. 21 minutes 14 seconds per mile” .  Shut up already I know I’m going slow!

I’m not going to make it!  It’s a long way back to the car.  I consider the last wind sprint, looking around to see if anyone is watching the fat chick trying  to run.  I decide it’s safe and  go into a little faster jog – not quite a sprint but  for me at that time it was about all I could muster.  Save yourselves, go on without me.  Two minutes later I am sucking wind and gasping  as I reach the car.

Get my water,   head home, shower then sit down at the computer to write. . . and nothing.  What were those conversations?  What was that scene?  Oh come on, at least the bridge?  Hello?  Any cells working up there?  Isn’t it ironic that I remember the conversation with my cousin, but can’t remember the rest?

So, do I use my smart phone for the runkeeper AP  or use the voice recorder to record my thoughts?  I don’t know but I feel like pounding my head on the table here to knock them loose or something.

Then I cycle through the songs.   Maybe that’s it, I need my playlist to spark the  creativity.  Nope, all that did was manage to get me sidetracked watching videos and a silly expression as I listened to Rob Thomas croon.

My current word count sits at 650, and now I have to attend to  family needs. Meanwhile, I hope that Roxanne chooses something a little nicer than the pair of jeans with the ripped knee and  the  cropped graphic tee under Luke’s hoodie.  WAIT!  I’ve got it!  It’s coming back now.  I just needed fuel in my tummy and a few minutes to warm up.

Alright folks, I am gone like the wind.  Off to write the next installment of Oral Dilemma and then to work on Love Notes revisions.

Sometimes the process isn’t seamless.  Sometimes there are kinks in the flow of things.  The important thing is to never quit.

Write on my friends, write on!