Blogs I follow and why

I don’t follow a lot of blogs, I just don’t have the time to read them all and sometimes blogs can be a bit narcissistic (ok, maybe that’s what blogging is all about, but why read even more?) But in case you were looking for some great blogs to keep track of, here are just a few of my favorites these days:

1. Saving for Someday. On top of some great tips on saving money, bargains, and deals in stores, Sara also shares some insights into her life and daily living as a giving, caring person trying to raise a daughter in this crazy world. Follow her, you won’t be sorry.

2. Pirates and Fireflies. Vicariously travel through Europe and other parts exotic, with photos that make me say AHHHHHH so many times it may be annoying to anyone around me. The posts are short enough not to be tedious, but interesting and bucolic. You won’t regret this one, unless the jealousy eats away at you. (What? I can’t help it.)

3. Nail Your Novel. Roz Morris, author and editor, shells out some great advice and quick tips to do just what she says…Nail Your Novel.

4. TIPPR Blog. An aspiring writer/editor who blogs a bit of poetry. I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I do enjoy it sometimes, and I like getting just a bit every so often in my inbox and these are quite nice. Give a look.

OK, that’s four. I’ll put a few more up for you soon. What blogs are you following? Let me know.

 

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Stretching your creative legs

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How do you stay inspired and creative? I seem to be on an inspiration rollercoaster lately. On the days I’m heading up the ramp slowly, it seems like I’ll never get to the end of this book, or ever get published. On the days when I’m heading down at breakneck speed and can’t stop writing, I feel there is no possible way I will fail. I’ve been to conferences, I’ve read the how-to books, I’ve talked to authors, etc. Now the only thing left to do is actually write the damn thing and get it published. No excuses…

But there are those days I’m heading up the slow ramp and I just don’t have anything in me to write, or I’ve written enough for the day. Sometimes I still feel the need to create and clear my head, so I break out the colored pencils and coloring books. A dear friend of mine taught me that coloring books are not just for kids. She came out for a visit and brought her coloring books and colored pencils and we sat drinking wine and coloring in our books. And I’ve discovered some of the most amazing coloring books out there are sophisticated and fun, as well as complicated and challenging. Some are based on famous paintings, history, intricate pictures of birds, waterfalls, flowers, abstracts, animals, etc. It takes concentration to color them in, and that means focus. And when focusing on my coloring project, everything else become clear. It’s almost a zen feeling to clear my head and create something colorful and fun.

So I’m coloring these days in between catching up on reading for book club, editing, writing, researching, and all the other things I feel I need to do. But this is something I do totally for myself and I love it. I’m renewed and ready to go after a page is finished.

What keeps you inspired and creative? Any new ideas?

 

 

 

 

 

What I did on my summer vacation

Taking a break from writing can be great. It can also be stressful if you feel like something is missing. So, I decided to take a break and work at a few art projects. These are a few things I’ve wanted to do, but thought I didn’t have the time. So, I took the time. Now don’t judge, it was just for my benefit and creative outlet. But I thought you might get a kick out of it.

Step One: Find a terrible painting at a thrift store or garage sale. Better yet, find something you painted during one of those wine & paint parties. (Yes, I know. Pretty bad, huh?)

Yeah, I did this. But there was wine involved…

Step Two: Lay out the stickers the way you want them and don’t be afraid to change it up.

Step Three: Paint over the stickers and canvas in any color you want. I chose black and brown. Cover till you get the desired color. Don’t worry about being perfect, it is art, remember? (I used acrylic paint, btw.)

Step Four: After it’s dried (took about 15 minutes), peel off the letters. I added a few 3-D stickers and a photo of my husband and daughter, as well as a set of beads.

Viola!

Steady hammering skills make for lovely jewelry, right?

I first saw something like this on Pinterest and it looked pretty easy. This project is simply washers (ok, I raided Husband’s toolbox) and a small letter kit I bought at Harbor Freight ($7). Choose words you want but make them short, then add beads or embellishments. Daughter is a big Sherlock fan, hence the 221B reference.

Heads up: Make sure you find a firm place to on which to hammer these. I actually split a concrete block while hammering. Good thing it was just used as a door stop in the back yard.
What do you do to give yourself a varied creative outlet?