Category Archives: Creative efforts
I wasn’t altogether happy with my previous attempt to put this cat on paper, so I started over. So far, I’m liking it. Still a way to go. My source for the original photo, Brian Switek, has moved his primary blog, but the photo is still on the wall at the old place. I hope he likes this version.
I’ll be posting updates as I progress.
My version of the basic “brown paper exercise.” Still a work in progress.
I have finished the drawing of Tag, the Blue Heeler/Australian Cattle Dog for the friend of my cousin who has been waiting for it for some time. Mea culpa, I plead technical difficulties which delayed my starting on it sooner.
But I’m not posting a photo of the finished product until after it’s in the hands of it’s new owner. That only seems fair. Instead I offer a first look at a new project, which is a *secret, Christmas present* project, that I may not be able to show further progress on until after it, too, has gone to its new home.
I’m pleased to report that I’ll have this finished and in the hands of it’s rightful owner before Christmas. The light has been kind of iffy lately — we actually had some cloudy and overcast days in this part of Drought Central. Of course those clouds produced very little in the way of rain. Now that we’re back in the grips of the all-sun-all-the-time weather pattern, I can get some more art work done.
Recent work on my drawing of “Tag.” He sure has been good at “holding still!”
It’s been a while since I posted a picture that I was working on, mainly because I haven’t been doing any artwork for a while. I forget how relaxing it is. Very “grounding” and de-stressing work, like I guess yoga is supposed to be. Anyway, this is a portrait of a dog that belongs to a friend of one of my cousins. Cute, huh? Updates to follow.
I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about where I want to take my blogging/writing efforts, and how Crazybasenji fits into my plans. (Obviously I’ve been doing more thinking than writing…)
Now that I’ve had several book reviews published at StoryCircleBookReviews, I feel like I have some legitimate “clips,” examples of my writing that I can use to try and sell my skills in other places. Book reviews will continue to be a big part of what I want to write, since reading books is a requirement for writing book reviews, and there are few things I like better than reading. But I also want to write a better blog. Crazybasenji has been my classroom, and my muse. I had wanted a website called Crazybasenji ever since I came up with the name, inspired by the second basenji I owned, who was truly a crazy-eddie basenji. But I didn’t really have a consistent theme for the blog, and I didn’t work real hard at trying to get more traffic. I’ve studied all kinds of blogging advice books and articles — and blogs — so I know what I’m “supposed” to do. I just haven’t been sure enough of myself to do it… and I feel kind of protective of Crazybasenji.
I think there must be something about the name — because of the “crazy” part — that makes it a spam magnet. I figure more traffic at all will cause an exponential increase in the amount of spam I’ll have to deal with, not to mention the chances of being hacked. Moving the blog to the WordPress universe has made me feel more secure about the hacking part, although I can’t really say why that is. I’ve discovered I’m a lot more limited in the amount of “tweaking” I can do to my theme than when my blog was hosted elsewhere, and that’s a little frustrating. Not frustrating enough to make me put forth the effort to build my own theme, and I certainly can’t afford to pay anyone else to build one for me. So I must soldier on and make do with what’s around me.
In a sense, it’s likely a good thing that I can’t get distracted messing with the theme as much as I used to, since I should be concentrating more on what I write. (Duh!) How many ways is it possible to avoid doing something you’ve set as a “goal for today?” It seems that, even if your goal involves doing something you enjoy, you can find a way to piddle away the time doing other things. Writing is a great example. I think it’s safe to say that most people who start writing blogs do so because they “like to write.” Yet ditching the work of writing is something I see so many blog posts about that it has to be an almost universal phenomenon. You might have a lot to say. You might have a ton of stories to tell. But sitting down and organizing all those thoughts into a coherent whole is a pain in the ass. It’s that simple. One thing to think the stuff up, and quite another to group all those letters together so that it makes sense to anyone else who sees it. Am I right? I know I’m right.
And I’m getting off topic. See how easy that is? What I wanted to — sat down to — write about was my plan to start another blog in the near future where I’ll be more consistent in what I write about — if not in how frequently I post. I won’t abandon Crazybasenji completely, but I’ll try to concentrate more on stories about my dogs — although most of them will be about the ones who are no longer with me — I have a lot of stories I haven’t told. My new blog will be more about the books I read and some more memoir-like stories that I think might have a kernel of wisdom in them that I’d like to share. And I still have some more to write about on my Crazybasenji on Linux blog, about using open source software and how it’s possible to do that and still interact with computers in the proprietary world (Windows and Mac) without having to get a doctorate in computer science (not to mention computer-speak).
I’ve had an idea for the new blog for a while, and now I need to get some original content written before I actually launch it, so I can have several pages of fascinating stuff on there. And, of course, I have to do all this while working my part-time job and going back to school so I can prove to potential full-time employers out there that, yes, people over fifty can learn new things.
Every year about this time, someone or other that I know on or off line brings up National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” or just “NaNo.” Sounds a lot like “Yada-yada-yada,” if you don’t already know what those people are talking about. I started writing a novel a few years ago — in August — so I couldn’t join in the NaNo madness. And I’m still “working” on it, so I won’t be doing NaNo again this year. My friend, Tresha, who belongs to a writer’s group, is going to write something every day in November to show solidarity with the members of her group who are doing NaNo. Maybe I can do that, too. (Says Crazybasenji, without my permission). If I do, some of it will show up here, but since I’m trying to both start and finish my novel, a lot of what I’ll write won’t (show up here).
Funny thing about starting in the middle of a story and working outward. It’s almost as hard to figure out where and how to start as how to finish. I’ve actually written several endings already, all variations on a theme of sorts. But how to begin kept eluding me, until yesterday when a light finally came on. I haven’t mastered the practice of sitting down and writing anything anyway until the answer presents itself, although I’m sure I need to work on that. But sometimes just throwing a bunch of ideas into the stew-pot of my head and then letting them simmer and blend a while works just as well. Although in the meantime, I could/should be writing blog posts that I have plenty of ideas for and just can’t seem to hold still long enough to get on the page. ARRRRGGGHH!
So, yeah, I wrote the middle of my novel first. But at least there is a middle. Of a novel. By me. I think that’s kind of cool.