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Dating My Manuscript

10 May

It’s like when I first dated my husband back in the day. All day long my thoughts were consumed with him, and every moment that I wasn’t with him seemed wasted. I thought about him nonstop, and just looking at him made my knees weak and my pulse race.

Now I have those same “newly dating” feelings again…with my manuscript.  One of the tasks in chapter 2 of Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World ask questions related to what you would do if you had unlimited funds and unlimited time. Well, I don’t have either – not by a long shot. I have a great part-time job and three kids that keep me very busy, especially considering one is a toddler. In the past I have said I’m “too busy” to write, to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. In fact, the last book took years to complete. But suddenly, I’m finding myself “dating” my manuscript. I started writing this book just over a month ago and almost sixty thousand words later, am still going strong. I don’t have the time, but I’m finding the time. Any chance I get – whether it’s at night when the kids go to sleep, during my baby’s nap, in the car (not as driver, obviously) – I’m writing.  So while it would be very nice to have unlimited funds and unlimited time, I’m not letting that stop me from pursuing my passion for writing.

And to my husband – I continue to have those same feelings for you today as well. Thank you for your patience as I disappear most nights with laptop in hand. One day soon you’ll have me back…

…unless there’s a sequel, of course.

The Art of Motherhood, starring the “A-Muse-ing” Kids

7 May

This miniature-staffed episode of Chick Chat recognizes the fine art of motherhood.  For moms the world over know that creativity is essential to survival.  How else could they hazard the occupational perils– from time-outs and tantrums to wipe-outs and, well, still keeping their marriage interesting?

Yes, besides searching for memotherhood is something all four of my Chicks have in common.  Not only that – they’re each the mother of a ten-year old; in fact, the 4 Chicks came to know each other all together through these kids.  So now, in honor of Mother’s Day, these young artists have a chance to muse about their moms and share some insightful thoughts on creativity – both theirs and their moms. Join them now and find out what advice they have for everyone on how to find their inner artist.

Secret Dreams – Task Chapter 2

4 May

When we are changing sizes and shapes as an artist, we often are afraid of looking foolish.  We want to be “finished.” We want to be “good at it.”  We want to read the review that explains, “Well worth the creative risk!” Unfortunately, change and the risks that go with it invite feelings of vulnerability.  Sometimes, simply blurting out our secret dream is a tremendous relief, so that’s what we will try to do here on paper.  Finish the following phrases as fast as you can:  

– Julia Cameron

1. If it weren’t so foolish, I’d love to try: I’ve mentioned this before, I would love to go skydiving!

2. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d love to own a:  House Boat

3. If I were twenty-one again, I would let myself study: Looking back now I would have gone to film school.  But at that time I had not discovered my love for capturing wonderful moments on video.  I wanted to study dramatic arts but felt insecure regarding pursuing something that I would not be able to find work.

4. If I could take the next five years off, all expense paid I’d study: Oh my God the things I would do.

  1. Would love to take a workshop with National Geographic expedition in some exotic location and learn to take amazing pictures.
  2. Learn to be a Yoga Instructor
  3. Sign up for courses at the New York Film Academy
  4. Expand on my nutrition classes by taking sports nutrition
  5. Work and finish my documentary

I think that is pretty much everything that I could accomplish in 5 years.

5. If it weren’t so nuts, I’d love to try: I would love to train for Kona Ironman.  But really train to compete.

6. If I gave in to my secret dreams, I would let myself: Enjoy it and not feel guilty.  These are dreams that would take me away from my family.  I have children to think of.  These are dreams should have been done when I was young and single.  This does not mean that I can’t pursue these but it does make it more difficult.

7. If I’d had ideal parents and a perfect childhood, I’d be a: This is a hard question to answer.  I had the ideal mother, she never stopped me from pursuing what I wanted to do.  She really tried to please me as much as she could financially on whatever I wanted to accomplish at that time.

8. The dream I have never told anyone is:  Well it seems I already told you my dreams.

9. The artist I admire and think I am a lot like is: There are so many artist that I admire but I don’t feel I’m a lot like them.  So I can’t really answer this question.

10: The artist I secretly look down on because I have more talent is:  This is an interesting question, I really don’t have any artist that I look down on because I feel I have more talent than them.  What I sometimes feel is that I look at some artist that have had the same challenges and lifestyle as me and they were able to accomplish their dreams when I didn’t.  But I realize the difference between them and me is a sense of confidence, a feeling of not worrying about what others think of me and just taking the leap.

So, what has this task helped me realize?   It’s that my dreams are not so out there that I can’t ever accomplish them; I just need to choose to do things a little differently.  Example:

1. Skydiving – Only need to find a good company, pay and jump!

2. National Geographic – I really can’t spend that kind of money and leave my family for 10 days but I could take a photography class locally for a few weeks.

3. Yoga Instructor – My gym teacher gives Yoga class.  I only would need to sign up for one.

4. Film School – This one is a little harder to accomplish.  But I’m hoping that vlogging will help me become a better videographer.

5. Documentary – I do go to Puerto Rico for one whole month.  I can take that time and work on my documentary there.  This will give me time to clear my mind and really work on where I want the documentary to go.  Why haven’t I started you may ask?  It’s because I can take it in so many different directions that I don’t even know where to start and get frustrated and turn out doing nothing.

5. Sports Nutrition –  I’m already going to school for nutrition.  I just need to expand on it.

6. Kona Ironman – This one is a little harder since it does take so much time to train.  When you work full-time, have kids and are trying to go to school, you can’t help but wonder “when would I find the time?”

7. House Boat –  Need to start buying Florida Lottery tickets LOL!

So, what are your secret dreams?

Believing Mirrors

2 May

The 4 Chicks Chat about Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity – Chapter 2: Discovering a Sense of Proportion

Recently, my dear Chicks sought out self-definition as they discussed mirrors. No, not the mirror on the bathroom wall. The mirror that reflects who we are meant to be as an artist. What they found is that they share something in common – each other as Believing Mirrors.  If they look hard enough, they will see the possibilities of what they can become, of what they truly are.

Try looking into your Believing Mirror and find the inspiration, the creativity, the artist within yourself.

Expand Your Creative Identity

26 Apr

The 4 Chicks Chat about Chapter 2: Discovering a Sense of Proportion (PART 1)

This [chapter] inaugurates an ongoing process of self-definition.  As you redraw the boundaries and limits within which you have lived, you draw yourself to a fuller size. Coming into ourselves, we sometimes encounter resistance from those in our immediate environment.  The readings and tasks of this week aim at bolstering the sense of a realistic self in the face of difficulty and even discounting.

– Julia Cameron, Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity

If you’re burning to find me–the Muse–YOU can be a part of  the Chick Chat, too.  Here’s how to play at home:

    1. The 4 Chicks read a chapter.
    2. The Chicks meet and discuss the chapter.
    3. Over the next month or so, the Chicks do the tasks in the chapter and blog about it along the way.
    4. You’re invited to do the same and/or comment on the blog, sharing your own experiences and Chick Stories.
    5. You may even consider starting your own 4 Chicks group to simultaneously work through either this book or its prequel, Cameron’s ground-breaking The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.
I’m waiting for you to find me…
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