The Eve of NaPoWriMo

Yup it’s that time of year again – National Poetry Month! May all the words be with you.

Counting the Determined Spring

and trees, buds swelling,
and grackles, squealing
and volunteer daylilies
and startled calves
following placid cows
to unknown pastures
along strange paths
Trembling they look
wide dark eyes
hurrying into a
world, newly made.

Meanwhile I was out myself today, driving around, maintaining social distancing and giving myself a stern talking to about “what would Vincent do?”

The Eve of NaPoWriMo

A Warm Bright Day

Rumor had it that today would be unseasonable warm and that was correct. Can’t complain about sitting outside in near 50F sunshine, painting and listening to the canadian geese trying to lord it over each other.

These were on the new paper, the first two on the turner 140 weight and the last, started to let number two dry and flatten a bit, was on the leonardo 300 weight.

Am currently reinstalling scanner software because unless I included a bright background these scanned in technicolor. I finally gave up and used ImageCapture which had its own weirdness but at least the color was better. Geesh. I would have been excited to have painted the scanned versions!

A Warm Bright Day

Third of February – Blue Sky

I was being good and staying home sorting stuff for trash night when suddenly the world turned bright and shiny. The first photo was taken this morning when it was still pretty grey, of a shrub of bright red berries I admire often.

I did these while sitting in the car – just a hair too cool to sit outside for long. I realized though that the main problem with this – the lighting inside is too dark. Will have to dress warmer I guess!

Third of February – Blue Sky

Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Remember when bookmarks were something slipped between two paper pages? I have a bookmarks folder for names in the world, and another one of cool things rummaged while writing, often on the way to something else. This is one of them

The Black Book of Carmarthen, digitized by The National Library of Wales (which is where I saw it), “A collection of Welsh poetry compiled by one scribe during the mid-13th century, and containing verse composed at various times during the period between the eighth and thirteenth centuries. The volume includes triads (p. 27), religious and vaticinatory poetry, eulogies, elegies and numerous poems relating to the Myrddin Legend.”

Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Almost the end of November

Did you wonder where I was? Yup, November brings NaNoWriMo. I knew there were some days at the beginning of the month that no writing or at least little writing would be possible – a wedding and some other things but I wasn’t prepared for the struggle of what would happen next. I had no idea. Which is why, frankly, no writing to get to the end of this story had been happening.

But now, when I could be working on it, even house chores seemed more appealing. I tried new tacks such as hand-writing notes to myself about things that might happen next. I wrote a sketch of a big thing that I knew, or hoped, was going to happen. I dabbled quite briefly with a different idea I had, thinking it was a short story and putting it back in the drawer when it seemed much larger.

I had a few big word count days and a whole lot of low word count days. Which adds up to a half-NaNo but which did indeed bring me almost to the very end.

Here I will say that despite the help that hand writing notes (fountain pen and tiny softcover Moleskines, how writerly, eh?) the power of digital tools is immense. November first, at our local launch party, a big storm came up just before I was packing it in. There was a tiny power blip. My BBEdit screen, non-responsive. I ended up screenshotting it just to save the few inches of paragraphs that were visible, a tiny bit of what I’d done. Came home and finally had to shut down the computer. I chose re-open windows of programs that were open, not holding out any hope for the unsaved document. But there, BBEdit (because it doesn’t suck) opened, opening two other windows and the unsaved document in its entirety.

I so love the Barebones Software guys that when I discovered there was a paid upgrade available that night, I gladly plopped my money down for it and sent them a big thank you.

I also love that as I worked on what a character was reacting to and feeling, I could cut and paste the whole ending-to-date into a new document and change it over into something that seemed better, more coherent and tweak it, free from the rest of what had been written. It finally got added back, replacing the old not-quite-right part. Yeah cut and paste!

So here we are at the end of November, and there’s a new pile of words for this book. I’m good with it.

Almost the end of November

Wednesday of Va-kay

I sat in a little park enjoying my coffee and watching clouds.

Then I came home and painted, yup, my mailbox.

Then I watched/listened to James Gurney answering some questions live on You-Tube about Gouache while I did these:

I used Holbein Gouache, a set of Primary Magenta PR122, Primary Cyan PB15, and Primary Yellow PY3, 74 and three tubes I bought myself Flame Red PR9, Ultramarine Deep PB29 and Permanent Yellow Deep PY1. I used the same Primary White PW6 for both wheels. The black in the center is not the Primary Black PBk7 of the set but mixed of the three primary colors. The primary mix was easier than the colors I chose. That flame red is pushy!

Wednesday of Va-kay

Friday Ends

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Barter, Sara Teasdale

The moment one gives a close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world unto itself.
— Henry Miller

Friday Ends