Research can be deadly (OR) Why Scotland?

So, as I’m writing (yay!), I’m listening to a guided meditation. ¬†There is a very calming voice in my ears telling me that I am intimately connected to the creative power of the Universe.

I’m also¬†looking at pictures of the Scottish countryside, because that’s where the next part of my story takes place. Why Scotland? Why do American writers always go back to Scotland? I’ll tell you why: because it’s pure dead¬†brilliant¬†that’s why. And if you’ve ever been there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s been over 20 years since the summer I spent there, and it still pulls me back.

eilean donan castle

My husband thinks I’m crazy. I’m sure he thinks it’s just a nerd-fantasy thing, and yeah it’s that, too. I’m a nerd,¬†I like fantasy, so that’s cool. But he probably wishes I would shut up about it – ¬†the same way I get when people talk about football.

Eye-Roll-gif-6

But looking at the pictures helps me get in the mindset. Where my characters are, what they’re doing, the topography they’re traveling through. If I can see it in my mind’s eye, I can follow them, and let them show me what’s going to happen next. It also helps me focus.

Why is research deadly? Because like so many other things¬†–¬†like blogging for instance (ahem) – it takes away from what I should be doing, which is writing.

The searches, images, and learning more about the things in my story help me feel connected to what’s going on in¬†that¬†world, as opposed to letting my mind wander back to the dusting and the laundry pile. Not to mention that it’s Christmas and that puts a whole new spin on the lack¬†of writing time. Even though research (er,¬†Google) can be a deadly distraction from your daily word count, sometimes you just need to dump the everyday garbage out of your head before you can make way for your story. Don’t overthink and don’t be too hard on yourself.

clear your head (y-oman.com)

Thankfully, I’m making progress. I keep telling myself that all I have to do is keep moving my story forward, and it will tell me where it needs to go.

So now I’m going to stop blogging and researching and get back to writing. Happy Holidays everyone.

xoxo heidi.

Enjoy some pictures of Scotland (click for source):

Black Watch Regimental colours

d1182071f86b0626b8f8cab348293cb1

birks of aberfeldy
birks of aberfeldy
the Isle of Mull, with Duart Castle, from Bike Scotland
the Isle of Mull, with Duart Castle, from Bike Scotland
Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull ©Mitchell Ratner, Smile of the Dandelion (with permission)
St. Kilda, www.kilda.org
St. Kilda, http://www.kilda.org
Kelpies at Falkirk, ©Ben Williams, bbc.co.uk
Kelpies at Falkirk, ©Ben Williams, bbc.co.uk
Jamie and Claire; Outlander
Jamie and Claire; Outlander

— If anyone ever says to you, “Hey I’ve got an aunt who lives in Glasgow, you want to hang out for the summer?” Say yes.

— More Scotland info here.

—¬†the meditation currently in my ears: click here.

Merry Christmas.

Juniper is waiting for Santa :)
Juniper is waiting for Santa :)
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Kittens and Puppies and Homework Oh My

Today I wanted¬†a day off. I don’t want¬†to go anywhere. I don’t want¬†to do anything.¬†But you know, 4 hours of yard work and two trips to home depot, dinner to make, laundry to do, toilets to clean, and oh, yeah. Homework.

I already need a beer.

It’s been a busy year¬†and a lot is always going on. There’s always so much to do. And 99.9% of my creative energy has gone towards school. This is what I’ve been up to this past few months:

Next time, I’ll show you what I’ve been up to since I’ve started at ASU! It’s crazy! I’m surrounded by thousands of young people every day. Talk about a fish out of water.

this is me in my childhood development class
this is me in my childhood development class

If anyone has any questions on the art process, what do you DO in art classes anyway? What are we learning? on choosing to go back to college full-time, as a 43-year-old wife and a mother of 2, I’d be happy to answer them. Please leave a comment below.

And if you’re wondering, “Why, of all fields of study to choose from, and in a struggling economy, would anyone go to ART SCHOOL?”

here’s why:

So your son or daughter wants to be an ART major?!

by Adriene Jenik, director, ASU School of Art

 

Thanks for stopping by.

xo Heidi

Lennon & Maisy sing “That’s What’s Up,” OR: Why I Can’t Get This Song Out of My Head

I usually speed right past this kind of stuff on Facebook, but when my sister-in-law posted this video I clicked on it for 2 reasons:

1. She dedicated her post to my brother, John, along with her friends and family.

FB CM edited

2. I knew that if she liked it, I would like it, too. And it wouldn’t be some corny piece of crap.

I can’t imagine ever being this crazy talented, especially as a kid. But these two sisters sing so beautifully, and so well together, that¬†this song is an instant Happy-Place earworm, as Linda Holmes likes to say. The song, “That’s What’s Up,” is originally by a band called¬†Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Where the original reminds me of a tinny ode to School House Rock,¬†¬†the girls’ version has a much more pure, sweet vocal melody and an engaging, natural performance.

Why can’t I get this song out of my head? Just listen; you’ll see what I mean:

Watching these girls, it reminds me of my Goddaughter and her sister – you can tell the girls love each other. It’s clear¬†that Lennon &¬†Maisy¬†have been singing together since they were little (which you can see¬†in their youtube videos). Their joy is evident.

And it scares the hell out of me.

Because they ARE so talented, I dread some¬†skeevy “talent manager” getting¬†a hold of them, and before you¬†know it, ¬†we see Lennon and Maisy wearing too much hair & makeup and stylist-induced designer outfits on The Today Show, like some E! network wannabes. And they get all stupid and slutty and spoiled.

PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN! Please, parents of Lennon and Maisy, you seem like good people, you seem to be doing a great job raising these kids so far.¬†I have to say, I have never heard of these two before they landed in my Facebook feed. (The duo are¬†regulars on the series “Nashville,” and have made several television appearances.) So far, they are already off to a good start :) keep up the good work.

Don’t sell them out, don’t let them loose in the Hollywood machine. Care for them, raise them, make them do their homework, make them work shitty jobs to pay for their new car, make them respect themselves and their bodies, and don’t let them¬†turn into slutty little brats.


miley cyrus before and after

Just let them grow up to be themselves.

If you’re still on the fence as to whether you like them or not, this song will definitely sell you.

***

If you enjoy my blog, please share via social media buttons on the right, or follow me on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by (San Diego),

Heidi

How to win an art scholarship

This is how I applied for and won an art-based scholarship.

The Bethel E. Ells Scholarship is awarded to a part- or full-time art or art humanities major. I believe there is more than one recipient, but I’m not sure of the number. Here is the info from the application:

For students majoring in Art, this includes Drawing, Painting, Computer Graphics, Photography, and Sculpture or Art Humanities.

Continue reading How to win an art scholarship

Thanks

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed a huge gap in posts. I mean, of course you have, because you’re a regular reader and you love my wit, and you can’t WAIT until you see a new post from me!

Kind of like how I am with The Hermitage, Dreams + Jeans, and Fine Art Tips.

A lot has been going on. I have been taking 17 credit hours this semester, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve worked so hard and been so happy in that work. I’m telling you right now: If you’ve been in a slump, or maybe want to advance in your career but lack of a degree is holding you back;¬†GO TO SCHOOL, even if it’s just one class at a time.

journey

There’s nothing that will revive you more than feeding your brain. It’s the perfect time in the economy, too. Things are starting to bounce back, but it’s slow going and business is still slow enough that if you wanted to, you could squeeze in a morning or evening class. Some of them are scheduled to only meet once a week, if that’s all you can commit. There are loads of scholarships available, and enrollment is down, so they WANT you to go to school.

But assuming you can afford one class per semester – maybe two – what would you take? What has always piqued your interest? Ancient Egypt? Art History 101- Prehistoric to the Gothic, or World History to 1500.

king tut

What have you always wondered more about? How to really use Excel, so you can go up a paygrade at work? CIS 105 or Excel Level I.

Or, have you always wondered why rocks look like this? Take Geology 101! I liked it so much I took 102 as well.

sandstone

Why don’t you do something for¬†you? You’ve always wanted to try painting. Remember how much you loved watching¬†Bob Ross? I recommend taking Color Theory first. It’s been a challenge, but a good one!

Think about it.

Besides school, we’ve had a few birthdays

IMG_5997

IMG_6667 - Version 2

and lost our two best friends :(

Butter (aka Best Dog in the World) was 13, and Pepper (2nd Best Dog in the World) was 12. They passed away within a month of each other.

butter and pepper

Our new girl, Juniper, was a birthday surprise, and missed meeting Pepper by two days, but kept Butter company for the last month. She’s adorable, and smart, and keeps us all on our toes.

Juniper

The horses have gotten hairy. They got a post-Halloween treat.

horses eating pumpkin

Keira is still for sale. It’s strange, I think she must be waiting for the perfect home. I’ve had several people interested in her, and a few offers, but they all fell through for various reasons. All she needs is time and attention. She’s super smart and sweet, and responds well to training (see video on her page). I’m so surprised she hasn’t sold yet, because she’s pretty close to perfect. But that’s just my opinion ;)

keira

I gave my first class lecture

lecture ARH101

and we’ve had some rain.

IMG_7123
my Land Art installation, titled “Direction”

Coming up, I’ve got a post on a popular author, a round-up of my projects for the semester, an out-of-town writing conference (so exciting!), and after Christmas, I get to go visit my family. Please continue to keep my sister-in-law and our parents in your thoughts. This is our first holiday without John, and he is greatly missed.

john & chris

Here and now, it’s holiday time in the desert, cool and crisp in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.

I’m thankful for it all – my family, our health & home, the opportunities we have.

And to you, for taking the time to visit.

smiley face, rocks

Much love,

Heidi

If you’d like to do more online browsing, please stop by my friends’ sites:

Pb Crazy

r. mccormack writes

taysteele.com

strategicbongo

TracyJoyCreative

Monologue: The difference between boys and girls is this:

Big sister or aunt-type giving boy advice to a younger girl.

MC: “The difference between boys and girls is this:

When a girl wants to go out with a boy, it’s because she thinks he’s cute and she wants to talk to him and look deep into his eyes and hold his hand and maybe kiss him someday, in this big, movie-like passionate, romantic way, like you see on book covers. And she wants him to think she’s the prettiest girl ever, and notice all the things she likes about herself that nobody else notices. And to never, ever, look at any other girls.

When a boy wants to go out with a girl, he wants to do most of those things, too, but he mostly wants to do all the nasty physical stuff [fill in the blank] he can possibly think of. And it’s not because he’s disgusting, or a jerk or a pervert, it’s just because he’s a boy. And a lot of the time they are more scared shitless of making the first move than you are. So if you have a boy that you know – maybe you’re “just friends,” and he spends lots of time talking to you and you laugh at the same jokes, unless he’s in love with another girl or gay, he most likely wants to do all of those things with you. ”

Monologue

—something that I’m working on. What say you? Leave a comment.

©@heidhorch

photo credit