Friday, September 27, 2019

My Creative Space.

To my dearest friends and followers,

I have always believed that one could learn a lot about a person by what their room/house looks like. What colors did they use, what does their furniture look like, what decor did they use, what posters/pictures are on the walls?
It's the same thing for an artist. What does their creative space look like? What does that say about them?

A few weeks ago, I shared with you what puts me in the right place to write, my evening ritual as it were. XD
This week, I thought I'd share with you what my creative space is like.

To start, I don't actually have a designated room which is something that I would LOVE to have. So for now, I've just got a lovely wooden desk in the living room of the house. It's a dark wood, which is something I'd like to change to a light wood. In the left corner of it is an antique looking lamp. The light bulb is completely exposed, as there is chicken wire going around in the place of a lamp shade. This was not an easy lamp to find!! I spent years trying to find a lamp like this, with no lampshade.

Next to the lamp is a small green lantern (meant for a candle) which I am using as a pencil cup, or pen cup rather. It contains my XACTO knofe, a mechanical pencil, two ballpoint pens, a Prismacolor fine line marker which looks like a pen, a black sharpie, and three calligraphy pens. I have a fake dried flower clipped to the side of the lantern, and a natural coconut wax lavender scented candle in front of it.

Farther left is another 8oz lavender candle. Next to that is a small wooden chest in which I keep my thumb drives. Three tiny glass bottles, or fairy bottles if you will are on top of the chest. 
On the far right side of the desk is a stack of books.
From the bottom up, I have:

A large notebook filled with illustrations of characters from my book, and notes about another book I have yet to write.
Next is an Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology by Theresa Bane. This book pretty much speaks for itself. It has no pictures. It isn't the best book to learn about one particular creature, but it's great for a quick reverence about hundreds of creatures, with only a small paragraph of information about each one.
On top of that is my newest book, An Encyclopedia of Tolkien by David Day. I got this only two days ago. I wasn't looking for it, I just happened across it. It's really fascinating and talks about the original myths and legends that inspired Tolkien and how he used those in his own works. Definitely a must have I think for not just Tolkien fans, but fantasy lovers in general.
I then have The Middle Ages: Everyday life in Medieval Europe by Jeffery L. Singman. A very useful reference to that time period. 
Next is a book I wanted for about 5 years and only recently bought: The Princes In The Tower by Alison Weir. I have heard both good and bad things about this book, but honestly, any enthusiast of Edward V should give it a read in my opinion.
On top of that I have my yearbook journal for 2019 that I made.
I also have THE journal that inspired my book. There's nothing interesting inside it, I just like the cover art by Kinuko Y. Craft.
Next is the journal I made in 2015 as I was writing my book.
On top of that is a notebook I made for me while I am revising my book,
and on top of that is a small sketchbook I made.
The cherry on top is a small glass vase with dried roses, baby's breath, and eucalyptus (one of the decorations left over from my wedding). 

Of course, my laptop is in the front and center of the desk. I have one of those keyboard wrist pads in front of it because my wrists hurt a lot. And I have a wireless mouse next to the laptop. You know the trackpads that come attached, or built in to the computer? yeah, those. Gross. That's why I have an actual mouse. And even though my laptop is Apple, my mouse is not. Gross.
Ooh!! And there's a string of fairy lights creating an arch, like a window on the wall in front of my desk. I also have two big windows left to me that are nearly always open for that fresh California air, baby!

I do have 4 drawers in this desk, but I'm not going to tell you what's in them mostly because that's boring. They're filled with things like matches, candlewick trimmers, book light, earbuds, glasses case, more notebooks, etc.

In general, I am a very neat person. I keep my space clean and organized. Before I'm working at my desk, it's always clean. When I get up from my desk, it's always clean. BUT when I am sitting at my desk, it looks like a tornado went through, with papers and clutter all over the surface of it and on the floor around me. I know it's a stereotypical thing that creative people are messy, but that's just not 100% true.

Yours truly,

Friday, September 13, 2019

My Evening Ritual.

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story...
~ Homer
(Translated by Robert Fitzgerald)

To my dearest friends and followers,

This past week has been rather eventful. To start, my husband got a new job and those nightshifts are taking some getting used to - for the both of us.

I used to be a night owl...but work and marriage changed that. I don't know why, but I always felt peaceful at night, and kind of lonely. Not in a bad way though, more so in a rainy day kind of way where I feel like I can think. I felt inspired, the muses within my mind waking up and singing their songs of creativity to me.

With my husband working nights now, I feel like my muses have come back.
Yes!! I have begun working on my book again, revising another chapter every other night. It's such a rewarding feeling, as this is the most progress I've made in as many days. I truly do think that I shall be done at the end of October of this year. XD

My nights have typically looked like this:
I decide what to eat for dinner, make whatever it is I decided, feed my fur babies, eat that dinner I made (whilst watching a 44 minute episode of a show of my choosing), clean up that dinner (if I feel like it), watch a YouTube video, interact with people on my social media and possibly even post something myself. 
Basically, after I have wasted a good deal of time, I start to take things seriously. I turn off all the lights in the house, sit down and turn on the lamp on my desk. I open the document on my computer. I then proceed to stare at it.

After a few seconds pass, I'll open Spotify and pull up my James Newton Howard - Peter Pan 2003 soundtrack. It's fantastical, beautiful, sad, dark, and magical. I once read someone describe that soundtrack as being what love sounds like. I can't remember who said that, but I couldn't agree more.
It puts me exactly where I need to be. It puts me in a magical land of fairies and men. A land of beauty and darkness. A land of love and hate.

I then light my lavender scented candle.
Finally I am able to write. To read what I have already written and retype it, polishing it as I go.

I should like to boast that I am just about at the word count that I was at the end of NaNoWriMo 2016 (gosh, was it that long ago?). XD Not finished yet, but I'm keeping motivated and I am finally almost halfway through my manuscripts current (as in, non-edited version) word count.

I know I am not the only writer who struggles to go back over their work and edit. But let me say this: don't give up. Let's make our books the best they can be. We deserve that much after all the time we've put into them.

Yours truly,