Painting [and Drawing and Sculpting and Putting Broken Things Together to See What Happens] My Way Out of A Corner

This dark, confining, safe little corner. Oh, my. I’ve been hiding here since August, and am so ready to come back into the light.

So I’m clearing the deck. Or desk, to be more specific. There’s a bunch of old writing I want to get out there/get rid of, and I’ve been letting this one floppy beast leak out onto Wattpad, one chapter at a time. There’s a lot of old poems. I’ve been stuck. And I wanna get unstuck. That means digging myself out of all the piles of fiction and poetry that have no place in my life anymore, and either publishing it –ESPECIALLY because so much of it’s terrible, that’s a brave thing I’ve been scared to do: be terrible in public– or just organizing it into files. I know that if something doesn’t “spark joy” we should toss it, but in the past I’ve done that only to find out long after the fact that something either sparked joy which I hadn’t noticed, or while in the process of sending out boxes of things that SERIOUSLY didn’t cause joy, I accidentally mixed them up with boxes of beloved books and treasures. In case you haven’t guessed, for the past 8 years I’ve moved an awful lot. As far as long-abandoned WIPs, I either want to wake them back up and finish them, or decide that they no longer serve me as a writer, and likely not anyone else as a reader. And then it’s time to start something altogether new, and get back to present projects that I haven’t quite abandoned, but am neglecting. Poor things.

But this was supposed to be a post about visual artwork, not writing.

I’ve been posting artwork anywhere from several weeks to several years ago on this page for awhile. There’s more; lots more, too much more tucked away in boxes in various closets and basements…like the old writing. I had been thinking about throwing down something new here every day, but instead am going to revisit this book which helped me so much when I was in a similar emotional state several years ago.  Granted, I adjusted her method to make it work better for me, but the basic “sit for five minutes with some watercolors and don’t think about what youre painting” was a good start. I did it faithfully for thirty days.

What is not recommended by the BDB is going back and continuing to work on the “quickies” or –I think– share them with others. [If I’m wrong, I apologize because it’s been a long, long time since I read the book, and loaned out my copy to the Wrong Person so will never see it again. But I digress.] So I felt compelled to let those watercolors sit awhile, then return to them, and with a Sharpie marker and clipboard trace everything I found in that painting. There were lotsa magical creatures. Some spooky ones. Some beautiful ones. Plants. People. Food. Symbols. Body parts. New shapes. I was creating order out of chaos. That series would become the mad circus you’ve seen on this blog which looks a lot like stained glass windows.

So I’m going to try doing the 30 days of watercolor (and/or colored pastel on black paper; I’ve been enjoying that) and see where I go. Hoping it’s out of this corner. Wish me luck.

Also, here’s that finished Wattpad 1970s-1990s magical realism Gen-X friendly book I was talking about, earlier. PLEASE read the forward, so you don’t accidentally read the book if that laundry list of problematic subjects I list offends/triggers/outrages you. It’s not for everyone. But now it’s officially out of the desk, and I won’t have to think about the years of blood, sweat, tears, and heart I put into this thing:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/164719002-the-land-of-nod-a-novel

Hey, more Feb-March goals?

— Quit apologizing so darn much. Unless I’ve done something mean, even by accident.

— Try not to hedge, whether writing or speaking.

— Say no if/when I need to.

— Don’t take any guff from people who get angry for me not doing what they think I should when it goes against my own needs and values.

— Believe I deserve happiness and accept kindness.

— Trust in the universe that the sad story going on for so long will have a happy ending, or at least a peaceful transition into something more beautiful than my imagination can come up with.

— Ask for help when life is just too much. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

I’ll be back in a month unless/until something wicked cool happens between now and then. You are welcome to join me on this journey.

Sending love,

Rachel and vka

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Winter Cravings in Sweet Summer Sweat: Remember the Crockpot!*

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Something about the New Moon can turn even the not-so-clean gal into a neatfreak, and this Virgo is no exception. I’d like to say I “tucked my crockpot away until autumn,” but the fact is I forgot it existed until I was sorting through a mess of pots ‘n pans when cleaning the cabinets last night. And I never used it last fall. Actually, I kinda forgot I had one.

Okay, to my friends in warmer climates than Maine, it sounds wimpy when I say 95 degrees outside makes anything to eat that’s not cold look gross, at least if you’re cooking at home. And no matter how tasty your fancy feast, might be, you just don’t want to cave the house in with home cooking comforting sweet-stank. Tonight, I wanted the pasta ‘n red thing to cure my PMS, but didn’t want the house to turn all sauna-like.

And then, yes! I rediscovered the Crockpot. It ain’t just for Gilmore Girls. Nor just for “dump-cake,” a 3-years-ago phenomenon I’m still trying to figure out.

A couple cans of tomatoes, fresh basil, crushed garlic, carmelized onions, farmer’s market yellow bell pepper, whatever-the-eff I do with herbs, and some leftover wine into the pot. Fired ‘er up, took off for a foresty hike in “Hobbitland” –I’ll post pics at some point– and came home to a house that smelled like a cold-weather dinner, but no sweat.

So to speak.

This is starting to sound like one of those cooking blogs, but it’s not. Let’s talk about music and light.

If you’re my age (somewhere between 40 and 50), you know about multi-album sets of relaxing, romantic music. The cover photo was always an uber-sensual 1970s couple, enjoying a nice picnic, sporting what everyone always wore on private picnics back in the day. Like, a white Gunny-Sax dress for the girl, a leisure suit with jacket removed for the gent.The 5-set record pile was meant to be stacked onto an automated flip stereo (very high tech for the times), where the albums would magically drop themselves down, just at the right Riunite-On-Ice moment.

I’ve dug all over the internet for some examples, but found nothing. This romantic photo of 70s summer luvin’ could kind of work, but isn’t quite the droid I was looking for.

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My boyfriend is a musician, which means that 80% of the time, I cook for one, leave leftovers for two. He eats twice as much as me, and at midnight his cravings apparently kick in, because there’s nothing left in the morning.

When you make food THIS good, it’s a bummer to eat it alone. And to my fellow musicians’ girlfriends? You make a lot of good food, and eat by yourselves more than you’d like to admit. There’s the phone-binging, the writing, the yoga, the painting, the meditation, and Netflix shame before bed. But you probably had dinner by yourself, because on Sunday night hosting an evening get-together isn’t a likely thing. Everyone else is going to work tomorrow. When your 10 years into a relationship-something with a musician, there are just so many gigs that you want to go to, and Sunday night is just not something you can do.

Tonight, I decided to have the sensual Vinyl Five experience, doubled  with a burning candle via Youtube. So, like, you layer up your Youtube crap.

The food was good, but somehow the stack of fake candlelight and Bossa Nova 70s sensuality tune made it kind of fabulous.

So, in addition to food porn, here’s a link to what you, too can be enjoying when you rediscover your crockpot in the summer heat and eat some tasty winter food. Light a candle or do like I did and YouTube stacking.You’ll feel like you’re having a quiet evening in a cabin with Gordon Lightfoot.

And isn’t that what every girl wants? Gord doesn’t have that many Sunday night gigs, these days.

Kisses,

vka

* This is an old entry I dashed off sometime in July, so it’s out of date. Never posted because I thought it was weird, scattered, and a little sad.  I was totally right!