Tag Archives: Check-In

Artist’s Way: Week 12 Check-In

26 Jun

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 6/7

I had my eyes set on a clean sweep for the final week, but somehow along the line I ended up skipping on Friday. I must say, I’m no closer. If I was a pitcher in baseball, I would be pulled from the mound probably in the 6th inning. I need to work on my finishing techniques.

Night Pages 3/7

A rather weak effort considering this was the final weak. I found that it was easier to wake up determined, but given my emotional state after the death of my uncle, I typically fell apart into the evening hours.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

Sadly, I did not complete the artist date. With the funeral/wake, and a trip to Toronto for my second cousin’s 1st birthday party, there were certainly ample time for reflection. However, the artist date is rightfully strict in that it be time spent alone with your inner artist. I had planned to go on one for Sunday, but I’m learning, it’s best not to save stuff until the last possible moment. Get it done early!

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

My mind and soul were with my family this week. I basically shut down to all creative influences. I’m sure there were several knocking on my door, I just wasn’t open for business. I’ve realized, that especially during a dark time, I should turn to my imagination even more. Creativity can help guide us through difficult moments, and even lead to greater productivity.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

I was able to pull off 2 of the tasks, but I had already let the idea of completing all of them sink into my mind. Hello disappointment!

I didn’t bring the 12-week program to close like I had wanted too. I also didn’t allow myself to celebrate. I had convinced myself that I should have FINALLY sent one of my 60+ manuscripts on to an agent or publisher. Having not done that, I allowed my evil inner critic to look at the whole Artist’s Way as a failure. I can not do that. If anything, I should be proud. I stuck with something for 12 straight weeks, regardless if I was 2 weeks late in posting the results here! Accomplishment leads to success! Disappointment in small doses may be effective, but in this particular case it was just an excuse to not continue my craft.

So…..

I DID IT! AND I AM PROUD OF  MYSELF!

and so can you!!!!
Advertisements

Artist’s Way: Week 11 Check-In

25 Jun

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 6/7

Despite all of the distractions, it felt good to pull through and complete at least 6 out of the 7. I should be feeling disappointed that I skipped Sunday’s morning pages. but at this point, I need more encouragement than negativity.

Night Pages 5/7

I started the week slowly by skipping Monday and Tuesday, though finished strongly. Looking back, I

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

I’m so proud to answer… YES! I rocked the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College. I was only there for 90 minutes, so I felt rushed. But I loved the   current exhibit, “Artists Among Us II.” It’s filled with a range of members’ work. While I was unable to discover the artistic merit in some of the pieces, I enjoyed the showing as a whole. Specifically, 2 pieces deeply inspired 2 separate picture book ideas. One dealt with a dirty unicorn, and the other revolved around a girl who swims everywhere. Since I went later in the day, I was all alone in the gallery. Well, I shouldn’t say I was alone. I was surrounded by creativity. I LOVED IT! I need to start booking solo sessions at art museums.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

Most of the week was spent visiting my Uncle at Hospice. While I planned to turn my emotions into creative substance, I found that myself blocked. Instead, it was a chance to let inspiration. I was too focused on Tom to isolate myself into a productive state.

At HOSPICE, on the final day that my beloved Uncle Tom was semi-coherent, he made a request. “Jokes!” It took us a few minutes to realize what he was saying, but basically I got the message. He knew his time was up, and all he wanted to do was laugh. Even if his facial muscles were too weak to express it, we made sure to make him laugh inside. It made me understand that people expect me to be imaginative, goofy, and funny. By not supplying laughs, I’m letting people down. I can’t parade around like I do, and not tell a few jokes, even when death is knocking. I respect my Uncle so much, and him calling on me for entertainment is empowering.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

What was extremely significant was that in my 11th week, I only completed 1 task. BOOOOOO!!! “Crave, go to your room. And write! You owe it to yourself to be more consistently creative!”
With one week left, I need to go out in style! Though, a part of me still has a “get out of jail free card” in my pocket. With my Uncle’s state, and the recent breakup with my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, I know I may not have it in me. I do believe that I will complete Week 12, I guess I lack the confidence to feel that I will accomplish more.

Artist’s Way: Week 10 Check-In

28 May

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 6/7 Compared to last week I was able to rebound. There were several mornings I just didn’t feel like it, but I pressed forward. I won’t be upset if my drive is lessoning, but I will rather be proud of myself if I press forward.

Night Pages: 5/7 For a few of the nights I was exhausted and almost skipped the night pages together, but I fought through the night to complete them. I need to start these much earlier. Perhaps around 10pm, this way I can create a more styled review of the day. I don’t want to look back at just a sloppy mess of paragraphs.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

Yes Sir/Ma’am! My dearest uncle has been fighting the end stages of cancer, and also my beloved lady of more than two years decided it was best to part ways for the moment. Consequently, it’s been an emotional time for my family and I. In order to escape and gather my thoughts, I found a window of time and drove across the border to Niagara Falls, Canada. I may claim to be “Crave the Coasterer,” but it doesn’t mean I’ve conquered every roller coaster. There is a small marine theme park just a 30 minute drive from my home town, that I’ve surprisingly never been to. I decided to finally head over there. Sadly, there wasn’t much creativity to take in. The heat and long walks took their toll. But I was able to confront my thoughts and emotional pain from the past week.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

Just like last week, if there was any synchronicity, I was blind to it. I must open my eyes to possibilities and start to believe in myself again. I’ve lost my way, my artist’s way.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

Sadly, none of the tasks were completed. I didn’t even read the chapter to Thursday. I need to make it a priority to read it immediately on Monday. My family needs me right now, and it’s more important to spend time with them. However, if they are able to still head to work in the morning, I can still enter my creative workspace.


Artist’s Way: Week 9 Check-In

22 May

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 3/7 I allowed the stress surrounding the GRE and a family trip to Atlanta to overcome my devotion to the morning pages. I’d like to think it’s just the circumstance, but I’m afraid my mind/body/soul was ready to surrender and just used these events as an excuse.

Night Pages: 3/7 They were sloppy this week and void of drawings or creative spins.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

I’d like to be able to count taking the GRE as well as my trip to Atlanta as an artist date, but it simply wasn’t. Sadly, I have no artist’s date to report. I can see why Julia Cameron urges us to do the Artist’s Date alone. When you’re with others, you  naturally suppress the creative intake process. You’re too busy reacting to them that you forget to pay attention to the minute details around you.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

Sadly no. If there was synchronicity, I closed my eyes to it. I’m very disappointed with myself this week.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

There was only significance to my de-covery. I was able to complete one of the tasks, but I’m just so upset with myself for taking the obvious excuses to skip feeding my creative self. I’m hungry and need to produce! This was by far my worst outing to date.

Artist’s Way: Week 8 Check-In

14 May

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 6/7

I’m sad to report that I fell short this week and only completed my morning pages 6 out of the 7 days. I neglected to complete them on Saturday morning. I had barely slept for a few hours dealing with a personal crisis of someone dear to me. By time I finally woke up around 11:00am, I knew the clock was ticking to take full advantage of the stash of free comics available at the local comic stores, so I showered and head out the door. Later in the afternoon when things slowed down, I felt I could do my morning pages then, but for the first time I realized that was cheating. It wasn’t fair, and I had to take a loss. I’m ok with it. Sometimes you have to let yourself carry a wound to remind you the dedication it takes to be consistent.

Night Pages 7/7

I’m happy that I was able to hit the night pages out of the park. Looking back I see a great deal of creativity in the writing, a few sketches, and more substance. I did cheat a bit on Sunday as I wrote them in the early evening so I could wrap up the week early and get a head start on next week which includes a dreaded GRE test, and a nice trip down to Atlanta, Georgia to spend time with family and yes sneak in a few coaster rides while I’m there.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

My artist date was something we can only do once a year, and that’s if you happen to be in America and aren’t working that day. In its 11th year, Free Comic Book Day occurs on the 1st Saturday of May and is a celebration of comic books. The public is invited to local comic book shops and to walk with 100% free comic books. This is a way for comic book companies and shop owners to thank repeated customers and to encourage kids and adults to enter the shop for the first time and get into comic books. The books are from the major publishers DC, Marvel, Image and also from smaller independents. While the books are free for the public, each shop has to pay for each book (usually less than 50 cents). It’s not just a grab and go event, it’s more like an indoor BBQ. Comic Fans adorned in costumes and hero laden tees all stand around snacking on pizza or hot dogs talking about their favorite characters and stories. I just started getting into comics a few weeks ago and I felt welcomed into this exotic paper rich world. I went to 4 shops in the Buffalo, NY area, and in all came home with 29 FREE comic books. I ended up buying 2 comic books, mostly because I felt guilty and wanted to give back in a small way to the generous shops. The winner by a long shot was Seeley & Kane’s on Elmwood Avenue. They allowed every customer to grab one of each comic. I didn’t arrive until after 1pm, but even then I was able to grab 19 comics. This shop has my respect and whenever I purchase a comic from a physical store, they will have my business. Halley’s Comics was nice enough to offer 5 comics, and I could tell this was a small operation, so I appreciated their kindness. Any store has to be commended for giving away free comics, with that said Queen City gave away 3 comics, and Don’s Atomic Comics which allowed 2. In between each shop, I blasted powerful beats on a custom mixed CD and snacked wherever I pleased. I downed a DQ cherry dipped vanilla cone ( a personal favorite), a cheeseburger, mac and cheese, and even my first Cherry Coke in over 2 years.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

One of the items I’ve placed in my journal was the batmobile from the 1966 TV Show… it’s one of those “dream purchases.” Well… today I just looked at flier for the Niagara Falls Comic Con, and that very batmobile is rolling into the area on June 9th. Will I be able to buy/steal it. No, but this is no coincidence. The universe is putting me closer to something I desire. It’s only a matter of time, before I connect with it.

Also another name of interest, Dustin Diamond, Screech from Saved by the Bell will be in town as well. It’s almost as if the universe is throwing many wrestling related stars into the area just so I can interview them for RingWriters.com or for future articles.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

Creatively, this week was empty. Nothing was created, though I’ve been taking in. It’s been an uneventful week, though it’s mostly due to horrible sleeping patterns, and ample time spent studying for the GRE, and visiting my uncle in the hospital, who I wish a speedy and healthy recovery. I did get a nice bike ride in this week, was able to watch two new movies, one at the midnight premiere of the Avengers and one at home with Svengoolie presenting the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Svengoolie continues the time honored of tradition of low budget horror hosts, and I thought it was about time I spied this classic horror movie. The comic book obsession continues as I read four different graphic novels (in this case, a graphic novel is a compilation of typically 6-9 individual comic books).

I rebounded with the tasks this week and completed 6 out of 10. Thankfully, they were all written tasks. These exercises struck the heart and truly made me visualize my now and later!

That’s it for now. I do realize I need to step up the productivity game. I feel it’s happening with the coming of summer and my ability to now concretely map out my goals. Cheers imaginators!

Artist’s Way: Week 7 Check-In

7 May

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Morning Pages: 7/7

It felt good to have to begin a new journal, asthe former was full. That was a journal I didn’t know what to use it for and I thought it was too big to fill, and now just six weeks later, every single page is breathing with pure stream of consciousness. It feels good.

Night pages: 6/7

I didn’t feel the connection with the night pages this past week. I wrote them too early or too late… and often just used them to schedule the next day. I need to tap into my inner conscious and release my emotions so I can sleep peacefully.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

Given my lack of a date last week, my inner artist needed a romantic experience, and pronto. I’ve grew up in Buffalo and have spent many a summer there, but have never visited the Botanical Gardens, until Tuesday morning. The exterior is a gorgeous array of glass domed structures. The inside looks rather worn; probably the victim of state budget cuts. Though nonetheless, a leisurely stroll, oodles of photos, and a convenient nap on a bench allowed me to spend my 2 hours in style. The motivation for the trip was to get “inspired” for writing a picture book set in a Grandmother’s garden. I wasn’t able to immediately come away with more ideas, but they will come. I did however, use my down time on the  bench to sketch out a set of “Imagicises” themed to plants.

For those who aren’t aware, I have an addiction. “Hello my name is Crave, and I’m a roller coaster-holic.” CraveCoasters tells the story. Well, money is tight right now, specifically speaking I’m sitting on a small hill of cash, but not currently bringing any in. Consequently, I was on the fence about getting a season pass to Canada’s Wonderland (a massive 16 coaster strong park north of Toronto) so that I could take advantage of the free Sneak Preview Night on Friday, April 27th and be one of the first people on the planet to ride Leviathan, the park’s new 306 foot tall scream machine. The first task this week advocated taking the mantra “Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.” So I went, and because of it I was able to create 4 new posts at CraveCoasters which generated over 1,400 hits since then. One was more like a true article than just an opinionated blog entry, which is productive for me sine I need to develop my journalistic skills. It may not further my writing career, but as I’m learning in Week 8, every step counts. And a little ego boost… it never hurts!

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

Synchronicity flowed through the night at Canada’s Wonderland. By chance I met Ken Jones, a fellow coaster enthusiast and president of the Amusement Park Historical Association of Niagara Falls. His words helped add substance to my article about opening night, and it’s always a pleasure to meet someone who’s also actively pursuing their interests. I also bumped into a 15 year avid coaster efficinado. I was envious of his upbringing for his father purely supports his love of coasters by buying a $250 plus dollar seat as part of an auction to be one of the first to ride, he’s also taken him to IAAPA (define it)

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

I’ve been trying to watch movies that I’ve neglected to see for years. Two weeks ago for the first time I saw Groundhog Day, and this past week I finally watched Pay it Forward which is odd considering I’ve owned the DVD for 6 years. These two films in particular are wonder workers. They not entertain me for a couple of hours, but they speak to my soul. And well… I’m ready to listen. Anyone know some other “powerful” films I should spy?

I slacked off once again in the task department, but managed to just barely pull off the recommended 5 out of 10. I still can’t believe I’m more than half way through. Twelve weeks seemed like a long commitment, but in actuality it’s just a short trip.

My lady has received her copy of the Artist’s Way, and my best friend will start venturing into the course this week. I encourage this course/book to anyone who feels they have a gift and want to share it creatively with the world.

Artist’s Way: Week 6 Check-In

30 Apr

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

I may not have penned the morning pages precisely when my personal sun rose, but in the end I penned my way to 100% completion. Though when the sun sailed away, the morning’s success did not echo in the night. I only penned 5 of my 7 night pages. I could easily cop out and remark how the Night Pages were my own creation and strictly optional. I won’t do that. I made a conscious to decision to up the ante with the night pages, and I intend to honor that decision.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

Somewhere inside me a little artist is crying out their lonely heart. Their significant and mortal host stood them up. I went into this vowing to never fall short and already I believe this is the second week I’ve failed to go on a proper artist’s date. Statistically speaking that’s a 66% completion rate. Though, there’s no reason for blood shed.  l love my little artist, and I will romance the tears out of him! In the end, 4 artist’s date in the past 6 weeks is more than I would have done without the Artist’s Way.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

I re-discovered a hilarious comic trip, the Perry Bible Fellowship, in book anthology form. The interview in the back was motivational. As the creator’s comments on the creative process echoed the core message of the Artist’s Way.

I was able to pen a new Imagicise. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I added one. I also edited the page on CraveWriting.com. I know these prompts could be bundled into a publishable book. More so than that, I want to be able to give writers more than just a “writing to write” prompt book. The “imagicise” is all about honing skills while using interesting prompts. You don’t have to dig into your soul or your history for these prompts, you do have to exercise your imagination!

On Friday, April 20th and just before 5:00PM, I penned my first new picture book draft in over a year! Yay! It’s called “Outside the Box,” and that’s all you need to know about that! 🙂

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

I’ve had some personal issues with someone I care deeply about and I let our struggles take a toll on my creative output this week. If I had only alloted more time for a creative escape, I maybe would have been stronger to deal with the pressing issues. To date, this was my poorest effort for the tasks, and only 3 were completed. Sending 5 postcards to people you would love to hear from was an empowering experience. While in Japan, I was an apprentice to a master calligrapher and potter. The ever kind Ukei Sensei would invite me into his house and studio each Wednesday for a lesson in Japanese pottery followed by an assortment of his handmade delicacies and spirits. I am blessed to have been on the receiving end of such a beautiful mentorship from a true renaissance man. Though it’s been 9 months since I spoke to him. This task allowed me to break the silent with a postcard. I can’t let the language barrier and the pacific ocean get in the way of communicating and praising one of the greatest human beings I have or will ever encountered. I will continue the correspondence and hope to send him precious American goods as a continued token of my appreciation. The second task I did at the last minute by baking six little berry muffins. Who I am a kidding, I poured the contents of a bag into a bowl and threw in some water. A quick poor into paper cups and that task was complete. The third task told us to accept freebies. When it comes to money, I’m an independent soul. While I’ve been spoiled since birth by my parents, I rarely accept financial kindness from others. If I do, I make sure to immediately repay them. I hadn’t thought much about this tasks but on Saturday while celebrating a friend’s birthday I repeatedly denied requests from others to buy me a drink. When the time came I decided to get myself a drink, of course I offered to buy a around. They were smart enough to accept. In the end, I should have accepted their kindness, especially since I was eager to “pay it forward” with or without compensation. So when Sunday morning rolled and one of the most genuine people I have ever met decided to treat her 31 year old son like he was 7 on a shopping trip, I gladly accept. Ten articles of clothing later, I felt revived and looking rather handsome (in my own unique way) after a troubling week. Mother’s Day is approaching, and I must return the favor. But this time I won’t feel guilty for accepting her generosity. For any reading this who is accustumed to me turning down freebies, be careful, because I’m ready to say “Yes!”

Artist’s Way: Week 5 Check-In

23 Apr

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

I’m happy to report the morning pages are at 100% capacity for the week. I felt I did too much planning, so towards the end I allowed myself to let loose the anger, and boy did it flow, like blood oozing from a severed head. I haven’t been as loyal to the “start as soon as you wake up creed.” It’s difficult when you’ve got your lady Skyping you across an ocean. I’d rather see her smile before I get to it. Regardless, they were penned, and allowed me to let loose my feelings and opinions. I’ve been rocking a “Crave” engraved leather bound journal gifted to me from my brother-in-law, but triumphantly/sadly it’s almost filled up. The search is on for a worthy attached pile of papers to serve as the sequel Morning Pages journal.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

This week I’m happy to report I got back on the “dating” track. I rocked my Zoo Membership, bypassing the 45 minute Easter break line, and brought some unexpected friends. An artist date is supposed to be a date with you and your inner artist, but I checked Mr. Artist and he didn’t mind if I brought along a collection of forgotten texts. Basically I bundled up all the books I haven’t gotten to yet but was itching to start. I’m sure the books I’m currently reading felt I was cheating, but hey I’ve got a lot of love, why not share! This was quite the effective exercise! While a hundred little jaws dropped as one of the polar bears drank from the other’s crotch, I politely sat on a bench leafing through an English manga (Japanese comic book), Return to Labyrinth  based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. I didn’t realize how fast of a read comics were. Plus the illustrations always provide inspiration. Even more so, comics have a serious space limitation, so if a picture book writer wants to learn how to keep it “brief” and to explore story development through dialogue, it’s time to hit up your local comic book store. Then when it was feeding time for the gorillas, I feasted on Kwaidan, Lafcadio Hearn‘s classic collection of Japanese ghost stories. While living in Japan, it was always on my to-do list. As chance (or the universe, if you read the Artist’s Way) would have it, I stumbled upon a beautifully illustrated version for only one easy payment of $4.99. I couldn’t pass it up. The zoo was filled with familial spring breakers, so my eyes took advantage and people watched for inspiration. As a childless children’s book writer, it’s important to take advantage of situations filled with energetic, expressive children. In regards to the zoo, I was able to watch how they reacted to the animals and their habitats. What did they generally ask of each animal? What did they already know? And what poison were their parents feeding them? “Hey hunny, look at the cheetah!” Excuse me ma’am, do you mind not being so ignorant about the ocelot, South America’s junior jaguar. Thank you. But I did go to the zoo with a purpose, so basking under nature’s heat lamp, I relaxed on a bench opposite a patroling one-horned Indian Rhinoceros to enter the world of the Carousel. As an avid amusement park enthusiast, I’m eager to learn everything I can about the history of the industry. This colorful collection of anecdotes, information and photographs brilliantly educates the reader on the merry-go-round. My ulterior motive for reading it is I happen to be involved with a woman who is so passionate about the carousel, I figured I should read up and share the passion with her. Overall, this was such a productive artist’s date, that as soon as the summer temperatures arrive, I’ll do this on a bi-weekly basis. It’s important to mingle at the local captive watering hole, observe the kiddies, and most of all not to ignore books (they’re very impatient!)).

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

My synchronicity this week dealt with a hobby of the musical persuasion. I’ve owned a guitar for 11 years. In that time, I’ve probably strummed no more than 11 hours. I’ve taken 2 classes, and bowed out both times prematurely. I want to make music, but for some reason the guitar doesn’t hit my chord. The drums however have always been my pie in the sky. I suppose the only thing keeping me from beating away is the neighbor factor. “Keep it down!” “What’s with all the racket!” When I move to Taiwan, I’m hoping to find sound proof walls. If I don’t, I know my calling. Because when I checked one of the bucket list this week by seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform live in my native Buffalo, NY, it was actually the drummer Max Weinberg’s birthday. The funny thing is back in college when I saw U2 in Providence Rhode Island, it was also the drummer’s birthday. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not, this is a simply and silly sign from the universe. On your next birthday, treat yourself to a drumset! Consider it bucket listed under Urgent!

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

My drawing has taken off! I’m finding myself more comfortable and eager to sketch. In the Night Pages, I doodled on 4 of the 7 pages. In regards to the Night Pages, I allowed myself to treacherous yet effective behavior. For two of the night pages, I actually went to bed without doing them, though took care of them the next day while trying to stay in the frame of mind from the previous night.

This week was another successful one in regards to the task as I completed 8 of them. Week 5 has a host of quirky writing exercises examining what we want from life. I took the tasks seriously and as instructed gathered images correlating with these desires. I posted some on Pinterest, and kept the rest private as suggested by my girlfriend in order to stay confident about them in case others unleash their criticism and negativity. It’s important to protect your inner artist. After all, they are just a child and as they grow, you must guard them from all foreseeable danger.

Significance occurred with productivity. I dusted off my father’s bicycle and rode it across town to the library where I spent hours each day tackling formiddable GRE vocabulary. But I didn’t neglect my artist pursuits. As while at Barnes and Noble, I researched possible publications for my “Wrestling Dad” article on the double-life of famed “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer.

My girlfriend can tell how moved I am by the “Artist’s Way” that she abandoned the hints and flat out demanded (politely) that I purchase a copy of her own. Which I gladly did. That now have 2 other mortals, who I have urged to begin re-discovering their inner artist.

My love for comic books is growing. I ended most nights this week by reading recent issues of DC Comic’s Justice League. It took 31 years to grow a fascination and appreciation with actual comic books as oppose to their cartoon and cinematic spinoffs. In fact, I’m eying up issue #1 of Deadman. As soon as this sentence adds an exclamation point, it’s all mine!

Happy discovering imaginators!

Artist’s Way: Week 4 Check-In

15 Apr

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Is there any doubt? EVERY SINGLE DAY! Sir/Ma’am Yes Sir/Ma’am! Of course, for a couple of the days I may not have penned them when I first woke up, they were completed. I’m starting to relax in the morning pages, and have lost a great deal of anger. Though I’m not lazilly filling the page, I’m also looking within and above for answers. While last week I was able to quickly write away, this week it took much longer. This probably has something to do with me having to seek out emotions to draw upon and that I wrote most of them while in the car.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

NO. I could look at some of the things I did this week and pass them off as an artist date, but I won’t lie. I did not complete my artist date this week. I should have and had planned to make my debut visit to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Part of the problem is I place perhaps so much importance on the artist date, that I feel I must trek to some place entirely new or undertake something epic. I need to be comfortable with biking to a local park and having a picnic under the canopy of chirping birds, or even the bicycling itself, permitting I traverse landscapes rich with nature or man-made creations. Perhaps it’s time to draw up an artist date menu, for I have seven opportunities left, and I desire to take advantage of all of them.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

I’m experiencing thought block trying to look back. Though, there were definitely moments that pointed me in the right direction. I sought out to interview famed professional wrestler Tommy Dreamer for an article portraying the “wrestling Dad.” Not only was I able to score the interview, but I ended up adding an impromptu interview with the fascinating “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle. Instead of merely plugging his profile into RingWriters.com, I feel his story has potential to be on display in a number of local Toledo, Ohio print or online publications.

Thankfully my supportive friend and lady Jaewon was able to point out that I hadn’t edited any picture books this week. I appreciate the reminders, as they push me to stay on the right path without getting too sidetracked.

One major aspect of synchronicity deals with an old high school acquaintance who is now a writer and actively pursues the creative life. He contacted me about getting together to work on some 2-minute shorts, something I look forward too.

I’m also strangely being led into a path of comics and graphic novels. There’s a major convention coming up in Toronto, Canada, and that same friend is working on a comic book. I also accidentally discovered some books on how to draw/create your own comics at the local library. Something is afoot. I’d be a fool not to listen to what God/the universe is planning for me. At least this gives me a “get out of guilt pass” when I neglect creative work to watch episodes of the Young Justice animated series.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

Peace of mind. I generally feel more confident.

Also, I find myself standing up for my creative life on several occasions. I won’t put myself down by using the word “aspiring.” On the same hand, I don’t talk about creative pursuits with those who don’t warmly support it. I’m learning not to cry out for support, and rather look to myself and the universe for it. A plan will unfold, if it hasn’t already.

BONUS:

Overall, I wasn’t fully dedicated to the Artist’s Way this week, but I feel I improved as an artist. In regards to the Night Pages, I successfully completed all seven, but I did cheat one day as I penned it the next morning. I also slacked off on the tasks only completing 4 of the available 10. Although Julia Cameroon says we only need to aim for about half, I place higher standards on myself. Though, as part of my recovery, I’m not going to beat myself up or feel I have to make up for it. I will just be aware of the time in each day and in relation to the week to successfully complete the tasks in a meaningful way. I also can be blamed for having high expectations for Week 4. I was floored by the connection Cameroon’s words made in Week 3. Thus I quickly devoured the tasks. Week 4, didn’t exactly resonate with me. I was also reluctant to recite my “Artist’s Prayer” everyday. I need to keep pushing though and letting go of any hesitation and fear. I’m looking forward to Week 5, but almost fear that the end will come. A part of me wants this 12 week course to expand by an additional 40. I could always use the other books in her series, or create my own. (I’m in favor of the latter.)

Thanks for reading imaginators. All the best and more to you on your artist journeys.

Artist’s Way: Week 3 Check-In

9 Apr

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

Once again, this proud imaginator is proud to announce that he rocked through all 7 days of the morning pages! I was quite the loyal servant to the page, both on time and with the release of emotion. I’ve been able to cut down my writing time to 18 minutes. Though I still find my writing endurance fading midway through the second page, I hope to see that endurance increase in future weeks. I don’t see the immediate effects of these morning pages, but I believe in them, and I especially boast a proud smile when I place the bookmark in the journal. I’ve only made made it through 25% of the course, and more than half of the journal is full with exactly 63 pages penned.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

This week was a double-header all in the name of science! Sadly, these dates failed to blind me with science. Though, I don’t regret either of them. Both of the dates were intended as “inspiration trips” much like what you can see on Syfy’s Monster Man show, where the artist working on a project goes somewhere to further enlighten the process of that particular project. For me, I’m eager to send out a picture book based on stars, the galaxy kind. Consequently, on Friday I paid a visit to the Buffalo Museum of Science. It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve been there, and it’s certainly seen better days. Regardless, I made the best of it. Though I wasn’t “inspired” by the space area, I was able to take a lot of information from the “body/health” exhibit. As a bonus, on my way out I ran into my cousin’s cousin and her family and was able to enjoy a hot cup of talk and watch her adorable daughters play in the children’s room. The second artist date was on Saturday at Buffalo State College’s Insert-Name-Here-That-I-Forgot Planetarium. I made a reservation for one (technically two, since my “artist self” came along as well), and slouched my way into the snug 60 seat theatre of the stars. I ABHORED (GRE word bonus!) the presentation, as it basically just a student made power point slideshow projected on the globe ceiling screen. It was only at the very end, that the staff darkened the room and treated us to a 30 second look at the twinkling skylight. I scored a 15 minute nap, but more importantly grabbed some needed details about planetariums for my story and eavesdropped on everyday children’s conversations which are always helpful for a kidlit author. While my muse didn’t meet me there, I was happy to break out of the comfort zone a bit and re-visit a childhood relic and travel to someplace for the first time.

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

For those who aren’t aware, Julia Cameroon describes synchronicity as “lucky breaks,” which are anything but lucky and rather the doing of the universe to help us realize our creative goals. Now if I had won the $640 million dollar mega-million jackpot, I would say that I had some amazing synchronicity this week. That didn’t happen, but I can’t ignore the little but important things that did. A lead for a SUPER COOL CAN’T WAIT TO QUERY IT TO MAGAZINE STORIES contacted me with her phone number, I just have to pick up that phone now and get permission for an interview. If successful, I have high hopes for this feature piece. The universe did make me aware of a huge comic book convention in Toronto, occurring in just two weeks, which could be helpful. I usually have more syncrhonicity, but I’m not alarmed by this week’s lack of or my inability to realize them. There will be more in the future, I am certain of it.

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

While I won’t admit to any profound changes in my creative life, I believe progress is already showing. During Week 3, I revised two of my picture books, one of which I feel is nearing completion and just a final edit away from sending to a prospective publisher. I have noticed how my productivity in other changes has been inconsistent. Perhaps this is because I don’t deem them as significant. However, studying for the GRE at this time is of dire importance and I hope I can rally my time to pursue an honored score. In addition, I spent more time at the library and at Barnes and Noble then in recent week, which shows I am actively removing myself from idleness to be more productive.

BONUS:

In regards to the Night Pages, I’m sad to report that for the second straight week I missed one of the days. It occurred on Monday, the first day. In regards to blog posts, I fell one short, as I only posted once this week for CraveCoasters. Happily, I was able to post my desired two posts for both CraveWriting and RingWriters. I’m delightfully shocked to see how RingWriters receives more hits per day than CraveCoasters and CraveWriting. On another avenue of creativity my dedication to learning how to draw is taking off. I began using a wonderful book called Face Off, geared towards developing one’s caricature drawing skills. As commanded by the author, I drew my required random 10 caricature sketches for both Saturday and Sunday. I also began a new tradition by returning to the Queen City Comic Book Store and purchasing my allotted comic book for the week. While I’m hungry for more, this one comic per week dosage serves as a wonderful treat for the week, while not costing a lot nor consuming too much time. Well, I did cheat when I ordered “Return to Labyrinth: Volume 1,” an English manga comic book based on Jim Henson’s classic film, and one of my favorites, starring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly and a host of adorably creepy muppets. I was also tempted to drive back to the comic store several times this week. And I almost purchased the bond Brightest Day Green Arrow comic book volume. This amazes me since I’ve only read two comic books in my entire life. In the past two weeks, I’ve read three. I’m happy to embrace this new obsession, permitting I can prevent it from getting out of hand. Also, reading comic books certainly aids my eye for art, something I welcome.

In a triumphant feat, I completed 8 of the 10 tasks! Julia Cameroon recommends we tackle just five, but I was highly motivated and went beyond what was asked of me, and most of them were completed early in the week. My refusal to procrastinate should make me proud, and I think I need to celebrate… maybe I can buy two comic books this week? 🙂