I have been diligently working on my novel, but it is not as satisfying as I thought it would be. The art just keeps calling to me. I feel like a kid who has to eat all their vegetables before they get to eat dessert. I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve been flirting with the idea of giving up on writing the novel for now, and returning to building my skills as an artist. I have more research I need to do for the novel, and I think it might be best to put the writing aside, and do the research while returning to art.
In keeping with that plan, I started back with the #EverAfter2018 course this week, with Ady Almanza’s class. It was so much fun, and not so much fun, and I learned so much. Instead of trying to do it all at once, like I usually do, I took my time, doing one step each day. Sometimes I had to make myself stop because I really wanted to keep going and not stop until I was finished, but I know it is important for me to break that habit now.
Another thing I realized, is that I am gaining confidence. Her hair in the painting did not turn out well, and normally I would have just started all over again or quit. This time, though, I set it aside for a while, and then came back to it. When I came back, I had an idea of what I could do to fix it. I decided to paint over the hair and the areas that were not working for me with black acrylic paint, and then added the highlights to the hair again. I really like the results the second time around, and I like that I came up with a solution to fix the painting that worked.
For this painting, I used Bombay Inks, acrylic paints, oil pastels, acrylic pen, and gloss glazing liquid.
Today began my journey back into the world of novel writing. It was no ordinary day, though. It was my son’s first day of eighth grade, which for so many reasons is such a huge milestone for him and for me. It was also a time to try to settle my nerves and return to writing the novel I’ve been working on for many, many, many years.
With my writing practice, I started out differently than I usually do, spending the first hour getting a scene in my head out on the page even though I have no idea where it might fit into the novel. I usually try to write chronologically, leading to a lot of stuckness. I then took a break for lunch (which is unusual for me), and decided to return to the beginning of the novel that had to be rewritten to fit the new direction I am taking the novel in. And the scenes…they just flowed, and all the fear I had felt while staring at the blank screen earlier had melted away. There were a few times where I had to redirect myself when I tried to go back to edit, or spent to much time trying to get the right word, telling myself gently that I could fix it later, to just get the idea itself down on the page. And it worked!
When I had completed my writing for the day, I received notice that my grandmother, who is experiencing late stage congestive heart failure had slipped into the world of non-responsiveness, the world between here and what is waiting for her. I am conflicted because I had a near death experience seven years ago, and I know the beauty that awaits her, but I also am grieving the loss of her in this physical world.
In the midst of a day with so many conflicting emotions, I turned to Karen Abend’s Journey of the HeArt session with the #spirituallivingretreat held by Elizabeth Foley. I’ve been slowing working my way through the sessions, and how fortuitous that Karen’s session was the next one on the schedule. Below is my #HeArt from the session that represents how I’m feeling today, and the words that remind me that letting go is the ultimate freedom.