Critique Matters

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Hello!

Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!

Deb


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.

Rebellious Introspection

In my journey as an artist and blogger, I have leaned toward the rebellious side, seeking out ways to make my work different, breaking the rules, in my own way. Finding content that inspires, yet challenges.

I’m persistent in everything I do, because I keep practicing. That’s the key to anything consistent.

People love to see that I’m not perfect, that they aren’t perfect. They love to see the real me. So, I give it to them.

As a blogger, I have been random with my posts. Rebellious again, in not following any rules. As a creative, I often find myself being real; putting it out there. Embracing imperfection comes naturally. So, I encourage you, do it with all your heart, do it every day. Be the best YOU, you can be.

 

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Blogging is hard work. I used to think it was as easy as pouring a cup of coffee in the morning.

It’s not.

It’s a lot of work. Disciplined, dedicated and creative come to mind. There are times I feel frustrated and not motivated. I often felt it was a struggle to find content, so I’d just put anything out there.

This blog is about to change. It’s a good change. With the reintroduction of my books, a new line of handmade products, and a blog that will be consistent.

I need a new challenge. One that is scary.

So, I ask you to join my tribe, my village. Embark on this journey with me. Take a seat, because it may be bumpy at times. A good bumpy.

Blogging as a creative can only be that.

{Hugs}

Deb

 

 

Make Art That Sells

Good Morning creative friends!

Today marks Day 1 of my Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers. Do you know of her?

Yes? Fantastic, isn’t she? *smiling-fan girl here*

No? Let me tell you about her.

She is an Illustration agency that represents the best artists. She  licenses and sells work for surface design. You know…those cute, whimsical pieces of fabric, stationary, etc, all over the market?

A couple of examples I found were:

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Zoe Ingram
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Land of Nod Queen Flannel Sheets

Super Cute stuff. It’s the coloring, patterning, and structuring of fiber and fabric. This is what I want to learn/do/create/sell.

My end goal is to be a surface designer. Did I say that out loud?! YES! Yes, I did!

So, why do I tell you all this? Because I’ve enrolled in Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp. Make Art That Sells. It is 5 months long. 5 large assignments with 5 mini assignments, and lots of fun things in between. I’m excited for this new adventure. I’ve been searching for that next thing to take me out of my comfort zone and into a zone that will test my skills, faith in myself as an artist, and give me the ability to create in another medium.

I found it!

I’m ready…

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My first Mini assignment. 1920’s Hairstyles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I hope you’ll stick with me through these next 5 months. I plan to blog about my journey (good and challenging).

CoLoR outside the lines and find YoUr HaPpY!

Deb

What Makes You Happy

whatevermakesyouhappy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is quite the profound statement. Kind of intense, yet insightful. I’d like to think that analyzing quotes can give us a place to start, or something to think on.

I often sit with my laptop, feet propped on my cute ottoman, in my office. Sometimes, it brings inspiration as I look out my window. Other times, it’s the simpleness of a quote.

In this case, it’s the quote:

I have the passion, the drive, the opportunity to make my life what I want. Some call it blessed. I’m definitely that! I feel that what makes you happy, makes you successful. In whatever medium you choose. In whichever way you’d like to interpret this.

In someone who delights in positive thinking, I love the idea of this saying and that someone thought enough of it to allow us to enjoy it.

Let’s describe happiness, because this is what they’re talking about, right?

As we are all human, I suspect you want to be happy. You want to do something that makes you happy. Happiness for me is sitting down to knit with friends, it’s teaching others the craft, it’s drawing circles, trees and flowers, then coloring them. It’s tearing up fabric (coming soon to my studio), it’s sewing on a special quilt, it’s designing wHaTeVeR. Happiness is spending time with my loved ones, reading a good book, or just sitting in my comfy spot with my thoughts.

Absorbing my Vitamin D for the day makes me happy. I know, it’s the little things sometimes. It doesn’t always have to be about work.

What makes me happy, may not be what makes you happy.

So, I say figure it out, friends, and find your happy!

~Deb

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Inspiring YOUR Creative Side

Hello February 2

First off, Happy February.

Ok, I’m a day late, but I’ve been snowed in with nothing but a warm fire, a hot cup of coffee and my knitting/micron pens/colored pencils and a sewing machine. I’m sure you understand.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. Inspiring A Creative Life is the theme to this blog. Why not, for the month of February, have a daily or every other day challenge. However you want to work it. I know, this will be for my own good as well as yours. It will keep us from being challenged with “what do I do now”. Yes, I have work stuff I could do, but this will be more fun, as well as, continue to feed OUR creative side.

I will provide a list below for the month of February. Yes, today counts.  You can choose to check off all 20 or pick the ones that speak to you. You probably noticed I didn’t do one for each day of the month.

That’s unrealistic. We all have busy lives, yet if you’re following along here on the blog, it’s because Creativity IS in your vocabulary.

Either way, you will be inspiring YOUR creative side. I’d love to see pics–which can be posted on Instagram by using #inspiringyourcreativeside OR here if you’re not an insta kind of girl or guy. Your comments below will be fun to read as well.

I want to be inspired by YOU!

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THIS is what inspire me to be me. What inspires You?

Keep in mind, we all interpret differently, so this may be your own idea of what each is. Your style is what’s important here.  This can be photography, drawing, knitting, crochet. It can be sewing or a coloring page. Maybe you doodle or create beautiful hand lettering. Whatever your interpretation is, is what makes it YOURs.

Here Goes…Let’s have funcreativity

 

February-Inspiring YOUR Creative Side

1: Flower

2: Texture

3: Playtime

4: Family

5: Home

6: Simplistic

7: Circle

8: Line

9: Happy

10: Morning

11: Hobby

12: You

13: Joy

14: Nature

15: Color

16: Mealtime

17: Inspire

18: Knit

19: Round

20: Heart

So, go be inspired, friends! Let’s share, chat, and be AWESOME this month. Show me what you can do.

CoLoR OuTsIdE ThE LiNeS and Find YOUR happy!

~Deb

Creative Journey

Hello Creative Friends!

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How do you describe a creative journey, or better yet, YOUR creative journey?

Creative journey can have many meanings. One which describes what it does, how it makes one feel, or how it helps one learn their strengths.

For me it’s inspiring others to create something that brings them joy, maybe relieves a bit of stress, or just allows them creative freedom. It’s what makes me happy. It’s what drives my day. If you’ve been following for awhile, or you’re new to my blog, you will have seen me go from writer to knitter to designer to author. I threw in some quilting, as that’s always a go-to for me. Then I discovered coloring and drawing. That led me down a path to learn more about micron pens and what else I could do with them. And oh, did I mention the beautiful lines you can draw with KOI markers?

I’ve been on a creative path for quite some time. It has allowed me to play with different mediums, bring new friends into my world, and even opened my eyes to a new form of art. I have so much to share in the way of this journey, yet I want to hold back a bit, as this may be my next WIP (book). There’s something in me that feels I need to bring my story to life. You may be interested, you may not. Either way, it will be a journey in itself.

A written journal of sorts, maybe blog style. I do love to write, so for me, this journey will be filled with pictures, projects and words of wisdom.

I found this and had to share. Oh, but look at the lettering. One of my favorite pasttimes is to figure out a different way to write a word. Hand Lettering how-to videos are my constant youtube obsession.

creative life

So what brings you joy? What drives your day? Your Creative Journey?

Let’s discuss…

Create a Creative Journey all your own and find your joy!

~Deb

Embracing my LoPsIdEd Thinking

I really thought my blogging days were over.

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I wanted to title this blog post, Embracing my Crazy, but, well…I didn’t want you all thinking I was crazy. *smiling*

 

This past year, I found myself reflecting on how my journey began…

as a knitter, then learning the ins and outs of being a designer, then starting a business and beginning the next phase of my life. It really was the next phase. I left a nursing career in 2008 and went blindly into a creative field.

A BIG step. Learning to think with the right side of my brain rather than my left. Though, both work together in my world.

I was excited to see what was next. Where my creativity would take me. Etsy was my first business venture. Online was a safe place where I could show the (virtual) world what I was selling. October 2009 was the grand opening of Dishcloth Diva Knits On. Who knew the name of my store would one day be the title of my book(s). 

Even though I was ready for a change, I was excited to see where it would take me next. “Oh, the places you’ll go“, I kept telling myself. Or maybe, hoping. I was filled with doubts of, can I do this, and I want to be like (this designer). Comparing yourself is so easy at times, yet it fills you with self doubt and , can I be as good as them, type of questions.

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In 2012, I felt in my heart it was time to produce a book, Dishcloth Diva, geared toward those beginner knitters that I was teaching to knit. Their enthusiasm was contagious and often left me feeling proud of them for accomplishing this craft. Then in 2013, just one year later, Dishcloth Diva Knits On was published.

This past summer, thoughts of closing my Etsy shop quickly surfaced. I was facing burnout, and it was happening quickly. I was suddenly faced with mental turmoil and how or if, I could turn this around. It continued to get worse.

And then, late summer, I was introduced to coloring. Adult Coloring Books. My husband, Mr. Engineer, ordered one from Amazon. I remember him coloring down in our studio with these crazy cool markers. Oh boy! I became instantly curious. Maybe I could do this and take my mind off of my burnout. That led to drawing, then art classes online. Coloring offers me a place to go where nothing but me and my pencils/pens live. The stress of the day melts away. Have you tried it? Oh, you SO should!

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So, I’m coming back. Blogging is my way of being creative. And I have so much more in me. It’s helped me to grow and love writing, though writing has always been a part of me. Etsy will remain open, though I’ve narrowed it down to a pattern shop only. A (creative) type of nonfiction is being developed.

I’ve made a long list of topics to cover. Some will be short. Some will be “are you ever going to stop writing?”.

My message (or theme/motto) for 2016 is #inspiringacreativelife. I hope you’ll jump on my wagon and # along with me. I’m on Instagram as well. Come follow. My days will be filled with fun pictures of all things creative to include: knitting, designing, coloring, drawing and even sewing. I love my life and everyday am thankful for what I have, for the gifts I receive, and the talents that live inside me.

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Take care and remember, being creative is NoT a hobby, it IS a way of LiFe. #inspiringacreativelife

~Deb

 

 

Inspiration from a quiet place

Nighttime is quiet, other than the low hum of the diffuser, which large amounts of steam escape through the pin-like hole on the top. Drops of eucalyptus oil swirl around inside.

I’m awake, too miserable to sleep. The coughs come quickly, yet profusely. I look across the room, dimly lit by the one lamp on the table. My reader sits awaiting that next page to turn. My knitting sits beside it.

It’s 3:00 am, the clock tells me. Far from time to get up. I twist my neck to the side, take in a deep breathe. Ouch. Will this night ever end? Eventually, I hope to sleep. In the meantime, it’s me, my thoughts and my iPad.

Ever have those sleepless nights where it’s your own worries, a cold, or other ailment that keeps you awake? It’s probably the best time to reflect. Take a moment to think of all the things that inspire you. Clearly, it’s the quiet house that makes your mind go crazy, your thoughts to run wild.

I rally around those thoughts, and wonder what next year wil look like for my design business. My writing. What inspiring thoughts can I have that will be effective in creating the inspiration for the (master) plan.

Do you know what I mean?

I can feel the cough subsiding, the essential oils doing their thing. My eyes are getting tired, but now my mind is moving.

2016 feels like the year to up the anti with my business. Create another facet to the ever popular Dishcloth Diva, me. Reaching into the vaults, or my computer archives and pulling out those patterns I love so much and recreating them. Repurposing them, if you will. Inspiring to be that next superstar in the fiber industry.

Oh wait! I am!

Or maybe writing that next novel, memoir, or industry type of book. Spinning tales of my yarn business, how/why it’s led me to where I am.

Sigh…it’s time to close the iPad, turn off the lamp and attempt to get some sleep. It feels like a good time to say, thanks for being my loyal fan, my reader, or however you have come to me. I appreciate you. I know we all have inspirations. For me, apparently, they come in the middle of the night.

Night all!

Deb

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AH-HA Moment

Those of us that are designers, know there is a difference between knitting flat and knitting in the round, right? Have you ever wanted to, but the instructions given were so lengthy you thought, oh…forget it.

Well, I had an ah-ha moment this morning. (It may not be new to you, but if it is…) I do know how to convert the WS rows to make them work in the round, but I have to be honest, when I was first learning the “trick”, it was very confusing.

What I did was take my trusty notepad, my pen and charted out one repeat of the flat pattern. 

Like this.

Scribbles are good! 

You see my knits and purls? What I did was scribble the flat pattern. With the RS rows on the right and WS rows on the left. That’s what happens when we’re knitting flat.

To convert, I put the WS (there are no WS rows in working in the round) rows on the right in parenthesis. Because working in the round, we are ALWAYS on the RS right, right? So you read the pattern from the right to left, right to left, right to left. Get it?

I’ve written it out for you to work in the round, as an example. 

This ah-ha moment will have me out buying graph paper. No more sitting for hours trying to convert that fantastic pattern that is worked flat into working in the round.

If it’s already been done, don’t tell me. I want to feel like the genius designer this morning. *smiling*

Clear as mud? Or clear as a bright sunny day? I hope for the latter…

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb