Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Fox for Judi Fox

digitally altered painting
original painting 5 x 7 in water color and sparkly pens
for Judi Fox
by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Noah helped Frankie write words on some paper

Noah helped Frankie write words on some paper
Invitations to come to their party and caper
Watercolor and gouache on wc Moleskine
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
Click image to view larger
This is my latest painting (illustration) and is for one of the children's books I am working on, Frankie and Noah have a Party.  It is done in Andrea's Moleskine, Round 4, Pass 2 in my Moleskine Exchange group.  It is all watercolor except the blue background, which is gouache, on Moleskine watercolor paper.

Here is the text for this page:

Frankie helped Noah write on some paper                    
Invitations to come to a party and caper 
They’d fill up balloons with helium vapor
If they filled up enough it would lift up a tapir   
The pigeons and crows and the owls and wrens
carried the invites to their animal friends. (by me, of course)

The picture is of my grandson Frankie, who is three years old, and the finished book will be for him.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Half a Black Widow

Black Widow collab, 1st half,
for Mike in Andrea's
click image to view larger
This is my collaboration for Mike in Andrea's Moleskine, half a black widow spider.

Fun and Me-time

Two cards I made this morning for a friend
(They are very tiny)
I love making cards.

Fun (Time for me)

One of my recent goals in the goal track was to think about fun, so my challenge today was to do that.

Here are some of the things are think are fun:

Writing (when I want to),
Writing poems
Writing stories
Working on a novella or novel
(I often really enjoy it, but sometimes, it seems too much like work (a chore) to be called fun)
Painting, drawing, doing art
Reading a good book
Walking in nature (when the conditions aren’t too stressful—like, no ice!)
Chatting with my husband or a friend
Eating and/or walking with my husband or a friend
Shamanic Journeying
Visiting new places/travel
Taking pictures/
Working on Photoshop
Making gift cards (if I don’t do too many at once—then it seems like work and not fun!)
Listening to live music
Listening to good music on the radio

I do believe that balancing fun and relaxation with work and accomplishments is healthy and good.  Too much of either is not so good.  I am lucky that some of my work is also fun.

Scheduling fun seems like a chore and not much fun.

I hereby schedule myself to go to a DSS (Detroit Stereographic Society) meeting Wednesday IF the weather is appropriate to drive all that way, and I schedule myself the time to prepare some entries for the competition TODAY and to do some painting after dinner Monday night (or if there turns out to be a conflict, the first available evening.)

Too much scheduling of ANYTHING is not fun for me (because then I feel pressured and overwhelmed.)

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Angle of Repose

Shoveling snow
with no place to put it.
Photo by Keith Taitt
click to view larger.

I've been studying the angle of repose.

That's the angle at which a pile of any material becomes too steep to stay piled. In my case, the material is snow.  We have an issue of lack of space. Between the street and the sidewalk and between the edge of the driveway and the house next door, no more snow can be piled. The angle of repose is now so steep that any new snow added slides back into the driveway, sidewalk or road.  We have to find somewhere else to put the snow.  Each shovelful must be carried to some spot where the piles are not so tall.  

The driveway runs through a narrow space between two houses.
I had my last "official" day of goal-setting and posted about it here.  I am probably not done with the process yet (if I ever will be).

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Just Write for Thursday February 6, 2014

White Wolf
This is a card I made for ML
when she was over for dinner.
Click image to view larger.
Made with glitter pens from Staples.

I do "Just Writing" nearly every day and have been doing it for years and years. It clears the pipelines for my "work" writing, my "real" writing.  I do not have a shortage of just writing, I just have a shortage of time to post it.

            I am in Brian Powers waiting room at 1:00 PM Thursday, February 6, 2014.  Last time I was writing on the Psion, I think I was in the middle of writing a story above, but it is so dim in here that I can't see where I left off and since it's been way too cold and icy to do any writing, it's been too long to remember where I was when I left off.  I think I had just arrived at the lean-to with Michael, Roberta and Sasha on the night we camped out at 40 below.
            Is there such a thing as intangible pain?  Not imaginary pain—it’s somehow very real.  Not phantom limb pain, which is something else entirely.  Not psychosomatic pain, but something else entirely.  I just can't think what to call it. But I have it.  It fills me, reaching into every part of my body, mind and soul.
            The day started off fairly well.  I'd been abstinent on my diet for a number of days, finally.  I hadn't eaten any bad food and had slept relatively well for me.  I felt cheerful and more energetic that usual and very hopeful about recovery from insomnia and fibromyalgia pain.  I thought that if I ate right I'd sleep better and feel better.  But I don't, always.  Sometimes, I feel worse.
            Now I am at CVS waiting for a prescription that was called in hours ago.  I left two bags on the seat of the car, thinking I'd just be running in and back out, but it's not ready and the woman who said, "just give me a few minutes," has a huge long line of people waiting.  Should I go out to the car and hide the stuff in the trunk?  Leave and come back later?  She said a few minutes, but she hasn't moved from cash register and the line shows no sign of letting up.  The line snakes down through the aisles.  Is someone else preparing the script? 
            I signed up for a creative writing class free at the library.  The first class was last night.  Next week, we are supposed to have a lottery to see who reads their work.  Of course, in my eager selfishness, I want one of the readers chosen to be me.  But I haven’t written anything yet.  I can bring something in progress or do the assignment.  The assignment is to write a six-word story (E.G., Hemmingway’s famous, “For Sale, baby shoes, never used") and then develop a short story or novel scene from that. In the early hours in bed I came up with a few of them, which I no longer precisely remember.  One was about Geraldine feeding cookies to the wolves.  I am excited about the prospect of writing for this—I’d like best if I could write something that could be used in Uncertain Weather or Following Wolfie or Uncle Beast.  Or my Geraldine Novel (Which is only my head, at this point, except the poetry I have written.)
            When I reach the parking lot at Pier Park, I watch a dump truck full of snow unload its burden at the end of the parking lot.  There are many piles of snow down there, so this is clearly not its first trip.  Of course, some of them were from clearing this parking lot.  But not all.  I have the same problem shoveling at home or at the office—where do I put the snow.  I have to carry it long ways because the banks are too high now.

            It is cold and windy at Pier Park, and all white.  I am feeling agitated because I am not eager to be here and feel I should be over at Rolandale watering the plants and shoveling the driveway, BUT I am afraid that the road (Rolandale) will be impassable with the new snow.  I am walking along in a cold and annoyed funk trying to figure out what to do.  The sky is white.  Yes, white, or, a very pale, pale shade of grey that looks white.  The snow is white on land.  The lake is frozen, covered with snow, and white.  Everything is white.  There are long drifts crossing the path along the far jetty, distinguished only by faint shadows.  Then, two swan fly by, low above the ice, the necks stretched out, their miraculous bodies airborne.  White on white on white.  I am suddenly full of joy.

This is my third installment of Just Write, "an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments." You can read about this project at The Extraordinary Ordinary. If you decide to participate, you canreadn Heather's post from November 11. You can read Nadine's first two installment here and here and one of mine here.  Todays Just write #121 (Heather's) is here,

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Looking at my Successes from December's Goals and defining February's Goals

I am making little mini cards, each one individually painted
rather than printed.
This is under the category of fun and social
(Family and friends)
click to view larger.)
Today's the day that I am checking to see how I did on my goals for December and January:

  1. I walked 45 minutes nearly every day and if I missed, I usually made it up--success!
  2. I finished more than 4 books a month:  success!
  3. I did not get out in nature 2 or more times a month.  I got out once a month or so.  :-(  This is very sad.  I get out, but not in nature.
  4. I posted more than 8 times a month.  Success.
  5. I meditated 3 x a week or more most weeks. Pretty good success.
Also, I did art, worked on my novels, wrote and submitted some poems, restarted my exercise program, worked on my diet, submitted photos to DSS and generally made a lot more progress than I usually give myself credit for.

Today's challenge for my goal-setting track is to make a treasure map for one goal.  I chose getting a book done.

Treasure map to publishing my books
(2 that I am currently working on).
Click this to see it large enough to actually read.

Goals for February 2014

My five major goals for February are:

  1. health:  exercise, diet and other stuff below.
  2. work:  Wolfie, Uncertain Weather, submissions. Art.
  3. Social: husband, family, friends.
  4. Fun:  art, play, reading, social.
  5. I'm totally confused about this and if I am going to do it, I need a better way to do it.  Find that way or jettison project.
I am doing the first topic below and will attempt the 2nd-5th in coming days.  I think I am spending too much time on this, but picking a few things doesn't seem to work, either.

My Year-word for 2014 is HEALTH, which is physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.  (A subcategory is Bravery, which I hope to address in a future post).  In the goal-setting month, today’s challenge* is to QUANTIFY the goals so you know if you are achieving them.  I’m not sure all goals should be exactly quantified. But here goes.


·         I will do my basic exercise set at LEAST 3 X a week.

·         I will walk 45 minutes (or do an equal or better exercise such as biking, snow shoveling, cross country skiing, jogging, etc.) at LEAST 5 X a week.

·         I will look for ways to modify my exercise schedule to make it healthier (more vigorous when possible, more stretching, more varied) and more fun.  What I want to do is add BACK into my schedule T’ai Chi, Chi Kung, Zhan Zhong and yoga.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself time-wise, so I want to fit those in place of some of the other exercises I do a few days a week. I would like to make incremental changes so they don’t seem overly burdensome but still create positive changes.  By the end of February, or sooner, I will create and implement a schedule for adding in or substituting some of these activities.