Tag Archives: #ALCGC2017

#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

I love challenges! They encourage me to try new things. During October, two very good challenges, Inktober and OctPoWriMo, helped me with my goal of creating more poems and art.

I wrote several poems during October, and the best ones are posted here and here. One turned into a Christmas poem, so be sure to visit ARHtistic License on December 25 to read it.

For Inktober, I often defaulted to concurrent Zentangle challenges, and completed fourteen drawings in all. I posted some of them on ARHtistic License, and all of them on my Instagram page. Here are some of my favorites:

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On the book front, I still have no representation for the three picture books I’ve sent out to agents. I wish I were an illustrator; I think if agents could see what I’m visualizing, they’d love my books for sure. Sigh. I’ve started rewriting two of them to submit as short stories.

Starting November 15 I’m running through The God of Paradox with my Bible study group. I know the third lesson is too lengthy. I’m actually thinking of taking most of it out and writing a second Bible study guide out of it. Anyhow, after this dry run, I should be able to fine-tune it and start submitting it in early 2018.

I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist. It keeps getting shorter, but it needs to be meatier.

I’m still practicing the same last 11 pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, and I’m still up to p. 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My tone and facility are improving, even if it looks like I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty good about practicing on piano, recorder, and guitar, but I’ve missed a few days due to lack of energy.

I’ve hardly done any dancing this month. The last Tuesday in September, I landed funny on my right foot and heard it crunch. It hurt really bad. I danced on it an hour and a half two weeks later, but that was probably a bad idea. Until recently, it ached something fierce if I spent more than half an hour on my feet. I think I’ll be able to resume dancing next week.

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on December 1, 2017, to share your progress during November. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

 

#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

It’s undeniably autumn! The year will be over soon. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I’ve made a few drawings this month, although I didn’t do one every other day as planned. I used photos as references for these (click on the smaller images to enlarge):

And I reinterpreted some of my favorite illustrators’ pictures:

And I entered a few  Zentangle challenges, posted herehere, and here.

I wrote four poems this month, and posted three of them, here, here, and here. (Yes, I know. I’m using the term poetry lightly. A couple of them are kind of prose poems.)

In October, I’m looking forward to participating in Inktober and OctPoWriMo. I know my limitations; I know I won’t make a drawing and write a poem every day. I’ll be happy if I do one or the other.

The last weekend of September I went on a writers’ retreat. (I’m coming home today!) I expect to start (in Scrivener) a project I journaled about twelve years ago.

I’m behind where I want to be on my blog. I have holes starting October 10 (though I have 90 posts scheduled between now and April 2). I keep telling myself the world won’t end just because I miss a day on ARHtistic License. I just like being dependable. I’ve posted daily for about two years.

I’m sending out queries to agents for my picture books. So far no nibbles. Sigh.

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I’ve signed up to be a contributor for A Writer’s PathSo far I’ve submitted one post. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll let you know when it goes live.

On recorder, I’m continuing to practice the last 13 pages of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. I’m chicken to go on to book 2, because it looks really hard. I have another book that I used with my sixth graders when I was teaching that involved improvisation, but I can’t find the CD that goes with it. And so I’m procrastinating on moving forward.

On guitar, I’m up to page 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. 

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on November 1, 2017, to share your progress during October. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

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#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

How are you doing on your creative goals? Only four more months in 2017. It’s a good time to assess our progress.

In August, I completed two sketches and colored some pages in my coloring journal.

 

On the writing front, I wrote six poems. I tried a couple others, but they just didn’t gel. I shared two on ARHtistic License, Paradigm Shift and Horsey Limerick.

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I’m currently three weeks ahead on blog posts. My comfort level is four weeks ahead, so in one sense, I’m a week behind…

 

I finished rewriting a third picture book manuscript, Lottie Loses the Lottery, which I am preparing to send out to agents. No nibbles yet on the other two, Gabe’s Garage of Goodies and Mine!

I bought the Scrivener software, and I am currently transferring The Unicornologist into it while doing another rewrite. Pretty soon I want to start reworking my 2015 NaNoWriMo project, The Night Runner, and I want to be familiar with Scrivener’s features by then.

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I’ve run The God of Paradox through my critique group, and I’m getting ready to do a dry run with my bible study group starting in October.

I’ve been struggling with fatigue this month, so there were lots of days that I didn’t practice my instruments. I’m doing better lately, though. I’m still practicing the duets in the back of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 for the special secret project I’ve mentioned before. And I’m up to page 55 in Essential Elements for Guitar.

I performed in a choral concert on August 19. I’m planning to write a blog post about it soon.

Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on October 1, 2017, to share your progress during September. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I didn’t write any poetry during July, but I did make a little watercolor every day for two challenges I’m participating in, Index-Card-a-Day and World Watercolor Month. Here are some of my favorite cards from July (and last week’s cards are in a separate post).

I’ve submitted a second picture book manuscript to agents. No nibbles yet. Sigh. 

I’m still getting feedback about The Unicornologist from my trusted beta-readers, and it’s clear from their responses it still needs some work. Sigh.

frustrated-writer-2Since I’ve been spending so much time rewriting lately, I wanted to write a blog post on how to rewrite, revise, and edit your novel. It’s turning into a series. Look for it this month on ARHtistic License. I’m only about two weeks ahead on my blog posts, half my comfort level.

I’m making progress on guitar. My fingers are beginning to form chords on their own with less effort from my feeble brain. I’m up to page 52 in Essential Elements for Guitar. I’m also coming along on recorder. I’m working hard on the last pages of Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1. I still have a project in mind for the duets at the end of the book.

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Photo by David Beale.

And I’m singing in a chorus! It’s just a short-term thing. It’s actually a series of master classes for choral conducting students, but there will be a concert. I feel like I’ve been transported back to college days. Rehearsals started last week, and I’m stoked. I haven’t been in a chorus or choir for about twenty years.

Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on September 1, 2017 to share your progress during August.

#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.Oil_painting_palette wikipedia

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

My routine tweak of reading Scripture while I eat breakfast is working out well for me. I’m also trying a new hack during my writing time of setting a timer for 45 minutes for working on projects, and then 15 minutes to look at social media. It’s important to update social media, but I can’t let it dominate my work time, or I never get around to my writing.

I still haven’t organized my study. I cleared off my desk a bit, but it’s cluttered again.

I haven’t written any poetry during June, but I only missed a few days of the Index-Card-a-Day art challenge I’m participating in.

I’m about twenty-eight days ahead on my blog posts; I want to be at least thirty-one days ahead.

I thought I was finished writing The Unicornologist, but I’ve sent it out to my beta readers, and the feedback I’m getting is directing me to another rewrite. <sigh> I was hoping it was ready to send out.7. The Unicorn in Captivity

My practicing guitar, piano, and recorder has been less consistent than I’d like. My evenings are reserved for practicing, but lately I’ve been so exhausted that I fall asleep watching a half-hour of television with Greg (he insists I spend at least that much time with him every day). I used to doze off in the evenings when I was still teaching. I don’t know why it’s happening during retirement. I certainly don’t have the same level of physical and emotional stress. Anyhow, I’ve made it to page 51 in Essential Elements for Guitar, and I’m up to the next-to-last page in Sweet Pipes Recorder Book I.

Enough of my whining. Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on August 1, 2017 to share your progress during July.

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#ALCGC2017 May Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 May Check-In

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I missed a few days of Scripture reading. I’m back on track now.

I haven’t gotten a handle on the clutter in my study. ARG!Palette bing free commercial

I’ve written no poetry in National Poetry Month.

I’ve done no artwork.

I’ve focused on getting a month ahead on my blog. I’m close.

I finished my rewrite of The God of Paradox into a Bible study, just working on it on Saturdays since the first of the year. I’m planning to test-drive it with my Bible study group, when we finish our current book (Hebrews).

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I’ve made good progress on rewriting The Unicornologist this past month.

And I received two paychecks for articles this month—my first writing paydays in seventeen years. “How to Hold a Writers Retreat” is in the May-June 2017 issue of Christian Communicator. (I forgot about that one—submitted it eighteen months ago.) And Primary Treasures bought my article, “Putting on Full Armor” for a future issue. (I originally wrote it twenty years ago. I’ve been spending my Sunday writing time rewriting and submitting manuscripts in my file cabinet from back in my freelancing days.)

guitarI’m up to page 42 in Essential Elements for Guitar and Unit 12 in The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. Making slow but steady progress on guitar, recorder, and piano.

So, I’ve had some successes and some failures this month—par for a creative’s life.

If your progress this year has been mixed, it’s okay to reevaluate your goals and adjust them. I set ambitious objectives this year, and I’m not doing as much as I think I’m capable of, but I am working my little buttinsky off.

Now it’s your turn. ARHtistic License was created to help foster growth among the creative community. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtistic License readers) can encourage you. Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. Check in on June 1, 2017 to share your progress during May.

ALCGC2017: April Check-in

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ALCGC2017: April Check-in

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it: ALCGC2017. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I’ve been doing pretty good with my Bible reading. I only missed a couple of days.

I’m doing less well with my poetry and my visual art. I only wrote two poems in March, made one sketch, and colored a page in my journal.

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I also haven’t spent 15 minutes a day decluttering my office. Sigh.

I know I’m spending too much time on social media. I promote my blog posts, read other bloggers’ posts, and share great content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Add checking email, and it eats up two hours of my writing time. I keep saying I’m going to limit it to one hour, but I don’t. My other creative expressions lose out. So does my organizing.

I’m finding it hard to stay ahead on blogging, only devoting three days a week to it. I may have to take a day away from my other projects to get back on track.

7. The Unicorn in CaptivityI’m making good progress on reworking short pieces from decades ago and sending them out. I’ve entered some writing contests (haven’t won any yet), and I’m submitting a picture book to agents and an article to some magazines.

I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist, and it’s far from done, but it’s getting so good and the end is in sight. I’m excited about the progress. The God of Paradox is coming along, too.

Except for evenings when I’m exhausted (I thought I was over that when I “retired” from teaching), dancing, or at Bible study, I’ve been practicing piano an hour a night, and either guitar or recorder up to an hour. I’m up to page 35 in Essential Elements for Guitar. The fingertips on my left hand are numb; they still feel like the guitar strings are cutting them, but the calluses are getting thicker. Does it ever get better? I’m in Unit 11 in The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. I think my tone is improving. I’m having a problem with intonation on the recorder. Sometimes the high C, D, and E are flat compared to the low ones.

And last Saturday my friend Barbara and I went to the Phoenix Symphony. We heard Buxtehude’s Chaconne in e minor (orchestrated by Carlos Chavez); Arvo Part’s In principio, and Mozart’s Requiem. We’re so blessed to live so near to a world-class orchestra. I’ve never attended one of their concerts where they did not earn their standing ovation. Conductors, chorus, soloists, and instrumentalists–all were awe-inspiring. That counts as my “artist date.” We both left feeling fueled for inspiration.

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Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtisticLicense readers) can encourage you. Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. ARHtistic License was created to help the creative community keep refining their skills. Check in on May 1, 2017 to share your progress during April.

ALCGC2017: March Check-in

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ALCGC2017: March Check-in

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it: ALCGC2017. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?bible-open-to-psalms

I missed about three days of reading my Bible. I will try harder, because that twenty minutes really helps me focus on what’s important.

I’ve been horrible about spending 15 minutes a day on decluttering my study. Honest to goodness, stuff just keeps multiplying in here.

I can only find three poems for February. I can’t remember if that’s all I wrote, or if I put them in a different file. I’ll post what I’ve got on March 11, 2017.

I spent my art time the first half of the month zentangling hearts. The remainder of the month I devoted to making one pencil sketch, and coloring in my journal.

I’m behind where I want to be with my blogging. I’d prefer to be about a month ahead, but I still have about nine dates in March without posts. It’s hard to write 7+ articles in three days. I’m trying to keep focused.

But I am making progress with my other writing projects. writing

I rewrote two pieces in my file cabinet. I submitted one to a children’s magazine, and I’m researching agents who represent picture books to send the other one to.

I’m gearing up to doing a final editing pass on The Unicornologist, and then I’ll send it out to my beta readers for their feedback.

I’ve completed a few segments of The God of Paradox.

It’s funny. Whatever I’m working on becomes my favorite project. It’s challenging to have so many things to juggle. At the end of each session, I wish I could return to the same thing the next day.

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The practicing is going well. I’ve missed a few days because of exhaustion or competing priorities. My guitar sessions have lengthened to 45 minutes, just because it’s hard to practice everything I should and actually start new material if I only give it half an hour. I’m up to page 28 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My fingers are still sore, though, even though I can see the calluses building.

Recorder has creeped up to 35 minutes, but it’s easier for me than guitar. Now I’d say I play as well as my former sixth grade students. I’m not quite back to my former level yet, but I’m improving. I’m starting Unit 9 in The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book.

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Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtisticLicense readers) can encourage you. If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. ARHtistic License was created to help the creative community keep refining their skills. Check in on April 1, 2017 to share your progress during March.

ALCGC2017: February Check-in

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ALCGC2017: February Check-in

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it: ALCGC2017. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

One month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I think I’m off to a good start. I’ve tweaked my intentions a little in January.

The biggest adjustment is musical practice time. On January 1 I discovered I didn’t want to give up my piano practice for a day to practice recorder instead. (And the teacher in me knows that practicing any instrument only twice a month is insufficient for any skill development.) So now the goal is to spend 30 minutes a day practicing either recorder or guitar, and then an hour on piano. I’ve been able to do that almost every day, except when I’ve been fatigued. I practice in the evenings Thursday through Monday. (Tuesday is my folk dance night, and Wednesday night is bible study.)

It’s been almost two and a half years since I’ve played recorder. First I played through Recorder Karate, which is the book I taught my fifth grade students from, and luckily I can still play all those songs. Then I started working through The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, Book One. I’m up to Unit 6. My tone sounds like a fifth grader (sigh)But I know that with practice, I’ll improve.

I haven’t played guitar in at least three years, and I’m back to square one. My poor finger tips on my left hand are so sore; it still feels like the razor-sharp wires are slicing through them. But I know from being a beginning level guitar player for the last four decades that the more I practice, the sooner I’ll develop calluses, and the pain will stop. I’m practicing chord progressions from a guitar seminar I took eight years ago, and I’m working through Essential Elements for Guitar by Will Schmid and Bob Morris. I’m up to page 23.

I haven’t gone on an artist date yet, though I have several ideas. It’s just been too stinking cold. (50 degrees in the Arizona desert is bitter cold. Don’t judge me unless you’re used to it being 118 in the summer.) I’m hoping February will be warmer. For now I’m staying home, bundled in my blankie and sipping hot cocoa.

I wrote five poems in January, and sent three to one contest, and one to another. It doesn’t add up to a poem every other day, but I hope to do better in February.

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An in-progress page from my coloring journal.

My daughter Katie gave me a coloring journal for Christmas. I hope to fill it with poems written in calligraphy, and color all the beautiful designs. I’ve also started another art project which I’m hoping to unveil on ARHtistic License on February 14.

I’ve been fairly successful at starting my work sessions with a chapter of scripture and meditation. I think I only missed two days. I’m blessed by the time spent in the presence of my Lord. It fuels me for writing.

I’m finding it challenging to keep a month ahead on my blog working essentially only three days a week at it, but I really want to devote the other days to my other writing projects. My books are even more important to me than ARHtistic License. I made some modest progress on them; it would be nice to pronounce them done before the end of the year.

Taking a closer look at the old pieces in my file cabinet these past five Sundays, I realize much of my early shorter work is either dated, stupid, or just not what magazine markets are looking for anymore. Some of my old, unpublished books could be rewritten, but The Unicornologist and The God of Paradox are my priorities for this year. I’m going to keep searching, though–just one more drawer to go.

Last Saturday I attended a Christian writer’s mini-conference with guest speaker and author Allen Arnold. (Oh, I guess I could consider that an artist date!) He reminded us attendees that the Creator who calls us to write also invites us to create with Him; He desires an intimate relationship with us. As I review my notes, I feel inspired, invigorated, and recommitted to my writing. If you have a chance to go to a writer’s conference or retreat, whether a small local one or a major national one, take advantage of the opportunity to get a fresh perspective and do a little networking.

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Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtisticLicense readers) can encourage you. If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. ARHtistic License was created to help the creative community keep refining their skills. Check in on March 1, 2017 to share your progress during February.