Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Sleeping Lion -- Waking Up to Change

Back in 1990 I decided to write a science fiction story called, "The Sleeping Lion" based on an idea that I had.  The story is about a young woman named Kelly who lives with an abusive boyfriend.  She escapes for an evening hike in the mountains to find a meteor hurtling into her path.  It crashes, but then she finds that it's not a meteor.

Of course, as with most of my stories, there has to be an animal with a primary role in the story.  In this one, it is Art, a Somali cat.

I had plenty of experience with some of the subject matter -- including life in Colorado with an abusive boyfriend.  Spending weekends hiking up in the mountains in Estes Park was one of the best experiences I've ever had -- nasty boyfriend notwithstanding.

About five years after the Colorado stint, and when I decided to write the story, I was in Michigan and married.  Unfortunately my taste in men hadn't improved a whole lot.  He was still abusive, only in more subtle (therefore longer-lasting and ultimately more damaging) ways.  Because he was essentially a rocket scientist, I was able to glean some good information from him for the story.

I didn't have any luck in the publishing world at that point, so the book lay inactive for years, until just recently when I dug it out again, rather accidentally.

Though it is a sci-fi story about a crashing meteor, "The Sleeping Lion" is ultimately about relationships, with the central theme being about personal inner strength.  It is a message I keep re-exploring.  I don't seem to consciously realize it, but it appears that my deepest desire is to be strong.  I admire strength which doesn't sacrifice kindness, empathy which doesn't sacrifice dignity.

In reading it, I was happy to note that I have changed, mainly in that there is no way I would now put up with that kind of treatment from anyone.

I knew that my writing skills have also matured, but I still have much to learn.  It is, however, still an entertaining read. 

I especially liked revisiting Art, my long-lost Somali cat, and the trails in Estes Park.  I need to get back there someday.   I hope that, unlike me, they haven't changed too much.

"The Sleeping Lion" is also available on Kindle

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Am the Eagle, I Live in High Country, mid Rocky Cathedrals that Reach to the Sky...

"Spirit Bird" 9x12" acrylic
 Yep, I am flying on Cloud Nine these days as my artistic career has reached an all-time high (wait -- that's a different song).  Beginning June 22, 2014, Fernwood Gallery in Niles Michigan will be featuring my art in a one-woman show, through most of July!  That's right -- all me, all the time! 

Fernwood is a lovely place, a state-of-the-art facility located in a beautiful botanical garden.  I can't think of a better setting for wildlife art than a place surrounded by trees and fields and the flora and fauna of Southwest Michigan.

Needless to say, this is a dream come true.  I have my work cut out for me as I now need to have 30 original pieces ready to hang on display.  Yikes!  It's a good thing I have a few months to do this.  Here are a couple of my first attempts to fill the gallery.  Both are eagles, and both are acrylic on 9x12" stretched canvas (which is easily hung without the expense of framing).  I have an affinity for raptors and so probably will be including some owls in the mix.  With these will come some other birds and wildlife, and of course, some of my equine art.  All pieces will be for sale as I produce them.  I will try to keep my blog updated with new art -- so check back for lots more where this came from!

Golden Eagle, 9x12" acrylic on canvas

Wo, Wo, Wo, it's Magic!

Since the console of my car had no change dispenser I thought a handy thing to do would be to keep change in the ashtray.  Since I am not a smoker, this seemed like a logical solution.  Well, unfortunately my car has a ciggy lighter (charger) inside the ash tray.  Explain that one!  Anyway, inevitably, a dime skipped down inside the charger.  It wedged in there so perfectly that I had to take tweezers to get it out.  I didn't realize it at the time, but the dime shorted out my charger -- rendering it non-usable unless I replace the fuse.

Do you know how inconvenient it is to drive around without a car charger?

Presto!  For Christmas, a company called Powerocks sent me this fantastic portable charger called the Magicstick.  I had never used a portable charger before but now I wouldn't know what I would do without this thing.  It fits anywhere and when I don't use it, it holds a charge for days.  It comes with its own cool little reversible cord that works for charging the Magicstick, and then charging my phone.

I want to send special thanks to the folks at Powerocks for this great little gadget!