Tag Archives: college classes

Winter Fever, Cabin Blues…


Or is it ‘Cabin Fever, Winter Blues’?

Either way, it’s another fine winter day, stuck indoors. I’m actually being a bit sardonic, but who wouldn’t be unless you could be outside enjoying the weather. Though there aren’t any slopes here for me to grab my snowboard and head out to. Nor is the ground covered in snow, for mini me to go sledding. Instead, the ground is covered in ice that has been melted and frozen, again, and again, over the past few days. Today, our forecast called for a snow and rain mix, which didn’t began falling until late morning. It just made everything that much more slippery. I decided to stay home with my daughter, since I have to drive North where the roads would be much slicker.

Though I have driven in wintry conditions, it is very different here in Arkansas, especially when you’re surrounded by drivers who cannot drive on ice and/or snow. Some cannot even drive when it’s raining, so I find it best to stay clear by staying home. My daughter finds serenity in watching the snow fall. We have a large picture window in the living room with a wide window sill for her to lean on and to also give her plenty of space to play with her toys.

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On days like this, I find myself in the office, on the computer, trying to finish up homework, or work on the next research paper for a class or two, or do a bit of writing. I think if I redecorated this office, it would have more of a calm, soothing atmosphere where I can be more creative. I think it’s the only room that still has the fake wood paneling from the 1960’s, covering it’s walls. Plus, the photos that cover the wall space above grandpa’s desk are decades old and could be upgraded.

I think I may have found my next summer project…to redecorate and rearrange the office.

I mostly find my creative energy in a mixture of places, such as, bookstores, coffee shops, libraries, front porch. Sometimes, the recliner in the living room, next to our picture window is a perfect spot for writing, especially on days like today. Anywhere my mind can roam freely.

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Lately, I’ve been spending most of that free time between classes, in my college library. Just yesterday, I had my headphones on, music going, and I was able to finally finish editing chapter one of my young adult novel. This is the same novel I had tried querying agents last summer for, but without success. It’s a tough job, being an author. Tough market, actually. Some of them were very close in saying yes, adding tidbits of helpful info that would make the next round of querying a bit more successful.

So, I began working on it….again.

There was originally a prologue, but I had cut it out entirely. Now, I added it back into the novel, but instead of it being a prologue, I made it the beginning of chapter one’s story line. I then moved some of chapter three into chapter one, so the next on my to-do-list is to edit chapter three.

I’m coming up on 60K words total…on the manuscript that is. I’m going to make that a goal that I must achieve. Once that’s done, I am finished…I hope, cross my fingers and knock on wood. I’m looking forward to seeing it finalized once more and also hope that I can send it off to the publisher very soon. I think I’ll try querying agents again, if not, I know a few small publishers that wouldn’t mind publishing it for me.

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Appreciating Art


I grew up thumbing through the Saturday Evening Post, as I’m sure some of you have as well. My grandma still has a few old copies put away on a bookshelf. The cover is usually what everyone remembers; the beautiful artwork done by the gifted artist Norman Rockwell.

This semester in college I’m having to take an Intro into Visual Arts class. It’s one of those class I have to take in order to receive my Associates degree. Though I have taken a few art classes in high school and middle school, I have never really taken a class to study about actual art pieces and their artist. I have always had an appreciation for art. I do enjoy the beauty and the craft, but have never serious stared at a painting and truly see what the artist is trying to say in his work.

This class is actually teaching me a few things about art and the artist behind their work. My instructor would show slides of certain pieces and talk about the artist, then talk about the artwork he’s showing on his slide. We’ve looked at quite a few Norman Rockwell paintings, that I’ve found a new likeness for the artist and his work that I didn’t have before. Sure, I have respect for Rockwell and love his work. He’s truly gifted. But, after really looking at certain pieces, I can actually see that his work is actually telling a story. There’s symbology in his work, as there is in all artist work, you just have to look for it and I’ve never really done that. Since Rockwell is a Christian and a family, who also loves his country, he’ll always show one, if not all of those traits in his work.

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Image found on Google images

One of the Rockwell pieces is that of Rosie the Riveter. It’s actually one of my favorites as it represents a time in history where women were allowed to show that they too can do things other than teach and sew and keep house. The year was 1943, WWII had started and most of the men went off to war. This left the women back at home to take up jobs usually done by men. Posters were made up, showing the women that it was okay to do a man’s job, who else was going to do it? 

Rockwell’s painting shows patriotism. It shows that women can do a man’s job and still hold their femininity. He also placed a halo above Rosie’s head, showing that he appreciates what they did for their country. With her feet placed on top of a book by Hitler shows that they aren’t scared of him and that they can defeat him. Those are just a few symbols in the painting that we talked about.

I’ve actually learned how to really look at a painting. Not just by staring at it and enjoying the beauty of it, but by really looking at some of the things that the artist drew or painted. What did he/she mean by putting this or that in the painting? Those certain items explain the actual meaning behind the piece of work and the reason why the artist painted it, or drew it.