This is a Quick Lil’ Post I have planned on doing for a little while. I am going to ‘spotlight’ some of my favoritest role-model photographers and also introduce you to some less-known photographers who are emerging and well-worth your follow.
Your inspiration is non-existent. You don’t feel like writing…or maybe you do and can’t think of anything to put on that blank page (or screen 😀 ). Congratulations!
You have writer’s block.
Now that I’ve diagnosed your writing problem (which you most likely have already diagnosed 😉 ) and also given you a deceptive blog post title…we may proceed!
What??! You gave us a deceptive blog post title?
Well, yes I did. You see…there’s no one way to fix this problem. I can’t just give you tips and say “This one will totally work for you!”. Because…every person is different and what works for me may not work for you. Yay, aren’t I encouraging?
While that may sound like bad news…guess what? It can also be very good news! Putting it positively- your solution may be right around the corner waiting to be discovered. So see, it’s not hopeless!
Ideas to destroy this beast…
Remove anything and everything that’s distracting you from your presence. We have so many things in life that could potentially distract us from the one thing we want to do right now. I know for me personally- I go from writing a school assignment to just- not. Whether that means I’m checking my email or doing somethin’ else- It’s distracting me from writing. So. GET. RID. OF. THOSE. PESKY. DISTRACTIONS. ONE. BY. ONE. !
Find a book to read that will get the imagination flowing. If you’re trying to write something in the fantasy genre, maybe read something in that genre. For instance, my current project is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I keep on reading the original story to get the creative juices flowing.
Find a new angle. Were you telling the story first person? Try this out: tell the story in second person. Or you can take another character vital to the story and tell it in his/her perspective. If you’re struggling to put those first words on the paper…think about a way to make the story opening something totally different than what you’d intended. Was Willemina a princess once? Why not turn her into an ugly young woman afraid she’s never going to be realized for the princess she is? Now–true, this may just ruin the story. But there really are limitless possibilities. And it’s always possible you assigned the character the wrong role. 😀
Make a pinterest storyboard. This may not be for everyone. But I can attest to loving this. Sometimes images inspire the mind when nothing else can. They visually transport you into the realm you’re writing about. They help you envision what you were trying to write. If you want an example of one you can check out mine for my dystopian story Watchful here. I love doing this, and it’s especially helpful to look back on when I’m stuck or uninspired.
Story Prompts. I’m not sure when this became a ‘thing’. But I just started getting into it. One thing I used to worry about was the possibility of plagiarism. Not anymore though. Because, I have discovered that different minds think differently. And while, yes, we sometimes tend to think similarly—you’d be surprised at what I come up with VS what others come up with. So don’t worry! Story prompts are an amazing way to help you step it up. Why not try angling what you have of your story into a prompt to enhance the plot? Or start your story with a prompt!
Write. There is a way that may make you upset. It’s called writing. 😀 You’re not going to beat this writer’s block without doing some writing. Most of the things I’ve suggested up until now–have been ways to get the writing juices flowing. Because I don’t want you to think that the solution is NOT to write. True, you may need a little break. You may need to go outside where the air is clean to think about it. But the solution isn’t to quit writing indefinitely until you’re inspired. That’s a sure way to either never write, or when you do–to go back off it just as soon.
Try listening to epic music. I wouldn’t recommend pop or anything where the beat is louder than the words. If you’re writing a romance novel…imagine the scene while you’re playing some soft, sweet music. Try instrumental. If bigfoot is about to stomp on littlefoot…then play something tense. Will littlefoot be trod underfoot? 🙂 I personally love listening to movie soundtracks for epic fight scenes and the like. But you may need something smooth and calming. I do too, sometimes.
Make a writer’s schedule. This is one that I’m awful at, but really need to try. If you pace yourself so that you’re writing at a certain time for a certain amount of time- it may help. Put it in a place in that busy schedule where it’s not so likely to be loud. Make it fit at a ‘smooth’ part of the day where your work load isn’t there to bother you.
I hope this was helpful to you! Keep writing!
Have you tried any of these?
Name a way not listed that’s helped you in the comments!
Welcome to Art Swirls 2. ! I am excited to do this one today because I hunted for a few drawings on Google and came up with two drawings to try freehand. I didn’t measure anything at all…just used the good ole’ eyeballs. 😉
Image 1: Chip (beauty and the beast)
Image 2: Cala Lilly
Image 3: Silhouettes (taken from one of Walter T. Foster’s art books.)
This one had more room for creativity. I sorta’ just chose a bunch of random objects to draw, and some from memory. This is what I came out with.
I did the drawing of Chip as a ‘promo’ art for the live action Beauty and the Beast. Anyone else hoping to ‘be their guest’ this March?
I promised to post updates, didn’t I? Well, I did…and so I’m here! Just to touch base a little with y’all,–the past two months have been spent busily- and (I HOPE 🙂 ) productively. I spent them brainstorming and experimenting various product ideas. As a result, today I have pictures to share! YAY.
Note: the pictures I’m sharing are not complete projects. They are still in progress. Here’s a mini list of what I’m about to share:
An earring. (from the jewelry department)
A headband. (from the headwear department)
Yep, it’s not much. But it’s what I’ve got for now…*smile*.
There are many imperfections in the products…I know. But this is just stage two. There won’t be these imperfections in the finished products. In the headband photos my little sister had to hold the sides of the headband so it wouldn’t fall off. That’s because I haven’t actually attached the piece that holds it on the head! But…I promised updates- and I want to give y’all a taste of the process step-by-step.
And yes, in the earring photos…there is a WIRE sticking out of the top of the earring! 🙂 And NO, there will most certainly NOT be that wire in the finished product.
Sorry there isn’t more. There are more products, but they’re not quite picture worthy yet!
Thanks to my lil’ sis Ellie for sitting so patiently as I tried to figure out some of the settings on the camera.
Thanks also to my big sis Hannah, who’s graciously offered to allow me to use her camera to practice photography and take product photos. I am very grateful.
What projects are y’all working on?
Do you ever want to start a business from home?
Do y’all know of any articles I could watch to improve my product photos?
On this chilly morning…chilly? REALLY? It actually feels COLD today! Oh joy. I have been long awaiting the end of summer. I love fall and the winter best of all. Especially winter.
Reasons I don’t prefer Summer…
It’s hot, and no one smells remarkably good.
It’s full of allergies for many people.
I can’t really drink tea with as much enthusiasm, because it’s HOT.
Add hot chocolate to the list. 🙂
Things I DO love about Summer…
Water gun fights.
But Winter/Fall trumps all…
Tea, and other hot beverages.
Jumping in leaves.
Mums/ fall flowers.
Dumping snow on people.
Crazy fuzzy socks. 🙂
etc. (Meaning I could go on…but this post is actually supposed to be a writing post!)
Welcome to another installment of E’s Creative Writings! Specifically to another one of my novels…The Way of Extinction.
Genre: Dystopian, elements of Sci-fi, young adult, christian fiction.
The world has come into rapid decay. Only a few of us are left…
Landice… has been entrusted with a unique and difficult task. To find the man who must be her husband. Difficulties and stakes are high. Landice is one of the last women alive, and she is a Follower of the Way. Meaning, she is not permitted to marry a man who is not of her faith.
Bane…is in a precarious position. A Follower of the Way and a FM. His family has been killed and he is constantly watched. But he was entrusted by the Bishop with two tasks: seek God, and seek God in his choice of a wife. But it’s not that simple, because no one knows if there are even any women left in the world.
And so their quests move them in different directions…can faith and determination throw them together?
(my apologies, the excerpt isn’t in good order right now. I will soon update this post in E’s Creative Writings.)
What projects are y’all working on (hopefully not as many as me 🙂 ).
I am working on a series of posts dedicated to my writing endeavors. I have at least ten novels ‘in progress’–but operating this way kinda’ shoots me in the foot. Because I have so many ideas and almost no time to spend working on all of them at once. But I have to or I lose my ideas. So I have decided to share this one. I currently have about a chapter typed out (but the whole plot in my head). I am going to share an excerpt in this post somewhere. I am also going to share the cover I designed for the book (I did it in a hurry, so it’s not my best)–which as you will notice has the pic I drew of an unfinished eye (which you can find here). Here’s the cover and the information follows it. 🙂
Genre: Dystopian, Scif-fi, (possibly some elements of…) Fantasy.
In a world built after the fall of a once-prosperous civilization, the six cities were founded. Beacon, the city built so that the world would never lose light. Sunrise, the city built that the world might not lose its hope. Combatant, a city built that the world might never lack protectors, the city of warriors. Data, the city built that the world might become wise- that the world would not fall. Jollity, the city built to ensure that joy and worldly happiness might not be lost. And Vigor, a city built that the world would be healthy and thrive in its new environment. Many years after the cities were founded, the world was falling once again. From the seeming peace- the school was built. A school dedicated to finding the gifted- the superior. A school dedicated to putting the people in their proper rankings. And from the danger that was nearing- a seeing force was rising. A team- WATCHFUL.
Sweat trickles down my face. I rub sweaty palms on my gray pants-and swallow hard. It’s okay, it’s okay. They can’t hurt me. It can’t be bad- Mom and Dad sent me here!
“You okay, kid?” the girl next to me asks. I lift my head just enough to see a girl with short, red curls and green eyes staring at me.
“Sure, I’m okay.” I declare, craning my neck to see what’s happening at the front of the line.
“They’re all squawking like a bunch of chickens up there. You’d think we were at a slaughterhouse.” the red-haired girl mutters. I sneak a quick look at her. She’s pretty tall for a girl, and seems very social. Too social, for my tastes. To my embarrassment she looks at me, and before I can look away sticks out her hand.
“I’m Prisl Smith, from Beacon.” I hesitate. In Vigor, where I lived, it’s a huge act of faith to give out your name. And to shake someone’s hand pretty much makes you their friend. Then, somehow I’m shaking her hand. I trust her.
“Jessica Graye, Vigor.” She smiles. I look at her, trying to pierce through the layers of her character.
“My friends call me Jess.” I add after a moment.
“My friends just call me plain old Prisl. In Beacon, no one has nicknames.” Do I detect a hint of longing in her voice? Yep, she wants someone to care enough to give her one. Now isn’t the time though, I don’t know her well enough yet. At last we reach the front of the line. A woman with an impassible face shows me something. A ring? The woman slips the ring on my finger- it fits perfectly.
“Your paperwork.” I take the folder from her outstretched hand, but focus on her name tag.
“Thank you, Maud.” Her eyes flicker- she is quite suspicious. Obviously she doesn’t remember that her name is pasted for all to see. ‘Maud’ gives me a brisk nod. Almost immediately I am whisked away by a tall man into one of the waiting trucks. As I enter I notice only one person- Garth. He’s really all that reminds me of home now. I gravitate toward him without a second thought and squeeze into the open seat between him and a brown-haired girl. Garth turns toward me and smiles, a warm smile that sends heat surging through me.
“Rough day today, huh?” he asks.
“Tell me about it. I feel about as well-cared for as a sheep going to get sheared. And it’s so crowded in here!” I complain in a quiet voice.
“Yeah, I know. I think we’ll only be in here for an hour or two though. I’ve heard talk of planes to take us to the school.” I nod, for some reason not really wanting to talk anymore. The thought of the school we’re all headed to fills me with dread. And something else, fear? The door to the train slams shut from the outside and we lurch forward as it starts down the bumpy tracks.
“Neat ring you got. From your parents?” he inquires, in a tone that asks for me to acknowledge he’s speaking. I hold out my hand instinctively- and gaze at the ring in depth for the first time. A twisting sterling silver band, a circular center gem which has what looks like an- eye– engraved on it. And one word, so tiny I can barely see it. I’m almost certain my ring says ‘watchful’ on it. What does that mean?
“No, I was given it by a- friend.” I stammer. I don’t think I want him knowing that a lady with a less-than-pleasant face named Maud gave it to me. That would just make him curious and I’m not in the mood for talking.
“Hey, what’s the matter, Jess- I do something?” he suddenly is studying me a little too closely for comfort.
“No, I’m okay. I’m just tired.” I shrug away his concern.
“Miss your parents?” Stop it Garth! Can’t you take a hint?
“Not really, no.” he frowns, obviously not convinced. Don’t ask me again, please. I beseech silently. Finally, he gets the hint.
“Okay, I’ll leave you alone- but I’m here if you want to talk.” I smile gratefully. Garth may not be the best at taking hints, but he’s kind anyways. And he doesn’t push when he sees it’s pointless. I spend the next hour with my head resting on the back of my chair- dozing. But soon Garth is nudging me awake.
“What?” I grumble.
“Something’s happening.” Sure enough a woman’s voice comes in over the loudspeaker.
“All students are requested to stay in their seats. We have almost reached our destination. A nurse will be coming back to inject each of you with a micro chip which will ensure your safety should you get lost. We are being held personally responsible by your parents for your safe arrivals, and must take these measures for their comfort.” Garth frowns slightly. Kids in the train car begin murmuring. My apprehension heightens. Something akin to terror seizes me, and I shake violently. I grab Garth’s arm impulsively.
“Is it safe?” I blurt. Garth relaxes- probably for my sake.
“Oh yeah, I mean what harm can it be? It’s only until we get to the school, right?” I nod my head. I hope that’s all it’s for- safety. The nurse comes in through a door which separates our train car from another room. She’s carrying a big syringe- and an evil looking metal box. You’re acting childish. You grew up around needles! Why are you scared? Despite reproach of myself- my palms start sweating again. But I’m not shaking anymore at least. Slowly the nurse makes her way around the car until she’s next to me. I bite my lip and hold out my arm- steeling myself for the worst.
“What’s your name, dear?” the question from the nurse startles me.
“Jessica Graye, what’s yours?” I fire back, determined that if I’m to give out my name- she’ll have to give out hers. She does look surprised.
“Well…” she begins (I look away as I realize the needle is ready to go),
“…my name is Ashley.” I draw in my breath at the sting. Much bigger and sharper needle than any I’ve ever gotten stuck with. A tear of pain slides out of my eye. She wipes it away with a tissue.
“You did very well, Jessica- is it? How old are you, dear?” Ugh. Why does she want to know all this?
“I turned seventeen this May.” I answer. Suddenly, without even thinking about it- I fall into an old habit. I look deep into her eyes- and I realize she’s just a kind person. She’s not probing, or trying to find me out- or get me in trouble. Ashley’s mouth twitches once again.
“You did well, dear.” Then, her eyes suddenly train on my ring. She freezes.
“Where did you get that?” Is it hers or something?
“Um- a friend gave it to me. Do you recognize it?” I ask. Ashley shakes her head quickly, and then just moves on to Garth. Confused, I sit and wait. Soon, Garth’s attention is on me again.
“What was that about?” he asks me.
“Uh- I don’t know. It seemed weird to me, actually.”
“Yeah, to me too.” I notice his eye gravitating back to my ring. I jerk my hand away, while at the same time pulling the ring off and sliding it into my pants pocket. Garth just shrugs. He’s quite used to my guardedness obviously. The rest of the trip is a blur. I remember walking around- in a daze to keep from falling asleep. Then there was the airplane. But I was just too tired to care much. And then, before I knew it- we had arrived at the school. The institute. I pull my hair out of its braid- and brush it until it shines. I look in the mirror of my new room. I see her for the first time- me. I’m healthy, of course I am- I lived in Vigor. But it’s the plainness that startles me most. The normalness. I have soft, long brown hair. Blue eyes and freckles. The other girls I’ve seen are beautiful. Blond hair, bright blue or hazel eyes, tall and attractive.
“I’m just me.” I say aloud.
“Duh, get some sleep- silly.” Prisl Smith, who is my roommate-, giggles. I look in her direction. I like her; I think she’s my friend. And with those final thoughts, I climb into bed.
The dreaded post has arrived. Dreaded for me anyhow. On my many numerous (no kidding) blogs current and extinct–I was always mentioning etsy. Or rather, being an etsy SELLER. I have always considered etsy as being a great place for creativity people to get the word out about their products. Over the years I have done several posts on the fact that I planned to sell on etsy. There are several old posts on another blog somewhere which have pictures of ideas for products. Needless to say, 1 year later–my ideas have changed. Today, I’m just basically going to bring you up to date with my current plans so you can stay tuned.
First of all, what was I going to be selling?
For those of you who’ve seen my original posts on etsy selling- you know that my very first idea(s) was/were pretty much this:
Knitted nut pattern dishcloths.
Polka dotted hand crafted cards and stationary.
Etc. (I know, SO helpful–but seriously everything else fitted into this category!)
Yeah…my ideas aren’t quite the same anymore. Now I am considering a variety of other things. I have put on my creative thinking hat and decided I want my shop to be the very best it can be. And that means–not just quality (although yes, I need that!), but cute, original, (as original as I can be 🙂 ) and new-ish.
Secondly, what am I going to be selling?
Headbands (I won’t spoil the specifics yet).
Jewelry (more creative types–again, me no tell yet).
Handmade stationary & cards.
Hand-drawn frame art.
Etc./Everything else. (I do that in the new me still–some things never change!)
What is the history of my etsy shop?
Me in 2014: SoCraftyandFun opens for business.
Me in 2015: Shop still existent but closed due to its slacker owner 🙂 .
Me in 2016: “Well, I have a whole lot more ideas and much more to offer now. Maybe I should start back up?”…WELL…| Emmaline decides to name her shop CrystalceStudio (Crystal Ice Studio, but the ‘i’ in ‘ice’ is chopped off in her shop name.).
Why CrystalceStudio/ Crystal Ice Studio?
There’s actually a story behind the name. I just recently moved–and my parents have given me a tiny little room to use as my studio. I knew I wanted it to be called a studio instead of just plain old office. But anyway…I began doing EVERYTHING in my studio. I knew I needed a name for my studio. Then, it happened. I decided to create an instagram (which, BTW, I haven’t even used yet.)–and I named it Crystal_Ice_Studio (I think?). Two months later, here’s my new etsy shop name.
Will you update us when you ACTUALLY open your shop?
Yep. I’ll probably have a huge ‘open for business’ post with links to all my products and my sh 🙂 p. I’ll be way too excited to forget to tell you when I’m open. So don’t worry–I’ll keep y’all posted.