Sunday, March 25, 2012

Art in the Park

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in Orange, a perfect day for book signing in Art in the Park. Before the crowd arrived I took a photo of my booth with the new table cover I made.

The cover is a pieced quilt with photo fabric prints of the front covers of my books. The sun is so bright that the covers are a little pale, but perhaps you can make out the titles.

Later in the day a young man stopped to talk and took my photo.

Several friends and fellow writers visited with me at my booth.

I enjoyed talking to the many shoppers and lookers who stopped by.

I sold quite a few books. The proceeds have been added to our Alaska fund.

Watch my blog for details of our missions trip.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dabbling in Creativity

Dabbling is trying to do something new to learn a new technique or expand creativity.

I'm a dabbler.

In preparation for our Alaskan Adventure I've been creating a fabric collage notebook for maps and brochures.

This is the cover of of the journal.

The background fabric is a print of license plates. A compass of scrap quilting is centered with a Navaho beaded medalian. The closure was made from a silver-colored belt.

Inside the journal each state has a pocket divider made from my fabric stash.

The first page/divider represents Texas.

Both the red and blue sections are actually pockets.

One of my favorite places to visit and explore is the Grand Canyon. The watercolor painting on fabric is a pocket.

I found a mesh fruit bag that made a perfect pocket for California.

There are pages for each state we will be traveling through: New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.

I have not yet come up with an idea for Canada or the Yukon.

While we travel, I plan to draw or paint as well as take photos to document our itinerary.

Below is a small watercolor of a neighbor's oak tree and azaleas as a tribute to spring in Beaumont.

I'm also dabbling in another project. I've been crocheting a rug/mat from strips of plastic bags.

When I get bogged down with writing, I dabble to get inspriation.

Writing is still a priority.
I will be signing my books at Art in the Park in Orange this Saturday.

Come by and see me and see if I've enlarged the mat.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daring, Determination, and Devout

I've been following the Iditerod-The last Great Race on Earth. DeeDee Jonrowe, a musher that I met three years ago, is running her 30th race of 1,000 miles in minus 20 degree weather (chill factor -35) with hurricane force winds and white-out blizzards.

DeeDee, age 58 and a breast cancer survivor, is the foremost female dog musher in the world today. She has recorded the fastest time of any woman musher, and has come in the top ten 13 times. Today running against 65 other mushers, she is in 13th place with approximately 800 miles of snowy wilderness behind her and 200 miles yet to run to Nome.

The anual running of the Ititerod commerates the serum run of 1925, when antitoxin serum for a diphtheria epidemic in Nome was run by dog sled from Anchorage. The first race was run in 1973. Beginning in downtown Anchorage on the first Saturday in March, the mushers race 20 miles and because of modern traffic restart in Willow the following day. DeeDee has been on the sled runners or running behind her dogs for eight grueling days and nights.

Where does she get the determination to train her kennel of 70-100 dogs year round, the stamina to compete in the Ironwoman Triathalon and to run the Ititerod some 30 times?
DeeDee's faith in God is evident in her statment "God has blessed me with the health to once again travel through His most beautiful handiwork, experiencing a reflection of His unconditional love thru the bond I have with my team" (from her bio. at

May we all dare to follow our dreams, have the determination to persevere when the going gets rough, and declare our Devotion to God who makes it all possible.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dry Creek Writer's Retreat

March 1-3, 2012

Dry Creek Camp was a beautiful setting for a relaxed but vigorous writing retreat. Hosted by Curt Isles, past camp director, the piney woods of Western Louisana proved to be an ideal setting for learning, inspiration, and making new writer friends.

The lovely White House bed and breakfast housing the conference attendees was built as a school in 1912. Closed in 1962, the building was purchased in 1980 by the camp that adjoined the property. Extensive renovation restored the school into a building that invited writers' imagination.

Curt Isles on the left, introduced our speakers: DiAnn Mills and Frank Ball.

DiAnn and Frank alternated sessions. DiAnn presented the joys and blessings of mentoring. She discussed self-editing, developing character and plot and ended with Rhino-skinned (or alligator-skinned) critique techniques.
Frank spoke on the power of story, writing a captivating story, what is a creative genius, and different point of view.
DiAnn is the author of 57 Christian books and is a Christy Award Winner.
Frank has written several books and is the developer of North Texas Christian Writers, an orginazation of critique groups.

Writers attended from as far as Florida, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Mike, Two Shadows, entertained us with a Native American story and hauntingly beautiful music on his wooden flute.

Gatherings in Western Louisiana and East Texas are not complete without music. We were entertained by these musicians who wrote their own music as well as played familiar tunes.

One of the musicians commented at the closing of the retreat that what he'd learned about writing applied to his writing of music lyrics.

On the final day of the conference we joined on the front steps of the old school house for the obligatory "school" picture.

I am highly motivated by the retreat and have sent my completed manuscript, "Soul Sisters", to writers for critique.

With plans for a return trip to Alaska this summer, I've discovered new ways to journal.

What would you like to see as focus for journaling?