April 9 2017

Why did I need to update my art and journal supply tote?

Overall #backtobasicsapril items

On Friday I posted a “What’s in my bags?” video because for the month of April I’m getting #backtobasics. To be honest, when I was first thinking about all of this back in March all I knew for sure was that I wasn’t really using my journals or planner(s). And if I’m not journalling then there is something seriously wrong. One of the things that has really worked for me in the past is #onebookjuly. I remember the first time I heard Rhomany of Rhomany’s Realm talk about #onebookjuly–getting back to the basics of planning. If the system you’re using for planning isn’t working it doesn’t matter what notebook you use… And since then I’ve been working on my actual planning system.

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January 22 2017

Journals, Planners, and More for 2017, part 2

Here is what I’ve setup in regard to journals, planners, and writing for 2017 (so far).

January 22 2017

Coffee Chat, Journals, Planners, and more for 2017

2016 taught me a lot about what worked and didn’t work for me in regard to planning, journaling, drawing, painting, goal setting, editing videos, etc… I learned so much last year. Part of what I learned is the living a creative life is my passion, but it’s also part of my purpose.

Because there were a few things that did and didn’t work I changed things up this year.

Here is my coffee chat about some of this:

January 8 2017

Revisiting “The Artist’s Way” for 2017

This year I’m revisiting (and recommitting) myself to following the self guided course by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way.” I hope you’ll join me on this creative and self-improving course for the next 13 weeks. I’ll be posting my opinions, feelings, thoughts, and experiences with you every Sunday via this blog/website, along with videos on YT. *My previous journey with The Artist’s Way YT Playlist: .)

“The Artist’s Way is a course that guides you through the process of rediscovering your creative self. It dispels the ‘I’m not talented enough’ conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist.” (Cameron)

If you’re like me then you’ve often wondered why you’re bothering to

  • draw
  • write
  • paint
  • create

That you’re not good enough, not talented enough… you’re not sure of why you’re even bothering… I hear those things in my head when I’m creatively blocked, and that block is actually fear. Fear rearing its ugly head. But I’ve found  that using the tools of The Artist’s Way has helped me not only to become more creative, and helped me start living a creative life, but also helped me become more sure of myself.

This first week of January I read the Introduction  and the Basic Principles, as well as the section about the Basic Tools, which include morning pages, artist dates, filling the well/stocking the pond.

The Basic Principles:

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy; pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in dwelling creative force infusing all of life–including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to your creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God’s (or the Universe’s) gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God (the Universe). [*If you are uncomfortable using the word “God” then use whatever you feel comfortable with.]
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God (the Universe): good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to pen ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come form a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Morning Pages: “Three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” It might read “Oh, god, another morning. I have NOTHING to say. I need to wash the curtains. DId I get my laundry yesterday? Blah, blah, blah…” or it might say, “I am not a morning person… it’s cold outside… damn! Is it raining again?”  (The actual beginning of one of my pages from last year.) There is “no wrong way to do morning pages.” They are not mean to be read by anyone else. Cameron also calls them a “brain drain,” which I found to be true for the first month or more.

*The “morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.”

The other main tool is called an Artist Date, which works in conjunction with the Morning Pages. Cameron calls the combination of the two tools: ” a receiver and transmitter: it is a two step, two-directional process: out and then in. Doing your morning pages, you are sending–notifying yourself and the universe of your dreams, dissatisfactions, hopes. DOing your artist date, you are receiving–opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance.

An Artist Date is a section of time that you reserve for yourself on a weekly basis. One -Two hours each week, that you commit to “nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.” It’s a play date for your inner artist (your inner child). She says that “spending time in solitude with your artist child is essential to self-nurturing,” and it can be anything from a walk in park, time at the beach, a coffee shop, a museum, a movie, a visit to an aquarium, an art gallery…

Another tool, Filling the Well/Stocking the Pond: “In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond…if we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked…we must learn to be self-nourishing…we must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them–to restock the trout pond–filling the well.”

Next Sunday I’ll talk about Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Here’s my video for the Introduction:

 

**** This post contains some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Thank you!

Burgess

December 20 2016

Wrapping Up 2016, Goals for 2017, and more

With the New Year fast approaching I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflection. This year was a good one. I accomplished quite a few things I would not have thought I’d have done, things like team up with three other women and open a group called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table for women: “Destination Me is about all of US. Women. It’s about inspiring and challenging ourselves and others to be creative, to share our thoughts and ideas, our advice with others. It’s about challenging all women, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc to take care of themselves, to nurture themselves, to be creative and to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas, advice, and more. Destination Me provides women with fun, safe place to be creative and to share their creative pursuits, as well as creative ways to bring back or to bring a sense of purpose and vitality that we may have lost or just misplaced due to various circumstances, or that we find we need, along our journey.
This group is all about diversity, acceptance, tolerance, creativity, self-love, self-acceptance, self-care, as well as inspiration. We welcome all women.”

I didn’t stop there. As part of DM (Destination Me), and here on this blog, I created a Dark Tower (and connected books, by Stephen King) reading project. I also opened my own Facebook group about omni journaling: Omni Journaling with Burgess. I joined Patreon.

I tried two new journals for my Omni Journal when the SevenSeas Crossfield by Nanamipaper wasn’t available… The new one’s are by Taroko Design, and are the Enigma and the Mystique (the link for this is the comparison I did, and here is the video I did comparing them.

And another highlight of the year… I became a Brand Ambassador for Jonelifish. I’ve been talking about my Writer’s Bible, and my other Jonelifish Traveler’s Notebooks for almost 2 years now. 😀 I love, love, love Jonel and Jonelifish.

I cover some of this in the video I’m going to link below, but my goals for 2017, which I’m still working on, are:

  • Blog every day
  • Write every day
  • Create art every day
  • Thrive… (my word for 2017)
  • Continue purging and organizing things in the house
  • DIY projects (flooring, clean carpet, paint master bedroom and paint mural, etc)
  • 2K subscribers on YT
  • Increase my presence on IG, Pinterest, Twitter
  • Pay bills off, save money and purchase new Canon camera for creating videos and photos
  • Upgrade computer
  • Learn how to better use CyberLink Power Director
  • Seek Joy, Spread Joy, Pay it Forward

December 7 2016

Discussion Questions for “The Stand”

The Stand by Stephen King. Burgess Taylor

Stephen King’s “The Stand,” is a post apocalyptic novel that many have said is King’s “Lord of the Rings.” It is a monstrosity of a novel. The uncut version is around 1153 pages, but what makes it epic isn’t the length, it’s the characters and the story.

The first third of the novel is about the spread of a man-made super flu virus that has gotten loose. In the first 100 pages, the super flu has wiped out a little over 99% of the population, and those who survive are left with survivor’s guilt, as well as having to learn how to survive and cope with the tragedy that has occurred.

Many of the survivors dream about Mother Abigail, while some dream of the Dark Man (Flagg). The theme of good (Mother Abigail) versus evil (Flagg) is quite obvious, and yet there are other themes in the book as well: themes like fate, the government, and others. What other themes to you think Kind included? And why?

One of the things that really hit me hard when I first started reading “The Stand” this time around was the fact that flu season had started and every where I turned where advertisements for people to get their flu shots. Captain Trips… The slightest sneeze or sniffle and I was thinking about Captain Trips, Mother Abigail, Stu, Nick, Larry (“Baby …dig your man…”), and M-O-O-N….

In the beginning of the novel, Campion is headed straight towards Hapscomb’s Texaco, in a small town named Arnette, TX. Stu saves the pumps from blowing but has no idea he’s signed a death warrant for Arnette and his friends when they’re all exposed to Campion. Fate? Pre-destined?

Much of the middle of the novel is about the road trip to Boulder, Colorado–a long ass road trip, and then setting up their new community, complete with meetings, minutes of the meetings, etc. Do you think King’s attention to detail added to the novel or took away from it?

What do you think about the characters?

Mother Abigail’s flock?

Flagg’s army?

Who  are your favorite characters, and why?

Least favorite, and why?

Which characters are the weakest links? Which characters are the strongest links?

Which characters change the most?

And last but not least…

Once again, we see Flagg in a King novel. The Dark One, the Dark Man, the Crimson King, the Man in Black… what do you think about Flagg in this novel?

November 9 2016

My (updated) Writing/Creative Space for NaNoWriMo

It was dark and stormy night, no… no, it was a small and suffocating room, no… no. It was a room that needed to be rearranged so that I no longer felt closed in and suffocated.

The last thing I probably should be doing at the beginning of the second week of NaNoWriMo is rearranging my writing/creative space, but I couldn’t take it any longer. The longer I was the in the room trying to write the more closed in and suffocated I felt. Not only by the disorganization and clutter, but by the way the furniture was arranged. I love the view from my desk… I look out of the window and I see the sky, trees, (the neighbor’s houses), and our bench that sits beside the wisteria bush I planted last year. It makes me feel good, but the rest of the room–it didn’t make me feel good.

I kept thinking, I’ll get to it after NaNo. I moved a few things around before NaNo, but that wasn’t working either. Books. Shelves. More books. The little table that I loved but couldn’t really use and didn’t really fit in here. Art and journal supplies. Books. My typewriters. The antique dresser I modge-podged that I use for storage for things like my hats, gloves, craft paper, etc. The small antique writing desk my Aunt Jan gave me. The damn file cabinet that I just can’t seem to find a proper place for… Well, I finally, with Mr. Rockstar’s help, figured out how to arrange it so it was more open, and it was efficient, but pleasing to my eye.

Let’s face it, I’m in here more than anywhere else in the house, except for maybe when I’m sleeping… If I had the recliner in here I’m sure I’d fall asleep reading quite often, which is in part why it’s not in here (the other part would be because I really don’t have room, not until I can move the dresser somewhere else (it’s an antique that belonged to my husband’s uncle and eventually will go in the room my son is in when he moves out).  Instead of putting the picture in here individually, I thought I’d create a gallery. Hope you enjoy. 😀

November 1 2016

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

During November we’ll be reading The Eyes of the Dragon as the next book in the Dark Tower reading project. This book is quite different than King’s other books, and is definitely connected to the Dark Tower series. Here are the discussion questions for Eyes of the Dragon:

  1. Why does Flagg want to destroy/ruin Delain? “He wanted what evil men always want; to have power and use that power to make mischief. Being a King did not interest him because the heads of Kings all too often found their way to spikes on castle walls when things went wrong. But the advisors to Kings…the spinners in the shadows…such people usually melted away like evening shadows at dawning as soon as the headsman’s axe started to fall. Flagg as a sickness, a fever looking for a cool brow to heat hup. He hooded his actions just as he hooded his face. And when the great trouble came–as it always did after a span of years–Flagg always disappeared like shadows at dawn. Later, when the carnage was over and the fever had passed, when the rebuilding was complete and there was again something worth destroying, Flagg would appear once more.” The Road to the Dark Tower, Bev Vincent
  2. Why doesn’t Thomas tell anyone he saw Flagg in Roland’s (King Roland, not our gunslinger Roland) room? Flagg’s influence and manipulation, his jealousy over Peter, selfishness…
  3. Why does Flagg want Peter out of the way? Peter is intelligent and not easily manipulated, and he will be a good king, a fair king. 
  4. Why does Flag want to kill Sasha? She has too much influence over King Roland… King Roland listens to her and not to Flagg. She’s in the way.
  5. Is Roland a good king? A good father? He’s neither bad nor good at either, he’s not very smart and is easily manipulated so he definitely wasn’t a great king, but he did care about his people and was fair so he wasn’t a bad king. He would have been a much better father if Sasha hadn’t died. 
  6. While in prison, Peter finds a note that was written by a former prisoner. The note implicates Flagg in a murder that took place 450 years ago. What was the person who wrote the note accused of? Flagg’s been in and out of Delain many times trying to ruin it…Valera was imprisoned for killing his wife Eleanor during the reign of Alan II…450 years before Peter was imprisoned for killing his father…neither man committed the crimes they were accused of…both men were framed by Flagg, and the note accuses Flagg of being the murderer. 
  7. What are some of the other names Flagg has used?  Bill Hinch, and he had been the King’s Lord High Executioner. a singer named Bronson, 
  8. The tower where Peter is imprisoned seems symbolic of the Tower. What do you think about the various symbols within the books we’ve read so far? The Needle is reminiscent of the Tower, the last vestige of hope. I like the symbols. Each time I read the book I find a new that I missed before. 
  9. What did you think about this book? I enjoyed the book. It’s a bit of a mix between a Fairy Tale and a Fantasy. It had all the essential King elements, but was quite different than his other books. 
October 25 2016

My Favorite Writer Resource Books

Books. I love books. All kinds of books. As a writer, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to what are known as writer resource books. LIke I said, I love books, but the ones listed below are some of my favorites in regard to writing.

Books like Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,” which explains the Hero’s Journey in great detail. Or “Nail Your Novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence,” by Roz Morris, or “The Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction,” by Jeff Vandermeer, which has great pictures/illustrations  that are inspiring all by themselves,  but it’s a great resource as well.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” and “Secret Windows,” are great writing resource books, and since King is such a prolific author that when I read that he got rejection slips in the mail it motivates me to keep writing. 😀

Since I’m using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey for outlining my novel here are a few books that I’ve found helpful: “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner, and “The Storyteller’s Tarot” by Linda Perfect.

Now if you’re looking for an interesting and fun writing resource, one that is filled with good information and will make you laugh and keep you interested, check out Chuck Wendig’s “The Kick-Ass Writer.” If you’re into suspense or mystery then check out Carolyn Wheat’s “How to Write Killer Fiction.” If you’re interested, “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen S. Wiesner is a pretty good read as well.

And for those of you who aren’t into outlining, especially if you’re a pantser, you might want to check out Chris Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” or “Ready. Set. Novel!

And once NaNoWriMo is over, you’ve finished writing that first draft, and you’re ready to edit your novel, you can check out “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I have quite a few other books, but these are some of my favorites, the books that I prefer to read and that have helped me. 😀

Hope this helps.

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel: eCourse Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com *Note, if you use the code: “Burgess10” you’ll get 10% off your purchase (coupon is good for all merchandise except for Custom-Made Traveler’s Notebooks).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Thank you!

Category: Books, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Reading, Writing, Writing Resources | Comments Off on My Favorite Writer Resource Books
October 24 2016

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans

And those plans include:

  • Finishing my outline for NaNoWriMo
  • Cleaning the rest of the Writing/Art space
  • Finishing my storyboard
  • Making a video of my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Making a video about my Jonelifishes and what I use them for
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my Jonelifishes
  • Writing a blog post about How to Win NaNoWriMo
  • Making a video about my tarot cards
  • And more…

So here’s my coffee chat video:

Category: #amwriting, Around Here, Books, Bookshelves, Coffee Chat, Creativity, Journal, Life, Living a Creative Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing | Comments Off on If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans