February 8 2017

New Outline Series for Witchy Business Novel

Last week I created the first video for my new outlining process of my “Witchy Business” novel. Since I am changing POV, and a few other things, and quite a few people asked questions about how I use Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to outline, I thought I’d work on my novel and make it a video series at the same time.

Today I posted the third video in the outlining series.

This week I’ll concentrate more on an actual blog post for this, but for now I have:

Hope you enjoy the videos.

January 30 2017

Bullet Journal for Writers, Writer’s Bible, and Novel Notebook

Quite a few of my YT subscribers requested that I go back through my outlining process since I’m revamping my “Witchy Business” book, now titled “The Seventh: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” The second book in the series is called, “The Curse of Seven: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” In order to do the book(s) justice, I really need to revamp the outline, not just the POV. Originally I used 1st person POV. I soon realized, while working on a completely different novel, that the “Witchy Business/The Seventh” book needed 3rd person POV. Funny how that works… it’s not always shiny new ideas that tempt us while writing, it can be old ideas that won’t leave us alone that also tempt us.

I took a look at the original outline, including the videos from the outline process, and I realized I had the right idea… at least for the most part, but my antagonist was not thought out enough, nor did I have a clear ending. I need to come up with my last sentence… that sentence just before I have my husband type “The End,” (like in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones”).

Continue reading

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 17 2017

The Artist’s Way Week 1 2017

Have you ever thought “Why on earth did I ever think I could be an artist, writer, poet, singer, ____ fill in the blank?” Or “Why am I trying to do this? I’m never going to make it as a(n) ____, I should just find something else to do with my time.”  Last year when I first started working on Cameron’s 12 week self-guided course The Artist’s Way I couldn’t help but feel like I was an imposter… in the back of my mind I felt like a pretend writer/artist…This past week was week one of my 2017 journey with The Artist’s Way and I don’t feel so much like an imposter anymore, but I have realized that I do still have some self doubt, as well as the overwhelming need to pile too much stuff on myself, which equals stress, a lack of individual focus, and can lead to not following through with at least one or two things.

I’m going to add a video to the bottom of the post where I talk about a few other things from week 1, my actual check in, and here on the blog post I’m going to delve into a few other things like how differently I feel this go round. How much trouble I’ve had delving into the Morning pages…

Last year when I was working on The Artist’s Way I knew I needed to work on the root of my writer’s block, on my lack of belief in myself as an artist, and my self-doubt in general. I am a creative person. I owned that shit! I learned to say “I’m a writer!” loudly and proudly. And by the end of 2016, I’d learned to say ‘I’m an artist,” proudly. After a thirty years plus some hiatus from creating art, and then to jump into the “Fauxbonichi/Hobonichi/etc” style journaling, adding doodles and watercolor to my journal pages, and then to actually creating art on watercolor paper, and even on canvas, and signing up for Patreon this past year–well, let’s just say I climbed more than quite a few hurdles.

However, for every two or three hurdles I manged to climb over, it felt like there was yet another (or three) obstacles…I learned a great deal about myself last year, and I’m learning even more this year. I learned quite a few things just last week. One of the things I need to remember is that I need to have patience with myself. I could make a list, but instead I’m going to say that Self-Care has become an even more important part of my life. This week as I work on week two,  I’ll be working on Morning Pages first thing. I’m going to make it my top priority first thing in the morning. Another thing I am going to work on is taking Wednesday, and maybe even Friday, off from YT. I need a bit of a break, some time to get a few things together–I’m going to make a few changes, and I need a few days to figure things out.

There is this part of me that feels guilty because I need a break… I shouldn’t feel guilty for needed a break. For taking a bit of “me time.” In the video I have linked below, I say “I’m sorry, but not sorry,” and that is the truth. Rationally, I know I need this break, but it does bother me that people might be disappointed, and yet if I am to continue to make at least decent content than I have to take a break. I’m still healing, I need a bit more rest than I’ve been getting, and my body is screaming at me to get that rest. My mind is screaming at me to figure this shit out because I’ve piled too much on myself for the beginning of this year, and I need to spread out the projects a little better.

January 9 2017

Journal/Planner Overlap

As I was getting everything together for 2017, my planner/journal systems, I realized I had a bit of overlap. Last year I started out the year with a Leonie Dawson planner, a bullet journal in a Leuchtturm 1917,  my Omni Journal, and my writer bullet journal, along with a few other things. Within a month or so I knew that I wouldn’t really use the ring bound planner–I’m not a fan of ring bound or spiral bound notebooks, journals, planners. I have a large ring binder that I store my writing stuff in: research, printouts, etc, but it is for reference only, I don’t work out of it.

And as the year progressed, I soon realized that bullet journaling was being merged with my art journal/chronicle your life journal/Hobonichi-Fauxbonichi style journaling, so I (once again) combined bullet journaling with everything else that was in my Omni Journal. My hybrid/everything/catchall journal. 🙂

 

For #onebookjuly2016 I used my Omni Journal for everything, except for the writing stuff. I learned how to use the “one journal for all” and as the month progressed I learned that I could even include my writing stuff in the Omni Journal, at least the basics, like shiny new ideas that pop into my head, or a line that kept bugging me, or a character that didn’t want to act right… Working things out on paper is so much easier for me… ADHD and all that. Thanks to #onebookjuly I learned how my brain works in regard to planning, journaling, and what system works best for me.

After #onebookjuly, and on into the end of the year,  I worked on putting my systems in place, systems that work for me.

My Omni Journal: the Hub, sort of the Grand Central Station of everything, which is usually in my trifold Jonelifish Mermaid TN, along with a few inserts for specific things.

My Writer’s Bible, a Jonelifish TN (traveler’s notebook) that houses my writer bullet journal, my novel insert, and my writer journal.

My Projects Jonelifish TN, which housed my project bullet journal, an insert for the Dark Tower reading project, and a few other inserts for certain projects.

And my Hobonichi Techo Cousin (A5) that was sort of an art journal.

For 2017 I knew I wanted to change a few things. Make changes that would help me stay organized, still be creative, and would utilize my strengths and yet help me improve my weak areas (getting distracted easily, forgetting things even though I wrote them down, etc). So I took a look at the systems I had in place, what was working, what was only working so-so, and what I knew I wanted to change. Then I did a bit of research into what was out there. I love the Hobonichi. Love Tomoe River Paper. My Omni Journal has 68 gsm Tomoe River paper, it’s an Enigma from Taroko Design. 😀 And my prefered journal size is an A5, so I knew I wanted another Hobonichi Techo Cousin, but did I really have a need for it? And I wanted to try the Hobonichi A6 English planner, but (again) did I have a need for it? And then there was the Hobonichi Weeks. Need or Want?

If I’m being honest, the Hobonichis’ were wants, not needs. The Enigma–my Omni Journal is more than sufficient for all of my actual needs, but if I used it for every single thing I’d go through it in 3 months, which means I’d need 4 for the year instead of 2. I write a lot. Draw a lot. Write big…

Here is the video of my Coffee Chat about Journal/Planner overlap if you’d like more detail. Soon I’ll be doing a show and tell of exactly what I am using and how. 😀

 

 

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?

December 5 2016

If we were having coffee… Planning for 2017 Part 1

Snoopy having coffee... Picture from Christmas Card...
Snoopy having coffee… Picture from Christmas Card…

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that this month feels so much more positive than the past two months. That’s in part thanks to my wonderful husband, Mr. Rockstar (David), my family, and my friends (my tribe). Not only have I managed to feel more confident, positive, and grateful, but I’ve also realized I’d let my attitude become one of “what’s going to go wrong next,” of looking at the glass half empty–of negativity.

I can’t help but think that the negative feelings were contributing to things going wrong, breaking… I decided that I wasn’t going to allow the negativity from the past couple of months to spread into December. Nope, not happening. So I started the month out with a positive attitude. I changed a few things up. Started planning out my Spirit(ual) Omni Journal, worked on December’s layout and set up in my (regular) Omni Journal… and I set up things for December in my 2017 Hobonichi (which is for my personal, business, and Patreon planning/use). I wanted positive reinforcement. Needed it. And the best way to do that is to start out with an affirmation, a way to hold myself accountable (got on FB, YT, etc) and stated… No more negativity, it’s a whole new month, a new beginning… I’m going to be positive…I’m going to get things done, going to be happy, and I’m so grateful for the good things that did happen over the past few months… it wasn’t all negative.

Changing my attitude, talking about how it was a whole new month, a new beginning spread… other’s did the same… Happiness, positivity, kindness… those are contagious.

SO let’s talk about what I’ve got going on, what I’m planning (not only for December, but for 2017), and some of my goals. (This is going to be a 2 part post (and video), maybe even a 3 part. 😀

What I accomplished in 2016 so far:

  • With the help of 3 wonderful women, I opened a FB group for women called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. A place where we are safe to talk about and share things like our creative projects, our goals, our ideas and thoughts about creativity, spirituality, and life. A way to hold ourselves accountable. The four of us (Debbie, Jen, Karen, and myself) all contribute to the DM group… we are similar enough, but different enough, that we each contribute something to the group, and those wonderful women in the group also contribute. It’s become our home away from home. A safe haven to share and converse.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I finished NaNoWriMo.
  • With the support and encouragement from several women in my tribe, I opened up a FB group called Omni Journaling with Burgess.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I joined Patreon and now have several Patrons.
  • I reached 1000 subscribers on YouTube…
  • I was the beneficiary of several happy mail items… Y’all… that was so wonderful. 😀 And much needed and appreciated.
  • And, I renewed the Hosting for this website and have been blogging much more… I still need to work on blogging more often…
  • Last but not least, I checked several things off my “bucket list” this year.

Goals for 2017:

  • 2000 subscribers on YT
  • To blog every day, at the least every other day.
  • To grow my Patreon page
  • To make enough of a passive income that I am supporting my creative life myself (supplies like notebooks, pens, camera, lighting, watercolors, washi tape, etc.; Website Hosting, increasing the internet speed so I don’t have “weak connection” anymore, books, tarot cards,  a tablet selfie stick, etc…).
  • To make enough income from my creative life that I do not have to work outside the home.
  • To clean and organize the attic, my craft and art supplies, and the kitchen cabinets.
  • To paint our bedroom wall and draw/paint a mural on the wall.
  • To follow my path spiritually… to learn and grow spiritually.
  • To finish the Witchy Business Novel and the Broken novel, and to have at least the first round of edits done.
  • To write every day, at least 500-1000 words per day.
  • To draw/paint every day.
  • To be more organized and have more focus.
  • To practice kindness, positivity, and courage on a daily basis.
  • To have a regular schedule: bed by midnight, up by 8AM.
  • To be healthier (which includes 10+K steps per day, eat healthier, etc)

 

My list goes on…

And I’ve started implementing things this month to help me accomplish things in the new year. I’ve created a Spirit Omni Journal, which is a Stalogy 365 A5 Notebook. I’ve started setting up my new Omni Journal for next year, which is an Enigma from Taroko Design.

Here is the video where I talk about this: