Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Creative Mix Writer

I’ve just gotten this basket from a thrift shop. I’m enjoying it. It’s very different from the handcrafted ones I’m writing about in my Basket Series. (I’m writing the third in the series now.)

 When I get a basket, I usually have its purpose in mind, just like Jessie Holbrook, the intuitive owner of The Basket Shop featured in The Basket Maker's Wife (Book 1).  Of course, Jessie chooses a special basket for one unique person which will affect their lives—all in a good way.

This basket is quite large and light, crafted from reeds, I believe. I found that it’s sturdy, portable and perfect for my crochet stuff. That’s the scarf I just crocheted because I wanted a red one in that shade.

 But over the holidays, I promised I would finish the rabbit painting that has been interrupted so many times. He’s been haunting me. I haven’t painted in years, and need to relearn quite a bit, but he’ll do for a starter. Enthused, I bought more canvases. There they sit, waiting…. 

I’ve never had art or writing lessons. There’s a freedom in that, whether good or bad. A friend found that unusual. I don’t. You just do what’s inside you to do. What do you think?

I’ve found that it’s really difficult to separate the artistic creative mind from the writer’s mind. It seems other writer/artists do, too. Somehow, that mix, back-to-back does not work for me. I can only do one or the other. But that squirrel is done, destined for a daughter’s wall. Sleepless in Montana (romantic suspense) is a special book to me--they're all special in one way or another. Hero Hogan Kodiak is an artist and I identified with his creative mind.

I've set up a Pinterest Page dedicated to Baskets. Please visit? Who knew there would be a chestnut gathering basket??

Here’s just a few of the things I do and enjoy, which I’m certain others do, too.
·      Writing. I’m a storyteller at heart, but a written one. I appreciate those who can verbally tell a good story. My Dad was excellent, making the story live through spoken words. I enjoy the character mixes, like Jessie Holbrook, Nora and Lynn in The Basket Maker’s Wife. A good character mix, reacting/reflecting off each other is essential.
·      Driving open roads, traveling, etc. I’ve driven those Northwest historical trails in my westerns, visited the forts, pow-wows, etc. Soaked up every historical marker on the Oregon Trail.
·      Photography. I hope to paint some of my shots one day. I take a lot of pictures which help me remember the setting of my books. I’ve been to the settings of all my books, but have fictionalized towns, etc. But I also take flower closeups, etc.
·      Baking bread. And people like to eat it. (I just got a new bread basket.) My family and friends preference is a potato roll; the dough can be refrigerated. The historical recipe originated with the Pikes Peak miners.
·      Cooking. Asian/Italian/some German, etc. (a chopstick is the handiest cooking utensil). I put on a good movie and make those potstickers to freeze for soup.
·      Growing and using herbs.
·      Making my own laundry soap—just did that this a.m.—and am learning other DIYs including shower gels, etc.
·      Tunisian crocheting. That’s the red scarf in the basket. My mother was a true artist with a hook. I’m not, but enjoy simple stitches. I do a lot of it, though nothing fancy. In an upcoming short story, a Tunisian crochet hook becomes deadly. My stories contain the things I do. Been there, done that.

And oddly, learning new computer software is like a game to me. I don't know why. Strange, huh?

There’s more and will be more. What I enjoy and do are incorporated in my stories. Chickens are featured in an upcoming book, and yes I’ve “conflicted” with them, too. And calves, and canning, gardening and farm housewifery. Yes, I’ve hiked paths in the Cascade Mountains. In discussions with other writers, I’ve found that most of them are a creative mix and quite accomplished.

There’s a truism in writer-dom: “You have to get out from behind the desk to add depth to your story.” I believe it.

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 “Couldn’t put it down.”
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