Here, There be a Writer

Sunday, August 25, 2013

62 Hours of Art and the End of Summer

Sad Statue
I am feeling just a bit sad this morning.

See, I noticed that the calendar says August 25th, and there is about a week left before school starts up again. It's the End of Summer!

This summer has been full of Summery Goodness, but it reminds me that Fall is right around the corner. Don't get me wrong, Autumn is my favourite season. There are so many good things coming: leave changing colour in a mad spectacle of colour, pumpkin spice creamer, sweaters, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and early evenings. But while I love these things, I feel a deep sadness at the at Summer's End. The warmer weather, the greenness of EVERYTHING, carnivals, picnics, and the like.

So, how does one celebrate Summer' End.....with 62 Hours of Art located at the sprawling Beulahland in the heart of Cameron Mills, NY, just past the thriving metropolis of Risingville, NY. My wonderfully talented artsy friend Amelia has organized a 5 day festival artsy goodness that started with 60 Hours of Art in 2010 as a means of celebrate her Mom's 60th birthday (Jennifer Fais), and from there it has become annually event. Amelia organizes the event to include arts of all kind. The last 2 years that included an improv performance for all those in attendance, well received too! But, the Hours Arts Fest has included projects such as making the largest Godseye ever, music performances from local/and not local musicians, welding classes, living statue photo shoot, brick making, ceramics, Bob Ross painting and countless other projects over the years. This year 62 Hours was held at the end of August during Amelia's birthday and in a way a closing ceremony to Summer (not sure if this was intended, but I approve anyway). I got the pleasure of making the last day of 62 Hours.

I should note that while there are these awesome events, Amelia also invite people to come and create their own art while enjoy the festival, with many a painter, sculptor, and writer offering to create something from the 62 hours of Art. This was my task to find something I could create in 62 hours (it took me about 4 hours actually). Yesterday I spent the afternoon on the ground of Beulahland writing a play, a 1 act to be specific.  There are some lovely quite spot at Beulahland and coupled with some lovely background music, the ideal place (in my opinion) for writing, or painting (I met a lovely red-headed introvert painter who shared the front porch for an hour or so). I now have a new script under my belt. My hopes are to debut the script at 63 Hours (will be in talks with Amelia) next year!

Here is a brief phototrip through my day at 62 Hours of Art at Beulahland:

My starting place upon a little rock in the main grounds area. There a delightful hammock to rest your wearied bum and rest as the sign attached to the tree says to do. It is my first favourite spot and most inspired spot too!!!

 Then we moved to the living statue photoshoot. Here are some of the post shots with all of us covered in the colourful power from India's Holi: Festival of Colour. It was basically a colour war!!

Then I found my way to my second favourite inspiring spot and most quiet, Beulahland's front porch:

Here you get the cozy atmosphere of the faraway world, where most people do not trend. It is secluded and lonely, but there is joy and inspiration here. It is also the front desk/check in for 62 Hours. When I took up space here for an hour or so respite, it was quite quiet, with only the birds and a delightful red-headed painter who also sought the solace of the front porch. While out here I wrote the bulk of my yet titled 1 act. I will say this that the porch really inspired this specific script.

Here is my seat that I sat in, rustic and charming. I used this as a frame of reference in the script, except I made it a rocking chair. There's my artist friends painting corner.

Other projects and things:

 Bob Ross Painting:

Cindy's Happy Little Trees

Beuhaland's Hanging Gardens:

Clay Pidgeon Poetry: I made the words make sense!!

Coal in the bin rolling around and wrestling....

In the dirt painting and having such a..

For more information on Amelia and her Art, Beulahland (where lots of fun stuff often occurs throughout the year), and Hours of Arts Fest, check out the links (it's Sunday and links day!!!

Amelia Fais Harnas
Jennifer Green Fais
Beulahland Revival
Beulahland Facebook Page
62 Hours of Art

I will be reviewing the script and possibly posting and excerpt of it in the next week. It's been a  grand weekend. Thank you Amelia and Company!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 - It's getting close!!!!

Ever wanted to write a novel, but were afraid? Didn't know where to start? Or what to write about?

Fear not!

Some of my favourite novels!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo 2013) is coming up this November! What is National Novel Writing Month?. Well, it's a place where you can participate in the novel writing contest. It's free, although they gladly accept donation to help there website and other program to keep running.

It's easy, just go  to NaNoWriMo's website. There you can sign up and create a profile. When November 1st rolls around you start writing. You clock your number of words you write each day, the goal is to reach 50,000 words by November 30th, but not limited by only 50,000 words. The breakdown by day is about 1300 (to 1400) words per day, roughly). it can be about anything, any genre, any topic. It's a great adventure in writing with literary zealotry! I pushed myself, even when I wasn't sure I would make 50,000 words. I had support from fellow NaNo writers: Vickie, Becky, and Allison. It an amazing feeling to write and write and after a month see a complete novel. i still have my first one. I have  plan to try to revise it and maybe self-publish it and see if people are interested in it.

I am not one to always have an idea to write about, but if I am in need of writing prompts to help boost  the creative juices, I go to Toasted Cheese Literary Journal. Often I just write without purpose, with a reckless abandon, and that has worked to my benefit; but I have also wrote and not gotten anywhere. That's okay too! Sometimes a false start is just a slight sidetrack to the real story.

I did not get to NaNo last year due to directing and stuffs, but the plans are in the works to do it this year. I am excited. So very excited!! Been stockpiling little ideas, places, names for inclusion in this years novel. Might try a light science fiction novel this year. I have hang ups about writing Sci-fi/Fantasy, I start out great, but then get too caught up in the details and forget that I have a plot to focus on. What NaNoWriMo did for me, I can barely put into words. It goes something like this. When you do NaNo you end up putting your fears and doubts aside to the benefit of the story being told, your character will come to life and start tell you their story.

So, we shall see! Hope to see you there!! My name on NaNo is draconicwitch, look me up. I also tweet about my writing, so check out my twitter draconicwitch. Check out my writing page on Facebook at Here, There be a Writer.

here's a little from today's writing exercise: "Drop what you’re doing and write for 15 minutes! Go!"

She was sitting in the living room bay window. The sky, she noticed, was a pale grey, nit quite a slate, but not white either and there seems to be very little breeze. She sighed a deep sigh. Here sketch book was next to her, but the ambition seemed to have disappeared. There didn’t seemed to be a thing moving outside, not a bird, nor breeze.

“Nothing seems to be alive out there,” she mumbled to herself, as she scanned the landscape, nary a bush or tree moved. It felt like there was an oncoming storm, but the air smell of freshly cut lawn and of corn from the fields across the road. “Today would be better if I cared,” she said to the old grey Persian that was also sitting on the window seat. She turned her head out to the outside again, “there’s Uncle Oedipus. He must have finished the mowing.” She paused, the ennui seemed to over take her, turning to the cat, “really Misty, I guess there is nothing to do but sit here and stare out the window.” Misty, the Persian glanced at the girl and let out a wide yawn and blinked, “yeah, I feel the same way,” as she also yawned. “I probably should go help uncle Oedipus with the yard work, but really…” she leaned back against the window, “I just don’t care…’ turning back out to the yard.

Oedipus was hauling out a large basket with a great deal of effort. He was struggling to free it from the shed. There seemed to be a fishing pole caught on the lip of the basket that was also dragging a garden hose with it. The girl watched as Oedipus struggled, she seems bored. When sudden Oedipus dropped the basket and tried to walk away, but only ended up tripping, with the girl watching the tangled interplay. “Looks like he’s gonna fall…”

“You might want to go help me,” a voice said in her ear. She turned abruptly to Misty, who just blinked and turned her head to look out the window.

“Who said that?” The girl whipped around; there was no one else in the living room. She turned back to the window just in time to see Oedipus stumble and start to fall. “Uncle Oedipus!” she called, arms reaching out, and she saw Oedipus freeze in position, in mid fall. “Crap!” she muttered, and then stopped to see that Oedipus was frozen in mid tumble. “Wait! What the hell?” Blinking back her vision she saw that indeed her uncle was frozen in mid fall. “Misty? She asked, “How did I do that?” she said looking at the cat who seemed clearly intent on a fly buzzing around her head. “Wait! How is it that I’m moving and the fly is moving, but not Uncle Oedipus?”

“Are you gonna stand there all day, Young Lady?” the voice returned.

“Uncle Oedipus?” The girl stood looking out the window at her uncle, who was not moving, but she clearly heard him say…

“Child, I appreciated that to stopped my fall, but I cannot hold this position much longer.”

“Uncle Oedipus, is that you?” The girl placed a hand on the window pane, as she stared at her uncle.

“Who else would it be, Walela? Now kindly let me go, so I can fall and get it over with.”

“But Uncle, if I do, you will fall…”

“Not now, Walela, as soon as you let me go, I can tuck into a roll and avoid an injury.”

“But, Uncle how am I to let you go…” Walela said, “And how am I am talking to you?” turning away from the window to star at the Persian, who was now dozing in the pale sun light.

“Walela, you are the one that stopped me; you have to be the one to release me.”

Still stunned by this recent event, Walela, turned to the window and stared at her uncle, confused, she was at a loss for what to do. She pointed her finger at her uncle and said, “Let him go,” and waved her finger. Nothing happened.

“Walela, what are you doing? This is not your Harry Potter mumbo jumbo! Release me, this instance! My calf muscles are tensing up,” chided Oedipus.

“Okay, Uncle.” Walela was confused and began freak out. She turned back to her uncle and whispered “move.” Oedipus became mobile and she watched as he tucked into a ball and rolled out of the way of the tangle of basket, fishing pole, and hose. She turns and runs toward the door trying to thinking clearly about what just happened.

“Thank you Walela,” said Oedipus.

Have you written a novel before? Have you wanted to? What would you write about? Drop me a comment below:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mix Tape....What is this....the 1990's?

Alright, I missed a few days! Oops! :-)

I had a stage crew gig this weekend and was overly busy in general. It happens. Been thinking of ideas for this blog, such as reviews to do in the future, or topics of interest to the internet public. I still want to review "The Golden Compass", both the movie and book, but I need to time re-read the book again (and as I am still reading the "Inheritance Cycle", it'll be a bit before I get to that). I have another super secret review that I am planning, but it's also not ready. I think all y'all will enjoy it, but it's so secret, so don't ask! ~wink~ It's some GOOD trouble, as my Mentor is often fond of saying. I like that phrase. I also want to interview a couple of people and feature some of their stuff on "Here, There be a Writer". These are also in the works. So, what does that leave to feature today?

Well..... ~pause~
A number of ideas spring from a a single source have exploded in my brain lately. About a week ago friends-Amy and Richard-came down to visit (they live in Rochester) and one of the many topics discussed while during this said visit was our love of our old mix tapes. After all, we (the four of us) grew up in the era of cassette tapes and often this only way to get/discover new music when you were a poor college student; was to trade mix tapes with your friends. Of course this also goes for collecting concert tapes and rare tracks, something my husband was ever so fond of doing in the 1990's (still does actually, just different format). The CD burner had yet to come out, or was so new that it cost close to 200 dollars to purchase. Yeah, Chitlins, your parents, aunts and uncles used to not be able to burn a copy of their favourite band new album for their friends. We had to listen to the radio (gah!), or cassette tapes. Most of us had only the radio and whatever cassette tapes  we had lying around (sometimes record albums, although they hadn't made the come back yet). This was part of the reason, no doubt, how mix tape were born, because when you were bored you would make the mix tape and not be bored (at least that how it was for me). Often I had more fun making the mix tape, especially if it was for someone else.

This was the age of the late 90's, when you would hook your computer to your boombox (is that ever the right term now-a-days?) to record mp3's that you had gotten from Napster, Audio-galaxy, Scour, or Morpheus so you could record digital media onto cassettes. I used this method quite a bit, that and the CD to tape method to create my mix tapes; sometimes I would use tape to tape, if I could borrow my parents dual tape deck player, that is (mine had only one tape deck).

I made mix tapes not only for my friends, but also for myself. There is a kind of magic in popping in a mix tape and listening to the often eclectic track list boasted on most of these tapes, singing along, usually to the dismay of your suite mates or siblings (no one really cared). Songs that you grew up with, or that friends introduced you to and then they became your favourites, or those guilty pleasure songs (you know which ones).

In this modern age when most music is digital and  cassette tapes are hard to find anywhere, I like to harken back to my own cassette tape collection. It doesn't get a lot of use much lately, but I find comfort in listening to these very same tapes from late high school through college. I even brought one such mix tape into the 21st century and made a CD version of the track list. The tape which has been a crucial part of my car driving experience in the post college years. It is feeling the years and may not last much longer. I made this conversion in order to save the history of this particular tape. While the old tape still works-and it'll probably last until the cassette breaks or implodes, whichever comes first-I wanted to remember the awesome time and good feelings it sparks in my soul.

Featuring the track list from this famous mix tape that is lovingly dubbed, "Amy's College Mix", is a collection of tracks from my friend Amy. Because of her, I now know these song so completely that I think they are knitted into my DNA now. It also brings back a bit of nostalgia for me, "Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable/And lightness has a call that's hard to hear..." from the depths of the boring real world, I have a little ray of hope and sunshine calling to me to sing along. From this tape I learned to love Great Big Sea, I discovered the musical-Scarlet Pimpernel, understood what RENT meant, hated U2 a little less, understood Amy a bit better, learned that the Indigo Girls had other songs out there that weren't "Closer to Fine", and discovered some new/new to me artists.

Amy's College Mix, Circa 1999ish

In the House of Stone and Light - Martin Page
Send Me on My Way - Rusted Root
Ordinary Day - Great Big Sea
Uptown Girl  - Billy Joel
Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Roam - The B-52's
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
Soul Cages - Sting
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
Nightswimming - REM
You're My Home - Scarlet Pimpernel
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
Kid Fears - Indigo Girls
Gimme One Reason - Tracy Chapman
Mari-Mac - Great Big Sea
Jesus' Brother Bob - Arrogant Worms
Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
Tell Her About It - Billy Joel
Angel of Harlem - U2
RENT - Rent
I Will Not Take These Thing For Granted  - Toad the Wet Sprocket
I'm Going to Go Back There Someday - Gonzo
Into the Fire - Scarlet Pimpernel
Last Dance - Sarah McLachlan

This brings up the point that I wanted to make. I want to make a new mix tape for Amy (as she herself said there was a volume 2 in the works of the above mentioned mix tape). Well, if she makes me a new one, then I will make her a new mix tape (using actual cassette tapes too) of my current favourite songs/new stuff that I think she would like. What to look for? Maybe some Annie Lennox, She and Him, Celtic Woman, maybe a little Great Big Sea, Bare Naked Ladies, or even some of Hannah-Rei and Sophie Madeleine (two very talented British Lassies), might even put some Paul Simon or Indigo Girls (but different tracks on this one).

Question Time: Has anyone made a mix tape before? If so, then what have you included? What would you put on a mix tape? Comment below, in the Comment Section....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Birthday Weekend 2013

I had a few ideas for things I wanted to write about this week, but couldn't really settle on enough to make a blog worth while. It is almost like over the last 2 weeks I got some great snippets of neat nostalgia and inspiring things, but not enough for a full blog, or so I thought.

I am sitting here in my study, listening to "Welcome to the Neighborhood" by Meatloaf, second time through actually, drinking coffee I starting thinking. Why not just blog about the last 2 weeks. There is a lot of stuff that can be connected and sometimes it's nice to see what I've been up to. Today is my low key lazy day, filled with running some choreography for the parts I am in "Best in Little Whorehouse in Texas", drinking coffee and catching up on life. It rather a quiet day, but the perfect day for reflection and chore doing. But, that's not relaxing, is it? For me, doing laundry and putting the dishes away is completely relaxing. And since my dryer still hasn't been replaced, it's line drying for me, but today is breezy and partly sunny. So, while the clothes are 'drying' in coffee and dancing for me, followed by Meatloaf. ~SIGH~

What have I been up  to lately? Well, first of all, you all should know by now that (from the above paragraph) I am currently rehearsing for a production of "Best Little Whorehouse". It is definitely in my top 10 of musicals (see previous post about musicals). I am in the chorus with a slew of other talented folks and some freaking talented leads too. Often the choral parts are more demanding, having to learn more songs and dance steps than the lead (although not always). Today's work includes "Texas Has a Whorehouse In It" and "24 Hours". I haven't dance and sang together this heavy since the Lake Country Player's production of "Beauty and the Beast" in 2006.

"Watchdog's gonna get you. He's gonna shine his light on you...."

This weekend was my 34th birthday weekend. I am not ashamed of my age, I prefer to live and NOT be worried about a number. My birthday was August 2nd, a Friday. I got to sleep in and in the afternoon visit some of my favourite people, the Love's (Ryan, Sara, Wendy, and newborn Daphne), where I got a birthday cake, a balloon, and sung to by some of my best theatre friends. I even placed Candyland with Wendy Love, Sara's adorable 3 year old daughter. The game board has changed quite a bit from the 80's, there a few characters added and a couple have been removed, while others have been re-tooled. I guess my nostalgia really kicked in when I saw the Queen Frostine is now Princess Frostine and looks more like a tweaked up version of a Bratz doll/Disney Princess. Also, there no Plumby, Grandma Nutt or Mr. Mint, having been replaced by the likes of Grandma Gooey, Duke of Swirl, and the Gingerbread Kids. I guess it's a sign of the times, but wow! It was still fun to play, and I never thought I would be playing Candyland on my birthday.

I also drew a picture of Maximus (from Tangled and Wendy's FAVOURITE movie) in Banana Pants. I am working on a full colourized version for all to see (I've included the pencil sketch here).

Me and Sara Love

Carousel Shot
Carousel Shot
Yesterday my friends Amy (from college) and Richard came down from Rochester to play Putt Putt, ride the Dragon Boats and the Carousel at Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY. It felt great to be a kid again. After being an adult for far too long, it's nice to revert back to childhood, the good parts at least, and play skeet ball, pinball, ride the Carousel (picking your favourite animal to ride is a tough choice), and laughing. This is the second such day of youthful shenanigans I have had with DAScottJr; last weekend it was Darien Lake. Where we rode the Viper, Sleighride, and Grizzly Run to name a few. It was only the fourth time going to Darien Lake in my life and the first since Six Flags, oh well, it still look basically the same since the last time I had been there. There were new rides and what not, like the wilderness area with the GIANT wooden rocking chair and the Motor-Coaster (that was a fun ride), but I still knew where most of the rides were located, like the Predator, the Carousel, Grizzly Run, and the Pirate Ship. It was a blast!

Some shots from Darien Lake.

Some shots of our day at Eldridge Park.

Hole-in-One David
Weeping Amy
Lake Eldridge

Riding Eragon
Dragon Boats

The Ladies on Eragon
The Men on Eragon

Meet Gaspara the Red!

I love these guys!!!

Saphira the Indigo Dragon
And today, the 12th Doctor is revealed! Oh, the excitement!

Thanks The Doctor Who Hub for the picture

It's been a fantastic weekend! Not read to go back to work, but lots of exciting stuff coming up. The summer is going by really fast, but I guess I am not surprised, it seems to happen every year.It was the best birthday ever! Thank you!!!

"Y'all come back now, Y'here!"