Tag Archives: watercolour painting

Exercising My Options

First, my triumphant announcement:  Book 14 is finally live, hooray! (Click here for retailer links) Now, as long as there are no SNAFUs with the retailers, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  *crosses fingers*  Maybe I’ll even kick back and relax for a day or two.

Or maybe I should go and work out instead…

I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.  I’ve always been a bit of a jock, but I also have a bad case of inertia:  Bodies at rest want to remain at rest, and mine is no exception.

So I’m working away, planted comfortably in my chair, when I realize it’s mid-afternoon and my butt is putting down permanent roots into the chair cushions.  That’s when my better self murmurs, “You should get up and exercise.”

My lazy self whines, “But I’m busy and I don’t wanna! I’ll have to change my clothes, and exercising takes so much time, and it’s hard…”

This argument goes on for a while, but my better self (usually) prevails and pries me out of the chair.  It helps that I’m eager to get in shape for martial arts again — even though I’m too old and slow to compete, I still love to kick and punch the hell out of something that won’t hit back.

So I get changed and get started. Then there’s another whole round of whining until the endorphins kick in and I really get into my workout.  By the end, I’m frizzy-haired, red-faced, sweat-soaked, and grinning with the knowledge that I’m closer to my goal.  That afterglow carries me for the rest of the day, but the following morning is a different story.

I creak out of bed groaning and swearing and questioning my own sanity.  I mean, seriously, what’s the point? I’m going to die sooner or later anyway, and all the exercise in the world won’t change that. Why am I putting myself through this? I could just schlep around being comfortably weak, and I’d only be sore on the rare occasions when I overdo it.  I wouldn’t be sore every damn day. *whine, whine, grumble*

I was in my ‘cranky’ phase a few weeks ago when I arrived at my painting group. After struggling with my watercolour for a while, I let out a martyred sigh and announced, “I’m tired of trying so hard all the time! Why can’t there be just one thing in life that’s easy?”

One of my painting buddies spoke up immediately. “Gaining weight is easy.”

I stared at her, happily enlightened. “Dang, you’re right! And it’s fun, too!”

“Except for the long-term consequences.”

“Uh, well… yeah…”

*sigh*

So I’m sticking to my exercise program.  It’s slowly getting easier.

And hey, that painting turned out okay, too. After nearly two years of weekly attempts, I’ve finally created something I might just hang on the wall!  But I can’t decide on a mat colour.  Opinions, please?  (Click the thumbnails to enlarge.)

 

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Mind: Boggled.

I was going to title this post “Wait, What…?”, but then I realized I’d already written a post with that title four years ago.  It’s tough when you’ve been blogging for so long that you forget what you’ve written.  But these days I forget what I’ve said ten minutes ago, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

What’s truly surprising is that four years have elapsed since I last wrote “Wait, What…?” Considering the number of things that boggle my mind on a semi-regular basis, you’d think I’d have tried to use that title a lot more often.

F’rinstance, the other day I flipped over to Google and started typing ‘how can…’  My original research question vanished into a mind-boggle when Google helpfully offered the following suggestions:

Really?!?  “How can she slap” is the most pressing question on people’s minds?  What does that even mean?  Slap what?  Or whom?  Is this some new kinky-sex thing?  (I may need to do more research.)

And who knew that the compulsion to sing was so powerful and widespread that people are Googling for relief?  I would have expected questions like “How can I keep my spouse from singing?”; or, more likely, “How can I keep Diane Henders from singing ever again?”; but you know you’re in trouble when you can’t keep yourself from singing.  (Maybe try multi-part harmony with the other voices in your head?)

Then I ran across a helpful site listing “Top Website Mistakes Authors Make”*.  I was reading along and thinking, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, nope, I’m good…” when I came to an item that said “As soon as visitors arrive on your site they should immediately be offered more help and a ‘Click here, get this’ offer.”

And I went, “Wait, what?  No!  If I land on a site that shoves spam and clickbait in my face, I’m GONE!”  But maybe these days everybody wants and expects to have their email addresses extorted out of them in exchange for a few paltry facts of dubious value; and I’m just a cantankerous old dinosaur.  (Okay; the ‘dinosaur’ part isn’t a ‘maybe’.)

And my final “What?!?” for the week occurred when I checked last week’s ‘Santa or Grinch’ poll results.  Well, dang.  I’d been so certain of my (made-up) statistics!  But I wasn’t even close:

Click on the image to see the full results. (You may have to click again on the full results to get a readable size.)

So I guess I’ll just have to keep making up fiction — facts are too hard to fake.

But here’s a fact:  Ready or not, Christmas is only six days away.  So… Merry Christmas if you celebrate it; and Happy December if you don’t.  (We’re almost past the shortest day, so that’s something to celebrate right there.)

I’m taking a blogging break between Christmas and New Year’s, so my next post will be on January 2, 2019.  Meanwhile, I wish you and yours peace, happiness, health, and prosperity; now and in the New Year!

I did this little watercolour a couple of weeks ago: “Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa’s”

* I was researching websites because I’m going to have to update this site to comply with modern technology.  So don’t be surprised if things start to look a little different around here!

Book 14 update:  I’m starting Chapter 39 — Kane just made a BIG decision, and Aydan is trying not to freak out about it.  So many threads in this book!  The final edit might cut some out, but so far I’m just telling the story as it unfolds…

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Do Ya Feel Lucky, Punk?

It’s been an interesting week… if by ‘interesting’ you mean ‘a blood-pressure-spiking, rant-inducing tragicomedy of ridiculousness’.

Or in other words:  ‘Same-old, same-old’.

We started the process for our second floor renovation in early August, reasoning that two and a half months was lots of time to get a permit, frame a storage closet and a bathroom, and insulate before the weather turned cold.  I sealed my doom by signing up for a six-week watercolour course to begin in mid-October, because the construction would be done by then, right?

Ha.  I reckoned without the glacial pace of structural engineers and bureaucracy.

Last week when we were rushing around getting ready for the framing inspection (we did the framing ourselves), I finally lost my grip… on everything from my paintbrush to my temper.

In our last watercolour class I had foolishly bravely decided to paint along with the instructor.  I didn’t expect great results; but what the heck, if you don’t try, you’ll never know, right?

I actually did okay for a while.  I laid in washes for sky and water, and underpainted my trees… and then my coordination short-circuited and my paintbrush (loaded with brown pigment) flipped out of my hand and bounced… not once; but twice… onto my painting.

Two gigantic dark-brown turds splotched down in the middle of my misty landscape.

I burst into uproarious laughter.

Taking their cue from my continuing chuckles, the rest of the class converged to giggle and cheer me on while I tried to convert my turds into dock pilings jutting out of the water.

I failed, but at least we all had a good laugh.

In between construction and turd-painting I’ve also been hard at work on Book 13, and apparently I need new reading glasses.  For a few days a muscle under my right eye twitched wildly, making me look like a female version of Dirty Harry on speed.

That turned out to be fitting, because when I discovered water puddling on our floor from a leaky door, I completely lost my shit and fired off… *ahem* …a strongly-worded missive1 to our home-builder, who has been ignoring my deficiency reports since May.  I doubt if it did any good, but at least it relieved my feelings.

After that banner week, I couldn’t help snickering in anticipation of comedic disaster when I looked into my kitchen junk drawer.  It contains everything from screwdrivers to matches to notepads… and also a tube of lip balm, a black Sharpie marker, and a Tide pen all in the same convenient compartment.

Now, what could possibly go wrong?

So if you hear about a woman who accidentally poisoned herself by using a Tide pen instead of lip balm, you’ll know who it was.  Or who knows?  I might unwittingly use the Sharpie to enhance my Dirty Harry image with a permanent black moustache.

So whenever I make a blind grab for that tube of lip balm, I have to ask myself:  “Do ya feel lucky, punk?  Well… do ya?”

*

1 Even though I really wanted to fill that email with enough profanity to make their eyes bleed, I didn’t use any swearwords at all.  Aren’t you proud of me?

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