Bad Bad Bad

I signed up for the Art Every Day Challenge, thinking it would be a refreshing break from my writing each day to do a drawing or painting. (I am participating in NaNoWriMo, the Poem a Day Challenge, and Picture Book Idea Month.)

Uh, I signed up for too much. I am not sorry though. So far, I am more than half-way through the 20,000 words I had left to write on a draft of my novel, I have more than 100 ideas for picture books, and I have written 12 new contemporary free verse poems.

As far as the Art a Day Challenge goes, I have gone out to shoot landscape photographs every day. It is a season of transition here in western Colorado. We have had the last of fall color, the first snow, some exciting wind that scoured out the haze, and a spectacular storm with billowing clouds. It would have been a sin to stay indoors, and I use photographs as sources for my other artwork.

I sell some of my photographs on Royalty-Free stock sites including Shutterstock, IStock, Dreamstime, BigStock, Fotalia, Veer, Depositphotos, Canstock, 123 Royalty Free and more, but I do not count my straight digital captures as artwork. I will see if I can post some new art tomorrow. Image

For now, here are some deer we spotted at the Grand Junction Wildlife Refuge near the Colorado River. They were watching us from a grove of cottonwoods. The image is cropped from a larger frame and is more than a bit soft, but I wanted to share them with you.

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Mailbox In Snow Stock Photo – 7586 | BIGSTOCK

Mailbox In Snow Stock Photo – 7586 | BIGSTOCK.

Sold a copy of this snowy mailbox image on BigStock today. I guess I’m not the only one who’s having trouble inserting pictures into posts here on WordPress. It just started recently. Sorry about the inconvenience of having to click on the link to see what I’m talking about here. I hope they fix the problem, or at least explain soon.

It’s still relatively warm today, and we will probably go for a walk before the football games and cooking begin. We don’t have cable, and we don’t get FOX up here. The local signal is too weak, so poor Alden will miss the morning game. As for the cooking, it isn’t much. I will put our turkey breast in its oven bag this afternoon and we’ll enjoy the scent upstairs as I write.

I would be discouraged by my paltry progress on my novel, but it has been a good month. I have the whole thing plotted out. I know what it’s about, so I know where to begin. That means I will have to redo the first chapter, but I know how to do that. The characters are shaping up and the conflict has defined itself and expanded. I’m hoping to make more progress today. The book is up to a little more than 21,000 words now. I plan to have it finished by the end of December. Okay, I’m not going to “win” NaNoWriMo, but on Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for this wonderful month of community and support.

Yesterday, I signed up for the January conference in New York. I’m looking forward to attending with my daughter. We had so much fun last year. You can see some of the pictures I took of Manhattan in the snow on Zazzle. I changed most of them to black and white and added a little grain. I took them with a point and shoot I can carry in my pocket. The advantage was great, walking around in Midtown, tourist that I am, without my big SLRs. The disadvantage was color noise and fringing. I really love the way the black and white worked, anyway. It captured the feel of the winter city.

 

Autumn Snow on the Grand Mesa Posters from Zazzle.com

Autumn Snow on the Grand Mesa Posters from Zazzle.com.

Yesterday, while taking a break from my writing, I uploaded some pictures I took this fall. This one was shot on a spectacular October day. Alden and I drove across what locals call “the Stinkin’ Desert” to Delta, where we ate breakfast in our favorite truck-stop style cafe. I like my poached eggs really hard. I know that’s weird, folks, but they got it just right. This was an auspicious beginning.

The sun was shining and it was quite warm in the valley, so we were afraid the recent mountain snow had all melted away. There was, as it turned out, no cause for fear. As you can see, the snow up near the Grand Mesa Visitor Center was absolutely gorgeous.

Now, of course, the autumn leaves you see on the aspens in the background are long gone. Down here in Grand Junction, the skies are leaden. It is perfect weather for processing and reflection. That’s the way the creative process, works, after all, at least for me. I take in new experiences like a glutton, swallowing them whole while they are available, and then, in times like this, after the fall colors and before the stunning silences of winter, I make them my own.

Snow on Dallas Divide Poster from Zazzle.com

Sold a copy of this beautiful winter poster on Zazzle today. The mountains are the rugged San Juans near Ridgway, Colorado. The scene is stunning at any time of the year. In the winter, it is still and magical.

Snow on Dallas Divide Poster from Zazzle.com.

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Autumn Lake Nature Photo Poster from Zazzle.com

 

 

 

Connected Lakes in Autumn

 

 

Autumn Lake Nature Photo Poster from Zazzle.com.

On Thursday, we stopped by Connected Lakes State Park on our way home from Highline Lake. The cottonwoods were just starting to turn. We may go down there later for a walk. This is the best time of year to be outdoors in our valley!

 

Autumn in the Country Print from Zazzle.com

Country road in autumn

Autumn in the Country Print from Zazzle.com.

We’ve been out hiking in the countryside all week. The autumn weather has been absolutely spectacular.  We took a day off to rest. My husband has been building a model of a Santa Fe sand house while watching football. I attended a seminar on blogging and was inspired to post again.

The Waiting Time

in answer to Jane

the orchards and vineyards
are still bare;
late winter winds
rattle branches
below the snowy
bluffs of Horse Mountain
and farmers pace
like anxious fathers
in hospital corridors,
checking the heaters
and plucking buds
to see which still
contain the sweet
promise of fruit.
The pruning has been
done. The ditches
are burned. All
is clear, except
what lies ahead
and, on this hazy
Saturday, there’s nothing
to do but take out
new clothes, hide eggs
for the children,
and wait.

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