Why Do We ‘Can’?

Who in the world named this process canning? Honestly. I really enjoy it, whatever you call it. The process itself is tedious and time-consuming and makes a huge mess. But later, say during a winter snowstorm, it’s a huge joy to take down a jar of tomato juice, pop off the cover and enjoy all that sunshine in there.

Funny—how we think we can indeed do that, capture sunshine.

Yet this very same thought process is what makes a good story a great read. See how I snuck right into novel writing from canning some tomatoes? Honestly, writing is similar to say, baking bread too. You have certain ingredients you have to add into a story to make it unfold in just the right manner. Too much, say, backstory and the reader gets bored. Not enough plot twists or too many characters can really flatten a tale. Same for bread-making. Too much flour and you’ve got a brick on your hands. I should know, I used to bake bricks.

So many ingredients roll into a good novel. The one I’m currently writing has begun to take on a life of its own. Not that I’m not involved, it’s all me in there, but once a story begins to unfold, if all the pieces are lining up, well, I really simply need to show up!

Let the canning/writing continue!

Canning Sunshine 2014


A Sky Full Of Starz

Well, I think I found my mark. I really do.
Took me long enough, well, actually, it took just the right amount of time and that’s as it should be. I’m going to head back to Madeline Island after all.
I really thought I might be done with that place, but it wasn’t/isn’t done with me!

Funny how story can do that. Take your imagination and flip it on the side and have you looking with fresh new eyes.

This is going to be a harder story to tell. Things are going to happen and bend around in ways Eve and Ruby have no way of preparing for. Time to shake things up a bit, well, a lot actually…

Are you ready?

Sunflowerz in August 2014

Unexpected Beauty—

Beauty can surprise you. It can sneak up on you. Be found in something many would consider ugly, or even stupid. Don’t listen to them. Art is like that, it’s special appeal something only you might see. Many times (tell me this hasn’t happened to you) I’ve been visiting someone and they proudly show me a new painting or vase or sofa and, on the outside, you’re all ooo’s and ahhh’s, but inside you’re wondering if maybe this person is going blind!

After we lost our old farm house in a fire a while back, what was left was hauled away. Leaving behind the possibility for something new. While readying the area for this new home, I came across this piece of charred wood from the old house and it just blew me away.

It held something so beautiful. It had become something else.

No longer a reminder of something sad, this piece of charred wood had been transformed into art. Well, not if you ask my mom. But to Ken and I it holds a beauty that maybe only we see and that’s enough for us. It’s perfect.

Charred Beauty

Flowing Into Story Can Lead to Some Pretty Cool Places.

As I continue to create a sequel to an as-of-yet unpublished novel, I find myself challenged. By ME! Who doesn’t at times, right? I try and grab my reluctance to sit down to my keyboard and get cracking and just do it.

Being a writer and also living out in a very rural setting can provide an author with some interesting considerations. I think most folks who happen upon this site of mine find the opposite in that most everyone lives in a city. Or at least somewhere where your nearest neighbor isn’t a mile down the lane.

Yet inspiration does find me. In different and more subtle ways than city-like-diversions. It’s usually a view out my window. Or the way the light plays across a wall as the sun weaves together colors into shade and hues.

A reflection becomes a doorway through which my mind can spin out and into and unfold to story.

I have tried so many times when sharing my art to explain this place I go. This flow that takes over.

No, I don’t have a muse or favorite pen or wear a cap just so. I have something far more complex and yes, sometimes totally bonkers—imagination.


And you know what? So do you.

You have within you the possibility to create all that is. Bonkers huh.




Where To Find Inspiration For Your Art/Life

With all the tons and tons and TONS of social media swirling around, where the heck can you find inspiration? Well that’s pretty easy. Everywhere. From looking out the window, to opening a book of poetry, to dashing around Facebook, we’re saturated with the stuff.

The thing that I sometimes struggle with is how to keep the fire burning. How to not only find your artistic stride, but to carry it forward to completion. Nothing like typing the words, “The End.” Or signing the bottom of your painting or just putting on those mittens you just finished knitting.

But you really should finish.

How can you pick up the next project knowing in the back of your head there’s that unfinished thing needing your energy?

I read a poem before I begin my writing day. I have all sorts of collections lying around that I can pick up and just find some words and then enjoy the images, thoughts, feeling-tones that come to me. It slows me to a place I can do my art; my writing.

Find what brings your creative juices up to a slow bubble and do it! Make something like a loaf of bread or hand-made pasta to find your stride. Food is one of the best ways to reignite the flow of energy that leads to creativeness.

Now go!