June Update: Puppy Pics, Urban Sketching and a New Website

Well! Another month nearly is gone. How this happens without notice is beyond me!

The Abby & Ginger Show

Let’s start with a puppy update, since I know that’s what everyone wants to hear about, heheheh.

Are they ornery or what?!

The girls are growing like weeds, what can I say, that’s what puppies do. We’ve discovered that they love music and have very good eyesight. Ginger, in particular, loves Native American flute music, but they both like to dance to “Who Let the Dogs Out” so I can’t claim they have cultured tastes! They discovered that we have strange “Otherdogs” that magically appear at specific times of the day when looking at the front window or our glass television cabinet, which is really funny until they start barking hysterically (it’s their reflections).

They seem to be potty trained now, in no small part due to getting up at all hours of the night as soon as they squeak. It’s easier to tumble outside in all weather at 1 am when you keep in mind that you’re taking care of little babies who can’t control their bladders. But that rain is like a cold shower in the middle of the night!

The turtle game: Abby goes under the bed and Ginger tries to attack her. Abby will eventually carry the bed around the room on her back. It’s so funny to watch!

Urban Sketching Class

After working for weeks on lesson plans for the urban sketching class, I decided to postpone teaching. It will be a good fit for the community, eventually, but I’ve discovered that there aren’t many people who know what it is.

Instead, I’ve created a Facebook group and am leading sketchwalks twice a month for anyone who is interested. I can still use a lot of my lesson planning for these since I’m trying to include a short, free workshop once a month. I hope to build an urban sketching community that specializes in visual storytelling in the highest degree. The bar is set high, since Jonesborough is the Storytelling Capital of the World!

That’s no joke, either. We have the International Storytelling Center right here, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and our community strongly supports the culture of traditional storytelling. It’s been going on since 1973 when people began coming from all over the world to tell and hear stories.

Storytelling isn’t new to urban sketching, either, it’s part of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto. But with some urban sketches, it’s difficult to know if the sketch is trying to tell a story, a drawing of someone’s journey, or just for practice. Since I come from a storytelling background (from writing most of my life as well as from participating in local storytelling theater/radio performances for the last 6 years), I hope that I can offer a lot of helpful tips to people interested in improving their urban sketch storytelling.

Shifting into Writing Mode

Speaking of writing, I don’t want to scare anyone into thinking that I’m dropping my art habits, but lately I’ve felt the need to do more creative work with words instead of pictures. So I’m revisiting a novel that I started a couple of years ago. I actually blogged about it at the time (and I’ll try to repost those blogs) because I was writing the novel for NaNoWriMo that year. I succeeded in getting my 50,000 word count, but ended up with a rough draft.

When I read through the beginning of that rough draft and it still sounded good, I decided to continue working on it. It’s a cozy mystery story in an urban fantasy setting that takes place about 100 years from now in the eastern U.S. Back when I started, I titled it “When Goblins Do Chocolate”, which won’t be the final title. But I had to pick something for the Nano sprint, no matter how bad.

Yep, it involves chocolate and goblins.

And while I was digging through the novel’s folder, I came across the short stories I’d written the same year. They, also, seemed to be in pretty good shape, so I decided to start a new website and post them. Why not? Somebody might find them entertaining.

And have I ever mentioned that I love doing web design? I wouldn’t want to do it for a living, it’s tons of work, but it’s fun to get creative with my own web sites.

I’ll post a link when it’s up and running and I hope you’ll go check it out. But don’t give up on this blog, because I’ll still be creating artwork and writing art blogs.

But that’s enough about me, what have you been up to lately?

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