Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding Calm in the Chaos

This painting was inspired by recent personal experiences. I am trying to find calm in the chaos of life. I've been sharing my art for awhile now (and I still feel vulnerable!) but releasing my first book has been a hundred times scarier and it's been an emotional rickety carnival ride--the kind that makes you wanna throw up, the kind that makes you sure you're going to DIE. And then there's the other stuff: Opening old wounds in therapy so I can clean out the puss and finally heal. And the world in general, with all the violence and hatred and clashing religious and political views. If you want to lose your faith in humanity, read the comments on YouTube or on a news article. People can be horrible.

Despite all that, life is beautiful. There's beauty to be found everywhere. Sometimes the best thing in the world is to collapse on a blanket thrown on a patch of grass and watch big puffy clouds crawl like turtles across the perfect blue sky. Let the sun soak in. Feel the gentle spring breeze touch your skin. Inhale the scent of earth and blossoms and lilac trees.

Painting this was therapeutic. The hair and the lightening bolt of skin coming out of the model's cheek were fun to do. Trying news things usually pays off. If I didn't experiment, I'd be bored bored bored.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Meet My Novel

I've wanted to write a novel since I was twelve. I would start writing something, usually three to five handwritten pages, and then think, "This sucks!" and give up. Months later I would try again. I think my record was twenty pages. And then one day, while I was attending college, I read a famous quote by Ernest Hemingway that changed everything: "The first draft of anything is sh*t." I thought, "Wow, really?" It gave me a big dose of courage. It gave me permission to write a WHOLE crappy book--and then I could polish it and shine it and make it pretty later.

About six years ago I wrote my first novel. A whole, 200+ pages of novel. A few months later I wrote a second one. About a year later I wrote a third one. I am now working on a fourth. Reading that quote was a turning point for me.

But it took some time to have the courage to share my books with friends, with family, with literary agents. It took some time before I was ready to release one of my babies to the world. And now I finally have. And I am scared. Really, really scared. But I am also excited. I've wanted this for more than half of my life, after all.

Pictures of You is my first published novel, but the second one I wrote. I know it's not perfect--I'm no Virginia Woolf--but I love it. Writing it was so fun, so therapeutic. I laughed, I cried. I feel like September, Adrien, Chris, Abby and Mary are some of my closest friends. I hope you will like it, too.

Here is the synopsis:

In a moment, September Jones’s life is changed forever. Shortly after high school graduation her best friend, Abby, is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Devastated, September struggles to face each day. She turns to junk food, bad TV and journaling to cope. When September meets handsome, mysterious Adrien, who’s given himself two weeks to write the perfect suicide note, and nice guy Chris, her new coworker who has some troubles of his own, she realizes she’s not the only one dealing with personal demons. Pictures of You reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, forgiveness and hope.

Buy your copy HERE