Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IWSG Day: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 ~ What the Story Wants

 




It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are Tara TylerLisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and, Lee Lowry!

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is: 
When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy August, Everyone!
I'm writing this well in advance, because I have no clue
what I'll be doing on August's IWSG Day.
I anticipate being in Nova Scotia Nova Scotia visiting my family,
including two sisters I haven't seen since before the pandemic.
Who knows what fun things we'll be doing together on August 3rd?

If I can visit around, I will.
If I can't, I'll see you in September.

Maybe We'll Be Kayaking on the Sissiboo River
Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


My short answer to this month's question is I write the story that reveals itself to me.
I usually start with an image of a setting, or a snippet of conversation, or an emotion I feel.
Then I write to discover what it is that is trying to come out.

I don't think about being original or what readers want.
I think about what the story wants.

Maybe We'll Be Hiking the Sand Bar to Bear Island
Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






It Doesn't Matter What We Do
We Just Love Being Together
Smith's Cove, Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



Happy writing in August!



Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

https://selkiegrey4.blogspot.com

My next post will be on Friday, August 12, 2022.  🤞



Friday, July 15, 2022

Scritch Scratch!

Happy Friday, Everyone!
This week I made myself make time to do a piece of art.
I couldn't resist my friend Rain's Thursday Art Date scratch art prompt.

What's so freeing about scratch art is you can forget about perfection and control.
It has an inherently unpredictable nature. 
This week I worked with crayons and tempera paint
using a process I learned in school as a child
and then used in my elementary classroom for years.

I like to apply crayon colors in a more random than organized way.
I think it makes interesting and unexpected variations in your scratch art.
Then, because I cover everything up with a solid, generous wash of tempera paint,
I scratch away blindly, waiting to see what surprises are revealed.

Pick an idea.  I chose Anasazi petroglyphs.
Pick some colors that work for your idea. 
I chose some vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows 
that I've seen in rocks in the Four Corners area 
(where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah come together).
Pick a tempera paint to cover your colors.  Typically black is used. 
However, I chose a warm reddish brown that also occurs
on the bare desert rocks in my beloved Four Corners. 

Dandelion, Vivid Tangerine, Outrageous Orange, Peach,
Sunglow, Neon Carrot, Sunset Orange, and Scarlet
Aurora, Colorado USA
July 13, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


Start layering colors on your paper.
It's important to press hard with your crayons to get a good coating of color.
It's also important to cover the entire sheet of paper.
It's fun to let go.  There is no right or wrong way to do this!


Go Wild #1
July 12, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Go Wild #2
July 12, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Cover the Paper Completely
July 12, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


The next step is easy and doesn't take nearly as much time as coloring with crayons.
I used about a quarter cup of tempera paint and added a drop of dish detergent.
The dish detergent makes the tempera paint adhere to the paper better.

Tempera Paint with a Drop of Dish Detergent
July 13, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Apply a generous coat of tempera, covering the paper completely.


Such Pretty Colors!
July 13, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Done
July 13, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



It's important to let the paint dry overnight.  I left mine to dry almost 24 hours.

Today I gathered my scratching tools, a toothpick, a nut pick, and a manicure stick.
You have to experiment with different tools
to see what feels and works right for your piece.
I mostly used the manicure stick.
I also used a soft brush to sweep away the scratched tempera paint.

Brush, Nut Pick, Manicure Stick, and Toothpick
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



When I picked up the toothpick to make my first scratch, I hesitated.
I didn't have the piece planned out.
I only knew I wanted to start with an animal petroglyph I'd seen
from Monument Valley, a goat-like, horned creature.
I was a little scared to make that first tentative scratch.
It had been over a decade since I had last made a piece of scratch art,
and I was certain I was going to screw it up.
But I chose a spot and scratched.

Woo Hoo ~ It's Working!
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



Before I knew it, I was happily scritch-scratching away.
I lay a sturdy piece of white paper over the unworked areas while scratching.
It protects the tempera wash from accident-prone me.  


Surprising Variations in Color
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved





Now What?
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






An Enigmatic Petroglyph
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



I was really happy with my finished piece.
Considering I just jumped in and went for it, it turned out quite well.

The really surprising things about creating the petroglyph piece
was how much fun it was to do and how therapeutic the process proved.
I need to make more time in my life for creating art!

Ta-Da!
July 14, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


I'll be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks.
I'll have a small Insecure Writer's Support Group post on August 3rd,
and then I'll be back for real on Friday, August 12th.
If I have an opportunity to visit blogs, I will, but I can't promise it.

Happy creating everyone! 






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

  My next post will be on 
Wednesday, August 3, 2022.



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

IWSG Day: Wednesday, July 6, 2022 ~ Book Worlds to Live In

  




It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are J. Lenni DornerJanet Alcorn, PJ Colando,  Jenni Enzor, and, Diane Burton!

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is: 
If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy July, Everyone!
I hope everyone is doing well, wherever you are, whatever your season.
I am looking forward to a trip to Nova Scotia to see my family,
including two sisters I haven't seen since before the pandemic.
I can't wait for those special hugs!

My Two Sisters I Haven't Seen In Too Long:
Barb (top) and Bertie (bottom)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved

What an impossible question to answer this month!
One of the greatest joys of reading for me is being transported
to different places and times, whether on this world or others.
I can't possibly pick one!

Tolkien's Middle Earth?  

The Covers of My Paperbacks for My First Journey to Middle Earth 




Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams?

 
An Iceberg Above and Below Water
photo by A. Weith ~ License
Dan Simmons' Hyperion?  Julian May's Pliocene Earth?   
Peter Matthiessen's remote mountains of Nepal?
Traveling with Charles Darwin on the Beagle?

HMS Beagle in the Straits of Magellan

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701? 
Not a book, I know,
but I'd sure love to roam the galaxy in it.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701

And how about the book worlds created by our talented IWSG members?
I haven't explored as many of these book worlds as I'd like,
but I'm sure to dip into more in the future.
Some I have enjoyed include:

Jacqui Murray's Crossroads trilogy set 850,000 years ago in humankind's prehistory...
Sandra Cox's mysterious Montana in Mateo's Law...
Pat Hatt's scary Disconnective, safe to visit in a book, but maybe not in person...
Roland Clarke's Spiral of Hooves rarified world of international sport horse breeding...
Rebecca Douglass's Death by Donut on foggy, cozy Pismawallops Island
in Puget Sound in Washington State,
complete with delicious sweets and great coffee...

So many interesting worlds!
I can't wait to see how others answer this question.


And in a complete change of direction!


Another Awesome Book
by
Another Awesome IWSG Author




CassaDark
by
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Amazon  


Alex keeps delivering with his militaristic space opera Cassa series!
His latest book CassaDark, the fourth in the series, does not disappoint.

Bassan, son of two heroic and storied pilots Athee and Byron,
is a hero in his own right for saving the galaxy as a child.
But now he is an adult trying to find his place
on his planet Tgren or off-world somewhere else.
Has he already accomplished the best he is capable of as a child?
Should he follow the course his legendary father Byron is pushing him to take,
or should he follow his own and remain on Tgren as he desires.

As Bassan struggles with his self-esteem,
he is paralyzed by doubt following the near death of his best friend.
He froze during a crisis, failed to help his friend, and blames himself for what happened.
Now, reluctantly, he must step in at the last moment as a replacement speaker
at an important conference at Procura Space Station far across the galaxy.

While there, Bassan meets Zendar who persuades him to travel
to his home on Ugar, a dangerous prison planet.
Zendar is convinced that Bassan's unique connection to ancient Kintal ship technology
will help him save his people who are the descendants of criminals abandoned on Ugar.

On Ugar Bassan discovers that the situation is not as clear-cut as it was presented to him. 
As the situation deteriorates, Bassan realizes he could die along with Zendar's people
if he can't evacuate them from Ugar.

Soon the stakes become much higher as the galaxy is threatened once again.
Can Bassan summon the courage to become a hero again,
or will his doubt and paralysis result in terrible death and destruction?
You'll have to read this adventurous book to find out!


As someone who has read all four of the books in this series,
it's been great fun to follow the continuing storyline of Byron and Bassan, father and son:
from young Byron's Cosbolt fighter pilot training and his combat in the Vindicarn War,
to his service as a senior officer on the exploration vessel Rennather
and its mission to delve into alien ruins on the desert planet Tgren,
to his command of the Cassan base on Tgren,
to his coming retirement...

...from Bassan's terrifying childhood nightmares as war breaks out among all the races,
to his rescuing the galaxy from an alien probe that threatens all life,
to his struggle to overcome his personal crisis and failures,
to his struggle to save Zendar's people and the galaxy once again.

Is Alex finished with exploring the galaxy containing 
Cassa, Tgren, Ugar, and other fascinating worlds?
I'd love to know!  
He cleverly left an opening or maybe it was a tease.

If he does write another book in the series,
I want all the exciting spaces adventures and battles to continue,
but I also want more world building, setting descriptions, and moody details!!!
Alex already has character, nonstop action, and building tension nailed.

Alex is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where he is known as Ninja Captain Alex.
His Cassa books are Amazon Best Sellers and winners of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.
You can find Alex's books at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.CAmazon, and Barnes & Noble.


CassaDark was released April 6, 2022 and is available at online, retail, and for all eBook platforms. 
Published by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. 
Science Fiction – Adventure / Space Opera / Space Exploration. 
Trade paperback $16.95 ISBN 9781939844842, eBook $4.99 ISBN 9781939844859





Happy writing in July!



Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

https://selkiegrey4.blogspot.com

My next post will be on Friday, July 15, 2022.




Friday, July 1, 2022

Rain's Thursday Art Date: A Favorite Fremont Street Band and Gorgeous Purples of Every Shade ~ June 30, 2022

I should know by now not to tempt the Universe.
I recently and rashly declared that my days of staying up
long after midnight or pulling all-nighters were over.
Well, crash and burn in Las Vegas!

And then, several days after we arrived home, I tested positive for Covid.
Then a few days after that, so did Terry 
Well, really crashed and burned in Aurora!

We're both still miserable with Covid symptoms, but we're hanging in there.
Hopefully this will be behind us in a few days.
 
My friend Rain's Thursday Art Date theme for June 23, 2022
was Colourful June: Purple, and on Saturday night, June 18th
I unexpectedly stepped out into a world of gorgeous purples of every shade.
I tossed aside the purple post I had started to write and went with this instead.
Then I was too sick with Covid to post it last Friday.
Note to Self:  Don't tempt the Universe!  

Under the Canopy on Fremont Street
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
June 18, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


We had just exited Circa after watching Colorado's Avalanche shut out 
Tampa Bay's Lightning in the largest shutout victory in Stanley Cup Final history!
My throat was raw from yelling and screaming,
and Terry was still pretending that he didn't know me.

Circa's Sportsbook, the Largest in the World
Stanley Cup Final ~ Game 2
Fremont Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
June 18, 2022
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved





Terry Watching the Stanley Cup Final ~ Game 2
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved



We rounded the corner by the outdoor stage, and there they were:
One of my two most favorite Fremont Street live bands setting up
to begin its first set:  Blue String Theory.

Waiting to Start Their Set ~ Literally on the Second
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


This is one high energy cover band that obviously has a blast playing together
and rocking out non-stop to the most memorable hits from the 1970s and 1980s.

Blue String Theory
Peter (left) and Brian (right) 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Brian Pollack ~ Lead Vocals
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


Blue String Theory features songs from so many of my favorite groups from that time:
Journey, Cars, Foreigner, Styx, Van Halen, Bon Jovi,
Def Leppard, Billy Idol, ACDC, and more. 


50 & Fabulous Celebration
Enjoying Blue String Theory
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






An Energetic Start
Gary (left), Brian, Sam, and Scott (right) 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Lead Guitarist Scott Van Zen and Bass Guitarist Gary Dilger
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved




It was fun to shoot photos of the Fremont Street crowds and action too,
because a broad palette of purple colors was popping up everywhere.



I 💜 You
Golden Gate Bartender
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Peter Kizzire ~ Drums and Vocals
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Enjoying the Music
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Sam McCaslin ~ Keyboards, Guitar, and Vocals
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Fremont Street Crowds Enjoying the Band and Sights
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Between Sets
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Rocking ~ 1
Brian (left)Gary, Scott, and Sam (right) 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Riding SlotZilla's Super-Hero Zoomline ~ 1
(Starting 11 Stories High)
Under the Canopy and by the Stage
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Brian Having Fun Shooting Photos ~ 1
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Brian Having Fun Shooting Photos ~ 2
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Brian Singing with a Member of the Crowd
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Some of the Crowd in Front of the Stage
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved





Rocking ~ 2
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






I Wonder What the Bartender is Thinking
as the crowd enjoys the music.
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Sensory Overload
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






The Crowd Loving the Music
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Blue String Theory Members Having Fun
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Lead Guitarist Scott Van Zen
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Riding SlotZilla's Super-Hero Zoomline ~ 2
(Starting 11 Stories High)
Under the Canopy and by the Stage
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Gary Belts Out a Song
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved






Closing Time
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved


I tried to load my video of Blue String Theory singing a Journey medley,
but I just couldn't make it work.  😭😭😭
It was great fun to sing-a-long with the band while recording videos.
I spent hours trying to convert it to a format that Blogger would take,
but to no avail.

So here's a YouTube video clip that gives you a feel for what it's like 
to be on Fremont Street listening to Blue String Theory playing a Van Halen medley.
Lead Guitarist Scott Van Zen highlights his masterful guitar playing in the opening minutes.


If I'm on Fremont Street and Blue String Theory is performing,
I'll be right up front at the stage,
and I will listen to every set unless Terry shows up and drags me away.
He's not into music the way I am, 
but both of us are fine with doing our own things some of the time.

I'm grateful that the downtown casinos and resorts sponsor live music.
There's nothing like great music pummeling you, 
bringing back wonderful memories, and making you feel young and alive.

Next week's TAD theme is Playing Hooky for July 7, 2022.
I'll be playing hooky on Friday, July 8th, because I'll be participating
in the Insecure Writer's Support Group Day on Wednesday, July 6th.
That's a big commitment, so that one post is all I can manage in a week.

Stay happy and creative! 






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

  My next post will be on 
Wednesday July 6, 2022.



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved