Friday, March 17, 2017

Fabulous Five: Lucky or Unlucky Blackout Poems

Here are five blackout poems that one could consider lucky. Give the black cat and the umbrella (opened in the house) a second chance. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day. May good fortune find you.

He ignored the thought of impending doom.
"I told you. I feel lucky."

Never once had wrecking his heart
made him want a cat.
Things change.

One time a chance kiss happened
and new beginnings broke out.
"This is unreal! It's silver."

He connected to the universe.
You there? Text back a message.

The rain rolled down her cheek
and fell into a dream.

"You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it." ~ Jimmy Dean

Monday, March 13, 2017

Etsy shop: ESPIALDesign and Art for Heart Donations

I enjoy doing these blackout poems--which I affectionately refer to as BLOUTS--so much that I have a decent sized collection brewing. Here's the latest:

Officially starting another observation of the wall.
It was an exercise in staring.

So...what to do with them all? Why not sell 'em? I tucked them into cellophane envelopes and then uploaded them to my new Etsy shop. The proceeds will be equally divided between the American Heart Association as an on going effort toward my Heart Art Challenge and publishing costs for book #3. Check out a sample of the goods:

Check back for a running tally of the donations here.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Green Books - A March Reading Challenge

I've got TBR piles all over the place: library books, e-books, new paperbacks, and old hand-me-downs. Writing, marketing, cooking, romances, and kid lit. How does one decide which one to read next? That's right...

Green book challenge, coming right up!

Last year, Green Books for March 2016, I read six out of seven on my green list. Not too shabby. This year I found six green books within reach. Below is the list of *potential* reads. I say potential, because I probably won't get to all of them, but they're pulled from the dark depths of the stack to make an appearance at the top once again.

Green Book Pile

Matched by Ally Condie (YA Dystopian) Used from the thrift shop
Up in the Treehouse by K.K. Allen (New Adult) New book from Amazon
Pack of Dorks: Camp Dorks by Beth Vrabel (Middle Grade) New from Barnes & Noble
Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker (Romance) Used from the thrift shop
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts (Romance) A giveaway from the RWA conference

...and not in my picture above but still green is Squish: Captain Disaster by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Chapter Book Kid Comic) Borrowed from the library

Other Reading Challenges

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Currently: A List of Lucky Things

Currently, it's March! I can finally relax with all the hearts and love stuff and start thinking about hard work and fortune. Bring on the good luck, I say. I'm not Irish, so I don't celebrate St. Paddy's day, drink green beer, worry about mischievous leprechauns, or chase rainbows. I do try to wear green in case there's a hold-over who thinks butt pinching is okay. And yes I know, St. Paddy's day isn't until March 17; I'm just sharing.

That's right...should not.

Okay, so back to the lucky stuff. I went on a search and gather mission to see what I have tucked around the house...and of course, I had to make a list.

2.) Lucky cards (8)
3.) Jade turtle
4.) Iron piggy bank
5.) A Great Blue Heron
6.) Ladybug
7.) Wishbone
8.) Elephant
9.) Lucky dice (7)
10.) Lucky coin
11.) Fortune
12.) Horseshoe nails
13.) Iron key
14.) Arrowhead
15.) Color green

But, HOLD THE PHONE. I just read that it's the year of the "fire" rooster and according to Chinese astrology, I'm a rooster, this is my birth year, and luck MAY NOT be on my side. Say what? My whole lucky blog post is getting shot out of the water.


Time to reverse this...back to the basics. "Magic 8 Ball, will 2017 be a lucky year for me?" [Yes. Definitely.]

Okay, good. Carry on.

"Luck is believing you're lucky."

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Heart Art Challenge: Finito!

Day 28: It's the last day of February, and I have to admit that I'm sorta happy about it. While the Heart Art Challenge has been eye opening--helping me to look for the positive, share it, and have fun--it's also been a distraction from some good writing time. I've been off my game for months...worrying about all kinds of things. But I'm ready to move forward and get back to it.

Here's my last project for the Valentine's month:

My Heart

"I forgot to add a bunch of stuff to my heart, but thankfully there's always room for more." ~ Stacia Leigh, quoting herself.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Heart Art Challenge: Day 27

Day 27: Earlier this week, I was at the library and right away Mindy Kaling's book drew me in. It's my favorite color and she's funny and cute, so I thought the book might follow suit. When I saw the big heart on the back cover, I grabbed it since that's what I'm about this month. I made it to page 80 before turning in for the night, but I couldn't find a bookmark. I guess I've started so many good reads that my stash was depleted. Snap! Great idea...

So this morning, I struggled through my Heart Art Challenge by trying to fold a heart using this Origami project from Pinterest. But I couldn't figure out what step 4 was telling m. I tried another version and it, too, had me scratching my head. Huh?

Origami Fail

Back at the drawing board, I used my old bookmark pattern and reworked the square into a heart shape. For a great tutorial, check out Tally's Treasury blog on how to make the corner bookmark along with creating the pattern. Here's how it went:

New heart pattern next to original.

Fold one triangle to the side.

Put glue on top of one folded triangle,
then fold second triangle over and stick down.

A heart with a triangle pocket.
Flip over and decorate!


It works!
A BIG bookmark reminding me of my favorite things:
books, love, hearts, and coffee.

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, 
I go into the other room and read a book." ~ Groucho Marx

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Heart Art Challenge, Week 4

Day 20: Ready for some horrible haiku poetry? How about something inspired by Valentine's Day gimcrack, the Heart Art Challenge, and what we've been watching lately...good old Cap'n Kirk and Spock. Here goes:

Don't be a stressball.
Healthy and happy hearts mean:
"Live long and prosper."

Day 21: I distracted myself this morning with a celtic heart knot tutorial, something I found on Pinterest *shakes fist at computer* but I did it! Took a couple tries, though. Now, I can get back to writing.

A celtic heart tied
with "Sugar Rush" paracord
makes for a sweet knot.

Day 22: Last night I baked my favorite cookie, chocolate chip, and this morning I modified Anne Taintor illustrations. Hyuk-hyuk. Just having some fun.

Day 23: Our caring neighbor asked us to fish-sit for her while she's on vacation and hinted that if we became attached to him, that would be fine, too. Of course, with the seed planted, we immediately jumped on the internet to see how to care for a veiltail betta, then off to the pet shop to buy the necessary supplies. We named him Benny, and he went from a plain ol' bowl to a colorful filtered tank and some company, a tiger snail. We named her Margaret. Love my new pets :)

New Writing Buddies

Day 24: Remember when I cut a heart into my slice of swiss cheese and said, "Sometimes you have to make the magic happen?" Well, in this case, I pushed the water around to make a heart shape, and it looked really cool, reflecting the sky and trees above. But I couldn't capture it with my camera the way it looked in nature. I'm going with it because not everything has to be perfect, right? Good advice for writing the first draft of book #3. 

Imperfect Asphalt Heart

A drop of water,
Sitting on the hard asphalt
Reflecting the sky.

Day 25: Time for some boob tube; therefor time for some blackout poetry. I don't watch a lot of TV (the news is negative and Hollywood is crazy), so to get ready for the big event, I pulled out my proof book pages because I can't sit and do nothing. I like to have options around me just in case I need to check out. So I made my nest with my things within reach: laptop, book, markers, dogs for snuggling, and a mug of tea. We watched an actual Netflix DVD (The Infiltrator with Cranston and Leguizamo) and then some Youtube (PewDiePie's, "How About That"). Meanwhile...


Break out of the pothole
and picture a heart
in your mind.

Day 26: I've been inspired to write haiku after we got an Alexa from Amazon. "Alexa, tell me a haiku." One night in January while visiting a family member in the hospital post open heart surgery, I got the idea to write some healthy haiku. The nurses and hospital staff were phenomenal, so friendly and good-natured, too. Anyway, after a funny conversation with one of them, I came up with this:

Green hospital pants...
Tight crotch and a baggy butt.
One size fits no one

It sort of reminds me of Dr. Suess' story, What Was I Scared Of? about the pair of stalking empty pants. It comes from the book The Sneeches and Other Stories. 

Here is another #healthyhaiku that I came up with from those bittersweet hospital days:

Helium balloon...
One happy face floating by.
Don't forget to smile.

I say "bittersweet" because we chose to do the surgery, knowing there were risks versus no surgery and waiting for a possible heart attack. It brings tears to my eyes even now, thinking how we'd clung to each other, wondering if we'd see each other on the other side. Thank God we did, and it all turned out wonderfully. I loved seeing the faces of family and true much positive energy, so much life. This is why I've made January 6 the new Heart Day and February is a month of rejoicing love and hearts and health and... Well, you get the picture. One for the road:

My advice to you
Eat right, exercise, and love.
Keep your heart healthy