International art, new books and killer warts

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New literary anthology featuring some of my poetry and art.

This is just a short blog post about some exciting things going on in my life recently, mostly good, but some rough spots too.

First off, I am happy to say that I am definitely an international artist now! My artwork has been bought by art lovers and collectors in the US, Canada, Australia, France, England, Wales and Switzerland. My art has been exhibited in at least a couple countries outside of the US as well! In the future, I would love to add some Asian, African or South American countries to that list! I want to thank all those who have been purchasing my art lately. The extra income has been great, but even more importantly, it makes me happy to know that my art has touched the lives of others.

Next, I am pleased to announce that two of my drawings and three of my poems were featured in the recently released literary anthology, “Not Dead Yet: An Anthology of Survivor Poetry“. As you can probably tell from the title, this collection features artists and authors who have dealt with great suffering in one form or another and have lived to tell about it. I was proud to be a part of this project, since it celebrates strength, resilience and hope.

I have finished writing my new book, “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds” and plan on releasing it soon! This book features prose and poetry about subjects like spirituality, philosophy and psychology. It is a personal book, but the wide-ranging subject matter also makes it universal.

On the health front (which is usually the downfall in life for me), I have had an extremely painful battle with plantar warts recently. The last time I had these issues I was 12 and had surgery to remove them, so I was hopeful it would never come back, and yet, here it is. It has gotten to the point this week that I had to bust out my grandfather’s old walker to help me move around the house. It is a little bit funny to be a woman in her 30’s using a walker to get around, but it is kind of sad and foreboding as well. I can’t help but think of the future and wonder how many times I will have to use it again. Last night I fell in the bathroom just trying to get out of the bath tub. Laying there on the ground with a nasty bruise growing on my hip, I thought about how lucky I am to still have strong bones that don’t shatter or break easily. It makes me thankful, but sad for those who aren’t as fortunate.

Those magical little moments that make life worthwhile

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For the last few days, my husband and I have been out of town, attempting to squeeze in a little vacation before summer ends. We didn’t go too far away from home, just enough to see some new sights and break up the monotony of our normal routine. While away, I bought a new book entitled “My One Line A Day”. The book is similar to a journal or diary but is set up a little differently. Each day for the next three years, I am supposed to write one line about my day in the appointed spaces in the book, leaving an interesting record to keep and reflect on after the three years are over. Honestly, I’m not sure if I will remember to write every single day, but I figured since I only had to write one line every day, that I could hopefully handle that.

I am currently on my third day writing in the book and I have noticed something interesting. First of all, it can be hard to sum up an entire day in one or two sentences! For this reason, I have decided to focus on the “highlight” or “happiest” thing I remember from each day. Interestingly, I have found that the highlights I remember are not the big things. What made me happiest the last few days wasn’t the tourist attractions, the big events or acquiring new “stuff”. Instead, I wrote about spotting a snapping turtle in a tiny runoff from a nearby creek and feeding sparrows bits of my bagel at an outdoor café. I haven’t written my line for today yet, but again I think it will probably be one of the smaller things, such as seeing my cats again after being away for several days or the delicious decadence of enjoying a chocolate covered strawberry.

I am definitely interested to see how this little project keeps going over time. It is amazing when you truly pause to think about what made you happiest on a particular day. I would encourage everyone to try something similar and see what you come up with. You may be surprised to find out what brings you the most joy and what doesn’t seem to matter that much at all by the end of the day. If you want to get one of these books for yourself to chronicle your next three years, you may be able to pick one up at your local bookstore or you can order one from Amazon or another online retailer.

My Brand New Video Diary/Blog

Right now due to an injury with my right shoulder/arm/back/neck area I can’t type, write or even draw too much. So I figured this would be a good time to start the YouTube video diary/blog I’ve been thinking about making. I am attaching the link to the first video where I basically just introduced myself and the subjects I will likely feature on the video blog series:

New ebook release! “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Aspie’s Art Journal”

One of the many pictures featured in my art journal. Find out how this painting and many other pictures were inspired!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to take a few minutes today to tell you all about my newest Kindle ebook release! This ebook is entitled “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Aspie’s Art Journal” and is available from Amazon for only $.99!

In case you are wondering, “why an art journal”? It is because:

A) I love art! I love to create art, I love to share my art and I love to get feedback on my art. I also love to inspire others to create their own art and celebrate the amazing power of human creativity.

B) I wanted to share my own creative process and the way my “Aspie” brain works. Many times having Asperger’s is thought of as a negative thing, like there is something really wrong with us. However, I think having Asperger’s definitely has some upsides, including our different way of looking at things and the way we manage to keep that innocent, naïve spirit that most people lose once they reach adulthood. Sometimes others see this innocence as childishness, but I prefer to think of it as child-likeness. With the heart of a child, we retain the natural creativity, joy, independence, optimism and kindness that is missing in so much of the world today. The world needs us Aspies!

So, if you get the chance to check out my little ebook, I hope you will. Hopefully, it will entertain you with some colorful artwork, but more importantly, I hope it will inspire you to let your own inner child come out and play.

Review of Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s Poetry Books

For this post I am going to review two poetry books by Patricia Neely-Dorsey, a poet who uses her writing to show her love for Mississippi and the simple pleasures of southern living.

missmagBook #1 – Reflections of a Mississipi Magnolia: A Life in Poems

The first poetry book that Patricia Neely-Dorsey released covers a broad range of topics, from southern life & country living to childhood memories, family history and other deeply personal subjects. Although I have never lived in Mississippi or spent much time there, I felt that Ms. Dorsey was able to bring the culture to life in a way that anyone could relate to. The poet’s pride and passion for her state shines through, illustrating the importance of connecting to a place and taking the time to truly lay down roots.

Although I enjoyed the poems about southern life and country living, I must admit my favorite poems came later in the book when the author delved more deeply into her personal life and relationships. I especially related to a poem titled “Know It All (He Thinks)”, as I’m sure any parent of a teen or preteen could! Another favorite was the short poem, “Waxing Poetic”, which any creative spirit is sure to understand. As I read through the collection, I enjoyed the playful sense of humor in many of the poems, but also discovered a few poems that really made me stop and think or made me smile in wistful longing.

This is definitely a poetry collection that is heartfelt, inspiring and easily understood. Whether you are a Mississippi native or not, this is one that can be enjoyed by everyone.

imagesBook #2 – My Magnolia Memories and Musings: In Poems

Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s second poetry book looks and sounds a lot like the first one if you only look at the cover and the title, but I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh, truly new material inside its pages. As I began to read through the poems, I noticed that the poet’s style and view on life had evolved and changed a little since the first collection. Although the subjects covered are similar in some ways to those explored in the first book, they are often tackled in a different way in this collection.

One addition to this collection that I found delightful was the small collection of photographs shared throughout. The visual aids definitely make the book more appealing and help to make readers feel more involved as they read through the poet’s experiences and memories.

I also noticed that the author seems to embrace free verse more in this collection. Although there are still some rhyming poems for those who prefer more traditional poetry, I felt that this collection leaned heavily towards freedom of expression and form, which seemed to make some of the poems even more personal and hard-hitting. Many of my favorite poems were in the section that talks about loss, a subject that wasn’t covered much in the first book.

Overall, I feel that this second book of poetry naturally picks up where the first book left off and shows the growth and wisdom of an evolving poet. I would highly recommend this book to poetry and literature lovers or to anyone that simply loves great writing.

For more information about Patricia Neely-Dorsey, her books or where to order a copy for yourself, please visit the author’s website, http://patricianeelydorsey.webs.com/.

New ebook! “Whiskers and Hairballs: My Life as a Cat”

 Hi everyone! I just wanted to write a short post to let everyone know that I just released a new ebook entitled “Whiskers and Hairballs: My Life as a Cat”. This photo-illustrated picture book is a humorous look at the ups and downs of daily life, seen from the viewpoint of a house cat. With short, simple prose, this book is perfect for beginning readers, but the funny pictures and keen sense of humor will also appeal to cat lovers of all ages!

I hope you will check it out soon! You can buy this new ebook from Amazon for only $2.99 per Kindle download!

Happy Halloween!!! Now get to writing!

First off, Happy Halloween to all of my fans, readers and fellow lovers of everything spooky! Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, and not just because my birthday falls close to it. I love creepy, dark and dreary stuff, so maybe that explains why my favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson.

Anyhow, Halloween is a great time to sit down and let your imagination run loose as well. If you love to write, feel free to take one of the following Halloween-themed writing prompts and make it your own! You can use these prompts to write a story, poem, journal entry, Tweet or anything else your little heart desires. Have fun!

*If you could be anyone or anything this Halloween, who or what would you be? Why?

*Use your senses. Brainstorm a list of all the Halloween sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings you can think of.

*Pretend you are a symbol of Halloween. Describe Halloween from the point of view of a jack-o-lantern, bat, witch, spider, candy bar…or anything else you think of!

*Do you agree with schools banning the celebration of Halloween due to the religious or spiritual roots of the holiday? Why or why not?

*What is the best trick you have ever pulled on someone? Or the best trick pulled on you?

*Make your own witch’s brew. What would go into it? What would the concoction do?

*What really scares you? Write about it.

*How has Halloween changed since you were a kid? Do you miss the way things used to be?

*Should adults be allowed to trick or treat?