Archive for the 'Writing Ambitions' Category

Published by PaintingChef on 05 Jan 2011

Message Received…

Published by PaintingChef on 09 Sep 2009

I think if used the word “blogger” in here one more time my eyeballs would have started to bleed.

Blogging is kind of like high school. Everyone has their little niches and groups. There are the mommy bloggers, of course. There are political bloggers, infertility bloggers, food bloggers, music bloggers, gossip bloggers, television bloggers, the list goes on forever. And the internet as a whole tries to fit everyone into one of these categories all nice and neat-like and when it cannot label you precisely, it becomes somewhat uncomfortable with you.

At times I’ve been close to being shoe-horned into the infertility blogger category but quite frankly, there is nobody that needs to hear about my busted uterus and punk ass ovaries on that regular of a basis aside from my doctor and my husband.

Were I reliable enough to take my camera out in the kitchen on a regular basis, I could probably be a food blogger but then what if I want to talk about my uterus and I’ve recently made a strawberry pie? Nobody needs those two things next to each other. That’s just messy. Besides… I’m not sure if I want you to know just how deep my loves for Velveeta Shells and Cheese is when I have a blog names “PaintingChef”.

And what of the painting? Oh internet… I am creatively tapped right now. I have not picked up a paintbrush in so long that it aches. My paints and brushes are becoming that friend that you NEED to call and you THINK about calling but eventually it has been so long that you just feel awkward and then it’s like… well what am I going to say? What’s my excuse?

But I digress… the internet is positively BURSTING with incredible writers who don’t fit into one specific category. What are we? Are we life bloggers? Are we here’s what’s on my mind bloggers? Well, someone brilliantly defined us. We are Indie Bloggers. We write about the things that move us. We write about the things that keep us awake at night, the questions that cause us to zone out, the situations and interactions we observe and try to understand. But what often moves us more than anything is the writing itself. We are people who are captivated by extraordinary writing.

Stacey Campbell of Jurgen Nation (fellow canine enthusiast, truly kick ass photographer and my long time MAJOR girl crush) once put together a website that showcased the very best of this long-overlooked genre. Sadly, life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing, and the website went by the wayside. However at the recent urging of those of us who regularly submitted our writing to the site, she has decided to revive it, provided we get off our slackerific asses and pitch in.

In preparation of the re-launch, comb your archives. Find your favorite post. Write something new. There are some people out there I FULLY expect to be involved in this project. You know who you are and you’ve been warned…

Published by PaintingChef on 15 May 2009

Just a day…

I’ve been both consumed by and slacking in my writing boot camp. I seem to have a knack for turning in writing exercises slightly late. But the one from Thursday kind of stuck with me so I thought I’d share. We were supposed to write about a day we’d had. It didn’t have to be special or significant, just a day that had stayed in our heads. Well, mine was a significant one but I’d never written like this before so it was really fun to get outside my comfort zone.

No way to wake up on this day.
Of all days.
But damn that was a good party.

The dress hangs outside the closet.
Too big to fit inside.
The perfect dress.
The one I loved before I saw it.

Any minute now she’ll be here.
Knocking on the door.
Trying to act nonchalant.
Pretending it’s just a day.

The door flies open.
They are both there, mother and sister.
Beautiful women.
How did I ever get so lucky?

Bleary eyed, I greet them.
Sisters up too late last night.
Whispering over red wine till dawn.
Oh look… the bottle is still there.

Springing into action.
We can fix it! This is nothing!
Aspirin! Bacon! Shower!
I am good as new on this perfect day.

Downstairs into the kitchen.
Everyone is already waiting.
There she is! Can you believe it’s today?
The only peace and quiet I’ll have all day.

Quickly dress, everything laid out.
No decisions to be made today.
Everything has already been planned.
Whisked off to the first stop of the day.

Everything is a whirlwind.
Full of friends and family.
Girlfriends in white limousines.
Can we do this everyday from now on?

Watching the rain fall outside.
Some say it’s good luck.
Wonder what he is doing right now.
Is he wrapped up in the day as well?

Finally we are there.
Everything is prepared.
Three girls sharing that perfect moment.
The dress is on, I look in the mirror.

Cannot speak.

White satin, pearls, pink lips.
The past fades. Mistakes are gone.
New and perfect, I have been transformed.
Never saw myself as the blushing bride.

The last few moments are a blur.
Dad napping in the corner.
Sister hugging me so tightly.
New sister welcoming me to the family.

The walk begins.
I whisper “slow down daddy!”
Only plan on doing this once.
Want to take in every second.

There he stands.
The one who knows me.
Loves me. Wants me.
Suddenly it all makes sense.

I get it. I know why.
The journey all makes sense.
I needed to fall. I had to lose myself.
To know what it was to find myself.

In him. In me. In us.

Published by PaintingChef on 08 May 2009

But with a drill instructor I’d totally love to have a drink with.

So. I have recently enrolled in a Non-Fiction Writing Boot Camp that is being led by the incredibly awesome and talented Angie Best-Boss. One of the components of the boot camp is what is called a “Daily Drill”. This is a writing prompt that we are supposed to respond to in 5-7 sentences. I am long winded and despite my best efforts, I rarely hit the 5-7 sentence mark. Shocker… I know.

But this morning’s Daily Drill was really intriguing and so I thought I’d share it with you.

When you go home tonight, make a list of the people who are impediments, who don’t believe in you, and call them up and tell them, ‘Get the hell out of my life.’ You don’t need them. Writing is tough enough without having people around you who contribute to a writer’s insecurity.” Ray Bradbury
That’s not really your assignment, although it is tempting.

I love Ray Bradbury. I find it comforting to hear a writer I admire refer to a writer’s insecurity. I’ve written his drill over about 10 times and I can’t get it right. I’ll let Ray speak for me this morning.

Your question for today….

Write a quick note to a person who is an impediment to your writing.

I sat and stared at that for a good five minutes trying to find a way around what I absolutely knew I had to write. I searched my head for someone, ANYONE to blame and in the end… there was only one way to write that letter…

Dear… well, ME-

Hi. You look pretty today and your hair didn’t do that frizzy thing. Happy Friday! So can we talk about this whole “writing” situation? Believe it or not, you have it in you. And when asked to sit down and write a letter to the one person who impedes your writing, this is what you come up with as your biggest problem? Seriously? You are DROWNING in supportive people. All you ever hear from family and friends is that you need to take some time and get back to your creative passions. Susannah. Honey. Stop being so scared of failing, hitch up your big girl panties and DO THIS ALREADY.

The time for excuses is over. You don’t have to cook dinner. Your husband lived on Ramen and Lipton Noodle dinners for like 2 years until you introduced him to the way of the grill. He can handle a few nights of hot dogs or mac and cheese. Contrary to your delusional (and oh so secret) opinion, your success as a wife is not measured by the degree of difficulty involved in what you serve for dinner. You aren’t really going to clean your house unless company is coming and that whole laundry excuse? Bitch please. You don’t wear anything but pajamas on the weekends any damn way.

And we aren’t even going to talk about the time you spend watching 90210 because you know what I’m going to say…

So enough is enough. You can do this. You are talented and you have a story to tell. Not only that, you may actually HELP someone with this book. SO get to it homeslice!


If anyone is curious about Angie’s Writer’s Boot Camp, please go check out her website. I urge anyone with the kind of broad strokes writing bug that needs a little focus and encouragement to check it out. The groups are small and it’s a great chance to share your writing in a really supportive environment as well as interact with other writers who are facing the same challenges that you may have. Please feel free, also, to email or comment with any questions you may have!!