DesertKissed.com

Inktober

Oct
05

We, my daughter and I, set a goal to do Inktober.  This is what it is.

Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. -Jake Parker

I have been so excited about it.  Have I talked about it before?  Probably.  For those that follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler or Twitter you will know I have been obsessed with it.  My poor, poor husband has to listen to it in stereo from my daughter and myself.

 

Before I started Inktober I practiced beforehand.  This is the finished drawing from the previous post.

 

I needed a lot of practice before I will be great with some of my pens.  But I loved the effort, I put into this drawing.  Do you all want me to go into details about why I drew what I drew or the meaning of my drawings?

This next drawing was the first day of October and the start of Inktober.  Day one’s theme was “SWIFT”.   I planned out all the month’s drawings with my daughter-in-law.  I was planning on drawing a cheetah riding a bike down a hill.  That would truly fit the theme but that is not what happened.  Saturday was LDS General Conference.  We believe in a prophet and apostles.  We have a semi-annual conference where the apostles and other leaders of the church speak, both women and men give speeches on a spiritual topic.  During or in between these meetings, I was thinking about the first drawing.  I felt the Spirit say to me,

I felt the Spirit say to me, “Are you swift to pray?”  Set an example to bring people until Christ. A cheetah does not bring people unto Christ.  I pondered “Are you swift to pray?” for 24 hours.  I looked online and thought about it.  I saw a photo of a man praying like this and I knew this was what I was going to draw.  All Sunday, I drew this in pencil.  As it was completed I could not bear to have it inked.  However, that was the challenge.  It needed to be inked.  You can sketch it out first in pencil but it has to be in ink.  I did not know what to do.

I got the idea to copy the pencil drawing and then I inked over the copy.  I was not doing this for a commission, so I did not see there being anything wrong with it.  If you have a problem with it let me know in the comments below.  I love the ink drawing, too.  I haven’t learned to draw hands well, yet.  But I did learn how to do curls.  This was my first time to do curls.  I loved the result in both pencil and pen.  Which drawing is your favorite? Pencil or ink?

This next drawing is a two-day drawing.  I have the tree which was penned one day and the rest was sketched, penned and markered the next.  I know markered is not a word but I feel it fits and it should be a word, right?  This challenge theme was Day 2: Divided. Day 3: poisoned.   This is a version of the Tree of Life and Lehi’s Dream from the Book of Mormon.  For Day 2, I have the waters dividing the tree from the big and spacious building.  For Day 3, I have the big and spacious building, itself. Let me give some background on this one.  The tree of life has the glowing fruit that gives joy and eternal life when we are worthy of it. Otherwise, the fruit can be for your damnation.  The tree is fed by the Word of God.  This is the scriptures that are under the tree.  This is also what we should read to feed our spirits. It is through the scriptures, which help us to be clean and listen to the Spirit, who will lead us to the tree.  The river is the filth that flows through the earth trying to separate us from the Word of God and the Tree of Life.  The building is where the world and its alures are that tempt us to do things that will keep us from the tree or entice us to leave the tree and Christ. The building is to be filled with the people of the world, who thought the world was more important than Christ, his teaching and the teaching of the scriptures.  This is the poison for our souls.  If we partake of this poison, we lose our ability be within the presence of God.  For no unclean thing can stand before God and live.

This was my interpretation of the Tree of Life, the big and spacious building and Lehi’s dream.  I would love to take this drawing and expand upon it months from now.  Perhaps, if people are interested in it and it is perfected I will make prints.  Let me know if you would be interested in prints of this or any other drawing.

This one is not so complicated as the previous drawing.  Day 4’s theme was underwater.  With everyone and their dog drawing mermaids, fish and scuba divers.  I wanted to go a different route.  I thought of drawing a person being baptized but I was not feeling it.  In my search for all things underwater, I saw underwater dogs by Seth Casteel.  It was perfect.  When I saw this little puppy I loved it and began to sketch it.  I need to work on bubbles some more but what I am getting more confident with using markers.  I have had them just over a month.  I love all things cute and innocent.  You will not get any evil or mean looking drawings from me.  If you see one, you have my permission to chew me out and remind me of this post.

This last p0st is my daughter’s.  It is her Day 1 drawing.  I wanted to show you how good she is at 12 years old.  I think she will be surpassing me in the near future if I don’t keep pushing myself to be better.  I hope one day we can draw together on a project or two.  I will not push her into it.  This is all on her own with her own ideas and likes.

 

So, are you sick of drawings yet? Well, you have breathe-one days of drawings before I can breathe and change subjects.  However, in the meantime, I have a story that is getting edited now.   Please, feel free to comment and critic my work.  I can only get better if people express their views.

 

 

Again. Thanks for reading.  See you next week or before, if I can get the story edited and back.

 

Months fly by

Sep
24

This week went by so fast. My husband was out of town for most of it and I was down. We got along with my 12 year old daughter and my active 4 year old boy we worked together and helped each other. I love them so much for all their efforts, love and kisses.

 

Now, I wanted you to see the work I did this week. Sometimes, I wonder if thos is more a person journal than I blog. So, to all of those out there thank you for visiting and reading. I appreciate it so much.

 

I heard from a wonderful person I see weekly while I grocery shop. I do that only once a week. That is when I get out and talk to people. It is wonderful. Anyway, she talked about reading my blog. It brought joy to my soul. She talked about sharing it with her friends.  Thank you friends for checking me out. I hope that as this website developed you continue to come back and back. I would also love for you to leave me a message or comment. I truly love hearing from you even if it is just a ‘hello from your place.

As I drew, reviewed books and edited I saw my wonderful birthday art supplies and work tools. How blessed I was! I thoughr about the month passed, worked the month present projects and prepared for next month I seemed to think of the months.

 

For a bullet journal completion, I tried a graffiti idea to say good-bye to August. I don’t think my attempt was that great but it was fine and mentally changing for me. It was hard to think in a graffiti way.  I think soared through the drawing of September. Once, the idea came to me it flowed with ease. I love how it worked together. Not perfect but a great illustration. 

September, as I mentioned in a previous post, I started taking an online art course that is truly challenging me. I love it. So, thought of all the school art supplies. That overwhelmed my thoughts into this little illustration.

Now for more. October is coming and I have been getting ready for an art challenge in addition or in combination with my class, my daughter and I are going to be participating in Inktober. However, I haven’t done any completely ink work. I thought I would do some warm-up work.  This is the result. 

If that wasn’t enough  here is the current work.

I know it is light. Sorry about that it is a sketch that will move into another ink project but may try and do some watercolor or markers on it. I’ll habe to see what it say it wants to be.

Also, I have a story to post do you want to read it? Let me know and I will post it.

Anyway, miss hearing from you. Until next creation.  CIAO.

Saturday Breakfast

Sep
16

What’s to eat? Is the question that the individual family members ask every day. During the week is a mix of toast with a smoothie or overnight oatmeal.  But Saturday is the day that all of us will be home for breakfast. I don’t think toast and smoothie are interesting enough when we have the time together to eat neither is oatmeal.

Today, the answer was toast with a glass of milk, nothing, and then the littlest asked for waffles.

Well, I have tried a dozen or more recipes for waffles. Now, in our house, we have to make two different types of waffles every time we cook them. I am allergic to milk and flour,  ie, wheat (no not gluten but I say sometimes gluten because it is easier to for others to understand. So, for now, think gluten allergy.  One day I will discuss it but not today.) Thus, we have to do two of a lot of things. Since I have these allergies I lend heavily toward plant-based a  vegan food. Thus, I have made a lot of waffles in my marriage. Left other waffles are always in the freezer.  Anyway, tangent sorry.

 

Today, I found my holy frail waffles. I was so surprised because I was too lazy to find two different recipes on my phone so I modified one.   This is how it came out after being top with fruit and ground flaxseed.

However, not all people or families want the vegan style.  I added with it an almost classic waffle recipe, too.

After cooking the waffles, I added strawberries, oranges, kiwis, banana and ground flaxseed to the top of them.  Each bite was a different flavor thanks to the wonderful fruit.  The flaxseed brought a higher level of nutrition to the plate with all its yummy goodness.  I did have a bit of syrup to dip the waffle bites into but I used it sparingly. It was good, super filling and nutritionally sound.

Saturday Breakfast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: breakfast

Cuisine: American

Yield: 6 each recipe

Saturday Breakfast

  • Vegan waffles
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose, I use King Arthur flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla (less or omit if you perfer)
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 2/3 cup almond milk (or what milk you perfer)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Or
  • Almost Classic Waffles
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose, I use King Arthur flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla (less or omit if you perfer)
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  1. Vegan Waffle Recipes
  2. Mix together in a large bowl all dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Add Flaxseed if using into the dry ingredients.
  4. In another small bowl blend vanilla coconut oil, and milk.
  5. If this is too thick. Add up to 1/3 cup more milk.
  6. Cook in waffle iron.
  7. Or
  8. Almost Classic Waffle Recipe
  9. Mix together in a large bowl all dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  10. In another small bowl blend vanilla butter, and milk.
  11. If this is too thick. Add little bit more at a time until you get the consistency you like.
  12. Cook in waffle iron.
http://desertkissed.com/saturday-breakfast/

So, how was that?  If you are interested in variations.

I have substituted 1/4 tsp almond extract for the vanilla, 1/4 orange extract also for the vanilla.

I have added a handful of chocolate chips into the batter after pouring it into the waffle iron but before closing the lid.

Substitute a banana for coconut oil or butter and add a sprinkling of pecans into the batter after pouring it into the waffle iron but before closing the lid.

If you want the waffles extra crispy add 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot, that will do the trick.

For an even healthier waffle, substitute 1/2 cup oatmeal or another ground up grain for 1/2 cup flour.

Happy Eating.

Drawing the Spots

Sep
12

For the past week in between other drawings and writings,  I have been working on a school project.  At the beginning I thought I could get it started and if I didn’t complete I would at start to understand the methods the teacher was proposing.

 

After posting my work on Facebook, I had a friend ask if she could get a copy to.share with her mother. Her mother loves all things giraffe. With this knowledge and request how could I leave it unfinished. So, I told my self work on it until you can’t anymore. That is what I did. Pencil after pencil level after level. That produced this. Do you know how tedious it is to make and color those spots? OVER AND OVER AGAIN. One million one, one million two.

Now, I could say it was done but the teacher asked us to apply a background. Thus, I could not leave it again incomplete.  My daughter suggested it sitting under a tree. Good idea I thought.  Here is an interesting fact. The giraffe is darker in the finished work. Nonetheless, drawing a background toned to giraffe down.  Plus, the lighting could have effected it, too. Final result is this.

I love how it turned out. I have even had a request for it. I am doing prints. If anyone wants one let me know. I will understand if it goes in the bathroom where you have a Safari theme going.

Please feel free to comment on it. If you see anything wrong or love it. I would love to hear it. You can’t get good if everyone stays silent.

 

HOW YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY.

 

NEXT DRAWING: SEPTEMBER BULLET JOURNAL PICTURE

Story Time: Pawdefer, the Cat

Sep
08

This is a short story I submitted for a Flash Fiction.  It was my first submitted piece every.  The theme for the week was “Something Found”.   It is the viewpoint of a cat whose owners have a baby and bring it home.

Pawdefer, the Cat

By Edie Erickson

Ah! The things are gone.  I think you call yourselves humans, but I am not interested in your names. I have a story to tell you and we need to get some things clear first.  My name is Pawdefer.  That is pronounced with a French accent: Paw-de-fer. If you call me anything else, I will not answer.  Now that the ‘hellos’ are done, let’s get down to business.

This took place many suns ago.  The she-thing had been sitting on the sofa when I strolled up.  I perched upon her belly and found it in a state of constant motion. I got jostled around too much for my liking. Using my paws (okay, my claws) to calm the belly, she-thing screamed and threw me across the room.  I didn’t sink my claws that deep into her stomach. Apparently, she did not like it.  Oh, don’t feel bad for me.  I landed on my feet.  I am good at that.  I am a cat after all.

The she-thing got up and went into the kitchen.  As I began licking my paw, she screamed again.  She sounded like a cat in a bear trap. I padded into the kitchen and watched as she proceeded to pee right there on the newly tiled floor.  I was scolded when I did something that.  Now, here she was doing it.  I was going to give my opinion when he-thing came running into the room.  He was babbling and running around in circles.  I deduced something wasn’t quite right.  He was usually calm and collected, but not today.  She continued to scream and he kept running out of the kitchen then back in again, meanwhile mumbling, “You’re doing good.”

She was standing there screaming, it didn’t look good to me. I joined in with my own meows (translation: stop screaming).  It was hurting my ears.

 

It stopped alright when  He-thing ran in the house, put his arm around her, and pushed her toward the door.  Out she waddled like a duck fattened for the Christmas feast.  Finally, peace descended upon my dwelling once again.  Sun after sun came and went.  Nobody came to stroke my fur or freshen my food or scratch behind my ears.  Rude.  There was no clean place for me to do my business. The mice were really fun to play with.  I was super nice and cleaned up all the pee on the floor.  It was tasty.  Something between water and salty-earthy human flavor.  That’s right, you’re a human. You won’t understand.

 

 

Three suns came and went before they came back. I was enjoying my afternoon nap when they disturbed me.  I stretched and sauntered over to the door.  The he-thing came in.  He was looking tired.  Wow.  He needed a shower.  Then she-thing came in.  Wow, she smelled even worse.  They were talking in quiet, high voices.  I had never heard them speak like that before.

 

As I said, I sauntered to them.  They ignored me.  I brushed up against them, meowed, and even purred. They just kept on talking.  I, finally, stretched up onto his leg with my claws. I wanted to get his attention.  That worked.  He-thing glanced down at me and lifted me up absent-mindedly.  He was behaving so oddly; making faces and vocalizing nonsense.  His breath was awful.  I had to leap down. Shaking my head in disgust, I walked out of the entryway when she-thing came in.  Wow, she smelled even worse.  They were talking in quiet, high voices.  I never heard them talk like that before.

 

As I resumed my position in the patch of sunlight warming the dining room carpeting, a new smell wafted through the air.  I arose followed the smell into the living room and there sat a blanket with something underneath.  I rubbed the blanket.  It contained something solid.  I heard a coo. I brushed up against it again and it emitted something like a small snort.  Then it wailed.   I had to see beneath the blanket. I had to know.

 

“Meow,”  I ordered. Upon my clear command, they removed the blanket. Oh no, I thought.  Another one of THEM in small form. I approached it warily.  The wailing was almost too much for me, but I was curious.  I had to understand that smell.  It smelled like he-thing and she-thing.  It was a THEY-THING. This was not good and that noise! Was this going to keep happening?

 

And then another, stronger aroma arose. I can enjoy any number of smells, but this! The stink was more powerful than those of my distant skunk cousins.  Wow!  Why did they have to bring that thing home to me?

 

She-thing picked up the wailing, stinking they-thing and walked into another room, talking softly as they went.  From my vantage point on the floor, I couldn’t quite see what was being done to it, but at last the hideous stench abated.  And not a moment too soon!  I’d seriously considered evicting these people permanently.  That night after the he-thing cleaned out my toilette and got me fresh food and water, I decided I would allow them to stay for a while longer.

 

After the big things went to bed, I thought I had better check on the they-thing.  I padded softly into the room where it was sleeping.  I skillfully jumped into its high, barred bed.  My movements were, of course, utterly without sound.  I am an expert skulker.  Seeing the sleeping they-thing, I sniffed at it.  It smelled faintly of milk and I licked its face clean.  Delicious.

It began to grunt and squirm at the touch of my rough tongue. I feared it might wail again.  Desperate to spare my ears the discomfort, I got up close, settled down, and began to purr. They-thing cooed when I did that.  Sure, I liked it.   There was a soft place on a high dresser. I could see it from up there.  That was the night I found my job.  I found something to do.  I was to watch over that little they-thing. “Purrrrrrrrrrr.”

Focus

Sep
08

This week I have been focusing on many things.  I have been drawing both illustrations and portrait drawing.  I have been writing and rewriting all week.  Now, I am at a point to post.  So, today is a dump of all my work this week.  Sorry, to post all at once but at least I am posting.

The idea was from three illustrations I saw on Pinterest.  I would give credit but I could not find the artist.  I have combined them into one story.  I love it.  I thought of it as two kids, probably siblings playing in the rain and it got a little windy.  The hurricanes have been hitting the USA and I have been thinking about them.  I did not know what I could do but then I drew this.  I think it is to show – I am thinking of all of you.  I can’t help much but I can pray for you.

The next one is

This drawing is from an AGT contestant, Evie Claire.  I, too, am mormon and when I heard that her father past away yesterday my heart was saddened.  I saw her talking about him on the show.  She portrayed such beauty and innocence.  Thank you.  This is such a wonderful thing in such harshness.  I appreciate your valor and strength.  I had to draw it.  I know I did not put a face in.  This is because I believe there are many people – girls, women, and teens that have this innocence and purity.  I thought you could put in the person you see.

I think purity, innocence, and cleanness of mind are some of the the greatest attributes a person could possess.

I know you, Evie and your family are going through a tremendously hard time.  Prayers of a stranger are with you.  There is a story that I heard that has given me a lot of strength. It is Blessings by Laura Story.  I hope you will hear it and gain strength, too.  Thank our Heavenly Father that families are forever.  We just miss them in between time.

First day of art school

Sep
02

Today was the first day of art school. I am in an online class. The courses are through a place called schoolism.com. It is wonderful to be learning at my on pace, in my home, and from such a great artist.  I have already started learning. Also, how great is it, when you are required to doodle during class? It is fabulous.  So, the teacher was drawing a dog and he drew a caricature of it. I thought how fun is that. Let me try. Here is my attempt.  So, cute. Well, I think so. You be the judge.

Lollipops

Aug
31

 

Hello, my friends!

I am so excited.  I had a birthday two days ago.  Usually, birthday’s are okay but nothing special.  I am not a tiny person so I don’t like many clothes.  We are on a budget so extravagant gifts don’t interest me.  Most of the time I don’t get anything too special.  This birthday was so simple but wonderful.  My husband has been so supportive of my going back into art and writing.  As you can see, I am slowly building an art and writing collections.  My husband talked with me extensively about what I needed to accomplish it.  Then knowing that we could not buy all the markers that I needed from on brand, he asked me what other alternative brands I would want.  He bought me an 80-piece set of those markers and behind the scenes bought me a small set of the great markers to start off my great collection.  What a thoughtful man.  So, here is a picture of the bouquet of markers he got me.

Isn’t it beautiful? It is a mix of Ohuhu markers, Copic skin colored markers (the great collection) and Copic blender markers.

That’s the gift.  Here is my gift to y’all.  I hope it is a gift.  This is my first drawing in marker with blending.

Does that bring a smile to your face?  I hope so.  Can’t you just imagine a child wanting a lollipop that big?  And the dog helping himself to what he can.   I loved how the image turned out.  I know it isn’t perfect.  It was the first time I used some of my skills.

Here is the newest news.  Starting Monday, my daughter and I are taking courses at a professional art school.  We are absolutely excited. Time to shine and step up to something wonderful.

Back to the drawing. At first, I did not like it. Therefore, I redrew it in and colored it in colored pencil.  Here is the result of that.

Marker

Pencil

A little bit of difference.  What do you think? Which on do you like the most?   

Well, that is it for today.  Have a good day, my friend.                                  

Morning Motivation

Aug
24

Here is today’s drawing.  This is an extremely quick note taking project.  I am so glad I did this.  The information and drawings are based on a video from Bobby Chiu called “Morning Motivation.” This is one of the best videos I have watched.  So good, that I decided to draw it into my journal to reference time after time.  I believe this is the recipe for success in any endeavor.  Here is my journal entry.

Bobby Chiu’s Morning Motivation click here to watch 

 

 

Set things up for tomorrow

  1. It is easier to start focusing when everything is already set up for you to just run with it.
  2. Start a drawing or painting the night before. This way you do not have the blank page problem.  This is where you look at a blank page and have not inspiration before it is just a blank page.

    Opinion: This is a great idea.  I, even, wrote a short story about that blank page or the wall that we hit called writer’s block or painter’s block.  See http://desertkissed.com/revision-of-the-wall/ I wonder if having a second piece of scrap paper there to scribble on until your idea is good or do you have to draw on that blank paper to help. What helps you to get over a block or blank page fright?

     

Punch laziness in the face

  1. Our brains will talk us out of what we plan on doing.  It wants to be lazy.
  2. Our brains are awesome servants but not good masters.
  3. Commit to 2 minutes of drawing, etc. when your brain says not too. Opinion: 
    1. This reminds me of Newton’s First law of motion.  (An object at rest stays at rest.  An object in motion stays in motion.  Each of these things stays the same unless moved upon by an external force.
    2. A few weeks ago a woman hated her life.  She was at rock bottom.  The alarm would go off and she would stay in bed sometimes for hours.  One day, she was sick of this life and wanted to do something about it.  But her mind would talk her out of it.  Well, another day passed.  Finally, one specific day her alarm went off and her mind was talking her out of it, she decided to count down from 5 and she would get out of bed.  Surprisingly, it worked.  By counting down from 5, it distracted her mind from persuading her to do anything else.  She got up.  I believe this method of counting down from 5 would work for negativism when needing to work or draw or whatever you are doing and your mind is saying the opposite.  Now, remember to evaluate what it is you want to do and what your mind is saying. Is it just negativism or protection?  If it is negativism start with 5 and go down.  If it is protection stop and look at what you are doing.  Is it safe?  
    3. Another person taught me to always be in your safety zone but never in your comfort zone.  More on this another day.

 

Time is ticking

    1. How many things can you accomplish in a lifetime? (If you start at 20 yrs old to work on films, you could have an average of 10 films in your lifetime.)
    2. How many books or paintings can you do in your lifetime?  If you are starting late then it will be even less.  Why wait until you think you are good?

Opinion: This was a reality check.  I am in my forties.  I need to get to work but for my daughter who is an artist and in her teens so much time to work on things she will love.  Let’s get to work and do and be AMAZING. (Can I sing this? AMAZING!! ) We can do it.  

Don’t wait to feel ready

  1. Start now before you think you are good enough.
  2. Get over the negative thoughts that run through your brain.

Opinion: I have mixed feeling about this.  There is a time to just study and learn but wants the initial time of studying is done – go and submit.  Right?  Don’t wait too long.  I am talking six months after people start to say it is good.  Don’t wait.  Remember you don’t have long before it becomes too late to do many things.  If you want to be a book illustrator how many can you do? The number you can do shrinks with each passing year.  

I heard of one person that illustrated books while in high school. Another submitted his work to Disney before he was out of high school. He was offered a job before he even graduated from school.  You don’t need to have everything completed before you submit or try for other things.

 Visualize accomplishing your goal

  1. Focus on the goal, not the “I can’t’s.”
  2. Focus on the steps one at a time.
  3. Focus on the end goal.
  4. Picture it clearly.

Opinion: People mock and laugh at me because I believe I can do so much.  Well, this technique is why I believe that.  I set in front of myself a goal.  Then I figure out how to accomplish that goal.  If the steps have something in it that I don’t know how to do then I schedule to learn it as part of the steps. Last, I do it step by step with the end goal in sight.  

My husband always asks me a question when things get hard or I want to quit.  He asks, “Hunny, how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Go and do that one step and then another.”  Such a good husband. 

Focus. Focus. Focus.  If you are focused on the goal, you don’t have room in your mind for negativism.

Well, thanks for reading.  Good-day everyone.

Revision of “The Wall”

Aug
23

Okay.  I had some wonderful comments from people that recommended some changes.  I loved the ideas so I rewrote “The Wall.”  I hope this brings more clarity to the story.  If you have questions, suggestions, or advice pour the information out to me via comment below, email or text for those that have that information.

What is The Wall about? You may say.  It is about a woman who goes out to paint in the park and before she can leave her front door, she is hit with a huge bout of painter’s block.  This painter’s block comes in the form of a giant wall as big as the Great Wall of China.  This is how she gets through it or does she?

The Wall

Have you ever had a gift where it presented itself as a wall? For example, writer’s block.  You love to write.  You’ve decided to write for a living and now, you are hit with the wall.  Let me tell you a story about a lady that broke through this wall and how she did it.

 

One day, it was a sunny, fall day.  The air was warm and the mood was light.  It smelled of bread, cinnamon, and pines. Oh, what a wonderful fall day it was.  Jena stepped outside her house breathing in the intoxicating day but right in front of her was a wall placed where the street had been the night before.  She could not see past it.  It was tall and thick. It was a dull gray like cement. It was rough to the touch and plain. It blocked her view from anything forward. She loved coming out and greeting her neighbors across from her. Now, she could only see down her right or the left side through her neighbor’s front lawns. It replaced the street that laid in front of her house. As she looked at the wall, her memories began to fade of what was behind the wall.  She had faint glimpses of a road.  Ideas of beyond the wall exploded into fragments the longer she stared at the wall.

 

She pondered what she could do.  Could she climb the wall? No, there were no places for her feet or hands.  Could she see about chisel a hole through it?  She went into the garage and brought out a sledgehammer and a ladder.  It took several trips.  She would break down the wall or climb over the wall.  She climbed the ladder but it did not reach, not even halfway up the wall.  It seemed grow. The taller she tried to make the ladder the taller the wall got.  Soon, she set the ladder aside and began to pound the wall with her sledgehammer.  Long, angry strikes hit the wall.  But nothing happened. The wall remained smooth and steady.

 

Sitting on her front step and staring at the obtrusive wall that loomed before her.  The clouds touch the top of the wall.  The Great Wall of China taunted her thoughts. The Berlin Wall shouted no passing – you must stay here – escape is futile. Not only did this thing extend to the heavens but it extended to the right and left.  Nothing else filled her mind, staring at the wall was all she could do.  It left her frozen. She could go in the house but then she would be trapped.  She could hear the symphony of the city, the smells of the local bakery, and the drums of construction. The construction was on her left several streets down the hill. Over to her right, at the end of her street and across the road was the bakery her family loved to visit.  No more. The wall blocked access.  Watching the wall was like watching a tree grow no movement was visible.

 

The sun peaked behind the clouds. Shining on her face, she closed her eyes and absorbed the warm and hope it exuded. With a deep sigh, she remembered her hopes for the day. She was going to paint at the local park.  This was to be a new adventure in her life. She was just getting started but she wanted to become an artist.  She was not asking to be famous or great.  She wanted to do something her family and friends would love to see and want.  She longed for the knowledge that comes from hours of practice.  She consistently questioned whether she would be good. After years of thinking other pursuits would be better she decided to try something that lay within her heart. She had started painting weeks ago. It had been going well but nothing great. She was thinking of what she would paint when she walked outside.  This was when the wall appeared in front of her.

 

The sun hid its brilliance behind the wall.  Her shoulders slumped and she laid her head in her lap. All she wanted to do was live her life.  To write, to paint and to draw.  She wanted to show the world how she saw things.  However, she began to think of all the people that mocked her and called her crazy or worthless. She only started her journey and now she couldn’t get off the front steps. It blocked her way.

 

It was discouraging.  The clouds darkened the sky as her thoughts became negative.  The sky was now the same color as the wall.  Her life had turned gray.  Closing her eyes, the gray penetrated her mind.  No. You will not invade my mind. She thought.  No more.  I made my choice.  I chose the path. Even though, I can see it I still chose what is right for me. Light began to flicker in her mind as she began to empower herself.

 

Well, what are we going to do about it? She asked herself. We can’t go over or under or around.  We can’t break through.  How are we going to move?  Questions pounded her mind.  The wall shrunk and the sun pierced her soul.  Hope began to bloom. How am I going to do this? It is me and only me.  No one can break down this wall. I have to but it is too strong.  It is too tall. It is too long.  It is too dull.

Looking at the wall she said, “It is too dull. That gray is drab.” It was empty of life. “If I can’t go over you or under you. I don’t want to go to the right or the left.  I can’t break you down what can I do?”  She asked the wall.  After sitting, staring and talking the wall she began the think that the wall would talk back to her.  However, it did not.

“All I wanted to do was go paint in the park. Now, I can’t. You are blocking me from doing that. You are blocking me from doing anything.  All I want to do is create something.” She complained to the wall. “You are stopping me from doing that.”

A thought came into her mind. “Am I?”

“Yes. I can’t go to the park to paint.” She replied.

“But I am not stopping you from creating. Or am I?” The wall said.

“Great.  Now I am having an argument with a blank wall.” She was frustrated. “You are stopping me.”

“Am I? How?”

She wanted to just lash out. But she stopped and began to think. Was the wall stopping her from creating or just stopping her from going to the park? I can paint anywhere.  I just get inspiration at the park.

Inspiration was beginning to shimmer through her mind.  What can I do?  I can turn around and paint inside. I can paint right here and paint a portrait of the wall or I can do nothing. Uhm. I can paint …. The wall….  Let’s paint the wall.  With that idea, she stood up tall and strong, she turned around and grabbed her paints, pencils, and brushes.  She ran out the door deposited her paints, pencils, and brushes in front of the wall. Then she turned back around into the house she went grabbed pens and paper.  Back to the wall, she returned.

 

With a deep breath, she touched the wall and closed her eyes. In silence, she breathed.  One in and one out.  She saw a darkness.  She breathed in again and out again.  She felt the roughness of the wall. The roughness reminded her of emery boards to file her nails. Little rough bumps. She breathed in again. Smells of the bakery, pines, and cinnamon swirled around her.  She concentrated harder. The sounds around her disappeared. Focusing on the wall, its rough texture, she drew in her energy and pushed it to her finger tips. The wall faded from her touch. Emptiness took its place.  In and out the breath came slowly, ever so slowly.  Darkness stood closely, trying to wrap its arms around her.  However, she stood firm in the void.  Softly, her hand began to glow upon the wall in her mind. Eyes still closed.

 

Unaware of the crowd that was growing around her.  She stood with her hand stretched out, palm flat as though it was against something.  No one could see the wall.  She stood tall. Eyes closed. Breathing slowly in and out loudly.  No one could reach her.  She could not see them or hear them.  She had blocked everything out and everyone.  She was not going to listen to anyone until this wall was addressed.

 

Her hand glowed brighter and brighter.  The roughness had melted into the empty air but the wall was ever present. With an inhale, she slid her hand down the wall and over to the left.  There was a door knob there if only she could reach it.

 

Her husband had seen this before.  He knew it meant she was creating something great but if he did not set something in front of her before she started painting, then there would be no record of her idea.  He ran into the garage.  He looked for canvas or something to paint on. He found a large sheet of wood as her canvas.  He went outside and staged it in front of her.  “What do you see?” He asked.

 

His voice penetrated her mind.  “A large gray wall,” she whispers.

 

“Can you paint it?”

 

“Yes.” With that, she bent over and picked up her paints and brushes.  She slapped gray all over the garage wall.  It was middle gray as a base.  She then saw the tones of gray that gentle walked over the wall.  Soft gray and charcoal shown through.  Depth and tone danced over the canvas.  No one understood but her husband heard the whisper.  The colors of gray were coming alive.  Tone against tone. Depth and distance played their routine.   As she painted what she was seeing in front of her, a link began to be created between the wall that stood in front of her outside where the street should be and the gray sheet of wood.  The two became one in her mind.  There was no difference for her.  As the paint dried and appeared the same color, the two walls became one both in reality and within her mind.

 

She clutched a pencil in her hand, and drew part of an arch.  The arch was tall.  She asked for the ladder.  Hanging from one hand and one foot, she completed the top of the arch. It was tall but it was detailed.  Flowers, flora, vines swirled around pillars that stood on each side holding up the top of the arch and its crown high into the air.  The pillars stood upon two squares with crests therein.

The crest was a cat with a helmet on its head and a shield beside it held out its paw to stop anyone from coming forward.  They were symbols of a place beyond.

 

“Now the doors.”  Grand doors were etched out.  The knobs, handles, hinges, and door itself were intricately designed.  Then within the grand elaborate doors, she drew a small door. Plain and unassuming. There was no handle or knob only hinges. With the doors completed she sighed. Hours had taken a toll on her and she exhaled all energy.  Weak and dazed she looked to her husband.

 

She looked around many people stood there looking at the garage wall.  She rotated around to see the wall and there stood her wall, archway and all. “What is everyone doing here?” She asked while looking at her husband.

“They are here watching you. I asked them to leave but they would not. Let’s go inside.” After ushering her inside the house, he came out and thanked everyone for supporting her as she began to work her masterpiece.  They walked away murmuring and questioning whether she was insane or a genius.  They could not make a conclusion.  They could not see what was in her head.  Though the detail was complicated, it was still in pencil only.

 

The next day she laid in bed and rested. The day after that she did the same.  But the third day, food tickled her nose. She pulled her strength together and arose.  It was a Saturday. She could hear the kids chattering in kitchen. Her husband was banging around. She hurried and got ready for the day. Pulling her hair back, she came in, kissed her husband, and hugged her kids.  It was a good morning. She had dreamt about a wall that kept blocking her from going forward. But after the food was eaten and conversation finished, she walked outside and there hovered the intimidating wall.  She exhaled and walked to the wall which stood where a street once stood.  Looking at it, she saw the penciled drawn archway and the doors.  There were groves were her pencil marked the stone. With her eyes closed, she moved over all the work visualizing where and how she should continue.

 

Her husband went out into the garage and retrieved the sheet of wood.  He staged it again in front of her and whispered, “Your wall is ready for you to work on and your paints are right here.”

 

With that she dipped her clean brush into browns, blues, whites, and blacks. Colors danced and mingled as she tiptoed through the lines.  Humming and flowing, to and fro, the archway became a hand craved stone entryway. The doors were laced with gold. The archway and doors were elegantly stained. The flowers were stained in reds, pinks, purples, blues, and whites. The vines in an assortment of greens. The door was stained a simple oak but towards the bottom, it had weathered into patches of gray.  These doors looked aged and used many of times for many centuries. The recesses were darkened as though time had faded the black and dirt had piled into the nooks and crannies of the doors and archway for a winter’s nap. The protruding places were touched with light. The unassuming plain door was simply stained in a natural hue. The gold was tarnished in places.  What a sight to see.

 

The doors stood once as faint lines. But now, they loomed massive in size and grandeur. They were the doors to a great kingdom. But something was still missing.

 

She set down her paints and went to the door.  She touched the door and the carvings began to raise or fade depending on her command. She closed her eyes. She felt the wood form under her fingertips.  The intricate details ebb and fade as they recessed or became pronounced. She inhaled the aroma of newly carved wood, of stain, and of age as well.  All combined together in harmony. It was beautiful. She opened her eyes to see the beauty still in front of her. They were just as she imagined them. She wondered what was behind the doors.  She longed to open them.  She reached for the knob and the handles with both arms. She expected to fling them open but they were locked.  She tried the small, plain door.  It, too, was locked.

 

The doors needed her command. She looked around. There was a pen and a notebook. She sat down with that pen and notebook and she began to write.  The story unfolded before her.  She wrote and wrote and wrote.  The doors began to moan and groan. Whispers and winds flowed through the room.

 

Her family was there.  Friends and strangers began to gather again to see the massive doors that were so delicately placed within the otherwise blank wall. Everyone stood and waited for her to open the doors or tell them the story.  Few believed the door were real, even though they looked real.  They were just painted, right? However, they would comment that they were exquisitely done.  So life like. So real.  They came and went all day coming back to see if it was done.  Some mentioned they thought they could hear the doors unlock.  Others wondered if they really heard the sounds of animals, people, and wind behind the doors.  Each said they heard something different.

 

Before she handled the story to her husband, she tore a piece of paper out of the book.  She glued it to the wall next to the doors. She stood at the doors with her hands on the knobs.  She paused. Could she do this? She looked at her family. Her husband stood there with his hand on the back of one of his children, another in his arms, a third had her arm wrapped around his bi-cep. She wondered, should I do this?   

 

Her husband went up to the paper and in a muttered voice whispered, “BEWARE. If you enter into these doors, you will not return the same – if you return at all.  BEWARE!  THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!  GOD SPEED.”