Every Work of Art has a Story.

Every Story is an Inspiration.

Tuesday
Oct042011

Doing it at Douthat

Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unlikely places. This weekend, a friend took me for a few days of R&R at Douthat State Park in northern Virginia. The forecast called for rain and cold, and I admit to being a little worried about the idea of the "rustic" descriptions I got. I had visions of sleeping on blow up beds in a drafty wood box, or worse yet, a lean-to with rusty nails to hang your hammock. In my younger days, I would have been all over that, but now...well, I don't need that much rustic in my life. Especially not when the forecast calls for lows in the twenties. However, I needed the rest, and I hate being the party pooper, so I went.

 

I was pleasantly surprised by Douthat. The park is one of the original six state parks in Virginia, built by Roosevelt's CCC program back in the 30s. So, the cabins are indeed rustic. Still, they are lovely, old structures made from now extinct Chestnut logs. They have the cross hatching and the rough hewn floors and stone fireplaces inside with big Chestnut mantles. Luckily, there have been upgrades over the years, like comfortable beds with linens, plenty of hot water, the greatest shower and full bath, and a functional kitchen with all the utensils. Plus, and here is where I almost wept, central air and heat.

 

 But, The best part of the whole weekend was the inspiration I found in the old journals kept in each cabin for the guests to write about their stay. My friend and I spent hours reading them in front of a cozy fire. I had two favorite entries. The first was a couple whose daughter took her first steps in our cabin, and this year they returned, twenty-six years later, to spend the week together reminiscing, having just come from that daughter's wedding . Of course, my favorite entry was the two college boys who said they came to "do it at Douthat." Although they came to the park for a week of sex, they found a bit of boys love along the way. Maybe it came to them while reading poetry to each other every night in front of the fire.  They even wrote some poetry and shared it. Their sweet journal entry filled my head with ideas. Oh yes, these boys, or what I imagine them to be, will be starring in my next WIP. Perhaps I'll start writing their story here as a free read. Oh, I like that idea! Stay tuned.

Saturday
Oct012011

Bring on the Bang.

Today begins the Month of Me. Yes, October is the month I entered the world with a bang, or so my mother likes to claim. That was more years ago than I care to keep count of at this point. But, in my mid-thirties, I decided one day of celebration just wasn't cutting it. I started going for a whole Week of Me. A week of mahem and debauchery and the making of joyful noises kept me happy for the first few years. I did things like add another tattoo, or go to Hawaii and hike to the lava flows. But, somewhere along the way it became about more than the fun and adventure. I began to made a pact with myself that I would stop regretting things I had left undone in my life, stop sitting on my laurels dreaming big and doing nothing about it, and start taking steps towards really living.

During one of those weeks, I turned in my resignation at my twenty-two year career job as a zookeeper and moved back to Virginia to return to school. Completing the master's degree I had bailed on many years before became one of the things I was determined to accomplish along with things like publishing a book, learning how to paint, and visiting Paris and Rome. I spent my birthday that year packing my house and generally freaking slam out. But, I also applied to schools and was accepted by my first choice. I started my first creative writing class several months later with a huge grin on my face. 

When the big 40 hit, a week was no longer enough. I'm a little greedy like that. So, we are now celebrating The Month of Me.  A month is just right. Not too much time to go completely off the rails, but just enough time for that extra-long vacation and plenty of adventure. I am prepared should I ever come by that truck load of cash I wish for each year when I blow out my candles. 

Along the way, I did learn to paint. I went to Paris and Rome the year I graduated with my bachelor's degree. This year, I completed the biggest hurdle of all. I got that master's in interdisciplinary art. It sits beside my desk so I can make sure it isn't some figment of my imagination. So far, it appears to be real, although I don't feel any smarter for having it. I do know I now excel at hoop jumping and am ready to join The Yard Dogs Road Show should they be willing to employ me.

The last thing on that list is the whole getting a book published thing. On that front, I am almost done with my first novella, and I have several other WIPs. I've gotten a few short stories and poems published along the way, too. Oh right, perhaps I should mention what I am writing about. Well, thanks to my dear friend Andi Lea, I was introduced to the M/M Romance genre a while back. My muse got a hard on for these stories, and that is what has been coming out of my head ever since.  I'm an eclectic sort, so I hesitate to label myself in any way. But, I can tell you a story by me is pretty certain to have some romance, some hot men, and because it's what I know, perhaps some men who make their living working with animals. I do love urban fantasy and science fiction, as well as romance, so I may or may not try my hand at shifters, but for now, the stories I've been writing are of the contemporary variety. 

I promised myself I would start off this Month of Me with a bang and a new blog. Of course, this will just be a small bang, since I'm fully aware I'll be blogging to myself for some time to come. Still, it's done. Here I am. I built this website without the loss or discoloration of too much hair, and it is mostly finished. For any brave enough to come over to the dark side, bear with me. There will be a few improvements as I learn what the heck I'm doing. I feel like I should have sprung for fireworks or something. Nah! Let's keep things simple, shall we.

Friday
Aug192011

Website Building

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