Thursday, February 25, 2010
If you're like most people, or most people I know, you buy lots of food and you throw away lots of food.
Because you don't want to eat your leftovers, or your food has spoiled or expired before you got around to eating it.
Like most people, you've probably gotten into the habit of buying more food each week whether you needed it or not.
Honestly, I throw away too much food.
So, I challenged myself to start using the food already on my shelves and in my icebox and to severely limit my grocery shopping.
As you can see, I had stored up a variety of tasty items including: grains, flours, pastas, medication for my dog, honey, and some frosting.
The resourcefulness of my twenties has awakened. A time when I had no money, but still needed to eat. (Thank goodness my mom and dad lived close by.)
Take the challenge:
How much of that food in your pantry and icebox you can eat up?
How few items can you purchase at the grocery store?
How long can you go between grocery visits?
I'm on the 2nd week of my challenge.
And I'm saving a nice chunk of money.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Who benefits from your fears?
Because it's certainly not you.
We live in a society that continually bombards us with things to be afraid of...the news is SCARY!
But it's not in perspective.
Yes, bad things happen...but what we see on the news is out of proportion with the good...if you watch the news...you must think that by living in New York, I'm in constant danger for my life...but I'm not...New York City is actually safer than Kansas City...
Reality...great people are everywhere, doing amazing things...and you are safe...statistically...
Here's something else to chew around in your brain...the news is paid for and approved by the advertisers...as are all the television shows...reality and fiction...the advertisers...hear that? The advertisers...if they don't want you to know something, you'd don't...and if they want you to be afraid of something...you probably will be...because if you're afraid...they win...they financially benefit from your fears.
Who would really want 46 million Americans to live without healthcare? But daily we are fed fears of what those people being taken care of will do to hurt the rest of us. It's not reality.
By remembering that all media is bought by an advertiser, I am able to keep what I read and view in perspective. I also do research to find some shred of the truth...this can be very hard. But one well-known example...reality: No one ever found a razor blade in an apple at Halloween...yet, almost all of us had our Halloween trick or treating curbed over that fear.
Live your life...the end result is same for everyone...only the journey is different. Wouldn't you like yours to be free and fearless?
That's what I'm aiming for.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
It's taken me a good number of years to embrace my own illustration style. It's easy to compare myself with others, especially illustrators that are getting alot of work. Then I started realizing that styles I couldn't stand were getting work as well as ones I liked. That all creative work is incredibly subjective.
The best thing I can do is to draw free and have fun...to love what I am doing...embrace my work...embrace who I am...be the best Susanna I can be.
It's easy to lose sight of this in a world that plays favorites...but really all I have to do is look at kids...the kids in this picture or today's 3rd graders...they all have an individual strength...now begins their journey of figuring it out and embracing it.
Embrace that you are a gift for the world. You may not know your gift. We rarely do. But if you are true to yourself, I'm pretty sure you are giving the gift that is yours.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
When I was in high school, I saw my first vampire movie. For the next 3 years, I wore a cross around my neck, put homemade crosses on every corner of my bed, and one on the window.
Obviously, this kid is not a real vampire. Although, he might bite if provoked. Really, it's my nephew Luke at his 8th birthday party.
Over the past year, I've been afraid to send manuscripts to publishers. I wasn't consciously aware of this fear. In my mind, I was just busy writing plays and illustrating books.
Then it hit me, I was holding onto several newly completed book projects. The only reason I could imagine for not sending them to prospective buyers was because I feared another rejection.
Rejection is a BIG part of the creative person's life. This is why it's so important to love what you do.
After a certain number of rejections, I think one needs a break. Now, I've had mine.
This month, I completed a new picture book manuscript. I polished it up and sent it off to my publisher last night. I'm back on track. I feel brave again. I'm ready to work on the next book project and to send out the ones that I've already completed.
Okay, I'll probably get rejected on some or all of these projects, but maybe I won't. I was never actually bitten by a real vampire.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing everyday that scares you."
I'm working to live up to that.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Whenever I have a big deadline, whether a script or an illustration project, I place cookies on the kitchen table...which is about 5-7 steps from my work area...okay...my house is tiny.
I can only take one cookie at a time...
So, let's say I'm working on a script...I write a bit...get up and get a cookie...eat it as I look over what I've written...then write some more...then get up for another cookie...and usually by the time I've finished the last Geneva in the Pepperidge Farm bag...the story is complete...
For me, the cookies are my carrot...they keep me continually moving forward...every time I move to get a cookie...my eyes get a fresh look on my work because I've moved...my focus stays alert because I want to get more work done so I can have another cookie...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I've always had a very hardy sense of power, drive, and confidence, thanks to my first set of fans...mom and dad.
But even I get occasional moments of "What am I doing?"
Monday, February 1, 2010
In the interest of complete disclosure, I must admit 'I love television,' especially BBC Crime Dramas and old movies.
However, it has not eluded me that I get MUCH more work done if I don't turn on the television.
Sure, I can think, 'Oh, I'll just turn it on and find something I don't need to watch, so I can have some sound.'
Right. After 15-20 minutes of searching channels over and over, I find that there isn't anything on that can be my background sound. And many times in the searching process, I've gotten sucked into some show that I didn't plan to watch.
And let's just say I did find that background show...invariably, I have to stop what I'm doing off and on just to watch a 'little'.
On the days that I leave the television off, I get so much work done that by 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon I feel like it is late in the evening...but it's not...I still have hours before I need to go to bed.
Today, I left the television off.
Because of that, I got through most of my to do list...#1 being 'dust the television.'