Tag Archives: Possibilities

KarPaiTwenMo: My Painting Marathon

KarPaiTwenMo: Karen Paints Twenty in a Month

After much pondering and meditation on my emotional state and current drive: I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Yeah, I know I’d shouted about how I would. But, like I said in my last post… writing isn’t where my heart is right now. Grief will bring unexpected things; for me, my outlet has been painting. After all, it’s what my mother spent her time doing.

Don’t get me wrong. I love NaNoWriMo and I love the community there. I encourage any of you inclined to write to give it a try at least once. Seriously, it’s awesome fun. But this year, I’m doing something else.

Oh yeah, I’m not slacking out here. I’ve decided to do a PAINTING MARATHON.

Goal: completing 20 paintings (5 per week) in the month of November.
Rules: all must be at least 11 x 14 inches or larger. Also: colorful. Idea is that at the end of November, I should have a nice collection of colorful artwork that I can put up as my new portfolio, all large enough to be printed and framed.

Trick is: half of what you’ve seen here isn’t nearly as big (outside of commissioned artwork, which can be very large, even if the final product is only printed book-sized) and designed solely for the blog or only for online viewing. Larger paintings take longer—I’ll be clocking a lot of hours to pull this off.

So… this idea is crazy. And yet perfect for an art version of NaNoWriMo.

Karen Paints Twenty in a Month: KarPaiTwenMo!

Yeah, that works.

The first paintings will be shown once the first week of November ends. Same goes each week. Show-as-I-go for each painting would make-me-crazy. Even NaNoWriMo participants aren’t required to do anything along the way except update word count. I’ll write a few updates on the painting process as I go.

Hope those of you who expected me to write aren’t too disappointed, but I’ll strive to bring you some bright and interesting visuals. Cheers!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Journal, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Writing

Recognizing Dream Lucidity

Recognition by Karen Gadient

The last few nights, I’ve noticed when I was dreaming. I mean, I dream every night and can usually remember parts of the dreams (and I try to write them down)—but lately, I’ve been aware I’m in a dream while in the dream.

Only I have yet to do anything fun with that fact. Sure, I’ve seen Inception and suspect there are levels of play within our dreams, but I don’t feel I’m in the right mental space to handle and control a lucid dream.

Still, the other night found me in a wondrous place: a city of colorful light. I was in a building where there were no floors—well, the floors were made of neon light that you could see through, level after level below, and continue to walk on. I was in a towering building. I went from room to room and finally found a window of polished glass. When I looked into it, I could see myself—drawn as light.

And I knew it was a dream. I woke up. If I get there again, I might do something crazy: jump through the window, fly across the skyline, or shatter the whole darn thing and discover another world entirely. Probably the latter.

I’m sure there are heaps of metaphors there. I’ll need more coffee to sort it out.

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Filed under Art, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Graphic Design, Imagination, Journal, Psychology, The Unknown

Coin Tosses and Novel Choices

Chute Image with Ladder

I promised my husband I’d figure this one out by weekend’s end.

I have two novels that have a chance of seeing the light of published day this year.

Both are science fiction. One is alternate-universe stuff, with lots of comedic touches and a very television-show like feel. The other is more Asimov-ish, but also easy reading, because I come from a background where I started writing scripts long before I ever tried novels.

For a debut novel, I’m overanalyzing which should go first. Concept, marketing, just the general “wow factor”… the less comedic one looks in line for the most success (well, maybe). However, there’s one problem bugging me:

First half of the book feels like a YA novel, as the main character is a teenager. Only I don’t think it’s YA. The second half of the book (and any series books to follow) show the main character as an adult. The book has adult themes.

Anyone reading the first two chapters would never guess that the book evolves straight out of the teen years and right into a sharp reality of a new world.

I can’t change the fact that the main character starts out young and doesn’t stay that way. It’s important to the tale. YET…

He may become an adult, but under his skin, he’s still a teenager.

Tricky to categorize, right?

Truth is, I’m not sure where the edges of YA and adult fiction are these days. Is it still YA if the character is in his 20s and older as the story goes on?

I doubt it. But… geez, it starts out in that category. So. *head-desk*

I’m stalling on this project because I can’t define my audience. I don’t want to set readers up to think they’re getting a YA novel and then leaving bad reviews because they end up with a grown man in a violent world after half a book.

My husband flipped a coin for me on these novels. The coin fell on the floor the first time—unofficial results chose the alternate-universe-semi-comedy. The official coin toss chose the maybe-not-YA-sci-fi.

Which one really won? I still don’t know.

Maybe we need a fresh coin toss.


Anton Chigurh: Just call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Well, we need to know what we’re calling it for here.
Anton Chigurh: You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. It wouldn’t be fair.
Gas Station Proprietor: I didn’t put nothin’ up.
Anton Chigurh: Yes, you did. You’ve been putting it up your whole life you just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?
Gas Station Proprietor: No.
Anton Chigurh: 1958. It’s been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails. And you have to say. Call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Look, I need to know what I stand to win.
Anton Chigurh: Everything.
Gas Station Proprietor: How’s that?
Anton Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Alright. Heads then.
[Chigurh removes his hand, revealing the coin is indeed heads]
Anton Chigurh: Well done. Don’t put it in your pocket, sir. Don’t put it in your pocket. It’s your lucky quarter.

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Filed under Decisions, Fate, Life, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing

Creative Experimentation

Book Cover Experiment for One Last Dark Day

This was a creative experiment. Turned out better than expected, so sharing. Shown almost full-size for detail, but it reads surprisingly well as an itty bitty icon. When small, the words hop out. I wanted a window into the sunshine of this character’s future while still trapping him in his present darkness—and used the title itself. Not sure if I’d try the technique again, but it was a lot of fun to make.

Sometimes I like to create something (art, writing, cooking, knitting, LEGOS, etc.) just to see what I come up with at the end of an unplanned project.

Do you ever just make something to see what happens?

Hope you all have a great week!

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Filed under Art, Book Cover Design, Creativity, Graphic Design, Sketchbook

Thoughts from the Other Side

Reflection into another world.

I figured an alphabetical post series would be a great way to inspire more blogging, even during times when I’m super busy—which has been the case lately.

As I begin, I realize I can choose the obvious things… that I’m American (after all, it’s the 4th of July), or that I’m an artist. I could narrow that down, talking about living in Arizona or describing my favorite abstract art.

But I’d rather blog about the things I obsess about—the weird things.

I begin with the letter A, which turns out to be a fun one:

Alternate universes/worlds.

Won’t lie. I believe in them. Well, some of the time. Depends on the science news I’m reading, the television program I’m watching, or the book I’m getting lost in. It’s a fascination I’ve had since childhood—the idea that there are other planes of existence, either right along our timeline, completely removed from it, eerily similar to our reality, or as foreign as another galaxy. You tell me your tale is about alternate reality and I’ll dive right in.

I have three novels-in-progress in Scrivener right now. Two in first draft and one only a few chapters in. They all have some form of alternate universe. My artwork, when it’s not commissioned, is often drawn from worlds similar to our own but seen through strange veils.

I’m not alone in imagining alternate places. One of my dearest friends, Natania Barron, wrote a fantastic book called Pilgrim of the Sky, which contains not just two, but eight worlds. Across these worlds are facets of the gods themselves. Our own mythology could be very much real but wrapped up elsewhere, difficult to see, but possibly within reach if your heart calls to it.

One of my favorite television programs, Fringe, has shown us a parallel universe with differences in the timeline that puts Nixon on the silver dollar and drivers in double-decker cars (although we’ve only seen those as toys, never on the streets of Manhatan—spelled differently on the other side). Here, the alternate worlds are threatening to collide.

Some popular shows have featured alternate worlds and characters season after season. Doctor Who and Star Trek have a reputation for it. Even comedies like Community have had success with the concept. Mirror—especially evil—personalities make for a great plot tool.

You can’t forget alternate places like Narnia, and where Alice goes through the looking glass. Even the Wizard of Oz was a classic alternate universe tale. Dream world? Maybe. But it was Dorothy’s mundane world that remained in black and white. Personally, I’d have stayed in Oz, even with the flying monkeys.

What if? It’s the question we love to ask.

But is there—in some other alternate now—another we asking the very same thing? Would you really want to know? I think I would.

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Filed under Creativity, Fantasy, History, Imagination, Life, Multiverse, Mythology, Science, Science Fiction, The Unknown, Time, Writing

Alternate Versions

I write science fiction, and read plenty of it too. My favorite places are always alternate worlds or timelines. I love the idea of there being many versions of something, whether it be the universe or a single being.

As an illustrator, I create one portrait first and foremost. However, I always take time to play with the concept before deciding on how the final should look. Even once I have a finished piece, I’ll try different effects on it to see what happens.

This is the fantastic part of digital art over traditional (not that I don’t love to play with real paint and ink too)—not just the undo button but the vast array of color-play, texture, filters, and brushes that can be tested on a design.

Experimentation and exploration. It makes work fun.

Reydesra - Alternate Versions

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Graphic Design, Imagination, Multiverse, Portrait, Science Fiction, Sketchbook

Are there worlds within the eyes of cats?

Alternate Universe Cat

My cat loves to be spun around on an office chair until he’s purring with dizziness. He meows for this every day, often several times a day.

Lately, I’ve imagined that the chair is really a machine that can spin him through the veil into another universe–just for that brief time he’s actually in motion–and I wonder what he sees. Maybe his alternate self! Or maybe alternate me. Possibly deeper knowledge than any of that; answers he can’t communicate.

It could be that other universes lie within the eyes of cats. When you look close, their eyes are tiny galaxies with a black hole at the center. Perhaps things come and go, and are born and reborn, deep within the eyes of a cat.

Or maybe I’ve had too much coffee today. Likely, but it’s still fun to think about.

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Filed under Cats, Ideas, Imagination, Multiverse, The Unknown