Tag Archives: Questions

Sunrise at Summit Beach

Sunrise at Summit Beach by Karen Gadient, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve done a dream post, but I visited an interesting place in my dreams the other night and wanted to make some artwork to remember it.

Much like my last dream post location, I’m pretty sure I was on another planet.

David and I were staying at a beachside resort at the base of a snowy mountain range. I don’t think the landscape was actually shades of red and orange as much as the atmosphere—and, like the last dream, twin suns—cast it to appear that way… but it was eerie and warm and incredibly strange.

So, where have you visited in your dreams lately?

Sunrise at Summit Beach. Created with Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
— Jack Kerouac

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Inspiration, Landscape, Ocean, Psychology, Quotes, The Unknown

Flood in the Factory

Flood in the Factory by Karen Gadient, 2014

Flood in the Factory. Digital markers, created with Corel Painter.

I had this powerful dream the other night. In it, I freed myself from an immense labyrinthine factory—levels and levels of alien pipework and and not a soul in sight, although I felt pursued—by calling the waters. Strangest thing. I rode them out and found myself on an alien shore with two suns rising.

So, here’s the factory. Maybe next I’ll paint the shore and suns. Instead of always writing down my dreams, I figured it might be an interesting experience to recall the visuals in color.

Do you keep a record of your dreams?

They say dreams are the windows of the soul—take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts. — Henry Bromel

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Inspiration, Psychology, Quotes, The Unknown

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

Surrounded by Ideas

Great Space of Creative Ideas. Digital artwork by Karen Gadient, 2013.

I had a dream last night where I saw the embodiment of ideas. My ideas, your ideas, or maybe all the ideas of Earth or the universe. Not really sure. But I got the vibe that ALL THE IDEAS was what I was looking at. And so, here goes:

It started out like a spirit guide, only a spark that I followed in darkness. It didn’t speak to me. Instead, it circled like a firefly—tiny and glowing. It had no true form and was made up of the elements. Fire, water, air, and even scattering bits of earth. It soon grew so that I could see its details better. Like a tiny galaxy, floating around the blackness where I stood.

Quickly—BAM—it expanded and surrounded me. Then it took me inside it and enveloped me so that I became part of it. I couldn’t see my hands or be sure that I still had a body. All I had was an intense warmth and the sensation of water washing over me, air I knew I was consciously breathing, and the view of what looked like a million little worlds before me.

Very super cool. I mean, I was a speck among specks, but it was awesome.

Now that I’m awake and back to reality, I’m left with a sense that we’re all so small and yet so powerful. Dreams like that drive me to not waste a moment of life.

Although I did take some time to create what I saw so that you could see it too.

Do you ever have dreams that stay with you and inspire you?

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Filed under Beliefs, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Graphic Design, Ideas, Imagination, Inspiration, Journal, The Unknown

Stock Photo Vacation Spots

Green Escarpment. Sus vistas. Photo by MiguelAngel.
Photo by MiguelAngel.

I recently downloaded this stock photo. I really want to know where this place is. The information on the file doesn’t tell me and there’s no contact information for the photographer. Fotalia’s keywords got me searching online with no results.

I suspect the location is Spain—but where?

Because I’d love to have some real estate with that view someday.

Update:
Thanks to Andrew Toynbee being so helpful in his usual witty way… I finally know the location is Ronda. It’s in Spain, so I had that right! The reason I missed it on the stock photo file itself was because I read it only as round in Spanish and didn’t realize that was actually the name of the place.

I’ll go there one day. I’m certain of it.

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Filed under Journal, Photography, Travel

Perils of Professional Titles in Fiction

Dr. Smith Examines a Tonsil

I’ve been busy finishing a book. I need some advice. Well, maybe.

You know how I am. I find my answers in the middle of asking for advice.

All the same, here you go:

My main character works in the medical profession, under the guidance of a high-ranking physician. For the first half of the book, he addresses this physician as “Dr. Smith”. When circumstances change (and they do, big time)… the doctor becomes a close friend and asks to be addressed by his first name (we’ll call him “Bob” for example) outside of work.

It only feels awkward to me because he doesn’t become “Bob” until the middle of the story.

And the doctor was his mentor.

Plus the doctor is much older, so there’s a father figure thing too.

Should I explain the “call me Bob” thing in some dialogue and refer to him as “Bob” instead of “Dr. Smith” from that point on?

Bob and I went down the diner to get a five-dollar milkshake. To our surprise, Dr. Phil was there too. “Whatcha doin’ here?” Dr. Phil asked. “Dr. Smith and I wanted to see if that five-dollar milkshake was any good,” John replied. “Dunno if it’s worth five dollars,” Dr. Phil said, rubbing his shiny pate. “But it’s pretty friggin’ good.”

Or continue to call him “Dr. Smith” unless the main character is speaking to him? In which case he can pull something like:

John handed Dr. Smith the plunger and asked, “You sure you know how to fix a toilet, Bob? We could call a plumber.” Dr. Smith waved him off. “It’s a toilet. How much different can it be from the human colon?” John had his doubts. There was a reason they had maintenance on speed-dial.

I’ve been told I over-think. There’s my mind on coffee.

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Filed under Decisions, Writing

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