Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing Prompt: What Can Happen In One Second

The Value of One Second, by Janin Wise

In one second, I'm seven years old, sitting in the seat behind the driver, my mother's second husband.  It's the autobahn in the eighties.  He adores heavy metal played loud enough to deafen.  He doesn't see the sharp rise of the tail of the car in front of us.  He doesn't notice the sudden bright red of their tail lights.  But I do.

One second is only long enough to notice, and take the sharp intake of breath before a warning could be shrieked...not long enough to warn.  And one second later, I'm reeling back from where my forehead has struck the back of the chair in front of me.

In one second, I'm eighteen and driving home for the weekend on a road I drive home on every weekend, but the on coming eighteen wheeler coming around the deep bend is on my side of the road and I can either hit him head on or jerk my wheel to the right and the second option is the only option and glass shatters to my left so I pull that wheel just a little bit harder, but the sound beneath my tires changes and I'm not really on the road and this road has no shoulder, so simultaneously, I jerk the wheel hard left to spin and pass behind the eighteen wheeler that doesn't even stop after hitting me, and shift my stick shift into gear...

And the next second I'm sitting in the opposite ditch, my car purring, my lap full of shattered glass and watching the eighteen wheeler drive away from me like maybe he never saw me at all.

In one second I'm nineteen and my then boyfriend sees the wreck unfurling towards us even as I see it unfurling towards us and he calls my name in fear three times, and with cat like reflexes, I avoid it and it hits the sign behind us instead, and in the next second, in irritation as we sit on the curb at a stop waiting for the police to come take our statement I turn to him and say, 'I saw it too.  You didn't need to call my name three times.'  And he blinks and says, 'But...Janin...I only said it once.'

In one second I'm twenty four and it's Christmas and my in-laws are taking us to the movies and I see in slow motion from the back of the van as we approach the green light that the oncoming car hasn't noticed their turn light is red, and they haven't noticed because he's driving and she's in the passenger seat and they're looking at each other for just a second, the exact same second my father-in-law is driving hadn't noticed the other car is going yo turn illegally in front of him because he and my mother-in-law who is in her passenger seat are looking at each other for just a second as well, and in that second I brace my feet across the floor, tighten my seat belt desperately putting it across my lap and under my pregnant belly and hold it with all my strength as I yell, 'Stop!' But they haven't seen what I have been watching and I close my eyes and pray for the safety of us all as the two vehicles collide at 45 mph.  And the next second, everyone is remarkably unharmed and there is only minor damage to the fender.  We end up going to the movie, "The Majestic".

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Bird's Chorus

A friend of mine who has a couple of my original pieces Black and Gold, and my third stone vessel.  When her aunt came to visit and saw the framed Black and Gold and that it was an original painting on dictionary page, Erica let her know that I also do original paintings on sheet music.  Her aunt has such a kind and giving heart, that with no prompting, she sent me a gift:


to futher my art making (:

When I got it, I decided to send her a thank you, in the form of a painting from a sheet from her gift.  I asked Erica and learned that her two favorite flowers and hibiscus and rose of sharon.  And that she likes the color red, and red birds.  But outside of that, this is a "Surprise Me" piece.

So I decided to make her a cardinal and rose of sharon piece.

Here are the progress images:

Drawing out the initial shapes on the selected piece of sheet music

A look at my itty bitty paintbrush and the small amount of paint needed to get started.  I mixed 2 separate reds to get the bright orange red I was after. 

Outlining my major shapes

Freehand painting my patterned designs

The finished bird and time to change colors

Painting the leaves and greenery, with an equally small, but different brush.

Done with the leaves, now it's time to mix the paint for the flowers.

I started with white and painted the basic shape of the flowers, then I mixed into my existing created red to change the shade a bit brighter and pinker to accent the flowers.  Then I added yellow to my white to create the stamins.

I got the finished piece sent off to her yesterday and she should have it by the end of the week (:

For those who would like to commission an original, please contact me!  And for anyone who would love to have this piece for their very own, you can find the modified (I always modify from the original musical painting so that it's a one of a kind) version here (just click the image):



Tuxedo Kitties, A Matched Set

We went to PetSmart to get our new dog (3 years ago) a name tag...and at the time, a local shelter was running a drive outside.  Sharing a cage with a lovely tortie, was a black and white female, incredibly chill, even though their kennel was on top of a big dog's kennel.  Friendly, funny, spayed...and free.

But I wasn't looking for a cat.  And we had shopping to do.  I asked the woman how long they'd be there and she said until 3:00.  I said we'd come back, and if the cat was still there, it was meant to be.

Four hours later, our business in town complete, we stopped back by, just to check, and she was still there.  I walked up to the woman I'd spoken to four hours earlier and told her I was there for my cat, with a huge grin on my face.  She remembered me, remembered which cat, and that's how we got Patches.



Her companion's story begins with two cats that are not any more, and if I think about that part too long, I'll get upset, as I loved them all.  That said, a year ago, after three - four months of depression grade sadness, my husband told me to get myself another cat, because, quite frankly, I do well with having a pair.

I resisted for three more weeks, then heard a radio announcement that the same people I'd gotten my Patches from three years prior were having another pet drive at PetSmart that weekend.

Before going, I told my kids we were just going to -look- at maybe getting another cat.

They got super excited anyway.

I told them I had conditions:  it had to be male, had to be a CAT not a kitten, and had to be fixed.

They were still excited.

Just before we left the house, my youngest found a lizard in the house and nicknamed it Beethoven as he put it back outside-- and my boys took it as a sign that our next cat's name would be Beethoven.  My oldest declared that with a name like Beethoven, he'd have to sing to us.  And though I tried to temper their enthusiasm with the possibility that it might not happen, they were still excited.

When we got there, there were no cats outside.  I saw the same woman, but she didn't recognize me.  She let me know the cats were inside because of a lack of outside space.

On the outer wall, by the glass cat area, they had two cages.  The bottom was a female tortie.  The top was a litter of kittens.

Both were automatically no.

We went into the glass area.  There were a total of six cats in there.

As soon as we walked in, the black and white ONLY MALE CAT there at -all-....greeted us with cat singing like he had been waiting for us to get there!

Beethoven announced himself, meeting every single condition, including my boy's that he'd serenade us.  And that is how we got our Beethoven.


I have never had two cats who loved belly rubs the way these two do!  They make my days brighter, and my husband's wife happier (as though I'm not the same person)  (;





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bloody Mary Had A Little Lamb

So my youngest and I are watching the "Bloody Mary" Supernatural episode and discussing the various stories/ variations in the legend.  My Boyo joked that he had his own version and started telling the Mary had a little lamb nursery rhyme then said, "I've got nothing" as he petered out, which inspired me to mash the two with the following result:

Mary had a little lamb
whose teeth were sharp, you know.
And everywhere the lamb did bite,
the blood was sure to flow.

It followed her into the  house,
and upstairs to her room.
Repeated thrice before the mirror,
and Mary's lamb dines soon.

The lamb's long since
been turned to chops,
but still it lingers near,
 and  patiently is waiting for
"Blood Mary" thrice to hear.

If in the dark you think you brave,
the lamb will soon agree,
just call three times the words above,
and Mary's lamb eats thee.


My son thought it fantastic and asked me to blog it, so here it is (:

Alabama Proud, The Surprise Me Commission

A friend and previous co-worker of mine also had the gift of the ability to cut hair and gave me this cute summer do.


BUT, she doesn't accept payment for cutting hair, since she's not a licensed hair stylist.  And I wouldn't let her cut my hair for entirely free either.  So we set up a barter-- she would cut my hair, and I would make her a piece of art.

When it came time for choosing an art piece/theme-- she didn't know what to suggest, and simply asked me to make what I thought was best.  Which actually works out well for me, because it's what I call the "Surprise Me!" Commission.  

It's where someone gives me an amount of their choosing to make art, but gets no say in what I choose to make-- I have absolute and total artistic say in the piece, and then I send it to them.  They have paid for a piece of art, but don't know what they are going to get.  It's a surprise.  And the fun thing is that it's as much a surprise for me as it is for them.  I am fortunate to that all my surprise me commission have outright astound and delight the recipient (:  I hope this trend continues!

So back to this piece.  I know that she is an avid, dyed in the crimson, Alabama fan.  So I thought I'd make her a piece to celebrate that.

What follows is a series of progression images while I painted the elephant.  You'll notice that I've only drawn out rough shapes-- that's because I free hand paint my patterns in my henna like pieces.



I also added a picture with my teeny tiny paint brush that I use for all of the painting, as the paper towel that helps keep my lines sharp by not allowing too much paint on my brush.






When I gave her the final piece, she was ecstatic (:  

But I also know that she isn't the only proud Alabama fan, so I made it available to others as a reproduction (just click on the image below and it'll take you to the proper link):

"Alabama Proud" by Janin Wise
Acrylic on board. 6" x 9"


Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day 30: One Thing You're Excited For


So first, I'm excited that I actually completed this writing challenge 2 times (as the second time around, so many of the answers were no longer applicable).

The first time I did this challenge, my answer was:

I made it through 30 writing prompts this month!  I finished a thing I started, when I didn't always feel motivated or inspired.  I made it, when I doubted I would.  I did it, when I was pretty certain I wouldn't.

And because of that, I'm feeling inspired and motivated.  I had to take a lunch at work today, so I decided to walk to a nearby restaurant and actually treated myself to my own company.  I had  forgotten that sometimes, it's okay to just be.  With just myself.  That I don't need to fill every waking moment with productive and useful.

And tonight, I actually sat down to read for enjoyment for the first time in months.

I -want- to do things.  And I've missed that.

And that is definitely a reason to be excited.

This time through, that sentiment is still true, but it's not ALL.

I'm excited about September starting because I'm going to do Leslie Seata's 30 in 30 days Artist challenge again (:  I did it for the first time in January 2013 and very much enjoyed it.

And I'm in the process of turning my artist hobby into an artist living.  I'm -incredibly- excited about that!

I'm looking forward to blogging about my art again, sharing it, and hopefully, getting some commissions for new pieces.

I hope you'll join me as I blog about my latest art!

Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day 29: The Night of Your 21st Birthday


The night of my twenty first birthday, I had platinum blonde hair for the first time ever.

We started the evening with a clothing swap party, where everyone brought clothes they didn't want anymore, and you could try on anything you wanted to.  Everyone in attendance tried on the black, gray, and white striped, long, slinky dress....regardless of gender or size.  It was flattering on everyone.  And hilarious to boot!

Then we headed to Beaudion's, the bar we'd visited every weekend since I was eighteen.  (For the next part of the story, I have to take you back to August of the year I would be turning eighteen.  See, up until that fateful August, the drinking age in Louisiana was 18.  Almost exactly one month before I was 18....it changed to 21.  We'd go to the bar, out dancing, and even though I was the youngest of all of us, I'd go up to the bar and buy everyone's drinks.  I wasn't carded, but I also never drank anything myself, except water or Dr. Pepper.)  So, back to the night I turned 21...

ALL of my friends came to celebrate my twenty-first birthday with me.  And for the first time in three years, when I walked up to the bar, I drank.  I was finally carded.  The bartender looked at my card.  Looked at me.  Recognized me in my license.  Blinked.  Looked at me.  Blinked again.  Handed me back my license and my drink and said, "Happy Birthday."

Everyone celebrated with me.  Which meant that there were no designated drivers (I was always the previous self appointed designated driver).  When it came time to go, I asked who the designated driver was, and when we realized EVERYONE had been drinking...I took everyone's keys.

...And as a large group, we -walked- the fifteen miles back to campus.

Everyone was in great and tipsy spirits, and the walk was as much fun as anything else!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day 28: The Word/ Phrase You Use Constantly


The word/ phrase I use constantly...this is harder than it was 3 Monday's ago.

Then, without batting an eye, I would have told you it was, "(Company name), Janin speaking, how may I help you?"  Lately, I'm spending more time with myself, my pets, my family, and my art room.  There's a lot more random singing, dancing, and humming.  There's still as much laughter.

In my head, I guess the word/ phrase I keep using most often is, "Time to get back to it."

See, I'm in the process of trying to turn my writing, my art, and my dreams into what I do for my living.  It started when my friend Deanna ordered a passion planner and I remembered that I used to be really good at staying on top of things when I had an organizer to help me remember everything I needed to do.  So I ordered one as well.  And one of my favorite parts was actually a goodie bonus-- a sticker that said, "Doing is the cure for fear."

In fact, synchronicity keeps bringing me back to that one.  As I'm researching how to make my arts a living, the advise again and again is "Create, then create some more."  "Don't get discouraged."  "Keep creating." "Do."

So every time I complete something, or take a small break, once my head space is centered and focused and ready, I think "Time to get back to it."   And to be honest, it fills me with -excitement-!

I read an article the other day that said that, to your brain, fear and excitement are the exact same chemical reaction-- the only difference, is how we choose to interpret it.

And I'm choosing the interpret it with hope.

Now, it's time to get back to it.