Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Writing Life of an Avid Quilter

Torn Between Two (or more) Loves

Lately I have been asking myself, am I a writer or a quilter, an artist or a knitter.
The truth is, I am torn between loves. There's writing, which I have been doing for over twenty years.  Then there is quilting, painting, knitting and...well you get the point.  I am, at heart, an artist and all of my loves feature art in some form or other.  

Lately, most of my time has been devoted to making quilts or sewing face masks  for family.
BUT, the writer in me, being as persistent as she is, must be doing something productive as well.  That's just the way I roll.  

Consequently, I have been putting together a boxed set of my popular Helen Bradley Mysteries to offer on Amazon Kindle. 

An amazing deal!

 For a limited time pick up the entire set of
 The Helen Bradley Mysteries on Amazon for only $0.99 

The Helen Bradley Mysteries: Boxed Set--Books 1-5 (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 6) by [Patricia H. Rushford]

The Story Behind the Story

Readers are often interested in how a story came to be.  Helen Bradley, ex-cop, grandmother and travel writer has an interesting history.

Silent Witness (The Jennie McGrady Mysteries) by [Patricia H. Rushford]

Helen Bradley first popped into my story world as the adventurous and mysterious grandmother of Jennie McGrady.  Jennie has her own mystery series and has been very popular with teens as well as adults.  In fact, her story, Silent Witness was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award through Mystery Writer's of America. 

As one reviewer said:
"Helen is a charming character, reminiscent of Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax, with the addition of a strong Christian faith to motivate her actions. This is the first book in the Helen Bradley series, but characters may seem familiar through Rushford's young adult mystery series featuring Jennie McGrady. " 
________Library Journal on Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

 My publisher asked if I could create a series based on Jennie's grandmother, Helen Bradley, and I was thrilled to comply.  The series did well but eventually was declared out of print.  I did what many of my writer friends do, got the rights back and revised, edited and published them on Amazon, first as Kindle editions and then in paper.

The books have received high praise and reviews like this one:
"A gripping work that will appeal to all fans of the mystery genre." __________Midwest Book Review

The Helen Bradley Mysteries: Books 1-5

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 1) by [Patricia H Rushford]

Helen Bradley, ex-cop, grandmother and travel writer, learns that a prominent gerontologist has been murdered. When the doctor's widow also dies, Helen checks herself into a convalescent home to discover the truth surrounding the mysterious deaths. Edgewood Manor is the perfect place for Helen to recover from a gunshot wound and do a little detective work. Good plan--as long as she doesn't die in her sleep. (Originally book one in the series)

Kindle Price $3.99
Paperback $9.99

Red Sky in Mourning (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 2) by [Patricia H Rushford]
Helen receives an assignment to write a guide book about the Long Beach Peninsula on the Washington coast. What begins as research, ends up being a criminal investigation as she teams up with Coast Guard, investigator, Adam Jorgenson, to discover a fisherman's dark secret and his murderer.

Kindle Price $3.99
Paperback $9.99

A Haunting Refrain (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 3) by [Patricia H. Rushford]
Helen is summoned to her Uncle Paddy's estate and renowned spa for a family meeting. When her dear eccentric uncle dies, Helen is determined to find out who killed him and why. Was the killer a ghost as everyone suspects or is the ghost being set up to take the fall?

Kindle Price $3.99
Paperback $9.99

When Shadows Fall (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 4) by [Patricia H Rushford]
A walk on the beach turns tragic when Helen discovers a body pinned beneath a tree-sized driftwood. The body is identified as the Mayor, but his death is no accident. He was murdered and the evidence points straight to Helen's best friend.

Kindle Price $3.99
Paperback $9.99

The Story That Came Before the Story

Death on Arrival is a  prequel to the original series. The new Helen book takes place prior to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Red Sky in Mourning, A Haunting Refrain and When Shadows Fall.

While writing this prequel, which is a novella, I had fun revisiting Helen and all of her haunts and hope you will too. I enjoyed reacquainting myself with Helen's best friend Rosie, owner of Pastimes, my favorite coffee shop/book store, and Joe Adams, the handsome young sheriff who respects Helen's investigative skills and isn't afraid to ask her for assistance.

Of course, while writing I wished I could have been living in Helen's lovely Cape Cod home at the beach near Lincoln City. One of the perks of being a writer is living vicariously through your characters. 

Death on Arrival (A Helen Bradley Mystery Book 5) by [Patricia H. Rushford]
Helen returns to her beach home on the Oregon coast after a month-long honeymoon in Europe to find her door ajar, her house ransacked, and the body of her house-sitter in the back yard. Hardly a proper homecoming, but semi-retired cop, Helen Bradley, is determined to put her house in order and find the killer at all costs.

Kindle Price only $2.99
Paperback $7.99

Still Writing After All These Years

Many of my fans are asking for a new book.  I'd love to comply. In fact, I do have a mystery in the works.  My character, Amber Stone is losing patience with me.  It seems recovering from heart surgery takes longer than one would think.  So...I am setting some goals.  I will put in time writing at least three days a week and see if I can solve the mystery Amber is embroiled in.  Death At the Alter really needs to be written and Amber Stone needs closure. Wouldn't you agree?

Blessings and happy reading,

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Writing After Open Heart Surgery

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with obstructive hypertrophic  cardiomyopathy.  Basically, there were times I couldn't walk across the room without feeling faint.  My enlarged heart muscle occluded the blood supply to my brain and other organs.  After a number of hospitalizations, my cardiologist referred me to the specialists at OHSU.

On May 30, I underwent open heart surgery. My heart surgeon and his team removed part of the enlarged muscle.  I guess you could say, I've had a change of heart.  And what a change it has made. I can even climb stairs now without feeling like I was going to die.  My echo-cardiogram is looking great and my heart murmur has lessened. I'm still running on batteries (pacemaker dependent) but feeling ever so much better.

Having open heart surgery and following it up with cardiac rehab took quite a slice out of my year. I'm still trying to catch up.

I'm not a very patient person at times and it seems to me that one should be back to normal after six weeks. Being a nurse, I know better, but my expectations of myself are much higher than those I would have for a patient.

Still Foggy After all This Time

So, here I am still having aftereffects eight months later.  Physically I'm doing okay, still a little weary, but I can climb stairs without too much effort.  Mentally and emotionally, I'm nowhere near what I would like to be.

Writing has been difficult.  I can't seem to stay focused and my imagination seems to have taken a vacation. 

I started a new mystery series last year, The Amber Stone Mysteries.  Amber is a would-be mystery writer and is married to a pastor. Life is good until she finds a dead body in the sanctuary of St. Augustine Lutheran Church. She, her husband, Noah and her long -lost brother become the primary suspects in the case. 

I'm five chapters into the book and seem to have hit a roadblock. Am I losing my ability to write--to plot--to create a novel? Should I just hang it up?  Will Amber even let me do that?

There's Still Hope, Isn't There?

Speaking of roadblocks, I'm sitting here at this point trying to figure out why I'm writing this blog.  Maybe just trying to get my inspiration back.  Writing will sometimes trigger ideas.  Right?

Okay, I'm rambling, and this confession isn't all that exciting, but maybe some of you have been there.  It isn't easy coming back from major surgery, but I have hope that eventually I'll be able to tell Amber's story.  She'll be able to reach into my foggy mind and let me know what happens next.  

In the meantime, I'll keep quilting, painting, knitting and cooking and a few times a week, sit down at my computer to see if the fog has lifted. 

All is not lost. I have managed to update my website in the last few days.  That is a good sign.  Maybe the end of my anesthetic fog is in sight.  I can only hope.



Friday, April 13, 2018

The Artist In Me and In My Books

It had to happen eventually.  I've been an artist all my life and I decided a few years ago to write about artists.  This desire turned into the Artisan Mysteries. In the series, I draw from my own experiences as well as from a wellspring of ideas and a rather wild imagination. Since I love writing mysteries, the novels had to include a mystery and suspense. And Romance. I can't seem to write a mystery without a little romance. My characters are, of course, artists.  They also come with a variety of life problems that they must overcome, murder being one of those obstacles.

 But more about that later.  First, let me share my own artisan story.

Created to Create

I don't ever remember not being an artist. What I do remember is a father, who despite his poor health, used to cut out pieces of pressed board for me to paint on. He encouraged me to enter art contests and even bought me art books meant to teach me the craft. I also remember never having money for art lessons. As an adolescent, I used to save my babysitting and berry picking money to buy art supplies. Usually canvases and oil paints at a local hardware store.

I don't have any of the artwork I did as a child except for one oil painting that I  couldn't part with. It hung in my son's room until he left home and then I hung it in various places. It now hangs in my office. I'm thinking I may need to find a home for it and right now my great grandson Carlisle seems a perfect choice. Then again, maybe Maddie, my oldest great granddaughter would love it since she is quite the artist and craftsperson herself.  

Or maybe I'll keep it for a while to remind myself of how important it is to never lose sight of your creativity. It was a hard lesson to learn.

 A High Price to Pay

 My artistic side blossomed as I continued to paint. In high school, I took a drama class and became an actor. I worked on sets, played the lead in a number of productions and became a five star Thespian. Then came graduation and dating and working for a living. I found no time to create.
Eventually, I met the guy who swept me off my feet. We married and had two children. I returned to school and became an RN. Then I worked at being the best nurse, mother, and wife I could possibly be.

But something was missing. I couldn't live up to the expectations I'd placed on myself and my life seemed overwhelming. I fell into an acute depression and couldn't escape on my own. My doctor took me out of my chaotic world and put me in the hospital for a short rest.
I was devastated. How could I be depressed? I should have been stronger. The I am Woman song I thought I could sing with gusto became a whimper for God to do something. 

I came to realize that in my desire to be the best and do the most, I'd lost a part of myself. I'd ignored the part of me that needed to create. The artist. When I recovered I knew I had to make the time to be the woman God created me to be. I went back to work part-time and loved my children and my husband. But I also brought art back into my life.

 Coming Into My Calling

My first step back to creativity was to work with ceramics. I made dozens of beautiful things. I learned a lot about ceramics and eventually turned to pottery. With the money I'd made from ceramics, I bought a wheel and kiln and over time the glazes and chemicals used to make the glazes. I became a production potter and loved it.

I loved the feel of clay in my hands and how it reminded me of God molding and shaping his creations. I wrote poetry and prose about my journey back to the light and to the life I had left behind.

The Master Potter

He is the potter, I the clay
He holds me in his hands - centers me - encircles me.
Like clay, I am weak and shapeless without the sustaining power
of the potter's hand.
When I resist, my life becomes turmoil, my impurities overwhelm me.
If I submit he takes control, he opens me, molds me.
I begin to take shape and form. I am real, full of life in His Holy Spirit.
Then again, if I resist, I become worn and weak.
I may break for my walls are thin and transparent as the finest porcelain.
I know that to survive, I must submit once again to the Potter's loving hands.
There I find joy and peace and a sense of being close to God.

One day while I was molding a piece of pottery and distinctly felt God calling me to write. I had already written some poetry, but this was more like a life changer. I resisted at first but agreed that if this was really a message from God, I would comply. I went to a writer's conference because I knew it was where I needed to be. I began writing in earnest and now have more than sixty books to my credit. 

Writing is a craft, a creative outlet, but I've always maintained my soul's need to play in various art forms. I no longer do pottery, but I do paint.  I recently took up watercolors and use acrylics and oils as well.

As you can guess, this drive to be an artisan had to be channeled into writing.  Thus, The Artisan Mysteries was born.  In this series, you will meet artisans, Carolyn Hudson, Alaina Neilson, and Lindsay Montgomery. 

Deadly Deception

The series begins with Carolyn Hudson, a painter, who finds herself in a compromising position when she awakens in a hotel room in a pool of blood. The dead man lying next to her is an acclaimed politician, Adam Burke.  A week earlier, Mr. Burke had commissioned her to paint his portrait, Carolyn has no idea how she got there. She only knows that she was drugged and soon learns that she is the killer's next victim. Carolyn must go into hiding and accept police protection. Still, nothing can prevent her from investigating on her own and clearing her name, even if it kills her.

The Quiltmaker's Daughter

In the second artisan mystery, my passion for quilting comes into play.

Alaina Neilson, a sometimes artist, is taking a Caribbean Cruise with her best friend to recover from yet another failed marriage. Her life is a mess and it's about to get worse. Her estranged mother, a master quilter, suffers a stroke. Alaina knows she should go home, but isn't sure she can. Her mother had abandoned her years ago and Alaina feels nothing but resentment toward her.

Still, Alaine can't fight the urgent need to see her mother before she dies. Once home, she is not only faced with her mother's debilitating stroke, but a suspicious stranger who has eased his way into her mother's life, the theft of her mother's highly valued quilts, and murder.

Watercolor Dreams

My third artisan mystery actually began many years ago.  Watercolor Dreams was the first novel idea I submitted to an editor. My query letter caught her attention and I was asked to submit a proposal, but never did. My career in writing non-fiction superseded my desire to write romantic suspense. Writing non-fiction kept me busy for many years. Finally, in 1986, I decided to write a novel for teens, Kristen’s Choice.  I then submitted an idea to Bethany House Publishers to write a mystery series reminiscent of Nancy Drew. Out of that, the popular Jennie McGrady Mysteries were born.

I was hooked on writing mysteries and romantic suspense. Forty-some mysteries later, Lindsay Montgomery, the protagonist in Watercolor Dreams, burst on the scene demanding I finish her story. I tried to ignore her but eventually realized my protestations would not silence her. Characters can, at times, be quite pushy. Lindsay Montgomery’s decision to leave the family’s lucrative business to become a full-time artist nearly kills her father and opens a Pandora’s box of family secrets. Deception, lies, and murder follow Lindsay as she struggles to pursue her dreams. 

Mark Owens, Lindsay’s crush from high school, has come home to take over the business and wants Lindsay to stay. Can Mark and Lindsay uncover the truth before the killer takes another life?

 I hope you will enjoy reading my artisan mysteries as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  

You'll find my books on by clicking on the titles, and on my web site.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Writing for Kids

Kids love mysteries.  I always did.  Loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I grew up reading mysteries and it's no surprise, that when I decided to write fiction, I would gravitate to mysteries. Truth is, it's not easy for me to write a novel without the element of mystery.

I began my career as a mystery writer by creating the award-winning, Jennie McGrady Mysteries with Bethany House Publishers.  You can imagine my surprise when the second book in the series, Silent Witness, won the Silver Angel for excellence in media and was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America.    

I love writing for kids and take the responsibility very seriously. I want to produce books that not only entertain but enable and encourage young people to be the best they can be and to have confidence in themselves.  Children today are exposed to so much negative and destructive behavior.  My goal is to provide a safe place where I can tell a story and maybe impart wisdom to make good choices.

The Max & Me Mysteries

Meet Jessie Miller

Being a fiction writer is a great way to meet new people--even if those people don't actually exist outside the confines of your own mind. That's how Jessie, the main character in my Max & Me Mystery series, came to be. Jessie arrived in my head as a twelve-year-old girl with leukemia urging me to write her story. So I did.

The series takes place in Washington State in a small tourist town that sits on the edge of a large lake in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Chenoa Lake. 

You'll enjoy meeting Jessie and Max, who form a deep, but unlikely friendship. Jessie is thin and frail and has leukemia. Max is wild and adventurous, with spiked hair that changes color from day to day depending on her mood. Jesse has no real friends until Max comes along. She sees Max as being very brave and tries to keep Max out of trouble. Then Jesse discovers Max's dark secrets and must lead her friend into danger in order to set her free,

The Trouble with Max  (Book 1)

Max Hunter and Jessie Miller, two sixth-grade girls living near the Cascade moun­tains, make an unlikely pair: Jessie has leukemia and is bald. Max dresses in thrift-store grunge and acts tough in school. But their friendship holds life together when everything else falls apart. Then one day Jessie discovers Max’s best-kept secret. Jessie wants to help her, but doing so means risking their friendship and possibly her life.

 Danger at Lakeside Farm  (Book 2)

Jessie is thin and frail, Max is brave and adventurous, but together they’re a great team. Following their first adventure in book one, Max has moved in with an eld­erly neighbor, Amelia, at Lakeside Farm. Soon strange things start happening at the farm, and Max and Jess wonder if someone wants Amelia out.

Secrets of Ghost Island  (Book 3)

Max and Jess discover a family of orphans trying to avoid deportation. The girls decide to help them when the town is hit by a rash of burglaries. The authorities are blaming their friends, and Jesse, Max, and Cooper set out to prove their innocence.  Clues, unfortunately, lead to the one place no one wants to go—Ghost Island.  Stormy weather, unexpected thieves and a cougar have them wondering if they’ll ever get off the island alive.  

 Look for the Max & Mysteries soon on Amazon.

Writing Out of Love

It may seem strange to some that I would choose heroes like Jessie and Max Hunter—one with leukemia and the other living with an abusive aunt and uncle. I suppose it’s because I have cared for children who have suffered and even died from life-threatening illnesses and I have worked with children tormented with emo­tional and physical pain at the hands of abusive adults.
These children were so often brave and resilient and able to overcome great adversity. They showed me what being a hero is all about. As a pediatric nurse and then a counselor, I have always had a heart for children and a desire to help them in any way I can. My earlier nonfiction books Have You Hugged Your Teenager Today? and What Kids Need Most in a Mom, were written to help and encourage parents in their endeavor to better care for their chil­dren. It Shouldn’t Hurt to be a Kid helps parents, teachers, and caregivers to recognize abuse and to help bring healing to broken children.
Several years ago, I began writing The Jennie McGrady Mysteries for kids because I love a good mystery and according to the fan mail I receive, so do kids. My goal has been to provide great, excit­ing, and adventurous stories, but also to empower kids to rise above the problems they may encounter in life. Jessie and Max do this very well. I hope my readers and fans will enjoy their adven­tures as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Blessings, Patricia Rushford

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 2016 Newsletter

Mysterious  Musings

Greetings. I haven't posted for awhile but I did send out a newsletter.  Thought I'd post it here.  

Mysterious Musings
Patricia H. Rushford, Author, Newsletter: June 2016

I have recently released a new book and in updating my website, I realized it had been two years since I worked on it. Two years. I am so remiss. What have I been doing? Funny you should ask.
I started a book, Deadly Deception about two years ago and have occasionally typed in a few words. I have also taken up my past love of painting. Of course, I'm still quilting and cooking up healthy -- well mostly healthy foods.

Okay, so about the new book.
Deadly Deception is premiering on Amazon Kindle Edition.
In it...Carolyn Hudson, finds herself in a compromising position when she awakens in a hotel room in a pool of blood. The dead man lying next to her is acclaimed politician, Adam Burke, who had, only a week earlier, commissioned her to paint his portrait. She has no idea how she got there. She only knows that she was drugged and soon learns she is the killer’s next victim. Carolyn must go into hiding and accept police protection. Still, nothing can prevent her from investigating on her own and clearing her name, even if it kills her.

Some History
Fans often want to know the who, what, when, where and how of a book. Deadly Deception started about three years ago as a premise for a class on writing mysteries at the OCW summer conference. As with many of my mysteries, I begin with a character. In this case it was an artist who awakens in a pool of blood. From there I determined a victim, someone famous. The ideas banged around in my head and I eventually decided to make it a romantic suspense. It took me a long time to write this book. I loved working on it, creating the romantic interest, a police detective who struggled between remaining objective and finding his beautiful suspect too hard to resist.

What took so long? A few years ago, I was writing two to three books a year--under contract with various publishers. Writing under contract can be very stressful. An author not only worries about getting a book in on time, he or she must work on all the elements of promotion and sales.

I was also struggling with some health issues. When my doctor told me I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition, I decided I needed to change a few things in my life. One was to stop pushing myself with contracts. A good thing and a not so good thing.

Without contracts, the amount of writing one does and the times slotted to write fall directly on the writer. And I am the master at procrastination. So I began not writing. At least not very much. The ideas kept flowing and from time to time, I took the writing seriously. I did manage to write a prequel to the Helen Bradley Mysteries, Death on Arrival, and to rewrite my very first young adult novel, Kristen's Choice, but Carolyn's story languished. I came up with a lot of ideas for books, but struggled to finish them. Sooo.. I am really excited to have completed Deadly Deception and I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

Other Publishing News
I'm also excited to share the good news about the Jennie McGrady Mysteries. They are all updated, newly packaged and available as audio and e-books.

In the Meantime
Working on novels is something I enjoy. But I also love being an artist. I turned my dining room into an art and sewing studio. And I have taken up oil painting again. I've taken some classes on the Bob Ross style of landscaping from my sister-in-law, Ann and am having a ball. Here's one of my newest paintings. I'm hoping to sell some paintings eventually and am working on a web page featuring my art work.

I've taken up art quilting as well and in addition to making quilts for family and charity.

Back at the Ranch

As many of you know, my daughter, Caryl and her husband Ben run a non-profit organization called Stable Days. They rescue horses and mentor kids and are swamped from dawn til dusk. They now have two properties, the second being a ten acre farm with an arena where they can board horses and give lessons.
The ranch is into so much more than horses as they are taking on gardens and bees and sheep, chickens, donkey's and much more. Please check out there website for all there updates.
(The photo here is Maddie, loving the tree in the front yard at the ranch.)

My Time at the Ranch
Every year I try to visit my family at the ranch and this spring I was able to stay for a month. Wonderful!!! I got to hang out with my great grandchildren and especially enjoyed seeing and bonding with our newest, Carlisle Bennington Lester, Jonny and AJ's baby boy. What a doll.

Andrea, Maddie, Olivia, Adalia and my soon to be great granddaughter, Eve, and I spent quality time on art work, sewing projects and fetching eggs from the hen house. 

In addition to catching the family up on laundry I had the privilege of cooking meals and working in the greenhouse. So much work and such a pleasure.

Another Wedding

More excitement at the ranch. Hanna and Adam are getting married. This means we get another great grandchild--Adam's daughter, Eve. A delightful little girl with whom I'm already in love . This also means another trip to the ranch in September. Yea!!!

So much life and so little time. Please check out my newly updated website at []

As always thanks for your prayers and support. Blessings to all.


Patricia H. Rushford

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I’m Guilty.   

 Not of everything, of course, but certainly of a number of important details.  I’ve neglected my blogs—both the Healthy Norwegian and my writing/life blog.  It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say, quite the contrary.  It’s just that I haven’t felt like doing it.  

I neglected to send a Christmas letter and/or cards.  I have no real excuse except that I spent December 4th (my birthday) through January 13 in frigid Minnesota/North Dakota totally absorbed in my daughter and her family which consists of three adorable great grandchildren and one teenage granddaughter.  We did crafts.   

I did most of the cooking and lots of dishes which freed Caryl up to work with Stable Days Youth Ranch.  And let me tell you, managing  SDYR takes a lot of energy and time and plain old hard work. Try caring for horses and all that entails in minus degree weather. 

I spent a fair amount of time cuddled up to the fire.  While I managed to work on the updates of one of my Jennie McGrady Mysteries, I neglected my writing.   I have neglected my quilting—mostly because didn’t have  my sewing machine or materials there.  I did however, manage to mend and put the binding on a partially completed quilt from my last visit—did I mention that I fixed the defunct sewing machine?

So yes, I neglected to do a number of things I would normally do.  I won’t say I’m sorry because I’m not so much.  Okay, maybe for not sending Christmas greetings to some of my favorite people. 

When I talk about neglect, I have to add something that I have sadly neglected for years and years.  Or maybe it wasn’t  neglect so much as redirection.


The Lost Artist

 Many of you don’t know this about me.  I am an artist.  In my teens I loved to paint. I would spend most of my babysitting money on oil paints and brushes and canvases.  I painted all kinds of things and I was pretty good at it.  I loved being an artist.    

Then along came adulthood, marriage, kids and a career that actually brought in an income.  I had somehow lost my creative-artist-self amidst the business of life.  I didn’t realize how destructive the loss of my artist self was or how much of a toll it had taken on me until I fell into a terrible depression.Over time,  I managed to crawl out of it with God’s help, and I came to realize that I needed to fulfill a part of myself that I’d lost. 

 Coming Full Circle

To fill the need in me to create, I became a ceramicist and then a potter.  For years I created vessels from clay and eventually turned to writing.  I’ve missed painting however and recently decided I had to go back to my roots.  Oils.  

So, yes, I have neglected many of the things on my to-do list to immerse myself in painting.  I’ve taken some classes and am still not back to where I was, but I’m having a great time.  While back in MN, I worked with Maddie and Andrea and Caryl on creating landscapes.  I encouraged them to create and we created together.   

I suppose in a way I have created a monster—neglecting far too many things in lieu of art.  I’m sure things will even out eventually, but in the meantime, I’ll be posting my works of art here and there. Here's one of my recent efforts. I’ll continue to amass paintings and may eventually be forced to sell them.  For now, I’m reliving my  passion for art.  I’m spending my hard earned money on oils and canvases and brushes and classes to improve my techniques.  I’m smiling more. 

Never Neglect Your Passion

I guess if there is a lesson in all of this for readers and friends is it to never walk away from your passion.   If you are going to neglect something let it be the things that don’t really matter in the end.  And be true to who you are.   With that I’m getting ready to spend 4 days at a quilting retreat. Yes, I’ll be neglecting some important stuff—like work, cooking, cleaning, even painting, but I’m going to have a great time and I’ll be creating quilts for family, friends, and for charity.  And I’ll be smiling.