APRIL 24, 2018

 

Creating a Family History in 2018

Create a family tree. There are many templates available online. Others can be purchased in print, too. This is a great project with children. Go back a few generations. Most people can put together the current generation, parents, and grandparents without too much research. Great grandparents may be able to share some information further back.

This may be a good time to start recording stories you hear. A recording is easiest; taking notes can work as well. If you plan to share this on digital media, a video recording is especially nice.

If you have time, consider writing a paragraph about important historical events and how they affected your family. Did they serve in the military during any conflicts? Write something about that conflict. Were any firefighters or law enforcement officers? What were their experiences? Look for good events as well as tragedies. Perspective is important.

 

One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.
Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.
At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.
I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!
Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.
I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.

Commitment to Your Art

Learn to copyright, patent, and trademark your work. Do this for all your work, even if you have to go into your past records and create multiple files to do so.

You own the copyright to your works from the date of creation. It isn’t necessary to register your copyrights but it is extremely wise to do so. Why? If your work is used without your permission, registration is the most effective way to prove that you created it and when. Costs vary but the Library of Congress offers economical ways to go on record.

If you haven’t looked at their website recently, consider spending an hour or so there to learn about all the services they provide.

https://www.loc.gov/services-and-programs/

You may want to register with R. R. Bowker. Professionals can register their names and works with Bowker’s varied services to help identify their names and works. For instance, John Joe Smith from Philadelphia won’t be confused with John Joe Smith from London. As scholarship becomes more globally accessible, this becomes more of an issue for authors, artists, scientists, and others who create ideas or products. It can also serve as a link between specific work and a specific creator.

They can provide publishers with ISBNs, apps for titles, and other marketing tools.

http://www.bowker.com/

 

 

 

Jun

Promote your work.

 

Jul

Read, attend exhibits, performances. Know your field.

 

Aug

Attend professional workshops and conferences. Make contacts.

 

Sep

Organize your time, workspace, promotions, contacts.

 

Oct

Presentation and promotions. Edit/ spell check everything, including images. Credit others work.

 

 

Nov

Keep a list of tasks to do when your muse is asleep.

 

Dec

 


Creative Spark

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

(Albert Einstein)

2015-04-04 15.50.47

Daffodils 2015 Copyright Melanie Arrowood Wilcox

May Events

May Day

Memorial Day

Advertisements

MARCH 27, 2018

Creating a Family History in 2018

Collect information on dates of birth, dates of marriage, dates of death, grave sites for your family. If you have them, add service records, medical information, and schools and churches attended.

If you have information on your DNA profile, consider carefully whether you  want to share it. If so, you might include a summary of this information in your family history.
Were there any surprises? Does the testing method affect the results?

One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.
Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.
At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.
I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!
Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.
I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.

Commitment to Your Art

Make a habit of looking for opportunities to perform, publish, and exhibit. This is an excellent task for those times when creative inspiration is in short supply.

Reading professional journals in your field is essential. Arts Councils often publish a list of opportunities in their area. So do some galleries and publishers. Try to read at least one newsletter or journal each week. Keep an eye on local art newspapers and the larger newspapers’ events sections, too.

Add possible venues to a some kind of list. Include enough information to find the listing again. I use Duotrope, an online service for writers, for my writing submissions. I add art possibilities to my calendar with a one-month-in-advance reminder to prepare the work for entry. If I submit a story or enter artwork, I put the notification-of-acceptance date in my calendar. This way, I know when I should expect a response.

 


Creative Spark

“I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.”

(Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov)

The Wait

April Events

April Fools’ Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Earth Day

FEBRUARY 27, 2018

Creating a Family History in 2018

This is the month of love so I will be focusing my efforts on the romances and families in my tree.

Write the story of your family’s origins. How did people meet and where? Interview them and ask for memories of their courtship and weddings. Pictures are great so it might be wise to scan or  reproduce these as you find them and create a file to keep them together.

One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.
Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.
At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.
I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!
Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.
I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.

Commitment to Your Art

There are few things as important to placing your work as knowing how to present it to publishers, galleries, and venues.

Learn about preparing work for submission. This varies by discipline. Consequently, you may need to learn the basics of writing an author’s bio as well as an artist’s statement. You will need to look at the audience you aim to reach. For instance, an author’s bio for a small literary magazine will differ from one written for a professional journal. Visual art, performance art, and music will differ from literary bios. This might require you to write several versions of your bio to go to different audiences.

In the long run, the time you dedicate to this will reduce the time it takes to send entries to prospective clients. You may need to add a current project or accomplishment when you send these out, but the main text will be ready to go.

Once you have created some basic bios and statements, you should update your website and blogs to reflect any new information. Update all of this promotional material at least twice a year. Don’t forget LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media profiles.

Make a note of upcoming deadlines in your calendar or files. Include a prompt a few days or weeks ahead to remind you to polish a manuscript or create a video or frame an art work in time for submission. Remember to thank galleries and journals that give a “heads up!” about themes at least a couple of months in advance. It makes planning easier for both the venue and the artist.

These steps should streamline your preparation for submissions.

Creative Spark

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

(Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)

Magnolia Leaves

“Magnolia Leaves” Copyright, Melanie Arrowood Wilcox

 

March Events

St. Patrick’s Day

Spring Begins

 

JANUARY 23, 2018

Creating a Family History in 2018

One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.

Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.

At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.

I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!

Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.

I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.

My first step is to start a journal of family traditions. Include photos, recipes, music, and memories of holiday gatherings: Thanksgiving, religious gatherings, trips to favorite places, and annual community events.

Commitment to Your Work

I wish I had known sooner in my career how important it is to organize and protect preliminary work.

Saving my best work comes naturally, too naturally in truth. I don’t have room for all those frames and paintings.  Photography and scans help, but even those take money and time I don’t always have.

I have been very remiss in saving my sketches, ideas, and ‘not what I intended’ pieces. These can be inspirations for future work. I recently came across a series of abstracts I had created of dancers; these were just explorations of movement in the bright colors I loved most. I am currently working on sketches of dancers that are similar in nature and hopefully will complete a series of large acrylics by the end of the year.

 


Creative Spark

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”

(Vincent van Gogh)

Spanish Dancers

February Events

Groundhog Day

St. Valentine’s Day

Presidents’ Day

 

 

December 26, 2017

 

 

Commitment to Your Art

Find a workable schedule that encourages daily work time.

 


Creative Spark

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

(Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist)

January Events

New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

 

 

Finding a New Path

One year ago today, my life changed. It almost ended forever.

Months, possibly years, of stress took their toll. I had a heart attack on November 7th, 2016, and two days later in the Cardiac Care Unit, I had a stroke.

Stress was probably not the only cause of this. I have a strong family history of mini-strokes as well as heart disease. I didn’t eat as well as I should, by any means, nor did I exercise regularly throughout my life. I have battled several autoimmune diseases that have co-morbidities with heart disease: Psoriatic Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Sjogrens, and that major demon of Diabetes.

It has been a terrible battle, but nothing as challenging as my heart attack and stroke. I was sick for weeks before they occurred, so ill that this political animal no longer wanted to hear about the elections or the candidates or the future of the world. I was physically unable to vote early, something I had done for more than a decade. I was in the CCU during the election and didn’t have to finally choose any candidates. Staff and medical teams were forbidden to discuss the election, a blessing for which I am very grateful. I was in no condition to think about politics.

Like many others who survive life-threatening events, I am immensely grateful and am finding my way to a new normal. The opportunity to get some things right is an undeserved grace.

I’ve been working on myself and the apologies I owe, the forgiveness I seek or can offer. I am focusing on things I think matter in the long run: family, friends, giving back. I haven’t been on social media as often. My writing and art fell by the wayside while I worked on learning to do complicated things like walking, eating, and bathing.

I no longer waste so much time on being angry. I do still get upset but I try to think about whether I would want to fall dead with those being the last words I said to someone. The answer is almost always no.

Shortly after coming home from the hospital on the day after Thanksgiving, it snowed briefly. I was like a kid. I realized that I had been blessed: I got to see snow again! Neither I, my husband, nor my son had thought that would be possible.

Sometimes blessings are wrapped in fear and loss. I am learning to recognize them. An integral part of my recovery is acknowledging the losses and welcoming the gifts.

The Mighty Renegade

The real “circle of life” is harsh and beautiful. The river flows still.

PryorWild

The story begins back in 2003 when Baja gained Washakie and her two-year old daughter, Bacardi, during a skirmish with Prince. Since that time, Baja and Washakie, have been inseparable. Fourteen years is a long time for a band to stay together in the Pryors, yet these two forged a strong and enduring bond. They were a striking matched dun pair. Baja was unmistakable with his  two-toned mane and tail and his strong, muscular build. Washakie shared Baja’s dun coloration and had soft, doe-like eyes. These two with Washakie’s blue roan daughter, Bacardi, became a fixture on the mountain. They were quite elusive and weren’t always seen, but when they were, there was no doubt to their identify.

IMG_4301 This was one of the first photos that Nancy took of Baja’s band. This was in May 2005. Bacardi had her first foal, stripe-y little grullo foal named Freedom. He did not…

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