Creativity Abandoned My Writing and Other Adventures

etsy-bannerAs I’ve been cleaning out boxes that have gathered dust in my basement, one thing is clear—I’ve been writing since I was about seven. That’s quite a long time. No, I won’t tell you the exact length. You shouldn’t ask a girl her age! Take it from me. It’s somewhere between ten and thirty years. Despite all of this writing, my interests have taken other paths, meandering here and there, poking their heads in holes that probably would have been better left alone. The one constant I always come back to is writing. The past two months, however, I’ve abandoned it, as I mentioned yesterday. Perhaps it’s not so much an abandonment as it is a redirection. For over a year, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own business.

“What business, Maya? Oh pleeease tell me so I can support you!” Woah, there, guys. Your excitement sent me flying into a wall. Let me dust myself off.

Drum roll, please. *imagine military-style*

STATIONERY! Wow, you guys are so great, but please hold the applause. The name, which came about after a brainstorming session in a Cracker Barrel with my family, is Puckish Propensities Press. And yes, I do have different email addresses named after faeries from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Is anyone really surprised? I’m a huge lit nerd after all.)

My aim for Puckish Propensities Press (P^3 or P Cubed for my peeps, that’s you guys!) is to spread smiles. Sounds cheesy, right? Now, hear me out. There is a ton of hatred and anger in this world. Way too much. I rather think it’s so easy to be bogged down by it and forget about the simple things in life, and the happy things that we all end up running around screaming “foul” and never finding peace. I like peace. I like happiness. I like smiling and laughing. So, I want to remind people of that. There’s also the added benefit of bringing back the tradition of written letters/cards. In my opinion, the digital age has separated us emotionally while also making it easier to connect with others, and that’s a shame. I want people, including myself, to reach out to my loved ones with more than a text message or a “like” on Facebook. Relationships and friendships are more than that.

Without further ado, here’s Puckish Propensities Press! Take a look around and see where my creativity went when it abandoned my writing. All cards are designed and drawn by yours truly. The jokes, good or bad, are also mine. I would love your feedback, so drop me a line here in the comments or in an email. (I do see the irony in that.) I’m working on my website so for now I sell only through Etsy. I’m also trying to figure out a cheaper form of shipment overseas because right now it’s insane, y’all.

Thanks for taking a look! Happy smiling and writing!

P.S. You guys are troopers for letting me blatantly advertise my business!

P.P.S. I really do accept comments, suggestions, and questions!

5 Ways Winter Tries to Kill Your Creativity

5-ways-winter-tries-tokill-your-creativity

I’m approaching this blog post, the first after a two-month sabbatical (??!!!), a little differently. I think my two-month sabbatical is pretty informative as to why I titled this the way I did.

1) Holidays

Holidays. We love them, usually. We see family we haven’t seen in a while, and OHMYGOSHPRESENTS!, but after the copious amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and alcohol (should you partake), we all would rather drop into a nice, long hibernation a la brown bears. Do you know what that does for your creativity? Sucks itdry like a grape exposed to the heat from Mordor’s fire.* “There’s always tomorrow,” you say. “Well, I do have to wake up early,” you refute. It all turns into never if you’re not careful. I wasn’t careful.

2) The Blood Curdling Cold

Should you be blessed with warm weather 24/7, 365 days a year, kindly skip on to number 3. There’s no room for you here. You wouldn’t appreciate it. Anyone else wake up with their feet cold to the touch despite two pairs of socks and two comforters? When that happens, I prefer slipping into my dad’s house slippers, which I appropriated a year ago for that sole purpose, and drinking a piping hot mug of green tea as I binge-watch Friends. Under a blanket, of course. Creativity is in fact not found that day or any of those days the weather isn’t above 32 Fahrenheit. I’m not asking for much. Just enough, you know, to keep water liquid.

3) The Dark

I mean what is that?? It gets dark, pitch-black sort of dark, by 4:30 here. Second that sun goes down if you’re not already at it, you’re not going to be. If you’re anyhing like me, the sun goes down and you’re heading for bed. OR at the very least, yawning and commenting about how tired you are. I’m in my early thirties, and I’m convinced some octogenarians have way more stamina than me in the winter.

I bet you thought I’d actually give 5 reasons, but I can’t. Winter killed my creativity a long time ago. I’m hoping to get my mojo back by May. May sounds like a good time to be creative. Let me know how you keep winter from killing your creativity in the comments!

*I’m working hard on my descriptions today! That’s my creativity focus for the winter. How am I doin’?

Surviving Election Day

It’s late in the day. Actually, it’s November 9th already. The election isn’t over here in the US, and I’m sure many people are still awake watching it. I’m currently wired for reasons completely unrelated. So, I thought I’d share with you a story through memes. Let’s lighten up the mood, y’all!

small-dog-struggles-meme

The puppy got to thinking about what the mailman said. “Hmm…maybe it’s not all that bad to be cute.”

funny-cat-dog-top-25-funniest-cat-and-dog-quotes

*Puppy stands in corner, making a high-pitched barking noise.*

Me thinks the puppy let the mailman’s words get to his head.

The end!

P.S. I am not at all winning NaNoWriMo. I am winning at corny jokes, though. Here’s one about a sandwich:

Peanut butter: “You’re way too sweet.”

Jam: “Are you jelly?”

See? Told you it was corny. This is where you laugh anyway.

A House of Horrors

try-not-to-screamThe hairs on the back of my neck stood up, electrified as something rustled behind me. I had to turn—you always turn in these situations—but I dreaded it. I knew I would see something I didn’t want to. Dread piled on top of fear in the bottom of my stomach, but it didn’t slow me down. Oh no. No, I turned despite my better judgment. I turned like every good horror movie heroine should. My breaths came in quick, shallow gasps, almost as fast as my heart pounded.

A creak on the stairs. A flash of light. A body being dragged by its neck up the stairs. Thump. Thump. Thump.

“AHH!”

I ran, but every door slammed in my face. There was nowhere to go. I huddled into the corner of the couch with my eyes fixed on the stairs. As long as I didn’t think about the body, I would be ok. As long as I didn’t…what was pulling it?? Who was it? Oh my God. Don’t freak out. Oh—“MY GOD!”

The door on the other side of the room groaned, low and rumbling. My gaze darted from the stairs to the door just as two white eyes glowed a foot off the floor in the black, empty space where the door had been firmly shut a moment before. My scream caught in my throat, blocked by a thick barrier of terror. I scrambled until I was crouched on the balls of my feet.

The white eyes emerged from the black, shining from the recesses of a hollowed face. The skin, a putrid brown, was shriveled like a prune. The creature lay face down on the ground, its legs thrust to each side, and long fingers spread far apart. Its nails scraped the wood floor as it jerked its limbs to inch closer. Sweat beaded my forehead. I clutched at the fabric of the couch, but it was too late. Something caressed the back of my neck. I blinked, but when my eyes opened—

My dreams stepped it up a notch just in time for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed what was my latest nightmare! I’ll let you guess what happened after I blinked. Happy ghostly dreams and haunting memories of them! (FYI, I had way too much fun making that graphic. Lucky me, I happened to have a photo of nasty murky water on my phone!)

P.S. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Are you ready? I’m not.

Life Jokes

stood up color 2I made this for something else that I’ve been working on for months. However, it’s taking longer than I thought to finish so I wanted to give you a preview (And also, I needed a break from writing. Don’t tell anyone.)! Here’s a little cartoony thing I drew. It’s not a good joke unless you’re in my head, but that’s not recommended. I’m aware that it doesn’t make sense as it is, but that’s why it’s only a draft. If you do get the joke, you deserve brownies!

Anyway, thanks for indulging me as always. Happy doodling!

Warning: Not Suitable for Book Nerds (This does not include e-books.)

A couple of days ago, an unsuspecting, naive, version of myself was sitting at a table reading Burney’s Cecilia while eating lunch. You know how it is. You’re a bit tired and feeling a bit anti-social because it takes way too much energy to converse with people day in and day out, so you decide to read during your lunch break. It’s almost as good of a conversation deterrent as headphones. The best is a book PLUS headphones, but alas, I hadn’t brought mine with me. So there I was with a fork poised between the fingers of my right hand and my left hand holding this 1,000-page book open. A book that size is asking for someone to comment on it. I know what you’re thinking. You think you’re so smart and know where this story is going. You think someone talked to me about it.

Wrong!

My hands were in place, my hair tucked behind my ears so as not to cascade onto the page and obscure those wonderful words. I skillfully stuck my fork into my tomatoes, pulling out one small slice. Bringing the fork to my mouth, I gently extracted the tomato from the prongs. As any genteel lady would, I slid the fork between my lips. Never use your teeth, ladies. I took my time because at that moment Cecilia was making a new acquaintance, but who is she? Why am I being introduced to her in such a mysterious way??! I was absorbed, executing the motions with precision. I’d done this several times before. Nothing could go wrong, could it?

Wrong!

As I approached the middle of the right page, I moved my left hand only to find my worst nightmare–salt and allspice mingling with tomato juice. ON THE PAGE! I shoved that fork in my mouth to reach for my napkin. It happened so fast you’d have thought it was an Olympic sport. I dabbed at the page practically swearing under my breath.

And here I am two days later asking myself, “Why couldn’t it have been a YA novel? Anything but a Burney novel.” The only good thing I can take away from this is that it wasn’t one of my own novels. Then again, it would add character, a real life behind who wrote it. Never mind. There’s nothing good that came from this. All that’s left is a stained and wrinkled part of a once pristine page.

See for yourself.

Cecilia stain

 

Don’t Forget to Smile

practice whimsicalIt’s amazing what things you come up with when you stop thinking, analyzing, and controlling every part of your life. On Saturday, I was sitting at my computer wanting to draw (I have a Wacom tablet hence the computer and not sketchpad.). I didn’t know what to draw because I’m not an artist by any means. I’m a doodler. So I did the same as I do with my writing when I have no ideas—I listen to a song and see what happens. The songs I choose are usually not in English; it helps to drown out that inner critic, the thinking part. What I ended up with was a bunch of scribbles that kind of looked like a man lost in the tumbling water of a waterfall in a small canoe and a woman towering over him, guiding him, but that’s up for interpretation. However, it released some subconscious feelings.

The thing about subconscious feelings is that you don’t know they’re there. For someone who is rather in-tune with her emotions, it can be aggravating to say the least. After scribbling that waterfall thing, I realized something was bothering me—helplessness. I can’t make everything better for my friends and family who are having a rough holiday season, and that angers me. I feel powerless.

There are so many people in this world who are hurting right now, who hate Christmas and all the holidays around this time. They’re lonely. They’re hungry. They’re in pain for any number of reasons. I guess you could call me too sensitive. All I know is that I wish my friends and everyone else having a rough Christmas to know that there is someone out there praying for you. I may not know your name or your troubles, but I pray that you find peace and comfort during this time. Take this drawing as an offering of someone somewhere in this world who does want you to smile again.

I never imagined I’d be the type of person to just lay it all out on a blog, but I suppose if something weighs on you, it’s best to let it out. There is so much negativity and hatred in this world that a little bit of sunshine and love could go a long way. Let’s end with an amusing anecdote, shall we?

When I was studying at St. Andrews, I went on a trip to York in November with my study abroad organization. Gandalf was there of course. She and I and a bunch of our friends were walking down the cobblestone streets at night with the twinkling Christmas lights above. A living Diagon Alley if you ask me. It was bustling if I recall correctly. Our friend Alex had her arm around my shoulder. I forget why. As we passed these two men (young adults by the look of them), one of them shouted “Usually I have to pay to see that!” She and I looked at each other for a second and then laughed. Maybe you had to be there, but that weekend was awesome even if the Cookies weren’t very good.

So keep laughing, smiling, and loving. The bad times can’t stay for too long if you do, right?