Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dead and drunken yo-yo's


[My first magazine cover is on newstands! Yay! I did this painting for Cricket Magazine last fall, and it just arrived in my mailbox this morning. I love getting to see the published product after a long wait!]

Now, excitement aside, it's time for some New Month's Resolutions. I've been feeling scattered and unproductive lately, a teensy bit lost in a labyrinth. (I sense an onslaught of metaphors coming, I'm warning you in advance) I'm feeling like all my goals are yo-yo's tied to all my fingertips, and right at this moment, none of them are spinning up and down in an orderly fashion. They're either hanging there slack like they fell asleep or died at the ends of their tethers, or they're drunkenly reeling around, veering wildly, threatening to bop me in the face. So, I've decided to take some quiet time to get my yo-yo's back in rhythm. (This is a VERY ironic metaphor because I can't yo-yo and never could! But nevermind that.)

The problem is, I think, I've been overly self-indulgent lately. I accomplished some big, big goals last year and then, feeling mighty pleased with myself, fell out of the habits that had allowed me to accomplish them. Creative goals and health goals. I've been acting like sort of a benevolent grandparent to myself, letting me eat what I want, watch TV instead of doing my homework, and buy myself things I think I must must must have, like polka-dotted shoes. (Of course, in that case, I truly would have perished without them.) Indulgent grandparents are a wonderful thing, but what I need to be to myself right now is a good strict parent, one that won't fall prey to my wheedling ways!

So, I'm gathering my good habits back together. I spent most of the day yesterday at my writing table with stacks of manuscript around me and it felt good, so good. And this morning, I unearthed my brand-new running shoes, still in the box from the after-Christmas sale at which I bought them (the shame!!!) and went to the brand-new facility our gym just opened. It smelled like new car and was filled with flat-screen TVs and many glistening people running in place and tugging on handles. And THAT felt good. And I'm focusing in on my lists - I'm a list-maker - and setting a series of micro-deadlines for myself for ongoing projects. And Saturday I'm going to slouch into a Weight Watchers meeting, which I have been happily shirking for many months, and remember all that good stuff I learned. THEN I have a writing date with Alexandra for the first Sunday Scribblings scribble! I'm so excited about it! I'm going to unveil a brand-new notebook for it, and make a weekly cafe writing date with Alexandra or myself, and keep my writing mind limber that way. Cafe writing dates are where the Tiny Stories were born -- the change of scene, and writing in a notebook instead of my laptop, puts my mind on a different setting or something. This seems to coax strange and exotic ideas out of the air like butterflies coming down to perch, and the great thing is: they're MY butterflies! Like trained pet butterflies. Mine all mine.

Years ago I did an exercise in which I free-wrote for a half-hour every day for 30 days, without once going back to peek at what I'd written. Then I waited another 30 days before reading it all through, and when I did I remembered almost NONE of it -- and there were gems in there! It was like discovering someone's secret journal filled with beautiful sentences, story ideas, wild metaphors, only they were all MINE. My own butterflies. It was like plagiarizing my own sub-conscious mind.

Meg and I will post the first Sunday Scribblings prompt on Saturday, for those of you interested in participating!

And this is the contents page from the new magazine:

37 comments:

kimananda said...

I love the idea of a new month's resolution...because the things we really need to do or want to do don't always wait patiently until January to arrive, do they?

And I'm enjoying your blog...I got here by following comments left for others, and will now go and peruse some more!

Alexandra S said...

Hopefully my Net access will be back by Saturday and I can write you a real response instead of these quick ones scribbled sneakily at work! I am looking forward to writing AND returning to Weight Watchers with you Saturday. (Do you realize that it was 13 months ago we joined last time?! This time I intend to meet my goal, F----. Since I only have 2.5 sixths of one pound to lose, this shouldn't take me more than 1.5 hours, but you- woooweeee, good luck! To my hardest working and most inspiring best friend, I am glad you took some time off at last to enjoy and reap the treats of all these past years of working so, so hard, but now its back to work- writing, painting, and packing up all your books and my Snoshti and delivering them to my house by midnight tonight. (Don't forget to pack up Misty's painting in there and the bubblegum machine. Oh, and Leroy!)

andrea said...

Ah, Laini, you work just like me... creative GOATS and health GOATS notwithstanding. :) (Goats eat my art supplies so I avoid them.) After a hard creative push I take just a little too long languishing in the thrill of accomplishment. I never was any good at transitions...

Laini Taylor said...

Andrea -- that made me laugh so much, when I realized I had written creative "goats" instead of "goals". Twice! It's not like the "l" and "t" are near each other on the keyboard! I MUST have been thinking of creative goats somewhere deep in my mind. Haha!

mati rose said...

congratulations, it's beautiful!

Shesawriter said...

Congrats, laini!!! I love that cover. Girl, you are SO talented!

Tanya

GoGo said...

Nice! I love your work, its vivid...and I just want to rub my fingers across the page.

I hope that someday, I can ask you to draw something special for a book cover or something. Even if you are a big artist/writer who doesn't need to do those things!

Congrads! You're an inspiration

Living Part Deux said...

I LOVE those creative goats. I'm going to keep them in a pen in my office - or let them run all over the house with Dwight the cat from next door, who comes to visit twice a day. The magazine cover is magical - simply magical. And the metaphors. I'm highly, highly inspired to think metaphorically.

Can I come with you to Weight Watchers? I lost a bunch of weight more than a year ago, then immediately... well, you know, when those grandparents come to live in your head. I wish I had a friend to go with me. All those people with their best friends, laughing and having fun - they intimidate me... all alone. I know I have to, though. It works; there's no denying that it works! Good luck; wish me luck!

chest of drawers said...

That magazine cover is amazing! I had a look at the magazine and it´s wonderful too, I wonder if it´s available in Austria.
It´s not easy to get out of a rut...the questions for this week could be applied...try to find out what´s worked for you in the past, remember what urged you on and got you to reach your goa(t)ls, maybe you just have too much going on at once?

Terri /Tinker said...

What an enchanting ele-phunk - Congratulations!
Thank you for giving a name to my syndrome - yes, I too, have an indulgent inner grandparent (who spoils my inner child frequently). I need to get in touch with my inner strict parent, but I think she's trapped under all the inner child's toys :>)

Bohemian Girl said...

beautiful magazine cover and intro...so rich with color.

divine. simply divine.

i love your idea of new month resolutions. v. cool...

Caitlin said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your published cover - it's lovely! I really oughta go back to WW too...

acumamakiki said...

What a perfect description....indulgent like a benevolent grandparent. I too have been far too self-indulgent although mine has been more of a pity party as well. I was just thinking yesterday that I should skulk into Weight Watchers and start counting again. Perhaps we could support each other??

telfair said...

Hi there -- thanks so much for visiting my blog! I'm so glad you did, because it means that I found yours. I think your magazine cover is so beautiful -- I love the colors and the texture, it's just amazing. Congratulations! That tiger reclining majestically on the elephant's head is just the best.

Thanks again for "stopping by" and I hope you visit again, soon. I know I'll be back to your lovely blog!

Cate said...

CONGRATS on receiving your issue of the magazine--your art is STUNNING!

Also, looking forward to SS. Thaks for sharing your experiences, of late--very moving and inspirational (as always!). LOVE the butterfly metaphor!

Colorsonmymind said...

Ditto, Ditto, Ditto..... to all the previous comments.

I love this cover ~ congrats! Your work is so beautiful, detailed and full of feeling.

I hadn't seen your tiny stories before, they are great too.

You are quite a talent, lady!

I too have been letting my "grandparents" run the show, and am going back to my strict parents to get myself back in tow. Gotta love the grandparents, but not much gets done with them around.

Wonderful post.

XOX

jd said...

Beautiful cover. I remember reading this magazine when I was a kid. I didn't realize it was still around.

holli said...

Good grief - I feel like you should have had a sound byte of horn blasts for your first magazine cover!! That is so cool. Or am I just easily impressed?? It's beautiful!

Hee hee.. I love that you said you would have perished without those shoes. I was telling Kiki the other day, that a pair of silk camo pants with embroidered details and some sequins were a necessity and most likely would become one of my wardrobe staples. Now how normal is that? There is a chance I might perish if I don't get them - so I'm glad you got your shoes.

Okay - I'm going to try and sneak off to the cricket link. I'm so excited for you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Laini! I cant even imagine how exciting it must be to see your work in print! Fabulous job!

On the other note, I personally find my creative groove much like a roller-coaster. I am hard-core for a while then lax for a while. I am sure you will get right back into your groove! Good Luck meeting your goals! Brandi

Brandi said...

Hey that was me above! Not sure why I didnt get logged in!

la vie en rose said...

i can't wait for sunday!!! i keep getting info in the mail about this cricket magazine (i think they know i love books for my little boy). it's so cool to know you did some work for them. yay you!!!

Earth Monkey said...

on being a "benevolent grandparent to (yourself)"... ohhhhhhhhh i so relate. letting yourself get away with everything. it has been my week too. so it was like reading some of my own thoughts (AND i never could yo-yo either). on "wrting without going back and peeking"... oh my gosh i fight myself on this ALL time.

love the mag cover, congrats!

megg said...

hi there!

I've been so enjoying our collaborative emails but then I realized I have not read any blogs lately! I'm so glad I did!!!!!!! Your cover was stunning! I'd like you to teach me art please :) You're inspiring & so so talented. I wish I could come with you to Weight Watchers and then scribbling. Now that SS is up, I think it is time for some new month resolutions of my own. Thanks for the motivation!

P.S. I'm sad I missed the creative and health goats. I think they're just what I need! Maybe someday you could draw me a couple of goats for inspiration!! xoxo

M said...

Your cover is gorgeous! You are very good!! Congratulations! I can't wait to see more. I'm with Meg...I'd love to take an art class taught by you!!
Please add me to the list of particpants on the new Sunday Scribblings blog, I'm very excited to be a part! The page looks great as well! have a good weekend1 (loads of !! today)

ESB said...

wow! what a beautiful cover! and congratulations.....i used to subscribe to cricket for years when I was a kid in the 70s....i didn't realize it was still around (but am pleased to hear that it is)....

harmonyinline said...

I love the tiger laying on the elephant it’s so clever congradulations.

harmonyinline said...

I just read your tiny stories, I am enchanted by them.

Amber said...

Your art is so beautiful! Really, you should write a childrens book about these characters on this cover.

Congratulations:)

Kim G. said...

Laini - the artwork is so beautiful. I have friends who just returned from a trip to India and your art truly captures the beauty I saw in their pictures.

Thanks for your kind comments at my site. I'm only about 100 pages into "Thread" but am really enjoying it. Took it to Disneyland but I was so exhausted each night, I didn't get much time to read.

tess said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I am happy you stumbled upon me so I could discover your blog. What beautiful art work! And I so loved the humor and style of your most recent post that I will definitely return to read more. Your yo-yo imagery is perfect. Unfortunately, I can relate!

I have definitely been bopped in the face by a few of my yo-yos.

By the way--I have very little will power. It was only desperation that drove me to quit blogging "cold turkey". It is definitely addictive.

See you around!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hey Wifey! :)

Sadly (as you know!) I've been right along with you as a fellow benevolent grandparent and have today finally begun to get more work done than I have in the past few days combined. (Netflix hasn't exactly been helping either!!)

So, more tasks to complete tomorrow and Sunday as my book dummy deadline is looming by early next week! (EEK!)

Love ya,
J

Endment said...

Congratulations on your cover!

May all your yo yos get into line

Jessie said...

Absolutely beautiful! Wow. Speechless.

Marilyn said...

Gorgeous cover. Since I'm a Capricorn, I think setting some creative goats is just what I need to nix my indulgent grandparent (since she seems to be in control most of the time).

P.S. That poolside artwork you asked about...is at the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco. :)

Letha Sandison said...

Well done, your cover is amazing! I am so in awe...really. What a huge accomplishment it is even to get illustration jobs...I am new at trying the world of illustration. I have been thinking of doing it so I can keep working while in Africa. Anyway, MAJOR and serious congrats to you!! I am a huge fan of your art!!

Tickled Pink said...

Fabulous! What talent!

Paul Adams said...

Hi Blogger!I like your blog! Keep up the
good work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!
If you have a moment, please take a look at my site:
pet center
It pretty much covers pet center related issues.
Best regards!