Tag Archives: artist

Define Yourself as a Writer

My passion and enthusiasm leads me astray. It will get to a point, though, that I must rein it in and tie it down, despite the ‘no fences’ rule. I wear several hats, of late, and it is no wonder that confusion plays it course upon my condition. I love my company and I love the people who have discovered the amazing way collaboration works. Supporting one another is truly the way to become better at what we do – it is the way to widen your perspective, cultivate new interests, define your goals – all of which allows us to plant sign posts with remarkable achievements along our writing life journey. But, if I do not write, I begin to feel discouraged, frustrated, sad… I need to write. It is as vital as air and as soothing a sunshine upon my face.

I read a great post shared by someone who walks the talk – she supports and encourages and I am so lucky to call her friend and confidant. The Writer’s Digest article talked about the October Platform Challenge… we all know how I love a challenge! So what better way to get myself out of a rut than to revisit the deepest part of my creativity. I am going to rediscover my muse and drag him/her screaming to the surface.

Day 1 Challenge – Define Yourself as a Writer 

This exercise is to identify and lay claim to all the things that make you a writer. Own it.

Name (as used in byline): Linda J. Pedley

Position(s): Owner/President of Dream Write Publishing Ltd * Co-founder/Director/Treasurer/Member/Volunteer of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County * Business Management Coordinator for my day job at the Alberta Federation of REAs * Freelance Writer/Editor * Published Author * Artist & Illustrator * Truck Window Photographer

Skill(s): Creative writing * non-fiction writing * poetry * editing * book design * blogging and web site content writing * social media promotion and platform building * newsletters * business document writing including business plans, reports, business case proposals, government position papers * individual-team-community builder * teaching and mentoring * color and design * photography * art composition and basic lesson plans * computer use

Social media platforms (active): Facebook * LinkedIn * Google+ * Twitter

URL(s): wildhorse33.wordpress.com  / dreamwrite10.wordpress.com  / dreamwritepublishing.com  / strathconaconnect.com 

Accomplishments: BA General – Sociology Major/Political Science Minor from the University of Alberta * Author of several published novels: YA adventure series – A Journey of Brothers/A Journey of Truths/ A Journey of Desires, Power Struggle, Ode to the Bard – My Writing Life, and An Elizabethan Affair * Co-Author of Your Lifetime of Stories and From a Solitary Drop * Contributing Author to several compilations and/or anthologies including Christmas Chaos and Writing Prompt Journey * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History for our writers group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, in 2011 * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History in 2012 for personal work in this category * Certificate in Article and Short Story Writing from Long Ridge Writers Group in the US  * Certificate of Participation in Writer’s Camp at Humber College, Toronto in 2004 * Effective Communications Certificate from Grant MacEwan College * Publisher of over 60 books and 5 years in business with Dream Write Publishing – a creative option for today’s writers to see their work in print.

Interests: Writing – all genres * art appreciation * travelling Alberta and driving in the mountains in my “Sunshine” Toyota FJ Cruiser * truck window photography * all things Shakespeare * coffee with close family members * sharing interests and good times with good friends * horses * spending time with my daughter watching favorite TV shows, drinking wine, or collaborating on work projects * drawing * computers * reading and having lots of books *

In one sentence, who am I? Linda J. Pedley is a writer who works her day job to pay the rent while dreaming of the things she could do if only she could just focus on the passion of creating and working page-deep in books every day.

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Challenge – Day 11 and Day 12 – Creative License

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 11 and 12 – Something Blue and Sunset

Day 11 and 12 Blog image - Blue and Sunset

The sky was the hue of winter Alberta blue…
If we are fortunate enough during the winter in Alberta, we have many of these days where the sky is crisp, clear, and blue – when sunshine is always a welcome addition, and a highway drive is warranted on a weekend afternoon. By contrast, I shot some pictures on January 1st at Elk Island Park and you will notice the grey winter day where sky and horizon blend where air and ground meet. The kind of day that dawned bright on Sunday was opportunity to obtain clear shots of the Alberta blue skies to fulfill that day’s challenge. The vantage point shifted from the apartment catching one of 3 jet contrails tracking across the sky in a short time span, to the countryside as the sun made its way beyond the day, and back again, to capture similar shots the next evening. The amazing properties of working with light are the shadows cast and the deep blue of snow in the sheltered areas; it’s the background it provides to many objects silhouetted; it’s the variance of color that reflects on sky, trees, snow, and other objects. Something blue… The thing about winter afternoons in early January is that no matter how bright they are they begin to fade by 4:30 with dusk bringing its own lingering beauty to the countryside.

To close out any day, the sky is my view and it paints magnificent scenery for me to appreciate from my 4th floor apartment. This vantage gives me a clear shot of the sky and its many colors as I witness many a sunset. Combining the prompts made sense but would have certainly created a huge challenge had the sky been overcast and grey, or if it had been white with snow. Treasures along our sightseeing journey:

  • Jets with contrails streaking across a clear blue sky always remind me of my mother and I feel her watching with me, commenting on their intrusion.
  • Horses pawing the snow-covered field searching for frozen shoots.
  • A companionable silence while driving a snow-covered country road.
  • Millions of stars in a dark velvet sky.
  • Using GPS and a little bit of intuition to connect with the right secondary road.
  • Arriving home with a loved one after a memorable day.

The day is what you make it… so, remember to always appreciate the little things along the way.

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Day 1 – Searching for Wild Horses

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial

Best laid plans...

Best laid plans…

With the generosity of our workplace allowing both Good Friday and Easter Monday as stat holidays, and my regular day off falling on Tuesday… this year’s Easter weekend is super long… ah… 5 days! What are my plans?

I am not sure when the idea hit me but it was in the midst of 2013 amongst the angst and anger and residual anguish – I decided that when all was said and done I would begin to do some things just for me – without feeling like it was selfish and without guilt of experiencing happiness. I read several quotes recently that proposed a life unlived wasn’t a life at all and doing something different would expand not only your external experiences, but equally contribute to your inner growth. I, therefore, would plan a trip to seek the Alberta wild horses. At that time, it was not determined when the trip would take place although claiming it to be mine solidified for me that it would, indeed, happen…

Earlier this year, I decided my trip would be in April. Prompted by the ominous winter (it’s always ominous, and for me, it gets more so as the years go by…) and encouraged by the fact that 2014 is the year of the horse on the Chinese calendar… well, it just made sense – there is almost a serendipitous magic to it. Why seek the horses, some may ask? Many confess to loving horses… most respect their beauty and devotion to purpose. Some own them. Some admire them at a distance, their large stance even provoking fear in some. Some advocate for the wild one’s protection while others are ignorant to their plight. I did not grow up around horses but I do remember the love for them perpetuated by those around me – my mom being one who loved them from a distance but feared them up close. I think I was born with this connection and would grow to experience my own quest for freedom through their spirit and tenacity. I did all the things that girls who love horses do – they were a favored subject for artwork, I purchased horse magazines when I was in Junior High… coveting the photos and dreaming of my own as a wanna-be equestrian, I went to all the horse shows and rodeos and my walls were pinned with their picturesque beauty. My off and on encounters, over the years continued and included: trail riding on the ridge above the town site of Jasper AB, working promotional sales at the big white Cavalia tent in Toronto in 2005, attending the Cavalia horse show in Edmonton with a dear friend in 2012, tattooing my wildhorse logo on my shoulder… and writing under “freeing the creative spirit” as willdhorse33 online. Is your tattoo a horse?

There is no reason why my desire to be near to them is any more than any other who feels as I do… it’s just that it is something very personal, deep inside, almost inexplicable – it’s an emotion that hits when you see them standing out there in the fields; your heart begins to race when you see them run, and it’s almost like you can feel the breeze as it passes through their mane.

In going out there one might ask what I am looking for – is there something I’m expecting to find? I would answer that I have found it in the decision to go, to seek, to search for that which connects so deeply to my own spirit. I am not fearless and adventurous – I won’t go traipsing into the bush with high hopes of capturing their images. I just need to be there, where they are… I am not the activist although I will always support efforts to protect and stand for the cause. I am an artist willing to draw them and a photographer wanting to immortalize my experience.

Day 1: This is springtime in Alberta and on April 18th – it snowed overnight and Good Friday was not good in the weather department. With several days ahead, and an understanding bed and breakfast host, the trip will just be delayed. I cursed the snow… but Ray reminded me, “It’s just a delay. It will be better tomorrow.” The voice of reason and it did give us time to spend together before I departed for my dream chasing journey. Friends were comforted by my sense of caution and willingness to remain at home. But my ride is antsy and wants to run. My trigger finger is itching to take a plethora of photos to pictoralize the passage. Whoa, there… tomorrow will be here before you know it.

Awaiting departure

Awaiting departure

So with Coleman, Canon, and creativity awaiting departure, this is how Day 1 moves into history. It lazily takes me into the journey with time to contemplate the days ahead, cherish time in the moment spent with a special person, and feel gratitude for the opportunity afforded me.

“On your journey to your dream, be ready to face oasis and deserts. In both cases, don’t stop.” ~ Paulo Coelho

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The Inspiration for My WIP

This short story is one I cherish and hold dear as it inspired my current work in progress, “An Elizabethan Affair.” It is titled the same and was originally written in the first person as it pertains to exactly my thoughts and most inner desires. It was contrived from a writing prompt during the earlier years of our writer’s circle approximately 2002. I shared this work at an evening while at Humber College in Toronto partaking in a writer’s life week in the summer of 2004. The evening was a word jam with a reading from everyone registered in the program. We were allotted a 3 minute limit – exactly – with one after another. I think I was number 28 or so out of 60+ readers. It was an interesting and exciting event! You were able to experience the different written work as read by their creators. The 3 minute mark on this piece comes in exactly where I meet William and ask him to read me his poetry. I received rave reviews and the next day many of my fellow registrants came up to me to say how much they liked it. I was pumped~! I decided to rewrite the work in the third person and, of course, did a little edit here and there – you know, growth 🙂

 An Elizabethan Affair (the short, clean version…)

She often pondered the question of visiting special times and special places ~ distant lands beckoned; the siren of the sea called; history unfolded its countless maps, laying at her feet the journeys of roads not taken. The chance to engage in romantic conversation with one’s heroes would prove too great a temptation to resist. Yes, this offer would open up possibilities. To visit such a place ~ one she would not have been born a part of but would chance ~ yes, such an adventure is as vast as an open book.

Some would think because she is a dreamer she would chance a fantastical meeting with one of her fictional heroes. He would slay monsters; fight villains; discover galaxies far off. He would stand for all that is good in mankind and his sword, be it steel or light, would reflect the kind of man he was: one who would fight for honor of life, the respect of men and, of course, the only one who could rescue her and earn her heart.

Or, perhaps, because she is a compassionate person with equal rights a cause dear to her heart, she would chance the political perils of a time when your voice and action could on one hand, put you in danger but on the other, render change for generations to come. She would revisit the past and make her voice heard alongside heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King or Susan B. Anthony. Their passion for freedom and equal rights led the way so that we might stand as equals with our fellow man or woman, regardless of race or gender.

As an artist she would wander with her palette to the studios and galleries of the great post-Impressionist painters chancing an encounter with Cezanne or van Gogh. With them she would capture the essence of spring in a Paris park or the hustle and bustle along the Champs De Lyse. She would most likely dare to enter the Sistine Chapel and gaze upon the works of Michelangelo and maybe watch as he painstakingly colored the ceiling that would inspire the world for centuries to come.

However, as a writer she would chance upon an era of harder times, where the phrase “you’ve come a long way, baby” would mean just that… your child traveled a long way with you, perhaps into the city on an afternoon outing. The fight for equality among men and women would include the evolution of getting females to actually play female roles upon the great stages of London. Liberal values aside, she would pack up her pride and quiet her outspoken voice to hear the poetic passion of one of the greatest writers of all time.

She would have to be prim and proper for she knows as a woman she would not be a part of the production but at least she might be privy to a chance meeting.

“William,” she would say, remembering to be refined. “Please, read me your poetry.”

“Of late, I do count my works with busy hands as does the clock count minutes upon its face.” He would indicate a stack of penned parchments and pile of broken quills in dramatic fashion.

“Read me what you are working on. I see it is your seventeenth…” He would be scratching and inking words as they spoke ~ a persistent writer, dedicated to his craft ~ she knew he would not stop for long even for visits from ladies proper.

He would rise and venture a look over the groomed lawns of his Tudor home, taking in the early summer sunshine, warm through the open shutters. He would clear his throat… and turn to take in her  image.

“Whereas your visit is greatly appreciated, I fear you seek me out for foolish reasons, Miss. ‘Tis not of more importance that which is written but rather, that which is spoken. There t’would be case to hold truth for mankind to come.”

“I daresay, William, your words do inspire. Great writers dare to compare themselves to you. Great actors chance to feel the compassion in your words displaying them many times upon the stage. You are quoted. You are part of teachings in schools, year after year. Yes, William, there are others… but it seems your written words speak much louder.”

Although somewhat doubtful at her words, he would shake his head thoughtfully, his long locks swaying in their ribbon. After a brief musing, he would proceed:

“Who will believe my verse in time to come,

If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?

Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb

Which hides your life and shows not half your parts

If I could write the beauty in your eyes

And in fresh numbers number all your graces,

The age to come would say ‘This poet lies;

Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’

So should my papers, yellowed with their age,

Be scorn’d, like old men of less truth than tongue;

And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage,

And stretched metre of an antique song,

         But were some child of yours alive that time,

          You should live twice ~ in it, and in my rhyme.”

She would fan herself as the blush rises from her chest, over her neck to her face. He would smile at her obvious infatuation with him and his words.

“Oh, William,” she would gush. “You cannot convince me, in no uncertain terms; those beautiful words will speak just as loud, ages hence.”

“You flatter me, Miss.” He would be obviously pleased with himself and would hide the flirtatious smile playing upon his lips by turning away. As he busied himself at the sideboard, his words would continue. “To give away yourself keeps yourself still; and you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.”  With that he would turn back to his visitor, a crystal glass of claret temptingly extended.

The hearth warm with glowing embers, their hearts warm with proffered poison ~ they would discuss the merits of metaphors, sing the praises of similes, and challenge rhyme into the starlit night. At some time, the poetic soul would sleep ~ new words would weave poem dreams into his mind with every iambic beat of his heart. With a gentle kiss to his cheek she would pen a note with scripted words:

“Yet but one chance upon us did befall, thy love will be confused when in the morn’ recalled.”

The candles burned out and the coal oil lamps low ~ she would slip away silent with the break of dawn. Long after her return, she would remember their visit and she would secretly ponder the meaning and inspiration for number eighteen:

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” Smiling slyly she would continue, “My dearest William. Temperate? I do not think temperate is the word I would have used, my love.”

Shakespeare_21756t

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