I have always been a multifaceted artist. Being considered a “polymath” or “Renaissance person,” a creator whose interests and skills are broad rather than deep, is the highest of compliments for me.
When I was a child, this expressed itself through a new hobby every week, sometimes even every day. I would meander through the library stacks, teaching myself origami or palm reading or cryptography. Now I can see this as a classic ADHD trait: my interests flitted about along with my attention span, ready to move on to the next new thing.
So while I’ve been a writer for longer than I have memory of it–my mother recorded my first stories before I was old enough to handwrite very well–I’ve also always been an artist in other ways. I grew up making beaded animals, yarn coasters, and friendship bracelets, and I once hand-wove a paper birthday pinata with only the structural plans I crafted and tested myself until they worked.
While I enjoy adult coloring books these days and have some experience with knitting and crochet, I’ve primarily become a digital artist. I write on a computer instead of by hand (most of the time anyway), and my other art pursuits are Photoshop-created graphics I share over on tumblr.
As WriteMania fast approaches, I’ve found myself wanting to return to making graphics, which would seem totally counterproductive to my goals for the next month. But this is actually quite normal: I have an artistic pattern of swinging from lots of writing to lots of graphics, then back again.
They can feed into each other, letting me have a breather from one side of my creative brain while I keep working on the other. So for now I’m letting the art pull me where it may, until it’s time to knuckle down and get typing. 🙂
Today’s excerpt: “So it’s true, then?”
Julia flinched, reluctantly replied to Nora’s brusque question. “Yes, it’s true. I’m really sorry. I couldn’t stay there any longer. I couldn’t keep living every day like my life was never going to be any different.”
“Who are you apologizing to?”
“You. Myself. Everybody,” Julia sighed. “I don’t know.”
“Did I say I needed an apology?” In her usual way, Nora didn’t try to soften her words, but was still more comforting than a million distant words from Julia’s parents had ever been. “I’m glad you left.”
Julia choked on her drink. “You are?”
“Heavens, yes.” Nora wrinkled her powdered nose at her favorite adopted child. “That was a terrible job you had. It made you miserable. Of course I’m glad.”
Clarie raised a finger, interrupting the conversation pingponging around her. “It’s not a terrible job, Mama. I love it. You’ve never said one bad thing about my job.”
“It’s a fine job for you, Clarie. You enjoy it. It has great benefits, all of that. But Julia was never happy there, just busy.”
“You never said any of this to me, either,” Julia pointed out. “If you thought it was so bad for me, why didn’t you say something?”
“What good would it have done?” Nora leaned over, laying a hand on Julia’s cheek. “You didn’t know that it was killing you. Now you do. So be happy you got out and have the chance to start over.”
Julia frowned, watching her sister laugh across the lawn with the other mothers, perfectly secure in her place. “Starting over sucks.”
“Not as much as staying put.”