Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are writers especially creative?

Of course I write, something I have done since childhood with varying levels of skill and success. It took me a long time but I do have novels, shorter fiction and poetry all published, and not self-published or by a so-called 'vanity press.' (Although I do not scorn either as unworthy or a bad way to publish!) I even sell a book now and then. But that is not the only creative endeavor to call me over the years. Various art and craft projects have kept me busy for most of my life when I was not writing or engaged in outdoor work or activity.. As a child I drew and colored a lot and then got started making paper dolls. At one time I hoped to become a fashion designer and the paper dolls were more for that than just to "play with" although I did play with my own some as well as a lot of commercial ones. Clothes and jewelry fascinated me from very early times. Yes, I make jewelry, too, and at one time sewed a lot of my wardrobe but today I am going to focus more on the two dimensional art forms.

Recently I gathered a whole collection of 'art' that I had done starting about age twelve. It was amusing to see my skills develop from very childish cartoony work to some things I still feel were pretty darn good! I drew some good horses and did some portraits in pencil and colored pencil, working from photos and memory. I put them all in page protectors into a 3-ring binder except for the large ones that would not fit.  Here is one, perhaps not the best but not bad, of a friend/mentor and hero of mine from long ago.(One section of my poetry book, Walking Down My Shadows is devoted to him.)  I haven't scanned or photographed most of them, That may come later, at least with a few of the best pieces. If and when I may share..

Since I lived in Arizona the greater part of my life, I grew very familiar with the many Native American tribes and their distinctive art work, especially the weaving of the Navajo, the silver work of the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi and the beautiful pottery and basketry of all tribes. Not too long after I got about my second computer--with a color monitor!--I started playing with the "Paint" program. Then I realized a few of the designs I created reminded me of Navajo weaving. From there on I got more and more into this and created some that I think are pretty cool. Some have even been used on my Gwynn Morgan websites. That is kind of fitting since Gwynn's first novel, Powerful Medicine,  featured Native American lead characters and all had a definite southwestern ambiance.

The one on the left was one of my very early designs, not as neat or symmetrical as those I produced later. To the right is a better one! I probably have 75 or more saved and use them at times in stationery and promo materials. It's still fun and I do a few now and then although not as avidly as I did at one time. Yes, it is tedious, working pixel at a time to clean up the jaggies and make things balanced and even but relaxing in an odd way! It takes a steady hand though and with worsening arthritis I am not as deft as I was at one time. 

I like the colors found in many Navajo rugs--they were initially all natural dyes although now they use both commercial yarn as well as that spun from their own wool and commercial dyes. That changes the character of the creations a lot but much traditional work is still done. I own one, which my late mother-in-law got in trade for some bobby pins back in WW II era when metal was hard to come by and the Navajo woman wanted some pins to help keep her hair up! Scandalous, almost like Manhattan for beads, no? 

I find that a lot of my writer friends have other creative hobbies and interests. Some quilt, some paint, some sew, some do hand made greeting cards and other arty things. I like to keep my hands busy and rarely just sit. There will be a tray of beads, a piece of plastic canvas with yarn or a piece of paper and a pencil at hand almost all the time. I've adapted some of my 'rug' designs to plastic canvas and have used them on tissue boxes, a board to hang my many earrings--most that I made--and other projects. Here is the earring board before I loaded it up! It is a whole larger size sheet of plastic canvas stapled to a strip of molding and hung with a cord thru small screw eyes on the molding. The colors in it and a matching tissue box cover were chosen to match a quilt made for me by a dear friend and the curtains I made when I lucked onto some matching fabric, at WalMart of all places!

I have done several pieces of fiction where a main character is an artist of some kind. A short paranormal novel, He Comes With the Dark and a novella length contemporary story, Paint a New Scene come to mind. They are both Deirdre O'Dare work and explicit in parts--just to warn you! (Gwynn writes the milder PG-13 level romance and Deirdre can get pretty X-rated in case you did not know!) That's why I always used two pseudonyms. A reader will know what to expect from each.

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