Welcome to my mad life!

See my artworks in my professional artist site: http://www.artatheart.com.au/ and the blog is at http://artatheartoz.blogspot.com/. To check out my upcoming eBook on Art Success, go to http://www.artsuccess.info/ (it's a blog too). To see my life as a CAD Consultant and AutoCAD programmer/trainer, go to http://www.cadsource.com.au/ and the blog, with heaps of tips and tricks, is at http://cadsourceinternational.blogspot.com/. To try out our favourite food allergy recipes that are actually quite delicious, visit http://www.eatwellanyway.com/. Enjoy!


mad busy funster professional artist painter teacher author technologist mathematician CAD consultant entrepreneur investor gluten-free animal-loving nature-loving joy&serenity-seeking Ironman triathlete

Monday, November 8, 2010

The mad paving marathon is finished at Rancho Relaxo

Last circle finished
Originally uploaded by JacquelineHill
We are doing a ridiculously out of control lot of renovations to our property on acreage at Bellbowrie, on the western outskirts of Brisbane.

We decided that we didn't want to look at asphalt from all the front windows of the house, that an arty paving design would be nicer to look at. So Phil (hubby landscaper) and I came up with this circular design and drew it all up in AutoCAD with dimensions.

It took several months, 7 full pallets of pavers, mountains of concrete, several sets of kneepads, and Phil wore all the fingerprints off his hands in the process. We have photos of all the stages along the way in the Flickr page :
- if you click on the set at the RHS called The Mad Paving Marathon, you can see all the photos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo

After being inspired to write every day by http://www.750words.com/, I am launching on my quest to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November. This is an international event that has been going a few years, check out http://www.nanowrimo.org/.

I have always wanted to write a book, but have not known where on earth to start. I remember as a child dreaming up plots of science fiction stories. Once I wrote an 8 page story as part of an English class exercise in early high school, I remember not meaning to write so many pages, but I got carried away with the story and couldn't stop.  The teacher was shocked at how good the story was and gave me a big red A++ for the mark. It was a complete surprise to me!

As an adult the urge has never left, but I have never known what on earth to write about (in fiction anyway).  I thought it would be nice to write children's books and then illustrate them.

In 2008 I scribbled some charcoal on a blank canvas, thanks to the great art teacher Donald James Waters, and ended up dreaming up a story as I was drawing. I finished up creating a mad Storybook painting called "The Spooking of the Blarts". The Storybook paintings, which have a whole story written and illustrated onto the one canvas, have now become a series (you can see these in my gallery) and will end up in a book. They always start with "Once upon a time in a place light years away..." and they are a lot of mad, silly fun that adults and children both enjoy.

So I found a way to have the creative ideas for my books, by starting with some art!!! Quite the opposite of what I thought (writing and then illustrating!), but it works beautifully.

The novel I have been inspired to write this month is along similar lines, but with a madcap heroine riding an organic self-healing mindreading spaceship containing a moody creative Auto-Chef automatic food-manifestation system that is prone to tears. Kat is on a search and rescue mission to find her mysteriously kidnapped best friend Zask.

I need to write 1667 words per day to reach 50,000 words by the end of November. Luckily I just taught myself touch typing in August so it's getting easier and faster to write almost at the rate my mind churns stuff out than it was before!!! I am sort-of-touch-typing currently up to about 30-40wpm, so not too bad.

This month coincides with my annual Christmas art exhibition (see http://www.artatheart.com.au/) so my daily routine starts with writing for a couple of hours followed by a full day in the gallery.

I can't believe my luck in finding such an ideal life, really, sometimes I have to pinch myself.

Postscript Dec 2010:

Not a bad start for my first year... I have definitely got into the daily writing habit, and have a good feel of what it's like to write in bulk!

At the end of November I managed to make it to about 42,500 words (the NaNo website was clagged up on the last day so I couldn't update the number). I didn't make it to the 50,000 but I did pretty well for the first go at it. The book is really fun, I've renamed it 'Kat and the SpaceBlaster'. I plan to finish the 50,000 words in December and then start editing.