When I think of tension I think, surface tension. I remember a film about spiders which showed one sitting on top of the water in a glass. The hair on it’s legs created surface tension which kept it from getting wet in the water. It could just sit on the surface, due to surface tension.

I think it’s a great illustration for tension. Any change to the elements involved and the spider would begin to sink, need to swim or grab the edge of the glass to prevent itself from drowning. Tension is like that. The moment before, or the balance between, something else happening. Tension can change your story. As a writer I think you can use tension to develop your plot in ways you hadn’t planned on at the beginning. It brings so many new possibilities and reactions.

Tension is something about to change and that’s exciting.


Found on: Get Scribbling


Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. I created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

Source: The InkTober Initiative – Mr Jake Parker

Late to start for this round but no reason you can’t join in, unofficially. Don’t add the pressure to catch up, just enjoy the challenge and do what you can until the end of the month.


You can choose to draw, doodle or write a picture in words. Take a look at the others involved and get your own inspiration.

Miranda, The Ghost Next Door

miranda1I read a book about a ghost named Miranda, when I was about 12, and I’ve been haunted by it ever since. I could not remember the title, the author or anything else very helpful. But, it seems I had a lot more in my mental storage than I thought.

On impulse I searched for “Miranda ghost book” today and I found it! I was sure it was the same book as soon as I saw the book cover! I felt that connection to myself from so long ago. I remember how I felt then. A feeling of loss, sadness and the drive to never forget Miranda. I even decided I would name my first daughter, Miranda. (I never had a daughter but today I’ve read at least two other women named their daughter Miranda based on this book).

The book was written by Wylly Folk St. John and is titled The Ghost Next Door.

The best place to read more about Wylly Folk St. John was all the blog posts and photos from  Elizabeth Harper, her great-niece.

I don’t have a clear memory of the facts from the story but all the feelings are still there. Looking into the book again today the feelings are coming back, almost as fresh as the day I turned the last page when I was reading the book.

The book seems to be out of print now. Maybe the publishers thought the story had become too dated to sell. There is another edition but it lacks the illustration from Trina Schart Hyman.


GoodReads: Wylly Folk St. John

GoodReads: The Ghost Next Door

Sherry Alston had never been told about her dead half-sister Miranda. So when Sherry came to visit her Aunt Judith, no one could explain the odd things that started to happen. Who was the elusive friend Sherry said she saw in the garden? Was she an imaginary playmate – or could she be the ghost of Miranda who had drowned in the pond years ago? Uncanny reminders of Miranda began to turn up – a blue rose, a lost riding whip…

Wylly Folk St. John’s house has been preserved as part of the historic preservation society.

Amazon: Wylly Folk St. John

Disney made her Secrets of the Pirates’ Inn into a TV movie. I found the full movie (1969) on YouTube.

Inspired to Capture a Scene in Memory

What inspires you to capture a scene with a photo?

What scene first comes into your mind when you think of something inspiring?  Even if you didn’t take a photo (or it was an illustration, not a photograph) what captured your imagination? What made you want to remember that scene?

I like knowing what makes something special, that moment of awe we feel at something breath-taking.

What can you pull from your emotions and feelings and pin down with words to describe the scene to someone else?

Pencil Versus Camera

pencil vs camera From my painstaking research (mostly just luck) I found the name for the style of drawing called Pencil versus Camera. Ben Heine (also on Tumblr, 500PX and Flickr) is given credit for the original idea and the style of illustration which uses drawing with photography to create an image where both versions work together. You need to see it, my description just isn’t that good.

Pencil Versus Camera group on Flickr  – A group for others who want to try the pencil versus camera style.

MicroBlogging: Short Notes to the World

Microblogging is a liberating experience. You narrow down your focus to the essentials and leave out all the extra explanations.

When you post for a microblog you jot down, announce and make note. You don’t have to add a lot of context. You can skip an illustration – unless your post is the illustration, in that case you can skip the worlds.

Microblogging should be short, quick, but frequent posts.

My favourite places to microblog are TwitterTumblr and the sidebar of my own blog where I keep a Sideblog using a WordPress plugin.

Why I Like MicroBlogging

  • It’s a great way to jot down a thought without going into detail or overthinkng it.
  • I dash down a half baked idea and leave it to finish later.
  • I can leave a note for readers of my site.
  • I can post a great quotation and just let it stand on it’s own.
  • I post backlinks to a sites I find but haven’t really reviewed yet.
  • I announce a change to my site, or other sites I write.
  • I stick in a new word that sounded worth looking up.
  • I make note of an inspirational book I found.
  • I can leave a quick tip and turn it into a full post later.

 MicroWriting for MicroBlogging

Writing a short post can take some getting used to. Don’t give up on it or quit. Just get creative, resourceful and take a risk on saying and explaining less leaving your readers to make their own assumptions. If you want clear and concise communication you need few words, no flowery prose.

For example, Twitter limits everyone to 140 characters, including punctuation, spaces and hashtags.

You may get creative with spelling, or run two words together or eliminate some words all together.

Some people will post their thoughts over two or more posts in a row. (I see this now and then withTwitter posts). But multiple posts is not a great option, it’s better to stick with the microblogging concept and keep it short and to the point.

If you can’t find a shorter way to say what you mean, microblogging can be a challenge to your communication skills.

Think of your posts as announcements. That helps to keep them shorter.

More About MicroBlogging

Sample Image Only for Content Curation?

sample image only

How Much is too Much?

There are a few issues with content ownership (copyrights) and content curating. The focus is – how much is too much? When you curate content the main point is to show what you found worth linking to. Explaining your reason for the link in a quick, simple way which will send readers to the source to read or view more. Content curators should not be copying so much information that their reader will not need to visit the source.

I know I have not done a 100% job of staying on the right side of that line. A content curator is an aggregator – the person who casts the net and chooses which hooks have the best bait in their lake (niche/ topic). The readers are the little and big fish who choose which hook to bite based on their own needs. A curator finds a lot of good stuff in the net and we want the readers to find our resource useful, topical, resourceful and an authority on the topic. It is tempting to give just a bit more, to post the information in a quick, simplified or condensed form. However, I also like being the provider of that little nibble to send readers to the mother fish. I like knowing I am generating traffic for the source of the information.

Getting it from the Source

Another issue is backtracking the link to find the actual, original source rather than those who have shared and re-shared the link. For the content curator, the original source is important to catch. To be just one more person re-linking and re-sharing is not the way to make ourselves seem a reliable authority.

Sample Image Only?

Another issue is images versus text. To content curate an image you take the whole image and paste it up. Meanwhile, for text content we take only some of the content. Should images be curated differently, as a small preview size or a partial image? I don’t see many people talking about this aspect.

When an image is the post, should we use screen capture software to just give a preview of the image, a sample of the original image, photograph or web graphic? Why is text content given more protection and consideration than illustration and image content?

Has the Internet Made us Greedy?

I think the Internet has made people greedier in a way. We used to have more patience and be used to waiting for things. Not just business sort of stuff like phone calls, letters, communication in general. But, even personal things like waiting to read your favourite magazine once a month. Or, the delight of finding a painting, or some other illustration which has everything you love just the right way. It used to be once a decade you would happen to find something like that. Or, that perfect jewellery, furniture, wedding accessory, etc.

Now, with the access to the Internet we find great images and ideas almost every time we look for them. There is so much more and so much more is all so much more easier to find. It’s designed to be easy to find. We are spoiled and kind of greedy. Once something gets easy we just expect more. Almost no one is ever happy with what they have after all. Everyone just wants more.

Have we crossed some kind of line? Are we becoming a selfish and greedy bunch? I wonder what our ancestors would think of our lifestyle. Would they wish they had our indulgences and our easy access to so much – or would they see how much less we really appreciate all that we have.

Online Editor Wanted at HerCircleZine

I like reading job descriptions for online web publishing. I started reading this one, thinking it would be a way for someone who loves illustration and arts to get into being part of the ‘art department’ for a publication. It’s not. They are looking for someone to publish and managed the visual arts section. Still worth reading.

This is a volunteer thing. They want a lot out of someone they won’t be paying. So, anyone looking into this will have to be doing it for the experience and the fame, not the fortune.

Online Editor – Visual Arts

We’re looking for a volunteer Web Editor to play a senior role overseeing the editorial content of the Arts section. With a working knowledge of feminist theory and socially engaged contemporary art practice, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the voice of HerCircleEzine.com.

You will be a self starter with drive and creative energy; responsive, bold and confident with your ideas. Your main goal will be to work to our creative and editorial standards to enhance and broaden the appeal of HerCircleEzine.com.

Responsibilities include:

* Researching article ideas relevant to the HCE mission

* Maintaining an editorial calendar

* Assigning articles to volunteer bloggers and freelance writers

* Monitoring expected contributor submissions (features, blog posts, etc.)

* Managing routine communications with contributors

* Posting all content to WordPress CMS with appropriate formatting

* Sourcing and adding graphics, photos, etc. as necessary

* Managing content for monthly eNewsletter – based on editorial calendar/schedule

* Take an active interest and personal pride in the aesthetic appearance of the site

* Promptly correct any typos or other errors noted on the site

via Opportunities.