Hoping to make a difference

The Art4NewOrleans project is now underway!

After a lot of coding, tweaking and organizing, the CafePress shop fundraiser has been given its wings and kicked out of the nest so to speak.

When we first heard about Katrina we were using terms like “biblical proportions” and hoping that it didn’t make the decision to come inland further south. Where would we go? What would happen if we lost everything? Instead she made her way past us and headed north and our next thought was that New Orleans would never be the same if she hit…

…we had no idea it would be this bad.

So, how do you help when you can’t go and be there to help in person?
The answer: Any way you can.

Art4NewOrleans Fundraiser
http://www.cafepress.com/art4neworleans

For more information about the fundraiser or about donating art for the shop:
http://www.renmeleon.com/art4neworleans.html

Pass this on, this link, those links. Buy a bumper sticker. Sell your friends on it. Tackle artists in the street and say “Hey! Are you helping?”

My exhusband is finding out tomorrow if he is going to New Orleans. He’d have gone sooner if we could have found a way to replace his income but now he may have a chance to get paid to go. I don’t like that he will be away from our daughter for what may be several months but if I can tell her that her daddy is off being a “hero” that means something to me.

We get few chances in this lifetime to make such an impact on this world. How can you not get involved?

Thoughts and prayers go out from my family to those families caught in this horrible event and to those who have had the compassion, the heart and courage to get involved any way they can.

“What we leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles

ARRR Mateys!

Happy National Talk Like a Pirate Day to all ye swabs! Ok, ok so it’s not a recognized National Holiday but ARRR it should be. hehe

Got an email on one of the artistamp lists I am on and had no choice to give in to the creative side. Ysa jumps at any chance to play dress up. Her father got her the seahorse at the flea market Saturday so it was only fitting. The Lego pirate ship was also a daddy gift (though I suspect he got it so he could put it together too hehe) as well as the old Might & Magic handkerchief she absconded from him.

Yup, she makes a great pirate. hehe Now if we can just get her to stop holding the goldfish crackers hostage we’ll be ok…

Ysa having a bit of fun as her fave character. Hmm, Samhain is coming up...

In the right place at the right time…

Coffeeshops ??????? part networking, part addiction, and not just to caffeine. What is it really? The addiction to the solitude of plugging in your laptop, sipping a chai or macchiato, nibbling a scone and interacting with yourself. The perfect place to hone your ability to write in peace and be productive while being totally distracted.

I went to Starbuck????????s late yesterday afternoon for a meeting. I had planned on getting their earlier but, having a four year old, that doesn????????t always figure into the equation. Instead I arrived on time after having gotten a call from the person I was to meet saying she????????d gotten there early (she doesn????????t have kids) and was waiting outside because it was packed. The packed part came as no shock. Starbuck????????s is the home away from home for so many of us at times. The fact that any place would allow you to partially ???????move in??????? as you unpack all your gear in their shop is always a plus. Goes along with being able to sit on the floor in the aisle of your local Barnes & Noble.

After the meeting, which went well, I decided to go inside and snag one of the three highly coveted, overstuffed comfy chairs in the corner and take up residence for a couple hours of writing. I set up, went to the counter and bought my tall Vanilla latte, eyed the butterfly cookies. I decided my sweet tooth was partially dormant for once so I behaved and, drink in hand, returned to my little nesting area and began to write. Mid-sentence I ran into a friend I????????d not seen in a while, a regular at the local Improv show. We chatted pleasantly a few minutes, discussed her new show she was rehearsing for at Civic Theatre, promised to catch up, exchanged current info and hugged our miss you????????s and goodbyes.

It????????s funny. At home if I am interrupted while I am working I have a hard time getting my focus back. There, in the middle of one of the most active places in the city, I have no problem at all. Is it because I know how to drown it all out? Or is it that I expect to be interrupted so I????????m more flexible. I think it is a little of both.

I settled back in and started writing again. A young woman, with a smile that instantly warms you and draws you in, came over to a table nearby and joined into a conversation about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (how we couldn????????t believe that someone had never heard of them) without missing a beat. She immediately made me feel comfortable, like I had known her all my life and just hadn????????t seen her in a long time. I heard her mention to a friend that she????????d gotten into doing Mary Kay and I waited expecting the normal sales pitch. I was pleasantly surprised and scolded myself for being so negative as we both sat quietly working at our laptops after the music discussion and laughter had subsided, TSO????????s music still playing in our heads.

You know me, I????????m a ???????motor-mouth??????? and have never been one to let the opportunity to meet someone pass. It????????s how I am, how I network, how I make friends. I struck up a conversation on ??????? I don????????t even remember now on what ??????? and we happily talked for about two hours. As it turns out she is very much a kindred spirit, another artist and someone I have already begun to play muse to as she needs more outlets for her work. She has some amazing black & white contrast pieces that I am hoping to help her get out around town more and online. She and I both enjoy being creative and working with all kinds of media though primarily pen and ink. Neither one of us is afraid of art and like to dig in and get our hands dirty.

An acquaintance of hers came in and she introduced me. After another hour????????s worth of banter between the three of us I wrote down my information for the two of them, we all ended up exchanging numbers, and then finally had to say my goodbyes. She stood and hugged me which, by this time, I had expectedly welcomed and we made promises to get together after our hectic weeks.

Every once in a while, being in the right place at the right time rewards me with a new lifelong friend.

Dance like no one is watching…

A post from Veerle today made me think of what advice I would offer my child. My daughter just turned four and as a responsible mother, an alert mother, I’m concerned about the world she is growing up in…

Make time for friends. Make time for your self.

Go to museums and art galleries. Look closely at how things are made, the composition of things.

Reverse engineer. Figure things out.

Listen to the stories your grandparents and the elderly have. Those who have experienced life longer know more; it may not always be right for your life but you should show them the respect they have earned. They have fought their own battles and you could learn something worthwhile.

Smile.

Find at least one positive thing about EVERY situation, even if it is bad, because it could always be worse.

Dance like no one is watching. Be silly about it.

Always tell people how you feel. Be up front and honest but always tactful and compassionate.

Love with your whole heart even if you have been hurt before. Never make the next person pay for the last person’s mistakes. Each person has their own way of doing things. Follow your heart and love them unconditionally. Pay attention to how they treat you … if it’s bad, leave … if it’s good, take notes because that is how they want to be treated too.

Never start a fight but always know how to end one. Always try verbally first but if someone takes a swing at you use their own action against them. Momentum is a good thing.

When defending yourself, don’t hesitate to use anything and everything you can get your hands on. A shoe can be a weapon, keys, anything you can grab quickly. Scream “FIRE!” to draw attention and always yell “NO!” Be afraid enough to respect the situation but don’t let fear make you a coward. Be strong and take action. Use your mind.

Never trust a religious leader who is opposed to dancing.

Laugh, even if people tell you that you laugh too much. Laughing reduces stress. Never laugh at someone else’s expense. Laugh at yourself though, never take yourself too seriously.

Express yourself through art, singing, writing … anything you can do even if you don’t think you do it well. Never be afraid to try and never give up if it is something you really want to be good at. If one way doesn’t work, try another.

More to come …