Tag Archives: creativity

Near Death in the Neon City

The thing about Vegas is that it’s not just one night; an eternity can pass between sunset and sunrise. I cannot tell say certainty that what I’m about to tell you is fact. I can only affirm it happened and let it serve as a warning to others who are foolish enough to venture into the night.
Seductive shimmering stars of neon light, up and down the boulevard drawing people into the boisterous opened mouthed casinos. Play Here, Win Big. Bewitching girls hint at untold hedonism to all who enter. The song of the slots a siren’s call, the scintillating color attracts the eye, a paradise or hell dependent on the roll of a single dice. Once inside, one of the menagerie of sensory stimulation a path twists through the vastness, never does it pass an exit.
Stale cigarette smoke permeates the low coin tables while the sweet cherry aroma of pipe tobacco separates the high limit tables. Angels in heels without wings rush by with plastic smiles, bringing nectars from the Gods to the brave seated at the tables. Large enforcers in suits watch over the room handpicking the visitors that will elevate to heaven or plunge down into the rings of hell.
Time does not pass here once you enter. No clocks to tick, no digital display, no windows to let you know the sun has risen to burn away your sins. Time passes differently in these walls than in the real world.
The masses that come here begging to have their everyday lives suspended for a few meager hours, will risk everything for the smallest of wins. Where else do people come and pay for the privilege of experiencing death, night after night, in all its stages. After the first big loss there is denial, the feeling of being alone and taken advantage of. Another roll of the dice brings on the anger at one’s self and the casino for tricking them into playing and losing. Another inferior hand and its time to make a deal with the Powers That Be. Another bad beat leads to depression and misery. Another pathetic hand and acceptance sinks in, with the idea to acquire more capital. But, in Vegas the final stage of death does not come, only the sun returns to save you from yourself.
In the night anything can happen, rising to the status of a God or sinking down to hell or falling further down where even the gut snakes and degenerates can no longer find you. If you’re lucky enough for the sun to rise and you are given a second chance, flee. Pack your bags and run because if night falls again you will never escape.

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Filed under Art, Entertainment, writing

Prepping for camp

So it’s time to prep for CampNanoWriMo already. I’ve got my story in mind and have begun fleshing out my characters in my head. But, this year I’m going for a completely different approach to my writing. I usually have a skyrocketing word count in the first week maybe even into the second week and then life as a way of messing with me so I miss my mark.

This year I’m going for writing the book in the first weekend of the challenge. I’ve cleared my schedule told everybody I know that I will be busily writing for the weekend. In fact I’ve shouted it from the rooftop. I will not let anything distract me the first weekend. I have other writing task and life that task that will kick in hard in the 2nd week of April, so everything depends on that first weekend.

I’m confident that if I prep characters and location before hand I will be able to finish the book in a long weekend. I’ve even got a head set so I can just to the computer. I will let you know how that works, but it’s definitely worth a try.

I wish all of you CampNanoWriMo preppers Good Luck and happy writing.

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Filed under Albuquerque, writing

Stranger Factory

2014-01-10 18.14.26By Winter Flack

Just off Central on Carlisle is a small art gallery named Stranger Factory. You have to keep an eye out as you drive by or you might miss it. It is far from a typical Albuquerque or Santa Fe art gallery. Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas operate Stranger Factory. It’s part of a group of artists that formed Circus Posterus. This collective of fine artists, illustrators, gallery curators and collaborators is bringing the strange back to art in New Mexico. Every month, the gallery offers a new show with a new-featured artist. The artists range from painters to sculptures, all with their own characters.

If that was all Stranger Factory offered, it should already be a monthly destination of yours, but it’s not. With most new exhibitions, the artists come in opening weekend to give a workshop on his or her expertise. The workshops run from two to four hours and are usually on a Sunday afternoon. They are very affordable, and, if you pay really close attention, you will learn things you’d never thought possible in a very short period of time.

I have taken a number of workshops from Stranger Factory. The most recent on Character Development. It was an eye opening look at how animators, illustrators, and people like me can now build a character that really relates to the audience. The hardest workshop I took was one by Travis Louie. He taught a workshop on rending to make graphite drawings look like black and white photos. I’m going to be honest, I hated the workshop, not because he wasn’t a good teacher, he was, but because I could NOT do it at all, not even a little bit. Over the next few months – ok more like twelve – I worked on the techniques when I could, until one day, it just clicked. I’m not good at it, not by any means, but now I understand it and have used it to improve other areas of my art. If you give these artists a chance, they will open your eyes to worlds you didn’t even know existed.

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Filed under Albuquerque, Art, Entertainment, Uncategorized

No excuses (even good ones)

How could I get so far behind when I started off so far ahead? Yes I’m back to talk about the NaNoWriMo. I’m at 30,000 words for the novel I’m writing for this month. It’s not great but still doable to make it this time around. You may wonder how I got so distracted this time after making such lofty promises? Well, My excuse is still an excuse but it’s different then any others before it. I’ve been too busy writing to write.

Yep, you read that right. I’ve been knocking out anywhere from 3,000-5,000 words a day, just not in my NaNoWriMo novel. I’ve been working for a magazine and putting out articles like a madman, I’m running this blog (which I’m still getting up to speed), and I am working on another novel so that it can go off to editing and be ready for print in early 2014.

With all that writing going on I can confidently say I totally made my word goal for the month already. So I will be joining many of you in making the last desperate push to finish up this novel by the deadline. I believe I can still do it. All my articles for the month are done so don’t call me until Dec1st.

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Filed under Entertainment, writing

Design by Wine

If you have a free night and have always wanted to hang your own beautiful piece of artwork on your wall, then you should check out Design by Wine.  Kelly Jo Designs, Inc. in Los Ranchos, New Mexico offers multiple classes a month for painting your own masterpiece. On the weekend, they have family-friendly afternoon classes and adult evening classes. Check out their calendar to choose your  favorite piece of art and the perfect day.

            Design by Wine asks you to arrive 30 minutes before the class starts.  I would suggest you leave yourself a little more time than that. When you arrive at the studio, the front is filled with amazing pottery, paintings, and jewelry. Once you make it through to the back, you sign in for your class and are escorted to your seat where your easel and canvas await. Paints, aprons, and multiple-sized brushes are all supplied for you.

            After you have your workstation set up the way you like, you can then move on to the wine station. Yes, you read that right. Here you can sample some of the many wines they have on hand for each class. The selections do change so make sure you check the menu. You can purchase your wine by the glass or the bottle. For non-drinking attendees, they also have sodas and water.  

            When everyone is settled back in, the instructor demonstrates how to recreate the painting for the night. She gives clear advice starting with how to mix colors and moving on to what size brush to use. The instructions are broken into small pieces, in between which energetic music is turned up while the class paints. I would highly recommend during one of these periods that you take a walk around the group and see what everybody is doing. The classes are about three hours long, but Kelly Jo and her friendly staff don’t rush anybody in the process of creating their masterpiece. While there is no food served, you can bring snacks for yourself or the whole class.

            The only disappointing part of the class is when it ends. Thank goodness they have many different pictures to choose from and the choices are always changing.  Thanks to Design by Wine, there are no longer any excuses for not having art on your walls.

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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