Thursday, April 24, 2008


As a writer, I am always analysing something- I can't help it even though it cause me grief sometimes, with my need to get down to the smallest detail- often my family takes my "intrigue" on past relationships and hard times as emotional upheaval on my part when in reality it is a desire to understand so that I can utilize that bit of reality in my writing. But that is a whole different blog.
Right now- I have a friend that I really clicked with at a writing conference- going through what most of us moms and dads would say is the worst nightmare- a child with cancer. And thanks to the Internet and a site called I can get daily updates on her son's progression of his treatment.
Today she was explaining the phases they will be going through and how each one is titled in a certain way and the literature that her and her husband get is very concise and worded in a way that if you are not a medical doctor you can still grasp what each one entails and more important-prepare for what is coming.Which I think is great that the children's hospitals they are dealing with are smart enough to hire some knowledgeable writers to lay this all out in a way where no one is surprised or overwhelmed in the gathering of information- because you are overwhelmed with so many other things when your kid is sick.
Things are also explained in a way for her son- who is six- so he can understand and communicate- a pain chart consisting of sad and smiley faces- a "comfort bin" instead of a bucket to throw up in- sounds a lot nicer.
Reading her updates reminds me of the fact I am muddling through learning Photoshop ( if you don't know what that is it is the professional standard software for the design industry- comes at a whopping price tag- $700 dollars- and there are whole design school classes devoted to it) and the current book I am reading- Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen's great novel~
Now before you say what the #$@$ do these have in common-let me explain- they are all "systems" and it never accord to me how many systems we have around us and what "Systems" truly do for us.
Obvious- Photoshop is a system- it is a set program- you have to learn- the program dictates all conduct- you can push the wrong button all day- it will not work in the third attempt or two hundredth attempt if it is the wrong button.
PC and Mac are systems on a computer- your computer will not humor you if you treat it like a Mac and in reality it is a PC. The system dictates.
My friend-who is dealing with hospitals- time is of the essence- a set vocabulary where everyone is on the same page is critical- it is not a place for a free thinker- not in the transmitting of info- no one should come up with their own terminology- that wastes time- Like I said a talented knowledgeable writer/writers thought of ways to word things so that quick understanding would come and God willing ( which all have faith he will) her son will go through the "System" of treatment and come out the other side a health boy!!!! and !!!!
Now on to Jane Austen- who wrote about another system that is still out there but might not as noticeable- Social Decorum. Austen wrote in an era of class structure- where depending on your place in it- you knew how to act- you knew who was allowed to address whom- who need to what until they were addressed. Where people -iF they thought of a clever- socially correct way to wield an insult they were praised for it- but if they blundered through a compliment- they were ostracized.
If you haven't read Jane Austen- do- or see one of the fine movies that are out now- just because books are on a shelve at B and N- doesn't mean they are any good, but the ones that are good- stick around for ever! Jane Austen wrote her books in the first two decades of the 1800s!!
Why are there so many systems around us? Well- mainly because when you are working in them- everyone knows what to expect- there are no surprises. The same vocab is used and the same steps are done- I am married to a lawyer- three years are spent in law school learning a system that shall NOT be deviated from- yes- an artist/lawyer marriage is also another blog!
There are people- and some of them my best friends- and yes my husband- who live quite nicely in a "System"- they have a certain way of thinking, brushing their teeth in a certain way, etc. and it is hard for them to deviate from it- then there are us writers- who want to move freely- humm? think that is where the phrase- "Buck the system" comes from?
Back to my husband- I am a writer, I am dyslexic and can be obstinate- and sometimes when describing things do not use the right adjective for the right noun- either to make a point or because I just say the wrong word- like this morning- like when I said- coming into the bathroom- "Where did that PILE of water come from?" referring to standing in water by the sink-" Now if you are with me and want to know "where it did come from" you are a person who does not have to operate in "System" - if you are back with my husband- bothered I used "Pile of Water" instead of "Puddle of Water", and five minutes later was unable to move forward because I was pushing the wrong button on the keyboard- and until I pushed the right button and acknowledge to him- yes technically it is a puddle not a pile- you might be a person who needs to operate in a system and really doesn't understand mixing things up for "dramatic effect"
Yes- in Photoshop, Law, Medical Treatment, computers technology we should have system- they are good- they are necessary- they save time and confusion- but read Jane Austen again- and read inbetween the lines- that lady knew "Dramatic Effect!"
And yes- Jane Austen in the most delicate way was "Bucking the System!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

how I'm doing?

"Up with the Sun," on the previous post was "tweaked" with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 and me basically guessing! This "Up with the Sun" is after a crash course of about 8 hours a day for about four day- of me learning Photoshop- with the tutorials on came highly recommended by several illustrators and even an art director and could not be happier- my eyes are crossed but I am learning so much- and this image is still not right- just thought I would see where I was at!.....okay the other one looks better- better go back and finish the tutorial on sharpening- learning a foreign language has to be easier then learning Photoshop!!!!!!!!