Mantra, Nature, Art, Writing

Well, my birthday came and went and I did not finish re-editing my draft like I said I would. There are many excuses, including the fact that I sit in front of a screen nine hours a day and have deadlines five days a week and sometimes just don’t feel like doing any more writing when I get home. (Same excuse for being such a sporadic blogger.) But the fact of the matter is, if I want anything to happen with this book, I need to deal with it. More on this later.


BFF Dianna asked if I had a mantra, and I decided on “Deal With It.” It applies to everything. If I don’t feel like doing something? If I am intimidated by something? If I’m feeling emotional? Deal with it, deal with it, deal with it. Then I got this bracelet in the mail:

Deal With It

It’s perfect. I wear it every day and it totally motivates me. Thanks, Dianna!

Bonus photo I found at my parents’ house last weekend:

Dianna (right) and I hanging out in the tree my parents' front yard, circa 1992-ish. Check me out... writing!

Me (left) and Dianna hanging out in the tree my parents’ front yard, circa 1992-ish. Check me out… writing!


Last month I joined my sister, aunt and aunt’s sister at Government Canyon State Natural Area for a workshop called Mandalas in the Park. If you follow this blog, you know about us and mandalas. For this, we could only use items found in nature, and only items native to the area. Here are some photos:

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A photographer from Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine was shooting our stuff, so we may be featured in the May issue. Cool!


It’s Fiesta time in San Antonio, and so far I’ve visited the Fiesta Arts Fair — my favorite event. I try not to go insane and buy everything I see (especially because it’s all pricey), but I tend to get a couple of things every year. This year I gave myself a budget, which I was adhering to beautifully until I saw the print of the woman. Budget, shmudget. I had to have her:

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Support these artists: Lorena Angulo, Rick Loudermilk, Dolan Geiman.

Support ALL artists!


So, I may not have met my birthday deadline, but I am slowly but surely working on the book. I spent six hours on Chapter 2 yesterday. I’ll get there, y’all. Deal with it.


Mandala Workshop

You may have noticed that I talk about mandalas a bit. There are a bunch of reasons why I love making them so much: it’s relaxing, there are no rules, it sparks conversations, it sparks creativity, I like colors, I like things that are round, I feel like I learn something each time…

My aunt, who introduced me to mandalas in the first place, agreed to host a workshop at her house for any of my book club friends who would like to learn. Kim ended up being the Lone Ranger, and she took to it like a duck to water. Is it weird to say I’m proud of her? If it is, oh well — I’m proud. 🙂

It was a lovely way to spend a cold evening. Thank you so much to Laila for opening up her house, letting us use her materials and being our mandala guru. And to Christiane for joining us, and to Val for letting us take over the house, and to Bella for being plain old cute.

Stations are prepped.

Stations are prepped.



Sustenance. And it totally fits the round theme.

Sustenance. And it totally fits the round theme.

Round 1: Christiane's reading an interpretation, Laila's listening and Kim's hard at work.

Round 1: Christiane’s reading an interpretation, Laila’s listening and Kim’s hard at work.

Round 1

Round 1

Round 2

Round 2

Bella is worn out!

Bella is worn out!

Things I noticed about my mandalas this time around: 1) I didn’t smudge the colors to smooth them out; I wanted the chalky look and purposely left them au naturale — that’s the first time I’ve ever done that. 2) I intentionally left white space between the colors, another first for me. 3) Both of mine have a fragmented theme and no solid edge, another first.

Round 1: "Fragments"

Round 1: “Fragments”

Round 2: "Cobblestones"

Round 2: “Cobblestones”

I won’t break down all the colors because that would take ages, but here’s what my mandala book says about fragmentation (which is Stage Eleven, for those in the know. Don’t be impressed; I have no idea what difference that makes):

“… a time of fear, confusion, loss of meaning, and disorientation. One’s world has fallen apart. During this stage we may find ourselves in a state of altered consciousness where intuition becomes prominent and synchronicities are commonplace. … We experience ourselves moved around by inexorable forces over which we have no control. …  Fragmentation can be experienced at a time of purification. … It may be comforting to remember that this is a necessary, natural process that makes possible the miraculous regeneration of the new.”

Apparently I’m going through some deep stuff. Who knew? My subconscious, that’s who! Of course, everything I read I tie back to this experience of trying to get my book published. It’s definitely a scary thing. It seems I’m more scared than I’m letting on. But hey, at least I’m getting some pretty art out of it, right?

Vacation. Everyone should take one.

If everyone was able to spend a week at the beach, the world would be a better place. Although beaches would be very crowded, which would get annoying quickly. There would have to be an excellent scheduling system for this.

One day I will write a screenplay based on my family’s annual beach vacation. 🙂 Until then, enjoy these photos. (And if you didn’t check out my beach-related posts from last week, please scroll down and enjoy those, too.)

Can’t beat this view.

Hey, we should have drinks.

Music and dancing at the Back Porch Bar.

Hey, we should have barbecue.

Texan pirates at this house, y’all.

Val and Bella play soccer; more family is in the background.

Mandalas and margaritas. Yes.

How many people can we fit under one canopy? Answer: 10, including chairs.

Spa day on the deck.

Ian, Michael and Ace work on a sand castle.

Olga and Grandma get it started…

… and it turns into a party!

Party foul!

Newspaper Blackout. Yay. 🙂

Ace and Bella playing Angry Birds.

Ace prepping for his art show.

Wine and cheese for the customers.

The show’s a success!

Here is what happens when I try to take fancy scenery shots:


What a great week. 🙂 I miss everyone — and the beach — already. Until next year, y’all!