Christmas In Your Eyes

Another holiday, another song… (well a new recording, anyway) with a little video to entertain you while you listen.

From our Facebook page!*

“Happy Christmas holidays everyone! It’s time for another song (not the one I planned, but it’s sweeter….)

Your present is a song I wrote when my daughter was two. You can interpret it any way you like, but I think it’s for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and family who get a fresh look at the joys of the season….

It’s on Bandcamp too, especially for the free audio streaming.




P.S. An experiment in posting backwards — Facebook first and embedded here. What’s the point of life if not to test things, technical and otherwise? So I learned that you can’t read the text on the embed thanks to my current theme, and it steals you away to Facebookland instead of opening a new window. But the video will stream faster.

P.P.S.  A quick recording on in Logic X with my electric piano and the MIDI function. I do not love the string sounds as much as I hoped.

Christmas In Your Eyes was originally published on Creative Uploads


I’ll Read This Again: How Blogging Teaches You To See – Taylor Pearson

Taylor Pearson Mini-Essay – Learning To See

It’s a interesting look at the fear and feeling that you have nothing to say, and pushing through to find your voice and what you want to talk about. And to build a habit.

Frankly, his essay could just as easily be: how to talk to strangers, or how to climb a hill, whatever.

Give yourself a reason or an excuse to try something, then try something. Provide some impetus to complete a critical step. Then psychological relevance makes you see it everywhere, and turn it over in your head and actually see the other angles. Even interact with others with similar interests.


P.S. So do you stay up late catching up on posts and pages that get you excited and feel inspirational so you get something pleasant off the internet before you go to sleep? I’ve often used television for that, sometimes reading. But how do we keep that little spike of happiness from keeping you up even longer? Personally I am still trying to figure out how to capture that feeling in the morning when an alarm goes off and what I love most in the morning is staying in bed longer….

I’ll Read This Again: How Blogging Teaches You To See – Taylor Pearson was originally published on Creative Uploads

I’ll Read This Again: Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 10 Tips For Screenwriters

The writers of “The Lego Movie” (and others, including the upcoming “Han Solo”) gave a talk for BAFTA’s Screenwriters’ Lecture master class, which is online in its entirety.

Creative upload stage curtain theater movie lights

I’m posting this partly to bookmark it so I can watch that video when I have time and focus, but meanwhile, here is a nice list-length summary of some things to think about the next time you are writing a script or story long enough to need sharply defined characters.*

Highlights for me: Make the story your own; it’s always about relationships; get and use feedback; and after using a positive creative experience phase you should use a critical phase to vet what you have created to make sure everything has a reason to stay in the script.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 10 Tips For Screenwriters: Learn Their Tricks of the Trade

(Link via Indiewire. )


* And you should always have sharply defined characters, even if the definition is that they are dull. So it’s a trick that I said it any other way.

I’ll Read This Again: Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 10 Tips For Screenwriters was originally published on Creative Uploads

Boxes Are Helpful

Don’t get put in a box. Don’t get boxed in. Think outside the box.

But you know what this good advice has in common? Yeah, a box.

Boxes are good. They help compartmentalize an issue. Literally they hold stuff together so you can carry it around and store it or put it away somewhere.

They define the edges of what you can typically do, and what might generally be thought of as the usual solution.

That’s good stuff. That’s organization. It’s order out of chaos. Being able to find your notes. Keeping delicate stuff from casually being broken.

Don’t get me wrong. When I worked in cubical world my email signature for years was:

Allison loves being tossed around and tipped over in the box (yeah, reasonably gently.) It’s kind of like watching that scene from “Singing in the Rain” (But unlike the scene in the Lionel Richie “Dancing on the Ceiling” video.)

 /__/  Think outside.

Absolutely break that boundary, often. Think outside the box. See the situation from more than one angle.

But check the box. Don’t you need a box to know when you are on the edge, or over it? And remember, that’s just awareness, not judgement. What you do with that understanding is where the excitement starts.


P.S. No I don’t always put kids in boxes, but you know what? They love it. They get it. Boxes are helpful playthings. This is my daughter enjoying being tossed around in a refrigerator box back in 2006.

P.P.S. Happy Boxing Day!

Boxes Are Helpful was originally published on Creative Uploads

Creativity = Good

Daily Creativity has a positive effect, according to scientific evidence.
Works for me.

Delicious Yin and Yang

TL;DR: Doing one small creative thing a day can promote a happier attitude. But you don’t have to take my word for it. I linked to an actual scientific study!


P.S. So this qualifies as Me Time, if you want to call it that.

P.P.S. And surely chocolate helps too. I wonder what I can do creatively with chocolate to double the effect?

Creativity = Good was originally published on Creative Uploads

Keep Your Gears Turning

Bunch of Gears TurningIf you want to be creative, be creative. You can be creative in your head, washing dishes, walking down the street *, talking,  writing, singing, thinking.

You don’t have to do it constantly, you should just do it consistently, even is just occasionally.

And if you don’t get a kick out of it, that’s your solution. Okay. Myself, it charges me up.

Now if you want to share that creativity beyond your typical environment, build it up as a habit, then take that creativity and use it to come up with the next step.

How should I know what the next step is?  I’m just blogging. Hey…

THAT’s a step. Putting it down somewhere shareable, or reproduceable, or as a shape that can be molded, or a sketch that can serve as a blueprint…. Taking it out of your head in a way that you can hand it to someone else and say look, or don’t look. Laugh. Feel. Growl.

Anyway, it’s just an idea I had.


* What Monty Python knows about walking…. Silly Walks sketch

P.S. Sometimes creativity is stupid. So what. Sometimes it seems to require bravery, or maybe just foolishness. SO WHAT? Keep the gears turning. They can raise the corners of your mouth into a smile, or a smirk. Keep it moving.





Keep Your Gears Turning was originally published on Creative Uploads

Pool Your Resources

 Photo: Summer’s End.

Was writing a little about My HAMILTON experience the other day and how creativity could be like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together, but an invisible one made of glass. Rather like a mosaic that doesn’t get its color until it’s complete. (Mosaic also is  name of this Prisma style .)

And today while contemplating expensive but necessary pool repairs, the perpetual dance between available funds and places to send it, or try to save it, has me thinking about balance and leverage.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to save money while still doing creative projects, and saving money taking time finding alternate methods, and mental energy working around limitations. I’m okay with that, spending six months researching things on and off before deciding to buy or not. Got some real quality stuff by being patient. 

But I’ve also embraced faster purchases on occasion, times I have done the math and realized that amortizing something over time pays other dividends once I already own it and can use it to do things easily and quickly.

It’s tricky. I don’t want to get good at buying new toys that I want and don’t use right away so I start chasing toys for the thrill of buying, but rather that I already have or create a need that lets me immediately put a new toy to use, justifying the purchase and rewarding me with a chance at producing something; to me that’s more rewarding than the temporary thrill of shopping. 

So balancing time (being money) and money (taking time to get) and leveraging opportunities to use these things to your advantage. For the artistic side it is to create, but it may be to obtain, or experience, or even avoid. We all have different pieces that make up our mosaic, close for the details and farther back for the big picture.

And then there are the times when you just have to repair something you already have. Good thing I save some money when I can. Like having dragged out this repair from last year. 


P.S. Now if you need something useful you could visit my Amazon Affiliate page

P.P.S. Not a single pool pun or metaphor. Not even when I could have related tile with the mosaic reference. So proud of myself. Oh crap, I started with that title. Well after that….gotta go.

Pool Your Resources was originally published on Creative Uploads

A Selfish Thought?

Had an artistic inspiration the other day and decided to finally play with one of the too many apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, an Autodesk freebie under an icon: Sketchbook for Galaxy (Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for Galaxy)

There’s another full Autodesk branded version on the phone too that I must have downloaded as a bonus for buying the phone, called Autodesk Sketchbook.  It looks like these are available on Android, iOS, Mac and Windows, with a free version and a much more expansive subscription version at about $5 a month, which looks amazing for artists.

It lets you draw with your finger or the pressure sensitive pen and do layers, resize, mirror, basic selections and image import and export (even as a PSD) — pretty typical ideas these days but amazing for being literally in the palm of your hand and far beyond the capabilities of just a few years ago. The PSD export means you can start an idea and continue it in a lot of other programs too, photo, video and illustration apps all support that format and the layers and vectors it might carry.

At first glance my artsy message seems self-aggrandizing, but by placement it’s really meant to be a three word plea. I have a couple others on this theme I’ll probably share later.


P.S. I keep so many apps on my devices because I think I will try them out or use them — albeit rarely –that sometimes I forget I have them and whether it’s a good tool. Who has a good method for organizing and tracking this? A Try out to do list? Play with me folders?

P.P.S. The other thing I like about this is that when I read it from myself, it’s inspirational and not an aspirational request.

P.P.P.S. I didn’t mean to write a mini review but since I started to (and then WordPress lost the latest draft – boo –) here’s the feature comparison list:


  • Optimized pen-based workflow
  • 16 Brushes
  • 3 Layers
  • Symmetry
  • Ruler and ellipses
  • Quick transform

PRO version   $29.99/ year   (and this may be across all devices because it is login-based)

  • Brush Library with 100+ brushes
  • Create and customize your own brushes
  • Synthetic, smudge, and glow brushes
  • Custom canvas size up to 64 MPX
  • Advanced layer functionality
  • Copic Color Library
  • Flipbook animation
  • Advanced perspective guides
  • Persistent selection tools
  • Distort transform
  • Dynamic gradient fill
  • French curves
  • Unlimited upgrades



A Selfish Thought? was originally published on Creative Uploads