- Both writing and painting start with a spark - an idea to create something new
- Whether I’m writing or painting I have to plot out my vision; with a painting I sketch the blueprint and start painting layer by layer from there. Similarly as an author, I outline the plot and characters, then start writing and editing…
- In the middle of writing a novel or halfway through a painting sometimes things feel muddy and I wonder should I keep going…but I know that perseverance will lead to great results
- Writing and painting require you to go with the flow…sometimes the initial vision doesn’t work, you don’t like a character’s development; you get writer’s block - or the paint isn’t sticking properly on the canvas…you have to be flexible and open to new ideas.
- Writing and art are both hard to master, but writing a novel is a different kind of hard. I love to write, but given the pressure to create a plot and develop characters. Sometimes it gets overwhelming in the writing process. Writing is a marathon, you run in sprints with creativity, but have to continue to write even when it is stressful. Consistency is key.
- I tend to be more critical of my writing because, whereas I can be a bit freer with my art.
- Painting allows me to just let my thoughts wander as I play with colors and imagine my scene. It can help me to clear my ‘writer’s block’ to be open to new ideas. Painting helps open me up to more creativity.
“It is great to see you.” Susan spoke the truth. She hated that they had grown apart. Jake had always been her anchor.
He would always bear the distinction of “best friend,” even if they had barely spoken in the past fifteen years.
“You look radiant.” Jake had missed Susan. She hauntedhis thoughts daily. To Susan, Jake was a friend, but to him...she was the world. Jake had loved Susan since they were kids. Perhaps he was bitter that she chose Brad over him.
Seeing Susan again was a whirlwind. It unearthed suppressed feelings he wasn’t quite sure how to handle.
“You’re not looking too bad yourself.” Susan bit her lip. He looked as handsome as ever. “I appreciate the package you sent back in January. It meant a lot to me.” Jake had mailed a condolence letter to Susan with a box of pictures of Bradley, Jake, and Susan from their days working together.
“I know that Bradley’s death was hard on you...” Jake empathized. Through the grapevine, he’d been able to piece together the estate mess. Anger at the deceased burned like a fire within him. He hurt for Susan’s loss but cursed Bradley.
“I sold my house in Seattle. I’ve moved into the Lone Moose on a permanent basis.”
“That is news.” Jake had heard Susan might be coming back to town for a few weeks, but to learn she was in the area for good—it was almost too much to bear.
“I’m going to work at the high school in the fall. In the interim, I’m looking for summer work to keep me busy. That is, after I finish unpacking the horde, I lugged with me from Seattle.”
“I’d love to catch up over dinner.” The words slipped out. Jake wanted to share a meal with Susan, but a part of him knew that reconnecting with her could lead them both down a dangerous path. He had barely survived the first broken heart; he wouldn’t survive another.
“That would be fun...” Susan couldn’t refuse but also wondered if dinner was the best idea.
“I ran into Susan Blanchard at the grocery store.” Jake’s words cut the air like a rusted train racing off a bridge. “Oh?” Molly’s motherly instinct was on guard as she pressed her lips together apprehensively.
There was a time when Molly prayed that she might have the chance to call Susan her daughter-in-law. That was before Susan eloped with Bradley Dixon...breaking her son Jake’s heart. The fault was not entirely Susan’s. Jake allowed fear to hide his true feelings for Susan until it was too late. Molly feared Susan’s return could rupture sealed scars; her presence was salt in the wound for Jake.
“She’s moved back into the Lone Moose permanently...” Jake recognized his mother’s ambivalence. “She has a job lined up at the high school, starting in the fall.”
“That is news.” Molly raised her right brow to feign surprise. Beatrix Blanchard had phoned Molly weeks ago to clue her into Susan’s plight as a widow and her return to the lake.
“Susan was kind enough to invite me to dinner at her place on Wednesday. I accepted.”
“Is that a good idea?” Molly’s frown was accusatory.
“We’ve been best friends since we were toddlers. Why wouldn’t it be a good idea?” Jake shrugged.
“It’s your history that scares me.”
“She needs a friend right now.”
“Susan has plenty of friends in town to console her. I don’t want you tangled up in her web.”
“Web? Susan isn’t a black widow, ready to bite me with toxic venom.” Jake was infuriated by his mother’s reaction. “You know darn well that she is a strong and caring person. She doesn’t deserve animosity, but compassion in the wake of what that husband put her through.”
“You misjudge my respect for Susan Dixon. I think the world of her. What I don’t want is for you to latch on to her. She is vulnerable right now. If your relationship goes further than friendship, you’ll wind up with another broken heart. I don’t think the shattered pieces will be put back together this time.”
“In terms of love, I got over Susan a long time ago. What I don’t want to lose is our friendship.”
Molly sighed. She resigned herself to the fact that her son was stubborn as he was blind in love. It was a lesson he would have to learn the hard way.