Smaug charcoal drawing


I made this drawing after a twitter discussion about how much I love dragons but I totally forgot Smaug.  Anyway here is my version of him.  It is a charcoal drawing which is my first and a damn-side harder than I thought it would be!

Copyright © 130415 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 130415 by Karen Payze

Step off, dream


Last night I was bombarded with a whole host of weird dreams.  They weren’t nightmares, per say. Nor were they those surreal-what-the-hell-is-happening, am-I-going-to-die type dreams.  They were unsettling and strange.  And they woke me up – several times.

The first one I don’t even remember now but it woke me up enough to make me have to pee (which is the worst part of waking up in the middle of the night).  So several minutes later with a bruised knee and at least three stubbed toes I crawled back into bed.  For me, there is no such thing as going straight back to sleep.  I have a whole ritual before sleep is considered.  I must have a few sips of water from my bottle –  and if I wake up several times at night and have a few sips of water each time, I wind up having to refill the bottle.  And that means more bruised knees and stubbed toes, and perhaps even a broken elbow.  After the water ritual I have the lip balm ritual.  That involves fumbling in the dark for said lip balm, eventually pushing it on the floor, then having to get up and fumble on the floor in the dark for it.  And as anyone who has fumbled on the floor in the dark at night will know, that is the time for the icky things to make their appearance.  When I at last have found my lip balm and adequately lip balmed the lower half of my face, if nothing else has gone awry, I can settle down back to sleep – and that could take anything from two minutes to thirty, depending on my tiredness level.  The more tired I am, the harder it is to go back to sleep.

This getting back to sleep bit is, of course, made that much harder when I have weird, strange or scary dreams.  Needless to say, it probably took a good half hour to get back to sleep after that one last night.  Then, of course, came the next one.  This dream was hardly scary but did leave me with a knot in my stomach.  I was in an odd house that was more like an office block with lots of rooms which all had very large windows.  It was night and I was checking the windows before going to bed but every room I entered had large open windows, you know the ones you struggle to reach to close them.  I would eventually close it and move on to the next room.  Nothing too unusual, right?  The thing that got my pulse up was when I finally finished checking all the windows, I went back to the first room and the window was open again. Grrrr.

Well, after calling out silently a few times (as you do in dreams), I woke up – with a headache from hell.  It was so bad, it was threatening to turn into a full-blown migraine.  All I could do was lie motionless, staring up at the dark ceiling, wondering why I haven’t bought those stronger pain killers yet.  When I finally regained enough control of my body to be able to reach over to the drawer and remove two painkillers, my brain also jumped into action and I realised that the dream could have possibly been trying to tell me something.  You know, like break open my fucking skull, I am dying in here (symbolic opening of windows).  Or maybe I was just having a stupid dream.  Who knows.

So, after the going back to sleep ritual was performed for the second time in one night, and thankfully the painkillers set in, I went back to sleep (or more appropriately, passed out).  This time I had the hearing-footsteps-down-the-passage-and-into-my-room dream. Yeah, that was fun.  Third time awake.  Third going back to sleep ritual.

I am pleased to say that I slept through the rest of the night (despite having more odd dreams, but don’t ask what those were about) – and half the morning but I feel great now!  I have also since figured out that my headache from hell was probably a result of the two days of severe allergies I have had (apparently very high pollen and pollution levels – thanks a lot atmosphere).

So do you have weird and wonderful (or not) dreams?  Let me know all about them in the comments below!

Copyright © 110415 by Karen Payze

Woman – graphics tablet wrong canvas size grrr!


I drew this earlier on my graphics tablet.  I’m so mad because I have no idea how to choose canvas sizes on some of these programs so this one came out really small and when it’s enlarged (as it is now), it’s no longer clear.  I thought I did really well with this one too and was hoping to brag.  Anyway, hope you can see it well enough :)

woman 1

Copyright © 030415 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 030415 by Karen Payze

Hop hop hoppity hop


It’s nearly Easter, look out for those bunnies!  Have a happy and blessed Easter.

Copyright © 020415 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 020415 by Karen Payze

Bandit – Sketch


What do you think of my bandit?

Copyright © 010415 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 010415 by Karen Payze

I struggled so much with that bloody arm and hand that I actually felt like chopping it off! So I know it looks a bit strange but that’s too bad :) Also I thought the eyes are maybe a bit close together. I’m learning though. :) It’s a sloooowwwwww process!

If you’re wondering, it comes from a photo but I had to improvise some of it.  Oh, and I’m not saying of whom so don’t ask :p

Copyright © 010415 by Karen Payze

Landscape drawing on graphics tablet


I did this landscape drawing on my graphics tablet.  Yes, it’s dark.  Yes, that is how I felt this morning.  It’s not by any means amazing but I think it turned out okay :)  I wrote a poem last night (something that was triggered by the story I am writing so not my own emotions – well maybe a tiny bit if I consider how I have been feeling over the last couple of months ) and thought it would go rather well with the drawing.  You can check that out on my other blog, 1000 words or at Poet’s Corner.  Oh, and you will notice the drawing as background to the poem is darker.  The reason is that the white words weren’t showing as this original background was not dark enough :)

landscape 1 dark

Copyright © 250315 by Karen Payze

Drawing – woman side profile


So, I should have been writing this morning but I think I may have overtaxed myself yesterday and so the moment I started, I screeched to a halt. As anyone who has read my past posts would know, I draw to relax.  I usually draw if I’m stressed or tired or, as in this case, cannot get ink to paper.  Once a drawing is completed, I can go back to being myself.  So, that’s what I did. I think I’m starting to get better with portraits.  I still find noses extremely difficult.  I think I did this one about seven times!  I have already posted these to both Twitter accounts and Instagram.  You can head on over to Instagram, if you so desire, to give me a <3 my Instagram name is @kpayze .  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Copyright © 170315 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 170315 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 170315 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 170315 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 170315 by Karen Payze

Out with the old, in with the new


Copyright © 120315 by Karen Payze

Copyright © 120315 by Karen Payze

 

So, I have been going through my old writings, those bits of scrap paper and half – filled books with random ramblings on them.  If you’re a writer, you’ll know what I am referring to.  I thought I would post some on my writing blog so I started with Packing Boxes, which I wrote about two or three years ago – only because that is actually a completed story (I’m so lazy :) ).  I didn’t make any corrections or alterations.  I just posted it.  A fellow blogger friend’s comment made me realise that I probably should have checked the story before posting.  Now, I’m really bad at editing and rewriting my own work but I am doing my best with the novel I’m currently writing.

Then I had an idea.  I can post the original stories then do editing and a rewrite, if necessary, and post the altered stories.  I’ll do it once a week – I don’t think I can handle any more editing and rewriting than that ;)  I’ll start with Packing Boxes.  I think it will be good to fix my lackadaisical attitude to editing.  And hopefully, in the long run, will do me good when it comes to second and third drafts of my book (which are a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way off considering I’m only about a quarter of a way through writing the story!)

 

Looking at the pile of paper, I think what I find more daunting than edits and rewrites is actually trying to decipher what I have written.  I do have more ramblings on the computer but couldn’t fit them into the photo ;)

Anyway, look out for these writings and edits on 1000 words and wish me luck.  I think I am going to need it!

 

Copyright © 120315 by Karen Payze

Filling the Self-esteem bucket


Credit to Alvin Price

Credit to Alvin Price

Someone shared this onto my Facebook page the other day.  I thought – that is so true.  Then someone commented that such a thing is easier said than done because of other parents who raise their children to be mean (she actually used a stronger word here!)  and it got me thinking how right she is.  When you have a child who extremely introverted and socially awkward, it leaves them open to abuse by such children.  They become the bearers of others’ anger and hate and hurt.  And it’s because they don’t fight back.  So, how do you fill up the bucket of self-esteem for a child whose bucket is, well, probably a lot bigger than it should be?  As someone who has had a fair amount of experience with this,I already have some thoughts on it so I came up with two lists.  The first is a list on things we should do to help that bucket become full to overflowing.  the second is a list of what we shouldn’t do but that we too often will do – and these are things that will actually poke holes into that bucket.  As parents, we never want to believe that we can drain our own child’s self-esteem but we can, and we do.  So, here goes:

How to fill the bucket of self-esteem:

  • Starting with the basics, tell them you love them – EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
  • Tell them they’re beautiful mo matter what
  • Praise them, loud and often – in schoolwork, homework, tests, for something they wrote or drew, when doing after school activities or sports, when playing (on their own or with friends), if they tried their best in anything.  Whatever it is, even if it seems trivial or insignificant, if you praise them for it, the level in the bucket will rise.
  • Allow them to make choices.  Even if it’s for something small, let them decide.  Then, when it comes to bigger things like friends and choosing to do the right thing over the wrong thing, they will be more prepared for it.
  • Linked to the above is guiding them in what is right and wrong but let them make mistakes so they can learn to fix them.  Now, I’m not saying to act as an irresponsible parent and allow your child to be hurt or do something dangerous – obviously as an adult you know there are limits.
  • And once again, linked to the above, is setting boundaries.  Children actually love boundaries because then it is easier for them to follow the right path.  But don’t make those boundaries too tight or you will stifle them
  • Encourage them to do new things and take on new challenges.  My daughter hates trying anything new.  Because she always envisages the worst possible outcome.  So if you encourage them in small doses, they will eventually open up to new ideas.  My daughter loves water and swimming.  So I encouraged her to join a swim club but she was adamant she wouldn’t do it.  So I encouraged her in small doses – by showing her swimming shows on tv and showing her swimming heroes doing their thing; by praising her every time she swims; by reminding her how much she loves the water.  She is now more open to the idea.  But it will still be her decision.
  • Being positive by smiling and using positive words and phrases – and not allowing them to dwell on negative thoughts and words but turn the negativity into something positive.  I found that a positivity box – which contains positive phrases and phrases of encouragement – is very useful in counteracting negative thoughts.
  • Don’t allow other adults, whether it’s other children’s’ parents or staff at the school, to put your child down.  If you get wind of anything like this, stamp it out immediately.  Children always look up to adults and an adult who says negative things about a child will very quickly, and sometimes irreversibly, damage that child’s self-esteem.  Even if that adult is a friend or relative – remember that your child comes first, before your connections and ties.
  • Take them out to different places as often as you can.  The more they’re out and about, the more their confidence will grow.
  • Teach them that it’s okay to have an opinion that is different from their friends.  And that it’s okay to stand up to their friends when they feel unhappy or uncomfortable about something.  This is something we’re working very hard on at the moment.  It’s best to help them gain this kind of self-confidence when they’re young or they could wind up being bullied or manipulated by those same friends or even other friends(or so-called friends) as they get older.
  • Show them that it’s a good thing to be friends with or even just friendly to a lot of different people.  The more positive people that your child has around them, the more their self-esteem will grow.
  • Tell them to always look up.  My daughter has a tendency to look at her feet.  Every time I see her do it, I tell her to look up.  And I have said to her that when you look up, you see the world and it’s people.  When you look down, you only see your feet. Simply looking up can greatly improve a person’s self-confidence.
  • Encourage them to talk to you about anything and everything.  make them feel safe with you.  Be their confidant.

Now for the things to avoid doing:

  • Avoid being negative about yourself.  If your child sees you being self-deprecating, they will follow suite.
  • Don’t badmouth other children or their parents in front of your child.  I will admit I have done this before when a parent made me so angry with the way she treated my child.  But it didn’t make my daughter feel better.  In fact, it had the opposite effect as she thought there must be something wrong with her if mum had to defend her.
  • Don’t shout for no reason.  This is sometimes hard when we’re angry.  But if you’re angry at yourself or someone else, you cannot take that out on your child.
  • Don’t make their decisions for them – especially ones regarding their socialisation.  It is hard enough for your child to fit in without having their parent’s interfering.  And I know a few parents who are just like this.  Those are the ones who turn their children into nasty children and sometimes bullies.
  • Don’t ever criticize something they have tried hard to achieve – even if they failed miserably at achieving it.  Criticising them with not build character, it will only lead them to criticise themselves and everything they do.
  • Don’t ever call them names.  This one is rather obvious but name calling can extend to things like saying that they’re being stupid.  Say that often enough and they will start to believe it.
  • Don’t trivialise something that’s bothering them.  I think as adults we often do this without realising it.  They may mention something that happened at school and the adult responds with “Oh don’t worry about it” or “I’m sure it was nothing”.  It may be nothing to you but if it’s bothering them, it’s not nothing to them.  And you will break their confidence by making them feel that they’re not important, that their concerns are not important and they may start to think that there is a problem with them if they are worrying about something that is ‘unimportant’.

Well, those are my lists.  What do you think?  Can you think of anything to add?  Let me know in the comments below.

Copyright © 060315 by Karen Payze

When stories come to life


This is a quick post to let everyone know I have posted a short story on my other blog (1000 words) called Into the tale  which you can view by clicking the link.

 

Have you ever read a book where the characters jump out of the page and your world is transformed as you travel through each scene?

 

Copyright © 030315 by Karen Payze

 

Copyright © 030315 by Karen Payze

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