Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen… trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best. Mandy Hale

My flurry of work on “When Can We Get A Puppy” is finished. I hit publish on Friday and on Saturday the print edition was live on Amazon. I can’t wait to get a printed copy in my hand.

In order to have the printed edition available when I said it would be I published it without seeing a second author’s proof. When we finish a project it leaves a void in our life. Do we take a break or do we start another project right away? Taking a break is scary because it is working on a project when the creative juices flow. I have a rush of ideas now that I have been working so hard on creating the paintings for “When Can We Get A Puppy.” If I take a month or two off will that inspiration dry up?

I have a feeling it will. I am in motion now, but if I stop, inertia sets in, and it will take a lot more to start up again once stopped than to stay in motion. When I took the break to go see Mom in August it didn’t interfere with my work because I was still engaged in my projects, but taking a long break at the end of a project I think would be different.

It is why when I published Secrets and Silence I started working on Secrets and Sorrow without a break. Once I get into a project it seems I can take some time off or slow down. I’ve found through my years of painting that completing a project and cleaning up the studio without starting something new often led to a longer break than I planned. Get the next one started. Starting is sometimes the hardest part.

Don’t over-think things. Go with the flow. See where it takes you. Love is unpredictable, you know.  Unknown

Over the weekend I archived the paintings for, “When Can We Get A Puppy.” At Michael’s, I was told wax paper is suitable to separate the paintings. I made a wax paper sleeve for each painting and have a 14-inch x 14-inch plastic box used for scrapbooking to store them in. This way I can sort through the paintings without touching them. The paintings, even the ones I didn’t use will be stored together and I will put a copy of the printed book in the box. Creating systems is one of the things we have to do to keep our lives organized and storage of crafts, art, projects of any kind is a challenge.

I went looking for a Liquitex product I love but when I looked at the array of products on the shelf it didn’t seem to be there. On Google I found out the product’s name has been changed but not the product itself. When I bought it at the art store the young man at the cash said he didn’t know that, and he uses the product as well.

When we find products that work it is sad if we can’t find them again. I made the mistake of using another product and wasn’t as happy with it but in the middle of a project, I didn’t want to change in case it would be noticeable. Starting a new project with Liquitex Gloss Medium which used to be called Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish gives me a lift. Fighting to get the results we want makes things harder.

I learned a lot creating this children’s book and one of the biggest lessons is we don’t know what we can do unless we do it. There are a good number of beloved children’s books illustrated by the author. When you think you are finished you might only be partway and you don’t know what it will look like until you call it finished. At some point, we have to say it is done because there is always one more painting to make or one more line to change. Setting a goal is powerful. Meeting a goal is one of the best feelings in the world, but when you put your work out into the world you are left with a void you might not expect. There is a bitter-sweetness to ending a project you’ve poured your heart and soul into. I didn’t expect that, I thought it would be all joy.

I feel the best in the midst of creation that is when I get into the flow. Ending that flow is when the emptiness comes. It is why starting a new project is important and soon I will be in the flow again. Writing and illustrating bring my two loves together and my husband said to me, “I think this is your better book.” I think it is too.

Life is a journey, we learn as we go. Often we stumble upon our happiness. We didn’t know what we were looking for until we are in the midst of it. It is one of the reasons life plans don’t work out, we don’t know what is around the corner or the next bend, but if we ride the waves of life it can be a wild ride indeed.

Sometimes in life, there’s no problem and sometimes there is no solution. In this space – between these apparent poles – life flows. Rasheed Oguniaru

Not everything will go as you expect in your life. This is why you need to drop expectations and go with the flow of life. Unknown

We can learn a lot by watching how water relates to the world around it. It goes around any obstacle in its way. It flows downstream rather than struggling to push upstream as many of us are doing in life. It just goes with the flow. Perhaps that’s why watching the action and rhythm of water is so peaceful. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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