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Sitting Idle and Reflecting

Sitting idle frustrates me. I have been sitting idle for two years now because of my disabling spinal condition
and now it has traveled to my RIGHT arm … my drawing arm, uggghhh. VERY tough just to complete one painting or to even type for any decent length of time. I am actually looking into a voice recognition program to help me with the writing end. My intention here is not to complain because well, that’s just unattractive.

What I want to say is that I had a great revelation today. While watching my adorable kids and their friends selling lemonade, I found i was getting extremely frustrated having to once again sit idle when I could be working on my craft. However, it being 90 degrees, I certainly wasn’t taking my laptop outside to work so I just sat on the stairs and pouted to myself. Pathetic I know…. but it gave me time to reflect on the past week and how my artistic outlook has been boosted. I reflected back to having my oil changed in my car at Valvoline where  the attendants come right up to your car while you sit in it. They were awed by the artwork I had on my front seat and asked where did I buy it. Of course that is enough to make any artist proud but then they proceeded to look at my three childrens’ books that I keep in my car at al times. They told me my work was unbelievable. They lifted my spirits so high that day and that is not the only kudos I received last week. I met with RISCA (Rhode Island State Council of the Arts) and they too were amazed at the work I have accomplished. They even went as far as to say I don’t give myself enough credit. (and really what artist does?) Anyway, I got to reflect on this while sitting on the steps watching the kids at the lemonade stand. Reflection is so important and I just don’t do enough of it.

As I was pondering all of this I received a text from my x-mother in law. She had sent me a photo of my x-brother in laws newborn baby… just minutes old. It was then that I realized I have created more than books and art … but the wonderful children in front of me that were out there selling lemonade. It dawned on me that  I was not through creating them. I still have a few years before It is time to send them out into the world as I do with my finished books and paintings. I couldn’t help but smile when I realized I was working on what was now a 12 year old art project that is still not done!

Of course I had to grab my sketchbook and draw them at the lemonade stand and yes, I am happy to say that not only was that beautiful baby born today but a new picture book as well. I did rough sketches of my girls enjoying their summer and a story naturally followed in my head.

I will try to remember that sitting idle is a HUGE part of the process of creation, I just need to be patient enough sometimes to remember to do it.


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Okay, its ccc-old out there! Wild winds are pushing around snow that is supposed to get above a foot! Yippee! That’s what most of my friends are saying. Why? Well because we are New Englanders and that is what we look forward to. I am sitting here in my fluffy jammies with fingerless gloves typing on my laptop in my bed under the covers. The wind is howling so loud outside it is making my windows whistle. All this ambiance and I am having trouble getting words down on the page for my novel. Ugggghhh. Of course that doesn’t mean I am going to give up. After I read a few children’s author blogs I’ll get going – it always seems to get me going.

Happy Snow!!!

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Writer’s Nest

Evil Ringmaster steals the show!
Evil Ringmaster controls the show

The deeper I travel into this novel the more I love it! I am sitting upstairs in what I call my ‘writing nest’ and tapping away at the keyboard. Although my back is hurting me badly I am managing to type lying down on my daughters bean bag. Pain pill helps as well. Cross your fingers for me and perhaps you will have this very book in hand by the spring!


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Frustrated with disability

Good morning –

Today I begin with my frustration. Let me begin by saying I am and always have been an optimist but since 2009 of May this wonderful characteristic of mine has declined greatly and unfortunately it still declines daily. I never mentioned this on my blog because I didn’t think it needed to be talked about or was relevant but since this is my blog about my writing and artistic struggles I think it does need to be mentioned.

I need you to know that I am writing from my bed.

I am doing this because I have a major spinal disorder that prevents me from sitting up for long. Not only does it prevent me from sitting up but it also prevents me from running, walking, swimming, driving, and basically anything under the sun with ease. It hurts to put it mildly. I have been writing and drawing from my bed since 2009 of May because that is when my inherited disorder showed itself.

I think its important to tell you this because it is the number one reason I have been struggling to finish my novel. Although the ideas are coming fast and furious and I can’t seem to get them down as good as I used to. When I write, I tend to pace and walk then sit to write then get up and do the same thing all over again. It’s a very physical process for me. I have even gone so far as to lay on my living room for and have my friend help me set up all of my artwork and inspiration materials around me. I have attached a photo below.

My Disabled Office
My Disabled Office

I want you to know I am by no means complaining. I am just giving you a glimpse into my daily life because that is what blogging is all about. Please know that I will never stop writing until my hands don’t work anymore and even then, I will probably talk – type. I love writing and all that is involved but also please know that I am struggling to do it.

Thank you so much to all of my readers who have purchased my work in the past. I hope my new work lives up to your expectations.

Erin T. Whalen

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Boy can I get lost…

I have to say WOW, I just looked at my blog and saw the last time I wrote was August 28th and on that day I told you I would post a sketch the next day! So sorry. I can really get side tracked. I am writing like crazy this month and very happy about that. It seems I never want to go on the internet now because I am so into my writing which is a great thing because as any writer knows its usually the opposite. When it flows, it flows right? Gotta hold your hands under the faucet and catch every drop of creativity that is coming out! I have now put my bed in my art studio so I can absorb my project, it helps to see all of my sketches and notes posted everywhere before I go to bed and first thing when i wake up and its great, I don’t have to go far to get back to the drawing board! I just wake up, meander into the kitchen to grab my cup o’ coffee and head back to my lair. It’s wonderful when the writing flows. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there is anything I can compare it too and only those that have experienced it can understand, all the rest just get to enjoy the literature that’s born from it.


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Sometimes you need to stop and look

I was working on putting up a sign on the outside of a building the other day and heard something in the bushes. This picture just goes to show you how important it is to stop and observe and DEFINITELY always have a camera on hand! Isn’t it sweet?

I have to admit, I am blocked. I haven’t been able to write a word in quite a while. It really hasn’t been that long but it seems like forever to me. You see, I have never believed in writer’s block (or at least never experienced it for myself) I am really experiencing it now. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with my oldest child getting married and leaving the nest – no pun intended 😉 I want to reassure my readers that I am working very hard to get through it. I am filling my non-writing time with photo taking, drawing, and capturing ideas in my writing idea notebook so when writing does come back to me, I will be armed and ready with lots of material.

Oh yes, and for all those writers out there who I never believed really had writer’s block, I DEEPLY apologize. It certainly is real.

Until next posting… Erin.