“Do you know why wildflowers are the most beautiful blossoms of all, my son?”Dain shook his little head.Soft waxen curls blew forward in the breeze as she lifted her storm-gray eyes to gaze out over the sea of petals. “Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish. They are resilient in ways a garden bloom could never be. People are the same, son—the most exquisite souls are those who survive where others cannot.” ~The Maiden Ship by Micheline Ryckman
So, I wrote.
Typing with my non-dominant hand took some getting used to. The process was arduous, and sometimes I used dictation when the pain was too severe. Yet, word by word, this book saved my life. This tale gave me a reason to wake up each day; it gave me a purpose. I am so thankful for this story.
I poured so much of my own personal life journey and lessons into this novel, and I’m hopeful that the premise and messages in this story will speak to the hearts of those who read it. <3
If you happen to follow along on my social media sites IG and Facebook you’ll know exactly what I’ve been up to lately. It’s been a busy fall season, but so many good things are coming! The most exciting news, however, is that on November 1st I’ll be posting the cover reveal and release date for THE MAIDEN SHIP! That’s right, my debut novel is finally complete, and I’m super excited about sharing this fantasy adventure with you all! (Pssst… The book will also be available for pre-order that day as well.)
So check back in on NOVEMBER 1st!!!
“After a few months of practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get it out of my fingers.”
To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?” “ ~ Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland
Yesterday I posted a portrait of my character, Sable, on IG and I hated it. I tried hard to convince myself to like it, but I couldn’t do it. She just did not look the same way she did in my head. It maddened me. I deleted it. And then today I started all over again. The portrait you see here is my fourth attempt at Sable. That’s right, yesterday was my third. She has been down right obstinate, and nearly impossible to capture.
If you are a creator, then I bet you too have faced this kind of frustration. Our vision rarely fits our execution. It’s like the image in our mind’s eye gets twisted, mucked up, and lost in translation. On rare occasions it manages to work out, but for the most part it’s much like Picasso said, “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.”
Now, we can do one of three things with this experience; we can simply give up, we can try again (and again, and again in my case), or we can just accept what Picasso calls “something else” and move onto the next creation. Nowadays, option two and three is where I usually land, but in the past I have given up. I don’t recommend it. It’s important to realize that our vision (the picture in our head) is, as the Master said to his student above, always going to exceed our abilities. And, in the end, this is NOT a bad thing. Without this vision we would never improve. The vision pushes us beyond ourselves. It asks greater things of us each time we create. While we strive to reach it, we grow. And growth is good.
Am I completely satisfied with how Sable came out today? That’s a good question. Maybe… She’s a bit better, I think… Either way, she’s taught me a lot. 😉
Sable is an original character from my up coming novel, The Maiden Ship.
In my last post I shared with you about how The Maiden Ship came to be, today I’d like to share my first painting inspired from this new novel, and also give you a peek at the synopsis. I hope you enjoy! Remember to follow along on Instagram or Facebook for more daily posts. 🙂
Dain Alloway was only nine years old when he began a new life with his father, sailing aboard The Maiden. Eight years later, the aristocratic city-boy turned merchant-sailor feels like he lives with one foot on land, and one foot in the sea. Life floats smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin.
The events that unfold after her appearance transform Dain’s world. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, he finds himself thrown into a dangerous web of intrigue and magic. As the crisis grows, the young sailor discovers powerful gifts buried deep within, talents that might shift the tide of a centuries-old war. Whether or not he’s ready, Dain will have to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves.
Isn’t it amazing how adversity can redirect our path? Most of you know that my drawing arm was severely injured six months ago, and for nearly five of those months I could not create art. It was an immense blow, not only financially, but emotionally. In addition to other chronic health struggles, this injury pushed me to my limits, and for the first couple of months I struggled through a profound depression. Eventually I sought professional counselling services, and for the sake of my mental health, I worked hard towards finding another creative outlet.
It was writing that I steered towards. It was something I could do despite my physical state, I could dictate verbally when the pain was too great, and I could use my good arm to type on the better days. It became a way to get the pictures out of my head without being able to draw them, and it gave me a sense of purpose amidst the suffering.
Years ago, when my children were small, I started a novel called, ‘The Maiden Ship’. However, as work and the demands of life accumulated I set writing aside. After nearly a twenty year relapse I returned to this book, and I returned to it because of adversity. Surprisingly, I managed to finish the novel just as my arm slowly began healing at the five month mark. The book is completed and now in the editing phases. The thing is, if these struggles had not happened to me, I very likely would have never written the book. I would have been too busy making art. (Which is still obviously my favourite thing to do in the world. 😉 )
I know this is the first book I’ve ever attempted on my own, so it’s definitely not going to be a New York Times bestseller, but that was never the point. If, in the end, only three people read it, I’m good with that because, honestly, this novel has already proven it’s worth, it saved me. That’s what makes it special.
All that to say, this is my first drawing related to my new novel, and I promise to share more details about these characters, the synopsis, and the release date soon, but for now, if you’re interested, take a peek at my Maiden Ship story highlight on Instagram to read some quotes and see some character aesthetics. 😘
If you read all the way down to here, then you are my hero, and the truest WHIMSY at heart. You are loved! ❤️
Brittany was diagnosed with TS-plus at a young age. In her words:
When I was first diagnosed with TS-plus, I felt like I was drowning. But in a way where I was the only one under the water. Only I could hear my singing and everyone else heard nothing, saw nothing wrong. I didn’t have any friends and no one really wanted to interact with me. No one understood what I was going through even my family (outside my parents and brothers) never wanted to understand what it was. An extended family member I loved told me I had to stop my tics because it wasn’t ladylike and they were gross. That’s probably what made me want to hide to the most… But overtime I learned to use my music to express myself and find courage. I still try to hide it. It’s probably something I’ll never overcome. Now even though days can be a struggle, I am more comfortable with myself and I’m thankful for everyday.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) causes tics that are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice.
TS can often come with package of other syndromes, people can also have OCD, anxiety, ADHD, depression etc. While some medications are available to help with the symptoms they do not completely take them away and there is no cure.
This art was inspired by a song Brittany wrote. The painting is meant to represent a feeling of what can go on inside a person with mental health struggles, the reason the individual is pictured nude is to represent the vulnerability of that struggle, the hand coming down into the water represents courage and hope. Sometimes courage can be found in unlikely places and can take many different forms. In Brittany’s case, courage comes through her music.
First Part of Song
Second part of Song
There is hope and knowledge out there for those who need it, if you have any of these health concerns please know that you are not alone and that you should reach out to the available services; doctors, counsellors and people around you. You do not have to face it by yourself.
Along with our previous awareness art this new print is now available in our shop and soon we will have bookmarks and stickers available as well. All the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Tourette Canada, tourette.ca . We truly believe that increased mental health awareness can drastically improve the lives of those who suffer.
Our Charting Stars release party was a beautiful success. Sunshine, friends and food! We truly just had so much fun, great thanks to all those who made it out to the party – it was an honour to have you here! Also we really want to thank all of you for the incredible support you have shown to the book since the release date, we are overwhelmed with gratitude! <3
Our release date has finally arrived and Charting Stars BOOK 1 is here! You can read more and check out the details of this new book right here is our own SHOP!