I started writing the book featuring Kiara in high school. It was inspired by a friend of mine featuring four main characters which four of us invented. The most work I have ever done on the book was in high school, probably because my friends were a heavy influence on the writing. As I went through college I tried to edit and rewrite sections of the book. This resulted in several different versions of the story, none of which seemed to measure up to the first world I built for it. So I scrapped them, taking only the parts and characters I thought would be useful. After graduating I took up the task once again, this time, starting before the timeline I wrote from in high school and focusing on Kiara’s story. During the first installments of the book I went through a lot of flashbacks to help explain motivations for the characters and I thought it might be better to just write those through, perhaps turning it into a two or three part series. I know these sections are going to go through heavy editing later but it helps to have them laid out clearly now as I’m filling out her story.
One of the things that kept me excited about writing this book is the life in the illustrations either I or others did for it. Please keep in mind that these images are copyrighted by their respective owners and also that some of the designs have changed over time and between versions of the story. To see them larger, click on the image!
What projects have you gotten yourself into lately?
If you are pursuing something that is of value to you, whether it is a job, a relationship, an adventure, a trip, keep going for it. You may have been inspired to start from what a friend, coworker, teacher, or parent said to you – encouragement they gave you. Any time you feel down just remember that those people, the people who tell you “why not?” and encourage you to go for it believe in you. Lean on that strength when you need to. They support you and when you start after what you want you’ll attract more uplifting people to you. Realize that though pursuing an avenue you are passionate about may not be easy – but it will be worth it.
Being an independent illustrator and writer is not easy. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s a struggle. However, the most influentially supportive people in my life are my friends and teachers. They are my recharge anytime I am so low I am considering giving up. All of their encouragement feels like it pours into a glowing seed inside me and it radiates unwavering belief in myself.
Success for me is finding a way to balance being financially independent and inspiring others through illustration – storytelling – teaching and sharing. The world is harsh and cold and there will always be bad news but if we were only here for bad news why does the good news, the highlights of our lives, feel so good? Why keep trying? For me, the answer is in the stars.
So go for it, darlings. Stand up on your own two feet. You are powerful beyond measure and your energy will resonate through the stars~
I realize that I worry substantially about my personal riding habits.
I worry that my seat is too light, my leg position is off – that my hands are too heavy on the bit. As such I also find that my enjoyment of riding is indirectly proportional to the amount of worry I carry. The more I carry the more the horse carries and a little bit of weight in the wrong area can mean the difference between a favorable fall and a bad fall. Why do I carry so much of it? Perhaps because I have moved to
On that note I want to bring your attention to a writer who breathes such horse sense into her writing that it is soothing. As I read Anna Blake’s posts the tenseness in my shoulders relax and my worries about being a good rider – my focus on my bad habits – eases slightly. Anna’s most recent post contains a bit of wisdom that has me pondering about timelines:
“One of the very best things about being 60 is that no one wants to see me naked- on a horse or anywhere else. That makes me really happy. Liberated. Free. The meat wagon has left. Friends I have now love me without cosmetic correction, for the same reason horses and dogs have from the beginning. It’s dependable.”
It reminds me that we come out of the womb knowing knowing next to nothing cosmetically factual, yet very much instinctually. Does that mean you have to wait until you are aged three score years to feel the way Anna describes? Should you place a calendar marker on thirty years to acquire a prescribed amount of knowledge? Not necessarily. Age specific markers of knowledge on a timeline are placed there by others. For a large portion of childhood we hear, “You’ll understand [insert-situation] when you are [insert-age-here].” I have reached a few of the ages prescribed by aunts, parents, and an assortment of other adults. Do you know what I have learned? That markers are silly. None of the markers dictated to me were accurate to the ages paired with them. There is no correct age for mastering riding or producing a best seller novel. There is no correct mindset for a specific age. Accept that you are going to process the lesson you learn in a time and way that is unique to you. While yes, we are sometimes grouped by age for such experiences that does not make it an ultimatum. Becoming negative towards yourself because you haven’t learned the lesson for [insert-situation] by [insert-age] does not help either. There are enough people weighing in on you as it is, why add to your load?
When I returned to taking riding lessons at twenty-four I found a lot of riders around me were younger than I and knew more factually about the discipline they rode in. I felt disappointed. However, I stuck with it and while I sometimes feel sad that I did not come into this area of my passion sooner I no longer feel disappointed. I know plenty of things others will not and to write every little thing down would take longer than I have to live. Consider that we pass on knowledge both factual and experiential to each person who crosses into our circle of life. Sometimes the lesson is learning how to navigate the social circle you prefer, sometimes it is learning how to listen to and sharpen your instincts. You will meet people who learned lesson A at fourteen or forty what you realized at twenty four.
In the end age is no consequence. You are a culmination of your experiences no matter your age. Although, just keep in mind that you do not have to experience a situation to be sure you would not enjoy any part of it. Learn from both your negatives and positives. Focus on your positives.
I have decided that this blog shall remain at the address it is, at least for now.
That said, thank you all, return readers and watchers of my art. I love having your feedback. I meet so many wonderful people pursuing this dream and each personality is unique. Thank you for your advice, consideration, and support. It is not easy and starting out is the hardest part for any endeavor. If you know of anyone who is interested in print quality digital commissions I possess a wide variety of ability and unique style. The easiest way to contact me is via my artist page on Facebook or at KiriRamdeo.com.
This weekend I am in Ocala helping Arbordale Riding Academy at a horse show in Ocala. I shall not be riding in a class but helping work horses and working with Arbordale’s Owner and Trainer, Andrea Whiting, as well as her Assistant Trainer, Emily Whiting. To learn more about these wonderful women and the details of their experience visit Arbordale’s Facebook page.
I’ll check back in with you soon. I hope everyone is having a good start to their weekend!