Tag: greyhairs rising

I’ve abandoned my posts recently – okay, it wasn’t that funny – for good reasons. The garden vegetables needed to be harvested and processed and packaged and frozen for deep winter consumption. Home-grown veggie lasagna with eggplant noodles tastes like sunshine on a dark and frigid January night. Pans and pans of lasagna and squash gratin were prepared, cooled, tasted, tasted some more, then flash frozen. And I’m not done yet. No.

Now come the winter squash bakes and apple cakes, sauce, and crisp. And the pumpkins – not just for carving – are better in pie and cake and pudding. And then the gardens have to be put to bed.


In this year of learning about being a full-time creative, my intended work-a-day schedule has been blown over and over. I may not go to an employer’s office any longer, but the household demands continue to fight me for time and attention. How can we ever find the time to do our creative work when there is so much else to be done, that has to be done?

Do the work when the work needs to be done.

I suspended writing for the summer to prepare work for the Arts off 84 art crawl on Labor Day weekend. I discovered that I missed sketching and drawing and painting and that I love it as much as I do love writing. This past year, painting had its season during the summer months. The upcoming year will find a few hours each week – maybe even every few days – set aside to plan and prep and start the next collection of paintings.

Worried Boy and Kitten

But I also have self-imposed deadlines to meet. My first novel, “Saving the Ghost,” was sent out into the world as a finished work in search of an agent. It received the attention of a small press and an agent – which in itself for a first work is an achievement. The agent provided feedback which let me know that the book is not quite where it needs to be. Thanks to the Five Wings Arts Council and the McKnight Foundation, I’ve received a 2017 Artist Project Grant, to go back into editing and revision. I also have a second novel in the works. Both projects need to be off my desk by April 30, 2018.


And that’s how getting things done works. If I hadn’t picked the tomatoes and squash at the right time and done the work to turn them into meals at the right time, all my soil prep and seed planting and garden tending would have been wasted effort. I love my writing and my painting as much or more as I do my homemade marinara sauce. I won’t waste my creative efforts by wondering when I might find the time to do the work when the work needs to be done.


You can read my latest flash fiction piece, “Abel March,”  in Talking Stick 26.

The Talking Stick is a Minnesota literary journal published by the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc. Produced entirely by Minnesota writers for Minnesota writers since the beginning in 1995.

Buy it now from Jackpine Writers’ Bloc or on Amazon


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Not much to report this week. Just making a mess as I build the base for my Arts off 84 paintings. Themes are Relationships in Love, Conflicts in Nature, and some miscellaneous oddball images that strike my fancy.

Charcoal Sketch - Fox and Hare

Hope you’ll come out to the show on Labor Day weekend. You’ll get a taste of Minnesota’s Northland for sure.

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Welcome back! Yes, you’re right, I skipped a week. Sometimes life doesn’t fit my schedule. Sometimes I’m just along for the ride. I try my best to keep to what I promise. I try hard. I usually succeed.

After a week of recovery from Cirenaica which included organizing my workshop notes, followed by a week of fireworks and birthday candles and setting up for a new round of paintings, I’m back on task. Well, I’m back on task as much as my summer distractions allow. Squash is growing, tomatoes are showing up, and banana peppers scream, “Pick me! Pick me!” Flower baskets beg for water.



The dog wants out to laze in the sun then wants in because the flies and mosquitoes are driving her crazy.

It seems a long time since I’ve devoted myself to my sketchbook. I’ve been preoccupied with the first novel and now writing the second, while still editing and revising the first. But I have to sketch because I cannot paint until I sketch.


Sketching finds the feeling that feeds my wrist and fingers and brushes to make the paintings I want to produce. This year I’m concentrating on mixed media, stylized images that express comfort and love. I want to make things that make other people smile and feel good.

And more… I’ll see how far I get this week and what catches my interest.


See you back here next Sunday (or some day during the week). Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.


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Is your inner author about to bloom?

You can feel the creative sap flowing, can’t you? It’s time to get going on that story idea that’s been rolling around in your winter dreams. What about starting a novel? You know you want to. Now is the time. But get help. Find a local writer support group.


Did you start a blog or at least do a little research on what you might wish to accomplish with a blog? I hope so. Blogging is a perfect way to keep you on track with writing, even if it is only once a week.

Writer support groups. Where will I find one?

  • If your community is large enough to support a library, it’s likely library staff can direct you to local authors.
  • You can search online for writers in your area. Give one a call and ask them to refer you to a group. Just one other writer can give you encouragement and critique.
  • And you can find groups online, but I wouldn’t recommend sharing your work with people you don’t know. But you certainly can ask questions and hear from other authors what they experience as they pursue a writing career.
  • Coffee shops are magnets for writers.
"Breakfast Tulips," M E Fuller 2015

“Breakfast Tulips,” M E Fuller 2015

Some resources to look at:

Creative prompt.

Brainstorm story ideas, at least 10. Write them on sticky notes and put them somewhere you can see them every day.

  1. Next week’s topic: Meet other artists/travel & online.  See you back here next Sunday night!

Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.

Join our Greyhairs Rising Facebook group.

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Spring is right around the corner!

Yellow Tulips

I don’t know about you, but I’m anxious to get outside and turn over the soil in my gardens. I’ve got a variety of vegetable seeds set to sprout any day. I don’t HAVE to write a book all summer this year and gardening is sounding like a luxury. That doesn’t mean I’m off the hook from writing. Nope. This blog needs weekly attention. I’ve got publisher’s to pitch. I need to work on short stories along with building the structure for the next novel. A writer’s work is never done. (Insert smiley face!)


Last week I shared what I know about pitching your book or article to publishers or agents. I don’t know how many of you want to publish your work, but for those who do, last week’s post will come in handy for review when you’re ready to see your work in print. As part of the post, I talked about the publisher packet which includes social media. Blogs are part of that social media presence. As long as you keep adding fresh content, using your voice, it will offer a glimpse into your life as a writer. This can be invaluable to prospective publishers who are always looking for just the right fit with their authors.

What is a blog?

A blog is no different than your journal except it’s published on the world wide web, is not private, and allows for comments. Before blogging was popular, I remember thinking that there ought to be a way for individuals to journal online without having to pay for a website.  Greater technical minds than mine were at work on this and developed multiple platforms for journaling which morphed into blogging.

I didn’t realize that bloggers could become what is known as influencers – people who influence trends through their blogging. It might appear at first that these influencers are experts in their fields. That may be true within business categories, but as far as popular culture, a fan base is so easy to buy, it really doesn’t matter what you know, as long as you know the right marketing strategies.

Greyhairs Rising is not attempting to become an influencer. GhR is simply a log of what I’ve learned in becoming a practicing writer. I’m sharing my experiences with you to give you that boost or direction you may need to reinvigorate your writing or other artistic practice.

Before you start.

Before you start blogging, you’re going to want to know what you intend to accomplish with the blog. Do you want to

  • become an influencer
  • share your life or  career journey with others
  • maybe you want to earn some extra money by selling products or allowing ads on your page.

Think about what you hope to accomplish before you start, then look at blogs that fit with your theme, see how others are doing it. What do you like about the sites you visit? What don’t you like? Get a vision for what you want and then look for a platform.

Hosted WordPress vs other WordPress or blog options.

When I started my blog I knew it would be part of a website that would include a store for my artwork as well as future published books. I also knew that I would want to speak to groups about my process and help to inspire others to get excited about using their artistic talents. I knew I would have to pay for a website that included a blogging platform. I selected a hosted WordPress site, which means

  • my domain name ( example: mefuller.com) is used vs (my blog name).wordpress.com (or .name of blogging platform)
  • I pay a hosting company to support my website plus the WordPress blogging platform
  • I have more tools available – widgets, they’re called – included with my monthly hosting fee.

There are any number of free blogging platforms for you to choose from. If you’re just testing the waters, then you don’t need to purchase a domain name or pay for a hosted site. The free sites will host your page on their servers at no charge. They will probably attach ads to your site so check out some of their users before choosing a free platform.

Here is a list of free blogging platforms. You can search many others and make your selection based on what you want to do with your blog. The 14 best free blogging platforms 

Name your blog. Add a tagline.

The next thing to do is name your blog. For example, “Shirley’s Black Cats.” Then add a tagline: “Not just for Halloween anymore!” Once you’ve started you’re going to want to stick with your theme so think about this carefully. Will your blog be about your travels or will it recommend travel spots to others?


  • Know your theme
  • Know your audience
  • Know what you mean to accomplish
  • Name it
  • Tag it

Build a graphic.

This is another opportunity for you to explore other blogs that match your theme. Look at their graphics. Contact the blogger and ask them how they created their graphics. Like their blog and ask them to like yours once you’ve launched.


How to attract visitors.

  • Ask for likes from friends, coworkers, and relatives
  • Keep your content fresh! Update no less than once a week
  • Use keywords
  • Images are always appreciated
  • Search out blogging communities
    • Ask to join
    • Follow their guidelines
    • Participate!
  • Have an email sign up list

Here are some other sources to check for tips- by the way, I only selected posts that were recent.

Helpful Tips to Increase Your Blog Traffic

Getting More Views and Traffic

Traffic Generation: 32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blog

To monetize or not to monetize?

I have no plans to monetize my blog through ads. I find them distracting, annoying, and they will more often than not, drive me from the blog I was reading to find the content I want elsewhere. I didn’t want to create distractions.  I want more to create a conversation, or at the least, converts – converts from “I wish I was writing or painting” to “I’m writing! I’m painting!”

The first speaking engagement I booked because of the content, left me feeling proud and happy that my work is doing what I wanted it to do – encouraging others to let their creative sides out and about and back into the world.  I would rather speak to 20 people for an hour then sit at home and collect a couple of dollars off of annoying my visitors!

But that’s me.

If you want to monetize your blog, do your research, ask others to share their experiences with you, and then decide what you feel will work the best for you.

Creative prompt.

Write a tag line for your blog.

  1. Next week’s topic: Writing support groups.  See you back here next Sunday night!

Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.

Join our Greyhairs Rising Facebook group.


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Gather your artistic elders together tomorrow night for the first installment of Greyhairs Rising.


Join the discussion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/greyhairsrising/

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