Category Archives: The Creative Process

Messages to myself about how to navigate impediments which hinder the creative flow in hopes my answers may be a beacon to others.

Jasmine Snippet #11

This is a continuation of notes for The Story of Jasmine that were written on Italian Stationery in Cortona, Italy:

Rogan hesitated for a moment, then surrendered his weapon to whom he supposed was the Guardian of the Temple. For the first time, he felt the same frustration Thorne described. He felt naked without his sword.

“Come.” Rogan followed the dwarf, and his sword, inside inner sanctum of the temple. He immediately noticed that the light became brighter as they progressed past many columns and down many steps.

Presently, they stood in front of a small, open room. With a nod, the dwarf bid him enter. He kept Rogan’s sword at the ready.

Almost without thinking, he sank to his knees when he first beheld the maiden in white. She stood, trance-like on an elevated platform of stone. There were many white flower petals  stuck on her glistening-wet skin. Wet petals also crowned her head, the water flowing down from her head like tears upon her face.

Before her was an oblong trough. Although Rogan could not see its contents, from the diamond-ripple reflections dancing upon the maiden’s ecstatic face and the wall behind her, he knew it contained water. But there was something more.

Submerged in the sparkling waters was the source of a brilliant white light.

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet #110

These notes for The Story of Jasmine were written in Cortona, Italy because they are written on Italian Stationery:

Rogan judged it to be well after mid-night by the time he reached the temple. On his way, he passed many stone statues of soldiers. Although it occurred to him that these statues seemed too new for an ancient temple, he wasted no more thought as to how this came to be.

The closer he got to the ancient building, the more numerous the statues became until the statuary cover the entire temple grounds. Rogan then noticed the look of surprise, which appeared on each stone face. For the first time, Rogan grew concerned, “Were these statues once men?”

“Heigh Ho! Are you friend or foe?” called a voice from within one of the chambers. Rogan whirled around in the direction of the call.

“Friend!” He answered quickly, then shielded his eyes in anticipation of some dreadful sorcery. He heard some bustle within the chamber and the slow approach of footsteps.

“Nothing will happen to you if you are indeed a friend,” a voice told him.Rogan looked up and noticed the stocky figure of a dwarf approaching him. He was a mature dwarf, with a graying beard and piercingly clear grey eyes. He wore several daggers and a battle-axe hung at his side as was the custom of mercenary dwarf-warriors, the like he had only heard about. Rogan duly noted the proud bearing of this man, not unusual in a warrior-for-hire.

Remembering the stone statues, Rogan thought it most prudent to kneel before him. This was not the doing of an ordinary mortal. The dwarf touched him on the shoulder and said, “it is good you humble yourself to the maker of miracles. But friend, it is not I. Give me your sword and I will guide you to a marvel.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet #109

The note for The Story of Jasmine is from a scrap of paper, which mostly had crossed out words:

“What did you do?” Glynn shouted as he touched the stone statuary of the soldiers, which just a moment before had been men.

“It was not my doing!” Jasmine cried, turning pale, “it just happened — it’s the power of this place!”

The red-haired companion of Glynn’s began a hearty laugh, “And we thought she needed help!”

“But I do.” Jasmine replied softly.

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

Become a Patron!

Jasmine snippet #107

New notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

To Ahearn’s relief, Jasmine insisted she be alone in her visit to the Ancient Hollow. Her white stallion pranced lightly and safely across an old and delicate stone and wooden structure, a rickety bridge between two mountains.

Ahearn’s steed bounded hard and quick behind her, causing the weakened wood and stone to crumble underneath him. His horse reacted expertly. By the time Ahearn reached the other side, the link between Jasmine and her protectors had fallen in pieces to the bottom of a deep chasm.

Although this maneuver was a marvel to all that witnessed it, Glynn recognized Ahearn’s excellent horsemanship and suspected his purpose was to deliberately separate them. But without concern, Jasmine called to her companions left on the other side, reassuring them that they would be reunited after she completed her visit to the Ancient Hollow.

Jasmine then urged her stallion onward towards her goal.

Ahearn hesitated. The half-elf’s horse was still for a moment, as Ahearn regarded the temper of the companions he left behind. He snickered when he saw Glynn’s livid expression. In an air of victory, he lightly galloped his horse after Jasmine.

© 2018 DARLENE

***Note: This is definitely an alternative version from what I posted earlier, where Jasmine alone escapes an attack and her entire party gets captured, while she, on the next mountain, watches helplessly…

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet #106

More Newly-found Notes for The Story of Jasmine Continue:

Although an autumn nip is in the air, she finds the water surprisingly warm. With a delightful sense of abandon, Jasmine swims carelessly about, rejoicing in a freedom she’d never known. She quickly composes herself as she senses another presence. She darts underwater and hides among the reeds. Slowly, she acknowledges the calling of her name.

“It is I.” the voice moans through the reeds.

“Where are you–show yourself.”

“There is little time–and I have so much to say. I no longer have a body–these reeds serve as my mouthpiece. I had hoped to fully reincarnate, but i cannot. There is a great danger for everyone — the witch Melantha is a far greater adversary than the dark prince. Make haste to the north and enlist the aid of the Ice King. Although his heart is cold, he can still be reached. Go to the council of the winds as soon as you acquire a trustworthy escort. I will guide you there. You are now baptized in the holy water of this ancient temple. By the time you leave, you will know where to find new raiment and my staff–use them with pride.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet #105

More Newly-found Notes for The Story of Jasmine Continue:

“Think it over, Thorne. It is the best opportunity we have! The King of UR can no longer help you or your people! Why go back empty-handed when we can appeal to the Ice king in the North?”

“We’ve discussed that before. It is said his heart is as cold as the land he rules. He has no compassion!” The violet-eyed maiden snapped, brushing her dark locks from her brow.

Rogan pleaded, “There is still a chance—but only if we join the Wizard-woman and her protector Glynn. We can only make this journey together.”

Tjhorne smiled impishly, “Alright, I consent. Make the necessary arrangements with this wizard-woman…but first tell me she hasn’t enchanted you…”

© 2018 DARLENE

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet #104

The Story of Jasmine snippets continue:

“Yes, it is I,” the reeds rustled a wispy reply, “my spirit waited an age for you to be born. Find my staff in the Ruins and use it with the knowledge I will teach you. This land has so little time—you must learn quickly…”

The wind died and with it, the voice of Enel Rad. The magic had gone.

Jasmine only heard the crackling of dried leaves. Making her way to the Ruins, she no0ticed a stone which had been recently moved. Beyond that stone, in a small alcove lay the powerful staff of the Wizard Enel Rad. As she grasped the magical wand, she felt the strength of an age rush through her. In that moment, she was baptized Jasmine, The White Flower of Deliverance.

And then too, she knew what she must do.

© 2018 DARLENE

Become a Patron!

More Snippets!

OMG! I unexpectedly found a bunch more notes for “The Story of Jasmine” in a hanging file folder. . . and they seem to be an alternate version of events.

This would be Snippet #103:

Although an autumn nip was in the air, the young woman found the shallow water by the ruins of an ancient temple inviting. With a delightful sense of abandon, she rejoiced in a freedom she had never known. Sensing another presence, she quickly hid herself among the reeds. Remaining still for a long while, she concentrated on each sound until one became prevalent among the rest. Slowly, she acknowledged the sound as the calling of her name—but not the name her parents gave her.

No longer afraid, she emerged from her hiding place, her nakedness gleaming in the autumn sun. “Jasmine”—her name before she was born—she embraced it with her entire being.

Strengthened by the revelation, Jasmine heard for the first time the raspy voice of the reeds. With reverence and a certain heaviness, Jasmine uttered the name of the great and legendary wizard who had wandered these parts in the days of old.

“Yes, it is I,” the reeds rustled a wispy reply, “my spirit waited an age for you to be born. Find my staff in the Ruins and use it with the knowledge I will teach you. This land has so little time — you must learn quickly…”

© 2018 DARLENE

Become a Patron!

Jasmine Snippet 101

I’m filling in the empty parts of Book One of The Story of Jasmine:

Original Story of Jasmine title from 1981

The Group flees White Throne Mountain:

The temple ruins were tucked snugly within the folds of the mountain. The ancient road–now overgrown into a trail–leading to it was shaped like a giant horseshoe. Both sides ran up the mountainside from the main road, both lead equally to and away from a once-glorious Temple, situated at the top point where both trail ends met to become one.

Gazing down from the temple ruins, Glynn pointed out they had arrived using the trail’s eastern entrance – the one closest to Norram. Pointing to the trail in front of them, Glynn recommended they not go back the way they came, “We’d be some twenty miles further west along the main road if we take this side down to the main road instead.”

“And just how do you know this?” Ahearn asked.

“Common knowledge.” Glynn countered, “This place has existed since the beginning of time. We once knew it as ‘Fool’s Hope.’ Like all old places, it is considered to be haunted by the old spirits of people who used to live there. In this case, the spirits of ladies dressed in white… All but the curious know to stay away.”

“Haunted? Ahhh… What? Is that what they meant!?” Rogan said thoughtfully and tried to explain, “I could not understand why the local tavern folk were all snickering about the soldiers who left to spend the night here. In the tavern, the bar keeper had been regaling everyone with his local folk stories and accounts of people who claimed to have seen one or more white-haired ladies dancing near The White Throne. That’s when the soldiers perked up and demanded to know where this place is. Naturally, the bartender explained to the commander that these stories were just very old tales.

Nevertheless, the soldiers were still ordered to leave at once for the landmark. The soldiers were warned, several times not to stay here after nightfall, especially not at the full moon. Then the commander sez, ‘sounds like you don’t want us to go there and that’s reason enough…” When they left, the inn people kept repeating, ‘they was warned about them spirit maidens,’ as, indeed, they were. And now, look at ’em…” Rogan gestured towards the newly formed statues all frozen in different attitudes of terror, “this is now their new story. This is what happens to the disrespectful … being turned to stone because they did not heed a warning. This new tale will put a permanent crown on the old stories. People will really avoid this place!”

“No,” Glynn disagreed, “People would probably flock here to gloat. The Inn Keeper will have a great increase in customers. Has anybody checked if any of the statuary can be moved? Or are they fused to the bedrock?”

Before anyone could check, Thorne interjected loudly, “So, can we p-p-please leave – now!” Everyone agreed, it was indeed time to go. But they were waiting on Jasmine. Before she disappeared, Jasmine told Glynn, she needed to retrieve some woven materials to properly wrap the staff for safe travel. He let her go, bidding her to return promptly, but she had not yet emerged.

The men were antsy to get off the mountain and decided to go on ahead, down the western side of the path. They noticed that this used to be a very fine, well-groomed road. But for the exuberance of nature, long ago the road had shrunk into a trail. Glynn followed the horsemen on foot. The trail was easy to move along, even at the steep downward angle. The wideness of the trail was just one of the many indications, the trail had been recently traveled by many on horseback.

At first, Thorne started after them, then decided to stay behind to carry whatever Jasmine collected. Her tingling senses bade her to leave. She was angry at Glynn. Why did he allow Jasmine to disappear underground and become inaccessible within the temple? Thorne became uneasy whenever she glanced at the frozen positions of the stone men. She stood, stiff and unmoving, like another statue among the stone ones speckling the grounds. She shifted her stance, trying hard not to stare at the last looks of terror etched upon their stony faces. She could only imagine what Rogan and Glynn had gone through, actually witnessing the spectacle. She had never seen Rogan so unnerved. He had heard their cries.

© 2018 DARLENE

It’s been about a month since I last posted–Did you miss the snippets?

These continuing snippets are due to the patronage of a group of lovely people who are helping me make The Story of Jasmine suitable for publishing.

Become a Patron!

A Message To Me from the Marketing God. 

In my last e-mail newsletter, I introduced the concept of “Spiritual Marketing.” The writing was mostly tongue in cheek, but now I am taking the idea a little more seriously. Let me tell you about a recent visit I had from none other than the Marketing God.

As well as a visual thinker, I’m also a spatial thinker. I’m able to turn images around in my mind and view them from different angles and perspectives. I use this capacity to visualize what a client describes to me and can usually get a close approximate to what is desired (if they are articulate). In addition to seeing different spatial orientations, a time element can get involved for projects more complex than a logo. Those times I have to give considerable thought to visualizing how separate graphic units fit together synergistically and throughout time.

A Spiritual Strategy Session

Just recently, I sat myself down in a quiet spot to mull over some design possibilities on behalf of a new client. In a meditation, I tapped into a huge marketing strategy involving the client, me and our project. It was pretty amazing: a 10-month strategy plan, which involved a brilliant way to re-engage the client’s existing e-list. The answer was to beckon or entice the e-list to become a part of my artistic process. As the project’s artist, I would periodically provide updates on my creative progress.

The plan was fairly brilliant. I wasn’t aware that Spirit knew anything about marketing timelines. My client’s first e-list engagement would involve the use of a survey. The client would solicit the e-list’s opinions about certain matters in an up-coming event (happening in the fall,10 months away) that is somehow related to a project/product, which I am working on (that is timed to be released at the event).

Producing Win-Win-Wins

Using the survey results, the e-list would be given monthly updates on how the art is progressing along. Updates will keep the list’s attention on the subject, generating interest and value. There would be a build-up, so that by the time of the event, people are charged up about acquiring the product. Happy people feel they have had a hand in creating something, or feel more involved in its creation. Everyone is satisfied, a win-win-win for all concerned. Win for e-listers who get the product; Win with client being associated with something positive & creative and finally; a Win for me in that I have work and can increase my presence.

But Gone in an Instant

I mean, I “saw” the whole thing unfold so beautifully in my mind’s eye! This time, I tried my best to explain the plan to my client. Maybe I got into too much detail. I don’t know. This time, I owned the fact that the information was spirit-derived. At other times, when the same spiritual download happened, I kept that fact to myself, thinking it would be best. But just like all the other times, when I divulged the vision, my client gave excuses and scrammed. Poof. Gone.

Amazing, but confounding. What is happening here? What good are these grand revelations if they scare clients away? What are my responsibilities? Do I ever divulge what I see/ feel /experience on their behalf or always keep this inspired information to myself? Or maybe I’m wrong about the entire experience. Maybe it’s simply an idea in my own genius brain, I mistook for a revelation?

Wait a moment – what’s the matter with me? If I was an ad agency, the marketing plan I presented has enormous value and costs gobs of money! Didn’t my client realize it was a tremendous gift that I had bestowed … for free? Is that the problem? I didn’t charge or built up enough anticipation?

Another Possibility

I’ve often wondered if the idea of truly being successful is what actually drives people off. Why do they hesitate? Is it because they already know the status-quo but success seems so elusive and unpredictable…?

Most people prepare themselves for failure. Few people prepare for success. They may think they are prepared, but are they? Just look at how happy the million dollar winners of the lotto end up being in the long run. Most were not emotionally prepared, over indulged their neediness, and faced some hard lessons.

Pretend I’m the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel and that I could grant to you everything you wanted your business to be — in the form of a logo. Could you immediately accept the gift without your shadow interfering and wondering if there is a catch? Used to the status quo, your shadow would most likely put the brakes on. It’s not sure what changes and challenges success may impose. If you don’t know what success looks like, you will not be prepared to plunge into these waters.

The Fear of Success

So… to extrapolate, if the people I interact with are a reflection of myself, and if they are all afraid of success (even thought they’d swear otherwise), that can only mean that I, myself, am not willing to face my own attainment of prosperity.

The message ultimately means I should actively prepare myself to embrace success. That means I need to consciously open a space in my life for success to thrive. That means I have to become the kind of person who can accept success and everything that comes with it, without reserve.

The Spiritual message for me from the non-existent, but all wise Marketing God thus becomes, “Plan for Success” and plan well.

© 2018 DARLENE

BACK TO THE NEWSLETTER

___________________

DON’T MISS ANY.

Anyone who wants to opt into my e-mail newsletter (sent out every two weeks) is welcomed:

YES… I’D LIKE TO RECEIVE DARLENE’S ARTISTIC NEWSLETTER!

* indicates required



Email Format

Thank You.