Our Blog is moving to a new home!

Thank you to all who took the time to connect to our page.  We decided to migrate our blog onto our main website.  We will still offer the same weekly tips and ideas.  This was our temporary location for our blog until we reorganized our business model.  This had been an organic process and things have changed since this project began.  We have seen our ideas grow.  We started the site to share our work but we recently added services and a few new members to our team.  I hope you subscribe on our main site and continue to receive our updates.  We hope to offer more quality resources and posts for artists and writers.   We also plan to launch our own ebook publication called LittleLucyLovebugsBooks.  Stay tuned & Thank you again.

You can find us at mahieustudios.com.  Just click on our blog page! 

-Mahieu Studios Team

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Reach the finish line and get into the race!

Today, I hit the play button to a random podcast for the sole purpose of having background noise. I had no intention of actively listening. It was just something to fill the white noise around my desk. Then, something caught my ear. I didn’t catch the man’s name but he said made me laugh. He spoke about a conversation with someone else giving him a hard time. This business writer said, “My ugly published book is still better than you unfinished one”. My last workshop touched on the same point. Many of us still stuck in the stalls hold back from the race because we keep getting spooked. We keep waiting for the perfect moment. We keep editing something that should have been done. We get distracted by the shiny objects around us.

There a time when we need to just take off running. Race or no race. Why did you start in the first place? Those only in it for the money and fame will most likely fall behind real writers or quit. Do you want to be the quitter? Don’t make your own end a tragic tale. Think of your message. Stop hitting the edit button in your mind, and just focus. Sometimes, the raw part of our work is better and closer to the truth in our writing than the over-edited version. Does this mean we stop and upload something into Amazon before we do any editing? No, this would be the wrong answer and poor quality for our audience. The point is take a look at raw writing of your work and understand what you are trying to tell your readers. It means you need to stop being afraid of being finished with your work. The only time you should put down your pen or stop moving those fingers is when the work is done. Never be a failed dieter in your own writing because you didn’t empty all the contents locked in your mind. Miss a day? So what! Pick it back up and get your job done as a writer. Or do you want to the one going to workshops 10 years later because you are still daydreaming about being a writer? Be the writer and finish something!

– Mahieu

Dear Little Lucy – Turkey in Hiding

Dear Little Lucy,

I write to you from a secret location. Not to be paranoid or anything but I know my days are numbered. I stood at the lookout last night and heard the clock ticking. I know those men in orange are coming to take me away. I can feel it. The forest is quiet at this time of year. A few squirrels are gathering nuts but no one puts them on the menu for Thanksgiving. Why can’t the other white meat still be chicken at the end of November? I’m a fan of the vegans. What’s a turkey to do? If only those scientist didn’t ruin the rumors of tryptophan, it might have saved a few more of our necks. I mean isn’t trying to outrun their cars crossing the road enough! The squirrels know. Those men in orange vests won’t get me this year! I setup boobie traps around my fort. Just wait! Sorry for venting but I had to send out a warning to my visiting friends. I know they read your column. I wouldn’t want them caught in the traps.

Sincerely,
Turkey in hiding

Dear Turkey in Hiding,

Oh dear! Forgive the phrase but I send this out to all of your friends so they may avoid your traps. I can understand your frustration but beware. Those men in orange may be armed and may not take kindly to your boobie traps. Please be careful and mindful of all creatures living, even humans. I know you are trying to hide but what if you did the opposite. Why don’t you put on an orange vest for a month? The chances of them getting you would drop significantly. Although some of them still have accidents now and then. This method might be safer for you and your friends that wish to pay you a visit. Sitting alone in your hidden fort building up your anger is never good.

Sincerely,

Little Lucy

P.S. I am sending you an orange hunting tent and vest for you own protection. It lacks style but it’s better than ending up on someone’s menu.

Question to all writers out there- What was your biggest hurdle this year? How did you overcome it?

Hi Everybody,

I just wanted to hear back from all you on these questions. Please leave your comments! Thank you.

This year my biggest hurdle was focusing. I have too many projects going and not enough energy left to complete them. To overcome them, I am finally forced to create a list of priorities. Someone at my last meet-up said to clean one tile at a time instead of the whole kitchen.

-mahieu

A typewriter and a Paris Cafe (Conversations with Ernest Hemingway)

The change in the cold weather finally got me. While I lay wrapped in my shroud of aspirin, cold medicine, and roll of toilette paper (no more kleenex to be found), I found myself aimlessly searching youtube videos and thinking of the old typewriter days. I started to picture Ernest Hemingway at an old Paris cafe sipping from his shot-glass penning into his notebook of inspiration. I had this romantic scene stuck in my head until I came across his true personality when someone listed his quotes. His tall voice would yell to his friend across the table, “write drunk, edit sober” before he headed home from the bar for a two hour session at his typewriter. The next day I pictured him crossing out nearly half of everything he wrote the night before. In the afternoon, he met with a local paper when new magazine reporter leans over the table and asks, “How is latest work going?” His reply is, “The first draft of everything is shit.” I laughed out loud at the scene playing out in my head and looked around to see if anyone noticed. I stopped laughing to myself when I remembered my first interview for a local newspaper. My notebook and pen wrote furiously. I forgot to turn on the voice recorder a few times. Then, there were the awkward pauses while I fumbled for my list of questions. I was the new and naive reporter pretending to interview the world’s icon. What was the problem with the fantasy interview in my head? I didn’t want to be the reporter or even interview him. I wanted to be him. Let me specify, I wanted to be the writer in the scene, so what the hell keeps stopping me? Well, in exploring this thought at least I managed to finish one paragraph. I imagine Hemingway himself would say- “get your pen out and see what the hell you have to say about it.” As writers, we don’t know our voice until we let the pen bleed dry. So, get writing! Hey, it’s a little bit nicer than what Mr. Hemingway would say to you.

Mahieu
“Write drunk, edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway
“The first draft of everything is shit.” Ernest Hemingway

Dear Courting Panda – from Dear Little Lucy

Dear Courting Panda,

Thank you for writing to me with such a heartfelt story.  There are many other male mammals wondering the very same thing.  Take heart when I say studies show that courting the female panda may be the most difficult of all species.  In fact, trying to get Pandas to court is always under study.  It also sounds like your counterpart is giving you mixed signals and there is no sure way to tell if she is playing hard to get.  Remember, I am no expert at animal relationships but I would suggest continuing to court her the old fashioned way.  Woo her.  She kept the flower.  Place one there regularly and try not to watch her.  Get know what kind of bamboo she prefers.  Place a few near her favorite tree and see if she accepts them.  You can always resort to lines of poetry or finding out things she likes.  Sit near her and go about your business as usual.  Say “hello” to her even if it makes you uncomfortable, but give no hint to her that you were the one leaving the love notes or flowers.   Always be the polite gentleman.  Let her get used to your presence every day.  Try this for a few days and work your way up to introducing yourself.  She may be shy.  Continue wooing her but don’t say that it’s you.  Sit at enough distance from her and take your leave before her at the same time every day.  Never stalk her – that will definitely scare her off.   Have patience.  Try to have small talk after your introductions and listen.  Wait for her replies.  Try this for a while and then be gone one day or two.  Have one of the squirrels see if she looks for you.  Then, return as before but this time hand her the same flower left for her the very first day.  See how she reacts.  If she snubs you or doesn’t return then forget her.  She will only ever be your lunch buddy.  There are other pandas in the forest.  Write back to me and let me know how things went even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped.  I’m sure the other pandas in the forest are waiting to hear how things went.  You may want to enclose an email for the other pandas if you are turned down.  I’m sure they will want to meet to the panda that went to all this trouble for one lunch date.

 

Sincerely,

Little Lucy

Dear Little Lucy – The Guilty Kitten

Dear Little Lucy,

I write to you because I have a confession to make. I let the dog take the blame. I was the cat in one of those youtube videos. My owner finally caught me in the act. I was the one who tore the toilet paper to shreds and chewed on the remote. Poor Jake, the mixed chocolate lab had to run around the house with his tail between his legs for weeks. He didn’t know what he did wrong. He was in the doghouse for weeks. Most cats would just laugh but I’m worried about him. He mopes around the house and when our owner comes home he immediately runs to the corner. You know dog habits. I feel guilty. When my owner finally caught me my video went viral and now I’m going on tour at the local film festival. Poor Jake has to stay home because there will be too many cats present. How can I make it up to him?

Sincerely,
The Guilty Kitten

___________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Guilty Kitten,

I know he’s a dog but you can start by telling him you’re sorry. Try to do it without sneering like cats can do. Encourage him to come out of the corner. Find something to distract him from his worries and trained behavior. Throw a ball his way instead of sabotaging him.  Most of all go back to your toys instead of ruining your owners things, unless you want a one way to ticket to the pound.  Sometimes I ask myself if we are any better than those who try to tame us.  Unfortunately, those humans put our bad behavior on viral display or perhaps they just sympathize with one another as pet owners.  Try to live in harmony with your roommates and don’t let the fame go to your head.  If you’re that much smarter than a dog then why don’t you have him trained  yet? The entire cat community is waiting.  On the other hand, who knows what he would do for you if he was your friend.  In an emergency I think a dog is more likely to dial for help than a cat.  Think of that next your stuck in a tree.

 

Sincerely,

Little Lucy

Finding your social network – a meet-up group

The weather has turned here in the upper Mid-West. I am waking up in the dark and going home just as the last few rays of sunshine fall behind the downtown Minneapolis Skyline. How can I create my own sunshine without hitting the local tanning bed? Maybe I should invest in a sun lamp. Despite my sleepy, hibernating body I signed up for my first meet-up group with innovators and entrepreneurs in Minnesota. I was surprised to find so many groups on their home page. There were groups of people posting their passions, interests and hobbies. I had to smile when I saw groups like, The Twin Cities Dr Who Meetup Group. The best part is most of the groups are free to join or charge very little to attend their meetings. I think it’s time to come out of our studios and hobbit holes for a social event. Go to Google and type in meet-up groups or your own personal interest. This might be one way to help find your niche or realize that you’re drawn to something else. Try something new and tell the dullness of winter you’re not going into hiding this time.

Mahieu

http://www.meetup.com/find/

Dear Little Lucy – The Courting Panda

Dear Little Lucy,

One day, deep in the bamboo forest I came to a clearing and saw a beautiful sight. She was sitting there bathed in sunlight and the stripes on her fur looked as soft as flower petals. I sat and stared while I chewed on my lunch. I was too overwhelmed by her beauty. Later, I heard from the other animals that her name was Meili. Her very names means beauty. She was relocated to my part of the forest a month ago. She doesn’t seem to mind my presence when we sit near each other. We look quietly at each other in our meeting place every day. Neither of us speak. We just sit and eat. Every day, I try to work up the courage to say something – anything, but alas no words pour out. I know female pandas are difficult to court. What do I say to such a beauty? A few days ago, I arrived early and placed a flower near her favorite tree. She sniffed around and found it. To my surprise, she placed the flower behind her tiny ear. Then she smiled at me! My hand shook and my mouth went dry. My heart thudded and then nothing. I was speechless. What am I to do? How do I make the next move? Please help. I don’t know what step is next in courting my love.

Sincerely,

The Courting Panda

(Look for Lucy’s reply next week. What are your thoughts? How does a Panda court another mate? Send Dear Little Lucy a comment to include.)

An online portfolio for writers

As an illustrator/artist I know about online portfolios that focus on visual representation but have you heard about online portfolios for writers? I was doing more research when I came across a site called writing.com with over a million writers that allows you to share your work online.  I also found inkspot.com which is associated with writing.com and offers the similar services.  This may be good for all those still lugging around our manuscripts.  I know I have a pile sitting at home.  This option may be great for those pressed for meeting time, or for those who have an editor that is too far away to make it to the local coffee shop.  Some of us may have trusted peers in different places around the country or world.   This is one more way to share your work with someone and keep your pieces on hand for easy review.  I know I’ve maxed out some of my online storage folders.  In addition to the portfolio this sites offer a contests, tools and resources for writers.  One advantage that I see with these websites is an immediate community of writers.  Lastly, this may be a good starting point for someone who doesn’t have their own blog.  If you aren’t comfortable in starting your own blog, then you can ask people within this community to review your posts or ideas before you hit the publish button.  Just remember, the best time to start is right now!  I’m waiting to hear about someone else that made it into the writer’s market.

~ Mahieu

If you have any other great resources, please let me know so I can reblog/reference them.   So thank you for all your likes and comments!