Creativity unleashed by Sandra Yuen MacKay

Life and art from a unique perspective


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Fright Night

Posted by symackay on October 29, 2009 at 2:51 PM

So in Vancouver, the Pacific National Exhibition (the PNE) features Fright Night for two weeks around Halloween. For a flat entry fee, you can visit four haunted houses, view an outdoor museum, watch and listen to a performance, go through a maze and enjoy unlimited rides.

The haunted houses have a lot of skeletons, lunatics, corpses, ghosts...

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Contest gone awry

Posted by symackay on October 15, 2009 at 10:14 PM

So I entered the rain stories writing contest which is now over. It appears there was deception underfoot. Some of the authors had more votes than reads. The writer with the leading number of votes was accused of cheating. He withdrew his entry. There seemed to be bad feelings between contestants. The last time I checked I tied for tenth place. A lot of the voting depended on self-promotion not necessarily on qu...

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Posted by symackay on October 12, 2009 at 2:24 PM

A question that came up for me was "Why do you write a blog? Shouldn't certain things remain private?" My reply is "Does anyone really care what I have to say? Am I writing in the wind so to speak?

For example, aren't Facebook and Twitter all about putting yourself out there and meeting new people? Are some blogs better because they don't rev...

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Living the Dream

Posted by symackay on October 2, 2009 at 8:55 PM

October has arrived, which means Thanksgiving and Halloween are happening soon. Feasting, tricks and treats. My agenda is full as I volunteered to lead the advertising committee of The Art Studios Winter Sale and Silent Auction. It's an annual fundraiser, where artists sell their work and meet with the public.

Re: losing those extra pounds, I...

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Posted by symackay on September 18, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Temptations surround me. Over the past four months, I've been recording my weight with a friend. We share how we are doing. Since we started I put on 4 pounds! This week I saw my doctor which meant a weigh-in. 

What is this BMI about? Do big bones or muscle mass count for anything?

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Warning bells

Posted by symackay on September 12, 2009 at 2:16 PM

"Please move away from the computer!" a voice shouted in my head. Warning bells went off. I needed to get off the computer and take a break. A walk or stretch would do. However, I was pinned down by deep concentration.

I skipped lunch and dinner would have to wait. I was on a roll. Periodically, someone brings me coffee or asks a question. I ...

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What more is there?

Posted by symackay on September 2, 2009 at 7:25 PM

September has arrived and I'm in full swing for the fall. I've been editing a manuscript over the past month after receiving some good advice from an editor. My sister is reading another of my manuscripts to see if it is ready for publication. I trust her judgment. Also yesterday I was part of a panel that presented to 170 students from different disciplines about stigma and mental illness. We were very well-received. I fel...

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I'm ba-a-ck!

Posted by symackay on August 7, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Back from the beach vacation, I turned on my computer to check my email as I'd been without it for a week. I got to bed after 2 a.m. because I was doing a final edit of Hell's Fire. I uploaded over 200 photos to my computer from my digital camera. The pictures are mostly driftwood, tall trees and ferry scenery. I hope to use many as references for paintings.

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Packing up!

Posted by symackay on July 28, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I'm packing up and leaving. I'm not moving, just going on an annual vacation to Parksville on Vancouver Island. We're going to be a little early to take in the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition, a world-class event held in August at Parksville beach. During August, there are lots of things going on like volleyball and croquet tournaments, fireworks, and a bike-a-thon. There's a water park, skate board park, tennis co...

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Reflection on perfection

Posted by symackay on July 10, 2009 at 2:52 PM

So as the weather changes, so do I. I had a rough week. I was tired, short-tempered and ready to pounce on my unsuspecting housemates. So I took a breather and tried hard to relax, which involving walking, talking, and sleeping. I watched some movies on our new plasma flat panel television and newscasts about the death of Michael Jackson. Some hail him as the greatest entertainer while others saw him as a tragic figure. In ...

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At the crossroads

Posted by symackay on July 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM

In the past year, doors have opened for me. I am more productive and have more stamina. I have taken on new challenges including a new job, writing new material, becoming a columnist for Majestic, and more opportunities for public speaking.

I look at my calendar and things have really picked up. I confess I spend more time than I should on Fa...

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Mission completed

Posted by symackay on June 11, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Our presentation at the Ottawa conference was successful. We completed our mission. I received good feedback on my art as well. I attended many of the talks relating to occupational therapy. But I still made time to play hooky and take photos of beautiful downtown Ottawa, visit the National Gallery, and dine at some good restaurants and pubs. I and my co-presenters leisurely walked along the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa Rive...

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National exposure

Posted by symackay on May 31, 2009 at 2:46 PM

So I'm preparing for my trip to Ottawa to speak at and attend a national conference. First there was a mixup of the flight schedule. We had to rebook for an earlier flight so we wouldn't arrive late at night. Then when I picked up my tickets, they had us scheduled to leave the wrong day. So it was sorted out and all is well.

I've spoken at a ...

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Making progress

Posted by symackay on May 19, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I wrote "Hell's Fire" off and on over a ten year period. It was a story, then a script. then a story again. It has great visuals and action and crosses genres. So I really thought it would make a good movie. My logline is: With the threat of earth's destruction looming, Johnny Riggs goes on a mission to save his supernaturally gifted daughter Annie from alien abduction.

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If you like it, why don't you buy it?

Posted by symackay on May 3, 2009 at 2:22 AM

So I sold art cards at a Mother's Day Sale at the Art Studios. Attendance to the sale was so-so as our location was off the beaten track. However, I socialized with the public and other sellers. It wasn't a bad day. The sun was shining. In my experience, people say they can't afford original art but they'll pay for dinner or buy fashionable clothes. Buying art isn't a priority for some. Even less so, with the economic ...

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The business of art

Posted by symackay on April 19, 2009 at 10:13 AM

I went to an arts symposium yesterday, where there was a discussion about artists and marketing. One speaker I learned a lot from was Chris Tyrell, the author of Artist Survival Skills: How to Make a Living as a Canadian Visual Artist. He said that art is a business not based just on ability or talent. It means hard work. It may mean painting for a market which may not be the artist's first choice. But if it means one can p...

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Writer's block

Posted by symackay on April 1, 2009 at 9:10 AM

In the past while, I've experienced writer's block which basically means I spent more time rehashing old stories and not writing anything new.

In March, I decided it would be great to write a novel about a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. I sat down and put together a rough outline. I wrote the first chapter and posted it on a writers' forum. Qui...

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Weathering the Storm

Posted by symackay on March 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM

March has been an odd month for weather. Sunshine, rain, sleet and snow in one afternoon. We had a snow storm just the other day. How have I weathered the first week of March? In February, I wrote about many projects I was working on. I had a positive response to a talk I gave to a class of occupational therapist students at the university. After receiving 5 or 6 applauses, I was on cloud nine. I answered many questions and...

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Phil Hale: Beyond the Representational

Posted by symackay on March 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Philip Oliver Hale was born in 1963. He first worked as an illustrator then became a well-known American Figurative artist. He apprenticed with Richard Berry, another American painter.

One of Hale's most memorable pai...

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The Heart of Juliet Jones

Posted by symackay on February 27, 2009 at 1:54 AM

Stan Drake's The Heart of Juliet Jones, Dailies- Vol. 1, March 9, 1953 to August 13, 1955

This collection published by Classic Comics Press has an introduction by Leonard Starr, one of Drake's contemporaries. Legend tells the story of Elliot Caplin, the brother of Al Capp of L'il A...

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