Art, Creativity, Writing

On Creating a Masterpiece

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In a painting class I once took, a fellow student asked the teacher if there was a way to make sure that their work would look the way they wanted.

The entire class stopped and looked to the front of the room for the answer, an all-encompassing secret that would ensure their creation went the way they wanted.

The teacher very casually announced, “You just have to work on it and see how it turns out.”

The entire class just cringed! Everyone wanted that secret bit of wisdom that would somehow, some way, turn everything they did into a masterpiece.

It’s not a shock that actually doesn’t exist–but for a split second, everyone was hopeful that it did.

One of my English teachers once said, along the same lines, “You can’t hit it with every one.” I had written an essay that turned out really well, and seeing how a new one turned out….Well, I didn’t feel it turned out at all.

You can’t hit it with every one: something I’ve always found to be true.

And so it goes with “You just have to work on nit and see how it turns out.”

That’s kind of the way life is, though, isn’t it?


When It’s Hard for Creatives to Stay in the Present

Image: Hilda Smith/

For creatives, it can sometimes be tough to stay in the present. Whether thinking about the past or the future—often in the form of upcoming projects or getting back to a “work in progress”—creative minds are often miles away from their physical brains.

There’s probably no way to always be in the present; meditating, for example, will just lead to again thinking about works in the progress.

Sometimes, though, it can help to do two simple things:

1) Ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?” That sounds extremely simplistic, but there can be beauty in simplicity. It brings up the discrepancy between what you’re actually doing and what you’re thinking. This simple act can make you more purposeful—and mindful—at the same time.

2) Make lists of what you have to do. Trying to keep a list of everything that needs to be done or everywhere you need to go in your brain leads to repeating this list over and over. Sure, that’s a way of trying to remember it—but it keeps your brain from being grounded in whatever you’re doing right now.

Then there are the creatives that write (or create art, etc.) focusing on the past and future.

That’s a whole different story…sometimes, literally. 🙂


Wisdom from a Seashell, a non-fiction quote/life hack book is now available for free on Booksie. It’s an ongoing book that will have a collection of standalone chapters added regularly. Check it out: Wisdom from a Seashell

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*Historical, Paranormal

Inspiration from a Haunted Ship

The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, is a (Supposedly) Haunted Floating Piece of History

Locals know of the presumed history of the Queen Mary. It’s a history that includes voyages carrying troops during WWII as well as voyages sailing on its passenger service.

It’s also rumored to be haunted: very haunted, as in one of the most haunted places in the United States.

Interestingly, it’s also a hotel—most likely, it’s not a hotel for the faint of heart.

If there’s one thing notable about places like this—even if you’re just admiring from afar—it’s that they inspire tons of stories. Anyone who loves either a good ghost story or a historical (and true) backstory would hate to see a ship like this sink.

That’s almost exactly what happened recently. For a while, the ship deteriorated so much it was in danger of capsizing, and the city of Long Beach almost deliberately sunk it.

Buying a Lifeboat

What has happened instead? Long Beach has decided to save the ship. It turns out it’s a big part of the city’s economy1.

Part of the funding for the renovations was/is selling off some of the Queen Mary’s lifeboats (they’re contributing to the ship’s demise) to be sold to bidders.

I thought if I had the means, I would totally buy one!

For now, luckily the ghosts of the Queen Mary can keep their home, and a historical ship will be rightfully restored.

People can eventually go back and take haunted nighttime tours of the ship.

As for me, if I return, I’ll stick to visiting it in the daytime.

1Looking to Buy a Piece of Queen Mary History? Now’s Your Chance.” Los Angeles Times. February 27, 2022

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