Bunny Win 12×12″ oil-on-aluminum
Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends, watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.
I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite in 2009. Captivated by how the painting came to life, Indigo Sky is an historic romantic adventure inspired by Bierstadt’s journey from the Catskills to Yosemite.
Indigo Sky Bookcover
After extensive studies and writing workshops, among many was Carol Dannhauser’s Memoir writing and Michael Hauge’s, A Hero’s Journey. I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by, those several years. Consider, I could have acquired a PhD in writing! Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!
One day, I looked up—Soul Mate Publishing published my book—suddenly, I was a published author.
You see, I had been painting full time, everyday, three workshops every week, sketching, photographing, scanning, framing, it is a full time job. Writing is the same. I did a ton of research before I even began to write. Then I wrote everyday, researched when necessary. Writing is rewriting. First draft, second draft, edit, edit and more edit. Then when the publisher’s editor got hold of it, we did more editing. We deleted down from 86k to 82k. It was not scary or sad. It was good. I knew it needed more editing, always, especially when a professional looks at your work.
Domes of Yosemite (Ode to Bierstadt) 24×36″ acrylic on canvas
Finally, when the book was published, I finished my painting project. I love to paint! Now, literally, with the show on the road, I am seriously thinking about writing my next historical romance, maybe in and around Coney Island. This blog sees the culmination of my Coney Island painting project, on view, until September 30 at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT. Come party with us on Thursday, September 8, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Clap along with us as we demo a swing dance (Lindy) just like in Coney Island way back when, to the big band mix of, ‘In the Mood, Sweet Sue, Rockin’ the Rock named “Jive Bunny.” See the invitation here:
Coney Island: Visions from the Boardwalk
Meet Artist-Writer Gail Ingis Claus at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
Artist Reception and Book Signing Party, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 pm Enjoy exotic aged cheeses, grapes, berries, and veggie crudites generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering
Coney Island’s Cyclone: Oh What a Ride 12×24 Oil-on-Anodized-Aluminum
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is pleased to present more than 25 paintings
from artist-writer Gail Ingis-Claus. The artist will be signing copies of her new
book entitled INDIGO SKY. During the reception, the Lockwood-Mathews
Mansion Museum will be offering the book at a special show price.
Unique Offer: Enter at the reception to Win A FREE Book and a Coney Island
print! Attendees of the Artist Reception and Book Signing Party on Thursday,
September 8, 2016, will be entered to win a complimentary copy of Gail’s novel in
paperback and a Coney Island print from her art collection. The drawing will take place
shortly before closing at 7:15 pm. The winning ticket holder must be present to
receive the free book, bookmark, and print of Coney Island.
The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown
2016 Distinguished Benefactors:
The Maurice Goodman Foundation
RSVP by Friday, Sept 2, 2016
203-838-9799 ext. 4 Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
Free, win an Indigo Sky eBook download. Winner chosen from those who comment! Deadline, Wednesday, August 17th at midnight.
Ivan, the bartender
Party, Party, Party. That’s the invitation I sent out to my friends, family and followers to come and celebrate the release of, Indigo Sky, my first book.
Susan and crew
After I sent the invitations, I realized that parties should be celebrations where guests can enjoy good food and drink. It’s great to talk about a party but how do I do this?
Pequot Library, Southport, CT held its most important fundraiser reception at the opening of their yearly art exhibition, with a mix of media to be sold. There was also a silent auction offering beach houses, design consultations, ballroom dance lessons, catering, and more from established local merchants. During the evening, food was ample and strategically placed with trays of cheeses, fruits, and crackers, all beautifully arranged. The open bar was stocked with your favorites and overflowing with tasty champagne cocktails. A staff of cordial servers appeared with appetizers, simple finger foods, elaborate and tasty, no mess, no bother. While enjoying the stuffed shrimp appetizer, Tom and I were reviewing the offers at the silent auction table when a woman next to us said, “That’s me.”
I turned to her and asked, “Who?”
Bob Bonitz, author, and server Barbie
“Look at this offer for a catering service, that’s me, I’m the caterer, Susan Kane.”
“You’re the caterer? You did all this? I stared for not more than a moment, took a deep breath and said, “I’m having a party this Wednesday. Will you help me?” She said, “Yes.” We made a date for Monday, she told me not to worry, all would be fine.
Susan is a local in Fairfield, CT. She spent years learning the art of cooking in the Italian restaurants her grandparents and parents owned in Pennsylvania. Susan has worked in restaurants and estates, planning meals, cooking and serving. The Inn at Pound Ridge is only one of the places where she studied food preparation and service under the head chef.
Susan is great at designing elaborate and elegant festivities. She sent me a menu, I chose, she did the rest. We had several appetizers and two desserts, chocolate mousse and fresh fruit, plus a stationary of delicious and fresh veggies, cheeses and crackers. NOT your average crudité station.
Susan cares about food source, high quality and serving aesthetics.
Kristan Higgins, author, and me
My guests have touched base, with calls and emails about the good time they had, and how they thought the caterer made the party even more wonderful. Thank you, Susan Kane, for creating a beautiful setting for a momentous night for me as a debut author.
Me, Tom, and sons Rick & Paul Ingis
Chocolate Mousse Martini
What’s your favorite finger food?
Purple/black, red & green grapes for wine, light, medium, heavy, bubbly . . . more choices than anyone could possible want in the wine world. I concluded my favorite is bubbly wine, Champagne cocktails.
Recently we rode the wine trail in Canandaigua, NY, and stopped at a few wineries. Wow! What a fun experience. Reds and whites from very dry, to medium dry, to the sweet ice wine. Strange name, it’s not icy.
Depending on the age it changes in taste and quality. No, I am not an expert, but on the wine trail there are more wineries and more wines to taste than you can count. We took the bate and took away red and white wines, and my favorite, bubbly wine.
CELEBRATE with me. My book is available today, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Indigo Sky . . . on Amazon.
Release day, 10/21/15 Indigo Sky
Friends and family are toasting success with me this evening . . . with bubbly wine (Champagne) and hors d’oeuvres. Even an aged special wine is not as a dreamy as a flute of champagne. Like fireworks, anticipation of the pop, the sizzle, and the spill, just enough to lick your fingers! And with those hors d’oeuvres, hmm . . .
Amazon has the book ready for you to buy. Here’s the buy link for your perusal.
Indigo Sky buy link
Indigo Sky book cover
Okay, okay, so this is a pitch for my new book . . . but it’s not out there yet . . . First let me tell you what’s going on—my editor from Soul Mate Publishing released my final draft to the publisher Monday, September 14. That probably means we’ll stay on schedule for the release, Wednesday, October 21, 2015. If you don’t know what writing is about, let me tell you that it’s about rewriting and rewriting again and again. Yup, the whole manuscript got rewritten numerous times to hopefully, a sweet, sensuous and spirited read. This week, my blog was going to be about women’s adventures in the Civil War, instead, I’ll give you a little excerpt of my heroine, Leila, when she bumps into her long lost school friend Cornelia.
INDIGO SKY excerpt:
Certainly her mother had made it clear that Leila committed a serious breach of etiquette by joining her husband on a bachelor spree, and people could talk about her unladylike conduct.
I don’t care what my mother or anybody else says. Leila pouted. Anyway, what’s one more scandal? Rumors surrounding Hank’s excesses and philandering had plagued her marriage from the outset.
She poured more tea and took a sip of the hot brew, casting a glance at Hank. Millburn’s shoulders were twice the width of her husband’s, and he was a head taller than Hank. They seemed well ensconced at the bar. She sighed and contemplated returning to her compartment.
She looked up. A tall woman with blond curls pinned high on her head stood beside the booth. A smile touched the woman’s alabaster face. “Leila Dempsey? Is that really you?”
“Cornelia?” Leila gaped at her friend. She and Cornelia Hancock had attended boarding school together for eight years.
“I haven’t seen you in ages,” she bubbled, taking Leila’s arm. “Oh, do give me a hug.”
Leila rose and was enveloped in perfumed arms. “How wonderful to see you.”
“It’s good to see you, too, my friend.” Cornelia dropped into the opposite seat, smiling broadly. “Where are you going? What are you doing in Albany? Last I heard you were in Florida.”
“Yes, well, we’re back in New York, and now we’re on our way west for business with my husband and his partner,” Leila said, eyeing her warily. Cornelia was part of the social circle and would have heard the latest news. Leila suspected she still corresponded with everyone from their class.
“I’m stopping in New York City to meet a Doctor Brown, who works with orphans, then I’m going on to St. Louis to pursue a nursing career.”
“Cornelia, how wonderful!” Leila was happy to have companionship, and her melancholy dissipated with the news from her friend.
Read more in my book, INDIGO SKY, to be released on October 21, 2015.
At the time of the civil war, Florence Nightingale inspired women to take control of their lives. Society was against women doing anything outside the home. They were thought to be unintelligent and dependent. My own grandmother, Rose, in the early 20th century, in Russia, was a mathematics teacher. Way before her time. But she and her family were driven out of Russia, and came to America in 1922. That’s a story for another time. Women are competent, multi-faceted and are infinitely capable. Leila, my heroine, is an amazing woman. She married a successful syndicated writer, and believed she had dream marriage. But the marriage turned into a trap of addiction, lies and women. She puts up with him beyond acceptable. Follow her struggle in my INDIGO SKY, coming soon, October 2015.
Do you like to read, and what? Romance, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, young adult, women’s fiction, inspirational?
The ebook will be available on Amazon.
Watch for the trailer . . .
K.M. Weiland, Author
K.M. Weiland writes historical and speculative fiction. Following are her ten habits of the successful writer (with her permission to reblog) along with my thoughts as an artist.
Write everyday. Treat your writing like a job, even if it isn’t yet. Writing something everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph, keeps your creative pump primed and your inertia at bay. (Nora Roberts says this too, I heard her chat with Nora Roberts at RWA.)
GI Paint everyday, just like writing.
Complete stories. Discipline yourself to finish every story you start. If you quit whenever the going gets tough, or whenever the shine of a new idea beckons, you’ll never finish a story. No one reads or buys half-finished tales.
GI Complete your paintings.
Learn the writing rules. Writing is a craft that must be learned. There are excellent workshops and seminars online conveniently available and inexpensive. Read voraciously—all kinds, books on writing, join a writing organization online or local.
GI Learn the painting rules.
Thinking outside the box
Break the rules. Once you have a solid understanding of the principles of fiction, don’t be afraid to step beyond their confines. Experiment. Think outside the box. Fiction is based on a set of basic tenets because they’ve been proven to work. If it stagnates, it dies.
GI Painting is the same.
Create your own inspiration. Pinpoint what inspired you and surround yourself with stimuli. Discipline, creativity, and persistence are a cure-all for writer’s (painter’s) block. Don’t allow writer’s block to become an excuse for giving up.
GI Create your own inspiration for your painting.Don’t slack on the hard stuff.
Not all of writing is fun and games, but if you want to create a polished story, you have to submit to the hard stuff, as well as the fun stuff. Don’t cut corners on research, outlining or editing. The extra work always pays off in the end.
GI Don’t slack on the hard stuff for your art.
Follow your heart, not the market. Art is a deeply personal expression. Write the story your heart has to tell. Conforming your work to the market, just for the market’s sake, will cheat both yourself and your readers in the long run.
GI Follow your heart, and not the market for your art.
If we’re growing . . .
Develop a thick skin. Criticism of our work can seem like a personal attach, but criticism—especially when coming from critique partners, agents, and editors—is a vital part of the process. Accept constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to make your story better.
GI Painting criticism is crucial to make your paintings better.
Set your stories free. When the time comes to send your stories into the world, learn to let them go. Your characters are yours no longer. They belong to everyone who reads them. Rejoice that you’re able to share them, say goodbye, and move onto the next story.
GI Set your paintings free, give others the pleasure of your paintings.
Love what you do. We writers are a blessed bunch. Don’t ever forget that. The writing road has its own set of speed bumps—Isolation, loneliness, rejection—but benefits of spinning these webs of color and fantasy are more than just compensation!
Gail painting and writing
GI Love doing your art, painting or writing.
What are some good tips for aspiring writers of fiction?
What are some good tips for aspiring artists?
My book, Indigo Sky, will soon be published by Soul Mate Publishing. I will keep you posted.
Below is my invite to my art show this Sunday, August 9, 2015
You are Invited . . .
Gail Ingis-Artist Invitational
Bill Millers Castle
Gail’s Exhibition is Indoor
SUNDAY AUGUST 9, 2015 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Jungle Mania 11×14 oil/bd
Bill Millers Castle
Directions to Bill Millers Castle
Bill Millers Castle is located at 834 East Main Street (Rt.1) on the Branford/Guilford town line between
Exit 56 & 57 on 1-95
Traveling North from New Haven on 1-95
Take Exit 56, turn left, travel ¼ mile and turn right at Chowder Pot Restaurant. Travel 1/4 mile to the Castle
Traveling South from New London on 1-95
Take Exit 57, turn right at bottom of exit and travel 2.3 miles to the Castle
Quote of the day from Goodreads:
The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
At the age of 16, English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (born August 4, 1792) was expelled from Oxford University and disowned by his father. The reason? A little pamphlet he wrote called “The Necessity of Atheism.”
The Terrible Trio Does Dialog with T.L.Costa,, 2nd from left moderator, and that’s Kristan Higgins on the far right.
RWA does not stand for ready, willing and able, at least not for us writers. RWA stands for Romance Writer’s of America. RWA knows how to travel. This year’s annual conference was here, in my hometown, New York City. I holed up at the Marriott Marquis for 4 days. For those of you who have never experienced this hotel, you will be in for a treat, especially if you like being on a cruise with about 2000 cruisers. The only difference is that instead of eating all day as you would on a cruise, you attend business meetings and workshops. The morning speakers were great, and the workshops were magical.
NY, NY a wonderful town
For the first time, I moderated a workshop. That meant I introduced the panel of speakers in one of the workshops. I loved doing that. I haven’t done any public speaking or teaching in a long time. It was fun having everyone’s attention and telling them about these speakers that were about to enhance their knowledge bank.
Regina Kyle, moderator &Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The workshops ran all day everyday, from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. There was only a 45-minute break at noon. Hardly enough time to grab lunch or just miss it.
Jamie Beck selling all her books
Everyone was concerned about the elevators. No problem. All the elevators were automated. You push a button for your floor number on a wall panel, every elevator has a designated letter. And escalators between the first and ninth floor made it even easier to navigate. The hotel handled all 2000 writers well.
So, what was my favorite activity of the conference? Was it the Fun Home Broadway show? Dinner at Frankie and Johnny’s? The photo shoot with the amazing Marti Corn looking around with me around Broadway to have a great background in my photos? Getting my makeup professionally done for the photo shoot? The trade show for writers where some form of chocolate flowed at every table? Although all that was great, my favorites were my meeting with Gwen Reyes of Fresh Fiction and best of all was getting to know my chapter colleagues, meeting new authors and seeing two of our members, Patty Blount and Katy Lee’s names, on the marquee for the highest awards given to writers. They both were finalists in the Rita Award category.
Brownstone typical of NYC
By the time this great conference ended, we were exhausted and ready to go home.
RWA, thank you for an exhilarating experience.
Have you had a romance with New York City?
Cardboard wiggle side chair
Frank Gehry’s wiggle side chair was the beginning of his most pervasive innovative ideas. While I was working in the interior design department at Bloomingdale’s, New York, Mr. Gehry came in to demonstrate the strength and comfort of his side chair. He climbed up onto the seat and jumped up and down. All of us, interior designers and furniture salespeople, watched in horror, but he knew something we all didn’t know, because he was smiling the whole time. This most amazing chair was impervious to the tests.
Artist: Anish Kapoor
Year Built: 2004–2006
Type Stainless steel
Dimensions 10 m × 13 m × 20 m (33 ft × 42 ft × 66 ft)
Location Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Cloud Gate, a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park within the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed “The Bean” because of its bean-like shape. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It is 33 by 66 by 42 feet (10 by 20 by 13 m), and weighs 110 short tons (100 t; 98 long tons).
Gail’s photo upshot from inside the Bean
Marriott Courtyard Bistro
It took us about twelve hours by car to reach Mishawaka, Indiana. The Marriott Courtyard there was our overnight stop. We were impressed with the cleanliness, comfort and hospitality of the Marriott, the hosts and Gjorgy Baumann, Manager, charming, I might add. We were told they will be renovating soon and will have new everything. I thought the place was pretty terrific already. They even had a Bistro for light dining and breakfast. But our favorite to dine is Papa Vinno’s, an Italian foodery, as good as any in New York City, right across the street. After a delightful breakfast at the Bistro, Chicago was less than two hours from Mishawaka.
Lake view from our Chicago hotel room
Tom had a business conference to attend for the week. I used the time to work on my writing. We visited family once. When Tom was done with his business we took the time to go to Millennium Park. That was the highlight of our trip. Here are some of the photos.
June 23rd big moon from our hotel room over the lake
The Buckingham Fountain is a taxi ride away.
Buckingham Fountain in Chicago
Then we went over to Millennium Park.
Millennium Park hosts
This was a water park within Millennium Park
Sculptures of all sorts, architectural concert area by Frank Gehry. The Bean . . .
The Bean (More to come about this amazing scuplture)
I will talk about this and my other photos next week. Too many for today.
Gail and one of the sculptures
Have you been to Chicago? What’s your favorite there? Has anyone written a romance there?
A bronze shrine of Cornelius Vanderbilt on top of the station of the Grand Central
Who was really responsible for train travel? He was a ruthless, difficult man, who was responsible for the beginning of a major method of travel in America. He set a way to roll through cities and towns with his railroads. I have a connection with him because he was involved with the museum where I am a trustee, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut, but he, as the mortgager of the Mansion, sold the house to the Mathews family after the house went into foreclosure. (more…)