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I hope you dance

I hope you dance“I hope you dance” is a mixed media collage art work using the sheet music of the beautiful song made famous by LeeAnn Womack and penned by Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers. My painting uses the iconic ballet dancer’s graceful en pointe image against a background of pinks and red tissue and washi papers.

You know, I was fortunate enough to see the charismatic, adorable and talented Tia perform it live at the Bluebird. I already loved the song and was so moved at her performance, I had to express it in some way and out came this painting.  Head over here for the back story on Tia’s inspiration in writing this song and the gorgeous music video of I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack.

Check it out as a design element in a beautiful home interior: hope you dance

Like this image? I’m afraid it’s only available in print these days. You can purchase it from this site. The good news is, if you really, really, really love it, you can even score other goodies such as note cards, yoga mats (yes, you know you’d love one), beach towels, hell, even shower curtains! So head on over and get your credit card out!

PS: If you absolutely must have an original along this same line, contact me to explore a commission for that once-in-a-lifetime gift for the special someone in your life.

 

 

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Me: Part 2

Us and boysAfter a couple of years in the country, we relocated back to Nashville where I went through two years of high school before another move to Murfreesboro, an hour south of Nashville. During my high school, I got involved in school programs, ranging from sports – basketball, track and swimming – to acting (yes, acting!) and church (I was secretary of our CYO group) and even earned a 100 hour badge as a candystriper volunteering at the local V.A. hospital.

Despite all these activities, the transition to Murfreesboro was tough since I’d left some close, wonderful friends behind during a crucial time in my teenage years to try to gain acceptance in a school where most everyone had grown up together. I processed my feelings in writing and escaped into books even more. In fact, I often got in trouble for reading off-topic in class — even honors English class.

I absolutely loved writing and felt comfortable doing so. So much so, that in college, I frequently wrote other student’s term papers along with my own.  I left school to earn a paycheck, married young and soon had a couple of children and life as a stay at home mom bringing in a little side money as a sportswriter for a local weekly paper and then working as a stringer for another local newspaper.

My tumultuous six-year-marriage ended so I entered the ranks of the 9-5 employed in customer service. A few years later I remarried a wonderful man — my best friend — and continued to work, too busy to write. I returned to school and received a B.A. (cum laude, I might add) in Mass Comm from Middle Tennessee State University. While there, I was writing for the school newspaper and as a stringer with the Tennessean, covering some random stories from a major pollution issue to the cotton crop’s prospects to tragedies such as a young boy dying from diabetes.

After graduating, I moved into a fulltime reporters role with a suburban Nashville daily paper and wrote for a few years longer before deciding a corporate communications job would be more lucrative. I simultaneously joined forces with a friend of my brothers and co-wrote a screenplay and, with my partner’s approval, wrote the subsequent novel based on the story. It gathered dust on a shelf as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raged on but I’m glad to say became my first published novel, Empty Sky, which was finally published in 2014.

The art came into play this way: My two sons joined different branches of the military and served in Iraq. They both served in the infantry and both were embroiled in some of the worst fighting during our years there. My eldest, a Marine, was in Nasariyah in the beginning of the war which was described as “a Turkey Shoot, with our Marines as the targets.”  My younger son was in the mechanized infantry in Anbar Province where half-ton IEDs were the widow-makers and son-stealers.

I’ll be honest. It unbalanced me for a few years. Not that I became a raging alcoholic or ended up in an institution. Rather, I let anger and outrage over what I perceived as an egregiously ill-advised course of action eat away at me. I was bitter and intense and outspoken and not a pleasant person to be around.

Then I found art.

My sons were stateside and safe and I was able to let down my guard. With a makeshift studio beckoning, I taught myself some basics and took classes and workshops and found a community of fellow artists to paint with.  It was the release I needed and at once my soul felt so much lighter!

Technological advances sent my consulting business the way of travel agencies, and forced me to find steady employment. I did, and have since moved to Florida with my husband. Thankfully, we have a great home with a great studio and separate office where I can paint or write as is my inclination. I decided after finally publishing Empty Sky last year to take a stab at completing the sketch of another story I’d started years ago. Over this past several months I finished it. It is my sweet second novel The Gray Lady of Long Branch and it’s being released August 25.  I hope you’ll consider reading it!

 

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Empty Sky book release update

So, we’re getting closer to a firm release date.  It looks like late August when all is said and done.  In time, I hope, for Labor Day reading opportunities for folks lucky enough to take some time off then. I’m hoping readers will head to the beach for a beach vacation with my book in tow! Or trek to a cabin in the mountains, armed with some good reads, including Empty Sky.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Whatever the case, Empty Sky looks like it will be available in paperback form in late August. We are working on a book release locally, as well as book-signing events in Nashville and Asheville too, since both of those locations are front and center in this book.  Nothing is firm yet, though, so stay tuned!

The front cover of the novel Empty Sky by Maura Satchell
The front cover of the novel Empty Sky by Maura Satchell