As a life-long learner, I enjoy being a scholar. Here in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico offers continuing education classes in the summer, fall, and spring. I always look through their catalogue to see what’s available.

By trial and error, I’ve discovered that I do better with classes that are shorter, that only run for a few weeks or even are one-timers, like the UNM Writers’ Conference “From Start to Sales.” It’s an annual day-long seminar for writers.

There are speakers and workshops, as well as a panel discussion. Those who sign up early get the opportunity to pitch their book to a bona fide agent. Of course, I’m signed up. I’ve signed up for several other classes, too.

Today, I started a travel sketching class. The idea of this class is to learn to do quick sketching for making a travel journal. Sometimes, it’s not possible to take a photo, but even if you take photos, it’s fun to be able to augment them with sketches to remember your trip.

I remember being on the subway in Santiago. Across from me, there were four people seated when a musician got on and started performing. As I recall, he wasn’t half bad, but my attention was captured by the reactions of those four people.

One never looked up from his phone. One leaned his head against the pole as if he were too tired to lift it, but his eyes were raised to watch the musician.

The third man alternatively watched the musician and stared at a book he was holding, and the woman kept her head facing forward, but her eyes were cut to the left to scrutinize the musician.

I desperately wanted to snap a photo of them, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate. Instead, I pulled out the little notebook that I keep in my purse and did a quick sketch. It’s very rough, but everyone who’s seen it has immediately said, “It’s people on the subway.”

Maybe someday I’ll gloss it up and add more details, but it works as it is for a quick sketch. I’m looking forward to doing more and allowing myself to be creative with it, instead of feeling the need to be “perfect.”

I’ve ordered a couple of travel journaling books so that I can play around with it and have some fun. My usual M.O. while traveling is taking tons of photos without ever doing anything with them. When Instagram connected with Facebook and started automatically posting Instagram photos to Facebook, I stopped using it.

Now, I’ve learned how to adjust my Facebook settings so that not all my Instagram photos get posted there. Maybe I’ll be motivated to use Instagram again and to make more Pinterest boards as well.

I’ve joined an online group for “creatives.” I’m feelin’ the creative groove and I like it.

Do you have a project that you’re working on? From knitting to drawing to cooking to…whatever your interests are. I’d love to know what inspires you.

~~Sally Rose
Author of Amazon Nº. 1 Best Seller Penny Possible
Author of A Million Sticky Kisses
Contributing author to Once Upon An Expat

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