As some of you know, writers today are responsible for a significant portion of their books’ virtual and in-person promotion work. Marketing is fun but, at the same time, can be draining. I tend to push very hard for the month before and after a book’s release date. That means up to twelve hours a day living, breathing Zoom panels, bookstore events, blog posts, blog tours, and Facebook parties. As a result, I’m a mass of nervous energy and empty of new ideas. At this point, I have trouble writing a simple email. Perversely, the complicated schedules of writing deadlines demand continued progress in the latest manuscript.
At last, I’ve found a solution – an easy solution. I walk into a museum. I wander around with no set plan or no set time limit. I let the exhibits wash over me, and this begins to recharge my creative energy. For the artist, this is cross-training at its most pleasant.
I’m lucky enough to live in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. There are four museums within the space of a half-dozen blocks. Just around the corner from me on Central Avenue is the Chihuly Collection, with a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork in a magnificent setting.
When I’m in the mood for the Chihuly, I usually linger longest the gallery with the stunning installation titled “Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier,” whose flame red swirls dangle from the ceiling. I also adore the multicolored chandelier known as “Milli Fiore.” After I walk through the museum, I spend some time in the gift shop, where items for sale are not the typical selection of cups and postcards.
The Museum of Fine Arts is on Beach Drive, with an extensive permanent collection of French Impressionist paintings. Drawn from public and private collections in North America and Europe, this museum contains my favorite artists in both Impressionist and Modernist paintings. I disappear into these paintings with joy.
At the south end of the downtown area is the world-famous Dali Museum, with touring exhibits and the most extensive collection of Dali art outside of Spain. Salvador Dalí’s art is often as shocking as it is brilliant. There are changing and special exhibits throughout the year, including children’s activities, films, music series, lectures, and more. I enjoy the Spanish-themed Cafe and meander inside the meditative Avant Garden.
We now have two more museums to add to the list. The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is a 30,000-square-foot haven of contemporary artwork depicting cowboys, Native Americans, settlers, and wildlife. It’s a fantastic respite on a hot August afternoon. Most of the exhibits are from living artists – I love that.
Further West on Central Avenue is the Imagine Museum, with more than 1,500 top-quality glass objects made by contemporary artists worldwide.
The Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement is the newest downtown entry. This is my décor of choice, and I love the inspiration the pieces offer. The exhibits are both beautiful as well as functional for both everyday life and extraordinary works. Inside are examples of Frank Lloyd Wright, Roycrofter, Gustav Stickley, Charles Rennie MacIntosh of Glasgow, and many more. I adore the pottery and the children’s gallery.
This technique for “filling the well” refreshes my creativity, and in little more than an hour, I’m ready for the next promotional challenge.
What’s your favorite method to refresh your creativity?
About Death A Sketch:
In eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent runs a unique tour company called Paint & Shine, but sometimes the peaceful mountains play host to murder . . .
Miranda’s business—combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine—is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will help with building her new distillery.
Miranda has many teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. After the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues—while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .
Meet the author:
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for art. Cheryl and her husband George live among the museums in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.
You can visit Cheryl and sign up for her newsletter at http://www.cherylhollon.com