What to write?

Each morning I get up, make my coffee, and write.  Usually something pops into my mind during the coffee making process.  Not today.  I'm feeling tired for some reason.  I can't explain it.

Well, maybe I can.

August 31st.  The end of summer.  Think back to the end of spring and what happened.  Four months ago we collectively began an unparalleled evacuation followed by a mandatory month of displacement.  Perhaps I'm feeling the fatigue of that this morning?

August 31st.  The end of summer.  The beginning of the shift to autumn and eventually winter.  To be honest, I'm enjoying the cooler days and nights.  I sleep better, deeper.  The though of putting on layers more consistently brings a smile to my face.  I wasn't built for the tropics.

I spent several hours doing graphical recording yesterday for CAREERS: The Next Generation, as they engaged a powerful room of influencers in a conversation about how to engage young people in the trades during this rebuild period and in the years that will follow.

When I listen to guys like John Wilson, Doug Golosky, Jim Carter and Eric Newell, I'm always inspired by their insights, observations, and commitment to this community.  Over the years, I've had a chance to spend time with each of them and appreciate their wisdom and leadership.

It was one of the highlights of my two-year wild colour portrait painting adventure getting Jim and Eric to sign their painting and pose for a picture.

Back at the office I enjoyed a wonderful visit with Blair Jean, a former resident who is launching a new book this evening called Clearwater Memoirs.  Now retired, Blair is interested in researching, capturing and sharing history.  I'll be doing some emceeing for him at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library this evening.  The event starts at 6 pm.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

At home in the evenings, I always spend time in Birdsong Studio.  Yesterday I did some finishing touches to the portrait of Gene Wilder and sketched out my next project.  I also spent a few minutes getting back to several clients waiting on projects.  I feel a mix of shock and awe at the dozens and dozens of people who have reached out wanting me to paint portraits for them.  I feel a sense of profound gratitude that they are patient with me.  The wait time is stretching longer and longer.

Several clients have admonished me for keeping my prices so reasonable.

"You need to up your prices," they say.  "Except for me of course," they quickly add with a laugh.

Everyone who has a project in the queue will be pleased as all new orders that come in, starting September 1st, will be charged the Fall 2016 rates.  While I'm still not charging as much as some have suggested, I'm slowly bumping things up to find the right balance.  I'll be honest, I'm still trying to figure everything out.

It's 7:30 am.  Time to shut off the computer, get dressed and head to the office.  Having done my writing, I feel much more alive and ready to start my day.


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