by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Another year, another project.

I'm excited this year, more than previous ones. 


For my goals I'll be working on just two short stories, but I hope to be more inspirational this year by encouraging others. And, hope to raise my $100 goal. I've already pledged $120 to other Write-a-thon participants.

Anyone who sponsors me at $50 level or more can receive a creativity coaching session from me. Contact me for details.

I'm also adding some incentive to participates to send one of their stories to my magazine for possible publication. Will you be sending a story my way? Can't wait!
 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
In April I decided to try my hand at something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. 

Painting lessons.

It started by responding to a Groupon ad I'd seen for a local artist who does art lessons out of her own art studio, Sarah King.

Sarah said she was impressed with me from the start. My spirit and willingness  to just dive in. The more I speak with people who teach, the more I see that it's something that not everyone has. 
The whole experience has given me a new appreciation for art especially my lessons using oil paints
 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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St. Patrick's Day Run. Yep, a marathon.

It was the first marathon I had ever attempted. My friend and colleague, Kari O'Connor, inspired me to sign up. She's done several marathons and trains for them. 

This one was a good starter for me. It was low-key, yet inspiring enough to help me see the benefits of during a marathons consistently. 

There is a lot of value in trying to reach the same goal as others even, and especially, if you're on different levels of experience and training. I can't tell you how inspiring it is to have people cheer you on when they look at you and instinctively you understand that they've been you at some point.

photo courtesy of Kari O'Connor.
 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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There are some places that are real gems.

I had a wonderful opportunity to participate as part of a Social Art Night series at GEM Studios here in Las Vegas. The event was open for anyone wanting to paint and socialize. People of all skill levels showed up and I was delighted to paint with professional artists alongside aspiring individuals such as myself. Inspiration was to be found throughout the whole night.

I felt at first like a diamond in the rough. More rough than diamond. By the end of the first night, I had created my first real painting in acrylic. It's inspired me to explore painting and art more and I'm so very grateful to Geneva Marquez for that inspiration and encouragement.

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The next time I went I worked on the painting just below to the left. It's still in progress, but I felt more confident, more grounded. It's a wonderful thing to create alongside other artists. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it. It really enhances a feeling of community and support.

 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
It was perfect weather that day for a hike in Red Rock Canyon. I hadn't been to the area in years and didn't recall the trail we took. 

It was breathtaking. Calm. 
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It's easy to notice that there's nature in Las Vegas. With such an amazingly bright and festive main street filled with dazzling lights and glamour, it's hard to imagine that there's wild life beyond the Strip.


Well, there is. But, it's the wildlife of the Nature kind.

I've always loved that there's such a diversity at Red Rock Canyon. It's where forest meets sandstone meets lime with sprawling bits of desert, cactus and lizards. If you're lucky, you might stumble upon someone riding a horse. 

 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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After the new year had begun, I felt a huge craving to go some place fun and familiar.

I've been a fan of the Pinball Hall of Fame ever since it was located in Tropicana and Pecos next to the old T-Bird Lounge (now Putters). 

There is something magical about a place that strives to stay away from the glitter and glam of Vegas while catering to quite the playful clientele. In some ways it seems contradictory, but I find it principled and brilliant.

It's easy to come in here and spend an afternoon or evening. I love watching the occasional tourist who's somehow stumbled upon this hidden gem and watch them go from machine to machine, playing with either childlike wonder or the befuddled gaze of a compliant spouse that feigns a smile when you pass them by on your way to the Doctor Who machine.

My favorites are the old machines, the ones that aren't representative of movies or TV shows, but are really cultural clues to days gone by. They fill me with speculation and respect. It's good to know someone cares enough to keep them going. They're worthy of being in a museum.
 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
When I visited Bellingham, Washington, I began to learn the meaning of the term subdued excitement.

This is how the locals described their town. It were as if there existed a thin layer of enthusiasm floating all around us. Something invisible that made your hair stand on end. In a good way.

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I was personally taken back by the robot sculpture outside of a coffee shop known as the Black Drop. It struck me with the kind of laughter that keeps rolling long after it stops being funny. The kind of laughter that has everyone else around you and passing by giggling along with you. Including robots sporting a santa hat.

And this whole moment captured for me what it means to be excited and subdued at the same time. 

Absurd and silly and poignant. 

 

Mellow

11/01/2013

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by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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At the end of October, I found myself traveling to the Bay Area to visit friends whom I hadn't seen in about two years.

On my way I stopped in Morro Bay.


It couldn't have been a more perfect day. 

One of the things I loved about living in California was the weather. It sounds cliche, but it's very true. 

And we forget how much we take it for granted until we live somewhere else where it's much different. 
 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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The moment I passed by Hoover Dam, I stopped the first chance I could to look at Lake Mead.

I'd forgotten how beautiful the view was. Having grown up in Las Vegas, it was easy to take it for granted. It was only upon my return recently that I've begun to appreciate the beauty of the desert. I was quite in awe. And frankly, in tears for a few minutes. It felt good to finally be home in more ways than one.


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And until I'd stopped to enjoy the view, I'd also forgotten about my fascination with helicopters until one came flying hurriedly over my head to my surprise.

I think I was four when I saw my first helicopter and I was mesmerized by it. At the time we lived in Colorado Springs so the first helicopter I saw was an army helicopter with two propellers. Ever since that moment, I dreamed of riding in one.

One of these days, I tell you ... one of these days.

 
 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
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How many times in your life have you gone on a road trip from point A to B and never thought once to stop along the way?

I think it's very easy to do. We're so concerned about getting to where we're going that we don't even think that we should stop and smell the roses along the way. And in my recent travels, I took to heart the stopping and smelling the roses quite literally.
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My plan on my journey back to Vegas was to take my time and enjoy the sights. How often does one get the chance of driving across country? I wanted to enjoy as much of it as I could and I did.

After Graceland I stopped at the Memphis Botanical Gardens where I enjoyed roses, outdoor sculptures and a Japanese Zen garden. Quite beautiful and glad I took the time. It rejuvenated me for the rest of my journey.

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I also decided to make a stop for lunch at the Armadillo Botanical Gardens on my way through. It was quaint, but worth the visit. They have a butterfly garden, art sculptures throughout and a lovely pond area. I sat and read and enjoyed a beautiful day in Texas.


So, next time you travel, take the time to enjoy the journey. You won't regret it.

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