Getting Personal…

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I’m working on a new bio, inspired by Dan Blank. It’s taking shape…here it is:

I design, write and paint to reveal deeper connecting rivers of light that flow through our problems and carry us to solutions. I am interested in the weave of words, images and form as they fix our focus on what we think matters in any moment in time. My work is evolving now: as an architect, in a careful, climate-ready approach to renovating existing and historic buildings; as a writer, in crafting my second novel about creative states of consciousness; as an artist, in a series of paintings aimed at targeting the viewer’s attention to that which is eternal, and of upward motion.

I moved to New York on the strength of two months of dreams: every night the same dream. I was painting large, colorful, abstract images and everywhere I went, things worked out through the kindness of strangers. I took jobs in architecture, my “field” of study, and wrote about the environment, published a novel (my first, visionary eco-fiction). The abstract painting began after over a decade of living in the New York area, for me now expanded to New Jersey, after saying out loud over a game of Scrabble, “drawing for me is like breathing,” and realizing I had work to do in shifting from decades of pen sketching realistic spaces, to translating the essence of what I saw and felt of my meditative experience enhanced through my practice of Reiki. And so I began to paint, and the weave became richer, tighter and more compelling to me as a creator.

I knew I’d be a creator from a young age, and so becoming an architect was not a surprise. Limiting myself to architecture was not a possibility, since I see life too spherically to stay within the boundaries of one traditional discipline. My training in architecture (at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada) and practice in historic restoration (in New York City) gave me a strong foundation (pun intended!) for understanding the fundamentals of form and function, and it was from that vantage point that I branched out into the more visionary aspects of translating experience into art. The work is both grounded and expansive.

I’ve always been a writer. First it came as small stories I wrote for myself, and poems, then articles, published, and poems, published. In the same way that my first novel was more globally about ecology and specifically about fracking, so is my second novel more broadly about creative states of consciousness and more specifically about medical marijuana. There is a third novel, in the ethers, which is generally about transportation, and specifically about high speed rail networks. All of these works are as seen through the lens of architecture, which for me is a focusing device using the skills and vantage point that come easily to me.

I’m lit up by talking about light and color and space, and by hearing what inspires others in their work. I adore teaching others, children in particular, about how to tap into that essence and to find an expression of it in built, sculptural, three-dimensional form. This began long before I had my own children, now entering their teenage years, and it has formed a colorful thread in the larger weave of my work. Sharing what I know at every step is part of my learning and my growth as an architect. As a creator. I continue to work the weave, to find new threads, in design, words and paint – and I am always excited to share that unfolding with people whose flow brings us together.

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

The Erenwine Agenda video is out!

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This inspired video by Finite Visual captures the essence of my visionary ecofiction novel, The Erenwine Agenda. Click the Youtube link to watch in higher resolution. There is also one on Facebook in a lower resolution.

You can see more about the novel here on Amazon and here on Goodreads.

Please enjoy, share, and let me know what you think!

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

One more sleep…

THE ERENWINE RELEASE POSTER WITH REVIEWS (1)

 

The Erenwine Agenda will be available for you to read tomorrow!

For those who have asked:

  • It is available to pre-order now. Pre-ordering counts toward first-day sales figures.
  • It is available on Kindle. As part of the Kindle Unlimited program, I will be paid half a cent (yes) per page you read. So please read to the end and tell everyone to read it too!
  • You can read Kindle on pretty much any device these days including smartphones, laptops, etc. Just need to download the Kindle app.
  • This is the first edition. There will be a second edition in the fall, designed by the multi-talented Lori Dalvi, and it will be a print edition available through distributor Ingram.
  • Yes, this took a long time. Six years! It seems like it happened quickly to those who’ve joined the conversation recently, but – not really. It’s been a long and slow process that has had to do with:
  • researching;
  • writing;
  • editing;
  • connecting with the right people to help it launch;
  • me being personally ready to launch it, and;
  • the world being ready to receive it.

If you enjoy this book, please do put up a starred review on both Amazon and Goodreads. There is an alchemical mix between the algorithms of the two sites that only a few people understand!

Much love to all who follow,

Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

www.aseiarts.com

What’s Working Well?

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What’s working well?
This has been coming up a lot lately.
I just answered a similar question on the Facebook page of the lovely Kate Northrup and found it helpful to think about, so I am sharing my answer here, too. Partly to shine a light on her good work and also to hold myself accountable. Here is my answer:
“I came up with 4 things for 4 areas of my life, where 20% (or less, really) result in 80% of results:
1. Work: give clients 3 graphic options to choose from (I’m an architect by profession);
2. Creative (I’m a writer too): lay out my morning writing project material the night before;
3. Household/Kids: plan the night before…!;
4. Personal: stick with my sacred 15 min meditation + 30 min sun salutations every morning before anyone else in the household is awake.
Super payoffs!”
What’s working well in your world?
Maia
p.s. The image above is from organizational work on my about-to-be published novel, with thanks to Stuart Horwitz and his amazing book-plotting method called Book Architecture.
p.p.s. Posting this from sheer appreciation and nothing else.

I’ve been painting…

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I’ve been painting, a lot. Abstract, colorful, acrylic, mixed media, collage…having an incredible amount of fun. Painting opens the door to writing, which helps me to summarize architecture, space, and design…and the human experience of those aspects of living. In between kids off to school bus pick up and getting ready for my day, these thoughts bubbled up and I decided to share them with you. Below are my three “truths” (personal to me, maybe they resonate with you) in painting, so far, to date.

  1. Being done is a matter of deciding when to stop, and then stopping – there will always be more marks you *could* make; 
  2. every mark is a form of your own inner self-expression, no matter how random it may appear be (thank you Mom for that one); 
  3. there are no mistakes (corollary to the previous truth).
The above image is of work in progress – 10″x 10″ canvases in a grid formation, mixed media. Stay tuned to see how they turn out! I am posting art-journeying on Instagram. More painting to come, and writing, and buildings in renovation and design.
Enjoy your creative day!
-Maia

Draft your Novel in a Day

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Otherwise titled: Draft MY Novel in a Day, because what works for one person might work differently for another. So, take from this what you find helpful and leave the rest for the next person.

Yesterday I felt complete and satisfied with my first novel, and after about 12-14 drafts, submitted it to a visionary fiction publisher. It’s not the first time I’ve submitted the WIP to an agent or publisher, but it IS the first time I’ve submitted this draft. To me, that feels fresh and real and new. And done, for now.

Today, I’m collecting all the notes from my research, outlining and vignette-jotting for my second novel. I’ve decided that by the end of today, I will have a working document that becomes a grid I can fill in over the next few months of first-draft writing. It’s how I planned my first novel, how I planned my wedding, how I plan trips…the one day blitz. And then I enjoy a few more months or years of filling in the details as they flow. It’s not a pantser or plotter perspective. I learned a new label last night: lumper. Lumper versus splitter. Kind of like generalist versus specialist. Today, I lump it all together!

Stay tuned. First novel has a focus on hydraulic fracturing, second novel has a focus on medical marijuana. Of course I always ask myself (and ask of readers): is that what it’s really about? Or is it about something else?

You’ll have to read to find out.

Happy Sunday lumping/planning/generalizing,

Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com