Beginning October 21, this blog, Rain Trueax's Rainy Day Thoughts, will have a co-author-- painter and long-time friend, Diane Widler Wenzel. We have been sharing, encouraging, and discussing life for over 50 years. We don't always agree... I think this will be fun trip for us both. New posts will be on Saturdays and otherwise randomly as something of interest happens.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rainy Day co-author Diane Widler Wenzel

by Rain Trueax

In 2004, with no real idea what I'd do with it, I began blogging. I did it for almost two years and thought-- I don't want to do this. A few months later, I had second thoughts, but someone had already claimed the title I'd been using. Fortunately, I had saved the posts and put them into a new blog I called [Age Old Beauty]. 

In 2006, I began this blog and have continued, once in a while with some doubts but kept on through them. I basically like connecting with readers, sharing my ideas, and now and again getting comments. It's been fun.

Now I am starting something new with it-- taking on a co-author. I have debated how to introduce her here, as we share a friendship over 50 years. Wow, that's hard to take in-- basically nearly as long as our respective marriages. Our husbands actually met before they met us. When they entered grad school, we all headed for Arizona, found apartments in the same complex, swam in the community pool like fish, hiked and explored. She painted everywhere we went. I did some too but mostly I wrote-- my first manuscript got it's first rough draft in that apartment. When we returned to the Northwest, the friendship lasted past starting families, seeing them grow up, and finding ourselves heading into old age.

What I tried to decide is how to introduce Diane Widler Wenzel here. Do I do it as that longtime friend, with lots of shared photos including most recently in the spring renting a house together at the beach or do I do it as how I've loved her art through the years, have many of her paintings on our walls, and enjoy seeing what she's doing as she creates new work constantly? Maybe a little of both.

So starting on Saturday, Diane will be posting here with sometimes about her art but also about whatever else piques her interest. She is a very talented painter but more than that, an interesting woman with diverse ideas on many things. We often don't agree, but we always can discuss and respect each other's views. I have no idea what she'll choose to bring to this blog-- to me, that's exciting.

She also has an open house at the Albany Library here in Oregon from 1-3 on Sunday. If you are in the area, come check out the many paintings she's had hanging there. Diane is generous with her art, hangs it in many places to share with others. Her philosophy toward that art will be one of the many things she will be sharing as she joins Rainy Day Thought.
 from 2013 when Diane also hung her work at the Albany Library

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A special day-- October 18th will always be

by Rain Trueax

Some many years ago, on this day, I became a mother thanks to my daughter's arrival. There are some moments in life that a person always remembers and for me this day is definitely one of them. I had no idea then how much I'd love her, how that love would never lessen, that I'd always worry if something wasn't going well with her, that I'd always be thrilled when she had a success. Being a mother was life changing for me-- but I went into it without a clue lol

 Photos taken on the way to hospital

 he didn't understand why I wanted these photos but you humor a lady in labor.

 first Christmas as a family. She was 2 months old :)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Louise Balaam

by Rain Trueax
Let me admit at the onset that I love paintings of many sorts. My favorites though are abstracts or very impressionistic landscapes with intense colors. I've seen abstracts in pastel colors that do nothing for me, but give me one with intensity, and I'm sucked right into it. I want to study it and see-- how'd they do that! how did they decide what was needed? What should not be shown? I am in awe of the gift and skill.

Mountain of the Angels Bright Clouds by Louisa Balaam

Unfortunately, I have no talent at all for painting abstractly. If I did, I'd be doing more painting. I love the feeling of working with a brush, using color, but nothing ever turns out as I want when I try to reduce it an exciting image. It's easier for me to find artists I love (but usually cannot afford) than to paint something myself-- even though I have huge stretched canvases just waiting for the moment when I can do it... It hasn't yet come. 

Dark Blue Gray and Slanting Light by Louisa Balaam

When online and I come across work by a new artist, I am like a kid in a candy store. I love those that have the dynamics of a landscape but feel abstract-- like those by English painter, Louise Balaam. I liked how her paintings (the ones I saw) are on square canvases, while most painters use rectangles. I think it works to give it that abstract feel while it's also an expressive landscape. I like how the paintings have the kind of energy that is universal-- specific to one place and yet could be many places.

Sadly for me (good for her), I learned that while I can admire, I cannot afford one of her paintings. If she ever does prints, I might be able to afford one of those. I don't buy art as an investment. I buy it because I adore it and want its energy on my walls.

At the Top of the World Birdsong Overhead by Louisa Balaam

I appreciated Balaam's statement about her art philosophy. It is what her art says to me and also how I see my writing. Powerful creative energies filter through all true arts-- in my opinion.
My work is inspired by an emotional response to the natural world, in particular to the quality of light, which is a vital part of the mood of the paintings. I draw in the landscape and then paint intuitively in the studio, so that the work both has a sense of place, and yet can also evoke memories and personal interpretations in the viewer. There is a sense of intimacy and intensity, and the idea of a glimpse into a remembered reality. My paintings relate to the English landscape tradition – Constable’s oil sketches are an important influence.

I like the sensuality and depth of colour of oil paint, used in direct and gestural brushstrokes, which assert the materiality of the oil paint and of the painting’s surface. I often work in oil on panel, which allows me to scratch into the wet surface. The meaning of the work emerges from the language of paint, which is allowed to be itself before it is a description of something. I am fascinated by the capacity of paint to express things which cannot be put into words: a mysterious process takes place whereby the marks of the brush work on a subtle level, setting up an emotional and poetic resonance.

I paint intuitively, so the painting becomes an entity in its own right which starts to make its own demands – in a sense, it begins to answer back.
© Louise Balaam
She considers her work to be expressive landscape paintings. I like that idea and that she begins with bringing a drawing back to the studio and letting remembered energy be the painting.

To give an idea of her work, I took a couple of images from her site. It wasn't easy because I liked all of them (but isn't that second one fantastic, probably my favorite). I love huge paintings. Wouldn't that one look fantastic at four foot and on a wall!

Head on over to her site to see more work, sizes, and galleries. To me, it was inspiring. There wasn't one piece there I couldn't imagine in my Tucson house, which has mostly western feeling paintings but these would fit right in

Saturday, October 07, 2017

music speaking to and for us

 image from Stencil

It was a difficult week... or month... or year. Writing about it does not feel productive. I heard though the words below shared in Facebook; and although I liked Tom Petty a lot, I was not familiar with all his music. The lyrics to this one seem to say so much about what we as humans go through to exist and hopefully prosper. We aren't all the same, and we never know what someone else might be thinking-- sometimes even someone dear to us.

Also on Facebook I heard someone find fault that people were making a big deal over Tom Petty dying when so many others were. The thing is, some people make a bigger difference to more people. Song writers like Petty fall into that category when they speak to life and what it's all about. He is a loss to his family, especially when he died before what we see as his time, but he's also a loss to the rest of us who won't hear the next song he writes. At least though, we have what he had already written and performed.

Shadow people, what's in their head,
In the car next to you, when the light turns red?
Could be thinking of love, might be thinking of hate.
I guess it pretty much could go either way.
Shadow people in shadow land

That one's thinking of great art and eloquent words.
That one's strapped on a gun and joined up with the herd.
That one's saving up water, got some food stored away,
For the war that is coming on the judgment day.
Shadow people in shadow land

And this one carries a gun for the U.S.A.
He's a 21st century man.
And he scary as hell, 'cause when he's afraid
He'll destroy anything he don't understand.

Well I ain't on the left, and I ain't on the right.
I ain't even sure I got a dog in this fight.
In my time of need, in my time of grief,
I feel like a shadow's falling over me,
Like shadow people in shadow land.
Shadow people in shadow land
Shadow people in shadow land
Waiting for the sun to be straight overhead,
'Til we ain't got no shadow at all.

Shadow People

When I went looking for the year he had written it (it was released on an album in 2014), I came across this:
The singer explained to USA Today: "I'm not extremely political. I just look at what makes sense to me. I would think we'd be in the streets demanding that our children be safe in schools. I see friendships end over politics. I've never seen such anger. That's not how it's supposed to work. In a two-party system, ideas are argued and you compromise. You're not supposed to stop the process." 
 It has not gotten better is about all I can say regarding that...

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

yes or no?

Yesterday's post about a contest is concluded. A winner was found by random drawing. If you didn't go there, the question I asked was one intended to be helpful to me as a writer-- What age heroine do you prefer and can there be an age where she's too old for you to be interested? Paraphrased as I can't remember the exact wording.

There are a LOT of contests online from various sources. Do you think they are good, bad, or indifferent?  Sometimes it seems to me there is something going all the time. Are they distractions? Beneficial? I really wonder about it with no answers for when I should participate or not. Authors, although we are also readers, don't enter into giveaways from other authors. It's considered for the readers. My question is how often should I do it as they take time away from writing.

It is fun to give others presents though. With author contests/giveaways, the hope is a new reader will discover a book or that someone who can't afford books will get them. Random drawings mean there is no way to be sure that happens. These 'events' are considered promotional, but I've never found it was for me. 

Anyway, any thoughts on it? Do you like contests? Lotteries? Giveaways?


Monday, October 02, 2017

Marvelous Monday

 As with many writers, I belong to an assortment of groups of various sorts. On Facebook, one of mine is for contemporary western romances. This doesn't mean cowboy but does mean a western ethic that permeates the stories. Unlike some writers, who prefer one genre or another, I enjoy writing historical, paranormal and contemporary romances-- but always the romance and the cowboy up ethic. 

As part of belonging to groups, sometimes there are events and contests. One for Contemporary Western Romance is called MARVELOUS MONDAY. When the idea for making Monday special by a contest came around, I said, hey, count me in and took a date. I then promptly forgot about it.

Sunday, with it being a new month, I turned over my calendar and there was the 2nd with the words-- MARVELOUS MONDAY! I felt a moment of panic and then thought how lucky I had turned the calendar over with enough time to figure this out as to what I'd do for a prize. 

Checking over what others had done, I created a banner and decided on the prizes-- two signed contemporary paperbacks, a necklace, Christmas ornament, bookmarks, and one that doesn't show up on the banner-- $10 Amazon gift card. To enter, answer the question (there are no wrong answers), and be willing to give me your address for both the package and where you want the gift card to be used.

If you have already joined Contemporary Western Romance, then answer the question (where there are no wrong answers). The random drawing will be Tuesday morning (Ranch Boss does that job with his cowboy hat and numbers). If you have not already become a member, join up. It's a place to find out about new books in the contemporary genre-- and there is always Marvelous Monday!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

a worthy cause

Usually, I write something original for Saturdays related to what matters to me. Well, this does matter to me. It is a special blog for a worthy cause. You can preorder, best-selling author, Amelia Adams' next historical romance, and in the process help a child get a permanent home by being adopted by her grandparents. Her parents were killed in a tragic accident two years earlier. The hopeful grandparents are the sister and brother-in-law of the author, and she decided to donate the proceeds from her first sales of the eBook. Just think-- preorder or buy the book the day it comes out and you will enjoy reading while you also help a worthy cause. It's hard to understand why that adoption could have a cost attached-- but so goes the nature of our world today.

Below is the link to preorder the book, which comes out the 3rd. If you've never done a preorder, it will show up on your device the day it's published, and that's when Amazon takes your money.


Georgia Baker has worked at the Brody Hotel for several months now with only her employers knowing her secret - she's almost completely deaf. It doesn't stop her from doing her job, though, as she has learned how to read lips, and she gets along quite well.

Pinkerton detective Chet Larsen has come to Topeka on a special case - a train carrying a king's ransom in gold is coming through town, and his sources tell him it's going to get robbed. His duty is to stop that robbery if he's able, possibly saving lives in the process.

When the pretty waitress at the hotel stumbles onto additional information in the case, he realizes that her help might be just what he needs for his job . . . and her love might be just what he needs in his life.