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  • Marta Stephens

A Busy Day In My Studio


I was thrilled to receive a Merchant’s award this year from the Muncie Art Mart for one of the paintings I displayed at our annual Guild show in August 2021. I was able to purchase an entire set of oil paints and other supplies. The three canvases I ordered arrived this week. I’m now ready to get started on the three paintings that I need to complete by January 2022 for a Guild project.


While I waited for my supplies to arrive, I worked on a collection of short mystery stories that I hope to publish in the next couple of months. I’ve written several shorts over the years and to be honest, I was surprised when I came across a short murder mystery I wrote in 2017 that I had totally forgotten about. What a rush! The first four stories just needed a little editing. I’m nearly done typing the fifth story and want to write at least one more to complete the set.

My day starts at 6:00 every morning with a wake-up

nudge from Reba, my cat. I grab a cup of coffee, check my e-mails, and work on any necessary web updates to my site as well as the Guild’s. Once that’s done, I’m able to easily split my day between painting and writing.


In 2020, I made quite a bit of progress on the third novel in my Sam Harper series. I originally wrote it in 2008-09, but for some reason, it refused to be written. Over time, I’d made countless rewrites that eventually got tossed out. This last version has potential though. I just need to get back to it.


I write about 1,100 new words a day. Add to that the hours of editing and rewrites, with Reba's help, of course, and the word count is much higher.


It’s wonderful when a plot comes together. From there, it’s a matter of developing the characters, weaving in subplots, and building the story a layer at a time.

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