Archive for January 2022


January 29, 2022

Hello Blog World!

A day of silent snow here.  The ground still, the sky an ocean of swirled movement. 

I would like to say that I feel like the landscape, but the truth: athough my mind is a blizzard, the still grounded base is conspicuously absent! Partly this is because I am trying to consider a new project. I mean, another book!  

It is very hard to get readers for a book. Nonetheless, I am drawn to writing them. The process of writing, revising, revising, revising, and then really finishing (sort of) is tremendously engaging.

I have been writing little poems and sketches here and there, and I have longed at times to post them, simply because those of you who check in are so nice! But I am hesitant to post some piece of writing that may not be truly finished as I find it really difficult to go on working on some piece of writing once it’s been made public. And my written work benefits from time/revision.

So, I’m delaying the poem posting for a bit  But I urge you to check out my books! Especially my new book of stories, Who Are You Kidding And Other Stories of Strange Change.  (Note that I am happy to send a free one to anyone who genuinely wants to read it.)

I would finally note that I don’t have nearly this embarrassment/hesitation re posting drawings/paintings. In part, I guess it’s because even though a drawing or painting can certainly be improved by more work, they can also be wrecked by it! (Again, I’m speaking of myself.)

So, the above is a little painting that was made while trying to cover up what came before. Yes, it seems very rough, but for the moment, I’m keeping it as is.

Have a great Saturday!


January 23, 2022

Here’s a little charcoal with no particular significance, only that it looks like it’s happening in a nice place.

Please check out my books! Especially my new books! I can tell you that it’s hard to have a party that no one comes to! (A book is a lot of work.) There’s Who Are You Kidding? And Other Stories of Strange Change, a (to my mind) wonderful book of stories, and a host of children’s books–but check out the newest, The Road I Like, and ABC Mobile. Thank you!

In the Meantime

January 22, 2022

Another year loses the new. All the changes I’ve hoped to make have not yet happened.  But there’s still a little over eleven months to go!  

In the meantime, it’s the meantime.  That is something to be enjoyed, especially since it is all we have. 

And it doesn’t, by the way, need to be a meantime, not in any of the senses of mean. (I am pretty sure that mean here means the inbetween, as in the statistical mean.) But I’d don’t think its so helpful to think of this time as an inbetween, either.

I would note, in this regard, the death of Thich Nhat Hanh, a great Vietnamese buddhist teacher, writer, and poet.  I did not realize until today that he had published over one hundred books.   One very great one is The Miracle of Mindfulness

Perhaps because he was a poet, and writer, Thich Nhat Hanh was very good at coming up with sayings. Many are about being in the here and now. A couple I like especially:  “Many of us have been running all their lives.  Practice stopping.” And another, “There is no way to happiness—happiness is the way.”

In any case, I wish you all a happy now. And I wish Thich Nhat Hanh, with gratitude, a great rest in the ongoing now.

The above is a little owl sketched by me as a draft for a children’s illustration, and the below is a figure drawing from my latest SVA class with Peter Hristoff—this the Vigorous Figure—a program of very quick figure drawings.  This is a hard class for me for many reasons (stiffness, lack of skill, poor vision), but it is very rewarding.  This one below was my last drawing of our first session – a 15 second sketch. I can’t say I’ve acquired skill, but at least I felt I let some of the stiffness go, and let myself draw a little of the “now” of the beautiful model. Take care. 


January 18, 2022

I understand that full vaccination, plus booster, may not keep one from getting Omicron, but the vaccines are still the best way to keep one’s self and others out of the hospital, vaccines for people in the U.S. and the world.

This is a drawing I did last year, but I was so discouraged simply by the anger everywhere to post it. People, I think, are truly angry at reality, but they sure do manage to express that anger towards each other and, sadly, to take it out on the planet too. (In the meantime, reality will weave on.) Stay well.

Before Making Carrot Soup

January 9, 2022

They were soup later! With parsnips, onion, apple, cumin! Have a great week!

Keeping Cheer In the New Year

January 8, 2022
Cheerful Elephant, with wings, greeting the year.

Yes, it is artificial to imbue the turning of a year with hope.  This year it is especially hard to feel hopeful with all the different sicknesses, physical, emotional and planetary, besetting the world.

Before I push a message of hope, I must disclose that I am someone subject to depression!  And that I have found the last few days to be very difficult due both to personal and societal sorrows–

But nonetheless, I can’t help feeling, knowing, that the time we are given is precious. I like to think of it as precious in itself, but it also happens to be the only time we are certain of.

But how do I get myself to actually appreciate that preciousness?

This is a hard question. What I tell myself is that although I may not be capable of changing the times, or even my circumstances, I can certainly try to budge my reactions to them.

Cheerful Bat Dog Greeting the Year!

Of course it is not easy to change one’s reactions. I am someone who can get herself into a stew for hours over a perceived slight, or, more usually, over shame caused by one of my own mistakes (especially if pointed out), or simply over someone else’s difference in approach.

I know that the stew feels awful. Nonetheless, I will dive right into its overheated goo, mucking about in the weird slurry of smushed onion, for a very long time. I can ruin whole mornings, afternoons, evenings. (Let’s not even go into the nights!)

So, yes, the times and one’s own life may be difficult. But if I have any resolution this year, it is to try to avoid making them more difficult. To stop avidly fueling my own resentments, perturbations, anxiety. (Yes, they will arise, but I don’t need to tango with them.)

What is very helpful for me in this regard is to think of children. Not to say that children don’t have resentments or anxieties!  But in the same way that they get down on the floor to take on the perspective of a toy car, or toy figure, they tend to engage with life on a very direct level, where grudges about the past, and worries for the future tend to be sidelined.

So being childlike is useful. But it also helps to be mature. By this, I mean, realistic. In my case, it is useful for me to recognize the things that I go insane without, and then, being realistic enough to fit them in, even if it sometimes means being a little less pleasing to others. And, speaking about being less pleasing to others–trusting that others can fix some of their own things, and may even prefer to, is another useful lesson! (This is another one that little children have down pat, though, of course, they are often rather pleasing to others. But hopefully they don’t feel burdened to be pleasing.)

In any case, above and below are a few little drawings that I did at the end of the holidays, when children were especially fresh in my mind. (As always, all rights reserved.)

Take care! (I hope you can find some smiles in these days’ clouds!)

Cheerful trucks greeting the year!