Posted tagged ‘Blogging’


November 21, 2017

A new thing for me! Doesn’t have a title exactly– maybe Samurai carrying infant? Ha! (from a very speedy watercolor class.).

Sorry to have been so absent! Not sure that I’m back, though I do miss you all! Take care.

To Drafts! Revisions! Community! Poetry! Wine!

October 12, 2011


Kind of a funny evening after a very tense day.  The tension I think was chemical–well, partly–modern life is so so busy it makes for tension even in the near comatose.  (Also, in this day and age, if you are lucky enough to be employed, you tend to have an awful lot to do.)  But I also took an herb this morning, Gingko Biloba, which is meant to protect against brain dulling, but I think, in my case, may have caused brain hypersensitivity.

Then came the evening, which was subsumed in several long and worrisome telephone calls.  The great part of having aging parents is having aging parents; the difficult part is having aging parents.  The great certainly far outweighs the difficult, but where there is a significant risk of loss, there is the significant fear of loss.

And then, for some reason, I started looking through old draft poems that are on this blog, but virtually in no other file of mine.  Although I spent some energy on the drafts on the days I wrote each of them, I then virtually forgot about most of them, never refining, editing or even looking at them.

But tonight, perhaps because I should be working overtime on something else, all those unfinished poems suddenly beckoned.

Partly, this interest in old drafts has been sparked by my recent involvement in various online poetry websites and blogs, which really has been very inspiring.

The  glass of wine I had with dinner also seemed to make the call of these old draft poems somewhat more eloquent.

Still!  To old notebooks!  Drafts! Unfinished manuscripts!  Poetry blogs!   (Here here!)

Circus Animals? Appy Friday!

June 10, 2011


End of long hot week. Glad it’s over. I know this picture doesn’t really relate to any of that, but rather my personal fascination with elephants, dogs, and iPad Apps. This one uses Brushes, Sketchbook Pro, and the updated Photogene App, which allows you to make little strokes of light. Above, the strokes are pretty subtle and perhaps not fully carried through. Still, I’m hoping they look like beams from either an opening in the tent, or maybe circus lights (ha!), I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. Interesting tools though. Have a great weekend.

Apologies for Technical Difficulties

May 28, 2011

Apologies for technical difficulties associated with my prior post, which is supposed to be about using the Brushes App for the iPad and includes little paintings of my great dog Pearl. I’m getting pretty proficient with the Brushes App, but I am much less so with the WordPress Blogging App, which is why there are little bits of code stuck in with my drawings, and things are sometimes premature uploaded! Sorry sorry. I’m afraid that if I take out the codes, the drawings will get lost too! Thanks for your patience! Hope you like code!

Blogging – what is to be done?

March 30, 2011

Developing An Apptitude (“Brushes”/Blog/Christmas)

December 23, 2010

I have to confess that this past couple of weeks I have had intermittent but very strong urges to halt this blog.  At least temporarily.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy both posting and the sense of community the blog sometimes gives.  (I obviously do.)

But there is the proverbial problem of choices.  Really, limits: minutes in the day, energy in the brain, will in the will.

The immediacy of a blog tends to crowd out longer-term projects;  these (mainly old novels) had been languishing even before I began this blog.  Now a year and a half later, they are calling for last rites.

Which leads me once again to….the iPhone!

The “Brushes” App.

Rather than simply stop the blog, I’ve been thinking that it might be nice to try going visual.  Post pictures, save up words.

I started drawing on the iPhone yesterday with the “Brushes” App.    After I learned how not to block out the entire drawing, I ran into problems with issues like big and little:

Big Tortoise, Little Dog

This morning, I learned how to get finer detail.   This led to such small detail, the picture seemed all background:

All backdrop?

Finally got it right this evening, while in the waiting area for Chinese take-out.

Duplicate Santas? (Or Skating Imposter?)

I still don’t know what I’ll do with the blog, but going “visual” sure seems fun.

Have a very Merry Christmas Eve!  (And thanks, as always, for stopping by.)

Internal Shake-Up, Changing Blog (I’m not sure how), Looking For Keepers

August 5, 2010


As followers of this blog know, my summer has been difficult due to the loss of a close friend.  It’s shaken me.  Aside from the grief,  and, of course, the gap – the missing counselor–there’s the internal spotlight.  Could it happen to me?  (Yes.)    How would I feel?

This question of how I would feel is not aimed at the obvious, i.e. sick, terrified, probably nauseated, very very sad.  The question is how I would feel about how I lived my life?  What, in other words, would I regret?

The big regrets – for me at least—would be unkindness and unhappiness:  those times when I was needlessly unkind (and, frankly, it’s hard to come up with any instance in which unkindness was needful); those times when I was needlessly unhappy.

Again, “needless” may the wrong word—those times in which I was unhappier than circumstances warranted—unhappy because of kvetching, perfectionism, issues of control, jealousy, lack of appreciation.  (As in the case of unkindness, circumstances probably rarely warranted the unhappiness that I was able to come up with.)

Putting all that aside—admittedly a big that—another thing I’d regret very much is not allowing myself time to do my work, that is, my true work –the work that feels like my work.

I don’t mean my day job, (which, Boss, is a great job and one that I frequently genuinely enjoy).

I wouldn’t regret not doing profound work, or revolutionary work.  I’ve long ago accepted that I’m not a particularly profound person, and I try to keep a lid on the grandiosity.

I mean the silly children’s novels, silly teen and more adult novels, the slightly odd poems and prose poems, whatever little drawings come my way.  Being able to point to them as “done deals”, “keepers”—I would very much regret not having given myself the time to do that, or more of it.

So where does this blog come in?

It’s truly wonderful to have daily readers (thanks so much), and to get something out every day.  But I’m a person, like every single one of you, with limited time in life.

I am not, just yet, discontinuing the blog (though I’m not sure I will continue it on a daily basis).  But I do need to find a way to make it serve my general purposes a bit more.

Which means what?  Maybe posts that are more purely creative, or connected, or connectible, to bigger projects?  More draft poems?  Prose poems?  Writing exercises?  Novel excerpts?

What’s hard, of course, is that drafts can be a bit personal, raw, embarrassing,  and possibly uninteresting, certainly to random Internet browsers, who are much likely to be attracted by the names Robert Pattinson or Sarah Palin.  My task, I suppose, is to try to look on that part as liberating and not paralyzing.

(I hope you’ll stay with me while I figure this out.)

Blog Birthday

July 25, 2010

From "Thin Birthday"

Today is the one year anniversary (ironically, the “paper” anniversary) of this blog.

I have made 473 posts and gotten over 10,000 views.  (A small number for a blog, but amazing to me.)  Writing the posts, drawing the pictures, and putting them out into the world with a click of a button has been fascinating; doing this on a daily basis has been both stressful and freeing–yes, it’s been a lot of work, but because of the pace, I have been continually forced to move on from whatever I just did to embarrass myself.

I first want to thank all of you who have followed the blog, or even just occasionally checked in.  If you are a regular viewer, you must know that I have an (a) obsessive and (b) moody temperament; this combination has occasionally translated into repetitive and tormented checking of “stats”, a whole new form of masochistic escapism.   However, you regular viewers have really done a lot to buoy me up over the last year, you irregular viewers to thrust me into momentary despair. (Ha!)

I especially appreciate your time and interest since, as some of you may have already realized, I am not a natural blogger.   Yes, I write and draw fairly quickly, but I don’t really know anything.  (Oops!  Important caveat – I do know quite a few things in the area of my non-blogged profession.)

But I can’t give advice on household management, money-saving, science or health. I’m not even particularly political, though because a daily blog works a bit like a newspaper column, I tend to sound off in that area.

I’ve said before that my subject is “some overlap of stress and creativity”.  (This may be a cipher for “whatever stressed me feels like creating that day”.)  But as the year mark passes, I really would like to move more into the area of creativity and a bit further from the area of stress.

This, of course, is easier said than done.  And I’m not quite sure what I even mean by it—I hesitate to spell it out yet in the light of that uncertainty.

Any ideas?  Suggestions?

Thanks again.

(And as always, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson – publicizing that book was the real reason I started the blog, but I’m afraid I haven’t done a very good job of it.  It really is a cute book–discounts are readily available if you write me.)

Subway Blog – An Eye Out For Spiritual Texts on Train

July 9, 2010

Me , rather I, (in the seat there) on NYC Subway Car

On the subway this morning, I move quickly from the side of a guy reading the Bible, not so much because he is reading the Bible—well, a little because of that—but  mainly because I see an open solo seat further down the car.

I realize after I sit down, however, that I am now sitting directly opposite another guy who is swaying back and forth over a copy of the Torah (or at least some seemingly spiritual Hebrew text).  He moves his lips distinctly as he reads, and he reads very very fast.

I’ve already tried to be the Good Samaritan on the train this morning myself, holding the door open as long as I could for two elderly tourists who, having a hard time with their Metrocards, had just barreled through the barred iron gates onto the incredibly muggy platform as the train doors began to close.  But the train doors are programmed against Good Samaritanism and nearly took off my hand before the tourists could stumble in.

As a result, I feel like I’ve already brought too much attention to myself to move one more time.   Still, it’s a bit hard to focus with the Torah guy swaying and reading so—loudly is not the correct word–energetically.

His nose itches; he’s congested; it’s bothering him.  The hand motions dealing with his nostrils are out of sync with the rhythm of his sway, which goes on without interruption, as does his free hand, following of the characters of his text with a stiff, three-fingered point.

I don’t want to watch him so closely; I don’t want to know about his nasal issues.  To be fair, he’s dealing with them discretely enough (as discretely as a swaying, gesticulating, lip-moving, man can) but it is almost impossible not to be aware of him when he is shouting—okay, not shouting—gesticulating so much.

I make myself look up the car.  I see a guy, next to the guy with the Bible, looking at himself with a small hand mirror, and I began to really wonder about (a) the nature of this particular subway car and (b) narcissism when I realize that he truly holds a small rectangular magnifying glass which he is using to read a newspaper article about LeBron James.   (Okay, so just narcissism.)

But I find myself increasingly agitated by the Torah reader.  It has nothing to do with the Torah.  I realize, to my embarrassment, that if someone were reading the Koran opposite me with the same avidity, I would be considerably more concerned.

When the train pulls into the next station, the Torah reader bolts away, and I am amazed at my sudden relief.  How wonderful it is on a Friday morning to have the car taken over by silence, stillness, near emptiness.  I catch the eye of a woman on a far bench, who, for once, smiles back, and I feel so suddenly relaxed that I don’t realize, until the mechanized voice begins and those inexorable doors prepare to close once more, that this is my stop too.

I make the steaming platform just in time.

A long week.

Blogging, Mania, Late Mornings, Late Nights, Stieg Larsson

June 17, 2010

One of the great things about writing a daily blog is that it gives you something to do at night.

One of the great things about writing that daily blog in the morning is that your night is suddenly amazingly, wonderfully, free.

I don’t mean to make not writing the blog sound so great—but, yesterday, after approximately eleven months of daily posts, the prospect of a blog-free evening felt well worth the  sinking anxiety that descended on me as I made my way  (later even than usual) to the office.

That feeling of freedom even felt worth the shoddy speed yoga I inflicted on myself (after using up all my morning yoga time on the deficiencies of presidential desks.)  (See yesterday’s post.)

When I came home last night, I told myself, gaily, that I’d make up for the shoddy yoga by going to the gym for a really good work-out.  Then I might even get to bed early.

Unfortunately, staying up till 2 a.m. can be habit-forming.   As is finding something to distract you at the gym.  (Yes, I do understand that it is probably not optimal to lift weights with a book on your lap.)

So, instead of focusing on triceps, or sleep, I poured myself into the immensely popular Steig Larsson book that’s been sitting on my shelf several months –The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’m not quite sure why I’ve avoided the book—maybe  because a slightly pushy friend has been slightly pushing it;  maybe because I’d been warned that it describes (spoiler alert) some fairly sadistic violence against women.

The violence so far (I’m about ¾ through), has been manageable.  But, heeding the warnings, I forced myself to put the book down at around 2 before something so terrible happened that I would not be able to shut my eyes.   (I even left time–2-2:30 – to read something else for a while, something innocuous in the sexual violence department.)

Frankly, that discipline amazed me.  Even more amazing is the fact that I’m actually blogging in the A.M. again, instead of lying here in bed reading.  My mind suddenly tells me that this means  I’m planning to finish the book during the day somehow, and then buy the next one (the second in the trilogy by Larsson) for this evening.

Actually, I’m not sure I’d really call that discipline.

This, by the way, is one of the great things about mania—it always finds you something to do at night.