Monday, April 7, 2014

April is Gonna be a Doozy!

The month only just started and the panic is setting in, well more like a dull roar in the back of my mind that will get louder each day, much like an alarm clock that you have yet to shut off. This  month I must complete, print and prep three pictures, complete an important sketch (image #4), get new business cards and postcards, and prepare for the NESCBWI Spring conference. At the end of March I signed up for Mati McDonough's 6-wk online course, Daring Adventures in Paint, which starts this week and started a local SCBWI critique group for writers and illustrators. Also, I have to rework and set up my new portfolio (of course it's still red).

I am selling a house, a car, have a booth at an antique mill, work a part-time job 4 days a week as a vet tech, feed and water four cats and two dogs (leash walked at least three times a day), all at home, shuttle my daughter around and try not forget about any of it!!!!

What the hell was I thinking???      (insert wine and chocolate here)

When I received the email this morning for Beth Nicholls' Zen for Ten, I jumped at the chance and signed up. One more thing, sure. It may break me, sure, but I'll take all the Zen I can!

So if you see me shuddering under the table in the corner, poke me with a stick and shoo me back into the light. It will all be okay, even if I have to use the Bat Phone.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Moving....up, onward, over and out!

I've recently moved and I am currently surrounded by boxes in my new studio space for I can't bear the thought of figuring out where on earth it is all going to fit. A new space will mean new thought processing, brain patterns and, hopefully, wonderful new opportunities. It's hard to get out of a rut, creative, personal or just a plain old mud puddle, without a little help. I chose to just go in a blink and with no regrets. We decided to move in about a month and found a new space right away. I still have work to do on my other space as well and I am being pulled in two directions, new vs. old. New is kicking ass right now and I'm finding it hard to even bear the old. New is exciting and fresh and colored differently. Old is dusty, quiet, disheveled and no longer participates in the day.

So with the move has come a hiatus of all things creative, studio wise. Though it's showing up in things like picking out the trash can (it had to be the red one), curtains and blinds (naked is never neighborly), and thinking of ways to incorporate old items into a brand new space. The kitchen, bath and bedroom took precedence and, sadly, the studio is last. But hopefully it will all fit and the creativity will find it's way back to the drafting table and notebook! I've missed them!

Happy New Year to all, may we all find what we want! I currently want to find the carpet in my studio! So what do you want? Go get it and make it yours!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bridget Zinn and Poison!

I first heard of and "met" Bridget online after hearing about a fundraiser to support her during her illness almost three years ago. I started following her online and reading her blog. We had quite a few things in common: love of chocolate cake, anything made with pumpkin, red hair (from all that pumpkin? or is that what keeps it red?) and children's books. She was always so happy and sweet online, a kind and gentle spirit. I  remember how she would post pics of herself in different funky colored wigs to see which we all liked best. And, she could rock some cute boots! She seemed to approach her illness with a braveness and candor that few can. It was so exciting to hear of her book deal with Disney/Hyperion, of which all of us hoped was the first of many.

It will be two years this May since she left us. It still makes me very sad to know we lost someone that shone so bright, someone who seemed so special.  I am honored to help promote her wonderful book, that I am still reading (so far so great!), and I am sure she would have done the same for any of us. For Bridget, where ever she may be, I hope she knows we miss her and we will do all we can to continue to support her, her legacy, her work and her family!

Below is an excerpt regarding Poison and Bridget herself from the Poison Blog Tour gang!

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Purchase your copy at any of the following places...

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Please visit her website for more information about this wonderful gal!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year Musings

There are two times a year that I get a little antsy for change. One is the start of autumn, which I begin to anticipate at the start of every school year. September brings a feeling of a new life, with new clothes, new friends, and even a new bag or box in which to carry my lunch. The smell of all those wonderful school supplies! The crisp cool weather, the crackling of dried leaves and the scent of woodsmoke in the air gets me going every year. I become energized and ready to tackle new things.

If I fail to get what I wish to change accomplished, the next part of the year that gets me going is the new year. I anticipate a fresh start with the new date. It differs a little than in the fall, which is more of a kick start out of the lazy days of summer. The new year offers new hope for new things, it is a little more cerebral and complex. Sure everyone wants a lot of the same out of the new year: a fantastic job; a thinner waist: a dust-free, clutter-free house; world peace; and to be a better person. I am not above any of those desires no matter how mundane they seem. Since doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a true definition of insanity, I have decided to approach the new year in a different manner.

What I have decided in this new year is to shed. Shed all the things that hold me back, bring me down, keep me from good health, a kind heart and being a good friend. I will no longer care for the things or surround myself with the people who or which can not bring me peace. Clutter, loudness, mendacity, meanness, cynicism and basic prophets of doom are all on their way out! Bad energy just creates more bad energy, like a bad mold growing through your soul. I have no more room, have dealt with more than my fair share and will no longer put up with any of their shenanigans.

I know... blah, blah, blah....sure everyone says the same thing and some of these ill beings hold on tighter than a tick on a dog. But I will do my best to shed them all without harm. Sometimes when things or people are shed, feelings take over and we end up feeling guilt for getting rid of something that seems so useful or we don't realize that in getting rid of things, others can get their feelings hurt. I'm sorry for that, but not as sorry as I would be if I stayed in a dishonest situation. A false relationship does nothing but waste people's time.

 As I sit here and look and read about all those that have passed in the past year, I remember that life is short, too many leave us way too young. I have known this for most of my life, but I need to remember that there isn't always enough time to move on to better ways, so I should get a move on before time runs out. And I will do my best to move with honesty, health and kindness in mind.

Happy New Year to you, may you find your own path to peace.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Illustration Friday : Tree

Watercolor and linoleum print on hot-press watercolor paper.

Idea and image created originally for 2012 NESCBWI Spring conference poster contest.