A Leap before Fate

Good-Day-Cornfields-web

Good Day Cornfields, 6×9 Watercolor

I almost didn’t go.  I want/needed to make money, but the constant sucking sound emanating from our bank account all summer had me standing at the edge of my cave, waiting to pushed into the void.

But I need/wanted the money, so I went, knowing that was the worst possible reason to set up a booth at the art fair.  Thinking about the money and not the art scrunches your face and you end up making no money and having even less fun.  But I’d made the cards and magnets (which suddenly looked horrible to my jaded eyes), and I forced myself to turn into the field-turned-parking-lot.

My neighbors cheerfulness was stronger than my internal gloom, and I felt a little burst of energy as I started setting up my tables.  As people wandered by and giggled at the cartoons, I remembered what had inspired them and started to giggle too, and I started noticing the art surrounding me.

There was no cell phone signal which forced artists and shoppers to completely disconnect from the overwhelmingly negative digital zeitgeist and reconnect with humanity.  For me, wandering barefoot through a field populated by artists of all kinds made the world’s problems seem smaller and mine even smaller – or at least distant enough to start seeing beauty, and finally the funny in life again.

And at the end of the day, I wasn’t much richer, but that wasn’t the point on Saturday. Saturday was about taking a flying leap with fate and instead of waiting for fate to push me into the abyss.

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It is what it is

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So it’s becoming clear that I’ll never write a line like, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” or paint something that captures the essence of war.  Once upon a time I thought if I wrote and drew long enough that I’d come up with something really profound, but for some reason, I keep coming back to family.

Family is universal, but so much is written about it, that it would be difficult to be profound.  That’s okay because when I look at my family-inspired drawings I see something else there that’s just as good.

There is kid chaos and inspired silliness and something our media has gone to great lengths to discourage.  There are people of completely different shapes , sizes, colors, points of view, and walks of life seeing the differences and finding strength and joy in them.

I’m starting to believe that, in a world where so many voices call for division, trying to see the people in it as part of one human family is joyfully subversive.  And that may be more satisfying than being profound.

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B is for Birthday


Perhaps it’s appropriate but I finish my tongue in cheek alphabet book about parenting the same week the kid who started me on that journey turns 16. I feel like I’ve been on two marathons. when is nearing the end, and another is getting ready to go onto the next phase and who knows how long that will last.
 I’ve been a feminist as long as I can remember. I’ve believed women should be in charge of their own lives and not be defined by motherhood. However, as I watch my gentle giant help around the house and I hear reports of his contributions at a friends farm, I’m keenly aware of this, and not any book, is the part of my life which I am most proud. 

R is for Rumpus

R is for Rumpus


No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I have been wrapped up in illustrations and now scans as this book begins to resemble something I could show an agent. Or Child Services if they ever question my mental fitness and keeping skills.  

The great thing about finishing this book in the summer–when the kids are home– is that as I redid drawings and rhymes a few I have been surrounded by inspiration. I’ve chauffeured it, chastised and refereed it, and I have had the chance to write–and draw–exactly what I know best.This project started with a rhyme that was inspired by the ritual all parents undergo-the all nighter.

Two redos, 26 letters, and umpteen rhymes later this picture book for parents has evolved to include not only the adventures inspired by my kids but chaos they created with their cousins.

 My sister and brother-in-law are also appear, and it’s appropriate. My oldest son and their twins are about a year apart, so the four of us grown-ups have also been partners in crime in this venture called parenthood.

Three of the kids in this book are almost driving now, and even though none of us has been on the evening news for any giant parenting fiascoes, my intent was never (and will never be) to write a book on how to parent. My intent was to write a book about how to laugh while you parent because let’s face it, most days you end up facing an opportunity to laugh or cry, and one of those is definitely more fun.