Author Archives: whitefeatherfloating

Larry the Lonely Leatherback…Finished Paintings!!

Hello Friends,

I have finished the paintings for my picture book, so today, I am posting the story in its entirety.  The paintings are still in rough draft form, but I wanted to share it.  Also, I think I want to darken some of the last few paintings.  Well, enjoy it! (Feel free to tell me what you think!)   Thank you!  😉


Larry the Lonely Leatherback

© Patsy H. Parker

Larry is lonely.

He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.

Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.  

So he does.

When Larry feels lonely, he swims…

and swims.  He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  

He is missing Alicia so much, he forgets to eat!  So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.



Larry dives…



and deeper.  Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.  When he looks up to see the sun shining through the water, 

 he sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!

They swim fast to get away…

and when Larry almost catches one,

he sees another Leatherback sea turtle swimming in his direction, but she does not see him!

Suddenly they are face to face.  They bump noses.


Larry smiles widely.  He thinks to himself, maybe she will be my friend.

 She smiles shyly.


“Hi.  I’m lonely…I mean…Larry.”  He feels embarrassed.

“Hi.  I’m Lucy.”  She giggles.  Then she winks at him.  “Do you want to go catch jellyfish with me?”  she asks. 

“Yes, I do!  I almost caught earlier today!”  Larry answers happily.

So Larry and Lucy swim away to catch jellyfish together.  Then Larry, the lonely Leatherback sea turtle isn’t lonely anymore. 



Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug (or hold fins like Larry and Lucy!)  🙂


The Sea Turtle: It is my “Spirit Animal!”

Hello Friends!

Here is another “flying” sea turtle!  I drew this with Prismacolor graphite pencils.  I started on it a couple of days ago but decided to finish it today so I could share it.  I eyeballed the photo, so it isn’t exact.  I don’t know who to credit for it, though.

You may wonder why I call it my “Spirit Animal.”  Well, when I was in counseling at my second session, I was telling my counselor that I like to draw, paint, and write about sea turtles.  She asked “why?”  And she kept asking why to every answer I gave her.

My answers:

  1. They are beautiful creatures.
  2. They are docile.
  3. They don’t seek to hurt anyone, but they do have to kill other creatures for food.
  4. I feel angry when they are slaughtered so people can make jewelry from their shells, eat their meat, and also steal their eggs to eat.

Then she asked, “So you see these sea turtles as helpless victims of other people’s abuse?” (something to that affect.) I said, “Yes!”  She asked, “So how does that relate to you?”  I said, “Well, I’ve had plenty of abuse from others in my past.”

Then the




went on!  “Wow!”  That was all I could say!  I sat there stunned at this realization.  (I found this cute light bulb on!)


I believe I learned that the desire to protect, rescue, and rehabilitate injured sea turtles is connected to a deep sub-conscious need I have to protect “innocents” from any kind of abuse which can include just about anyone – children, men, women, minorities, and generally anyone who wants to be different from what society says is the “norm” whatever that is!  (My husband always says that being normal is overrated!)  Now I think I have learned what it was that attracted me to sea turtles so much in the first place which excited me very much!

Getting back to the sea turtle being my “spirit animal,” she looked it up and read the whole description to me.  That night I found a website called  For fun I took the quiz and “Turtle Spirit Animal” was what came up for me!  🙂  I was pleased to be sure. You can take the quiz, too, for fun at the link above.  The part I like about my spirit animal description is this:

“Traditionally, the turtle is symbolic of the way of peace, whether it’s inviting us to cultivate peace of mind or a peaceful relationship with our environment.”

I thought this description fit me pretty well.  I always played the role of the “peacemaker” in my family growing up and in all of my relationships.  I think this quality is what is driving me to want to get involved in an organization that helps people with mental health issues.

There are times, though, when no matter how much we want to make peace with someone, they just won’t let us.  I have learned that at those times, when others have not allowed me to apologize or talk through conflicts, it is okay. Not everyone wants to.  It hurts, but I have learned to just move on.  There is no need to dwell on why certain people don’t want to stay in our lives.  I have certainly left a few unhealthy relationships!  “Letting go” is tough, but it is healthier than trying to hang on to people who can’t give us what we need or can’t receive what we offer.  This just seems wise to me – let everyone be who we are – we can’t change anyone except ourselves!

So whether you are a peace-making sea turtle (or land turtle) or an owl who can “see beyond illusion and deceit” (which is what my husband got when he took the test for fun,) just be who you are meant to be!  Don’t let others try to make you into who THEY want you to be!  Always be true to yourself!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂



Hello Friends,

First, I want to thank all of you who support me emotionally in my writing and art.  I appreciate it more than you could ever know.  I enjoy bringing a smile, a laugh or even tears to you.  This is another long post and a little you may know already…but this is where I’m at.

I have been going through a lot of emotional upheaval in the last few months – losing my brother to suicide, trying to figure out exactly what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, and both of our kids leaving the nest temporarily (tomorrow.)  Our son is gone during the week living and working with friends, but he likes to come home some weekends to spend time with us.  He will be going out on an 8-day trip with his crew from the California Conservation Corps.  Also, our daughter is going to visit a friend for a while, possibly the rest of the summer!

So…because of all of the things I just mentioned, I decided to do two things:

1)  Go back to counseling for a while

2)  Go to suicide survivors meetings

Last week I did both which I will continue a few more times.  I do not feel at this point that I am going to need to go to either for a really long time.  I have been in a good place mentally for quite some time now since recovering from some significant losses three years ago.  What is really great is that my counselor can see me in the hour before my meeting starts on those two Mondays every month.  Also, I met some great women at this meeting that I want to get to know.

Here’s what I learned at my first suicide survivors meeting:

  • I am not alone – suicide has touched almost every family. Survivors feel angry, sad, abandoned, and wish we could have said or done something to prevent it.
  • We feel guilty to some degree that we couldn’t stop it or didn’t see the signs.

Some people find their loved ones who died.  I can only imagine how emotionally traumatic that would be to a person.  Just hearing how my brother killed himself and hearing how people did CPR on him for at least 20 minutes, puts images in my mind that I will never forget.  Finding out that his best friend had brought my brother a wheelchair the day he died and didn’t see the signs of suicidal thoughts in him, helped me understand why my brother may have made this choice.

When he called me a few weeks before he chose to die, the last thing he told me was that his legs didn’t work anymore.  He said he could barely stand up or walk.  I always knew that my brother was a prideful man.  He never wanted to show weakness.  He was always sensitive, loved animals (whom he knew could love him back,) and I think he just felt out of place his whole life.  He was not a follower nor was he a leader.  He was determined to go his own way which he always did.  He didn’t confide in me or anyone else in our family about anything.

I can relate to some of this.  I have felt this way for most of my life.  Some may think I am projecting part of who I am onto my brother.  However, I would disagree.  He and I were a lot alike in many ways that I just never really thought about until now.  I will always miss him even though he never did let me get close to him.  For some reason I’ll never know, things were just always intense between us.

The difference between us, though, is that I hit bottom at 27 years old, reached out for help, and eventually began taking medications for depression and anxiety.  My brother self-medicated from his teen years on, what I believe, was some type of mental illness.  Thinking back over a lot of his behavior – his anger, impulsiveness, pride – makes me wonder if he had extreme anxiety which is why he drank.  Alcohol is a depressant, though, and he was not one to sit around feeling depressed, which is why I think he became addicted to speed.  All of this stuff can really mess up a person’s brain which just complicates mental health issues even more.  It is a vicious cycle!

The saddest part of all of this for me is that about three years ago he called me to apologize for how he had treated me most of our lives and tell me he didn’t deserve forgiveness; he said he wanted to quit the drugs but couldn’t.  He felt stuck, scared, and defeated.  I think he just had not hit bottom yet – until he saw that wheelchair.  Unfortunately, hitting bottom for him didn’t mean reaching out for help.  I believe he may have thoughts like:  “I am not going to become an invalid.”  “I will not become helpless.”  “I will not become dependent on anyone to help me with everyday things I can no longer do for myself.”  I knew my brother well enough to know that this is very close to what had to be going through his mind that last day.

Yet I believe human beings are made to need other human beings.  As much as some of us may not want to admit we need people – we do.  Isolation is not a solution to relieve anxiety.  Desiring to get away from people is natural – for a time.  But to stay alone for weeks, months, or years is to disconnect.  Disconnection from healthy relationships leaves a person in their own head where they can deceive themselves so easily into believing lies such as:

  • I’m ugly.
  • I’m not worthy of love.
  • No one will ever love the real me.
  • How can anyone love me when I am such an emotional mess?

These were some of my very thoughts, along with many other negative tapes playing in my head, from a young age.  Some of it came from emotional neglect and abuse that my brothers and I went through from our alcoholic dad.  I know now that our parents were probably both mentally ill, (my dad was depressed and my mom most likely had anxiety to some extent) but they did the best they were capable of in parenting us.  I think on some level my brother knew this, too.  I just wish he could have asked for help.  He lived in a trailer park and had some friends, but only one of them knew how depressed he was, yet he didn’t even recognize the suicidal signs that were there.  So…

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, do what could be the hardest things you may ever do – pick up the phone and call your local suicide hotline or the Suicide Prevention Services of America at 1-800-273-8225.

Lastly, please do not allow yourself or anyone you know to stay isolated.  Try your best to reach out.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.   🙂


Larry the Lonely Leatherback

Hello friends.

This past Saturday I had the privilege of sharing my first picture book even though I haven’t finished the paintings.  I have the rest of the pages’ backgrounds and outlines done, but haven’t finished painting the characters.  I only have 4 pages to go!

I shared it with a local writing group called Redding Writer’s Forum which my husband has been a part of for several years.  He also took over doing their monthly newsletter and website.  You can see what they do here: 

I am sure there will be a new post there with information about who read their work that day along with pictures of the group.  I met a nice lady there who wants to start another small writing group to get together maybe once a week over the summer break from the Redding Writer’s Forum group. She has a lot of excitement and energy to start this, so I am hoping to do it with her and a few others.

This is my first rough draft.  I want to improve it.  Also, on the parts where there is just text, those will actually be separate pages, and I want to do some ocean backgrounds for those that I have not come up with yet.  For the purpose of sharing it on Saturday, I printed out the words that will be on the pages of the characters and cut and temporarily attached them to those pages.

So for now, this is the first picture book I have been working on longer than I have Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends.  I have yet to finish the drawings, much less the paintings for that one!  So I have a great deal of work ahead, and I love it!  So here it is so far…

Larry the Lonely Leatherback

© Patsy H. Parker

Larry is lonely.

He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.

Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.

When Larry feels lonely,

He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  

He was missing Alicia so much, he forgot to eat!  So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.

Larry dives…


Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.



He sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!


They swim fast to get away…

To be continued…


Now back to the drawing/painting board!


Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂


Marriage and the Midlife Crisis

This is encouraging and is right where my husband and I are at. Exciting times.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 😊

Marija Smits

Last week it was my husband’s and my wedding anniversary. We celebrated with hugs and kind words and time spent pottering about with our kids, getting on with the usual chores. In the evening we had a takeaway and dessert. In quiet moments I reflected on our almost 20 years together (13 of them as a married couple).

Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer

On the day of our wedding, it would have been good if, along with the marriage certificate, we were given a guide to negotiating the ups and downs of marriage, but as no one presented us with such a guide, like many other couples we bumbled along and came up with our own. Although it took a while to craft, it is, thankfully, short. It goes something like this:

  1. Love and respect each other.
  2. Communicate well.

And voila! That is it!

In the early days…

View original post 859 more words

Mr. C. Turtle, Page 2

Hello Friends,

I thought I would share page 2 of one of my stories I am working on right now.  In case you missed it,  you can click on the category Stories in Progress to see page 1.

I had two illustrations painted on one page, but I had to divide them so I could fit the text in.  So it doesn’t look the same, but eventually I hope to get it the way I want it!!

You know, one of these days, I really hope to get a new program where it won’t be so much trouble to put text with my uploaded pictures of my paintings!  If anyone has any suggestions on a reasonably priced program, please let me know!  Thank you!

So without further ado…’s page 2!

© Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker


Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

How does the creative process work?

This is too beautiful to pass up sharing! I believe Janet captures the spirit of hummingbirds in her paintings as well as their physical beauty! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

Like a flying jewel, the hummingbird darts lightly through the world, teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of every day existence……….


20-11-15 - 1 (1082)How does the creative process work?

Initially the seed of an idea is sewn.

The seed then enters into an incubation period which can be short lived, or take years to come to fruition.

The seed of an idea 20-11-15 - 1 (1076)As we go about our daily lives, just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle being revealed, the seed sprouts ideas that give us more information…..This can happen at any time.

It’s vital to record these ideas, because even when we think we couldn’t possibly forget a moment of inspiration……we can, and do, which is why it’s important to always have a sketch/notebook at hand.

20-11-15 - 1 (1079)

Like a ghostly apparition sometimes the answer seems almost within reach – but then it disappears and returns to incubation….it was just a…

View original post 133 more words

Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

©  Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker


Hello Friends,

Several months ago I wrote a story called “Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends.”  I haven’t put anything about it on my blog yet because I was still tweaking the story a bit.  But this is how it starts.  I decided to put the pictures of the paintings in my Word program and put in the dialogue to get a feel for how it could be.  Hopefully, you may be able to “see” where this story might be going!! Anyway, I began doodling in my sketchbook what I want my characters to look like a couple of months ago.  But I just got to trying to paint them last week.  These are just quick sketches without backgrounds.

So there is a little fish who you’ll find out more about later.  Then there is Mr. C. Turtle, the main character.  He wears a top hat and a monocle.  Eventually you will see what kind of personality he has if you haven’t figured it out already.  I have a lot of paintings to do to get this really going.  It will be one of my many summer projects I am going to be working on.

Yesterday, I also spent a few hours continuing to paint my pictures for my picture book “Larry, the Lonely Leatherback.”   One of the drawbacks of A.D.D. is I get bored with things quickly, so I have to have several different things to be working on at the same time.  I guess you don’t really have to have A.D.D. to work that way, though.  I have read that a lot of artists and writers are working on several projects at a time.  Now all I have to do is make myself a schedule for the rest of the summer!  Wish me luck!

By the way, I am also re-organizing my blog and learning to use tags correctly which I have learned that I think I majorly messed up!  Sorry if you’ve had trouble finding anything here.  It is always a work-in-progress…just like I am.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Cock-eyed Giraffe Pencil Drawing

Hello Friends!

I just wanted to share this giraffe I sketched without tracing the outline. You can probably see that.  Its eyes are so uneven!!  Apparently when I first posted this, I confused myself and said it was a camel in the text.  It has been quite a few weeks of craziness here!  Oh well, I  have not been drawing freely as much lately with all the recent events that happened in my life.  Here they are:

The good:  My daughter graduated from high school. 🙂

The bad:  Next week she leaves us for the summer on the same day our son will be leaving to go live and work in the wilderness for his job for 8 days.  Well, it will be “good” for HIM, but “bad” for ME; I will be saying good-bye to him this weekend, then to my daughter a few days later.  They are leaving on the same day.  This is going to be the first time I have ever been away from both of them at the same time for any length of time. 😦  I am sure George and I will have a good week, though.  😉

The ugly:  My brother committed suicide on May 4th.  I have written about that already here on my blog.  The post is here:

However, yesterdat, I did 5 of my picture book paintings for Larry, the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle!  I want to get the paintings finished so I can scan them into my laptop and digitally put the words to the story in.  I have started this process with a different picture book I have done a few watercolor paintings for called Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends.  I haven’t shared any of that story here yet.

As usual, I am feeling like I am all over the place emotionally and mentally.  This is going to be a busy week.  I am meeting a new friend for lunch on Thursday so that will be fun.  Then this Sunday I might get to see some real turtles and tortoises!! I have seen some turtles before I even owned a red-eared slider years ago)  but never a tortoise in real life!  This excites me!!  I hope I will be allowed to take pictures so I can share them here.

So now it is onto exercising and getting ready for the meeting tonight!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂



I repeated this post because I really, really want to feature some of you on here!  🙂



Hello Friends!

I am super excited to tell you that I have been encouraged and energized by two successful professionals today, one in person who is my new counselor, and the other is Jeff Goins whose blog is interesting which you can find here: and whose new book “Real Artists Don’t Starve” can be purchased along with other bonuses here!

I watched Jeff this morning on a Facebook video

It was confirming to me of being on the right path since I had just been encouraged an hour before about the same things with the counselor I met with!  I have been blogging here on WordPress for almost four years now.  I have a few hundred followers.  However, what I always wonder is exactly what Jeff mentioned as the #1 insecurity of most bloggers – IS ANYONE LISTENING?

I have blogged about many different things here.  I have shared many forms of art that I have done here.  My desire is to share my thoughts, struggles and art here.   This blog has been a safe place for me to share about who I am.   I am going to be setting just a few new goals for myself to keep myself focused on recovering from losses, continuing to express that journey in my writing and art, and moving forward and growing as an artist/writer.  I feel more excited today than I have felt in a long time about continuing on this creative journey.

I titled this post “Creatives Unite” because I have known for a long time that I need more of a community of creative people in my life.  I have met many talented artists and writers here on WordPress and on Facebook.  So what I would like to do is feature some of you on my blog!

This is something I have been thinking about doing for a long time but had to wait until I knew I would have a big chunk of time to do it!  Now that my daughter has graduated high school and is going away for the summer (sniff, sniff) I plan to be spending more time creating my art and writing/blogging!  I hope some of you will take advantage of this opportunity to bring more attention to your own blogs as well!  By the way, I know other bloggers do this also, and it has been something that I was planning, but I am excited to also tell you that on July 21st I will be featured on my friend Jill Weatherholt’s blog.  You can check out her blog here:  

I am planning to call this new feature on my blog “FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY”

Please choose one, two or all three questions you would like to address and send me an e-mail to:

Or if you are on Facebook, send a message to me at

Here are the questions:

  1. How long have you been a writer and/or artist 
  2. What do you like to write about and/or create? 
  3. Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)                                           

I am planning to begin the posts in a couple of weeks and will be doing one post every Monday.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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