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Category Archives: My Thoughts

Bull Shark Pencil Drawing

Hello Friends,

Last night I decided to finish the pencil drawing I started last week of this bull shark. It has appeared here already but without all of the sea foliage and shadow. I didn’t do it exactly like the photo in the book called Creatures of the Deep by Erich Hoyt, but it is similar. I think the next couple of pencil drawings I plan to do are of a viperfish and anglerfish. If you’ve never seen them, look them up. They are pretty scary looking!

I have learned that after doing pencil drawings like this, I have to rest my arm. Once I start working on something in the evening, I find myself still drawing hours later I guess because I am somewhat of a perfectionist. 😉

Anyway, today I may get back to the leafy sea dragon painting if I can get the colors mixed the way I want them. Painting is actually easier on my arm than drawing but I really love both!!

I haven’t prepared the walls in the spare bedroom for painting yet. I am not sure if I should take on that project right now. The walls are still a nice blue color and we still have the paint so I may must touch it up. I do want to start hanging my sea creatures, although I’m not sure I want to invest in framing everything. So I need to figure out something to do with the pencil drawings.

I hope everyone is having a great week! I had to break up some potential Wompus and Brownie snarls yesterday. Wompus growls at Brownie, and sometimes Brownie barks at her. But I think they are getting used to being in the same room together when I am in here working.

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

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SUICIDE ANNIVERSARY

Hello Friends,

I don’t normally do this, but today I was reminded that last year on this day, my brother committed suicide.  So I am going to re-post the post I wrote last year for any who may have never seen it.

May is Mental Health Awareness month.  If you are feeling lonely, discouraged, or severely depressed, call someone…please.

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

 

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, 2017, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th. In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days. Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back. However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

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

Writing Project Finished!

Hello Friends, 

I do not have any new artwork to post yet, however, I did want to share that I have finally completed my seventh assignment for my writing class!  Yay!

I wrote a fictional story about a teenager who is a senior in high school and has been getting tattoos since she turned 18 in an effort to hide her scars from her addiction to cutting.

This has been the most challenging writing I have ever done and although I struggled with it, I enjoyed the process.  I also had to include a cover letter as if I were going to submit it somewhere. So now I will wait and see what my instructor has to say about it!

Hopefully, I will have some new work to post sometime this week.  It seems I may have a slightly pulled muscle from working out the other day; not sure how it happened, though.

Until next time…

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

I AM BUSY WRITING!!

Calvin and Hobbes

by Bill Watterson

 

Hello Friends,

It has been quite some time since I posted!  I have been reading a Calvin & Hobbes comic book I bought really cheap at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago.  It brings back memories of our son reading them out loud to us all the time when he was a kid.  He has a stack of those books!  But I decided to buy one for myself.  Bill Watterson is such a talented artist and humorist.  I have always loved his comics.

In other news I have been busy with my writing class’s assignment over the past couple of weeks.  I have consulted with my instructor about the story I came up with about a girl who is a cutter.   I found a literary magazine in the Writer’s Market book that accepts submissions up to 5000 words!  My story is almost half that, but I am still working on it.  I don’t want to make it that long, but it is nice to be able to have that much room to tell it instead of it having to be 500 or 1000 words only!  Plus, I am not planning to send it to this magazine.  Finding one was just part of the assignment.  We also have to write a cover letter which I haven’t done before.  I have also been reading a lot of children’s and young adults fiction.  I read Charlotte’s Web for the first time…and cried.  It was so good!  But I couldn’t get into Stuart Little.

I have only sketched a couple of things in watercolors in the last week but unfortunately, they didn’t come out great so I won’t be posting them.  I haven’t been drawing much either.  Just one of those weird months, I guess.

But I thought I would at least check in and tell everyone that I will have something new soon.  I hope everyone is doing well.

I am doing well.  I had a “procedure” (that I won’t mention ) done last Friday that wiped me out for the weekend.  So this has been a busy week getting back into the swing of things.  But life is great!  I hope everyone has had a good week!

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

BLOGGING IS COURAGEOUS!!!

Hello Friends,

I have had such a great week!  First, I want to share quickly that I finished my Assignment 6 story which is a story about a girl with the compulsion to cut, and it is targeted at middle-school to teen-aged kids.  I haven’t turned it in yet, though, because I have another part of my assignment to finish also.  But it will definitely be in before March 1st!  I am proud of myself which is not as difficult to say as it used to be for me.

Second, I am working on a mama and baby porcupine watercolor, but because of all the writing, I am taking it easy with my arm.  I am still working out (not every day) but when I do, it helps a lot.

Lastly, the reason I titled this post “BLOGGING IS COURAGEOUS” is because I have been blessed to have many new followers lately, and NEW bloggers who have begun blogging about their challenges with depression and anxiety and other mental health issues.  To all of you who have recently found and followed me, congratulations!  Keep on blogging, try not to get discouraged, and make lots of friends.

It is challenging and blogging and making new friends online has been very rewarding for me.  Keep up the great work bloggers!

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

Mental Health Recovery

Hello Friends,

Recently I found this man’s blog.  His name is James Edgar Skye.  I wanted to share this post of his with you to encourage anyone who struggles with any type of mental illness.  The road is tough for us, but when we get help, take medication if we need it, and have support, we CAN accomplish our goals.

I have been taking a correspondence course through the Institute of Children’s Literature since about August.  I am halfway through it now!  My sixth assignment is to write a story using the character I created in my fifth assignment.  So my wheels have been spinning as I read other writer’s stories in my text.

I know most of you know me as a watercolor/drawing artist, however, when I began this blog over five years ago, I was focusing on writing.  The blog helped to motivate me.  I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.  However, I have started many pieces, such as my memoir and a novel, that I have yet to finish.  That’s okay.  Right now I want to learn to write short stories for teenagers and write about serious issues that many of them face daily such as depression, anxiety, cutting, and various addictions.

So I encourage you to read James’s post as well and be encouraged.  Struggling with mental illness is difficult, but we can still achieve our goals with a lot of hard work.  Encouraging each other along the way is also key.

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

 

Thanks for sharing your life with us, James.  🙂  Please read on to get to know James.

Yesterday I introduced a new series on the blog. My real life journal entries during some of my toughest times. My Mental Illness Journal. Today I want to talk about goals in mental health recovery. What Are Your Mental Health Recovery Goals? In the life with a mental illness, it can seem difficult to set […]

via Goals in Mental Health Recovery — The Bipolar Writer

Rejection Means I Tried!

Hello Friends!

I wanted to share with you what I received in my e-mail on my birthday!  (The letter is below)  I thought it was funny that it came that day!!  It has been months since I spontaneously submitted my picture book to this contest.  I didn’t expect to win at all, but I  am glad they let me know anyway.  So I guess this means I am officially a writer??  Ha, ha.  It’s fine.  I have never submitted anything before so it was a good experience.

I need to get started on my next writing project for my class.  I haven’t been doing any art this week.  My husband took two weeks off from work so we have had a lot more time to spend together.  We had car problems and had our car in the shop a couple of days so he took our daughter to work very early in the morning a couple of days, because she doesn’t want to drive his 5 speed Nissan truck.  She hasn’t learned how to drive a stick shift.

I hope everyone’s holiday season is going well.  My husband and I went to town yesterday, and it was a ZOO!!  I really want to stay away from there during the next week or so; it is just too crazy!

Until I have something to post next time…

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

 

 

Sparkhouse Family submissions@sparkhouse.org via email.submittable.com 

Dec 14 (2 days ago)

to me

Dear Patsy Parker,

Thank you for submitting “Larry the Lonely Leatherback” to the Sparkhouse Family Children’s Picturebook Contest. Unfortunately, the submission wasn’t a good fit for us at this time. We received many excellent entries and the competition was very stiff. I hope you’ll consider submitting again if you have additional work that you think will be a good fit for our publishing house.

All the best,
The editors at Sparkhouse Family

You can go here to view the submission:
https://sparkhousefamily.submittable.com/user/submissions/8547122

Sea Turtle Babies Rescued!

Hello Friends,

I am doing a great deal better today after seeing the doctor.  He prescribed Prozac for me to add to the Wellbutrin I have been taking which is a pretty weak anti-depressant I guess.  So why had he never done this before?  Well, to be fair he gave me Lexapro to try a long time ago but it nauseated me so badly, I couldn’t take it.  Wow, what a difference.  This is what happened to me the first time I got an anti-depressant which was Paxil.  It made a world of difference right away which still amazes me.  I have quite a weird brain I guess, but I am thankful for medicines that do help control severe depression.

I am working on my article right now and was looking up more information about the problem with trash in our oceans and beaches when I came across a couple of very disturbing videos.  In one, a group of people on a boat removed a drinking straw from a sea turtle’s nostril.  It was awful, but I am so glad they found this turtle and helped it.  Hopefully, it didn’t have any problems breathing after they released it.  In the other one a group of people found a sea turtle on a beach and pulled a plastic fork out of its nostril!  Don’t worry; I didn’t post those two!

Trash is such a huge problem for our ocean’s and beaches!  Plastics in general that are not recycled or disposed of properly are injuring and killing wildlife all over the world.  This is what my article is about in reference to sea turtles’ livelihood.

So…when I came across THIS video, I just had to share it.  These little babies were fortunate enough to have a man come along and find them up in the brush on a beach and wandering around trying to find their way out of it.  They were crawling UP the beach away from the water.

Just listen to this man’s excitement and compassion!  If you love wildlife of any kind, I think you will like this.  Enjoy.

Thank you to all of you who are keeping me in your prayers.  You are greatly appreciated.  And…enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow!  

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

 

Box Turtle

Hello Friends,

This is Virginia, the little Box Turtle that we saw at Turtle Bay last month!  She is showing the kids the hinge in her plastron that allows her to completely close herself up inside!  Cool, huh?  Hopefully, I didn’t post this picture already.

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

 

Turtles Again? Of course!

Hello Friends,

Yep.  That’s me…the turtle lady.  Today I just want to share with you about my latest book finds!

First, for several years now I have been checking out all the turtle and sea turtle books I can find at the library which are not very many I might add.  Well, a few days ago I was reading one of my favorites again (I’ve checked it out more times than I can count) called “Turtles, Tortoises & Terrapins:  Survivors in Armor” by Ronald Orenstein.  Every time I check it out I wish I could keep it.  So this past Tuesday I decided to look for it on Amazon.  I found a new updated version, but I couldn’t afford that one.  So I looked for a used one and found it for half the price of the newest one.  I realize there is some updated information in the new one, and it looked like it had new photos, but I still decided to get the used one.  It has a little crinkle on the book cover, but is a hardback and in good shape otherwise.  So for what I paid it is well worth it.  Here is a picture of it!  Sorry about the glare.

The other book I found is a gold mine for me!  I went to Barnes & Noble on Wednesday and was looking for a more updated book on sea turtles since I am writing the article for my class about them.  I just get tired of looking for everything online sometimes.  I still love to read books I can hold in my hands.  That is never going to change for me.

So I looked in their shrunken animal/nature book section (also, our store is smaller than most), and I couldn’t find anything!  They had a guide book for reptiles, but that was about it…NOTHING on sea turtles!  They have some small books in the kids sections that I already have, but didn’t have anything new.  So I decided to ask a clerk who has been there for at least the last 15 years or more.  She went into her computer looking for the most recently published books about sea turtles to see if there was anything I wanted to order.  I also told her I was interested in the latest conservation information.  Well, she found the most beautiful book for me!  It is a heavier covered paperback, perfect print size, and filled with the most amazing photography and information!

I have never found a book this wonderful on sea turtles before.  It is called “Our Sea Turtles:  A Practical Guide for the Atlantic and Gulf, from Canada to Mexico” by Blair and Dawn Witherington.  They are a couple who live in Floridana Beach, Florida.  Blair is a “Senior Sea Turtle Conservation Biologist at the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, University of Florida, with a joint appointment leading Disney’s sea turtle conservation program.”  He has degrees in biology and zoology and has written several other books.

His wife, “Dawn is a scientific illustrator and graphic design artist trained at the Art Institutes of Colorado and Ft. Lauderdale.  Her art and design are prominent in natural history books, posters, museum exhibits, and a line of sea-themed greeting cards.”  (Both quotes are from the back flap of the book.)

This book is 282 pages full of wonderful information, illustrations, and photographs.  What a talent they both have for writing and art/photography!  It is so amazing.  Here is a picture of it.  Sorry there is a bit of a glare on it.  Anyway, I began reading this one last night and almost couldn’t put it down to go to sleep!  It is a book I will always treasure.  I will definitely be looking for their other books in the future.

Well, this is what I will be doing this weekend.  Reading, reading, and reading…oh and writing as well.  I realized last night that I think the reason I am having difficulty writing this article is because it is about something so precious to me.  I have a great emotional investment in my love for sea turtles and protecting them, so whatever I write, I hope it doesn’t get too much “correction” but if so, it will be a learning experience!  I hope you all have a nice weekend!

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

 

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