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Category Archives: My Thoughts

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!  🙂

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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!  🙂

Mama & Baby Hyenas

Hello Friends,

You may LAUGH at this one!  They just look too funny.  This one was tough!  The picture in the book of animals my daughter gave me has them laying down in the grass, but it is cropped so that you can’t see much of the rest of their bodies except their heads!  So I think their heads are too big.  The mama’s body is almost the same color as the grass that is in the bright sunshine, too.  Very challenging.  Anyway, I used my Prismacolor watercolor pencils for this one on the small watercolor sketchpad I’ve been using for all the other recent mama and baby animals I have been painting.  I realized I have not done a large painting at my art table in a long time!  Using these are so much easier, but I do miss mixing the paints and using my larger brushes.

Onto other news, though.  On Friday I took my husband’s truck to town to get groceries.  We have been having very warm weather for February, up in the lower 80’s, so I had a lot of meat and dairy to put in the coolers (for the 45 minute drive home.)  I had to open the tailgate to be able to do that instead of just putting them in from the side of the camper shell like I usually can.

THEN something happened after I put the tailgate up and started to drive!!  I saw something fall out the back after I drove out of the parking lot!  (I never went back for whatever it was.)  So I drove straight across the street to the Barnes and Noble parking lot to see what happened.  When I got out to look, the tailgate was hanging half-way off!  I thought, what the heck?  So I tried to call my husband but he was working and didn’t pick up on his cell.  I sent him a text and still no response.  (Our cell phone reception out where we live is not great.  He got my text that night.)

Fortunately,  an able-bodied, middle-aged guy drove into the parking lot, and I asked him for help.  He took one look at the back of the truck and said, “Whoa!  You aren’t going to be able to drive like that!”  (I thought to myself, “here’s your sign.”)  He reminded me of myself!  My kids have always teased me about pointing out the obvious!

So he tried lifting the left side back into the slot it had slid out of, and of course I had to help him.   I had to hold the other side while he fixed it.  I was SO thankful he came along when he did!

However, after driving home and unloading the largest load of groceries I have bought in a long time, my back was strained…a lot!  So I spent the weekend nursing it with wet heat and some exercise.  It is still sore, but I’ll be okay.

I spent Sunday afternoon doing laundry, watching t.v., and reading while George went to play D&D with his friends.  It became so warm I had to turn on the A/C!  I sure hope we get some cold weather again soon.  I am not ready for spring or summer!

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!  🙂

 

Edible Six-Pack Rings?! Wow!

Hello Friends,

I just have to share this before I forget about it.  It will possibly be part of my next writing assignment for my class since I believe I am going to write about at least three ways sea turtles are injured or killed by trash in our oceans.  Anyway, I can’t believe I have never heard of this before!  I only have the basic bones of information right now.  I am planning on calling the company and asking more questions.

Did you know that a beer brewery located in Delray Beach, Florida, called Saltwater Brewery, created EDIBLE SIX-PACK RINGS for their canned beer?  I didn’t!  I happened to stumble onto this short video when I was looking into ways that the six-pack rings from canned products can injure and kill sea turtles.

These six-pack rings are made from barley and wheat ribbons from the beer brewing process.  They can be eaten safely and are 100% biodegradable.  Isn’t this wonderful?  I am going to be researching more information about this and will keep you posted.  In the meantime, check out this short video!

I can’t believe it is Friday already.  I think I may be spending mine writing!  Also, at some point I will still be sharing soon about the rest of the trip to Turtle Bay Exploration Park that my daughter I took last week.  AND…I am almost finished with the Mama and Baby pigs drawing.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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

Turtles, turtles, turtles…and…birds!

Hello Friends,

Well, my daughter and I visited “Turtle Bay Exploration Park” the other day.  It was a nice cool October day which I was very thankful for!  Yes, this is me, at our first stop in the park, The Parrot House.  They currently have about 30 Lorikeets, an Australian type of parrot, which are very colorful… and friendly!! As soon as we walked in, one lighted on my hat and another on my shoulder.  They stayed there the whole time until the one on my shoulder flew off and its feathered friend followed.  I used to own Cockatiels so this was a treat for me.  My daughter was glad none landed on her, however.

We did get to see many turtles on this trip which has never happened before.  And no, “Turtle Bay” isn’t named so because they have lots of turtles.  That section of the Sacramento river where they built their facility used to be called Turtle Bay, and it may still be, but I am not sure about that.  They are also under a lot of added construction right now, revamping the playground where I used to take my kids when they were little, and adding a hotel!  Supposedly, it is to be finished by December or January.  So we’ll see!

So here are more pictures AND a couple of short videos from our little adventure.  Enjoy!  By the way, they had a tarantula, but I didn’t take any pictures of it…not my favorite animal.  Also, I am not including everything we saw either.

Here’s a red-eared slider turtle who tried, tried, and kept trying to get up onto this rock…alas, it never made it.  I guess it was just too slippery for it.  😦

 

Here are three Western Pond Turtles which are native here in Northern California.  They were in an aquarium inside the museum.

“Hey, do ya mind? I’m tryin’ to sleep here.”

 

“Yeah, I ain’t even comin’ outta my shell today folks.”

 

 

“HEY, I’m awake!  Watch me swim!”

 

 

This is “Virginia” the Box Turtle… She says, “Hey!  Watch this, but be patient!”  

 

These are the Red-eared Sliders that were in another aquarium.  My daughter took this picture.  Awesome, huh?

“Awww…look at our beautiful reflections, Melva!”  

 

This is perhaps the most amazing thing I saw.  Unfortunately, it is only the shell, but this is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle Shell!!!  Isn’t it amazing?  I thought so.  I didn’t even know they had one there years ago when we were members.  I forgot to ask how long they have had it.  And yes, even though I paint my sea turtles the colors I do, it is because when they are in the water, reflections of the sun down in the water depending on where they are, make their shells look like those brilliant colors!

 

Later this week I will have another post about our trip to Turtle Bay and show you the other wonderful animals we saw.  I didn’t want to make this post way too long.  Plus, I wanted to share the turtles mostly.  Until then…

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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