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Category Archives: Writing

Piggy Watercolor

Hello Friends!

This is a piggy watercolor I decided to do today. I have been really busy this week! Our daughter moved out, so her room became my first “official” art studio! I say official, because I won’t have to share this room with anyone else, well, except Wampus the cat! She follows me everywhere! So I have been moving stuff around again. And my writing desk fits nicely in the closet (because it has no doors.) That way I can use my same chair to do art and turn right around in the same spot to my laptop behind me. Cool, huh?

Since I have been a part of a group of artists on Facebook at The Inspiration Place with Miriam Schulman, we have been inspired to paint several different animals. I painted a flamingo over the weekend which was my own idea. I am posting that one tomorrow.

Now I am going to work out. I need to keep my back and arm in shape for everything I want to do.

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

 

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Animal Zombies!

Hello Friends!

This is the cover of a book that Chana Stiefel wrote for kids!  I won a copy of “Animal Zombies” from Maria Marshall’s blog called The Picture Book Buzz. Here is a link where you can read her interview with Chana. https://www.mariacmarshall.com/single-post/2018/08/24/The-Picture-Book-Buzz—Interview-with-Chana-Stiefel I hope you enjoy it. You can find more links to Chana’s various pages at the end of this written interview.

When I won this book, I told Chana and Maria I would do a review of it on my blog. I read it last month, but just hadn’t made the time to do that until now. But we all know how much stuff I juggle around and how easily distracted I can get! 😉

Here is what I wrote for a review on Goodreads:

” ‘Animal Zombies!’ is a fantastic book! It is a soft-covered National Geographic magazine for kids. The photos are very close-up and personal! There are facts about bloodsuckers and various deep sea creatures your kids may never have heard of. There are also several stories about different scientists who do fascinating research. (And I might add it is over 90 pages long!)

I wish this had come out when my kids were little. If you have children who love to read about “gross” things some creatures do, your kids will love this book!

This book can make you feel squeamishly excited to learn.”

So there you have it! It really is fascinating information. If you have children or grandchildren, you can get buy it for someone special at Amazon.com.

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

 

The Collaborative work of E. H. Shepard and A. A. Milne

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share with you a snapshot into the lives of children’s book illustrator, E. H. Shepard, and writer, A. A. Milne, from the fascinating book I’ve been reading called, “The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh, A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood,” by Kathryn Aalto.

E. H. Shepard’s mother was Harriet Jessie Lee. She had grown up with an artist father. Therefore, she encouraged her son’s interest in drawing by providing notebooks and pencils for him to carry with him wherever he went. Kathryn Aalto says on page 57, “Through time, he developed a photographic memory for drawing scenes, events, and gestures.”

Shepard experienced a happy childhood with his parents and two older siblings until he was eleven. But Aalto says on page 58, “One day his mother, bedridden for months, bid the children a cheery goodbye for what they perhaps thought was a short trip to visit his aunts. Not much later, she died…Shepard said that he felt his childhood ended then.”

However, in his grief his love of drawing became “an outlet of expression for him.” (Page 58) His suffering aided him in being able to express emotions in the characters he drew. Kathryn observes this underlying grief when she notes, “Consider the way he portrays a contemplative or bewildered Pooh bear or a timid Piglet trying to be brave.” His mediums of choice were pencil, pen and ink, and black crayons. As you can see in his drawings of A. A. Milne’s characters, he “favored cross-hatching, fine line, or crayon,” (Page 61.)

In 1926, Shepard traveled to visit Milne’s stomping grounds and walk with him through Ashdown Forest. Not only did this land inspire Milne’s stories, it also became the inspiration for Shepard’s drawings. Aalto says on page 61, “The bee tree, Wol’s tree, Galleons Lap, and the Enchanted Place were real places Shepard interpreted…”

All of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh were drawn from Christopher Robin’s real stuffed animals. But that “silly old bear,” as the fictional Christopher Robin called Pooh, was created from Growler. Growler was a stuffed bear that belonged to Shepard’s son, Graham. He studied and sketched how the boys played with their stuffed animals which eventually became his art for the books.

In my humble opinion, the collaboration of A. A. Milne’s writing and E. H. Shepard’s illustrations has been one of the greatest gifts bestowed on our world. These two men were definitely destined to meet, and the world over has forever been blessed by their incredible work.

I know my own childhood was enriched by Winnie-the-Pooh and all of his friends who lived in The Hundred Acre Wood. I am thankful to Kathryn Aalto for writing such a lovely book! I haven’t finished it yet, because I am savoring the beauty of her writing and photography, as well as the photography many others. I highly recommend it for an enjoyable read!

Here is a drawing I did of one of my favorite scenes from “Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day.” Pooh is about to go through Eeyore’s house he just finished building because he (Pooh) is holding onto Piglet’s scarf which has unraveled leaving Piglet in the sky.

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

Great White Shark: Stage 2

Hello Friends!

Here is Stage 2 of my Great White Shark! I can’t decide if I want to do the background all black or maybe try ocean colors. I’m not real fond of colored pencil even though I have done some colored pencil work. But it is hard on my arm. I suppose it doesn’t have to be super dark. What do you think? Nevertheless, I am not quite done with the shark. As you can see, its fins fade out of the picture because it is in deep waters, so I only have a little work left to do on those. And the background will bring out all the light that is supposed to be on the top of the shark. That’s why you can’t see all of it here.

Yesterday I turned in my 8th assignment for my writing class. Today I am starting on the reading for Assignment 9. I have to wait to get my assignment back before I can start on the next one because I have to pick whether to write another article or another fictional story. As much as I like writing fiction, I am leaning towards writing an article about the Leafy Sea Dragon! That was the subject I submitted to her on my article outline. (I have a feeling she may want me to do the same thing.)

Today our daughter left for her first spike in the CCC. She will be gone until next Wednesday. So I have my car back for a week! That means I can drive with A/C and a great stereo! My husband’s truck has neither. It has a stereo, but the speakers are awful. (He knows how I feel so I don’t have to apologize to him. Ha, ha!)

I already have plans for lunch with a friend on Monday. It’s time to make more plans! 😉

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

 

Great White Shark Pencil Drawing Started

Hello Friends,

This is the latest drawing I have started. There will be places where it will be a lot darker of course, but I thought I would share the beginning stage of it.

I also just sent off my assignment in my writing class. So now I wait for the instructor’s feedback and to tell me which of the three ideas I sent that she would like for me to write. I told her my top two picks so we will see what happens!

So for the rest of today I plan to work out among other things. Then my husband and I are going to a poetry reading group. We went several times last summer, and now they are starting again. It is only once a month, though.

This morning I received a warning message from a friend about a potential hacker on Facebook. This is what came to mind. Don’t know if I’ll read it tonight, but maybe! It is short and doesn’t have a title yet.

 

I’ve been hacked before,

Don’t need to be hacked anymore,

Leave me alone you hackers,

You must be a bunch of slackers.

By Patsy H. Parker

 

Lame, I know. Ha, ha!

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

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

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