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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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NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and Why I Love Their Work

I think this is going to be an interesting blog series. These are some gorgeous children’s book illustrations! 🙂

Traci Bold's IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WORDS

Part 1- Animals

I admit, I judge a book by its cover. Especially in children’s literature. When the art grabs my attention on the cover, I know goodies await my eyes on the inside; think eye candy!

However, my first impression is never “Such a pretty picture…” when I see the covers. Instead my brain deciphers right away, what exactly about the cover entices me to open the book. There are numerous qualities on my checklist and these carry over into the illustrations of the book itself. Some books will have just one checkmark, others, two or more.

These qualities will be explored in my new series, ‘NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and the Why I Love Their Work’ kicking off right now as part of the #kidlitwomen movement. Women have been rockin’ the kidlit world for decades and continue to do so. 

To start us off, my…

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Mama & Baby Deer

 

Hello Friends,

Last night I decided to do another little painting.  On the page with these beautiful deer, the author, Bridget E. Hamilton, of this wonderful book, The Wisdom of Moms, includes a quote that says,

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

Thornton Wilder

What are your greatest treasures today?

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

Mama & Baby Moupin Pikas

Hello Friends,

Well, I didn’t do any of my rewriting of my story yesterday, but when dinner was cooked and eaten, I kept looking at the adorable Moupin pikas in my book, “The Wisdom of Moms” by Bridget E. Hamilton (which is where all of the mama and baby paintings have come from), and I just couldn’t resist drawing/painting them.  I worked out yesterday so my arm was feeling okay to draw.  These adorable little Moupin pikas are sitting in the snow.

The aspect of wisdom that Bridget relates these little critters to is “Resourcefulness.”  She begins the page by saying, “It doesn’t matter where your home is, what matters is who you share it with.  The Moupin pika has few options when it comes to shelter in the Himalaya and surrounding mountain ranges, so this resourceful pika digs its own high-elevation burrow.”

It is so true that our home is where our heart is, especially if we have given our heart to others.  Now I am headed off to town to run a couple of errands.

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

Mama & Baby Porcupines

Hello Friends,

I hope everyone’s week is going well.  I worked on this probably longer than I should have.  It didn’t really turn out the way I hoped it would.  That is light-colored wood between them.  Also, the baby’s tiny paw is between their noses!  Oh well, it was still fun so I thought I would just post it anyway.  😉

I have written my story for my class, but did what I hope are the final revisions the other day.  My arm has been sore this week, so I have taken a break from being on my laptop until today.  I plan to FINISH it today and get it sent off well before the first of March.

I went for a couple of enjoyable hikes with a friend on Saturday and my husband on Monday.  I think I have found that I can walk on dirt paths without too much pain to my feet!  So I plan to do more hiking now especially before it gets too hot in a couple of months.

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!  🙂

Mama & Baby Hedgehogs

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I took a lot longer to do this little sketch than I had planned to, and my arm was sore, but I like the way it turned out.  A little brighter than I wanted, but I think the gold watercolor pencil is brighter than I think until I’ve already used it.  Ha, ha!  😉

Hedgehogs normally have those little white tips at the end of their fur, too, but that was difficult to portray without tracing the photo.  What I like about this one is the way the mama is lying on her side looking at her baby.  I used to do that when my babies were lying on the floor!

Sometimes I really miss those early childhood days with my kids, but we are all in such a great stage of grown-up life together now, that making memories NOW is all that matters!   Just getting the privilege to be my kids’ mom has been awesome!

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!  🙂

Mama & Baby Southern Elephant Seals

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I decided to sketch another “Mama & Baby” photo from the book The Wisdom of Moms by Bridget E. Hamilton that my daughter sent to me when she was gone this summer.  The page next to the photo is labeled Compassion.  Part of the text gives us some insight into these wonderful mothers.  It says,

“At first glance, a lumbering elephant seal does not seem like a compassionate, loving animal.  But looks can be deceiving!  Elephant seal rookeries are crowded with mothers and babies, but once her pup is born, mom learns his scent and listens for his signature cry that she can identify among the commotion.  If a pup does get lost there is a chance it will be adopted by another elephant sea cow.  The foster mother will suckle the pup and raise him as her own.”

As many of you already know, I love sea creatures.  Sea lions are such beautiful animals.  The few times I have visited San Francisco in the past, I have seen huge groups of California sea lions bundled together and lying on the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf.  So I know this to be true about the nature of these beautiful mothers.

Someday I hope to live on the coast in California…somewhere!  I also hope to swim in the ocean again.  It is pretty amazing.

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

Sea Otter Mama & Baby Watercolor

Hello Friends,

I used my Prismacolor watercolor pencils to draw these cuties.

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

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