Saturday, February 27, 2010


Here is a partial list of the people and manuscripts moving on to the next round in the Amazon-Penguin Breakthrough novel contest. My name and my Ms. is about halfway down. I'm in the second round now. Eek!

When I was reading over the list of books that were moving up, I saw a number whose titles made me want to read them. They sounded interesting.

Looking forward to Spring

My grandmother always used to say, when I was eager to grow up or
eager for summer during school or eager for spring during winter,
"Don't wish your life away," by which she meant, carpe dium or live
each day.

It's grey and dismal outside. But I do have spring--or maybe even
summer--inside--My azalea bonsai, a mother's day gift from my kids, to
cheer me up and bring a touch of brightness to this dark day.

Rocky and me

I haven't been blogging much because I've been so busy with my Fellowship application--and other problems (health issues for three of us). Now, suddenly, the application is submitted and there is a sense of . . . loss, rootlessness, sadness? What I'd like to do is RELAX, play, have fun, spend more time with hubby. What I NEED to do is clean up all the piles of poems and paperwork, file, catch up on my email and snail mail, etc. The temptation is to let it all ride, but
there will be more crises and deadlines and that coudl be dangerous.

This is Rocky. Rocky is my cockateil. At my old house, he had free range of the house, but here, he is confined to the cage and doesn't like it. Poor guy. I wouldn't like it either. :-(

As usual, you can click the image to view it larger.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Artwork: Nora's Entry

Nora is a Dermatologist whose office is at the corner of Mack and Moran and I walk by it nearly every day. I love seeing her flowers and I poked my head in and took a picture of them the other day, and made this piece from that picture. It is done with Faber-Castel PITT artist pens, pigment markers and pens, and a few other pigment pens. I was trying to capture the delicate range of hues that showed up in the flower photograph that to the eye in person were primarily white, yellow and pinkish, but unfortunately, the pens simply do not have the rage of hues needed so I had to do the best I could with the selection I had. I think watercolor paints, which can be mixed and diluted, might have worked better, but this coated yellow paper does not work well for me with water color--they tend to bead up and leave lots of little dots and look uneven and ugly. Maybe someone else can do it, but I can't seem to. So, this is my best effort to use the actual paper in the book rather than pasting something in. I probably should attempt to make pieces that don't refer to something real so that I won't be so disappointed by the results. I worked on this every day for 6 days, during and after meals and when I took a break from working on my Fellowship application. The intense concentration of studying each petal and subtle hues on it was a welcome break from studying each word in my application, and I discovered that working on it relieved my headaches that I got from the Fellowship application work, which was good.

Click the image to view it larger.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Piran Alley

I painted this with gouache on yellow paper from a photo I took of an Alley in Piran, Slovenia when we were on our honeymoon there. (Click image to view larger.)

Monday, February 15, 2010


One is too many and a hundred are not enough.

I'm not sure why I love making fractals--they fascinate me with their
endless variety.

BUT I have other stuff I NEED to do. ENOUGH for now!!!

Friday Fractal Monday

Oh-oh--Andree introduced me to a new fractal program which is a free download. It's called XaoS . It's very dangerous, like all fractal programs, and fun. I don't have much time to play with my Kresge Fellowship application coming due soon, but I must admit, I did take a little time out of my busy schedule. Mine are small becasue I don't have time to post big ones (they do get a little bigger if you click the images), but I may later, and they aren't nearly as nice as Andree's. But someday, if I have more time ever, I may do fancier ones!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day! A Bit of silliness

I made the silly pigment-marker sketch (second here) last night and then distally altered it on photoshop to make a valentine. It's all pigment markers except the skin, as I have no skin-colored pigment markers.


Click images to view larger.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

Today, I finished The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I read it before, many years ago, and really liked it, but this read through, I found it fairly depressing, though I liked it better and better as I went through it. I didn't really remember much of it at first, but the more I read, the more I remembered. I was listening to the audio book version, and the CDs were out of order. I didn't realize it, so they came up all disjointed and I had to start over--it was pretty disturbing.

The Bell Jar is fairly autobiographical of Sylvia Path--she calls herself Esther Greenwood in the book--and she tried to commit suicide (which, of course, later she succeeds, Sylvia, I mean). I used to believe I was like Esther (and Sylvia), but now I don't think as much. She ends up in an asylum and has electroshock therapy. The details in her book are very well-written.

I had been doing quite well reading lots of books, early, but we've had health issues and the computer's been on the blitz taking lots of time trying to get it working again. :-(

I haven't been writing many reviews because I've been too darn busy, and this isn't really one, either.

Booklist 2010

  1. The Blue Roan Child, Jamieson Findlay, Jan 2, 2010
  2. The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynn Reid Banks, Jan 2, 2010
  3. Summer on Blossom Street, Debbie Macomber, January 3, 2010
  4. Angel Rock, Darren Williams, January 4, 2010
  5. Angel City, by Tony Johnston and Carol Byard, Jan 7, 10 (read twice)
  6. I Can Make You Thin, by Paul McKenna
  7. A Passage to India, E. M. Forster, Jan 12, 2010
  8. The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver, Jan 15, 2010
  9. Back on Blossom Street, Debbie Maccomber, Jan 19, 2010
  10. Home, Marilynn Robinson, January 20, 2010
  11. Housekeeping, Marilynn Robinson, January 25, 2010
  12. Where Angels Go, Debbie Macomber, 1-31-10
  13. Muggie Maggie, Beverly Cleary, Children's, 2-1-10
  14. Animals in the Snow, Margaret Wise Brown, Children's, 2-2-10
  15. The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith, 2-3-10
  16. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, rr, 2-10-10

rr = reread

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Two self-portrait sketches

I drew one over the weekend and the other is a little older. I forgot
to date it. They were both done while riding in the car and looking
into the little mirror on the back of the visor.

I've been having computer issues.