Sunday, December 04, 2016

You Are Worthy

Have you ever noticed that you've slid into negative self-talk. It's the bane of my existence. Here's the stupid voice inside my head. "I'm not very successful. I'm not doing a good job. My art isn't making me millions or even enough to by a soda, hence I'm worthless. I don't have an army of adoring fans hence my work is worthless."
Oh, it goes on and on. If my own voice isn't enough, I can add to it hundreds of voices that have had negative things to say about my work. From it's not distinctive enough, to it's mid-list derivative, or too similar to xyz, and more.  What is a poor artist supposed to do to find worth?
Here it is folks: I'm in control of my self-talk. No one else. I have to whisper over and over again. Worthy. Worthy. Worthy. I'm in control of my life. I have to choose to breathe and enjoy my art. Let the expression fill me to my pores.  It's also important that I drive defining myself.  
Here's the real deal self-talk. I'm as worthy as every star that shines. I chose not to repeat the bullies, enemies, and the jealous. Instead I embrace: WORTHY. 
I whisper to myself. I am worthy. My work is worthy. It is precious. I am part of the good guys.  I'm not searching for gifts. I am one of the gifts.  My days are set aside. I will give of my creative energy until my lungs give out and can't give any more. 
That stuff I'm whispering to myself is for you too. You are worthy. WORTHY.  That negative stuff is not the truth. Speak the truth, ye seekers of art and expression. Your imagination rattles the present reality and makes the next one possible.  Imagine, worthy ones
Here is a doodle. 

Here is a quote for your pocket. 
Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known. Confucius

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fickle Fame and the Reckless Artist

Fame is a fickle thing. I mean, writing your heart out is no guarantee for fortune or even a comfy chair. Fifty percent of all authors make less than $1000.00 per year. Only about 20 percent of authors make more than $20,000 per year, and J.K. Rowling is skewing the statistics with her 300 million per year.

Very few treasure art. We have no power to influence our success. If you were born into a non-artistic family your road is tougher. You are likely to suffer from mental illness. And, by the way, you make way less than a part-time employee at Mickey Ds. Here is another problem. You are a reckless soul and you love ugly. I mean it. Art is about the different. You want to say things that no one is saying, and, listen here, everyone wants to hear the same old stuff. You are just part of the din. The voices that are heard aren't always the best voices. It's a luck driven world.

Art is one Pandora's box of trouble for the creator. So why do it? Because there is hope down at the bottom of the art well. Art soothes the soul. It inspires the imagination. It fuels the future. It dazzles the mind. It makes us more. Cling to that when all the naysayers are wagging fingers at you.

Yes, I know it's a tough world for most artists. We are a rickety lot but wonderful too. Keep creating.

Here is a doodle of hope: 

Here is a quote for your pocket:

You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Life is Necessary for Your Art To Thrive

If you live on this planet, you have suffered or will suffer. We are all fighting battles. It's part of being human. You must not begrudge life when it keeps you from your art. You must live to create art. LIFE is the great cauldron of art.  LIFE brings happiness, love, hope, but on the flipside, pain, distress, hardship--you need all to find your voice.  
There is a movement in this world of ultimate positivity. There are older movements of faith and friendship. I find being positive in the face of tragedy farcical. I go with the older movements when working through life. I turn to faith. I cast my burdens on the Lord and he sustains me. I find myself unmoved and able to travel on in the storms of life. That said, weathering storms takes time.  My pen goes down.  My poems stop.  
It's a frightening time. 
It is your job to feel. I encourage to perceive your deeply. Remember this awareness will inform your work when you are ready. These upheavals may change the direction of your work. You may leave many things undone to start something new. You may return to something you started in your 20s that you complete in your 50s.  You will return to your art. Give it time.  
Embrace the days given you. Live your life. Then create your art.  Every little thing will shine.  
A doodle for you: 

A quote for your pocket: 
I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. Anne Frank


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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Moving Day!

Hi folks,

Seize the day is moving!  Please, if you want to just receive my blog through email, follow this link and click on my photo, then enter your email. Done. You may also follow my blog by following me on  Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. 

A quote for your pocket.

Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects. Nikolai Tesla

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Close to the Bone: KA

Hi, folks, I've been writing a series all about  a time in my twenties when I was part of religious cult. Last week I wrote a heart-breaking story from my past about G and his sad demise. This is my version of the Valley of Dry Bones from the Book of Ezekiel. I'm calling it Close to the Bone. This is the final in the series.

Toward the end of the dark days of the cult, I was failing around for purpose. A teacher from college, Dr. Van Riper, ran into me at the supermarket and demanded to know why I had three children instead of writing books for children. I had no answer. She'd told me what to do, and I'd ignored her.

I was slowly waking up in these days. God's chosen people were now looking like a bunch of uneducated country folk, plus a bunch of kids that had choked on embracing the future after college. That's when I saw the ad in the newspaper about some group called SCBWI.

Fellow-shipping outside the church was forbidden in a manipulative, oblique way, but this was business. I figured God would give me a pass. I remember heading to that first meeting and feeling so welcome. There were 8 or 9 women and they were so gracious and kind.  I remember the first conversation in a long time without having to say praise the Lord or how God was directing me every third word. I also remember KA. She was a real author and the leader of the SCBWI group. Her first picture book had come out but she talked to me like I was a colleague. Bam, I was in the inner circle.

I can not tell you  how much KA's leadership meant to me. I tried to keep secret from the church my fraternizing with the world.  KA was a Unitarian. That was something I was supposed to fear. Of course, by now, I understood that I was supposed to fear everything, and it was sort of ridiculous and tiring. KA believed in me as a creative person. She never let me feel like I was a little off with my long dresses and three kids in three years. She accepted me just as I was. It was the most Christian thing I'd ever experienced.

I remember being invited to another SCBWI member's house called DC. I had friends outside the church for the first time in almost eight years.  I was hanging out with a group of women, totally normal women with varied backgrounds. It was sort of dizzying. I was supposed to have left the world behind, but now I sneaking back into it. Oh, and the big problem? I loved it.

SCBWI became an island of normal in my life. Like Phoenix, I was rising from my ashes. KA tried to convince me to go to Los Angeles for the annual conference. I chickened out, but her encouragement planted a seed in me.  KA convinced me to volunteer for events, write letters to editors, and even submit my drawings to the SCBWI Bulletin.  My first credit was as an illustrator in the Bulletin. I was so proud. I was engaged in the pursuit of liberty. I had expressed myself.  I made $50. It was mind-blowing.

When Tim and I decided to move away the place we had known such tragedy, KA continued to encourage me until I left town. I have no idea if she had any idea of how lost I was, and how much I needed help to become a normal person again. She never said anything when the sorry story of my entire life was reported in the local newspaper. KA encouraged me creatively, commenting on my work and giving me suggestions, and once she sent me a card stating there would be a day when she said she knew me when. She bridged the way for me to absolutely normal. I turned into the funky person I had been before all the religious nonsense. I came to my senses.

Well, this is end of these posts and also time for big news. My blog is moving over to  I hope you consider following me an my content there.  You will receive updates of posts if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or tumbler.

One of those early drawings. I sent to the Bulletin on a notepad paper, a big no-no. SM bought them anyway.

A quote for your pocket:

My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.

Ezekiel 37: 12b-14