meanwhile…

while i work on my fourth book
a gentle reminder
that i have published
(with a lot of help from tara caribou at raw earth ink)
three
count ’em
three books in three years

they are all available through lulu as i am not a fan of amazon.
links are on my love for sale page.
also! you can contact me for an autographed copy šŸ™‚

the violence we inherit

i wonder as i replant all of the basil babies
my son’s cat
dug up in the night
i wonder
was there a voice in my dad’s head that day
a voice that urged him to stop
or to at least take a beat
& think
about what he was doing
as he loaded his gun
or was he too loaded himself
sound voices unable to reach a brain fevered
with the excitement of an excuse
to do violence
what did he think aboutĀ 
as he blew out my cat’s brains
& destroyed the last of my childhood dreams of love
dreams of feeling loved
of feeling safe
as much as i want to do violence
to my son’s cat
i will not
i know the feeling will pass
i know it is important not to hurt my son
know if is wrong to hurt an animal
who is just doing what animals do
i hope my son
feels loved
i hope he feels safe
i hope his cat appreciates that even though i amĀ 
sometimes void
of the empathy that normally haunts me
i am able to recognize right
from wrong
however
even though i assure myself that i am not
my father
i am grateful to the cat
for having the sense to hide
before i found my damaged seedlings
so that belief
did not have to be
challenged.

i don’t remember how old i was when it happened. i’m pretty sure a lot of the details were told to me. but i don’t remember by whom. all i know…or all i was told…was that my sister had put nester the bunny, my baby brother’s pet, on the deck in a cardboard box. my sister did this so she could clean the living room. she cleaned in an obsessive-compulsive way. she cleaned because it was something she could control. she cleaned to survive. so nester was put in a cardboard box on our deck so my sister could do what she had to do.

my cat was a farm cat as my parent’s didn’t believe in house cats. my cat was a big tomcat covered in scars. i loved my cat like nothing else. 

my cat found the bunny and with his own set of survival skills, he broke nester’s neck. this is what i was told.

i remember that midnight then ran under the deck to hide. i am not sure how he knew to hide. but that is where my dad found him. telling the story for years after, my dad would say my cat was laughing at him while my dad pulled the trigger.

what about me?

where was i? was i screaming? was i crying? i remember knowing. i knew my cat was going to be shot. what did i do? was there anything i could have done?

i was already damaged by this point in my life. recent readings have me wondering if i suffer from attachment disorder due to emotional & then physical barriers that kept my mother from bonding with meĀ as an infant & into my childhood.and the violence my father was capable of kept me in a pretty constant state of fear.Ā i am pretty sure i was just hanging on by a thread at this point. my dad had already been responsible for at least one otherĀ instance of killing someone i loved when he put my pet mouse out in the rain.Ā 

i think this was it.

the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me unable to love. to trust. to bond with another living creature.

…until i had children of my own and found a fierce love somehow…somehow…still burning inside me.

“foxy” 16X20 inking on canvas…$200

quixotic updates

i am working on this new ink on canvas tentatively titled “foxy.” i really like working on canvas & now that i am down to my last free canvas, i am thinking of buying more for future creations.
that bunny keeps hopping into my art lately. i have even started a children’s book starring him.
fun fact. after i wrote the text for said children’s book, i went to my sun porch, looked out the window, and watched three bunnies eating dandelions in my backyard. i stood & watched for at least ten minutes. if you have never watched a bunny eat a dandelion, you are totally missing out.

in other news, i went through all my journals looking for “fodder” for books & stories. i have decided to focus on one project at a time instead of being easily distracted & starting new projects without finishing old ones. after the children’s book illustrations are done, i will focus on finishing the text & doing illustrations for my novel, a better life through sock puppets.
i am trying to give myself credit for what i have achieved. i let myself be proud of the fact that i found so many random ideas & sketches worth working with! including the above gem from 2016.

so i am not moping. i am rebuilding that fucking tower & giving myself credit for doing a good job with it.
as they say in my home state of wisconsin–forward!

girls girls girls

mostly i’m just staring at blank pages
blank canvases
a busy mind
spilling ink
& seeing what happens….

so this past week i have spent $300 that i don’t have to pay two different plumbers for a total of 15 minutes of work. i am broke as a joke & living on credit and praying to the universe that art sells…that books sell…that this job comes through…that my ex gets a job & starts paying me child support again…that i somehow win the award issued by the sustainable arts foundation despite four or so failed attempts to win it in years past….

i need to learn plumbing…in addition to carpentry & tiling.
or sell art so i can afford to pay for help.

up top: “gretchen”
20X16 inking on canvas
$200 plus shipping

left: “clarice”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

right: “lambkins”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

deconstructing

i feel like anger
has been woven into me
& now
i need to undo all these fibers
work backward
get the knot out
the fucked up stitch
& re-weave myself
into the person
i need to be
the person
i want to be
but
fuck me
it feels like so much work.

of course, if i don’t do the work, that will drive me crazy. looking at the mess of me will bug me until i finally do do the work.
and i will do it.
i will. just, right now, i could really use a nap.

“lydia”
8X10 ink on watercolor paper
$45 ish

flowing

letting go
of my anger with the men
all the men…
they can no longer hurt me
letting go
of my anger with motherhood
we get it
it’s a thankless fucking job
but you’re going to do it
so just do it
letting go
of my need to make sense
of things
that just don’t
letting go
my need to control
that which needs to be free
is like my insisting on
trying to sculpt water
i need to
accept
just
accept
& move forward in the flow.

some of my posts are inspired by texts to people. this one was inspired by a comment made by robert wertzler who has been sharing my blog over on his blog. thank you, robert!

i feel like i have been stuck for awhile. i was moving, and now i am caught up in one of those inadvertent dams that happen when there is too much debris in too narrow a flow.
that’s exactly where i’m at.
stuck.
maybe i need to sort through the debris? or maybe i just need to blow out my dam & get moving again.

“blooms”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$45 ish

moving forward

so i finished an ink on canvas piece. it took a bit. i think i like it?

i also have been playing with tea staining my paper.

and thinking about future pieces. like the story about “bluejean & the moonfish” which these inkings are kind of exploring for character development of bluejean. i have been playing with this character since a watercolor course at uw madison in 2014. one of these days i will get her off the ground.

& i continue to mess around with “notta not-a-boy” while mulling over the final page (for now) of moses jones.

and don’t forget my novel in progress…i’m at 41,331 words.

up top: sea garden
ink on canvas
$200 (ish?)

tea-stains: guardian dear & character study
ink on water color paper 8X10
$45

don’t put that in your mouth (a cautionary tale)

you ever been with a guy…not really a boyfriend…just some guy & you’re messing around with him & maybe he’s just given you some pretty lackluster oral & now he expects you to return the favor but instead of asking he just starts pushing your head towards his crotch?
and you wish you could say, “hey! motherfucker, use your words. i’m a person, not a sex toy,” but instead you just play dumb until he gets all frustrated & pitches a fit like a demented toddler, muttering “it takes two to tango” reminding me of my psychotic school bus driver….
and is there anything scarier than naked adult male anger when all you want is to feel safe & valued? don’t you just want to go back in time to protect younger, dumber you? to kick those assholes in the balls & say, “who the fuck are you to treat me like this?”

this came pouring out of me at 2am this morning when i was trying to fall asleep. twenty-four years after it happened.
why did i contact him again? why did i still think of him as a “good guy” despite my most vivid memory of him being his yelling, “it takes two to tango!” when i didn’t want to suck his cock?
why do i convince myself–why do i second guess myself–why do i tell myself it’s no big deal when it is?
like when my boyfriend punched the wall so hard he broke his hand because i wasn’t having as much sex with him as he wanted?
at least he wasn’t punching me–right?
at least he wasn’t raping me–right?
so i tolerate it? i spin it in my head. say, “he didn’t mean it. he was just ___” fill in the blank with whatever will convince you to stay when you really really should go.

i had a dream that i was in a deranged & dangerous building that has been a regular dream location. however, in this dream the other night, i knew it was the last time i would be there. hopefully the building represented toxic men.

“good night”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$45

fall or fly

this is about where i am at
do i fly
or do i fall?

“fall or fly”
9X12 inking on watercolor paper
$45 plus $5 shipping

hmmm…recently i was trying to sell a woodburning stove i did not need and it was listed forever without selling. so i raised the price.
& it sold.
maybe i should raise the price on my inkings?

contrarily, i was getting the links for my books on amazon–their prices have plummeted…so, you know, get ’em before they hit the trash can?

flying & falling all over the place…mostly falling at the moment.

art showing!

so i have art hanging at a local very hip cafe called magpie gelato.
it’s pretty exciting for me. it has been a long time since i have put my art in a frame.
and then, this spring-ish, my art will be in a book!

the invisible exhibitionist

so much is happening.
& best of all, i am excited about it instead of terrified!

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