self-portrait on a tuesday morning

the only time
the only time my parents
showed interest in me
paid attention to me
put me in their spotlight
was when they were
trying to dissuade me from being a writer….
just imagine
what would have happened
if they had put that same energy
into supporting
into nurturing
into being proud of their creative daughter
building her passion
giving it wings
rather than
pissing on it

ug. this is what i spent last night crying about. stupid, huh? i know i’m not supposed to dwell in the past–the what-ifs…because i need to just accept that that is what it was and move on…
but sometimes it really sucks…
and i can’t help just imagining if i had had supportive & nurturing parents…if i had married a supportive & nurturing man….

so the summer i turned seventeen, my parents sent me away to camp.
this might not sound odd–unless you knew my parents. there were six of us kids and they hated spending money on us. or, at least, it seemed that way to me. none of us ever went to camp. for the money reason–and also because we were free summer labor for my dad. so it was totally weird that they sent me to camp.
i thought about it last night.
this was eons before the internet–how did they even know about the camp?
how did they find it?
i must have told them i had an interest in forestry.
so they went through all the trouble and research to find a forestry camp to send me to?
all because i wanted to be a writer…i was a writer. i had even won a national award (2nd place) for writing when i was thirteen. i had written three books at this point in my life–sure they probably sucked–but i was writing books when i was just a kid. i was producing substantial work.
but they sent me to forestry camp because being a writer was…was what? did it embarrass them? were they afraid for my future?
because thanks to their lack of support and encouragement, i have spent most of my life working menial jobs, wanting to be a writer, but having no confidence in myself….

when i finally got myself into a creative writing program in 2014, 44 and a mother of four, my professor told me i should go for an MFA due to my talent & skill with writing. she thought i had promise.
of course, i had to quit school and move away because my ex (mr. school is a waste of time) husband was being abusive and sabotaging my very existence…. yay.

so i’m wallowing a bit today.
thinking of running away from home.
mentally packing my bags & my goats and wondering if i could just take the minions and disappear from my own life….

tueday morning…another day to survive….


from the journal of…

i just realized why i am feeling
so profoundly sad
& heartbroken
i met two of my husbands
& one of my fiances
in septembers past…
september is either a very good
or very bad
month for me
romantically speaking….

and since my romantic value is so intertwined with my heart value…with my self value….

thanks a fucking lot culture that makes women worthless unless they are valued by a man.

fuck me.
don’t fuck me.
i am unfuckable.
just a baby vessel who is spent already and who draws stupid pictures anyway.

there is this song that comes on the radio that makes me want to run over the artist with my truck. james arthur’s “say you won’t let go.”
man, that song pisses me off. it’s like a man proving he’s mr. perfect, caring man…like there is such a thing.
i am just feeling very oh-so crappy about love & romance & relationships & i just kind of hate everybody right now (not you though.)
if good love exists, i have never actually seen it.
which just pisses me off.

like, what did i do?
did i crush puppies in a past life?
what lesson am i supposed to learn here?

i’m pretty useless these days.
i have produced some art, but i not-so-secretly fear it sucks.
i am a terrible mom.
i just want to crawl in a hole with a bottle of whiskey.
i’m pretty sure i have no friends
or else i’d be saying this to them
not torturing you with it.
and when strangers smile at me in public, i think they must be confused.

sorry if i have sung this song before.
sorry if you are tired of it.
i just feel like crap.

and i hate my art.

pages 10 & 11 and a do-over

page 10

two new pages…and then i had to do another version of this page:

page 7

for a laundry list of reasons that i put already in another blog.

page 7(2)

and i like the new version better. i do. but i wish i could stop hating my work. i try really really hard to look at it like someone would who isn’t noticing every little mistake. i try to look at it like i would if it weren’t mine.

that’s the trick, isn’t it?

this has been a difficult project for me for that reason. knowing that it is for someone else and that i can’t just squirrel it away and say, “well nevermind” is difficult for me. if it is a picture only the artist can love–fine. but since i am going to be putting this out in the world, i have that added vulnerability of knowing someone else is going to be looking at it–judging it.

moses jones once received a review from some comic blog. it was not a good review. but i was able to brush it off because i didn’t care what the review said and moses is my baby so who cares what other people think?

do i sometimes care what other people think?
no. i really really don’t.
i mean, i want people to like it…but if they don’t, it’s no big deal.
just like i want people to like me
but i really don’t care what people think of me.
however, i’m still aware of what people might be thinking….
i mean, i don’t live in a vacuum
no matter how hard my shell is
or how tall my walls are
criticism still hurts…

and compliments still confuse me….

my mom liked to tell me, “no man is an island.”
and i would answer her that i was a peninsula.

while my brush gently inks

have i told you how much i am enjoying this project?
& how frustrated i am with my own work?
the double edged sword of art…


as i work on new pages…i go back and re-do pages i am not so sure about.
the third one there, in progress, is a re-do of this page:

page 7

because i realized
1. she should be on a mountain–not a meadow
2. her baby is creepy like those baby jesus babies that look like people instead of babies
3. her robe is not the way i want it
4. and her hair is driving me nuts

plus, i redid this page:

page 5

to look like this:

page 5(2)

and now the pages look too similar….

what’s my deadline again?
let’s hope it is a soft deadline….

okay, back to watching the ink dry….

perchance to dream

the other morning
in a dream
i was in iceland
and trying to get back to my kids
who were on the top floor of a hotel
i considered taking the elevator
but if you have ever been in one of my dreams
you know to avoid elevators
so i took the stairs
and it took forever
because they weren’t all in the same place
i found the last flight of stairs
but peter dinklage was ahead of me
and somehow i pissed him off
so he started kicking away the stairs
creating a chasm for me to fall into
but i grabbed him
and the open doorway
and pulled him back
to scare him just a little
before throwing the both of us
up & out of the chasm.

every morning i wake at sunrise & then fight to get a few more hours of sleep. you know, to be more rested…but also! also because that is when i have my best dreams. dreams that speak to me the clearest.

i quickly interpreted this one as saying that even though i am scatterbrained (how long had my children been alone in a hotel room?) and struggle with political correctness (dwarf tossing?) i am a better mom than i think i am & will not let myself fall into a chasm.
also, i am still afraid of relationships (elevators represent relationships in my dreams.)

writing out the entire dream today, i noted that i said to some man who was standing next to the elevator i was briefly considering, “i can’t take the elevator, i am afraid of dragons.”
which seemed weird to me…since i’m not afraid of dragons.
then i realized something.
dusty was born in year of the dragon and identifies himself as such.
dusty is a dragon.
i am afraid of finding myself in another relationship with a dusty.
so i avoid all relationships.

i find myself deeply sad a lot these days. i think, maybe, for this very reason. i want to get into that elevator…but i can’t. it is too fucking scary.
but still….

and i watch romantic comedies with sam rockwell…or ben stiller…in them…and i just feel deeply deeply sad.

pages seven, eight, and nine

i’m feeling a bit crappy today.
i didn’t get morning sleep, which is where my good dreams are–the ones that speak to me. and then light bulbs burned out and my camera left out in the rain by a belligerent 11 year old and all i can do is worry about money to replace these things and i don’t have any money and i am so so tired of people treating me like crap….

so here are my latest illustrations.
i like them & i hate them & i just want to go back to bed.

and i have no beer & no coffee
and, again, no money.

the whole wide world

so yesterday morning
i had a dream that is a reoccurring theme for me
the dream has me
trying to reconcile with dusty
to be with him again
so i spent yesterday
& wondering
does my subconscious really really?
want me to reunite with dusty?
& i guess my subconscious was listening
because this morning
i had the same dream
but with a different ex
to reunite
to be in love
happily ever after
now i know it’s not dusty
my subconscious is messaging me about
but i am still in the dark
is it as simple as my own desperation
to be loved?
to be happily ever after?
or does it go deeper….

i’m not getting art done. the minions are crazy, & i am crazier. i need to get art done. because, well, deadlines…and because it is something that keeps me sane….

but late summer is acting like fall and i have bees to get ready…goats to find a stud for…lambs & turkeys to butcher…winter gardens to plan…chicks being born and deserted by their fickle mama hens…


i did get around to signing up as a place for travelers to come & help out. i am on helpx and on wwoof. today a couple of girls contacted me about hanging out here in september.
did you know that not only can i feel like an imposter as an artist, but also can i do so as a homesteader?
i’m all like–is my homestead actually a homestead? are they going to be disappointed in my homestead? like take one look and go–you call this a homestead???

aw fuck.

relationships, art, writing, motherhood, and homesteads…it’s all one experiment in rejection….

speaking of, a work of creative non-fiction i submitted to a magazine that was doing a theme that screamed of my story, rejected my story before the email submission had even cooled…and i cried…and then felt like an idiot for crying when there are people losing their homes to fire, flood, and fascism….
but it still hurt.

ps. if anyone is good at dream interpretation & wants to take a crack at my dream, please do so!