wishes of fishes

morning coffee
to the screams 
of minions
as the world fogs over
on a cold morning
day
waiting for a plumber
to return my 
calls 
so i can stop
pooping
in the yard 
(i’m not really
pooping
in the yard)
i can tell you this
i finished 
my fish
cards

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itchy fingers

no pages written
no pictures drawn
looking at other people’s art
& being
down
on
me
wondering
when i will get it right
when i will
win the race
trying to find my way
and feeling like
i’m going in circles
today is a new day
but
in all fairness
so was
yesterday.

just me. fucking around with lines & colors & concept after looking enviously at the art of other artists on instagram.
i looked through five journals today, trying to figure out which of my self-portraits i like the best to do a final draft of. that is a lot of me to look at. and although–yay–i like a great number of my self-portraits, i suppose i am going to have to narrow it down. maybe i will try to get some audience participation 
who wants to pick self-portraits for me?
i also worked to edit my short story, “together, tangled” while sharing my laptop with three minions who think they should all come first. c’mon kid, is daniel tiger more important than my becoming a successful writer? 
i guess that depends.
eventually, i got tired of the editing & pulled out my journal to see what would happen if i put pen to paper.
but even in my goofing off, i am working towards being a better artist, a better writer. 
i feel very grateful that the things i love to do are the things that i love to do. 

it was a dark & stormy night…

as tornadoes and thunderstorms tear up an early december evening in illinois, i contemplate my newfound faith in myself.

it turns out that i am not content to take myself seriously solely an artist. the writer inside of me is also demanding attention.

whenever i start reading a lot of fiction (which i have been doing lately,) my inner writer gets stirred up. anymore, i can’t help but to take a story apart as i read it to see what works & what does not. this is actually a trait that has only recently developed in me. it used to be i got so lost in a story i didn’t know which way was up. which–it turns out–is a bit of a handicap as a writer.
being able to now analyze and dissect stories has me thinking i should be reading more of my own writings.
like this pile of works from the late 80s & early 90s. two books, some short stories, and flash fiction pieces written before i knew there was such a thing as flash fiction. 
my sister bound the one up like that. it is 300 some pages of double spaceed content–so not as huge as it appears.
note that i was using yet another version of my name for that one.

so!
the minions are away. i have two art commissions to work on. other than that, i will be poring through short stories, forgotten novels, and journals & journals & more journals with the crazy idea that i might have not one story to tell but three? four? more?

i know, you’re thinking “baby steps!” but i think i am just going to jump on into the deep end–you know, knowing how much i love a challenge. 
(i am my favorite challenge)
plus as a gloriously blooming late bloomer, i got some ground to cover to get to where i need to get to.

courting death

self soothing
is thinking about 
the blade against my skin
self soothing
is a match 
to burn it all to the ground
self soothing 
are the words
rolling around 
in my rotten brain
no one has ever loved you
anyway
self soothing
is a free fall 
away from my nightmares
and into a comforting
emptiness
love
love is the easy answer
if by easy 
you mean
impossible
death
makes more sense
no longer fantasizing about love
saving me
only 
hoping
for
death.

death. the ultimate distraction. no. i don’t really want to die. most the time i plan on living forever. but some days there is something deep & dark inside me. an overwhelming lack of hope. 
it has a lot to do with escape. that’s what the thoughts of death are. i mean, when i was in the midst of it, i thought, what if i didn’t die–but just disappeared?
it was all the same to me. well. actually disappearing was more desirable than death.
i am sure other mothers feel this way. i am sure none of us like to talk about it. i talk about it because i have to.
if i keep things inside, it only gets worse. 
squeeze it until it bleeds…& then it can get better.

i am not sure how i feel about this illustration/self-portrait. i feel like i am…too sexy? is death sexy? i wasn’t going for sexy. i’m not sure it is even sexy. trust me, i do not feel sexy. 
i do like the illustration…it feels comic-booky to me. i just feel like a fraud for having drawn/painted it.
don’t ask me why. 
i don’t fucking know.

the pen is mightier

i have decided
on my weapon of choice
it is my pen
my literal fucking pen
like my blood
runs black
with ink
pen
of course it is my pen
what else would it be
why does it take me 
a lifetime
to figure out something
i knew
before i started searching
for an
answer?

so i wrote this one…wait, you were there for it. i wrote it in my last blog post. one of those times where i typed it without writing it first. which is ironic, considering i was posting about how my method is to write longhand. but, no, i typed out this thought, off the cuff, as it were. then i liked it so much i wrote it into my art journal and illustrated it with a self-portrait.

if a fire broke out, and i could only grab my journals or my laptop…. i love my journals. 
of course, my hard drive has all the irreplaceable pictures of my minions…but i love my art journals….

i guess, let’s just hope iggy does not burn my house to the ground so i never have to choose.

half-assed theories & no plans for thanksgiving

i have just finished reading two different suspense novels that were suspenseful…but so so so fucking badly written. one was a writer who apparently has written dozens of books & won awards. has she just gotten lazy? or have readers become lazy & writers aren’t trying? or is the market just saturated with bad writers and it is difficult to find a well-written novel these days?

fuck a duck.
i need to write a book. no, i’m not a great writer, but i can write decent dialogue, goddammit. i have read a few blogs on here where there is brilliant dialogue. i don’t think someone who writes crappy dialogue should be given awards & book deals. but that’s just me.

i have mentioned a couple times that in my teens & early twenties i wrote a half a dozen books or so. none are published.
and then i quit writing books–when i should have kept writing & tried to get better.
why did i quit?
i just lost the ability.
and got distracted by men.
this all happened around the time that i met & became good friends with paul tobin. so it is now my working theory that not only men i dated took the best pieces of me but also men i was friends with.
paul tobin stole my writer’s soul.
when i met him he only wrote comics & semi-autobiographical short stories. he was all envious of my ability to pump out full length fiction. he would ask me all kinds of questions. after becoming friends with me he was writing novels, & i could only come up with short fiction & semi-autobiographical comics…. and he never took me seriously…even though i went to  him for advice on comics & writing. he just treated me like a bimbo & then took off with my novel-writing abilities. these days he will barely return an email. he got what he wanted.
it’s a theory.
what else could it be?

so how do i get my novel-writing soul back?  of course…my novel will have pictures, as all should. who’s idea was it to take all the pictures out of books for grown ups? as if.

and it is thanksgiving. i waited. i received no invitations. maybe i was supposed to invite people here? i’m better at being a guest than a host. trust me.

i could butcher a couple of ducks. i mean, too many males…& y’all can guess how i am feeling about males these days….

okay.
i don’t like thanksgiving. i don’t. you know, alcoholic father…bitter mother…november in illinois.
then i married two different men who’s extended families were not drinkers.
a dry thanksgiving? are you mad???

anyhoo. 
i will be doing art, working on my soon-to-be-best-selling novel (with pictures) & watching the incredibles 2 (which i have only been waiting like 13 years to see) and maybe some reruns of remington steele & moonlighting as i am now convinced that they were instrumental in allowing me to release my innate feminism while living in a catholic (aka women-hating) small town (aka women-hating) farm family…so i’m thinking my boys would benefit.

wow.
i think the flavor of the day is bitter.
with traces of sweet…there is always sweet
you just have to get past the bitter & will find my sweet.

 

yoga with quixotic mama

camera focus
on me
lumpy bumpy mama body
well-worn
yoga clothes
(or, you know
clothes that are being worn
during yoga)
mystery stain on the yoga mat
camera pans out
to “lived in” room
walls covered
in taped up kids’ art
watch as i do yoga
while four children
scream
in the background
watch
as i am knocked down
from tree pose
by a squealing seven year old
crawled under
while in warrior one
while in downward dog
i am a fort
for a five year old
watch
as i try to stay calm
keep my zen
as a ten year old
talks over the yoga video
to tattle
on his big brother
watch
my imperfect poses
my fighting back
against a mental
breakdown
watch
my “lived-in” life
on a you-tube channel
that will either inspire you
or be a comic success
watch
as i leave my yoga mat
for a snort of whiskey.

my art journal is taking an interesting turn. it is expressing stuff found in my every day lately, things that happen outside of me–rather than living solely in my festering thoughts.
you know, still got the festering thoughts, but a bit of the reality in which they wander their every day.

when i was just a girl

when i was just a girl
not yet a woman
i hung a sign on my wall
declaring
“i am destined
for greatness”
one day
a male friend
scoffed
“what? you’re going to marry
adam ant?”
i was
beyond
offended
(still am) as if! as if
a woman could only be great
through marriage
when i was still a girl
not quite a woman
i spent eight hours a day
writing
& writing
novels
first in longhand
then typed
it took about nine months
to birth one
when i was just a girl
not quite a woman
i was broken
already
broken by an
abused
childhood
an abandoned
childhood
i was broken
but
i was
still
whole
until one day
i discovered
the “greatness”
of men.

to say i was an awkward child would be an understatement. to say i was a strange child, also, understated.
needless to say, boys were not knocking my door down.
i was shy & dressed funny.
which was probably the best thing for me. i was safe from myself. however, once i figured out the whole boy-catching thing, things went downhill for me pretty fucking fast.
i let them tear me apart.
i gave them the best parts of me.
and i have been recovering ever since.

on the bright side–i am recovering.

why i’m not a sex worker

so someone over on tumbr asked me to illustrate a story for his girlfriend’s book. this is the work in progress for that.
however, as usual, i said “yes” without agreeing on a rate/price for the artwork.
i mean, i love doing art.
i love seeing if i can illustrate someone else’s ideas.
it’s fun & challenging for me. i like fun. i like a challenge.
but, yes, i need to start being more professional & less quixotic sometimes. like…when i’m done with this, there is going to be that awkward email where i have to say, “um, in order to get the finished piece, i need money.”
and what if they are all–you never said it cost! and yes…they should know artists do not work for free nor donate their talent (except for a good cause.) but i still dread that point when i have to ask for a fee.
crap. i should have settled it sooner.
right?
i can’t afford to give it away for free.
(that’s what she said)

meanwhile, for another commission i am doing without settling on cost first, i am googling images of every cool sea creature i can think of to make a set of greeting cards and getting excited about painting them.
however, there is probably no way someone expects to pay as much as i think they should pay for a hand painted series of greeting cards.
and i do know this person–which makes it even harder for me to ask for what i feel my art is worth.

crap.
i need an agent.

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