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 🙂

maybe some visibility?

i am preparing to publish my third book in two years with raw earth ink.
first there was my collection of comics.
next there was my collection of short stories.
now it is time for my collection of self-portraits.

here is what i am wondering.
would y’all pay $45 for a 310 page book of illustrations & free verse mutterings? at $45 a pop, the books would be 8.5″X11″
another option is to go smaller, to 6″X9″ for $35.
or i could kill some of my darlings and cut the number of pages down by about half to make a $26 8.5″X11″

any thoughts?
i am in the process of removing all my self-portraits from this site (a long long process…so many self-portraits!) so that the only place to find an obsessive amount of my self-portraits will be in my upcoming book the invisible exhibitionist.

thank you for any input!

ps. in my attempts to lure money into my life, i have added a “writer/artist for hire” page
if you want to put a testimonial on my for hire page, i would truly appreciate it! just leave a comment here & i will paste it on to that page. thanks!
pass it on….

happy valentine’s day from an ice monkey

confusion is nothing new

teeth & gums & nakedness
nothing new
a series of dreams
that never come true
but can i really say
i never get what
i want
when wants change
& needs are undecipherable?
needs
i would like to get
what i need
teeth & gums & nakedness
men following men
through my room
moonlight
sunlight
lamplight
condom wrappers
& nothing fulfilled
but i got
what i wanted
for 30 seconds
teeth & gums & nakedness

yes. my name is “mary jo” & yes. i was a pretty promiscuous 24 year old once.
this is my favorite poem that i have ever written.
it was written after a busy summer in ’94 that began with my breaking up with the love of my life and ended with my reuniting with the love of my life after a bunch of indiscretions.
then i went away (with him) to an all girl school in roanoke, va (hollins university) where i workshopped my poem as well as classics such as “bukowski’s undertow” & “tiny tortures in this hyperactive ghost town” which can be seen in comic form in my newly published book confusion perfume & other neurotic comics.

in other news–i made so many valentine’s this year, y’all! i like to reclaim valentine’s day as a day of love & not necessarily romance. and i am so full of love. ink covered love.

ps. happy year of the (big blue) ox!

pps. my scanner finally gave up it’s ghost, hence the buttload of blurry photos. i did invest in a new scanner that should be here soon. buy a copy of my book to help me pay for that!!

dude, i wrote a book

or, rather, i wrote a bunch of comics & smooshed them all together & tara caribou turned it into a book!!
(this is the first proof)

so exciting.

in other news…i have a birthday this sunday & am way way older than i ever thought i would be when i was getting my first book published. like, 30 years older?

that is not this year’s tiara. that is my second tiara. (that old thing!) i do have a brand new one for my birthday. so much grander.
you’ll see.

confusion perfume…the book

there were like four more pages of confusion perfume…however, the wonderful tara caribou is planning to publish my comic with a couple other of my comics in a book due out later this year….
what?!?
yes, it’s true.
while there is no news on my short story collection, tangled together, which was supposed to come out in 2019…now, out of the blue, i have a different book coming out in my medium of choice: comics!!!!
so fucking exciting.
by the way, should there be a publisher who wants to tackle the short story collection, i think i can safely assume my other publisher has jumped ship.

anyhoo. the last four pages were a change of pace for confusion perfume, less levity…more dark & scribbly. a short story about 9-11-01 that i turned into a comic using berenice beaumont (my character in confusion perfume in case you are just tuning in.)
and i decided not to post them to give y’all a little mystery. plus! tara has requested i write little ditties like i like to do, explaining/rationalizing/analyzing my work. so i am totally having a blast doing that.
also…maybe brand new never seen before pages????

so what now?
well, today, we have quixotic postcards i made years ago at a ‘zine fest when the printer did not have my order of postcards ready & i had to make some up on the fly.

tomorrow?
(or the next day if tomorrow is too hectic)
pages of my comic in progress: weener coop
& by in progress, i mean, i really do plan on getting back to it one day because i think it is totally fucking awesome.

my ophelia fantasies

why do i find
thoughts of death
my own death
by my own hand
so comforting?
when i am
weeping & wailing
& life seems so
so fucking unbearable
i just think of laying down
in the stinky
green
pond
back yonder
the one
the ducks
won’t even swim in…
just a short nap
y’all
then i’m sure
i will be as right as rain.

this is a comic i did. one page of confusion perfume. i wrote it a long long time ago…before i was a mom.
time has passed. things have changed. but i still have my olphelia fantasies.

my first comic

okay. my very first comic was a soap opera based on the nursery rhyme “hey diddle diddle.” i would draw it on a chalkboard in the basement of the house i grew up in. there are not actual pages. i erased before doing the next page. but i assure you–it was amazing and proof of my undiscovered status as a child prodigy.

my first comic that i can actually share with y’all was a neurotic comic based on my own experiences in love & relationships. i started writing it in the late ’90s. i was living in a one bedroom apartment with my dog norman. we were right near the bar i waited tables at by day and would go to at night to drink & watch bands. i moved into this apartment about a month after i married my ex-husband.
i met him.
we eloped in tennessee.
i moved in with him.
he told me he didn’t think he loved me after all.
i threw up.
i moved out.
i started this comic.
confusion perfume
it starts out pretty goofy & light…or lightly dark…um…sepia? but then morphs into an experiment where i see what stories of mine i can turn into comics (testing my theory that anything can be a comic)

i have made a page for it on my website here: confusion perfume. i am afraid the print might be kind of small. having had “serious” comic book man friends who told me the “right” way to do comics, i did the originals on large board & then had them shrunk down at a professional printer. these days you’re lucky if my art is on real paper & scanned rather than half-assedly photographed before i share it with you.

so! if y’all are like, “we can’t get enough of the inner workings of quixotic mama’s neurosis and relationship history…”

but is is kinda cool to note, for future biographical historians of mine, that this was when i first started seriously drawing again after having given up drawing in favor of fiction writing when i was 13.

note–confusion perfume is fiction based on me & my experiences. it is not straight-up memoir. some of this stuff is made up…some is true…i won’t tell you which is which…. okay, i probably would if you asked. i am terrible at keeping secrets.

(i think i have it so the print can be read now–let me know if there is a problem.)

confusion perfume

i’m at a crossroads
turn back?
to the crap i know
the familiar crap
the daily rejections
or forward
left or right
does it even matter?
onward
to unfamiliar crap
& all new rejection
fresh horrors
which way do i go
when all i want
is to be heard
to be seen
to not just be their mirror
for their warped soul
eyes that only seek out
my own
for the benefit of seeing
their reflection
in me
which way do i go…
wait
can i unfold my wings now
can i choose to fly
not backwards
not forwards
not left or right
but up
up & away?

so i’m still trying to do the internet dating thing…though i have deleted my profile at least 3 times & started over….
i’ve made dates & broken them.
i’ve been made fun of by men who think they’re smarter than me.
i’ve been asked to be a submissive (told him i can’t do what i’m told to save my life)
i’ve been asked to be a dominant (never responded because i was so creeped out by this guy)

i dunno.

i started just messaging guys who had interesting or intriguing or message-worthy profiles. some actually messaged back. one seems pretty cool….

meanwhile…

dusty seems to think we are in a relationship. or desperately wants to be in a relationship with me? that’s the way it goes with dusty. he only wants me when i don’t want him. and i used to only want him when he wanted me…but then i realized that i don’t need to be rejected to feel loved. funny that.

so he is always asking to “talk” to me about something. after how many years of marriage of my begging him to talk to me. after i finally divorced him. after he tried to hurt me with other women. after i gave him an ultimatum and he chose option b….
now he wants to talk.
all the time.

i haven’t told him i am trying to re-enter the dating pool. i’m not sure it’s any of his business. i really don’t think it is. i have been clear with him…if he chooses not to listen to me–still!–is that my fault?

so today i dug out the test i wrote back in my late twenties.
no one ever passed it.
i eventually gave up & got married anyway.

also!
i dug out the comic i wrote about the test i made and the fact that i never followed through with it….

which made me miss writing comics a lot more than it made me miss dating….

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