for love or money

sometimes i wonder
if i had
just one wish
would i wish for love
or success
then i’m all like
what kind of lunatic
would choose love
over success
then i’m all like
what kind of monster
would choose success
over love
if i could only have one
& not at all the other
could i live
without art & writing
could i live
knowing for sure
i would never love again?

by money & success i don’t mean i want to be wildly famous & wealthy…all i want is to be able to not worry about if i can pay my bills…to be able to do fun things every once in awhile without having to count my pennies…to NOT live off of credit….

yesterday when it was 11:11, i wished for an agent.
today i woke up with “waterloo” by abba in my head.
in 1995 i started working at a bar called waterloo in austin, tx. i had been working at a daycare & the hours worked well with my fiancé’s hours so we got to see each other a lot. however, i was unhappy and missed working nights in bars. so i took the other job, alienated my fiancé, and ended up having an affair with a co-worker.
pretty much the worst thing i have ever done.
it’s not that i was choosing success or money over love, but i was bull-headedly doing exactly what i wanted to do, fuck the consequences.
not an uncommon move for me.

something for me to think about as i move forward.

ps. speaking of agents & success, i am getting the nicest rejections! i don’t know if literary agents are just sweethearts, or if my writing is as solid as they say (despite not being what they are looking for.)


i’m listening
to the deep inside of me
there’s a message
to me
from me
i just know it
a lesson not quite
some gentle
combing the fur of my monsters
collecting the eggs
of my demons
encouraging a cooperation
a new day of…
no, not hope
but faith
faith that i can learn
to calm the storms
while also
the wildness
of my stormy

i woke up and watched the eclipse the morning i wrote this page. it was magical.
otherwise, i have been in kind of “pause” mode for the past few days…weeks…. this is an overwhelming time of year. i think i just have to sit & listen. it’s pretty much all i can do right now.
but it is an important part of healing (& creativity)….

playing with pastels

sometimes the inks just aren’t messy enough. i have been playing with pastels and having a lot of fun. i am not sure where i’m going, but i am really liking some of the results.

the mother & child is a mix of ink & pastels. also i used ink in the skies of the horse drawings.

stay with the sad

with the sad
into the sad
it doesn’t
make you
to avoid the pain
to run away from
the pain
to become aggressive & angry
are you a warrior?
or are you
an asshole?
avoiding pain
avoiding rejection
embracing isolation
your castle walls
your prison
break out
be sad
be needy
be loving
even if they don’t
love you

my “home” improvement project right now. not resorting to anger when i feel rejected, slighted, ignored, etc. this has been my go-to move for as long as i can remember. even as a small child, feeling ignored by my parents, i made the choice to become invisible rather than to be attention-seeking.
as a grown up, i am all “what the fuck?” but i still understand the motivations of that little girl.
she wanted to be noticed…but felt that seeking that attention would mean any love she got would be tainted.
so i have waited around my entire life for someone to notice me.
okay, fine…but then i get pissed off when they don’t.
as a mom, i can see how parents could overlook a quiet child. i, of course, try to never do it…but when you are in a fucked up marriage & have six kids…sure, the quiet one will fall in the cracks.
i guess i have to forgive them for letting me fall in the cracks & let go of the anger…but then what?
it’s hard for me to imagine me as someone who goes out and demands attention…but maybe i do have to start–at least–visualizing it. maybe i can teach my monster to seek attention in healthy ways? rather than using aggression & isolation?

my kids kept asking “why is she screaming?”
i answered, “is she? or is she singing? or is she roaring?” i prefer to imagine she is roaring….

creepy art for the samhain

it’s the pagan holiday of samhain
the pagan new year’s
also, the day of the dead
the thinning of the veil
where the dead
creatures from other realms
& other creepsters
(like me)
come around
looking for love….

as a witch, this is a powerful time of year, and a good time to do a lot of personal & magical work. i like the effect it is having on my art 🙂

“over-buttered popcorn” (i let my son name it & his cat’s name is popcorn) …9X12 ink & pastels on watercolor paper…suggested price of $60

i really should shower more often

so i got up this morning
as usual
way earlier than i would want to
to feed & water the critters
and also the livestock
as i drank a cup of coffee
i read the works of
and one story i read
started an itch
in my brain
i was both envious
& inspired
but the idea did not leap from my skull
fully formed
until i was in the shower
where it sprung
along side ideas for a journal page
& plans to finally finish my patreon page
it sprung
the first chapter of my
novel form of
(duhn duhn duhhhhhhhhhhnn)

so, yeah. i really need to shower more often.
also, i will update you on the patreon page.

image is a throwback thursday done in ink & pastels

my dead brother

having someone in your life die changes you as much as, say, having a baby.
i would not be the artist i am today if i had not become a mother. i would be a different artist.
and i would not be the person i am today if my brother had not been killed eight years ago today. i would be a different person.

my big brother…sigh.
he introduced me to movies. that is one way i remember him. he took me to see raiders of the lost ark when it was in the theaters and i was all like, “this movie sounds stupid.”
and then i was all like, “that was the best movie ever!”
he took me to see the empire strikes back when it came out
and i remember as we walked back to the car after the movie, he said, “it’s leia. they are talking about leia.”
and i had no idea what he was talking about until return of the jedi.
he brought a copy of terminator home from college and as i watched it, he would say, “surely he’s dead now” every time they thought they had destroyed arnold schwarzenegger.
he introduced me to one of my most favorite movies ever blade runner.
and to another dytopian influence a boy and his dog.


these two pictures were done for a drawing class where i was supposed to do two self-portraits that were meant to be hung together. the top one is from a photo of me as a baby with my brother mike.
the second one is a self-portrait of me in tribute to the polaroid taken of sarah connor  at the end of terminator.

his life and his death are both heavy influences in who i am today.
sometimes i don’t know how to feel about that.

here is a poem i wrote in a writer’s workshop about it:


when someone close to you
it becomes part of your description
she has brown hair
a nice smile
and her brother is dead

birthdays are the hardest
his last one
i didn’t know
it was the last
his voice sad on the telephone
my pledge to keep in touch
this time

we live in a world
where I can obsessively search for
intimate details of his death
available in short video
burning plane
gray matter splattered on a playground
his last words, “oh, fuck.”

notorious IT guy for the other side
the forrest gump of stolen elections
everything reminds me
of him
the sound of a single engine  plane
sad songs on the radio
politics, christmastime, and charismatic men

i drink irish whiskey this time of year
but it was scotch at his wake
four years now
four years since the last election
four years since the plane crash
a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream
murder republican style

when someone close to you
do you let it redefine you?
hello, I’m connell
a mama, a student, an artist
let me tell you
about my dead brother

deer me

i didn’t draw a picture yesterday
i posted a picture
but i did not draw a picture
the crying lady
was drawn
six years ago?
a historian of me
and my art
would have you notice the lack of ink brush painting
the use of pastels
the relatively light–
but still inaccurate–
so i didn’t draw yesterday. i was rabid most of the day. evil nasty pissy me was in charge of my brain yesterday. i did do some ink splattering, however. i probably should have posted that, at least, but–you know–rabies.
so i started a drawing today after the weirdness of thanksgiving was done
(why did my elderly aunt ask me if i had gotten my concealed carry license???)
i started a drawing but did not get too far before the minions were begging me to watch more doctor who. (more, doctor who, mummy–more!…i love my minions)

a deer.
there is a deer, clear as the day if the day were inside my head amidst the sparks & sinkholes.
a deer.
a reminder to be gentle.
be gentle, deer me.
be gentle.
my bones ache and teem with anger. repressed anger. oozing anger. anger that is easily directed at undeserving targets and leaves me knowing i am going to have a lot to make up in my next life….
be gentle.
i see deer a lot since a friend read me a medicine card with a deer in it. of course i live in the middle of the prairie lands…but still. one day four walked across the road in front of my car in the middle of a town. one night driving home, a buck darted right in front of my car. a doe stood, making me come to a stop, several yards past him. one day while gardening, a deer made her way across the field next to my yard, stopping to stare at me whenever my movements rustled the leaves around me.

be gentle.

meanwhile, i have banished an ex-husband and another ex-husband starts sending flirty emails. but the thing about my exes, they all have such thin skin. i have found that honesty sends them skittering away. i’m not trying to be mean…honest…i just tell them how i feel when they use me as a distraction…and they skitter away.

honesty is brutal. but it is also gentle. lies may hurt less, but they will kill you in the end.

ranting wailing mourning

why am i so pissed off again?
okay, so i’m not going to be magically
so i’m not going to be magically
i’m going to be bitter & angry
wishing things had been different
careful i am not wishing my children away
as i wish i had never met their father.

it’s fucking thanksgiving
i don’t know about you
but this was the most dysfunctional
of fucked up dysfunctional holidays
for me
i spent years avoiding
for years, i couldn’t even eat turkey
without feeling angry
fucking thanksgiving
the holiday of family fights
based on a false
as white invaders who
murdered & stole from indigenous peoples
after being welcomed into their land
it’s a fucking

fuck thanksgiving.
fuck my ex-husband.
fuck my parents.
fuck black friday
and the mentality of buying buying buying
hoarding goods
made by abused workers
in other countries
as a cloud of pollution forms
over their heads
fuck this fucking country and its killing ways
its stealing ways
its hurtful
this whole land
is cursed.


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