the invisible exhibitionist

the invisible exhibitionist was, in part, my response to social media. being a highly sensitive introvert, social media was especially difficult for me. why was everyone happy but me?
so instead of posting selfies with perfect hair, i inked how i saw myself, warts & all. instead of photos of my delicious meal or fantastic vacation, i posted free verse that glorified all of my short comings as a mother. as a daughter. as a friend & lover. 

i didn’t want to show everyone how well i was doing, i wanted to reassure others that they were not alone in their struggles.

the invisible exhibitionist is available through lulu.com or contact me for an autographed copy. 

image is “feral” one of the self-portraits from my book

washed away

i was letting myself
get washed away
in the current
when i got stuck
in a whirlpool
of me
caused by a pile
of my own
debris…
so then
so then i started
picking at
kicking in
fighting & crying
but the dam
held steady…
so now i relax
i float on my back
watching the sky
spin
above me
& i have faith
that my problems
will break free
make space
&
let me flow forward
once more.

more metaphors on my clogged stream of energy.

this inking is a self-portrait in honor of my upcoming self-portrait collection, the invisible exhibitionist.
my floating in a pool of me….

and also in the spirit of selfies. my publisher suggested i take a selfie with my book proof.

i am happy to say that reading through my proof made me laugh several times. it feels nice that i’m not making myself cry at the moment.

coming soon!

tara over at raw earth ink sent me a sample of things to come for my next publication
the invisible exhibitionist!
so exciting!
for you who weren’t with me from 2017 through 2019, i was obsessively inking self-portraits & vomiting free verse in an attempt to root out the damage that kept me broken.
i wrote about everything & anything that went through my head or that i felt inside me.
i exorcised as many demons as i could find
& ended up making friends with a few of them.
i did almost 500 pages of self-portraits.
during 2020, i hung up a show at a local art spot & more than one person told me it should be a book.
so!
it’s going to be a book.
every time i read what i wrote back then, it makes me cry all over again. i was a raw as i could be.
and i share that rawness in hopes that someone who needs to see it will. in hopes that i can help at least one person not feel alone.
i am looking forward to seeing it all together in one book.

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….

broken spell

i don’t feel it
anymore
when he is near
the spell is broken
the electricity gone
i feel
affection
fondness
thinking only of him
as a friend
someone
to talk to
i don’t feel it anymore
that need
to be inside his skin
to have him touch me
in every
possible
way
…now
i feel whole
without him
the spell is broken.

my ex-husband lost his job recently due to covid politics. i offered him a place to stay since he won’t have the income to pay his rent & will most likely be looking for a job closer to me & the kids.
i worried that this proximity might spark something as it has been a little over a year since our last (final final final) breakup.
i mean, i am trying to be realistic. obviously, after 12 years of an on-again/off-again relationship, how can i be sure that there will not be another on-again?
but i feel no attraction to him. yay! even after he brought me whiskey & has been all sweet.

and just the other day i read through my pages for my future book (the invisible exhibitionist) as i put it on a thumb drive to mail to my publisher (are you ready for that, tara?)
so many writings of my torrid relationship with the dad…so so many.
which inspired me to draw this page in the style of my self-portrait period.

two step

does feeling out of control
trigger
the anger
or does being angry
create this feeling
of being
out of control?
dancing this dance
leaves me wanting
to turn the
fucking music
off.

going through all of my self-portrait series journal pages tells me that i use “dancing” & “wondering” a lot. i am dancing with wonder? wondering about the dance?
going through all those journal pages is also bringing up a lot of feelings that i really don’t want to be feeling.
ack!
i hope i survive putting this book together!
if i do survive…surely i will be stronger for it….

church of the lawnscape

i know now
why we’re so fucked up
as a society…
it’s that we don’t get the therapeutic
meditative
cardio
workout
of mowing our lawns with a reel mower
& scythe
dude…
i’m serious here
as a hand dish washing
line hanging out laundry
reel mowing
she-ra
i am here to tell you
listen as i preach it
an easy life
is no life at all
work it, people
work it….

as the main representative of the church of the reel mower & sole member/candidate of the thunderdome political party….
i do need to start recruiting.

seriously, y’all. i just want someone to praise me…worship me…speak my name with such devotion….

i don’t know if y’all can see it, but i am mowing a little every day around the house to create some yard so the minions don’t have to go in the weeds if they don’t want to.
i am completely ocd about it. i get out there with that fucking mower & i cannot stop. then, when i finally do, every muscle in my body says, “goodnight.”
it’s clearing my head as i clear some lawn.
i really do think we as a society have lost our priorities. someday i will get that church going–get that political party started….
in the meantime, i am feeling fine.

also! i finished the seascapes i was commissioned to do.

in other news, i have been thinking a lot about direction. i feel that my self-portrait series is wrapping itself up. even though i was told to pay no attention to the critique that questioned my writing abilities
(thank you for your support, xxoo), i have been thinking about it. i want a strong narrative to go with my self-portrait series. so i think i am going to go back through all those journals and try to create that narrative. i don’t know if it will end up being more verse than prose or more prose than verse…or a mix of the two.
but it is time to embrace an ending to it…& also a beginning.

stolen & fetish

in addition to working on a collaboration
with benjamin davis
of his story fetish
an illustration i am doing
using my bamboo pen & ink brush

i am working on turning part of me
into a fiction story
a lot like i did
(am doing)
with “fallen”
the story of a 40ish mother who realizes
she is the devil
“stolen”
is a realization
of a past
life
experience

done in my art journal like my other pages
like my other
self-portraits
but different in that one day
it will be a full-length story.
i am pretty excited about it
though as i am inking yet another treasure map
while my fetish pages dry
i realize i have a lot
going on
and expect myself to totally keep up
with all my projects

and i wonder…what makes me think
i can do all this?
who is that
part of me?

(a dollar a dance…i mean, a dollar a month, gets you full page access to these projects and my undying love. yes, a mere dollar a month. that’s like 3 cents a day. surely i am worth 3 cents a day….)

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