the better to eat you with

“you’re so pretty”
they say
“thank you”
i reply
“but listen to this….”
& i pour
out
my heart
every enchanted thought
waiting for them
to be dazzled
by my rhinestone
soul
“you have a beautiful
smile”
they say
as they see my lips
move
without
hearing a word
“my smile is a reflex”
i tell them
when i feel
frustrated
angry
overlooked 
misunderstood
invisible
my smile shines 
as my inner light
diminishes
“you have nice eyes” 
they tell me
i sigh 
“the better to see you with”
i reply
just before 
i eat them up
wondering how
they did not notice my sharp teeth
while they were admiring
my smile.

this is another shower thought–meaning, i thought of it while i was in the shower & then had to memorize it in order to get it written down before it slipped down the drain. 
i need a voice recording device in my shower. except then i would never listen to it because i have that common aversion to my own voice.
so i need a chalkboard in my shower. 

also, i think this poem could go longer & have more to it. my art journal project limits my original thought to the length of one page with room for an illustration.
however, in editing, i can always elaborate. 
i think this one might need some elaboration.

okay. so my to-do list has me working on creating a finished, publishable version of my art journal. right now i am focusing on re-creating the art for it and later will look for the written pages. 
also, i am working on editing & putting together a collection of short stories for publication.
why am i telling you this? because, for the past year or more i have posted almost daily, sometimes three times a day. but now, with all this editing & finishing, i am not posting as much. 
but i don’t want y’all to wander off & forget about me. 
i hope to get posts up a few times a week. i will definitely be posting finished art journal illustrations as they are done. 

okay. 
let’s get into trouble, baby. 

treasure hunting

so it turns out that if you spend thirty-six years writing without locating a publisher who will publish you & then just saying “fuck it” and squirreling all your writings away, you create a bit of a situation. 
i just went through some actual folders (not virtual ones) to find these gems from the early 90s when i was still using a typewriter because, fuck it, i am….(wait, what’s the opposite of cutting-edge?)
retro?
archaic? 
luddititious?
a dinosaur?
(if i am a dinosaur i want to be a velociraptor.)
wait–you know what–i am going to circle back & say i am cutting edge. i was years ahead of the hipster typewriter trend. i am a goddamned trendsetter. 

typewriters are cool.

so, in addition to my working on creating a book from select pages of my art journal self-portrait series, i am also working on putting together a collection of short stories. 
short stories that i wrote, and then left to age.
i think they are well-aged at this point, and ready for harvest.
or bottling? 
how would that metaphor work?

as you can see from this incoherent post, i am using all of my brain power for editing short stories & art journals while juggling four screaming minions. 

meanwhile…i am almost almost so close to being done with the postcard commission & the portrait commission.
so close!

i need more notebooks

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?

okay. so. for me to write…i actually have to write…not type. for me to create, i have to move my hands. i have to doodle. i have to feel the paper under my skin. 
longhand is the language i speak.
otherwise, it just doesn’t work. i have a beginning. a page or two. and then i wander off, trusting my laptop to keep it safe should i ever wander back.
but!
put it on paper. lay that notebook on top of my laptop. or carry it with me everywhere i go….
now that
that is writing.
so yes. i started writing…only to realize, i need more notebooks.

ps. i set up a ko-fi account last night when i was avoiding confronting my desire to start working on a collection from my art journal series….
so! if you want, you can now buy me a coffee notebook

inktober starts tomorrow….

i did it in 2016 and it inspired my whimsical ink series which was just me spilling ink & finding images in it.
i started to do it last year, but then petered out. except it did start my self-portrait series….
so, i totally should do it–if for no other reason–to discover/uncover another layer of my art. right?
right.

i have been a bit awol this past week. i am still writing…but i have not done any ink (another reason i should do inktober–to get my pen moving again!)

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i got a new goat (vincent van goat)

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and a new puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (bluejean boogie) who i am just a little excited about & preoccupied with training & socializing…& staring at dreamily…who needs a relationship or a new baby…i got a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!

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update: mild to severe alarm

i’m not sure what i have said about my living situation.
in a nutshell, spring of 2016, i was living in manitowoc, wi, renting from a friend. i was looking around the area for property to buy to start homesteading. this is when my younger sister said to me, “i know some available land in illinois.”
she was referring to my childhood home, a large 3 bedroom house on 5 acres. my parents who have m.s. & parkinson’s disease as well as being mentally unstable, were deemed–by my younger brother–unfit to live alone in rural illinois. he drove them down to texas & dropped them off on my oldest sister’s doorstep. so the property was sitting empty & neglected.
around this time, my friend let me know she was kicking me out.
i had no money.
no child support.
no place to go.
so here i am, a glorified caretaker living rent-free at my childhood home. which is a beautiful place if you ignore the constant intensive corporate farming that happens on every side of the property.

all was well.  without my parents here, all the boogeymen seemed to have re-located.
oh, that’s another thing. i moved out of this place the week i graduated high school & over the years had less & less contact with my parents who are so fucking toxic. so toxic.
then
last christmas/new years my parents decided to visit. i did not feel i had a choice. they stayed for two unbearable weeks. go check out my archives from that time if you want to see exactly what happened to my mental health while they were here.
silver lining–while they were here, my mom declared that they would never return.

as it turns out, she planned never to return…my dad, however, is chomping at the bit to come back up here.
i got an email last night from my sister & her husband informing me that he would be coming up here in the fall to visit.

holy fuck.
seriously, i can barely take care of myself & my four minions. i am struggling on many levels.
how the ever-loving  fuck am i supposed to take care of an abusive alcoholic motherfucker with parkinson’s disease?
maybe i sound heartless & ungrateful. but fuck that bullshit. i get it–nothing is free. if i am here, i am expected to let that son of a bitch visit me.

thing is…i’m not known for doing things i don’t want to do. i just don’t. i quit bad jobs. i quit bad marriages. i quit my parents years ago.
and i am not going to subject my children to that toxic fucking monster again.

so i’m looking for another place to live.
which means i will have to find new homes for some to all of my animals…
and uproot & disappoint my children…
but maybe it is for the best. i never could bring myself to think of this as a forever situation. maybe it’s time for the next step of my adventure.

oh! and i need y’all to buy art so i can afford to move…maybe i should set up a fund-raiser page to get money…the great minion migration.

fuck…i hope i can take my goats wherever i am going…if you know an available midwestern property where i can have goats–let me know!

update: on my desk

having art to work on
really helps that urge
to just disappear

i have started a new page of moses jones. oddly, it is very similar to some panels in the first episode. i did not do that on purpose, but it creates a nice continuity? maybe?

also! someone has commissioned work from me! well, he wanted three pieces of art, but only one of them was actually available. one is a journal page & one is a piece i am pretty sure i gave to dusty a long time back?
so!
i am re-creating both pieces. which is both fun & daunting because i have that “don’t fuck up!” voice in my ear & 13 minions (actually four but with the combined chaos score of 13) literally bouncing off of me as i am poised with a brush full of ink trying to make a straight line. and i’m all in my head saying, “fucking michelangelo didn’t have to put up with this shit.”

maybe i should strap myself to the ceiling & do all my artwork suspended in the air.

part of the charm of my work is all the fuck-ups & messy bits, right?

pages four, five, & six

so much ink. i’m not sure if i should re-do this one or go with it. i am playing around a lot with intentional ink stains. i am no van gogh however.

i’m still undecided on some of my results.
some i feel really strongly about…others, i’m not so sure.
i could point out all of the things that bug me…but i’m not going to. i’m working on managing my anxiety, and i think this somehow falls into it.

so here are some pages.

done-ish.

while the ink dries…

so i started working on the finished project of “mistress of mud.” i have page one and page two more than half way done (only 17 more to go!)

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homesteading…artist…mama.

except, if the minions were here, i would not be able to take over the kitchen table like this.
and while the ink dries?
check the beehives
give treats to the sheep & goats
move last mama away from her lamb for weaning
weed the lawn & garden
plan for future landscaping
mow the massive lawn
(or let the livestock to it)

hang the laundry to dry
do the dishes
make lunch (apparently i still need to eat when the minions are away)
pick veg out of the garden

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do something with said veg to make it last through winter
feed the hordes of animals which includes catching bugs for the toads
clean cages
collect eggs
pet the kitten–or stash him in your hood so you can update your blog…or binge on netflix…

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what else?
oh!
don’t forget to go back & finish your pages once the ink has finally dried.

homesteading artist mama

i call this poem:
stream of consciousness while trying to sneak a few more minutes of sleep before getting up & conquering the world

why do we have political parties?
why do we have nations?
why do we have so much division?
why not invite peoples
who live in scary parts of the world
to migrate somewhere safer?
& we can say, “welcome!
here’s a cake i baked for you!”
were things this bad
when our cultures were
matriarchal?
or did the great
mother-goddess
just say,
“knock it off!
you & your brother can either
work things out
or
clean out the chicken coop
together.”

i am not getting any art done. i did this rooster doodle in the homesteading journal i have started, and that is the closest to art i have gotten in awhile.

every day i stare at the art that waits on my desk for me to finish it…

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but inspiration escapes me.

my minions are going to be with dusty this next week…so maybe i will get something done. i hope to get something done. i have ordered some movies from the library so i will have a distraction. the art part of my brain works better if some of the other parts are distracted. movies & tv are good for me to do art to.

meanwhile, my garden is growing. my bees are buzzing. my goats are providing me some much needed therapy.

and my brain idles…kind of on auto-pilot.
pulling weeds
feeding poultry
correcting minion behavior
each day
somehow surviving….

(this is quite possibly my most boring post ever. is it that i need sleep–or inspiration? or am i at peace and peace is just…well, boring. wait, is this peace–or defeat?  i don’t know if i would know if i were at peace or not having never actually been there. would it be like niagara falls where–duh, obviously you are there…or is peace more subtle? i just feel kind of…blah. if you have read this far without wandering off–kudos!–you are more focused than i am…oh! it’s my song–gotta dance.)

love, art, & tarot

it is not my responsibilty
not my place
to heal your pain
i cannot endure
carrying your damage
along
with
my own.
please stop expecting me
to be your hero
let me heal
my own wounds
& then
then i might be
strong enough
to be
your friend.

i have been carrying the weight of dusty for so long. i just want to put him down & walk away. but he clings to me. so tightly! he wraps himself around me & refuses to let go.
i’m exhausted.
he is refusing to let go of the idea of us.
in my mind we have been dead so long that the smell is starting to waft away as we are turned to dirt by worms. dusty & me. so dead.
but he does his best to keep the wounds fresh.

meanwhile!
i wonder at starting new relationships.
going in new directions.
growing.

if i am karma, and i am used to handing out punishment for bad things done…what happens if i meet someone who deserves the love i can reward?

i did my tarot today as i had an opportunity present itself. my tarot said, “he who hesitates dies alone.”
or, you know, in a nutshell anyway.
me being the nutshell….

in other news!
i sent the minions with dusty for a few days and am getting some loooonnng overdue alone time.
so i’m trying to do art.
i am working on illustrating a story for a friend.

i have rough drafts for 3 out of 19 pages….

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