Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Hi all...

I’m not sure where to begin, because I don’t want to get into too much detail, but suffice it to say I’ve been absent online (and from my own life, as a matter of fact) for a while now due to new chronic illnesses that have decided to visit themselves upon me.

An ER trip, tests, specialists, more tests, primary care doctor, more tests. Regular visits with my mental health professionals in there somewhere, too, and emails in between to ask them about tweaking meds to work with other new meds I’m taking (for the new conditions.)

Sometimes I feel I’ve been reduced to an entry in a medical journal, or that I am condemned to live in a never-ending episode of House.

But I don’t feel sorry for myself, let’s get that straight right now. There are others so much worse off. What I have won’t kill me, though it might make me feel like I’ve been flattened by a linebacker.

All this has been keeping me awake at night or interrupting my sleep, and that makes sleeping when I can, often during daytime naps now, absolutely necessary. I sleep at odd times, and have to be careful to keep track of the schedule all my medications are supposed to be taken on.

Being ill is a full time job.

It’s not one I applied for, and one I dearly wish I could quit. But since I can’t, I just have to muddle through everything as best I can from moment to moment.

So if it  seems like I don’t care or haven’t noticed that your book launched recently or I didn’t attend your Twitter chat as I usually would, please don’t think I’ve forgotten you.

I’m trying right now just to eat a little, stay hydrated, and hold my head up a bit longer each day before I have to go back to bed. This is not depression sleepiness, this feels more like flu-related exhaustion (though it’s not.)

I don’t know how much better I’ll get and I don’t know when. I know that I have a whole new rulebook to live by, with these new conditions that won’t kill me but have robbed me of what little energy I had (which wasn't much, granted) and my ability to think.

I feel I’m missing out on so much. I received the loveliest invitation to participate in submitting an entry for a creative endeavor that is being put together based upon a popular Twitter hashtag I like to participate in, but I lack the ability to connect my thoughts.

All I can think of is “Water, sleep, meds. Repeat.”

No comments are necessary on this post, I just needed to explain why my paints sit untouched, no words have been forthcoming from my keyboard, and I’ve been a ghost of my online and offline self. I am scanning, I am noticing what you all do, I am cheering you on as I’m able.

I’m also waiting for new marketing plans to take hold for Wishing Cross Station so we can try to better get the word out about it (Fair warning: If you want to get the ebook for Nook or iTunes, don’t delay. Soon it will be Amazon exclusive for some time.)

I’m waiting to go for more tests, more doctors’ visits, more counseling from the wise to try to help me cope with all of this.

It’s all about finding my way back to some quality of life; and I really hope that I can. That is the goal, management, because there is no cure.

Sending love to you all.



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Not Taking Art So Seriously

Another artist did me a huge favor this week, and she will likely never even know it.

I was browsing through Pier 1 Imports, the way I do sometimes when I'm too tired to go anywhere else but really need to get out of the house. The store's size makes it manageable with my forearm crutch; I can spend twenty minutes browsing, relax a little, then go back home.

Once in awhile I find something there that intrigues me... the other day, it was something that made me laugh out loud.

It was a print of a painting, a collage, actually. It depicted a bird with all manner of scraps caught up in its beak; what looked like little strips of sheet music and pages from books in addition to other things, ready to decorate its nest with them.

It was just so adorable and quirky that I actually almost bought it. I rarely buy art any more, because with space taken up by some of my own work and other art I've acquired over the years, there is little room left for anything on the walls of our little apartment.

This bird, though... it just stuck with me.

I thought about it for a few days, then I got an email notification of a sale at the store. I looked online and lo and behold, the work (called "Curious Bird" by an artist named Elizabeth Saint Hilaire Nelson*) was on sale.

"We should go back to Pier 1 and get your bird," my husband said.

"We have nowhere to put it."

"But it made you laugh, that's reason enough to get it."

So for a song we purchased the print on canvas. It is currently  to the right of where I'm sitting, leaning against the wall beside me until I can decide where I am going to hang it.

Every time I look at this work I am reminded of something-- a question I had to ask myself after seeing how happy this unique piece of art made me. That question is, when did I get so serious about painting that I stopped enjoying it as much? That I started, * gasp * worrying about the outcome when I sat down and tried an experiment?

I know I'll never have the talent of a true portrait artist or someone who can capture a landscape that looks like you could step through the frame and walk around inside of it.

But then, maybe I don't have to.

Maybe, just like with my writing, I can have a voice that's my own and that's okay. A range of work, some I share and some just for myself and some that makes me smile and others that make me emotional for reasons no one else would ever understand anyway even if I tried to articulate it.

So what if I like to paint places I've never been, or places I have been and love, again and again.

So what if I never know what the face I'm working on will look like until it is finished?

I'm not trying to make my living at this, can't I just enjoy it?

The answer, thanks to this little bird starting back at me here, is whispered in my ear over and over again from my heart: yes, I can.

Here are a couple of my recent efforts, I hope you enjoy them. I enjoyed painting them.

"The Force is Strong in This One"


"Pink Sunset"

"Stone Cottage"


"Royal Exhibition Building, Victoria"



*If you want to see what the Curious Bird painting looks like you can put the artist and title into a search engine for a photo. I didn't feel right posting it on the blog even though I bought the print, because I don't have digital rights. That's why I didn't post it here. I only post photos here I own myself or have the rights to use (like my book covers.)