June 18, 2018

I started painting in March of this year. I've been having a lot of fun smearing paint around and seeing what I end up with. As far as process goes, I don't really have an idea of what I'm going to paint for most of them. Sometimes, I might see a vague image in my head beforehand or plan to experiment with a certain technique, but mostly, I just choose a color combo in the moment and play around on canvases until the paint on the palette is used up. (I can't stand wasting paint.)

Here are some of the results. I hope you enjoy them.

August 25, 2017

Hi there! Thanks for reading with me if you did, and thanks for being here anyway if you didn't. This month's selection was The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. And now, on to the casual discussion. I'll start us off, but please jump in with comments below. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]

Overall, I'd have to say I liked the story but had some problems with how it was told. I thought the story and writing were strongest when focused on Jean alone. And to be honest, I was way more interested in the relationship between Jean and Catherine than the one between Jean and Manon. I spent the bulk of the book waiting for the current love affair to resume, and at times I lost patience with both the Manon storyline and the secondary storylines. I do have to acknowledge, however, that I was rather distracted by world and national events during my reading--not that I want to open up a discussion of that here--and that probably really influenced my reactions. I read up to the part...

August 8, 2017

First, thanks again to everyone who gave me book recommendations! I will happily take more if anyone has them. I'm looking for well-written books with likable protagonists and no soul-scarringly violent scenes.

Second, I'm starting an online book club based on the book recs. I've called it the Casual Book Club because you all can participate or not, book by book, as you wish. So if you have time for and interest in one round and not for the next, that's fine. I will post which book I'm going to read here, then give a day a couple weeks out when online discussion will start. These don't have to be lengthy, five-paragraph-essay discussions; I'm just looking for some friendly book sharing with people I like. Sound good?

Okay, the first Casual Book Club selection is The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. Why that one? Because I could find it at my local library.  I'll post a new entry where we can discuss it starting August 25.  Who's in?

July 7, 2017

This week I asked my friends for some book recommendations, and here are the results so far. I hope this list will continue to grow. My criteria were: 1) well-written fiction with a likable protagonist; 2) no graphic violence or abuse; 3) nothing that will make me fear for humanity even more than I already do.  I got both fiction and non-fiction recommendations, and I'm glad about that. Do you have a recommendation to add? Do you want to read something with me? Comment below!

A Man Called Ove (and anything else) by Fredrik Backman

The Mother Tongue (and anything else) by Bill Bryson

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

The Curse of Chalion by Lois Bujold

Shards of Honor by Lois Bujold

Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Anything by Agatha Christie and contemporaries

Little, Big by John Crowly

Anything by E.M. Delafield

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

The Ruso series by Ruth Downie

Jamaica Inn (and anything else) by Daphne du Maurier

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (and anything e...

June 17, 2017

I have been thinking lately about why I'm having such a good time doing my little drawings. I think a big part of it is because I'm not doing a lot of the things I learned you "should" do when making art. Here, in no particular order, are some ways my current doodling is different from other art projects I've attempted.

- I use a sketchbook, but I'm filling it back to front. The reason? I'm left-handed, and the spiral binding doesn't get in my way that way. It seems so simple now, but decades of the "all notebooks must be filled front to back" mentality prevented me from doing that before.

- When I draw  vaguely symmetrical shapes, I draw right to left. That's due to left-handedness again. It helps to be able to see the curve I'm trying to match. I know, "Duh!", right? But the fact that we read from left to right made me automatically assume I should draw left to right, too. Took me long enough to figure out that I didn't have to...

- So far, I haven't drafte...

May 30, 2017

How I threw caution to the wind and started a Zazzle store.

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First, thanks again to everyone who gave me book recommendations! I will happily take more if anyone has them. I'm looking for well-written books with...

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