Ode to a Bean

Ode to a Bean

for Dan and Dan of Fojo Beans


I found a poem in a cup.

It was hot, I drank it up.

When the poem was smooth and brown,

it was good.

I drank it down.

When the poem was hot and black,

it called to me.

I threw it back.

When the poem was sweet and mild,

I held it gently, like a child.

The poem flowed – gentle, quiet –

moving moments, day from night.

It warmed me and it woke me up.

I found a poem in a cup.





A friend asked if she could buy a painting from me, asked me to paint her a picture – an image from nature, abstracted, but representational.  A sort of abstract representationalism has long been my default style (since my education is in music and the sciences, I have no idea if that’s an actual style or if I made it up).  I was excited to give this a go.  It had been a long time since I painted….much of anything.  I did a lovely watercolor of R2D2 for my oldest son’s 6th birthday, and even that was 4 years past. I painted a beloved companion for a cousin’s then fiancé, now husband. I goofed off a bit to try to make a decent cover for my novella (I am not a book cover artist), and tried to do something with my old work.  As much as these things brought me joy, they didn’t bring me the ecstatic centering peace of “painting” that I rediscovered when I started this wide open commission.

The paintings I’ve since completed were inspired by Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park in Caddo Parish, Louisiana and Moundville Archeological Park in Moundville, Alabama.  These were places I visited with my husband and sons this summer, amazing places, on our-annual cross-country trek to see my Mom and (extended)family.  Colorado is breath-taking, but like many people, I find places unlike the beauty right in front of me are more likely to trigger inspiration.  So, I painted two paintings, one each, inspired by these lovely and fascinating places. They were meant to be companion pieces. Images of pathways, in nature and in life.  But they are not companions.  They refused.  Louisiana was exuberant and wild.  Even an ancient archeological site in Alabama was well-groomed and stately.  These paintings are stretching to even be friends.

The image my mind made when I talked to my friend is still in there – pushing to get out. This is a wonderful feeling, one I’ve not felt in years. I will paint that image. First I have to find the right place in the real world to work from. It might be in my backyard.  But it might not. And so, I am not just compelled to paint but to walk through the trees.  What wonderful feelings.

I am not sure what I think of the paintings I’ve completed, but I am happy to have completed them. I don’t know if my friend will want these, but I am happy to find out. I don’t know how I am going to squeeze this back into my life, but I know I will.  I am also interested in how this will play out stylistically and in what I paint. I always best enjoyed painting people and could not “feel” landscapes. Now that I am older, I can feel the landscapes…and I think I will “feel” the people more deeply. How exciting to find out.

Sadly, there’s not a decent camera in my house, excepting a manual Pentax made in 1983, so these photos are not true to colors or texture…but if I’m going to share my thoughts, I ought to share images too.  What places or ideas inspire you? If you have stopped doing something you love because “life” got in the way, what would it take for you to find your way back home?


DSC07311 DSC07309

Social Class Links 01/17/2014

Social Class Links 01/17/2014.


Follow the link…this sums it up well,

“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is an unmerited privilege, a sign of that person’s socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and cosign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can self-righteously bestow DWYL as career advice to those covetous of her success.

If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves — in fact, to loving ourselves — what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.”

2014 Remake of the Virginian – screenplay by Bob Thielke!

A former colleague and friend wrote the screenplay to this remake of the Virginian: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788332/

And you could buy it as of yesterday!  It’s on the shelves at Walmart or you can download it from Vudu, iTunes, or Amazon.  

Bob’s tenacity and success inspire me to keep writing.  You don’t have to see your dreams become reality when you are in your 20s…or 30s….or 40s….to see your dreams become reality. 

Congratulations to Bob!

What or who inspired you today?

Dear parents, you need to control your kids. Sincerely, non-parents

I enjoyed this SO much, though I do actually think many “non parents” have a lot to add, but not when their thoughts are based on their imaginary non-existent children. I find adults who complain about children’s manners often actually seem to be living in a narcissistic fantasy world in which they must never ever have to “put up” with anything moderately uncomfortable (and not about them). Alternately, they are in a fantasy where their parenting was flawless and their faulty memory keeps telling them that’s true. What do you think?

The Matt Walsh Blog

To the fan I lost yesterday:

I don’t owe you an explanation, but I thought I’d offer one anyway. I do this more for your sake than mine. You see, maybe, as you later suggested, I was in a bad mood. Maybe I could have been a bit more polite about it. Maybe I’m more sensitive to it now that I have kids. Maybe I’m just sick of hearing these comments about parents. Maybe I know that my wife has to take the twins with her when she goes grocery shopping sometimes, so she could easily be on the receiving end of your sort of bullying. Maybe I took it personally.

Whatever the case, there I was, walking down the aisles of the grocery store looking for the ingredients for a new chili recipe I wanted to try. I heard the kid screaming from a distance; the whole store heard…

View original post 1,453 more words


So, my editor-friend will likely have my early reader book back to me soon.  It’s almost summer and her primary gig as a stay-at-home Mom is going to be ramping up soon.  I know I will likely have nothing to do with illustrations if I am successful in finding an agent – and publisher – for this book.  But because I am me, I am illustrating the home copy.  I am planning for black and white drawings for “in chapter” illustrations and colorful paintings as “end tags” to each chapter.  Here’s the first one I’ve finished.



I feel like I’ve been SICK since we crawled from the primordial ooze.  Actually, it’s been a month.

First everyone at my house had strep.  We went to our Family Practice, got treated to a bit of fresh from med school arrogance, took antibiotics and felt better for a few days.

Now everyone has a cold, and my baby and I have a dry, unproductive, painful cough that gets worse at night…so sleeping to get better is tough.  It’s probably time to drag all of us back to the doc, but for now, I have to work.  My PTO is about used up, so I’m here to invite you to my pity party.

I honestly do feel like crying.


Today is my birthday.

My mother’s voice sings,

“Happy Birthday” from my voice-mail.

When I was a child, she said

“You don’t get older until someone

sings the song,” and I

fight the absurd urge to shout,

“Stop!  You’re making me older!”


Such is the weight of a mother’s words.

My sons sing, “Happy Birthday” to me,

their three wee voices

intertwined in disharmonic joy, and I

clap, joyful…thankful, with

the weight of my power coiled peacefully,

for now, in my gut.