Sunday, May 20, 2012

I know that there is many a thing and issue more important than this and I should, at this moment, be painting, a deadline being in the offing; and cleaning, as I have company coming, which is, of course, both good and bad: Nice to see friends come/Awful to have one's everyday life disrupted. In any case, it's the birthday anniversary of an old film actor, one whose movies were a part of my life's landscape.  He'd be 104 today, had he not died years ago.  
Ah well...

Friday, May 18, 2012

What's been happening? Well, since you ask:

1. I rocked the kids at Bryant Elementary School around the corner. We had almost too much serious fun.
That school is named after Professor Geo. Bryant, who used to run Woodland College, which once set upon this block, back in, as they say, the day.

2. I drove over to Olathe, KS (formerly known as the Free State) and did a couple of assemblies at Scarborough E. S. Drew a big scribbly picture of President Lincoln - something I almost always do. I'm getting pretty good at Mr. Lincoln, who had a wonderful face. He probably didn't think so.
       It is rather weird, standing up, talking, joking, projecting to a roomful of students then driving home to this rather solitary life.

3. I found out that my book about Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, valiant dress reformer, physician, prisoner of war, & ONLY female recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor; is going to be published by Albert Whitman & Co. next March. Yippee!

4. I ventured into Pinterest.  A delightful time-sucker that is.

5.  Whilst listening to Run by Ann Patchett + a few other recorded books,  I completed ALL of the rough dwgs for a new picture book about the history of flags, our S-S'd Banner in particular + the Am. Rev., for which I have great hopes.  Now I get to make the copies, trim 'em, & tape 'em together into a dummy. I LOVE that part of the job.

6. I started reading Death Comes to Pemberly by the great P.D. James.

7. And my columbine bloomed.

8. Company's coming then I'm driving, driving, driving to Ohio for the last school visit of the year. Golly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ten Days in May

So, I meant to write something on the first of May about Beltane, about May Day, about May Poles & ribbons, small posie-baskets suspended on one's neighbors' doorknobs.

I meant to - no, I wanted to, but changed my mind about saying something on the second of May, it being the birthday of a man I loved back when Gerald Ford was in office. Don't remember too much about him, but 2 May was his birthday. I do know some things about Gerald Ford.

I might have written something the next day about Bing Crosby and his caramel baritone, about Pete Seeger, his impassioned tenor, & his battered banjo, as these two VERY different balladeers both came into the world through the door marked 3rd of May.

4th of May: Tiananmen Square.  Had I begun to write about what happened there in 1989, again I'd have changed my mind because once I'd looked it up, I'd have been reminded that the massacre took place on the 4th of JUNE. But it's fitting to remember it anyway & always, especially in light of what's been going on for MONTHS in Syria.  Sheesh.  I was busy May 4 driving down to Joplin, where I did a freebie presentation for some kids & teachers, whose school got blasted into splinters by the tornado. And I had lunch at an old-timey restaurant on Route 66: Gooch Bros. Grill.  Hamburger. Iced tea. A slice of the best chocolate pie ever.

I didn't get around to writing on the 5th of May either. Cinco de Mayo. Drove down to Lamar, MO, to do a bit of a presentation at Harry Truman's birthplace. Signed THREE copies of my Harry Book, met some awfully nice people, and drove home again.

6th of May: I was too busy doing dwgs for a new story I've written. If it gets accepted for publication, oh baybee, I just don't even know WHAT I'll do. 7th of May: Same thing, but I did take a break and visit the boneyard where my poor mom is buried. 'twas her birthday. would've been 84 and I'm so happy for her, that she doesn't have to sit around being 84, feeling 20 years lousier than she did at 64.
8th & 9th of May: Honestly, these have been happy, productive days. Been walking every day before getting down to work, but it sounds boring, doesn't it? What did you do today? Draw. What did you do yesterday? Draw.  Listen to books while I draw.  Sounds boring but it isn't.
Today? I got 3 big paintings framed, took 'em to a gallery up on the Square and they're going to be EXHIBITED. Came back home. Back to the dwg board. and Tomorrow?  I am actually, totally giving a talk, doing a presentation at the elementary school around the corner where I was once a shy, doofy 5th grader.           I'll let you know sooner or later how it goes!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


"I put a sheet of paper across the face of an especially mossy old marker, one you couldn't even read. With my No. 2 pencil, I revealed a hand pointing up to the dear dead person's heavenly home. I hunted for another really old tombstone and found an even neater one. Biting my lower lip, I rubbed my pencil fast. A face appeared, an angel's face with eyes like headlights and bird wings on its shoulders. And then, calendar dates: November 25, 1814 ~ April 11, 1873. Bookends, they seemed like, on each end of Sarah Somebody's shelf of days."   Carmen Cathcart, my main character in my 2006 book Just For You to Know.

       Bookend-wise, today  marks one of some significance. The long & glorious shelf-full of the days of Leonardo Da Vinci,  which began in Tuscany, in mid-April, 1452, came to an end in Clos LucĂ©, a grand house in Amboise, in central France, on the 2nd of May, 1517.  495 years ago today.