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Doggie Drop-off

In preparation for my trip to DC tomorrow I took my dog to boarding on the Island. The Island was cold today, and the sky overcast. I was tense about a lot of things including packing and payroll and separation from my little monster. It took a while to relax, and I’m not sure I fully did. But I did manage to paint an Open sign for my friend at Galveston Music Company so people can know when he’s actually in there, and for that I am proud! Later, as I drove along the Seawall I saw a whole congregation of grackles. I took that as a good sign. I drove on home, packed, and put my poor plants inside because while we’re gone it’s supposed to freeze here. The house seems very empty without the dog, but I hope she’s having a nice time. As for me, I am prepared! Tomorrow I’ll have to wake up really early to go on this new adventure!

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Employee of the Month

Busy busy day. Meetings back to back. But I got to give my mentor John Ross Palmer the very first copy of Lone Wolf, and I made progress in putting my own self on payroll! I’m so excited to get Employee of the Month this month and every month. I have no competition as Holly sleeps 20 hours a day and doesn’t care about all the forms I’ve been filling out – a process that will hopefully end soon since I have hired a payroll company to help!

Also, I must start packing for DC! We leave in 2 days, TSA is still affected by the government shutdown, and I’m still looking for collectors for commissions. I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of work to be Employee of the Month!

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As promised, here are pictures of the paperback! Isn’t it beautiful? Also, it’s interesting and exciting to see that people still react much more enthusiastically to the picture of an actual book, than to an announcement about an ebook. As with all of my books, the moment when it became real was the moment I had the paperback in my hands, the moment I posted pictures of it and people could see it. There’s been quite a warm reception on social media, so I’m quite excited!

Also, today I called my old lizard and that was a very good thing. Between the time difference, her poor hearing, and my busy schedule, I don’t call her nearly enough, then I end up feeling guilty, sad, lonely, fragmented. My old lizard had all kinds of things to say.

“How is your friend in Turkey?” she asked. I haven’t seen my friend in Turkey in four years, though she is still one of the people I love best. “How is your friend in France?”

My old lizard remembers things about my own past better than I do. Sometimes I like that, yet sometimes it’s annoying. It’s as if she refuses to acknowledge my many transformations.

Later I went to the store and bought a magazine. I tore out images I liked. I cut out elements of them. I decided to make some sort of collages using some older drawings and also some paint. They’re weird, but I kind of like them, and now, looking back, I feel like I’s been a good day.

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Today I worked on something very different. It’s one of the abstract pieces I’m preparing for my show on February 1st, celebrating the rebirth of nature. I used a paint stick and a lot of the process was fun, though I did feel through most of it that I didn’t know what I was doing.

Also, Lone Wolf is finally out! It’s available in both Kindle and paperback and you can get a copy here. I’m so excited! My own paperback arrived this evening and was waiting on my doorstep when I got home. I inspected it carefully and found that it’s quite a beautiful book. I can’t wait for better lighting tomorrow so I can post pictures!

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Awesome day! I got to paint in my studio at 1907 Sabine Street during Open Studios, and people did come by. I had some very fun interactions, and also a few sales. Afterwards I went to visit the lovely home of a collector and friend who wanted to show me where she hung four very special paintings I’d made years ago and which she bought at the beginning of my Escapist year.

Later, I went to meet John, Nancy, and Bobby at one of our favorite hangouts. I decided to bring Holly because she’d been alone all day and I didn’t want her to be lonely. Let it be known that Holly is a demon. She sneered at Nancy and Bobby. Bobby couldn’t really be bothered, but Nancy sneered back. Don’t mess with Nancy! We kept them separated, which I hope counts as a workout. Also, I laughed a lot.

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Do y’all remember the fabulous birthday party I went to last week? I completed the painting of it today, and added gold watercolor ground to make it especially magical. I love this gold stuff!

To find my precious jar of it I had to move my little Christmas tree. At which point it turned out the poor thing was too dry to stand in its support any longer. I wasn’t ready to take it down, but I had to. Now I miss its happy lights in the gallery. Though perhaps it was time. My last walk of the day with my little puppy revealed that outside is pretty warm, moist, and spring-like. I found the energy to treat us both to an extra long walk. I came back in a happy disposition, resolved to move around more – something I haven’t quite been doing lately, and which is important to my mood (not to mention my figure!).

Also, John paid us an unexpected visit today. He played with Holly, pretending to want her rope toy (she herself only wants it when others do), and we sat outside by the pool doing work on our respective devices for a while. There is a tree in bloom by the pool, something I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. So yes, perhaps spring is coming early this year. I couldn’t be more ready!

Now Holly’s sleeping on the floor, snoring loudly, the way she hasn’t in a while. I guess the long walk made her tired. This sounds like top quality sleep to me. I must make sure I get her to snore contentedly more often!

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Hope and Renewal

It was a sunny day on Galveston Island. A good day to drive down listening to an Elin Hildebrand novel in the car, and buy my dog’s medicine. A good day, too, to take a walk with my friend and discover the unexpected and the magical: bluebonnets lush and green, ready to bloom soon (does this mean we’ll have a short winter? I hope so!) and monarch caterpillars fat and plentiful crawling on milkweed that’s been cut back and is just now sprouting leaves. We took in these signs of hope and renewal with delight. We talked about our own plans, about opening up, expanding instead of giving in to tendencies to hide away and isolate ourselves. I resolved to drive to the Island more often. Also, I reminded myself that now that Lone Wolf is finally finished, I need to start working on my Galveston ghost story once again.

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Palm Tree

I see this palm tree every morning on my walk with the dog and I really like it. Other than that, though, I can’t say this has been a great day. Perhaps I just get miserable when the weather turns cold, or perhaps I’m just stressed about the many things I have to do. Well, at least I got two of them out of the way: I opened a bank account for my new LLC, and I finally finally finally uploaded the edited Lone Wolf manuscript to Amazon. Both Kindle version and paperback should be coming soon. Which feels like a weight has been lifted, but still… I think I ate too much chocolate today and too many pretzels (cold weather makes me hungry!) and I’m feeling like everything is a little out of whack. Perhaps I’ll sleep well and tomorrow will be better. I’ll probably wake up excited about my new book!

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Last night I had a nice dream. I dreamt of my uncle with whom I used to have such a lovely time in childhood. I dreamt that we were getting ready to go for a walk downtown and it was Christmas Eve and it was both a regular day and a very special day and I felt very excited.

I woke up in a happy mood and had a very good day. I addressed letters to collectors letting them know about the events I’m planning this year, I read more of the Lone Wolf manuscript, I had some correspondence with the attorney who’s helped me form my LLC. I guess this is part of what my anxiety has been about over the past few days. It seemed like such a momentous step, but now it’s done and everything will slowly but surely fall into place.

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Like a Pig in Mud

Today was good! It’s true, I haven’t yet grown accustomed to my new life, or created the perfect routine — is there such a thing?— but today I felt like I managed to get a lot done and also to enjoy myself. I’m making progress on my final edits on Lone Wolf (which involve me reading it again cover to cover on my Kindle to spot last-minute errors and inconsistencies), I cooked healthy food, had a friend come by and see the gallery, drew these pigs I absolutely adore, and met John and Nancy in the evening at one of our favorite hangouts. We talked about my projects, my commissions, and a whole bunch of stuff that I’ve been having anxiety about. I ended up feeling a lot better. Turns out there’s nothing to drive myself crazy over. I just need to allow myself time to settle into my own life and grow to relish the fact that it is in many ways expansive, that it allows generous amounts of time for thinking and searching, reading, and seeking inspiration. Sometimes I feel like I should be busy all the time – but good ideas generally come to those who allow themselves to play. So I need to stop being hard on myself when I take time to enjoy long mornings with my dog, my coffee, and the Internet, for example. I need to simply be happy, like a pig in mud, that I have the luxury to take time and nourish my creativity.

Also, did you know that the Chinese New Year, starting February 5th is the year of the pig? The year of the pig is supposed to be good for horses, so here’s hoping…