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Here’s a sneak peek of a commission I’m doing of Seaside, Florida. It’s been fun working on this. And it’s been overall a productive day! I got to mail stuff to collectors, bought a few odds and ends for tomorrow’s party, and received a nice little surprise: A few months ago I ordered a fruit and veggie box from Imperfect Produce, a service that sends people produce that is good but deemed too ugly to be bought by supermarkets. I was intrigued by what I called the Ugly Fruit box, but it wasn’t available in Houston at that time, so I forgot all about it. Well, today my ugly fruit and veggies came! I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but then I microwaved the teeny tiny potatoes they sent me to include in a salad, washed some of the crisp lettuce too, and wow! This stuff is really good! Those potatoes were simply amazing! I guess I might just become a convert!

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Dogs at Weddings

The weather turned cold again and yesterday’s momentum eluded me. I had big plans to accomplish a lot, but the day was frittered away on small or bigger annoyances. I bought the ticket to Paris I’d booked yesterday, but something weird happened to my reservation so I had to spend nearly two hours on the phone with Air France. This probably was the most annoying thing about my day, and it seriously derailed my progress and put me in a somewhat pissy mood. I was nearly out of gas and completely out of coffee, so I went out to buy those things, also packing supplies for the West Texas watercolors I need to ship off now that the show is over. I also bought an ice bucket for Friday’s party, so I can make serving cold drinks a breeze, and a wireless speaker to connect to my phone so I can have music! The speaker was, of course, missing an essential cable, but luckily I found one to replace it. All this, two meals, three dog walkies, and a shower, took way longer than I would have liked, and I found that it was pretty late by the time I finally sat down to paint. I was supposed to do a wedding scene, something to use in advertising a fun new project I’m about to embark on. But I found myself searching for images of dogs at weddings instead, because, well… why not? Then I finally managed to hang the last paintings for Friday’s party and to halfway charge the speaker I bought. Here’s hoping tomorrow will be more productive, and also more fun! And hopefully warmer too, because the cold weather makes me depressed and there’s no way around it!

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Carousel Bunny

Today I had a revelation: It was about 4pm and I was sitting in the gallery drawing, when I realized that in my previous life around that time on a Tuesday I’d be stuck in traffic driving back from Beaumont on I-10 after having taught three classes. How cool that my new job involves sitting in a room full of art and figuring out how to best incorporate a bunny in a carousel for a sweet little girl.

“Why doesn’t the bunny have a saddle? Why is the bunny different? Why can’t the bunny be like the rest of them?” John asked later, over dinner at Tony’s. Point taken. Tomorrow I will give the bunny a saddle.

Also, the hanging of the abstract pieces continues to be fun, and I booked my ticket to Paris for April, so things are definitely looking up!

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Today I had a breakthrough in my art, and also in my journey of self-acceptance as a Taurus. I decided that I simply must use a lot of gold. One of the paintings (not shown here) is actually completely covered in it!

It’s been overall a very good day. Warm and sunny, which always puts me in a good mood, but also productive. I’ve hung a few more of the new paintings in the gallery, and it’s amazing the difference they make.

I also got my very first review for Lone Wolf: “LONE WOLF just became my favourite book of Maria Elena Sandovici! After ”Dogs with Bagels”, of course — that book will remain forever very close to my heart.

I loved the road trip metaphor for the self-discovery journey, and I loved the characters (also the ending!). This story about brave women, a book-inception, makes for a captivating read. It was relatable for me, and I guess it will be for many women. It’s wittily written and with nerve, in the Elena Sandovici’s already well known style. I definitely recommend it!”

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The Light Returns

Highlight of the day: seeing my friend Lindsay Burck’s paintings hanging in the Chrysalis during the Initiation of the new Escapists today! Among them is a piece called Queen Bey, and it reminded me of so many things, including how I need more Beyoncé in my life. So this evening I decided I needed to sketch Queen Bey myself, and listen to Lemonade while doing so. Being excited that my friend is now an Escapist gave me a much needed boost. I ended up dancing in my gallery and as I was dancing I decided to start taking down my West Texas show – after all, this morning I had the closing party for Lone Wolf, complete with Turkish breakfast! – and start hanging my new abstract works. I don’t have all of them here. I need to go retrieve most of them at Sabine Street, but the ones that are here brightened up the space immediately. And it occurred to me that perhaps I’d had the right idea all along: having an abstract show with happy spring colors at this time of year might just be the boost of energy we all need!

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Fun New Things

Today I continued working on the abstract pieces I’m preparing for my February 1st show, which honors Imbolc, the return of the light. I am so ready for spring, y’all! There was, luckily, some sunshine today, but overall I don’t enjoy this dark and gloomy time of year, and don’t enjoy the cold. Still, days are starting to get longer, and I’m praying for the bluebonnets to come early. I figured the best way to manifest these prayers is by painting. Abstract still is challenging for me. There is a surrender of control to it I find both exhilarating and disconcerting. I can spend hours painting and literally getting obsessed. I guess in some ways I’m not yet comfortable with being so fully free – which is a great metaphor for my life right now. I have not yet grown fully accustomed to my freedom and its vastness still scares me. But I feel like I’m growing and that soon, I will inhabit it well.

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Here’s a portrait of me trying to achieve balance in my busy life as an artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Today this felt a bit like a struggle, although I was in a good mood, and had a lot of fun. I awoke to my daffodils standing open and joyous on the table in the gallery, but also to a full day of activities. Tonight was my book release party for Lone Wolf. It ended up being very nice. I’m excited about the book meeting new readers and being out in the world!

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Buy Yourself Flowers

I saw the daffodils at Trader Joe’s as I was buying snacks for my book release party! I love daffodils and I figured my party needed flowers, among other things. And I did too. After all, today I successfully ran payroll, and so I’m one step closer to being Employee of the Month. Tomorrow I should receive my very first paycheck from Sandovici Art LLC!

I can’t say all the anxiety has dissipated, but I feel a little bit better, like order has, at least partially, been restored.

And I’m excited about the book release party!

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Today I finally did what I’d been meaning to do for a while: I finished reading the 1900 part of my Galveston ghost story and, freshly reacquainted with the characters and their woes, I sat down and wrote a little over a thousand words! I’m still worried about loose ends, still worried about committing some historical blunder, still worried about not being consistent with the characters or the story, but at least I’m slowly moving forward! Next week I plan to go to the Island to do more research.

For now, though, it feels like a breakthrough that I’m once again feeling closer to Suzanne, my 1900 heroine, who, constricted by the times and society she lived in, was having a hard time carving out a little bit of freedom for herself. I imagine her strapped in her corset, nothing short of a torture device, and wonder how the poor girl is supposed to make any decisions about her life at all when she can barely breathe. Then again, society back then didn’t want Suzanne to truly make her own decisions.

I suppose compared to her problems, my life seems easy, full of possibilities. Though I still feel that even in our day and age women face so many constrictions, that social pressures are different for us, and that there’s still a lot of sexism in our world, especially when it comes to work (let’s not forget there’s still no equal pay for women in 2019!), financial independence, and family life. Luckily I’m blissfully single, will soon work for myself – here’s hoping I get to run payroll without a glitch tomorrow! – and my supervisor, perched on top of the stairs, is more interested in dog treats than anything else. Perhaps I have, in my own way, escaped various layers of oppression, and yes, of course, women have gained so many rights since 1900, but still, in today’s day and age, I still find us to be often constrained. It’s as if society is still not comfortable with us using our full lung capacity, or being too comfortable in our own bodies.

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Ghost Story Continues

Still haunted by the Blood Moon Eclipse, I was slow today. I decided to immerse myself into a world I had nearly forgotten, that of my Galveston ghost story. I started rereading the manuscript, trying to get reacquainted with its atmosphere and its details. Now that Lone Wolf is published, it’s time to reconnect with it and pick up where I left off.

Also, John took me to Tony’s this evening. It was good to get out, to put on a nice dress, to laugh and have fun. I think the bell jar is starting to lift. I’m reemerging after the moon eclipse, and hopefully by tomorrow I’ll feel like myself again.