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Everybody Loves Citrus Season

The inspiration for these adorable goats comes from Redwood Hill Farm. I love goats so much, so when I saw the picture they posted, I couldn’t help myself.

Today it was cold again and drizzly. I went to the post office to mail out the invitations for my very exclusive special project. I also revisited my taxes, and added some more of my expenses, including book editing, the books I buy for my gallery, and other things. In the end I will actually get a little bit of money back! I’m glad I took my time with this and went through my records figuring out what deductions I qualify for.

I also got to write a little more. I finished the 1961 portion of the Galveston ghost story, which means that both Betty and Mrs. Guidry met their demise in Hurricane Carla. I’m now about 20,000 words away from finishing the first draft. There’ll be a lot of work left to do after that, but at least things are moving along.

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Amazing Day

Never underestimate what a good sleep and a change in weather can do. Today was absolutely fabulous. I had a good Skype chat with my dad, a fun visit at the gallery from a friend who ended up buying all my books, received good news from an organization that helps sea turtles which I’m hoping to collaborate with, worked on a fun new project that involves travel and parties (and art, of course!) and went out to the newly opened Bisou restaurant to a mixer where my friend and I met a whole bunch of new people. All in all, it’s been an amazing day, and I couldn’t feel like my life could possibly be more perfect or hold more promise than right now. So perhaps I need to remember to never assess my circumstances on a rainy night after seeing a sad Spanish movie and getting stuck in traffic.

Also, I am so proud of how I’ve redecorated my guest bath at the gallery. It’s becoming one of my favorite spaces!

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Everybody Knows

This is a bleeding heart dove a photographer I follow on Instagram posted while traveling in Singapore. She’s been posting the most amazing pictures of birds, and frankly, I had no idea bleeding heart doves even existed.

As for me, I took myself to yoga today, also went to buy some office supplies I need for some very important correspondence I’ll be sending out soon, then did something I haven’t done in a very long time: I went to see a movie all by myself. I went to see Everybody Knows because I love love love Penelope Cruz. I think she’s the most beautiful woman. The movie was interesting, good acting, suspense and drama, but it really made me miss Spain. Not that I necessarily want to go back to visit during my upcoming Europe trip. I guess I could, and some of it would be exciting yet most of it not. The thing is, places are nice to visit, but after a while you long to have some context, some solid fabric of a life, and it is missing for me there though I tried so hard, for years, to create it. Of course, driving home from the movie theater in the rain, after a whole day spent by myself, I realize the fabric of my life is thin here too. Houston is starting to feel a little bit like my experience in Barcelona, me trying to entertain myself, going on solo adventures exploring, and eventually getting bored and restless. Of course, I did eventually meet people in Barcelona – and that is a tough city to meet people in – and here I already know a lot more people than I ever did there. But it’s something that’s followed me throughout my life everywhere I’ve been, this sensation that I’m trying to create a life for myself and failing, that I’m trying to infiltrate myself places where I don’t belong. Then again, maybe I need to be more patient. I haven’t lived here that long, at least not on a permanent basis, as shuffling back and forth to Beaumont created a disruption. I also haven’t been trying to do my own thing as an artist for long. “You can’t just always grab your little fur coat and leave,” John said to me yesterday. He says I have commitment issues, and I know he’s right. But what I am afraid is true about this world is that people tend to flock together in family structures and such, and if you happen to fall outside of those, you’re pretty much doomed to be a loner. I frankly find it to be a shortcoming of the human species, especially if you consider how confining most family structures are. Funny, the movie I saw today was mostly about mistrusting strangers and outsiders, when in fact (spoiler alert!) the real danger was someone very close. So, what does that tell you?

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Sea Turtles and Other Important Matters

Today I drew sea turtles. It was a weird kind of day, rainy and damp but not cold. I finally got the oil changed in my car. I also experienced a series of small inconveniences – locking myself out of my apartment, buying the wrong product at the store, getting stuck waiting for a very slow train to pass – but managed somehow to keep my chin up and stay positive. I even took a short walk in the park, and the writing I did tonight I’m pretty sure is good. I also started hearing from people who received the Washington DC paintings I mailed and are happy with them. This is very rewarding, and a good reminder of why I’m doing this. It’s strange, my life still hasn’t found a rhythm I’m comfortable with, and I feel lonely and a bit frazzled, but every now and then there are reminders that I’m on the right path and that I must keep forging ahead. Sometimes I think my imagination will save me from anything – loneliness, boredom, sadness – other times I’m afraid it’s leading me to construct this unrealistic world in which all my dreams can come true, only to find out later I’ve been deluding myself. Then again, such fears are what holds me back, and I need to teach myself to outgrow them.

As to the sea turtles, I have a plan, and it’s something extraordinary and wonderful. I’ve always wanted to do something for them, and I’ve finally figured out how. Stay tuned, and hopefully I’ll get to report soon on some happy sea turtle developments.

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A Glamorous Witch

Really feelin’ this Dolce & Gabbana look today. I think it would be an ideal outfit for a glamorous witch, and I do hope that at some point, come spring, after a few more yoga classes and maybe a little bit of shopping in Paris I will feel like a glamorous witch again.

What else? I finally took a picture of all my books together. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I’ve also been thinking of a really cool contest for readers – especially those who have read all my books! I’m not yet done imagining and deciding exactly what I want to do, but I’ll figure it out soon!

Other than that, I did normal Sunday things: I went to John’s Open Studio event and hung out with the new Escapists, I shopped for groceries, coffee, and dog food, and I wrote about 1,000 words on the Betty and Cornelius story. I’m getting ready to kill them in Hurricane Carla.

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A Chair at the Ritz

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with the Ritz in Paris, but I am. John and I are going to Paris in April, and we’re definitely going to have a drink there, though in my fantasies I actually get to stay there – preferably in Coco Chanel’s suite. Though perhaps that’s too much to ask for, so in the meantime I painted one of their chairs, which I saw on Instagram, and I’m determined to continue my low key stalking until further notice.

I also took this picture of The Adventures of Miss Vulpe with my pink peonies that I simply adore. I just can’t stop buying them!

Also, I had a nice day. I went to see my friend Tatiana Escallon’s art show, The Caribbean and its Contrasts and it was simply amazing. In the evening I met another friend for a gallery opening and then a nice long chat at the piano bar at Perry’s where the music was simply amazing. The weather was nice too, and all in all things were pretty close to perfect. Here’s hoping tomorrow is good too.

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Vintage Carousel Horse

Today was foggy but not cold. I even ventured out for a long walk in the park. I also walked a little bit in the Heights and looked into some of the stores on 19th Street. I saw a vintage carousel horse in an antiques shop and I was tempted to buy it because I love love love carousels.

What else? I started doing my taxes. I had a bit of a shock. Here’s how my life has recently exploded at the seams: I’ve done my own taxes for over twenty years now and I’ve always gotten money back. This year it looks like I might actually have to pay something for the first time ever. Of course, I’m not quite done with my return, as I keep remembering things I’ve paid for, and finding receipts and such, things such as professional editing for Lone Wolf, or an AirBnb in the desert, fees to participate in art events, and other such things. Still, I might end up paying next to nothing, but it’s pretty clear I won’t be getting money back.

Also, I’ve reached the point in my Galveston ghost story where Hurricane Carla hits. I still have a little bit of research left to do, but I think I’ll write that part tomorrow.

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Order

Today I painted this little cow. As you know, I love cows, and I identify with them, as a Taurus, a benevolent creature who likes her world to be in order. With all the changes in my life things have been a bit chaotic, and the Bull has been anxious and irritable, but I think I made some progress towards restoring a sense of order today. It wasn’t a day marked by big achievements – I did regular stuff like mail two packages, eat a poké roll and an açai bowl, shop for wrapping paper, and yes, paint this cow – but I finally managed to synch my business credit card with my Quickbooks Self-Employed app, and that, to me, makes a world of difference. I love accounting and numbers and love having a system to keep all these things straight, so I’m happy with this little development. Also, I officially gave notice on my studio at Sabine Street and that feels good too. Life will be simpler and easier. And perhaps all it takes is for me to be patient as everything slowly gets on track, but Bulls have trouble with patience too.

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A Glass Full of Sunshine

The experiment of me painting in my upstairs room continues. Today my inspiration came from my friend at The Amsterdamian, who recently traveled to Malaga and posted some really beautiful pictures. I’m not sure yet how I feel about the painting or about working upstairs instead of in my studio. There were moments when I enjoyed the experience a lot, and I’m sure Holly liked having me around more too, but I’m still a little skeptical and it’s probably just my aversion to change. Also an odd kind of superstition: I painted some of my all-time best paintings at Sabine Street. What if I can’t produce work of that caliber somewhere else? Perhaps I should file that under ‘ridiculous fears.’ I have a lot of these, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, perhaps my favorite moment of the day occurred at the post office when I learned that shipping one of my 24×24 inch Washington DC paintings only costs about $12. I just love the postal service! I had been running around a bit frazzled, trying to tie some loose ends regarding my business entity – hopefully the last hurdle? – and I was feeling very anxious, so having the kind people at the post office help me with my package, and realizing it’s rather inexpensive to mail these, made me feel like I’ve some sort of support out there.

I also really enjoyed yoga, and was actually able to relax and let go in class tonight, something I very much needed! And, emboldened by my yoga session I actually wrapped two packages tonight to take to the post office tomorrow!

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Experiment

I decided that I needed to experiment with painting in my upstairs room to see if it is doable, in which case I might let go of my studio because having all my stuff divided between two locations is a bit exhausting. I bought sturdy drop cloths (moving blankets, actually) and two work lights, and tonight I gave it a shot. I’m not sure how I feel about the resulting painting, and I can’t yet decide if I can paint here or not. Of course, it would be easier if I brought the easel and made a few other changes too.

What I did learn today, however, is that the to-do list I’d made for yesterday and today actually consists of tasks that will probably take all week. The paintings, for example, that I’m trying to ship, need to be wrapped well, and there’s no way I can accomplish that in a day. I decided to pace myself, and mail them out one by one. Today I wrapped the first one, and I consider it an accomplishment. I also went to yoga, which makes me feel good, ate fairly healthy, reread more of the Betty and Cornelius portion of my ghost story, and managed not to succumb to despair when the weather turned seriously nasty. I also managed to sleep a lot and have fairly interesting dreams. I’m hoping for more tonight, as I feel like I’m receiving some special guidance, and I know some of it is about finding my voice and staying true to myself.