My fifth coloring book, published this year, is Faith And Dreams.
I am very proud of this new release “Fanciful Garden: A Weekly Journal And Coloring Book” which will appeal to teens, preteens and grownups alike. Designed with room on each page to write around and among the illustrations, perfect for creative journal writing or diary entries, there are also bonus pages with decorative borders for additional notes. Pure colorists can make use of that extra space to add their own details or create colorful and inventive background effects.
Filled with original drawings, Fanciful Garden is based on life in a garden that exists only in my head. There are giant snails amid Dr. Seuss like foliage, intricate butterflies, mushrooms with curious patterns and stems, fantastic trees dripping in jewels or blooms and a bounty of flowers. There is also a selection of unique garden fences and their contents, fanciful birdhouses of amazing architecture, tightly packed circles of blossoms or nuts or leaves and a smattering of mosaic style drawings encompassing all of these subjects. This book is a testament to my fantastical and unique style. Every illustration is a labor of love, every hidden creature is a delight and I still smile when I look at each piece. Continue reading
The month of August has a definite smell to it… late summer mixed with a hint of fall and a dash of sweltering humidity,. It’s the kind of heat that when combined with a massive dew point is basically Mother Nature giving you a free steam bath and facial.
My childhood identified August by the fresh green scent of mowed grass, hints of honeysuckle and something yummy spattering and spitting on the outdoor grill. On extremely hot and sticky days there was a subtle undertone of grandma’s basement no matter where one was. In my late teens these smells were augmented by vinegar and heavenly french fries fresh from the fryer, a waft of funnel cakes dripping powdered sugar and, depending on the way the wind was blowing, a salty shot of ocean breeze or the heavy musky scent of bay waters. Even after all these year, no matter where I may be, these are the smells of August.
Odors and memory are tightly linked and can bring on strong emotions. Most years I sniff the August air, identify real or barely there imagined smells, and memories dance around the fringes of my mind. The strongest ones loom large but remain passive and content to hang about in the background, peeking around the corner but leaving me be. Most years…
August also has a soundtrack, a musical collage from that particular year in my late teens. Sometimes, usually in August, one of these songs will randomly begin playing in my head, as loud and as real as if a radio had suddenly been turned on. It’s been almost forever but that radio came to life again earlier this month. These artists and songs were the background to that one defining moment that changed my life forever. Every turn I made before that, every decision, every step taken, from my birth to that very moment, led me to that single second in time.
Every step taken since then has been defined by that split second. Before And After. Who I was then is not who I am now and yet, she lives on still, dancing in the shadows. So young, so innocent and hopeful, believing anything was possible, she embraced the best of that moment, that summer, which in the rear view mirror of time was simply perfect until it wasn’t anymore.
Everything happens for a reason and who am I to know if God planned everything to make me who I am now. Perhaps unbearable pain and longing that has never quite gone away was the only thing that would mold me into the person now typing this random missive to send out to the electronic ether. If that’s the case, I am grateful because I like me. I’m pretty awesome. I just wish there had been an easier way.
And so, as August comes to an end, I can smell a hint of the cloying sweetness of honeysuckle with a whisper of dank salty wetlands. As a sweat ball rolls off my nose, I can hear that old summer soundtrack far off in the distance, haunting and bittersweet… and like the radio in my head that clicks itself on every now and again, I will just leave this here, a little Prince And The Revolution “I Would Die 4 U” from Purple Rain, randomly.
Last night millions of Walking Dead Fans said a tearful and premature goodbye to Carl Grimes after eight years. RIP Carl. All I can say is God Forgive Gimple.
You, Scott Gimple, just changed The Walking Dead forever. Last night it lost it’s central theme of Hope, of Rick fighting to keep Carl safe, of every ounce of humanity that made the series so appealing to geeks like me in the very beginning. Since 10:00 pm October 31, 2010 I have been a passionate fan of this show – I have never missed a live airing of a new episode – but this morning I am sad and I am broken. Waiting for last night was like waiting for a dentist’s appointment; I just wanted to get it over with. Part of me prayed for a Magic Dumpster to save Carl (think Glenn in Season 6) but part of me knew what was coming… and on Sunday, February 25th 2018, it fell with a bang.
If you are one of those people mentally telling me right now to hush hush because Chandler Riggs quit TWD to go to college or do other things and thus Carl had to go, you may have been living in a cave for the last three months. According to interviews with Riggs, Scott Gimple told Carl errr Chandler that he was wanted for three more years and after buying a house in Georgia, Riggs was unceremoniously fired from the long running zombie show on AMC and advised of his character’s death.
Was it because Riggs was about to turn 18 and could negotiate for more money? Some rumors speculate that Chandler’s father was a problem on set. Gimple’s repeated explanations that Carl’s death was necessary to Continue reading
RIP Carl Grimes… even before it happens, in late February 2018 it seems, I am mourning the loss of The Walking Dead.
I know, I know, you hear it all the time from certain sections of the fanbase: “Bring back Beth or else!” and “If Darryl dies we riot and by riot we mean we will stop watching the show” and the age old standby, year after year, “start showing more zombies or I swear this is the last season of The Walking dead for me, I mean it.”
I am not one of those people. I have been a die hard love it all what a great story about human survival and zombies in the mix doesn’t hurt one bit sort of fan from the very beginning. From that dark Halloween night back in 2010, I was enthralled and have gone on the roller coaster ride of fighting to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world along with Rick Grimes and his band of Survivors through every season, every horrifying death, every twist and turn. It is, was, the best damn scripted show on television since The X-Files, in my own humble opinion. And in case you don’t know it by now, I am a total geek. Completely, totally and unabashedly a sci-fi nerd and post-apocalyptic novels is the genre closest to my heart. I’ve never “read” The Walking Dead Comics because I like my books without pictures, but the tv show? It was made for me.
But something has happened, something even I cannot forgive. Continue reading
Let us ponder that question…