Saturday, December 28, 2019


One thing I’ve always envied about musicians, is their ability to perform a song in so many different ways. The difference could be doing a solo acoustic version of a song that they’ve performed with a whole band.

Tonight I was listening to recordings of a friend singing one of her songs differently in two or three back to back takes. One was what I would call a straight, basic version of the song. Then she did one with more details… more flourishes, you could say… or with lines ending on surprising notes. That kind of improvisation is exciting to me, and as I listened, I wished I could do it.

Then it occurred to me that I often say I paint the same thing over and over, yet not the same.

I improvise in paint.

Fish in trees is one of my songs, and I interpret it a little differently each time. Sometimes with more flourishes, or an unexpected color.

Saturday, December 07, 2019


Everyone will see your creative expression differently. They will certainly see my work differently than I see it. We’ve all spent so much time developing into the people we are, and everything has influenced us along the way. We’re snowflakes... no two of us are alike. I see things differently than you do. There is nothing unusual about having an unusual thought.

Things happen in dreams that may not ever happen in real life, yet it is our mind, assimilating our experience into dream stories. In a similar way, painters and writers can make anything happen. We connect details to create something new. Those details come from what we have experienced, and that is not so unique.

You can build just about anything out of legos, but if you look close enough, you’ll see the blocks.

We use what we have in the bucket.

Sunday, December 01, 2019


I never know what will inspire my creative urges. I’m surprised now and then by details that may seem insignificant to someone else. They are triggers that open folders in my brain. I can’t predict them, but I respond to them.

At other times, I’m inspired by something overt, like another person’s painting, story or song.

Molecules in my spirit attract a molecule from yours, and they form a compound.

My creative juices are like saliva. They start when I am inspired. They begin to digest the thing... the idea... the connection, and I incorporate the inspiration into my vocabulary.

I meditate.

When I set myself apart from the flurry of daily activity, I understand myself better. I create in order to explain it to myself. If I paint it or write it, I can then share it. If I share it with you, you can share your response with me. Or you can create something that may contain a compound which contains a molecule of me.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


I live with an elusive creature. She is wise and ancient, beautiful like a panda or pallas cat. You probably wouldn’t see her if you came to my house. She waits. When everyone else is asleep, she comes looking for me. I give her whatever she demands. I’m happy to, for the honor of being her person. She is tiny. Frail, but round. She may have flowed from the brush of Chinese calligrapher. I am not sure. She speaks to me in a language I do not fully understand, but she is patient, and repeats herself until I comply.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Scrap book

I think anyone can expand their creativity and abilities by practicing. If you practice something, you will get better at it. Before the action, comes the desire or intent. It’s easy to say “I’m not creative” or “I can’t do that” and those become self fulfilling prophecies. A sense of urgency can fuel your creative practice. For me, the urgency comes from the limited time I have in this body, and the passion I have for capturing something in images or words... something that will express, in a unique way, what this experience... what this life means to me. Having said that, obviously my work reflects my personality or events in my life.

This can seem narcissistic, but I also have to remember that I am creating things to share in public. I try to find the balance between self expression and considering my audience.

30 years ago, I did a lot of self portraits. I tried to be deep and dark. Now I do very few pictures of myself, yet I see how everything I do is autobiographical.

No matter what I am doing in the course of my daily life, I try to keep my physical and spiritual eyes open. I can be inspired by the most unassuming things. I try to notice things. We’re bombarded with detail. My mind clips the pages of collected material when I am quiet, and sometimes I am able to connect and distill something that resonates with me.

There are many creative people that I am inspired by. Musician and friend Cheralee Dillon, short story writer Ben Loory, podcaster Ian Chillag, my father and my grandfather. I’m inspired by children, and their willingness to try things.

That’s the advice I’d give anyone wanting to be more creative. Get in touch with your inner child. Don’t wait for a degree or a license. Don’t wait for anything. Just do the thing, and see what you discover.

You are enough already.

Peel off the layers of rules and expectations. You don’t need them anymore. The orange peel has done its job, and must be removed before you can enjoy the fruit inside.

Saturday, November 23, 2019


I suppose there is some risk involved with creativity. I mean, people might not like what you produce. I should say people won’t like what you do. Some people will like it.

The thing that makes it a risk is your expectation.

Everybody has an opinion. To put your product out for public view, or public consumption, is to invite whatever opinion anyone has toward it.

If you cook food, there will be people who don’t like it. If you paint, there will be people who don’t like it. Maybe they don’t understand it. Maybe it doesn’t match their couch.

I don’t have a problem with that.

If you paint happy little trees and waterfalls, a lot of people will like it. Not everyone. If you paint something with a deeper message... something less happy... less tidy... fewer people will buy it.

If your goal is to sell as many as possible, there is a risk.

If your goal is to express something that you find deep inside, something that is important or therapeutic to you, then there is little risk.

While you are a unique person, your feelings are probably not that unique. Someone will have felt the same. Someone will understand.

Do I take risks? Only when I doubt myself.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Real life

My biggest inspiration comes from artists who aren’t afraid to express some of the darkness that life holds. Each one of us faces difficult, painful and sad experiences. These are the times that show us what the light looks like. You can’t know the difference if you don’t know both.

What I find beautiful, many see as shocking. The things I love are often offensive to my friends.

When someone expresses something raw... something honest, I find it refreshing and liberating. It frees me to do it, too.

You don’t need to cover your face with makeup, or to sit real still, smiling on cue for a portrait. You definitely do not need a filter to make your eyes bigger and smooth all the character out of your face.

The most beautiful photos show real life.

I was photographing a beautiful friend one day. I placed decomposing leaves over her eyes. They were so sheer and fragile, they were nearly invisible. She lay on autumn grass in a cemetery surrounded by maple trees.

She is an artist, and many people had photographed her before. She told me that day that most photographers looked to her for direction.

She let me wrap her in bedsheets and put leaves over her eyes.

She is one of my biggest inspirations.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The seed of creativity

I think we are all born with the seed of creativity. The potential. Just as with seeds, creative expression must be cultivated... tended, if it is to grow. Great songwriters probably didn’t start out by writing great songs. They wrote songs that they learned from.

So I believe creativity is both born into us, and also developed.

I knew at an early age that I liked drawing. Because I enjoyed doing it, I gained a certain facility with a pen. I saw other kids whose drawings I liked more than my own, and so I doubted my ability. There are many, many artists whose work I admire today. I’m inspired by them, and I learn from them. Their amazing gift does not detract from mine.

Growing up, I wanted to be an artist. I practiced shaping lines into forms. It was entertaining for others and myself, but it really meant very little to me. I didn’t keep any of the pictures.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized I could tell very personal stories through my art. These drawings and paintings got hidden under the bed or behind the couch. I was afraid they would reveal too much. Something vulnerable. And so they did. But rather than judge the real me, people gasped, not in disapproval, but because they were pleasantly surprised, even moved by what I had done.

That response was what I had wished for all the years I tried to please and surprise people.

It was not difficult to do. It was difficult to allow myself to do it.

I think that’s when I realized I had creative talent, and what a discovery that was!

Around that same time, I started mentoring high school students, and teaching art to kids who were homeschooled.

If a person has a proclivity for art, I hope they can realize its power earlier in life than I did.

I have often mused about how my life might have been different had I found my artistic voice before or while I attended art school.

My experiences in life have influenced my style and ability, without doubt. Everything I know has been absorbed through my senses. It is that storehouse of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures that give me anything to say at all... that, and the amalgamation of those memories into the story of me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Does our education system encourage creativity?

I am a full time educator in a school setting, and there are certainly a lot of different opinions about our educational system.

I happen to believe that our education system encourages creativity. Last year, I observed high school science students designing and creating projects inspired by Rube Goldberg drawings.

I see students from preschool on up creating art projects that tell stories about their lives and the world around them.

We have an active theater program in our school. Kids are hearing and reading stories. They are cooking. They are learning to capture events and narrate their school experience through photography. They are learning to work in wood and metals, and to think creatively on the athletic field or in the gym. They are using their imaginations on the playground.

I don’t believe that our school is unique, although we are in a town that is known for its artists, craft people and musicians.

I watch YouTube videos from PS22’s chorus, and I know that there are passionate educators all over our country who encourage and celebrate creativity.

There was a meme going around Facebook recently that used one of my favorite quotes by Alfred Einstein to disparage our educational system.

Yes, there are kids who fall through the cracks. There are those who are not fulfilled or supported creatively.

There are kids who aren’t comfortable with the rigors of academic achievement. There are other kids who bristle at the thought of having to be creative.

I believe that we are all creative.

Creativity doesn’t always mean making a piece of art. For some kids, it takes creativity to navigate the bullies and stresses of daily life.

While I believe we are all born with these strategies and the ability to compensate, there are certain kids who discover that art is more than learning the rules and techniques used in two and three dimensional design or the language of music. Those guidelines passed down through generations of artists and scholars before us can be used to tell our story, wherever we are and whatever we face in life.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rear View Mirror

If I could tell my younger writing self anything, it would be to not try so hard. Don’t try to impress anyone, but just write from your heart. It’s true that I learned something from all the years I spent trying so hard. I don’t think it works to tell someone to be confident, but that is what I would wish for my younger self. We grow into our voice, and I think we need to live through things so that we will have something to say.

I’m hard on myself now, and I’m even harder on my younger self. Maybe it was that my prefrontal cortex was not yet developed. I don’t understand the person I see in my rear view mirror.

The rear view mirror shows us where we were, not where we are going.

If readers know what they want, then they don’t need a writer to deliver it. If I can’t be original, then I don’t think there’s any point. Whenever I’ve approached any creative endeavor with the thought of delivering people what they want, it has been unsuccessful. Creativity is full of surprises.

I don’t know what I’m going to reel in, but whatever it is, it’s been lurking somewhere inside of me. The neural pathways are well worn paths, but if we’re still and open, we can take a less traveled route and find something we didn’t know we remembered. The light of time and experience may give us a kinder outlook on something we attempted to discard. It may give us insight into something that was actually important.

I can’t give you what you want unless it’s something that I find inside of me.

I believe all creative urges are spiritually driven, including writing. I’ve often described writing and painting as meditation.

I open my mind and follow the clues, not knowing what I will find.

Exit Ramp

The danger in opening your heart to forgive, is that you start to care again. It can be a challenge, but a challenge worth taking on.

I could be wrong about that. Trying to forgive didn’t seem to help me forgive. I didn’t work at forgiving. One day I just sort of realized that it had happened.

When you break up with a partner, the person who was your greatest ally becomes your sworn enemy.

They haven’t changed much, and you haven’t changed much, but your roles have changed. Your expectations of each other have changed.

We get fooled into thinking that our feelings are right, and that they are the most important thing.

They’re not.

It’s just a part of your journey. One person takes an exit ramp because... well they just do. They’re going somewhere else.

Our feelings get hurt because someone said or did something the other one didn’t like. I’m not saying it didn’t hurt.

It hurts sometimes.

Maybe somewhere down the road, your paths will merge again. You never know.

There was something that made you fall in love, or at least choose that person for a time. You’re still those people.

Forgiveness might allow you to share your stories. You might be happy for the person. You might just be happy for the exit.

Either way, the path of your life is the path of your life. It’s a big part of what makes you you.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Where Dreams Come True

When I was a little kid, my favorite night of the week was Friday. School was over for the week, and The Brady Bunch was on.

Like a lot of other people, I loved that show. I still do.

As a kid, I dreamed about it. I had an especially powerful dream where I was in the teeter totter episode.

This year, HGTV renovated the Brady Bunch house on Dilling Street, and I’ve been watching the videos on YouTube.

Last week, I dreamed that I was in that house.

It might sound silly to you, but it was very meaningful for me. I’m not sure why I feel so connected to it. Maybe because I miss the house I lived in back when I watched the show. I think it has a lot to do with family.

I can’t connect with our old house in Romeo, and I can’t go and explore the house on Dilling Street.

Just a few minutes ago, after watching some more renovation videos, I walked through my own house, thinking about the sit-com of my life. What is life but a string of situations? And it’s been pretty funny.

There’s the episode where the basement flooded... The one where the drunk guy drove through the fence... or the one where they put dentist chairs in the living room to create a spaceship...

The Brady girls reminisced about time spent in their bedroom on the set, and it occurred to me that I can reconnect with THIS house in that way.

Summer’s room was Madeline’s room, and before that, it was Heather’s room. Raymond’s room used to be my room.

For almost 30 years, I’ve been recording episodes in my brain, and I am still here in this house!

I don’t need to see (as much as I would love to) the renovated Brady Bunch house. Maybe I am just longing for where I am!

I don’t have to add a second story, or compare it to the original set. This is the place! This is the actual space.

It’s hard. I don’t have time to clean. I fought with a Christmas tree today until I finally took it outside. I thought today would be a day for cleaning and making it festive. The regular laundry and dishes pile up, and I have to deal with those before I can tackle anything else. But they tire me out and I give up. I watch YouTube videos or find a quiet place to think and write.

I read online today that resting up is more important than catching up.

The Brady kids participated in the renovation of that house, along with a crew of about 200. I’m just me. I don’t have help. No babysitter. No cleaners. No crew.

This is exactly what I wanted. It’s what I wished for... and I am happy! I get overwhelmed and frustrated, and so I’m coming up with ways to take care of myself.

I draw a hot bath and realize that the messy kitchen, the cluttered closet and lived-in bedrooms are sacred spaces where my dreams come true.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Magic Trick

“Do you want to see a magic trick?” the boy asked his friend one day. It was a beautiful springtime day, and the boys were excited for school to be over for the year.

“I don’t believe in magic,” the other boy said.

“I’ll prove it to you.”

“Sure you will,” his friend said, and rolled his eyes. “What are you going to do? Make something disappear?”

“Better.” The first boy answered with a smirk. “I’ll make something appear.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?”

“Something really big. Something beautiful... how about... a tree? A full size tree that will tower over the fence, over the house, and will shade the whole yard.”


“Just watch.”

And with that, he dug a small hole, and filled it back in.

The boys stood back and watched.

“Ha! Nothing happened!” The friend scoffed.

“You just have to wait.”

Eventually, the boys got hungry, and they still had homework to do.

The boy’s friend still didn’t believe in magic, and the conversation was nearly forgotten. Nothing can ever be completely forgotten, of course, but information gets tucked away somewhere... maybe buried under other information in our brains.

The school year ended. Elementary school ended. Middle school ended, and then the boys graduated from high school.

They went off into the world and had jobs and families of their own.

They were pretty busy and didn’t get back to the old town too often.

The boy(he was a man now)’s mother got sick, and so he went back to the old house. It needed some upkeep. Nothing too serious... some new gutters and a paint job, you know, that kind of stuff.

The man (who used to be the boy) was scraping the trim on a window, when someone called out to him. It was the boy who had been his friend, but was also a man now.

“I haven’t seen you in decades,” one of them said, as they talked in the shade of a very tall tree.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I used to sneak into the typing room at my school in Jos, Nigeria, to write stories.  I had to sneak, because the typing teacher wanted me to be typing asdf ;lkj, "The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog," or copying something someone else had written, without looking at the keyboard.  Back then, typing was something not everyone could do.  You had to sit through lessons and practice a lot.

Nowadays, most people can type.  Kids learn it without trying.  They want to use the computer, and that is the motivation.  No one seems to talk about words per minute anymore.  

If you want to get in shape, you can force yourself to do workouts on a boring machine, and try to make it less miserable by listening to music or watching TV at the same time.

I think the best way to get in shape is to want something else more.

The fresh air and view after a hike up a steep trail, a bike ride with friends on a beautiful day, chopping wood for a fire.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Looking Back

There are parts of my life that I like to talk about, and other parts that I’d just as soon forget.

I almost never talk about the time I lived in Portland OR. Eventually, it seems, I come to terms with these periods of my life. I used to say “My life began when I moved to Africa.” Well, that wasn’t true, and I came to embrace, and even long for my early childhood in Michigan.

Yesterday, I looked up Phantom Ranch Bible Camp, where I spent three summers near Mukwonago, WI.

That place holds so many memories for me. Memories that have been locked away.

It all seems so long ago, and I don’t relate to the person I remember being then.

Perhaps one of those places could have become home, as Grand Marais did, in spite of a rocky start.

Maybe an apple tree doesn’t think about when it was a seed or sapling, or the people that pruned it because it reached toward a fence or path.

I tend to write off the painful or difficult parts of my life, and the people I knew during those times. It’s sad.

I think maybe there is still a gift in moving the furniture and wiping away the cobwebs that cover the door.

I keep reading about looking forward rather than looking back. I think there is value in both. We have this unique perspective... the seemingly fleeting moment of now, yet we are continually here (or there). Every moment sits in the future until we step into it, or until it rolls by us, however you choose to view it. Then just as suddenly, it passes into history. We saw that sight, heard that sound, and automatically incorporated it into ourselves. A group of those moments form an experience. A group of experiences form a day. Eventually, a group of days form a lifetime.

I like looking back. I think of people I’ve known. I think of people I’ve loved and people I’ve feared.

I think of my lineage. I also think about the future, my legacy.

A lot of people say we should just live in the now, neither regretting the past nor dreading the future.

What about celebrating the past and looking forward to the future?

The past gives us context. The future gives us motivation, if not hope.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I think of my children

This morning I had the joy of drinking coffee in my bed with two of my kids and one of my grandkids. We snapped a picture, as we often do, because we want to make memories together. We missed out on the first 16 or so years together, and now we treasure all the moments that we share.

We have all had experiences of all kinds up to the present moment. We’ve celebrated and we’ve suffered. We’ve gained things and we’ve lost things.

That’s life. That’s how life works. A happy moment can set us up for a sad moment, when we no longer have the person that made it happy.

I think of my children that weren’t born... the children I wanted so badly.

I think of my children now, and realize they are the ones I was hoping for. That other reality wasn’t ever really an option.

I think of my children that grew up here and moved away. They are the ones for whom this house is a memory. It’s the place where their childhood happened, and it’s now a very mixed bag of memories.

I think of my adult children, my children that didn’t make it to birth, and these precious children that are here now.

Everything changes, all the time.

You see, I was the kid climbing in bed with my parents. It doesn’t seem that long ago.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I got this thoughtful text today

Hello! I picked up your “my hand paints” book and couldn’t put it down for the entire 1 hour flight I was on yesterday. I haven’t quite finished but it’s truly spectacular! As a painter you’re able to articulate the emotions/process of painting that I feel but have not been able to articulate very well! One of my favorite lines/metaphors is describing seeing the process of a painting is like showing ones work in a math equation!

I think you’re such a wonderful human being. It was interesting reading it knowing you had written it after NC but before Raymond and Summer and I thought about how much has changed for you!

Friday, October 04, 2019

Out Of Nothing

I’ve heard you are what you think you are, and I’ve also heard that you will manifest what you think about or believe. I got that, to a point. I understood that thinking negative thoughts would color your world negative. But then, I also read that putting a red sheet between your mattress and box spring, or painting your door red would bring you wealth. That didn’t quite ring true for me.

Asking the universe for the sale of a painting might put certain things in motion to lead to getting money. Like conceiving of a concept, doing the painting, and hanging it in a public forum.

Putting a red sheet under my mattress feels like asking to sell a picture that I haven’t painted.

Still ... something unseen twitches or sparks in my brain, and motivates my muscles to move in a very particular way. Working in unison with this are my eyes, which broadcast the progress back to the brain. In this way, something is actually realized out of nothing.

And again, if I think for a long time about adopting a child, those electrical impulses make my fingers pick up a pen and fill out an application or home study questionnaire. There are so many deliberate and specific things the brain asks the fingers to do, that it takes a long time. And one day I raise those fingers again in a court of law and say I do.

In Bible School, I learned about the Latin term ex nihilo, which means out of nothing. It’s often used in connection with creation ... God’s creation of the universe. And I picture the Big Bang, and all the little bangs that make a painting or a family.


I recently read or heard that there are no big or small moments in life. Just moments. The big thing happens, but then life carries on with another unique moment to follow. There are those events that seem big ... a graduation ceremony or wedding, the adoption of a child ... a catastrophic accident. But when the judge says this is your child, or you may now kiss your bride, it feels like a big moment.

The truth is, the thing you’ve worked or studied so hard for is the culmination of all that work ... all those moments. Like the period at the end of a sentence. Guess what? There’s another sentence coming, or another chapter. So we go from the ceremony or courtroom, and get a good night’s sleep because there is school tomorrow!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Ebb and Flow

There is a certain ebb and flow to life. Three years ago, I was painting a lot. The paintings just seemed to flow out of me without a lot of conscious effort. Two years ago, I put a lot of effort into making a change, or perhaps it is more accurate to say I was responding to changes that I perceived in my life and family.

My kids had all moved away, and so had every other family member that was once here. I kicked up a lot of dust in my attempt to redefine myself, only to undo all of that work and settle very consciously, back where I started.

In response to that, I wrote. Almost every day. That’s what my brain needed to do at that time. I didn’t feel bad that writing took up time that I could have been painting. They are both the same thing. Expression... communication... thinking on canvas or paper. This is how I process my thoughts. It’s not about making a painting. I didn’t know I was writing a book.

One day last winter or early spring, I suddenly stopped posting to my blog. I wasn’t being lazy, I just started doing something else.

It’s like I always say... when the paintbrushes get fidgety, I pick them up and see what they have to say. When the pen calls to me, I pick it up and see what message it wants to record.

Tonight I woke from a sound sleep with words in my fingers.

My family is changing again. It is growing this time. It’s not a sudden change, but the culmination of a lot of work (moments and decisions).

If I’m not painting or writing, I’m living. That way, I’ll have something to write or paint about later.

Monday, April 01, 2019

The News

The man waited for his child to come out of the school. He was early, so he shut off the engine of his minivan. Everything was quiet as he waited for school to get out.

Flags flapped silently atop the flagpoles, but the man was sheltered from the wind.

There was an occasional sound of a car door in the parking lot, but it was really pretty quiet.

Years earlier, he had waited for his other children here.

Those kids were gone. They grew up and left once they had come out the doors of the school enough times.

It wasn’t enough times for the man.

He waited for his child so he could tell him the news.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Joy & Co.

My books are now available at Joy & Company in Grand Marais.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


I keep returning to C.S. Lewis, as I have since I was a child. George MacDonald, Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grim, and more recently Ben Loory and Italo Calvino.

Music inspires me, but I can’t listen to it and write at the same time. I do listen to music sometimes when I paint.

I’ve never really had a writing mentor. I share what I write with friends. I read about writing, and I have taken classes and joined writing groups.

My favorite writers are my mentors, I guess. I don’t have the opportunity to talk with them, but they inspire and influence me.

Getting “stuck” has not been a big problem for me. I just start writing to get it flowing.

I think about things, or notice things, and whatever is in me comes out again in creative ways. I don’t do anything to be creative. I just document the thoughts in various ways.

The biggest surprise for me in The Adventures Of Flash Meridian is that it happened at all. I didn’t plan to write a book, and I didn’t realize, for 19 years, that I was writing a book.

At first, I was writing captions for pictures. Then I was writing “episodes”. I did that for a long time. Somewhere along the way, I noticed that the episodes fit together ... dovetailed into one continuous story.

Writing a novel is too big of a job for me, so I had to “unlearn” or let go of the expectation of it being anything. I wrote the book because I loved writing it. I love the surprises that I, myself, found in it. That is enough for me. Others may enjoy reading it, but I don’t need anyone to validate it. Of course I love it when someone reads it, and discusses it with me, or asks questions about it.

“Unlearning”, is a key to my writing. Through writing, I am able to focus on long held beliefs about myself and let them go. I can pack away the gifts that were given in love, and with gratitude, slip into something that fits better.

The best piece of advice I’ve gotten this week is to keep it simple. Keep the writing about the story, and not about impressing someone with my vocabulary or ability.

A piece of long term advice was to describe things, rather than just saying something was “beautiful” ... what made it beautiful? Don’t ask your reader to do your work as a writer.

The next thing I’m working on is a collection of short stories.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Book Tour

My next book tour date will be Saturday, March 16, 3 pm at the Cook County Senior Center in Grand Marais. I'll be reading from all three books, and will have books available for sale.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Still Me

I believe every human is creative. Maybe you haven’t shown a painting in an art gallery or danced on a stage, but I believe you are creative. Navigating the pushes and pulls of life requires some ingenuity, and just being here proves that you are a survivor. You are creative.

You might think you have a plan for your life. We have to have some idea of what we will do tomorrow. But if you write your future in indelible ink, you may find yourself frustrated or disappointed. All we can do is try. We move from one day to the next with an idea, but if we are flexible, we can shift and cope with the reality tomorrow brings.

In the same way, I cannot plan the end results of my creative impulses. I listen to my spirit, and let my hands follow the leads of my heart. Each impulse informs the next one. I’m not following a recipe that someone else has worked out in a test kitchen.

And yet I do have a roadmap. Humans have been drawing and painting for many thousands of years. But I can choose the route I take, which may lead me to unexpected discoveries on that map.

Others may have followed the path I choose, but my carry on bag is different from theirs.

I bring all that I am on my journey. This makes my experience unique.

Each one of us comes upon the designated photo opportunity with a particular history that is unlike anyone else’s.

The meaning or interpretation that is obvious to you, may never occur to me. What I surmise may surprise you. And that is the gift.

This is what I hope to achieve. To encourage you to trust your gut. To follow your heart and express whatever it is that you feel.

The more you ponder, the more you will discover. You have all you need already.

Often, the thing I am most reluctant to acknowledge or express, is the thing that will be the most enlightening for me, and beneficial to others.

My weaknesses become my strengths when I embrace them.

The thing I am ashamed of can be the thing that enables you to say me too! I thought I was the only one.

I charge my creativity by reflecting. Meditating. By making sense of what I have felt. When I calm my mind, memories bubble up ... I don’t know how else to describe it ... from yesterday or my distant past.

I used to think it was too late. Too late to grieve whatever I thought I lost as a child. Too late to change long held beliefs.

Now I see I am still me. I am the child I was. I am the one who has allowed me to persevere, and not to quit.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019


My Hand Paints, 2018

My Hand Paints (122 pages) is a collection of writings from 2018, mostly on the subjects of creativity and self esteem. Like everything I write, it's an autobiography. Not a linear account of my life, but memories that bubble up from deep inside me when my hands are busy. Though it was not intended to be a picture book, it does contain some color plates of my paintings... examples to support the written words.

The Adventures of Flash Meridian, 2019

The Adventures of Flash Meridian (308 pages) is my sci-fi autobiography. If I can say this about my own work, I love this book! It took me 19 years to finish this, and I am so happy to have it available.

I removed a section, so the book chapters do not coincide with the episodes on the blog.