Saturday, May 28, 2011


Like many parts of the States, we've had an awful lot of rain. For this part of western New York, it is the wettest May in 119 years.  But we are nowhere near as bad off as the people in the midwest who are suffering devastating losses.

Our dock (above) is not supposed to be under the water. Ahem. We are hoping it will not break apart and float away.  Meanwhile, naturally that pic reminds me of writing--about 40 pages into a new draft, feeling suddenly swamped, sinking, hoping the whole story does not break apart and float away.

Fortunately, there are a couple life preservers attached to the dock :)

Is the weather (real or metaphorical) challenging you these days?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gift on the Dock

Look what I found on the dock this morning: a perfectly perfect egg (from a duck, I think). I'd love to know how it got there.  Two male mallards were sunning themselves nearby. No females in sight. Was a duck simply not able to contain herself?

Since I can relate just about anything to story telling and writing, naturally I see that egg as the story waiting to be hatched. Something's in there, all the ingredients necessary. It merely needs careful incubating and will emerge when ready.  Don't neglect it, though.  It'll never hatch if it's neglected.

Are you incubating something?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feed Me

My story, like these baby robins, is sitting there with its mouth open, calling, "Feed me, feed me, feed me."

And I, like the parent birds, am scurrying around gathering up nourishment. 

That story is hungry, I tell you.  Hungry.  I hope I find enough to fill up its belly.

Pay no attention to the messy nest, with its bits of wire and paper, twigs and mud. My nest is not that messy. 

Wonder what you are scrambling to feed these days.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simple Beauty

There is so much flashy beauty in all this spring springing, but today I looked down at my feet, at the dewy grass, and ta da! Look at that. All those perfect dewdrops on those perfect, green blades.

It's all too much for the little brain to handle.

Relate it to writing? O-kay. It's like the fertile start of a story, all that promise of newness and sparkle, dazzling to the mind's eye. And then comes the heat of summer. You have to mow (tame, edit) all that green stuff. And then fall: it threatens to die on you.

Well. I tried to relate it to writing. I tried.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fog and Crabapple

Woke this morning to this sight: the crabapple tree in full blossom and fog over the lake. White, misty light and white blossoms.  

Went in search of a few more vegetable plants for our small garden, and by the time we came home (with zucchini and pepper plants), the sun was out for the first time in many, many days.

Had to go kayaking. Had to.

Had to.

Hope you 'had to' do something equally nice today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Lake

I'm experimenting with a Flip video.  Don't expect too much.

The Watcher

This is the offspring of Big Squirrel, who used to hunch up in this same spot and watch me at my computer. He (or she) will watch for a few minutes and then scurry off. If I'm on the phone, the squirrel stays longer.


I always feel obliged to have a little one-sided conversation, mostly along the lines of: "Okay, okay, I'll get back to work," or "What? What? I'm a little busy right now . . ."

Maybe I've been in this room too long.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Posters by Folon

Occasionally you find an artist whose works and/or words speak to you on so many levels that you cannot fully articulate the how and why. Folon is such an artist for me.

After recently discovering the illustrated cards and envelopes by this Belgian artist in Lettres a Giorgio, I went in search of more artwork by him and was able to track down a collection of his posters. 

Beautiful!  Above is one I call 'the eye tree.'  About this image, Folon said, "Outside my studio window there's an apple tree that has never borne any fruit. I still hope that it will produce something one day. It's been thinking about it for years now. I suspect that it's planning a surprise."

On the morning that I received this book of posters, I had taken a photo of the view from my office window, of a crab apple tree ready to blossom:

Now when I look out the window at that tree, I see white eyes . . . I wonder if the tree is 'planning a surprise.'

Another Folon poster, done for the Festival d'Avignon, reminds me of the multiple traces of an author's self that he/she leaves on each page:

And then there is this one, which I refer to as 'chopped feet':

About this poster, Folon said, "'The times they are a-changing',' goes Bob Dylan's song, and so they are. The past is erased only to be replaced by what is temporary."  

What do you see in that poster?  I keep thinking of someone who cannot move because he has neglected his foundation, or has parceled himself out in pieces, or . . .

This next poster is one of my favorites, perhaps because I love trees and I love the placement of the 'unusual' or 'unexpected' image of the chair in the center:

Of this poster, Folon says only, ". . ..[it] was made for an exhibition on the theme of the tree at Jacques Marquet's gallery in Paris."  

Why the giant chair in the center? And then I see the branches coming off the back of the chair, and I think of wooden chairs and their legs like trunks and the way one thing (tree) becomes another (chair, poster/paper) . . .and on the mind spins.  

I wonder what you are thinking when you see these images. I wonder what other things you see.

(Posters by Folon, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY, 1978.) 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Illustrated Envelopes and Cards

Recently I posted the cover of Jean-Michel Folon's Lettres a Giorgio, a collection of illustrated envelopes and postcards by the Belgian artist, all addressed to Giorgio Soavi in Milan, Italy, between 1967-1975.  Above and below are examples of the contents of this book.

I love these colorful envelopes and cards! Imagine being the recipient of these treasures.  

They are mailed from various countries:  Italy, the USA, France, Japan. I like seeing not only the quirky, clever illustrations, but also the postmarks and the stamps. (In the above example, postage from the States to Europe was 20 cents.  Now it is 90 cents.)

I don't think I can ever send out a plain white envelope again. 

Doesn't it make you want to try your hand at one?  Mm?

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Books

Two very different books that I'd ordered arrived last week: Lettres a Giorgio and The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus.

I'll have to do a separate post showing the illustrated postcards and envelopes in Lettres a Giorgio: 1967-1975--all so colorful and intriguing. They make me want to paint my envelopes. The illustrator's name is Folon; I'm off to do a search about him.

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus is a novel in verse by Sonya Sones, whom you may know as a young adult author. This novel is for adults, "about marriage, motherhood and mayhem." I find something simpatico in Sones' voice, almost as if my characters Jack in Love That Dog or Annie in Heartbeat had grown up and written in their adult voice. Sones' character displays an appealing combination of humor and poignancy.

What are you reading?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, in honor of my mother, Ann/Annie. I think the above photo, taken before she was a mom, was her first trip to the ocean.

And one more, taken on my parents' wedding day in 1940:

Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Northern Spring

After witnessing a full-blown spring down south (North Carolina), we've returned to western New York state where spring is just beginning.  Hungry for green and for flowers, I gathered up a few plants at the local farm market: geraniums (above) and lettuce (below):

No plot is ready for these wee plants, but they were calling my name.

Bushes and trees are just beginning to bud:

You can see the pale greens from a distance:

And you can spot my husband's sense of humor:

Writing? Right.  I'll resume soon. Have to dig in some dirt first  . . . Are you a digger?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Big Love

Ahhh, the grandchildren, Nico and Pearl, post-beach and baths, settling in for a video. I love them beyond love.