I know I promised to start writing about my more recent stories, but my free-range pet spider, Boris, is getting so big…I just wanted to acknowledge it. How long do spiders live, anyway? I first discovered him when he was still all white, and smaller than a quarter, building his home in my desk lamp back in February. Well, he loves that home, because he is still there. He is much bigger now. His web is cob-ish and fluffy, rather than the neat, shiny threads one usually sees from spiders. I hope he stays.

Of course, I know that arachnids of his ilk may not have a long lifespan. Still.

And then…

Sometimes, I have a hard time letting shit go. I think we can all say that there is likely some wound that has a difficult time healing completely – something that just fucking bothers you forever. At least, it seems like forever. And, sometimes, I don’t have a hard time at all.

I considered myself a pretty prolific writer, some years ago. I was always writing stories, poems, lyrics, to-do lists that would never get completed, and never thought twice to share what I created with people close to me. In fact, I used to get quite discouraged by the idea that my friends were more interested in our band’s guitar solos than my brilliant use of metaphor and rhyming in my lyrics. I have since realized that most people don’t digest lyrics at all, and even sing them – for their entire lives – without ever realizing exactly what they are saying. The words just aren’t important to everyone…I get it.

I shared. I got excited by my own work, and I showed, I read aloud, I sang the words out to whoever would listen. Then, people who were supposed to be listening for enjoyment, started listening for material. A-ha! The age old problem of plagiarism! I’m an amateur, right? A nobody! Who the fuck cares if someone steals my shit? NOBODY. So, I stopped sharing. It hurt terribly to be betrayed in such a way, and I went into my shell, collecting words like dust bunnies, hidden away under the bed.

Fuck ’em.

So, here I am. Doing my best to start sharing again. Yet, I filter myself with this paranoia – “maybe they’ll see…maybe they’ll know I’m talking about them…”. I’m working on that part, still. But, here I am.

Pallo and friends are next….

Acorns, Bees, and Cheddar Cheese

Such is the name of my rhyming book of ABCs. As a professional nanny, I read a shit ton of alphabet books. Lots of them rhymed, and most of them used the same words to represent each letter. A is for apple, B is for ball, and so on, got so monotonous, I started making up my own. As an artist who will automatically draw whatever I’m talking about with a child, I simply taught kids more words to alleviate my own boredom. “B is for balloon…banana…boat…anything but ball!” Drawing was a huge asset to being the caregiver and teacher to dozens of preschoolers over my career. Actually, when I was the supervisor for a bunch of grumpy, old insurance agents, they seemed to like my dry erase board art, too…despite themselves.

So, during those baby naptimes, I took it upon myself to draw up my own ABC book. I did make a point to choose more unusual words to represent each letter, but I didn’t realize really how unusual until I read it aloud to my now-wife for the first time.

“Yes, that giraffe has a girdle on.”

I loved the individual illustrations, but am not a fan of the formatting I did on for the book itself. I created my own font with my handwriting, and – while it was a good idea – the end result wasn’t satisfying for me. I won’t be re-doing this one, but it was great practice, and I sold all 100 copies I ordered, so it wasn’t a loss.