WWTS: Writing with the Stars & Thank You

It's only summer, but already this year I have a lot to be thankful for. Back in February, I was very fortunate to win a spot with a mentor in the Writing With the Stars program organized by Tara Luebbe of Becky Tara Books site and author of Shark Nate-O and I Am Famous. 

The incredibly generous and fabulous mentor that decided to take me on was Brianne Farley  (pronounced /BREE-ehn/ rhymes with 'Ian'). She'd never met me before, but took a chance on me and was my mentor earlier this year. Brianne's got a wry sense of humor and was the perfect match. If you're not familiar with her work, you can see her quirk-tastical illustrations in her author-illustrated books Secret Tree Fort, Ike's Incredible Ink and also in the Charlotte the Scientist series (by author Camille Andros).

The Goal: create a kidlit friendly portfolio to exhibit at my regional SCBWI conference in Orlando this past June. Brianne had an excellent plan which I set about executing.

This is something I know about myself - I need accountability by way of a deadline or art direction. It's hard for me to work on projects strictly for portfolio purposes. I'm very pragmatic so it feels too indulgent, so the WWTS program gave me the opportunity to have an accountability mentor.

I learned in a studio environment, and worked in studios, but these days I work from home. I miss having that rapport with other artists and designers. Getting that outside perspective is absolutely critical to getting out of my own head and so Brianne was a great guiding force to bounce ideas off of. She guided me with regularly scheduled critiques and I managed to make the most of the experience to create these portfolio pieces...

THANK YOU, BRIANNE!!

2 panel narrative

2 panel narrative

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New gallery, New exhibit!

At the end of the summer, I secured a spot in a local co-op gallery, Carolyn Seiler & Friends in Cocoa Village.

So now some of my original paintings, giclee prints, and greeting cards are available for sale at the gallery! You can come see my stuff in person if you're in the area, isn't that nice?  UPDATE 7/2018: My artwork can now be found at the Green Circle Art Gallery, and is no longer available at the Carolyn Seiler Gallery.

I also have an upcoming exhibition at the local library, the Merritt Island Library starting November 2nd.

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I'm very excited to show my latest paintings!

If you're further away, I now have an online shop so you can see my prints and buy some if you'd like to have or give one as a gift!

And finally, if you'd like to buy my cards, I now have two retailers where you can find them at: 

Blow! Birthday Cards (an online card shop that ships from the U.S.) 

CardIsle (various kiosk locations around the U.S.)

We moved, Irma came and went, we're okay!

I need to catch you all up! I want to get the blog back up and running, and things are finally settling down enough to get back to it...



My little family moved back to Florida in May. When I say 'back', I must say that Florida is my home state. It's where I was born and my family has resided for the last 50 years. So, when husband got an offer, we packed up, left California, put an offer on a house from the 60's and moved to an island between two rivers near Florida's Atlantic coast.

Lots happened this summer between tradeshows and new-home tasks and starting a new school...

And then Irma.

I was beyond terrified by the size of the storm. I hadn't lived in hurricane country in over a decade, it's a new-to-us house and we have big trees all around the house. I evacuated us as fast and left as early as possible just in case. My art is now at a nearby co-op gallery, and after I checked on the art gallery, we shuttered the house, packed up supplies and drove north. And drove. And drove. And drove. We made it to Georgia in pretty good time, and the next morning I drove some more and we made it to a friend's house where we watched from afar the storms progress.

Every day, we were glued to the noaa.gov site watching the very slow progress of the storm as it headed toward Miami (where much of my family resides). The predictions of the storm's path kept shifting from east coast to west coast of Florida, but it didn't matter. Hurricane Irma was so huge, if you were in Florida, you were gonna feel it. In fact, even in north Georgia we felt Irma's winds. Even that far away from the center of the storm, we were out of electricity for a few hours. Once we knew the storm had passed, we made our way back.

As we drove back to Florida, we saw a lot of fallen trees and blocked state roads. When we got back home, it was dark, but we could tell some of the traffic lights were out. Electricity had just come back online, and we were a boil-water notice for a while BUT, there was water coming out of the tap. I'm counting our lucky stars there was no significant damage to our house (just a small leak in the front entryway)!

I've included photos so you can see the nearby boardwalk after the storm. As of this writing, a few weeks after, boats that lost their moorings are still tipped over the former boardwalk edge. Piles and piles of foliage and debris are still on people's curbs, but they are receding each week.

Cocoa Village Park, 9/2017

Boats that lost their moorings, 9/2017