Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dear Lawsbians..

Of all the days in the past month, today is definitely not the best day (is probably the worst day) to sit down and write, so of COURSE today is the day I most want to. I've got a To-Do list a mile and a half long but all that can wait just a few minutes so I can get this out. And if that suitcase that needs to be packed gives me any lip, I'll just give it a hardy smack.

I've mentioned in posts past a woman whom I admire quite a lot, Jenny Lawson ( She's a writer, she's hilarious, and she's openly flawed in a way that a lot of people connect with. Recently, Jenny hosted an on-line book club to discuss her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. Even while crashing several internet locations due to crazy high volume of traffic, she managed to connect a whole throng of people who love her writing. This is how the term Lawsbian was born.

Suddenly there are people from all over the States, as well as a handful of us in Canada, Australia, and around Europe, connecting on GoodReads and Facebook. Suddenly strangers from across the globe are finding support among one another as they we face some of the same struggles Jenny writes about, those things that first drew us to her to begin with. We are writers, artists, mothers, fathers, PEOPLE dealing with issues that are often isolating in nature, but now we're talking to each other about them and finding support in an unlikely place. I've shared some of my own problem-solving ideas with another anxious writer who's having trouble trusting her own gift, gotten involved with a trans-continental project, and been inspired by other people's lives tenfold since I became a Lawsbian, and it's pretty freaking great.

This is the power of one voice that opens the door for many to join, and this is one of the many reasons I respect Jenny Lawson, and why I plan to follow suit in my own blogging. As I wander through a whole new list of blogs and websites, I'm discovering more people I feel a connection with, even if I never meet them face-to-face. I know with the advancement of technology people are, in many ways, growing lazy in their socialization, more isolated, more apt to text or email than pick up the phone or simply stop by, but there's another side to this coin. We can talk to someone experiencing what we are a half a world away and find solace where before there might've been just angst; we can share our views, our beliefs, our random thoughts with someone who wants to know.

We are all sources of abundant wisdom, regardless of our education, experience, geographical location, or anything else, and I am grateful to be able to connect with more people than I'll ever be able to meet because I get to know their stories.

Oh, Internet, how did we ever function without you?

So call this a shout-out to my fellow Lawsbians, a growing group of people who all share a love for one woman in Texas who has become synonymous with a taxidermed mouse in Shakespearean dress. Thanks, Ms. Lawson.

Dear Lawsbians,

Rock the hell on, and thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Toward the end of the school year, our class had the opportunity to try their hands at being young authors. They each wrote and illustrated an ABC book, and with a couple blank books left over, I got in on it, too.

This was the most fun I've had in a while creatively. It was difficult enough to come up with appropriate drawings for each letter, but I also wanted to write a sentence for each comprised only of words beginning with that letter. Given the time restraints and my impatience, not every page succeeded in this way, but what I ended up with is still kind of fun, and the kids enjoyed having it on the classroom bookshelf for the last few weeks of school. To be honest, I probably enjoyed sharing it more than they did looking through its pages.

Wanna see?

Thanks, Evan, for the idea for D.

It was cute when Sydney recognized the pattern I'd snuck into the ice cream flavors, something we worked on early in the year.

The kangaroo was Cara's favorite :)

I totally forgot the verb in this one!!! It should be, Majestic mountains ARE masked by mist. Blast!

So I get that some of the vocabulary is a bit above the first grade level, but I was working within some pretty tight self-imposed restrictions. And besides, as was pointed out by a colleague, what does it hurt to challenge young readers?

Some of these were a stretch...I'm pretty sure pigeons don't nest in pine trees (especially ones susceptible to strong gusts of wind) but hey, it was this or a grossly malformed pineapple.

The Q, on the other hand, I'm particularly proud of. Call it my version of "The pen is mightier than the sword."

The stinky socks were a favorite in the classroom. I can't imagine why.

Probably the most challenging/rewarding page I faced. I spent considerable time trying to figure out how to draw underwear in the shape of a U before coming up with Uncle Ute. 

Of course upon looking through the book, Chris mentioned I could have used undulates instead of hangs upside-down, but it's too hard to erase colored pencil.

                 The end :)

As I'm focusing on a YA (young adult) novel and getting involved with the local chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators - took me a YEAR to get the acronym right!), my love of drawing is daring me to bring it back into the mix. Me? Children's books? Maybe.

I hope you enjoyed my version of the ABCs.