Save the Books: James Patterson

A petition, letters, fanfare, James Patterson's campaign to save the books, and the shops that sell them.

Check out his website


What I did in November: start a novel Nanowrimo way!

What prompted me?  Not certain.

How I did!  I qualified on November 22 with about 65,000 words.

Where is it going and how did I do it?

Taking a page from Nanowrimo winner, Pete Denison, who shared his tools at the beginning of the challenge,

I used these analog tools:

Analog tools

I was out and about when I first thought to do Nanowrimo and had an Exaclair sketchbook with me. It  is too precious for just plain scribbling so I pulled out a red Moleskine.  I've always thought "red" was energy and to complete 50,000 words in 30 days needs energy.   I also had a Fabriano A5 Misto spiral notebook that I used for scheduling and a small Midori Diamond Memo reporter which I carried around, even from room to room, as thoughts went through my head.

Books were a huge part of my creative process as those wonderful friends are characters in the novel.

And these digital tools:

I would normally have just written in Microsoft Word but at the outset it seemed to be corrupted and I started to panic.   I didn't want to buy another package, and called my not very local Mac distributor in New York City, Tekserve, to see if they could help me.   The Tech Rep mentioned in passing a downloadable program called, Open Office.  I downloaded it straight away and discovered it was easy to master.

I started to write in Open Office and quickly did import and export with Scrivener.

Winners got a discount yesterday, December 1, for this fabulous program.  I was able to cut and paste without really moving around as one would other programs and simply created a new document;  one can merge two documents with the flick of the wrist, and it keeps a count of your individual document words, and then project statistics, making it easy to see where you are in reaching your goals.

Back two years ago one of the Women's Festival in Hobart (New York) workshop presenters mentioned Scrivener, but I wasn't writing a novel then and didn't buy it.

Yesterday I got my registered copy of the program and feel I was given a gift.

I intend to edit and finish the novel before the Spring hits the Valley.

Midori bought at Jet Pens
Fabriano bought a Brushstrokes
Moleskine Red Sketchbook, options nationally
Exaclair, gifted
Scrivener at Literature & Latte


Bears in the Apple Tree

Mike sent me this photo and a few others after our visit the other night.  This was taken by Joel, a cousin, in 2011.

But is seems that we have one Harmon cow missing and a bear somewhere out in the far field, and only one will come out after chasing them around for days.   The cow has now been missing too long. 


Fountain Pen Day

I've taken out some of the neglected fountain pens and they whined from neglect.

And I've inked up others.

And here is one of those fountain pens that doesn't get a great deal of use.

1930 Gold Bond Triumph, ringtop

This pen appears to have quite a pedigree, but until recently I only knew that she is as sweet as any pen can be and lovely to use.   A Gold Bond, with a 14k nib, small in the hand, and perfect for my hands.

The pens I inked include a Conklin, also vintage, a Safari Al-Star in ruby, three Esterbrooks and using my new dailies, two Pilots, a Black Metropolitan and an Apple Green fun Kakuno.

I don't generally have so many pens inked, but did because I am editing a book and wanted to test out all the reds in my stable.

Hope all the fountain pen folks are enjoying reading blogs and signing up for some fabulous giveaways.


Compare & Contrast: Sennelier & Schmincke watercolour

I am preparing my travel bag and had one of the two watercolor palettes in the bag.

I did a comparison last night, and think I'll take both.

Sennelier & Schmincke 12 pan metal palattes ©

The Sennelier is a nice palette but like Graham has a wee bit more honey in it for my personal taste and dries slowly.   I don't have a complete Winsor Newton in a 12 pan set, and have a much larger Daniel Smith paint Schmincke palette.

In the end I prefer Winsor Newton & Schmincke paints more than Sennelier, Graham and Daniel Smith watercolor which I use for botanicals.

We all have our preferences.


Do you know: Marc Taro Holmes

If you don't know or follow Marc Taro Holmes blog, Citizen Sketcher, you might consider it because he not only draws and paints like a Master, he often explains how he accomplishes it.

Now he's published a book, "The Urban Sketcher."

It is not like any of the other urban sketching books I have or have seen.  Why?

Marc Taro Holmes

It is all Marc.

It is all teaching, learning, seeing, exploring.

It is all clear, and friendly.

It is Marc on paper and not just at Citizen Sketcher.

I just got it and already love it!

See some of Marc's work in this interview


Old Work 2, Abstracts

Gifted to Red Dog Scott in exchange for a tarot book

Knife in the Water

Experiment with walnut ink

If my eyes don't deceive me these were made in 2002;  the first two small abstracts in a Jonathan Talbot workshop (Warwick, New York).

I am closing down a very old website that has languished for many years and for which I have a quarterly fee.   Rather than try to find these images which are probably lost in computer moves and losses, I copied and pasted them here.

Old Work, Exquisite Corpses 2003


How Global is too global: Waldorf Astoria, New York

Park Avenue, facing South

So how Global should we be? 

The Waldorf Astoria, built in 1931 and a New York City landmark has been sold to a Chinese insurance company.

In my lifetime the changes in the City have been enormous.  If you live in the Apple you may not notice those changes, but when you leave as I have and return, you realize the extent of those changes, many radical.

Who owns a property is not often the subject of news and property does change hands with some frequency.

Neighbourhoods have face lifts.   Some become popular, others become passe.

But Park Avenue has been rather emblematic of chic, and often even too elite to traverse. 

However, Park Avenue is a wonderful thru way for traffic Uptown & Down with a wider expanse, similar to a boulevard, and yellow taxi cabs are often the predominant vehicle on the Avenue.  It also takes you directly to Grand Central Station.

Exterior Grand Central Station

Sometimes change is good; sometimes change is too abrupt, too radical, too swift for my tastes.