Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Bizarre Market

Hi all.

Saturday, October 13th, from 12 to 4 (0r 5), at CHOP SUEY books in Carytown, there will be a fun, lively, eclectic BIZARRE Market with a big chunk of proceeds going to local charity, like FOOD NOT BOMBS.

Come check it out.

I'll be there.

Michele, Pink Shel

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Come see me!

Hi Guys,
I'll be at the 17th Street Farmers Market this Saturday (9/22) from 8:30 until 1:30, and I'll be at the Byrd House Market in Oregon Hill Tuesday afternoon (9/25), 3:30 until 7:00. Not only are these great fresh growers' markets, but they're kid friendly places too. This is the fourth Tuesday at the Byrd House Market so there will be crafters (like me) in addition to growers. I hope to see you there.

...and if you love my husband Danny like I do, fyi--Saturday is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Danny!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pops for all my friends!

Yet another angelic self-portrait

Light on Oak Block


more writing accomplished

After a long hiatus from writing, I managed to turn out another two pages today. I keep in my head what Bill Tester said during one fiction-writing class:

Even if you only write one page a day--in one year, you have 365 pages!

It is beautiful today. Glorious. Very little humidity; the sun is shining; and everything to be grateful for.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

From Novel #3--untitled

After writing this excerpt today, I saw the visual for it (not really... just in my brain). I'll post a picture once the visual is created. Also, I sold two of my favorite pieces today: Courage flower and Heart flower. I will miss them, especially the Heart, but they went to a good home.


"Don't stop believing,

hold on to this feeling..."

--Journey... :-) You know you love it!

from novel #3

Aimee, Allyson, and Tootie

--our friends

The three of them started in the room’s center, using screwdrivers, and crowbars and scrap-metal found in the alleyway, ripping up the vomit-green carpeting that covered the once great hall. Aimee was the first to reveal the tile, glittery, black and green, the Italian silver grout preserved unknowingly after so many years underfoot of prostitutes and vagrants. Aimee, Allyson, and Tootie yanked with their bare hands at the old carpeting, exposing more and more of the sublime tile. The room’s center shone with the speckled silver like a great moon. Allyson looked up at the cobwebbed chandelier over their heads. “What do you think?” she said. “Will this do?”

Tootie laughed. From their vantage, the mezzanine was stacked to the ceiling with cardboard boxes and newspapers. “It’s a lot of work.” She looked to Aimee. “What do you think?”

Hours before they revealed the Italian tile or discussed whether this was the place, Aimee had hung a sign, The Hotel Gloria from the old carriage entrance to the hotel. Aimee rubbed her fingers across the slick tile. From the first time she’d spotted the ramshackle hotel from Highway 16, she knew. This was their Hotel Gloria. This was what they’d been seeking.

Preschool and writing

Today was our first 'real' day of preschool. It was wonderfully chaotic post 11 am, when I brought the enthusiastic bubbling Evie, the serious level-headed, determined Georgia, and the baseball, football, all-ball obsessed Christopher back to my house for mac and cheese and storytime. "What did you do today?"
"We played outside."
"We played in a circle."
"We had fun."
"Miss. Carter is nice."
"So is Miss Rebecca."

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

I wrote for over an hour! It was a recent record, and it was a great time: here is what I jotted down; I've already planned the visual on wood for it (my venture into folk art.)

From the early pages of novel #3:

Jacob was guilty.

Have you ever heard that Billy Joel song Only the Good Die Young from his 1977 album, Stranger? Jacob’s daughter Charlotte played that album, and that particular song, Only the Good Die Young, over and over as some sort of tribute to her mother or punishment to her father. Sure, Gloria had been Catholic, been confirmed, been seduced by Jacob Butterfield, who moved her from a comfortable New Jersey suburbanite home to a junkyard in rural Virginia to birth two daughters, to feed chickens, wash clothes and bake casseroles. She rubbed Jacob’s feet. She kissed her girls’ boo boos and sewed costumes for the plays put on by the Methodist church and local school. In 1975, she was what a mother was supposed to be. Only after she died, while Charlotte sang, did Jacob discover that there were many dimensions, strange facets, to his wife, this woman, it seemed, he did not know.

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul
mmmm, And a cross of gold
But [Gloria] they didn't give you quite enough information
You didn't count on me
When you were counting on your rosary


If you don’t understand where you come from,

you’re going to wreck where you’re going.

Aimee’s Beginning

Aimee was fourteen. She ran into the kitchen, blonde and lean, wearing one of her mother’s dresses, its blue hem stiff with mud. “Is Charlotte coming for supper?” Charlotte was seventeen and already married with a baby of her own.

Jacob shook his head no.

“How come?”

“It’s not my job to feed her family.”

Charlotte’s your child and Clinton’s your grandson.” Aimee put her hands on her hips. She knew she looked too much like her mama (before the two kids and the two packs-a-day).
“Come here.” He laid his work-worn hands on Aimee’s shoulders, squeezing gently. He wasn’t an ugly man, just old. With her mother dead three years now, it was hard to remember just exactly how anyone had looked then. Before. She remembered that she was short at eleven. She was waiting for her growth spurt, always checking her height on the wall and against her mama. Feeling certain, “I bet last year I wasn’t this tall. I bet my head didn’t come up to here on you. I wasn’t as tall, I don’t think.” Her mama said, “I think you’ve really grown.” She hadn’t really… Her sis Charlotte had been bossy, already a finger-pointer with big boobs, she walked around the house half-naked. Aimee didn’t remember her dad. Not really. She remembered the Christmas tree and the ornaments crashing to the ground. She forgave him. Her mama always forgave him. Everyone but Charlotte forgave him. She could remember her mama’s clothes. She still had a closet full of them. She remembered her mama’s green polyester bell-bottoms and orange platforms that made her look like a rock star. She remembered that her dad once had a beard. Did he have it three years ago? She couldn’t remember. Nowadays, he had stubble. He shaved badly every few days.

When the house was empty, when she knew her dad was out buying or selling junk to add to their pile, their “dream-of-a-life”, Charlotte called it, Aimee dressed up in her mother’s green pants and orange platforms, smoked one of her dad’s cigarettes, pulled her nearly-white hair back into a ponytail and leaned against the counter twirling the glass ashtray, pretending to be her mother Gloria, pretending that she, her own self, was sitting at the breakfast table eating a bowl of Rice Crispies. ‘How you doin’ today, honey?’ She made up pointless conversations about what happened three years ago when she was in the sixth grade. They talked about the science fair, about the current event she had to do, about how Mr. Peebles, her English teacher, should wear deodorant. Aimee laughed when her mother pinched her nose. ‘We pay his salary,’ she imagined her mother saying. ‘I wonder if his shirts are permanently stained. His poor wife…’ After a while, Aimee went upstairs, returning her mother’s clothes to their rightful place, and cried.

When her daddy caught her—all the time—she worried he’d mistake her for her mama, and take her to his bed, but he said, “Why are you pretending to be a woman six feet under the dirt?”

He didn’t mean it. As she hid her face, sort of wishing he might love her in any way, even one so inappropriate, he pursued, “What the hell’s wrong with you?”


“Shut up!”

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Art

I'm adding new "affordable" pieces to my etsy site today. If you get a chance, check them out. (the link is on the right)

I will be at 17th Street Farmers Market this Thursday from 8 to 1 (September 13th).

I will be at the Farmers' Market again on Thursday, September 20th and Saturday, September 22nd.

Come see me.

I'll be at the Byrd House Market the fourth Tuesday of this month, September 25th. There are links to both sites from here. Check it out.

Remember, support your local crafters, growers, and artists.


Saturday, September 8, 2007


Here we go: After approximately nineteen rejections from various notable publishers, my literary agent is sending my book THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS to one final publisher.

She sent it to them on Tuesday.

If you are reading this, please put some good vibes out there for me. It took two years and about one hundred rejections to find a great agent.

I feel like I'm waiting for the hammer to fall. The thing is, I will never stop writing. I will never stop trying to get my words into the hands of others. I'm determined that way. XO

Friday, September 7, 2007


After much hoopla *unmentionables* but all good stuff, I won't be at Saturday' s Farmers' Market, but I will let you know where I'll be next, and check out Pink Shel:

Saturday, September 8th

I'll be selling my Kitschy cowgirls and other fun stuff at the 17th Street Farmers' Market this Saturday, September 8th, from 8:30 until 2ish.

I hope to see you there!

Local art

September 7, 2007

On Crafting:

Spread the word about the 17th Street marketplace being a haven of crafty talent as well as providing great fresh produce and baked goods. The Byrd House Market in Oregon Hill is a great enterprise, showcasing artisans the fourth Tuesday of each month. Here are some pics of my booth at both places. Hopefully as the weather cools off, foot traffic will pick up. This year I'm buying all my holiday presents from local crafters--not Walmart. (Not that I ever bought gifts at Walmart, mind you, but it's great knowing that what you're purchasing was made by a person who put her heart into the work, whether it's a wooden bowl, a pair of earrings, a piece of pottery or a Kitschy cowgirl. :-)

Check out my website for more info. on Kitschy Cowgirls and the Mothers from The Crown of Motherhood series and other fun collages, including my fiction series:

When THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS is FINALLY picked up by a publisher, I will let you know. No worries there. The whole world will be blogged.

And lastly, my latest book, my third one, is currently being published visually on wood, block by block, as I write it.