Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not Bored

As you may know, I have been tweaking my website.
There is an awful lot of advice for creatives on how to do this. 
I try to listen to all of the advice and then send it through the what-feels-right-to-me filter.
One bit of advice I have been putting off is migrating my Blogger blog to my website to avoid having viewers exit my website with the possibility of never returning.
There are many reasons why I didn't want to give up my blog, Bristol Bored that I have had since 2008, .
Sentimentality, loyalty, fear of new things are among the reasons I hesitate.
The biggest reason I didn't want to switch is I don't want to lose my freedom to experiment, to fail.
So I kept my blog neatly off of my nice, pretty, new website, like the pristine living room that only company is allowed to sit in. Well, if you have ever been to my house you know that I don't have one of those rooms.
So without further ado:
Welcome to my new blog!
I hope my Blogger followers will join me over here along with some new subscribers. I do appreciate your support and attention over the years. Sometimes one kind comment is enough to keep me moving forward.
I am going to keep Bristol Bored up for now but I'm not going to migrate the content over there.
Here is the link to the new blog: http://moiraswiatkowski.com/blog/
I hope to see you over there.
Thanks again for the support, 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


School is back in session.

This means more daylight studio time is in my future.

Until then I can draw by the light of the moon and electric lights, not too late though.

I've got to get those kids on the bus in the morning.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Get in the Game

September is so close.

I've been keeping up my training over the Summer.

I'm ready to start the new season.*

*as long as I get to go swimming in the ocean just a few more times.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A few years back, before I got interested in illustration as a career choice I was a painter.
I still am a painter, only now I use pixels instead of pigment.

This is one of my paintings.
Ready 18x24 acrylic on canvas
Thinking About It  24x36 acrylic
Here is another one of my paintings from that time period.

This one was donated to the Friends of the Library for a fundraiser that took place earlier this Summer.

One day when I was on my lunch break, I checked my email on my phone. I noticed that I had a message from Cape Cod Magazine asking to use a photo of my painting in the next edition
(I didn't scroll to the bottom of the email). What I did was quickly reply, "Sure, let me know what you need." and went back to work.

When I got home I re-read the email and scrolled to the bottom to discover that they weren't talking about the library fundraiser. They were talking about using the a photo of the painting, "Ready" to be paired with an excerpt from Sara Pennypacker's new book, "The Summer of the Gypsy Moths".


I knew about the new book because I had seen the beautiful cover by Julia Denos on her blog.

I remember my own "Summer of the Gypsy Moths "and I am excited to read it, along with my daughter.

Umm, OK.

I asked that the editors mention that I was represented by the W.H.Lutz Gallery in Harwichport and sent them the file with a photo of the painting.

This week (at a family party, no less) my parents had gotten a hold of the magazine.

When I painted this I had no idea that I would be interested in pursuing a career in illustration and children's literature.

But now, I am, "Ready".

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


It was early enough in the morning that I still had my robe on. I was downstairs packing the backpacks when my daughter walked into the kitchen.

She had a concerned look on her face.

She said I had to come with her. She put her little hand in mine and led me upstairs to her bedroom, to the fish bowl.

Crowny the fish had swum his last swim.

I gave my little girl a hug. She had tears in her eyes. She knew.

I had about forty-five minutes to get my daughter, my son and myself fed, dressed, teeth brushed, bags packed and out the door for daycare and work. 

Now I had to squeeze in grief counseling and a funeral.

I'm not sure how but we all made it out to the garden less than an hour later with the jewelry store coffin in hand and only a few minutes over schedule.

I dug a shallow grave next to Fred the fish's resting place. I gently put the box in under the topsoil and mulch. I placed a good size granite rock over the patted down grave. 

Dressed in office clothes with shovel in hand I said a prayer.

"Thank you, God for letting us have Crowny in our lives.
He was a strong, brave fish that made us happy to look at.
Thank you for Crowny's beautiful colors.

This is the kind of thing that is not in the books on parenting that you get at your baby shower.

These are the kind of things that parenting is all about.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Endless Summer

I've heard a lot of complaints about our record hot Summer here in the U.S.

I'm not ready to give up Summer.

I'm not done swimming in the ocean.

I haven't gone out for ice cream enough.

I haven't been to P'town yet.

I haven't had enough company or cookouts.

I wish those who are suffering the drought and high temperatures a break.  How about temps in the low eighties with occasional rain?

Doesn't that sound good?

Please, for just a while longer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My husband and I love the Olympics.

We like to monopolize the one television.

"Mom, can I watch TV?"

"Sure, I think Dad is in there watching the women's soccer semi-finals. Why don't you join him?"

"Ugh, I guess I'll go read instead."

Win, Win

I find the whole thing very inspiring.
Cheesy moments and all.

I know there is still poverty and war.

But if that teenager or double-amputee or forty-year-old can achieve what we didn't think was humanly possible then I can surely get to work pursuing my own dreams.

Cue iinspiring music as I jog up the stairs to the art studio.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Sam - "Suzy, I love you, but you have no idea what you're talking about."

This was the quote that stuck in my head after seeing the movie, Moonrise Kingdom.

Sam was replying to Suzy who had just stated that she wished she was an orphan because all of her favorite characters in her books were orphans.

I thought this moment was a clever way to acknowledge the overuse of orphan characters in children's literature in the context of a movie about an orphan character.

I highly recommend you go see it in the theater while you can.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to the Future

The past few weeks have got me thinking about finding the delicate balance between planning for the future and living in the moment.

Today I had a full day (a rare thing in the summer) in the art studio which has me craving more.  
I must figure out how to get there.

In the meantime I am savoring all the (many) good things in my life.

This week's Illustration Friday word reminded me of this Ryan Montbleau song.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get Out the Map

Happy Summer!

It has been a couple of weeks since I've posted.

That's because it is Summer!

In our neck of the woods this is the time for more of everything.

More work.
More play.
More food.
More family.
More friends.
More drink.
More sunshine.
More swimming.
More ice cream.

The only thing there is not more of is time in the art studio.

However, arty things have been popping up like flowers that I planted in the Spring.

I was a featured illustrator over at the fabulous Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Blog.

I donated a painting for a fundraiser at my local library.

Another painting got the interest of a local magazine.
I added some more images to Fine Art America.

I updated my website.

And I did some watercolor painting with my five-year-old niece.

Here's to more.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Be Not Afraid


I went to a funeral today it was the music that gave me the most comfort.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fear of Success

I mentioned a few weeks ago on this blog that, "failure" is my new favorite word.

I'm going to go ahead and make it the word of the year now that we are about half-way through 2012.

I have been working hard to fail my way to the top. One of the keys to failure is trying to succeed.
Which means I have to do my research to find out what successful people do.

I've been listening closely trying to hear their secrets.
Here is what I have heard so far:

1. Work hard.

2. Have confidence

3. Do the work you love to do.

4. Hang around with supportive people.

5. Get out of your comfort zone.

6. Work hard.

7. Don't be afraid to fail.

Is that seven? Did I just write a book?

Anyways, back to the drawing tablet. I have some failing to do.

P.S. This is my new theme song.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Some Summertime


I know there are still a few days before the official Summer Solstice and school isn't even out yet. 

But, I've got my beach sticker ready to slap on the old beach wagon and I am so glad my favorite season is shining down upon our sandy shore.

Happy to be here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Home Run

Grace (the girl in the drawings of the past few posts) has been roaming the woods for weeks now.

Grace has been happily exploring. Her actions have been inspired by the "topic of the week" on the Illustration Friday website.

She was at home in the forest, comfortable. I could have kept her out there for a while. There are endless possibilities in a playground of trees and wildlife.

My ten year old daughter has been watching her progress.

Last week my daughter said, "The next picture should show her home. I want to see where she lives."

I think she wanted me to prove that she did have a home.

The "topic of the week" is "hurry".

Hurry home, I thought and sent her on her way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Same as It Ever Was

Spring comes late around here.

Last week it was 50 degrees and drizzling.

I was starting to regret my decision to put my parka away for the season as I sat on the damp bleachers of the misty Little League field.

The next game I went to I had short sleeves, sandals and was worrying about getting a sunburn.

My favorite part of the late Spring is the green.

Sometimes you don't know how much you miss something until it comes back.

The color of the new leaves and grass are so bright it hurts my eyes.

This weekend my tired, grey little town was full of people and traffic and cookouts and noise.

It happens every year.

It is still a surprise, just when you think it will never come it does.

Makes me realize that the same old can be new again.

And so can I.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wide Awake

It is all real.

It is all a dream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mrs. Rice and the Brats of NIHM


This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week.

This always makes me think of the teachers who made a difference in my life.

One teacher came to mind this week when I was showing my daughter, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.H.M." at the library

My daughter asked if I had read it. I had not.

My fifth grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Rice read it to me and our class.

I wasn't that big a fan of the fifth grade. 

Art class with the beautiful Ms. Fisher and Mrs. Rice reading aloud made it bearable.

I had a second thought about Mrs. Rice this week when I was thinking about "kernels" in the woods.
I remember pig nuts (hickory nuts) were fun to open when the outer husk got dry enough. 

I also remember going out and collecting about a hundred acorns an crushing them on a rock in an attempt to make acorn pancakes just like the boy in, "My Side of the Mountain", which Mrs. Rice also read to us.

I barely got a tablespoon's worth of acorn flour, so I never made the pancakes.

I did get a love of books and an appreciation of teachers.

To all my teacher friends,

Remember that you are making a difference, if fact the little things you do could make all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Sometimes the right thing to do is to not try to figure what the right thing to do is.

Keep on moving forward.

With Grace.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer is Coming

We really only have two seasons on Cape Cod. 

Winter is almost over and soon it will be Summer.

This means I will have less time in the studio. My office job hours will increase and the kids will be out of school.

I love Summer, but in order to make the most of it I need to spend the "Spring" getting as much done in the studio as possible.

I have been
working on my website,
tweaking my portfolio, 
working on some book dummies,

I have also been doing these other creative things:

Here is a mailbox that I painted for the local Habitat for Humanity fundraiser auction. 

I did another poster for an Off-Broadway play.
The play is written by Amy Witting, directed by Bricken Sparacino
My brother Michael  (aka the father of awesome) is acting in it.

Teacher Appreciation Week is here.

Go to my website to download this free coloring card and show the love.

Speaking of Love!

My daughter, who can and does run creative circles around me made this cupcake for her fourth-grade science project to demonstrate the Earth's layers.

Mmmm, magma.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole


Feeling a bit like Alice today.

'Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?'

'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.

'I don't much care where -' said Alice

'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat

'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.

'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'

'How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.

'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or you wouldn't have come here.'

                            Lewis Carroll - "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Failure is an Option

"Failure" is my new favorite word.

Now before my mother can say, "Moira, don't be so negative." let me explain.

Being successful is the American way. The story we are told as children is to work hard, follow a good plan and you will have success.

So, as we get older we do this by going to college or learning a trade or getting married, etc.. 

We quickly learn that these things do not always end in success. This makes some of us a little more hesitant about the next plan we lay out for ourselves. 

We want that success.  

Time marches on and those of us who are afraid of failure get safer and safer in our choices while continuing to lower our self esteem and our expectations in the quest for contentment.

Yoda's famous quote, "Do. Or do not. There is no try." will lead many to "do not".

I stumbled upon a web show called, "The Failure Club", produced by Morgan Spurlock and created by Philip Kiracofe. I've always liked Morgan so I gave the first episode a try. I was hooked into the whole concept right away.

Here is a quote from the website, that explains the basics of Failure Club.

"In Failure Club, members learn to defy the fears associated with ‘failure’ by pursuing seemingly impossible goals that they set for themselves. From the outset, failure is not only a highly probable outcome, it is the desired outcome. Only through embracing the reality of failure can its’ societal stigmas be stripped away and replaced with an inspirational alternative."

So, I have developed my own failure club up here in the art studio. Party of one.

I am working very hard at failing, even harder than when I was working at succeeding.

I am aware that all I have done is changed a few words around. 

Fear is the really the big motivator when it comes to "Do. Or do not". I know that.

Take fear of failure off the table though and my path seems a little less ominous.

May the force be with you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Drawn Together

It is school vacation this week. Rather than skipping Illustration Friday this week, I had the kids join me.
P is for Puzzle
 Here is the boy's effort done in pencil. I was impressed by how quickly they came up with ideas.
Puzzle Head
 Here is the girl's picture done in true modern fashion on her Kindle fire. She is not only quick with ideas but with execution.
I finished mine last. I thought "puzzled" was a good one for tax day here in the U.S.

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Achtung Baby

I have a lot of things on my to-do list that are crying for attention.

The taxes must go this week so that will be one less voice from the choir.

I can go to the art studio to get away from the low moan of the dishes and laundry.

The illustration related projects are getting noisy though. 

I must remember that all I have to do to keep these babies quiet is to feed and change them.

There might be some crying along the way. That probably just means I need a nap.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Remember the Whale

Spring does not come springing back around here.

It takes a while. 

We are hopeful though. 

Just because it is too cold to eat my breakfast on the porch doesn't mean it won't ever be.

So, we look for other indications that Winter has in fact ended. We look for things to come back.

The daffodils, the crocus, the microscopic buds on the the trees, if you look close.

The whales, the osprey, the alewives.

The rabbits come out of hiding.

The parking lot at the grocery store has a lot more Lincolns with Florida license plates than it did a couple of weeks ago.


I have also been looking for signs of hope in my illustration journey.

It is hard to know if I'm going in the right direction, doing the right things. I, like just about everyone else feel like there isn't enough time to get done all the things that I want and need to do. 

This past Sunday I got the signs I was looking for from a few unexpected places*, including a Catholic Nun, Jonah (as in Jonah and the whale) and Oprah.

I will gladly grab on to all these bits of hope and soon I will be sipping coffee on my porch with the sun shining.

*not including the new season of Game of Thrones- that is really all about Winter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Out Like a Lion

A week ago it was 70 (F.) degrees out. 

Today it is in the 30s.

So naturally I am thinking of hot, sticky summer days.

I was lucky to grow up before the influx of Lyme disease. The forest was our playground.

We had acres of woods back behind the house with a brook running through it. It was a great place for the whole neighborhood to congregate. We were hidden from our parents kitchen window view by the thick cover of foliage. 

Mom would say, "Stay within shouting distance." and we were free.

As much fun as it was creating our own Lord of the Flies like existence out there, I liked to go there alone.

Down by the brook was such a peaceful place. 

The always cold brook water and tall oak's canopy made it a cool sanctuary on the hottest days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We Have a Winner!

secure prize bowl
impartial judge who wants to get back to his movie make a blind pick

Congratulations to Emily W.!!!

Emily wins the matted print but you are all winners in my book.
Thanks for reading my blog and looking at my pictures. xoxo

I am going to be making a promotional postcard of the image that was the prize. If any of you want a postcard as a conciliation prize (I know it is not as good as a lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni), send me your address and I will put you on the mailing list.

Thank again for playing,

Monday, March 19, 2012

You Can't Win If You Don't Play

"Dollar to play! Dollar to win!"

That's what the lady running the water-gun race game at the carnival would yell to travelers down the midway. I heard this several times a day when I was running the inflatable castle right across the dirt path from her. She spoke the truth and those words still ring in my ears (along with the loud bell and the Flintstones theme song that played every time she got a few players).

You, dear reader do not need to take such a financial risk to win a prize from me.

This is my 100th post on Bristol Bored!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you could win a signed, matted print of this image.

The contest closes Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:00pm EDT. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Keep on Burnin'

Sticking with an idea is sometimes the hardest thing to do. 

I get tired.

I get bored.

I get sick of spending so much time with myself.

Word on the street though, is that persistence is exactly what one needs to succeed. 

Sure luck is a factor. There is always the possibility that you will be discovered at a post office in Paris. Even this form of luck requires being in the right place at the right time and having the ability to create stunning images. 

So keep on trucking, I shall.

One of the nice things about having a blog is that I can look back and see how far I have progressed or at the very least give myself points for producing a lot of images.

My reward for all of my hard work is more hard work so that I can make a career out of, you guessed it more hard work which will give me more quality time with myself.

This is my 99th blog post (not counting the painting blog).

I should probably do a giveaway for the 100th post.

Free signed print, maybe? 

Do you have a suggestion for a prize? Please put any ideas in the comments. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012



"A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills. and uses these skill to accomplish his goals."-Larry Bird

Monday, February 27, 2012


You can do this.

This is not the hardest thing you've ever done.

It is not very likely that anyone in the meeting is going to throw up on you, bite you or cry continuously until you give them some breast milk.

If they don't like what you are presenting it is not the end of the world.

You can try again.

Or try somewhere else.

I know. 

You could start a new career.  Maybe you could become an orthodontist. Then you wouldn't  have to worry about the kids crooked teeth that they clearly inherited from your side of the family. You could get a fish tank and a lava lamp for the waiting room. Doctor in front of your name would have a nice ring to it.

No, no. No new career.

This is what you are good at. They are going to love you.

And if they don't?

Well you've got those people back at home and a drawing table waiting for you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pisces of Mind

I love to swim under water for as long and deep and as far as I can hold my breath.

There is something about the sensation of being part of the water that makes me feel as if I am elsewhere. 

Elsewhere is so quiet. I can't hear the phone ringing or someone calling my name.

No travel to the mountains or a busy city can transport you in such a way. Under the water I become another particle floating around with the fish. I am a rock or a seashell for a few moments.

The closest thing to this temporary escape is that small window of time between dreaming and being awake. My conscious self can see the reality that looms just past the dream and my dream self can see that dream world floating away as the alarm clock gets louder and louder.

I know that I must swim back to the surface for a breath of my own reality which is all the more beautiful having been gone from it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Live in Stereo


When I was a kid, I was always hearing grown-ups give the advice, "Just be yourself." and people will like you for who you are.

"Wrong!" is what I wanted to say.

The truth is, be yourself and some* people will like you for who you are. 

These people (who like you) will turn out to be just the kind of people that you want and need to be your friends. All your bad personality traits that have kept you from making friends with the wrong people are actually just a filter to keep those undesirables at a distance.

Besides, you won't want to be a jerk as much with your real friends because you love them and don't want to hurt their feelings. If you are a jerk (by accident) chances are one of your people will forgive you. 

If they don't? Well that's just another filter.

*Some is really all you need.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Painting is Messy

The Illustration Friday post  is on the Atlanticmo blog today since I painted it with actual paint.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Couple of Characters

My kids love the snow.

A couple of weeks ago, while the grown-ups were inside watching the NFL Playoffs my kids were in my parents' backyard sledding. We had gotten nine inches of snow. That is a lot for our area and they knew it. They also knew it wouldn't last forever so they made the most of it.

They were out there for the whole AFC game.

We made them come in for supper before the NFC game.

It was dusk to almost dark after supper. They begged Papa to turn the back light on so they could sled some more.

The adults watched the game until halftime and forced them to come in.

My son told his sister that he was glad she was with him or else he wouldn't have had the time of his life.

Those two have the classic two sibling, brother and sister, love, hate relationship.

It is so much nicer when it is love.

p.s. Go Pats!

Ain't Nothin Gonna Break My Stride

I had the strangest dream.

My alarm went off at 6:45am, as usual. I opened my eyes and reached for the alarm clock on the nightstand next to my bed.

Oddly, it was my magic phone going off, on the coffee table by the couch, not my couch but my brother, Mike's couch the one in his New York apartment on the Upper West Side.

I turned the phone alarm off so as not to wake Mike and my sister-in-law, Bricken.

I quickly and quietly got dressed and headed to midtown.

I was in a big rush. I had an inexplicable fear that wherever I was going might run out of bagels before I got there.

Next thing I know I am in a place that looks like the briefing room on the Starship Enterprise.

There are tables and chairs set up before a podium and presentation screen.

The troops file in mostly dressed in black and wearing especially hip eye glasses. The woman next to me introduces herself. She says she is from New Haven but she has a distinct Argentinian accent.

Here come the speakers. Instead of Captain Kirk it is famous, children's book illustrators one after another giving us our instructions in the form of Keynote presentations.

Here are some of the instructions:

Win a Caldecott

Change your name to Mo

Be awesome

Don't be boring

Say, "Yes"

Fist bumps instead of handshakes

There was talk of British Pop stars, red pandas, roller derby, clones.

Everything seemed to have some relation and significance. I was taking notes as fast as I could but when I looked at the paper there were only drawings of pie and the back of the head of the guy in front of me.

In that dreamlike way, it was suddenly nighttime and I was with my brother and sister-in-law on the balcony inside a crowded Manhattan night club. I looked at my phone which was telling me that it was almost 9:00 pm and that I was needed back at the ship.

On my way out of the club I saw Paul Zelinsky and we had a brief awkward conversation. It was like running into someone that you think you went to high school with but you aren't sure if it was summer camp or maybe they work at your bank.

Back on the Starship with my Mike and Bricken in tow, we passed by two giant, white sculptures of heads on our way to a room larger than the one from earlier. It was full of rows and rows of tables which were covered with hundreds of artist portfolios, neatly arranged with stacks of postcards next to each one. The letters, scbwi were glowing on the far wall.

Before we had time to be overwhelmed we were  told to take a portfolio and report back tomorrow.

Now, like the movie, "Groundhog's Day" it is 6:45am and the magic phone is ringing again and I am still in New York on Mike's couch.

Due to the bagel imperative, I get ready quickly. I zip up my cute but slightly painful high-heeled boots and walk four blocks to the subway.

Down the stairs on to the "1" train, up and down several M. C. Escher flights of stairs to the "S" train, yes the "S" train.
This is how I know it is a dream.

I see my husband's sister, Patty working at a bakery in Grand Central. I ask her to pinch me, she hands me a croissant and says, "It's good to see you.".

Things got pretty weird from there.

I've got my bagel and I am in yet another even larger room with the same Starship decor. Instead of hundreds of troops now we have got a couple thousand with a wider variety of eye wear.

The first speaker is Chris Crutcher who launches into one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. Before I can wipe away my tears he is telling one of the funniest stories I've ever heard.

Here come the big guns up to the panel. These are the people who invented the middle grade series and the book fair and published Harry Potter. We are all listening very carefully to what they have to say.

We are all about to go off on our individual missions when, surprise, Henry Winkler is here with a brief motivational speech. The crowd goes wild.

Up and down more stairs to a crowded room where Dr. Seuss' art director is giving us trade secrets and her email. This can't be happening?!

Granola bar for lunch and I am back in the big room. A young adult author (who looks like a young adult herself)  is talking about love triangles which are actually love Vs. They can be between two boys and a girl; two immortals and a non-immortal; three boys; a vampire, a werewolf and a human.

This is when I fell into a dream within a dream.

More secrets from from an art director at Harper Collins.

A session on multiculturalism in a room full of people of color. I was representing light pink.

The magic phone is alerting me that I am late for the cocktail party downstairs in the room with the heads. The word, "cocktail" gets my attention and I head into the party making a beeline for the bar. The bartender hands me the much anticipated glass which is filled with, mashed potatoes.

I drink it down since the granola bar from lunch had left me hungry and I look for a beer.

Beer in hand, I see Roxy Munro. I say, "Hi Roxy!" She is giving me the same quizzical face that Paul Zelinsky had given me the night before.

"On the Internet, you told me to say, "Hi" so this is me saying, "Hi"."

Like a secret agent hearing the correct password she accepts this odd sentence and comes over to talk with me and generously shares her intelligence.

Later, I take a stroll around the room to see what I can see.

I meet two women from the Carolinas who get me laughing so much I wish I hadn't drunk all those potatoes.

The phone is telling me to leave the party and go upstairs to a small room full of illustrators who have had a few potato cocktails themselves. As we are sobering up we have an I.A. (Illustrators Anonymous) meeting with shared stories, applause and not very many tears.

I hand my postcard out to anyone who will hold eye contact with me for more than a few seconds.

A couple of Canadians, one who had a German accent, went with me to the bar down by the big head statues. We sat at a long glowing table, full of illustrators that had come to life from the Internet.

 I had my $12 beer and headed back to the Upper West Side.

6:45am, still in New York.

This time things have changed.

Lemon poppy seed bread instead of bagels.

I am in disguise today. I am wearing my hair up and no one recognizes me, not even Paul Zelinsky.

We are in the big room again.

Awards are given, not to me.

The couple thousand of us sing, "Happy Birthday" to Lin Oliver.

Here come the Bookmakers Dozen. One of the thirteen of them stayed home so that if there was a catastrophe on the dais the order of succession could continue.

Next up, four heavily guarded agents are telling us, in so many words that they are looking for awesome, well written, well executed work.

Last speaker of the day was the adorable, Kathryn Erksine. She gave a powerful talk about keeping our focus. She had a slide show that included nurses, Scottish kilts and bottles of wine. She left us inspired and handed out candles at the end.

The feeling you get of semi-consciousness just before you wake up was starting to flow through me. I knew the real world was just beyond the dream I was still in.

I got some autographed books and post-it notes.

Dan Santat gave me some advice about working in Photoshop, shook my hand and wished me, "Good Luck".

I drove straight home to Cape Cod, without stopping. It was a good thing I was in a dream or I might have fallen asleep.


The distinct sound of the alarm clock, not the magic phone was going off. My daughter came in and gave me a much needed, good morning hug.

I was home and awake.

I am not even going to try and analyze that dream.

All of the characters are safely back in children's book jackets and the Internet where they belong.

I am in the art studio with my butt in chair, where I belong.

Monday, January 23, 2012


OK, no time to write a post with this one today.

I'm off to the printer's before the school bus gets here.

I will offer a link to the song that came on the radio while I was working on this.