positive rejections

My friends,
For the last several days, I’ve been purging my studio. This has included perusing files where many short stories and manuscripts duly sleep.
file drawer betterThis past year I managed to complete and send out an illustrated project (my first). But for the past five years, I haven’t fleshed out one work of fantasy. Back when my YA (young adult) stories were submitted, publishers like Llewellyn, Dutton, and Knopf all requested to read more. After these second reviews, my manuscripts received (what I like to call) ‘positive rejections.’ The general consensus – my characters though, “…quirky, interesting, lively…,” were incomplete. These ‘positive rejections’ have allowed me to believe there is merit to my work but I need to improve upon what I’m doing.



The second piece of focus–my art. My wall easel has not seen a fresh canvas in quite sometime. I haven’t worked with loose color in a while. Below is my painting, “Jess” the little girl who began my love of expression. The post on her is called, Burning to Paint. I keep her close at all times.
jess on easelIn my post-writing process, I’ve discovered a sort of “free verse” voice I was unaware of. At the ‘tender bullying’ of some blogger friends (you know who you are), I might look into ‘publishing’ some of these in the future. Each post I’ve written for, anntogether has taken thought and time. I don’t ever want that to change (nor do I want to embarrass myself with work I’m not proud of).
cropped-header.jpgI began this blog to put my art and writing into a sharing forum. I so enjoy exchanging ideas, thoughts and looking upon all your creative masterpieces. I’m daily blown away by the endless universe of talent and the selfless time fellow bloggers give of themselves. But if I want to share more art, I have to make it first…

Flollowers Beastie

Just look through my studio doors, there is a dog who doesn’t get enough attention and a piano that is not being played. Oh, yeah and there’s that family, the ones who live outside my studio – two teens and a giant husband – all whom I adore.
piano roomSo my friends, I’ll be gone just a bit–taking in some summer time. I’m not sure of the duration – who knows – I might pine for this addictive blogosphere too much (I’m missing it already and I have even left yet). I might come back with my paintbrush tail between my legs and my stories will have to remain sleeping awhile longer in their file drawer coffin.

I wish you all a glorious summer start and nothing but magic for your lofty dreams…

Praying Wizard

Praying Wizard

Thank you,

natural deselection

trexearth time past
folds before man laid claim
magnificent giants roamed
this planet’s hide
legged, tentacled, devoid of sense
spawning stuff of nightmares
breathing light of dreams
creatures of fantasy
bestowed as masterpieces
sharply enameled
horn heralded
club tailed
extraordinary strength
castrated by nature
on a sunless whim

t’rex duel created long ago while learning Adobe Illustrator, previously published

fake smells

behind studio walls
tech lights flicker
trapped little flames attempt escape
desk ticks
white noise suffocates
beneath night’s cape
foxes hunt
coyotes beckon
stars breathe
should go out and play
with the ‘rousing moonlight
and the wild dogs
who don’t give a crap
about silly jar candles
with fake smells

foxFox in Prisma done 2008

never leave lizzy alone

the family left me alone today
with my head
and my thoughts
a dangerous thing to do
the pencils have begun talking
they say they don’t like being used
not one bit
I’m clever and tell them, I don’t like being used either
they tell me they’re tired of being lead
I respond, then don’t follow
they moan my hold is too tight
I promise to loosen my grip

the pencils whine
they hate always being number two
I tell them this conversation is beginning to dull me
then I start shoving their heads into the sharpener
assuring each –
don’t worry pencils,
we all shrink over time

I cackle aloud
never leave Lizzy alone
lizzy alonequickie sketch, Lizzi Lizzard, created with sharpened #2 – not worth bringing to color though…it’s a start…

Interview With Miss A (Vampire)

Another school year is coming to a close. Another year of substitute teaching done and over. Before the year completely ends, I’d like to share an old post written last year when some fifth grade boys were concerned that their substitute teacher was a vampire…

Interview With Miss A (Vampire)

Having blood-sucking on the brain (and not because of the Twilight saga–though I’ll admit I enjoyed), I searched my studio folders for Him. I scoured my old Prentice Hall files. When I was a new Mac user learning Illustrator, I drew everything employed old-fashioned hand-eye coordination with a mouse and a prayer.

That year I’d also read, Interview With The Vampire, by the immortal’s mortal, Anne Rice. Her words were composed of cold flesh. Blood flowed between the rivers of white on her pages. I hated Ms. Rice. I was in awe of Ms. Rice. This ‘Interview’ creeped me out like no other book… Everywhere I traveled, Lestat stalked me with his mesmerizing lost eyes, black sinewy veins and pale moon skin.

He was one of my first ventures into computer portraiture. I had no choice but to create Him. He wouldn’t leave my mind. He was a tormenting fellow. He’d bite me nightly and I suffer daily for it. He was the awesome Vampire Lestat. Once I created Him, He no longer haunted my dreams.
LestatI was recently subbing in a fifth grade class. At lunchtime, I noticed a handful of lads with perplexed expressions staring at me. I approached the group to make sure everything was okay. One boy–the ring leader–studied me a moment before asking, “Miss A, are you a vampire?”
Before I could respond he continued, “Why do you have such sharp black eyebrows, long black hair and pointy teeth?” (my incisors are a tad sharp-looking).

I jokingly responded, “YES!” But, then quickly clarified, “Just kidding,” when they started wrapping napkins around their jugulars. The last thing I needed was for a child to go home and say, “my sub was a vampire.”

Later, I contemplated what the fifth grader had asked me. I thought about the boys’ nervous expressions–and I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or insulted.

Tidy Bowl Man

dinghyI have a sinking sense sometimes
the cork in my dinghy will pop out
while getting sucked down into a watery vortex  –
a horrifying image…

Do you know what happened to the
Tidy Bowl Man?
I’ll tell you if you don’t know or can’t remember –
his career ended up in the crapper.

I don’t want to end up
in the crapper
wearing a white sea-captain suit.
I don’t want to spiral helplessly down, down, downward,
while desperately crying out,
“…it works so you don’t have toooooooooo–”

I vow to always work. I promise to never be lazy.
And I’ll always keep a plunger nearby, in case I hear the Tidy Bowl Man’s plea 😉


LoBoat Illustration created a few months ago and previously published.

Fellow blogger and friend, Deb of C-Dog & Company and I often discuss the merits of keeping our respective creative dinghies afloat 🙂 One must keep their sense of humor when discussing dinghies, corks and creativity 😉

independent together

repetitive pops in the distance
rapid fire noises
hot air popper blips bring me back
to college dorm days
sucking caffeine at 3am
studying at 4
sleeping at 5
waking at 7
firecracker practice
airborne bubbling sound bytes
too feeble for thunder
the kind you visualize with hydrogen kaleidoscopes
from my porch the night sky is void of color
cheap firepower like my thoughts
July Fourth
United States Independence
always thought being independent together was interesting
Grandma Gulli was born on July Fourth
she was independent together
her husband was an angry alcoholic
she had bigger problems than putting on successful fireworks
why don’t I think of her much anymore
I remember hot air popcorn
my mom visits her mother’s grave
and remembers
it was difficult for a long while
their lives were like firecrackers
bursts of noises
hollering reds and oranges, flaming yellows
crying blues wet
Grandma Gulli used to work at a paper factory
I wonder if she ever thought about setting fire to the paper
watch it crackle
maybe take away the pain
diffuse her broken heart
with smoke signals
this July Fourth
I will remember Grandma Gulli
I will remember those who would have been tried for treason
I will be independent together



Eagle done in 2008 – original donated to raise money for local high school (all night party)
geez, I’d like to go to an all night party;)

Doing my ‘dad’ post for my father’s b’day – early July

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you DADS out there!

no comfort here

hiding above the tempestuous sun
and beneath the marauding stars
fingers shaking
I extend my arms
the layman’s moon is within reach
gentle and giving
not you
your condemning avoidance
bitter cold like ice shards
when will you come to me
when will you let me caress
when will you comfort me
as I do you
words of mine…



rendered a few months ago and still waitin’ on those wings 😉

less-guilty lovers

the moon’s giant eyes stare down
and glisten across the sheets
blue beams cut knife shapes
across our naked flesh
the sharp edges don’t slice
though we will cut apart
those we love
(rephrase for less guilt)
those we like
if love was there
neither would be here
with the moon’s foreplay
illuminating eager intentions
hoping love makes it through the window
like the silver-blue glare
we’re just two more
selfish lovers
in a world
with the same

Sharp Cupid

I hope this writing was a good enough excuse to use this previously published drawing – she’s one of my favorites

……………………………………………….the tunnel

want it bad?
it’s deep down

you might reach it
crawling on hands and knees
’til they bleed
stumble through the deafening black
clawing and scraping at the tight walls
fingernails ripping off
the tunnel
doesn’t use up life
it just takes time
a beastly eternity
if you make it all the way
shield your eyes
get back on your feet
the light is blinding
but fragrantly warm
now suck in that lucid sky
there’s not much time
next shadowless passage
is just over
the horizon
arnold pumpkinquickie sketch, was going to do a whole tunnel concept – truth be told – housecleaning day – damn 😉