Picture Book Idea Month

I was going to do both NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) in November but gave up on NaNo after the third day because of a number of deadlined things I wanted to submit to.

I regret dropping NaNo since one of the three things I worked on in lieu of had already turned out to be a big bust. But, I can always do Camp NaNo in June to finish the novel I started.

I managed to “win” PiBo though, having thought up 33 ideas as of yesterday (and the day is still young today), so I can officially own this badge. Yay, me.

It’s an adorable badge created by my flight/writing buddy Troy Cummings. He’s the brilliant author-illustrator of the hilarious Notebook of Doom series of early chapter books. I highly recommend them for any young kid (or even adults) in your life.

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be taking December off from blogging. If I get art done, I’ll be posting on my Instagram account. Yeah, so much for my 365-day project.

Hope you’ll all have a lovely December with whatever holiday you celebrate–Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, Festivus, etc.–and a joyous New Year!

The Liebster Award


Charlie O’Shields nominated me for a Liebster Award over at his fun and inpsiring Doodlewash blog. If you’ve not been to his blog yet, you need to do yourself a favor and go! Not only is Charlie a talented artist but he tirelessly champions other artists. He is also hilarious and writes the funniest anecdotes to go with his doodlewashes (his own invented term). I think he is the next (kinder, gentler) David Sedaris!


  • Use the picture.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Nominate 10 blogs.
  • Ask the same questions.



  1. Which literary genre do you prefer?
    Science fiction is my favorite genre…but I love funny science fiction even more! I also like light, mythology-based fantasy such as Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. I tend to read a lot of nonfiction as well, mostly science books.
  2. Which book you know and love?
    As Charlie and Kerfe had observed, this is a strangely worded question (and not just because it seems to be lacking the word “do”). I’ll just interpret it as “what is one of the books you’ve read that you loved?” and answer The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, speaking of funny sci-fi books.
  3. Which book you’re passionate about now?
    Right this second-now? I’m guessing the question is related to the previous one and can be interpreted as “what is a recent book you’ve read that you loved?”. I have immensely enjoyed many books, recently, but the one I liked best…i.e., the one I most want to write like…is The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman.
  4. Why did you start blogging?
    I started blogging over at Blogger back around 2006 as a way to share things with my sister who lives far away from me. Along the way, I started making soaps and met some wonderful soaping friends that way. This WordPress blog is pretty new, only about 3 years old. I started it because I was inspired by other 365-bloggers and thought that it would be a good way to discipline myself to do something regularly. It began as the “What’s For Dinner?” blog and has morphed into a “One Good Thing” blog, almost like a gratitude journal. This past year, I’ve been posting art on here and have met tons of wonderful art-folks through this endeavor.
  5. Order or chaos?
    Orderly chaos. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s really chaos. I can’t help it. In any closed system, entropy tends to increase. I don’t have enough energy to put into reversing the tendency. (Har, har…physics joke.)
  6. Where would you like to live?
    I’m a Pacific Northwest girl at heart, so I would love to live there again if we could afford it. And much as I don’t like the population density in cities, I’d also like to live in Hong Kong, where I was born, again because it’d be nice to be a majority versus a minority.
  7. Starry sky or sunset?
    Starry sky because I once wanted to be an astrophysicist and I knew most of the northern hemisphere stars and constellations.
  8. Better the paper book, rather than the ebook?
    I prefer the feel of a paper book, but ebooks are so much easier to read on my phone while I’m brushing my teeth! Some books, like picture books, don’t lend themselves well to ebooks so I always get paper copies of those.
  9. What is the writing for you? Do you see it as a hobby or hoping for a future as a writer?
    I’ve been writing with publication in mind since 1990 when I took my first course in writing for children. I’m published in children’s magazines and other magazines/venues, as well as being in e-anthologies that benefit Doctors Without Borders (since The Minnows Literary Group started the anthologies 3 years ago, we’ve donated close to $6,000 to MSF). Not until the past several years did I think I had it in me to write books–the lack of confidence in my abilities is a recurring theme and has held me back in many ways. I’ve been told by established author friends that it is so much harder to break into publishing now than it was back in the 80s. *sigh*
  10. What do you think about social networks?
    Some are more accessible than others (I will never understand Tumblr) and some are more fun than others. They’re both useful tools and convenient ways to keep up with, and meet, friends.

I normally don’t nominate others for these things because then people might feel like they’re coerced to do them (and then feel resentful toward me), so I want to emphasize that you are not obligated to play!

THE NOMINEES, in no particular order:

  1. Robin Newman Books
  2. Myr’s Bytes
  3. Create One A Day
  4. Minuscule Moments
  5. Cindy Knoke
  6. W.H. Sim Photography
  7. Dumb Sketch Daily
  8. Al the Author
  9. One Stumble At A Time
  10. Feed Your Imagination

If I didn’t include you, it’s not because I don’t love you…it’s because I’m supposed to keep it to a manageable 10. :)

#SelfieArt Day compilation for November

sad girl
After my rather uninspired attempt at a self-portrait for November’s #SelfieArt Day, I’m relieved to say that there will not be a #SelfieArt Day on Dec. 25th (because, you know…). We’ll resume in January if there is enough interest.

In fact, I might just take a blogging break for the entirety of December. It’ll be a crazy month due to the holidays, my sister visiting, and just the general seasonal blahs (this drawing is sort of a selfie; I feel as blah as she looks).

I promised my sweet friend (and human being extraordinaire) Charlie O’Shields (over at the awesome Doodlewash blog) that I’d answer some questions for the Liebster Award today, but that was before I remembered I had to post the #SelfieArt Day links. So, tomorrow, I’ll answer Charlie’s questions. I promise! :)

A big thanks to all the lovely folks who were game enough to tackle creating their own self-portraits this month! They’re presented alphabetical order; please check out their terrific self-portraits, interpreted in their own style! If I’ve forgotten someone, let me know. :)

Karen – https://onestumbleatatime.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/day-329-continued/

Kerfe – https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/self-portrait-9-after-marlene-dumas/

Kirk (who co-founded SelfieArt Day – https://dumbsketchdecember.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/self-portrait-25th-messy-desk-329/

Susan – https://susanfeniakart.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/selfieart/

Thomas – http://onedrawingdaily.com/2015/11/25/self-portrait-day-today/



#SelfieArt Day

This is the worst self-portrait I’ve drawn in the last three times I’ve done one for #SelfieArt Day. I was trying out the Yupo paper again as well as these Tombow markers…and also rushing as I have several other things I need to do today.

I’ll compile the blog posts of other participants and post on Saturday. I’m going to take a couple of days off for the holiday.

Also, we won’t do #SelfieArt Day next month. December is crazy for everyone. Let’s resume in January when I hope I’ll be more in the mood.

Hope everyone will have a nice Thanksgiving! Safe travels to those who have to go somewhere to celebrate.

That which remains

This time of the year, it’s like a Survivor episode in the garden. The not as cold hardy get kicked off the island (or raised beds) while the cold hardy live to enjoy another day in the sun. I took a panoramic photo of the garden. I hope it’ll show up okay on WordPress.

When life gives you pineapples

Son1 sometimes acts like he’s been raised during the Depression (he’s certainly as grumpy as an octogenarian) and scrounges for food all over campus. He brought home a pineapple, and after we ate the fruit, he planted the top of it. He says that’s how the university Greenhouse propagates them.

Wish the lemons life hands us were equally useful and tasty.

Some of the bounty

The salad greens and collard greens are part of the harvest yesterday. They make for an odd pairing with salmon-charmoula pasta (the charmoula is made with our cilantro and dill) but it’s all good and tasty!

Meager harvest

Where did the day go?? Hubby and the boys harvested a ton of veggies today because we’re expecting a hard frost to tonight and tomorrow night. He also picked what remained of our passion fruits…in their varying stages of ripeness. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Squirrel for Lance and recipe for Jodi

I told Lance over at Weisser Watercolours that I have a slight obsession with squirrels and would post one today in his honor, so here it is. :)


And an older one:

Spidey Squirrel

Jodi (Life in Between) requested the recipe for the cake I made for my son. I thought I’d post it here in case anyone else wants it, too.


Happy Friday and happy baking!

New, shiny things

It took about a half hour total, with a LOT of interruptions (like a full day of doing other unrelated things), to get this quick sketch-painting done.


I free-handed it mostly with a #8 filbert brush, adding a few details (like the eyes) with a #5 round. d’Alembert was a French polymath who was featured on the Physics Today Facebook page. I loved the oil portrait of him so much that I wanted to recreate it with the new water-media and paper I’d recently purchased on the recommendation of Laura (Create Art Everyday).

Here’s the pad of paper, which is only 5×7″:


And the paints:


I’m not used to the ultra-smooth texture of the paper and was a little annoyed at the beading that happened when my brush was on the wet side. And I guess I’m not using the Inktense blocks properly because the colors are not very ink-tense. LOL! But, I’ll keep trying.