Tag Archives: inner child

Natural Geometry Mandala

Classically beautiful...

Classically beautiful…

I’m in love with this elegant purple mandala. It’s really regular in symmetry and even thought it’s limited and color and shape, that simplicity opens up a greater complexity in the overall design.

Flowers are their own kind of mandala

Flowers are their own kind of mandala

Today was a nice day as far as being an artist goes. I read fairy tales to kindergarteners, repaired books for the school library, and took a rambling walk in the park, mostly for the purpose of take photos of roses. I also spent a lot of time swinging on the swings, for the purpose of giving little dragon some air. How many hours a week did I spend swinging when I was a kid? Jumping rope? Skipping? I mean, seriously, I probably jumped rope a couple hours a week, every week.

Here’s when I stopped swinging a lot: I was probably about 12 or so. I had a Walkman (children…it’s like an MP3 player, but it only holds one album at a time) and I was swinging with my eyes clothes and my headphones on and a toddler ran in front of me and I kicked that little sucker right in the head. I don’t remember the kid’s reaction, but I do remember the mom freaking out. She wanted to be mad at me for swinging with my eyes closed and my headphones on, but she knew it was her own fault for letting her baby run in front of the swings.

So today I didn’t close my eyes. A little girl came over and swung next to me. I could tell she wanted to strike up a conversation–I am a colorful person, after all–but she was too shy. Instead, she tried to swing as high as me. I decided that I was going to outswing this kid, that I would keep going longer and higher than she could. Trying to keep up with kids is better than a FitBit. So I ended up pumping for way longer than I would have otherwise. Eventually, the kid had what sounded like an asthma attack and stopped swinging. Which means I won!!!

Then The Man and I went out with the Missesses Kitty and ate a really unreasonable amount of West African cuisine, which I have been obsessed with all month. Fufu! Peanut sauce! Goat! Good stuff.

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Dragon Comics 75

Nothing like a little vacation from reality to make you appreciate vacations from reality.

Nothing like a little vacation from reality to make you appreciate vacations from reality.

I love having a family, but it’s not really possible to get very much done when they’re around. People want feeding, chauffeuring, cuddling, that sort of thing. Art, for me, is an extended and quiet process. It requires long chunks of time in which to think and feel before creation even begins, and then it wants no interruption as the new work unspools.

That’s why I take writing retreats once or twice a year, sometimes with other writers, and sometimes alone. I only use the computer for work-related tasks, avoid all social media, and spend every minute I’m not writing doing something inspiring: cooking, reading, hiking. Talking about writing. It helps keep me sane. I always set a lot of rules and a lot of goals, and I usually do pretty well with both. It’s a special, sacred space and I wish I could enter into it more often.

But having a family to come home to is a beautiful thing. Even though I sometimes miss having days on end filled with nothing but writing and quiet, I would miss my family more if I didn’t have them. the The kids will be able to take care of themselves someday. Not sure about The Man, though.

Dragon Comics 74

You've got the power!

You’ve got the power!

A long time coming but here it is: comics about self-affirmation and belief in your true core’s strength. The answer was right there all along.

So far this has been a good week! My friend the Owl sent me a job posting for a website looking for someone to blog about non superhero graphic novels. This is my thing! I have a deep background and many ideas to share on this subject, and I am professionally trained to write and to deconstruct texts. Yet, knowing about the process of reading open calls for submission triggers my fear of rejection. What if, despite my knowledge that I am perfect for a job, I fail? What does this say about my belief in my abilities, if I cannot even escape the slush pile? This is the sort of thing that tears me up and prevents me from putting forth the effort.

But I put forth the effort. And I made the cut. My little essays are going up as guest posts and if everything works out I will probably get my own column. To write about non superhero graphic novels. Which is a thing I would be doing anyway.

Another fun thing that just happened was the advent of my 100th follower on this blog. Hello! Everything’s coming up Dragon!

Dragon Comics 71

It's all kind of up in the air.

It’s all kind of up in the air right now. 

My inner child is older and wiser than she used to be.

About a year ago my brother emailed me to ask my opinion of the “accuracy” of some depictions of the writing process in The World According to Garp: “To begin with, is it true that when you write everything seems connected to everything else?” My short answer: “cf: synchronicity.”

When a story is working, when the characters and their motivations are real and defined, it drives itself, and the world is its fuel. It just keeps shoveling ideas in one end, and plot comes out the other. Sometimes all you have to do is pick the words that keep the ideas in order. Yes, everything feeds writing. Some writers may be more focused in terms of which field they let the machine graze in, but whatever you have, that’s what gets in.

He also asked some intelligent questions about how stories are generated, and this is different for every writer, I think, but they don’t tend to spring fully formed like Athena from the brow of Zeus, unless you are very, very lucky. You still have to put the pieces together and keep the mechanism tuned: now it needs a new character, now a change of scenery.

Writing this comic, at this particular time in my life, has grown enlightening. I’m glad so many people are on this journey with me, but I’m writing it for myself. We wouldn’t have set off on this particular path if not for the unfortunate episode of bullying I wrote about a couple weeks back, which in turn led me to ask myself a series of questions, and the questions went deeper and deeper into the past, but kept dovetailing with questions about the present and future. It speaks to me as a tool for understanding, learning, and accepting.

In short, I’m working through some stuff here. Stay tuned. If you dare.