teddy-bear-cover

Gremlins Maybe??? (An Instant Repost)

Apparently, there was a little glitch in the internet last night when I posted. I received quite a few messages that something was off, and that the link to my blog received one of those “404” errors. Now, I think little gremlins might have been in place, chewing up the hyperlinks and laughing madly, so if that’s the case, we should always remember that the internet (believe it or not) has not been perfected. So, to those that DID NOT receive last nights blog, I hope this comes through🙂 What follows is what I shared……

 

I finished all of the details needed to finish “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me.” Now, it’s simply a matter of waiting. October 3rd is the big day.

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed writing this new book, and how all of the enjoyment came from trying a different tone in my writing. I’ve never written a children’s book before. And I have to tell you, it’s awfully intimidating. But, I found my voice.

I found that while I was writing, I was speaking to closely to whatever young reader was scanning the page, narrating to them as though I was in the room with them, breaking the fourth wall, and pulling myself out of the page and into their little imaginations.

teddy-bear-coverI had this concept that some children don’t have someone to read to them when they go to bed, so I wanted to write in that particular voice of someone who was. Yes, while reading it, you feel as though you’re being tucked into bed and told a story by someone listening, and not just telling them a story. I say things like, “And the little bear had a very big decision to make….Now, I know you want to move on to the next chapter, but it’s time for bed. You must get your rest. We’ll continue to the next chapter later. For now, hold your pillow close, pull your covers up under your chin, and sleep tight….I’ll be here waiting for you on the next page.”

I thought that was where my voice was necessary. I thought THAT was what I wanted to accomplish with this book: to have it clung to when lonely, to have those little eyes that read that book feel they were not alone. And I know there are lonely ones out there.

And there is this magical moment at the end (not spoiling it!) that I hope inspires a new generation of knitters, especially boys, and hopefully, picking up the yarn with a desire to give back something gracious and kind to the world.

I think the best thing about being an artist, or a knitter especially, is learning new things about yourself while you’re creating. You find value in some of the simplest moments. Or rather, you find in yourself in the presence of something you often hide from: yourself. The modern world seems to find something dreadful about turning off all of the machines and being left alone for a minute to learn about yourself.🙂 Maybe that will change. Maybe a few words on a page will remind that we are never alone.

If you’d like a signed, first edition, hardcover copy, click here. Kindle and paperback will be released on October the 3rd.

“Being brave is the least of your worries. It’s purpose you need to think about. I hate to be the one tell you this, but sometimes, someone’s only purpose is to love….and just loving someone can be very brave….Now hold tight, little one. The Moths are coming….Be brave.”

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps! Thank you!

teddy-bear-cover

The Moths are Coming

teddy-bear-coverI finished all of the details needed to finish “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me.” Now, it’s simply a matter of waiting. October 3rd is the big day.

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed writing this new book, and how all of the enjoyment came from trying a different tone in my writing. I’ve never written a children’s book before. And I have to tell you, it’s awfully intimidating. But, I found my voice.

I found that while I was writing, I was speaking to closely to whatever young reader was scanning the page, narrating to them as though I was in the room with them, breaking the fourth wall, and pulling myself out of the page and into their little imaginations.

I had this concept that some children don’t have someone to read to them when they go to bed, so I wanted to write in that particular voice of someone who was. Yes, while reading it, you feel as though you’re being tucked into bed and told a story by someone listening, and not just telling them a story. I say things like, “And the little bear had a very big decision to make….Now, I know you want to move on to the next chapter, but it’s time for bed. You must get your rest. We’ll continue to the next chapter later. For now, hold your pillow close, pull your covers up under your chin, and sleep tight….I’ll be here waiting for you on the next page.”

I thought that was where my voice was necessary. I thought THAT was what I wanted to accomplish with this book: to have it clung to when lonely, to have those little eyes that read that book feel they were not alone. And I know there are lonely ones out there.

And there is this magical moment at the end (not spoiling it!) that I hope inspires a new generation of knitters, especially boys, and hopefully, picking up the yarn with a desire to give back something gracious and kind to the world.

I think the best thing about being an artist, or a knitter especially, is learning new things about yourself while you’re creating. You find value in some of the simplest moments. Or rather, you find in yourself in the presence of something you often hide from: yourself. The modern world seems to find something dreadful about turning off all of the machines and being left alone for a minute to learn about yourself.🙂 Maybe that will change. Maybe a few words on a page will remind that we are never alone.

“Being brave is the least of your worries. It’s purpose you need to think about. I hate to be the one tell you this, but sometimes, someone’s only purpose is to love….and just loving someone can be very brave….Now hold tight, little one. The Moths are coming….Be brave.”

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!

img_2817

He Reminds Me of a Push-Pop

IMG_2809You remember those, don’t you? Those deliciously decadent cremecicle, orange push pops? That’s what this bear reminds me of. Now, I accidently ordered this color, thinking that I was ordering the color for my bear, “You’re Classic, Perfect.” Which apparently (on screen) looks vibrantly different. I should have known when the color labeled was “VIBRANT ORANGE.” But, as far as I’m concerned, accidents don’t happen without a reason. I FELL IN LOVE with that bright orange. But, it was the only skein I had, so I made this little bear.

img_2817Now, this little bear was made with the last of the mystery yarn (which I think is a superwash wool), I had in my stash. His mate was called, “A Shift in Pastels,” so I’m lovingly referring to this little guy as “ANOTHER shift in pastels. He’s a definite one of a kind. Now, I truly need to sell this two little guys as soon as possible. I know I say that often, but we have to finish paying rent. If you’d like one of them, just click on the pictures.

This is a short post. Phillip is off today, so we’re rushing to catch the bus to run some errands, then head back here to knit and crochet our little butts off.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!

IMG_2164

The Threshold

We woke this morning to a crispness.

Ok, I was up at about 2am. I just couldn’t sleep. Not for bad reasons, I just couldn’t wait to get back to work. Back to knitting, back to writing. By the time Phillip was up at 5am, we both were convinced today was the first day we could fling open the windows and allow fresh air into the apartment. Our first “tease” of fall. By 6am, it was a marvelous 71 degrees, and even now it’s around 9am and the windows are inviting in a tasty breeze, without the residue of damp, Floridian humidity. Of course, our Autumn isn’t quite the same as everyone else’s, but if you’ve lived here for a long time you revel the day the air is no longer thicker than a t-bone steak; you love that surprising day you wake to a low in the 70’s.

We started talking about our wedding, which is only two weeks away. Perhaps I should say marriage? There is no “wedding” so to speak. It’ll just be he and I headed to the courthouse on the 22nd, signing the right papers, and coming home bug-eyed, internally screaming, “WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO???”🙂 There will be no minister, no doves being let loose, nor even a guest list. Just us and a pen.

Our honeymoon will consist of us spending that weekend having a beer or two and playing cribbage and croquet. We’re not having a reception. We had aimed for the idea of having our families come together for a barbecue, but the list got longer, the expense got greater, and we simply decided a little while ago that a reception wasn’t practical. Every dime, and I do mean every dime, will go towards my teeth and tax bill….and every real married couples desire, an attempt to SAVE.

We weren’t going to fuss and stress over 20 people coming together to chew on ribs, especially if your’s truly was only allowed to eat cottage cheese and broth soaked bread. No thanks. We’ll do that some other day, some other time, after my teeth are tended to, the tax man is no longer dissatisfied, and we have a few dollars set aside for monsoons. (Rainy days? Really? When it rains, it freakin’ pours!)

IMG_2164We want to start our new life together sound, clean, unhinged. We don’t want for much, and it doesn’t take a lot to please us. Like I said, our honeymoon will be us with a six pack and a couple of rounds of cards. That’s all we need from each other: each other. That was the moment I knew this was the man I was going to marry: the moment I knew we neither of us liked big and bombastic….we liked simply BEING with each other. As a matter of fact, when we are together, we don’t do what others would consider “very much.” Like I said, we like to sit with each other, grapple over politics, gossip about the horrible things we see on TV, and play cards. Then, we head to bed, cats quickly pouncing in to claim a preferred space, then go to sleep with a sudden truth that can wake you right up again: ….I found him. We giggle, we pick on each other (I love that part, because I can toss some nice zingers), chide each other for each other’s alleged sloppiness, laugh until we’re beet red in the face…..the fall asleep with a smile.

I imagine the most traditional part our “wedding” will be when we get home. I’m going to insist he carry me over the threshold. And not just because it’s practical (I’m 120lbs, he’s a good 260), but because it’s metaphoric. That man is so defending of me, so protective. He won’t let anyone hurt me. He proudly struts not broad chested since we met so long ago, for when I met him, he seemed to slouch. We’re good for each other in ways that are fundamentally flawed. He urges me to be more playful, I urge him to quit playing his “pokeman go” and fold his laundry. And it works for us.

IMG_2809And as he carries me across the threshold, I’m going to do everything in my power to take care of my little family of ogre and furries. We’re making some changes. There are no more “made to order” bears in my shop. That list is almost finished, So, in my shop, you’ll only see bears that are ready to go TODAY. I think there are two bears left in there and if we get those sold, we can finally pay rent.

In the next few weeks, we’re going to focus all of our time and energy on my children’s book, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me.”  (Ready in a few weeks). And we want to make it special, hoping THAT book takes US financially over the threshold, not wealthy, just having crossed the threshold into safety.

I have some really cool things in that book. Not just the story itself, but other little things in there I think you will enjoy. I think this book will be a great turning point for us….so much, that I’m already plotting another children’s book after that based on Phillip’s “Strange Friends.”

So, this where the crisp first tease of Autumn has lead me: happily back to work.🙂 Hope you are all well!

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!

 

 

 

IMG_2805

Sherbet Bears

IMG_2805With all of the issues surrounding my teeth, and being forced to eat soft foods, I have to confess that one the best aspects has been a new found fondness for sherbet. I have fallen in love with peach, mango, passion fruit, orange, raspberry, blueberry, and especially lime…. ALL KINDS of sherbet have eased me. Now, as I was scanning my yarn stash I found a few random skeins that were not enough to do solid bears, but definately enough yardage to work up some bears with hats and scarves all in homage to the different flavors of sherbet that have I’ve grown to fancy. With these bears sold, we’ll have our rent paid for the month and we will heave a sigh of relief….and splurge on some more sherbet.🙂 If you’d like one of these bears, click here. They’re ready to ship with a signed card by me.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!

hermine-0831-1315

Sayeth the Wren…

hermine-0831-1315…and the clouds roll by fast, screaming of the horrors they’re fleeing. Mad flashes of sun try to intrude, but the bountiful lashes of lightning impune. Us mortals cower at the weather, pray to whatever angel may listen for refuge. Then there, just as we gather in huddles to reconsider our temperance, the signalling song of a wren, floating along in the softening throng, wistfully sings that the storm that never was, is now over.

Damn! I really should write more!

Phillip says I should write poetry and I reply, “There are too many rules in poetry…and not enough money.”

And some people often ask why I often start my blogs with “and” and “so.” Well, because I’m already in thought when I start writing, and I start typing at the tail end of it. But, that wasn’t the point of this blog.

Hermine (was that her name?) came through and left, leaving a little puddle on my doorstep, but that’s about it. Now, I can’t speak for other places, but Orlando often jokes about it’s force field when it comes to major storms. We had a nasty one in 2005. Charlie. Beat this city up bad. It reminded us we were vulnerable, human and that nature always wins. A few weeks later, we were ready for the next one…and then another one. Now, when a storm comes through, we take it head on, for what choice do we have? When big storms come our way, we have no choice but to face them, accept them, bury ourselves in provisions and weather them out. And sometimes we realize, the storm that was coming wasn’t so terrible after all. Maybe I’ll leave this post at that. Sometimes big things come our way that scare the hell out of us. We prepare, we get ready…..and discover it wasn’t so dreadful after all.🙂 Facing terrible situations, confronting hard times is easier when you begin to think that the storms we face are often more terrifying in our minds than they are in reality.

We’re all a lot stronger when we face the storms, rather than ignore them….

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!

 

 

 

DSCF2040

No Lesson in Life More Worth Learning

And there I sat at the tender edge of summer’s ebb, knitting needles in hand, eyes glancing often to the rolling growl of approaching storms, wistfully smiling as my mind moved towards the simple wave of an old friend’s hand. I had been walking down the little driveway to the post box to check the mail when a smart little red car raced by, purple haired woman at the wheel, waving gleefully at me. It was Mendi, whom I had just become reacquainted. I text her quickly to thank her for the drive-by wave, to which she responded, “Whenever I go by your apartment I wave…. :)”

I had not seen Mendi in nearly 15 years, but thought of her often. It was Mendi who drove me to the monastery. It was Mendi that showed me that art could be found everywhere. It was Mendi’s collection of books on kundalini meditation, numerology, and prophets that smell of gardenias that I coveted. It was the smell of Nag Champa in her house that made me feel like it was home. It was Mendi that fed me coffee and baked potatoes we bought at the 24 hour Winn-Dixie…..us, and every REAL transgender in town shopping at 2am (it was the only time they could go without fear of being beat up back then). Mendi was the first to see my writing, see something of value in it, and promote me. It was Mendi that held me one very challenging day in an October long since past. She found me crying. The “why” I was crying is of no concern. The warmth with which she embraced me is, as she said under her breath, “I know it hurts….” is what I remember. Mendi was a very impressive imprint of me during on young and impressionable 20’s. She was the sort that said with the loving pat on the back of my hand, “you’re being foolish.” In many ways, it Mendi was a surrogate aunt, a kind woman who saw a misguided kid with promise and shifted him towards a different path. I owe much to Mendi.

Fast forward a thousand hours of life slipping and gaining, cut out the 15 years of silence between us: as my knitting needles raced, my mind slowed to remembrance of older days. I was grateful to see Mendi again not long ago. She bought a copy of my book, followed my address, and knocked on my door (she only lived 2 blocks away). Now, this won’t be one of those moments where you say, “…and we picked up where we left off.” Heavens, no. A decade and a half, and dearly departed friends, pain and joy had come our way. We were not the same people. However, that beauty I found in her was still ever present. She was still just as vibrant as ever….and still purple haired🙂 We had a wonderful meeting. And the one thing I was clear on was this: she was still my friend. She was still teaching me so much about myself. Knitting needles in hand, and losing days as quickly as they come as we get older, I felt that my life would never be lonely should I always remember that there are people that love me no matter how horrible I had been. (And I was pretty horrible in my 20’s). Those friendships, those people we rarely get to see, nor speak to, but feel in our hearts are always deeply praying for us, are once in a lifetime moments.

I don’t get to see her often, we text rarely, but….and this is the beautiful part that had me come to this strange new 21st century machine to remind of something that is so archaic: I see that little red car driven by a purple haired darling…and I smile🙂

They’re not on your radar, they’re not constantly posting on a Facebook feed, and they don’t Instagram what they ate for dinner….but, some of the best people you know angelically protect from a distance, quietly shielding you with brightness and love….and a simple wave from afar to let you know they’re still there.

Next time you pick up your knitting….recall an old friend, think of their impact on your life. Let your needles speak through stitches, speak to them through your purls, and let your heart remember once in a lifetime people….

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!.