sylvia plath, lynda barry, and a sheep named tyler durden

i am going to get some pages of moses jones done. i really really am. i have been busy…a bit suicidal…depressed…and busy.

i would be lying if i said i had been working on this zine that i started by drawing the cover. although i have worked a bit on an essay about john irving and also lynda barry. but that is all. and i did this journal page thinking about doing some ink brush paintings of livestock:

journal-page-2

livestock!
so now i have ten chickens and four sheep. i have a tendency to just wing it in many areas of my life. like i never seem to get adequate directions, do not have a smart phone or gps, yet constantly set out on adventures saying, “we’ll find it.” so i got chickens before i had a coop built. i got dogs before making sure my chickens would not be harassed by them. and i got sheep before i had a fenced pasture. long story short. i have lost one rooster to an over-zealous herd dog and have poisoned one sheep by not researching very well and just thinking, “it’ll be fine.” strange that someone as neurotic as me would be so okay with winging it. but i am. another example of my oxymoronity.

we named our sheep after favorite characters from favorite movies. i got to name the ram. i really wanted to name him tyler durden…but decided on harold (from harold & maude) because i was afraid a sheep named tyler durden might be prone to fighting as well as challenging the status quo. but harold the ram got really sick after eating something (acorns? toxic lambsquarters? too much chicken food?) and was looking awful. so i re-re-named him tyler durden and “drenched” (which means to force liquids on–not to douse with a hose!) him with apple cider vinegar and began my journey towards being a holistic shepherd.

but it is my depression more than anything that has crippled my creative process. i read something recently that said that depression is “living in the past.” you know, with anxiety being “living in the future.” i can see that…but my problem is my depression is a current event. i am very unhappy–not with my homestead…but with my live-in ex-husband. aka dusty knickers. he is happy to live at my folks place, contributing only when he sees the whites of my eyes, and otherwise playing video games and being a pain in the ass. i don’t know how to get him to move on…move out…move! i have come to peace with some things–like that it is not my job to let him know he is an asshole…but i do not know how to find peace with him always here. always being dusty.

but i have not taken the sylvia plath route. mostly because of what it would do to my kids. i decided that suicide is something best done when you are young and childless. i passed my open window of opportunity in 1998 (the last time i seriously contemplated suicide but ended up marrying some guy i just met instead. marriage & suicide are on about the same level for me, i guess. ha!) now i have four kids and have to commit to being here no matter how painful it is.

yay.

so i’m putting together this zine. you can be in it if you want. right now it is in a very loose stage of development. but, you know, art–poetry–essays.
and i’m still working on all my other projects: moses jones, lizard brain, whimsy, one up on sylvia plath, space aliens & serial killers…. kids, homestead, survival, etc. you know the drill. and reading, always reading. i totally recommend david wong. but most recently i finally read lynda barry’s notes of an accidental professor. as you may or may not know, i attended uw where she teaches, but somehow i never made it into her class despite her being an early influence for my comics. self-sabotage? fear of my heroes? just plain goofy? we had a nodding acquaintance, mostly because i took my kids to her monthly drawing jams…but i never became soul sisters with her even though my inner geek dreamed of this.
it’s a regret i have.
so i’m sending her a postcard.
you know, a moses jones postcard.
(who knows, maybe she will be my best friend forever after all.) a postcard, and then i will close that chapter and open a new one.

with my desk en route

at the point of this update, my desk–the home of my art & writings–is in a uhaul somewhere in stoughton, wisconsin en route to madison. i miss my desk terribly and anxiously await her arrival.

meanwhile, i doodle on. as my life rises and falls beneath my feet, i doodle on. i ride the waves of my own drama while i doodle and vent in the pages of my journal.

mojo, i have not forsaken you! i keep you close, but do not dare remove you from the portfolio which is your temporary home for fear of young children wreaking havoc on your fragile pages….

and i continue to read amanda palmer’s book the art of asking. i think i have ventured past the point where i am envious, petty, and sad–and now i am able to enjoy the book. i fear repeating my mistake of making contact with someone who seems a kindred soul. lynda barry has taught me to stay hidden in my hole. but i still fantasize about it. what would amanda palmer & i talk about at lunch? would she like my comic? would she make me some new eyebrows? what would she wear? would she let me draw on her eyebrows?

i’m a crazy stalker chick. there is no denying that. however, the book does have me wondering–in addition to what would happen if i started asking for things–where in my life can i be more giving of things? any book that gets me thinking is a good book in my opinion. hers is a good book. a memoir more than a self-help. and it isn’t chronological. and there aren’t chapters per se. she seems authentic. i like that. neil chose well. i look forward to attending one of their anniversary parties once amanda palmer & i have become best friends & gotten matching tattoos.

while the baby naps…

i have doodled a bit.

& written bad poetry…as i am prone to do when feeling heartsick…or hopeful. or both at the same time.

and i have started reading neil gaiman’s collection of short stories trigger warning. i have only read the introduction and the first couple of stories, but i can tell you this–though i have always loved neil gaiman’s writing…now i am in love with his writing. plus, he seems like such an authentic person. i think about trying to contact him…but i’m still recovering from lynda barry’s callous treatment of my heart.

i miss my bubble. i know i live in somewhat of a bubble. the fictitious town of madison, wisconsin. where farmer’s market abound and local organic food is a given. where everyone recycles and liberal bumper stickers decorate many a hybrid car. not the kind of town that in on the landscape of moses jones’s world. and a rare town in my own world, i am realizing as i leave my bubble.

i miss my dusty. i can’t make the coffee right on my own. i have no one to tell the funny stuff to. and the scary stuff. well, no one i want to tell it to. how does moses jones live so long without her dusty? she must have strong walls around her heart. she must be protecting herself. not just from zombies…but from love.

ah, the insight one gets from leaving one’s comfort zone.

while uploading the picture of my daily doodles, i realized i also had pictures of dusty & poppy–and dusty & fidgit–on my camera.

& daddy 007 & daddy 012

i miss dusty…i even miss watching him playing killing floor 2. (dusty spends a lot of time preparing to fight zombies.) i think we will be back together soon though. he has given me reason to feel hopeful that we can save our relationship from the (w)horrors that cannibalize it. however, i find that dusty waxes and wanes like the moon, controlling the tides of me. right now the moon is full & bright…although i have learned the hard way, there is always a dark side to the moon.

when i was a kid, i fucking brilliant

(this was taken using my beat-up digital camera–plus, i am a terrible photographer…but you get the idea)

when i was a kid, i started writing comics. i don’t remember how old i was, but i remember drawing on this little chalkboard, a story with a cast from the nursery rhyme, “hey diddle, diddle.” it was very dramatic, like a soap opera. strange, because i have never watched soap operas–but i did watch a lot of the tv show soap when i was a kid (a sitcom making fun of soap operas–i totally recommend it.) maybe i was influenced by soap. nevertheless, i did my little comics on this chalk board, erasing when necessary for more space, obviously never keeping a hard copy. but it has always stuck in my head and has influenced me as an adult. i want to develop it. one of my  many projects. i sketched a quick cast picture tonight. the lighting is terrible. my camera does not work as well as my dead scanner did. but here it is. hey! diddle, diddle.

ps. i did tell lynda barry about this in a drunken email to her one night. she never responded. i am a little hurt and a little suspicious.

dystopia, dystopia

dystopia, dystopia

this is the last panel of “moses jones” that i prepared for my art class final. i practiced using ink to paint with and used the influences of ralph steadman and rembrandt in my process. since then i have also embraced lynda barry and david mack as wonderful examples of painting with ink. so these five comic’s (of which this is the last) are my first efforts at painting with ink. i am not completely happy with my efforts, but i look forward to doing more of it as soon as i have half of a minute to do so.
in addition to perfecting my painting with ink, i also need to figure out the plot line of this comic. i want to create a dystopian society of sorts. i want to develop the characters based on my children & have them function as actual characters–not props. i need to know if moses jones is delusional or on the lam or actually fighting zombies or what.
maybe it will all come to me in a dream.
maybe i should start drinking more.