Same dirty laundry, different day.

What I learned about myself from going camping for the first time last week:

I learned that being a writer is good training for roughing it. Because when it comes to writing and camping, the outfits are exactly the same, and so is the level of personal grooming. And when you go to bed drunk and [...]

Words to a Song.

Where were we? Oh, right. We were here:

Remember how I wanted to do a picture about my Obligatory Proustian Moment in the story of my most recent road trip in France (to be the subject of my next book, That Damn France Book)? It was about the time I was in a little town in the Loire [...]

It was a very good year

Last week Top Cat and I went to his 40th high school class reunion.

Yes: Four-tea-ith. Yes: 1970 was FORTY YEARS AGO. (Like this Life Magazine cover, from August 1970.)

We went with his lovely first wife, who was a classmate at Great Neck North high School — Top Cat and she were not high school sweethearts [...]

October is the Coyote Month

Two of these leaves are real, and two on them are my paintings of leaves. I can’t tell you how the real leaves are made, because I am not a tree, but I canshow you how I made my facsimiles.

I chose these two leaves out of all the leaves that are in my neighbor’s front yard (after [...]

The difference between stealing and borrowing:

Yesterday I took a break from being endlessly fascinating and re-read one of my favorite books. I was breezing along the fifth or sixth page, going back over the sentences and paragraphs that I love, dipping into a narrative that has shaped my view of the world, minding my own business; and suddenly the book slapped [...]

This picture makes me happy

This is Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, with his cat Cheddar.

Yes. The Prime Minister of Canada is a cat person. And if that were not reason enough to have some happy thoughts about Canada, here’s another one:

In Saskatchewan, Canada, this kind of hooded sweatshirt is called a bunny hug.

Bunny hug is my new [...]

Getting Out There

The world-famous author and even more famous recluse, Vivian Swift, boarded the 4:46 to MANHATTAN on October 6, 2010, to attend a WRITERS EVENT. She was wearing real clothes (the kind where you have to hold in your stomach and stand up straight in) and real shoes (you know, with leather soles and a little [...]

Art in the real world

After reading my last post (last Friday), you might be wondering: So what else can you, Great and Wondrous Vivo, do with that rolled up piece of paper towel (see below)?

And what else, Vivo the Magnificent, do with those bleeding water colors (see below)?

Well, I was dabbling this past week, trying not to notice that I’m a [...]

I’m a paint-stained wretch

This (above) is the September sun set that I want to paint for you today. I chose it because it’s got two of my favorite things (to paint) in it: clouds, and diagonals. It’s got diagonal clouds: a two-fer!

I’m going to use two techniques for this painting. Ha ha. I said “Techniques”.

There are two gimmicks [...]