This picture makes me happy.

This is an illustration by Andre Carrilho in this week’s New Yorker magazine and I think it is brilliant. It’s for 5-page article about the work of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, who wrote astonishing poetry from the age of 16 until the age of 20, when he renounced the arts all together and went [...]

Knowing Me, Knowing You.

One of the most important questions a writer must answer (when asked at cocktail parties, or by an agent, or in reply to that hammering voice inside your head):

What kind of writer are you?

The same is true of illustrators, which is the second half of my answer to that writer question. I am still feeling [...]

The Long Goodbye.

Ah, the last half of August. It’s just one gorgeous, two-week-long Good-bye.

And what better place to say farewell to Summer than in our neighborhood estate of William Cullen Bryant? William Cullen Bryant. Know him? No, not him; that’s William Jennings Bryant. William Cullen Bryant, for whom our town named its library.

This William Cullen Bryant: November 3, 1794 [...]

The meaning of rainy days.

Thank you, dear readers, for your wonderful notes regarding your Certificates of Catology. You should all celebrate your expertise and take pride in your achievement. And yes, those little cat portraits on your certificates of appreciation are reproduced the same size that I painted them. And yes, they are all my cats — maybe you’ll recognize [...]

You are going to thank me for this. Really.

I don’t spend a lot of time traveling in the interwebs, but this past week I was researching the language of rain and I had to refresh my memory of Buenos Aires. (I’m not going to explain how this sentence makes sense. Long Story. Plot twists. Boring. But stay with me.)

And my very first hit [...]

The reality of August.

August is my favorite month of the year. For many reasons; one of which is because August 7 is only the half-way point of Summer, which feels weird because my visceral experience of August is totally final, last, end-of-Summer. I feel as if I spend the month of August frantically assembling my last chances of the [...]

This picture makes me happy:

If you need a little pick-me-up today, and your job description (or your liver) (or your mental health) (or your security clearance) won’t tolerate a breakfast dose of tequila, and your favorite Beatle died a decade ago, and it’s too late to fetch yourself a double-glazed Krispy Kreme donut, and the last time you went shopping at [...]

More than you want to know, probably.

This is what I tell every struggling writer and art journaler who attends my workshop:

There are only three truths you need to know about yourself to unlock your creativity, as follows:

1. You need to know what kind of writer you are.

2. You need to know who your readers is.

3. You need to figure out your strategy [...]