Well, it seems that it's been a long, long while. It looks like I started to write something in August, but never finished or posted it. Now it's November. Ooops. This is because my book is due this week! When a book is due, I can't function! I can't do anything but paint! My life becomes consumed! And I sound exasperated all the time!

My friend Julia just called me up and asked if she could come over with her friend to take a tour of the apartment. They're looking to move to Greenpoint, possibly, and Julia wanted to show her friend "a nice apartment." Some nice apartment! She has NO idea. First of all, I just woke up (yes, it's 11:30--that's because I went to bed at 4:30). Secondly, I must keep up the appearance that I ALWAYS have a neat and perfect apartment. But just for fun, I'm now going to show a few before-and- after- shots. Get ready folks! I'm not sure if I'm doing this because I have no shame or because I think an extremely honest blog is EXCITING.





I think I'll use these photos and update my "see inside the studio" bit on the bio page. It's time to come clean people. Literally. There's going to be some big-time cleaning after this.



Halloween came and went. I had fun. I went on and on to everybody about how I was going to dress up like an 80s workout chick…but I totally chickened out and went for the old ten gallon hat instead. Blood did end up all over my face (fake blood, of course!), by the end of the night, thanks to Adam. I sort of forgot about the blood and my friend Jay and I went to a bar after the party (until we got kicked out at 4). Neither of us had our costumes on anymore…well…except for the blood all over my face. I forgot about the blood! When I went to use the bathroom, I saw my bloody, bloody face staring back at me. I guess I must have looked a little weird since it actually wasn't Halloween yet.

Below is a picture (I'm not in it, of course). Hot stuff.


My headaches

The next day I got a whopping migraine and was on the couch puking all day. And what did I think the whole time? How can I get myself over to the desk to get some work done? Maybe I can paint between "incidents" and if I pass out, so be it….

People always say "Oh, you have a hangover." No! It's not a hangover. It's a migraine. I had a migraine last night and there was no drinking involved. I used to get migraines when I was a teen. Everyday I'd come home from school and vomit. Good times, good times. I think I'm getting the headaches again because I"ve cut the caffeine out of my life. Why, you ask? Well, because I was getting heart palpitations. My heart was pounding, very uncomfortably, almost out of my chest. I swore I was going to need to call 911 at some point. The heart plantations, are of course, caused by my high stress level. I have so many things to do all the time and the book deadline was just sending me over the edge. I feel better today (and last night... that's why I must have gotten another headache … because when the stress lessens, the headache comes) because my book cover FINALLY got approved. I swear, it's been 6 long awful, grueling months of back and forth emails. No, the color isn't right…the font needs to be bigger…the font needs to be smaller…the character needs to be moved a little to the left…the character needs to go back where he was…you can't use the color pink…you can't use purple…. I was ready to give up. I was ready to walk. I'm serious. My poor friends had to deal with my crazy stressed out behavior. Someone should have just shot me with a tranquilizer, and like a rabid animal, I should have been put out of my sorry misery. But it's all over now. Funny that my heart rate seems to be back to normal, isn't it?

During this book cover fiasco, I also had to do a signing in RI (which got rained out) and had to speak at RISD in the giant, giant auditorium. I survived! Many people actually came up to me afterward, suggestinig that I do stand up. I guess I have a talent for making fun of myself. But seriously, what's more fun than doing that?


Web stuff

I've decided to bring back the snapshots of the month and the music reviews. What I'll do is archive them in the other portion of The Lounge. The music reviews will be there and I'll put a quick blurb here. I think Fireside Chat was missing some of "the character"…whatever that means.

Also, I've been meaning to update the bio section. I"m going to show some artwork I did in elementary school…all the way to college. Good stuff. This will prepare me to start doing school visits…or so I say.

Aliens Are Coming also needs to get finished!

So, that will hall happen after the book is turned in.


Society of Illustrators day

Patty and the Big Red Bus got into the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Finally! I have been submitting pieces to get into that darn gallery since college. For once, I'm finally in! Random House had a lovely reception for its authors before the SOI opening at 5. I walked into a room filled with publishing people all making paper turkeys. Below is a shot of the turkey making.

You will win a free book if you can pick out both Nancys….

Editors can be really messy! Look at that mess!

This is a paper turkey.He's out of focus, but pretty cute.The striped hat really gives him some attitude and flavor.

He's saying "Ooooh yeah, look at me ladies…I'm a turkey…"

Below are the turkeys on the wall. Everyone tried to get me to make a turkey, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. At the time, I never EVER wanted to create another peice of art again. That's what deadlines do to you!

I don't know why, but I didn't ask to take anyone's picture. I HATE having my picture taken, so I guess I don't like to ask. Maybe next time I'll harrass all of my editors and designers and then put their photos up. I'm sure they'd LOVE that.

At the Society of Illustrators I met lots and lots of publishing folk––designers, marketing people, editors, art directors, and who knows who else. It was a whirlwind and I'm a bit of a space cadet, so one can only imagine how that all went down. There was a lot of "I just wanted to indruduce myself…I'm so-and-so…Congratulations on getting into the show!" I WISH I could have carried a little notebook around to jot down everyone's names. I would have said "And how do you spell your last name? Which company do you work for? Let me just jot this down so I don't forget." Oh well. We all know that will never happen. To give a very good example of how bad I am: I once worked with a girl for a year and never knew her name! I just couldn't stick it into my brain when she introduced herself. I was too embarrassed to admit that I couldn't remember it, and since it was just the two of us working alone, I never heard her name mentioned! She'd say "Hi Meghan," and I"d say "Hey…(long pause) …you."

Below is a photo of the opening. Yeah, it was crowded….

Another free book if you can pick out the guy who runs Society of Illustrators events. Hint: He's on the left.


What I'm listening to and reading right now!

I've picked up a few new CDs.

See Venus - hard times for dreamers - Great indie pop that sounds a lot like Saint Etienne

Acid House Kings - sing along with acid house kings - Another indie pop album reminiscent of The Carpenters

Sin Destroyers - The best darn faux Christian rock ever!

These albums may be reviewed, at some point, in the music reviews section. To see the first few reviews, go here.



I always listen to audio books while I'm painting. Here are some good books for adults and kids that I recommend….


The Bonesetter's Daughter - A great adult book that tells of several generations from the same family. The story goes from China to the US as we follow a mother who had a hard life and is now struggling to remember, and we see this thorough the eyes of her daughter as she comes to terms with her mother's Alzheimer's. The stories of the past are quite intriguing and make the book well worth the read.

Amateur Marriage - It took me a while to get into this one, but once I was sucked in, I couldn't get enough. It's a powerful, realistic look at a couple who was not meant to be. The perspective shifts from husband to wife, as the reader follows their life's journeys.


The Face on the Milk carton - This is a fast paced story about a girl who sees her own photo on a milk carton! Was she kidnapped? Her obsession to discover the truth is both frustrating and a nail-bitter.

The Giver - An amazing story––part futuristic, part human interest. I don't want to give anything away, but I can tell you to READ THIS BOOK.

The Secret Garden - This is the story of a boy and girl, both transformed from bitter and reclusive to happy and full of life. There is little action in the book and therefore full attention paid to characterization. A great, classic read.



Time's up….

Ooookay, look who has wasted WAY too much time on this! A book is due and if it doesn't make the deadline, it's the blog's fault. That's what I'm going to tell my editor. The blog has a life of its own! It's the filthy, filthy blog's fault!


For past months of fireside chat, click here!