Sometimes Doodling is a Better Way~ SOL#19~Day#3



Sometimes, I can capture a moment with more specificity by drawing doodles than in writing a descriptive micro-memoir. Speech and thought bubbles lend to inferences that can portray my characters more than I could in describing them in words. And, it’s quicker.

It can become a curse, however, as you start to see everything as a graphic novel, visualizing a scene or overheard dialogue as cartoon snippets. You can’t get down things fast enough as once you start, you’ve activated the launching sequence. Then, you begin asking yourself what becomes “story-catching worthy”. I’ve come to believe that everything is “story-catching worthy”, and if we don’t capture it, it’s gone forever, and sometimes we don’t know a story’s worth until years later.

Being an introvert, I can quietly observe my extrovert family members and their witty conversations. They don’t realize I’m taking it all in. Actually, my husband does. He sometimes says, “Did you get that, hon? Can you put that in your notebook?”

His life is much more “story-catching worthy” than mine.

But, perhaps that’s why we were partnered.

lumberjack doodles

Shari ūüôā

Puppy Duties Cause Writing Pause~ SOL#12~2017

All my daughter, Gracie, wanted for her birthday was a puppy. ¬†She’s 24, a nurse and lives in an apartment.

“How is she going to take care of a puppy?” my husband asked.

“I don’t know,” was my response, “She’s an adult. I’m sure she can figure it out.”

I didn’t really think I’d find one and that would be the end of this idea.

Sitting down with my laptop two days before her birthday (yes, I procrastinate everything), I decided to just do a little search. ¬†In the span of five minutes, I’d found one within two hours from our home. I texted my 25 year old son to see if he could go check it out.

“Why does Gracie need a puppy?” he asked.

“Because she wants one,” I replied in my Mother Voice.

“Geez,” he grumbled.

That same night, he bought the puppy, had to refrain from also buying the lone yellow lab left by himself, and we now had a secret to keep.


(How did my kids turn into such dog lovers?)

Her birthday was not for two days, so I had secret puppy duties.

I didn’t sleep. ¬†I cleaned up messes. I was on constant watch. ¬†We snuggled. We took naps.



No writing happened.

“I sure hope you are doing the right thing,” my skeptic husband kept shaking his head.

“Well, if she wasn’t supposed to have a puppy, it all would not have unfolded so easily,” I told him.

This, I believe. ¬†I somehow felt Gracie’s angels nudging me to do this work and honestly, there was not a glitch in the system. ¬†No canaries in the mineshaft. ¬†Not a bump in the road. That’s gotta mean something, right?

“Whaddaya gonna do if she can’t take care of it?” he asked.

“I’m not going to worry about that,” but really, I was anxious.

Two days later, Gracie’s birthday arrived. ¬†Puppy went in a box and we told Gracie it was just a box of liquor from Happy Harry’s. ¬†She’s 24 remember. . .

She was a little surprised.




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“Well, it looks like you were right again,” admitted my husband. “I think she’s a keeper.”

“I think I had a little help,” I confessed.

(Those pesky angels.)

So, I’m out of the running for prizes on the SOL challenge for this year. That’s ok, I’ve been here before. The little breather was worth it and I’ve got some new writing material.

Life is good.

Shari ūüôā

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  To check out other writers, visit here.


Pie Story #sol16

I don’t like to admit it, but we are pie snobs at my house. ¬†It’s not our fault. ¬†I blame my mother-in-law (or should I say credit?).

Before I even married my husband, I knew that making pie from scratch was going to be an art that I wanted to master.  His mother, you see, had the gift of creating these masterpieces and at the end of many Sunday meals, they would be presented, savored, and devoured.

I was there.  A mere 16-year-old girlfriend.

I saw the look on my husband’s eyes when the pie came out.

I saw the look on my father-in-law’s eyes when the pie came out.

I also saw the family in my husband’s house melt into a blissful state upon tasting that first bite.

And, I saw the love that radiated around the table.

I learned then and there that I would need to figure this pie thing out. ¬†As a new bride, my pies were a sad disappointment. Crust making was torture. ¬†My husband persevered, never criticizing my attempts. ¬†Perhaps he knew he still had his mother’s pies as a default. ¬†Or, maybe he was praying that eventually I would get there. ¬†Really, I think he was just grateful that I was trying.

It’s taken years, and my pie making art is one of the few things I will openly say that I’m pretty good at. ¬†There are days that no matter what, a crust won’t take shape and I’ll throw it in the garbage and start over (or decide to make a box cake instead). ¬†There are days when I can’t find my rolling-pin cover and I have to cut off the toes of a sock to stretch over the pin. ¬†And, there are days when I overcook the apples turning them to applesauce.

But, on those good pie days. . .

oh man. . .

my husband is like putty in my hands.

Shari ūüôā

Dirty Dishes~ sol#16



Knowing that your kitchen sink is adorned with the overflowing of dirty dishes causes one to linger in bed a little longer on a Saturday morning. ¬†Even to get to the coffee maker means some dishes need to be washed. ūüė¶ ¬†My husband snuck out of bed early to head up to work for a bit. ¬†On any other Saturday morning, he would be helping, but today, it’s up to me.

I’ve never been one to fret about going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. ¬†I know I should as it’s certainly not a pleasant way to start the day by peering into the sink wondering where the wash cloth is. ¬†My mother would be horrified, although, I’ve also heard her say that she often¬†wishes she could ignore the sink dishes and go straight to bed. ¬†She has a lot of German in her, so I understand.

Her mother ironed sheets.

It doesn’t bother anyone else in the household enough to do them before bed, so why should I be concerned? ¬†I ask for help, sometimes, and I get ridiculous excuses:

“I’m charging my phone right now.” (24 year old son)

“Actually, I was just going to watch this hunting show. How about after?” (husband)

“But, I didn’t dirty any of them.” (23 year old daughter)

“I was just about to take a nap.” (20 year old son)

“I don’t even¬†live¬†here anymore!” (26 year old daughter)

“Are there any scraps on those plates?” (dog – Sandy)

I will hear my Grandma Killian’s voice, “Oh, the hell with it,” and I just leave them.

I guess I have more Irish in me than German.

I have not decided if it’s a good trait or not.

Shari ūüôā

Image above is from  I think I need to buy it as a reminder.

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March. ¬†While I’ve missed a few days, I’m still in it for the long haul! ¬†To check out other writers, visit here.


Our Art in Public

We attended my husband’s grandmother’s funeral on Wednesday. ¬†Grandma Fuller lived a full and rich life to the age of 101. ¬†It was not until her last few years that she needed to live in a nursing home. ¬†She golfed, hunted, fished. . . and painted. ¬†She was an artist.

My sister-in-law, Julie, gave the ulegy. ¬†Julie spoke of Grandma’s ability to create. She voiced how Grandma taught her to “see”. ¬†Grandma was always looking for the beauty in things and then she would paint them. ¬†Julie talked about some of her paintings and how she would collect odd bits of nature and display them in the house. ¬†Conversations revolved around all of her art. ¬†Paintings adorn the walls of most of her children and grandchildren’s homes. ¬†She had this gift.

I listened and pondered about this and I became fearful.

As a young girl, I drew and made books.  As a young mother, I made quilts, sewed clothes for my children, hand-stitched stitcheries for wall art, created hand-stitched and painted dolls, and even built bird houses and decorative shelves. These items were mostly given to friends and family as gifts or I sold them in craft shows or gift shops.  I shared my art this way.

When I started teaching full time, and especially, when I trained and became a literacy coach, all my creative juices came to a halt. ¬†Except for some writings in my writers’ notebooks, of which I mostly used in my trainings and kept private. ¬†For the most part, my art was occasional and certainly not made public. ¬†Even the art journals that I create in, I rarely share.

So, why am I fearful?

All of a sudden, I realized that if I don’t begin to go public with my art somehow, I will eventually die with my art inside me. ¬†Even more frightening would be the thought of having no one know who I really was. ¬†How sad for them to discover all my work in boxes and boxes of notebooks after I die. ¬†Even all this writing I do on Penzu. ¬†No one would ever find it. ¬†You need my password to get in. ¬†It’s lost forever.

Jeff Goins had an entry last week about making our art public.  He voiced how important it is to share our art.  Our art connects us with others.  Our art can help others that feel the same things as we do.

So, why was it so easy for me to share my quilts, dolls and stitcheries and it’s so difficult for me to share my writing and my painting/art journal work? ¬†I think there are several reasons of which I need to analyze.

1.  My quilts, stitcheries and dolls were creative, but, not up for criticism as much as perhaps writing or painting.  Quilts and stitcheries have shapes, patterns and letters that are pretty standard.  Kinda difficult to screw them up.  Writing and painting is more personal.  Mostly, I write and create art for me.  I, myself, am critical of much of it.  So, I fear critism.

2. ¬†I don’t like attention. ¬†I don’t want others to think I do this for attention. ¬†I HAVE to do this for my soul. ¬†It feeds me. ¬†It’s like breathing. ¬† I have a hard time even accepting a compliment ¬†when my hair turns out right, let alone praise or any kind of attention over my art. ¬†I get all tense and anxious when someone even comes into my studio because I know they are looking around and my work. ¬†Ughh. . . I just don’t feel ready to show.

3. ¬† My Childhood. ¬†I love my parents more than you can know, however, praise was not handed out for every little thing we did. ¬†This is not a bad thing. ¬†We worked hard, not for outside rewards or verbal praise, but just because we knew we were supposed to work hard. ¬†My mother had a way of allowing us to develop internal gratification for our accomplishments. ¬†I know she did not want us kids to be ones that walked around thinking about how wonderful we were. ¬†She feared too much praise would create arrogant, overconfident children that can’t do anything without outside motivation. ¬†I still believe this.

So, showing my work feels wrong because in my heart, it feels like I am looking for praise.

Geez, I have issues.

How am I going to deal with this? ¬†I don’t want to die a “secret artist”.

1. ¬†Maybe I need to print all my Penzu posts from now on and just put them in my notebook. ¬†That’s a start.

2. ¬†Get the book proposal done for my book on listening. That’s sharing.

3.  Make more of an online presence.  Share my work with other artists and groups.  Not all over facebook.  Maybe have a separate facebook page just for my writing and art?  Hmm. . .

4.  Give some of my work as gifts.

This is a big start for me. ¬†I’m going to have anxiety about it. . . like walking into a room full of people you don’t know. ¬†It will be scary.

But, I’m way more scared of dying with my art inside me.