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Art: Abstract Sea Turtle

I like beach scenes for whatever reason.

Perhaps I should be writing something about the state of politics? I used to do that a lot, but it started to feel too much like writing about the composition of animal dung, and I kept going even then for a time, until my nose and stomach rebelled, so I’ve mostly set it aside for now in favor of art.

And I like the art stuff a lot more, even if none of it’s that hot. At least I can see a result. Which is to say, at least there’s reinforcement to it. It’s something where I can take a glance at the pieces and know it was something done and real and meet with it on whatever level I’m feeling at the moment.

I’ve had this notion, and it’s probably been seen before, that artists and creators have envies of other media for what’s simple about the other that’s hard about their own. A poet or musician wants to tell a bigger tale, so they have to do a whole book or a whole album, where the novelist would have to do a short story. Or the film director says, “TV can spend so much time on character!” Or the TV producer says, “Film gets to put all that budget into just a few scenes, we have to spread it out over eight episodes.”

And I’m sure it’s not exclusive to creative work, either. Building a car versus a house? I’m sure the engineers and architects, anyone putting stuff together, has some level of wonder at the other’s work and in how they itch to distribute their own labor in a different way.

So why not do it? You might not be able to in your usual craft, but draw a picture. That’s part of why I’m doing the art now. So I can see a result in a way that my longer writing doesn’t let me. Another part is hoping to weather the current media+political world long enough for a better one to come along. One worth spending more time to write about.

Art: Three Figures (monochrome)

Decided to try something without color.

Past, present, and future? Or three characters in a story? Are they lined up for sale? For ritual?

Feels I should have left the pattern from the mat. In either case, I worried a bit about how to create a weaving pattern since the reality is all over under over and that would take a lot of time. I didn’t bother, but I figure (hmm) the eyes are mainly drawn (hmm) to the heads, so some of the details aren’t as important.

If nothing else, I enjoy the contrasts between the stones, including that the viewer can decide to compare each pair, while there’s only one triplet to consider.

Art: Book on a Blanket

Page six that far in?

Another with a lot of rights and (probably more) wrongs to it. But still mostly hangs together as a thing.

Because alternate text is no place for two pages of text, I’ve elected to quote it here:

[Start of page six]

the bathroom, some laundry detergent, a case of lightbulbs, that sort of thing.

As he started to cross the store’s pharmacy rows, he heard the PA call out his name: “Mr. Ogden, please come to the customer service desk. Mr. Ogden, please come to the customer service desk.”

He paused for a moment. Maybe there was another Ogden there among the endless aisles. Nobody knew he was here, and even if they had known, who would try to call him while out shopping?

He turned his cart around and started for the front of the store, wondering if a friend had seen him as he shopped and then lost him. He had seen a few dozen people with their own carts as he’d gone down his list, but none of them had looked familiar.

At the front desk a curly-haired woman stood next to a teenage girl with brown hair and overalls who was crying in a chair. Before he could say his name, the girl looked up and called, “Dad! I was looking all over for you!”

Ogden turned his head to the side, expecting to see her father behind him, but there was nobody there. He pointed at his face in a question to the girl.

“Mr. Ogden?” the store clerk asked him.

“Charles Ogden, yes. But maybe there’s another man here by my name?”

“Your daughter, Ronda, couldn’t find you.”

“Yes,” he said. “I’m sure her father will be here shortly. Must be we are distant cousins, sharing the name. And from her reaction, I’m sure that’s it. We must look quite a lot alike.”

“You mean you’re not her father?” asked the clerk. She turned to the girl. “Is this your daddy?”

“Course he is,” she said, her tears abated but her cheeks still wet. “He’s just kidding around.” Ronda got

[Start of page seven]

up from her seat and stood at the end of my cart. “Let’s go. I have a piano lesson today after we finish shopping.”

Ogden wasn’t sure what to do. “Are you sure you shouldn’t wait for your father?” he asked.

“Quit it,” she said. “It’s getting late as it is.”

He felt he should protest, but the clerk seemed satisfied that he was the girl’s father, and she did too, and so he figured he better talk to her alone, so he turned the cart back towards the pharmacy rows and the girl fell in beside him.

As they got out of earshot, he asked her, “What is all this about? You with the guy in the jeep from earlier?”

“Dad! Cut it out. It stopped being funny five minutes ago,” Ronda said. I asked where she got lost, to which she said, “I went to look at the magazines while you were getting those lightbulbs, and when I came back I couldn’t find you. I ran around half the store, and my anxiety got up. When I started crying the store clerk took me to the front and paged for you.”

“You really believe I’m your father? I bet he’s worried sick for you, probably will page you from the front any moment now. Must be a cousin. Let’s see, there’s Uncle Ernie, Aunt Jessie—though her last name’s not Ogden anymore. There’s that crew I don’t even know their names from down the shore. I met them once at the grands’ fiftieth. Lots of Ogdens aren’t even related enough to know, but some could still look like me.”

“Your Uncle Ernie had strawberry blond hair. I’ve seen the photos. And Aunt Jessie’s last name is Mares,” she said, as though it were recited from a family history book. I can tell you about yourself, too. You like to slap your knee when you laugh real hard, and you say to yourself, ‘Is it? It is,’ when you’re working on

From some thing I threw together to have text for the book image. 2023.