A-to-Z Challenge: Potential/Pick/Pier

He sat on the dock and caught his breath; off in the distance, he could see the silhouette of a solitary fisherman out on a dinghie. He was an impossibly small shadow against the setting sun, and Denny considered, briefly, if he could chance a quick binder break. He looked around surreptitiously, fingers worrying the bottom edge of his binder before thinking better of it. He breathed in, as deeply as he could, , slicked his wet hair back, and stretched his back until it cracked. Just a few weeks until top surgery. Just a few weeks more until swim team tryouts. He could keep it under wraps (literally and figuratively, he mused) until then. He was sure he’d be a top pick. He was abso-fucking-lutely sure of it.

It would be so good — so so fucking good — to breathe easy for once.


Just a quick one tonight. Support trans athletes and support trans inclusion in sports.

Stay safe and sane.

A-to-Z Challenge: Nun/Name/Needle; Outside/Offensive/Oven

I will be honest; I’ve not got the energy to write out the vignette for the first of these, but the second of these has no vignette attached to it at all. There was no story or scenario in my head for the second one; the words generated, and automatically I thought about a couple of days last week, where the temperature far exceeded what we were expecting and we were sorely unprepared for it.

The first one was a little bit drawn from vague memories of my own Catholic schooling, but also somewhat inspired by a scene in The House on Mango Street. I imagine a young girl — disheveled, embarrassed — wearing shoddy, falling-apart clothing to school and being made fun of my her peers. One of the sisters sits with her in the classroom while the other kids are at recess, offering comfort and mending some of the more egregious rips and tears in her clothing. I like the idea of the scene quite a bit. I feel like I’ve said that about a fair few — which is not a bad thing! I would rather an excess of project ideas rather than a dearth — so I’m not going to say this is in the running just yet, but don’t be surprised if you see it again next month is all I’m saying.


I am on Spring Break! I spent yesterday and today getting my house in order so that I could throw myself into projects, both personal and creative, over the next seven days. I have activities to do with my son, I have four library books checked out on digital loan, I have three new podcasts I’m ready to check out, and I have two shiny art projects — not including the A-to-Z — that I’m working on. All in all, I’m incredibly glad for break.

In another bit of news that reminds me me both that I want to start writing new poetry again, but also that I need to bring over and archive my collection of sestinas (some of which are over a decade old at this point) — I was a finalist for the 2021 Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Prize with a sestina a wrote bordering on ten years ago (holy shit) called “Noise.” I miss writing poetry, particularly sestinas (they’re like a little puzzle to me; it’s such a thrill and a joy, figuring out how to piece it all together), and that is definitely something I should make room in my life for this summer.

I am breathing a deep sigh of relief and am eager to have a productive and relaxing break. Hope you all, whether you are working or not, have a lovely week.

Stay safe and sane.


This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then craft a sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A Few Days Left

My daily sketch:

20200115_192210

I did not feel up to drawing a full human figure this evening, so I focused on a single eye.  I’m not thrilled with it, but the sheer act of drawing a human eye from a reference photos forced me to notice things that I, in the past, have repeatedly messed up when attempting to draw faces.  While I really struggled to get them into the drawing — a combination of rushing and sheer lack of skill — I realized that I usually ignore the bottom/top plane of the top/bottom eyelid.  “Eyelids are not flat,” but all too often I draw them as sort of being like form-fitting jeans, perfectly contoured to the eye, and they aren’t; they have some thickness.  I am going to need some serious work to map all this out, but I did happen upon this page which seems like an excellent resource.

I’m thinking I might use that page above for a series going forward, where maybe I devote a week at a time doing daily sketches to some of the tutorials the artist offers.  As in, a whole week where my series of seven daily sketches are just ears, or just eyes, or just lips, etc, culminating in a week of full face sketches.  Just a thought, but one that is rapidly gaining traction in my mind.

Bear has been waking every morning asking me if it was time to leave for Arisia yet.  He’s so funny.  There are several things I’m planning to take him to, including Make Your Own Wings (his from last con finally fell apart) and a Make Your Own Mini-Hat/Fascinator (which is not strictly a kid’s workshop, but which welcomes well-supervised kids), a few sword/fencing demonstrations, and both the Geeky Bellydance performance and the Masquerade.  He’ll also be accompanying me to some kid-friendly panels, and probably spending some time at some other playdates/makerspace kid events with my mom.

Honestly, I wish I had something like Arisia growing up; some place that celebrated my geeky interests, my intense interests, my creativity.  My parents tried to be supportive (and were successful in some ways, and less successful in others), but I feel like getting to know like-minded peers at a young age, or even seeing grownups still enjoying and reveling in the geeky interests that had already begun earning me eye-rolls from my family, would have done wonders for my self-image.  Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to apologize to people for how into certain things I am.  Maybe I wouldn’t feel embarrassed, in certain social circles, for my level of enthusiasm over some silly piece of pop culture.

Meanwhile, I feel like work kicked into hyperdrive this week and looks to maybe be calming down, now that finals have actually started?  I have only two finals to sit with students this term, and will be spending the rest of my time doing some correcting and editing on student papers and doing some vocational evaluations.  All in all, for me, the next few days are relatively chill, which is welcome.  Coming back post-Arisia and having only casual/incidental student meetings and a single final to sit is far easier to handle while suffering post-con burnout than a full-fledged day of classes and training.

Tomorrow is my Friday, but hey, maybe for you, it’s just Friday Jr.  You’re still almost there.  You can make it.