Here there be Haiku

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life.”~Walter Anderson, German writer

I’m in a whimsical poetic mood. Enjoy.










Welcome to the Bicentennial Diva Zentangle Challenge

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”~Martin Luther King, Jr., American activist

This week, we celebrate a milestone: 200 Diva Zentangle Challenges.


I’ve been around since Diva Challenge 4: Stars in January 2011. What a change I’ve seen in my art, my tangling approach, in the Zentangle challenges themselves, and in everything going on in my life. Back then, I was not yet a CZT. I did not have a published book, let alone three. I was a social media holdout. This award-winning blog had been active for only nine months. Penn State football celebrated the 401st team win under coach Joe Paterno, making him the first college coach to earn over 400 victories (eventually earning 409 wins to become “the winningest coach in major college football”). I hadn’t heard about The Sketchbook Project. I had yet to meet some of my close scrapbooking friends. I finally trusted myself and submitted my first writing pieces for critique to the Deadwood Writers Group around that time, after observing the group for almost a year.


Diva Zentangle Challenge 200 in Mooka

This week’s challenge was to use our favorite “go-to” tangles and create a monotangle, incorporating the number 200 into the design. My fallback tangle is Mooka. That tangle is quick to do, simple to create, and it is impressive alone or with other tangles. It’s made by drawing one continuous line, but it has this in-depth, 3-Dimensional illusion look to it, no matter how you vary the look of the tangles. Can you find my 200 in the design?

Happy 200 to Diva Laura and all fellow Zentangle enthusiasts and artists.

A look back, a look forward


“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”~Marcus Aurelius, Roman soldier

October 2014. Friends. Family. Sketchbooks. Parties. Coffee. Tea. Zentangle. Penn State. A new phone. Good pastries. Good deeds. Halloween.


A look back at October 2014

November looks to be a busy month. There’s my Dad Memoir to launch. However, My Father, My Friend may not be released until December, which brings new emotions and deadlines. I have articles and blog posts to write. There’s a Penn State football trip planned. THON fundraising.

And I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. Seriously, what am I thinking? This could be the year I don’t even try. This could also be another winning year. Of course I have story ideas, but do I have the time? Correction: do I want to make the time?
Point is, I have committed myself to it, possibly over-committing to my life. Is that such a bad thing? I have the option now to participate or not, and I’ve let everyone know I’m a part of it all. Sometimes public peer pressure makes all the difference. I like options.

The Sketchbook Project in the D

“Don’t limit yourself.”~Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman

The Sketchbook Project visited Detroit, a tourstop announced mid-September. How could I say no to seeing my Sketchbook in my practically-backyard? I couldn’t. Some friends joined me as well.


Me and my friend, Mary, with our Sketchbooks

The only downside to a tourstop outdoors in October is that October can be a cold month. Today was quite snippy. I’m glad I brought gloves.


My friend Tracy with her fave page in my Sketchbook


My Zentangle teacup found poetry page; one of my faves

You can be amazing–try this!

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”~Coco Chanel, French designer.

Another month has passed us by. What did you do?  With a bit of focus, you can recall your awesome moments, moments like these….

My highest WiiFit steps, artist trading cards
Sketchbook Project Xs: finding wasn’t hard.

My Father’s Day eBook published just in time.
Coffeehouses, sub shops and new Major Crimes.


Writers Group and Foursquare, poetry abound.
Our scrapbook store closes, with sadness all ’round.

Zentangle challenge and Hobby Lobby lunch.
100 blog follows, thank you very much!

A month filled with puppy, co-writers and Guys.
My husband and my friends, I feel so alive!

X-Woman: sketchbook old and new

“Today you are you!”~Dr. Seuss, American writer

The Sketchbook Project has just announced a new free project: Songs to Draw From. Despite what my husband would say, I do like music, just not his style. I’m looking forward to this: a project combining music and art.

The previous Challenge Accepted project, FindAnX, produced some intriguing images.  My photo was featured on the Sketchbook Project’s blog.  It was too much fun to do just once, so I submitted several images via Instagram. This was my favorite X-photo I took. Almost makes me wish I was a skateboarder.  Almost.

Make time today to look around you. What do you see?

X marks the spot

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”~Jimmy Dean, American actor

The Sketchbook Project and Brooklyn Art Library offer more artsy inspiration than just the annual Sketchbook Project. There is a free weekly challenge, and I have participated in several of them. The most recent is Find An X. How often do you walk around and actually look at your surroundings? Really look? What do you notice besides the curb so that you don’t trip? What is the color of the wall? Is there a crack in the sidewalk? What is the architecture, if any, at the top of the doorway arch?

I find challenges like this exciting because it reminds me how much I let Life pass me by as I move on to the important, busy activities in my life. The activities really aren’t that important, no matter what excuse I give them. When was the last time you sat on a park bench or your porch and just sat? Times like that are rare, like looking into the eyes of the ones we love and really looking at them, listening to them talk without a greedy rush to tell our story.

Find An X is just that: find the letter X somewhere around you. I decided to do X of these, and I’ve posted them on Instagram under the hashtag #CAfindanX. This is my fifth X I found, on Main St. in Downtown Northville, MI. Not a bad shot for having the sun in my eyes.

Good Grief, it’s a Zentangle

“Decorate your home; it gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.”~Charles Schultz, American cartoonist

An appropriate WordsOfWisdom for today, since The Diva’s weekly Zentangle Challenge #157 is using a tangle created by a Zentangle enthusiast.

Linus ATC from Sketchbook Project 2013

Linus ATC from my Sketchbook Project 2013

This month’s UMT comes once again from Erin Olsen, CZT. Her tangle, Charlie, is found here as part of a fun, happy post about the Peanuts comic strip. I’ve always enjoyed the comic strip. Really, how can Snoopy & Co. not make you smile?


Diva Challenge #157

Here’s my contribution for the week:

I used yellow to reflect the tangle’s namesake, but shading in color is something to work on. Maybe it was just the yellow color, but the shading didn’t stand out without adding in some grey after that. Then the yellow dulled in, so I used a different yellow to add highlights.

It was not bad, just not what I hoped it would look like. The picture here makes the tile look more washed out than it is. “Subtle,” I choose to say. That works for me.

Travels, tangles and taste of friendship

“Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”~Richard Evans, American clergyman

Reviewing my life last month was…wow.


Look how cool October was

I published a book: Mom, Star Trek and Las Vegas: A Grand Adventure and my husband saw my Sketchbook Project on tour. Travel to Pittsburgh and this awesome cool larger-than-life Rubber Ducky. Travel to Disney for the Castle, Bolt and Pooh. Football and baseball. A Halloween crop party, blog party and cool spook socks. Coffee, new friends and a smidge of tangling.

Was your month super-awesome?

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