Abandoned Bird Song

For the last few years, I have had an ongoing project in which I abandon tiny acrylic paintings for people to find. Painted on the backs of Scrabble tiles, they are an attempt to brighten the finders' day with a bit of unexpected whimsy.

Typically, I leave these small pieces in a public space for strangers to discover. This time around, I set a diptych free at a party for our hosts. This bird and its song were a gift of thanks for a lovely time among friends. 

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You can find more examples of abandoned paintings on my gallery page.

Prose & Cons: I was on the Radio!

The hosts over at WRIR's Prose and Cons invited me and Bill Blume, author of the Gidion Keep series, onto their show for a bookish chitchat. We talked about our influences, current projects, and the importance of participating in a writing community (like James River Writers in Richmond). 

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I talked into this here microphone...

The web version contains an extra fifteen or so minutes of general conversation from before and after the on-air radio interview, in which I may have too freely shared my opinion on a few things. 

If you'd like to listen, there are several ways to do so. It's available on the Prose & Cons website (which also contains show notes and a blog post by cohost Ben Krumwiede), the WRIR 97.3 website, and iTunes.

Read Across America

Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure to present to a group of brilliant kids during the Halifax Education Association's Read Across America event. 

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We kicked things off with a reading of Dr. Suess' If I Ran the Circus. It's a real tongue twister that proves Dr. Seuss hated parents and enjoyed making them look foolish. Of course, I fully embrace that idea, and have no problem stumbling through a silly text in front of a large crowd. 

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After the reading, we created drawings together. The kids shouted out animals and professions. I then combined the two together into a character. Here, I'm drawing a very meta lion-tamer lion. We also created a surfing bird, wolf teacher, and bunny knight fighting a dragon.

I love playing this game with kids. It's a chance to really get them involved in the presentation. Plus, they think it's hilarious to watch me as I struggle to jam together whatever two disparate things they've thrown at me.

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I really felt the pressure when helping pick door prize winners. As you can see, it really stressed me out.

This was my second year participating in HEA's Read Across America event, and it's always a blast. I'd like to thank Kimberly Tuck and the hardworking group of employees and volunteers that put together a seamless day of presentations. Without them, there wouldn't be a chance for me to hang out with so many creative and hilarious kids. They make the entire thing happen.

Thanks, too, to Duane McCargo Photography for allowing me to share their images.

Shiny and New

Hi! Welcome to my new internet home! If you've visited my old place for the past *embarrassingly long time,* my neglect for the space has been obvious. I've been wanting to revamp my online presence for a while, and have been ignoring my previous site as a result.

My old site didn't have the flexibility to evolve at the same rate my creative output has, and I couldn't properly highlight my increased focus on writing. While I continue to produce illustrations on a regular basis, my writing has become as equally important in my publishing goals.

In future posts, I'll talk as honestly as I can about the publishing world and my place in it. (Spoiler alert: my place is tiny and rather insignificant.) I do this while recognizing the billion other sources online to find great information. And while my experience is singularly mine, and everyone's journey is different, hopefully it will be helpful to others. 

I'll be back soon with more posts. In the meantime, I have a new website! You can find a select list of my past projects on the books page, or see samples of my illustration and design work on the pictures page.