No, thank YOU.

“Thank you for letting us consider “Once Upon A Eucalyptus Dragon“. The first section was engaging but ultimately fell outside of our interests, which are predominantly Beginning Readers and Picture Books. That being said, our readers found these first pages very interesting and believe that you will have luck placing this elsewhere.”

For the most part, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it is difficult for me to flog my writing—or any part of myself, really—on social media, ultimately a bad thing for anyone aspiring to sell books. I’m so in love with sentences that I tend not to look up too much, and I am grateful for a supportive group of like-minded friends, but it does get lonely.

A letter like this publisher’s is very good for the soul. (And I still like this best of all.)

Happiness is colored bright orange

Collaboration with Hannah on the first of six pieces: Her drawings will be made into ceramic decals and fired onto each piece. Now let’s see if I can do my part and glaze these so it all works, and hopefully I didn’t overpaint that lovely underglaze. So far, so good, everything survived the first firing.

Anything with clay is an exercise in patience. This below is what happens when you rush:


Ceramic decals


Waiting on a kiln to cool down is THE hardest thing, and I don’t know how potters do it. We have six bisque plates in ours, decorated with something I’ve never tried before: ceramic decals, made from a few of Hannah’s drawings. We’re leaving for Canada on Friday which meant these had to be fired today (the decals finally arrived yesterday). And I am worried that I may not have let the plates dry long enough. We’ll see. In like a zillion hours.

The Dome of Tubes

I’ve been going through my archives and am just about ready to give up. Does anyone else have this kind of trouble? You keep so many files, then are so exhausted at the end of a project you can’t stand to look at any of it? Soon it’s months later and you can’t make sense of what stays and what goes.
Anyhow, I found this old sketch from when I first started making the cover of The Dome of Tubes. References to fabric appear in the book, and I was trying to see if I could fashion words from ribbon. Clearly unsuccessful. Then, I started to see a face in the globe.
All kidding aside, at some point I will redo this cover. Everyone seems to think I’d have no trouble illustrating the books I write, but while I can bring my characters to life with words, I think I would stumble if I had to draw them. I am intensely curious, however, to see what someone else would do with all of it.
That said, I will start drawings for this, but I’m not yet sure if I will be doing character drawings. Possibly just illustrated drop caps.


About a week ago I was looking for Nell Zink’s Wallcreeper, and Dorothy persuaded me that I needed a full set of the books they’d published, which included The Wallcreeper.
Today I happened upon a review of Zink’s Mislaid by one of my favorite critics, Dwight Garner. Sometimes when I’m reading one of Dwight’s reviews I get so lost in how well he writes that I forget I set out to learn something about the book itself.

“Nearly all the dialogue in Ms. Zink’s two novels is salted this way. Reading her can be like sitting in the front row at a Tracy Letts play. Ms. Zink has a gift for absurdist scenarios as well. The poet is gay. His wife is a lesbian. Thus this book’s title is a little battery of charged meaning.”


“This is a minor and misshapen novel from a potentially major voice. Robertson Davies said it: “With novels, like cakes, you never know.”