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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Olive Tilford Dargan


From the upcoming No Place for the Weary Kind: Woman of the Great Smoky Mountains.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Maynard & Maybelline

The usual goings-on around our wretched house. Yes, we do have a nest of mourning doves in the rafters of our porch. Or did.




The sad, sad truth.












Monday, August 24, 2015

Frammin' on the Jim Jam


Proposed art, with puppet, for a picture book about visiting various national parks. This particular art was for Alcatraz Island. If you do the tour, you get to go inside one of the cells and goof for the camera. 

For extra eeriness, on the tour they'll electronically open and close all the cell doors at the same time, creating a haunting echo throughout the former prison. 



"There must be some way out of here…"




One of the fake papier mache heads created by Alcatraz escapees Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris in 1962. They tucked each of the heads in their beds as foils, escaped the prison through an unused utility corridor, and were never seen again.

Many believe they ended up as shark bait.

Props for their creativity. Ranks up there with John Dillinger's carved wooden gun created for a jailbreak in 1934.



Monday, August 17, 2015

No Place for the Weary Kind

Here's a sampling of some illustration work I'm doing for an upcoming book, No Place for the Weary Kind: Women of the Smokies by Courtney Lix.

Courtney's book is a fascinating look into the lives of various women who lived and worked in the Smoky Mountains: craftsmen, artists, musicians, writers, and tough women in general who kept their families together during difficult times.

I'd imagine many of these women would never have dreamed they'd be featured in a book about their lives, so it makes me very glad indeed to take part in this project.







Sunday, August 2, 2015

I Have the Nicest Readers



You're very welcome, Tessa.






She likes my straight lines. : )





Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tow that book, lift that tome…and sign it


Scenes from a booksigning:

• "Where are the restrooms?" (asked 5-6 times by various people).

• A small display of my books crashed to the floor, silencing the room for a moment. Priceless.

• People who weren't interested in books, mine in particular, averting their eyes as they slinked by.

• An adorable, curly-haired 7-year-old named Jerry. Jerry! I fell in love immediately.

• A Girl Scout troop from Virginia. "I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid." I said. "Did you win any awards?" one girl asked. "No, I quit after my first year as a Brownie. I was a rotten Brownie." They laughed.

• A cluster of girls around 8 years of age giggling and asking me questions about how books are made. One of the girls showed me a selfie of her making a silly face with the taxidermy opossum in the visitor center display room. 

• Nice people from all over the world came through that visitor center. I met many teachers and librarians, and I thanked them for their work in case they didn't hear it enough from everybody else. I could tell they didn't hear "thank you" much at all.

• A woman with her little boy who had never been to an author signing before and were ecstatic meeting a real live author specimen. 

• Kids who stood around waiting while their parents poured over maps or guides. Nothing entertains me more than watching a kid gyrate and make goofy faces to himself when he thinks no one is paying attention. Oh, but I am, kid. Mwahahahaha. You might see yourself in one of my books someday.

And so cameras flashed as little ones posed with me or looked on while I signed their books. It was a good day. I do it all over again in Knoxville on July 11 (Union Avenue Books at 11 a.m.), where I'll also do a reading, the first one for this book. Come by if you can, and you'll get to hear me talk like a squirrel with a speech impediment. It'll be fun!






Thursday, June 25, 2015

Progress report: Slower'n molasses running uphill in January.


47 pages, more or less—four more pages since last month's report. Huzzah.

Roughly 300 more to go.

What a slow, sad state of affairs. 

But this is how it goes when you do other work to help pay the bills and try to live your life besides that, mac.

Excuses, excuses, sayeth The Muse from the dark corner of the room.






Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Signings Ahead


Careening into these fine booksellers:


June 27, 2015
Sugarlands Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
12-3:30 p.m.


July 11, 2015
Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN
11 a.m.


August 1, 2015
11 a.m.



More details at the official book website here.




Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stare




It's slowly coming together.




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