Robots are taking over!

Looking through letters and enjoying some art that students have sent me. Some really fun robots made there way to me this time!






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In the current political reality (as fictional as it may seem) it’s amazing to think some people still care about literacy, but I know a lot of good people at schools who do. And I will be speaking at my first school event for the year this evening. It’s a literacy night at a primary school.

I’ve done a dozen of thee specifics type of events and you never know what to expect. How many people show up, and of course with the weather in Oregon it might rain at 3, snow at 4, hail storm at 5 and who knows what at 6. So people may be hesitant to head out to events.

As some of you know from contacting me I limit school visits to 5 a year. But this year – because of the depressing weather and the current state of political discourse in the country, I was happy to schedule as many as I could. I need to get out more!

This lead to my current predicament where for the next two months, I am busy indeed.

I’m always nervous at the start of the ‘school visit season’. I revise and update my presentations, cutting material that students didn’t respond to the previous year, adding new books and new ideas I have come across and changing up the materials I bring along to share. But when I wake-up the morning of the ‘first’ school event for the year, I feel a lot like I’m 9 years old and it’s the first day of school.

I’m excited to see the students and meet the teachers and talk about books, and visual story telling. Time to create some reality instead of absorbing each days ‘news’.


Posted in Blatherings, illustration, Personal Appearance | 1 Comment

Must go on…can’t go on…must go on…

I have been working away on a graphic novel for 6 years now. Yeah, you heard me. It’s not a GN for the large kid’s publishers I don’t think. It is a ‘passion project’. A lotta good that does me!

In fact the only discussion I’ve had about this GN is with a comic publisher who wants to publish it. But it’s taking me forever because I work around my paying work and a life that seems to get longer on duties and responsibilities as the amount of time in a day gets shorter. Welcome to getting older.

Comics is a different world to some extent. I enjoy the freedom of working in comics, but I really need to get this thing done. I have about 5 chapters left, and last year all year, I got one chapter roughed, scanned, drawn, added the type and colored. One chapter. About 20 pages. Maybe a little more.

This year so far I have made progress on a chapter, scanned roughs and started placing type and drawing. My evenings really should be occupied with this project. Now I just need to force myself to do it!

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Walking the dog today


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See you in February!

If you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference you probably heard me recite this quote. And i’m not a huge ‘quote guy’. But This applies to every creative endeavor equally including writing and illustrating picture books.

“I can’t tell anyone how to write a screenplay because the truth is that anything of value you might do comes from you. The way I work is not how you work and the whole point of any creative act is that. What I have to offer is me, what you have to offer is you.”

Charlie Kaufman

I am preparing for the SCBWI conference I’m speaking at so my mind has been preoccupied with things to say about the creative process.


But, I will also be at the West Linn Public Library on Monday, February 27th at 3:30 with Sandy Asher (author of Chicken Story Time) and we will sing duets and talk about our time as songwriters in Nashville. Wait. I’m kidding. We will talk about writing picture books. I will do some drawing and we have a book giveaway planned. So be there or get wet outside where we are on day 54 of rain with over 97 inches in February.


What if you say, “I can’t make it Monday! I have a brain transplant and I’m the attending surgeon.” Well how about SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26th at Green Bean Books!?  Sandy will read Chicken Story Time, I will draw some pictures and if you buy a book you can get us both to sign it! Yeah! An author and illustrator signing!


See you inside, out of the rain!

You can see more of my work at my portfolio on Behance.

Posted in Chicken Story Time, Green Bean Books, How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans, Personal Appearance, picture books | 1 Comment

Not So Happy Presidents

Here is a postcard I sent out as a marketing card years ago. But there are always new readers here so maybe you haven’t seen it before.

Happy P Day!





See more of my work at Mark

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Great Review for Great Barbarians.

Reading a review of ones work is an interesting dilemma. Sometimes reading a review can make you feel great and sometimes it can ruin your day/week/month and cause you to wonder why you didn’t go to law school.

I try to not read them, but I usually end up reading them. I’m not strong!

Sometimes they are rough. After reading a particularly critical one I stopped reading reviews for 2 years. But I’ve gotten over it … as long as I don’t read THAT review again.

 Here is a new review for Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians at Shelf Awareness.


It was brought to my attention (Thanks Amy!) and I admit I did read it. And you know, it’s a very good review for a book that I think is very good!

A good way to end the week indeed.

You can see more of my work at my portfolio on Behance.


Posted in Blatherings, Great, Now We've Got Barbarians, picture books | 2 Comments