Great, Now We’ve Got More Posts on Barbarians!

Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians is on the loose! 


I should add Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians is a picture book and it’s available to be bought and traded and sold and bartered with as of today.


How ’bout those cute little barbarians!

 In recognition of its release today , February 14th, 2017 (it seems like something else is going on today…what was it?) I’m posting some additional art from the book and some rough sketches not used in the book.


rough sketch of title page art


illustration rough not used in final book


Get a copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or find a a copy at a local book seller at IndeiBound

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Happy Barbarian’s Day!

Barbarians on the loose!


Yes, it’s the 14h of February and while everyone THINKS it’s all about Valentines today, I know it’s actually all about Barbarians!

On sale at fine curio shops and online starting today-  FEBRUARY 14th, 2017 – Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians is on the loose!


Find a copy, buy a copy. Keep those barbarians from ruining any other books.


Find a copy locally at IndieBound!


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Gratuitous Self Promotion!

It’s alive!


It’s out of its box running around the warehouse causing trouble! It’s for sale!


You can order one, order another one, get three more. Grab one for the nephew and niece, get some for the neighbor kids. And how about buying one to donate to your favorite school!?

Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians is for sale and shipping now!


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Deadlines. They are a line in the sand. A fence in the fun. You shall not pass!


I have a few deadlines. Not sure when I’ll be back. Days, weeks, months. Hours.


In the meantime go buy this book. It comes out tomorrow.


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Something strange in the sky


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My first picture book, inspired by the movie Jaws?


I suspect the black marker treatment was added long after I had finished the book.

This is the first book I remember making. I have a fairly clear memory of writing and drawing this on the front porch during the summer. Of course, memory being what it is, I probably made it in the middle of winter in my room. But I recall this being the first time I told  a story across multiple pages with some goal in mind.


I gave myself credit as the illustrator on the back cover but obviously no author was involved.

I won’t post the other pages here (no one needs to see all 16 pages!). It is a tad redundant. But I will say the boat makes it through the adventure with only a bit of damage.


The Little Boat faces danger in the story – a shark!

I’ve spent several days thinking about the story. Some odd aspects that I can’t help but think represent some dilemmas I was facing at that moment in my life. For instance, The Little Boat seems overwhelmed at being pushed out to sea alone, his ‘master’ being left behind. He faces dangers and gets tipped over but rights himself. And at the end of the book it says “He was happy.”

When did I make this? Good question.

It was in a big box of ‘Mark’s stuff’ from my folks house. No way to date it, but judging by the writing and spelling, I’d guess 1st or 2nd grade. Remember kids back then (Oh my God, I just talked about my childhood as ‘back then’!) weren’t reading and writing as early as they do today. So I am pretty sure it can’t be much earlier than 1st grade. And I know it wasn’t 3rd grade.

Now the Shark reference in the book makes me think I was aware of the movie Jaws. Which in the summer of 1975 WAS a HUGE summer film (Actually the first of the ‘summer blockbusters’. The genre is considered to have been invented with Jaws.) And my family talked a lot about Jaws because we swam in the river all summer and often fish would bump up against you when you swam which was kind of creepy. So the summer of 1975 seems about right.

And if you are a little boat out at sea – watch out for sharks!


Posted in Blatherings, illustration, kids books, picture books, writing fiction | 9 Comments

Oregon weather

This is the time of year where Oregon tests you. If you don’t have the ability to run off for sunnier environments (which is like everywhere else in the solar system except perhaps Neptune…actually I bet Neptune is nicer this time of year than Oregon) the grey and rain will eventually get to you.


I want to say this is the rainiest January and February I’ve had here in 11 years now. But I don’t have the data. But in the spirit of the times I’ll say it’s the rainiest, wettest, greyest January and February EVER in Oregon. (I have no facts to support this, but again, it seems we are daily expected to go on belief and self service so I can unequivocally say this…)

It does tend to keep me at my desk working or crying, or some combination of the two. Actually I get out and walk the dog 2 or 3 times a day and she has little problem with the weather. It brings out the wolf in her. She wants to hunt squirrels and run in the mud and shake as soon as I get close.

The weather does make it easier to stay in your chair at your desk. Although once it does get nice here, and the rains depart – then it is really tough to stay put. And I’m sure my dog will be thrilled with 3 hour walks and entire afternoon hikes.


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