It’s the time of year…

It’s the time of year here in Oregon that you start thinking about cartoons like this.

An old cartoon.


Posted in Blatherings, Oregon | Tagged | 2 Comments

Before there was a graphic novel…

Before there was an entire graphic novel there was an idea. Earthling! is a graphic novel I co-created with Tim Runnel. It was around in my head in bits and pieces for many years.

I had characters but hand’t yet figured out the story when I painted this. This is an image from before the before – so to speak. I knew my two main characters would have a moment when they look off into space and realize the enormity of trying to find what planet Bud was from. A task so daunting it’s almost ridiculous. And would be impossible if not for some creative narrative!

How many stars in our galaxy?

About 200 billion.That’s something to think about.


Posted in Blatherings, Earthling! | 3 Comments

Another Great Review for Daisy!


School Library Connection has a wonderful review of my book, Dilly Dally Daisy. Always a good day when I’m forwarded good reviews!

Dilly Dally Daisy

2015. 32pp. $16.99 hc. Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Young Readers Group). 978-0-803-74065-5. Grades K-2
Beautiful, bright illustrations complement this humorous story about young Daisy and how she is always late. Dilly Dally Daisy is always running late, whether it is to piano lessons because she is practicing, or to swimming lessons because she needs to find her mermaid shirt. Many adults and students will be able to relate to Daisy and her procrastinating ways. Some of the vocabulary may be difficult for young readers, but it is an excellent read-aloud as it can teach about the importance of being on time. Vibrant colors and engaging text will have the reader giggling and rooting for Daisy to be on time. Jessica Thompson, School Librarian, Tye River Elementary School, Arrington, Virginia
Posted in Dilly Dally Daisy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short Story

My short story, Fade Out is up at Nikki Finke’s Hollywood Dementia (this is not a kid friendly story). This is a site that has all kinds of great fiction about the town everyone loves to hate even though they wouldn’t mind being a Star someday.

The story is about an actor who one day realizes that they are, literally, fading away.


I write a lot of prose and sometimes stories have a life of their own and they don’t always fit in the kids market. It’s nice to write different types of material and I love short stories.

But there are not a lot of markets for short stories unless you’re already running in the New Yorker regularly. So I’m happy that my story, Fade Out found a home.

It’s a a dark-and-twisted and hopefully funny look at being an actor. It’s not kid friendly, but should resonate with anyone who works in the arts.


Posted in Blatherings, writing fiction | 2 Comments

Longwell Adventure #10

Part 10 of the diary of famed explorer F.H. Longwell.

Longwell and his trusty man servant Tipton recover from the giant spider attack and continue on their quest for the Golden Pants!


F.H. Longwell III was a gentleman explorer, a renowned naturalist and a scholar who traveled with his manservant Tipton on behalf of The World’s Most Curious Curiosities Museum in the early hours of the 19th century.

You can catch up on pervious installments and read them in chronological order by visiting my F.H. Longwell page.


Chapter VII.

The Caves of Queasiness

There’s only one way to explain a trip over a waterfalls. Fast. Perhaps two words. Fast and wet. I climbed atop the pack as it bobbed in the foaming turbulence and grabbed hold of Tipton’s leg and paddled us to shore.

He scrambled out quickly to avoid any more contact with the toothy fish. Once we were both ashore we shared a good laugh. At least I thought we were laughing. It took a moment for me to realize that Tipton was just coughing and sputtering maybe even crying. A bit. I really need to teach him to swim.

I reminded him that the road to treasure is always fraught with dangers. He explained that he had spent many minutes yelling at me and trying to turn the raft around and that I didn’t listen to him. I’m not so sure about that, I said. I wasn’t listening.

July 14, 1830

We dried our goods under the unrelenting sun and I examined the map. Tipton was correct when he jeeringly said that the map was nearly impossible to read. ‘Nearly’ was the key word and it didn’t take me long to gather my bearings. Looking downstream I could see the dark cavern the map indicated.

How’s that old man! I said. Cave on the map, cave on the shore. It’s not a cave on the map it’s a bit of debris he said. He wiped it off. Still, there was a dark spot. Sort of. Prepare for some spelunking Tipton, get the helmets out!

The cave was tucked under fallen tree limbs and forest vines big around as Tipton’s thigh. I secured the rope around my waist that lead to a harness that fit Tipton.

Tipton lead the way. The cave is dark, the cave is mysterious, the cave smells horrible. Like we had never experienced any of that before.

With the candles in our helmets lit, we ventured in. But even walking slowly was dangerous. Tipton kept hitting his head against the rock overhang. That must hurt. But most likely not as much as what those toothy fish did to him. Tipton is a mysterious being. At times he seems to feel no pain. But at other times his screams can wake the dead. (18)

The cave featured 3 corridors. I marked each one with white chalk on the wall as we ventured down. The first two ended as the roof of the cave met the floor. Dead ends. I saw a series of mysterious, large footprints in the cave. And not just Tiptons. I wondered what we would do if this cave lead not just to the secret valley of the ancient kings, but also into the den of some sort of lion-cougar-tusked-beast. I decided that as long as Tipton goes first, I shouldn’t worry.

The hours passed slowly in the gloom. The final corridor started to grow large. Our candles couldn’t brighten the space it was so large. The drips of water echoed. At one point the ceiling seemed alive so I held my candle aloft and saw it was literally crawling with bats. They appeared to be diphlla ecaudata. Vampire bats. However; none that I saw were wearing capes.

Tipton asked what I had seen. Nothing, I replied quickly. Of all the animals in the world he fears bats the most. A close second would be eothenomys custos, which I don’t understand at all. (19) Anyway, best I keep the blood sucking bats a secret. Suddenly two large eyes shine from the dark, reflecting the light from our candles. Something big is moving towards us. I run into Tipton knocking him over. His helmet clanks off loudly. His candlelight shines to the ceiling. Tipton’s screams send the bats rushing down. The wind from their flight extinguishes my candle.

My eyes adjust to the darkness slowly. I hear the lovely purr of Tipton’s breathing as I struggle to light my candle again. I’m starting to think that the purr I hear is not Tipton, because I’m pretty sure the muffled screams are his. I light the candle and am faced with the most amazing site. I don’t know what you would call the black beast. Something left over from pre-history perhaps? A cougar, a leopard, a lion, panther or a night tiger? But it’s large. Large enough to have quite a bit of Tipton stuffed in its mouth!

I was frozen in place with fear and curiosity. The curiosity dissolved quickly. But the fear stayed. I wasn’t sure I could go on. I was pretty sure Tipton couldn’t go on as most of his head was in the mouth of the cougar-lion-tiger-beast!

18- No matter Longwell’s insistence there has never been any proof that Tipton didn’t feel pain. Tipton’s super-human abilities are cause of much debate but seem mostly due to dire circumstances or the ingestion of sweets, rich sauces, fatty meats or some combination of these items.

19- Actually Tipton has a long list of animals that scared him including eothenomys custos, the Southwest China Vole. His list also included: kittens, kangaroos, werewolves and koala bears.

Posted in Longwell Adventures | Tagged | Leave a comment

Apple Pencil?

Still on my search for an Apple Pencil here in Oregon. But here is an interesting article at Apple Insider about it’s development and the focus on the pencil as a ‘mark making’ device (but not for Mark apparently. At least yet.) and not a replacement for your finger as a navigation tool on an iPad. Interesting read.


“So we are very clear in our own minds that this will absolutely not replace the finger as a point of interface…”

Posted in Blatherings | Leave a comment

Green Beans: Still angry.


I received this wonderful green bean from Barb Hagerty a teacher-librarian. She made these to support David Larochelle’s book which I illustrated, How Martha Saved Her Family from Green Beans which is one of 20 books nominated as a Washington State Children’s Choice Picture Book.


I’m so happy Barb took the time to write and send me a mean bean. She made quite of few of them to give out.

I’m going to use this as a christmas tree decoration  (I’ll post another photo then!). It’s such a great little design and it looks like it has crocheted and knitted elements.  I take Barb has plenty of interests to keep her busy.

Thanks again Barb for sending it down. It’s always wonderful when a book I worked on gets some extra attention.



Posted in Blatherings | Leave a comment