Saturday, September 30, 2006

my pet project

I am enjoying my Robert's Snow retirement. It's quite a relief not running a fundraiser. However, I also feel slight pangs of guilt. With Robert doing well, I don't want to forget what got him here.

It's an illustration show and charitable online auction with a unique bent. Each of the 29 illustrators involved have chosen their favorite charity or 'pet project' for their illustration's bidding to benefit. It's kind of like Robert's Snow, but not on snowflakes and only 29 artists who chose their own charity.

So, of course, I have chosen the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as my charity. And, I've chosen what I consider to be my best piece of artwork (above, isn't it pretty? Don't you want it?) from my recent book One Year in Beijing to be the piece sold. It's an original and I hope it goes for big bucks.

The auction opens on eBay on 10/5/06. If you would like to be alerted when the auction opens, enter your email address at The Pet Project Website:

I'm going to the Exhibit opening in Maine, with good friend Anna Alter who has also chosen Dana-Farber as her charity. So if you're in the area, come on by, say hello and place a bid. If you're far away, no problem--just bid away online!

If you think about it, I bet you know someone close you who has had cancer or has been affected by it and here's a chance to help. I don't want to go on and on about it, as I've said it already here during the Robert's Snow event, so suffice to say bidding for my art (and Anna's) is for a GREAT cause.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 from 6:00-8:00 PM Zero Station
222 Anderson Street, Portland, Maine
The Pet Project Website:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

good luck

My luck seems to come in waves. Never a smooth balance of good and bad, I seem to be deluged with either sorrow or joy. Now, I am definitely on the upswing, because not only is Robert's health good, my agent gave me some news about my upcoming book Lissy's Friends. It seems that Merrymakers has officially made an offer for the licensing rights and there will be a...


Yes, it's true. That little Asian girl in my painting is going to be made into a plush doll. The book and the doll will be released on the same day, May 17th...which also happens to be my birthday! I think it's a sign. I'm going to have to have a BIG book/birthday party! Who wants to come?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

reliving normality

Friday, September 22nd was perhaps the best day of my life so far. Nope, no book deals or winning lottery tickets, but those things are mere nothings. Because, Robert has been declared in remission…and given a three month vacation from treatment, possibly longer.

Our doctor warned us not to get too excited, as his disease is quite persistent; and there’s a high probability that he will have to go back on treatment after 3-6 months. But, after 3 years of the rollercoaster, we’ll take it. It’ll be the first time in 3 years that Robert will not have some kind of toxic chemical running through his body. It’ll be the first time in 3 years that we won’t have to navigate around steroid induced mood swings, curative pain or medicinal fatigue; or be troubled about germs or low blood counts. It’ll be the first time in three years that I can schedule an event without counting the days to his next treatment week or worry about canceling last minute because of an unexpected chemo complication. It’ll be the first time in three years that we’ll be free.

And to be honest, we’re not sure what to do. It’s as if we’ve come out of a cave and our eyes are dazed by the sun. “It’ll be good for you to live a normal life for a little while, “our doctor said. But we don’t remember what normal is.

However, we’re happy to try.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

soup days

Whenever I am on a deadline, we eat soup. I reserve a morning cutting up vegetables, throw it in a pot and make a large pot of chicken soup. And that is what we eat. For days. I do this so that I don't have to cook for the rest of the week and am free to forget about meals as I paint and write away. Recently, these soup days have occurred more often than desired by my husband, who says he has nightmares of drowning in soup. I almost feel guilty, but then I remember he is the one that forgot what a saucepan was after we said our wedding vows.

anger leaves me sad

Alvina's recent post about race has made me rather introspective--making me examine the journey to my own professional identity. But this entry that I recently found wipes away my attempts of detached intellectualism and leaves me sad.

Monday, September 11, 2006

forgetting the fragile thread

When Robert is struck by food poisoning,the violent vomiting scares me into hyperactivity. What if? What if? For we have been lulled into complacency, the quiet chemo weeks come and go and we've forgotten what real normalcy is. Because this is our normal--days which pass like pearls on a string that is really a fragile thread that ties us together.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

grace and the giant ...

Recently, I've been rereading one of my favorite children's books James and the Giant Peach. Since then, I've had many a giant fruit sighting. Perhaps something is calling me to write...

Grace and the Giant Orange? Don't like that? How about...

Grace and the Giant Strawberry?

Too bad I wasn't able to get a photo of the giant pineapple.

Monday, September 04, 2006

no labor Labor Day

I'm taking the day of work and am goofing around...hence this little quiz, "What's your personality type?" (Thanks, Alvina!). When I was in high school, my history teacher gave us all in depth personality quizzes and then gave us the results the next day. After we each read our results, he asked all who felt that the quiz depicted our personality correctly to raise their hands. Everyone did. Then he told us that he had given us all the exact same analysis--a memorable lesson on interpretations.

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.