Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hell to pay

So Saddam Hussein has been executed.

So, on the "positive" side, in this long, long process:

1) The folks who run Halliburton are doing very nicely, thank you

2) W finally got even with the guy who threatened his father

On the negative side,

1) almost three thousand American soldiers have been killed, and all their families and friends are left to grieve

2) according to "a team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists, 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since the coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred" (Washington Post, October 11 2006).

And we have no way of knowing how much more carnage and destruction will be visited on that nation.

I'm so ashamed of us.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Odds and ends

Above are three old line line drawings I found in a bag of illustration samples I had done years ago. The bottom one is a picture of Walter Kronkite. I did that to show that I can do a likeness, and I had to choose someone that everyone would know. As you can see from these drawings, I have a thing for outlines. I love them. It's the reason I never took to sculpture -- no outlines.

These were obviously drawn from photos, and I would like to credit the people who took the photos, but they were done over 20 years ago and I have no idea what magazine I copied them from.

This was all I could find quickly, except for some portraits. The people who sat for them might not appreciate their likenesses showing up on a blog 20 years later, so for now I think I'll leave those off.

I'm also a little reluctant to post any of my cover designs, since I'm putting some pretty personal stuff on this blog. I'd be a little uncomfortable if the publishers I do work for knew this was me.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I almost became a nun once.


The people who know me well just spit their coffees all over their computers.

I was in my mid-twenties, and was struggling. I was a college drop-out. I was a portrait artist (try making a living doing that). I went back to school for a bit to study graphic design, but was so unmotivated that I dropped out of my courses. I was dating really "inappropriate" guys, for lack of a better word. I felt so unconnected to the rest of the world. My job at an extremely sexist, almost all-male ad agency stank. My good friends knew I was in trouble emotionally, but couldn't figure out how to reach me.

I knew one of my mother's friend's daughters had become a nun, so I finally asked my mother if she could find out how I could talk to someone in the convent about joining. My mother was a very religious Catholic, so that wasn't such an odd request to her. She contacted the friend, and I got a phone number, called, and made a date to go to the convent to see about joining. Anything had to be better than the way my life was going. Don't even ask me what I thought I was going to do about sex, or lack thereof.

About a week before my interview date, I was wandering around my apartment and remembered the name of a psychiatrist I had seen for a few visits when I was in my early twenties. I called him, and he remembered me. I asked if I could have an appointment to see him, and he set one up for a couple of days later.

I had forgotten how unusual-looking he was. He was very short, and had trouble walking correctly, due to some childhood illness. He kind of waddled from side-to-side -- looking like a cross between Freud and Toulouse-Lautrec. He was very somber -- that was his style. We sat across his desk from each other, and I poured out my problems. When I got through talking, he said "Well, you're not crazy. You do obviously have problems dealing with various situations that arise in day-to-day living. I can help you with that."

With those words of hope in my head, I began my lifelong quest for "normalcy". I've seen a few different mental health professionals since then. My dear first shrink, who I credit with having given me a life, has since died. I've married a man who is a tremendous support to me. His children, now my children, have also contributed immeasurably to my happiness.

I hope I make them happy, too. Having watched my parents careen through life like two billiard balls, banging into each other and other people without much thought about what they were doing, I want to do things differently.

I want to be a support to the people I love. I want to be a good wife, stepmother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. I want the people I love to love me back, and to feel as though they can come to me for anything.

So anyway, I never kept that appointment with the convent. It was thirty years ago, and I look back with a sigh of relief, and with gratitude to the man who opened the door of hope for me.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My name on this blog is Grandma Blue. I'm a book designer, living in the Northeast US. I have 3 wonderful children, who became mine in their teenage years when I married my dear husband, Papa Go Blue. The kids gave me the distinct privilege of becoming a mother-in-law to three more great kids (one of whom you probably know as Phantom Scribbler), and the overwhelming joy of becoming a grandmother to 6 great younger kids, ages 11 through 2.

I have three siblings, one of whom you probably know as well, who is Yankee, Transferred. She is my best friend. You can link to Phantom Scribbler's and Yankee, Transferred's blogs through here, and I strongly suggest you do! If you haven't been to Phantom's Wednesday Whining yet (it comes out every Wednesday-- duh!) you're really missing a treat.

My work is deeply satisfying. I work in my home office, designing books for various publishers, and I'm always excited when I have a new cover to work on. I'm not the designer I want to be yet, but I'm giving myself the rest of my life to get there. I have several good friends who are also book designers, and I draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from their work.

My family has been a great source of comfort, support and love over the years. My husband, and each one of my children, children-in-law, siblings, and grandchildren, have their spaces in my heart. All give me so much happiness.

So, that's me in a nutshell. I hope to post something interesting from time to time. Please stop by!