oh, sunny days

Well, here we are. March 2021. Spring is around the corner at last.

Life is beginning to seem less grim for the first time in seemingly forever.

I dare to hope that Mr P and I will get the vaccine by early May… Who knows, maybe earlier? I have a feeling things will really start speeding up in April… Anyway. The mass vaccination campaign is quickly picking up steam after a terribly slow and depressing start.

Whenever we can schedule our appointments, I am so ready. I can’t get this damn vaccine soon enough. I’ll feel reborn and at least half sane (a massive improvement) when it finally happens.

In the meantime, I’ve been cheering myself up by planning my art table for local markets, and visualizing myself asking local shops and cafés to carry postcards and framed copies of my work…

This is one of the things that have kept me going during all this garbage. Hopefully, at some point this summer, I’ll be selling my art locally and feeling happier than I’ve felt in my whole life. Creating miniature dream worlds is wonderful. That’s what I want to do.

I recently ordered the first sets of postcards featuring the pieces I’ve done so far, and I was ecstatically happy with the results. The postcards are stunning, excellent quality, with a velvety smooth matte finish. I couldn’t have asked for better. And I designed (with an altered template) a table top sign. That’s just the beginning. Basically, I’m going to give my art table a candy/cake/ice cream counter vibe. When someone buys postcards, I’m going to put them in a little white bag and seal it with a sticker (details of one of my pieces). I’ll have jars filled with dollar store candy, and I’ll include a few sweet treats with each order.

Today, I received my first order of glossy mini posters (8.5X11), and they’re amazing. I’ll have mini posters of all my pieces, some of which I’ll frame. Those will be placed inside white boxes, as though the person bought cake or donuts, and I’ll tie the box with bright, colorful string.

Yummy art!

This is the round sticker I’ll use to seal bags and boxes and envelopes:

I’m currently at work upon Root Beer Malt Shop, which is in the coloring stage. This piece makes me tremendously joyful.

I also have the structure outline all done for the cover of the upcoming Rubber Clown Car album. Once Root Beer Malt Shop is done, I’ll get to work finishing the album cover. It’s going to be, surprise, very colorful and cheerful and dreamy.

By the end of this year, I’ll have a calendar and an agenda for 2022, and I have illustrated books brewing in my head.

Special journals with my art on the cover, and ultra fabulous bags featuring my art, are next on my list of “things I’ll have for my local market table.” These will be available online exclusively to my Patreon members. I’ve been posting on Patreon a lot.

Most of my pieces can be obtained online via my Redbubble shop.

January was very quiet. I was exhausted after the dreadful autumn, though Xmas cheered me immensely. Mr P and I had such a good time unwrapping gifts… It was a very bright spot during the Second Wave for us, not to mention that the news on the vaccine front were becoming more optimistic.

Pretty doll I got myself for Xmas. My Disco Rainbow girl.

Then February was rather rough, because after a year of trying to deal with my ear troubles on my own, I was forced to schedule an appointment at the nearby clinic so my doctor’s nurse could clear them up; the right one would need two appointments. This was incredibly stressful and draining, though everyone at the clinic was amazing, and the nurse extremely kind and understanding (I’ve barely left the house at all since last March). Narrow, twisted ear canals are such fun. Once this was taken care of, however, and I could hear clearly for the first time in months and was no longer constantly worrying about my ears clogging up completely, I began thinking a bit more clearly as well.

Now, my focus is creating as much art as possible while Mr P and I wait our turn to get vaccinated. My focus is getting my miniature world art table ready. I already have visions of the merriest Xmas market experience… I’m more interested in local offline sales than online ones. Anyhoo.

Here’s to a good summer.

I’m off to continue adding many many colors to my Root Beer Malt Shop.

Speak of the Devil interview, Rubber Clown Car album release (oh, and spring sucked boy did it ever)

It’s been a while since I posted a “what’s going on” update, because as tough as winter was this year, spring has been… well, I’d say it was ten times worse.

In 2017, we had a “once in a hundred years” flood in Quebec and Ontario. Guess what happened again this year, except it was an even more massive catastrophe?

I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.

Two major floods occurred in the 70s, two years apart; I sincerely hope another forty years go by before history repeats itself.

In 2017, the river levels in my area peaked at 60.44 metres. 60.24 metres is where “exceptional flooding” levels begin.

This year, the river peaked on May 1st at 60.70 metres. It then receded a bit, and peaked again about a week later at 60.61 metres.

Our home didn’t get flooded in 2017, but this year, I was terrified it would. When the situation intensified, army vehicles were going up and down the street. Firemen knocked on all the doors in the neighbourhood, handing out “what to do in case your house floods and you have to leave” pamphlets. The rain kept pouring, and it was windy and bitterly cold. A veritable all-you-can-puke buffet of misery. On the news, we would learn that a dike had failed, flooding a town; that a dam might fail in another part of Quebec. States of emergency everywhere. Evacuations.

My neighborhood is actually quite a distance away from the river itself, but this year we experienced an unparalleled event.

My PTSD symptoms skyrocketed. I took my emergency backpack out of my closet and I had a suitcase and the cat carrier by the door, in case things quickly degenerated. I wept on the shoulders of neighbours. The stress and anxiety went on for weeks.

But my portion of the street is on higher ground, and the water stopped about a block away. The transversal street, farther down, and another nearby street got badly flooded, being lower than we are.

I wrote more extensively about all that was going on over on my Patreon.

Suffice it to say, it was phenomenally exhausting. On a few occasions, I felt like I was about to lose my mind. I wasn’t able to perform as Charlie at my teacher’s show because at that point, the floods were worsening and I began feeling seriously unwell. Sitting by the window, I saw city vehicles carrying load after load of sand bags all day long.

Let me tell you, I smoked a lot of cannabis to manage my exacerbated PTSD. It helped me remain at least partially calm. I noted down the river levels, checked the city’s Twitter account, refreshed my dumbphone for the latest local news. For a while, that was all I was able to do.

This morning, the river levels here are at 60.25 metres; we’re about to go down from “exceptional flooding” to “major flooding”—and it’s a huge improvement. This week, the sun will shine, the temperature will at last start becoming seasonal…

Right now, city vehicles are beginning to remove some of the sand bag piles.

I can’t begin to describe what an incredible relief it is to have things going back to normal, though it will take another couple of weeks before the river is once again within its banks.

I’m going to rest and take care of myself this summer. I will be writing Masterful this summer as well, but this reclusive hermit crab will be quieter and even more reclusive than usual.

Last week, I began playing my violin again, and oh, how good it felt. While the flooding was going on, I couldn’t play. I could hardly concentrate on anything.

At the moment, I’m recovering and recuperating.

Yesterday, though, I did something that required more energy, but it was a wonderful thing: I was interviewed by the charming and urbane Reverend Campbell on his show Speak of the Devil.

I promised him I’d be on camera next time; this time, speaking was the most I could manage. I think I succeeded in being somewhat articulate, despite my going in a dozen different directions (typical), now and then losing sight of the connections I was attempting to make (typical!). This is one of the reasons my preferred mode of expression/communication is the written word: I ponder quietly for quite some time, and my thoughts flow more smoothly, in greater detail and depth, when I write than when I speak (especially spur of the moment speaking). But Adam is such a lovely individual and gifted interviewer, he made it easy. Time went by quickly, and we could only touch upon much of what we discussed!

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You can listen to the entire interview here:

In other news, you can now purchase the latest trippy Rubber Clown Car album; it features some vocals I contributed (Sleep Tight duet, and the intro on Action Brats). You can also get it on Bandcamp.

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In coming weeks, I’ll be focusing on Masterful, on Patreon posts and second/third tier envelopes, and I’ll be doing a couple of photo sessions (my 50th birthday is coming up in June, so I want to take new portraits to celebrate)… I’ll also focus on tranquility, playing my violin, enjoying my lair, creating art (such as getting back to my clay).

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after all, life is a stage

Kind readers,

I think I’m going to try to update this blog more often, which I hope won’t be too annoying.

So… Here’s the latest.

New desk chair, because ergonomics. I’m sad because I loved my groovy, colorful swivel chair, but what are you gonna do. The new chair is more work-friendly. Fortunately, my cherished kitty Potion adopted it immediately, as well as the rug I bought to keep said chair from rolling away from my desk.

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I’ve been messing around with Garage Band, recording test songs for Rubber Clown Car.

 

 

For most of my life, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with singing. Perhaps it’s because I feel more comfortable in a quiet room, with a desk and keyboard and pen and paper, than with performing and stages and microphones. Then, there were the messages: “You have a gift and it’s selfish if you don’t use it,” and “Don’t get proud though.” All the while, I’d wonder, Do I suck? (much the same way I do with my writing, but I digress), because it was so easy for me to feel like I wasn’t good enough for anything. When I was young, bullies would become friendly after they heard me sing. In my twenties, I was in a band; in my thirties, I sang in a Byzantine choir. Each time, I’d retreat from singing because I felt such ambivalence about it.

But lately, I’ve thought it’d be fun to croon again, or whatever… And then the Rubber Clown Car collaboration came up. I can sing in a quiet room, record; that’s not so bad. It’s kind of fun, in fact. And hey, if I ever performed again, I would now know to do this wondrous magical thing: have a couple of shots of liquor beforehand.

I’ve also decided to ignore all the buzzing voices inside my head, critical, admonishing voices for the most part; I’m telling them to fuck off, and I’m going to have a good time. I’ll just sing for the heck of it, I’m telling myself, Sure you can do it, and even if it sucks, if it’s maybe acceptable at most, it’s not such a big deal, besides, you look pretty good in a golden tuxedo jacket and that’s half the battle, ain’t it?

And when people do enjoy it, it’s rather nice. Why shortchange myself? It’s not a crime to be proud of what you do, or to have a pleasant time screwing around, and if some people hate my crooning, well, I can’t make everybody happy. I don’t need permission to do this.

I can make myself happy, and maybe a few others too. Not bad!

I’m finding that to sing and write, it’s a good combo. A good balance.

Dirk, the lead singer of Rubber Clown Car, said this: “We’re gonna have to do a record of just you with us backing you!” If that does ever happen, I wouldn’t have a problem with it 🙂

I’ve faced my fears before, I’ve stretched my wings many times. So let’s keep going at it. Who the fuck do I think I am? I’m someone who’s doing my thing, and my thing might even be all right.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

year of the golden tuxedo

Kind readers,

the month of March was rather exhausting for me. So was the end of February, for that matter. Upheavals, terrible weather, this, that, and the other. The end of winter has been draining to say the least. But spring is around the corner at long, long last!

I’m in desperate need of warmth and revitalization.

Soon, I’ll be doing another portrait session, and I’ll be wearing this fabulous jacket right here:

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Luck, be a lady tonight.

I was recently featured on a terrific website, Tomboy Tarts, along with many fantastic and inspiring tomboys.

Click on the image below:

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More fun:

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In other news, I’ll be collaborating with the great indie band Rubber Clown Car and singing something or other for them on one of their upcoming albums. If you’re a crooner and want to join in the merriment, don’t hesitate to contact them.

And as always, I’m working on upcoming books. My output was pretty modest at the start of 2016—I had too much to deal with—but we’re getting back on track.

I got a new writing mug.

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The lovely, funny, and intrepid Mike Gorman, a journalist at Frank Magazine, had these kind words to say about There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: “Very enjoyable and engagingly paced!” I’m extremely grateful for his support and interest in my work. He’s eagerly awaiting my next books, and what a shot in the arm that is! I’m very encouraged by his enthusiasm and generosity.

As ever, reviews of Hula Girl are tremendously appreciated—and important.

Toys news: I got a 35th anniversary edition Strawberry Shortcake doll. Thank you, Mrs. Tiggy Winkles!

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Here’s looking at you through my donut eye.

LPdonuteye

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor