Settling down

Please pardon the radio silence as I get unpacked in our new home (again). This time we're settling for awhile an it feels great. Most of our place is still in boxes, but the living room is shaping up nicely. The house we're renting feels like a little mountain lodge.


This is the view from the living room window:


And a little fellow my husband caught the other day:


The place is brimming with wildlife; there are hummingbirds, dragonflies, frogs, chipmunks, and deer all over the place (I'm told bears as well, though we haven't seen any yet). The woods are full of edible mushrooms, my husband had some for lunch today that looked like this:


It's been a really nice change from city life, and a big sigh of relief to unpack things that have been in storage for more than a year. I realized pretty quickly as we started sifting through boxes that the vast majority of my things fall into one of three categories: books (of course), art supplies, and angsty drawings from college like this one:


I'd love to purge and lighten our load but I find each of those things very hard to get rid of, for different reasons. The books because I want to remember them and reread them and use them for inspiring new stories. The art supplies because of all the projects I might need them for. And the drawings because the more time that passes since art school the more I forget where I started on the journey to becoming an author and illustrator. And it's good to remember that beginning and how much has changed since then.

A house in the woods

It's been a busy month with sadly not much writing or drawing going on. We are packing up for a move once again, this time to a little house in the country:


It's been a long time since I've lived in the woods, twenty years I guess? Since leaving home as a teenager I've lived in Richmond, Virginia, Providence, Boston, San Francisco, and most recently Northampton, Massachusetts. Lately though I've been feeling the strong urge to live in a remote, beautiful, quiet place. Maybe the work of taking care of a baby has become enough stimulation and I need more of a calm, relaxing environment. Or maybe I've just come full circle and want to raise Tilda in a place similar to where I grew up. Either way, I'm excited to see where the change of environment takes me personally and creatively.

More soon once we settle in!

Getting settled

Right now life is a bit chaotic, so I just thought I'd give a quick update on all the settling in going on now that I am back on the East Coast. First off, this is what my office looks like:


Nice, huh? There is much to be done. But as I said a couple weeks ago, it feels good to go through all my things once again and purge. I feel like I'm wiping the slate clean and preparing for a new phase of life.

In between the unpacking and sorting I recently made a quick trip down to Mystic to see Linda's incredible play and visit with Libby, Alissa and her family. It was a lovely day involving a picnic and stroll by the water in Stonington, CT. Tilda enjoyed the fresh sea air and playing with Libby's hair.


When the mess in my office or stress of making a home *again* gets to be too much, I sit with Tilda and remember how lucky I am to have her (or more accurately, belong to her). I can't even imagine life without her at this point.


Thats all for now! Will be back to books as soon as those boxes disappear...

Home

After 12 hours of travel that began at 4 am and involved a small mountain of luggage, two large, weary cats, and one large, cheerful baby we have at last landed back in Massachusetts! Spending the year in San Francisco was incredible experience I will never forget, but it feels really good to be home.

I was pretty nervous about the trip since I've never flown with a baby and we had so much stuff with us (toys! diapers! three cameras! 5 pounds of cat food!), but it all went off without a hitch. Tilda didn't cry even once. Her main complaint in life is being put down, so she was pretty psyched to be held for 6 hours straight. She flirted with everyone around us and napped happily to the white noise of the plane. Here she is playing airplane on the airplane:


And just hanging out:


While we were gone we subletted our apartment and left all our furniture and household items, including most of my studio. Coming back to our things after being away from them so long has been strange. I am not attached to anything and kind of want to throw it all away and start new. Maybe it has something to do with life being so different now that I'm a mother, that I need my space to reflect that change. But its funny, we writers and artists always say we need our "stuff" around us to be productive, or at least thats how I usually feel. After not having my stuff for so long it all seems totally unnecessary. Like on Clean House when a family swears up and down they can't function with out some raggedy old dishtowel that has sentimental value. Did I really need all those stacks of magazines and old paint brushes? Nope! Right now I feel like I need to get rid of it all. I'm sure once I'm absorbed in working on a new project I won't care either way, but til then I will be busy wiping the slate clean for the next phase: being a parent and getting back to work.

Pacific Coast Time

As I mentioned last week we just made a big move to San Francisco! We'll be here for the next 9 months while my fella completes an internship for grad school. The move was quite hectic, there were many loose ends to tie up before we left, but we are at last here in the west settling in and enjoying a break from the East Coast heat wave. I'll have many pictures to post in the coming weeks about our adventures, just waiting on my office boxes to arrive! Can't wait to get back to writing and sketching some new book ideas...

Desmond is out today, hurray!



As I mentioned last week I've been busy putting together materials for my new book, out today! Lots of fun things are in the works, I'll keep you posted as I put materials on my web site and plan events this fall to get the word out about the book.

If you'll be in the San Francisco area, I'll be signing books at Kepler's in Menlo Park on October 3rd. More on that soon!

Did I mention I'm temporarily moving to San Francisco for 9 months? So that is happening too. In one week. This is what my studio presently looks like:



Also, I am seven months pregnant. This is what I presently look like:



Its been a busy summer to say the least. Looking forward to an eventful fall!

Highlights from a crazy month

Please forgive my lack of posting, the past few weeks have been mad! Since I lasted posted I have moved from Boston to Northampton, finished the book dummy for Disappearing Desmond, and been scrambling to finish planning my wedding which is now in LESS THAN THREE WEEKS. *gulp* Since I am still knee deep in boxes and seating charts, I will offer some highlights in pictures...

When we first arrived, my studio looked like this:



I needed to set it up right away to meet a deadline, I'd say its about 75% there now... still need to put up my bulletin boards do a little rearranging. Definitely the biggest work space I've had so far!



Here is George sleeping in the mess, with his head resting on a wooden shelf. Oh George.



Once the studio was in order I finished off the Desmond sketches I've been working on. I have to say I am very excited about this book.



When not drawing or unpacking, I've been attempting to continue with wedding craft projects. My mother and I are sewing cloth napkins out of this amazing fabric I found on fabric.com:



This is what they look like. Each place setting will have a different napkin, and guests will get a set as gifts.



Can't forget about the legal stuff! Yesterday we headed down to City Hall for our marriage license:



Here we are out front, bleary-eyed but happy. Its been a little crazy having everything happen at once, but when we took the oath and got our little slip of paper we couldn't help but feel that everything is happening just as it should.