Notary on a Unicycle and an Award!

NotaryUnicycle.jpgI’ve been working on a series of ink and ink wash illustrations of snippets of conversations I’ve overheard randomly – thus I’ve been affectionately calling them “Overheards”. The conversations are already out of context in most cases, and I’ve tried to heighten that by making the conversations between fruits and birds. Don’t know where this will go, but may I present to you the first one and say that there are more on the way!

Right before I left for my Asia trip, I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Steve D’Adamo of Red String Paper Cuts. Luckily, I don’t think the nominations expire, so here I am, accepting it a month later! Thank you, Steve! Thank you also for introducing me to several more really cool bloggers in your nomination post!


To accept the award I must:

Thank the bloggers who nominated me and provide a link to their blogs.

Write a post to show my award.

Give a brief story as to how my blog got started.

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

Select 15 other bloggers for this award.

Comment on each blog to let them know I nominated them and link them to this post.

Thank the bloggers who nominated me and provide a link to their blogs.
I was nominated by Steve D’Adamo over at Red String Paper Cuts. Steve and his friend Jesse Gutierrez started RSPC not long after I started Illustrated Poetry and they have always graciously allowed me to hang around and occasionally contribute to their blog. Always good stuff over at RSPC! Thank you again for the nomination!

Give a brief story as to how my blog got started:
I actually have a confession to make: this was supposed to be an author blog. Towards the end of grad school, I wrote a novel – my first, to be precise (it was also my first serious attempt at writing anything non-science since college). Like most first-novel-attempts, it wasn’t very good, but also like many first time novelists, I didn’t realize that at first (it was definitely my baby). So I was trying to figure out what to do with this novel, how to get it published, and the first piece of advice everyone seemed to dispense in those days to aspiring authors was to start a blog. So I made a WP account…and then did nothing with it. I didn’t really want to write about writing and somewhere along the line, I realized a half-hearted author blog wasn’t going to cut it. But I didn’t give up on blogging and decided to blog about and connect with people through something I had always been really passionate about: art and poetry.  And I am so glad I did!

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers:
I am probably the last person who should be dispensing blogging advice! But, if pressed, I would say: 1) blog about what you are most passionate about – doesn’t matter if that seems quirky or offbeat. Some of my favorite blogs on WP are quirky or about highly specialized topics and that’s what makes them great. 2) It’s your blog, it should be fun – it doesn’t matter if the prevailing advice is to post once a day or to write posts tagged with the top 10 trending tags, if that’s not fun for you, don’t do it. Need a blogging break? Take one.

Nominate 15 other bloggers – Well, it’s not going to be 15, and this is the part where the whole awards thing breaks down for me – my nominees are always “no strings attached” and I free them from any sort of obligation in regards to acceptance or post writing. It’s hard enough to find the time to post when we do! I hope folks visit and enjoy their blogs and discover new writers to follow.

I may have realized that I don’t like writing about writing, but I sure do enjoy it when talented authors do! In that vein, I have nominated 5 writers who I really enjoy following and often write about writing in an interesting way:

  1. Jane Dougherty Writes – I think Ms. Dougherty was the second or third blogger I followed and she very kindly endured novice-blogger me! Ms. Dougherty is the author of nearly a dozen books (by my count) and hosts fun microfiction challenges.
  2. Myths of the Mirror – this is D. Wallace Peach’s author blog and she posts interesting articles about writing fantasy (need to design a magic system, anyone?). Her series of posts about deciding to terminate her contract with her previous publisher and self-publish her novels was absolutely top notch and I highly recommend it.
  3. M.C. Tuggle, Writer – a writer of many different types of fiction, Mr. Tuggle posts on a similarly wide range of writing topics. I really appreciate that he scours the web and WP for good articles and posts about writing so you don’t have to!
  4. Kate M. Colby – I think I ran across Ms. Colby’s blog right after she started it, before her first book was published and she’s now on her third! I find her approach to discussing issues in publishing and writing to be refreshing and approachable. I also admire her systematic and businesslike attitude towards her own work and her decision to self-publish.
  5. American Writers Exposed – Sometimes you need some relief and a hilarious internet meme about writing and Ms. Jessica and Ms. Sandi post these alongside updates and articles about the nitty gritty of writing and publication. Their blog has the feel of a friendly support group for writers.

Okay! Thank you so much again, Steve, for the nomination! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.

Double Original Friday – Wakuwafu Award

A little more than a week ago I was nominated by Little Monster Girl for the Wakuwafu Award! A hearty thank you to Zela and friends for the nomination. If you like a little adventure, a lot of fun, and don’t always want your comics to be G-rated, then definitely head over to LMG Comics and follow along!

The Wakuwafu Award was started this month by a pair of anime bloggers at the blog Wakuwafu and I felt in the spirit of the visual arts nature of their award and blog and the fact it is double original Friday to have a little illustrated poetry fun with it. Everything comes in threes here!

1) Three things about myself, as a haiku:

A Marcy Haiku

Pirate cat owner,

but does not have pierced ears.

Does adore hummus.

(non haiku commentary – 1) I am the proud owner of a one-eyed cat, we adopted him that way, so we don’t know how he lost his eye – he will be featured on Silent Sunday, so stay tuned. 2) Just never got around to it, but that doesn’t stop distant relatives from giving me earrings. 3) I will eat it straight out of the container if no one is looking. Crackers only dilute the experience.)

2) Answer three questions posed by your nominator:

a) What inspired you to start blogging?

      I wanted a way to meet other artists and poets, gain some confidence, and provide myself a motivation/schedule for producing new work (I work well with deadlines/schedules). I would say that blogging at here via WordPress has way exceeded all of my expectations and has really come to be a joy in my life.

b) What time is it right now?

      11:48 am

c) Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Can/will you share a pic of them?

     I do have a favorite pair, they are brown Børn short boots, and I will illustrate one for you as the art half of the double original Friday:


3. Three questions for my nominees:

a) What has surprised you most about blogging and/or sharing your artwork online?

b) What does poetry mean to you? (What is poetry, when you come right down to it?)

c) What meal (or snack/drink/food related ritual) do you most look forward to each day?

4. Three Nominees:

My award nominations come with a no-strings-attached clause. My main purpose is always to send folks to go see bloggers who are doing fun/unique/artistic/amazing things on their blogs and are also in the early-ish stages of building a following. If they take up the award, that’s fantastic, but there is never an expectation on my part. I just hope folks mosey on over to their sites and enjoy their work as much as I do. Okay! I went with a visual/comic/doodle theme:

a) Silence Killed the Dinosaurs – I have only recently become acquainted with this awesome comic, but I am so glad I have! A comic of spiders reenacting Pride and Prejudice? Yes, please!

b) Jennifer Barrile – Artist. Illustrator. Muralist. Ms. Barrile’s sketchbooks are a source of beautiful and inspiring artwork, quotes, and poetry too!

c) Monday Tuesday Wednesday – Ms. Sharon Mann’s artwork and doodles are gorgeous and she recently convinced me to buy some Mineral paper to try to get colors as vibrant as hers. I also appreciate the schedule as the title and inspiration of her blog! Especially since Monday’s tend to be my least creative days!

Thanks again, Little Monster Girl, for the nomination and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Awards and First Posts!

IMG_0620I would like to thank Mr. Opher Goodwin for nominating me for the Creative Blogger Award – thank you so much! His blog, Opher’s World, never ceases to impress me for its scope and variety. He is also the author of 43 books, which is also quite the inspiration! Thank you again!

I practice a hybrid/moderated form of blog award acceptance – I gratefully accept them and sincerely appreciate the nod and then tweak them to be “No Strings Attached” (which is an award that was started about a year ago, and is exactly what it says it is).

So here are 5 bloggers that I “No Strings Attached” nominate as Creative and Awesome and you should check them out! If any of them wish to take up the Creative Blogger (official rules below*) or No Strings Attached Award baton, they are most welcome!

1. Create Art Everyday – it is as advertised! Ms. Laura creates art everyday and shares this journey with us. It is like art-fitness-motivation – with good humor and encouragement. Not to mention beautiful art.

2. Fiery Tail Imagery – Ms. Scott is sharing her journey as a professional photographer with us, which is always enjoyable to read. In addition, she often creates stunning digital works of art with her photographs and these become a form of completely visual storytelling!

3. Totem Wood – Mr. Laurent Domergue carves amazing large scale works of art in wood – often with a chainsaw and an ax! Need I say more? His blog is in French, but his art is international and needs no translation to amaze (although Google translate can assist, if you’d also like to read his often light-hearted commentary on his work in English).

4. Tales of a Swallow – Ms. Nira Chimera creates multimedia collages and paintings, often accompanied by poetry. Her work bursts off the screen in color and raw emotion. I always look forward to new posts.

5. Csisza – Ms. Csisza’s drawings are movement and color personified. They are simply lovely and an example of how art can speak volumes without a word.

Instead of 5 facts about myself, I wanted to share my “first post story” – which is another “award” (or blog fad? meme?) that’s been going around. I’ve enjoyed reading about people’s first posts and it’s always fun to see how a blog evolves – at the very least, it is a trip down memory lane. I’d never done anything like blogging, so my first post, in the beginning of May 2014, was definitely a test post. My hopes for this post were very very low: Could I successfully upload a picture and publish it? So I did it (or hoped I did) and promptly called my sister on the phone and said – “Quick! Go to this web address and tell me what you see!” I waited as she booted up her computer and typed in – when she laughed and then asked what the heck was this website, I declared success and Illustrated Poetry was born. Here is what I posted:


Not original art, I know – I think it came off of Pinterest – but at least it was poetry themed! The top photograph of the keyboard is by me. Happy Wednesday!

(*The rules for the Creative Blogger award are: ° Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees ° Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you ° Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers ° Pass these rules on to them*)

It’s Award Wednesday!

Illustrated Poetry was recently nominated for two different awards – and so I thought I would combine my thanks, appreciation, and reply into one mega-award post!

First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank the bloggers who nominated me:

Little Monster Girl for The Versatile Blogger Award (see the nominating post, which has an excellent list of other interesting blogs here)


The Many Writings of Adinah for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (nominating post, with list of awesome nominees, is here)

Thank you thank you!

I have never formulated an official policy on blog awards and I’ve decided to approach them like I approach illustrating poetry – be very organic and go where my heart and artistic whim leads me. After doing a little research on the two awards (The Versatile Blogger Award even has its own blog) and observing how the awards change and grow, I feel pretty good about doing a mash-up of the two, with a little sprinkling of the No Strings Attached Award: an award sundae, if you will.

4 questions answered (for the Sisterhood Award) and 4 facts about myself (for the Versatile Blogger Award):

1. Favorite Lines of Poetry:

“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”

– T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”


“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray

from the straight road and woke to find myself

alone in a dark wood. How shall I say

what wood that was!”

– Canto I, opening lines, The Divine Comedy, Dante Aligheri

2. My earliest memory:

When my parents brought my newborn sister home from the hospital. They sat me on my grandmother’s sofa and sitting on either side of me, set her in my lap to hold. I would have been almost 3 1/2  – the decades have gone by, but it is still one of my favorite memories as well.

3. Mustard or Ketchup?

This is so contextual – ketchup on fries, but mustard on sandwiches – I really can’t choose.

4. If you had to choose a past decade to live in, which would it be:

The 1920s – the fashion! the art! the style! pretty good hygiene! almost modern medicine! (the last two reasons was the microbiologist in me speaking)

5. Fun Fact 1: I continue the proud tradition of research scientists everywhere in that there is not enough coffee in the whole world for me. But I am definitely the only scientist on my hallway that drinks their coffee out of a “Read Banned Books” mug from the Mark Twain house in Hartford, Conn.

6. Fun Fact 2: I don’t own a television – and this is incredibly frustrating to the Comcast salesman who patrols our neighborhood and all cable company customer service phone reps (I call for internet issues and I get “Yes, ma’am, I see that you don’t currently have cable with us…” Nope, I don’t!).

7. Fun Fact 3: I did not see snow fall from the sky until I was in my early twenties. That’s one thing that growing up in Southern California will do for you!

8. Fun Fact 4: I love tiny houses! The tiny house movement is basically about reconsidering the spaces we inhabit in terms of size and utilization. My admiration for these small houses is both practical (the bigger the house, the more you have to clean!) and artistic (the innovation of some of these projects is amazing). There are so many blogs (especially of nothing but tiny house pics on Tumblr – like this one) – but for a written intro to the tiny house movement, you can look here. Sadly, I do not live in a tiny house – a tiny rented apartment, yes – but not the custom tiny house of my dreams.

No Strings Attached – Nominees

In addition to my amazing and talented collaborators over the past year, whose blogs maintain a standing order of “check these out” (can always find them in the side bar links list), I wanted to ping a few bloggers whose work I’ve consistently enjoyed and admire. They are welcome to take up either the No Strings Attached Award or Versatile Blogger Award baton, but my main goal is to spread the word about their work and express my appreciation for their blogs:

1) A-wing and A-way: This blog has consistently informative and well written articles on all topics bird related. Not birdwatching, per se, but the history of our cultural associations and mythology about birds. I learn something new every time I visit. Each article also features beautiful original bird artwork by the author’s wife.

2) Graceful Press Poetry: Ms. Knoblock’s poetry is always good, but what strikes me about her work is how many classical literature and mythological allusions she weaves into her poems. I aspire to one day do as well with the vast English Literature canon!

3) John Sapiro: John Sapiro and I have been following each other’s blogs pretty much since the beginning of both. Mr. Sapiro is fearless in his mash-ups of art, literature, history, music, and poetry. He animates quite a few of his posts, which I admire (the two gifs I have made for Illustrated Poetry took me untold hours to create, so I really do appreciate the work it takes).

4) A House to Live: I love the simple beauty of this blog. Ms. Mtz draws houses and sometimes imagines their interiors. She also features quotes about house and home. Just lovely. Her blog touches on my love of tiny houses (see fun fact 4).


The No Strings Attached Award!

I am honored to have been nominated for this newest of blog awards by David of the Funding Help blog. This award was created democratically by readers of Alfred’s Almanac and those who created it explain it best:

“…The No Strings Attached Award, was born.

There are no rules to accepting this award. You can choose to display your award on your blog home page. If you do this, you do not need to nominate any other bloggers, unless you wish to do so. You can thank the blogger that awarded you. You have the power to do whatever you want with this award. Once you have been nominated for it, you can then pass it on to others.

The No Strings Attached Award, is an acknowledgement of respect from one blogger, to another. If you are given this award, it means that a fellow blogger likes your work and your blog.

Thats it. Simple.”

In the spirit of the award, I would like to thank David of Funding Help – check out his blog (here!) and follow along with the ups and downs of his quest to start his own custom bicycle building company. David is a friendly, outgoing, and hardworking fellow and his blog is a testament to the dedication it takes to start a small business. Thanks again, David, for the award and the vote of confidence!

I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you all for visiting and reading Illustrated Poetry – the likes and comments are always a boost and I thank you for all of them!