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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Happy New Year, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 64
1. Back, Sort Of

Happy 2016, all! I know, the year is long underway--I'm a bit late to the party. And I didn't die, or go on a sabbatical or anything like that, in case you're wondering why I've been absent on the blog for so long. I just spent some time unplugging, enjoying life, books, family and cats for a few months. Good for the soul.

But I'm back for the new year, with a few changes to the blog. For one, I'll probably post just once a month here--a bit more like a newsletter. I kind of like being slightly less present on the internet, and a bit more present offline. Expect the first of these post early February. I'll share interesting stuff I've come across, what I've been up to, the usual. I'll tell you about mysteries I've found, both in the kid and YA department, plus mysteries for grownups (since I am one), and maybe I'll tell you what I'm writing and where I'll be doing authorly things. Or I'll share a cool soup recipe (I like soup).

So good plans for the new year! Do you have any?

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2. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 59 - 1.7.16

My final resolution card. GRRR! The wolverine way!

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3. Happy New Year…

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4. Happy New Year!

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best in the new year. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one. Happy reading and dancing!

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5. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card No. 56 - 1.4.16

We get better at the things we do. To be practiced liberally throughout the year with everything from instruments and drawing/writing, to open-minded conversations and patience :)

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6. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 58 - 1.6.16

Excited for the 2016 publications of Beluga Whales, Grizzy Tales (March) and Later, Gator! (July), but I've got a a few new stories to send out this year and I'm hoping that one of them and/or my 16 years of illustrating 20+ books might help me out in finding a respectable agent. Not a lot of this one under my control... but I do have to make the submissions. Onward and upward! Just a few more polar bear resolutions and then I'll get back to other random inspirations :)

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7. Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot...

Hello, Mein Followers!

I hope you all had a beautimous and frabjous Christmas. Ours was sublime. Did you know that there was a full moon on Christmas?


 I made a wish, of course. You wanna know what I wished?


Oh, come on, you know I'm not telling. That's how wishes DON'T come true!

But we had a gorgeous Christmas. I was actually feeling *good* on Christmas, which was a big thing for me. I've been sick for something like two months now. I was sick when I went to Carmel early in November, with a horrid chest cold that kept me up at night coughing. That switched to a horrid head cold early in December, wherein my ears were SO FULL they were so sensitive, and my voice had no depth. (That, by the way, is when we recorded that 25-minute Christmas music video posted earlier on my blog - hence the reason for the slightly whispery/reedy quality to our voices.) So Christmas, I actually felt GOOD. I could SING, which I could not do for Midnight Mass. (My voice kept cracking then. Imagine how cute our Christmas carols sounded.) And Christmas morning, we had our beautiful sausages on sweet rolls with orange juice for the littlies and mimosa for the not-so-littlies, opened our stockings and what-all, sang JOY TO THE WORLD after mein papa lit the Christ Candle, and then opened pressies! There were a bunch of us - fourteen opening presents in the morning, and then a total of nineteen at the table for our gnocchi dinner. We watched Rise Of The Guardians after dinner and had dessert, and I wished on the full moon.

Anyway, what are your plans for the New Year? Me, I'm going to spend it in. I may have a shot of honey whiskey, shared with my besties, Stoick, Chrysophylax Dives, and Amalthea. We are pretty tight, the four of us. I will prolly watch Person Of Interest, so I can be sure to stay awake until midnight. I don't usually have too much trouble doing that. I'm a night owl anyway.

Left to right: Chrysofylax Dives (green), Stoick (red) Amalthea (unicorn)

And that was our Christmas, and I just wanted to wish you all a holy, happy, blessed New Year. I hope you enjoy this little song. I have a sister who knows Eleven is MY Doctor, and will send me all kinds of things Eleven related. I happened to love this song in the Christmas special, and this priest actually has a wicked good voice. I hope you enjoy it!

Le Cat


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8. A New Year's Wish

posted by Neil Gaiman

I didn't write a new New Year's wish this year. But I recorded an old one. Thank you cameraperson Amanda Palmer.

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9. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 54 - 1.1.16

Happy New Year!

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10. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 53 - 12.31.15

Some production delays during this last week of 2015, but all is good and we're kicking off January first in style by posting TWO in a row for the first day of 2016! Happy Happy New Year to all!

PS The second post will go live 15 minutes after this one -- for all of you who watch for these things like the ball dropping in NYC :)



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11. the mushroom dropped; our friends are the best; happy new year

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12. Happy New Year!

Well, here are the first words of my 365-page book of 2016:

A cool rain is spraying the sidewalks, lawns, and rooftops in my hometown, but, it's of no consequence to me. 'Cause, I love the idea of dancing and singing in the rain. Much like Gene Kelly did in the following video clip from the movie Singin' In The Rain 'cause I believe a life well-lived has a lot to do with how you arrange your mind. For example, I think Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz,  should have had a character in his book ask,"The great and powerful Wizard" for a great and powerful attitude.   

A well-written story should include laughter, fun, kindness, romance, forgiveness, and gratitude, coupled with the courage to meet life's challenges. Therefore, I'm determined to follow my bliss this year and to remain grateful for the rest of my favorite things in life; grace, loyalty, forgiveness, friendship, family, and love.

So, I don't care if it drizzles all day, in fact, I might go outside and dance. I could pretend a tree is a lamppost.  What story will you write this year?

The lyrics to Singin' In The Rain were written by Arthur Freed and the music by Nacio Herb Brown

Thank you for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun. And again, Happy New Year.

And remember to do what makes you happy. :)

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13. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 55 - 1.2.15

I decided to start the New Year with a few illustrated resolutions - in polar bear form, of course! This one will be really hard to keep... but perhaps by sharing with the President I'll hold myself a little more to task :)

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14. Writers Taking Stock…

In the Tarot Cards, the Seven of Pentacles is all about taking stock. Reevaluating what you’ve been working on for some time, and reflecting on what you’ve accomplished so far. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time this. It’s a time for assessment and future planning, as well as a time for a change.

I’m lucky to be with a publishing company who sets business goals for the year and shares these plans with their authors. Some of these plans include to publish a certain amount of books while keeping slots open for authors who are writing an ongoing series, featuring a new book each month with blog posts, videos, and discounts, attending many events and festivals, and producing audiobooks. They want to continue improving and growing, and so do I. Part of that growth includes building their brand. And that’s my goal too.

So how am I going to continue building my author brand? By blogging weekly, sharing interesting and helpful information on the social media, helping other authors achieve their goals, connecting with readers through events and visits, offering sales and giveaways, and of course writing more books. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ve not been able to get more of my books into the hands of my readers these last two years. This will change in the upcoming year with the publication of the second installment of The Last Timekeepers series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secretlater in 2016. I also plan to work on researching and outlining the third book in the series next year too!

My literary agent also has big plans as Walden House (Books & Stuff) has set up a satellite office in the UK, and will begin re-submitting the first book in my Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series throughout North America and Europe. Patience is the name of the game when you’re working with an agent, and since I’m busy producing my time travel series, it’s a win-win for me. This is the beauty of developing an author brand. When potential publishers check you out, you’ve got a platform and a body of work already on the go. And that’s when all your hard work and persistent effort will pay off!

Finally, I can’t stress this enough, but having a positive mental attitude helps tremendously. It will not only carry you through the tough writing times where you’re lucky to get a paragraph written in a day or make enough sales in a month to buy a coffee and donut, but will see to it that you stay true to your dreams. Trust me, you’ll have good days and bad days, but if you take stock on where you’ve been and how far you’ve come as a writer, things will become brighter, better, and lighter. 

How do you take stock? Are you in a happy place now with your writing career? Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog! Cheers!

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15. Here’s to Your Highest and Best in 2014!

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16. Happy New Year! – Top Ten Books of 2014

New yearsWendyWehman


Top 10 Fiction of 2014

1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (20)
2. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (18)
3. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (15)
Redeployment, Phil Klay
5. Lila, Marilynne Robinson (13)
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
7. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (11)
8. Euphoria, Lily King (10)
9. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (9)
10. Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill (8)

Top 10 Nonfiction of 2014

1. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast (15)
2. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande (11)
The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison
4. On Immunity, Eula Biss (10)
The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
In The Kingdom Of Ice, Hampton Sides
7. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs (9)
8. Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (6)
Flash Boys, Michael Lewis
What if?, Randall Munroe
Capital, Thomas Piketty
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

These are the 53 sources counted so far — and from each we take only their most selective lists (e.g. the NYT’s Top 10, not their 100 “notable” books).
Awards (Good Reads; National Book Awards; Booker Award; Kirkus Awards; Giller Prize; Governor General’s Awards; FT McKinsey Award) Critics (Maureen Corrigan; Dwight Garner; Michiko Kakutani; Janet Maslin; Sarah Weinman; James Wood) Magazines (Entertainment Weekly; Newsweek; New York Magazine; Oprah Magazine; People Magazine; Time; Village Voice) Newspapers (Boston Globe; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor; Guardian; Houston Chronicle; Minneapolis Star Tribune; New York Times; Newsday; Seattle Times; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post) Online publications (BuzzFeed; Daily Beast; Gawker Review of Books; Grantland; Huffington Post; Slate) Other Distinctions/Lists (Monthly Indie Next No. 1 picks; monthly Library Reads No. 1 picks; BEA Buzz Panel books; PL Buzz Books titles; top Google searches) Retailers (Amazon; Amazon Canada; Barnes & Noble; BookPage; Hudson Booksellers; iBooks Store; Indigo; Kobo) Trade publications (Library Journal; Publishers Weekly; Shelf Awareness)

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Book, Holiday, illustrating, list, success Tagged: Best Wishes for 2015, Happy New Year, Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2015, Wendy Wahman

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17. Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a new year full of positive energy!




It's been a year of huge changes, a few setbacks and (multiple) stresses, and a LOT of learning-new-things for me. It's been quite amazing and I've loved every second of it, even those moments (a few) when I felt like giving up completely. Well, I can be pretty stubborn when pushed, and that comes in handy sometimes ... I refused to give up, have ploughed on, and am looking forward to the changes speeding my way (oh yes, they are there) this coming year. Yes folks, I'm taking my own advice and embracing a life full of infinite possibilities.

I received a lovely parcel through the post that wraps my year up beautifully: the calendar created from the monthly free printables I illustrated this year as give-aways for the subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. Couldn't believe how well it turned out, I love it. I haven't got my good camera with me (had to use the trusty iPhone) and of course am still in temporary quarters, so excuse the not-too-great quality of the photos below. Hopefully you'll get a goodish idea of how lovely it looks, up on the wall. A huge thanks to Zazzle for the amazing job printing it ...







6-june-2015"I Choose" Positive Affirmations Calendar 2015 by Floating Lemons for Zazzle


I don't want to overburden this post with too many images, so have placed the last 6 months of the calendar over at the Floating Lemons Treats blog, so if you'd like to see them just click HERE. And if you want to gift it to yourself or anyone you know who might appreciate some positive motivational quotes, click HERE.

Let me know what you think of it, and please forgive me for being just a teensy bit proud of myself at the moment -- not just of having created the art, but for having stuck to my promise and delivered an illustrated quote monthly even through the chaos of moving to a new country and (re)joining College!

So, have a fantastic and safe New Year's Eve and an even more fantastic 2015. Cheers.



ooops, almost forgot! As of the 30th of January the "I Choose" free printables from 2014 will no longer be available for download, as I'll be starting something new for 2015.

So if you're a subscriber and haven't yet grabbed one of the above, then do so very soon (you can see the 12 designs HERE, though they are formatted as A4 pages for you to download, for easier home-printing). If you haven't subscribed yet and you'd like to be able to grab one or all of them as free printables, please sign up for the newsletter soon as I'll be mailing out an extra issue just before the 30th, with the download link, before it disappears for good. Cheers!


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18. New Year's Wishes and gifts

posted by Neil Gaiman
An old year ends, and takes with it people and sorrows and joys and memories, and a new one is on it way.

A New Year's Gift, for anyone who missed it:

The BBC Radio 4 GOOD OMENS Website, with all six episodes of the Radio Series available to listened to over the next 2-3 weeks.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h

And a reminder, over at http://acalendaroftales.com/ you can read and listen to all the stories I wrote for the  A Calendar of Tales. January's Tale takes place in the moments between the first and the last chime of twelve midnight, when the Old Year is over and the New Year not yet begun.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.

And it's this.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

And here, from 2012 the last wish I posted, terrified but trying to be brave, from backstage at a concert:

It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. 

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them. 

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. 

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.


I meant, and mean them all. I wasn't going to write a new one this year. But...

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead. 

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them. 

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

Labels:  Happy New Year

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19. Happy New Year!

Wishing one and all a Blessed New Year!

May you take the time to...

laugh more often
love more often
take chances more often
offer forgiveness more often
less judgment more often
and live with more gratitude each and every day!

God Bless!

Interested in staying up to date of my writing world and special offers, join 506 parents, teachers, and publishing colleagues and receive two FREE e-Books... "The Story Behind the Book" and "Marketing Tips e-Book"...
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Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

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A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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20. Happy New Year!

First off, Merry Christmas to all!  I do hope you all had a beautiful and wonderful Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Mine was just the best.  I feel like my family celebrates the best Christmas.  (No, I'm not prejudiced. Not at all!  ;-)

We had Midnight Mass at our house, and we (the girls) sang all the Propers of Mass XVI, which is the Iesu Redemptor Mass.  It was really quite lovely and I think we did a pretty good job, though ONE sister (I shan't mention any names) sang a part of the Sanctus quite incorrectly and quite in my ear, so there was a faltering moment where the Sanctus was WRONG until we managed to get back on track.  Other than that, all went well and we sang some lovely Christmas carols as well, like In The Bleak Midwinter and Angels We Have Heard on High.


Once Mass was over and all the parishioners that had come to it had gone home, we put the wee ones to bed.  Then, the grownups - or grownuppish ones - put out all the pressies under the tree and laid out stockings for Santa to fill (which he did AFTER the grownups went to bed!) and left a little plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for him to snack on once he'd finished all his heavy lifting.

We went to bed around 3 a.m.

Around about 5:15 a.m. I was woken  by the sounds of wee voices in the living room.  I was determined to get more than 2.25 hours of sleep so I shut my eyes, but unfortunately I'm that Christmas kind of person that cannot get back to sleep once waking on Christmas Morning.  So after a struggle of fifteen minutes I got up and joined the merry throng on the couches and we watched the Christmas tree flicker with its lights and commented on how many pressies Santa had left!

Once everyone in the house had wakened - about 6 a.m., I think it was - my dad and brother started cooking the Italian sausages, both hot and mild, and warming up sweet buns in the oven.  We made coffee and drank bucketloads of coffee while waiting for the first sausages to become available, and made up orange juice so we could have orange juice for the littlies and mimosa for the adults.  (I'd bought champagne a few days earlier.)  We munched on our sausage rolls, went and lit the Christ Candle and sang Joy to the World and put the Baby in the Manger, then we opened stockings.  THAT was fun.  But then all the little ones got down and dirty with the pressies, and that was even MORE fun!  (We made sure to pull out the ones to save for Epiphany first, before we got TOO crazy with the presents.)

Christ Candle

For a couple hours it was mayhem, watching people open boxes, opening your own boxes, throwing out wrapping paper, etc.  All was madness and merriment, while we ate sausage rolls and drank mimosa and coffee and ooooohed and aaaaaahhhed over everyone's gifties.  It was jolly!  Then, of course, we had a nice long day where we could read, catch up on sleep, get pretty, and then we had dinner of gnocchi and ham with a to-die-for meat sauce and all the trimmings of vegetables and salad. (Food is a BIG DEAL in our house!)  It was really a lovely, lovely day.

Now, of course, it is New Year's Day.  Last night we all stayed up - or at least, the grownuppish ones of us stayed up - and we watched Flashpoint to keep ourselves awake til midnight.  At midnight, Amanda and Maria both opened their bottles of whiskey that they had gotten for Christmas and we toasted in the New Year with shots all 'round.  (That's how we celebrate.  We don't exactly go "hog wild" when we party.)

Now we have the Epiphany to look forward to.  That is the official Twelfth Day of Christmas.  Most people do it backwards, counting from the 13th of December to Christmas.  Actually, the twelve days of Christmas START on Christmas Day and ends on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, the day the Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Child Jesus.  I love that we celebrate the Epiphany in our family.  It extends Christmas and makes the entire season that much better.
The Three Wise Men

We are going to be having a delicious roast and baked potatoes for dinner today.  It's going to be epic!  Then we are hopefully going to watch the second Librarian movie tonight.  We watched the first one yesterday, and it was a bit cheesy, but quite good.  (FYI, it's now a TV show, and the main character in the actual Librarian movies is the main character in the TV show, and Christian Kane [Eliot Spencer from Leverage, for the initiated] is in it as well!! I have not seen the TV show, but I wanna! :-)

So, that's all I have for now.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Epiphany!! Hope 2015 is an incredible year for all of you.  God bless!

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21. Harts Pass No. 233

The last comic of the year, and if you can't already tell I'm antsy to make the first recycling run of the 2015.  WAY too much refuse gets generated in this final week of the year, but the intentions are basically good and there is a place for much of it to eventually find new use.

Stay tuned for another year of wolverine's & wild wisdom. Happy New Year!

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22. Making plans for 2015 (or: What's the best that can happen?)

Happy 2015, all! Of course the new year is well underway, I know. I'm just a bit of a slow starter, especially after the holidays. Blame it on the food and the cold weather.

This year, I don't have much in the way of resolutions. Instead, I have plans: stuff that I want to accomplish, and I've created a to-do list to go with. None of this vague business.

I plan to write more--I'm tinkering with both YA and MG concepts. I have an idea for a short story I plan to write. I plan to walk my new puppy (when it's not snowing). And I plan to get together with my Colorado writer friends a bit more. Oh, and I plan to blog on Thursdays.

At a recent author school visit at nearby Discovery Canyon Campus middle school, I saw this on a pin board. I like the positive sentiment, so I thought I'd share it here.

I hope you have a great 2015!

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23. Harts Pass No. 234

A college classmate of mine keeps an excellent blog on this very subject. And you have to imagine that a hard working wolverine could sleep just about anywhere -- at any time of year. Here's to hard work and a few more naps in 2015!

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24. Happy New Year!

View from the bench
My final Romania post will be soon. I have been really swamped with a variety of things.

I have several books in the works and I look forward to showing work from them soon. I am crazy swamped right now, but there are a lot of great things happening! (Yes, I am aware I said I am swamped twice!)

Here are some images I have neglected to post.

December 23rd I visited Krohn Conservatory to sketch their holiday display with Amy Bogard. It is beautiful, filled with Cincinnati icons made out of natural materials. We found out later from Chuck Rekow that the display was done by Applied Imagination.

Amazing! It looks like Cincinnati as a fairyland!

See Amy’s sketches here! http://cincyillustrators.blogspot.com/2014/12/holiday-sketches.html

Amy and I also sketched at the Mummy Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. 

See those sketches here: http://cincyillustrators.blogspot.com/2014/12/preview-of-mummy-exhibit-at-cincinnati.html 

Sketch from the hearing doctor's office
I have been squeezing in sketches hear and there between deadlines. The view of Clifton from the ear doctor’s office (in the Good Samaritan hospital campus) was gorgeous! I could not resist sketching it.

So, I am catching up on this blog and am currently preparing for the Slam Bam Comic Jam at the Art Academy. 

Details very soon. The opening is January 30th!

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25. Harts Pass No. 280 - Happy New Year!

Sleep walking into the New Year... but The Force is strong with this one. Much love and Happy New Year to all! (Apologies for the droopy eyes.)

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