Thursday, September 18, 2014

Phoenix underwater and a renewal ceremony

Phoenix has been surprisingly moist lately.  For those of us that have managed not to submarine our cars, it's a welcome change from life inside a pizza oven.

photo by Stephanie Hackney

In other news my friend Stacey Aargon renewed her vows aboard a viking ship recently.

photo by Stephanie Hackney

She wielded the viking shield I handcrafted for her last summer for her ceremony.

photo by Stephanie Hackney

I have to say this ceremony looks like it was a blast!

The best news is that our wait is over.   We've been approved for our new place!!  The bad news is when they finally got the keys from the old tenants a lot of fixing needs to be done, so we'll have to move in about 2 and a half weeks later than we thought, but, hey, at least we'll have new floors!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The waiting game, and, hey I have a new book!!

Yesterday after my kid's doctor appointments I sat in stop and go traffic at rush hour on 24th St..  As I sat there I noticed a man slowly trudging past on the sidewalk carrying a massive wooden cross.  On the cross beam was written "JESUSGODLOVESUSALL" in crooked letters.  When I watched him pass me and work his way up the street I realized something about myself.  I get really pissed off when men bearing 8 foot crosses are making better time than me!

The doctor's appointments were, well, tedious. The kids got their vaccinations and a lot of time was spent waiting in an exam room with no windows or magazines.  Talking to my neighbor this morning (who is a very outspoken, older Jewish woman), I think I hit a nerve when I mentioned waiting at the doctor's office.  She began to rant about how once she's brought to the exam room, she now stands in the open door and asks everyone that passes when it's her turn!  I can't stop laughing when I think of her doing this.☺

The good news is that this came in the mail 2 days ago....

Still waiting for news on the apartment....Gotta love waiting.

PS. This is my new book on Amazon!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Renting in Arizona

The time has come for us to start the moving process (again).  The condo we've been staying in is going up for sale and we've decided not to be here as potential buyers wander through.

This week we've started looking at apartments and townhouses around the city and have learned that renting in Arizona is pretty different than what we've experienced out of state.  First of all, just to look at an apartment they hold your drivers license in a drawer in the office. I'm sure there's a very logical reason, like so they know who you are in case you decide to break out a can of spray paint during the walk through.

We've also learned that the advertised cost is about $20 less than the rental price they quote you when you call.  Then if you discuss signing a lease they will tell you the "real" cost, which includes Arizona state tax.  It all means that you should look for an apartment listing that's about $100 less than you can actually afford.

Anyway we did find a very nice place downtown that is right near Chloe's school.  Now we're just holding our breath as we wait for our application to be approved (or not)..... Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Head Games and Head Colds

As September begins here in Phoenix so do the delusions.  One afternoon you'll traipse across your withering (or fake turf) yard in the 100º + heat and just out of the  corner of your eye you'll see it.  A tiny brown leaf falling from a tree.  Instantly in your desperation, your heat addled brain will conclude that it's fall! Our long suffering existence, like ants under a magnifying glass, is finally over!

You run to the grocery store, across the simmering parking lot, and buy every pumpkin item you see, cheerfully browsing the newly displayed Halloween items as if trick or treaters will be storming your front steps at any moment.  Surely tomorrow the cool winds will come! Right?

This is a character design sheet from my latest children's book "The Hiccup Monster".  I've been busy finishing up final pages and layouts all week for it.  This one is actually written by me as well and will be out before the end of the year!

In other news Mike starts teaching his classes again this coming week.  He's contracted to teach four different courses this semester at The Academy of Art University of San Francisco (online), it should be a pretty good schedule. 

I've been sick the last few days, just a head cold, but since we've moved to the desert I get sick so rarely that I become the BIGGEST. BABY. EVER.  That extends to all of us really.  The virus started with Chloe, then Naomi, then me, and now both Mike and Phoebe are starting to feel run down.  At least once it's over we know we won't get sick again for another year.  When we lived in New York we'd spend an entire winter cycling through one cold after another.  It was miserable.  

Anyway, I hope everyone had a Happy Labor Day! Until next time...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A late night party on ice

Naomi's birthday was this past weekend and in a last minute scramble for a party we went to the ice rink and she skated her way into her eleventh year!

She opened gifts from her friends.

Due to scheduling the party last minute (and the fact that it was at 8pm at night)we were bumped up to a heated party room instead of the freezing cold locker room we had Phoebe's birthday celebration in last November.

We were all a bit tired of making cakes (we made 2 for Chloe last week) so Naomi chose this fancy chocolate cake from the store.

Make a wish!

Chloe and Phoebe looking fabulous!

All in all it was a good time.  The party ended at 10pm and since they wouldn't let me pay when I arrived (something about possible add-ons), I was so tired I wandered out without paying for it!  I was pretty shocked that I spaced out so much, but our party hostess was holding the door for us when we left, so she seemed to forget as well.

In other news I've transferred my Sea Monster template to the backing boards and will soon begin sculpting.

My poster design was selected for this year's Grand Avenue Festival!! YAY!  (This is not the final image, though, I'll be working with a graphic designer on it.)

This is a recent book cover Mike painted for FST Pulp.  It should be available soon. He also completely illustrated this book that is now available on Amazon, called...

An Arcana Cryptozoology Handbook: Journal of the Kindred

Check it out!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Birthday and some books

Phoenix is very close to bursting in flames, at least that's what it feels like.  However it's almost fall and then it will only feel like an upper level of hell, YAY!

This weekend we celebrated Chloe's sixteenth birthday.

Naomi made her this awesome "Fault in our Stars" cake.  It took her hours, but she did a great job!

On Friday Chloe met up with a bunch of her friends at Tapatio Cliffs resort.  They went swimming and ate chinese food in their room and had a great time!

The cake was as good as it looked!  (Unfortunately my camera is crap when the lights are dim.)

In the last couple of weeks 2 of my new books are available for sale now.  Santa Gets Healthy is available here on

Catch A Dragon is now available here (also on and here on Create a Space.

Anyway- Have a great Monday!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Starting School and a Sea Monster

The girls returned to school this week.  I didn't get any pictures of it as they're older now and there's no more pretending that returning to school doesn't mean a whole lot of work and responsibility for them.

Naomi started middle school with Phoebe and seems to be adjusting well.  I'm super excited because for the first time in years 2 of my kids are in the same school!! My life is slightly easier!! YAY!!

In other news my latest children's book is hitting the presses soon....

Look for "Andy Alligator's Bayou Adventure, A Grandmother's Tale" (I know it's a mouthful, but this time it's not my fault, "Peachie T" is the author!) .  It will be on Amazon and where children's books are sold very soon.

In the mean time I'm getting started on building this:

It will be a 12 foot long sea monster sculpture for The Grand Avenue Festival downtown.

You can get an idea of how large he's going to be from the photos of my template drawing:



Anyway he's still in the beginning stages, but I think for this project I'll be using glitter.  Everyone likes glitter.

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut


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