Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sometimes, I’m like a cat . . .

Why has Pat Janssen Hall’s “CAT” picture so enticed me? Of all the marvelous pastels and sketches on Pat’s studio desk, I kept coming back to this mournful critter. Look at him. He’s so sleek and well-fed that I should hear him purring. But there’s nary a purr emanating from this sketch. Instead, I can almost hear him groaning.
And Pat is such a sunny gal; why would she draw such a gloomy-Gus Cat?
“Why is he so unhappy?” I demanded, laying the picture in front of its creator.
Cheshire Pat smiled. “Look at his eyes.”
Obedient, I looked. And I saw . . . Fish.
Beautiful, cat-food-perfect fish.
Never mind that Cat has obviously just finished ten courses of Nine Lives.
He wants more.
Never satisfied.
I laughed and returned the picture to Pat. “How human of him!”
At the end of our visit, Pat generously allowed me to take home a portfolio of her drawings. Chief among these was Cat.
By now, this frustrated feline has all of my understanding, if not pity. Reflected in those dark fish-longing eyes, I see much of my author-self.
I ought to be satisfied with my work and enjoying the gift the Lord has given me. But too often, I want more.
I want my writing to be so perfect that editors rejoice. I want to scribble every story in every language and every genre—okay, almost every genre—in the known world. I want to write poems, epics, songs, and pen marvelous quips to make others laugh.
I want-want-want.
Very Cat of me.
Could it be the tuna I had for lunch?

Blessings, dear Reader,


Pat's desk, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

As a writer, I love to create images with words. When readers send notes saying, "I could taste the food!" or "I felt like a fly on the wall, watching everything in your book!" then I'm grateful, knowing that I've managed to convey the image in my mind to readers.

Often, I've wished I could put those same images into an actual drawing, but my sketches and dabbings of paint rarely meet my expectations. How I envy and enjoy artists who can snatch paints or pencils and pour their thoughts onto paper, providing a genuine visual feast for onlookers.

You can imagine my delight when I learned that a precious friend, Pat Janssen Hall, is exactly that sort of artist. When you meet Pat, she glows. Her laughter echoes warmly, and her dark eyes sparkle with mischief and a pure joy of life.
Pat conveys this warmth and her own sense of whimsy through her art. And when I write "whimsy," I do mean whimsy!

How many artists use a couch as a canvas?

Moreover, this languid lady and her drowsing dog [forgive me, Pat, that the dog is caught in the glare!] are in a world of their own, floating on an island of lily pads and goldfish, surrounded by water bubbles and large, sparkling, hand-applied crystals.

There's a story here . . . . in a distant place Pat has created for dreams.

Some images don't need words.


Blessings, Dear Reader,