A Night At The…

The more things change, the more ways I can tie an idea together because it seems to be another version of the same thing.

Today’s drawing is inspired by Robert Darnton’s words in his non-fiction Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. I read the words yesterday, then last night I went to a rehearsal of San Diego Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro. It was artist’s night and I made plenty of sketches. The sketches gave the idea for Darnton’s words,

. The Night at the…it’s hard to resist saying it when it’s true.


Goodbye Primeval

It is time to say goodbye to Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk and its stringed instruments. In some strange reader’s synchronicity,  the theme of stringed instruments continues in the novel Boomer1 by Daniel Torday. I’m almost done reading Boomer1 because the library likes to dump all my Hold Requests on me at once, so I’m rush-reading. It’s too bad as Boomer1, along with violins, has a black hole emitting “a B-flat fifty two…” Well, you can read it for yourself. What I wanted to add is how Boomer1 takes us to this black hole, and then examines how we see things, while we’re at a black hole, which sucks in everything we see, and emits a B-flat…it is a very good novel.



The Reality of Arts

Sometimes the arts converge to change my reality.

I got an email today from Poets & Writers suggesting the reading of a Frank O’Hara poem and then attempting to write a bit along the same lines.

I happened to have Daniel Torday’s novel Boomer1 along with me. I read and walk. I know you’re going to say it’s dangerous: a young woman jogged past me today seemingly on her daily exercise. She was not reading. She tripped and fell flat on her face several houses later. Life is dangerous. I read and walk.

The sketch is inspired by a line from Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times. 


And here is my Frank O’Hara-inspired poem.

It is running club, wilding braids and Messi and Unicef and football jerseys.

Cece stops, three inches below my shoulder, measuring, measuring, measuring herself against my height. I’ve never seen Cece before and still I know this measuring means she has identified a basic oddity about me.

“I’m short,” I say to her.

“Because you’re a grandma,” she says to me.

The din sweeps us apart, trotting and running and walking backwards as we do when we are six or seven or eight at running club.

Walking past the bougainvillea, its colors vibrate past me, catching my eye, catching me, wrapping my senses inward and then outward like a school girl’s paper fortune teller, pulling and pushing and trying to tell the truth, a truth, a moment of avoiding a cliche while reading how cliche defines us all.


I’m falling hard for ballpoint pen as the ink of choice for Inktober. I keep trying other inks. I like them more or less. Especially dip pens which I like more. But not more than ballpoint pens. Here a few of my Inktober interpretations of Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times.


I Knew She Knew

Last month I read Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights, released in English. It was immediately obvious that Olga knew what I knew, although she probably knows it more deeply and is able to express it more clearly.

I needed to know more of what she knew. I broke my rule about never reading two books by the same author consecutively and bought two copies of her earlier novel Primeval and Other Times (one in paperback to mark up for Inktober, and one on Kindle to keep forever.) I’m using this novel’s strong imagery for my Inktober muse.

I hope you enjoy the journey, and I hope Olga Tokarczuk is someone you know you know, right away.

Below are the first three days of my Inktober’s drawings along with bits of the text that inspired them.

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