January 31, 2008

I’d like to share a mountain with you

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 9:42 pm by czygyny


This is our beautiful Mt. Shasta. I drew this some time ago to make a mural. I did it in CorelDraw.

And below, is the finished product! That’s all I have energy for tonight!


January 30, 2008

Too Pooped to Pop

Posted in blogging, cartoon, drawing, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:36 pm by czygyny

I feel bad about not staying and working overtime. I feel bad for those who still stay and put up with it. When my mother calls me and is in tears because she just can’t cope with trying to raise 12 year old twins, I know that I just need to be home. A choice has to be made what is most important to you, your family (and your health), or your job.

Family wins out. Somehow, someway…

This is a sketch of one of our first really nasty ad directors, my buddy, pat bridges. See that baseball he has in his clutches? He would stand there and bounce it off of the wall next to you while he was talking to you.


Nice chap.

I hear he got sent up to Alaska.

Poor bears.

This next image is another ‘doodle’ on typing paper. I had been reading about UFOs and such, so I guess that’s why the saucer is there. It started with the cloth draped over the branch and just went from there. Jewel, my rottweiler is there, a raven, who is a symbol for Rook, a character in a story I am writing, modeled after Jason, an owl, since we have beautiful owls at our place, and an odd oak tree, I love my oak trees. All in all it really means nothing, just fun with texture and shape.


January 28, 2008

Sawing off the limb you sit on

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:41 pm by czygyny


This is a quick little cartoon I did today, which is one of a series having to do with the injustice and insult at outsourcing your life’s work.

This one is called: ‘Sawing Off the Limb You Sit On’, which is how I feel at sending out all of my well tuned art files and carefully designed ads. I am teaching others to do my work, and then I will be discarded. Or, worse, I will stay at a job that has stripped away everything I ever enjoyed.

OR, I will forge ahead and make a name for myself and let my imagination run wild.

I like that last choice best.



.                                    embrace023.jpg

This next image I call ‘Embrace’. It is a pencil doodle (yes, truly) that I did while bored one day. Wish I would use good paper when I start this stuff, this was drawn on typing paper!



colorrazz02.jpgAnd, of course, anyone who knows me well, knows about my alter ego, my mascot the Razzit! She has been with me for a good 35 years. Doesn’t look a day over 7!


So, that is it for me today. It was a very grueling day, but spending it in almost constant prayer certainly helped me weather it and refrain from crabbing at those around me..

I am home with my family, my dogs, my fish, my plants and my lambs, and happy to be so..

May doors open for me, may my direction be clear, may I prosper at what comes to my hand.

January 27, 2008

Home Office Fun and More Rants

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:27 pm by czygyny


This is my most favorite photo I have ever taken. It is my cat Xiao peeking out of the tirewell of my Nissan Pickup.


Today I bought a printer for my home office.
I don’t suppose we did enough research for our purchase, and it wouldn’t have mattered, because even the ones I had picked out so carefully while reading the Sunday paper, were quickly passed up for shiny new buttons and promised features, and after a bit of the usual bickering that often goes on between my ‘oldest child’ Jason and I, whenever we have to exchange opinions, I decide that I liked the Kodak printer, model ESC5500. It will probably be a model that promptly self-destructs on the 1001st page printed, but it does everything I wanted it to do, color prints at a fair resolution, print envelopes, scan and fax, plus the bonus of printing what seems to be really good photographs.
The bad part was, is that I had to order it since they were sold out, most likely from a big blowout sale I probably missed by a just a week. That happens to me a lot. I don’t read advertisements so I don’t look around until the need arises. Same thing happened with my purchase of the sound system for my computer-go in pick one out-and hey, it was $20 off the week before!  My shopping saving savvy is somewhat lacking. So, no instant gratification for me today, no fussing with USB cables or fumbling with the little strips of tape at the tops of the toner cartridges. That fun will come later.
It was a wonderful day for staying inside, and it has to be really storming to keep me in. The dark billows of cloud sped northward and spatterings of wind driven rain beaded up on my windows. Then the wind arrived, blowing hard out of the south, off goes my lawn chair and table, again. I bring them back and stow them away until its safe to come out again.
I spent most of my day creating a spiffy, eye-catching resumé, and matching envelope. I set up my hard drive folders and arranged all of my art and photos. Wow, I have a lot of files!
Since it doesn’t seem like the get-the-office-cleaned-out-and-set-up-for-an-real-office project is going to get started any too soon since that would entail Jason having to ‘move out’ of his hide-out and loafing room, I bring in an old office chair I have sitting around out in the shop to sit on  instead of the very uncomfortable vanity stool, and put a wood TV tray out to support my mouse arm.
It is a bit more comfortable now, but wish I had an ergonomic team! This won’t suffice for long, even my keyboard has to sit in my lap!
It’s been a good day, though. A comfortable day. The dreadful week to come is still hours away. I work for hours on the computer but get up and do a bit of laundry. I even find time to band our three new baby lambs’ tails, and since they are males, their testicles. Sorry, fellas. Don’t mean to make you squirm, its just another one of those things that has to be done, if you are raising sheep. The tiny, thick green rubberbands constrict the affected parts and they just dry up and fall off in a couple of weeks. Ouch. The sheep business is going to shape up, too. We will either pay closer attention to production or perhaps sell them to buy calves to raise. When I am home I will have more time to devote to it, at any rate.
I spoke to Philbert about new business ventures, today. Some promising leads and ideas. We groused about the sad state of affairs at the newspaper. He rounds out my understanding of just what the hell is happening to the paper. The two biggest reasons for these sordid conditions is that the original creators of the newspapers have finally all died off, and we went from being a share-holder company to a stock-holder company. (?) I may be wrong on the whole concept, because I am not sure I understand it, but the bottom line for me is that it is now a beast-entity, soulless, cold, indifferent. The decision makers that call the shots have no knowledge or care about anything other than their master, that age-old evil–the love of wealth.
sserpentha02.jpgWith that as your goal, you will do things to yourself and, to others, that caring, loving and ethical souls would never even consider.  You will sell yourself, one way or another, hurt many innocent people in the process, cause gratuitous harm, replace quality with cheapness, get rich, have lots of goodies, and then?

Some say everyone will make an account of their lives, at a certain point in time. Maybe so, maybe not–but I’ll trust in the certainty of it, and will do my best to live for the promise of it.
Seems to me that a clear conscience and a pure heart and mind are worth more than a bank account, extravagant house, elegant car or the one-upmanship with all those inflated, shallow-spirited, empty people that will end up being the friends and colleagues in your life.
I sure do dread the days ahead, everyone at RS seems to have lost all hope of any good to be found in the future. We worked so hard, we put so much of ourselves into our work, our tasks, to perform what we believed in–in giving a quality product to please our neighbors, our families and friends, whatever was the facet of it we produced.
It’s all gone now, our herald to our community is being gutted out and trashed by carpet-baggers and liquidators.
As I called my very first post, it seems truly, ‘The death of a good newspaper’.

January 20, 2008

I Want to Make Children’s Books!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 9:16 pm by czygyny

lovemyhouse03.jpgLast night, when I stopped to think about what I would really love to be doing with my talent, it occured to me that I wanted to create children’s books.

I have story ideas and characters that go back decades, in fact I was pulling some of them out of the mothballs today. I did finish one book, it was for my nephew David, then five years old, written to pique his interest in reading. He and his twin sister were very far behind other kids the same age because they had lived in such squalid conditions before my mother and I rescued them. He just didn’t think he would ever learn to read.

I made the simple book with simple, primer lines and illustrations that were tailored to his love for the color red and for spaceships. David travels to Mars in his spaceship, where he encounters a red frog, a red martian, and brings his sister back a red flower from Mars. It was a hit, and David enjoyed his story for a long time, and even pinned the pages up on his walls.

daves-red-frog02.jpgThis was Dave’s favorite character, Dave’s Famous Red Frog from Mars.

His sister also had a book in the works, a much more involved piece, since she was more advanced at reading at the time. Unfortunately, about a third of the way through it’s creation, she involved herself in a streak of stealing from me, and I left off finishing it. This character is Haavila, the octopus that saves her from the killer whales when she falls in the ocean:


I see that there are a few books out there that cater to those of us looking to break in to the world of children’s books, even a ‘Children’s Books for Dummies’!  

beas02.jpgI have ideas for all ages, and in all sorts of styles.  naia3.jpg

Wow, I finally have a direction to go! I don’t know if it is going to work for me or not, but its time to pursue my dreams.

January 18, 2008

Wandering the Path of Indecision

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:00 pm by czygyny

ladybugA week spent and still no closer to knowing what I want to do for a career. I also haven’t figured out how to make my art images crisp and clear on this blog. My little lady bug looks like he’s a bit moldy.

Its funny, I have been involved with advertising for over 25 years, half of that doing my craft on computers, but I sure haven’t kept up with the electronic age. Heck, I had never even read a blog until the week I created one, just last week!

Where I work, we went through the online tutorials for creating Flash ads for our online department, and then we never really got to use it. I would be hard pressed to create a completed file in Flash, today. But, this place was always sort of backwards in their operation. We became involved with PCs instead of Macs, CorelDraw instead of Adobe. Both choices worked great–for us–but trying to send out any files or receive ads from other sources proved a frustrating task until Acrobat came to the rescue.

Now, we are trying to switch horses in mid-stream, they’ve purchased licenses of the Adobe CS3 for us, even despite the fact they’ve told us they’re outsourcing our jobs. So, let’s see, we have inexperienced mid-and upper management trying to garner points upstream-without regard to the employees, revenue down, bad company image with the public, an axe hanging over the whole creative department, revamping what was a well-oiled, well-developed, smooth-flowing work path, all the while doing it in a new graphics program.

Sounds like a good plot for a movie. Except for the prerequisite love interest. I don’t have a clue about any of that because I don’t pay attention, but I’m sure that is in there somewhere. 😉 I know its not me!

It makes it doubly hard to think about new things when at home there is so much to do. We spent the whole day, yesterday,  rototilling with a rented tiller. That adventure is worthy of a post all unto itself.

We arrived at the rental place towing a trailer, but the tiller comes with a trailer. After going home to drop off our trailer, we get back to realize that neither of us have our driver’s licenses, nor our cell phones. That made it hard to get the tiller rented, but we managed to get it set up. Then, when we went out to hitch it up, we realized we didn’t have the right size ball hitch for the trailer. We leave to go home and get one, but made it part way back home to realize that we don’t have the needed 2″ ball, anyway. Back we go to the rental place and cancel the order, because I am getting a bit frazzled at this point. Half an hour later we are back at the rental place after finding a ball, close by, at Harbor Freight. Finally, after all that, we get home and my mother came and told us, in tears,  she couldn’t get her brand new Honda Civic hybrid started, nor could she get the garage door to the shop open so she could use her old car, so she missed her doctor’s appointment. She couldn’t get ahold of us because we didn’t have our cell phones! Argghhh!

This is the sort of drama I was trying to take a vacation from!

But! I can say in all honesty, even after that comedy (and tragedy) of errors, it turned out to be a wonderful day, frayed nerves were soothed, apologies made (for all the bickering and short tempers), the day was beautiful and we were able go get a lot accomplished. When the day was done, I wandered back at the corner of the property, and sat up on the old iron and wood bed of my ancient 45 Chevy dually, and watched the lengthening shadows and golden sunlight glow on the line of cottonwood trees, the pink hued willows at the creek, and a gibbous moon in the darkening sky. The sun set on a good day, after all.

While taking my turn at the tiller, I came up with some ideas for making money from the garden, growing dried flowers and decorative grains for the florist market, perhaps growing vegetables for the local farmer’s market. Anything to keep me home.

columbineI think I would rather sell all my possessions than to go back to work, that’s how much I hate that place now. Trouble is, I really don’t own a lot of expensive things. Most of my wealth went out the door in my troublesome 10 year marriage, along with a lot of other people’s money. Ah, I tried to warn them not to loan my ex any ‘seed’ money for business ventures… Perhaps that is also why I balk at starting my own businesses. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from his vain attempts. But, the taste is bitter, yet, the situation I face at work. I want to succeed, I need to succeed.

Everybody wants me to stay home. Can I pull it off?


January 16, 2008

A Blustery, Blissful Day, Away from Care and Strife

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:26 pm by czygyny

I find my fun in ways most folks don’t. I would rather dig holes than watch television, pull weeds than shop, and a day spent outside is a day well spent, indeed.

Today was such a day, a beautiful, sunny day. And it would have been perfect if not for the incessant, frigid, upwards of 40-50 mph, winds! Our wicked winds come from the north. Blasting, piercing, drying, static-producing, skin-withering, migraine-inducing north winds.

In the winter it drives through your clothes like icy needles, in the summer it heats up with a vengance as it sweeps down the mountains. The only good things about our north winds is that it keeps the frost at bay, and drives all of Sacramento and the delta area’s pollution back where it belongs. Hey, keep your rice stubble smoke down there with you, where it belongs! Oh, yeah, it’ll dry your clothes on the line quite nicely, if you’re one of those, like me, who love the smell of line-dried clothing. Even if you end up with scratchy towels, just bury your nose in it and breathe in the fresh. Other than that, it is right up there with the sound of dirt-bikes for irritation quotient.

So, today we were out in it all day, cleaning out areas that have been in need of work, finding enough stuff to make a dump run. It was a fine day for ridding the property of the last hidden caches of leaves, the piles that have eddied behind storage sheds, stacks of pots and in between buildings. The wind has dried them out nicely, and when I pointed the leaf blower at them, the fierce breeze took them far away. A simple, and somehow satisfying trick.

My poor face shows the effects of the day-long exposure to the screaming zephyr, bright red, wind-chapped cheeks. Not so good on 50ish flesh, makes me look I’ve had a drink, or two. That wind is still howling and beating on my darkened window, envious of my warm, calm room, trying to find any entrance to spoil my comfort.

Things I have hanging on the outside of my house bang and thump, the little metal and plastic lock on the electricity meter goes ‘tap, tap, tap…’ like a tiny bug-sized woodpecker. That one, of course, is right outside where I lay my head to sleep. Today, I saw quite a few trees that the wind and storms have leveled in just the last week. Thankfully my four stately valley oaks were not among the fallen. They raged and screamed in the wind today, shouting and waving about, their bare branches offering little refuge for the birds milling in the fray.  I think they’ll be glad when the winds die down, too.

The picture above is from my garden last year. This is one of two raised-bed annuals boxes I built out of 2″ x 12″x 20′ pressure-treated wood. They are four feet wide, just the right width to be able to tend to easily, yet wide enough to make a visual statement.

I stick with this theme every year, although I might try something a bit different next year. I would like to have this one much like it is, in bold reds, yellows and purples, but I want the other one in more pastels than I have been able to find in the nurseries. Time to thumb through the ever growing stack of seed-catalogs. Boy, once you get on ‘the’ list, then the catalogs just start pouring in!

Starting my own nursery will be another possibility for a new career (or part of many other money-making-stay at home projects). I need to find out what certificates I need to acquire and any other legal stuff I need to know. Perhaps that AA in Ornamental Horticulture I received 30 years ago will finally come in handy? I have hundreds of different types of plants, just the cactus collection alone has at least a hundred different kinds, then there are the perennials, succulents, shrubs, house plants, terrarium specialties, natives, herbs, etc. Something to think about. Mail-order might be the order of the day.

Echinopsis cactus
Who wouldn’t want to have these lovely cactus flowers in their garden? This echinopsis is planted right in the ground, and has weathered 22 degree nights. When it blooms it is a knock-out! It requirements are a well-drained soil, sharply draining gravel mulch around the bases, and seem to do best when crammed in between large well-set rocks. They grow much better in the ground than I can get them to grow in pots, and given filtered, dappled afternoon shade.

Tomorrow more great fun is planned!

We’re rototilling!

January 15, 2008

Early vacation

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:20 am by czygyny

Despite the upheaval at work, and the uncertainty of my even having a job by the middle of this year, I decided to take a week off, here in mid-January. The weather is supposed to be wonderful, and we have so many things to do on this property, as well as research for a new career.

Since I am just learning about blogs, I think I will try to upload some of my art today. I just learned what a ‘side-bar’ is, I think that will be handy since I like writing about different subjects. I would like to have a column about gardening in Redding, California, where I live.  I might even want to have others that deal exclusively with the many different things I am involved in. I can see that I have so much to learn about blogging, websites and overall presence on the internet.

I am a insular person by nature. While I have been content focusing my life on my interests, the world had run by leaps and bounds away from me, and I am not so sure I really want to face it. I was reading in Doni Greenburgs’s blog about some of the dirty doings people do in their blogs. So, it would seem that this medium can certainly bring out the worst in people; catty, vindictive, rumor-mongering, low-blows, tit-for-tat, jealousy, envy, etc. The faces I see everyday may smile at me to my face, but slander me behind my back.


A good name is your most precious commodity. It is a value much maligned in this scene today. Honesty, good-will, patience, forebearance, unselfishness, building up instead of tearing down, helping out instead of backstabbing. These things really are more precious than gold, or higher views of your blog, or than any fame you may acquire because the the dirt you deal. Grow some character. Grow up, period. It will matter someday, and at a time least expected and most desired. To be found acceptable in the time of testing will be your greatest achievement.

Looks like some have missed that lesson.


Today I want to show off a bit, with some of my more favorite pieces of clip-art I have made. Froggy comes from an editorial cartoon I made many years ago for a story on the deluge of rain we had that winter. His resigned and disgusted look always makes me smile.


If he works, I’ll be back to post more. <he looks a bit rough around the edges. Any help in making art sharper looking is muchly appreciated!>

After all, I have all week off!

January 13, 2008

The Day After…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:02 am by czygyny

Saturday has become something of a conundrum for me. I have been trying to keep this day a day of rest for about a year. Its a toughy, I am a little busy bee, cleaning, planting, drawing, mowing, going into town with kids…I struggle against the bliss of doing nothing. Indeed, it seems more strenuous for me to NOT do something, than it is to take it easy. I feel it is important to obey that command to rest, though, and I think that it will help in this stage where the rest of the week is fraught with frustration and busy-work.

Today was an overcast, cold, still day. A refreshing rain came through during the dark hours of night, and left the morning rainwashed and cold. What a treat to be outside, listening to the myriads of robins singing and jostling in our huge white oaks! It seems that the number of these birds has dropped dramatically in the last 20 years or so, but you wouldn’t know it by what I witnessed today. Even a small flock of bluebirds came overhead, singing their soft ‘chew chew’ flight song to each other. A hawk tried its best to catch unwary birds in our pasture, but flew off in frustration when everyone foiled its attempts at lunch.

The mountains were especially beautiful. Bear Mountain was upstaged by the taller Horse Mountain behind it, its peak being still laced with cold snow that has fallen in wonderful drifts on our mountain ranges, recently. The clouds parted to show a shy sun now and again. And, we had a brief, but lovely sunset with a line of wispy purple cirrus to the west. I actually got to see stars tonight! My pal, the crescent moon, was low in the sky. I had lost track of its phases with all of our stormy weather. Mars is still bullying the sky with its baleful red glare. Comet Holmes is barely to be seen.

For you folks who rarely get out to see the night sky, we’ve had a cosmic visitor for many months, the enigmatic comet 17P/Homes that decided to do the astonishing, and to project a great sphere of glow around itself that became many times larger than the diameter of our sun! It was said to do this also back in the 1800s, but, to think that its appearance has grown to such unexplainable size, is amazing. Still, it lacked the flamboyancy of Comet McNaught in the Southern Hemisphere, looking so much like a cosmic ‘dust bunny’ amongst the stars of Perseus. Now it is only visible with binoculars.

My whole day was a nice, quiet, peaceful day. A bit of excitement when the power went out for a few hours, but it was a good time to look at my sleeping gardens, tidy the rock garden a bit, and start putting away the storm tossed stuff that still litters the grounds.

It is amazing how distant a troublesome time can become with just one day away and lived in 5 acres of paradise. A starkly beautiful day, bare branches, new green grass, the whine of chainsaws and dirt bikes in the distance, wood smoke curling around the yards, a bite to the air, the anticipation of new lambs coming any day now, squishy brown mud.

I had time to think about new directions, new adventures. I had time to put an order to things I need to achieve. I have many new things to learn, and I have to learn to trust the One in whom all trust is safely invested.

It was perfect.

Tomorrow will be a busy do-as-much-as-you-can-till-you-drop day.

Today? Today was a good day of rest.

January 11, 2008

The death of a good newspaper, the start of a new life.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 3:43 am by czygyny


This is my very first entry in my very own blog! I am a woman in my 5th decade, energetic, talented, full of skills, full of life, having an awfully soft heart for all things lost and forlorn, very introverted and self-absorbed, and finding myself standing on the edge of a life-changing adventure, full of anticipation and uncertainty, eagerness and dread.

I have worked for our local newspaper, a mid-city-size rag, established for 60 years, or so, for two and a half decades. A place to read up on the local happenings; power outages, who was injured in that car accident you saw as you drove home that day, comics, advice for the lovelorn, and classified ads with familiar phone-prefixes. You know, your neighbor selling his boat, or offering up the latest litter of puppies. There is the usual world and business fare, too, pulled off of AP or whatever, and weekly tabs of local entertainment. A place for local folks to learn of local stuff and a bit more.

It has grown and changed quite a bit over the 26 years I have worked here as an advertising artist. I came in a few years after hot-lead was just beginning to be a nostalgic memory, went from hand drawing layouts, to creating completed ads on our very first Mac. During that time I had the satisfaction and enjoyment of being able to illustrate editorial cartoons, design T-shirts, illustrate special tabloids, draw product art for various ads-tools, cans of beans,  stuffed animals, whatever came along. I had the pleasure and fun of creating clip-art style art that rivaled much of what I saw available in our services. I even painted watercolors for special stories, my illustration of local birds was given to some community star many years ago. Awards for ads rolled in almost every year. We moved from Macs to PCs, invested our graphics department with the CorelDraw Suite instead of  the more universally accepted Adobe products. Went from version 2.4 to 12, becoming very proficient at my job. I watched our department grow from two artists to ten, and more.

But, this position that was fulfilling for so long, became less and less creative. A position opened in editorial for a full time illustrator. Suddenly I became ‘unqualified’, after 17 years of clever and lauded work, because I lacked a BA, my lowly AA just didn’t suffice. Later that position came open again, this time I encouraged my friend Phil Fountain to try for the position. He has flourished wonderfully, a happy melding of wit and cartooning skill, and he makes me proud to know him. He has his own weekly cartoon contribution and blog.

We have all weathered each change as it came along. The ‘Team’ rage came through, one ad artist paired up with one or two salespeople, making us a glorified artist/secretary/receptionist, ushered in with a horrid bear of a new ad director. Our morale was battered pretty hard by this man who loved to stand there and bounce a hardball off the wall next to you while he talked.

I had sweet, poetic justice not long ago, to find out he fell out with his corporate cronies and was sent to Alaska. Still makes me smile. In fact, I think I will, right now… 🙂

The ‘Team’ thing left not long after he did. We went back to a pool of artists who were able to handle any ad or project that came along, although we did fall into ads that became our pet projects because of the skill needed or personal request by a client. I was able to draw less and less. But, we took care with our ads. We made our product the best it could be. Even our grocery ads were sharp and (mostly) error free. And, still the awards rolled in.

We’ve had a number of supervisors, editors and publishers come and go on their corporate ladder-climbing career since our becoming a part of a well-known nation-wide media corporation. None of them have really been a part of us, we were just a stepping stone to higher positions, more prestige, larger salaries. They came and make themselves look good to the corporate suits, and off they went to a higher rung.

The calibre of who has been coming lately has been so much worse, it seems. A different breed. The new editor fired a very, very popular columnist for not producing work that went against her ethics. (They wanted a gossip column) They have cheapened our product so that it is beginning to resemble a sensation tabloid, homespun enquirer.

Those of us who weren’t quite so ambitious, or greed-driven, or just loved this community for the home it is, stayed and put our heart and soul into black ink and white paper. Some folks had even been here 49 years! Imagine that, 49 years!

Yes, we have weathered lots of changes, all of them. But, we’ve met our waterloo three months ago. Suddenly, we are herded into the conference room , sitting around the long curved table in those overly-plush black high-back seats to be told that, effective immediately, we would begin to outsource our advertising to places like India. Hummmph! India!

Never mind they don’t know how to spell, never mind they don’t have a good grasp of punctuation, or grammar. They can’t even keep from the gratuitous use of apostrophes! None of what I have seen approaches the level of our ability to proof, spell, or design, and that our customers expect. It is out of our hands. Everyday I go to work and watch my life’s work lay there like an animal to slaughter, our department thrashes and gurgles in its own life’s blood.

The powers that be assured us they were ‘fighting’ for our jobs, but we have seen the timetable get shortened again and again. Some of us were absorbed into other job openings, but that hasn’t been enough, now it has come to smoke us out with shorter hours. They suspended my long time friend and supervisor for ‘jeopardizing’ the outsourcing project. Yes, she is a pistol, and likely to speak her mind, but the only jeopardizing going on how bad it makes the director and publisher look to higher-ups. Not my problem.

Here is where I stand today. I am looking for something new. 

I need to be at home for family and personal reasons, so I am starting up a home office.

I bought a powerful computer. I managed to get DSL way out here on the end of the phone line. I am upgrading my CorelDraw suite, and saving up for the pricey Adobe products. If ‘they’ can do it, so can I!

I have 26 years of newspaper advertising, 15 of that in computer design skills. I draw in pencil, pen and ink, paint, carve, sculpt. I am quick, innovative, concise, intelligent, I have the ‘green-thumb’ of creative. I have drawn children’s books, and am in the middle of creating a graphic novel. I’ve illustrated all sorts of things for all sorts of situations with all sorts of appropriate styles. I have great copywriting skills and proofing abilities. I never got out and struck out on my own. I was comfortable where I was, but that time is over. 

I have so many marketable skills…

…just no skill at marketing!

But who says us old ones can’t learn new tricks.

Stay tuned…