If this is as good as it gets, I'm in.

About a week ago, I had this little art show with five other local people. I called it my book release party for A Murder of Crows and Other Woes, which it was. But it was also an art show. I had paintings. I brought eight. We didn't have a lot of room. We rented out an old one-room schoolhouse and filled it with art and homemade soap, and we invited everyone we knew.

Beforehand, in the back of my mind, I had this goal of selling 70% of my paintings. But I literally told myself (I think I even talked out loud- I'm alone a lot and I talk to myself,)

"You can't set goals like that, because then when you don't sell any, you'll be so disappointed.  Just enjoy being there."

The night of the "Open House" (as we called it) came, and I, in four hours, sold six of the eight paintings I brought. (The mathematicians among you will note that six out of eight is 75% of the paintings.) I also signed and sold a score of books and several magnets of my art work.

So, I guess I was wrong?

It's a funny thing, meeting your goals in something so subjective and "out there" as art. It's hard to fathom.

When I was twelve years old, I wanted to be an artist.  And then I realized that was really impractical. So I decided to be a writer!

Today, I ran into someone who had bought one of my paintings last week at the open house. She introduced me to a man whom I recognized but couldn't place, and she said,

"This is the artist," by way of introducing me.

I immediately assumed he was her husband, who lived with her, and who therefore had asked about this painting showing up in his place of abode. And then I walked away and remembered that he was no such thing. He is married to this other lady and he and the lady who bought the painting are friends, which means that she is telling people about this painting she bought, which she says she loves, and she is telling people about "The Artist" i.e. "Shoshanah" i.e. this consciousness I refer to as "Me." She is telling her friends about "me." I mean...


That was something else. To be The Artist.

I actually wondered, when I saw her, Does she want to return it? I'll give her her money back! 

But she did not at all want her money back. Quite the opposite.

At the open house, there were these people whom I know casually (they buy eggs from me) who just lingered for awhile and talked about my different paintings. They said the nicest things (so nice that I just would feel ridiculous repeating them) and then also this one couple said,

"When we get enough money together, we'll have you decorate our whole house."

What could I say?

"Well, okay, then!"

It's funny, but it's really hard to deal with praise. It's like you don't know what to do with it. Where do you go from success? It's never what you think, success. You're so used to making new goals. Well, if I could only do this, then everything would be so much better.

I'm a little bit tipsy on beer right now. I'm probably writing too much. But then there was this other thing...

The book. The children's book. And my daughter. You think, when you have a kid, you will impose all of your dreams on them and force them to be something they don't want to be because you never got to do that and dammit they will and the Circle of Life continues! Yay! Live out my dreams, Child, because I never got to!

Yet it turns out, in this instance, my daughter is my own biggest advocate. We were shopping for Christmas gifts today and she informed me,

"Your book has been moving around the classroom. I think kids have been reading it. I think it's a popular book. Really. I have three ideas to make it more popular that I'll share them with you after dinner later."

Really, her conversations are like teasers to a Buzzfeed article. But Oh My God! She believes in me! She believes in me as much as I believe in her!

It might be, in the scheme of things? This is as good as it gets. I feel like we're on the precipice of... something. And that might be the best it is, right at the beginning. And that? That right now? RIGHT NOW? If that's as good as it gets, I'm fine with that. We're all good. No worries.

If any entry should have a picture, this one should, but as it happens I'm on this crappy little computer with none of my paintings uploaded. Ah, well. Whatever! So be it!

I heard a story today.

So, it's the Dalai Llama's birthday. And he opens this beautiful present. Beautifully wrapped. Gigantic box. He opens it.

Nothing inside. Nothing at all. And he says,

"Just what I wanted! Nothing at all!"


  1. The Dali Lama is in New York City and he sees a hot dog vendor at his cart. He looks the man in the eye and says:

    "Make me one with everything."

    Congrats on the good reception of your art and book.

  2. ...and the hotdog vender said "There you are."...

  3. Wow. At first I had to take off my shoes to check your math, but realized you were right!
    I don't know how I would deal with praise either. It doesn't happen very often so I think, "What does s/he want?"
    The rest of the joke... The hot dog vendor said "that will be $2.50" and the Dalai Lama handed him a five.

    And waited.

    The Dalia Lama said "Hey where's my change?"

    The hot dog vendor said "change must come from within"

    At least one of the beers I have today will be in your honor!

  4. We knew you had it in you all along.

    BTW, did you hear that Fixture Records, a Canadian indie label, is picking up my 1991 Technical Academy album? Sometimes there's a delay between creation of a work and its acceptance, I guess.

  5. The Dalai Lama admitted this was true, and ate his hot dog, but it gave him bad breath and bothered his sore tooth.

    The Dalai Lama then walked to the dentist to get a filling. Although old and frail, he walked often, and he walked barefoot, as evidenced by the thickness of the soles of his feet. It is for this reason he is known as the "super-calloused fragile mystic exhibiting halitosis."

    Dad- I didn't appreciate The Technical Academy Plays B0b at the time, but now I can see how it was truly a groundbreaking classic. That said, I won't listen to it, because it activates my facial tics. I think it's those irregular time signatures.

  6. That is awesome! Keep making more art! Book art and picture art!