Stress relief with the print word: Part 2


During this time in our history and this season [COVID, vitriolic disunity in our country, sadness & anxiety] I find that I am able to read literature during the day time. The evening is reserved from pure adventure as far from real life as possible ( See, Part 1).

The craft of writing beautiful memoir, fiction, and narrative non-fiction is one to which I aspire. My pithy blog scribbling pales in comparison to what I share here. The titles with an asterisks * are the only ones I have read thus far; I am looking forward to reading the rest during July and August. I hope you find at least one of interest during this season of hard living, my friend.


NOTE: I did leave these on the porch for two days and then wipe down each one with disinfectant before reading


With this source I tried ever so hard to stay away from mystery as they offer an abundance. Sometimes, I need to stretch beyond the whodunit genre; I have with these:

The following titles I chose for the husband, as he prefers non-fiction. Know this, however. I chose titles I would like too!


Dark Water is especially one I look forward to as a few entries on my Zia Clara in Italy blog speak of this horrific flood while my zia and sister were living in Italy in 1966-1967 : The devastation  and No water.

Poetry from the porch #6

In the time of COVID-19: peacefulness

Everything in its place. Order, my prerequisite for peace. Vacuuming before I enjoyed the house. Always. Wiping down the kitchen counters before I baked. Always. Lining up my students before they entered the library. A must.

Peacefulness is messy, now. Bird shit on the stone walkway as the bluejay screeches her joy. Dusty paw prints across the studio desk before the cat curls up on the lap.

Peacefulness comes quietly across soft pine floors. Boots heavy with purpose. A hand holding mine. His fingernails caked with car grease. Morning blankets and sheets askew as the bed is left unmade.

This Summer I am fortunate to be one of several in a writing Group, Project Write Now. One hour during each week we write, read, share, comment, and support each other’s work.

Art: a book and a broadside

This time of COVID-19 during our #stayathome orders* has afforded me an enormous amount of solitude, thereby a substantive amount of space for art. All this to note a very circuitous route to re-creating a letterpress broadside printed in 1995. It has taken me months to get to the point where I feel satisfied with this last reincarnation (which is good, as I am running out of prints!) 

Credit is given to staying home, but more importantly to a book published in 2000 that I cataloged this year for a small art library – Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang. For those of you who recognize the name, yes, she is the children’s book author.

In 1995 I wrote this short poem, made the paper and using a Vandercook proofing press, printed about 50 copies. I was never satisfied with the results.

Original broadside, 9″ x 11″ on handmade paper with flower inclusions

In March of 2020 I pulled out the remaining copies to re-design. Below are some of the additions and attempts; some never panned out:

Chose the words that I felt gave the sense of frustration during the COVID-19 news, White House reports, newspaper articles. Overprinted using fading shades of gray with my HP inkjet printer. Each broadside needed to be printed one at a time.
Graphic attempts to direct the eye from the original phrase in the poem to the “garden” below, expressing hope.
FINAL PIECE: trimmed all edges except the bottom which remains deckle; use larger triangles in a less random manner; added a triangle in gold, symbolizing hope.

The point I hoped to reach is one where I can say to myself, “I can live with this.” It took two months of off and on viewing and re-making. It was Bang’s book that give me direction.

C’est fini.

*Let me say this straight out – I know how fortunate I am during this time of COVID-19. I am currently reading Madeleine Albright’S memoir, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948. My sets of grandparents both escaped living under fascism in Czechoslovakia and Italy; my parents and in-laws lived and fought in the U.S. during World War II. I get how fortunate I am even during this pandemic during 2020, living where I do; being who I am.


During this pandemic of COVID19 with our stats still rising in Maryland, U.S., and while we #stayhome and #selfquarantine, it is posts like this that just add this,

tenderness to loneliness; laughter to too-much seriousness, and a breath to a soul that is heavy with anxiety.

I NEVER repost. But this post by GaBriel Townsend just had to have a home with me!

Gabriel Townsend


View original post

#stayinplace with cat

In the time of COVID-19

This post is a diary, of sorts. Bits and pieces of events and thoughts that fill my days. Bits to share with you, dear reader, as you construct your days during the time of Covid-19.

Onto week 5 of #stayinplace-


Time to consider art; root through old pieces to re-work; “play” with new ideas, and to include some not-so-usual respites.

At least two weeks have been spent on re-working my artistic endeavors that are “failures” and remain so. Consolation: there is much to learn. The first was an edition broadside I made years ago. Beautiful handmade paper of linen and cotton with flower inclusions, poetry and letterpress with a misspelling! I worked for a week straight trying to salvage this. Sometimes there is no getting around the fact that something you love is not salvageable. Next, a flower drawing that went nowhere; finally, a collection of 8”x10” blue-jean handmade paper with disassembled monoprints hoping to re-work. Still waiting on inspiration with this!

Out of the failures, though, comes a very small edition of 20 prints, Kruh, that are my contribution to Pyramid Atlantic’s Member Print Exchange.  

From this, another series of 4 prints, Kruh.2, evolved for giving away to the first four requests [See, ABLUEBUNNY post for details,

Three circles or kruhs (Czech)
three kruhs (circles)

Interspersed during the week and weekend were some delightful respites listed here:

Visual & Tactile Respites

Writers Center, Bethesda, MD – This one hour poetry session, Writing About Place, was so well planned by our instructor Mathu Subramanian that every participant was able to offer her work in progress. I am working in my poem as I write this post!

Rock Paper Plant [Pop-Up] – online workshop from a Washington, D.C., women-owned business. All materials for constructing an air plant were sent ahead of time; thorough and concise workshop by the co-founders, Alicia and Cielo, gave me tons of information on these strange and wonderful plants. Moreover, after logging off, I have a stunning plant to keep me company!

Auditory respites

Classical WETA 90.0 Radio – the most sublime piano piece of Debussy: Suite bergamasque, L. 75-3. Clair de Lune played by Lang Lang. It stopped me in my tracks. While the collection of his pieces are all worthwhile, it is this particular one that I play over and over.

Verified podcast – Riveting content about an Italian, serial rapist sensitively wrought by an outstanding production team including the Senior Producer, Dan Bloom, our local, Takoma Park, MD resident.

Epidsode 1 of 9

Our neighborhood during the time of COVID19

A small tribute

For months and months prior to the eruption of the SARS-CoV-2 in China, right here in my hometown so far away, life felt off. Nothing was particularly negative, other than our dire American politics, yet I felt a malaise hanging over the world. And, it was with these manifestations: fires in Australia; polar ice melting at tremendous speed; continual war with refugees fleeing to any port of safety; dire hunger and poverty exploding in Venezuela, on and on. Yet, here I sat in my tiny space where all was well. Unease hung in the air around me. I could not help wait for the other “shoe to drop.” It did. COVID19.

Today, at the rise of this pandemic, I remain sitting in my tiny space, but I venture out, too. The malaise has dissipated; the unease is gone. There is something to be said for meeting your foe whether it is the tangible or intangible. And, I am not alone. My neighborhood is responding with generosity and love in the myriad ways of mixed generations with their talents and inventiveness.

Shared below are a few expressions of caring. I urge you to look to your neighbors, whether suburban, city or rural and count the many ways that caring is demonstrated by others.

Impromptu concert
A windy day for lost toys
Friday-distancing Happy Hours, painted rainbows, Teddy Bear hugs, treasured figs, Flowers from faith, and sweet cats both real and painted, and cookie recipe!