Celebrating sisters

In a few days I will turn 33. It doesn't weird me out one bit. Not one...

Mid August, I started a painting class at my old community college in town, and as I gawk at the kids there, embarking on their educational path, I feel kind of ancient. This is silly because I'm not even in the "middle" of my life. I've just completed about a third of my life. I have so much to learn, and I'm honored to be in that class, but I guess perspective on how far I've come is also a useful tool.

That said, with 33, I'm happy to say that I've made it over a weird hump of frustration and confusion about what I'm supposed to do and how I'm supposed to live.

This I learned: THERE ARE NO RULES.

I was waiting for something spectacular to click the last 4 years. Like a kind of understanding of my sexuality, my talent, how status worked, and how to do a "good job", but no I think all that is just a ploy into buying stuff to make me think I'm doing it right and abiding by "the rules". Those magazines and their ads are so effective!

No no no, I'm always learning, trying my best, and will continue to do this. That's the only truth, and nothing will ever click except the seatbelt in my convertable of freedom that comes along with having NO IDEA what life is about. Ha!


I have a twin, by the way. She's amazing and smart and sassy, and she is a good mirror to me, showing me that there are lots of other humans going through the same things as I am, and maybe just sharing and hugging each other is all I need to do to feel sparks fly. And make art. That makes sparks fly, too.

I ALSO moved back to my hometown and I feel wildly grounded but also like a barefoot child with boundless appreciation of the oak trees and various fruit trees in my neighborhood. *I'm so happy to be home.

Fire Magic

I'm a super geek for life's metaphores. I want to draw them, talk about them, and write and write and write about them! So that's what you get today ;)

My dad up and all around Napa Valley and he mentioned to me that on his most recent trek up Mt. George in Napa, there was a fire poppy.

"They only surface after a fire. It's been 52 years since the last ones bloomed."

"Wow," I gawked at the photos of this lovely apple red flower.

Napa took a beating with the fires last Fall. 60 + homes were detroyed, and every month I find out more and more people, I know personally, lost theirs. So many folks have been trying to scramble and find places to live in the valley, so rent prices are high (higher than the normal high) and even more limited options than before. The community has been so supportive, however, and what could have been so traumatic of a situation, showed all of Napa how loving, strong, and ready natives are to take care of each other. I was amazed, and grateful I could be in Napa and witness this.

Now, after all that destruction, a beautiful, rare wildflower has sprung up, reminding us of our strength in the face of fire, and also the beauty and opportunities on the other side.

"Fire Poppy" in Napa Valley, 2018

"Fire Poppy" in Napa Valley, 2018

Recently, I've been in a weird, up-and-down place. When I saw this fire poppy I felt my heart soften, and I realized that I'd been through my own little fire: a breakup from New York, a break up from a man I loved, and just before I left, a break up from old friends and coworkers at a company I'd invested all of myself into. Lots of fire, lots of destruction, lots of change. But see I have a hard time letting go. I hold everthing in my body. I resisted allowing the fires to burn and clear proper space for new opportunities, for new wildflowers. I resisted the fact that things hurt, and I needed time to heal.

No wonder I've been in this up-and-down place!

But when I saw that fire poppy...

They say the first step to healing a habit is awareness. So thank you, Dad, for sharing your pictures and interests with me. Thank you Mom for reminding me what I need is important, and helping me let go in your own way.

And for all the flowers in my life; my family, friends, and new projects.

One of these was a mural in Napa that came up the last couple months as I made my way back to California, and the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, both of which were such great learning experiences, and well enjoyed breaks from the computer.


Letting go takes time and work. It's the kind of work you do on the yoga mat, or in the confidence of a friend. It's beautiful time spent and never has an agenda.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Meary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom. Let it be. -The Beatles

And let it be I shall. I'm excited for the new things coming into my life, grateful for the past and its lessons and experiences, and ready for whatever life throws at me next. Who knows? Maybe it'll be a rare opportunity that can only come after loads and loads of frustration and heartache? Cool. I'm good with that. :)

Annie is an author and illustrator with books available on Amazon and local book stores. She is open for commission, too! She lives in California, and loves tea, bike rides, reading, and exploring new places.

Happy New Year fancy pants people!

Rather than new years resolutions, I like to realign myself. Check in. Re-adjust. We're all perfect as we are, we just tend to get a little off from our preferred center points. Sometimes way off, but that's ok. Here's a little exercise that I did to welcome my hopes for the new year. It's more right brained than a resolution and it doesn't take much time or resources. Just an intention. It gives you room to breath and discover the message throughout the year.

Check out the video above for a walk through of the project. Please post your cards and share your beautiful artwork below, or via email! I'd love to see what your soulsays, and your spirit will definitely inspire everyone elses. Believe you me!

If you want a little hand-drawn template of an oracle card, download it here

Here's what came out of me.  I used the loosest mediums I could: oil pastel, pencil, watercolor.  The goal is to  NOT  make it look good, but rather, make it  FEEL  good.

Here's what came out of me.  I used the loosest mediums I could: oil pastel, pencil, watercolor.  The goal is to NOT make it look good, but rather, make it FEEL good.

Sending you lots of warm wishes and here's to a KICK ASS year.