Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Artist

I grew up six houses down from a boy I never got to know.

We were in the same grade, often the same class, and I never really spoke to him. I remember in second grade, when the rest of us were learning to read, and playing soccer at recess, he was drawing. Cars mostly. At first. And they were beautiful. He'd draw them in fine pencil lines and he'd smear the smudges until they looked like shadows. In second grade he could draw a picture of a car that looked like it could drive off the page.

My teacher often hung up his pictures, and sometimes I'd linger after class, looking at that simple pencil drawing, trying to figure out how on earth he did that. I never talked to him, but in my head, I called him the artist.

As we grew up, he started drawing more, and getting more attention for his art. He won a reflections contest that I had hoped to win, his pictures flapping in the stale air conditioning as they hung from the teacher's wall. Sometimes during math, I'd lean back in my chair, watching him as he drew. I never pointed out the smudge of lead on his forehead. I never told him I liked his work.

I think I was jealous, really, that he got to be something special. So I admired him, and hated him in the same breath, and I never talked to him. I wanted to see him taken down a peg. It wasn't fair that he always won those contests. It wasn't fair that his art was always on the wall.

So, in fourth or fifth grade, I took my most favorite Lisa Frank folder, the one with the dolphins that I had picked out special and prized so much, and I traced those dolphins onto another piece of paper. I drew my own water, drew grasses growing from the bottom, copied his style of smudging the pencil lines to create shadows and definition, and then I turned it in. My teacher hung it up on the wall, and for a shallow second, I was proud that my drawing was up there with his. Placed a little bit higher actually, because what is really impressive as a first grader, isn't quite as impressive once everyone else catches up.

Someone turned me in for cheating, but I vehemently denied it. I ripped up my prized folder when I got home. ripping it into tiny shredded pieces. I never showed my mom that art, because I knew she would recognize the folder she had bought, and she would know I was just a cheater.

My pride turned itself hollow. That win wasn't really a win. I defeated him, but I didn't. All I did was prevent him from winning. I would not say I won.

But he didn't really draw much after that.

The last time I ever saw his art was when I was sixteen. I considered myself an artist then, though my medium was drama, and choir, and writing on the side. I was taking a walk around my neighborhood, and there on the sidewalk was the last drawing of his that I ever saw. It was a chalk drawing of a naked woman in a lewd position. This was out on the street. Kids lived next door, and these were my streets where I played as a little kid. I couldn't believe he would do that. But mostly, it shocked me, because it was really really good. The eyes were sad. I remember those eyes. How did he make those eyes so sad?

I dumped my water bottle over the drawing and I kept walking. I didn't stop to see it wash away the chalk, or to see the colors smear, or see the contents of my water bottle destroying those eyes. I just kept walking.

And while my actions were strangely satisfying, at least to my righteous indignation, as I marched away, I couldn't help but be heartbroken. I couldn't tell if what I had just done was the right thing to do, or if it was wrong. Seventeen years later, I still don't know.

 At one point, he was my favorite artist. And I destroyed his art. His last art, actually.

I don't know what happened to him. I don't know if he went to college and studied art. I don't know if he dropped out of school, and is now a tattoo artist, or if maybe he never gets to draw at all. I don't know anything about him.

But then I never really did.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Rant, A Rabbi, and a Rutabaga Walked into a Bar...

There are no Rabbi or rutabagas here. I'm just warning you know so if you happen to be searching for Rabbi/ root vegetable jokes, you've come to the wrong place.

There is, however, a rant.

You ready?

So I just placed a hold on a couple of books from my local library, and the database was just fine with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and the Audio Book for Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card (for my husband), but then when I placed a hold on Kiera Cass's The Selection a note came up that read, "The holds are held in a public space where other people can see your name connected to this book, are you sure you would like to proceed?"

And I'm like, "Yes, I know it is a distopian version of The Bachelor, but I don't judge you for your choices, Library Database. And I could, (because how difficult would it be to search for the author the way it appears on the book?) but Cass, Kiera and I will be very happy together. Thank you."

And thus ends the rant.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cover reveal-- Hunted, Liz Long


Hi everyone! Thanks so much to those special authors and bloggers helping me with today's cover reveal. I'm so excited to show off the new cover. It always makes the upcoming release a little more real for me, you know? Anyway, I hope you love it as much as I do. HUNTED is Book 3 of the Donovan Circus Series, with more adventure, romance, and chaos that will lead to murder. In case you haven't read it, you can run away to the supernatural circus and start with Gifted for just 99 cents on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks! You can visit this page to learn more about the 3rd book in the series and what to expect - or worry about!
  HUNTED Donovan Circus Cover

Back Cover Synopsis
Lucy Sullivan finally belongs with the gifted Donovan Circus. Members are finding their rhythm, even the new folks from the Grayson Circus who joined after the last attack. Lucy feels like a trusted leader who can win the gifted battles and prevent humans from discovering their existence. When tragedy strikes camp, a distraught Sheffield sends Lucy and her gifted team to hunt down the enemy – Alex, a Chameleon with a wicked ability for war. He’s out for blood and won’t stop until Lucy and her friends are dead. This time, it won’t be Lucy’s gift that is tested – it will be her morality. To save her circus, the price will be greater than she ever expected. This time, she will lose someone she loves. And it will change everything.
About Liz:
Liz Long, indie author
Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media strategist includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.
All titles, including the Donovan Circus Series, A Reaper Made, and Witch Hearts, are available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.
To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.