On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yes I can!

Whenever I look through someone else's travel sketchbook there always seems to be a page of airport sketches. Bored passengers are shown reading their newspapers, checking the flight schedules, drinking soda, sleeping, working their crossword puzzles and trying to be patient.

I've never been able to draw these people, but I want to because it certainly is part of the whole travel experience. So this afternoon I took Beulie with me to Starbucks. She fell asleep under the table while I nursed my latté and drew a guy sitting across the room. Two-thirds through my very first attempt he suddenly folded up his newspaper, stood up and walked out. Well! What's a mother to do? I gathered up the stuff on my table, woke up my dog, stood up and walked out too! But I'll be back... and on nice days I'll go to a park and try again. I really want to learn how to draw people doing their peopley things so the next time I travel I can include that page too.

We woke up to sunshine today but it wasn't long before the clouds blew in. Rain is forecast for the next three days, at least. I worked several hours today and didn't get home until after 9:00 tonight but the rest of the week will be lighter. Good. I can watch the rain. I don't know how to draw rain either.

Last night I finished reading Julia Cameron's latest book, THE WRITING DIET. It's a self-help book on .... writing yourself thin. Will it work? I need to lose weight. I am one of Julia Cameron's most faithful followers. When THE ARTIST'S WAY came out in 1992 I was there, reading each week's portion and working the program. I repeated the 12-weeks. I started several Artist's Way groups and walked others through the chapters. We all succeeded. One woman opened a business, others turned to the arts. I enrolled in graduate school and began a new career. Julia Cameron was not the only influence in that time of my life but she was a major player.

So it feels as though she and I go back a long way. And therefore I am inclined to trust that if I continue writing my three pages every morning (I have stacks and stacks of old journals now) and follow her probing prompts and keep a food journal, it's likely I will lose weight. This from someone who ate pizza for supper and pumpkin pie for dessert (it's a veggie serving). Uh.... it will be a challenge.


  1. Another book recommendation combining my love (journaling) and my nemesis (weight/diet) by an author who has been very helpful. THANKS. And I know what you mean about drawing people... I browsed some books for architects about how to draw people.. Their hints about what to leave out were very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for the recommendation! I may have to check it out. As I get older, the weight seems to hit me easier and I don't like it!

  3. I tried "The Artist's Way" back in about 2000 and though I loved the Artist Dates, I really didn't get on with the Morning Pages ... I found they only made me go round in circles with the issues that were bugging me, which was totally self-defeating. I would take any new Julia Cameron book seriously, though, and would be willing to check this one out, had I not found the solution to my weight issues a few years ago via low-carbing. I will be fascinated to see how you feel you are progressing with this book - it sounds intriguing!

  4. Hmmmmmm. This is interesting. I might have to try the Julia Cameron book.

  5. Thank you for your messages. Yesterday I was telling someone about dieting with Julia Cameron and I kept saying "Julia Child" -- like maybe food was on my mind! -- Barbara


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