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All about the ins and outs of writing


Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, is selling quite well.

The Memoir

Michelle’s Obama’s memoir begins with her childhood, growing up on the gritty, south side of Chicago and as we all know, ends with her eight year residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia. The theme of the book is how her unexpected rise in position came about and also how her Cinderella-like story can inspire others to improve their own lot.

Tracking Sales

No matter how you look at it, sales figures for Michelle Obama are going through the roof. After just 15 days on the market, Becoming, the memoir of former First Lady, Michelle Obama, has sold over two million books in Canada and the U.S., thus making it the most successful non-fiction title of 2018. And just think, sales figures for this narrative have nowhere to go but up, for Christmas is just around the corner and it is safe to assume that many copies of this story will somehow find their way under the Christmas tree.

Michelle and Barack Obama meet Queen Elizabeth, wikipedia photo by Pete Souza. Reportedly, the Queen advised the American First Lady that royal protocol is all rubbish.











The Better Half of the Equation

When Barrack Obama became an ex-president, one of his first orders of business was to nail down a book contract. However, much to the delight of readers, all around the globe, President Obama had a co-conspirator in this post-presidential ritual. And that would be none other than his wife and former First Lady, Michelle Obama.

As negotiations between the publishers and the Obamas continued, it became clear that the major publishing companies (also known as the Big Five) were just as interested in Michelle’s story, as they were in the president’s. In fact, some sources suggest that the First Lady was the big ticket and not the President. Early book sales suggest that the publishers knew their business very well, even with a 65 million dollar price tag, attached to the two literary releases.


The water witch of the forest, drawing by author












All Saints Day is a great time to honor the water witch For not only does she find us fresh water for our homes, but she protects the rivers, streams, brooks, lakes and ponds for us to enjoy.


A ghost in the house

















The nights are getting colder and longer, perfect time for a good ghost story.


This magical island with a church that is only accessible by boat really does exist, drawing by author










This small, Eastern European island with the rather large church really does exist, It is a popular place to attend mass and get married.


Too Close for Comfort, a picture of a tiger in the grass










This big cat is way too close for comfort.


Old Time Fiddlers in Georgia











While researching the origin of a popular fiddle tune called “Soldier’s Joy”, I came across this beautiful little anecdote from Tennessee and how it seems that back in the “Good Ole Days”, being a talented fiddler was an advantageous skill for anyone interested in serving as Governor of the Volunteer State.

“Some thirty or forty years ago, two brothers ran for governor of Tennessee. The one on the Republican ticket, and one on the Democrat. And they went around over the state fiddling. The Democrat was the best fiddler, and he was elected. But the Republican was a very shrewd man, as they have to be in Tennessee. So, he waited until the Democrats nominated a man who couldn’t fiddle, and then he ran again and was elected, about twenty years later.

This statement was made by Fred Colby as he introduced the Albert Gore Band in 1938. Since that time the fiddle has still, on occasion played a part in Tennessee politics, especially with the career of Albert Gore Sr. (father of Al Gore Jr.). Al Gore Sr. hailed from the Appalachian region of Eastern Tennessee and was quite an accomplished fiddler, even appearing on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry.

And like any smart politician, he was not afraid to use his musical talents to further his political career. Often pulling out the small stringed instrument on the campaign trail, Al Gore Sr. went on to represent the state of Tennessee in both bodies of Congress.  Maybe his namesake should have learned to play a fiddle.


The orange tree is but one source of food, drawing and photo by author















Depending on the consumer, food can vary widely. For example, the orange tree bears fruit that is eaten by humans.


This jail window offers little chance of escape, drawing by author


















Going to jail can change a man’s (or woman’s) life.


Couple enjoying some rainbow pie on a sunny summer day, drawing by author










Rainbow (Pie)

Soon, we’ll all be enjoying that delicious rainbow pie.



A Blue Dog stands in front of a red dog house, photo and drawing by author











Where’s Snoopy?  Rodrigue’s blue dog pays a friendly visit to his pal Snoopy, but there’s nobody home.



Funky abstraction, art marker illustration

















A funky abstraction



Lost in Space??












Outer Space

This astronaut has lost his spacecraft and is just floating around outer space. Nonetheless he seems to be having a good time and enjoying himself.


Late afternoon sun rays present an interesting perspective













Keeping the Faith

Just because the WordPress Daily Post is no longer doing weekly photo challenges, it doesn’t mean that I will not be posting anything on Wednesday. I think that in the near future I will be putting up a new photograph on Wednesdays, whenever possible. These images will come from my Instagram pages, which can be found @streetgraphix on the Instagram site.

Here is a recent picture I took with my smartphone at a local train stop in Salt Lake City in Utah. It’s late evening so the shadows are rather lengthy and pronounced. Overall, the picture has a red or rouge accent to it, due to the time of day in which the picture was taken.


So sad to be seeing the Daily Post, fade away into that yesterworld of the internet. Every week I have looked forward to Wednesday mornings to see what the current topic will be. And then I have very enjoyed the responses that come my way. To be honest this has been a large part of my internet traffic and will miss seeing all the responses and comments that have originated with this popular site.

On the other hand I can see why the Daily Post is being discontinued. Things have definitely been trending downward,especially over the last year. Nonetheless, I would like to thank very much those of you that have taken the time to respond to my pictures, even if it was just through hitting the “like” button. In the future I still plan to post a few of my fotos from time to to time and perhaps I will become more active with the drawings that I do in co-ordination with Illustration Friday.

Following is a sample of what I have been working on lately. This is my own photographic work set against a NASA image of the Pleiades star cluster. (Thank you Hubble) If you like this kind of thing stay tuned for I will be exploring this realm further.

All Time Favorite

A photographic sandwich (No, you can’t eat it) that juxtaposes a picture of the Rancos Mission in New Mexico with a NASA picture of the Pleiades star cluster

















All-Time Favorites

And Now For A Something Little Extra

The butterfly nebula combined with a neon sign
























Lost in Space??













From the Jupiter Cave


The True Nature of the Night Sky Revealed, drawing by author







When Stars Go Bad: The Bill Cosby Dilemma

If Bill Cosby has any kind of consolation, while contemplating his current demise and his possible jail time somewhere in the future, it is this. He is not alone! Even the president of the United States is not immune to difficulties associated with members of the opposite sex.  And then, today came the “Big Kahuna”. Harvey Weinstein traveled to NYC, where he was booked with a variety of charges that included rape and sex abuse. The movie mogul will not serve any pre-trial time in jail like O.J. did, but instead, he will be confined to the states of NY and Conn. after posting a one million dollar bail.

Weinstein’s Heavy Footprint in Hollywood

Defenders for Harvey Weinstein have been few with perhaps Woody Allen having the most insightful comments. In no way did Allen condone what Weinstein did, but he did sound an alarm about possible witch hunts arising out of the Weinstein debacle. These comments were made back in 2017 in a BBC interview and Woody has remained rather quiet since then, especially with the public outcry that sprang up immediately following his comments.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sounds Off On Cosby

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar found himself in a similar place, concerning the allegations and accusations that were leveled against his good friend and mentor, Bill Cosby. In recent comments to the Hollywood reporter, Kareem took the situation a bit further, when he opened up about how the downfall of Cosby has been a difficult event to handle for the former NBA star. Not only was Cosby a role model for Abdul-Jabbar, but also for many other people of color throughout the US and elsewhere. In the Hollywood Reporter article, Kareem refers to the Cosby revelations as a punch in the gut and a fall from innocence.

Where Do We Go From Here

So how we do we deal with highly-creative artists, who happen to also have a scary dark side. For me personally, I did not have a lot emotion wrapped up in Bill’s TV appearances, especially the Cosby show. However, his breakout LP albums, as an upstart standout comedian, are in a completely different world. The language from those recordings were well received, hit a nerve and quickly found a way into our everyday chatter. Such lines as “How long can you tread water?” and “What’s a cubit?” would pop up time and time again in all kinds of situations. In fact, even today, many of the lines from “Why Is There Air?” and other such recordings can still be found floating around my gray matter and may be recalled at any time with only the slightest stimulation. Cosby really was that good and that influential.

In the 60s Bill Cosby converted his time as a P.E. student at Temple University into high comedy














Looking Back

In looking back at the turbulent sixties, when Bill Cosby was a funny voice that crossed many cultural lines in a hilarious way, what appears to be happening is that there are things I would like to forget about Cosby (and Weinstein), but my mind won’t let me because at the time I thought their artistic expressions and sentiments were so great. Even with all the sordid details that are emerging from the courtroom, I still retain an active memory of what went down.


This giant is very fond of playing basketball, drawing by author











Wearing size 36 gym shoes and standing well over twenty feet tall, this giant excelled at playing basketball.


A frayed and twisted white strand of plastic plays in the wind, photo by author
















This week’s photo challenge, twisted, may cause one to pause and take closer notice of the little things that often go unnoticed.



Reflections in the harbor are distorted by the fluid nature of the water, photo by author









Harbor sea water is a thick viscous substance that does strange things with reflections and shadows.



Utopia varies, depending on point of view, drawing by author











A sailor’s utopia might look something like this.


Maine lighthouse on a summer evening, photo by author









A Place in the World

Perhaps my place in the world, is somewhere along either coast. This is not where I’m at now, but it might be a good place for me.

Place in the World


This blue elephant was captured on film at South of the Border, SC  photo by author











Pink elephants may be common encounters (especially for alcoholics), but when is the last time you saw a blue elephant.



The lines on this chair are caused by shadows, photo by author











The lines in this photograph make the picture. Moral of the story – do not ignore lines when making a photograph.




Nice Hats – this store window on the Mediterranean coast of France proudly displays its wares, photo by author











France is a prolific producer of lady’s hats.



Shiprock on the Navajo Reservation is a sacred place, photo by author
















Sacred Places

Shiprock, which can appear like a ship out on the sea, is a sacred place to the Navajo Nation. According to legend, the summit is haunted by past spirits, but the surrounding land is held sacred and valued as a spiritual place.



You are never so down and out that you can’t get up again and fight. photo by author


















No matter what the adversity, a smile can work wonders.



Portland Head Light at sunrise during winter time, photo by author











The day begins late during winter, especially if you live in the northern latitudes. On a positive note colors can be more intense, as the day begins.



Twins can occur anywhere, photo and drawing by author












Once upon a time there were a pair of twin giraffes named Ted and Jed. Only problem was that Jed was not sure if he was really Jed; and Ted was not at all positive if he was really Ted. For it was very possible that Ted was really Jed and Jed was really Ted.


Casco Bay in Maine is definitely one of my favorite places.
















My Favorite Place

Casco Bay near Portland, Maine is definitely one of my favorite places. I’d love to be there right after the Nor’easter hits, so I could go snowshoeing in some of the hills that surround the bay. No better time to be outdoors, as far as I am concerned.

Casco Bay is not the wildest body of water along the Maine Coast. In fact, it is probably one of the most developed. This shot of the Spring Point Light shows that technology can be photogenic as well.

Favorite Place


Sailing along the Coast of Maine in the summertime is one place that I’d rather be. photo by author











I’d Rather Be…..

I’d rather be sailing along the coast of Maine or in Casco Bay near Portland, as this picture portrays. But please oh please don’t send me there now, for there is a big snowy Nor’easter blowing in from the Maritimes. Late summer is the time to be cruising up and down the rocky coastline.

I’d Rather Be…


Bicycles parked in front of a Copenhagen statue sent the author’s mind wondering and helped create this very short story.


















The Story

Once upon a time in the ancient kingdom of Gdansk, there lived a very affable priest that not could get very many of the local residents to attend church on Sunday. “Too much remembering of the ancient Gods,” he would often say to his brethren of the cloth, who often as not would dismiss his complaints, as a sign of inexperience.

Finally, the young priest wrote to his superiors, who like his cohorts, could not come up with a solution to the persistent problem.

Eventually, the priest solved the problem himself by offering to bless the bicycles of the parishioners before they entered the holy space. T o commemorate the ingenuity of the young priest, modern day residents of the royal kingdom often leave bicycles at the foot of his statue to pay homage to his deeds.


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