I should could be working on my National Board Certification, but I wanted to do this instead. Drawing and painting help me get centered, as long as I embrace imperfection.

This is the first in a series of lessons in Lisa Congdon’s Inktober challenge ( I’m supposed to use ink, but I don’t have any yet. So I used watercolor. 



Oh Rats! I mean…Cat…

Daily Practice (Animals) Day 1

“So if your final product is not what you had hoped, the daily practice will help you.”

August Wren (

Let’s hope so!

Painting this was a lot of fun. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I just ordered some “bleed proof” white that August uses. Watercolor white doesn’t mimic the bleed proof very well.

The 13 Habits* (#4)



Do a Kindness

Practice a kindness every single day. If you’re already doing this, consider being kind to – yes – a rude person, or someone you are not particularly fond of. It’s challenging, but it’s important, if we’re going to change the world.





Practice Daily


In art, one must be mindful of space: the space between images.

In a few of these, I was afraid of too much space and added graphics. The result was a non-uniform crowding of images, which is not pleasing to the eye.



In relationships, space is even more critical. “Caring” and “parenting” are not about invading space, but respecting our teenagers as their own people. Crowding and controlling them is not pleasing to them!

This is the exact opposite of how I was raised.

But I can choose to question that thinking and do better.


“I don’t know what to write…”

I get this complaint from at least one student a day when we do our timed writing. I learned this exercise from Natalie Goldberg. Write for five (or ten or fifteen) minutes straight. The only rule is that you don’t ever let your pencil stop. Just write. No censorship.

In my classroom, students write to a prompt. For example, “What makes a good life?” And then they write. This develops a strong writing voice over time.

Of course, as with anything else in life, you must do it regularly and give it 100% each time. You will improve. Yes, you’ll write a lot of crap. But any successful person has created a lot of crap and then a few golden nuggets…

Try it!