Taking a break from my writing


Every now and then, I have to step away from the keyboard, and let my mind relax. My writing alternatives are usually photography (outside) or art (in my garage studio), but when the weather is cold, those are uncomfortable. My daughter home schools her oldest child, though, and has asked me to teach her art, so on really blustery days, when I need a break from writing, I teach Samantha and her sister, Catie, how to draw and paint.


Our classroom is the dining table. As you can see in this photo, they take their lessons seriously, really getting into it. But, we also have fun. They like to make up funny stories to go with the pictures I have them do. The fascinating thing for me is how quickly and easily they absorb the techniques I teach them, while at the same time, bringing their own unique techniques to the use of those techniques.

Sammie, age 6, has a sophisticated technique, and tends to be a bit doctrinaire in her approach – but, still quite competent.  Catie, on the other hand, at age 5, takes a more impressionistic approach to her drawing, and lets her imagination soar. After two hours with these two, my mind is completely refreshed, and I’m ready to get back to the second of my epic novels about pirates and the War of 1812.