ICAD 2023 Day 3


It’s My Blog Birthday!


Eight years ago today I posted my first article on ARHtistic License. Since then, I’ve posted 4,425 more, and found my blogging voice.

In the past year, my blog has grown from 1334 followers to 1417, an increase of only 5%. It makes me sad that it’s so stagnant. I hope I can grow to 2000 followers by this time next year. How do I do that? Beats me.

I recently wrote a post about my all-time most popular articles, so I won’t repeat those statistics.

My all-time best blogging day was September 2, 2022, when my blog got 469 hits. I don’t know why. My average for 2023 so far is 50 views per day. I wish it were double that.

My most popular post in the past year was Quilting Frustration, which has been viewed almost 1,400 times. I guess the title struck a nerve with a lot of quilters.

On WordPress, it’s really tedious to determine the next most popular posts in the past year. It’s a little easier to find stats for a single calendar year.

My most viewed posts so far in 2023 (have you seen them all?):

10. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 7

9. WordPress is Losing its Place in my Heart

8. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 23

7. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 15

6. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 8

5. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 13

4. I’d Rather Be Dancing Sacred Circle Dances

3. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 6

2. Quilt Arizona! 2023 Part I

1. An Interview with Andrew Carnie, Folk Dance Enthusiast and Linguistics Professor

My most liked posts so far in 2023:

10. Creative Juice #327

9. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Butterfly and Lantanta

8. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 13

7. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 5

6. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: African Daisies

5. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 23

4. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 6

3. Flower of the Day: Century Plant

2. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 16

1. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Marigolds

I love blogging challenges for two reasons. First, they give me an excuse opportunity to do some of the creative things I love to do. Second, participants check out what other participants post. Many of my top posts are challenge entries. There’s a little bit of overlap between the two categories. NaPoWriMo is a poetry challenge held every April. Wordless Wednesday and Flower of the Day are photography challenges.

ICAD 2023 Day 2


Every year I participate in the Index-Card-a-Day challenge, organized by Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow Art. The premise is to make a piece of art on an index card, 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 inches, every day in June and July (61 days). Using humble materials so no great investment of cash is needed. On a small scale, so that it can be accomplished in a short amount of time.

I already missed Day 1. Stuff happens.

This year, I’d really like to make a face every day.

There are also suggested prompts, and maybe sometimes I’ll take them.

If I don’t draw a face or execute a prompt, I may do some zentangling, which I haven’t done since February, and am missing.

Or maybe I’ll do some scripture lettering.

Anyhow, here is my first offering:

Creative Juice #346

Creative Juice #346

Let’s get those creative juices flowing this weekend! Lots of inspiration here.

Video of the Week: Needed Election Reform


Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Palo Verde Tree in Bloom

Palo verde

More FOTD.

Review of The Library of Afro Curiosities by Ran Walker

The Library of African Curiosities

I’ve recently become a fan of flash fiction (and have written some myself). I was intrigued by the premise of this volume of 100 100-word stories by Walker, author of 25 books and a creative writing instructor at Hampton University.

From reading The Library of Afro Curiosities, I learned that a 100-word story might not have a traditional story arc, with a beginning, a middle, and an ending. It might instead be a single incident; or it might be a realization, along with the backstory leading up to it. It might be a single sentence, as the story “Searching for Water Where It Never Rains” (which to me seems more like a prose poem than a story).

Some of the stories do not tie up neatly at the end, but leave the reader with an unresolved question. I like that; it’s a technique I’ve used in my own short-short fiction.

Every word counts in writing this short. Walker is good at putting together words loaded with extra value. Here are three phrases from the story “Wishing.” “. . . her Stan Smith Adidas white like lies . . . her soft lips tasted like the sweet syrup of purple popsicles on a Saturday in July.” “My mind was a wheel of fortune . . .” Again, Walker’s words hit me like poetry.

Despite the title, you don’t have to be Black to derive meaning and enjoyment from the book. Some characters make multiple appearances among the stories. I recommend this book to anyone who likes short fiction and/or wants to write it. It’s especially good for people with short attention spans or no time to read—you can read it all in a couple of sittings. Hey, this review is as long as three of the stories.

Memorial Day Wisdom


This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom. ~ Tamra Bolton

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. ~ John F. Kennedy

May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn’t free. ~ Sgt. Major Bill Paxton

From the Creator’s Heart #404

Exodus 22:21

Poetry Reading: Covet Not Thy Neighbor’s Tree

Book Head

I’m undertaking a new project: reading my poems out loud.

I’ve not been to a poetry reading in a long time. But I’ve listened to some on poetry sites, and I’ve watched some on YouTube.

Most of my poems are too gentle and quiet for Slam readings.

I’ve heard people read poems in a monotone. Boring. How not to be boring? Practice. So I started practicing one of my old poems, one which I posted on my blog, so I can’t submit it to most publications. Just to make things interesting, I decided to film myself and post it on YouTube.

What? That’s crazy!

Yeah, it is. And this first one is not very pretty. I look like an awkward old lady. My hair is disheveled, even though I brushed it just minutes before. And though I used my good camera, the video quality is poor–I don’t know why. I couldn’t focus it right. Maybe next time I’ll use a different background. And though I practiced reading it for several days before filming, this was the fourth take, and I still made a mistake–I said “passerbys” instead of “passersby.” I decided not to tempt fate by recording it again, because bad as it was, it was way better than the three previous attempts.

Future videos can only get better, right?

My poem is a sonnet. It has a particular rhyme scheme. It’s in iambic pentameter, each line made up of five units consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable: ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH. (But I try not to read it that way.) It has three 4-line stanzas, followed by a couplet at the end.