Monday, May 2, 2011

And She's Back! (Plus a book spoiler!)

I'm back from another pretend "vacation." I set my email and my Etsy shop to "Vacation Mode" and ran away to Maine... to work. How warped is that? It's twisted (tangled?) I know, but I actually really enjoy this sort of vacation. I get a lot accomplished AND I get to walk by the sea. Ah, life is good... then I come home and get WHOMPED to the side of the head with all the things that I had left behind and the email. Ohmigoodness.

I recently read an interview where Tim Ferriss, the author of the "4-hour Workweek", said that he had hired a VA - a Virtual Assistant - to read all his emails for him (over 1,000 a day!) and to deal with them. The idea is very tempting...

His blog is fun to peruse. Some of his ideas (all of them?) are over the top, extreme. That's his style and how he got really rich. But he does have a lot of good points, things that make you think. Or re-think. I am doing a lot of that lately.

Another author/person who will make you think is Hugh MacLeod. I had just finished reading his book "Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination" when his name, and artwork came up in conversation at an art gallery reception. The host had recently purchased one of Hugh's larger pieces. Larger being around 9x12". He usually draws his cartoons on the backs of business cards!

I have always felt sympathy for the evil villains in movies (Despicable Me! I mean, who DOESN'T want minions to help them take over the world. And they are so cute and cuddly... oh! More on that in a minute**) But Hugh's basic premise is that, if you are achieving your goals and doing things "right," people will be jealous and hate you, right? If you aren't succeeding, what's to be jealous of? So if you are pissing people off, you're on the right track. So forget the "goals" and go straight for the "evil plans"!

OK, back to the "minions"! I've changed my "Followers" to "Minions" but please don't be insulted. I say it with the greatest respect and love for all of you! It's part of my baby-step attempts to (take over the world!) get to that place where I don't care so much "what everybody else thinks." Yes, slow going. My plan is to be a bit more like my avatar or the "personality" that seems to have been created through my books. I get the most amazing (and some very disturbing) emails from people who have been moved by my books. They seem to think of me as a very strong, topple-proof, super-creative, never have a bad day, tangle queen, super-achiever... stop me before I get sick! Needless to say, that's not really very accurate! But I think most of you folks know that already (just from reading my posts!)

Finally - the GOOD stuff...


The new book has lots of "minions" in it. I just spent the last week in Maine "inking" the pages for the new book that I am working on. It's hard to know how much is OK to spill (ideas, not ink)... but I have never been good at keeping my devious plans to myself. You may be wondering "How could she possibly write ANOTHER Zentangle book?!" (Gosh, I hope you aren't really thinking that...?) But my publisher asked me to do a ZT book for kids. Since I am/was a kids' book illustrator, I freely misinterpreted her request and I'm doing a comic book to introduce kids to Zentangle!! I've had such a blast doing this one (it's my favorite!). My kids, Alex and Lilah, are the hosts/main characters. Lilah's tangle creations, the "Lilah Beans" from Totally Tangled are her minions (she calls them "onions") and they help explain things, hold things, and generally just stand around looking fabulous. I just ran and took a few quick shots of some pages to show you. These are just inked, no shading and no coloring yet. I don't know yet if they should be B&W, or some color, or all color... hmm... I'll put a little "poll" over on the edge of the blog and you all can give me your opinions, OK? At the very least, they need a subtle background color to help the panels stand out. I think I'd like to color the whole durn thing, except for the actual tangle steps. But, then, I really like to color things in. Coloring book, yes, that's a great idea! It's already on the to-do list. ;-D


  1. That's looking very cute so far. If the target is kids, I would think you want color, color, color. But not so much color that it makes the black and white ZTs disappear, either. So I voted for the comic book style color. Maybe a limited palette but lots of use of it? And perhaps avoid red on any pages where you're using red as the early steps?

  2. I really enjoy your books and this new one looks like it will be great too. It is now on my must have wish list. :) I don't suppose you've thought of doing any of your books for the Nook Color?

  3. Darkskye - good points - thanks.
    Anonymous - I don't know about Nook Color. Tell me more?

  4. Ah! I looked it up. I have an iPad. And I would love to have my books as ebooks. Actually a lot of Design Originals books would be great as ebooks. Send them email and request it!! I keep thinkin about doing a kids book for MeeGenius, too.

  5. Lovin' the teaser, kiddo. The "onions" and hosts are fab and I like the approach you're using. I support you in your quest for world domination - tanglers of the world, UNITE!

  6. Barnes & Noble and Amazon both have their own e-readers. Barnes & Noble has the Nook (black & white) and the Nook Color (has a color screen & can do magazines & such as well-step up from the Nook). Amazon has the Kindle. I have not tested to see if they are both compatible with each other (different sources contradict here),so it would really be best to do both formats. It looks like it is the publisher who can decide to make things available for these e-readers since the sites have buttons for non-e-reader format books to tell the publisher you want this on your Nook/Kindle. I hope that helps?

  7. Sorry, didn't see your next post. What would be the email? I have already clicked that "Please tell the publisher you want this on your Nook" button for your books. :)

  8. These are great! I think a bit of color for kids is a good thing...but then I am still a big kid and I love color!


  9. hey where didja go in maine? i've got a day to kill there next week and would LOVE to be by the ocean. i'm from illinois and have absolutely no idea where to go.

  10. I love the coloring book idea. Partially colored may be fun. I don't know how that would work digitally. This is for kids over 45 too, right? :)


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