E Book Sale on Smashwords

Beginning on July 1st and running through to July 31st, you can get my ebooks for $.99 each at Smashwords.com. Go to my page, Chlele Gummer, and sample a couple. The series begins with Rufus and the Games, and runs through the rest in this order: Rufus and the Honker Chorus, Rufus Meets Coyote, Rufus Meets the Birds, Rufus Meets Sqeaky Squirrel, Rufus and His Broken Toes, Mystery at Spring Lake, These are My Things, Rufus and His Sisters Part One, and Rufus and Hiw Sisters Part Two. Yes, there are ten stories of Rufus, the Canada gosling. I’m considering having them printed into paper backs eventually.

Rufus Stories on Sale

July 1st is the first day of a month long sale of my ebooks, the Rufus series. Currently they are selling for $3.99. In July I will offer differing titles for $.99. The first week “Rufus and the Games” and “Rufus and the Honker Chorus” will be on sale.

The first book in the series, Rufus and the Games, finds Rufus practicing the skills he needs to compete in the games: clacking, swimming, flying. Because he hatched later than his sisters he’s had to practice harder on the skills he needs. His parents discovered that Rufus could do things that others couldn’t. The coach also discovered this skill and instituted an activity including it. Read to see how the story ends.

Rufus and the Honker Chorus, the second book in the series tells of Rufus’s desire to sing in the chorus. He consults with Professor Muse to see what he needs to do to be able to compete. On the day of the audition Rufus wakes up unable to make a sound. He doesn’t want to attend the audition but his mom takes him anyway. Rufus does make it into the chorus in a different way. Read to see what his involvement is.

To buy them go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/R4u3pU.

Creating the Last Book, Hug A Slug, Scoot a Newt

        In 2012 I finished the nine month training to be docent at the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen. For thirty some years they have provided a hiking program for third and fourth graders which included an in class program featuring what the children might see on their visit. The following week they were bussed out to the preserve and led on a hike in groups of five or six with a docent and a parent. I did that once a week during the season.

       In 2020 I thought of making a story of our hikes which featured the same stops through the preserve giving the children the experience of four different habitats and the animals and plants that lived in them. Being a sewer and saving all fabric scraps forever I had two large drawers full. I had made a wall hanging picturing 21 birds all out of scraps. I thought how about doing the pictures that illustrate the hikes all in fabric. The textures of the cloth works so well in picturing the natural scenes I would use in the story.

       I bought heavier multimedia paper, 14X17 inches, to glue the fabric on. There were five hikers, four students and a docent. I realized I needed to make several of each, moving or sitting in different ways. That way I could creat the background of the trail and the creek within the different habitats and place the hikers and the docent on the picture when I photographed them.

       The story followed exactly how the hike would go. I made pictures of the ants, the galls, the newts, the turret spider, the salamanders  and others things we’d focus upon. Since I used the people in many pictures they aren’t glued on.

       I hired an editor who’d check my work and put the book together. She also found a publisher that I used. And for a few hundred dollars I had thirty books to sell which I do now and again. You can order a book on this website.

The Spider Episode

As you get to know me, you will realize that I am a devoted naturalist. I do not immediately kill spiders when I see them in the house. I even stopped washing them down the sink when I discovered them trapped. It seems they cannot handle the slick enamel and are stuck. I throw them a towel which they can get traction on to crawl out of the sink.

In my bathroom in the high corner above the door lives a daddy long legs. He’s been there for several months. One time he came down to the floor. I think I scared him for the next time I used the bathroom he was back in his web looking down on me.

Yesterday I discovered two daddy long legs in the tub. I knew they were in trouble because they hadn’t left after several hours. I realized they needed a towel to aid their escape. They were situated at each corner.

As I put the first towel down the spider in the far corner got spooked. He backed away from the towel. He moved like he was rushing to the other corner then he stopped still. I put the second towel down near the other spider, being careful not to spook him. I left them thinking that they would be gone soon.

The next time I entered the bathroom I noticed that only one spider was still in the tub. I didn’t see the other spider anywhere. But what was that laying next the the remaining spider? It looked like a spider leg. I don’t remember seeing it before. My gosh. “Did you eat that spider?” I asked. I bent over and studied the remains and they sure looked like a spider leg.

The remaining spider also look bigger and darker than I remembered. Since he was still in the tub I picked up the towel and situated it in a better way. He took notice, went right to the towel, climbed up and over the edge, dropped to the floor and ran to a corner under the sink. I felt good about saving him.

As I left the bathroom I looked up to the daddy long legs in the high corner. He looked so small and thin in his web. I wondered if he got anything to eat.

When I entered the bathroom again I noticed another spider leg sitting on the counter directly under the spider on the ceiling. What! I looked at him. He changed. He was bigger and darker, much like the spider I saved from the tub. Oh my gosh. “It’s  you. You ate him and took over his web!”

I studied the leg again. I know it sounds really crazy but I think that’s what happened. I googled Daddy Long Legs to read that they do eat other spiders. I will add the pictures I took soon.

Hanging an Art Show

      My next art show will be hung soon at the Glacer Center. It features Endangered Animals. I wanted to bring some of them into the limelight so people will feel that what they do has consequence in endangering other animals and plants.

I worked for several years on the paintings and in the last couple of months I have been framing them. When I had a car I could drive to Good Will and find frames that I could use. Without a car I have been ordering them from Amazon. They are all framed and stacked behind the couch in the living room.

Each picture required a little explanation which I typed up on heavy paper and then cut into even squares to place under each picture. I ordered putty to use to mount these labels. It doesn’t tear the wall paint when one takes the labels off.

On Wednesday of this week a friend will pick up my paintings and me and drive us to the Glacer Center downtown. She’ll help me carry them in , decide where each one will be placed, and then do the process of hooking the wires and hanging the pictures. The last bit will be placing the labels. I am hoping it will go smoothly and we will be done in a couple hours.

The art reception will be on June 19 at 12:30 pm. I plan to have plates of shrimp, cheese and crackers, and vegetables and dip. I  will  provide some wine for those who like it. I may talk a bit about the show and answer questions. Here are three of the pictures to be shown. These are acrylic paintings.

Lemur
Panda

The Graphic Book

  I began a graphic diary a couple years ago. Drawing figures is challenging and I enjoy figuring out how the head tilts or how the hand looks from a certain angle. Proportion of the body is important to make the figures look real.

The purpose of the diary is to get all the story in one picture. I drew the lunches I had made for various groups of friends. I have pictures that I drew using colored pens and/or colored pencils of having my hair cut. Other times I draw what I’ve done with friends such as a hike.

At first I put the pictures in the same art book as the collages. Now I have a separate book for each. The diary has new art pages to use each time. The collages I put on old crossword puzzle books or I have found I can make them  without gluing them on a page. So I end up with a pile of collages.

Waiting at the bus stop.

Recent Work

Here are three new collages done this week. I wake early and entertain myself with creating new pictures. Recently the materials I use have been old Sierra Club calendars given to me by a friend. The views are vibrant with color and a delight to use.

My process begins with the selection of colors and designs. I consider what might make a suitable background and glue it down. Now I’m using old Road Scholar magazines printed on newsprint. Not the sturdiest surface but the picture will only be photographed and published on Facebook.

Then I select what might work in the design which evolves as I work. The shapes and colors of the pieces find their places. I may change the shape or cut out smaller shapes to create a design in a piece. When I feel it’s done I photograph it.

Then to select items to be glued next. I arrange pieces until the picture seems finished. Mainly I emphasize the arrangement of differing shapes, whether they are balanced and offer interest to the eye. Most of the collages I make please me, but that is not a factor in the decision to post them. I feel they have value within themselves and deserve the attention they receive.

Latest Work

It dawned on me that I have no more room to store any more pictures. I can’t go on, day after day, creating pictures. True most are housed in mixed media note books. In my closet are thirteen of them stashed here and there on the shelves I installed in there to hold my painting supplies. The last book is still on the table with maybe only a couple pages left to fill.

I enjoy sitting at my table early in the morning deciding what story to tell in my graphic diary or what colors and shapes I find in my collection of pictures torn from magazines or calendars to make another collage. I need another book but do I get one? This has to stop, sad to say, or I need to clean out my collections.

So I pulled out a stack of paintings, acrylic or watercolor, to decide what to do with them. Are they worthy to be framed or what I selected some that were very colorful to use in make some cards. I enjoy scanning the picture for smaller ones using a paper frame, 4 x 6 inches. And I do find some pictures more interesting that the whole large picture. I outline the frame, then with my huge scissors I cut them out, glue upon the one sheet cards. I make tiny framed paintings which I can attach an envelope and create a card to sell.

What Is Art Anyway

When you walk about down town or anywhere for that matter, you can see art portrayed on the street or in the windows. Arrangement of things offered for sale is art in a way. The design of the objects that you see are created with art principles in mind. Every thing that is designed from a tall building to a small kitchen gadget is art. You are surrounded by it if you will stop to notice.

Then you can see the natural part of the scene, the trees, plants, the animals that might make an appearance, the lowly mosquito, all have evolved following design principles. It’s true. That’s why nature is so beautiful even in it’s most dangerous stages.

I like to think that if one needed to have a god, a creator, for me that would be physics. The laws of physics create all shapes, sizes, ways of moving and interacting from the smallest living form to the largest universe. And they are amazing.

So in my universe of my art room I sit and wander through many sheets of calendar or magazine pictures, sorting by color and shape, waiting for a desire to create my own picture. What do I want today at this moment. What moves me as I sit and browse through scraps I have saved for this purpose. Often I have no plan, it seems to develop as I select images I want to work with. Then I follow my brains suggestions placing things here or there, behind or in front, turned sideways or not, following some interior plan. I cut and paste until I feel that it’s done. A picture which may or may not make any sense. In my mind I am following the muse, whatever that is.

When it feels finished I ask myself what words come to mind and they arise in my consciousness. I write them down, finagling them into the Haiku format of 5, 7 , 5 syllables. And there it is, the artwork I have created in the early morning hours. I use my phone to picture it and publish it on Facebook for my friends to see.

And to be honest, I don’t like all the pictures that I do. There are some which I admire and wonder how I did them, but then, there are others which cause me to shake my head. You see, I do not judge my work; I can’t. I do enjoy the process.

In Recovery

A week later after my surgery I ventured out for my first walk to the park. I go through a neighborhood to give me more time in the walk, about twenty-five minutes total. I usually sit on a park bench to check my phone and to take a breather. In the morning there a few people about, a couple parents and kids at the playground, a couple dogs and walkers in the gated dog compound, and a runner or two. I appreciate sitting in the quiet expanse of lawn sometimes hearing a crow squawk. Then it’s five minutes to home.

I’m supposed to walk every day, part of the recovery, and part of any good exercise program. I need to be in some sun, also, to help with the sleeping routine. But these days we’ve had overcast until noon. So no early morning sun to order one’s sleep cycle.

Notice the walking pole I use now since I fell a month ago. Supposedly it is to keep one from falling again. I do feel shaky when I leave the house and wonder if I will fall. I feel unsteady, more uncertain than I was. That adds to the uneasiness of walking. My rhythm with the pole is part of the success of using it. And I’m doing quite well once I get started.

The hospital visit was twelve hours long. The nurses helped me feel comfortable. They were always smiling and asking what I needed. They bustled here and there through out the whole OR spreading cheer every where. I felt very safe and cared for.

I remember closing my eyes one moment and then soon afterwards, opening them. It took several tries to keep them open. Then I was glad to lie there and watch the nurses going this way and that. One sat at the computer that contained my life with Kaiser, imputing the latest information spewing out of the records of blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart beat, etc. My pressure kept dropping and them recovering.

The last nurse was a man who loved his job. He had been in industry and other managerial positions before he decided to do nursing. And he is so glad he made the choice. He always checked with me on how I was doing.

He brought me the hospital’s idea of a lunch. I didn’t eat the chicken filled rolled, just opened it up and scraped the chicken mixed with mayonnaise off with the plastic fork and ate that. There was a hunk of lettuce and two slices of cucumber which I failed to notice before. I guess they were to top the chicken. Then to end the meal I took two bites of the awful jello.

He put me in a wheel chair and down the four floors we went in the elevator and out the door to the waiting car of my driver. I told Elaine that I had a divine time and she laughed. She figured it was the anesthesia speaking. Maybe. But I still feel that way. It was a fine time.