Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 9)

educational coloring

For those of you who have been so kind as to follow my “junior Great Books” project, I thank you! Here is what I have been working on lately, ramping up to my first book series. I want to first write some books for little ones, maybe ages 3-6, introducing key authors and concepts.

I may do characters to go along with my animal plushies in another iteration, but for now I thought it would be fun to do alphabet coloring pages. Instant gratification!

So I will be posting them here as they are completed so anyone can download and print them as they please. At the end of the series, I will compile them into a complete book (both PDF and print) at the end of the series.

I hope you enjoy! As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, comments, struggles, suggestions, requests, or just want to talk. 🙂



A is for Augustine

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”

St. Augustine of Hippo, known best for writing City of God, was quite the ladies man in his youth. It wasn’t until he saw the wrong in habitually stealing pears off of someone’s tree (for kicks, he didn’t even eat the pears) that he recognized the nature of sin, which prompted him to turn his life around and write Confessions.

B is for Bronte

“Conventionality is not morality.” –Charlotte BrontĂ«

“Honest people don’t hide their deeds.” –Emily BrontĂ«

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” –Anne BrontĂ«

The BrontĂ« sisters each wrote well-received works in their lifetimes under male pseudonyms, Emily for Wuthering Heights, Charlotte for Jane Eyre, and Anne for Agnes Grey. They employed “Byronic heroes” in their novels–arrogant, passionate, yet magnetic male figures with dark hearts (see Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester). As children, they had very vivid imaginations and created matchbook-sizes novels to bolster the morale of British soldiers.

C is for Cicero

Credite amori vera dicenti: “believe love speaking the truth.”
Docendo discitar: “by teaching one learns.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a politician during the decline and fall of the Roman Republic. He wrote to keep his mind sharp and drown his sorrows when he lost interest in serving the government under the rule of Caesar. He believed that greed is evil, and that repayment of debt is as important as national security. He believed that the only way to gain power is by mobilizing goodwill. “Freedom suppressed and then regained bites more sharply than if it had never been in peril.”
Gaining true friends and a good reputation requires goodwill (doing or willing to do one a service), confidence (intelligent and regarded as just/good), and respect of the kind that gets one promoted to high office. If a man is just, all three requirements are in the bag. You must genuinely be the kind of person you wish others to see you as. “Nothing counterfeit has any staying power.”
  • Wisdom: the ability to distinguish truth from falsity and to understand the relationships between them and the consequences of each.
  • Temperance: ability to restrain passions (pathe) and to make the appetites (hormai) amenable to reason.
  • Justice: capacity to behave considerately and understandingly in associations with other people.
Qualities of a just person include moderation, loyalty/devotion to family, eloquence, kindness and liberality (both money and services), lenient in demands of others, avoid offending anyone. True friendship is wanting the best for another with no motives other than that person attaining what is best (requires that both parties are just).

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.”

 Dante Alighieri was from Florence, Italy. He famously wrote the epic poem The Divine Comedy, an allegorical journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven. It was released in Italian instead of the typical Latin or Greek, thus reaching a broader audience and enhancing global literacy. He is credited with inventing the poetry rhyme scheme known as terza rima.
He studied painting, music, and poetry, and was influenced by a contemporary group of Italian poets–who wrote about personal & political passions–as well as Homer, Dante, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Cicero’s De Amicitia.
He worked as a pharmacist and was involved in public affairs before turning to philosophy. He fought with those who were wary of the Pope’s political influence in the Guelph-Ghibelline conflict in 1289 and was consequently exiled from Florence for life.



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helping harvey

In lieu of a post about creative resistance, here instead is a small list of ways to help people in Texas if you feel as helpless as I do. I’m on the west coast and can’t physically lend a hand or give food or shelter, but I know giving money is the fastest and most reliable way to make sure resources get where they need to go. Here are a few ways to help.

Other places to give:

  • Americares and Direct Relief provide emergency response, first aid, emergency kits, and more to people affected by poverty and disaster.
  • If you are in Texas, you can give to your local food bank.



There are many places and ways to give. The above are charities are verified and rated highly with the BBB for their efficiency and efficacy.

There may not be much we can do against a natural disaster such as this, but if we all do a little, the relief will be great.


*Update: Pantsuit Politics has increased the cap on their matching to $1000.

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shrug. step. repeat.

I don’t think I can write a post this week that will be any closer to what I feel than Libba Bray has already said here.

Enjoy, and resist on.

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art trumps fear

Just as art and the media experienced a shift that we can still see after the events of 9/11, I believe there will be (and already has been) a “post-Trump” aesthetic happening in our culture. Like scar tissue that will always indicate where there was once trauma. There’s a new flavor in the way that we are reflecting the world back to itself that generations before us will mark as a new era. There’s fear mixed in this, a new but related brand of fear than that experienced after 9/11. People are wondering if it’s safe to make their art here. Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, the press, national parks, NASA…all of these groups have already been suppressed, and we are only one week into a new presidency. Things are getting scarier and scarier for a lot of people.

Many people fear that they will lose their freedoms. It is distinctly un-American and unconstitutional for anyone to feel pressured out of this land of the free because of their race, color, or creed. Anyone using their power to suppress and oppress people in this way is not living by the American code, and we must fight against it rather than flee from it. We must have an unflinching faith in our own value as human beings as we stare boldly and defiantly into the eyes of those who would have us believe otherwise.

I strongly plead everyone feeling fear and resistance to make even more of your art than you ever have before. Your voice is needed more than ever. Don’t let yourself get bullied into a corner.

Are you Muslim? Show the world what it’s like to be a Muslim artist in a post-Trump America. Your unique voice is part of what makes our country an intricate tapestry. It’s beautiful because of the variety of threads, and to omit our contribution to that tapestry is a step in allowing others to unravel it. Don’t be silent.

Are you Native American? Remember that the English were refugees here before they took this country from you and don’t let your rights be trampled on, knowing that the good people of the world stand in solidarity with you.

Are you a woman? Well, you know what to do. Keep doing it.

Whatever it is that you have been put on this earth to do, keep doing it tenfold. Do it with all your heart. Every word you write and beautiful thing you make is a candle lit to obliterate the darkness. If someone tries to snuff out your candle, light two more. Light candles until the naysayers run out of breath trying to blow them out.

Stay gold and keep on keeping on.

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