Four months ago, I said I would post on the 13th of every month, in a countdown celebration for the release of my new picture book, Same, Same but Different. Um, while my excitement did not diminish, Summer took over. Hee.

Here’s an update:

After the smoke and wild winds left, the bears came. Patrick and I discovered our “roars” and have managed to scare many away (thank goodness, our 17 chickens have survived, too! There were some close calls). Tulsi has been developing her chicken wrangling skills and loves to watch the chicks play tomato soccer — quite a thrilling event on our littl’ homestead!

We have been blessed with another bountiful garden season that is in its most magical-stage right now. Canning season is very near. I am recruiting MY mama again this year.

I have “sorta” taken a photography course with Andrea Scher, only life got in the way of that, too. Still, I have been taking more photos than ever and learning a lot from her course emails. Just looking at the endless photos participants have posted has inspired me and pushed me to think differently when holding a camera. Andrea rocks! I highly recommend her course. This is a photo of Tulsi dancing with peacock feathers in the peacock yard at Baba’s house (the temple).

Other than my family, what has filled my summer mostly, is goddesses and mama-meditations and research and collage and stories and collaboration. I’ve been painting my heart out on an oracle deck, coming your way Spring, 2012! It has been a challenging and beautiful project on many levels that I will share about in the future. I’m nearing the end and looking forward to seeing it come to life AND for a much-deserved, family vacation. Feels like I’ve been running a perpetual marathon. I haven’t painted this much since finishing Same, Same but Different.

And so, the countdown now is 30 days! THIRTY days until my new book is released! Whew! And a really exciting thing just happened — I found out Same, Same but Different got into the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in NYC! I am happily in shock and feel so honored :). OK, actually, I cried when I found out because I was in awe reading the list of illustrators who are in the show (you can download it on the show’s link page) — SO many of whom I adore and respect. Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Tommy de Paola, Giselle Potter, Calef Brown, David Wiesner, to only name a few — really, I could name them ALL. I can’t wait to see their art in person in NYC in October and visit with my editor and friends. I know it will inspire me like crazy.

I will be posting a schedule soon of book events this Fall in NM, Colorado and the Midwest, so stay tuned.  I hope to see some of you who live in those cities!

Hope your summer has been beautiful!