Posts Tagged ‘ybonesy doodles’

Mano Poderosa (Omnipotent Hand), gouache painting and etching
on wood, retablo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

heart to head to hand:
what am i willing to bleed?
the risk of writing

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

-related to post, WRITING TOPIC – TAKE A RISK

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For anyone who lived in New Mexico in 2001, you will remember the “Madonna in a Bikini” controversy. Artist Alma Lopez depicted the Virgen de Guadalupe as a real woman wearing a bikini of flowers.

Many Catholics were offended, and even the Catholic Church protested, claiming that Lopez had turned the Holy Mother into “a tart.” Reactions were violent and hostile. Lopez received threats, and the image was later censored.

You can read Lopez’s words about “the Controversy” and how she responded to it. Clearly, this event shaped Lopez as an artist — perhaps as a person.

Artists and writers take risks all the time. They mix sexuality and religious iconography. They divulge family secrets. They make political statements.

Natalie Goldberg, in her rules of Writing Practice (paraphrased in red Ravine), tells us to Go for the jugular. In her book Wild Mind – Living The Writer’s Life, she describes it this way:

If something scary comes up, go for it. That’s where the energy is. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time writing around whatever makes you nervous. It will probably be abstract, bland writing because you’re avoiding the truth. Hemingway said, ‘Write hard and clear about what hurts’. Don’t avoid it. It has all the energy. Don’t worry, no one ever died of it. You might cry or laugh, but not die.

Going for the jugular is one of the ways writers take risks — your version of Madonna in a bikini.


When I was in my mid-20s, living in Granada, Spain, I drew the most outrageous pictures. I look at them today — more than 20 years later — and I know what I was trying to say.

I took so many risks then. Moved to Spain alone with $6,000 and no plans to return. Dropped out of the local university, which provided at least some structure in my life. Sat in a small, hot room and drew. Drank wine. Got depressed. Wrote every day, not even knowing that what I wanted to do with the rest of my life was to write and make art.

Where is that person now? I want to hear from her.

I want you to hear from the bold person inside of you. Take a risk with your writing. Go for the jugular. Be controversial, if that’s what you have to be.

Set your timer for 15 minutes. At the top of your page, write this: I take a risk when I write about… Then go.

When you’re done, if you’ve only touched the surface of what it is that puts you out there, write about it again. And again and again.

Take a risk with your writing every day.

Penis Worship, unfinished pencil and color pencil drawing from ~1986,
Granada, Spain (updated recently with pen and ink), drawing
© 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Untitled, old watercolor doodle of spoon and ball, © 2007
by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

QuoinMonkey’s photo earlier this week of Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988, which came out in red Ravine post “White Elephants on Art,” reminded me of a fascination I once had with spoons. Their shape and size, the way they have a roundish end and a straightish end. How they are made to fit into other spaces.

Spoons. I like spoons. I prefer spoons to forks and knifes. If I were stuck on a desert island with only one of these utensils, I might just choose a shapely spoon. I could dig.


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Pig in a Cornfield, Christmas card from 1993, linocut and ink wooden spoon print © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

My poor mother-in-law. For years and years, she received pig-everything for Christmas. Pig statues, flying pigs, pig art, pig earrings, pig containers. Jim and I single-handedly contributed to at least a fourth of her vast pig collection.

It sat in a corner in her kitchen. The carved pig folk art piece that I thought was so adorable stood on the floor, next to the iron pig shoe scraper. Other pig paraphernalia congregated there, too, as if queuing for entry into a pig convention.

And then there were the two old wooden coke bottle trays whose many stalls were filled with mini-pigs. Plastic squishy pigs, glass pigs, porcelain pigs, metal and wood. She even had half a black walnut shell that someone noticed resembled exactly the snout of a pig and, thus, gave it to her.

I once asked my mother-in-law how she came to love pigs. She told me that she didn’t actually love pigs at all, but rather someone had given her one as a joke. Shortly thereafter the pigs started coming.

Even when she told me this story I blanked out the part of her not loving pigs. Instead I glommed onto the idea that from there on out and forever more, I knew what to buy my mother-in-law for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and birthdays.

It wasn’t until my in-laws moved to a new home a few years ago that the pigs were banished. My mother-in-law made it clear that she didn’t want any more pig gifts.

So far, only one unsuspecting neighbor has given her a pig. I, on the other hand, now take the time to find the kind of cotton or denim shirt that I notice she likes to wear.

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Sitting Pear-ty, Christmas card from 1993, linocut and ink
wooden spoon print © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Dear Person Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Do you plan to never make eye contact? I thought I was a cold traveler, but you take the cake.

BTW, that haircut is kind of silly. It’s so David Schwimmer on Friends.



Dear Person Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Why did you have to take *this* middle seat? There was one available three rows up.

Wait a second, is that you who smells like garlic?? My God, did you take a bath in garlic oil?

Ah, I see. Someone packed you dinner for the ride. How nice of them. Mmm, garlic chicken. Yum. Ooo, garlic mashed potatoes. Wow, you just squeeze them out of the baggie into your mouth. That’s attractive.

P.U. I could do without the smell of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I see you can’t.

Em, excuse me but the airline attendant is trying to pass me my peanuts. Yes, thanks. This is my dinner tonight. Not that you care.


Dear Drunk Man Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink? I mean, they fill those glasses pretty full.

Really now, do you honestly need two Baileys-and-coffee after four glasses of red wine??

I mean it, you’d better be able to hold your liquor or I’m never sitting next to you again.


Dear Couple Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

I take it you’re newlyweds. Sweet how you hold hands during the entire flight.

You guys are so young to spend the entire hour reading quietly like that. Gosh, you already seem to be like an old married couple.

Not that it’s any of my business.


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Day of the Dead Gathering 2, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle © 2007-2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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