Soothing The Troubles

Haven2I’m finishing up a Haven marathon.  If you’re not familiar with this SyFy Channel show that got cancelled last year, think Stephen King (it’s based on one of his stories) when he’s not at his best.  Hokey, repetitive and, at times, incomprehensible, but with enough great characters and moments of genius dialog to keep my attention.  Gloria, the smart-ass coroner, is worth it all by herself.  And Dwight, the Chief of Police, isn’t hard to look at either (This GIF is from an episode where they switched bodies—one of my faves).

Dwight & Gloria

The folks in Haven, Maine have Troubles—like attracting bullets, or talking to the dead, or blowing up anything they touch.  I always liked that understated description for the load of misery the townsfolk suffer.  Troubles.  I’ve unofficially adopted it this summer.  As in “my Trouble is flaring up.”

Which it did today.  I got a naggy, creepy-crawly feeling that something bad was about to happen, sort of a Stephen King version of anxiety.  Everyone looked suspicious and a little dangerous.  And I was worried about screwing up my art projects.

However, I finished a couple of things without unfixable mishaps.  I put together my first art journal in over a decade.  Even though the memory of making those first ones got lost in the ECT void, I kept the written instructions and assembled all the ingredients over the past couple of weeks.  I watched the Dark Fret try to stop me from finishing today, but pushed on.  Somehow, it helped to have this new journal done.  I did it.  While Troubled.


Front Cover


Back Cover










I also finished a new piece for my front door.  The text comes from Stephen Dunn’s poem, Reversal, which I loved so much I posted it a few days back.


I worked on this for weeks, waiting after each coat of paint or bit of grunge to see what would arise.  Working with matte medium and fabric for the first time, I panicked over the result, then took sand paper to it and loved the effect. Yesterday I tore apart an old alarm clock for the gears.  Today, I finished it with gloss medium and hated it.  My Trouble screamed, “Ruination!”

The negativity and fear my Trouble conjures up slips into my body like an old, familiar song.  But, practice helps me turn down the volume and remember there are no mistakes—just unexpected detours.  Art work, fiction, life may not turn out the way I envision them, but they turn out.  Most of the time, those detours are the best part of my day.  Troubled or not.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Val Boyko
    Jul 12, 2016 @ 21:43:40

    I got hooked on it too! Love your art journal.


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 13, 2016 @ 10:35:46

      Haven? Really? I got a little tired of Nathan constantly mooning over Audrey, but Duke! Gosh, I loved everything about that character. Eric Balfore is such a distinctive-looking guy.
      Okay, I’m ranting now. Full Fan-girl Mode!


  2. depatridge
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 02:32:55

    Reblogged this on omigacouk.


  3. donnaanddiablo
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 03:09:55

    LOVE the covers of your art journal, Sandy!


  4. Leslie
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 09:21:41

    I loved Haven. I was sad to see it go. It had enough weird and goofy in it to keep me completely occupied.

    I love the idea of taking on “troubled” as the word for what ails us. I certainly do feel troubled.

    I love the piece for your door. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same, but I think it looks really great!


  5. Moss Piglet
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 13:43:25

    How I would love to knock on your door…selected picture of your sign and managed to read all with magnifying glass…Knock knock xxx


  6. pegoleg
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 14:07:07

    I always liked that such an understated, kinda folksy term was used to represent all the years of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland – The Troubles. If it fits, wear it.

    Love the journal and the door decor!


  7. Eggton
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 17:00:23

    My dear, dear long-lost friend! Thank you for your note. I miss your blog and mine too.

    Things are good here. I am working full time at a lawyer job that I love and commuting over an hour each way four days a week. Nighttime and weekends are so precious because Christopher is AWESOME and Scott is an amazing dad who makes Christopher laugh all the time. Christopher’s best word is “moon.” He sees moon shapes in everything (it’s kind of mind-blowing) and says “moo!”. He has a couple other words, like momma and daddy and ball and huh-cuh (helicopter). But mostly he just points to stuff and makes a happy sound that’s the same every time but is impossible to transcribe into letters here. He’s 17 months-old.

    Thunder had surgery on Monday to remove a tooth that she’d cracked on a stick or something, and also to remove a tumor in her mouth that had me a nervous wreck but we just found out a couple hours ago that it was benign!!!! Yaaaaaaay! She had the surgery Monday and the painkillers must have worked really well because last night I caught her trying to chomp on a stick again. I took it away and she tried to chomp on a soccer ball.

    We don’t cook elaborate stuff anymore–soft tacos, biscuits from a mix, pasta with butter and vegetables so that we don’t have to make a sauce…Christopher’s favorite food is canned green beans.

    When I get in bed at night I fall asleep way way faster than I used to. And if I wake up in the middle of the night I try to force myself to stop having thoughts so that I fall asleep again. That’s when I used to do my best creative thinking. I used to have ideas of things to write about, and I’d jot them down in my phone and work on them in the morning. After I had Christopher and had major nighttime anxiety and insomnia I spoke with my doctor and came to the conclusion that I needed to sort of turn off the creative side of my brain in order to survive. Have you ever had to do anything similar? It makes me sad, because I miss writing. But life during the daytime is much better for it.

    We went blueberry picking last week and Scott started taking videos. I asked what he was doing and he said I’M REVIVING YOUR BLOG FROM THE DEAD. You had posted your kind note a day or two before! He is going to make me write again soon.

    Until then, Sandy Sue!


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 15, 2016 @ 05:45:12

      Oh, Kat. It’s so sweet of you to take time out of your too-busy day to talk to me.
      I’m glad you found a way to get real sleep. Without that, everything else can crash.

      Creativity, for me, is my salvation, so I try to just follow where it leads–even if that’s at 2:00 in the morning. But I don’t have a commute, or a job, or a baby, or a husband. So, I can take care of the ideas that come, then nap if I need to. It’s WAY different when you have obligations. Back when I HAD those things, I made a very similar choice, so I absolutely get it.

      IF you start blogging again, I’m predicting it will be a very different critter. More off the cuff, more spontaneous, less “perfect” something that will fit your life now without robbing you of sleep or time. Like in cooking, throwing together a post is sometimes the tastiest.

      Blessings Always,


  8. Alice
    Jul 14, 2016 @ 20:03:31

    Oh! I almost didn’t read this one — kept squinting and flinching to make sure I didn’t hit any spoilers, lol! — and so glad I did. What a wonderful adaptation of the “Troubles” as vocabulary for what can otherwise be so hard to name…


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