One of my goals was to create more art and to blog more in 2014. I actually started off the new year well. But as I stated in a previous post, around mid January I got pretty sick (diagnosed with pneumonia in fact). Even though I wasn't feeling well, I made the trip to Richmond, Virginia the first week in February for the Southern Humanities Conference at which I read two of my short stories (and led a discussion panel as well). I'm sure that didn't help my recovery. Shortly after returning and trying to get caught-up with schoolwork, a close friend and colleague in the department passed away unexpectedly. Very sad. In addition to doing what needed to be done to talk with students and cover his classes, I also needed to grieve. I was honored when the family asked me to say a few words at his memorial service. BTW, Thom was an active and popular blogger and his "To Gyre and Gambol" blog site is listed on my blog dashboard. I really don't want this to sound like a "so here's my excuse" post; I simply wanted to explain my "absence". I feel badly because I REALLY appreciate that folks check out this site regularly. I am now healthy again and am starting to get caught-up with my school work, so I hope to be blogging regularly again. I will use a separate post now to put up some images I worked on yesterday. It feels good to be back baby!