Real Estate Agent

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Tonight at midnight! The first new chapter this year. Charming Marlene makes her return in Chapter 20 Bearing Gifts.

Such a thoughtful real estate agent! How could I ever have thought she was a “piece of work”?

And here, hot off the presses, is a sketch for Chapter 19 Cheerleader Tower from Nina we received yesterday, which also happens to be Ukraine’s Christmas Eve. Which would make today Christmas for Nina. First, my version:

HT-044 The Tower NG



Love it! Can’t wait to see it in color! After Christmas, of course…

Merry Christmas to our dear Nina & Genn!

And happy New Year to all of you, as we continue to be a tad chilly here today in Iowa. The best is Yet To Come. Keep spreading the word for Sewers and Shiners of Shoes!

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ART! A Tale of Two Chocolates…

Chapter 11 The Appointment, was especially fun to illustrate – I mean, to do the sketch for. I hope Nina had fun with it too!

Poor Marlene. I tend to pick on her a lot. I can’t seem to help myself! Some reference images I sent to Nina to help explain what I meant in my sketch:


The color scheme of the trailer in this photo I found online was just what I had in mind. And I love my giant calendar! I get one every year from my beloved bank. When the month is done, I use the over-size paper to make dress patterns for my larger dolls.

Here’s my sketch of Marlene enjoying her just reward:

HT-026 Marlene Makes a SaleblogaI was laughing to beat the band when I drew Marlene’s real estate agent portrait behind her desk! Bless her heart…

“Reliance” is in Haven County, Iowa. Hence the overuse of the word. If I’d thought of it in time, I’d have Marlene eating a Cherry Mash instead. Ah, well!

Nina’s excellent take:


The inspiration for the next drawing:

scarlett-and-rhettMy sketch:

HT-027 scanAs you might notice, I really wanted chocolate in Marlene’s teeth.

Nina obliged:

HT_27It’s a Match Made in Heaven. And Marlene and Maxwell aren’t too shabby either.

May there be many chocolate bars in your future! Have a great weekend!

About Chapter 6…

Ch6AboutChapter 6! First off, did you know that “realtor” is a trademarked word? I was wondering why during editing my brother Dennis would switch everything from “realtor”(tm – there, I did it, trademark police!) to “real estate agent.” I would send him a chapter to edit, he would change those words, I’d grimace and change them back, then he’d change them back again…finally, he told me.


I have No Idea why this agent is holding Doritos. Maybe you get a free bag if you buy a house. SOLD!!

ARGH!! Those pesky real estate agents! Just for that, I made Marlene a wee bit nastier. That’ll show ’em!

I’ve dealt with a lot of real estate agents over the years. In fact, my son Adam had lived in eight houses by the time he was nine! The vast majority of agents are warm, genuine people. But there’s that tiny minority. I’ve run across a few nasty agents in my day. You can’t really blame them in a tough market. And I do go a little overboard with Marlene (wait and see!), but that’s what makes her so…colorful.

Ch6About2AMarlene is based on a real person I’ve met right here in Rolfe. But she doesn’t live here, so don’t worry! It’s not YOU. Unless I’m kidding right now…Anyway, the person Marlene is based on is one of the kindest, nicest people I’ve ever met, which makes her quite interesting as a nemesis.

And this person kept herself up! Quite nicely! With a trowel! I used to look into her glittering, kind eyes and wonder; if I took her make up off, how small her head would really be? These are things that spring into your mind unbidden sometimes that you would never say out loud. Like I bet people find themselves wondering if I ever brush my hair? Or how come I’m not thin since I walk so much? Ah, well! As long as we keep these thoughts to ourselves…or write them down in a book. Heh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the Hideaway is of course based on my house. This very house I’m in right now, warts and all (the house, not me! I don’t have warts! – although my hair is quite messy). It stood empty for quite some time with no takers. The roof in the illustration is pretty much what my roof looks like; no insurer will insure it, even. Whenever there’s a wind storm I find shingles in the yard. Whee! But I love this place. It spoke to me. Warts and all. “The Mother Lode” as I called it in my email to Julie when I found the listing online.

When I first saw it in person, it frightened me a little. Julie and Scott had already moved here and I came for a visit trying to find my escape. It was an easy walk; less than a mile. So one early morning, I hunted this house down. Because of the trees surrounding it, it was bathed in shadow. And there were what looked like crosses on the pillars of the porch. Gothic! And the windows in the attic were weird; they looked like spiderwebs. I knew the house was empty, so heart pounding, I went onto the porch and looked inside. And fell in love. I had done it! I had found my own personal Hideaway. So I took the next logical step.

I found a real estate agent. And the rest is herstory.

Tomorrow! Nina’s art! See the before and AFTER.