Monday, March 30, 2009

Mad About Words

Mary Ann de Stefano invited me to sketch at a novel writing workshop being run by Philip Deaver. The workshops meet monthly on Sunday afternoons for six months. Philip offers encouragement and insights then lets the authors work for several solid hours. I arrived a bit early. Mary Ann and I finally had a few minutes to sit down and talk face to face for the first time. She has followed this blog for a while. She saw a drawing I did of Darlyn, a past resident author of the Kerouac House. On a coffee mug in that sketch, I had drawn, Mad About Words. As it turns out Mary Ann is the founder of that organization and that tiny sketch of a mug has brought us together.
It had not rained in Central Florida for months. As people started to arrive it started to pour outside. A quiet knock sounded at the sliding glass back doors and there was Jana Waring in her wheelchair soaking wet. Mary Ann rushed to let her in and before Jana even had a chance to dry off she was introducing us. Jana brushed a wet strand of hair away from her face and we shook hands. She apologized that her hands were still wet. Mary Ann had already been bragging about Jana's web site which consists of in-depth interviews with everyday Orlando citizens. Jana told me about how one interview with Jaqueline Siegel had caused a bit of a firestorm because Jaqueline is married to billionaire David Seigal and she was complaining about having to cut back to 5 nannies. I was fascinated, perhaps a bit envious, that this soft spoken young woman had gotten such an amazing story. When she said that her site had "taken on a life of its own" I knew that I had run across a kindred spirit. I sometimes explain to friends who ask, that my blog has taken on its own life and I am just trying to keep up. So within minutes of meeting Jana, I was on my knees showing her a sketchbook and suggesting that a collaboration might be an interesting prospect. I don't know if I sold her, but I was sold with the first wet hand shake, and when I started to read her work online.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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