The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not

Leave a comment

JumpstART Artists at the Chatham Experience

I was honored to be one of the recipients of a 2021 Chatham Arts Council JumpstART grant for my literary project, which donated copies of Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen to four elementary schools and three libraries, and copies of Mine By Design to three libraries in the county. Now, the county is celebrating the recipient artists at the Chatham Experience on November 7, 2021.

I’ll be doing a reading from Peggy Noodle, and signing copies of this fun, pocket-size book. I may even have some hula hoops for sale. If you’re a supporter of the arts, I’m especially thankful for your efforts to continue making the world a more artful place during the pandemic.

Leave a comment

Sharing the spotlight with my favorite son

I have the great honor of sharing the spotlight with my favorite (and only) son Peyton today as we’re highlighted through the Chatham Arts Council’s Meet the Artist series. I thought Rachel Flanagan did a great job; the whole process was enjoyable. The arts have been hit hard during this coronavirus quarantining, so shout out to all arts patrons who have helped keep the lights on with arts orgs, and who’ve helped artists pay the bills. I’ve been around the block, but my young, emerging artist is just starting out and his steady work during this period has a hopeful vibe for this proud mother, artist, and arts patron. Seek out local artists and arts organizations and see how you might help support them — not all support has to be financial, either. Boost the signal of their work, send kind words of support, share their contact information with potential patrons and clients. The arts are incredibly important, and through organizations like the Chatham Arts Council, and Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro (who sponsor the Meet the Artist series), there continues to be an audience.

I’m always happy for folks to check out my kid lit stuff and my romance stuff, but I really hope you’ll check out the links for Peyton. He’s an amazing photographer, and a true emerging artist. And if you happen to need portraits, event coverage, a photojournalist, or film development, hit him up.

Peyton Sickles


Hey @Pintester: I Rocktopussed the Socktopus!

mochaFor the past week, we’ve been keeping our friends’ dog, Mocha. Holy hell, what a whirlwind. I don’t know how people with more than one dog do it.

Mocha’s a great little dog. Chipper, well-behaved, friendly, amicable. She’s invited back anytime she’d like to come back. But despite her awesomeness, our beagle Maggie May, could just not adjust to having to share her space. She’s an only dog, you see, and used to being the princess. When Mocha went home yesterday, we launched our Happy Maggie campaign to get her out of the funk.  I’m no stranger to parenting-through-bribery. I’ve got a 15-year-old son, after all. How do you think I’ve made it eight years without unloading the dishwasher? Bribery. Suck it, ethics.

When I saw Sonja’s invitation to join the Pintester Movement, I knew I could find a quick DIY or Craft to perk up the pooch, and following in her footsteps to make a Socktopus was my path to salvation. I used bribing helping Maggie to get past her melancholy with Kristofferson Mocha’s visit as my inspiration. I even found an old pair of striped holiday socks like the original Socktopus. And as an artist, I thought my chances of duplicating the perfect Socktopus for my grumpy girl were on the up and up. Sigh … have a look for yourself.


01As you can see, Maggie was unimpressed with my plan. “Stuff ’em back in the sock drawer,” she said.


02I started with a perfectly good pair of Christmas socks, an old-busted pair of white athletic socks we got at the bowling alley one day when we just had flip-flops, and some great naturally dyed orange jute twine I use for wrapping packages. I buried my sewing machine in the spare closet a couple of years ago once I didn’t need to make superhero and knight costumes for our son anymore. Who needs needle and thread when you can tie knots?


03I tied off eyeballs that I thought would be quirky and fun, but turned out to look more like Invader Zim’s crazy-ass eyes.


04Since there’s nothing I can do with one striped Christmas sock, I used it along with the reject bowling socks to stuff Socktopus’s head.


05See, I told you I didn’t need needle and thread. Just tie that jute twine tightly and bingo!




happy maggieLook at happy Maggie!

On a side note, yo … sitting with her and an afternoon nap made it all better. All is right with the world again.

Thanks Socktopus!


wrist_bandBONUS Badassery: this super-awesome wristband.