Drawing to Clarity

At one point in my (as-yet-unpublished) novel, Inklings, my main character Gina finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. She is young and single, barely makes enough money to feed and house herself, and has just started out on the uphill vocational path of becoming a tattooist at a time when few women were tattooing. She is alone and broke and doesn’t know what to do. And her friend Anna instructs her to cook.

Under Anna’s direction, they cooked all afternoon. “This is a way of thinking better,” Anna said. “If you want to clear your head, you make food. And as you’re preparing it, you either find some answers, even little tiny sprigs of answers”—she took a twig of rosemary between her fingers and pinched it apart, into a pan of warming oil—“or sometimes it just makes the space in your head for the good answers to come.”

When I am trying to make space for the good answers, I draw.


I am no great artist. I have a little knack for it which I’ve never put much time into developing. But drawing is my cooking. When I don’t understand something, I can sometimes draw myself to clarity.

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