Twelve Things I Liked About You
Hello from the last day of 2023! Sparrow House had to skip November due to technical issues regarding my custom domain. It was a total headache but I won’t bore you with any of that. I had a different post planned with life, death, and wolves—but I decided to pin that for a future month. Let’s take this moment to reflect on some positive stuff.
Here are my 12 illustrated highlights from 2023, each paired with a song to take you on a lil’ musical journey. You can listen to the entire Spotify Playlist here. If Spotify is not your thing, you can find each corresponding song listed in the description. Enjoy!
Collaborating on Mistletoe Bough.
♫ “No Man Is An Island” by The Van DykesLoading video
It all started with a packet of dried leaves that I brought back with me from Salem: Mistletoe To See Ghosts. To my surprise, I learned that despite its use as an affectionate plant adorning homes during Christmas, this kissy stuff is poisonous.
Andrea Schmitz & I started a collaborative journey in October 2022 with an animated adaptation of "Legend of The Mistletoe Bough." As we near the completion of this spooky project, we eagerly anticipate submitting it to film festivals in 2024. In the meantime, watch Andrea’s creative brilliance by exploring her fifth-hosted animated short anthology: Things Took a Turn, to be unveiled tonight at the stroke of midnight. So exciting—see it here!
Nosferatu returns from the (un)dead.
♫ “Return of the Vampire” by The Coffinshakers
The start of "A Lifetime of Horror" took inspiration from the 1922 silent film "Nosferatu," known as "A Symphony of Horror," a movie that narrowly escaped being wiped from film history. I’m really happy with the latest short film and anticipate the laughter Nosferatu will bring in 2024. The complete Nosferatu collection is available for viewing on Vimeo. Exciting plans include the launch of Nosferatu's dedicated YouTube channel and much more.
Getting mystical in the desert.
♫ “The Sign” by The Mountain Goats
I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes! Actually, I was in the shower when it happened. Tim filmed a Dust Devil deep in the desert of Estancia, New Mexico. One morning, as a lark, Tim drew a sigil in the dirt. To our amazement, this miniature tornado manifested later that day, and weirdly dissipated precisely at the location of the seemingly arbitrary sigil. (cue X-Files theme)Loading video
Facing fears in the desert.
♫ “Drive My Car” by The Beatles
I have always been afraid to drive, even when I learned how to do it. I was a late bloomer, but I eventually got my license and managed to have two secondhand cars in my 20s. Living in Brooklyn for almost 2 decades, I haven’t driven a car since. However, change is on the horizon. With a move upstate looming in the next two years, the necessity of owning a car is becoming evident. I decided to face my fear and drive the car rental in the openness of the desert as my starting point after this lengthy hiatus.
Sweet, sweet wanderlust.
♫ “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
New Mexico was awesome, and Meow Wolf was worth the hype. We’ve been traveling again this year and now I want to go everywhere I haven’t been yet. I feel like Emma Stone in Poor Things. Adventure! I want to see it all! Good thing I’m practicing driving again.
“A million candles have burned themselves out. Still, I read on.”― Edgar Allan Poe
♫ “Windows” by Sugar Candy Mountain
There we were, just living life, sitting on the couch in mid-July when a note slipped under our front door. It was from the landlord’s management company. It stated that we were about to lose one of our (few) windows and there was nothing they could do about it. This window also held our airconditioner. Did I mention it was summer?
I won’t go into all the details, but here we are 5 months later and the window is gone. My office has a window, but it faces trash cans. Now it happens to face a ginormous POLYJOHN installed for the construction workers—the same ones who removed our window. I also have the personal pleasure of hearing the workers use their toilet, day in and day out, for months on end the door opens and closes. Ggagunk gagunk. Ggagunk gagunk.
You might be wondering why this made my list of positive highlights. It stinks, and I hate that it happened, but it also gave me fire to pursue the dream: I want a house.
I see a red barn and I want to paint it black.
♫ “This Must Be the Place” by The Talking Heads
They say home is wherever you make it, but maybe it's also where they can’t take away your f@#%^& windows! I never thought I would ever want to leave city living, especially Brooklyn. I fused to the idea since teenagedom that I would live in the city forever. HOW COULD ANYONE LEAVE THIS CITY!? I was born in New York, my parents were born in Brooklyn and so were my grandparents. Both sides! Then the pandemic happened and it changed my brain about how to live. Losing a window pushed me over the edge. Now, here I am—obsessively looking on Zillow—fawning over houses I’m not ready for yet. Soon though. Soon.
Nocturnal flowers for this night owl kinda gal.
♫ “Freaks Come Out at Night” by Whodini
Have you ever heard of a moonflower? This year I learned about gardens that bloom at night and my mind has been blown. I am nocturnal by nature, I’ve been like this since childhood. I perk up when everyone else goes to sleep. Nothing feels more fitting than a night garden to match my personality.
Fargo, Season 5.
♫ “La La Love You“ by Pixies
I won’t shut up about Fargo Season 5. It’s been truly outstanding. If you talk to me IRL or follow my IG stories then you know I can’t stop talking about this season. This show is one of my favorites, but S5 is just tremendous. Without any spoilers, the last episode featured marionette puppets so I brought out my own to say hello.
Launching Sparrow House.
♫ “Sparrow” by Mazzy Star
I have been wanting to start a newsletter for so long. Though things have been clunky (tech hiccups) and I’m still navigating the process, we’re off to a good start. When I put the first four newsletter covers together I thought they looked pretty, like colorful issues of a magazine.
On the next episode of Sparrow House.
♫ “Fortune Teller” by The Rolling Stones
I am so excited about the art 2024 will bring. Andrea Schmitz & I will wrap on Mistletoe, Nosferatu will get his own channel, and there will be a lot of fun things to share. Later in the year, I would like to open my online store and offer paintings, prints, and other handmade items. In the first half, I will be querying publishing agents, which I am excited to write & illustrate for kid’s lit. More on that to come!
Self-acceptance is true love.
♫ “True Love Will Find You in the End” by Daniel Johnston
This year, my most significant achievement wasn't financial or career-related; instead, it was the commitment I made to enhance my mental well-being. Through talk therapy, I navigated a path toward self-acceptance, discovering that there is no love quite like the profound love for oneself. It’s not just important, IT’S EVERYTHING. Love & acceptance will heal this world.
♫ “Auld Lang Syne” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmies
Check out the full Spotify Playlist here.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!