New Book Out!!

Source: New Book Out!!

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New Book Out!!

Cover: Ozzy and the Baby Birds by Diann L. Tongco

Cover: Ozzy and the Baby Birds by Diann L. Tongco

Just a quick post to let everyone know that my latest and greatest book is out. This one is a children’s book, written and illustrated by me. This was my contribution to a fun art exchange my daughter arranged.

While not strictly a work of art, the book started as a series of pencil sketches of my curly-coated retriever, Ozzy. Then I added the story of the baby chickadees who’d populated our deck this summer. Of course, I then had to draw baby chickadees and crows (the story’s villains) which I’d never drawn before. In the end, it turned out pretty well and my two-year-old grandson loves it. Mission accomplished.

If you have a small child who might like a story of a brave dog protecting baby birds with accompanying drawings or if you are a collector of all things relating to curly-coated retrievers, this might be for you.

Now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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Climbing Mountains


We all have mountains to climb, goals to achieve and seas to swim. Don’t ever doubt yourself of, if you do feel doubt creeping in, remember that you have messages to communicate and gifts to share that are uniquely yours.  Take another step. Put one foot in front of the next. Keep moving forward.

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Walking Dead?

Dublin, CA cemeteryNot going to post a long diatribe about modern society and the parallels to zombies. Rather this is a gentle reminder from me that as artists, we need to be creative every day and also to be cognizant of the beauty and art surrounding us.

I love spring because the new flower buds, green sprouts and unfurling leaves are delicate, beautiful and full of promise. In the autumn, the color palette shifts and I love the warmth of the crimson and orange leaves, the pumpkins, textures of the scarves and jackets and the gray skies above.

None of this is, strictly speaking, art, but all of it inspires me. Don’t just stumble through each day, zombie-like, without taking a look around you and soaking in the loveliness. Brains are good but beauty is the food of artists.

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Spring flowers 2013

photo (10) photo (11)

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Social Media Monitoring Tools



I’ve been researching social media monitoring tools lately in an effort to simplify my life – I have far too many  social accounts to efficiently monitor and track and I would hate to miss anything important. As it is, I sometimes don’t respond to Tweets in a timely fashion and it’s definitely not because my followers aren’t important to me. 

So I’m asking you, the smartest, most wired and innovative people I know what tools you use and recommend. Are there any betas available? I’m particularly interested in free or very low cost tools in part because I’m cheap but this is a realm that changes so often and I want to be remain nimble.

Please share your favorites or even just monitoring tools you’ve heard good things about. I’m keen to learn all I can.



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Oregon Grape Blossoms

Oregon grapes were always one of my favorite plants as a child. I loved smashing the dark berries and seeing the purple-blue juice squish out. We used them to draw on sidewalks and once even dyed fabric to make doll clothes. You had to be careful because the leaves were edged with little spines that would scratch viciously. But I don’t think I ever noticed the pretty, delicate yellow flowers that produce the luscious dark berries.

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