Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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***Please note: You are browsing Debbie's personal blog. For her kidlit/YA writing & illustrating blog, see

You can browse by date or entry title in my Blatherings archives here:

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Welcome to Debbie's Blatherings, a personal blog where I've been posting since 1997. You can find my archives here: 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 -2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010+ (current archives)

If you're a kidlit/YA writer or illustrator, see Inkygirl. To find out more about me, my books and comics, various collab blogs, online portfolio and press, other miscellanea, browse the navigation links beneath the header banner. And thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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Gratitude: Patricia J. Murphy

Whenever student authors ask Patricia for her autograph, she asks them for theirs.

A Gratitude Post - Some facts about Patricia J. Murphy:

1. When I was a nervous newbie at an early SCBWI conference where I didn't know many people, Patricia took me under wing and introduced me to people, invited me to sit with her and others (including other nervous newbies) at the Golden Kite Awards banquet.

2. When I was on a book tour for my first solo book and was SO excited about doing a signing at a Chicago-area bookstore I've long admired, Patricia invited me out for dinner beforehand. She bought a copy of my book at the store beforehand and asked me to sign it. She then went with me to the bookstore event....WHERE NO ONE SHOWED UP. I was so embarrassed. She hung out with me and the bookstore owner as I signed stock, keeping my spirits up with fun chatter and also taking a photo of me signing books, which I later cropped to hide the fact that NO ONE HAD SHOWN UP. :-)

3. I've noticed that Patricia continues to be just as friendly and welcoming to nervous newbies over the years. She doesn't make a big thing of it.

Patricia inspires me, and I feel lucky to have her as a friend.

You can find out more about Patricia J. Murphy and her work at


See my other Gratitude posts.



My life has had its ups and downs but these days it's mostly been ups, and I'm grateful. I so wish we could save up these kinds of moments to take out when we most need them, don't you? Appreciating what I have and the people in my life.


Happy National Crayon Day! Remember to use your whole box of crayons

For details about how I created the image above, see my Instagram post.


From the archives: my admittedly dark Family Day comic

I'm always a wee bit nervous about sharing my darker/quirkier work, but I'm trying very hard this year to post stuff I enjoy doing even if I know it won't get a lot of Likes or comments.

This, for example, is a dark comic I did years ago when I first found out about Family Day (which *today*, by the way, at least in parts of Canada). I mean, shouldn't every day be Family Day? I'm less cynical about it now, and know it's a holiday to be taken in the same spirit as Father's Day and Mother's Day etc. This comic was inspired by both Family Day and one of my favourite Ray Bradbury short stories, "All Summer In A Day."

I've always been drawn to the horror genre, though don't get as much time to read it these days. I wrote a snailmail fan letter to Stephen King many years ago (before he got super-popular) and he wrote back with a hand-typed letter that even had liquid papered corrections.

Hoping someday to work on a book with darker undertones, though I know it's a tricky thing in a picture book. Middle grade or YA, perhaps?


Urban Tapestry will be Guests Of Honor at Conflikt in Seattle, WA next January!

The news is official: Urban Tapestry (my filk music group) has been invited to be the Guests Of Honor at Conflikt in Seattle, WA next January!

Toastmaster will be our dear friend Rob Wynne and the Interfilk Guest will be Brett Glass. Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle and I are totally thrilled! None of us have been to Conflikt before but have always wanted to attend.

Between geography and scheduling, the three of us rarely get to perform together we are VERY VERY EXCITED that everything aligned to make this possible.

Thank you SO MUCH to Jennifer Kilmer and the rest of the Conflikt concom for inviting us! You can find out more about Conflikt at their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  More about Urban Tapestry at our website.

If you don't know what this "filk" thing is, here's my attempt at an explanation.