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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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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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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.


How I'm changing the way I use Facebook

Note: This is a post I made on my personal Facebook wall today. I'm posting it here so I can refer back to this post sometimes.


Hi all! As some of you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love that it enables me to keep in touch with some of my friends, groups and online communities I care about, connect with people I meet at various conferences and meet-ups. However, I am finding it more and more difficult to keep up with everyone I'm connected with on this Personal account because I've been using my Personal FB feed as my main feed.

Click to read more ...


Dancing with my man in Chattanooga, TN

Neither Jeff nor I consider ourselves public dancers. We've never been into the nightclub dancing scene. At friends' weddings, we'd rather sit and chat with people rather than go out on the dance floor. It depends on the crowd, though.

I dance in my office in private sometimes. I know I'm not a good dancer; I'm awkward and chaotic BUT I do find it liberating to sometimes just crank up my favourite privateofficedance tunes and do my flailchaoticdance. I also love to draw people dancing; it's one reason I was so tickled to illustrate the RUBY ROSE picture books written by Rob Sanders. The first one, RUBY ROSE, OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES, comes out from HarperCollins Children's on June 21st, 2016!

Anyway, Jeff and I had a wonderful time this past weekend in Chattanooga, TN visiting friends, and during an evening stroll on the way to Clumpies Ice Cream, Jeff stopped me and pointed out the dance steps on the sidewalk and grabbed my hand.

"Come on," he said. "Let's try it!" I was floored. Jeff, WANTING to dance? In PUBLIC?

And a little voice inside my head yelled Go for it, girl!

So there we were, me and my man, dancing the waltz on Frazier Avenue that night beneath the stars in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And I remember thinking: Life could not be finer than this.


Doodles, pomegranate seeds and madwomen

A photo posted by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkygirl) on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:37am PDT


Doodled with a pomegranate seed during breakfast this morning. For lighting this time, I decided to take my pomegranate doodle outside to use the morning sunlight. As I experimented with tilting the piece of watercolour paper to minimize the shadow, I heard one of my neighbours leave for work and briefly wondered what he/she must think of me, crouching in front of the house in my uncombed morning hair and slobbycomfy clothes, hunched over a scrap of paper. Then I thought, who are you kidding? My neighbours are already used to me going out at odd hours and staring at bits of leaf trash and shadows like a madwoman. :-)