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Mums tend to be a favorite flower of spring. They come in a large assortment of colors and shapes. The spider mums are really cool, in case you want to check out some neat varieties.

I was extremely shy as a kid. Extremely might even be underselling it. My papaw, subtly trying to help me, knew that I was good at spelling. So every time he saw me, he would quiz me on spelling words. They were just random words he thought up in the moment.

One day, he was trying to stump me. He got a big cheshire cat grin on his face and said chrysanthemum. Now I should pause to explain that I was young, maybe 7 or 8, and I had never heard of a chrysanthemum, much less spelled it. "C H R Y S A N T H E M U M," I said matter-of-factly, as it was the only spelling that made sense in my head. He laughed and laughed, shocked that I got it right.

After that day, anytime he would give me new words, he would always end with chrysanthemum, with a big smile on his face. It became our inside joke. Even to this day when I hear the word chrysanthemum, it still makes me smile. And I hear it in my head as chry-san-the-mum, just as I broke it apart that day, into syllables.

A chrysanthemum by any other name would be easier to spell. -William J. Johnston

I was trying to get back into the habit of drawing after a long illness and just started drawing one day, not knowing what it was going to be. (Those always tend to end up as some of my favorites.) When I paused and pulled it back to see it fully, I knew instantly what it was.

A chrysanthemum.

I smiled, from deep in my soul, shedding a few tears, because I knew then that I was going to be alright. This story and the drawing were the initial inspiration of my first collection. I'll be sharing more of the stories involved as it gets closer to release date.

The best artists use stories to show you a little more of themselves than just what meets the eye. And they always hold parts of it back, just for them.

Warmest regards,


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