I did a double-duty pen and ink illustration of two nude girls in a PG-13 sort of mode. It is not intended to be pornography. It is also not intended to draw viewers to my blog just because I happened to notice an uptick in views whenever I put a nude in an art post. I wouldn’t do that… would I? At least, not in a way that you could prove that was my intent.
Notice, you can get it for one dollar on Kindle, or free with Amazon Prime membership.
They could also be used as an illustration for one of the fairy stories, representing the two nude Storybook fairies, Gretel and Anneliese. They also appear in Recipes, as well as potential appearances in future fairy stories.
Anyway, I have already gone and done it, posting this picture I drew today, to give you a good look at either Shelly or Anneliese’s shapely behind. I won’t make the mistake of posting it on Facebook.
I intend to to spend a lot of time in this essay talking about Twitter nudists, but that is not what this essay is about. A rather large amount of the meaning behind all of this has more to do with setting priorities, what things to pursue, and what things to abandon.
If I manage to stay alive long enough to see the next Avengers movie, and hopefully even beyond that, then I am going to have to budget my time and moderate my efforts towards certain endeavors. Does that mean I intend to give up all association with nudists? Or possibly twitter?
Of course not. I am simply not that smart. To give up on Twitter, I mean. It is an ungodly waste of time. It is a media of questionable value to me because I have achieved no measurable marketing value as a writer from it. I have learned a lot about actual nudists and naturists from it. I have made connections with naturist authors and thinkers and other websites through Twitter. I have even learned how valuable some young women and men find pictures and .gifs of Tom Hiddleston with his shirt off and smiling. I am not sure I understand it. But I have learned the obsession is very real.
And I have come to accept, to a degree that nudism is a good thing. It is way of life that has good effects on the people who participate in it. They have more confidence in themselves. They are definitely firm in their beliefs about most things. They are positive. And they get enough vitamin D from sunshine to be happy most of the time, and are rarely depressed. I wish I had embraced nudism when I had the chance back in the 1980’s. I might have been happier and healthier than I am now. And even now they are a very accepting group of people, willing to welcome me even when I am old and weathered and covered in psoriasis plaques and sores. They are almost as inclusive as Tom Hiddleston fans. But I don’t actually know why his fans want to fill my Twitter feed every day with Loki’s face.
But I said this essay was really about setting priorities. And, like the video suggests, I have to be willing to let go of things. I have to adapt to circumstances and stop doing things that don’t really help me. I have to finish more of my long list of projects. I have to focus.
Uber driving is on my list of things to evaluate and possibly discard. It does not pay well. The accident I had last August was a difficult financial blow as well as an effective confidence-shaker. The penalties for Uber driving become apparent at tax time because they don’t take care of withholding like other employers are required to. So there is extra money to pay at tax time. I will undoubtedly have to continue Uber driving for a while simply because I now have another large tax bill to pay on top of the expenses that go along with the sin of being in poor health. But I will work into the plan a decisive step of quitting Uber when I can and finding other sources of income.
I also have to finish things I have started.
I have to finish paying taxes. I have to finish rebuilding the retaining wall in the yard. I have to finish driving for Uber to make money. I have absolutely no problem finishing writing projects, considering all the novels I have published in the last three years. And I definitely need to finish this essay.
So, what have I decided to give up? Twitter? Twitter nudists? No. I might give up following rabid Tom Hiddleston fans, though.
My daughter, seen here in this oil painting of me and her, she’s the one trying to talk to the spirit elk in a previous lifetime, has started painting oil paintings. She started with a picture of a small cactus growing in sand. I have to admit, when she showed it to me for the first time, I thought it was a green basketball. But she has worked out the details since and it is beginning to actually look like a cactus. Now, you might think I was making fun of her in this post, calling her an oil painter who makes cactuses into green basketballs, and using my oil painting of a nude and overly-white Native American girl to illustrate her, but actually, this post is praising her abilities. She is already a much better watercolorist than I will ever be. And she is learning to paint green basketballs… er, cactuses, in oil paint at a much faster rate than I ever did. This semi-competent oil painting of mine took many practice paintings and many years to achieve. Far slower than her mastery of the medium coming into focus before her eighteenth birthday. And besides, she is leading the sacred spirit elk into the safety of the lake and away from the stormy darkness of the background, while I, as my Native American self, can stand hamming it up and looking at the artist as I have my vanity-project portrait done in oil paint.
Okay, so this is not a perfect essay, and it is not 500 words. But painting in oils and trying to be a real artist is hard enough without you criticizing. Be kind in the comments, or I might cry.
Canto Five – Everyone
is Naked Under Their Clothes
The night was typical.
Six nasty old hens pecked Valerie’s hands as she searched under them for
eggs. The last one of those took a
girl-fist to the side of the head. That,
of course, didn’t faze the stupid hen.
Chickens apparently have their brains hidden safely in their butts. But chores always came to an end. Mom was always sympathetic about
chicken-stupidity-caused peck marks, and rubbed salve on them, visible wound or
not. Then it was time to finish any
homework needed, and up to bed. And Val
always slept naked under the quilts and comforters. She slept well because… well, because naked
was good when you were asleep.
Morning came, as mornings do, with a stupid rooster crowing
the sun up. Of course, if hens are
stupid, roosters, having the additional mental handicap of being male, were
stupid times ten. No, stupid times
twenty. Beau the rooster always got it
wrong. The sun was never actually up
until at least a half hour after the stupid rooster claimed it was up. Chicken pot pie. As Valerie pried her eyes open, she imagined
chicken pot pie cooking on Mom’s stove.
Beau-flavored chicken pot pie.
When she got to the bathroom, Daddy Kyle was already in
there shaving. No problem. Once again Valerie marched in naked as the
day she was born, though with considerably more hair on her head. She went straight to the shower, grabbed the
shampoo off the shelf, and twisted the water on to just the right level of warm
she always used. Warm, soapy water all
over your body… piles of foamy shampoo in your longish hair… it was a little
like Eden must have felt to Eve. And Eve
liked being naked too… at least, until the mistake with the snake. Of course, Eden had to end when the water
began to grow cold. Even in the
summertime the well could put out near freezing levels of cold once the water
heater was drained.
Kyle looked at her when she stepped out and grabbed a towel.
“No hot water left for me again, huh, Princess?”
“Sorry, Daddy. I need
a good hot shower in the mornings.”
“Shouldn’t you put on a robe or something, dearest? You come in here every morning completely
naked. You are getting too old for
“Old? Too old for what?”
“When a girl reaches a certain age, she starts to
change. When that happens, well…”
“But, Daddy, you are used to seeing me naked. You changed my diapers while Mommy and I were
still in the hospital after I was born.”
“I know… I know… And
it isn’t that there is anything wrong happening. It’s just…”
“You can’t be getting shy.
I’ve seen you naked too… a lot.”
Kyle’s face reddened.
He was apparently trying hard to stutter on.
“When a girl reaches a certain age… well, she…”
“Yeah, she changes. I
know Dad. Mom told me what to
expect. But honestly, I don’t even
really have boob bumps yet. I look like
a little boy when I’m naked… except I don’t have one of those water hoses to
She was standing with the towel in her hand, looking at him
while she was completely bare and being mildly amused by his extreme
discomfort. He finally sat down on the
closed cover of the commode, completely defeated. She decided to push things a little. She dropped the towel and went to sit on his
knee even though she was a little damp around the edges and quite sincerely
“I love you too, Daddy.”
“No… I mean, yes, I love you… but this is not a good thing
for a big girl to be doing. I worry you
are getting so used to being naked around a man like me… even though I’m your
Daddy… and one day… when boys, um… get curious… the way boys are… and, well…”
“If that’s what worries you, Daddy, no boy besides you has
ever seen me naked. And I won’t let a
yucky thing like that happen… until the time is right.”
“Okay, but promise me the time is not right until you are
“Daaaad! You know
everyone is actually naked under their clothes.
Everyone has a body… so no one should be ashamed of it.” Surely he recognized that bit of wisdom. After all, it is what he’d said to her on the
subject more than once.
“Okay. I trust you
and believe in you. But develop a little
modesty maybe? Put on a robe when you come in here. Or wait till I’m done.”
“Don’t you like me like this?”
“I love you. But you
are getting to an age where you being naked like this around me… well… begins
to get… um, uncomfortable. And your
little wet behind is making my pants wet.
I have work to do today, and now my pants have a wet spot shaped like
“Oh, Daddy!” She
leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.
He put an arm around her shoulders and gave a squeeze.
“I hope we can start getting some better habits going,
Princess. We don’t want to get your mom
mad or anything.”
hopped off his damp lap and padded over to retrieve the towel. She wrapped it around herself and then gave
him one more grin before she barefooted it out of the bathroom and toward her
waiting school clothes. You never knew
anything for certain. Maybe one day she
would just have to go to school naked… to show Daddy that… well, okay… maybe
not to school.
I was a boy back when the milk man still came around in his blue-and-white panel truck delivering bottles of milk with Elsie the Cow on them. I don’t remember clearly because I was only 4 years old back when I first became aware of being a boy in this world instead of being something else living somewhere else.
There were many things I didn’t know or understand back then. But one thing I did know, was that I loved Elsie the Cow. And why would a farm boy love a cartoon cow? There were many not-so-sensible reasons.
For one thing, Elsie the Cow reminded me of June Lockhart, Lassie’s mom and the mom from Lost in Space.
It may be that June Lockhart’s eyes reminded me of Elsie’s eyes, being large, soul-full eyes with large black eye lashes. It may be that she starred in a TV commercial for Borden’s milk in which Elsie winked at me at the end of the commercial.
Or maybe it was because Elsie had calves and was a mom. And June Lockhart was Lassie’s mom and the mom of Will Robinson, so I associated both of them with my mom, and thus with each other.
Elsie gave you milk to drink and was always taking care of you in that way. Milk was good for you, after all. My own mom was a registered nurse. So they were alike in that way too.
And she was constantly defending you against the bulls in your life. She stood up to Elmer to protect her daughter more than once. Of course, her son was usually guilty of whatever he was accused of, but she still loved him and kept Elmer from making his “hamburger” threats a reality.
And you can see in numerous ad illustrations that Elsie’s family were basically nudists. Although she often wore an apron, she was bare otherwise. And though her daughter often wore skirts and her son wore shorts, Elmer was always naked. And that didn’t surprise me, because no cow I knew from the farm wore clothes either. From very early in my life I was always fascinated by nakedness, and I would’ve become a nudist as a youngster if it hadn’t been soundly discouraged by family and society in general.
So there are many reasons why I have always loved Elsie the Cow. And it all boils down to the love of drinking milk and that appealing cartoon character who constantly asked you to drink more.
So the time came to make the planned return trip to the nudist park in Alvord, Texas. I was going to finally get to make my second visit to the place for the Labor Day holiday weekend. But once again it was not to be. My daughter caught a virus during her first week of school. She gave it to me and her brother. Of course, neither of them were planning to go along, and their mother would sooner find another husband than be naked in a place where other people would see. They all think I am nuts for wanting to go spend time with other naturists gadding about naked in the hot Texas sunshine. My wife wants me to get my head examined. She thinks all the stories about aliens from outer space may have gotten my head artificially replaced by the Men in Black.
And she may be totally correct in her assessment. She is a school teacher, after all. I, probably just like you, was carefully taught to never be seen naked in public because it is probably a sin, and it is definitely against the law, and it is very likely something only crazy people do on purpose. Never-the-less, I did it once as a writing assignment for a nudist website that told me the review was wonderful and they were definitely going to publish it, and as of this writing, over a year later, they still haven’t done so (though a rival website reblogged one of my nudist posts from this blog).
I have come to the idiotic conclusion, though, that nudism isn’t sinful if practiced around like-minded people who are also comfortably nude. I met and talked to nudists last year who were .very easy to get to know. They were likable and no prettier in the buff than I am myself (and with my psoriasis pink leopard spots I am pretty horrible to look at naked.) And the nudist park is not a place for sexual goings-on and sinful behavior. It is a family environment where some people bring their naked kids.
I remember enjoying being naked as a kid even though I had been taught that Jesus is ashamed by seeing my nudity even though he is always watching over me, even when I am in the bathtub. I remember one time when I was a pre-teen that I took my bicycle to the Bingham Park woods and rode it up and down the trails there completely naked. And even though I had been carefully taught how evil that was, the cool wind on my skin felt good, and it was glorious to listen to the birds sing in a green wood almost as if it were the Garden of Eden and I was Adam, the first man. (Hence the illustration of the bare bike boy.)
It seems to me, now that I am old, retired, and probably at least a little bit senile, that nakedness is really a form of innocence. I can tell you for a fact from being a parent and having, at one point, worked in a daycare center for ages five and below, that it is actually far easier to get a kid to go completely starkers than it is to get them to put on and comfortably wear clothes. Nakedness is natural. And if God had really wanted us to be naked all the time, then we wouldn’t have been born with a full suit of clothes on… er, wait… what? Nakedness is innocent. Anything bad that comes from it happens because of the things we have been taught about it as children. A more enlightened society would probably be naked more than we are, especially inside temperature-controlled sealed environments… like houses, cars, and even spaceships. Ah, yes, back to the Men in Black and possible head-switching again. Aliens in their saucers are apparently often naked. I wonder if Jesus is ashamed by their nudity too?
Anyway, I once again have failed to manage the planned nakedness I had been looking forward to. I have to settle for the indoor, sealed-environment form of nudity as I am too sick to get to the nudist park, and would promptly be arrested if I tried to walk around the neighborhood like that. But the failed evil plan did give me something to write about that at least makes me laugh. And it is an innocent laugh, not an evil one.
These are a few of the main characters of the old story which is now my newest novel.
Superchicken is Edward-Andrew Campbell. He is basically a me-character. His embarrassing nickname, from a Jay Ward cartoon that used to be on TV Saturday mornings, was actually my nickname in junior high and high school. Many of the emotional changes he goes through and the embarrassments he endures to be a super hero were based on my own experiences. But he definitely embraces the nickname as his superhero name in a way I can only wish that I did.
Brent Clarke is the outgoing athlete sort of kid who was definitely not me. He becomes leader of the Norwall Pirates because he pitched for the softball team, and because anyone who met him naturally assumed he was the most important kid in the group. Others look to him for leadership even when they don’t need it. Making friends with Brent is one of the most difficult and important tasks the Superchicken must undertake.
Milt Morgan is the wizard of the group. He is obsessed with magic and imagination. And though Brent is nominally the leader of the group, all their evil plans and hair-brained schemes come from Milt’s imagination. The picture of Milt is drawn from me as a boy, but in reality he is the other Mike from my childhood, the one with a rather tough life and a heart of… well… maybe not gold, but at least silver. He is also the one who insists on making Edward-Andrew part of the gang.
The Cobble Sisters, Sherry and Shelly, are a pair of identical twin girls. They are both nudists at home on the farm place and at the nudist club in Clear Lake. They are problematic for a shy boy just discovering girls, but Sherry definitely pursues a crush on the Superchicken and tricks him into a family camping trip at the nudist camp.
Sherry at the Sunshine Club
Anita Jones is the shy girl who has a crush on the Superchicken. And he secretly has a crush on her. But she is also the girl who becomes, completely by accident, the first girl that Edward-Andrew sees naked. Love and hate, embarrassment and attraction, she is the one girl whose opinion seems to matter most. I, of course, will never reveal the real life girl she is based on. I could never live that down, even though we are both now more than sixty years old.
So those are a few of the main characters that make this novel work for me. They are real people to me now that the novel is written, just as they were once real people when I was a boy and living the nightmare of being a mere boy in a world that needs heroes.