Her True Colors

Just when I could stop worrying about stepping on my son’s Legos, I now hafta worry about stepping on my wife’s gel pen caps.

Ellen has recently discovered the joys of coloring.

This did not come as a surprise. Ellen has terrible eyesight, but she also has a great eye for color. She is not an artist, but she loves to be art-adjacent. There have been tons of news stories about how coloring in adulthood lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and makes people feel generally groovy. Ellen likes feeling groovy. As soon as I saw the adult coloring fad take hold, I thought to myself, “My wife is gonna be all over this.”

And, about three seconds after I had this thought, Ellen, with great authority, declared, “Coloring is gonna be my New Thing!”

When Ellen decides on a New Thing, she does not go halfway. Almost instantly I found myself stumbling over thousands of gel pens. Did you know that Barnes and Noble has an entire freaking bookcase dedicated to coloring books? Almost all of them are in my house right now.

Coloring is Ellen’s evening ritual. After dinner, she adjourns to the family room, dumps out her bin of supplies, and dives right in. During these excursions she’ll also turn the TV to a cheesy basic cable cop drama but she rarely follows the story–only occasionally glancing up to watch Mariska Hargitay scowl at a child molester. Ellen’s sole focus is on the line drawing in her lap. She is In The Zone.

I can happily report that all of those news stories about the positive effects of coloring are true. Coloring relaxes Ellen. It helps her to decompress after a long day at work. And she adores the vibrant results of her efforts.

Her obsession has been good news for me, too, for a new coloring book is always the perfect gift. This past Christmas I gave Ellen a stocking stuffer coloring book of greeting cards. She loved it and announced her plans to send the soon-to-be colored cards out to all her friends and relations.

She started working on the cards the other day and I’m pleased to announce that I’m the first recipient. On my way out of the bathroom yesterday morning, I discovered this beauty waiting for me right outside the door.


And here’s what was written inside:

Long story short, my wife has gone nuts, now.

Do you have a passionate hobby? Tell me about it, why don’cha? Comment your comment in the comments!

58 Replies to “Her True Colors”

  1. LOL….I have 3 or 4 myself. Haven’t started on them because I had to do a scarf I was asked to do and am working on another baby blanket now. (read that as procrastinating the taxes getting done thing) I also have carpal tunnel in my right hand so it’s hard to do any writing or coloring for any period of time.


  2. I like Law and Order: Criminal Intent myself, so instead of SVU and Mariska Hargitay scowling you get Vincent D’Onofrio explaining to the bad guy why he did what he did.

    Also, the greeting card made me laugh aloud.

      1. As I grew up, most of my gifts were art supplies. I like to create and relate,, well a gifting showed up,. writing poems.

        On Friday, February 11, 2022, Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow! wrote:

        > heylookawriterfellow commented: “How can you not find the fun upon > receiving a card like that?” >

    1. I’m assuming you’re being metaphorical, but when Ellen was a kid, she had that problem (literally). Her elementary school teacher’s insistence on coloring in the lines turned Ellen off to any kind of art for decades.

      1. Creativity and therapy is a great combination.

        On Monday, February 14, 2022, Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow! wrote:

        > Pam Webb commented: “I look at them and think about buying them but then I > end up wondering if it’s creativity or therapy I’m seeking.” >

  3. Her True Colors

    On Thursday, February 10, 2022, Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow! wrote:

    > heylookawriterfellow posted: ” Just when I could stop worrying about > stepping on my son’s Legos, I now hafta worry about stepping on my wife’s > gel pen caps. Ellen has recently discovered the joys of coloring. This did > not come as a surprise. Ellen has terrible eyesight, but sh” >

  4. I can totally see how coloring would be calming, Mike, and some of the books are gorgeous. I’m just afraid that I’d obsess over them, and stop doing other things I need/want to do. And thanks for the laugh, apparently humor runs in your family. 🙂

  5. Hurrah for Ellen! It is good for her to have a relaxing hobby.
    The card??? Maybe the next one will be nicer. lol
    I have actually tried an adult coloring book. And I’ve tried more than once. When I was listening to people on the other end of the phone, you know the kind, you just have to say “uh huh” and “that’s nice” every so often, the coloring got done. Usually I doodle. But that’s really the only time I used the book. For some reason, I feel like I’m wasting time (which I generally have no problem with) but if I’m watching t.v. I like to crochet. And when I’m done I have a nice baby blanket, or a scarf, a blanket or something else to show for my time.
    I like Law & Order SVU. One day I will have that intro memorized and will be able to recite it along with the announcer. #Goals
    We have gone back to the beginning of that series and I’m enjoying watching them again.
    And if you want to talk about how Elliot came back and is into the organized crime dept., I am loving that one.
    And btw we call him Wolf Dick. Because you know somewhere, sometime, he had to have his name read out loud, last name first.
    And he’s so rich, he doesn’t care.

    I am envious of Ellen’s gel pen set.

    1. I never cottoned to SVU; I’m partial to the original Law & Order (preferred cast Noth, Orbach, Waterson, & Hennessey — though Jesse Martin paired with Orbach was pretty great).

      And I got Ellen that gel pen set. I was hoping the storage case would keep her coloring area neater, but no such luck.

      1. lol Darn! I love things that organize things like gel pens. I’m all about cases and bags and…
        Now, here’s the problem with organizing those markers. If you have them put into something that doesn’t allow you to see them all at once, it’s not going to work. She needs to be able to see all the gel pens. At one time. So, you probably just need to resign yourself to controlled chaos. Maybe a dish pan. Would hold them all and she would only have to root a little to find the right color.
        The original cast of Law & Order is the best, I have to agree.
        If it will make you feel any better, I have an entire room dedicated to my crafting. I make greeting cards as one of my hobbies. And yes, it kind of consumes me. I don’t even want to guess how much money spent is contained in that room.
        Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Ellen!

      2. I just took another look at Ellen’s gel pens and their case and want to modify my comments. That case is perfect!

      3. Guess who just bought themselves a small assortment of gel pens?
        After seeing Ellen’s immense set, and reading people on my puzzle site talk about them, I decided to get some. I really wanted to order the same thing you got Ellen, but decided I needed to start smaller in case I didn’t think they are wonderful, and also to keep my husband from asking about the cost. lol
        They are wonderful and when these are used up, I will be getting more. They bring a whole new approach to coloring!
        So thank you Mikey, and thank Ellen for me.

      4. The gel pens really do make the images pop, don’t they? I’m so glad you didn’t regret your purchase! (And believe me, you will also not regret getting refill inks; if you color as much as my wife, you’ll go through those pens pretty darned quick!)

      5. I know from past gel pen experiences the ink drains quickly. I stamped an image on paper earlier and was using one to color in the stamped image. These are going to take my card making to a whole other level. 😊

  6. She has a good sense of humor. I like her! She’s a good fit for you, clearly, and that’s fun that she’s so into this. I can totally see how it could have a nice calming effect. I wonder if I should give it a try. Favorite line was the one about a whole bookcase at B & N for these things, and they’re now all in your house. 😛
    Cheers to Ellen!

  7. I love this, and I have to say, though she may not be an artist, she definitely has a good sense of color balance 😀 Personally, I prefer pencils over markers. You have greater control and can shade with pressure 🙂

    I couldn’t believe the almost immediate explosion of coloring books when this first started, but loved it 😀 I even did a post about it 6 1/2 (hard to believe) years ago! Honestly, though, I never allowed time for it and still can’t :-/ Here’s the post if you want to take a quick peek: https://2creativitycookbook.com/2015/07/20/c-c-the-joy-of-coloring/

  8. Sorry to jump in on this blog post with an unrelated topic but…I am hoping there is a way I can buy a signed set of your new Kimmie Tuttle series for my sister who is a fifth grade teacher and whose maiden name was…wait for it…Kimmie Tuttle!!

    1. That is a fantastic reason to jump in on a blog post! I am delighted to hear that you’re interested in Kimmie Tuttle for your Kimmie Tuttle.

      The books were slated to come out in December 2021, but due to… (All together now!) …supply chain problems, they won’t be available until March.

      Please note, however, the books are a bit pricey as the publisher has a non-commercial market business model. But if you are still interested, I’ll be happy to send signed copies your way as soon as they become available. Just give me your address via email (through the “Hire Me!” section of the website).

      And thanks again for your interest!

  9. I have always loved coloring and being artistic. I even took painting lessons for a while and I have taken several painting classes with wine and an easel. Those are really fun!! I’m glad Ellen has a new, relaxing hobby!! Good on her! Maybe I need to break out the coloring books and paints again… life has been the proverbial box of chocolates lately *sigh*

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