New year, new tool

Ah, 2013. Two weeks in and already it’s been a year of major upgrades. One of my wedding ring prongs came loose and – uh oh – out came the diamond, never to be seen again. Thank heavens it was insured. Upgrade! Soon I’ll have a newer ring with industrial prongs and a new-ring sheen (I assume no new ring smell). Too bad I can’t super-size the new diamond.

I also threw in the towel and upgraded my drawing tools. I bought a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet…and let’s just say I could NEVER go back to Micron pens, Bristol Board, and eraser marks. I’m a junkie. I’m so in love with this thing that I publicly divorced my husband on Facebook and announced I would marry the tablet.

(I call it “Sparky” as a tribute to Charles Schulz. My husband hopes the nickname never becomes an adjective)

Already this thing has me so industrious, I can knock out comic strip drawing in two thirds the time it used to take me using traditional tools. Which leaves me more time for practical matters…

…like diamond ring shopping.

Get your shopping done here

Hey everyone,

As your holiday shopping list gets longer, and your time to complete it gets shorter, here are some great, easy suggestions for the comic fans in your life:

Comic Prints

Do you have a favorite Pajama Diaries strip? Maybe a “Glossary of Terms,” a song parody, or anything that just reminds you of someone? A gallery-quality framed print of a favorite strip makes a meaningful gift. Click the “buy a print” button under the comic of your choice to start the quick process of purchasing, or click here.

Comic Originals

Can we say “authentic?” I’ll be happy to sign and date an original black-and-white strip (and even provide a personalized message). Email me for pricing and info:

DailyINK Subscription

DailyINK is the all-inclusive, online subscription service for the true comics fan. Every single day online and on iPhone or iPad, members get unlimited access to 90+ comic strips (including this one, of course), panels, editorial cartoons and vintage classics not available anywhere else. Plus, they can get all their favorite selections by email each day.

This all-digital gift idea has no shipping wait (last minute, anyone?) and it’s under 20 dollars for a full year’s subscription. Click here to purchase a DailyINK gift subscription.

Happy Holidays!

Nice gets you nowhere…

I created this strip based on personal experience. That’s probably obvious. Occasionally, friends of friends will have a “great idea for a {children’s/business/niche market} book” and come calling. I’ve finally learned to say “no” (unless there’s true interest). But it’s been a long road.

Now, I have illustrated books in the past. But I was sought after professionally and paid for the work. This was also pre-syndication/pre-kids, when I had more time. You wouldn’t believe how often people still ask me to illustrate an unpublished book on the assumption that it’ll get picked up (“Then you can get paid in royalties!”). Well, I’m too old and jaded now. I’m also honest up front. I politely let people know that I simply have no time and that most manuscripts are submitted without illustrations, anyway.

As I said, it’s been a long road. Fact is, I’m a people pleaser. The only time I really feel comfortable expressing opinions (outside of family/friends) is in my work. It’s a great outlet, but in person I hate disappointing others. Problem is, people-pleasing tends to backfire… a lot. The less I’m true to myself, the more I get stung. Ouch.

As I try to instill in my kids…just be honest. It usually pays off. Not in royalties, but in respect.


Making My Own Crystal Ball

I’ve mentioned before that I work about 4-5 months ahead of my deadline. If I wanted to, I could even push it further. That’s great — fantastic, actually — in my line of work.

On the flip side, if I’m trying to keep my characters’ happenings on par with my own family, it can be challenging to create scenarios if I haven’t actually experienced them yet.

Normally, this is not a big deal.  Besides, most of what happens in my kids’ lives could also happen 4 months later, like getting braces (hint hint) or going to a school dance. Sure, it gets tricky during major seasonal changes, like summer break or entering a new grade, but for the most part, I can fake it.

A daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is a different beast entirely.  Right now, we’re still in the preliminary stages of planning (i.e. beginning Hebrew tutoring, booking DJ, photographer, etc.). But in the strip, the Kaplans are in the throes of it all (think of it akin to wedding planning). Soon, I’ll be writing March strips; the characters will have a mere two months until The Day.

This basically means I’ll have to make s*** up. That’s okay. Usually, my writing takes off on its own, and I never know where the journey will end, anyway. On the other hand, I wish I could experience it first, reflect a bit, and then write.

Since I’m not a time traveler, and I can’t send in my material The Day Of, I have no choice…I’ll have to become a method actor of sorts and conjure some equivalent emotional scenario. Whatever that is.

Again, I’ll have to make s*** up. Scary, but all part of the journey.

Erie Event


I’ll be speaking at Temple Anshe Hesed in Erie, PA on October 21 from 11 am-12 pm. The presentation will cover my artistic background, syndication, the Jewish aspect of the strip and its characters, and will offer up many samples for your viewing pleasure.

This event is free and open to the public. A “Pajama Diaries: Deja To-Do” book signing will follow the presentation. Hope you can make it!


Welcome and c’mon in!

Those of you who have kept up with the PD site all these years know that I’m not the most fastidious blogger. That’s mainly because my comic strip is in fact one big, illustrated blog in and of itself. But I do occasionally like to provide a peek into the “behind the scenes” here at the Pajama factory. And that’s where this handy piece of real estate comes in. I post fun tidbits and factoids and sometimes just vent about stupid things. You know the deal.

You may also notice that some changes have been made here. Yes, it’s a brand new website, as well as a brand new blog. I have to give a shout-out to the amazing Tea at King Features who got this site up and running.

Whether you’re a new or returning visitor, welcome. Please enjoy the lovely graphics and sans serif font, as well as the occasional insight into what goes on during the formation of these strips. I promise to try not to drivel on in future posts (like I’m doing now), and I also promise to update this blog regularly. That means at least twice a month, people, not daily. Just subscribe, for pete’s sake.

Anyway…I hope you enjoy and visit regularly.  Oh, and feel free to bring wine. I like wine.