The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Since this past New Years Day, when The Trowbridge Chronicles made its debut, it has been a true joy to bring you a new webisode each week from Mrs. Trowbridge's journal. As a typically busy writer and illustrator, I would be remiss to say that it hasn't been a strain on my schedule. If fact, it's been seven days a week since Trowbridge was launched.

But I've looked forward to each Friday, when I have had the pleasure of letting my imagination sweep me back into the rain forest, where I am lost until Monday or Tuesday. But each week I ask myself: "How long can I keep up this pace?" Trowbridge has put a real strain on my regular projects.

My novel, Star Dude, is 99% completed, but it's been sidelined for several months, because Mrs. Trowbridge is such a cruel taskmistress. And my new picture book, The Booger Book, has been languishing as well.

So now I feel that it's time to make some priority adjustments, which will, undoubtedly affect the regularity of future Trowbridge webisodes. I'm not saying there will be no more Trowbridges, but they will be more sporatic in the future as I focus on other necessary projects.

I might add that if anyone has any bright ideas about how I can realize some income from Trowbridge, that would definitely play a role in the future of the feature. If some book editor stepped forward and said, "Let's turn your blog into a book", then I would have more reason to continue full steam with the weekly commitment. But until that time, I'll have to take things a week at a time. Thank you all so much for making my experience in the blogosphere such a rewarding one. I've appreciated your encouraging comments and loyal support.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Mrs. Trowbridge titled this night painting "Lost on a Limb". I've observed from reading Mrs. T's journal in its entirety that the small creatures of the rain forest were highly superstitious. Like the early Greeks and Romans, they took their mythical creatures very seriously. Did you notice that the ladybug in the sketch had been to Madam Lucy's Ladybug Tattoo Parlor? The "heart" design on the back center of the shell became the most popular design to be worn by the ladybugs at that time.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


This week's journal page finds Mrs. Trowbridge in the middle of her most terrifying undersea encounter ever. This was definitely her last foray into the undersea world.

The slug that Mrs. T painted above is a banana slug (Ariolmax columbianus), a common sight in the rain forest. They come in a variety of decorator colors, ranging from yellow with black spots (hence the name), to solid greenish, olive brown, and even white.
You might think that Mrs. T embellished the undersea terrain just a bit with her bright colors. Actually, her depiction of marine life in Northwest waters is very accurate. As a skin diver, I have explored the colorful reefs of Puget Sound many times. Much of the color in Northwestern underseascapes comes from multi-hued lichen (pronouned "liken") that grows in abundance on the rocks.

The flower-like Sea Anemones are also frequently seen in Washington waters...they add another splash of color to the reef. I have found the white anemones (Metridium giganteum) to be the most common. Did you know that the word "anemone" is one of the top ten most beautiful words in the English language?
Mrs. Trowbridge's "monster" is actually a Wolf eel. They are certainly one of nature's most grotesque looking creatures, easily recognizable by their hideous appearance, and blubbery jowls. In my more "trigger happy" days I speared a wolf eel on a reef in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. He measured in at a whopping six feet! My amazing trophy fish landed me on the cover of the Port Angeles Evening News. Today I would shoot the eel with a camera, not a spear.

Sea slug is the nickname for the beautiful Nudibranch (Dirona albolineata). The Nudibranch that towed Mrs. T is one of a number of species that are found in Puget Sound and Washington coast waters. Their iridescent golden plumes are actually gills.

The little innocent bystander hiding behind the reef is a red rock crab (Cancer productus). They are identified by their dark red spots. A few seconds later, he turned around and discovered what was lurking behind him. Before you could say "crab louie", he beat it for the nearest hole.