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Susan Shie comments: Hurricane Wilma actually started up about four days before I began this piece. It was terrible to think that she would develop into another huge hurricane, after what we'd been through, or rather what the Gulf States had been through, with Katrina and then Rita. But there she was, and she ended up being even bigger, bigger than any Atlantic hurricane ever on record. We've had more hurricanes this year than ever before on record, too, with Wilma tying the 1933 record, and Beta taking us into the dubious glory of the lead.

The only good thing I can say about Wilma is that she didn't re-destroy so much of the Gulf States. She did wreck the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico though, ripping it up there for over a full day of terrible damage. She affected Haiti and Cuba, and then she roared across southern Florida, and people there still don't have electric or gasoline. Imagine what Cozumel and the rest of the Yucatan are still going through. Jeb Bush promised Florida that they were ready for Wilma, that they didn't have to worry about being left stranded It happened again, for whatever reasons.

Meanwhile, back in my personal life, I decided to make this piece about the four generations of women in my family: Mom, me, Gretchen, and Eva, and to show us like Russian stacking dolls. Only it's hard to do that with bodies sitting in Buddha girl positions. So we're kinda stacked, looking more like a Buddha totem pole. We ended up with saucepans on our heads, and the men in our lives are with us, plus Gretchen's cat Isis, since Eva doesn't have a beau yet.

I put a gigantic St Quilta the Comforter on the right side of the piece, to balance the stack of Shie women. Q has two heads where her breasts would be, and I finally decided they're YaYa Pat and her mother Mary Kearney, who were both very sick at the same time, while I was making this piece.

As usual, I did a little writing on Wilma each day, every time I got a chance. I'd write with the AirPen and then let it dry, coming back later to write some more.



Wilma, detail 2

Wilma, detail

Wilma, detail 3

Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade