Serendipity – Three Illustrated Very Short Stories

Very Short Story #1


The Man

The man texted the stranger from the dating app but didn’t know the person was sitting right next to him at the coffee place. Later they would laugh when telling the story of how they met.

The End

Very Short Story #2


The Woman

The woman looked at the stranger’s picture on the dating site and liked what she saw. Then she realized the woman in the picture was actually sitting outside the window at the cafe.  She went and introduced herself. They became best friends and would laugh when they told the story of how they met.

The End

Very Short Story #3


The Violinist 

The violinist stared at the person in church, sure she knew him from somewhere.  He came up to her afterwards and said they went to high school together.  They got married a year later and always laughed when they told the story of how they found each other again.

The End

Drawings and Short Stories © 2016 Marty Coleman |

Mind Flowers – Self-Help #7



Yesterday I watched a Periscope by a friend in the UK named Victoria (@victoriajamesUK). She is starting a new daily broadcast where she and her followers will all say one positive thing about themselves each day.  It’s a good practice to get into, especially if you are prone to beating yourself up over anything and everything.

She was talking about using a hashtag so everyone would know where to find the broadcasts and tweets and she used a phrase that included the words ‘mind and flowers’. I wrote back, shortening it to just #mindflowers. She liked that quite a bit and decided to use it.

In the meanwhile, A few days ago I had written down some quotes on the topic of self-help.   When I went to start my drawing, and the accompanying Periscope, I saw this quote among the ones I had chosen.  It was an obvious choice to use today!


I got a text last night from a friend who was upset that she couldn’t argue a certain point very well. She had posted a statement on Facebook and had gotten some backlash for it. She tried to argue her point, and I thought she did it pretty well, but she did not. The reason? Because the person she was arguing with ended up not agreeing with her.  Boy, if I felt I failed every time my simply brilliant arguments didn’t lead to the reader or listener to come to their senses and agree with me, I would feel like a failure ALL THE TIME.

What my friend was hoping to see was an immediate acknowledgement of the rightness of her position. Don’t we all, right? But the truth is most changes of opinion don’t happen like that. Changes of opinion do happen, and I am all for arguing your position. But changes happen when the time is right for them, not necessarily when you happen to make the argument.


Think about a garden.  in the middle of winter you can have seeds or bulbs underground getting plenty of water from rain or snow melting, right? That doesn’t mean those seeds or bulbs are going to sprout and blossom.  They have a much more complex dynamic going on, as does our minds.  The water (argument) is essential.  But so is temperature (society) and soil (biology) and fertilizer (circumstances) and more.  One argument is like one watering of the garden. It isn’t going to grow the garden if there isn’t another watering later on, if there isn’t good soil, the right temperature, the right nutrients.  The garden will grow in it’s own time, when it is ready to grow.

Our minds open and blossom in their own time, and it’s wise for us to be patient with ourselves and others as to when and how that is going to happen. It doesn’t mean you don’t put forth your beliefs and opinions of what is right. It just means you understand and trust the process.

Periscope and Katch

I am now having my Periscope videos automatically saved at  Here’s the one from yesterday where I drew this napkin.

You can find more of my scopes at


Drawing and commentary © 2015 Marty Coleman |

Quote by Stephan Richards, 1977 – not dead yet, American author



It’s Randumb #1

random 1

Do you think this statement is true?


Drawing, quote and question by Marty Coleman, who was pretty random this morning.




Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman, who

Let Mystery Have Its Place In You


I went to my wife’s Aunt Marilyn’s funeral yesterday.  The person giving the personal remembrance briefly mentioned how she met her future husband, Bill, when he happened to jump in the car she was riding in during college.  Of course, that didn’t guarantee they would get together.  They needed something else.  They both needed room for the seed to be planted.

It’s true in love and it’s true in life.  It’s also true in self.  I like knowing what I can about myself. I like being self-aware.  But I admitted long ago I was not going to ever know ALL of me.  I wasn’t going to be able to computerize all my thoughts, feelings or actions.  I wasn’t going to be able to have it all figured out.  

I don’t abrogate my responsibility to know myself, but I am glad for the continued mystery because as a person and as an artist, I want the freedom to explore new directions if the wind blows those seeds into my life.  

Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

One year ago today at The Napkin Dad Daily – An Intelligent Woman Has Millions of Born Enemies

Coincidence is the Word

It’s no coincidence that I drew about coincidence today.

J.C.U. 1987

Part 1: I remember Jackie from my days working at Eulipia Restaurant in San Jose, California.  We, along with our many co-workers,  work intensely hard under incredible stress then hang out and relax after the shift.  We do this for almost a decade together.  We all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses pretty well.  I know her as being, first and foremost, very strong.  She can pull more than her weight in work, surpassing almost anyone else in energy, going for hours and hours without a break.  She can also be emotional, with strong feelings and strong opinions.  And she has the ability to have a great deal of fun.  She is the epitome of the saying ‘work hard, play hard’. I think she is a fantastic woman and love working with her.  I have the opportunity to draw her a few times over the years.

We reconnect on Facebook in 2010.  I find out that she is married with children and is into martial arts and kick boxing. That strength I saw way back when obviously has found an incredibly positive outlet. I read about her enthusiasm and love of her sport. I see photos of her training, fighting and enjoying her life.  I am very happy for her.

ronald (far right)

Part 2: I am speaking at a conference in 2011.  I am 1,600 miles and 24 years away from the drawing I did of her.  I meet a fellow speaker, Ronald Skelton, for the first time.  We have the group photo taken of all the speakers and it’s posted on Facebook.  I am tagged in it so it shows up on my FB wall.  Jackie visits my wall and sees the photo.  She comments : ‘Wow, I know two people in Oklahoma (both on my Facebook), and they’re both in this photo. Ron Skelton used to train at my martial arts school, Tribull, and still helps us periodically with our web site! Small world.’

Jackie (2nd from left)
ronald (middle in red)

Part 3: I contact Ronald and we talk about the coincidence. He shows me a photo of the two of them together in a group shot from 2004.

Part 4: Ronald and I are going to get together, see how we can help each other in the future.

Part 5: I love coincidences.  They make me smile.

Drawing and story by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Emma Bull, 1954-not dead yet, science fiction author

One year ago today at the NDD – Sometimes You Really Dig A Girl

The Girl with the Wonderful Eyebrows – Part 2


I came down to the dining area at the hotel in Waco.  I saw a young woman with great, fun, spikey hair sitting down with someone who looked like her mother and a friend. I went and found a guest napkin & drew them.  The mother had copper eyeshadow, and I love copper eyeshadow on almost anyone. Haven’t ever really figured out why, but I do.  I know, the color of her eye shadow in the drawing isn’t copper, so sue me.  This story has nothing to do with this drawing.

As I was drawing a woman asked if she could borrow one of the chairs at my table. They sat at the table next to me and I overheard them talking about the big Baylor Sing competition of the night before.  My daughter was in the same event so I asked them what they thought of it.

We got into a friendly discussion about the various acts, which were good, bad, ugly, etc.  It turns out their daughters were also in the competition (they were in acts that we ranked very high, so that was good).  I mentioned that I was an artist and I didn’t think enough attention was paid to the visuals of set design, costumes, etc. in the judging.  They said they noticed I had been drawing and I explained about ‘The Napkin Dad’, and told them about this website/blog.  I gave them my card.

My wife showed up so I went to help fix a plate of food for our daughter, still upstairs getting ready.  When I came back my new friends were laughing and cracking up about something. They had just gone to my site on their iPhone and said, ‘You won’t believe it, but Hilary, the girl with the wonderful eyebrows?  We have known her since she was 6 months old, she is one of my daughter’s best friends.’

I brought out the drawing I did of Hilary and they took a photo to immediately send to Hilary’s mother back in Phoenix.  I like this story.  Life is good sometimes and it makes me happy.

Here is the link to Part One



Drawing and story by Marty Coleman 

The Village of Serendib


I love the idea of Serendipity as being an actual place, the exotic land of
Serendib, that you can’t get to without losing your way first. Sort of like
Shangri-La or Brigadoon. The truth is it is a wonderful place, where you
find incredible love and joy and fulfillment and peace. You can be in and
out of the town in a moment, barely having time to stop. You might not
even have known you stopped actually. Then again it could be your final
destination, where you retire and live out your years. Who knows.

All I know is that it makes me smile whenever I find myself in the town of
Serendib. And I always order a plate of shrimp when I go (see Repo Man
video clip on an earlier napkin post to know what I am talking about).

This is for all those whose life didn’t go in the direction they hoped or
expected. Let it be known that your life is at this moment for a reason,
no matter your age. It starts new today and you can do what you want.
Susan Boyle, Albert Einstein, Grandma Moses, James Michener, many
more have in common one thing, they didn’t know how they were going
to achieve their goals, in some cases they didn’t even know their goals.
But Susan sang 27 years late, Einstein worked away in spite of only
finding a lowly clerk job, Grandma Moses started painting at age 70
and Michener didn’t publish his first book until age 40.

They all found themselves in the little village of Serendib having no
clue how they got there. But they knew what to do once they arrived.
They worked towards their dreams. So, check in to the Serendib Hotel
and make your plan.

“You don’t reach Serendib by plotting a course for it. You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings.” – John Barth, ‘The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor’

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