Emily Suess

Author. Certified Zentangle Teacher. Brain cancer haver.


My Zentangle Art

Drawing Zentangle art is a beautiful distraction. See my doodle art and learn how to draw with me.

Who You Gonna Believe webserial memoir cover

My Memoir

Who You Gonna Believe is a webserial memoir better than reality TV. I’m spilling tea for free!

My Blog

Writing, Zentangling, chemo, insurance, moving, politics, and disability—I blog about it all.

Who You Gonna Believe Cover

Who You Gonna Believe

WYGB started as a monthly webserial supported by Patrons. Basically, I’ve seen some stuff and I’m telling you all about it—marriage to and divorce from a lying asshole, finding real love, discovering confidence in the face of medical gaslighting, and being diagnosed with brain cancer.

About My Channel

Draw with Me on YouTube

After a brain cancer diagnosis, brain surgery, brain tumor biopsy, radiation, and chemotherapy, I needed a new hobby to help me avoid existential angst and flex what was left of my creative muscle. That’s when I found Zentangling. It’s been a while since I published my last Zentangle video, but as a newly minted CZT, more are on the way! Stay tuned, and subscribe to my channel on YouTube if you want to be notified when I post new content there.




needy cats

Tin Roof, Boosted!

Several weeks ago, Dan went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription. He came home in a foul mood, complaining about an employee. We'll call him Gary. Dan went on about the interaction for longer than is customary, but I chalked it up to Gary having...

Gratuitous Kitten Photos

Got his paperwork and he was born March 5. Squee! (I was born March 4.) Oliver was everywhere at once and then just like that, he was zonked. Izzy isn't really happy about him, but she tolerates him while growling and hissing in his general...

Oliver’s Coming and Other Happy Stuff

I'm in the mood to write about only good news, so that's what you're getting today. We're getting a kitten, my lymph nodes aren't cancerous, and my muscles are coming back online after a medication a-ha moment. Let's take those things in order....

Ode to Boomer

It's been about a month since we lost Boomer. I'm not over it, of course, but I'm doing better. Processing the grief. You might remember last year that Boomer was at the emergency vet quite a bit. That was all related to his chronic hepatitis. It's...

A Little Depressed Here

Boomer crossed the rainbow bridge on Tuesday, and I don't feel up to much. I just wanted to put up a post because it's been a while and people are worrying. I'll write more when I can, but for right now I just want to grieve the loss of my Bestest...


Visitor Favorites

Inktober zentangle tutorials

Inktober 2020 Zentangle Tutorials

Another Inktober has come and gone, but you can complete my unofficial prompt list at any time and at any pace you like.

100 Things About Me

Many, many years ago the “100 Things About Me” post was was an absolute must for bloggers. I’ve updated mine in case it, like bell bottoms, makes a comeback.

Tangled Talk Video Index

A complete index of my Tangled Talk videos, with detail pages that include human-generated transcripts and a list of the supplies I’ve used in the video.

one zentangle a day icon image

One Zentangle a Day Video Index

A complete index of my One Zentangle a Day videos, listing the Zentangle patterns covered for each day.


Zentangle Playlists

Open One Zentangle playlist on YouTube

One Zentangle a Day

Following the Book

My videos aren’t a replacement for Beckah Krahula’s wonderful book, but they do give you a preview of its contents and a place to start. This is how I started Zentangling.

Open 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns  playlist on YouTube

9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

Ongoing Series

In this video series I’m curating easy-to-draw Zentangle pattern sets. The first three pattern sets include organics and botanicals, lines and orbs, and hearts. All drawn on Zentangle Bijou tiles.

Open Tangled Talk playlist on YouTube

Tangled Talk

let’s hang out

Tangled Talk episodes are a tutorial-vlog hybrid where I fill you in on what’s happening with me while I Zentangle. WARNING: Personal opinions included.


On Living with Chronic Illness

Figuring Out the Future When Illness is Your New Normal (Podcast)

Before anyone knew what was really wrong with me, when doctors had misdiagnosed me with fibromyalgia, I did an interview for WHYY’s The Pulse podcast. In hindsight, I’ve come to loathe the phrase “new normal.”

Brain Cancer Diaries: Jumping Cancer Hurdles with Emily Suess (Video)

Rudy, the host of Brain Cancer Diaries, and I are practically diagnostic twinsies. Both diagnosed with grade 2 astrocytomas, we chat about brain cancer, health care costs, and the vultures of the disability insurance industry.

No End in Sight: Episode 72 - Emily (Podcast)

I had a chance to talk with Brianne Benness for No End in Sight, a podcast on chronic illness. We discussed brain cancer, misdiagnosis, and finding community online with other patients when we don’t fit neatly into diagnostic categories.

Bankruptcy the Norm for American Cancer Patients (Article)

In an interview with Hub News contributor Laurie Garlington, I discuss my experiences with health and disability insurance in the United States as the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) considers changes to its publicly funded model.


No Patient Left Behind (Article)

I was interviewed by Jeffrey Billman for a feature on No Patient Left Behind. We discussed how the healthcare system in the United States added an extra layer of financial traumaeven though I was insuredon top of the day-to-day challenges of living a life with brain cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is a method of drawing developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable kind of art built on learning basic patterns that I find highly therapeutic. I recommend you visit the official site at Zentangle.com to learn more.
Are you a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT)?

Yes! I became a CZT on September 19, 2022. I’m a huge fan of Zentangle who likes to share what I’ve learned and connect with other tanglers.

When were you diagnosed with brain cancer?
I was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma on my brain stem in 2017. That diagnosis came after a years-long struggle with progressive disability. (I was originally misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014.)
What did you do BEFORE?
Before the brain tumor got in the way of everything, I was a professional writer. I wrote technical copy for a software company and had a freelance writing business on the side. I earned a B.A. in English from IUPUI.

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