Following up on my previous blog……

photo courtesy of cifwatch.com
“The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.
Lewis Carroll from The Walrus and the Carpenter published 1871
Read more at http://quotationsbook.com/quote/44911/#MoZfq47z7D4AFLcu.99
It seemed too appropriate to even believe…what this Jabberwocky quote says, in just the brief couple of lines quoted here. Their relevance to my new novel came to me in the middle of the night like a random flash of brilliance in the indigo. (Your brain never sleeps when you write a book.) My novel addresses many of the subjects in this Lewis Carroll quote, although his language is called Jabberwocky. People who turn from kings to cabbages right before your eyes and things that seemed too impossible to believe at the time they were indeed happening – things which I had thought would only occur when and if pigs could fly. I see the humor in that, of course, and the book is humorous, but also deeply, seriously sobering in places.
Stay tuned!
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“The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things…” Lewis Carroll

bookphoto

Yes it is almost time. Imagine my anticipation. I am about to birth a new baby novel after nearly a decade of purple-faced, teeth-clenching labor. My god it is difficult to put a book together. Have you ever tried it? I should have just stuck an ice pick up my nose; it would have been less painful. On some days it was pure agony. Ten minutes of tending the same damn paragraph seem like hours of torture. You call yourself nasty names. You eat junk food, you do not sleep well. You second guess, third guess and sixteenth guess every single scene, every conversation, every insight. And pretty much no one cares until it is really done. You get no sympathy.

If you are also an artist, as I am, sometimes you attempt to work on a painting for a brief intermission as you are mulling over the words that will come next, and writing is a lot like painting so it seems so logical that it would be a great idea to create  both book and art side by side…thriving in a parallel universe. Both require a distinct voice, a unique vocabulary of expression and gesture, a selection of color, pattern and texture to flesh out the composition or the plot. And the sub-plots. Writing can be a lot of fun, on the good days. Painting can also be quite enjoyable when you are in the flow. But I have discovered through the years that one of those pursuits is capable of blocking out the sun for the other one. They compete for my attention and they dilute what I am doing into less powerful work if I try to excel in both at once.

What was the delay, you ask? Ten years? That’s crazy. What takes so long about writing a book? Well, I had a fabulous story but no ending. Then stuff happened that inspired and informed the book idea and everything fell together in one big loud, undeniable way as sometimes (but not often enough) stuff does. They say that we need to write about what we know and what we are most comfortable with in order to be authentic and genuinely entertaining. Obviously an author would not, in her right mind, take on the task of writing a book about some wild-ass thing or another that she knows nothing about, because faking it always shows. So unless an author has endless piles of money to pay a fleet of research assistants…

I am my own research assistant. Therefore this book is a novel about a contemporary woman artist.

It is now finished.

Soon I will be able to refer you to the book’s website, as a tasty hors d’oeuvre, and then the actual book – we are in “cover design” mode right now. Soon it will be listed with Amazon.com, so no matter where in the world you happen to be you will be able to get your hands on it. It will also be available on Kindle. I’ll let you know when all that happens.

MANY thanks to all of you for following this blog and feeding my artistic and literary soul – I have sharpened my skills within this blog using all of you as my audience and yes, my guinea pigs, but always with great respect for you and  the enhancement of the “some-day” book; this blog and my two previous books have taught me to work smarter not harder, to pull up the best words faster when I need them, to say things sharper and more clearly with fewer words, and to be consistently using my skills. I am going to have a huge celebration when this book is released – you all will hear it from wherever you are, one way or another, through this blog, Amazon, the new book website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you can all come….I really would like you to come.

Stay tuned for the first excerpt!

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Starving Artists and other misc.

tears artists

I recently attended the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver – we spent about five hours strolling around and it was hot sweaty fun, on constant sensory overload and hoping to find greatness every once in a while. The people-watching is as fascinating as the art. Since I cannot publish any of my photos of the art, and I took many, without violating copyright laws these two pics will have to suffice. The collective cultural mood of the weekend was friendly, the people typically free-spirited and a little on the crazy side. My kind of folks.

As you might imagine, there were 3-4 streets, both sides, jammed with art booths. It took a long time to see it all and yet I am convinced it was worth our time, because we are both serious artists ourselves and because it has traditionally been enlightening to attend and view the enormous variety and check out the current trends. Paintings, Pastels, Ceramics, Photography, Wood Working, Jewelry, Collage & Mixed Media, etc.etc. A new surprise around every corner.

You would think that Denver is screaming with fine art – we have the oldie but goodie Cherry Creek Art District, the newer South Santa Fe Drive Art District, the upcoming Rino Art District (river-north), the Highlands, the LODO (lower downtown) Art District and the various neighboring suburban art areas in old Littleton, Greenwood Village & Centennial, as well as Boulder just up the road about 45 minutes. There is the highly prestigious Denver Art Museum, the newly acquired and widely acclaimed Clyfford Still Museum and many other fine places to view art. Denver has become a foodie town; I wish we would become a fine art destination town.

People tell me that good abstract art is hot right now in Denver. I just don’t know exactly where. If I knew I would go there immediately. To me, it seems that really great abstract art shows up sporadically and mostly not at all. My instructor, Homare Ikeda, at the Art Student’s League of Denver is one of the best abstract artists around. We found some sophisticated abstract art, quite exciting, at the booth of Michael McKee from Fountain Hills, AZ. at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and he comes back almost every year. Western art is always popular, and usually it is very fine here in Denver. There was recently an important show of women artists’ work. And of course there is also a plentiful supply of junk.

Denver is hot right now; we are some of the most well-educated and fit people in the country. We are almost electrically charged with energy, jobs, people moving here in droves and a real estate market like it used to be in California. However, galleries close here as fast as they open. One week they are here and the next they are gone. As an artist it is very difficult to break into the gallery scene unless you want to be in the kind of shop that carries a lot of trivia as well. True fine art galleries that endure are rare. That is because a large number of inexperienced idiots with a bit of money believe that all you have to do is find a large space, paint the walls white, put up a sign, open the door and you will have collectors streaming in to make purchases. Heh. Omg. Really? Yes there are still people like that out there.

I know very few artists who live here who are not starving. We all have to have other incomes. The people who rent booth space at Cherry Creek Art Festival, or any of the other summer art fairs pay outrageous amounts of money to set up their booths all across the country – very few are local people – and it is a gypsy life for them, traveling around in the art fair circuit and working through all kinds of extreme heat, wind, hail and torrential rain. They have to be able to cover and protect their precious wares at the drop of a hat or a hailstone. It is not an easy life.

But being artistic is not, and never has been an easy life – you have heard me talk about it before in my blogs. It ebbs and sometimes it flows, but it is always unpredictable.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes about artists, only a little bit relevant to what I am talking about today, but always important to remember:

The greater the artist the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.  Robert Hughes