Why would a canary be flying along in a Colorado canyon?

book

How would you like to read a new novel, a love story in fact, by Jo Ann Brown-Scott about a woman artist?

You know how I like to talk about Karma, you must already know that I question randomness, you know I am passionate about art and I ask my imaginary friend the art Buddha for approval, you have heard me mention at least a time or two that creativity comes and goes but will stay with you forever if you feed her well…..and I am sure you know about love.

So reading this new novel will satisfy your craving for all of that and more. You need to read it. It is warm and funny, serious and profound, pertinent and relevant and it will introduce you to a new best friend – the heroine named Annie.

available on Amazon.com

http://www.acanaryfliesthecanyon.com

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Excerpt – A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON

medtur

Have I mentioned that this novel is a love story? Well it is…on several levels.

Annie, the book’s heroine, is a born artist. She was just that way, 100%, through and through from DAY 1 and she knew it from the very moment she could think vs. the kind of artist who gradually grows into art and suddenly realizes one day that she is indeed going to deliberately become an artist. Annie had no choice; she fell in love with visual art long before she ever loved anything else including ice cream and Santa Claus. But she also falls in love with three men as she matures into an accomplished fine artist and a wise human being. Each man brings lessons she needs to learn; each love affair brings her closer to the total person she was meant to be.

Along her journey of life she realizes that timing is everything and rarely does a person stumble upon the perfect pairing of the well-timed opportunity and the freedom to grasp it then and there at the exclusion of every other option. The universe works in wild and wonderful ways; it often tempts us at the wrong times, offering us what we thought we wanted but with strings attached, just for the fun of it to see what we will do. And so we agonize, trying to choose between what we really really want and what the more practical choices are.

Then there is the element of chance; throw that into the mix and suddenly what we really really want seems to have come to us out of the clear blue sky and we view it as almost a miracle; a rare gift; even a coincidence, if there is such a thing as a true coincidence. We wonder if it is going to be our only chance, and we think that maybe we should grab it up while it is still hanging out there, looking so tempting and so grab-able. Maybe we’ll never have another …chance.

What is a chance? Is it a random opportunity sent our way by the universe? But is anything really “random”? Is it a test, to see what we’ll do? Or is it all destiny, written in our stars long before we ever had an independent thought?

In my new novel, which is quite contemporary and current, I placed a bit of my own somewhat ageless and traditional verse at the beginning of each chapter, for contrast, meant to clarify what the message is:

Here is the first one, for the PREFACE,  page vii:

Mankind is on an eternal march;

a trail of humanity driven by instinct

and perhaps divine inspiration.

Although we are at times directionless,

straying randomly from the path

an internal compass guides our way

and we are actually at one with the stars,

purposely aligned and aware

of our place in the universe.

Book available on Amazon.com

http://www.acanaryfliesthecanyon.com

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It’s All In Your Head – a Compliment to Women

head1 head2

So I had these two identical lamps, with bases made of sculptured women’s heads looking slightly classic and Greek but still mostly generic – no particular ethnicity was obvious in their eyes, mouths or expressions. They were so enticing, but sort of judgmental, sitting there all the time so stoic and serious with their lampshades over their heads. I put them on our bed-side tables for several years, sometimes putting seasonal hats on them or sunglasses and scarves, sometimes earrings or earmuffs, just for my own amusement. My husband thought that was stupid, which begs the question of whether or not he actually ever understood the person he was married to and her wacky sense of humor….if I had to guess I would say he did not. But I digress.

One day I just snapped and dismantled them, tearing them from their lamp-parts and keeping their lampshades for some other lamp. I knew I was going to do something with them but it took a day or two to figure out which of my ideas would win.

Since I do have a bunch of lovely, patterned and textured collage papers from all around the world, and I am a mixed media collage artist, I decided to collage their faces with an assortment of torn paper shapes, giving them kind of a tattoo treatment. Immediately, as I worked on the first one I thought of the broadest concept of women – the enormous tribe of women that encompasses all other tribes of women anywhere and everywhere in the world. The concept of women in general, all over the map, and what a powerful force of nature we are. We are multi-taskers of the highest degree and we can do ANYTHING we set our mind to.

In my new novel, published just last week, I believe I address that very subject. The story revolves around one particular woman artist who is faced with major life challenges, and how she surprises her own damn self with the strength she has. Please pick up a copy on http://www.Amazon.com. The title is A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON.

http://www.acanaryfliesthecanyon.com    http://www.joannbrownscottauthor.com

Not coincidentally of course, because I do not believe in randomness or simple, innocent chance, I had lunch yesterday with some of the strongest women I have ever known – a group of my old college friends. There were only about seven of us, and we all do keep in loose touch, but yesterday we got more specific about what all has happened to us and how we have coped over the years since college was over. It was truly a revelation to hear it all. I am so proud to have a place in that group. You would be shocked at the variety of serious MONUMENTAL challenges we have all faced – not a single one of us escaped life’s major misfortunes – but we all survived and came out on the other side finally able to smile again.

My sister has the other lamp head, which is much more eccentric and Bohemian than this one in the above picture – her lamp woman is in reds and corals with patterns of great energy and fun. Mine is an elegant woman – her’s is a ballsy broad. But of course there is room for all of us in the tribe of women, and we all have multiple personalities which is a large part of our charm, is it not?

A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON – now available on Amazon.com

CanaryFliesTheCanyonFrontCover

Have you ever questioned randomness?

Do you wonder in your life, or any life, whether or not the choices we are offered

are really choices or if fate determines our destiny?

With her third book Jo Ann Brown-Scott offers a fresh and energetic novel about the life-long evolution of a contemporary woman artist. In her characteristically vivid, painterly voice, at times both irreverent and profound, Brown-Scott composes the story of a maverick, free-spirited woman, awarded with creative DNA and privilege at birth yet scarred with a childhood of loss and family dysfunction. Fueled with these ideal circumstances for artistic creative development, the heroine Annie breaks loose to become the Bohemian abstract artist she was born to be.

During her artistic maturation, relationships with three prominent men in her life, a salesman, a contrarian and a Swede bring seemingly random disorder, chaos and instability as her art continues to acquire complexity and growth toward success. Facing complicated challenges Annie gradually becomes faith-based, spiritual and enlightened during her struggles to thrive. She questions randomness; can life’s moments of perfect timing be attributed to mere coincidental chance? Do we have any real choices, or is a life already written in the stars as karmic retribution or reward?

Art mirrors life; paintings are a life journal. In Annie’s mixed media life we discover her soul – her humor, courage, passion and her relentless amazement at life itself partnered with her embrace of all that remains mysterious and unknown. She learns of possible past lives; she questions the complete and utter finality of death. Her paintings morph into powerful, carefully structured compositions indicative of her intellect, fire and passion. Her messages about life are evident in the exuberant color and pattern of her art.

Only after Annie hits emotional rock-bottom and is brought to her knees with adversity does the universe present her with an option that hints at both restoration and renewal. They say that karma is a bitch, but more often it is just karma. When it does intervene it is nonjudgmental; pure, swift and arriving in the nick of time to level the playing field once again. It comes bearing gifts for a gutsy, risk-taking woman, many times burned; a chance and a choice that just might balance the scales and enable Annie to grasp some reward in the last chapter of her life. If she decides to take one more leap of faith, the results could be astounding. Will she choose wisely? What is her destiny?

Blog www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

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A CANARY FLIES the CANYON, available in about 5 days on Amazon.com

CanaryFliesTheCanyonFrontCover

BOOK COVER – A Novel by Jo Ann Brown-Scott, released in October, 2015

It has been a long time coming, and now I am able to say that in approximately 5 excruciatingly long days and nights this book of mine will be available anywhere in the world on Amazon.com. They tell me that my listing will appear in segments as it makes its total arrival on its Amazon page….kind of like waiting for paint to dry, jello to mold or rain to come.

I have published this book, my third, with the self-publishing division of Amazon which has been a creative, professionally rewarding experience; I received the hard-copy proof on Saturday, looked it over and found 1 tiny error that I decided to accept, in much the same way as the Amish women do when sewing quilts – they are not striving for perfection, because they know that is impossible, and so they purposely incorporate an abnormality into their quilts as an acknowledgment and an offering of human imperfection. Ok, I said to myself, rather than delay this book release one more single week I am just going to go with it.

There were several other terms of my surrender to the publishing process.

Other sundry aggravations, including a beautiful website I created through Yahoo SiteBuilder ( a DIY website builder that I am quite familiar with, having used it for over 7 years now) that will still not publish on all browsers, is still listed on my Yahoo SiteBuilder Control Panel as “Under Construction”  and which my tech support people in India still insist is in fact published. But it is not.

Try it for yourself at   http://www.joannbrownscottauthor.com

Lotsa luck with it…..I can sometimes get it to open on Google Chrome….but nowhere else.

I intend to get it fixed this week in another round of marathon phone conversations with Yahoo Small Business advanced tech support. The kind of conversation that has, up to this point, taken me to the brink of my patience and the edge of my tolerance with basic tech support people who are not able to rise beyond the glass ceiling of their tech knowledge…. and so you then have to purchase advanced tech support.

In the meantime I am over the moon with excitement about the book’s release. I hope nothing rains on my parade today!

http://www.acanaryfliesthecanyon.com

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Do you question randomness? What is destiny?

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The older I get the more I question the validity of a true, pure, innocent, random coincidence.

I question events that happened seemingly out of the blue, but really not, as I look back over my shoulder at life.

In my life, or any life, I often observe a pattern in the information that “randomly” comes to me at the oddest times; messages come in unpredictable spurts surrounded by different colorful contexts but bearing the same core theme, delivering the same basic wisdom that apparently I need to hear. If I listen, wow that is great. I’ll probably be just fine. If I don’t, the message will hit me again with a louder impact in a different context, trying to get my attention….hey! Listen to me! Get a clue!

It is not that I believe our lives are beyond our control and that nothing at all is random; what I do believe is that we are indeed given choices and of course our destiny lies in which path we take. Perhaps the choices we are given are not random. Perhaps the universe sends us just what we need to learn in the form of various choices of a certain category, based upon our purpose here on planet earth. Perhaps even based upon what we learned in a past life and what more needs to be experienced in order to live a more enlightened existence. The purpose would of course be to evolve as a human being; to contribute to the greater good, to be a better person and to leave some wisdom behind when we move on…

People often wonder what their purpose here really is. What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? Rumi wrote about it repeatedly and our modern writers have made additions to those three big questions….I have a t shirt that adds, “Where are the cookies?” which is of course an important thing to learn about life.

My new novel is about a contemporary woman artist growing up and growing wide, as I like to say, since a good life has both width and depth; she is struggling to learn things about life and art. When a kid has no mentors, no advisors, no guidance and no quality advice as she grows up she has no choice but to go inward, and learn everything the hard way. But oddly enough, going inward and finding things out the hard way, the lonely way, is an excellent foundation for creative development. It stimulates your creative juices; it requires that you ask questions of yourself. In a way it is a twisted gift the universe has given you; a nasty trick that life plays, hoping you will rise to the occasion at some point and conquer the obstacles in your path, taking the high road and pushing through to the other side almost all by yourself. You finally arrive where you always hoped you would be, battered, wounded and worn, but just in the nick of time to enjoy it. Better late than not at all.

In my novel, “A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON” (soon available on Amazon.com) I track this evolution in one young woman. The title is enigmatic, whimsical and of course reveals its origin in the book…so please watch for that. But I am just wondering, have you ever seen a canary flying free in a rugged Colorado canyon, elevation 8500′ and climbing? A small yellow dot in the shadows and the sun, flying her heart out to a higher destination, dodging hawks and other birds of prey, through all kinds of weather? It does seem absurd, does it not?