The Slim Chance of Randomness

CanaryFliesTheCanyonFrontCover

One of the constant themes of my new novel, “A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON” is my theory that very little in life is random. The older we get the more it becomes apparent that patterns have formed, woven into the tapestry of our lives. Seemingly “random” or “chance” events, viewed in retrospect, fit nicely into a whole cloth fabric that would be unfinished and meaningless without them, including the less than pleasant occurrences that might have seemed ruinous when they happened. Every thread carries meaning; every slub or irregularity adds texture and carries purpose in its being. The perfect parts are beautiful but pale in comparison to the unusual, imperfect areas where mistakes were dealt with and learned from….

The heroine of my novel, Annie, born an artist with a no-nonsense’ practical flip-side as well, experiences a life of loss, loneliness and conflict underneath the wrapper of her creative passion. She encounters three men who become pivotal in her romantic life; each offers experiences  that will  paint her life with indelible lessons.

Annie also meets a woman named Kerri who becomes a friend to her, filling in those blanks when she needs to confide in a woman and laugh about life as only two crazy kindred spirits can. This woman, Kerri, owns an art gallery and offers Annie the position of director; of course Annie accepts and thus begins an adventure that will spice her life with fascinating people and situations, rippling out into the future for many years to come.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 18 – The Slim Chance of Randomness, where Annie begins her new job.

CHAPTER 18

The Slim Chance of Randomness 

Lessons keep repeating

Until you pay attention.

Everything comes back again in another form.

Nothing disappears without a trace.

New faces and old traces;

Haven’t I known you before?

By early fall of that momentous year of 2002, coming on the heels of 9/11/01, being laid off in early January of ‘02, then my mother’s death in April and my daughter’s wedding in July, plus the consistently disturbing issues with Blake, I had gotten a new job and removed myself from the unemployment list. I interviewed for gallery director position at a very successful gallery in the upscale mall near my neighborhood. I got the position and was instantly thrown in with a small but fascinating group of people who changed my life forever and made me giggle again. I felt that I had been sprung loose and rewarded after doing hard time in the world of finance with the slick financial advisor for six damn years.

The owner of the gallery was a larger than life woman named Kerrigan Jones. Hers was a name I had heard several years before in Denver art circles, and she had also heard of me because of my art. We had actually worked for competing art companies at that time and each of us had huge respect for the other. Her mother, Martine, initially interviewed me, with another person, a young guy named Troy, who worked in the gallery. It didn’t seem like an interview; it was like three people talking about art, laughing and trading insider stories. I felt right at home and in my element.

Several days later when Kerri came home from her trip to South Africa, she met me at the gallery looking all tan and safari-ish, blonde hair flying and blue eyes twinkling (not unlike my own) as she walked toward me. She sort of gave me a half-hug which reassured me, without saying, that she was in favor of adding me to her payroll. I was curious about her, wanted to know her better and I immediately had an inkling that we’d be great friends. After talking for an hour in a very un-interview sort of way, about our backgrounds and our current situations she gave me her stamp of approval and I was in. I knew it was the beginning of something lasting and important in my life.

We had been raised with similar values and in similar situations – country homes – mine in Indiana, hers in Colorado. Our fathers were forces of nature, heart-stoppingly handsome and in charge, married to curvaceous blonde, blue-eyed women who adored them, for a time, until it ended abruptly. Kerri and I had dovetailed memories of our wild and independent youths, not just riding our horses, but racing them at breakneck speeds across vast expanses of fields, hell-bent on getting nowhere in particular as fast as we could. We were each given great childhood freedom as we grew up; and we willingly took it. When we looked back, it seemed to border on parental neglect, but we didn’t know it at the time. Our parents, well, there was plenty of drinking, some infidelities by our fathers, divorces, fathers remarried, my mother did not, hers did. Did I say plenty of drinking?

Kerri was married, by just a hair, to a man named Max with whom she fell in and out of love and hate as if he was a bad bad movie with one unusual scene she could not stop watching. Their marriage changed as fast as the weather in Denver. Their marital climate bordered on, no it frequently arrived at verbal abuse, weekly it seemed, and I could not understand it, I could not keep up with its volatile nature and I was exposed to the toll it took on Kerri all the damn time. In my opinion it was irreversibly damaging to her. She had been robbed of the person she used to be; the confident woman who had big dreams and shining aspirations. I guess I was the only one who could help her find her true self again. She told me as much. We were kindred spirits.

The gallery was perfectly located, just outside the second floor entrance to Nordstrom and directly across from a busy wine bar/restaurant. I considered the position a cushy job. It took me five minutes to drive to work and I understood the business so well, from the inside out, what my duties and responsibilities were and where to get started. I felt confident and enthusiastic. On the days when Kerri and I worked together we bonded quickly, talking for hours on end and defining our vision for what the gallery could become. She had a wicked cackle of a laugh and I could always make her use it. I loved her like a long lost sister – she was smart and funny and she had been around the block of life a couple or three times at least. She was no fool. I could look across the gallery at her as she was making a sales pitch to someone and know instinctively when it was wise to interject a comment that would leverage the strategy she was using and help her close the sale; she could do the same for me. We also used eye contact and gestures back and forth during the day to remind each other of sales points and key words that we used successfully when we were dealing with customers. We were a team. There is an art to selling art; it is a delicate dance; people like to know how, where and why they need to make an expensive art purchase. It is a highly subjective decision but any sincerely delivered advice proves effective time and time again in swinging a customer from indecisive to certain. When big money is involved, as it usually is, long deliberation is the norm.

I thought Kerri’s mom was an interesting study. She was an aging beauty, a little worse for the wear, highly eccentric, constantly nervous with several tics she kept repeating as she spoke – a cracking of her neck to one side, a thing she did with her shoulders that went up and down and a tendency to lick her lips excessively. Perhaps a bit unstable and hair-triggered, I thought. Rather impulsive; a reactionary personality. She loved men and she hated them, exactly like my own mother. I could not quite figure her out but I certainly did not want to get on her bad side for any reason real or imagined, and I had a slight suspicion that could happen at the drop of a hat. Her mood swings came and went twenty times a day. She wore things that wrapped, she was always swaddled in a bunch of fabrics of varying color and pattern. I had no idea where she was inside all that. She looked like she was running a fever for lack of ventilation. She was perennially flushed.

The guy, Troy, who shaved his head and oiled it up until it was shiny chose his words carefully so as not to appear stupid, and was so obviously in love with Kerri that it hurt to watch him. She was entirely out of his league; he would have cleaned the floor with his tongue for her. I liked him, but he seemed unsophisticated and naïve, yet we needed him because he was our muscles. He made himself useful with framing, doing any heavy lifting and art deliveries for clients.

Then there was another employee named Sandra who was a lady wrestler in her off time, with an alias lady wrestler type name which cannot be repeated here. She was a little hard looking, tatted up and muscular but she could sell art til’ the cows came home. In fact she could not stop talking, but in sales that is sometimes a plus. After I began working there I found out that she was sort of on probation, in danger of losing her position, because she was a little on the undependable side. Her boyfriend Chung was a rock star in the world of wrestling, with his giant chiseled body, long lanky hair and dozens of piercings. He was a scary dude. Having him in the gallery occasionally to pick up Sandra was both an attraction and a detriment – crowds of (also pretty wacked out) wrestling fans who recognized him quickly formed a gang asking for his autograph but then other potential art buyers, more cultured and refined, bolted for the door. It was never a dull moment in there. Psychos to the left of me and freak show on the right, stuck in the middle…welcome to the art scene. It sometimes reminded me of the bar scene in one of the original Star Wars movies, and if Jar Jar Binks himself had walked in to apply for a job or purchase a painting I would not have given it a second thought. Thank you very much, I thought, glad to be back. This is going to be entertaining. Is it cocktail hour yet?

Kerri and her staff all put a lid on it and managed to look normal-ish and respectable on the surface while working in the gallery. But in the world of art the existence of an underbelly was not unusual at all. It was all part of the game. Kerri herself was my type of gal. We laughed at the same things, which was most often stories about the men who had come and gone in our lives, mostly come. She was taller than I, bosomy and blonde. At one point in her life she had modeled lingerie, and she still looked the part. At another point she had lived in L.A. and sold fine art to film stars and professional athletes, requiring flamboyance and show-biz tendencies. She knew the Stones and had spent an entire night with them in the bar of the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver after their concert, telling stories and talking about Africa. She always swore she hadn’t slept with any of them, but, well, I mean if any girl like Kerri or I ever had the chance to sleep with one of the Stones… you know. Who wouldn’t? ( I guess a lot of people wouldn’t, you are probably thinking.) Whether she did or not remains a mystery even to me. Ahem.

She had purchased the gallery because it was a screaming good deal based upon a track record of sales approaching a million for the two years prior to 9/11. Gallery sales in that range were unheard of in the Denver area at the time. But Kerri had charisma, the gallery had a large client list and she could sell art like no one I had ever seen. I also had that talent so we were unstoppable…for a while anyway. We were always working the phones; our strong database of customers kept coming back and we had the networking skills to grow it by leaps and bounds.

Kerri owned a large parcel of land in South Africa with her uncle Rob, a bold, adventurous man who I admired very much. He had been a helicopter pilot in the Viet Nam war, then a bush pilot in South Africa after that. He had many secret missions in his past and a list of friends in very high places in South Africa; he ran in the same circles with Nelson Mandela and his associates. He was snapping up real estate there and had homes in Cape Town and up near Kruger Park. Kerri traveled back and forth to and from Africa and I held down the gallery fort while she was away. She would sometimes call me on her cell phone while out in the bush sleeping in a tent and hold the phone out the tent opening so I could hear the lions huffing and roaring as they began their nightly killing rounds. We shared this love of all that was raw and primitive in Africa; I showed her clippings and articles I had been keeping since I was a small child in preparation for the trip I would someday take. Remember the film Born Free about the pride of lions? I watched that movie time after time in the same way that little girls these days watch FROZEN. We both liked to go where the wild things were, both figuratively and literally. We were a different breed of women.

I had never met anyone with whom I felt more connected, and certainly no one who could make me laugh as hard as Kerri. She had a devilish tendency that meshed nicely with her irreverent view of life; I had a tendency to take on life with a humorous slant, like a color-commentator at a sold-out sporting event, filling in the nuances around the main events. I must say that we made a unique “funny blondes with brains” team. On the days when we worked together we had a great time and sold a ton of art. When you can sell that much fine art and have such an extraordinarily hilarious time doing it, hang on to that. Under any other circumstances we’d still be making money hand over fist in that gallery. But shit happens.

By the time I was hired it was almost a year since the twin towers went down, and times were hard. Business fell off all over the country. Businesses in our mall were floundering and management refused to work with anyone on rent reductions. Shops were dropping like flies and closing their doors by the beginning of the holiday season in 2002. Our gallery rent was over ten thousand a month and it became impossible to cover that expense with our loss in sales. Art was the last thing on people’s minds after 9/11.

Kerri’s mom Martine proved to be a wing-nut and during my first holiday season managing the gallery when every person is needed on deck to make sales, she took off with only her toothbrush and some maxed out credit cards in her car headed north and west for parts unknown. It was a knee-jerk reaction to something that Kerri had said, some minor infraction of an unknown rule or expectation that the woman held in her mind, to which no one was allowed access. We knew that by the time she got twenty miles outside Denver she would have forgotten what it was that had so infuriated her, because according to Kerri this dash for the door and disappear thing had happened many times before. She was a serial escapee. She had actually been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder which I never understood. Bordering what? She seemed full blown to me, tipped completely over any kind of border. This time she didn’t return for a couple years, but constantly requested that money be sent to her for stuff she needed, like toothpaste and cars.

Troy, melancholy over Kerri’s lack of affection, attempted to kill himself by hanging in his apartment, after shaving off all the rest of his bodily hair and so he was also out of the picture. The fact that he was unsuccessful in his suicide attempt was so like him. Never quite able to get things efficiently done, sad as it was. We felt very badly for him and his perplexed parents, but Kerri could not offer him his old job back with that event on his track record. We were so lucky he didn’t try to do that in the gallery some night after everyone had left. We quickly lost track of him after that.

Sandra left too; we found out years later that she had been working in a monastery in the mountains outside L.A. with a bunch of intentionally mute monks who had taken vows of silence. What?? Her?? We only discovered that because while she was there she read one of my books and found that she knew the author, me, and one of the contributing writers, Kerri. The wonders of the so-called “coincidence” never cease to amaze me. So let’s get this straight – a hard-ass lady wrestler who could not stop yammering decides to live and work in a monastery where the monks take a vow of silence and yet she happens to be given a book I wrote many years later only to discover that she not only knew the author of it but also one of the contributing writers who was her old boss at a gallery in Denver during the time of 9/11. Seems a bit far-fetched to me, but it is true.

After that series of upheavals Kerri and I were left with one single woman employee who was timid and fear-based, unknowledgeable about art and downright mousey in appearance. She wore dowdy clothes and ultra-sensible shoes. She had originally been hired to work behind the scenes doing bookkeeping. She would sit at her backroom desk, one bony leg wrapped completely around the other one so that her foot was in front again; meticulous, near-sighted, nose to the computer, working on the books. One day we had to pull her, befuddled and horrified, out front to help with sales at a frantic moment when we just needed a person with a pulse who could write up several sales in a row as Kerri and I closed them, and she somehow stuck. She was unthreatening and ultra-shy which sometimes swung a sale or two in her favor, because her kind of customer instinctively sought her out.

Working that closely with Kerri and I in the front of the gallery was a shocking turn in her introverted career. She thought we were a couple of otherworldly wild and crazy women who had no moral compasses and no brain power whatsoever. She listened to our phone conversations, watched the parade of men coming and going who were not in the least bit there for art; we were not whores of course, but we were bold and flirty if it would make a sale for us. She was appalled on a daily basis, yet quite intrigued with her sudden entrance into a parallel universe she had never known. Her name was Dotty, poor thing.

We were fighting to keep the gallery doors open and one of our tactics was to bring in some new artist’s work. We wanted to attract a more varied clientele. I was sitting at my desk in the front one afternoon when Hans walked in the door. I. Could. Not. Even. Speak. He looked remarkably great, well of course he did, and I have to say that it was a day when so did I. We smiled rather largely at each other. He had to speak first, because I was mute as a monk with surprise.

 

A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON by Jo Ann Brown-Scott is earning 5 star reviews on Amazon and Kindle

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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

Art http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Web http://acanaryfliesthecanyon.com

Google http://joannbrownscottauthor.com

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A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON A Novel by Jo Ann Brown-Scott

tree roots

Tree Roots of Angkor Wat

A bunch of funny things happen on the way to publishing a novel….funnier on some days than on others of course. Two steps back, one step forward, three steps forward and then a day when 4 steps back take you by surprise, knocking the air right out of your lungs.

This has been a very weird day, aside from the wonderful visit by the Pope, which I have been attentive to and inspired by. That will be another blog – when I am feeling nicer and more benevolent of spirit…because I do so love this particular Pope.

Here’s the deal – I believe, as I write this, and because people tell me it is true, that my book’s website is now published…but I cannot see it on any of my own devices. Not on my PC, not on my Iphone, not on my laptop and not on my Ipad. Why? Please tell me why! Oh the Yahoo Sitebuilder tech support people have so many interesting answers. You would be amazed. I know a bit or two about computers, but their answers are all voodoo to me. I have spent hours on the phone, being walked through a dozen trouble-shooting procedures, but nada. Today, before noon, all of their fingers were pointing at Comcast. If any of you can enlighten me, please do so. Comcast and I had a long chat and it is not them – why would they possibly deny me access to my own website?

My new website address for my book is http://www.joannbrownscottauthor.com

Can you see it? All the people I spoke with this morning assure me that it is a beautiful website! I would love to have you visit it! Please tell me if you are able to do that…because I still want a solution so that I can go there myself.

I intend to offer some insight about the title of my novel, soon, because it is both whimsical and enigmatic, I think. Stay tuned for that – and I am actually able to edit my website and make additions and changes to it but I cannot see them myself when I am finished. This has got to be resolved!

Please bear with me. I am in the outer ring of technological hell.

That which does not kill you…..

IMG_7156 Ten moons til the move is over – Conifer Colorado, August 2015

That which does not kill you….makes you stronger, they say. Not sure about that, but I am in the ugly process of moving to a different part of the Denver area and I am really strong right now from lifting boxes that I should never be lifting. I have muscle definition and even abs. Still, I think it might kill me too. I am so driven to get this horrible transition over and done that I am being a little stupid. And there are stairs involved. I am trying to do as much of it as I can, myself, before the big truck pulls up. The other day I turned a large table upside down and slid it down the entry stairs, hanging onto one end of it for dear life so that we both would not smack into the front door at the bottom. After this entire process is over I will return to my former degree of common sense, jump back into the old groove and be writing regularly again.

I said my book would be published in late summer of 2015 and I still plan to achieve that goal if you will be kind enough to consider Indian Summer as being within the parameters of summer. Oh come on….stretch a little bit and just give me that. Yes there have been a few delays and if I explained them to you they would sound implausible so I won’t bother, but just take my word that they are not within the normal range of belief, but they are indeed true.

My website for the book is going live soon – very soon – even before the book is published. I will also be releasing another tidbit right here and now – this time the official book description. Please enjoy.

“A Canary Flies the Canyon” – a novel by Jo Ann Brown-Scott. Book description, all rights reserved.

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

Art Originals & Prints http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Book http://joannbrownscottauthor.com – coming soon!

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As Promised….an Excerpt!

Choices

Original painting by Jo Ann Brown-Scott  titled “Choosing the High Road” copyright 2015, all rights reserved, which will be used in the cover design for her book titled A CANARY FLIES the CANYON copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

I am nearing the publication of my third book, this time a novel, and I am pregnant with anticipation. It is a time-consuming process and it seems to go slower the closer I get to the goal. Sorry this has been so long in coming – I promised an excerpt weeks ago.

Well hey, first of all it is difficult to decide WHERE to excerpt from  – what tidbit is the best, especially for the first one? Should it come from the first chapter, necessarily, or not? Should all the excerpts come to you in chronological order? I guess so…. How many is enough? How much should they reveal?

The book has many moods. It can be black and white, multi-colored, highly textured and patterned with humor, melancholy and every emotion known to human kind.  It will be taking you along on a journey…the story of one young girl’s life that unfolds toward an artistic career. Of course that journey is fraught with random (or not?) surprises and challenges. Life does seem, at times, to be pre-planned (almost scripted, with an agenda in mind, hmm…) and so this young girl begins to question the random-ness of things. But then she questions everything….

Excerpt from the novel  A Canary Flies the Canyon, copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

After great consideration, I offer you the first excerpt from Chapter Two called “Blind Spots”; a quote from Annie.

“I have thought long and hard about who my female role models were as I was growing up and I cannot think of a single one. I loved my mother, and much later saw her as accomplished and courageous to have done what she did, but I did not idolize her and she never talked with me in conversations of any length or significance. If she had ever once just sat me down and requested a heart to heart girl talk with me about life, or about anything that might have guided me toward a course to follow, our relationship would have been a far different one. There was not a single male or female who ever took me aside and truly talked to me, mentored me about my future, gave me advice, encouragement or became a person in whom I felt I could confide. I think that has been part of my problem. I was always rudderless, sailing through life on a free-spirited wing and a prayer, hoping to somehow stumble upon the Northern Star. I never found it; certainly not by choice it became my norm to depend upon no one, and that closed the door to my soul a little bit. I was starting out brave but naïve; smart but innocent. I was often lonesome, seldom in meaty conversations with anyone and primarily a visual person, an observer of life. I did not know it at the time but these are the ideal characteristics and circumstances for feeding creativity and artistic development. A person goes inward and learns everything the hard way.”

Author BIO

Jo Ann Brown-Scott, born in Ohio, is an artist and a writer living in the Denver, Colorado area. Her degree from the University of Colorado emphasized studio art, art history, literature and psychology. In conjunction with her art and literary careers she has taught interior design at a community college in Denver and was an instructor of mixed media collage in California. She has years of experience in sales and marketing including gallery director positions, event planning, client acquisition and book publishing.

Jo enjoys travel to favorite places such as Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand and Italy among others, finding that travel feeds and informs her art and writing. She believes that painting and writing have much in common, both requiring that a story be told in a unique voice with a distinctive vocabulary and palette. Brown-Scott’s abstract, mixed media paintings and collages have been exhibited throughout Colorado and the west; her work is currently shown by appointment.

She has published two previous non-fiction books on the subject of self-realization and creativity, specifically involving true stories of life-changing epiphanies. Her second book, The Creative Epiphany, Gifted Minds, Grand Realizations, won Best Books Award Finalist in the non-fiction narrative category of the National USA Book News awards.

She has two grown children who are each gifted with literary and artistic skills.

Blog www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

Art Originals & Prints http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Book http://joannbrownscottauthor.com – coming soon

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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!

“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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