Raven Heights Guest – June Episode

ravenheightsradio2CLICK HERE TO VISIT RAVEN HEIGHTS AND LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

Earlier in June my friend Erica came over and brought her portable podcasting studio with her.  We recorded a couple of podcasts – one about my book, which is being released in August, and one about body-positivity and some of my artwork.  The one linked above is the latter, where we discuss Legoginas, Amanda Palmer, Tess Holliday, Body Politics, body-positivity, and Caitlyn Jenner, among other things.

Here are some links and thoughts that are a companion to this podcast:

Johanna Basford Coloring Book

Georgia O’keeffe

Tess Holliday – I refer to her as “Tess Munster” which is what she went by for a while.

Amanda Palmer – Since the recording of this podcast Amanda lost a dear friend and I want to offer my sincerest condolences.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Khalil Gibran

I mentioned a story she told on a podcast (which I cannot find) about being told to lose weight by the label she was with.  Rebellyon is what followed.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and a quote about the Fraud Police.

Imposter Syndrome

Caitlyn Jenner

GLAAD gender guide – Trans?  Cis?  What?  Here is a guide to help you out.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I wish I had been clearer in my explanation about the photographers.  The point I was trying to make was that I know a number of photographers and I don’t know their specific policies, but I’m guessing they would never use a photo that somebody was unhappy with.  But these are folks I know.  There are many photographers out there these days.  I’d even wager that there are more than ever.  Some are legit, talented and ethical.  Some aren’t.  Before you sign a paper allowing a person to use whatever image they take of you wherever and however they want, make darn sure you trust them.

— ❤ —

I mention that I am using a Lego base that is in a “flesh” tone, in this case, the one flesh-like tone available I could find thus far, called “sand.”  The large base pieces I build the vulvas on come in only three colors online at this time – grey, sand, green, if I’m lucky I can find a bright blue at the Lego store.  I’m not being super realistic with the Lego vulvas – I mean, I’m using bright pink and purple!  But it would be nice to have some other tans and browns available.  I’m glad to see things like Louboutin making a wider line of “nude” tones available now and NubianSkin.com, an undergarment line in darker flesh tones, so yay!

Below is my sweetheart, best friend, partner in art, writing, and love-making, in his glorious Lego crown.  (If I leave out that last comma, it might be a party!  Now I gotta cross my fingers the rest of my grammar is correct.)

legocrownsm William Hardy

LegoGinasmLegoginas – or Legovulvas.  They aren’t available yet because Will has to mount them.  (Yup.)
Vcoloringbooksm Drawings that will be available in my vulva coloring book, which isn’t done yet.
vulvadecorationsThese are examples of some of the vulva pride accessories I sell at my online store.

You can find my vulva art, as well as other types of jewelry, altered clothing and some perfume I make at GypsySiren.com

Artomatic – Body Politics

Goddess Next Door

Articles About Confidence Gap Between Men and Women
Phycholgy Today
The Atlantic

Please stop by the Southern Maryland Arts website.  It’s a great place for artists to register and post events.  You can also find Charles County art information HERE.

One of my biggest art influences and mentor is Tammy Vitale, also a Southern Maryland artist.

I made a goof trying to say, “I want to take my life’s lemons and make lemonade.”  I just have the one lemon apparently.  Baby wants one lemon.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to the podcast and read this post.  I know how precious and short time can be.

Peace!

Stretching Outside of the Comfort Zone

Yesterday a friend send me a message encouraging me to enter a contest she’d entered at Tentsquare.com.  They have a monologue challenge going.  Writers can submit two writing pieces – up to 250 spoken words.  The theme is “Love Letter” for the past two weeks.  Then for the next two weeks actors can submit up to two, two minute readings of the items that were entered.  There are money prizes – $200 for first place.  No entry fee.  250 words is not much writing.  So after some more cheer-leading from her, I went ahead and decided to do it.  At first I was going to submit just one entry.  It poured out of me.  And it was really different than anything else I’d written, so I went ahead and wrote another.  Which was also different than what I would expect myself to write with the theme “Love Letter.”

I’m a hopeless (hopeful) romantic and I had expected I would channel my feelings towards my partner.  But instead I just wrote some pure fiction out of nowhere in a style I am totally not used to, about things that were a little weird for me to write.  I was fine right up until the moment after I hit the submit button for the second piece, because then my heart started pounding.  I couldn’t take it back.  It was out there for people to see and share and like or hate and my face was in the corner of the submission and my name, too.  And ACK!  So, naturally, I shared it to Facebook to say I was freaked out, but to also let my actor friends know about the contest.  It would be cool to see my actor friends read the letters.

You can find each letter in the link below.  If you felt like sharing them on Facebook or twitter, that would be great.  If you are an actor and want to perform, I can’t wait to see what you do with them!  The letters are both female.  One is for a teen girl – but it’s sort of mature subject matter.  And the other would work for any woman between 18-30.  But that’s just inside-the-box thinkin’.

Waiting For Carl

Precocious

Song List for Writing Werewolves

writerscouple

Today I am writing on the second book of the Red August series and behind me, my lover is editing the first book. It’s nice when he’s here I can work at my desk writing, and he can sit behind me at the table, writing.

We have officially reached workaholic status, though.  All day yesterday I was making artwork for my store website (which is set to launch May1).  Last week I split my time between writing, making items for my online store and making a Cafepress shop.  Which is still very much NOT DONE.  But off to a good little start.

Anyway, at first I was playing a music list with no lyrics.  Then I ended up putting on my Fairytale Writing Mix – Red August which is on Spotify.  You can follow it, if you like and you use Spotify – I am under “Heather Brooks.”

I take several approaches to listening to music while writing.  If I’m in an easily distracted mood I will put on instrumentals.  I have a list that is almost all instrumental called Myth, Magic, Faeries & Mermaids.  I may even just listen to coffee shop sounds on Coffitivity.  Other times I like having some music with lyrics happening – and usually it’s because I want something that gives me the atmosphere of what I’m writing.  In the case of Red August I made a list that has a lot of sexy, ethereal stuff on it.  Also, since the book is set in the early 1980s, I listened to some of the stuff around then.  Retrojam is good for that.

So, here are probably my top five favorites (in no particular order) from my Fairytale Writing Mix – Red August:

HowlFlorence + The Machine
Exiles (The Wolves of Midwinter) – Mary FahlBorn to DieLana Del Rey
Ride – Lana Del Rey
My ImmortalEvanescence

If you have suggestions for good songs that fit the haunted, werewolf, wolf, hunter, huntress, archery theme, please leave me a comment!

 

 

 

 

Goddess Layers

christi

For several years now I’ve been working on a project I call “The Goddess Next Door.” The initial intent was to take photos of the sensual side of various female volunteers, either nude or in some kind of sexy clothing. It was a simple concept meant to show that any woman can have a sensual side, not just those who are professional models. It was meant to humanize sexuality and sexiness, to show that a sensual photo of a woman doesn’t have to make her an object, that she can be self-possessed.

Though I’ve long finished shooting for the project, many blockages to my path have presented themselves. The first of those was my photography style and how it evolved. I thought that if I were going to present a professional book with a certain goal then the photography style ought to be consistent.

This created a self-imposed roadblock to my project. Then my life and artistic focus turned elsewhere for a while. With no clear direction on the project and uncertain of how to present the work, I put it on a back burner for a while. In some ways I felt like I was really letting the models down for doing this, but I also wanted it to be well presented work.

A couple of months ago I was looking over the shoots for the project and it occurred to me that the book could be more than a set of photos about various women. It could be about how they feel, as well. About their bodies and sensuality. And since it has been a few years since I took their photos, maybe it would be good to check in with them and see how their feelings about their bodies has changed or evolved.

Additionally, the book could be about how I have changed and how my photography has evolved.

Between then (the summer of 2011) and now I had a job as a craft designer at a large craft store chain. I was excited and fascinated by the variety of art papers and scrapbooking supplies. Not being much of a scrapbooker I got heavily into visual journaling. I designed journaling styles and taught some journaling classes. It occurred to me just recently that I could do my Goddess Next Door project in that style. Even though it would be much more difficult to lay out and plan than just organizing photos onto a page, it would really add layers. Literally and figuratively.

journaling

Above is an example of visual journaling.  Combining photos and aspects of journaling may be a good way to organize “The Goddess Next Door.”