Love is Complicated

I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Beyonce and Jay-Z for opening up their personal marital struggles to the world. So often we look at celebrities and we only see the money and the beauty without the struggles the rest of us seem to face. They are breaking down those barriers by talking about stuff that is, well frankly, freaking embarrassing as hell. Being cheated on. Breaking vows. Giving in to baser desires and hurting your loved ones. This is deep stuff we are all looking at here with the release of Jay-Z’s 4:44. Continue reading

Fairies and Goblins

I was looking around the internet for an illustration style to filter a photograph.  I was specifically seeking an Arthur Rackham filter.  Anybody who loves fairy paintings as much as I do has probably heard of Arthur Rackham.  In searching for that, I came across this:

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Pretty sexy huh?  (Source)

Which is actually an image of a Kinuko Craft painting done in the Arthur Rackham style, from Playboy in the late 1970s.  Yes, Playboy!  Anyway, this illustration was done for something called “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti, which it turns out, is a poem I’ve never heard of.  Below is an excerpt (it’s really long, y’all) and you can see the whole thing here.

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
****
I’ve no reason to share this other than the fact I thought it was pretty neat.  But it also illustrates how the internet can derail your focus!  Even if a clear path is in front of me, I am stopping to look at all of the fruits and flowers along the way.  Also, I once wrote to Kinuko Craft in the 1990s when the internet was a lot newer. I had found a copy of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” that she had illustrated and I was absolutely ENCHANTED by her work.  An eager painter and artist, I wanted to tell her how much her work touched me.  She wrote back.  I wish I still had that computer with that hard drive with that email archive.  That year I had emails from the plus size model Emme, and artists Amy Brown and Jessica Galbreth – both who were newly artists at the time.  Also, that was back when ebay was new and reasonably priced, so it was easy to find good artists there that were selling their own work and weren’t some kind of import, mass-market artwork.

Where Writers Work

What does your writing space look like?

I used to like to share images of my art studio and read about the way other artists organized their spaces and decorated.

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Although I still do art and still have plenty of art supplies and use my tiny apartment as both a writing and art studio, this blog is about my writing.  This is where I spend a large portion of each day, blogging, tweeting, tumbling and currently I am writing the second in my Red August series – a modern Red Riding Hood tale set in the 1980s.

I have two screens because I’m also a photographer and do a lot of photo processing.  It actually comes in really handy when writing too – to have documents and research in my left screen and my work in the main screen.

I keep my notebooks nearby.  The Moleskine notebook that says “Ideas” on it is for whenever I have a random writing idea.  For example I had some inspirations about how to frame a modern Cinderella story.  I just grab it and jot them down.  I have a notebook for Red August and a notebook for general erotica and one for the short stories I want to podcast with Will.

I’m hoping to get into vlogging, but I have been somewhat reticent about it.  I’ve found it difficult to just get blogging.  Maybe this week will be the week!  I’m happy to hear any of your vlogging tips!

Below are more images of my space.  Under all of the images are links to some of the stuff in my space – like the composition notebook and where I got that cool “Heather” drawing.

Please be sure to share your studio space with me!  I would love to see it!

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Mermaid watercolor in gold frame – Ching Chou Kuik

Heather graphic art (hand drawn) – Shelly Cusic

Inspirational Clay Tiles – Tammy Vitale

Clay Moo Mini-Card holder – Gina Mai Denn Pottery

The Gilded Tongue – this book is fantastic.  It’s full of all kinds of wonderful words!

Writer’s Market – required tool.

Woe is I – For the grammar phobic.

Moleskine – great for sketching, jotting ideas.  Has a nice vintage feel with its simple design and stitched pages. A trusted medium for decades, for artists and writers to store their ideas.

I wish I could remember the name of the artist who made my mirror.  I’ve long since lost the card.  It was purchased at Main Street Gallery in Prince Frederick, MD, which has closed.

Composition notebook, with its sturdy cardboard cover in black and white splotches is also a trusted medium for writers.  They store nicely and fit well on bookshelves.  The heavy cover means it’s easy to decorate to your liking.

There is a lot of other stuff – but it would take me a while to list them all.  If you have a question about anything specific, let me know.

*** To vegans who have found this studio space blog entry through my Gypsy Siren website – I’ve had the feathers for over ten years.  I don’t buy feathers anymore unless they are synthetic.

Heartstrings

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Do you ever find yourself on the cusp of a feeling and you try to use music to intensify that feeling?

Maybe it’s somewhat silly to even post because people use music to evoke feeling all the time.  For weddings, you’ll find love songs and joyful tunes.  If you’re angry and want to rage against the machine you can, well, listen to Rage Against the Machine.  Of course there is the ever-popular post breakup wallow.

But I’m not really talking about those sorts of things.  I’m talking about finding a feeling.  You feel something welling up in you, but you aren’t certain what it is.  Is it that you’re about to be sad?  Or maybe you’re just feeling particularly loving?

I have restless music days.  Days where I change the channel on Spotify or switch to Songza or Pandora, searching.  What melody, what lyrics, what genre is going to vibrate the correct heartstrings?  It’s like having one of those itches that you scratch, but it moves.  You keep chasing it, but you still have the sensation of the itch, just beneath your skin.

When I find the right music the restlessness settles.  My soul tunes in and I tend to get stuck on it for days.  Looping a limited playlist or even listening to the same song several times in one day.  Sometimes in a row.  The itch is scratched and I use the feelings to make something.