Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shaman in Exile - back on track

So it all seems to be coming together - all on the same day.  Sometimes synchronicity is so majestic it makes me shudder. I've been working in my head on the ending for Shaman in Exile, changing some angles in some of the plot lines, filling out new characters and waiting for two days together when I have the stamina to write the last chapter (I'd already written one but that may not be the one that stays).  I see two new doctors in December so that should help with the other half of my health issues.
Then today I get an email from Steve Viner, artist extraordinaire, after his show in England and he was wondering what was up with Shadow Archer Press and he wants to get painting. So I wrote he's agreed to doing the cover art for Shaman in Exile, and perhaps another book of short stories by a many time Fissure author. 
Steve has been one of my go to cover artists since his work is so profoundly odd and disturbing. Along with the cover for my novel,  Shaman Circus, he did the covers for for the books The Winter King by Michael Aaron Casares, The Holy Hermaphrodite by Antony Hitchin, Tinted Steam by Constance Stadler, and the as co-creator of The Moulding of Seers by Petra Whitely where Steve did the cover and interior illustrations. 
Shortly after I sent the last message to Steve, a new song came up that's the perfect song to write the last chapter - it says it all.  I won't name the song yet, it's just been released. And then onto the editing which I usually like to do in January and February when there are not so many other distractions such as Open Studios, Steampunk Cons, etc.
And I'm off this weekend to the Upstate Steampunk Con in Anderson, SC which promises to be the best yet as our numbers are growing and some of the technical creations of the mechanical wizards in our group are magnificent.  I won't be on any panels this year but will enjoy attending some - there's so many delicious offerings.
Now I have to get back to work on the Shadow Archer Press Website. For some reasons, it took off a lot of the art and photography - so I'll have to get all that fixed. 
Above cover art is one of my favorite pieces by Steve. It's not the cover for Shaman in Exile, but it's one of my favorites of his works which we haven't published. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Past, Present Future Spirals

The Fates or Furies - Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos have been making their presence known in my life.  While they have hung around in the background in the past, their touch was more subtle, through metaphor, but recently they've been highly insistent with all the blunt force trauma of an ancient celt to the head. The thread of their insistence was  too prominent to ignore.
The first incident occurred when John and I went to see Cloud Atlas. Granted I was pr4epared for a treat after seeing the previews, but had no idea the movie would be the best kaleidescopic epic I'd ever seen, not just in the visuals, but in the storylines as well.  The theater was almost abandoned, but even though it was a matinees, I thought there would be more people there.  Hopefully that was just the case in the south, and other parts of the country saw higher attendance, but perhaps its one of those films where those who need to see it will, and it may gain a following over time.
 The cast sweated over this one and each member of the cast brought their best to the many changes facets of the role(s) they played.  Tom Hanks was frighteningly brilliant - I can't think of a better word.  No actor I've ever seen has taken on such a task and his performance is still hard to wrap my head around.
Jim Broadbent and Haile Berry were mesmerizing in their roles as well. Watching the three left me with my jaw dropping wonder and profound gratitude which is also due to the producers and directors finding the for never giving up on raising the money to produce the most expensive Indie film so far . I can't wait to read David Mitchell's book and I'm glad I saw the movie first because so often they can't offer as much as the book. I'll have to watch the movie over and over to catch all the nuances of his characters - including the fact he learned a language not of this earth.
John announced it was his favorite movie of all time - and it's dueling it out with my top slot - but I need to see it again and again because I know I missed so much beneath the many layers.
The second thread of connections was in regard to Shadow Archer Press - I can't ignore three events reminding me how much I enjoyed discovering revolutionary authors and poets, finding cover artists and putting the books together.  First I saw the Facebook invitation for UK artist Steve Viner's, art opening, who created a number of covers for the press as well as the cover of my novel.  If I had the money, that would have been all the incentive I needed to fulfill of llfe-long dream of going to England.  I so wish I could have been there to support him in this pivotal event in his art career.
  And then I received Tim Speaker's book of poetry Le Saison de Moyenne,  The Mean Season  in the mail and it is just the type of book I would have jumped at when I had the time and resources to run the press. Disturbing, profound, invasive in the way it makes one think about things they don't want to but need to.  I'm going to contact him and see if he has enough poetry for another volume and that will be the starting point for me opening the press back up.  in addition, John Gordon, frequent short story contributor to fissure Magazine has another story for me to read which will make enough for a chapbook with the stories he sent me a few years ago. I'll have the time now to return to a business I loved more than any other work I did, even though I loved many of the jobs and small businesses over the years.   
The third thread, of course, related back to Jung and the in depth studies I've been doing over the past six months. Cloud Atlas, alchemy, quantum physics and a number of other threads are coming together in a way they haven't before. It's hard to describe because its internal but the books have been showing up again in thrift stores and at flea markets, along with a number of break through dreams.
Funny how when we refuse to look in the right direction, the universe catches us with a string of events which can't be ignored.  Often, I need to be hit over the head to change my perception and perspective but am highly rewarded when I do, even though it requires some heavy duty and painful self examination and soul searching.

Sometimes there are stark reminders that all is not as we think it is. Physicists now talk about how the world is as we perceive it rather than just is. Our view of the world, the universe, and all its wonders may be different from every other single human being's view. All we have to do is take the time to look.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Open Studios - high inspiration

It was another great year for Open Studios in Greenville, SC where Mark, Kendall and I toured our favorites and met some new artists.  We started off at White Whale Studios, saw Jason again who made the great journal I bought last year, met with Patty Brady and had the chance to see portrait artist, Craig King,  who made my draw drop.  He does the best charcoal portraits I've ever seen outside of a museum.
But when I asked him if he gave lessons, he told me he taught trombone. He's given me incentive to draw some more portraits after the four I did recently -  two of Jeff and two of my good friend, John, one of him when he was about 19 in his punk, goth days and another of him now.  I don't use charcoal - too messy for me and I can't control it and I don't do photo realism, but rather expressionism, but still, Craig's use of shading and detail is mind boggling.
Then we headed off to The Art Bomb Company on one of the most gorgeous days of the year and had a chance to see more of the goodies from Diane Kilgore, Paul and Gregg Flint, Teri Pena and our friend, Tim  Speaker, We had a great conversation with Tim who had been looking for us, since we were two of the first people to welcome him to
Greenville a few years ago. During the conversation I couldn't stop looking at one of his pieces.  I had spied it from the door as soon as I entered, and it caught me somewhere in the gut.  I couldn't take my eyes off those eyes.  Finally I walked over to check the price and lo and behold it was amazingly doable. I was ecstatic!! I haven't bought original art in forever. I think the last piece I added to my collection was the Linotype I made at Artisphere last year at the movable Print Factory.
So I added another artist to my collection of original art and am thrilled. I have it hanging in my bedroom now while I figure out what this poor guy is trying to tell me. I should be disturbed by him, but I'm not - instead I relate to him.
 When you read Tim's biography and philosophy of what he tries to do with his art it's amazing.  Tim has a unique perspective, since he lived in various states of blindness for 4 years when he was 18 and underwent corneal transplants. His paintings show this agony and the dichotomy between opposites of light/dark.

Perhaps I relate because it has something to do with the way I felt during the time I was sick recently when I couldn't fathom what  happened when my body stopped processing potassium and I ended up with a number of emergency room visits and complications. 
Mark and I loved Tim's work ever since we first saw his rather disturbing paintings and collages on cardboard and we were so glad we had a new artist in Greenville willing to take risks and make people think.
After I have a chance to read Tim's book of poetry, Le Saison De Moyen The Mean Season,  (it just arrived YAY!).  I'll write a post on why this painting grabbed me.  
Onto the Village Studios where Kendall bought her first two pieces of original art.  She already has two in her room, but those I painted or picked out.  When she saw two word block pieces of Paris by Susannah Mele, Kendall was in heaven, since she wants to visit there due to her interest in fashion design. Let alone the fact, she's a romantic like her grandmother.  I'm so glad she loves art and reading as much as I do and once collectors buy their first piece they will never hang mass produced art on their walls again. I'm so proud my granddaughter, in addition to her mother, is now one of the folks supporting the arts community and making sure the arts will flourish in Greenville. Something we need big time in order to ensure the balance of the soul of the city with the rapid high tech growth.
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