Friday, February 27, 2009

When my dreams came out to face me

I wrote this a few months ago, during the summer. I was living in Philadelphia with my brother and his family at the time, and I was nanny to my baby nephew during the day, while my brother and his wife were at worked. It was a long, long summer. I was left alone for much of the time.

I’m all alone in a mostly empty house. All the time. Or at least until 4 pm. Every weekday. Other than the three cats, two dogs and the baby, I’m alone.

My dreams come out to face me. They look me in the eye and speak (clear evidence that I’m mentally deranged, or schizophrenic). “Why do you ignore us now? There is nothing and no one to get in our way. Write your book. Sing your song. Take dancing lessons.”

I turn away from them and click on safari. I first look to see if there is anyone on line I want to talk to. None. Then I search the web for weird stories about creepy mysteries like big foot, vampires and spring heeled Jack.

“How about that comic book?” one of the smaller, quieter dreams steps out of the group. “You got that computer with me in mind. So why don’t you draw up a final draft of one of your old pages and use that fancy new scanner/copier/printer to put me into your computer. Then google programs for comic colorists. Maybe they’d be expensive, but you’d be a step closer to making me more than a dream. How about it? Please?”

I look up pictures of chupacabras and find videos of the extinct thylacine.

I go up to my room and lie on my bed. I dream of my own secret world, with my own secret friends and family. People that know me, people that I’m not afraid of. One of my taller dreams steps forward to make a plea, “What about me? I’ve already been realized! All you need to do is work on me. You needn’t buy anything, or go out and learn something you don’t know. There are no tools that you don’t have. All you need is patience, diligence and your computer”.

This dream is my book. He’s right, I need only take time, of which I have much, and start to type. Perhaps a little outline would be nice. I shan’t know the end until I get there, but my story will let me know how he should end. “I will!" he says, "As soon as you write me, I will be that story! I’ll tell you how I’m to be ended, once we get there. But you know how we’ve got to start, don’t you?”

Of course I know. However, I was online for all that time, and then I wandered through my fantasy world for so long. Now it is nearly midnight, and I’m very tired. Perhaps I'll start tomorrow. No, definitely tomorrow! When my dreams are my only sentient companions, I cannot deny them for long. Can I?

Here it is! Another link of the day!
Life just keeps getting weirder. This is by far the funniest blog I've come across yet. She is freakin hilarious to no end! From Pan Flute gigs to the Undead of JoAnnes, this gal had me rolling on the floor in endless convulsions of hilarity. You simply MUST check this out.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A page from the notebook (specifically my notebook)


Today I was given this fantastic note pad [really it is truly fantastic. It's this pretty little spiral notebook, and the background of the cover is black, and then it's got pretty, swirling, vine-like designs in silver, with a skull and crossbones (also in silver) overlaying it. It isn't too large. maybe 9 by 6 inches. It's adorable, in a dark kind of way] and seeing as I couldn't stand to see it go unused, I went ahead and began writing in it.

[I was at work and had nothing better to do (slow day for a grocery clerk), plus I wanted to practice my cursive.]

I seriously doubt in my capability to keep a journal, so I shan't say that I will, to save myself the shame and embarrassment later on in about four years when I find it at the bottom of a cardboard box with this as its only entry.

Of course in this case that means I shan't be introducing myself, even as I cross my "i"s and dot my "t"s. [In the notebook I accidentally crossed the "i" in "introducing", rather than dotting it. Hence the rather odd ending to that sentence] Nope. No introduction here. I only intend to write, which is what I'm good at. [That sounds a bit pretentious, in retrospect.] And frankly I ought to practice what I hope to do with my life more often.

[It's true, I hope to be able to write for a living some day. And sell my art. Both, hopefully. Of course that's just my dream, and those don't always come true.]

Really, think about it for a moment. If that's what I intend to do for a career than I had better get used to the idea of doing it all the time, even when I don't really feel like it. The same of course goes for my artistic endeavors. I would love to be able to live off of my art and writing. It is my dream to do so.

Wow. My own raw writing is a little embarrassing. This was just a scribble that I did in that notebook solely because I desired to write in it (because it was such a pretty little notebook).

Then again, Oscar Wilde said that all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. (he did honor poetry, the good and the bad, in his short story The Decay of Lying)

The random scribbled page in my notebook wasn't bad poetry, but it certainly was terrible writing. And definitely genuine feeling.

Perhaps I benefited from my little scribble, after all.


Okay, link of the day!
This is a link to a blog called Jumping in art museums. Yes, it is EXACTLY what it sounds like. And it is FANTASTIC! And to think if I hadn't been googling images of Jackson Pollock paintings for my art history homework, I would never have found it. Thank goodness for college!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's the Green Fairy! And we're not talking Tinkerbell.

Art is inspired by many things: Beauty, Love, Music, Hallucinogens......

Beauty inspires us. We see beauty in the world around us, in the people around us and we want to mimic it. What's that about the best form of flattery being mimicry? And of course love inspires art... love is the greatest of all feelings, and art is the embodiment of feeling. And music? Music is art's audible counterpart! But of course it would be inspiring!

But Hallucinogens now? Where did THAT come from? You read me right, that's not a typo. I'm talking magic mushrooms and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and, right up there with the best of em, Absinthe.

The Green Fairy, they used to call it. Or the Green Muse. Or the Green Goddess. Take your pick of green-tinted hallucinations.

Fairy? Muse? Goddess!? What gave this creepy drink made from worm wood such a special reputation worthy of such glorious names? We know that the rebellious Bohemes of France made it very popular, but aren't we artists particularly well known for leading the lethal statistics of any vice that causes mental illness, alcoholics anonymous, lung cancer and rehab?

(no, not ALL artists are pot smoking, liquor swigging, needle pushing rehab cases, that just seems to be a stereo type they often fall into)

There is some reason to some of our madness.

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people."

~Oscar Wilde

~Vincent Van Gogh

~Pablo Picasso

What is the link between these three geniuses? Art? Yes. Absinthe? Yeah, that too.

I suppose you consider me a drugged up absinthe swilling fiend now. No, not really. I just find it intriguing. Look up these artists. Do you admire them? Do you admire them less now that you know that they at times drank absinthe in search of creativity? Or more, maybe?

What will we turn to next? Personally, I'm hoping for a creativity patch, to wean us off our present vices. It can even have a cool or trendy picture on it, like a skull or a cup of coffee! To apply, peel off of paper backing and slap sticky side onto forehead with hand.

Here's my link of the day!

Oh man, this site is awesome! It adds a button to your tool bar and you just click on that button and it will send you careening across the web waves and you'll find yourself on some of the coolest web sites!! Check it out!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

V day to me is like D day to the Germans... ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!!

Alright, here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my post valentines day blitz!!! Brought to you by all the miserable unloved people out there. (not really. It's just me.)

I have a very special love/hate relationship with valentines day. Actually, I have two very special love/hate relationships with valentines day. Two you ask? Let me explain.

I wear a lot of black, I'm slightly socially awkward, my friends call me eccentric. Various bits of metal are strewn across my skin and I cut and dye my own hair. I like the occasional sad song, like Madeline or Lonely Day, specifically because they're sad. I enjoy bitter, angry metal or rock songs like Love me Dead or The Unthinking Majority because I'm often bitter or angry.

However, there is a separate side to my personality. (no, I am not a schkitzo)

I am a hopeless romantic. I have dreamed up a thousand different ways to meet a hundred different men of my dreams. I have an innate joy that shows through regardless of how I'm really feeling. I am unique and excited to live, love and explore. I wear sweet victorian corsets and gauntlets, dreaming of a fantastical dark love that I'm destined for.

On occasion I wait at my register for some handsome artist to come by, purchase my favorite bouquet from the flower stand, and hand it straight back when I finish bagging his purchase.

Yup. Two sides of one funky mirror. Tell your attractive, artistic gentlemen friends.

The angry, gothy side of my personality hates valentines day, just like it's supposed to, just as you would expect. But that angry goth side also loves to HATE valentines day. I enjoy being miserable during such a holiday. It just feels so fulfilling, I suppose. I'm fulfilling my pleasure for angry songs and sad songs. I'm fulfilling my obsession with tears. And that feels good.

The romantic, however, is different. I hate valentines day because I never have a valentine. That romantic desperately wants to be loved by some special man. And she HATES to see all the lovey doveys that populate the holiday. Why should mediocre personalities like those have love when there is a deeply romantic character over here who's got nothing!? No fair. BUT valentines day is all about love. And what romantic can deny true love?

I love it like Christian did love Satine, and like Amelie does love Nino, and like Helena might one day love Valentine.

All you need is love.

link of the day:
Beautiful, funny, stupid, fantastic stories. All told in one sentence, from people all over the place, in life and otherwise.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Shorthand of Emotion

Leo Tolstoy said that music is the shorthand of emotion.

I'd agree, and I'd elaborate on his brilliant philosophy with another bold statement:
Art is the embodiment of feeling.

All art, each different kind, is another part of emotion, another part of the whole. Emotion is a being that can be seen, heard and known through art. Poetry and writing are her character, paintings show her face, sculptures reveal her body, and music is her voice. Mankind is her soul.

Meet the spirit that separates man from beast.

Try to think about it for a moment. Do you know any artists? Any kind? I don't just mean painters, the general artists, I also mean the singers and the writers and the actors. They are artists too.

What do they do that makes their art so delightful? Can you tell me? You might not be able to, if you aren't the artist. I'm not saying that the artist is special and you aren't. I'm saying that only the artist knows what they were feeling, what they were thinking when they did it.

The paintings, the music, the words, they are all feelings.

Of course there is the occasional artist that feels nothing. They just do it to get attention, to please the crowds. These are what Poltok, the author of "My Name is Asher Lev", called "art whores".

(I highly recommend that book for any artist or lover of art, or anyone that just wants inspiration- it's truly fantastic)

Now I'm not leaving the poor bastard children of these art whores out in the cold. They are often adopted and given feeling by the patrons that buy them and the public that adores them. They too end up embodying art.

What can you do with this sweet bite of knowledge?

Feel. Feel because it is beautiful. You can write it, you can draw it, paint it, sing it or sculpt it, or you can keep it in your heart and cherish it. Just feel.


I'm trying something new! Here's my link of the day! (the first one EVAR!)
She's clever and funny! I really enjoy reading her posts. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A bit of fiction

Below I've pasted an edited out-take from one of the novels I'm currently writing.
This week it's for your pleasure only.

One single tear rolled down the dirt smudged, bloody face of a dying father. He had watched his family die before his eyes while he lay helpless. But his family’s hardships were over. Soon his would be too. All he need do was wait, to slowly spiral down into the peaceful dark of death. The crunch of approaching footsteps echoed strangely in the finally quiet valley. A tall, pale, young looking man stood just in the edge of his vision. He seemed to swirl and glow, and then slowly turn red, in the eyes of the dying man.
“Do you know that you are the last one?” The young man’s voice was sudden, unwelcome in so quiet a place. It seemed like he was shouting in a graveyard; for that's where they were, in a giant, open, mass grave. “You haven’t even the camaraderie of your dying companions. They all died quickly. They didn’t have the time to think about it. I hope you’re taking advantage of your unique opportunity”. His voice was quiet, and deep; and yet it was so hard, so cold. He settled himself down on the wheel of an upturned cart. The horse was being eaten by flies and maggots, still lying where it had fallen, still strapped to the cart. The same cart that had trapped the poor father. He had run from the sides of his companions as they were being slain to save his family.
His wife had been at home and unprotected, caring for their children. He’d been in the fields working with the others. They had come from the forest, and the men on the furthest edges of the field never had a chance. He and those around him had formed a loose line, and prepared to fight this monstrous… army? It was! Somehow these beasts formed what looked like military formations. They charged. Really, considering how easily they slew the men, their organized attack was unnecessary. Overkill. When the men around him started dying, he turned and ran. He had to save his family. The village was doomed.
“Juliet! JULIET!” He’d been shouting his wife’s name. If he hurried, maybe, just maybe they might escape into the woods. Running was the only option by then. The enemies were sweeping through the town, right on his heels. He could hear the screams of his friends and comrades all around him. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who had turned and run. Snarls and roars surrounded him. There were shadows around every corner. Screams and shouts of dying men rent the air. A woman’s high-pitched scream carried over every other sound. They were attacking the women and children. His hut was at the very edge of the village… if he could just make it… There was a crash, and a horse’s frightened whinny, followed by a loud clattering. He threw a glance toward the noise just in time to see a horse drawn cart slam into him, and fall on top of him. His head hit the stone street with a sickening crack!
He woke what must have been moments later to his wife’s desperate screams. She was standing in the doorway, shielding the children, a five-year-old girl and two boys, one seven and other only three years old. His head throbbed, and the back of his skull felt warm and wet. The cart had crushed him, and he was pinned from just below his chest all the way down to his feet. A giant, scaly creature, like a lizard standing on two legs, faced his terrified wife, slowly stalking forward. In its hand was a horrible weapon, like a mace, but with long, sharp spikes on one end, and a bloody hook on the other. Not that this creature really needed weapons. Each of its fingers was tipped with a long, sharp claw. It grinned, showing two rows of sharp yellowed teeth. The man tried to shout out, but only a labored groan escaped his crushed lungs. The creature turned its head to look at him with crimson eyes that glowed out of the rotted skull of something that used to be alive. Now he could see that bits of flesh hung off of the creature’s bony frame, and the flesh, which must have originally been a healthy green, was now a tired old grey. The monster reeked with the stench of the grave. Three new beasts leapt up on top of the little hut. They looked like twisted, emaciated wolves. Their limbs were long, and should have been too wiry for such a huge frame. They were nearly skeletal. Still, regardless of their lean frame they were colossal. Their combined weight was too much for the little house. The roof came crashing down on the children. The woman screamed as the reptilian monster launched it self at his wife. None of it lasted long, but it seemed an eternity to a helpless father and husband.
The entire battle had not been long. In fact, it had not really been a battle at all. It was a massacre. The ones in charge of protecting the people were nothing more than a small village’s unprepared men. They were not soldiers. They were farmers and hunters. Such a small place had nothing to offer its attackers, except perhaps for food and water, the bare essentials. Yet the army that marched against them was too large for a tiny village such as this to provide any meaningful sustenance. Surely the people of the village had not been in the way! They were innocent and insignificant, useless and powerless. This was murder. The tiny town was just practice, just a little bit of fun to an army as great as the one that had stomped through here. What made their odds of survival all the worse was the fact that this was not an army of men. It was an army that none could believe existed, made up of monsters and men that might as well have been monsters.
Surely the strange young man must be mad. All of the innocent lives lost, and he was being philosophical. It seemed horrible, one last cruel violation of the hearts of the people of the slain village. He was right, though. The dying man was the last of his village. The other men, and all the women and children, were dead. Small flames licked at the remainders of the houses, which were all that was left. It was kind of peaceful, now that the dying man thought of it. His eyes followed his spirit’s languid flight to the heavens, and never closed again.
“Pathetic”. The young man said it to no one in particular, with distain dripping from his voice. Everyone was gone now. “His last moments on this earth and he chose to think about peace and quiet”. His cold words seemed to settle over the village like a shroud. The sun was setting, and mist swirled at the edges of the village. Eyes peered through the misty darkness, and bizarre, twisted shadows began to take shape. A lone snarl came from the forest behind the crushed hut. It seemed to pose a question more than a threat. “Yes, alright. I’m coming. Let’s go”. An icy chill swirled from one edge of the decimated village to the other, and the young man was gone. The menacing shadows melted into the softer shadows of the twilight hour.
A rattling came from the crushed hut at the edge of the village, and then the soft crying of a child.

Input, people! Let me know what you think. Thanks! I hope you enjoyed it.