Monday, December 31, 2012

The Art of Connections

I used to abhor science--even more than nature abhors a vacuum!  I defined myself as an artist, and at least during my high school years that definition did not include science.

"Creativity" by Nina Boyd
Looking back on that time now, I'm almost sure I hated science so much because it didn't come as naturally to me as the worlds of drawing and writing did.  I probably could have cleaned up if I had been the type to charge classmates for essay-writing services, but balancing equations or memorizing the parts of a cell?  No one could have paid me to do that!

Nowadays, I'm buying the National Geographic magazine, browsing the Hubble Telescope site for fun, and checking out library books by Michio Kaku--and reading them!  I suppose just like my high school interests, my long-dormant appetite for science is still very one-sided...

Well, at least it's there.

Photo: Joe McNally
The photo to the left is a stunning shot of the monitors at NASA's Advanced Supercomputing facility in California--but it's also so much more than that.  The silhouette of an anonymous scientist points at images of the heavens, which are so far away and yet so close.  They literally glow with possibility.  The photograph is truly awe-inspiring, and in National Geographic is aptly captioned "Window on the Universe."  The seemingly endless nebulae that were once unreachable now virtually reside in our backyard.

Space has a way of simultaneously commanding respect and inviting exploration.  Looking at this photograph, how can we not stand in awe of humankind's never-ending quest for knowledge?  How far we came, once we found our way.

The image makes me think of cavemen, and which of them might have been the first to try to illustrate nature.  Which one of them stood in front of a cold, stone wall and reached up to make that first mark, enriching humanity's purpose forever?  Doesn't art, in its ever-expanding nature, provide a platform for exploring new worlds?  A single mark can take us so far, whether in the name of art or in the name of science.  It's all connected.  If you want to draw inspiration, all you need to do is look up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

News from the Writing Front!

I have finally, finally found a website to use for my writing.  This site is great: easy to use, accessible everywhere, and has a very organized look to it.  The best part is the virtual lack of formatting involved in posting stories.  Other sites I've used are intended as print on demand services, and the writer/poster has to do quite a bit to conform documents to various printing requirements. While the end result can turn out shiny and impressive, I haven't found lots of readers willing to buy an expensive product from an unknown writer.  This leaves the writer with a great looking book that may never be opened. is really targeted more at online readers.  An uploaded story can be shared as a complete work or posted in serialized form, and can gain readership instantly.  Thank you, SCBWI newsletter!

I'm proud to share a novel on my page that many of my friends are familiar with.  Please visit my wattpad page to read The Lady and the Minstrel, or check out my short stories.

What's next?  Immersing myself in new book cover designs....oh, Christmas, when you're over I won't be leaving my art table for weeks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Thank You...

Another big "Thank You" to the second person to purchase Train.  What a lovely early Christmas present!  There is nothing more encouraging than affirmation that your work is appreciated. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I, for one, would miss the Post Office...

"The Post Office is really good at what it does, we just don’t need it.  No more than we need a good horse shoe, or small offset printing press (or newspaper, magazine or CRT monitor.)

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"The boomer generation will wax nostalgic about the post office.  We’ll weave in “mail” stories with others about days before ubiquitous air conditioning, when all we had was AM radio in the car and 3 stations of black & white television at home.  It will be fun to reminisce.
But our children, and certainly grandchildren, simply won’t care.  Not at all.  And we better remember to keep the stories short, so they can be related in 140 characters or less if we want them saved for posterity!"
~Forbes Magazine, "Why the Postal Service is Going Out of Business"

There's something to be said for receiving Christmas cards in the mail.  During most of the year, my mail box is filled with unwanted ads, even more unwanted bills, and the occasional notice from a vet or dentist office that's designed to look like a personal letter.  While I communicate constantly with friends and family through texting, email, and phone calls, none of this compares to the magic of holiday cards in the mail box once December hits.

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I love getting Christmas mail, and I love sending it.  Aside from the fun of actually designing and drawing my Christmas cards, I also look forward to dressing them in envelopes, sealing the flap with a Victorian Santa sticker, and completing the package with a Christmas stamp before I leave it in the care of one of those vanishing blue mail drop boxes--all very old-fashioned, I'm sure, but as much a part of the season to me as hot chocolate and wrapping presents.

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So say what you will about the irrelevancy of the post office, Forbes Magazine--I'll continue mailing Christmas greetings out of Sacramento to family and friends, whether they live in Lodi or Los Angeles--and unlike a fast easy text, although instantaneous, a personalized, individually created message that takes two days or more to reach its recipient is a true cup of cheer.

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