Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art and Evil.

Recently, I have been thinking about whether the artist, or those who patronize Art, can / should be separated from their talent/artistic endeavors and their evil actions/intentions.

IE: The Borgias (Lucrezia above) or Albert Speer, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, etc. Hence Stephen Fry's angst over loving Wagner's music.

Can you divorce your appreciation for a work of art or an object, such as a beautifully crafted pistol, from its purpose - to hurt, control, kill, wound or maim a human being?

Hard questions.
Often I have sincerely loved an artist's work and found that appreciation ruined by the later discovery that the artist in question is, on a personal level, nasty.

No easy answers.
Still thinking.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

JA and Barry dialogue with Anon Big Publisher on Amazon and the best deal for Authors

JA Konrath and Barry Eisler talk Amazon vs Traditional Publishers.

Yesterday, a big bestseller (really big) Barry and I know and respect emailed Barry in response to our post Publishing is a Lottery/Publishing is a Carny Game. The bestseller’s thoughts were so interesting we decided to post them here, anonymously, with our response. We hope the person in question will offer some additional comments, whether anonymously or otherwise, because this is exactly the kind of conversation we hoped our post would elicit. And we hope we’ll hear from many more people who can offer different perspectives based on different vantage points within the industry.

I love these guys....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Experiments in self publishing


I put a rough draft of my novel Ace of Wands up at a year or so ago to hopefully receive some helpful feedback from, yanno, the entire planet or something. While it did get 900+ hits and a few stars, the commentary function at Wattpad kinda sucks, and helpful crit was not forthcoming.

In short, what I have learned is that two or three good writing friends who get you and your work are worth the ENTIRE internet all together....

SO thanks to my readers Mindy, Dana and Lynn for kicking my creative butt, offering shoulders when needed and in short, being amazingly amazing friends in times of creative crisis. You guys are my rocks....

I am a very lucky person.
Sometimes I forget that.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cerebus is a comic that Dave Sim began back in 1977. I have been collecting it since... oh... 1984ish
It is one of those rare stories (6000 pages!!!) that I try to read each year.

Check it out. Cerebus, which is not without controversy, gives a lot of food for thought.*
*IE:  why you should never fart around your butler.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Phun with Photoshop

 I love this filter for comic art^
 The parchment filter has a nice effect if you start with hi key images ^
Fnally ended up with this which I am calling:

Tears in the Rain:
Same collage but with a mix of radically different filters to create very different moods.
Was going for ethereal with the darkening sky, the ancient Pictish icons and the white-tailed eagle.

Apparently these very rare and beautiful birds are still shot and poisoned by farmers in the UK because they are perceived as a threat to lambs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Part Two, Fenella Morven, Neil Oliver Superfan gets a shock

Follow up Interview with Neil Oliver superfan, 
Fenella Morven, Founder of S.N.O.G.M.E.
October 2013, Stirling Gazette (Part two)
Bannockburn’s Fenella Morven knits knotty neckwear in homage to Neil Oliver
By Isabel Forneri
(Part one is here) 

Whatever Fenella Morven uses to keep her energy up, I hope it is legal and over the counter. Bannockburn’s most prolific knitter has long completed her 1/1000 scale model of Hadrian’s Wall which is almost 450 feet in length, and a source of great temptation for her neutered tomcat, Clawmore. It will be featured at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre during Bannockburn LIVE events next summer. (The wall, not the cat.)

The Society of Neil Oliver’s Gregarious Matronly Enthusiasts (SNOGME) founder is already at work on her next endeavour, an insanely clever series of long but practical scarves that quote lengthy passages from her favorite archaeologist’s various books in precise Viking RUNIC letters.

She is a minor celebrity in her own right, her armor work highly sought after by SCA members and Renaissance Festival aficionados. “The commissions alone are keeping Clawmore in the top of the line kitty food, aren’t they, my dear!” She nudges the surly cat away from a finely wrought silk tassel with the tip of her slipper. “I had no idea what some of these re-enactor types across the pond would pay for knitted, steel wool chainmail. It’s astonishing!”
I glance through a list of runic translations on her table nearby. She shyly, and hastily, covers the paper with a skein of Midsummer Blue “Knotty Thought Super Soft Oliver Twist”, but not before I notice one old limerick which read;
The Vikings were ready to flee
They'd plundered, would now put to sea
While they'd been invadin'
A young English maiden
Was smitten, and cried "Wait for me!"

Impulsively, I ask her about her first unrequited crush. She blushes deeply. “Oh well now! That was a ways ago.” She pretends to think about it, then decides to spill. “John Grierson.” she confesses. “There is just something about Scottish men who make documentaries, I suppose.”

Curious, I inquire as to her thoughts on Mr. Oliver’s forthcoming projects in balmy Australia, which require no protective scarves, far less layers and more surf style fashion sensibilities. She blanches in horror. “HE IS GOING WHERE??" Somewhere a vase shatters.  Her hand trembles violently as she pours a hearty slug of 12 year old single malt into her tea mug. “I JUST KNIT AN ENTIRE ARCTIC LINE OF RUDE RUNIC SCARVES IN HIS COLOURS!!” 
The cat flees upstairs with a pathetic yowl.

Fenella collapses and snivels for an age into a lacy hankie, her sobs interspersed with what sounds like gaelic curses. 3 mugs later she settles down some, and the Clawmore the cat comes out of hiding. “I canna...” she cries, flipping through a thick file until she finds a single pattern for a 1970 era Speedo. “There's just no challenge in this thong!”

Exhausted, she cuts the interview short. I wish her well and flee to the Bannockburn Inn for liquid fortitude. Andy stands me a drink. “It got bad for her back in 1972 when Grierson passed,” he tells me. “She’ll get over it once Neil does a Coast series on Newfoundland or something.”

For poor Fenella’s sake, I truly hope so.