25 Bookish Things About Me

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My most recent acquisitions. All about the art.

Thanks to LKD over at Gin & Lemonade – With a Twist for inadvertently giving me a really fun writing exercise for this lovely Saturday morning. You can read her elegant and funny list by clicking HERE.

  1. I don’t finish books that I’m not enjoying.
  2. This sometimes creates an embarrassing gap in my book list.
  3. I’ve kept a list of the books I read for probably three decades.
  4. I don’t usually give in to jealousy, but the green goblin squeezed my heart when I read about Pamela Paul’s My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Life Ensues.
  5. I will eventually have to read said book.
  6. I read most of my books on my Kindle Fire
  7. I read most of my fiction in bed, and I sleep better since the Kindle Fire, as it turns itself off and I don’t end up with the lights on all night.
  8. Most of what I read is borrowed from the library.
  9. I assuage my guilt about this by buying hard copies of books I like as gifts, mostly for my mother.
  10. I make a conscious effort to buy books because I know that the library won’t have new books if we don’t support publishing. Plus I love authors.
  11. The subject matter of most of the physical books I’ve bought recently is art inspiration/instruction, travel, history, and writing.
  12. Literary historical fiction is my favorite.
  13. I love the way that I find parts of myself even in books that seem to be about people very different from me, like Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
  14. Years ago, I decided to read books by both men and women, but to mostly buy books by women. I don’t mind if you judge me for this.
  15. I usually have 2-3 books in progress. Or four.
  16. I love when a book sweeps me off my feet like a lover who knows how to dance. These books never last quite long enough.
  17. I spent a lot of the summer between eighth and ninth grade reading The Count of Monte Cristo while sitting in the arms of a huge tree, congratulating myself on the fact that I really enjoyed it.
  18. I still like reading outside, but I seldom do so.
  19. I don’t have reading snacks like Lorna does, but if I did it would be coffee and chocolate. Or tea and homemade shortbread. Or iced tea and orange slices.
  20. I wrote a book and an agent shopped it around, and I’m deeply ashamed at how much the rejection rocked my faith.
  21. I have written more than 50,000 words on three additional books, but have not finished them. This still brings tears to my eyes.
  22. I have filled more than 50 notebooks since I started journaling when I was 13 (same age as Anne Frank). I know that they are nobody’s treasures but my own. I still write.
  23. The first authors I followed were Marguerite Henry and Ray Bradbury.
  24. I get a big thrill out of adding a new book to Goodreads.
  25. My Mom taught me that with a some effort what you read in books can lead to what happens in real life.

Okay, now tell me something bookish about you. Or make your own bookish list and post it on your blog or in the comments here.

I’m also so very open to book recommendations.  Pretty please?

Keeping the Peace

The planting instructions say that this Peace rose needs at least six hours of direct sunlight. I don’t think they had a Southern California heatwave in mind, though.

It’s 105 in the shade in the back yard, so goodness knows how hot it is on the west side of the house this afternoon. My smart mother suggested this easy fix!  I cut slits in an old busted up umbrella so the wind won’t catch it so easily and put it over the rose.

Temperatures are supposed to rise over 100 degrees every day for the next week.  Laying low on the edge of the desert.

Where There’s Smoke

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Samantha Fields talks about her process at the Museum of Art & History in Lancaster, CA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Dana and I went to see the new MOAH exhibit “Made in the Mojave” with our friends Teresa and Mary last Saturday afternoon.  (Great new tradition, I hope!) I fell in love with Samantha Field’s work, especially these wildfire paintings, so I went back on Tuesday for her artist’s walk through.

She described how she does field research on storms and fires, how she preps each canvas with layer upon layer of superfine acrylic paint to create a smooth base. Some of the many photographs and sketchbooks she works from, including ones bordered by paint color samples, were on display.  She talked about the many layers of superfine paint with which she builds each image.

It was interesting, in spite of all the evidence, to hear some of the questions and comments from the assembled group that strove to confirm that making art is a matter of divine inspiration, inaccessible to most people.  I’m just an observer, but it seems that there is movement toward demystifying the creation of art these days. The curator, in her introduction to the exhibit, talked about the “makers” represented rather than the “artists.” I’ve heard this terminology before. We can all imagine ourselves making something.

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You think you know what you’re looking at in Fields’ work, and then a pair of headlights catches your eye. The world shifts. This, to me, is the secret of desert landscapes in life. You have to spend some time with them to understand them.

A few of us hung out after most of the crowd left to explore the rest of the museum. One young artist challenged Fields’ use of canvas rather than more modern, already smooth surfaces.

She explained that she hasn’t found anything more archival or flexible than canvas, even though she has to do so much to prepare it for her purposes. She once sold a large piece to a corporate client; it had to be taken off the frame and rebuilt in the space because of a narrow stairway. That couldn’t have happened with a rigid base.

Fields also told how a friend sold work done on a rigid surface. It went to a home in Malibu where the humidity caused the paint to bubble and slough off.  Heart-breaking!

“These,” she grinned, gesturing at her work, “Will be here in a thousand years!”

 

 

 

I Give Up!

I downloaded three apps and spent an hour of my creative time this morning trying to blur out the writing on the page next to my journal drawing of my new uke. Finally,  in frustration, I cut up a nearby junk mail envelope and used it to mask the writing.  Score one for analog? I doubt it.

Here is a photo of the actual ukulele. Also, an “I Give Up” to the temptation of a nice instrument. (I am surrounded by enabling influences!) I sold my Fluke months ago, so the money from that went into this. I love the slightly funky sound.

This is not to be misconstrued as any claim to proficiency on said instrument. I’m working on it, okay?

Anyway, I think the drawing conveys more of my feelings about the new uke than the photograph.

Random Heart

Some images from the couple of days after the Run for the Color, when we returned to the park for our regularly scheduled morning walk/jog.

Does anyone else see a heart in that tire track in the middle of the color leftover from the starting line of the 5K?

After the Dance

After the dance

Louise and I saw a wonderful performance of Bollywood and regional Indian dance given by Karmagraphy at the L.A. Central Library last Sunday.


This is a snippet of one of the dances. So energetic and fun! Made me want to go back  to Zumba.

The whole audience was up and dancing at the end when they showed us a few moves.