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1. Art Done Right

Art Done RightWherein I visit an artist who marches to a different dromenon.

Dromenon, an old word that might change the way we make art.

Dromenon: art done right.

Art done so right that it not only provokes the gods but leaves them with no choice but to show up at your launch.

Meet artist Ramon Kubicek.

Ramon Kubicek believes in all this dromenon business. Or so I discover when I bust into his studio as he’s buzzing around in preparation for an upcoming exhibition.

I’m met with bees.

“Bees of the Invisible,” says Kubicek. “It’s my theme, borrowed from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.”

Sure enough, bees are depicted in many of the images. Bees and humanoids and cityscapes and maps and collage and black holes and deep seas and all of a colour palette that’s deceptively happy.

“Bees make us think of the sweetness of life,” says Kubicek, “so I’m hoping we’ll ask ourselves what we’re doing with our own lives. What is our contribution? What do we produce?”

One honey-coloured canvas Kubicek calls “Melissae,” who in Greek mythology were bee-priestesses, nymphs that nursed the infant Zeus not on milk but honey. Melissa means Queen Bee.

Kubicek explains that Rilke saw artists as bees gathering experience from the material world and then returning with it to “the great golden hive of the Invisible.”

Feelings, imagination, and spirit—that’s the hive—the inner life of the artist.

The invisible inner life of the artist

“Working with materiality until it becomes a part of our inner lives, and then offering it up to the world as “honey” or “art,” is not about making money or a big social splash. It is about receiving, and then giving to others, to the gods, a gift.”

Since our creativity is a gift, we artists are obliged to gift our works back to the gods.

Art returned to the source—that’s art done right.

That’s dromenon.

The best art is transformative

The ancient Greeks believed that dromenon compelled the gods to come down from the mountain and mingle with the hoi polloi. Think about it—wherever people gather to appreciate good art—at exhibitions, live performances, book launches—the sacred is present.

“What a wonderful basis for the making of art!” says Kubicek.

Kubicek is sincere. I have long known him as a writer and artist who believes in the transformative power of art.

“People went to the Greek drama festivals to see their favorite plays,” Kubicek says. “And in the process they might experience catharsis and healing.”

And why not? Rubbing shoulders with the gods, something might actually rub off. A little godliness, perhaps. Whatever godliness means to you.

What does godliness mean to you?

To me it means taking myself less seriously. Not taking things personally. And seeing the big picture. All in aid of transcending human pettiness. Or as I like to say, to unselve myself.

I show up at the opening reception at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery to see if Kubicek has provoked the gods with his art.

I ask a white-haired gentleman if he’s a god. “Farthest thing from it,” he says. So I hang out near my favourite canvases hoping for a god-spotting.

kubicek-ship-of-foolsI like “Ship of Fools.”

I see people in boats, things floating on water—or is it air?

“It speaks of a voyage,” Kubicek explains. “We sense a journey, physical or spiritual.”

Kubicek points out people left behind. “The most beautiful moments are about loss,” he says. “The best moments are fleeting, such as a child growing up, or a sun setting.”

Meaning what?—that loss and transience are blessings?

Bees of Invisible“Bees of the Invisible” features an ominous vortex.

“It’s the dark centre of something where we might vanish and be transformed,” says Kubicek.

I see strange letters in the composition. “The Aramaic alphabet,” he says, “the language of Jesus.”

All very mysterious, leaving me scratching my head, as if life itself had a secret centre we are not meant to easily comprehend.

This is Kubicek’s “honey”—a vivid and mysterious yet playful take on our transient existence.

Says Kubicek:

“I like Rilke’s articulation—art and honey. It might be easy to see each as non-essential, until one imagines [bees] gone from the world. Today, we live in a time of ecological stress and our heedless treatment and killing of bees threatens both the natural world and our own survival. This mistreatment exists in parallel with our loss of inner life and our confusion about the role of art.

DSCN6140I’m still looking for any sign of the gods.

Am I missing something?

Let me know if you see one.

And whoever this creature is — does anyone have her phone number?


DSCN6119But I leave the art gallery buzzing with a certain sweet contentment.

Gods or no gods, Kubicek has done something right.


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2. The Artistic Revival of Austin Brigs, Part 2

via Gurney Journey http://ift.tt/1Ir0Q1D

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3. Reader Means Carrier

One thing I've learned the last decade or so as a reader--make sure to have at least two things to read at all times when leaving the house and it's not a horrible idea to have something that you have been holding off starting sitting in the back seat of your car to boot.

Sparks - May We Shed These Human BodiesThe vast majority of the time I'm out and about, I don't care at all if I get to where I'm headed and there's a big line--that's reading time. Go out for a walk--reading time (be careful though). Even the dreaded traffic jam--while I'm usually a little more upset as I'll most likely be late to where I'm going, it's still reading time.

However, make SURE you have at least two things to read. A couple of books, a book and your eReader, at least a couple of new choices on the eReader, a journal or two. ONE TIME is all it took--maybe 7 or 8 years ago I only took one book with me to the  bank. It Henley - Other Heartbreakswas a Friday after work and there were probably 60 people in line ahead of me. I finished what I had been toting around with a good 20 people still ahead of me. I'm all for re-reading great stuff, but rarely do I start up the second I finish. Since then, at least two things with me every time I go out.

Today I was toting around a couple of story collections I probably should have been toting around at least a few years ago:  May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks (Curbside Splendor) and Other Heartbreaks by Patricia Henley (Engine Books)--two great writers representing two fantastic publishers.

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4. Artist of the Day: Jared Chapman

Discover the work of Jared Chapman, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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5. Entering the Zone: Psychologically Managing Impotence

premature ejaculation can make men very sadImpotence is among the greatest concerns encountering guys, specifically as we age, which is why we feel like it’s an extremely important subject to address. After a male has actually experienced erectile dysfunction when, it’s most likely he will certainly have anxiety concerning performing once again. ED can be an awkward as well as stressful encounter– even with the very best and most encouraging partner. There are always simpler remedies, like obtaining economical Viagra for your room concerns. Nevertheless, it’s beneficial to take a minute and get involved in the appropriate mood prior to climbing under the sheets.

Leave your work life outside of the bedroom

Have you ever before found yourself aiming to delight in something, but your mind insists on being a million miles away? If this is the case, I’m sure you have wondered how and if you can stop premature ejaculation from ever occurring. Well, we all know the anxieties of adult life– works, kids, costs– can usually sidetrack us from what’s right before us. This can be especially true in the bedroom. It’s easy sufficient to begin daydreaming regarding the project you have to turn into your manager in the morning, while you’re expected to be concentrated on your companion. Make it a habit to police your personal ideas throughout sex, or in the bedroom duration. By doing this, your mind will certainly identify the bedroom as a room for leisure, sleep, and also intimacy with your partner.

Good affirmation, for a firmer you

Think about duplicating everyday words of confirmation to on your own. Favorable affirmations are short, good keyword phrases that you duplicate to on your own over and over, in order to reveal adjustment in your life. If you were aiming to materialize better bed room efficiency, you might repeat phrases like “I am a sexually healthy and balanced and positive guy” or “I will have a firm erection!”.

Relax, do not do it … not yet anyway.

Prior to you choose to participate in sexual activity, aim to de-stress. There are plenty of methods to de-stress, as well as not everyone relaxes similarly. Cardiovascular exercise is one method of relaxation. It launches feel-good endorphins in the mind, as well as obtains blood moving through the physical body. Doing non-aerobic workouts like yoga, that need a lot of deep breathing as well as purpose, are another course to take. You can additionally try soaking in a warm bath-tub or spa. Or, you might trade massage therapies with your companion– which can function as a relaxer in addition to a catalyst for sexual activity.

Just what else can I do?

Take into consideration taking prescribed medication, and of course you will need to talk with your doctor if you decide to go this route. There are also topical sprays like promescent but read reviews first. Utilizing medicine for erectile dysfunction could relieve a few of the stress of trying to maintain an erection normally. For the best price Viagra, attempt browsing online. And one more point … relax!

More Info:

Best premature ejaculation tips


The post Entering the Zone: Psychologically Managing Impotence appeared first on Health & Fitness Book Publishers.

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6. Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

Molly has a strange life. Her mama collects herbs at dawn and makes potions, her father and brothers have gone away, and her house feels like a gypsy caravan.

Molly doesn’t want to know anything about herbs and potions. She wishes she could be more like her best friend, Ellen, who has a normal family and a normal house. But she is also secretly interested in Pim, who is inquisitive and odd and a little bit frightening.

When Molly’s mama makes a potion that has a wild and shocking effect, Molly and Pim look for a way to make things right, and Molly discovers the magic and value of her own unusual life.

This novel is The Loveliest. Sweet and splendid and magical, while still being of-this-world. Molly longs to be as normal as her friend Ellen (who gets muesli bars in her lunchbox and doesn't have a mum that wanders about the woods barefoot, collecting herbs for potions) and this is something I think young readers will definitely relate to (everyone has thought at some point "my family is the weirdest" - eventually you realise everyone's family is weird and that's okay and sometimes even great).

Molly does work out that she's pretty lucky to have her slightly odd mum, but only once something pretty terrifying happens. I don't want to give anything away (I think it's better when stories are surprising), so I'll leave it at that. Even though Pim features in the title (and Pim, with his interesting trivia and perspective of the world, is a great character), he doesn't heavily feature in the book. It's a story about friendship, but most of all it's about Molly learning to appreciate her mum and their strange life. (The fact that her father and twin brothers had mysteriously vanished in Cuba was such an odd but intriguing detail, and one that makes me hope there'll be another book about Molly, in which she finds them!)

There are so many sweet characters (apart from the incredibly horrendous neighbours, Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw), but I especially love Molly's mum, and Ellen (I would be friends with Ellen. She is so nice and sensible). The lovely little illustrations and glossary of herbs and such at the end of the book are a beautiful touch. I really quite enjoyed it, and I would've absolutely adored it when I was ten.

(How splendid is the cover? It's got lovely sparkly bits, in real life - have a look at Cait's review at Paper Fury for some lovely photos of it. Am I overusing the word lovely? That's what this book is. The Bookish Manicurist's painted a gorgeous manicure to match it. And now I'm linking to other reviews, I can't really stop myself: I love this review from a 9-year-old reader, as well as Danielle's thoughts at Alpha Reader on this book and middle-grade fiction in Aus.)

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars on the publisher's website

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7. come out to play now the light nights are here

A few of my bike drawings here. You know when something kind of unintentionally becomes a theme? Well, that. And when a theme comes knocking on my door I do love to go out to play with it. 
Watch this space if you like bikes, or art, and specifically bike art. 

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8. Truly Outrageous art: Stephanie Hans does Jem and the Holograms

Via Tumblr, the amazing painter Stephanie Hans has gone totally pink for this variant cover for IDW’s Jem comic. Written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Sophie Campbell, this comic is a nice throwback to the Jem and the Holograms most Gen Xers remember as opposed to the Pitch perfect 3 treatment the movie is […]

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9. Faces in the Crowd

As sinuous a novel as Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is, it is all the more remarkable on account of it being a debut — and a most assured one at that. The Mexican novelist and essayist's first fiction entwines multiple narratives and perspectives, shifting between them with the ease and gracefulness of a [...]

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10. What ʻĪsā Ibn Hishām told us review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Muḥammad al-Muwayliḥī's turn of the (last) century What ʻĪsā Ibn Hishām told us, just out in a two-volume edition in Roger Allen's translation from the Library of Arabic Literature.

       Yes, yes, I know; you already have your copy, why would you even need my review ..... Read the rest of this post

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11. Current Scratch: Join Us, Volunteer, Business Buzz, & Opportunity

During the dog days of summer, there's nothing better than hunkering down indoors working on your creative projects. Stay cool, my friends!


Monthly Meeting. On July 29, 2015, we will have discussion, news, and encouragement. Topic: Meet Illustrator Garrett Hines. Meet us at Barnes & Noble in College Station. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time stay for lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome! Want a sneak peek of Garrett? Twitter: @garretthinesart!   Website: http://garretthines.com/

2015 Connections and Craft Workshop. Mark your calendars!  October 10! Full announcement soon. We have exciting speakers! A few hotel rooms will be available for our attendees. Registration opens soon! Watch your email! Email Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.org if you don't think you are on the list. This will be a MUST NOT MISS event!

Follow this link to find out about our next regional webinar:  Date/Time 08/11/2015, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Webinar: Children's Book Marketing with Kristen Cappy


Do you have a desire to help young writers?  SCBWI Brazos Valley needs a new coordinator for our annual  Brazos Poets Contest for students in 6th through 8th grade and held in April of each year in conjunction with National Poetry Month. Contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.org if you are interested.


What are thoughts on audio books? Find out what's new for the future of audio books.

Need some assistance writing emotion in your main character? IBM's new feature for its super computer Watson analyzes the language to determine emotion.  How cool is that?!


Have a story about witches? Just in time for Halloween. Cicada Magazine is looking for them! Deadline Sept. 9, 2015.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI

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12. ZIBF

       The Zimbabwe International Book Fair began Monday -- and in The Herald Stanely Mushava reports that Book Fair begins on high note.
       He notes:

Keynote speaker Walter Bgoya, of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers from Tanzania, said there was a lot of nostalgia for the heydays of the book fair outside Zimbabwe.
       No doubt -- but, damn, they certainly managed to spoil a good thing. Here's hoping things are improving again.

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13. Illustrations

If you're a picture book writer, how do you handle the illustrations?


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14. The Artistic Revival of Austin Briggs, Part 1

via Gurney Journey http://ift.tt/1SE38Ki

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15. Comfortable

My mother wore a duster
(Or a housedress) ‘round the house,
Which was once the garb of women
(Even lacking kids or spouse).

It was likely made of cotton
In a shift-style meant for ease,
Much more comfortable for housework
Than a pair of dungarees.

I’m not sure if stores still sell them
But the reasoning was right,
For when I’m at home I’m wearing
Clothes the opposite of tight.

They may be quite old and baggy
But they’re just the togs for me
Since the most important rule of home
Is comfort is the key.

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16. On Photography

Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as [...]

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17. Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books for July

Once a month, our team of book enthusiasts share their picks for the best in children’s and young adult books.

This month, Lori, Alison, Matthew, Jenn and Miriam have selected tales on finding oneself, nurturing friendships, appreciating grandparents, adapting to change, and coping with loss — with adorable illustrations, silly stories and powerful narratives.

Pre-K – K (ages 3-6)

how_to_grow_a_friendHow to Grow a Friend by Sara Gillingham

Lori’s pick this month: “Colorful, eye-catching illustrations, and a diverse cast of characters make this a perfect read-aloud for preschool. A great book for back to school, springtime, or anytime!”


Grades 1-2 (ages 6-8)

grandmaGrandma in Blue with Red Hat written by Scott Menchin, illustrated by Harry Bliss

Alison’s pick this month: “I am so in love with this book! Clever and sweet, it’s a wonderful salute to grandparents that also offers a great lesson in art appreciation. Adorable!”


Grades 3-4 (ages 8-10)

alvin_ho_allergic_to_babiesAlvin Ho #5: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night written by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Jenn’s pick this month: “I love Alvin Ho! He’s a super funny kid who worries about everything, and a lot of kids can relate to his feelings. You’ll love this laugh-out-loud story about family, siblings, and adapting to change.”

5-6 (ages 10-12):

five_lives_of_our_cat_zookThe Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Matthew’s pick this month: “This hilarious and heartwarming novel about a cat with twenty six toes and the two kids who adore her is one of my favorite family stories. It’s a great book about coping with loss and caring for loved ones.”


7th & up (Ages 13+):

heaven_angela_johnsonHeaven by Angela Johnson

Miriam’s pick this month: “I first read this book when I was in 8th grade and it has stayed with me into adulthood. Quiet, powerful, and tender, this is a wonderful, award-winning novel about a girl who uncovers a big family secret and finds herself in the process.”


The post Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books for July appeared first on First Book Blog.

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18. Writer Wednesday: Open Submissions Approaching!

If you read last Wednesday's post, then you know that I'm now the acquisitions editor for Leap Books' middle grade line, Seek. I also mentioned that while Seek is only open to agented submissions I'd be holding an open submissions period in August. Well…

From August 1 to August 14, I'll be accepting unagented submissions. If you have a middle grade title (geared toward tweens) you can query me at kellyhashway.leapbooks@gmail.com. Please make sure your query includes the 

  • Subject line: Open Submission: TITLE OF YOUR BOOK
  • Query in the body of the email
  • synopsis and first three (3) chapters of your book (as Word attachments)

That's it! Please only query me at the Leap Books address above. Queries sent to 
my regular email will be deleted unread.

Not sure if your book is a good fit for Seek? Here's what I'm looking for:

I am looking for immersive middle grade fiction stories of approximately 30-40,000 words, in all genres, with characters that LEAP off the page. Submissions should demonstrate:

  • strong, polished writing

  • engaging and age-appropriate storytelling that will appeal to the target audience

  • solid character development

  • powerful world building

  • an exciting plot

***Preference for mystery, contemporary, and fantasy at this time.***
Good luck!

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19. To the Lighthouse

Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail. Her unparalleled ability to paint a scene so exquisitely, and to inhabit her characters with such clarity and intensity, makes for an experience that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. To the Lighthouse, set in [...]

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20. Comics for back to school!

I know, I KNOW. It’s July 29th. It doesn’t feel like it’s time to go back to school.

And for lots of districts, it’s not.

But for huge swatches of the South and the Midwest, it’s happening this week or next week. It’s so early, it’s so hot. The kids are so cranky (I would be, too, if I had to go back to school so soon!)

What’s the solution?


Here’s some great, recent comics/graphic novels to give to your kids. Throw these up on a display, handsell them, or stealthily slide them across your circ counter. Your tweens will thank you.

Gotham Academy Volume 1. Do your kids love Batman? This comic is set in a prestigious prep school right in the heart of Gotham. With great supporting characters, secrets, and possibly a ghost, this hits all the superhero buttons. The mysterious Wayne family might even make an appearance…

Oddly Normal! Image Comics just reprinted this with a new cover. It’s INCREDIBLY fun. Oddly is a half-witch and having a mother from Fignation isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s even less fun when her parents disappear and she has to go live in Fignation. She’s the only being in the whole world that’s even remotely human. Hijinks ensue.

Baba Yaga’s Assistant is out next week. It’s a bit spooky but not outright scary. Masha needs some adventure so when Baba Yaga advertises for an assistant, she decides to try it out. But she has to be clever and wily enough to earn her place.


I am Princess X is actually a novel, but there’s a story-within-a-story here that’s told in comics, and it’s a very cool example of mixed-format storytelling. May’s best friend Libby passed away a few years ago in a really tragic accident, and she’s been lonely ever since. But all of a sudden, she sees Princess X popping up all over Seattle: Princess X was a childhood creation that only Libby and May knew about. As May dives into the world of Princess X and webcomics, she begins to wonder–could Libby be alive?

Enjoy the last part of your summer!


Our guest blogger from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Comics for back to school! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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21. Poems New and Collected

One of only 13 women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 111 total laureates), Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) was awarded the world's highest literary honor in 1996. A career-spanning work that features poems from eight separate collections, Poems New and Collected offers some four decades of the poet's finest [...]

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22. Série Noire profile

       Via I'm pointed to Russell Williams' The Série Noire and Social Intervention at the Los Angeles Review of Books, a nice introduction/overview of Gallimard's 'grande collection de romans policiers', their Série Noire.
       And, of course, it would be great to see more of the French works they publish in English translation.

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23. Small Press show/CAF news briefs: APE, TopatoCon, CXC

A lot of information on small press, indie. CAF evets have piled up in my inbox. Here’s some of the news: • The newly revamped APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Jose has put out a call for programming— The Alternative Press Expo (APE), taking place in San Jose’s Convention Center on October 3 and […]

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24. Publishing Jobs: Smithsonian Books, Macmillan

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25. Song of Solomon

If the only book you've read by Toni Morrison is her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Beloved, you're missing out. Known for her powerfully evocative prose, her grand mystical tales steeped in black history, her haunting (and haunted) characters, Morrison is an author whose body of work demands attention. Her third novel, Song of Solomon — Barack [...]

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