Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

Respect for Artists, Buying vs. Gifting, thoughts on sales

May 16, 2014

It never ceases to amaze me the attitudes folks have toward artists. You would not hear someone suggest, for example, that a dr. Be allowed to practice in that hallway ” for exposure” and no pay. People who allow artists to hang artwork are appreciated to be sure, libraries, galleries, and so forth, but that concept of giving the artist exposure as a favor is thought provoking. Why shouldn’t artists charge a rental fee for a collection that will be in essence, loaned to a place to show for a period of time? Things are sometimes stolen, damaged, and often the place has a form to sign absolving it of any responsibility to the artist for such. Artists need to eat and pay bills just like everybody else. We don’t eat air.

Recently, a friend of mine, who has never bought anything from me, commented that it would be “much cooler” to hear the ” priceless stories” that I sometimes gather when a piece of my work is purchased by someone for whom it has a special meaning, than to hear of “sales” of works. Should I decide to collect the stories in a manuscript and be lucky enough to publish it, my advice is ” Buy the Book.”

I like being respected enough for my skill to be paid. Relatives, friends, all sorts of people can assume an entitlement and many reasons why they should not purchase your work, be it books or visual art. When I like someone’s work, that of a photographer friend comes to mind, I never just ask for a copy of it even though in these technological days I could even save it to my device aka steal it.
I ask the photographer how much for an 8 x 10 print of it? Whether the artist supports him or herself by artwork or not, it doesn’t matter. Hours of labor went into that piece and studious thought process. Respect that before you assume you are entitled to a gift of it.

It rests solely on the shoulders of the maker to decide what is going to be gifted to someone and why. It is very uncool to tell an artist to give a third party a painting the artist spent hours/days/weeks at work on. Better would be the person suggesting purchase the piece to give to the third party. You would never consider walking into a restaurant and ordering food that takes time and skill to prepare and then not pay for it? Or never would you tell the chef to make a certain dish to give to another customer because that customer loves certain foods.
That is my Friday offering.

Debut “Partly Sunny with a Chance of Snow; a Pocketful of Showers”

June 23, 2013

I am very excited to announce the acceptance of the above titled manuscript of my newest chapbook by Finishing Line Press. I am in the process of trying to decide on cover artwork. Since the book is dedicated to my friend, the late photographer and penwoman, Yolanda Tooley, and is inscribed so, I may use the watercolor photoshopped picture of the puppy with the red sneakers posted earlier on this blog. It features her name in the title.
The collection is my most ambitious yet. It is 32 pages and includes poems that have appeared in Ireland through Elbow Lane Poems, Great Britain through indigodreamsonline as well as poems shared with other publications in the United States such as The Penwoman and They interact well together. It is definitely a book about women’s words, but also about life with all its watershed moments, that tells of rich stories to be found everywhere around us. Stories of love, loss, lust, magic, horror and intrigue the book takes us on a wild ride. The first poem pulls you in, as helpless as a fish on a hook, and the last line of the last poem shuts you down like a loud door. As ever, I often held hands with Nature to tell my tales because that is where my muse resides.
I am particularly happy to learn of the release of this book on the heels of the release of “The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods.”
This is my debut novel, YA novel, and the first in a trilogy. I have done three readings of the book so far from local to me Mohegan Manor Advance Release Reading, to the official release at Canastota Library where I read to a standing room only crowd, to a wonderful cozy nook of a bookstore back east, Eastline Books, Clifton Park, NY, owned by a woman. Let’s hear it for indie small business owners who are women. Support each other! There, too, I read to a full house and met to a person, folks I’ve known for years only on FaceBook. Very cool to meet younger and younger readers who also already at age 6 or 7 define themselves as writers as well.The cover art is in a competition. It has been picked up by the Neverending Roll Call Say What? Savannah Says by Savannah Mae. She is a book reviewer from Austin, Texas who will be featuring the book on her author pages as well as posting a review when she has read it. Next physical stop for the book performance is Oswego NY at The River’s Edge Bookstore. In October-November I will have a coordinated art exhibition hung at Westcott Art Gallery and plan to do a reading and book signing during that time.
In the meantime Book 2, Tales from the Edge of the Sea is about to undergo official editing. At the same time, Book 3 The Hedgerow is coming to life beneath my fingers. I will follow the magic wherever it leads me. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.

In Memory of my friend, Olin Davis, author of “Flashbacks”

May 30, 2013

 Olin was the first to tell you that writing of poetry was surely some ingenuous form of torture, and the practice of poetry writing only gifted to a certain few. That said, Olin was a fine poet when the spirit moved him. At my gentle insistence (we shared everything writings-wise, genres, forms, stories, and poems through the magic of cyberspace in wee hours when insomnia struck us both) he worked and revised this poem and entered it in the 2010 CNY Chapter Penwomen annual poetry contest. He was extraordinarily funny and could write light rhyming verse as well, but this poem to my eyes was simple and beautiful. He did not win or place, but I remember his face in the audience as that year was one of my first on the judges’ side of the table. He knew I was new to the penwomen and thus, nervous, so he was also there to offer moral support.  I ‘ve lost two dear friends in one month this spring of 2013. One too young, to a debilitating illness, one, an elder just beginning to fail and to grieve for doing so, who missed his beloved spouse.  They both were midnight email correspondents with me. They both were extraordinarily accepting and tolerant. Both knew things about me that nobody else does. There is something magical about the boundlessness of the cybersphere, deep in the night, when it stretches before your fingers like  magic while the rest of the world is asleep.

I will always remember the year I met Olin. I had fallen in love, or so I thought, with a neighbor woman. It was destined for disaster, but my life was filled with upheaval when I first came to the Canastota Writers group for the first times 2004. When the brief affair flamed out as it was destined to do from the very start, I wrote a poem about it. I brought it to writers group and read it aloud, knowing full well that the poem was clearly about one woman grieving the loss of another woman’s love. I had no idea who would think what of me nor did I really care. I was in too much pain. When I finished reading,  silence stretched respectfully on. Then Olin spoke. He said, looking into my eyes with his  wonderful warm gaze, “I imagine there is not a person sitting here at this table, who has not had a heart broken. We can all relate.” With those simple words, I knew he accepted me. Immediately he took up residence in my heart.

I was proud of this work of his that I am publishing to follow.. I am happy to own copies of his memoirs. I loved how he read his piece this Tuesday past about huckleberries, assuming the voice of a querelous and whining twelve year old with as much as gusto as I assume the creaky ancient tones of a retired warrior dragon.

Thank you for working on this longer than you would’ve without my friendly bothering, Olin. Thank you for your friendship and support. Thank you for all the manuscripts and short stories and poetry you read and commented on through the years. Thank you for your honesty. I have only one regret, that we never did take the time to share that cup of coffee at Friendlys or Dunkin Donuts that we’d spoken of since 2008. With much love, I give you “Holland in April” by Olin Davis, guest poster on writer raebeth’s weblog.








Riots of color

burst over landscape;

flower field hectares

reach toward horizon.

A rainbow bouquet:

gold, crimson and plum

rows framed by canals,

Dutch farms in blossom—

tulip, daffodil

and hyacinth hues

shape a visual feast

and mental keepsake.

Olin Davis

Jan. 2011   

Bloemakkers near Haarlem,

The Netherlands 4/2001