Wow – this sounds interesting. I don’t usually read horror, but I am intrigued. What do you think?

Originally posted on Whatever:

You’ve heard the nursery rhyme, but do you know the real story behind Lizze Borden? Does anybody? This is the jumping off point for Cherie Priest and her novel Maplecroft, which follows the infamous Borden after the real-life events that made her notorious. Do you dare follow?


Like countless others in the last hundred years, I first heard the name “Lizzie Borden” via the jump-rope rhyme. Everyone knows it: Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her father forty whacks… And so forth. Whether or not she ever killed anyone is still up for grabs; she was acquitted of all charges in 1893, but that’s never stopped anyone from speculating about her parents’ murders – and once you’re canonized on the school playground, your legacy is pretty much set.

So what really happened? God only knows. Either she got away with murder, or she was falsely accused…

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A friend asked if she could buy a painting from me, asked me to paint her a picture – an image from nature, abstracted, but representational.  A sort of abstract representationalism has long been my default style (since my education is in music and the sciences, I have no idea if that’s an actual style or if I made it up).  I was excited to give this a go.  It had been a long time since I painted….much of anything.  I did a lovely watercolor of R2D2 for my oldest son’s 6th birthday, and even that was 4 years past. I painted a beloved companion for a cousin’s then fiancé, now husband. I goofed off a bit to try to make a decent cover for my novella (I am not a book cover artist), and tried to do something with my old work.  As much as these things brought me joy, they didn’t bring me the ecstatic centering peace of “painting” that I rediscovered when I started this wide open commission.

The paintings I’ve since completed were inspired by Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park in Caddo Parish, Louisiana and Moundville Archeological Park in Moundville, Alabama.  These were places I visited with my husband and sons this summer, amazing places, on our-annual cross-country trek to see my Mom and (extended)family.  Colorado is breath-taking, but like many people, I find places unlike the beauty right in front of me are more likely to trigger inspiration.  So, I painted two paintings, one each, inspired by these lovely and fascinating places. They were meant to be companion pieces. Images of pathways, in nature and in life.  But they are not companions.  They refused.  Louisiana was exuberant and wild.  Even an ancient archeological site in Alabama was well-groomed and stately.  These paintings are stretching to even be friends.

The image my mind made when I talked to my friend is still in there – pushing to get out. This is a wonderful feeling, one I’ve not felt in years. I will paint that image. First I have to find the right place in the real world to work from. It might be in my backyard.  But it might not. And so, I am not just compelled to paint but to walk through the trees.  What wonderful feelings.

I am not sure what I think of the paintings I’ve completed, but I am happy to have completed them. I don’t know if my friend will want these, but I am happy to find out. I don’t know how I am going to squeeze this back into my life, but I know I will.  I am also interested in how this will play out stylistically and in what I paint. I always best enjoyed painting people and could not “feel” landscapes. Now that I am older, I can feel the landscapes…and I think I will “feel” the people more deeply. How exciting to find out.

Sadly, there’s not a decent camera in my house, excepting a manual Pentax made in 1983, so these photos are not true to colors or texture…but if I’m going to share my thoughts, I ought to share images too.  What places or ideas inspire you? If you have stopped doing something you love because “life” got in the way, what would it take for you to find your way back home?


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Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

via Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million peoplelack access to clean drinking water, locals weren’t exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

And so, a spinoff was born.

Manju Kalanidhi, a 38-year-old journalist from Hyderabad who reports on the global rice market, put her own twist on the challenge. She calls her version the Rice Bucket Challenge, but don’t worry, no grains of rice went to waste.

Instead, they went to the hungry.

“I personally think the [Ice Bucket Challenge] is ideal for the American demographic,” she says. “But in…

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Originally posted on Whatever:

So, in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide, Henry Rollins wrote a piece in LA Weekly called “Fuck Suicide,” in which he basically engages in a bit of “tough love” victim-blaming. This caused the world to drop on Henry Rollins’ head (here’s a fairly representative sample). Henry Rollins, to his credit, has offered up a reasonably decent apology, and plans to follow up in the same forum where the original piece ran. So that’s good, so far. Apologies are hard and hard to do well, and I think he hits the basics (and for those who don’t know, here are what I think are the basics).

A number of years ago a girl who I knew in high school committed suicide in college, in a way that at the time I thought was astoundingly dramatic. For years, when I thought of her at all, I was kind of…

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The best reason ever for diversity in fiction, because…that’s what reality looks like.

Originally posted on Whatever:

Authors go into their books with what they intend to put on the page. But there are also the things that they put in there that take them by surprise — and sometimes those things add a new level to the work. Mary Weber talks about one of these things in Storm Siren — and how it got into the book in the first place.


My big idea didn’t start out as big. In fact, I didn’t realize it was even an “idea” until a friend gave me feedback that went something like: “I love your focus on diversity. It’s cool you incorporated other races and special-needs characters into the book. What made you decide to do that?”

“Huh?” I frowned. She clearly didn’t understand. The big idea was supposed to be female empowerment. You know – slave girl with superpowers discovers her worth isn’t in her status…

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Originally posted on Education and Class:

There are so many problems with this essay in today’s Inside Higher Ed about the parents of First-Generation college students.

I first cringed when reading this quote from a college administrator early on:

They give him a $100 and send them off to school. ‘Here’s 100 bucks. That should last you four years. Now, go save the family.’”

As if there is no difference between being able to provide particular emotional support for the distinctive stresses of being a college student and abandoning one’s child altogether — while putting considerable pressure on them — and as if low-income parents have no idea about budgeting and the costs of living.

And the disturbing language continues:

If so-called helicopter parents typically hover above students from more elite and educated families, many first-generation college students have the opposite problem: parents who may as well be watching their children from a space station

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Like many, many people, I am saddened today by the untimely death of Robin Williams, in an apparent suicide.

For anyone, anywhere out there….if your demons are telling you to give up, remember his demons told him the same thing.

His were wrong.  And so are yours.







Originally posted on The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet:

joe'spubcoverThe Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet is hitting the streets of NYC! We’ll be playing a 20 minute opening set for Threeds’ second album release show. Come hear us play our YouTube favorites and new arrangements. The event is part of the International Double Reed Society 2014 Conference.

Tickets – $20 (plus 2 drink minimum or $12 worth of food)

Tickets can be purchased at:

Doors open at 6 for awesome food and drinks.
Show starts at 7PM.

Where: Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003

When: Friday, August 8, 7PM

All ticket holders are invited to join Threeds and The Breaking Winds for an after-party in the Library Bar (located on the mezzanine level of the Public Theater building, upstairs from Joe’s Pub). All attendees are asked to purchase beverages and/or food. Please RSVP to before August 1st.

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This happened in my backyard :)



Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

Media preview

He ASKED for a pay cut so others would get raises.

He still makes $259,744 a year and those employees who got raises still probably only make about $20,000/year, so this isn’t like the man reduced his pay to poverty wages to equalize things. Still… that $90,000 salary cut isn’t something most CEOs would ever consider.

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