Archives for art

Today is the birthday of American writer Laura Hillenbrand (1967)

The author of two best-selling books of nonfiction: Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010).Hillenbrand grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and spent her childhood riding horses on the family farm, a stone cottage on the banks of the Potomac River that was once used as a hospital during the battle of Antietam. She had to drop out of Kenyon College after suffering her first bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and was confined to bed for the next 18 months. She first published an article about Seabiscuit, the legendary racehorse, in American Heritage magazine (2003). Seabiscuit was small, knobby-kneed, and lazy, and his rider was a half-blind failed prizefighter, but he became the winningest racehorse in history during the 1930s, a symbol of resilience and hope for millions of Americans during the Great Depression. Her agent shopped the proposal to an editor at Random House. The editor wasn’t interested, at first, since books about horses tended to be boring, and the main characters were all dead, but he signed Hillenbrand. She delivered the manuscript 17 months later. The editor read it and sent her an email, which read, “In terms of pure narrative, this is the most satisfying story I have every encountered in my eleven years as an editor. Reading it wasn’t even work; it was pleasure.” Seabiscuit became a New York Times best-seller. The film version starred Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges (2003). Because of her chronic fatigue syndrome, Hillenbrand rarely leaves her house, so she’s had to adjust her research methods. She buys vintage newspapers on eBay and does interviews with her subjects by phone. She also listens to a lot of historical audio books, which she says makes her a better writer. “Good writing has a musical quality to it, a mathematical quality, a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it’s read aloud.” It was while reading old articles about Seabiscuit that Hillenbrand came across a story about running phenomenon Louis Zamperini, whose bombardier plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 1943. He spent 47 days adrift on a raft, eating seabirds, until he and his companion were captured. He spent the next two years being tortured in three different Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Hillenbrand’s book about Zamperini, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010) has been on the New York Times best-seller list for over four years. Angelina Jolie directed the film version (2014). About writing, Hillenbrand says: “I feel so fully alive when I’m really into a story. I feel like all my faculties are engaged, and this is where I’m meant to be. It’s probably what a racehorse feels like when it runs. This is what it’s meant to do, what its body is meant to do. This is what my mind is meant to do.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®
National broadcasts of The Writer’s Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation.

If you like my Cryonic Man cover, please vote for it.[1]

Trying ceramics as a new art form. Lots to learn.

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I only worked on these for about an hour and a half and am exhausted. Maybe I better stick to writing!

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Today”s paintings. Tomorrow I’ll start using a painting for a cover to a poem that I’ll attempt to add music to.

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New 3_D Art

working on this 4 x 8 foot space painting.  My next 4 x 8 will be more artistic, I hope.





Never seen before in the stormy clusters

of the light of day, my paintings mirror the

dark of night and never show any snowy white

light in my world where dark generates passion


and fear. My wife opened the door and saw there

was no light and only night. “Stop painting and put

on your clothes,” she said, “why do you think we

were wed?”


She shone a flashlight in my face and saw it was

acid washed, her scream it seemed woke the dead

and zombies came knocking on my door looking for

some flesh to eat.


Living or dead, they raised a stink that couldn’t be

washed out in my sink. My neighbors came to complain

but became hunks of meat hanging from a rack, and they

were a tasty snack for the walking dead.


I stepped into the dark after they did that in my house. I

wasn’t scared as a mouse, but they never left and I didn’t

have a chance to paint with stinking dead stumbling around

until I painted their drooling faces.


I never understood why paintings I made of zombies were in

such demand by old men who wanted to become like them.

To live after death and eat flesh again. So when night came I

always painted in the dark to become like them through my Art.

Refurbishing an old steamer trunk.








I had planned on using hand painted canvas pictures to cover the flat areas of this trunk, but changed my mind to faux finish it instead.I don’t really have a plan, just keep on working on it, but it is starting to shape up. I plan on using it as a coffee table.


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My passion for everything has evaporated, thus today’s poem.

My Muses

Calliope who inspired me to write a poem a day has left my life, and dreaming of the dawn, I wonder where has she gone. Clio comes to mind and she enthuses my historical writing until I encounter Erato and her sister Euterpe who stimulate me to write lyrical poetry, but when I meet Melpomene, it’s a tragedy until I hear Polyhymnia singing the blues and I see Terpsichore singing and dancing. I have to laugh at Thalia’s antics and when I meet Urania I travel to the stars where I find all the sisters together and it becomes clear to me that having one is a blessing, but to have all nine helping me create is a miracle I can never repay, because I don’t know who sent the sisters my way and then took them away.


Last painting of 2013.