Living in the Moment: Frida Kahlo and Life #MondayBlogs #FridaKahlo

Some time ago my husband and I went south to visit my 93-year-old mother who is spending the winter with my 72-year-old sister. I note their ages because in their presence I often feel like a 12-year-old, not the 59-year-old I really am. Believe me, the 59-year-old struggles to be free! To be honest, we had a very nice visit. Every time I see my mom, I marvel at well she is, both physically and mentally. My sister is well, too, but she supports Trump (enthusiastically) so enough said about that.

One of the high points of our visit was a trip to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Dali Museum. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. The exhibit was nicely organized with photos interspersed with paintings, drawings, and interpretative signs. An image of Frida and Diego Rivera was projected on one wall, making them larger than life, which, in fact, they were. A loop of documentary clips played in one corner of the three-room exhibit.

First, the photos:

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Some of you may know that Frida suffered much physical pain and disabilities in her life. She contracted polio when she was a little girl, which left her right leg shorter and thinner than the left. Then, when she was only 18, she was in a bus accident and suffered near fatal injuries: broken pelvis, ribs, legs, and collarbone, to name a few. Although she “recovered,” she experienced pain and declining health for the rest of her short life.

 

Hell

Hell

She had originally planned for a career in medicine. The bus accident changed all that, and though the accident left her with a world of pain, she left us with a world of wonder, color, and expression.

Some of the paintings in this slideshow are not for the faint of heart. Frida painted what she felt, what she lived.

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I hope you have enjoyed this visit to the Dali Museum and the Frida Kahlo exhibit.

On a more personal note, I am experiencing some “life events” right now. I know my blogging has been spotty and I am more and more AWOL as these events suck up my time and energy. All is well, at least on my home front, but I’m just … busy-busy-busy. Know that I will do my best to catch up with you all and that, at a minimum, I think of you all often.

Ciao, amigos y amigas!

 

You’ve Got A Friend #CaroleKing #ShaniaTwain #CelineDion #GloriaEstefan

A classmate in my online course, Literature and Mental Health (FutureLearn) shared this YouTube video with me. I love, love, love Carole King and love, love, love this song.  Just have to share it with all my friends.

Reblog: Hope

I can think of no one who inspires me more to embrace life, to find joy when I’m at my lowest, to know that when I can’t change the circumstance, I can still change my perspective. Through her example, she has taught me that even though I’ve gone through some rough times, I’ve gained more than I lost, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Read her post and see why she inspires so and notice how in both of her photos, she is absolutely gorgeous.

MEMOIRS OF A DILETTANTE VOLUME TWO – COVER REVEAL!

My favorite dilettante has a new volume of “memoirs” coming soon.  Who cares if her stories are fact or fiction?  They are always decisively entertaining.

Helena Cover Boa 4Cover art by Hastywords

COMING SPRING 2015 — official date TBA

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two is the second collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia.

Speaking of Arcadia, this volume delves into Helena’s childhood, as she revisits what she calls the Arcadia of the mind — that place that keeps us trapped and holds us back from our potential. Some of her most personal stories are included here, interspersed with hilarious stories of misadventure. It’s not a novel, really, and it’s not a memoir, by the strictest definition. But most of what follows, as they say, is true. Sort of. Almost. From a certain point of view.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

Helena is going to be running a crowdfunding/pre-order campaign at Pubslush, a community focused solely on indie writers, and has set up a profile there to launch Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two.

For more information, and to follow the progress, Become a Fan at http://HelenaHB.pubslush.com

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog: http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

helena-h-b

What you need to know (aka Helena’s biography):

The enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.

She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populous or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

In 2014, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, several e-books which now make up Volume Two, as well as a multimedia collaborative piece of meta-fictional horror entitled JESSICA.

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One is available HERE in e-book for Kindle or HERE in paperback.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell.

Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or http://whoisjessica.com or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat.

I Interrupt My Hiatus to Forward This Important Message

I am back from vacation (and already having problems with WordPress but that’s another post).  And I’m still on hiatus from blogging as I (grudgingly) resume the daily grind.  But when I saw this post from Cate Russell-Cole, I had to break my silence.

It chills me that we might have lost Cate this summer.  I knew she was in pain, but I never knew how bad it was.  I am grateful that she was able to get help and she is still with us, and I hope she will be for a long, long time.

I’ve had times when I considered suicide, although for lesser reasons than Cate.  During a period when I had free access to drugs and alcohol, I leaned toward the “accidental” suicide approach, but I was never “successful.”  And to use Cate’s own words, this is why I’m glad I never was successful:  “If I had taken my life when I first considered it, I would have missed out on getting married, great jobs, knowing and loving some awesome people and so very much more.”

If those attempts had been successful, I would have missed out on meeting my husband which means I would have missed out on celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  I would have missed gazing up at the wonder of the Milky Way as it came to life over Mono Lake.  I would have missed hiking up through the cinder and ash of Black Point.  I would have missed days of talking and laughing with our friends of 30+ years.  I would have missed the seediness of San Francisco as well as its glory.  I would have missed coming home and holding each of our cats although none of them like to be held.  I would have missed my husband who is my anchor in all things at all times.  I would have missed each of you.  Cate is right.  Life does get better.  Hang in there and reach out.

I Really Should Be Writing, But …

“But a good writing day ought to be simply any day you worked. … The hell with all that anxiety about what may or may not come when you do work. Quit expecting it to dance for you. It’s not about you, finally. It’s about itself.”  Richard Bausch, The Writer’s Chronicle, March/April 2014, p. 20 (more…)

Mid-April Update on The Writer’s Rebel Creed 2014

First, a long overdue update per The Writer’s Rebel Creed 2014.

Writer's Rebel Creed 2014full

 

Very quickly:

1.  Regular writing:  well, I tend to be an irregular writer.  Since my last update, I have a draft poem in one of my notebooks, a concept for a blog post, an as yet unpublished blog post, as well as my Monday jests with John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites.  None of this occurred by writing every day, but whatever.

2.  Belief in my abilities:  I’ll be struggling with that until the day I die, so let’s move on.

3.  Write something new:  Gee, I actually have something to say here.  I was invited to guest post on www.goodpeopledoinggreatthings.com and wrote an essay on Children and Compassion.  I do like writing nonfiction and, actually, most of my blog is nonfiction 🙂  But I’ve never really tried to publish nonfiction.  Children and Compassion has made me feel a little more open to that.

4.  Marketing skills:  Huh?

5.  Give back to my writing community:  The most fun part of blogging is giving back.   I love promoting the work of other writers.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know that.

6.  Support other writers:  The best way to support other writers is by buying their work and reviewing.  I’m pretty good about buying, but I’m a slow reader and so my reviews take a long time to emerge.  And I take reviews very seriously.  I could just say, “Hey, I loved this book.  It’s funny, sad, blah blah blah.”  As a reader, I need more than a review that is so general it could be applied to any book.  I want to know why the reader loved (or didn’t love) the book.  So I try to write the kind of reviews that I find the most useful.

OK, that’s it for now …  back to procrastinating 🙂

 

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“Children and Compassion” by Marie Ann Bailey

Some time ago I ran a post about a new blog that Margaret Jean Langstaff was developing: Good People Doing Great Things. The focus of the blog is compassion, telling stories about the compassionate acts of ordinary people and encouraging compassion in others.

I’m honored that Margaret asked me to write a guest post which I’m reblogging here. I would greatly appreciate it if you, my dear Reader, would be so kind to reblog or tweet or Like or somehow share this blog, either my post or this one: http://goodpeopledoinggreatthings.com/2014/03/14/good-people-doing-great-things/. Margaret is looking for contributions as well, and this link provides more information if anyone is interested.

Thanks 🙂

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Good People Doing Great Things

marie ann bailey copy“CHILDREN AND COMPASSION”
Our Wonderful Guest Blogger MARIE ANN BAILEY…
on this most important issue

[Marie Ann Bailey works in the public health field by day and writes for her blog, 1WriteWay.com, by night. She has a graduate degree in English, having a love for literature and writing that has been with her all her life. Her desire to be helpful, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, led her to complete a Masters in Social Work. The fact that she is a shy introvert eventually led her away from direct counseling and into the world of data. She aims now to make a difference through her writing in general, but also through direct acts of kindness, whether those acts involve knitting a scarf for an ill friend, volunteering at a shelter, or dedicating her life to caring for ill-mannered stray cats.]

“Children and Compassion”
I…

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Perfect pick me up

Just sharing a friend’s pick-me-up that was also a pick-me-up for me 🙂 The scarf in the photo was one that I had sent to Belinda a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I was on pins and needles (pun intended) as to whether it had arrived (taking a slow plane from Florida to Canada, of course). Soon after I asked her about the scarf, it arrived (such are my mental powers). But not only the scarf which I knitted for her, hoping it would bring a bit of Spring to her long Winter. Belinda also received a bundle of other gifts and she put together this wonderful photo, using her scarf as a frame. Belinda gave me a perfect and happy end to a long, frustrating day. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Belinda!

Party Time: The Community Storyboard Is Back!

The Community Storyboard is back and ready for submissions!  Read the guidelines below or click here.

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We’re back!!!

After careful consideration and discussions with a panel of experts (we hear voices), we are implementing some not so drastic changes.  In the spirit of keeping this a fair and fun community for everyone, we have rearranged some privileges, made some editorial changes, and adjusted our guidelines.  Some of you who had free posting privileges prior to our closure may now find that you are restricted and need an editor’s approval before posting.  After a history of consistent quality posts, you may regain privileges to post without editor approval.  This is not anything personal or a judgment against your writing or talent, but we are striving to take the CSB in a more positive direction.  To do so, we need to establish more quality control.

Going forward, we ask that people remember that this website is about feedback.  The ‘C’ stands for Community and we mean it.  Even if you dislike a piece, please feel free to comment on it with respect and integrity.  Consistently coming to the editors with an issue about works that are represented on the blog does not help the author in question learn and grow.  If discussions do get heated and cross the line of civility, the editors will step in and there will be the risk of removal of offending party(ies).

Without further ado, here are the New Guidelines!

  • This blog is intended to feature Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as art pieces and musical works. We would prefer if your submission was no longer than 1000 words long, unless it has been arranged prior.
  • We ask that you limit your posting to 1 piece per day unless you are an editor or have previous permission.  The exception to this rule is during contests, prompts, and themes that require more than one post per day.
  • The work you submit must be original and all rights must belong to you. If you are submitting work for someone else, you must include a signed release with your submission. Any work that is deemed as not original will be promptly removed from the site and you will no longer be allowed to participate. This includes any art work or photos that are an accompaniment to your writing, unless it is public domain.
  • Your work will be published as determined by the editors of this site, and on the schedule that works for them.
  • We will not edit your work for you. It will be published as is.
  • We maintain the right to refuse to publish a work at our discretion and without any further explanation.
  • We do not claim any rights to your work. It is yours to do with as you wish. If you no longer wish to have your work featured on the site, please use the contact form on the Submission Guidelines Page. Please remember to include the title of your post so that we may easily find and remove it. It may take up to 72 hours for it to be removed from the site.
  • Please keep in mind this is a community.  Choose only your best stuff and post the rest to personal blogs.
  • The formatting of your piece will be handled by our editors, unless you have posting privileges. WordPress sometimes does odd things. We will do the best we can to ensure that it comes out looking great.
  • If you are submitting an excerpt of a published book, please also send us a link to the book and the publisher information.
  • Fan Fiction will NOT be accepted.
  • NO self-promoting via single links to your blog with no other content.
  • All content on this site is property of the individual author. If you are going to use it in part or in whole somewhere else, you must have permission from the author first, with the exception of reblogs.
  • Please include the links to your website/sales pages with your work if you wish to have them posted.
  • Please note: It may take up to a week for one of our editors to get back to you.
  • If you wish to have a photo included with your submission please note this at the top of your submission and we will send you the appropriate email to submit it to. We kindly ask that you limit your photos to one per submission, unless you are doing a photography post that has been previously approved.
  • Please ensure that your photos are appropriate for all audiences and are not offensive.  This includes graphic nudity, violence/gore, sexuality, and anything else that may be construed as inappropriate.

We hope everyone has a good time here and shares in the joy of reading and writing–Thank you, the editorial team.

Keep a look out for a post about coming events such as an artist contest and the bi-monthly theme, which will be replacing the weekly prompts.

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