Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: art

Poetry and Painting on Google Plus :-)


You can check out my thoughts and feelings about social media on this blog.

As it stands now, I’m only utilizing Google Plus, though I do consider blogging a form of “social media” :-)

I met a woman on G+ named Lena Levin—eagerly look forward to her posts and the Luscious images of her paintings

This image, from the Sonnets In Colour portion of Lena Levin’s blog, is her rendition of
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 10: Sonnet 10: Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?

For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thy self art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lov’st is most evident:
For thou art so possessed with murderous hate,
That ‘gainst thy self thou stick’st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O! change thy thought, that I may change my mind:
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

This woman is quite prolific and doesn’t just paint Shakespeare; though, she does have a separate site called Shakespeare in colour.

She recently wrote a post called, Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet.

Let me give you a few excerpts (which I, personally, feel relate to All writers):

“…I want to focus on one particular thought, which appears in the very first letter… Quite a common situation, played out a gazillion of times both in real life and in literature: a young artist addresses an older one with the ultimate question, ‘Am I a poet? Should I be doing this? Am I any good?'”

“…Rilke gives what seems like the only possible answer: don’t seek the answer to this question from the outward world; rather, look deep inside yourself.

“…this obviously presupposes the existence of some other you, different from the you who asks; this other you knows the answer, you just have to listen to it.”

“Why should one take its ‘answer’ as the ultimate truth?”

I’ll leave her argument there

She expounds some fascinating ideas in the full post and I do hope you click through and read it :-)

One last thing I’ll do is share another of her paintings:
Lily buds
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* Google Author Page

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Writers Learning from Other Artists . . .


Francis Ford Copolla has said, “The short story is the natural narrative, linear narrative to become a film. Many, many short stories have become films.”

Copolla also gave indications for how to use a novel to make a film.

And, as a writer, I’ve always learned a lot from films; most recently, the movie Traffic.

But the purpose of this post is to pay tribute to a unique artist, Tomas Karkalas.

I’ve known him for quite awhile and his particular form of art is intriguing—taking photos of life and manipulating them into works of art

Like many artists, he’s a bit modest and will often excuse his “Lithuanian English”, but I even find the way he writes creative.

Please do visit the last two links to discover this amazing artist and pay close attention to a particular part of the comment he left in yesterday’s post. It’s important enough to format in a special way because it’s something this writer has learned from an artist in another field of creativity:

Publishing is the inevitable – is like a breathing, like the signature of being alive.

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Writing ~ Is It A Craft or An Art?


Are creative writers merely craftspeople—churning out words, elaborating stock plots?

Are journalists artists—recasting bare facts as fresh-woven stories?

Are too many people prone to putting other people into definition-boxes that confuse understanding?

The word history of “craft” includes the word “art”. It also speaks of “strength” and “calling”.

And, the word history of “art”? It includes the word “craft”, as well as practiced skill and “fit together” or “join”.

So, when the phrase, “arts and crafts” is used, are there two word-mirrors infinitely reflecting each other?

I’m not going to attempt an answer to those questions in this post but I will put forward a rather commonly-accepted differentiation of these two words when applied to writers:

The Art of writing seems to be generally considered as the result of mental/emotional decisions by the writer that control the shape of plots, the revelation of character, and the flow of narrative and description.

The Craft of writing seems to be generally considered as the work most writers perform when turning a draft (the raw, first-blood of their effort) into the polished, final manuscript—a process that many consider grueling and somehow dangerous to the “essence” of what their gut wants to communicate. Many a fine story has been murdered, published with no life, due to over-craftingmessing with the message.

There are also the preparatory actions—dreaming, planning, outlining—that often combine art and craft in intimate communion.

This preparation for the act is quite crucial, whether performed mostly in the mind or through loads of words arranged and rearranged.

I recently read a blog post by author, Rachel Aaron, that reveals a three-point plan to increase a writer’s output—quantity and quality.

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day, proposes three considerations/strategies:

Knowledge—Know what you’re writing before you write it

Time—Find out when you’re most productive

Enthusiasm—Make sure you love every bit of everything you write

If you’re already a somewhat productive writer, you may have taken issue with one or more of those points.

If you’re just starting out, do consider what this woman says.

For all writers, no matter the experience or level, I strongly urge a reading of Rachel’s post since she gives ample evidence and example to potentially change your attitude toward your Art and the practice of your Craft………
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Words That Give Birth To Words . . .


WARNING: This post contains Poetry

I have a friend named John who writes some of the most amazing poetry–often, so ripe with meaning, I come away gasping for my literary breath.

In response to his poem, “No Longer Middle Ground”, I wrote these words:

“All is
Lost but the
Chance to
Lose it
All.”

John then produced …in interaction and appreciation of the poetic words of Alexander M. Zoltai…

I’m going to post the poem right here but first want to say:

When someone honors you for something you’ve written that deeply affected them, don’t consider why they honored you as much as considering why you should honor them :-)

JOHN’S POEM
in interaction and appreciation of my comment

Aptly expressed; a delicious thought, actually.
There is unequalled truth to this, the bailiwick
of those who know no doubt that blessings and curses
of this life are in fact inexhaustible, inextinguishable.

What is left then, but Creation, itself? What courage
does it take to approach all aspiration and consummation
in the ashes? Every planet’s doom is reunion with its star;
every star, its own appointment with the beginning

and the end of all that matters and energy’s just what’s left over.
And perhaps this is, after all, the raison d’être
for the inexhaustible,
the indivisible, inextinguishable

pain or sorrow, joy or bliss
within the mansions of this world.
If it is of God, it will last beyond leaving,
and as the longed for inauguration into the Next.

Be it the either which, expressed quite simply,
the Heavens and Earth may cease to exist–
in fact must in the end expire–but His Word
will never pass away, and neither the one

privy to Its existence;
and like all that is, we are in the end,
indivisible, inextinguishable.
Whilst we breathe, so, too, breeds our sacred company,

so, too, our own clear magnification in direct proportion
to recognition of one another and in the reality
of His oneness, our own dear being,
indivisible, inextinguishable.

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Two Post Mashup + A Video ~ Writers’ Responsibilities


Earlier this month, I wrote a post called, World Crises And The Fiction Writer ~ Can They Help Humanity?.

Four days ago, I read Ollin Morales post, What Ever Happened to The Timely Artist?

In his post, Ollin said:

“…artists aren’t willing to exert their power anymore, nor, I would argue, are they taking up the great responsibility conferred upon them to help people understand the mood, or at least tell people, simply:

In the words of Buffalo Springfield:

There’s bad lines being drawn, / and nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…  / Paranoia strikes deep, / into your life it will creep.  / It starts when you’re always afraid.  / Step out of line, the man comes / and takes you a-way. / Stop, now! What’s that sound? / Everybody look what’s going down!”

In my post, among other questions, I asked:

* Is fiction a proper tool for purposely proposing solutions to world crises?

* Does it go against some “law” of creativity to ask writers to make their fiction conform to some response to world conditions?

* What is the role in society of the fiction writer?

Another question I asked was:

“…can writers be more aware of how their work could include elements of plot or character or theme that, even if in a small way, contribute to a saner, healthier, more tranquil world?”

And, Ollin had said:

“My end goal is to give readers hope, strength and tools to get through a challenging age like this one. It’s not about whether I’ll succeed at this goal, it’s about whether I am trying to succeed. Because that’s my role as an artist in the world.”

The true beauty of blogging is the conversation the comments can become.

Here are some snippets from my readers’ comments:

“I’ve always been impressed with the TV show, Star Trek (the original). Gene Roddenberry challenged the society of that time to consider a world with social and ethnic diversity. It was a very idealistic story, at a time when equal rights was still in its infancy.”

“…now is not the time for writers to be silent. Oh, no. We must strive ever harder to put our words down in the hopes that it will benefit, comfort, and teach some.”

“Creative people are *not* obligated to be propagandists, and most are better off not trying to fill that slot. If nothing else, obvious propaganda has a very short life-span.”

“…I try to incorporate a sense of awareness of various issues into my writing. I should rephrase that. I don’t try to. It sort of happens without much (if any) conscious effort….I don’t know how I’d define humanity, exactly, though I do think it’s much more than a bunch of individuals. How we interrelate is vital. As a group, we can build up or destroy our surroundings and ourselves. Fiction can definitely play a role in awareness. Often, a fiction story has more power than nonfiction. The message seeps in while the reader is engrossed in someone else’s story. What better way to learn than to walk in another’s shoes?”

And, here are some of the comments about Ollin’s post:

“I really think one of the main reasons for books that address our current climate is that we’re sort of stuck in this MTV-era, where only the trendy material will sell.”

“…though I would say that visual art speaking to specific world topics isn’t as widely seen, I respectfully disagree with the overarching statement that artists are not producing this type of work any more.”

“As the world continues spiraling into the recesses of darkness, more and more artists will come out with a desire to speak the truth even if this costs them. Thank you for firing the first salvo to rally the troops.”

“What I do agree with is that the power to create a catalyst for change is in every artists hands.”

“It has taken me some time to realise that the truth must out, and the risks must be taken, if progress is to be made and we are to see ourselves in mirrors of clear reflection.”

I do hope you’ll go to both posts and read all the comments–Ollin and I respond to the comments–they are conversations.

As a writer, I want to help our ailing World; I need to help in whatever way I can…

There’s a Global Art Project called, Inside Out, that boggles my mind and cheers my heart.

Here’s a video of the originator of that project, explaining his wish to help our World.


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