Great Aunt Mariah and the Gigolo

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
My short story, Great Aunt Mariah and the Gigolo will be out in spring in Front Range Review. It's a wonderful place to send work. I encourage all of you to get send out work on a regular basis. Just check the submission dates on their website because college lit mags only read between certain dates.

Here's the address:

Blair E. Oliver, Ph.D.
Chair of Arts and Letters
Front Range Community College
4616 S. Shields
Fort Collins, CO 80526-3812


Exhibition creeping up ...

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Good evening, all (blogging) friends, Romans and countrymen, and any other friends too. As you can see, I’ve added a link to Jennifer’s blog, and I recommend it, I always look forward to her very readable and interesting postings.

The group’s annual exhibition is almost upon us now. A bit like Christmas or an exam, it seems to have sneaked up on us – but we are well prepared and have certainly gone to town on the publicity this year - it has been a team effort.

Elizabeth is back from holiday, but was taken ill while she was away and won’t be well enough to be with us next weekend, so I am taking along some of her paintings to display for her.

As usual, the cricket pavilion will be transformed for the event and will be practically unrecognisable by the time we have finished with it. Kevin has re-done the floor plan, creating more space. We’re using Karen’s presentation that she produced for November’s exhibition, featuring all members’ paintings. It will be displayed on a computer screen, positioned by the kitchen, so people can see it while they have a cup of tea and perhaps cake. Talking of which, I need to make a cake and hide it so it doesn’t get eaten at home. I will be taking along my own browser, plus a spare for the others to use, a clip on light for the display boards, a small tombola prize and – gosh I nearly forgot! My paintings! I’ll also take along the easel shaped display I did for the trade fair, and try to find space to display it. I almost need to hire a van.

For this week’s session, I had planned to start another industrial pastels picture, this time with oil pastels on black card. Kevin suggested black paper for my next industrial picture, in keeping with the inside of a forge. I wasn’t able to get any black pastel paper, so settled for card. As this wasn’t textured and wouldn’t hold chalk pastel so well, I decided to use oil pastel, only to find that the only set I had was a very limited one, so I’ll need to buy some more before I can try this idea out.

Meantime, I’m redoing my last Venice picture to see if I can improve on it.
Back home this evening , I am wistfully wondering if I will sell anything this time. This exhibition hasn’t floated my boat in the past - I haven’t even had anything stolen, as some of the others complain of (I would almost take it as a compliment). But who knows, perhaps this will be my year - to sell, that is …

Here’s to this time then, I will be back on soon to let you know how we all got on.


Hope to find some of you there. Best, Rochelle


Exhibition looming ...

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Greetings dear followers!

Just a quick posting to say that I have now arranged another wall display for our group (one painting each) – this time at Bolsover library from 13-29th April (none of the group know about it yet). We also have another one in Worksop from 13 April – 7th June, at The Crossing, Worksop. I will announce these soon on the main website “News” section. It was quite by chance that I found that the library now has this display area. I only went there to give them a poster for the forthcoming Easter exhibition, then was taken by surprise by being confronted by two walls covered in paintings. I might also have a display in my own right as I have enough to do one now.

I am more or less ready for the aforesaid Easter exhibition now, having had the annual tussle with the group’s mount cutter several weeks ago. It drove me mad and took all morning, but by the end I had five or six presentable looking paintings in neat frames. You couldn’t see the dining room table for most of that time – or most of the room – but, within an hour of finishing, everything was spick and span ready for Elizabeth coming round to have her paintings photographed.

I also went to a business support group meeting last night. We had an interesting guest speaker, who fits burglar alarms. He told us a scary tale of someone who had witnessed a burglary, but it didn’t worry me too much - we have our own alarm at home and are always conscious of security. I experienced so much crime when I lived in Sheffield and other cities, I think nothing of whatever I’ve heard about happening here.

The meetings are held at the same place the art group meets and it always seems odd to go there and sit in a different place and not do something arty.

That’s about all for now, I will be back next week.



Trade Fair 2

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I have finally done the trade fair, and have left it until today to do my blog, as I needed a rest afterwards – the weeks leading up to it were busy what with getting the displays ready. Everything looked much better this time, even if I say so myself. I produced some information leaflets about the website and took along some of the art group’s leaflets for the forthcoming Easter exhibition, plus some business cards specially redesigned for the event. I even had a better looking browser to put our paintings for sale in – a birthday present last year.

I had already had a “dress rehearsal” with the displays. I have not used Picasa before, so hope you will be able to view the photo taken at home. If so, you will see from left to right: my husband’s continually changing display of the artists’ paintings on the computer screen; a small stand with some greetings cards of my work. I had two price signs for the cards, a £2.00 one for the morning, and then if nothing had sold (it didn’t), a £1.50 one for the afternoon. There is also a large board in the shape of an artist’s palette, onto which I’d painted wood grain effect, and a framed painting – I took along several and interchanged them through the day. I had also put together an arty yet professional looking outfit for the event, and it looked good on me, but unfortunately it was so cold I had to wear my coat all day, so you couldn’t see it.

This time we had to bring our own tables. I’d had to buy one as our patio table wouldn’t fit in the car. Compared to the previous time, when we had to lug tables from Dobbies outdoor cafĂ© indoors to use, set up was quick and easy. By 9 am, I was ready for opening to the public, and my husband and son left for a look around Dobbies - and bought my mother’s day presents, which turned out to be a willow tree and cuddly owl!

I noticed that many of the other exhibitors had made more effort with their stalls too. I was pleased that my stall was next to Geoff and Beth Winchcombe (Beth is a poet). They were good company, and I chatted to Geoff as the other exhibitors continued to potter around. After a while I glanced at my watch and realised it was already 10 am and we hadn’t started yet. Our main organiser was unable to attend, so the other organisers and exhibitors shared the task of giving out “goody bags” and encouraging people to go into the disused shop unit where the fair was being held. This was not easy as we were some way from the main entrance. Previously, in November, we had been in a unit by the entrance – much better placed to attract customers. As we were so far off the beaten track, I felt something should have been done to draw attention to the event – anything from some balloons (my idea) to a town crier (Beth’s). There were signs in the window, but the doors were closed as it was so cold and it didn’t look welcoming.

I spent about half an hour handing bags out at the beginning, and stayed about 8 hours altogether. From the outset it was noticeable how much quieter it was this time.

At around 1 pm Maggie and Sue arrived – as for the November event, I hadn’t told them where I would be, as a sort of test to see how easy the event was to find. I watched them arrive and – yes – go straight into the main entrance. Eventually a slightly frazzle duo arrived.

The two massage experts, Tony and Amanda gave treatments, mainly to the other exhibitors, and the man selling pickles seemed to do well. We had a steady stream of visitors through the afternoon, and my hopes were briefly raised when one of the exhibitors expressed an interest in one of my paintings, only to change her mind again. At one point a small child (with good taste) grabbed one my cards and declared she wanted it, only for her dad to determinedly wrestle it from her and put it back on the stand. Sadly, this was the nearest I got to selling anything. Beth sold a book mid afternoon, but became annoyed as it then occurred to her that she’d only sold one and left soon afterwards, and once Tony had left at about 3 pm, everyone else started to do so as well. I myself therefore packed up and left about an hour early, because there didn’t seem much point in staying with only one other exhibitor there (the pickles man).
Unlike the November event, when I’d arrived home feeling excited to see whether any orders had arrived, this time because it had been so quiet, I hadn’t got my hopes up and just did my usual daily check of my e-mails. Yesterday, my web statistics showed that I’d had an extra nine visitors on the day, and two the day after. There were no orders. I can still “spam” people who entered the free draw, but last time only 25 gave permission to be contacted, which I did, and as a result, 5 people looked at the site. I’d recently read a book on website marketing, which told me that you need 500-1000 visits to achieve an order. I therefore suspect that even with better marketing of this event, and better signposting, I would not have achieved anything. This is a pity after I’d put so much into it, but sometimes that’s just the way life goes. I’ve done the best I can with this event now, so it is time to move on and try other things, and of course I am grateful to the organisers for giving me the opportunity.
On the plus side, I will be able to use some of the display material at the art group’s forthcoming exhibition. I also have another card up my sleeve because I have so far held off from advertising, whilst waiting for the recession to go away, and it now has, and I am poised for this next phase.

And perhaps my next posting will be a happier one.

Bye for now


Good Places to Publish

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Upcoming Anthologies Deadline:

03/15/10. Submit to: Flashlight Memories Anthology. Silver Boomer Books, 3301 S. 14th, Suite 16, PMB 134, Abilene, TX 79605, or e-mail (via pasted-in text) to: Theme: Childhood reading. Type: Poetry (1 poem, 50 lines MAX, prefers shorter) and prose (1,500 words MAX). URL:

Deadline: 03/31/10. Submit to: The Way of the Wizard. E-mail your story as a DOC file (preferred) or as an RTF file to Include the words “Wizards Submission” and the title of the story and your byline in the subject line of the e-mail. Theme: Wizards, witches, sorcerers, sorceresses, magic, fantasy, etc. Type: Short stories (5,000 MAX). URL:

Deadline: 03/31/10. Submit to: Becoming Anthology. Send via e-mail: Theme: Women's stories. Type: Personal essays (1,000 words MAX) or one poem. URL:

Deadline: 04/01/10. Submit to: Witness. Submit via online form: Theme: Blurring Borders. Type: Poetry (5 poems MAX), short stories, and essays. URL:

Deadline: 04/15/10. Submit to: A Whodunit Halloween. E-mail submissions to: Please put SUBMISSION - Title of Story in the subject line. Theme: Halloween mysteries. Type: Short stories (15,000 words MAX). URL:

Deadline: 04/15/10. Submit to: Align with Global Harmony: Rainmaker’s Prayers Anthology. Send via Word attachment or pasted-in text to: Theme: Environmental topics. Type: Personal essays (1,000 words MAX). URL:

Deadline: 04/20/10. Submit to: A Cup of Comfort. Submit via online form: Theme: For Couples. Type: Personal essays (2,000 words MAX). URL: Deadline: 05/01/10. Submit to: The First Line. E-mail (via MS Word or WordPerfect attachment) to: Theme: Every story starts out the same: Paul and Miriam Kaufman met the old-fashioned way. Type: Short stories (3,000 words MAX). URL:

Deadline: 06/30/10. Submit to: Cancer Anthology. E-mail to: Theme: Your journey with cancer, the journey of a loved one, or your secondhand experience as caregiver or medical professional. Type: Personal essays (500 to 1,500 words MAX). URL: Deadline: 08/01/10. Submit to: Rattle. E-mail (via pasted-in text) to: Theme: Masters of Mental Health. Type: Poetry and essays (5,000 words MAX). URL:

Deadline: N/A. Submit to: Theme: Various topics based on one of 15 themes. See for more details. Type: Personal essays (500-5,000 words MAX). URL:


'Twas the week before trade fair ...

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Hello, and welcome to new follower Jennifer.

The past week has been a whirl of preparation for the forthcoming trade fair next Saturday 13th. The website business card has been redesigned, printed and submitted to be included in the “goody bags” we are having, contact sheets have been printed out and put in a display book, and I have started to revamp the displays I used at the last event.

The first was a board showing different stages in creating a painting. This little blighter (and that’s a polite translation) memorably fell apart last time and I had to do some emergency repairs to it – this time I’ve sidelined it in favour of Elizabeth’s large watercolour of Mount Teide (EC16 on the Artists of Derbyshire site), plus original paintings from each of us, on table easels.

The other “offending item” was a board in the shape of a paint palette. I’d displayed A4 sheets featuring a selection of each artists’ work on it, but now Liz has joined the site there isn’t enough room. I’ve therefore printed a copy one individual painting from each of us onto it, and stuck them on, spaced out like blobs of paint. First, though, I painted it with two shades of acrylic in a wood grain effect, and am considering gluing some paintbrushes on sticking up from the back, to complete the artistic effect.

My final piece de resistance will be a Power Point type presentation featuring each artist’s paintings in a continuous “film show”, to be completed (and indeed begun) this week. I really must take a photo of all this, to show you all when it is done. I will have to join Picasa to do this, as it seems I can no longer upload pictures directly on my blog, which is a shame. I have put a lot of effort into this trade fair, so fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, at art group, I’ve nearly completed my Magna pastels picture. I found myself wishing today that I’d done it larger, so that I could get more detail into it. What I could do is to pick out some details in grey/blue acrylic. We would then have a mixed media involving both a dry medium (pastel) and paint, not something I’ve ever done before, and it could be tricky, as the chalk pastel may not stay put … on second thoughts perhaps it would be best done at home away from beady eyes of art group members, just in case.

Karen was still plodding away at her painting of a wood, after several weeks, and Gill was beginning a new painting of some colourful jewellery against a cerise satin background - her pyjama top! She refused my request to show us how the top looked on her (I think the group have got used to my little jokes now). Kevin was well into a large fantasy picture involving sky and some sort of chariots. He makes it look easy.

On a spring theme, Sue had begun a painting of some sweet little lambs in a field, and spring does finally seem to be arriving now, although we are expecting a sharp frost of -5 tonight – and I expect Gill will be needing her little cerise number ….

All for now,


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