Emotions Into Art (online)
How do writers make you laugh and cry? Designed for beginners and for those who would like to spike up their writing and gain mastery, this course begins by exploring emotion-packed fiction, short prose, and poems, to discover tips, tricks, and strategies for making the reader ache, cheer characters on, reach for the Kleenex, or hold their sides with laughter. You’ll learn about tone, hyperbole, understatement, pacing, implication, and more. Through stimulating writing exercises and short reading assignments, you are encouraged to find your own voice to create short writing (prose or poems) about yourself /and or fictional characters that grab the attention of both readers and editors.

Here's what Pat Murray Panek had to say about it:
"I took this class the last time Rochelle offered it and it really did help me to knock down the obstacles that were keeping me from expressing myself completely. Two Thumbs Up!"

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Pastel Perfect 2

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
At art group, I’ve now completed my balloon painting, and it was time for a go with the new pastel paper, courtesy of Maggie. This was my first attempt at pastels for more years than I cared to remember, so I’d brought along a beginner’s book on pastels to remind myself. However, it was more suited to people who were complete beginners at all aspects of art, not just pastels, so I took it back to the library afterwards. By the end of the session, I’d completed a fairly detailed picture of Park House Hill (known locally as the Dragon’s Back) and no longer felt I needed a book.

This was my second go at the Dragon, the first being a small picture to use as a logo for the “Artists of Derbyshire” website. I like this one better, and might put it to use on the site. Some of our members had been kept away by snow, but have now started to return. Elizabeth, no longer snowbound, was back and raring to go. She had a go at the pastels – it had been a while since she’d been along and she hadn’t been aware that we were trying it out. What surprised me was how quickly I got the picture done (it is 35 cm x 26 cm (approx 14” x 11”), - no miniature).

Turbocharged Elizabeth managed to complete her sunset picture – complete with elegantly descending birds – in less than two hours! There’s no waiting for the paint to dry, and it seems a fairly straightforward medium. I have a backlog of ideas, and hope this will give me chance to catch up with myself (so to speak).

Karen, meanwhile, attempted a more challenging subject – a galaxy, working from a prettily coloured photo of some stars. She had been under the impression that the stars would have been that colour in real life, had quickly found they were not, and was wondering why the difference. My better half takes “astro photos”, and I explained that it was done with a coloured filter, trying to remember how else it could be done, and wishing I’d taken more notice of what he gets up to (I’ve since been told the colours can be edited in on the computer, using Irfan View or Gimp). The photographer will often colour the photo to show areas where infra red or ultra violet light occurs.

Enough science for now, more arty fun next time.
Jewel

Some are obvious no's, but there are, luckily, quite a number of yesses. All opinions appreciated.

http://www.thaddeusrombauer.com/client/Rochelle_Shapiro

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Diet Plan

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Someone sold me one. T.G. I only bought a week of it to try out. Crunch bars, shakes, salty chips, soups and cocoa every 2-3 hours and a regular low carb dinner at night. I can't wait until dinner. These diet foods are burning my stomach. "Weight loss by Ulcer" is the true plan, I think. But what it made me realize is that working at home, I eat all day: a teaspoon of peanut butter here, matzoh and butter there, a handful of almonds. Maybe when this week is over--I paid for it so I'll stay on or I'll feel like a complete "loser," I'll just try to eat at 3 hour intervals. I'm already hungry just thinking of that. Every two hours then. Or maybe back to constantly.

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Topsy and Rochelle

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

I have longed for a picture of Topsy and me together, but there wasn't even one. It's hard to remember that before the days of digital photos, people had to spend money on film and money on getting it developed. My parents took pictures on "special occoasions" where Topsy usually wasn't invited. Now, thanks to photoshop, Topsy and and I are reunited. Maybe a shadow is off, maybe she's a bit stiff, but we're together and that's all the counts.

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At times we need feel-good images

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

My son-in-law taking my grandchildren sledding.

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Pastel present

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

Every now and again, our art group has a "group project". This is where someone will come up with an idea, normally for a certain subject matter, and we all try it out. Sometimes, the person with the idea has a photo that they e-mail round everyone, so we all use the same photo but, more often, people use their own material. Most people found "windmills" a bit stressful, likewise "elephants" didn't float everyone's boat. Most of us agree, though, that a bit of a challenge is good for making us better at what we do.

Our project at the moment is a media one, as we are all trying out pastels. John has used them for some time, and it seemed a good idea for the rest of us to have a go. The advantage seems to be that you are more in control of what you are doing than with paint (supposedly). Maggie agreed that the club could pay for some special pastel paper, and she ordered some for us - it arrived during the week with the worst snow, and not many members showed up for the meeting at that time, but more came last week. People are gradually finishing whatever they've been working on and having a go at the pastels. Gill was first, and she drew a picture of a coal miner, who looked a few years younger than in the original. Perhaps she'd like to try drawing me next. John knocked out a lovely green-eyed cat (picture!) this week. He's had so much practice, he had it done in no time. Madge has made a start with a still life.

As for me, I'm still completing my balloon picture. I'm hoping to get it out of the way at home, so that I can make a start with the pastels next time. The picture illustrating this post is a detail from "River Mermaids" an oil pastel picture I did some time ago. I think I am safe to say that this is one for the boys!

More soon,

Jewel

Giving

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
I was in a mall today and saw four teenage boys with falling-down hip hop pants and sideways baseball caps stopping other teens to encourage them to give a ten dollar donation to Haiti by texting, and showing them how. I asked them if they were with a school group, and they said they weren't. They had just discovered that they could send donations like that and decided the idea took hold. They looked urgent, on a mission, and so happy. I was moved.

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Deadline: 02/20/10. Submit to: Align with Global Harmony: Rainmaker’s Prayers. E-mail (via attachment or pasted-in text) to hazelheron.press@gmail.com. To be published by Hazel Heron Press. Contributors receive a free complimentary copy, a 50 word bio with contact info both in print and on web site and the opportunity of being in print with such notables as Mary Oliver, Barbara Kingsolver, Jose Stevens, etc.Theme: Co-creation of Spirit, Nature & Humankind.Type: Short personal essays, 500-1000 words. Environmental topics: Ban the Plastic Bag; Green Teens, Restore a River; Sustainability; The Heart as Sacred Space; Dance as Prayer; Personal Responsibility; Bios of Environmentalists; Sustainable Towns; Living in Harmony with Mother Earth; Indigenous Wisdom & Climate Change; etc.URL: http://shinanbarclay.vox.com

Deadline: 02/28/10.Submit to: Quest for Atlantis: Legends of a Lost Continent. E-mail submissions to: atlantis@pillhillpress.com. Please put SUBMISSION - Title of Story in the subject line.Theme: Stories that celebrate the legend of The Lost Continent of Atlantis. Type: Short stories (10,000 words MAX).URL: http://www.pillhillpress.com/atlantis.htmlDeadline: 03/01/10.Submit to: Bombay Gin. Naropa University, Writing and Poetics Department, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302.Theme: Translations. Must include work in original language and translation.Type: Poetry and prose (8 pages MAX).URL:

Deadline: 04/01/10.Submit to: Witness. Submit via online form: http://witness.blackmountaininstitute.org/submit/login.php.Theme: Blurring Borders.Type: Poetry (5 poems MAX), short stories, and essays.URL: http://witness.blackmountaininstitute.org/submitDeadline: 04/15/10.Submit to: A Whodunit

Halloween. E-mail submissions to: whodunit@pillhillpress.com. Please put SUBMISSION - Title of Story in the subject line.Theme: Halloween mysteries.Type: Short stories (15,000 words MAX).URL: http://www.pillhillpress.com/atlantis.htmlDeadline: 04/20/10.Submit to: A Cup of Comfort. Submit via online form: http://www.cupofcomfort.com/memberlogin.Theme: For Couples.Type: Personal essays (2,000 words

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The Angel of Cyberspace has visited me

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

Ah, my techie friend, Kathy, just arighted my childhood dog, Topsy, for me and made her clearer. Notice how Topsy chewed up the carpet? And her haircut, ahem, I did it myself..

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Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

Cock your head to the side and you'll see my childhood dog, Topsy, whom I adored. She's one of my spirit guides and comes in to help other dogs. If only I knew how to post this properly, I would be thrilled. I'm sure someone will take pity and tell me. Please let me know. I rotated it on the original, but it saves the wrong way.

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I must be one of the few people in the UK not complaining about the weather at the moment, as the cold snap has made me stay in and concentrate on my website “Artists of Derbyshire”. This posting is to tell you a bit more about it. I started looking at the idea of a website, because I didn’t think I was getting enough chance to sell my paintings. Our art group has an annual exhibition for two days in Clowne over Easter. We have tried exhibiting out of town but it is hard work with the travelling and lugging paintings around, and the travel is expensive and a hassle because of our isolated location.

A few talented members had been unable to sell work at our Clowne exhibition, and I had been wondering if they would also be interested in a website as well. I have therefore spent most of my spare time for the past year researching, then building and promoting, this little fella.

I began the research not knowing whether other members would want to join, but decided it was a viable idea at least for me. When I asked the group, two others were interested, so I created the site for the three of us. I would not want to put anyone off doing the same, it has been hard work and quite a learning curve. Overall it reminds me a bit of having a baby what with all the time and attention I give it.

Creativity and Genius

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Pat Panek, one of my former students, a wonderful writer herself, alerted me to this fascinating video site on creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert. We all need inspiration. Enjoy!

About this talk
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
About Elizabeth Gilbert
The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination: genius, and how we ruin it. Full bio and more links

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

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Happy new year to all

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
I spent New Year's Eve watching Avatar with friends. Anyone else see it? I didn't get to a 3D theater, but it blew me away anyway. And then we came back to my place, ate some pasta and played, yes, believe it or not, Tiddly Winks and Tinker Toys. My grandkids were here and I bought old time-y toys for them, which they could care less about. But us boomers, hey!

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Wind in the Willows - for real!

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
“I may be some time”, I quipped as I popped out to the corner shop from art group last week. I felt as if I was venturing to the South Pole with all the snow we’d had. I also felt like a Michelin man (woman more like) with the many layers of clothing I had on. My oil painting survived the journey home on foot in the blizzard - a watercolour might not have fared so well. No doubt my Canadian Twitter follower will be laughing his socks off by now. Minus 5 degrees would probably be a heat wave for him at this time of year.

The snow receded for a few days last week, to reveal definite molehills around our rockery and bird feeder. This had a decorative border of pebbles – sadly no longer. It looked a mess, but more snow has since covered it up. We’d reared some toads from “toadpoles” earlier in the year, and it seemed all we needed was a “ratty” for a real life Wind in the Willows in our back garden.

Luckily, we have been spared a rat so far, and are hoping that our furry visitor will go away on its own. We keep looking at the neighbours’ gardens for signs that he has moved on, so far to no avail. I've read about how to get rid of moles on “how togetridofstuff.com”, but it has just been too cold for us to bother doing anything to move him on.

Have added a “Digg” button to my blog. No doubt I’ll be doing the same to the garden once the snow has gone.

All for now

Jewel