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Documentaries can have a built-in bore factor because there's often no structure. Okay, The March of the Penguins is beautiful, but by mid-point, I'm panicking that the darn penguins will never stop marching and I'll be in the theater until the cows come home. Still, I've invested this much time, so....
But Jill Adresevic's documentary, LOVE, ETC. to hit theaters this Friday, is centered around five couples--a pair of hair school students who have fallen hard in their first true love, a Hindu couple whose dissatisfactions quietly seethe along with the lamb saag and curried cheek peas on their parents' stovetops, a gay director who becomes the single parent of twins through a surrogate mom, and a single dad construction worker who has custody of his two kids.
Your favorites, I bet, will be Albert and Marion from Canarsie, Brooklyn, married for 48 years.
You'll come away enlightened and delighted and wanting to see more!

Lighthouse Week 2

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My Hunstanton drawing is coming along quite well now.  I have suggested some of the bricks in the wall, rather than trying to draw every one, which would be too time consuming, and may not give the best result anyway.   I think I’ll add more detail before doing the foreground, which is mainly grass.  I need to get rid of the lines from where I drew the edges of the wall and fields etc.  I’ve taken out the small information sign/plaque that stands just in front of the wall, as it would have made the drawing look too cluttered.  I am trying to find a way to get some depth into the drawing without pressing down too hard with the crayon.

Sue had used my photo of Kizzie to do her own pastel drawings – she’d had two goes at puss, as her first one came out too brown for her liking, and Kizzie is more of a silver tabby, although she has some blonde/yellowy bits as well, and more so as she gets older.

For everyone who has ever been worried about their child who s being given bad reports from his teachers, not doing his work in school, getting into mischief, read my blog post on



Art goes psyko - not

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This week, I had been planning on showing what the Psykopaint website can do with the photo of Hunstanton lighthouse I showed recently, but unfortunately, the website appears not to be working.  I have made a start on Hunstanton Lighthouse (see below).  I've drawn the outlines and coloured the sky with pale blue pencil crayon, to depict the delicate blue.   I updated my blog yesterday, but there was a problem with putting pictures on, so I have had to add them today, and edit the blog post to reflect the changes.
Hunstanton Lighthouse drawing
Elizabeth's waterfall photo
At art group, Elizabeth was coming to the end of a sunset painting, using a photo she’d taken on a cruise holiday near Panama.  Her next project will probably be some waterfalls, based on the photo above.  I don’t know where they are, I will have to check with her.   My guess is Scotland - they remind me of the falls at Loch Ness, but bigger.

John continued with his silverback apes in pastel, and Maggie with a portrait of a girl in profile, Sue was working on a painting of some textured stones, mostly in monochrome.  Maggie was preparing to make and send a get well card to another of our members who had been unwell, and Gill helpfully found me a magazine article on painting a cat portrait in chalk pastels.  Cue another go at Kizzie, once Hunstanton is done.

Prelude to a Kiss, Craig Lucas

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This is a play to read to see how scenes build. Two people meet and anything can and does happen. I won't spoil the surprise. This play seems at first like a simple boy meets girl, but it uniquely addresses the big life question of love--"Will you still love me tomorrow?"


Unaccustomed as I am ....

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… I have reached my 100th blog post and to mark the occasion, am trying to start each of my posts on all three of my blogs with the above words.
Clowne Enterprise forum attendees networking after the speakers had finished
It was indeed a case of “unaccustomed as I am”, when last night I did a presentation to a group of businesspeople, promoting my website and blogs.   I am not used to public speaking, and had not been encouraged when, earlier the same day, I rehearsed my speech to our cat, who promptly fell asleep.  Although I could have said much more, I set a time limit of 10 minutes, in the hope of not boring the pants off everyone.  I covered what I hoped was some useful ways of promoting a website or blog, woven in with plugs for all of mine.  I recommended books I’d read, and useful websites such as the Blog Frog (SITS forum).  I created some notes for circulation on which I included a link to Theresa Sheridan’s blog, which has 56 places to list a site or blog  I hope I might gain some more readers that way and perhaps they will find what I said useful.   I took plenty of promotional material and distributed it, collecting any unused items at the end.  This included the art group’s Easter exhibition brochure, of which we’d had 100 copies and are now down to 28. 
Talking of which …
“We now officially exist” I told the group when I went last time, and proudly showed them a printed copy of the Clowne Art Group Face Book page, featuring copies of all their artwork and an update on meeting times.  I am hoping some of them will join it, so the updates show up on their profiles, but only Kevin seems to be a member.  Some of the others have family members who belong to it, though, and said they would have a look.  I suggested having photos of members on the page, but Kevin commented with a sideways glance, “won’t that put people off?”

On a slightly less happy note, I’d wanted to create a Twitter page for the Art group but soon discovered that Twitter doesn’t seem to like you to have more than one page nowadays. I already have one for my website and blogs, and I suppose Twitter must have had problem with people trying to create too many pages, so are not allowing people to create more than one. C’est la vie.

My final go at puss in this pose is now underway – I am nearly done, but it just needs a bit more work on the fur, especially the darker bits.  There are still bits of blue showing through from the paper.

In 1936, when 92-year-old Aaron Gorman who is still a practicing accountant, was a junior in Richmond High School in Queens, he pedaled hard on his bike to try to get to the baseball tryouts, but he was too late.

"Please," he begged the coach, "I had to deliver newspapers for my father."

The coach relented. He put Aaron on first and pitched him a ball. Aaron caught it. He pitched another, another. Aaron caught thirty balls in a row. A couple of players were still hanging around, so the coach put them on first and second and sent Aaron off to third and had him throw the ball to all the bases. Pitch perfect, or is it perfect pitch?

The next morning, Aaron had swimming. In those days, the guys didn't wear bathing trunks. They didn't wear anything. The coach was sitting there with Phil Rizzuto, a senior who was only famous at Richmond High at that point. He called Aaron over and introduced them.

That afternoon, there was a scrap game, varsity against the guys trying out. Aaron did so well on third where Phil had played, that they made Aaron third baseman and Phil shortstop. Aaron was probably the reason Phil Rizzuto later became a shortstop for the Yankees.

Moral: You never know what a good accountant can do for you.



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Gulf Coast Announces 4th Annual Barthelme PrizeGulf Coast is happy to announce that the 2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is now open for entries!No matter what you call it--flash fiction, prose poems, micro-essays--send us your work of 500 words or fewer. The winner will receive $1,000 and will be published in the issue of Gulf Coast due out in Spring 2012, along with the two runners-up.Last year we were happy to publish three excellent pieces of short prose by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (2010's winner), Benjamin Glass, and Robert Thomas. These three pieces, along with an introduction by last year's judge Joe Bonomo, are available on our website. Entries are due August 31, 2011 and each entrant will receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast. We're asking that all entries this year come to us via our easy-to-use online submission manager. This year's judge will be poet, essayist, and story writer Sarah Manguso.
Gulf Coast Prize Contest ResultsThe 2011 Gulf Coast Prizes in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction have been chosen! The winner in each genre will receive $1,500 and publication in the next issue of Gulf Coast, due out this fall. The two runners-up in each genre will receive $250 each.In poetry, Ilya Kaminsky chose "A New Vessel" by Amaranth Borsuk of Sommerville, MA.Honorable mentions:"Lampshade Cue Stick Acrobat Dust" by Allison Hutchcraft of West Lafayette, IN."[Silver & I in the yellow kitchen, cruel in paper]" by Carrie Chappell of New Orleans, LA. In fiction, Frederick Reiken selected "The Window" by Brian Van Reet of Austin, TX.Honorable mentions:"At the Gates" by Cara Blue Adams of Baton Rouge, LA. "No Hero, No Sharks" by Sue Staats of Sacramento, CA. In nonfiction, John D'Agata chose "This Suturing of Wounds or Words" by Arianne Zwartjes of Tucson, AZHonorable mentions: "Three Tales of the Extraordinary" by Laura Hartenberger of Toronto."An Algorithm" by Daisy Pitkin of Tucson, AZ. Congratulations to this year's winners and runners-up! And thanks to everyone who entered this year's contest.The 2012 Gulf Coast Prize contest will open on October 1, 2011. Judges and deadlines will be posted at that time.Watch for more Gulf Coast announcements and updates on


Humber Bridge farmers' market

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I only had a short time at art group this week as I had to go early – we were visiting the family.  My third go at Kizzie hasn’t got very far.  I have, in the meantime, discovered a web site that enables me to create many interesting paint effects, and will be featuring it soon.  It is called psykopaint, and was mentioned on the BBC Sunday lunchtime programme “Click”. 

During my stay, I took the opportunity to visit Humber Bridge farmers’ market.  It has craft stalls as well as the usual produce.  It takes place on the viewing platform, which is on the Hull side, so you need to pay £2.70 at the toll bridge if you aren’t travelling from that side.
This lady makes unique chocolates, and her husband and son were selling them at the market.
A display of handmade dolls.

A wood turner, Stephen Jenneson, was chatting to some customers and I could hear him saying that he tries to get a bit of artistry into his items, whenever possible.
There were also some wooden cat items, which I am featuring in my Kizzie cat blog.

Long queues formed at some of the more popular stalls, particularly the ones selling meat.  A cafĂ© was open and a specially set up radio station broadcasted over the tannoy to tell us the hog roast was now ready, amongst other things.  I found it a little intrusive at times, but perhaps I am too used to a quiet life!  None of the traders seemed to take debit cards, even the ones selling more expensive items, so you need plenty of cash.  I was able to buy our niece’s birthday presents, which she chose from the Usborne stall.  All in all, a good morning out.

The Yankee Game

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During the seventh inning, without drinking even one beer, I got up and danced and a photographer got all my moves and there I was, on the big screens. After that, all night people were hi-fiving me, calling me "the fun lady." And fun I had, even though the Yankees lost.

Eighteen-year-old Emily Hagins (still a high school senior who just got her driver's license) wrote and directed My Sucky Teenage Romance, her hilarious and touching satire on teen culture: the rage for sci-fi and vampires. She managed to get it produced by pitching her idea to What a site! People who get revved up about your idea can support it by donating $15 or a thousand or more and you get perks, t-shirts, etc. depending on how much you money you give. That means all of us have a shot at both making a film and producing one. Read more about Emily Hagins and My Sucky Teen Romance at her movie company

Emotions are the wind in the sails for any prose or poetry. It's the one element that you can't be without or your writing becomes as flat as gingerale left uncapped. Through prose, poetry, fictgion or memoir, you will learn to get your emotions on the page. Here is a course description:Course Description: 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.

June at Literary Laundry
Dear Laundry,
We cannot believe that June has already arrived. Since the release of our second issue in March, Literary Laundry has continued to grow substantially. As always, we look forward to the journey ahead.
Please remember, today is the LAST day to submit your work for consideration for Volume 2 Issue 1 (aka Issue 3). Visit to read our submissions guidelines and submit your work.
Applications for our upcoming Showcase are due on June 20. This date is fast approaching, so please submit soon.
We intend to release our third issue on September 1. In the meantime, we will continue to host Author Showcases, post to the blog, add reviews to our Reviews page, and develop our two print-publication series (see below).
Enthusiasm for our Chapbook Series made it clear that we needed to provide an equivalent program for the prose-fiction community. We are proud to announce the debut of our newest venture, the Literary Laundry Novellas Series. To learn more about both of these print-publication opportunities, visit
Lastly, this month we've added a review of Break the Glass by Jean Valentine to our Reviews Page. Check it out at
Happy June,
-The Editors

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