Category Archives: artist

Flash Fiction Blog Launched

The last couple weeks have been loaded with things to do, launching the new Flash Fiction Blog for Every Day Fiction, finishing up a long short story , and turning…one more year young. But the new blog has had most of my attention.

I’m such a fan of Jordan Lapp, Camille Gooderham Campbell, and Steven Smethurst who are the brains, beauty, and brawn behind the innovative e-zine Every Day Fiction. Not only do they supply a new story every single day without fail to their readers, they offer a community for writers and readers alike and constantly stay relevant.

Their mission is to maintain “a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine fiction in bite-size doses. Every day, we publish a new short story of 1000 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast” and this is exactly what they do.

Additionally EDF sponsors a forum at their website that gives writers and readers opportunities to exchange ideas, learn more about writing itself, and form friendships and support groups. The forum is home to a writing group that is private so writers can post drafts of their work for imput from other writers. Anyone can join, but the posts are not public so they can be then submitted to various venues.

Recently they launched Every Day Poets to give writers and readers of verse the same opportunities to produce and enjoy verse.

And now there is EDF’s Flash Fiction Blog where writers can post their thoughts about the art and craft of writing flash fiction. This exciting new venue lets fans of EDF writers read about the trials and tribulations of their favorite authors as well as giving fellow writers the opportunity read and share with their peers. Check it out soon and click on “Submit a Post” if you have something to say, whether you are published or not, whether you are a writer or reader, all ideas are welcome as long as they involve the writing and reading of FLASH.

If you have any questions for the editor, that’s me, and you can contact me at .

Art has its way with me

Okay. If you haven’t read my ADD post, now might be a good time. I don’t know what’s going on, but the last couple years have blown apart my left brain, leaving it strewn across the landscape like so many abandoned PDAs, and crowned my right brain as Grand Empress of the Skull. I guess this must have something to do with the REPRESSION of creative flow and the sudden release of constraints, but whatever it is, it’s damned fun. So far this year I have painted fifteen pictures and in October a friend has generously granted me the opportunity to show at his business what I can do with a tube of acrylic metal paint, wire, and crap I gather from the streets of South Pas. If you thought I was done with you guys, you’re wrong. Invitations forthcoming.

Meanwhile, here’s ONE direction all this exploding brain matter has taken me.

Now back to the book.

Another Lesson From Reality TV: Emulate those who succeed

Project Runway is my absolute favorite reality show. Although my other favorites feature real talent and creativity, PR features the kind of creativity that I relate to. Not saying I could do what they do anymore than I can sing or dance. I can’t sew anything but a curtain panel, but I’m talking about deeper stuff, that digging into the hidden corners of the right brain when doing art and finding originality. That’s what two designers were able to do on last night’s premier of Project Runway, Season 5.

What is originality? Talent and imagination, certainly, but also a third component, knowing what to do with it. One could say a person either is talented or not, has imagination or doesn’t, but I don’t believe that. Like everything else in our genes, the amount of talent and imagination varies, but of more consequence is what we do with what we have. Last night’s first episode of PR is a good example of what I mean. There is talent and imagination in each contestant, but two of them also showed that third component: savvy, the wisdom and shrewdness to pay attention to those who succeeded rather than to those who failed.

I can’t remember their names, Blond Tattoo Girl and Wistful Guy is what I’ll call them here. BTG and WG are obviously students of the show and so were familiar with last night’s challenge: Season 1’s grocery store outfit, and they were successful because they looked to the winner of that challenge while everyone else focused on what previous contestants had done wrong. That shift of perspective last night made all the difference.

Here’s the set-up. The contestants were taken to a grocery store and given $75.00 to purchase materials to fashion an outfit. Tim Gunn told them to think about the WOW factor, to come up with something that would “blow the judges’ socks off.” Austin Scarlett, the competitor who WON this challenge four years ago, pointed out that he succeeded by delivering the unexpected. The name of that episode was “Innovation” and his design, a bustier sundress made of corn husks, transformed an ordinary agricultural product into a snazzy little summer number. Yet despite these admonishments, many of the contestants headed straight for the easy-way-out aisle.

The most obvious and forgiving “materials” to purchase are, of course, trashbags, shower curtains, and table cloths. My immediate thought as they scurried into the aisles to buy these exact items was “These guys have thought about this challenge.” Of course they have. Me too. Everytime I take onions and avocados out of their plastic netted bags I think ‘evening gown yoke.’ But unfortunately, this year’s designers focused on the contestants who floundered with seemingly unsewable products, and they were determined not to fall into the same trap.

All except Blond Tattoo Girl and Wistful Guy. They paid attention to the winner of that challenge. They recognized Austin’s inventiveness and had considered about how they too could innovate. WG made probably one of the most impossible choices. He bought plastic drinking cups. As one of the judges said, “Exactly what ANYONE would hurry to grab for this challenge.” But it worked. He molded–literally with an iron–a corset top and bell skirt that looked wearable and was definitely sexy. He remembered the word “innovation” and by the silhouette he chose, he also remembered the corn-husk design. He kept it simple and pretty, AND used the unusable.

This worked for BTG, too, who won the challenge. SHE was crazy-creative with her vaccuum cleaner bags, her coffee filters, her tacks, and her binder spirals. Again I’m positive she’s thought about it before the show, asked herself, “What would I do if…” Her dye and bleach treatment to the bags created a fresh and artistic skirt. The burn-out filters worked humorously with the tacks for the bodice. It was charming. I was pleased she won.

So why am I–a writer–spending all this time on this topic? Because this first episode of the season carries with it a potent message: emulate those who succeed, not those who lose.

How many times has a writer, a friend, or even me, said, “I read the worst book. I know what’s wrong with it, so I know what not to do!”

Is this what any creative person should think about? An artist? A designer? A writer? Or should he or she instead, study what’s hanging on the walls of the Norton Simon and MOOLA? Watch what’s coming down the runway at Olypus Fashion Week? Or read closely for the content, the structure, the language of To Kill a Mockingbird or The Yiddish Policeman’s Union or Tess of the D’Urbevilles and shout out loud, “Now this is the kind of art I want to do!”

The two best pieces last night were created by savvy designers who listened, who studied the winners, who dug to the center of their imaginations, and who executed with confidence and verve. That’s the kind of writer I want to be. An original.