I was DELIGHTED to have been included in the SKY exhibit at Duncan Miller Gallery’s “one day at a time” site, YourDailyPhotograph.com. It’s considered quite a prestigious selection, and there was particular honor in being chosen by the jury curator, Paula Tognarelli of the Griffin Museum of Photography. She knows her stuff and having her recognize one of my pieces as exhibit-worthy was no small thing!
BUT. While the 24-hour time limit is fun in a sort of “5-star food truck sending out Tweets to announce where it’ll be parked on Tuesday” kind of way, the dependable, always-open element of my photography site at Fine Art America is notable for its more sustaining presence! So I wanted to take this opportunity, to remind my readers, my viewers, that beyond writing blogs, books, articles and songs, I am also one who’s inspired by the Muse of Visual Art in the form of photography. And my work, work I love and share with love, is available for easy viewing and collecting at my site at FAA. 24/7. No Tweets required!
I’m always posting new pieces, so come by at your leisure, stroll through the many eclectic galleries, and if something resonates, feel free to leave a comment, a like, a share, or even, hallelujah, a purchase. Believe me, I love that sort of thing! :)
Happy to share some good news on the photography front!
YourDailyPhotograph.com, the online exhibit and collectors’ site affiliated with the prestigious Duncan Miller Gallery of Santa Monica, CA, is showing — FOR ONE DAY ONLY — my photograph titled, “Sky Reflected,” included as part of the themed and curated show, SKY.
Paula Tognarelli, curator at the Griffin Museum of Photography, recently juried YourDailyPhotograph‘s call for submissions under the theme “Sky,” and chose “Sky Reflected” as one of 30 selections out of 700. I am honored to have had my work selected by Ms. Tognarelli, and thrilled to be involved with Duncan Miller Gallery and YourDailyPhotograph.com, all tremendous supporters of photographers and their art.
“Our job is to search out, discover and present valuable photographs for the collectors who subscribe to this email. Unlike many online galleries, we don’t have a room of digital printers churning out poster-type prints – we don’t have a single photo printer in our office. We want each living photographer we show here to be ‘hands-on’ with the making of their print, closely examining it, signing and carefully shipping to our gallery for our own inspection and approval. The artist’s touch. Only then will a photograph find its way into the hands of our collectors.”
Beyond the SKY show, there are many other fantastic photographs on exhibit. Come look, see, collect, enjoy…!
I love that you’re all here. I’ve intentionally set my page to “public” with the idea of welcoming people from all over the world with their varying opinions and perspectives, and I appreciate the diversity. I enjoy the stories you tell, pictures you post, articles you share, events you holler about, even the animal videos (I LOVE the animal videos!). I also appreciate civil thought-provocation by way of opinion pieces shared; I occasionally engage in respectful debate (though less so these days… it’s so circuitous!), and I do think it’s essential to be aware of what’s going on in the world around us.
But it’s a delicate balance, a pendulum swing between “being informed” and “being bombarded”; between “having an opinion” vs. “being an a-hole about it.” And that balance often gets out of whack and in need of fine-turning. And while, in the spirit of self-preservation and mental health, I encourage you to turn off the TV, step away from relentless news, and stop reading everything written on the disasters of the day, I also think there are some simple adjustments we can make, even in how we engage with each other on social platforms such as Facebook.
So can we try this? For the sake of NOT being part of the toxic noise about things over which we have no control, I make these few simple requests, in no particular order:
If I, say, post a piece celebrating a 1%er donating money to an important cause, supporting a good law, or pushing for a raise in the minimum wage, could you do me a favor and refrain from snarkiness about how much MORE that person could’ve donated, what else he spends his money on, why he’s an idiot, or how come he didn’t do more? He donated. He helped. He put effort toward something good. Excellent. It’s being acknowledged. Let’s leave it at that.
If a piece is posted about, say, positive efforts being made on the ebola front, please don’t respond by then sharing every single fear-stirring article about who else has been infected, how many have died, how no one is safe, etc. Read Frank Bruni’s article, Scarier Than Ebola to put things in proper perspective and go get a flu shot… or your kids vaccinated. You’re not going to get ebola. Neither are your children. The media is already working overtime to pump this evolving story into a lather; how about we “rise above” on our social media pages and stay focused on the positive, the real, the actual? If you think immersing yourself in the negative, particularly regarding issues of health and welfare, has any social, physical, mental, or emotional benefit, odds are you don’t feel good a lot of the time. I urge you to turn your thoughts to healthier perspectives. It works, I swear.
I beg you, please reconsider posting ANYTHING further about what an idiot Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, or any of that particular cabal are. We ALREADY KNOW. It really, truly IS better to ignore people of their ilk. Unless they’re physically setting fire to a room, standing with a knife at someone’s neck, or flying to Russia to “negotiate” with Putin (and would we put that past Palin?), they are nothing but gaseous air intended to prick public response. And when you post and share stories about them, you are doing exactly what they want you to do! Publicize them! Make them viral! Get them more attention!! They need that like vampires need moonlight and blood. So starve ‘em out. Ignore them. Unless it’s Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert skewering them, unless you’re taking actual steps to shut them down, stop feeding the beast. I’ve taken a vow to never again write, read, or share anything about any of them…. will you join me?
I get why people are mad at the police. I’ve been mighty mad at the police a few times myself, as anyone who reads my columns can attest. But in every case involving “bad cops,” including my own, it involves SOME bad cops. Only some. Not all. Not every cop is a corrupt, racist, psychotic sociopath. MOST are good people working at an incredibly, ridiculously dangerous job that has got to be draining to the heart and soul of any human being. So posting a relentless string of “bad cop” stories is, like posting bad Muslim stories, an act of propaganda. It focuses attention on a certain element, a small percentage, the extremist edge, of a much larger group, and stirs up negative feelings intended to spill onto ALL of that group. Please stop. It’s not helping; it’s fomenting. Unless you’re authentically participating in some tangible, physical action towards righting wrongs or promoting the advancement of deeply needed awareness-raising related to our racial divides, you’re only creating more divides. Don’t be that guy in the town square endlessly waving pamphlets about what’s wrong with the world. Either sign up for a community action group or focus on who and what’s improving the situation.
Let’s acknowledge this plain and simple fact: the Middle East is a quagmire. Part of why I loved The Honorable Woman was its stunning authenticity in showing just how much of a quagmire, even for those most invested and most desirous of peace. None of us here on Facebook, other than potentially having ethnic ties and certainly our opinions, have hands-on involvement in that situation, so how about we do what we can to not contribute further to the quagmire? Abstention from posting incendiary, fear-mongering, rage inducing, propagandizing pieces would be a good start. Because it doesn’t help. Amazingly intelligent and peace-focused statespeople the world over have struggled to find solutions to this relentless situation, a situation that encompasses nuances, enigmas, ancient wounds, historical precedence, and arcane, ethnic influences that we here on Facebook are not privy to. We’re not going to solve it on social media so how about we at least try to not throw verbal grenades into the public theatre? Promoting peace can be as simple as not promoting dissention.
And lastly, and certainly on a lighter note, if I post a review of something I like, a ramble about my day at the beach; share a well-written piece about the President, or exhibit my opinion about something relative to my worldview, could you do me the favor of not immediately following with a comment in disagreement? It’s not that I mind opposing views, but there’s a time, a place, and certainly worthier topics than, say, the state in which I live or a film I happen to like, with which to argue. There seems an almost knee-jerk response from some to immediately, and likely without much thought, jump on to register an opposing views as if it were their moral duty. I call it the Ego of Opposition. Know this: it’s not required. And when it’s in service to the most mundane of issues, it only serves to make you seem unfriendly, curmudgeonly, negative, egotistical and passive aggressive. So how about this: I won’t go to your page to assert my disagreement to your review of Gone Girl; I won’t jump on your thread to knock down your lovely remembrance of a place you visited that I don’t like; I won’t argue politics (because we all know that’s a rabbit hole), and if you post something incendiary that I think promotes fear or hate, I may refute but I’ll do so with reason and civility. Anything else I’ll take it to my own page. I’d appreciate it if you do the same.
I realize some of you will disagree with this list (of course! :) ) Some of you believe there’s merit in posting about every bad thing in the world, spending time on social media debating (aka: screaming at each other); some of you even believe we’re obligated as good citizens to participate in these ways or we’re not engaged, informed, or involved. Okay. That’s your opinion.
Mine? This world can be a difficult place, surely it is for many, but most of us here in this Facebook circle are the fortunate ones who get to make decisions about how we live in it. And in all my years as a writer, a journalist, an observer of life, and a member of the human race, I have not seen one good thing evolve out of mindless opposition, knee-jerk contrariness, or the fanning and focusing of negativity. We have the power to promote positive action, and we should; we have the obligation to take positive action, and we must; but we also have the ability — the need — to use our words more wisely, more judiciously; more compassionately. I’d like to encourage that. Thanks.
When I was a young girl, electric with sensuality and a burgeoning curiosity about all things lust, passion, and love, a song came out, sung by a man with a silky voice, that seemed an anthem to all three. I was working my first waitress job at the time, an Irish restaurant that had a juke box stocked with as wide a variety of music as you can imagine, and in the midst of milquetoasty 70’s selections (“Dancing In the Moonlight,” “The Morning After”?!) came… Barry White, with an undulating, unforgettable intro and that rumbling baritone crooning “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More”… remember?
Give it up, ain’t no use
I can’t help myself if I wanted to
I’m hung up, no doubt
I’m so in love with you, for me there’s no way out
‘Cause deeper and deeper
In love with you, I’m falling
Sweeter and sweeter
Your tender words of love keeps calling…
Eager and eager, yeah
To feel your lips upon my face
Please her and please her
Any time or any place
I’m gonna love you, love you, love you just a little more, baby….
I remember the suspense of that musical opening: the drums start it… then the keys set that iconic riff; Barry’s voice weaves in and out in that bedroom way he had… all combining to create this grooving, driving, layered paean to immutable love. I was smitten.
I would play that song over and over, all day and into the night shift, swooning around “section B” like a lovesick teenager to the point that the bartenders thought I was crazy and every drunk in the room wanted to dance with me. But this wasn’t about hook-ups and flirtations; this was about LOVE, true love so strong “there’s no way out.” That’s what I wanted: to be in love with someone who’d fall “deeper and deeper in love” with me right back. I was a young girl mesmerized by romance and poetry who now had my love theme.
But time went on, music changed, Barry put out other songs I liked but none quite as well. I grew up, fell in and out of love more times than my mother appreciated, and learned that the kind of passion Barry rhapsodized about wasn’t easily found. I still believed in it, didn’t give up on it, but stopped holding every relationship to the standard of “no way out.” I always seemed to find plenty of ways out… as did they.
Until I met him. Pete. The man I married, the man who, 24 years ago on this day, told me, by virtue of everything he was, everything he gave me, and everything he promised on that wedding day, that he was, indeed, so in love there was no way out.
This time it looks like love is here to stay
As long as I shall live
I’ll give you all I have and all I have to give
No, those weren’t his vows – I’m still quoting Barry here :) – but in the ensuing 24 years he did give me all he had to give, which was every joyful moment, every event, triumph, and memorable experience you could imagine. But life being what it is – meaning, we weren’t living in a love ballad – we also hit some walls that were so damn hard I thought our heads would crack. His almost did. And those were the moments when “no way out” felt more like a sentence than a promise. We ebbed and flowed, ran away and came back; sought and looked and learned in every way we knew how and, somehow, some way, ended up full circle, back to where we started… back home. Where we healed and evolved and let go and forgave until we knew, once again, no doubt, “this time it looks like love is here to stay.” A vow coming full circle as well.
I’m sure you realize there’s a wink in how I’m framing this story, a clear understanding of my sweet, youthful naiveté in believing love could be defined by a ballad sung by Dr. Love. But still… certain ideas nestle, certain sensations and feelings become part of your cellular memory, and even seemingly trite words and melodies become connectors to grander ideas. And, to this day, whenever I hear “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More,” I’m back at that juke box, swaying to the beat, eyes closed and heart filled with longing, believing in life and passion and those “tender words of love.”
And today I celebrate the man I married, the one who spoke those tender words so long ago and speaks them still. Happy Anniversary, darling. Wherever we’ve been, wherever we’re going, know I’m always gonna love you, love you, love you… just a little more.
The art of attracting new readers, readers who might not have already noticed your work, your book, your good reviews; your stellar prose, is a sort of balancing act that requires foresight, timing, social media skills, and, well, a willingness to throw up a good old “lemonade stand” every once in a while.
I’ve written about the “free book” trend in publishing (see Free Books: Marketing Genius or Devaluation of Writers?) and remain on-the-fence about the “genius” part. Reports from the field cover a wide range of opinions about its effectiveness these days, and certainly with other developments in the book industry (particularly Kindle’s new subscription option), the impact of “free book” campaigns may have lessened.
And beyond marketing algorithms, there is that weird emotional chasm that seems to exist between free and 99¢ (anecdotal evidence of “free book trollers” on certain sites has been shared, reports of spikes in negative reviews for free books, etc.). Since my goal here isn’t to stir the sleeping trolls of Bookville or inspire any kind of knee-jerk negativity, I’m setting up my stand with a big old dollar sign (or “cent” sign, as it were), a stack (albeit, virtual) of shiny new books, and an invitation to come enjoy the fruits of my imagination, which, to keep with the lemonade stand metaphor, offer just the right mix of tart and sweet! (I know, forgive me! :) )
For a good sense of the book, please enjoy the following trailer; a synopsis is below.
And THANK YOU. My highest goal here is to share this story I wrote, this book I love, with a reading audience that will be moved by it, find it thought-provoking, funny, or in some way reflective of their own experience. That, really, is the whole point…
They buried her father at noon, at five she found his journals, and in the time it took to read one-and-a-half pages her world turned upside down… he thought she was a failure.
Every child, no matter what age, wants to know their father loves them, and Tessa Curzio – thirty-six, emerging writer, ex-rocker, lapsed Catholic, defected Scientologist, and fourth in a family of eight complicated people – is no exception. But just when she thought her twitchy life was finally coming together – solid relationship, creative job; a view of the ocean – the one-two punch of her father’s death and posthumous indictment proves an existential knockout.
She tries to “just let it go,” as her sister suggests, but life viewed through the filter of his damning words is suddenly skewed, shaking the foundation of everything from her solid relationship and winning job to the truth of her family, even her sense of self. From there, friendships strain, bad behavior ensues, new men entreat, and family drama spikes, all leading to her little-known aunt, a nun and counselor, who lovingly strong-arms Tessa onto a journey of discovery and reinvention. It’s a trip that’s not always pretty – or particularly wise – but somewhere in all the twists and turns, unexpected truths are found.
Author and longtime Huffington Post contributor, Lorraine Devon Wilke, takes an irreverent look at father/daughter relationships through the unique prism of Tessa’s saga and its exploration of family, faith, cults, creativity, new love and old, and the struggle to define oneself against the inexplicable perceptions of a deceased parent. Told with both sass and sensibility, it’s a story wrapped in contemporary culture but with a very classic heart.
Thanks again… enjoy the sale and enjoy the read! And if you do, I hope you’ll come back to leave a few thoughtful words in the Review section of my page at Amazon (you know… those marketing algorithms again! :) ) I thank you in advance for that too!
UPDATE: Just a few of the places promoting the sale — places you should definitely check out and patronize, as they consistently promote the books offering sales, are KINDLE BOOKS AND TIPS and DIGITAL BOOK SPOT. Check them out!
This is my playground, my forum, my big fat slice of life. And like the rules of the game from which I borrowed the title, the focus changes depending on which topic wins the throw-down on a given day. But, always, there's sass and sensibility in equal doses! Enjoy!
@ Amazon... the Books:
After The Sucker Punch:
She finds her father’s journal on the night of his funeral and discovers he thought she was a failure. Cue existential crisis. A novel in ebook and paperback.