Nov 18 2014

AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH Is Throwing A Party And You’re Invited!

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LDW reading ATSP

I’ve never done a book reading/signing event before. Certainly not for my own book. I’ve been in the audience at a few, I attended one in which an essay and photograph of mine were part of the book being presented; I even had a recurring role as “The Reading Queen” in my son’s second grade class years ago. That involved an ermine stole and a tiara, so that was definitely a highpoint! But I’ve never stood in front of an audience as a bona fide author and read an excerpt from a book I’ve written, waiting to take questions and sign a few copies afterwards. Never done that. I would guess it’s something every author pictures when visualizing their writing career. A heady thing to imagine…

Not dissimilar, I suppose, to a singer/songwriter getting up on stage to sing songs they’ve written, a painter or photographer standing at an exhibit to discuss work of theirs being featured; a playwright waiting in the foyer of a theater to talk about their play just performed. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to have experienced each of those at one time or another, so I know both the thrill and the anticipation involved, particularly in these technical times when so much of our discourse and sharing is done online. A reading is all about human contact and that might be the very best part about it!

So I’m delighted to have this inaugural opportunity to experience a most vaunted rite-of-passage, particularly as a debut author, and I hope you will join me. Given the innumerable choices any reader has today, I’m always honored and grateful when someone chooses my work, and certainly thrilled when they find it meaningful… enough to show up at a reading! I’ll look forward to seeing those of you who’ve asked about getting your books signed, and for those who might come to find out about my work, I’ll be thrilled to make your acquaintance!

If you are in the Los Angeles area and looking for a literary event to include as part of your weekend’s entertainment, come join us next Saturday, November 22nd. I am grateful to the marvelous Lisa Schultz of The Peace Project for inviting me to present the After The Sucker Punch Party at her studio, The Whole 9, in Culver City. It’s an especially wonderful venue because, while you’re there for the reading, you’ll have the opportunity to view some incredible art, including the 2014 Peace Project Traveling Exhibit (which includes one of my photographs), as well as avail yourself of many artistic gift items, the proceeds of which help fund The Peace Project. I’m always thrilled when I can involve myself in a win/win!

The information follows; I look forward to your RSVP either at info@lorrainedevonwilke.com or via the Facebook Event page.  I will see you next Saturday and we’ll raise a glass and a cookie to After The Sucker Punch!

The After The Sucker Punch Reading/Signing Event
Saturday, November 22, 2014
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm PST
The Whole 9 Gallery
3830 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232
(between Culver & Venice)
(310) 836-4600

Please feel free to bring your already-purchased copy for signing; books will be available for purchase at the event at the special price of $10.00.

 


 

LDW_BWFollow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Huffington Post. Her article archive can be found at Contently, her photos at Fine Art America; details and links to her other work @ www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

Both her novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH (ebook and paperback) and her short story, “She Tumbled Down,” (ebook) are available via her Amazon Author page. To view the After The Sucker Punch book trailer, click HERE.

Be sure to stay current with her adventures in independent publishing at her book blog at www.AfterTheSuckerPunch.com… and don’t forget to FOLLOW THIS BLOG (click box above/right)!

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Nov 2 2014

There Is Noise, Then There Is Your Voice: VOTE

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vote-cartoon

Nothing’s perfect. Nothing meets every expectation or fulfills every wish or desire. We engage in jobs, marriages, college careers, sporting competitions, cultural challenges, parenting, etc., with a presumption of one set of results and often, very often, a different set emerges. It’s part of life; we’re taught to adjust and we do. But does that mean we don’t, then, engage in those activities once they’ve failed to meet our expectations? We eschew marriage because too many end in divorce? We don’t go to college because too many expensive educations don’t result in high paying jobs? We don’t bother with jobs at all because too many disappoint with sustainability or advancement issues? We give up on sports because our team lost or a coach failed to pull out the season? We don’t engage in activities, causes, creative endeavors, and the like because we experienced disappointments, failed candidacies, unmet financial goals, poor ticket sales? We don’t have children because… well, children…. God knows what they’ll do?!

Fact is, most of don’t give up on all those many elements of human life just because they disappointed us. We may rage, write blogs, post comments or sign petitions, but once we shake off whatever frustrations, heartaches, disappointments, and tragedies life has to offer, we climb up from the depths and jump back in. We reinvent. We try again. We give it another shot.

So why do we stop voting because we’re disappointed in politics and politicians?

Muslim women voting

All week I’ve been reading articles about voter apathy, weak turnout, low approval ratings, election shenanigans (that again!), and so on. I’ve seen posts on Facebook bemoaning the futility of voting, cries of “what’s the point?”; lots of wordy treatises (some by celebrities) on the pointlessness of choosing “one devil over the other,” and the cynicism and negativity is just breathtaking. Honestly, I want to shout “FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, PEOPLE!” as loudly as I can and, in fact, it really is only in the First World that we so take for granted our right to vote and the ease with which we can do it. When you see lines of Muslim women in India eager to make their voices known, Iraqi voters with purple fingers, Sudanese in line for hours, and others in beleaguered countries actually putting themselves at risk to get to the ballot box, the bizarrely enervated, whiney responses of far too many American voters is gut punching.

Iraqi_voters_inked_fingers

VOTE!

Seriously… vote. Spend today and tomorrow boning up on the many propositions, compare who’s for and against, get an idea of what they’re about; look at endorsements, see if they align with your thinking, then CHOOSE. DECIDE. VOTE.

Don’t know who all those judges are? Who does? Again, check endorsements, do a little research. Some big newspapers made it easy and have done the research for you; all you have to do is decide, again, if that newspaper is generally aligned with your political sway, read a few biographies and voting records, then DECIDE.

Might you get it wrong if you make a choice and later discover the proposition was weak because it wasn’t written well or it didn’t pan out as expected by its authors? Yes. You might. So what? Right now, in this election, take the time to make the best possible choice you can based on your research and your gut… just DECIDE. If it turns out to be a failure, so what? You tried. They tried. We’ll all try again.

There’s lots to say (and, oh, so many people saying it!) about Republicans and Democrats and this guy and that gal and all the usual partisan politics about who cares about women and minorities, who doesn’t, who might win the Senate, who might not, and that’s a BIG conversation filled with lots of noise and a modicum of sense… mostly not. I don’t need to add to it. My party affiliation is clear to me, I know who I believe is more concerned about my rights as a woman, a parent, an American, and a member of this human race. I will vote accordingly. But I’m not here right now to try to sway anyone to one side or the other, browbeat any particular candidate or applaud another. That’s all being done by countless others and the noise is deafening.

All I’m here to say is: VOTE. Period.

Voting in Sudan

It may be a cliche, but if you don’t vote you have no voice in the government of the country in which you live. You have no position from which to complain, to argue, to raise a ruckus. You’ve offered no energy toward being part of and, hopefully, improving a — yes — corrupt, flawed, manipulated, and seriously pot-holed system. But it’s our current system and we ARE the government. It often doesn’t feel that way for a whole host of valid reasons, but it is our vote, each and every vote, each and every election, that shifts and changes — albeit ever so slowly — the government, the laws, the leaders, the country. Don’t abdicate the power you have to protest the power you don’t have.

VOTE.

College kids voting for the first time
Ben Sargent Voting Cartoon: Reboot Illinois
Muslim women voting: Jezebel
Iraqi voters with their purple fingers: Wikipedia
Voting in Sudan: Wikimedia Commons; Jenn Warren, USAID Africa Bureau 
College kids voting for the first time: College of New Rochelle


 

LDW_BWFollow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Huffington Post. Her article archive can be found at Contently, her photos at Fine Art America; details and links to her other work @ www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

Both her novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH (ebook and paperback) and her short story, “She Tumbled Down,” (ebook) are available via her Amazon Author page. To view the After The Sucker Punch book trailer, click HERE.

Be sure to stay current with her adventures in independent publishing at her book blog at www.AfterTheSuckerPunch.com… and don’t forget to FOLLOW THIS BLOG (click box above/right)!

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Oct 21 2014

THIS Photography Gallery Is Open 24/7

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Cordoba Courtyard Vigil

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! :)

Click here any time: LDW @ Fine Art America. 

Enjoy and… thank you!!


 

LDW_BWFollow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Huffington Post. Her article archive can be found at Contently, her photos at Fine Art America; details and links to her other work @ www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

Both her novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH (ebook and paperback) and her short story, “She Tumbled Down,” (ebook) are available via her Amazon Author page. To view the After The Sucker Punch book trailer, click HERE.

Be sure to stay current with her adventures in independent publishing at her book blog at www.AfterTheSuckerPunch.com… and don’t forget to FOLLOW THIS BLOG (click box above/right)!

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Oct 21 2014

ONE DAY ONLY: ‘Sky Reflected’ Featured on Duncan Miller Gallery Site YourDailyPhotograph.com

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Sky Reflected

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.

This image is available for viewing and purchase until Oct 21, 9:00 am PST.

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.

YourDailyPhotograph.com‘s mission statement is as follows:

“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…!

Click HERE to access site: YourDailyPhotograph for 10.20 – 10.21 featuring “Sky Reflected.”

 

UPDATE: 8:46 am PST, 10.21.14; As we come to the end of our 24-hour exhibit, here posted is that fleeting page, memorialized for posterity. Thanks to all who stopped by!

YourDailyPhotograph


 

LDW_BWFollow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Huffington Post. Her article archive can be found at Contently, her photos at Fine Art America; details and links to her other work @ www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

Both her novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH (ebook and paperback) and her short story, “She Tumbled Down,” (ebook) are available via her Amazon Author page. To view the After The Sucker Punch book trailer, click HERE.

Be sure to stay current with her adventures in independent publishing at her book blog at www.AfterTheSuckerPunch.com… and don’t forget to FOLLOW THIS BLOG (click box above/right)!

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Oct 15 2014

Dear Facebook Circle: Could You Do Me A Favor?

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Dear FB Friends..

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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?
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Writing Letters; vintage photo.


 

LDW_BWFollow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Huffington Post. Her article archive can be found at Contently, her photos at Fine Art America; details and links to her other work @ www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

Both her novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH (ebook and paperback) and her short story, “She Tumbled Down,” (ebook) are available via her Amazon Author page. To view the After The Sucker Punch book trailer, click HERE.

Be sure to stay current with her adventures in independent publishing at her book blog at www.AfterTheSuckerPunch.com… and don’t forget to FOLLOW THIS BLOG (click box above/right)!

Click to read & share!