Once upon a time, most of us blogged quite a bit.

Lately, it's much less. Part of that is ill-suited platforms (LJ's glitchiness and lack of subscriber interest), part of that is the rush to do such small things: tweets, FaceBook updates, etc. Quick, easy...shallow...unfulfilling.

I miss so many of the bloggers that have stopped writing. Some continue on as brief, skeletal presences, occasionally doing a small bit and then disappearing again. Others blog only here and there, perhaps discouraged by so few others responding back to them. Some have quit entirely, or moved on elsewhere.

I even miss blogging, but most of the time I wonder why bother? Will anyone read it? Will anyone really care?

However, something only slightly-related brought this home to me the other day. I had not originally read The Hunger Games, partially because it was 'Young Adult' and partially because I'm not a big fan of fiction. When friends began to talk about it, I avoided it because I tend to cry whenever I worry about children/animals/people/anyone starving. That's my big trigger: the face of starvation in someone's life. [I can relay that it has always made me super-miserable to think of anyone being hungry, but it was really rammed home watching my mother starve to death while she died of esophageal cancer. It was the worst horror, and one I had no power over.]

When I was talked into going to see the movie, I went ahead and read through a blogger's synopsis of each chapter, trying to discern how awful the images of starvation might be. I finally determined I could likely hold up through it and went with them.

Movies are fun, quick, and instantaneously rewarding--there doesn't have to be a bit of thought or imagination on anyone's part to watch a movie. It's as interactive (or not) as you care to make it. It can also bore you to pieces if it is not well done.

But it is not WRITING. The Written Word has such power, and we are discounting that more and more as we rush through our lives.

The film industry allowed me to watch The Hunger Games and while recognising its power and the ability to transcend the different barriers of translating word-to-vision and overcoming visual-imparements (the books take place INSIDE KATNISS' HEAD; they're her thoughts and reflections of what she sees, but she does not actually SHOW US.) Very pretty.

However, magic of WRITING is such that I could not get past the first few chapters of READING The Hunger Games without becoming ravenously hungry. Having watched the scenes on film, I did not have any sort of feeling that I would have wanted to eat anything I saw in those sections where food lay obscenely all around the bedazzled children Tributes.

But READING the scenes in the book, and thinking along with Katniss about the slivers of pale purple melon or the luscious blue grapes; of imagining what it was like to FINALLY be able to GORGE oneself after a lifetime of never getting to eat enough...it was a powerful thing. To feel so stuffed with something so decadently--and yet simply--so wonderful as food and to feel the fear of yet again hungering...my God! That is something that neither a film nor a photo nor a tweet nor an update could have imparted to me!

Reading requires imagination to truly transmit its full strength, and it takes practice (i.e., reading often and repeatedly) to do that. Reading, not watching. Not passively 'seeing', but interacting with the words and sensing all things for oneself as one is transported to another realm.

I think we all do one another a disservice by not writing more and writing more frequently. We are not 'reading' one another as we could/should, and by that we are robbing ourselves of the delight of knowing one another on levels that only WORDS/THOUGHTS can open to us.

Please write today. Please read others. Think of the power we miss in not seeing the light of someone's soul in their words.

Nechtan :)

Not really, but perhaps. That's up there for the trolls who believe one's personal blog is up for them to edit and accuse however they may. I'm beginning to think ALL blog entries should begin with that! Petite Petal Precious Flowers can go fuck themselves!

Cut for the ookie-gooey detail:

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Get a grip!

Nechtan :)
Within this First Harvest season of Lughnassadh, I have been mulling over a great many things.

One of the most profound is that I cannot recommend Christianity to anyone.

This may come as a surprise to many of you, given that I have never hidden either my being a Celtic Christian now, or that I spent most of my life (more than a few decades) within Thelemic/Hermetic Magick.

What I can tell you is this: Magic(k) is REAL. It works, although not all practitioners are really working it. Many of them are just pretending because it makes them look cool; one should always be aware of and watching out for the charlatans and fakirs/fakers.

Frankly, I really hate those guys. Anyone who has to try to make themselves something they are not in order to try to impress or pull the wool over someone else's eyes is less than despicable and I guarantee you, they WILL receive their just desserts. I do not believe they will like those desserts, but I have no pity upon them. No one should.

What I can also tell you is this: Jesus Christ is REAL, too. And, just like the fakirs/fakers of magic(k)(que) who pretend, there are also so-called 'Christians' who pretend. They pretend they are holy, they pretend they know more than you, they pretend they know whatever it is they're spouting off about. What most of them DO know is 'Christianese', a mystical language employing terminology that is rarely questioned and almost never truly EXPLAINED or PRACTICED in any way, shape, or form. Rather like Dianetics/the Church of Scientology, there's an 'alternative language' one learns to throw at everyone else in order to disguise the level of lostness that any one of them might be in at any given time.

Read more... )
God never fails, but I do.
Today's funstuff:

Basically, I used to be the girl with the mask and torn fishnets...only with red hair instead of black!

Also, FYI, this week I snagged TWO pairs of TRIPP trousers (about $150 each) for $4.99 each at Goodwill, and they both looked BRAND NEW. Compleat with all the metal chains, too!

Nechtan :)
( Jun. 6th, 2012 02:19 pm)

While I was never a "Twilight" fan and I've laughed heartily at all the mopey emo clips of Kristen Stewart that pop up here and there, I knew there was more to her than all that. After all, I saw her play out an extremely credible Joan Jett in "The Runaways" movie. [Yup, that's part of my time period. "Hello Daddy! Hello Mom! I'm yer ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb!" I'm contemporary with Joan.] So I had great hopes for "Snow White and the Huntsman".

Since there's a special deal where I can go see a first-run movie at the Circle Center Mall any time on Tuesdays for less-than-weekend-bargain-matinee-rates, I popped over there after work.


Atmospheric, rich, and moody, the world and its special effects are pretty glorious, and I'm no big fan of CGI. The CGI is so good, I debated with myself for a good, long five minutes on whether or not that was really Ian McShane playing one of the dwarves (it was), and then debated more on why they would use full-sized actors (which all seven dwarves were) instead of properly littler actors...but also reminded myself that John Rhys Davies had also played a dwarf in the LOTR trilogy, so...

Snow White is disenfranchised, frightened, and lost. She learns she is stronger than she ever believed and throughout her journey to an imagined 'safe place', she discovers what it means to be Sovereignty in all its meaning. Still, it's a lofty and abstract concept that means very little in the beginning until she finally transcends even her own death to rise up and understand that ONLY SHE can change things. ONLY SHE can remake the world.

All the (king's) horses and all the (king's) men cannot do it. Every helpful man and every unhelpful thing that happens cannot change it. It's up to her, and she rises to do so.

Beautifully done, it never falls on what you 'expect'. The kiss that revives her isn't who you expect, and the one who gives it is not going to be destined to be her Shining Prince Charming. In fact, in a manner not often seen in movies, the last five or ten minutes of the film focuses on all the unspoken--yet impeccably expressed--emotions on Snow White's face. No dialogue, no falling into the arms of her 'hero': just her. She only has herself, after all.

So do you.

I recommend you see this. The middle bit in Sanctuary with all the Fae stuff going on actually avoids falling into The Twee Basketry of Kawaii and I enjoyed it. Not bad!

Nechtan :)

P.S. Promised photos still promised! Really!
Basically, I know artists are right-brained. I only wish some of them were not quite so unable to shift gears to the left.

Well, no. What I truly wish is that artists would be conscious of others in the world.

Don't know if you've experienced it or not, but most of the artists I know are unable to keep to a timetable. They're always late, they're always making people wait upon them to show up, and they're always asking other artists/other people/galleries/contests/projects to hold off enforcing their due dates, because they cannot seem to MAKE the due dates. Ever.

This is not all my artistic friends, but it encompasses many of them. In some of their cases, that "never on time/never able to schedule properly" is really more a symptom of passive-aggressive issues on top of narcissism, which is honestly horrible. They're so grandiously self-important that anyone else's time/effort/etc. is nothing compared to the clusterfuck they expect everyone else to wait upon; i.e.: THEM. For this sub-circle of Hell, I have no patience. It's presumptive and impolite to importune people like that.

I used to put up with it more kindly, but with blatant repeat offenders, I have come to the point where I will tell them what they're doing to others and let them know that if they want my attendance, they'll be on time to whatever time they have committed to arriving.

That sounds mean, but when everyone else would like to actually be able to order and eat dinner before we all try to make a specific movie showing together, that one narcissistic person can ruin everyone's evening by showing up 'for dinner' thirty minutes after the movie has started.

However, there is another subset of the late-show-ers who are basically incapable of keeping time. They THINK they are; they even have watches and clocks everywhere. But their inner sense of time is skewed and "their" version of, say, "fifteen minutes" is reality's version of closer to something else, like forty-five minutes, for example. With this group, I tend to watch and learn what their version of "fifteen minutes" is, and then I calculate appropriately. For the one guy who cannot show up before 45 minutes despite what he says, I pack on the extra time in my initial "Let's get together at..." proposal. When he says he'll be somewhere in thirty minutes, I know it will be closer to an hour and a half. People like this (when you know the time conversions) are fairly easy to work with, because you know the reality to what they are saying. Rather like Fahrenheit versus Celsius.

Time is a reality; most artists do not appear to grasp that.

Sadly, the worst thing I can relate about creative people is, that while we all attempt to maintain a positive attitude about our own work, that positive encouragement is not always aimed at fellow artists. Again, the narcissists among us do not really CARE about the rest of their 'fellow artists', so they equally do not care if they can ruin your motivations or happen to accidentally say they like something you've done. It's All About Them, so unless they're mired in a creative block/depressive state, they likely will not notice what anyone else is doing artistically, anyway. But beware them when they ARE blocked or depressed, because they will often sabotage their creative friends--now, if this is purposeful and jealous, or unconscious criticism, or just a reflection of their inner state, it's hard to tell.

One of my artistic friends that suffers from unrelenting uncreativity and depression will insist they want to be involved in ANYTHING the rest of us do, whether it's going to art shows and galleries, going out plein air painting, or working on a project together, etc....but this person will not only sabotage their own efforts, they'll sabotage YOURS, too. They won't show up on time--or perhaps at all. But they'll have made certain they are the transportation. They won't tell you they're not going to show up, they simply dismiss any need to inform you at all. (This person sabotages all kinds of events to the point where I will not plan on going ANYWHERE with this person if there's any sort of start/end time, such as a movie schedule, or an art show that only goes for two hours, etc. If something is open-ended; sure. If not, I know they will do their best to fuck me and/or anyone else involved.) You can bet this person never has anything positive to say about anything, but that's from general 'darkness' flooding their point of view, not out of nastiness. The whole problem is, despite claiming vociferously that they are "an artist" and want to "be involved" in things, the truth is they haven't done anything creative since about 1990. That's twenty-two years ago.

I have another friend that I have to admit, I have to avoid them COMPLEATLY. Give this person five minutes and they'll pour your ears so full of darkness, moaning, and misery that you feel covered in blackness. You find yourself unable to keep trying to encourage this person, because they will actively beat down anything you say, because they truly do not believe anything will EVER get better. EVER. You end up speechless and staring while the litany of sour misery goes on-and-on-and-on-and-on-and-on. I've admittedly never seen anyone quite like this person. I send the occasional email, I dodge invitations to spend physical time together, and I desperately run away at art shows when I see this person coming. I hate to admit I'm that poor of a friend to this one, but I've TRIED. After five years of doing all I can to try to include this one in fun things and to try to encourage them, I've given up. I believe most of the other artists in this particular group of friends have also given up, which cannot help this friend of ours. "Debbie Downer" doesn't even come CLOSE to the level of "OMG~! Run away!" when you see this person approaching.

While I wish I had more creative friends who were willing to make the effort to try to do things together more often, I find I have to protect my own energy at times. I have to make a point of protecting my creativity from being leeched away.

I am often the bouncing 'Tigger' in a group, but even I can be worn down and finally will withdraw--I'm thinking of the one artists' group where I arranged gallery shows and kept trying to plan outings and encouraging creative 'things' for us all to do. But there were always several members of the group who would insist they needed everyone's attention, they would show up to gallery hangings with UNFRAMED work, expecting me/us to FRAME their pieces AND hang them for them, and all they would do is moan. And criticise everyone else's work. I finally had to disband the group; I couldn't take it anymore.

We are our own worst enemies, artists.

( Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:15 am)
I had intended to come, fully prepared to blog this week. So far, nada.

I need to shoot about a million photos, so I hope to get that done later on down the road. In the meantime...

I often use the term "sumi-e" to cover EVERYTHING I do with ground ink in the Oriental manner, although for me this can include not only calligraphy, or painting landscapes or still life(s), but also brush-painting innerscapes. I once did a set of "The Bride With White Hair" images; most of them sucked, but a few of them were good (one even despite the wayward drip of black ink). I also started a series of possible characters for WhiteWolf's "Masquerade"--I do not play the game, but figured my on-going stuff with vampyric Faeries was not that far out of line and might get me in the door with illos. This project slithered away as I dealt with some really nasty stuff at the time on the job front, and then I switched over to writing and wrote both the first novel of the trilogy, but also started in writing the 'alternate universe' stuff that began the whole The Siege Perilous writing.

Basically, I'm fully-brained, but if I write, I do not paint. If I paint, I do not write. The switchover between right and left brain only allows me one real form of communication, so I have to try to plan accordingly.

I sometimes had to stifle the urge to paint while I was working toward a deadline in a 'book proposal contest' where I was finishing up the novel and back-writing the outline after-the-fact. I do not and cannot outline before-the-fact, simply because I write stream-of-consciousness. Doing that, I can sit down and simply Start Writing and can also watch all the action happening like a movie in my head. I type as fast as the dialogue is spoken, so I can shut down my outward consciousness and just concentrate on what I'm seeing...and let my hands do what they do naturally. I understand that makes me very 'non-professional', but what can I do? That's how my brain works. Besides, I rather like allowing the story to go where it will without my dictating--it means that characters sometimes do things I could never imagine, or that they're more insistent upon going their own way instead of in mine. I deal; they're more or less 'alive' in that transfer from mind to hand and computer.

I could never have written anything of any length were I limited to handwriting. Having word processing and the ability to type so quickly allows me a freedom that was unimaginable only twenty years ago.

However, there is a freedom in brush writing/painting that is only available in that format. Oriental brushes have minds of their own and are not like Western art brushes; they carry more fluid and yet react in ways that are indigenous to their pieces...this past week I finally received two rooster tailfeather brushes, and I am excited to see what they do on paper with ink or watercolour.

I also found new sets of coloured 'ink' sticks; again, excited to try them out.

Perhaps most fun was receiving an antique Chinese inkstone from what I was told would be "Arizona"--and expecting it to be 'generally inkstone-sized'. This thing came in a HUGE box from Mainland CHINA, weighs like a brick, and it appears to be solid jade. It's BIG, but as 'a scholar's duan stone', I think that might be how it really is meant to be. Having expected it to be about half the size, it's amazing to have this smoothly-shaped, handcarved jade piece just waiting to caress ink out of an inkstick. I can't tell you how surprised I was, or how cheap it really was to get this thing! *grin
( Mar. 29th, 2012 03:22 pm)
As you know, I'm a fangirl for art supplies. It's the one major indulgence I can harbour without a fear of any repercussions, because, well...I'm going to USE them to make art! They're going to enable my creativity.

You also know my ongoing "GUH!" for ink sticks, ink ingots, watercolours, etc....

Okay. Breathe, Grey.

IFOUNDSOMEONEWHOMAKESHANDMADEINKSTICKS!!!!!! While all ink sticks are handmade, this artisan is here in the United States. I've already purchased a couple of ink sticks and have them winging their way to me right now.



I suggested that I wanted to do a special project/purchase with this artisan, whereby I would provide a list of 20-25 Celtic Trees that I wanted individual ink sticks made from their soot, and would provide the wood if needed. SHEISEXCITEDTOMAKETHISSETFORME!!!!!!!!!!

Now, imagine this, my dears:

Doing an ink painting of something like, oh, say, illos for The Book of Invasions and each character is done IN THEIR SORT OF INK! I mean, the Dagda in Oak Ink, and perhaps CuChulainn in Hazel and Holly Inks! Maeve done in Grape Vine Ink~!!! I have to say, this is so magickal/wonderful/RIGHT that I can't believe it! Sure, you can buy oak gall ink, and I have walnut ink at home, too...but to own and use 20 to 25 black ink sticks, each having the specific characteristics of a specific sort of Celtic Tree?!?!?!

As you can tell, I'm going by the basic Ogham trees, but some of them are not 'trees', so they won't be made (hence, not the full 25 'tree' set). STILL!!!!!

OMG, I can't believe it! Excitedexcitedexcited!!!!!

Grey :)

P.S. If this is successful, she'll likely make them available to other artists through Etsy, so watch this space!


We've all bemoaned the lowering numbers of posting on LJ, so why not make a plan of blogging during the month of April?

If you can do every day, that's wonderful~! If you can write essays beyond the usual "what I've been doing", then that's great, too! The point is to COMMUNICATE!

We can restart LiveJournal if we all make a plan to blog as a community. If we do not, LJ will continue to fail and be on life support.

If you crosspost from DreamWidth, then please continue to do so!

** please repost in your journal and PASS IT ON! **
Large Photos were scaled down, but you have been warned!

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I am SO not happy my taxes pay for this crap.

...Wish all my friends were over at Dreamwidth!

I haven't closed out LJ and I haven't done much with Dreamwidth...in fact, I've been fighting a tendency to look at the screen and just shut down. I somehow managed to happily blog for over 900 entries over at LJ, and then I just...don't. It's been weird for me.

It's not that I do not have anything to say, but that I find I stop and then cannot say it. Some of what occurs to me is opinion, but there are some things that if I said them, they would appear to be commentary on other friends' LJs, and that's not true. To prevent the misunderstanding, I do not post. One of those subjects I thought I might hit upon today, and then one of my buddies posted on it again, so I cannot.

I'm not sure I can journal anymore. I have lost most of those who seemed to be truly interested in what I'm saying; many have gone to Facebook, where you will NEVER see me! *laughs* I cannot express how much I hate Facebook and the miserable way it intersperces comments. It's not a blog, it's an annoyance!

Anyway, there it is.