Kickstarter project for artist to go to Morocco to grow

One of the great things about Social Networking is I am able to meet wonderful new people and introduce others to these wonderful people.  I have had the great fortune of knowing a few artists before I even began to write this blog and their skill and beauty has grown through the years and it is wonderful to be a part of that growth.  One of the great things about having a blog like this is I can share with you all the wonderful people I have met through the years and also help them out with projects they may be doing or at least get their information out there.

I have had the good fortune to have known Briana Morrison before I really even got into doing these blogs and I have watched her work grow and become more of who she is through her store “The Dizzy Pixie”.  She recently posted on her store and on her Facebook of an excursion she is wishing to undertake which she needs some help on.

Three of her mentors: Susannah Conway, Amanda Gilligan, and Jen Altman, are a part of a 12 like-minded group who, for a week, will be roaming Marrakesh, Morocco and documenting their experience.  They will have workshops and work with one another to grow their talents and share their gifts with each other in hopes to be able to share the experience and their talents with all of us.

Brianna has already taken it into her own hands to be able to attend this excursion in February 2012 by putting down her $500 deposit.  She is asking me and anyone else to help her on the rest of the expenses.  She has started a Kickstarter project and is asking to raise $5,000 which will cover air fare, the workshops, film, and other material she will use once she comes back from this magnificent journey to put it all together into an exhibit she wishes to share with all, up and down California.

You do not need to break the bank to help her out on her dream, it only takes $1 to donate and if you share this information with others we can get her out to Morocco and help her with her dream.  If you do not have the means to donate, please share this information on your Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Email, etc.  Every little bit of money will help.


(S)mythology book signing in Sacramento and Davis

It is always a pleasure to meet someone who has the same dreams and hopes as you might have. It is especially wonderful to find someone who has been able to accomplish some of those dreams. The author of Sacramento Fantasy Literature Examiner has been given the opportunity for an interview of one such author and while that interview is put together here is a small taste of who this wonderful author is and what he has accomplished.

Jeremy Tarr is a writer who came out with his debut book in January of this year, entitled (S)mythology. Described as “Charming, poignant and absurdly funny, (S)mythology is a contemporary fairy-tale that whisks you on a wild adventure from the streets of London to the far reaches of the globe from haunted islands to African villages, from the peaks of the Alps to the depths of the Underworld.” The style of writing is reminiscent of when stories were told to one another rather than read. Action moves quickly and whisks you away into the story and into the life of one Ms. Sophie. A twenty-one year old who has her life turned on its head when her adoptive father dies suddenly and she had not stepped foot out of the house she had grown up in within the past sixteen years.

Mr. Tarr will be in Sacramento and Davis come July 30, 2011 for book signings. The interview will be posted here about who and what makes Jeremy Tarr, the writer, tick in the very near future. Subscribe to this authors posts to keep up to date on local Fantasy writers and books.

Sacramento Book Signing
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 4:00p – 5:30p
Where: The Avid Reader at the Tower
1600 Broadway, Sacramento
Telephone: 916-441-4400

Davis Book Signing
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 7:30p
Where: The Avid Reader
617 Second Street, Davis
Telephone: 530-758-4040

Social Networking and Writing

One of the great things about the internet is the vast amount of people you can meet without ever stepping outside of your house.  With being on Twitter I have met some extraordinary people and people I probably would never have met otherwise.  Due to this fact the connections I have met with other authors has been fun and rewarding.  I only have recently, as in the last few months, even started writing regularly to this blog and even started up my own Facebook page.  Now, granted, I have more followers on Twitter than on either my blog (though thank you for you who do follow me) or on my Facebook page, but I am sure those things will slowly grow as I, myself, continue to write.

I started this whole adventure by saying yes to Fantasy Faction, which has taken off quickly.  From there I joined up with Examiner and have been writing similar things to what I was writing for Fantasy Faction.  None of this really pays me (though I do get some money from people checking out Examiner), but it is more for the experience and to get my name out there.

My husband has really no idea on how to use any of this for social networking.  He is a computer programer, but does not have a Facebook page, a Twitter, or even had a MySpace when that was the thing to have.  He just does not get in to this nearly as much as I do, but his comment to me when I asked him if he was proud of what I had accomplished in just a few short months was, “I don’t get this social networking thing, but it seems to be working for you, so keep it up” which was a wonderful feeling.

There seems to be many tricks to make sure you are followed by people you want to be followed by and to start gaining a wonderful following, but I more care if they find what I am saying interesting and wish to follow me for that reason.  I don’t want people just to follow me because I am following some large names.  I want people interested in what I am saying and for who I am.

The next step I want to take is actually to start to write again and perhaps post small snippets about what I am writing to have people interested in it before it is even published.  I have seen many people do this for second, third, and seventh books/novels, but rarely do I see someone who is just starting out.  I want to have people follow me from the very beginning of the birth of the idea and see it grow into the book or novel which is put out onto the shelves of a bookstore and made into a file for eReaders.

I hope you who have read this entire post will be some of those who will follow me through that journey and help me along when I stumble.  Follow me on my FB page and on Twitter as well to make sure you are around for everything.  And if you are in the Sacramento (CA) area, check out my posts on the Examiner as well or if you just want to know some great books I have read, check out my posts on Fantasy Faction.

Friday in Chico has awesome music

One of the wonderful things about Chico, California is the fact that on a Friday night there is no lack of live music.  I came to Chico for a particular performance by a professor of mine, but while I awaited this show I sat in Naked Lounge and heard of at least three other performances I could go and see.  There was even a performance in which people were walking around giving away tickets to the first 50 people who were interested.

Live music is a wonderful thing as it brings people together and allows others to perform to a group of people who are friends and people who were introduced to their music in some way shape or fashion.  While I sit here listening to Jeb play a slightly sad piece I watch people slowly trickle in and realize I don’t know half of them and the other half I know know from going to CSU, Chico.  My professor seems to know most of them, but there are some he does not even know.  There isn’t enough chairs in Bustolini’s to accommodate everyone, but people don’t seem to mind standing in the back.

Part of the reason for the big turn out, I know, is the fact that my professor, Geoff, has a new CD coming out and this is his “Release Party”.  He has been planning it for months and we are here to congratulate him and hear some of his new music.

Personally, his music got me through a hard drive I had to do a few years ago when I thought moving from California to Florida would be a good idea.  Needless to say I knew all of his songs by heart by the time I arrived in Florida.

Music in any form can be a powerful thing.  Live music can be even more powerful as the artist tells a story behind a song they have written or becomes emotional while playing.  I personally love live music. If you have a chance go and see… anyone.  It is an experience worth participating in.  And it doesn’t have to be a big band, just someone who enjoys playing, and has a decent voice or can play decently.

Defining Fantasy Literature

The Genre Fantasy is normally characterized by Elves, Fairies, Dragons, Castles, Princess and Princes, Kings and Queens, and majorly anything to do with Magic.  While Literature is more characterized by the classic great works by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Charlotte Bronte, just to name a few.  So, how does the title Fantasy Literature work with these two generalizations?  The word Literature has taken place many times as a fancier way of saying books or writings, which is, I believe, how these two are going to have to work together with this author’s column.

What is most enjoyable about Fantasy books is the vast imagination of the writer and the opening of your own mind as the reader.  There are many styles of Fantasy out there from books to video games to live action games to art.  Books are one of the ways everyone can enjoy the world of Fantasy and the vastness in which it entails.  There is no one way Elves are supposed to look, which is the same with Fairies, and any other mystical creature.  There are guidelines, but as with real life humans there are different characteristics to every being and they change between stories and even change between readers.  Unless what is being read has pictures the style and characteristics for a mystical creature can be different from one reader to the next.

With the idea of Literature being something to read or even that of the classics the idea that a lot of these stories can transcend the times and still be enjoyed twenty or forty years after they were written holds true.  There are many authors who wrote years ago and have passed on, but new readers are picking up their books and enjoying them as much as when they first came out.

This in mind, the following column will deal with books across all times and different sub-genres of Fantasy.  There will also be news of Fantasy related book things happening in the Sacramento area, which will include also the surrounding areas.

Life is an Adventure

As I was driving around town I started to think about how I had changed over the years. From the really depressed and self-absorbed teenager to the confused young adult to the wife that was starting to feel like an actual adult. I then started thinking about being a parent since that is about where I am in life and remembered the old idea of a manual for life. My mother always said that she wished she could just tell me the stuff not to do that made her life hard so I didn’t have to go through the same shit. However, that is the sort of things that made her who she is today and if she hadn’t gone through those things I wouldn’t be the way I am. That is for another post entirely. I wish to more focus on the idea of not being able to learn from a book what life is about.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do. For the longest time I took how I was supposed to act at certain ages from books and tried to put it into my own life. Needless to say, this did not work out so well. There are multiple reasons that this did not work out well for me. One of them being that I was not the characters in the books I was reading. Another being, I had a hard time listening to people tell me how I am supposed to act. Oops. I always wanted to know the books that other people were reading though that made them who they were. There were the girls that had the attitude problems, who never seemed to care how others looked at them. There were really pretty people that actually cared for others, which made them even more irresistible to the opposite sex. All of these different types of people and I had read about every single one of them and yet not been able to pull any of them off as well as the people around me had. For the longest time I thought there was a book out there that I just had not read that explained all of this to me.

But there is no manual to life. It is all trial and error and as I was driving I realized that while we can hope that childhood is where trial and error is and stays, that is surly not true. To this very day every day is a trial and error on how to live. Especially with what others expect out of you. I wish it was not so, or at least I wish others saw it as well and gave a little slack. All you can do is try the hardest that you can to do the best that you can. If you aren’t doing that, then you aren’t truly living and you are just letting the stream of life carry you on. There will be plenty of time for that sort of thing when you die and you must pass the river of dead to get to whatever awaits you.

I have decided to start looking at life more as an adventure and as life is trial and error they are all minor adventures to the big finale. The big finale being, of course, what happens at the end. It has never been one of those things that I wondered about or was scared about. I just know it is going to come around at some point or another and while I hope it is a very far off thing, I know it can happen at anytime. That is also where a manual would not come in well. What happens if your manual is shorter than everyone else’s? You would know then that you would not live the whole time. And if it were a book, could you hold off from flipping to the back or even to the next chapter before that one is done and ruin the surprise that is life?

While there may not be a manual for life and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason either. Life should be an adventure and you should enjoy every minute of it because of it. Don’t let the mistakes get you down, learn from them and keep on heading forward. Look back every now and then to know where you have come from, but don’t dilly dally upon them too long.
Originally posted on March 25th, 2010

Petty and Selfish

While growing up our parents tried their best to prepare us for what there was to come. They knew what had been hard for them and tried to make it less hard for us, but there was alway something that didn’t quite make sense.

I have realized over the years that while my parents tried to make everything understandable while I was growing up, it wasn’t until I was grown up and I had to deal with those things that I understood. Perhaps it is just due to my learning style of actually doing something rather than learning from just listening, but certain things made no sense or were very difficult for me to understand, which are now fairly simple and ordinary.

I think of when I have kids and how I will deal with that same sort of thing. I will probably do exactly as my parents did and try to make it easier on them, but knowing that it will not work and that they will have to learn for themselves eventually. If we try to hand our children everything then they will be too soft or unable to handle things without us there.

Which brings me to some people I have met in my adult years. I have noticed that there are certain people out there who either got everything that they wanted when they were a child or they just assumed that the world was theirs and that it would be given to them. Now, some of these have learned through the years how to deal with difficult situations but I have seen so many of these people get very petty and act absurd when they do not understand something. It is like they revert to their young teen years or younger and throw a tantrum and want everything handed to them. Normally these people are either house wives or others who are living on someone else’s money. I am sure they could work some where if they really tried hard, but I just cannot see them working anywhere, or anywhere for very long.

Which brings me back to one of the things that I said in a previous post: I wish everyone would see that we are all living beings in the same world as each other and I wish we could just help each other out to survive rather than be petty and so petty and selfish. But, I know that human nature does seem to be those two things: petty and selfish, but that does not mean I have to like it or that I have to be a part of it. I try my hardest not to be either of those things and when I realize that I have been I try to make up for it.

Originally Posted on March 27th, 2010

Live Like You’re Dieing

I was listening to the radio today and the line “Live like you’re dieing” was said and it got me to thinking about what life would be like if people actually lived as if they were not to wake the next morning. There would be two type of people I think. Those who would be all about themselves and want to do everything and anything to just do it and want people to pay attention to them because they were dieing. Then there would be others who would want to spend all their time with friends and be nice to others because what is the point of being rude and pushy if you are going to die and have to answer for it all soon.

Now I am not saying that all the nice people would be religious and all the non-nice people would be non-religious, however that would be one way of looking at it. However, both my husband and I are non-religious and I know both of us while we would be wanting to do everything and anything, we would also not loose sight of the fact that life happens and why not be nice to those that you deal with on a day to day basis. There is always the chance that you will last another day and have to deal with those people again.

Some people believe that customer service has gone down the drain in this new technology age and there is probably some justice in saying so. However, partially why that is is because no one treats those in customer service like human beings. If something doesn’t go perfectly they do not think of the people trying to make it better as human beings but more like broken computers. If we did act as if we were all dieing perhaps we would all be a little nicer and enjoy life a little bit more. Enjoy each other and try to help each other out a little bit more.

Helping others seems to have gone by the wayside through the years and partially I think that is because people think that there will always be a tomorrow and plans must be made. They think they can deal with it later or it will be forgotten in the rush of the every day to day things. However, people’s emotions are delicate, even in this harsh non-responsive world. Compassion is always enjoyed rather than the bitterness of a grumpy, egotistical person.

Just food for thought 

Posted on March 29th, 2010

Realism Bending Life Out of Order

I haven’t been feeling very philosophical lately due to me having way too many realistic things going on in my life. My mother was recently visiting me from California and while she was visiting my husband and I found out that he had received his new job and we are now moving back to California. The past few days have been hard with packing, my birthday, my mother in town, and the fact that my mother and husband don’t seem to mesh well for whatever reason. However, with moving and me all of a sudden needing a break from people I have again let my brain adrift and while nothing extraordinary has surfaced the idea of moving and what is considered home has been brought to the forefront.

The old adages goes “Where ever you hang your hat is home” or “Home is where the heart is”. These are two different ways of looking at home; one being from the spiritual sense and the other being from a physical or comfort sense. Which one do you normally call home? Do you call being back in the comfort of loved ones, let that be your family now or the family you grew up with, or even the neighbors that you spent all your time with. Or, is home where you come back to after a hard days work and are able to sit back and relax and while there may be something to do around the house you can look around and smile upon what you have?

With moving across the country I have found that while I am quite the loner my need for people is a lot stronger than I thought it was. I miss my family, even if they do drive me crazy, and I miss my friends. I have never had a place that I have called really my own and when I think of a home it seems to be just where-ever my stuff is and where my husband and my cats are. However, one of the things I catch myself doing all the time is when I am embarrassed or just tired of the day is say “I just wish I were home” but when I think of back with my parents or back at what ever apartment I am living in currently I shudder. Not that there is anything to shudder about, but it isn’t the comfortable place I really want to be. My “home”, as it were, I believe is within my own head and while I have not had the chance to sit back and just let my thoughts drift in quite sometime, that is where I seem to be the most relaxed.


So where is home to you?

Originally posted on April 12th, 2010 on 

Feelings that Come from The Idea of Home

I recently moved, again, and have found the feeling of home permeating from this new location more than I have anywhere else. Why that is I have yet to discover, but I am sure over time I will.

Growing up, I was from a small town which and which I was on the outskirts there of on top of it. I had no way of riding my bike into town nor did I even have the courtesy of having a bus stop nearby to take me anywhere. I relied on my parents and my own ingenious to keep my occupied. My parents wonder why it is that I am very introverted and I while I would like to blame my father’s own hermit tendencies for this, I know that it has to do more with the idea that I really had no other choice. Being such is not the worst thing in the world, but it does make certain situations hard to maneuver through.

When I moved away from my parents I moved into a small clique of people and have yet to really move away from them. I even married a member of this clique, which, in hindsight, may have been rash, but has not, so far, been a bad thing. He, ironically, is more outgoing than I am even though he did not have anymore advantage of being able to go out into the world than I did. We are both introverts and this sometimes gets into the way of being together and becoming extroverts with each other.

We moved to Florida to try out something different and it showed us a little bit more of who we were. The feeling of not belonging was harsh with us and the idea of being home never once entered either of our minds. This is probably why it took us only ten months to decide that this was a bad choice. It is a choice that I am glad we had gotten to take, but it had not been what we were looking for.

We then moved back to California and while my husband was worried that he had picked out somewhere that I was not going to like… I have loved it the most out of all the places I have ever lived. There is a feeling of home that I have never felt before. I hope I continue to feel this way and am able to stay here for a long time.

That feeling of home is like a warm blanket that I just want to lay in without ever getting up. Sleeping in my bed is the most comfortable I have ever had it be and that is hard to say since my bed is already extremely comfortable. However, there is something about the way the sun hits the cement and the air that is outside. Just a comfort that makes me smile even on days that it is hard for me to smile.

Written on May 15th, 2010