Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time's On My Side

Tomorrow's Leap Day...and I'm planning on celebrating by getting some new tales finished. I've been so immersed in reading Dickens and reminiscing about my visit to Philadelphia for his Bicentenary Banquet, that I've neglected spinning my own stories.

Publishing Syndicate's WOW Principles newsletter today carries the story of my Philadelphia sojourn:

While I was roaming Philly I received good news on a number of upcoming anthologies.
  •  Fat Daddy's Farm will publish "Ready for Stardust" and "Dreaming as the Summers Die" in Joy Interrupted, scheduled to appear in October.
  • My rumination, "Tombstone Territory;" about cemeteries and gravestones, will appear in Tending Your Inner Garden's debut Winter book.
  • The Animal Project has accepted two stories, "Horse Sense," about how I was inspired in junior high school by a Rosa Bonheur's painting, and "Once in a Lifetime," about spying a macaw during a total eclipse of the sun in Antigua, Guatemala.
But what do I want to write next? 
  • A story about getting my driver's license at the ripe old age of 30.
  • An essay on steampunk forerunner H. G. Wells for the next issue of Uncle Jam.
  • A confession on how I reached out to repair a broken relationship.
  • A memoir about lasting friendships from a pivotal point in my life, 1980.
  • A story about how Virginia Woolf's novel The Waves lead me astray.
Now to take the leap...I'm betting I can get at least one of these stories written before March swirls in. Time's on my side...I've the gift of Leap Day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Van Gogh on Dickens: "His Figures are Resurrections"

 La Pluie, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

In my last blog I wished that Vincent Van Gogh could have read Dickens. I hadn't thought that was possible given the limited translations of the time. And yet...when I attended the "Van Gogh Up Close" exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this week, I learned that the artist indeed had read Dickens, even during his stay at the clinic of Saint-Paul-de-Mausolee in 1889, where he sought comfort for his troubled mind. It was at this time that he painted "Rain," which is heartbreaking in its depiction of how the fields are pelted by the downpour.

I've since learned that Van Gogh had a great respect for the works of Charles Dickens and their focus on the working class. Here he sums it up, in his own words:

There is no writer, in my opinion, who is so much a painter and a black-and-white artist as Dickens. His figures are resurrections.
--Vincent Van Gogh, letter to Anthon G. A. Ridder Van Rappard (March 1883)