Saturday, July 11, 2020

Labyrinth Project Creators Journal - Richard Alan Scott (New Entry 07/11/20)



Author: Richard Alan Scott
Rhode Island, USA


06/11/20

Seven years ago, I lost part of my heart and self. 

My eldest brother Walter and I were so close that it is hard to put into words. At the risk of ruining part of my latest novel, a fictional memoir, I was born when my parents were forty, basically. Walter, their first child, had eighteen years on me. That's right. He had graduated from high school when I was born. Strictly a Catholic family back then, he was not only my brother but also my Godfather. I've known his wife Helena as long as I've known him. I saw him get married when I was three and my nephew and niece that came soon after grew up with me. My brother considered me one of his kids and his kids were my little brother and sister as far as I was concerned.

He died at age 74 in 2013 from complications of sepsis in his stomach that traveled to his brain. My sister-in-law says he was speaking in tongues at the end. I got to go to Ireland with him and other brothers in 2004, and he and I went out weekly as drinking buddies from 1974 to his death, often along with my brother Alfred and Walt's son Glenn. He was a staunch conservative and he and I could talk politics all night without getting mad. I would call my politics to the left of Bernie Sanders, or as I like to say, Trekkian (global unity, lol.)

I bring this up because in my journal about dreaming, this last of three entries takes a happy/ sad and sometime troubling turn. Of course Walter has appeared frequently in my dreams since his demise. Clear as day and being himself completely (funny, smart, affectionate, and loving). He respected me and my brain and he often looked to me for conversation the older he got. I was always the driver and often the tour guide, as I'm good at agendas and travel, and he was a willing passenger.

The first time he was hanging out in my dream after hitting what he called "the long dirt nap," Al and I had quite the conundrum. Just who was going to tell him he was dead? I was surprisingly against this, me the reality king. 

"Just let him enjoy himself," I argued. 
"He really should be told," was Al's stance. Being my dream, I believe I won.

The next time wasn't so pleasant. We were all walking in that mall I told you about two entries ago. Walt was weak, sick feeling, he fainted and I caught him in my arms.
"I love you, kid, you know that?" he said, as often in life, looking up at me. 
He faded. 
I cried, "Walt no. No Walt. Don't go; don't go, please Walt, please, no!" 

He died in my arms. I woke sweating and crying.

When I've come upon him multiple times since in dreams, it takes me awhile to realize that things aren't just normal. Jeez, Walt is dead. He shouldn't be here, but I'm glad he is. I'm not going to spoil it. 

"Why haven't you been calling me, in so long, Dick?" 
How do you answer that one? 

"Walt, what was it like?" 
"What was what like?" 
"Dying. Where are you now?" 
"What the hell are you talking about?"

I think I will get better at communicating with him in the future. 

When we were all in Ireland, we went to pubs like three times a day, and one lunch break we were behind time, and when we walked around the corner, our tour bus was leaving. 

"Nyah," we screamed like the Three Stooges, chasing it, waving and yelling. 

They stopped. Our good-humored Guide, Pat Frawley, greeted us with:

"We were goin' to look for you lads."

I see that story as a metaphor. 
If my relatives and spiritual friends are correct, of course, and there is an afterlife. 

"Walt. My brother. I'll be lookin' for ya, lad. I'll be lookin' for ya."




Defeating Tyrants - A Call for Art from all Creatives



A single tyrant can destroy a democracy no matter how strong we think it might be. Artists often speak out before others. We see atrocities committed and we shine the light of our creativity upon it in hopes that dictators will be toppled.

It is up to us to NEVER let hate and oppression destroy the world and to make sure future generations see these oppressors through the eyes of those living through them.

We will be archiving all creative work sent to us in order to preserve it for future generations to see. Will also use our social media platform to show the work of these amazing creatives who are speaking out. 

immortalartist.com welcomes all creatives who want to show their Defeated Tyrants related work. We would like to give a forum to those who would like to talk about the crisis through their creativity. 

We will accept art, photography, written word art including short stories, poetry, music or any other creative medium you wish to express yourself in. 

To submit, we need the following:

  • A good quality image of your work
  • A short one paragraph bio about the creator
  • Any links related to the creator that you would like to include (website/twitter/facebook)

PLEASE NOTE! We will accept submissions from persons who wish to remain anonymous but you must let us know at the time you submit your art. 

We also welcome any commentary you would like to make regarding your work or personal stories of their life. 

Its that simple. Lets show the world that creativity has a voice in this crisis! 

To submit your work or questions, email it to: gcsartno@aol.com 

Feel free to email also if you have any questions. 

immortalartist.com takes no profit from your work. It is a free site for all creatives to have a louder voice to express themselves! You may request your work be removed from the site at any time from the archive and are at no risk to your work being used in any other way except that which is stated above.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Endless Dream



Where does it end?

It doesn't. 

Welcome to the Endless Dream. This is an evolving piece of art that changes often and draws you into the dream. 

We view art as a single unchanging image. We have been conditioned to see art as one thing that will be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday. 

This art changes. This art is a living dream seen through psyche of the artist. Like any dream, not even the artist knows where it might go. 

Life is but a dream. 




The Dreamers project actually came from a dream where I was sitting and painting my dreams as I saw them and then watched the dreams come alive. One person that I had painted, rose from within the canvas and began painting me. Who was the dream and who was the dreamer? Sometimes its hard to tell. It was not until I read the journal post of a good friend about his dreams that I recalled my own dream from months before and decided to put this project together. 

I've had several people already ask me if they can get prints of the dream piece. This is difficult because the piece is constantly evolving. So this is what I will do. If you request a print then you will get a print based on the current version that was up when you made your request. I will provide a certificate authenticity that notes the version you have. Currently the piece is on its third evolution. The piece may change at any time but your request will be date stamped to correspond with whatever image was up on the site at that time. 

Why go to this trouble? Because it now means that the print you buy is truly unique. It won't be repeated. This increases their value in a way that no normal print would increase. So watch for your favorite(s) because there is no going back in this dream. 

Prints are 11" x 14". They are board backed matte prints, signed by the artist and include a certificate of authenticity and are numbered. Each print is $30.00. There may be an additional shipping charge if the print is going overseas. 

To request a print, send an email to: gcsartno@aol.com
I will email you back an invoice. The email time stamp is all that is needed to verify the version of the print you want. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Moral Dilemmas and Standing Our Ground As Artists - An Open Letter to All Creatives



As some of you know, in the past several months I've taken on the responsibility of the collecting and preservation of art created around the Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. These two archives were created in order to teach future generations about the struggles we are currently going through in this world. The archives were not created for the now, but for the yet to be. 

Since then I've fought a private battle against those who would seek to tear down the work of so many talented artists. Racists and narrow mindedness surround us at this time in our lives. It our task to not allow the narrow views of the world to destroy the open minded creators who are seeking change by speaking out through their work. 

I would protect their right to speak out with my own life if need be.

When I created the immortartist site it was with one intention. Of telling my creative story so that other creatives could benefit from my journey (and my mistakes). Over the past 5 years, that original goal, while still here, has expanded to embrace all of you. Artists, writers, musicians, poets and a whole host of creatives from different walks of life have come together here to share their own stories, their own art and their own viewpoints. 

I've rarely turned any artist away who could benefit from being a part of this site. Only the narrow minded, the hateful, the ones who would judge others because they do not agree with them, are asked to find other venues to express themselves. I've had only a few rules that govern this site. The first is open mindedness. 

An artist, by their very nature, whether they write, photograph, sing or paint, must remain open minded and explore the world without prejudice. Art by its very nature must be created with an open heart, and open mind. When we prejudice ourselves then our art is prejudiced also. 

With this said, I was recently approached by an artist who took offense at the fact that there is art representing nudity, explicit scenes and homosexuality on this site. While phrased politely, there was an implicit threat in the persons words that I either remove any such art from this site or they would remove their own art and take others with them. 

I really had to consider carefully how to respond to this request. As a human, the desire to get angry was my first instinct. My second was to respond as an artist and turn this into a teaching moment. Because all of you who are a part of this site may face this kind of a hate during your lifetime as a creative. No matter what, your work may offend someone else.

Does that mean that you should not create that work? If I believed that then every one of the dozens of bigots who have come to me complaining about the Black Lives Matter archive I would consent to and remove the works they were complaining about. 

Having an issue with nudity, sex or homosexuality is (in my eyes) absolutely no different than having an issue with a a black artist who is speaking out about the injustices of the police. It is no different than an artist protesting the way some of our governments are refusing to see that the Pandemic is a real problem that outweighs opening your local bar back up.

Those who complain show an inherent need to have your world conform to theirs. My world has never conformed to anyone else. I proudly create the art that I feel I am meant to create. I proudly represent the art of others who feel the same way. 

Suggesting that I remove art that I've created because it offends someone, is no different than telling me to only create art that conforms to their view of what the universe should be. To do so or ask any of you to do so would be to kill the spark of ingenuity that makes each one of us unique and allows our art to have the impact to change opinions and lives. 

I end this open letter with this statement. 

If you who have placed your art, ideas, words and emotions on this site, wish to have them removed because you disagree with any other piece of content on this site, then I will gladly remove your work. In blunt terms, I don't want you here. 

If you wish to express your art in an open and respectful way then your art is always welcome here, as long as it does not represent hate, racism or narrow mindedness. 

We must all support each other and learn from each other. By removing even one piece of content from this site because someone chooses to take offense at it, totally destroys the message this site was created for. 

Creatively,

~Grey~


The Death's Head Artifacts - A Conceptual Art Puzzle




Death stalks its prey. 
It watches, savoring each moment before the final kill. 
It is the hunter, ready to take the soul the moment its laid bare.

Do you see death the way I do? 
Do you see its dark stare and its laughing grimace?
Do you see the way it watches and contemplates its victims?

No, you see only life, until it has gone.


Death is a strange thing. It stalks us all. But some seem destined for a preordained departure. 

Death is always watching. 

Death may brush near, or may even take another's body to use their mortal eyes. But death is there, sometimes for years, or only a moment before. 

Can you identify who death is watching? 

Some are easy to recognize. Others not so easy. Some lived long lives, some only short. Who are they? 

And even more important than who death is watching, is WHO is watching death? 

Can you solve the Deaths Head puzzle? 


Click any artifact to go its page and see clues! 

Go to Artifact #11

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Black Lives Matter Archive - A Call for art from Artists/Photographers/Creatives




Every one of us sees the events taking place and the atrocities being committed against the black community in a different way. As creatives we have an obligation to paint the truth of these events as each of us sees it. We must ask ourselved, how do we handle this crisis and make the world a better place? 

Its up to the artists to show the world what is taking place now and to make sure future generations see these events through the eyes of those who have lived through it. 

We will be archiving all creative work sent to us in order to preserve it for future generations to see. We will also be using our social media platforms to show the work of these amazing creatives who are speaking out. 

immortalartist.com welcomes all creatives who want to show their Black Lives Matter related work. We would like to give a forum to those who would like to talk about the crisis through their creativity. 

We will accept art, photography, written word art including short stories, poetry, music or any other creative medium you wish to express yourself in. 

To submit, we need the following:

  • A good quality image of your work
  • A short one paragraph bio about the creator
  • Any links related to the creator that you would like to include (website/twitter/facebook)

PLEASE NOTE! We will accept submissions from persons who wish to remain anonymous but you must let us know at the time you submit your art. 

We also welcome any commentary you would like to make regarding your work or personal stories of your trip through the pandemic. 

Its that simple. Lets show the world that creativity has a voice in this crisis! 

To submit your work or questions, email it to: gcsartno@aol.com 

Feel free to email also if you have any questions. 

immortalartist.com takes no profit from your work. It is a free site for all creatives to have a louder voice to express themselves! You may request your work be removed from the site at any time from the archive and are at no risk to your work being used in any other way except that which is stated above.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Work of Freelance Artist & Writer Diana Whiley


















BIOGRAPHY

Previously a part time Creative Writing teacher and support worker in mental health, I participated in various community writing and art projects. 

I edited anthologies of memoirs. Set up art exhibitions. Judged writing contests for adults and children. Taught basic drawing in Community Centres. Then renewed my interest and skills in art while I wrote my first fantasy novel. 

I turned to digital art to create fantasy pieces to accompany my writing then expanded to fine art and transformative works.  Many of them inspired by nature and music - both fundamental in myth and ritual. 

My influences range from the Old Masters like Monet and Turner, to Klimt and Surrealist Salvatore Dali, to Contemporary art within Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Series of graphic novels. 

I have exhibited at home and in the US. Won on-line art competitions, and have been in art magazines and International art books.  

I am also a published writer of poetry and short stories with artwork in anthologies. 

Website         www.dianakwhiley.weebly.com

Links to art:  www.instagram.com/dizwhi    
                      www.exhibitionswithoutwalls.com  Winners Gallery   


ARTIST STATEMENT

I’ve always imagined there is a message waiting for me in the landscape, in the music of the wind. A sense of Belonging. Of Place. Stories of origins, myth and rituals.


My latest artworks evolved as I wrote my journal entries and reflected on those hopes and dreams.  Those imaginings inspired by nature’s transformative power and mystique. Tried to articulate the often fragmented and torn memories I’d hidden. Found succor and comfort in finally giving voice to the past.


NOTE: This artist also keeps a Creative Journal on this site. Please use this link to view it! 

https://blog.immortalartist.com/2019/04/dianawhiley.html

Cities of Light - Conceptual Art Series













One of my most popular pieces of art was a contorted New Orleans skyline image. Most don't even realize this is New Orleans because its been warped into a surreal image rather than a real city. 

I love working with surreal cityscapes. As a child I found images of cities skylines took me to a whole other place in my mind and I stopped seeing the real city and imagined its fantasy doppelgangers. 

This series is about amalgams of skylines and individual architectural elements blended together to create the surreal. You may spot elements from your own cities skyline within them. 









Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Work of Photographer/Author Richard Alan Scott

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Richard Alan Scott has labored for a half-century in The Arts. He is the school recipient of the Congressman's Medal of Merit and the American College Theater Award of Excellence for acting, presented him at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He worked for a decade as an actor under Robert J. Colonna at The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater and as actor and Stage Manager under Adrian Hall and Richard Jenkins at the Tony-winning Providence Company; Trinity Rep. He is a thirty-year member of the Actors Equity Association, as well as a fifteen year member of the New England Horror Writers. He has been a writing member of the acclaimed RI Writers Circle and the Newport Round Table. As a writer he has studied under Christopher Golden and James A. Moore at River City Writers and at Boston's Grub Street. His work has appeared in Premiere Magazine, Shroud: The National Journal of Dark Fiction and Art, and Albedo One: Ireland's top genre magazine, as well as the anthology Walls and Bridges edited by Mark Ellis and Melissa Martin-Ellis. He has finished two novels that are being promoted to agents and he lives in rural Rhode Island.

You can learn more about Richard at his website: https://richardalanscott.com/

Monday, June 22, 2020

Labyrinth Project Creators Journal - Diana Whiley (New Entry 06-21-20)



Author: Diana Whiley
Adelaide, South Australia


06/21/20



How did my writing develop into what is now my style of writing?

I look back over the beginnings of my fledging writing and what stands out, is my first introduction to metaphors and similes. 

It changed the way I thought. My imagination took flight.  I could say such things as,  my grandma is like bacon when it sizzles and pops. My description not just the colour of her skin but about her sharp wit.  

The world of my conjured metaphors grew. I experimented with short prose. With colour I  add emotional texture. 
                     
                        Conflagration


    I stand before the headstone. In one hand I carry a box of matches and in the other a folded piece of paper dense and square. I place it upon the sleek blackness, the paper’s whiteness startling… like a falling star.  

   

     Each small square of paper cries a blankness where music once danced; where black, plump notes slid easily into the lie your fingers and heart made of the pain. Your face transformed into glory as you played the piano while I burned with anger and denial.  



          I open the paper, let the creases ink an indelible map within, and strike a match. The paper is alight.  A conflagration of memory absorbed into sky and stars. 


The use of the colour black created the impact I wanted. Like the singer Prince, colour in his deeply melancholic song, “Purple Rain.”  an analogy for pain and bruised spirit.  Colour and also sound. Rain falling. Music a cascade.

The author Virginia Wolfe, spoke of the importance of sound and style,  “the wave in the mind, the rhythm before the words.  

*Ursula Le Guin also. “If you are hearing what you write, then you can listen for the right cadence, which will help the sentence run clear. Beneath words there are rhythms to which memory and imagination and words move. 

The writer’s job is to go down deep to feed the rhythm, find it, move it, be moved by it and let it move memory and imagination to find words.” 

      The sound within me, and love of myths turned me to the fantasy genre. Glimmers of where my writing could go formed connections to landscape and the monumental possibilities floating around moon, stars and the dawn of a new day.    
               
                      * Song of Seed and Blood    
     
     In the light and resonance of constellations I move like liquid iridescence. I am at one with space and time. Nova’s burst, comets streak and I fall to earth a wandering seed

           Layers of Earth encase me.


     I squirm upward through the remnants of bodies, old and young. Seek and find moisture and rise, within the pavilion where beetles dance and in pollen’s silken heat, emerge and stagger pink blush.

     I am the legend of the night flower. 


  *  Book. Ursula K Le Guin “Conversations on writing “ with David Naimon.  
  * Foundation concept for Bk 2 in fantasy series 


05/22/20

Improvisation is a key aspect of Jazz my brother used to say, as he played his clarinet, his notes crooning his emotions into view, into colour into movement - into me. 

My response followed a trajectory of its own; brain storming and a bouncing off each other. 
It’s something I really miss while I have not being face to face with friends. The seeing and feeling first hand of their emotions, body language and an energy that ignites synapses.

I needed an alternative. I unearthed a notebook I’d forgotten about with a list of some of my favourite books. How each of them impacted on me.  

I first picked out and am reading again, “Dune” written by Frank Herbert. A book of the 1960's and considered one of the best Science Fiction books ever written.

I’d forgotten the intensity of it. The way he built tension between characters, as well as in the reader, through the characters’ inner dialogue that showed the betrayals, the choices made and the reasons why. Very Shakespearean in its monologues and emotional impact. The language of another time as captivating. 

The world and culture Herbert created is an amazing mix of science and of the inner mind the latter that he turns magical in its myth making and presentiment. 

As I am following his journey I realize I have not as yet fully formed my own fantasy world. Much of the magic and source within the land I know but places and culture are still not quite there yet. 

I am at the moment using my art to push that part to the surface. Thinking of it as a stage with sets, a production with the actors waiting in the wings.   

I find my dialogue is flowing better as I review my scenes and chapters. I make sure of what really needs to be there. Though I am still struggling with the transition between chapters and scenes. 

I tend to want to jump right into the action and get moving. My emotions as edgy, like a rollercoaster lately. No doubt an effect of the isolation. 

At last chapter 4 of my novel is finally making sense, coming together. For some reason the starts of this chapter has been the most difficult to visualize. Probably a consequence of the changes to my original idea as I incorporated other storylines.

I had to break the novel into three parts. With so many pages it was easy to get overwhelmed. 

I have to remind myself too, that the authors I like to read have had years to prefect their writing.  Brandon Sanderson is a case in point with his scope and depth - and he also finished Robert Jordan’s, “Wheel of Time.”  An incredible epic journey.

l wanted to write an epic journey but soon realized with my origins in poetry and its sharp tight lyricism I had to make it smaller, more manageable. 

Poetry is still one of my greatest inspirations. 


As fantasy often includes ceremonies and ritual words I can still contribute that side of myself.  Here is one from my novel. 


Breath   

The essence of life
Undulates with the light and dark
Reflects on what will pass and what will be.
Fire cleansing, renewing.
The wheel of growth rising with the flow of water 
into the resonance of Earth;
a singing at its core.
And in the ‘Distance Of Longing’
shall blood be called from the depths 
of dark energy to one who walks
the path of two souls.
One who will be harbinger
Of life and death
 As the pattern and the song
Must needs be weft once again 
Into the grace and harmony
Of all things. 




05/01/20

I always stopped in front of the sculpture of Artemis whenever I visited the Adelaide Art gallery. Its marble solid and hard flows like silk where hands carved and shaped cloth and culture. Yet every flaw, age had wrought, brings it close. 

It sends phantom tingles in my hands. They are coloured like the earth’s rich red- brown and immersed in clay – becomes a bowl on the sideboard bursting with fruit.  A zephyr of air brings in the fragrance of orange blossom. Scent and memory.  


My Grandpa’s glass of tobacco
His pipe filled with the exotic mix 
of other hands picking, selecting and blending 
the flavour of their distant lives 
into smoke, into the mist of mountains 
carrying the voice of sky into the timber 
of his wisdom:  
“no rules - no half attempts’’
This offering a bowl open 
 to the world.  

The layers of the Grand Canyon in Colorado are open too, tells stories of beginning and change, the river’s course making patterns and correlations to us.  Other unfolding stories. Our emotions engaged and influenced by beauty, grandeur and that indefinable something beyond us and yet part of us. Nature in its many forms.

I rediscovered the book, “In Their Branches.”  A project where writers recalled how trees affected them over their life. Grief and pain, revelations; separations and moving house, away from familiar surroundings.  

        Trees were often their confidant and solace. Mine too.
                                      
                                        
 Melaleuca

As I grew our melaleuca straddled
the side drive, white flowers observing 
the rise and fall of friends and lovers, 
secrets held in green arbour
clutching at hair and clothes,
little reminders lining carpet and cars.
When I left, it kept growing, its branches 
dancing devil winds across the roof. 
Dad hated it Mum adored it, my eyes  
reaching for its wealth of years
at every homecoming.



04/07/20

In our current crisis, we are seeing a time of reflection and concentration on self, the world and our place in it. The fragility of humanity when such a thing happens. The loss and rebuilding. Creativity increased and shared. 
What we can look forward to again. 


I never know when it’s going to hit
That different side of love
The different side of you
That takes my breath 
Warms my soul

In the air on the road 
in the places I roam 
on a postcard or text or two

walking in the door
lunch at a café
working on a book 

and the character speaks your name
takes your face
becomes the empty space
I’d missed   




01/31/20

I am looking for a small side project to engage in while working on my novel. It helps motivate me, as well as gives me a way to look at my work from a different perspective. 

I saw an exhibition of Japanese stencils at my state art gallery once, the templates for silk printing. Their delicate, intricate lines were as fascinating to me as the end product. 

Much like lace making and its intricate winding of thread and bobbins into shape. 

An Australian artist John Wolseley reminds me of lace making. He created a sense of movement, a pattern in his painting “ Symphony.”  Bits of bark, birds, odds and sods flow through the air in a rhythm you can almost hear. 

The stencils and lace have their own story. Years of history and culture. All underpinning the movement and spaces that convey the emotion and action in their making. 

The artist and writer, Shaun Tan’s story “The Arrival,” with only images is a wonderful example of emotion seamlessly flowing.  He also creates pauses, like spaces in his narrative.

 I’d like to go into the spaces between moments to explore the before and afterward.  What can they tell me?  How can they be interpreted, expressed?

I’ve always had a secret yen to make a film. I see all my stories in cinematic form and have wished sometimes I had a recorder to voice what I see. It brings me back to how much music also plays its part in films. 

I have several lyrics I had set to music. How could I interpret them with images?  Where to start? 

I can already imagine going back to the botanic gardens; nature ever one of my greatest inspirations. Use the video on my phone to take micro shots. Pan the surrounding area then zoom in.  

Find the spaces, shadows and mystery in the Needle Pines. The droplets of spray from the fountains. Reflections in the lily pond and hopefully a dragonfly or two. A start.  

Once I’ve made a story that I feel works, I’ll look at posting it up on You-Tube. 


12/30/19

A last note for 2019 as a New Year dawns.  I wrote this piece thinking of the EARTH, of BEING.

I Wait.

There is a desert inside me shifting dunes 
of red and gold that sparkle white bleached bones. 
They speak of rivers that once 
cascaded ancient memories, ones folded 
into the fabric of what was, and wait 
only the breath of awareness.

I try to bridge the gap. 
I spin the kaleidoscope of what is known 
of place, of colour. I open myself to the blade of grass, the teardrop of water, the grain of sand and hear the tales of reflection and change - the compelling voice of shadows and death.
It pulls me down into the deep pattern of beginnings.

Watery streams gulp whale song. Its resonance gathers the collective embrace of every living, organism’s promise and rises in vapour. Air balloons travel across our vast globe and absorb the tenure of screaming sun and annotate years.  

Forests have gone. Time cemented the stride of mankind, divided the giving and taking beyond reasonable limits. But still, a small ember flies and touches another, becomes a conflagration of consciousness.


It bursts inside me, roars the name of ‘Life,’ and resurrects hope.


11/27/19

With a clearer view of where my writing is going these days, I am curious to see what has changed, what my writing was like years ago. 

I rummaged around in my cupboards and found folders of my earlier writing - old novel extracts ranging from crime fiction, a completed western and fantasy. 

It was like looking at another person. My style was simpler, even a little naïve at times yet written with confidence.

Much happened later to dampen that confidence.  I worried too much about what others thought. Was confused on what seemed the right way to approach my writing. 

Was my story entertaining and interesting enough? 

The sheer need to write and the imagination I have pouring from me overcame the doubts enough to persevere.  Still it is a roller-coaster up sometimes down the next. Up now. 

I am going to use some ideas from one of my old fantasy pieces. It was based on the myth of Pegasus and the Chimera.  I have a large book of the story. I read it over and over again as a child, fascinated by the images and fierceness of the horse and rider as they battled the beast.

The feeling of being that child again moves through me. Like the poem I wrote.


Pastels

Rolling the chalky substance
like a child again. 
Seeing the world for the first time.  
No fear, no limit to the imagination.
Purple trees and rainbow grass
The hide and seek excitement of play
 Not knowing what’s just around the corner.
 Ever driven forward.

 As an avid reader, I move forward into an ocean of words. Soak up every plot and action as I admire and take heart from writers who break rules.
  
Being too bound by the mechanics of writing can at times override that something waiting to be born. 

I take much from the Western writers I’ve read with their rich mine of characterization. Their characters were a Mix of strength and vulnerabilities who make mistakes but move on to do what is right. Pioneers amidst lawlessness who cemented their place and stood for the people; empowered by self-realization.  

Today I am happy with my reflective exercise. There is much I can reinvent from my old writing as well as bits and pieces of my old self.  

I take heart from one of my favourite western writers, Loius L’Amour, who was quoted as saying:  

 “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”


11/02/19

Writing a novel is demanding. It takes time for my thoughts to form something I can work with, then express. I’m a dreamer which is frustrating sometimes but I find my varied interests bring a lot into whatever I’m creating - science and history my top interests after art and writing. 

The past affects the present as I’ve mentioned previously - memories carried on - a legacy  that can evolve into something new. The recipient adding their perspective. 

When creating my fantasy world I have to develop the values, the culture and history of the inhabitants. It ends up being a lot and many events take place before what happens in the book. 

I want to explore and expand on that history with art and writing.  


Because I don’t have the relevant mastery of figure drawing, I’ve discarded the idea of doing a graphic novel. Instead I will do versions of illuminated manuscripts, in my style. 



Illuminated manuscripts were originally created centuries ago to revere and pass on religious knowledge but later changed and evolved into straight storytelling. 



William Morris, the father of modern pattern and design of the 1800’s was a prime example. He too was fascinated by illuminated manuscripts. He started illustrating his poetry but wanted to revive and reform the book using the model of  15th Century illuminated manuscripts.  

He combined his innate feel for the beauty of line and shape with story. Created what the contemporary graphic novel does today, art and words enhancing each other in a different way.



Where to begin and what will I include?



Artifacts are one. 



The great Roman Empire has innumerable ruins throughout Rome and other cities. The artifacts found there tells us about the people and how they lived; what they believed in and crafted. The recorded foundations of their beliefs and their Lore.

Myths and legends abound with their own specific set of ways to explain the world, using nature, it’s the seasons. Totems, musical instruments, ceremonial items and cloth. Making discoveries like the great voyagers of old. Their stories are a valuable resource and stay in the psyche. Certainly mine. The naming of the new, the wonder of what was possible can change our perceptions.  Be a guide too. I see the illuminations as such. 

Here my poetic side can take over as I build up a number of words and songs that are part of the lost Lore of my fantasy worlds. Here is one of my lyrics which I’ll likely adapt. 

Night Closes In

Too long the night closes in
Listen, my heart cries
Why did you lie?
Too long the shaking begins
Memories, fire and stone
They won’t let go

Too deep the longing moans
In velvet dark
cold stars burning
Too strong the leaping heart
beats a tattoo
blood ink sinking

( chorus)
Life and Soul
How could I know?
My heart dies
Why did you go?

Too long the night closes in
Whispers shout her name 
Slow wave drowning
Too long the wishing begins
Pictures ghost a face
dark ash binding  

Too deep the sorrow clings
To opened mouth
sleek taste cascading
Too strong the tender skin
meets a caress
warm hand breaking

(Chorus again)
 (Bridge) 
What unnamed glance 
What unspoken test
Broke the heat of our connection
Left me aching    undone 
My life forever caught
in distant blue  


What images will I transform from the back story that fit into what comes later in my novel?

The beginning of magic. Those who first wielded it.  The formation of their city.

Already the reflection and planning, just as writing my journals has done, is affecting and changing my perspective, bringing a greater clarity to the content of my novel. 

I want the artwork to have an authenticity that draws the viewer into the world of the novel. 

Some of the pieces I’m creating will stand alone and will be available as photo prints. Others I’ll put together in a book : “The Book Of Ethalon.”  

Once it’s completed I’ll print the book in the same format size as a graphic novel. 
Here is look at my first two illuminations.


SYRN 


 THE TEMPLE OF CALIAD



Note :  My lyrics set to music available to listen to on my web site:






WEBSITE NOTE: Diana now has a portfolio of her art on this site. Check it out at:





10/10/19


As I touch an old ornamental fan, wooden slats painted with violets, memories open and unfurl of my Great Aunt’s house steeped in Victoriana. 

I was seven when I stayed with her and picked walnuts from her garden. Opened them to reveal halves like a map. She’d travelled and mapped her life with her husband, a diplomat in India. She’d brought back a silver tea set and brass vase (now mine). 

It ignited my enduring fascination with the legendary Silk Road and trade. 

Her sister, my Grandma used stars as her guide. She often won at the race track when she was guided by Astrology.  I went with her one day and watched the horses run, entranced by the beat and flash of the jockey’s colours. 

We shared an orange, its juice stabilizing her diabetes, the memory of its segmented pieces overlaying her skin, a drop of blood and needle. 

With another needle she stitched together my love of textile and pattern. She died when I was nine. Another connection, another loved one gone.  

I often wonder if that was the start of the longing -a longing for what could have been - that added layer of family knowledge lost in time. 

I’m sure it influenced my reason for writing fantasy. In the creating new worlds and other races, I could explore my characters sense of belonging - be it a place, a people or the seeking of its meaning.  

It’s a journey also I wanted to express in my art. 

I started sketching first, enjoying the intensity of the light and shadow; the marking with dark lines like map making. A map of joy and passion, of life and death, of light still shining through like I’d seen in the Old Masters - Monet, Turner and Vermeer. Monet in particular liked charting the light of the day in his famous haystack paintings. The changes in colour inspired me to experiment. 

I tried digital art and found it suited my style. Using a black background I bring in light and colour to give atmosphere. Pick a face, an object or landscape and with a seeming randomness at times, meld the layers.  And like bark, layers come off too, leaving behind the final piece.  

Creating something new is like my experience of watching a cello being made. 

The body exudes twists of complex muscle. 
Inside a hollow palpable silence;
It is still young.

Nodes are inserted. 
Without them, strings have no tension
And tension draws the best from fingers.

Lacquer is applied with slow precision. 
Gloss in the long sweep of curve 
 Hardens to a sunset resonance.

The imprint of hand and heart
transforms sound. Its first voice
raw; transcendent.



08/15/19

I have just finished reading my latest copy of the magazine “Heavy Music Artwork.” 

I started reading the magazine a few years ago, first hooked by the artwork then by the artists’ creative processes.  

Many of the artists are also members of the band and the songwriters. The way they translate their ideas and values into the visual, reflect the mood and content of the music is both enlightening and empowering. 

Their philosophy on life is an intriguing mix of thoughts on rituals and myths, religion and big themes like the state of the world, the Universe and our place within it.

In many cultures animals have been used in ancient ritual and ceremony. Totems and shaman spirit walking to name but a few. A way of infusing the attributes of the animals into our body, linking us with the primeval. It can be a twice edged sword. 

I thought about that and how it pertained to my life. The part music has played in it and converged. 


A Piano Solo 

Fingers traced the polished octave of ivory ghosts, 
the hot winds of the dark heart connecting to my childhood 
where I drifted across red hills to the ancient call to water; 
river reeds a dangerous slither against skin. 
Above, white corellas danced the blue sky layers into night 
And the intimate grotto of constellations; 
Music of the spheres reaching past injustice and cruelty 
To immortalize majestic, lost spirits. 

In the Heavy Music Artwork magazine, the duo, “ Mothmeister”  make their own tribute to animals through taxidermy and ritual. They create surreal photographic images with these animals and paired with individuals who are masked. Despite the suggested anonymity, the portraits are intimate and posed very theatrically and with intensity.  

I’ve felt that same sense of intimacy at the theatre seated twenty feet from Shakespeare’s Hamlet as it unfolded. The body language as much as the voice of the actors stayed with me long afterward. Potent. And like being a part of, and listening to the bards and performers in the time of travelling shows. 

I shared that experience when I learnt contemporary dance. 

With body and mind I sought to interpret the meaning behind the choreographer’s story. Inevitably included my own point of view – which was also The Point. 

A duality that can cause tension.  Like a metaphor.       

Arms pivot to the gilt edge 
Of a finely wrought blade slicing through air
 Make music of their own  
Fly in their own sky, arc and extend toe to toe,
Vibration moving from the floor 
In waves up through my poised backbone
A delineation; life or death.  


Tension often causes conflict. An essential ingredient when novel writing. 

The inner conflict of the characters being as important as conflicts brought about by outside influences. 

I write up detailed backgrounds for each character. Won’t always use all of it, but it’s there and I can mix up what happens to them. Bring out their fears; push them into situations contrary to what they’ve experienced or have hidden. 

In books I’m reading I want to see into the characters mind. To move with them as they evolve. How they cope.  How they are challenged and wait for their philosophy on life to be revealed. 

Absorb and appreciate their differences. 

Note:  Heavy Music Artwork   #10 Vol 3   April 2019.  





07/19/29

The Botanic Gardens is one of three places that have defined much of my life.

Needing some thinking time I drive to the Gardens and step through the gate and onto the main path.  I walk through an avenue of giant Figs, old and gnarled. They look the same as the first time I came as a child scuffing through their leaves.  

Their air of permanence is a balm to my overloaded brain and offers a serenity that escapes me at the moment.  A place that pledges renewal and permanence yet at the same time stimulates. 

I zero in on my favorite sections.  The strand of nettle pines where I imagined mysterious creatures hidden and waiting to reveal themselves. When they didn’t, I determined to make them come alive on the page. 

The Lily pond with its mixture of pink and white blooms and seed pods, their faces uplifted to sky and the Universe. Majestic back drop for theatre productions in summer, gowns of silk swishing over green ululating lawns as the legend of Arthur and Camelot unfolded. 

Other stories. Water puppets translating legends and bringing into being the universe of multiple gods; great swirl of creation.  

The Botanical museum with its seeds and propagation. Large books from centuries ago detailing new discoveries of flora and fauna. Cabinets with plant fibers and woven skirts alongside vials of scents and oils.  A place of memory - past and present. 

I turn to the other two places for opposing reasons. Both inspire imagination. The Hills around my Aunt’s farm that spelled freedom; open space and hills to roam and be myself. 

The house I lived in from nine years old to late teens with land opposite filled with small dunes. Behind them, the Adelaide airport. A dreaming and fantasy time of far off dunes, of Egypt and the wonder of shifting shape and ancient tales. 

They live in me, brought out when the wind stirs, when I hear planes overhead, and smell new growth.    

After wandering, thinking, I leave the botanic gardens with a new confidence and a question. Who in my novel do I really want to take my first journey with? 

Now I can answer. Now I can shed the complicated plot line I tried to encompass. 

It will make my friends laugh. Many times I’ve changed my mind about what I’m writing. Have even done so, here, in my journal. 

It comes down to really understanding myself, my motivations and needs. Like a tendril of vine testing the air, the light I’ve come back to my first concept - water crystals, whales and music. 


Now Ben and Eryn’s story can be told with my full commitment. 


07/04/19

Tapping into my own experiences is one part of how I create the backgrounds for my characters. 

 I try to use all the five senses - smell, taste, sight, sound and touch. In each of these are numerous variations, personal experiences.  Taste can be salt spray from the sea. A lover’s warm skin. Fragrances lingering as an aftertaste. 

One of my strongest memories comes from the smell of apricot jam cooking. A ritual. My introduction to the seasons as I stayed over holiday times at my Aunt’s farm. 

We cut apricots together and I tasted more than a few. Later the jam jars lined the pantry shelves, amber and gold jewels I can still see clearly. As I do many other experiences on the farm, many a first. 

The orange hills around the farm I likened to dunes from afar and heard whispers on the wind of ancient people and times. The Murray River, brown-green and dangerous. I’d been afraid of the slimy reeds on my skin and the opaqueness of it since swimming there.  A fear that remains and I often think of such things when writing.

When at home the house was filled with music. Mum and dad played the piano - my dad often pulling out his flute. My younger brother and I learnt the piano. He added the clarinet, his reed- crooning sounds like smooth jazz nights. My eldest brother strummed the guitar. 
It was only my younger brother and I who played together, and realize now, how often we stuck together through the underlying, sad notes in our family.  

Individual experiences make each of us unique. All help to form responses. A stepping stone. 


I imagine who my newly formed characters could be, and what formed their core values and what eventually changes them.  Endeavor to make them recognizable in the way they think and act. 


06/18/19

Ideas are the foundation of writing. After starting this journal I looked back to the first idea I had that set others in motion.  

I’ve always been fascinated by snowflakes. They are all individual and beautifully geometric. I imagine snowflakes bouncing together and making their own music like wind song and water, a slow trickle that can become a cascading roar. Energy. Vibration. 

I read about Pythagoras, a scientist and mathematician from 660 BC who believed a vibration and resonance emanated from all planets and combined to from a harmony, a balance in the Universe. He called it “The Music of the Spheres.” 
It gave me the foundation of the magic in my fantasy world - music, resonance and mathematics – or more specifically geometric pattern that linked to the elements of life. 

For me, I was always going to base my characters on Earth, where magic is not a given but mainly appears in myth. I often wished many myths were true and imagined my characters having special abilities but unknown to them. 

My first character was a musician, a violinist. I picked this instrument as I have always been deeply affected by the sounds of violin strings. Believed the emotional connection I felt would help me to express mine, and hers. But being a fantasy novel I wanted more for my character Eryn - another reason for her passion for music. 

I gave her the ability to hear Whale song, gifted to her by the Whales themselves, those wonderful sentient creatures. Their song and themes, both haunting and somewhat other worldly suited my thinking and would help form a link to something beyond our world. 

 Eryn’s character was also haunted by her dad’s recent death but did not suffer alone. Supported by Ben, who she’d grown up with since she was five. Like a brother. Seven years older and a glass artist. One who saw patterns within his creations that stirred within him both longing and echoes of past nightmares.

These two characters were part of my first novel, the one I set aside while I grappled at that time with my own griefs. I still wrote short stories, unable not to create something as well as ideas burgeoning from my interest in biology and science. 

In nature there is a golden ratio called the Fibonacci that forms shape and growth; innate properties locked into seeds. These days seeds can be genetically engineered. 

I’d first read of the possibility in a science fiction book I read in High School, “The Day of the Triffids,” by John Wyndham. His main character, a scientist modified plants. Not considered very ethical for the time.  When they were affected by a meteor shower, they turned into killer plants. 

It had me thinking years later of this scenario and I wondered - what if seeds from space came down to Earth instead?  Who could have sent them and why?  What kind of plants would they turn out to be? 

 One came easily to my mind - the Amazonica Victortia Lily. A plant I have always been fascinated by and visited in its pavilion in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 

I researched its history.  The seeds of the Lily plant had been taken from the Amazon in the 1800’s to England where it was propagated for the first time outside its natural habitat. I could imagine, the Amazon both a mysterious and dangerous place being infused with magic. From it my character Del was born and I started another novel.

 I’d written 10,000 words when I had an epiphany. There were similarities and possibilities in the new novel that could marry with my original one and its characters. It made sense to combine them, four main characters, who all had abilities unknown to them. 


I could transform the old and meld it into the new. Am now doing so with a plotline and an ending which has given me the room to fully explore the dynamics between the characters and their situation. 


05/29/19

As I draw and sketch in the shadows that define the overall image I am currently making, I think of the darkness, the underbelly of emotion and motivation that often drives a story. 

Much can drag a person down into the depths of rage and despair, or a cold precision. The reasons, how or why – a slow decline over time or linked to a sudden circumstance that tests core values. 

I felt moved by and appreciated the effect of the former, in the first lines of the poem  “Family Trees”  by the  African Poet Tsitsi Jaji. 

Mother was a mango transplanted by moon-light, she glowed split cream. On unknown days she would burst into bruises. Or leak tears, but it was just a skin game, fruit do that, seeping out ripe juice. When inside all is sweetening. The real hurt was slower, deeper. 

Background information on a character determines reaction and response. I create detailed notes on my characters, which have a flow on affect as I refine my plotline. 

In my fantasy novel “Song of Seed and Blood,” one of my main characters Del, transforms into the Victoria Amazonica Lily.  The flower itself is pollinated at night by a beetle that turns at first pink then white. Del absorbs people to become the flower. Two lost days then she returns to normal.  

Does she like it? No, which forms that core of her - regret, guilt and a wanting to understand and stop it. She cannot. It is part of her and only the beginning of her journey into another transformation. 

I had to think about where she came from, her reason for being on Earth. Who knows about her and the ramifications of the act itself – one Seed in the coming rise of darker arts across  worlds that affect the balance of dark and light in the universe.

Her partner and love interest Li, in turn has to have the capacity to accept and understand; to be willing to help her. I gave him ancestors both of Druid and Mongolian Shaman, his childhood full of myth and legends. And as such, many of them with a dark underside.

Jared, her counterpart is driven by his mother’s death from cancer. A biologist and scientist with an ability to see patterns where others don’t. He finds out about Del and wants her blood while she is transformed, to create a drug to combat cancer. He is determined to get what he needs but finds himself one step behind her. In his frustration he falls prey to an outside influence who promises the power to get what he wants. 

He considers his motives pure. But how far will he go? What else is in store for him? 
My job is to keep up the suspense. In plotting I use many of the steps used to create crime fiction. Set up clues and motives; consequences and the result. Usually a death or more. The influence of place on the overall atmosphere and the mood of the characters. 

In fantasy, world building and the part magic plays in it are crucial to the atmosphere.  Forests that are sentient. The cities and where they are situated. The list is endless.  A feast of imagining and one I enjoy.

Note:   Poet Tsitsi Jaji  and her book of poems  “ Carnaval “   part of a series 
Seven New Generation African poets   By    Slapering Hol Press  at www.writerscenter.org 

05/09/19


As a writer and artist I move from one to the other, each contributing,rounding out my ideas, and as often taking me in new directions.

 My favourite haunt in my city of Adelaide is the Art Gallery. At one time I spent three months going each week to view a different painting and responding to it. 

Back then my default was writing poetry even as I worked on my novel. But I was also fascinated by the artists, their personalities and motivations – all fodder for background information as character most often drives a story. And woven into its fabric, is its theme, which could be about belonging, a journey into the mind or as many other permeations. Epic journeys and coming of age. All important in understanding the character as he or she moves forward. 

Besides writing speculative fiction I have also written literary and general fiction. One story I called, “With These Hands,” was based on my own experiences as a child. 

My youngest brother was born with several disabilities. When he was an infant my mother massaged his legs and arms. Pushed them into shape, trying to get his brain to make new pathways. 

It worked. When he was three years old he did walk.  My mother’s persistence had paid off and I like to think it rubbed off on me. I lost it for a while but it was still there waiting. 

Persistence plays a large part in finding an audience; being read, viewed and heard. As do setting goals and creating specific projects.

I am currently making a commitment for the next few weeks to draw every day - a face or figure using many of the pictures I’ve accumulated from magazines. Fashionistas, dancers and musicians, of the latter David Bowie who loved to change his look.

The reason behind the exercise is my intent to write a graphic novel.   My figure drawing needs work.  The writing I will create and revive from that dialogue I mentioned in radio plays. And once again read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.


05/01/19

As I continue this journal I remember what matters most from my past.  How my brother’s love shaped me and does still. He’d always been interested and encouraged me in my writing. 

I am not abandoning my first novel but transforming it. 

Writing a novel is a learning experience, a journey in itself and of self. 

Change too, a vital part of the process. Knowing by adapting, it is not a dismissal of what is already written - more ideas and characters reformed and molded to fit. 

My favorite books are those that make me cry, make me think as I experience how others coped through their lives.

 I want to give that to my readers. So I am going to write up a plan. One that will help me remember all these things as I write. To remember to draw on my own experiences of loss and love, pain and joy.  To face my fears and find that inner core and confidence in my abilities I once had. 

After responding to the poem “Catalyst” I thought about all the other forms of writing I’ve done. One in particular stood out - a radio play.

 Different from audio books, it can only use dialogue to portray the sense of place. To reveal, the values that the characters hold. And done well, sharply defines emotional undercurrents. 

In that form, it actually helped me to see my characters more clearly. 


With that in mind, I intend to spend more time reading my writing out aloud. To listen for those hidden nuances and hope I get them right.


04/16/19

By writing this journal I’m hoping to fully immerse myself in my writing again. To express the depth and intensity that I enjoy and appreciate in other writers. To regain my purpose and drive. 

I read a haiku poem recently called ‘Catalyst” by Anita Virgil.  Only three lines but very relevant to now, to this…writing a journal.

       Not seeing
       The room is white 
       Until that red apple 

 It is often easy to miss what is right in front of us. I am going to put a plan in motion to keep myself motivated as well as tap into my emotions.  Creating conflict in writing can, and is often too close to the bone. 

I intend to go back to my first love and read a poem every day and respond to it. See how the poem is relatable to my characters, the novel’s flow and plot line.   

Here is my response to the poem Catalyst:

        Black script curves
        Undulates in a river’s meandering ease 
        Until meaning slaps like a wave. 

Immediately after I’d written it, the word hidden sprang to mind. What had I forgotten that is hidden in my characters? What drives them?  


Each character is an individual. I will try to regenerate that feeling of discovery, of that first insight into who the character is and the journey they will take - the reason behind the journey in the first place. 

04/05/19

I started my writing life as a poet. Its brevity suited me. I loved searching for the right metaphor that I hoped, would convey the emotion I wanted to evoke. I think it was my form of journal writing. 

It came to a great halt when my brother, a songwriter, died of cancer in 2002. 
I couldn’t get past his absence for a long time. But eventually, with the help of music and a need to write something in his memory I resurfaced. 

The knack of writing poems seemed to have deserted me. Luckily I discovered Neil Gaiman and his Sandman series.  It hit a chord – his big themes of Universe and myths


Already an avid reader of fantasy I looked at what I loved about the genre and came up with some ideas. Ideas based on that connection I wanted with my brother again, and with music.

Many fantasy books used crystals as focal points in their magic. That appealed to me too. I’d always felt there was resonance in rocks. So, I began my journey into novel writing – a big step for me and wrote 100,000 words.  

When I had nearly finished, the drive that had kept me going left me. Looking back, I realize  that writing the novel was part of my grieving process. Odd not to know it, but I think I blotted it out. Tried to see it as creating something new, of being constructive.  

Even now I struggle at the idea of finishing it.  Sacred to let go of what it represented? Probably. It’s difficult. Hopefully I can get past it and believe an ending is not forgetting.  
I let work take over for a while. Enjoyed teaching Creative Writing and drawing, after going back to University. Also worked in mental health, looking for answers.  My mother had had clinical depression all her life. 

I’d always felt helpless and hoped by seeing others, trying to help them it would open a window into my mother’s mind.  It didn’t but I came to understand we all have our inner struggles, and by just being supportive we can make a difference. 

I kept writing bits and pieces all the way through. Concentrated on short stories but still had the characters from my novel popping up in my head. I had to visually represent them.
I’d previously learnt to draw and dabbled in oils but I wasn’t truly satisfied with the results. That’s when I turned to digital art to see what I could do. It suited my style. I love to grab images, often random - my subconscious obviously telling me which ones, then layering them. I’d often end up with happy accidents just like in watercolour  As well as flops.  

I have now revisited my original novel and am revising, adding new aspects. But will I finish?