Monday, January 29, 2024

Kat Eaton

I have been co-writing with my guitarist, husband and all-round good lad Nick Atkinson, since we were 16! ... It’s definitely a form of therapy for the both of us, and aside from sometimes having artistic differences (and without trying to sound cheesy), we bring the best out in each other. I think the reason we are both still in this business is because we can remind each other of how far we have come to get to this point.
~Kat Eaton, speaking to Music Republic Magazine

For Music Monday, Kat Eaton:

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Words are pilgrims

I'm curious. Period. I find everything interesting. Real life. Fake life. Objects. Flowers. Cats. But mostly people. If you keep your eyes open and your mind open, everything can be interesting.
~Agnes Varda

Hi y'all! Happy Poetry Friday! I've been thinking about charming worms today, but I'm posting about losing control. Singer Teddy Swims has a "Lose Control" challenge, inviting people to write their own stanza and sing it. I love the ways that people ran with it! (Note: There is cursing! The video goes on for a long time, so just listen to a sample if you want!)


And now, let's talk about punctuation!

The Case for Punctuation
by Murray Silverstein

Periods are gods, semicolons angels, the commas
their wings. It’s the words that are always wrong, ​

sinful and broken, intoxicatingly other than what
is meant. What does the wound remember? ​

          this morning, low tide, the gulls...

read the rest here


Chicken Spaghetti has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Susan!

Misty morning

The Osage have this lovely phrase: 'Travelers in the Mist.' It was the term for part of an Osage clan that would take the lead whenever the tribe was venturing into unfamiliar realms. And, in a way, we are all travelers in the mist.
~David Grann

I had started another Art Thursday post for this week but when I went outside this morning with the dogs, our weather got me thinking about how hard mist and fog must be for artists to paint. Let's see how some folks handle it:

Sawmill in the morning mist, 1886
Emil Jakob Schindler

La Seine à Rouen
Camille Pissarro

The Mist Curtain - Re 8 (16th Squadron) attacked over Lens, 1918
Gilbert Solomon

A London Fog
drawn by Duncan

Waterloo-Brücke - 1903

Claude Monet -

Monday, January 22, 2024

Buckdancer and backwater

A buck dance, or buckdance, generally refers to a dance done solo. For instance, the buck-and-wing is a solo tap dance that originated in the South. The term also may have come from a ceremonial dance performed by a Native American wearing the costume of a male animal such as a deer or antelope, known as a buck. “Buckdancer’s choice,” then, would seem to refer to a solo dancer’s own style or choice of dance to be performed.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

Some new renditions of old blues for Music Monday, plus "Music Therapy."

Irish teen Muireann Bradley:

The Stardazed Trail:

Music Therapy by Emhahee

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Sixth sense

Writing, for me, was a feat of self-preservation. If I did not do it, I would die. So I did it. Obstinacy, not talent, saved my life.
~Philip Roth

Happy Poetry Friday! I had kind of a funny week. Through an insurance snafu (Imagine that! Insurance having a snafu!), I didn't get a shot I needed last week and I ended up sleeping through most of the first few days of this week. I guess you could say I hibernated? Glad to have gotten my shot and be actually doing things now.

Today's poem is one I wrote for the prompt "stairs" using a memory from when Elena was just a moppet.

Shields Up
by Tabatha Yeatts

I hear a thump on the stairs
and run, expecting a wail of pain
from my four-year-old daughter,

but instead find her holding on
like a starfish: face down, arms out,
safe through the most
improbable catch.

Somewhere loose
in the jingling pockets of our cells
is the coin to drop in the self-
preservation slot

to activate our instinct
to avoid the shiny berry,
the sudden slither,
the perilous dare,

your own voice calling you
to let the knife's edge
pass you by,
to catch the handle.


Life on the Deckle Edge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!

Historiated Initials

With symbols you have connected the two worlds, the visible and the invisible.
~Jasna Horvat

Hi all! Happy Art Thursday! A historiated initial is "an enlarged letter at the beginning of a paragraph or other section of text, which contains a picture." (Wikipedia)

I have a little workbook for practicing decorative letters. Hoping to get better at it, although I don't aspire to making ones as complex as these!

Solomon observing the stars, circa 1170-1180

Decorative initial from a play printed in 1547

Initial from a medical treatise printed in Venice in 1547

Initial from an edition of Petrarch printed in 1549

Initials of Sámuel Falka Bikfalvi from 1824

Monday, January 15, 2024

Just another way of passing the day

Everyone I talk to has a Genesis story to tell.
~Mike Rutherford

True story: the other day I had a bunch of things to do on two floors of my home...I put Genesis's Greatest Hits on YouTube and when they played a song I liked, I worked on the main floor and when they played a song I didn't like, I went upstairs. Haha! It worked out.

For Music Monday, one that kept me on the main floor:

Other songs I stayed for: Abacab, Misunderstanding, Mama. I finished before this came up, but I would have stayed for Follow You Follow Me.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Tiny star

Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure...We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.
~Maya Angelou

Hello, Poetry Friday friends! Our holidays are officially over now that Ariana's birthday has come and gone (she had a deep sea theme, as seen above.) Time to get serious about inventing 2024 scenarios.

Need a little sun? Maybe you're it. A poem by James Crews:

read the rest here


Tangles and Tails has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Tracey!


Every sampler is a historical record of one girl’s educational training and the type and value placed on that education.
~Valerie J. Davis

For Art Thursday, historic needlework samplers.
The Victoria and Albert Museum explains, "Needlework skills were important for the future management of a girl's household, and the personal adornment of herself and her family. Alphabets allowed girls to practice the marking of linen (sheets, undergarments and other personal items were named so they came back to their right owners after wash day), while spot motifs and border patterns could be used to decorate both clothes and domestic furnishings."
The sampler below by Alicia Lawrence was made when she was 12 and records the births (and one death) of her parents' children.

People are still making samplers today to practice skills and commemorate events, etc. A sampler my mom made when Ben and I got married gave me the idea for this week's topic.

Sampler, 1701

Sally Jackson sampler, 1760

Sampler, 1750-75, England

Alicia Lawrence, 1798

Mary Jones sampler

Jane Wilson sampler

Monday, January 8, 2024

Hermann Baumann

[Baumann's] tone was described as expressive and singing... He advised his students to sing a theme first before playing it on the horn.

Hermann Baumann, the great French horn player, passed on December 29th, age 89. Featuring his performances for Music Monday. To be honest, these are some of my favorites, rather than the most famous ones.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

OLW 2024

Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy, it will open a new place in our hearts.
~Henri Nouwen

Hi y'all! Happy Poetry Friday! I might be rambly never seem to mind and I appreciate that.

So I was thinking about a word (One Little Word) for 2024, and "new" was a strong contender. I liked what it inspired regarding being creative and original & also handling change and transitions. But I couldn't quite bring myself to settle on it!

There's no point in forcing these things, so I kept thinking and a word I was happy with ended up presenting itself. It's a word that seems like it could hold both "new" and "generous" (my OLW for 2022, which I liked): "open." I can be open to new ideas, to giving. I can be an open book, open my eyes, blow it wide open. It's an open invitation.

An "open" search through my poetry file resulted in a bounty of options (enough for a year?). Here's one:

Linda McCullough Moore

It’s impossible to sneeze
with your eyes open.
When you sneeze,
all your body
functions stop,
even your heart.

I keep trying.


Reading the above poem led me to visit Linda McCullough Moore's website, where I saw that a Nigerian sports betting company added their content to her welcome. Arg! ("As you delve into the realm of captivating tales, consider venturing into the world of online sports betting with [company]... Just as stories connect souls, [company] connects you to the excitement of sports betting.") What is this? It seems like Ms. Moore has not updated anything for a decade. Does anyone know her?


More opens:

Federico García Lorca

The door was left open,
and at dawn the entire sky
emptied onto her balcony.


J.I. Kleinberg

When the world seemed made of doors,
all open, we never tired of asking each other,
What animal would you be? My friends
wanted to be horses, cats, but my creature
was a being of parts, no breed, maid and myth,
a wild-maned body of the unordinary,
my escape. Sometimes I was the being,
sometimes its conjoined rider, aloft, away...

read the rest here


Marcie Flinchum Atkins has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Marcie!

Supporting artists

People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they're too stupid and they've already taken over the world.
~Pedro Domingos

Happy Art Thursday! Lately I have been trying to learn how to recognize art created by artifical intelligence (AI) rather than human hands. I accidentally bought two things (on Etsy) that were AI-made and didn't realize it until Elena told me. I hate being tricked, and I hate spending money on AI that I could be spending on human artists. Artists have a hard enough time making a living.

Elena said that Etsy has a big AI problem. I am starting to notice sellers who opened their shops in 2023 and are selling thousands of very different things.

How else can you tell something is AI-made? They should be obligated to tell you, but since it seems to be optional, what do you look for?

Quiz to suss out AI-generated art
How to identify AI art
How to detect AI-created images (PC Mag)
Can you spot which pictures are AI-generated?
AI art is everywhere (video)
Why AI art sucks from an AI researcher (video)

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


And I know the Great Wall sometimes feels like just a wall
And I know that Ringo sometimes wishes he was Paul
And I know that Jersey wonders, "Am I even Shore?"
And I'm confident that I'm insecure

Music Monday, belatedly! I was going to share something else but then I heard this song (esp. the part in the second half when they all take turns singing the title) and I was like, okay. (There's an insult that her brain tells her in the beginning --startling if you aren't used to hearing it-- which means you're an idiot/shut up.) Here's Lawrence: