Tuesday, April 30, 2013

David Sedaris' Latest Book

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. OMG. This critic is a huge fan of David Sedaris' humor, essays, and books. I finally got to hear him do an actual author reading and it expanded the scope of the whole Sedaris experience. David arrived on the author scene many years ago with The Santaland Diaries - his experience as a Macy's elf. It is hysterical and a must read at Christmas - not to children, please.

From there, he's written Barrel Fever, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You are Engulfed in Flames, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Whether it is his sisters (look for Amy Sedaris - she's also crazy funny), his late mother (drinking wine, smoking a cigarette, and shaking her head at his shenanigans), or his father (who just ups and walks out of a room in the middle of a conversation) - Sedaris can turn a small situation into a comedy routine. His stories evolve and circle back on themselves a few times. It's about love, family, the public, and trying to learn Mandarin Chinese on the plane to Bejiing.

Yes, he's a middle-aged gay man in a committed relationship with Hugh (who seems to roll his eyes constantly at David's wacky ideas) and Sedaris doesn't drive. They currently live in England, they did live in France, and yes he's a US citizen who tours here constantly. He spends hours with his fans - signing books and asking/answering questions. His interest in people and their peculiar lives fascinates and becomes fodder for futher essays.

The audience at the Winspear in Dallas ranged from college aged to middle aged fans like myself. My husband is a newbie to Sedaris world, but laughed for the 1-1/2 hours that David presented his material - stories, a poem, just a random thought, and then a deep Q&A. The essays in Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls are not for teen or children reading. There is some "adult" material, and some folks might say "Whoa!". Well, turn the page to another essay and then bust a gut laughing.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Art Festival Time of Year

 Two weekends in April are a joy due to Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival and then Southlake Art in the Square. They offer a plethora of art to enjoy. Extremely talented artists share their creations with us. Huddled in booths, they await public thumbs up with purchases. I've done my share, and this year I supported Gregory Story. However, for artists I did not purchase from, I did collect their cards and hope you'll peruse their websites and look for them at art shows. Sheer joy to behold.


 Gorgeous colors  - I love fused glass and these were beautiful pieces.

 If we only had a monstrous backyard, Ray would support Niemi, LLC - www.bruceniemi.com
The Found Object Robots are beyond clever and are really cool art. Quirky is key.

I truly enjoyed the photography from www.makeshiftphotography.com    Discerning eyes and viewpoints.

Now you know what I've been doing with my time. Have to take advantage of temperatures under one hundred in Texas  - a stroll through outdoor art shows without swooning from heat stroke sums up April.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Modern Clay - Gregory Story

Enjoyed strolling the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival on Sunday. So many talented people, neat art, and too few walls in my house for the goodies I liked. However, Gregory Story's Modern Clay WallBalls caught my eye. Check out his site  Gregory Story

I perused his area and the exclamation mark called out my name. It is now hung above my desk as a reminder to stay excited about writing, but to beware of overuse of this punctuation.

It makes me smile!!!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reach Higher

never out of reach                          By Joanne Faries.  Pictures from Jenkins Arboretum in PA

sky catcher dreams

clouds of fluff

no substance

cotton candy adjectives

melt as I type them

ignore serenity

grasp rough bark

shinny higher

goals elude

scratchy reprimands

crawl out on a limb

evade negativity

ignite action verbs

reflect on past


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dr. Rice on Leadership and the World

The University of North Texas, in Denton, hosted Dr. Condoleezza Rice Tuesday evening. A packed house gave her a warm welcome and we were treated to a short lecture on democracy, values, and leadership. Her humor and experience shone throughout her speech. She is a proven class act.

Without being preachy, she emphasized how she, an African-American female, could work hard, gain higher education, and ultimately be involved in world politics - Secretary of State (2005-2009). That is the promise in America. She also talked about leadership and how she learned to delegate, how she gathered people to tell her the truth on issues, and how awaking with a positive attitude helps all those around you. She emphasized optimism in tackling problems.

Key global issues that are still defining us - September 11th 2001, Economic Turmoil from 2008, and the Arab Spring. She also discussed how the Founding Fathers had no idea of the pace at which we get information now. The government they created was based on a slower life, but fortunately the United States system adapts and evolves without uprising and upheaval.

Her closing words were geared toward students, but applicable to all of us. She recommended challenging oneself with something new; learn and fail - it's okay, but then try again; read and talk with different people and sources - get out of your confined world and actually  listen to other viewpoints; travel and learn about other cultures; emphasize education - it is the groundwork for all.

I came away impressed with her presence and her thought provoking views. UNT did a great job as host to Dr. Condoleezza Rice.  (And she gave an emphatic NO - she does not plan to run for President...Not ever, Never. )

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April is National Poetry Month

Decided to share some spring haiku in honor of National Poetry Month

ducks quack

geese honk -

spring pond traffic jam

           spring snowstorm –

           cherry blossoms


cherry blossoms

branches droop –

bridal veil


caution light –

not yet summer

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jenkins Aborteum - Stroll Part Two

 You had to look hard for flowers that were just starting to emerge at Jenkins Aboretum.
 I liked this large trunk and the spareness of this scene

Very amusing watering cans on display.

A writer thought for today, courtesy of Time Magazine April 10, 2013.  When asked if she has any unfinished business, Maya Angelou replied, "I've still not written as well as I want to."

That blew me away.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jenkins Arboretum - A Stroll Part One

 Took a jaunt to PA to visit my Dad and also celebrate my "baby" brother's 50th birthday. The weather went from chilly to fantastic, and by Monday it was t-shirt wearing stroll time. I did a search and found a gem - the  Jenkins Arboretum   was only thirty minutes away.
 So Dad and I went on an adventure. It was still early for a huge amount of color, but buds were ready to pop. We enjoyed the hike on the hilly nature trails.
 Bird's nest tucked into a tree.
 At the pond, baby turtles were sunning themselves. They were a bit far away for a good picture, but you can absorb the atmosphere from this view.
And a splash of color at the entrance/exit. The arboretum was FREE and absolutely delightful. I'd like to go back in a week or so - the azalea blooms will be spectacular. By May the rhododendruns will be berserk.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Book Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

Back cover blurb - What would you do if the world outside was deadly and the air you breathed could kill?

And you lived in a place where every birth required a death, and the choices you made could save lives or destroy them.    This is Jule's story.  This is the world of Wool.

Wool is a page turner with a superb premise, a great mix of characters and setting. Who knew we could live in a silo in the future? Are there more people still alive on the planet? Who is really in control and what are there motives? The silo presents layers of society - up top you can see out (but what are you seeing?). Down below the earth, mechanics keep the building running. Where would you be living as deemed by the silo layers of importance?

Hugh Howey wrote his postapocalyptic thriller as a serial. He ultimately self published it on Amazon and it is a huge success story, selling millions of copies. Morever he's keeping his e-rights. Simon & Shuster has print only. According to the Wall Street Journal (3/8/13), Wool is a sign of the new publishing times. The big boys can't ignore independent authors and have to work deals that don't include the complete print/e-book package.

All I know is that Wool is an exciting read. I found myself holding my breath as Juliette exited the silo in her "death" suit. What ensues is creative and scary and could be plausible for the future, in my opinion. I won't give away anymore - trust me, you'll want to join the millions of other fans and read this futuristic tale.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Big Pictures - Amon Carter Museum

 Friday March 22nd, enjoyed a members reception at the Amon Carter Museum  http://wwwcartermuseum.org  in Fort Worth. The museum director, Andrew J.Walker, gave opening remarks. The curator, Katherine Siegwarth, explained her motivation and the "what to look fors" in the show. Very informative.

Onward to a very tasty reception - lots of yummy finger foods. My friend, Rebecca Thorne, and I talked with our mouths full and caught up on respective life news. After wiping crumbs from our faces, we trodded up the steps to the exhibit all. Wow - this exhibit of approximately forty photographs is stunning.

One photo called Landscape reveals the back of a boxer. The muscles, shadows, and sinewy back offer a terrain. Another photo of a huge tree in Brooklyn allows one to feel as if you are standing underneath the branches.
Barbara Morgan's photo of Martha Graham is electric. Motion, action - in a stark black/white/gray contrast.

I shall visit the Amon Carter again before the Big Pictures show closes. It is worth a second look.