Tag Archives: social networking

A cropped version of art called "Hoping"

Hoping

It’s tempting to write something about Canada’s recent election, which I followed so closely, looking for a glimpse of a return to some form of human dignity. I won’t do that except to say that something quite remarkable happened. It has to do with the newly appointed Minister of Justice. She’s a lawyer, so no surprise there. To learn more you can read her story here.

In an election full of big promises and tons of symbolism, this shines through as much more than a symbol and I wish her well . . . yeah Canada? I hope so.

I’m tempted to write about my little dream, another one about black holes, and the notion that they are impenetrable because they are full of Love . . . intense beyond comprehension, a universal force and something to do with new creation . . . and so love conquers all after all? But conquer is not the right word, as in that place and situation there is simply no fighting allowed. That has always given me hope too.

So in the end I won’t write about anything other the release of a new painting which has turned out to be very, very well-received in all my social media circles. I had been leaning toward launching it as a limited edition print, but instead I’m adding to my selection of Open Edition Prints – see the main menu above.

 

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October’s Calling

October was a little different, amazing by my standards. I spent the bulk of my time creating one picture. It took at least five weeks, especially with all the detailing that went into it. All my social media activity slipped big-time, especially this blog. I needed that break and for many reasons, including going through a creative transition. When I was about half done “Angels Calling”, it came to me that something special was going on . . . more on this further down.

As soon as it was finished, I launched “Angels Calling” on my site on FineArtAmerica. That was a few days ago and soon after my first customer got in touch with me. We exchanged a few pleasant emails, and she was so genuinely grateful that I created this piece.

Clutch Hitting During the Month of October

Then it really hit me, that unsettled feeling that comes with finishing a major project like this one. I’ve noticed it before, but it seems each time I learn something new. When you finish a painting, especially one that feels like a breakthrough of sorts, there is the experience of a sense of loss. That happens even more when you recognize that something unique going, a change in both process and technique. You get to watch it take form . . . there’s no real hurry to finish the picture . . . you don’t want this journey to end, but you also know that it must.

Often, in those times, I’ll dive into something else right away. It feels very much like trying to replace something that’s vanished. It doesn’t take long to become immersed in another project, yet there is this lingering of the previous one. At the same time, I must put on my business hat, announce “Angels Calling” and promote it online. Then I inevitably start thinking of the painting as being more as a product. The process still lingers, but again, this “changing of the hats” seems to helps in putting a closure to the journey.

Perhaps it was then, when it was launched, that the journey becomes an arrival?

 Upon Arrival

In my next post I’m going to explain the changes I went through, style-wise, while bringing “Angels Calling” to form. This may seem self-indulgent, but it will be a worthwhile exercise for me, and hopefully there will be something you might learn as well? At the very least there will be lots of pictures to see!

Finally, I’m going to show you two renditions of “Angels Calling”. The first one is the earliest rendition, at least the first with a layer of leaves on top of the sketch. The second one is the final and published version . . . it’s #41. There was a lot going on in October, between #1 and #41.

Here they are . . . clicking on the final version will take you to “Angels Calling”on my art site.

digital painting

First Rendition of “Angels Calling” by Lawrence Grodecki

Final Version of "Angels Calling"

Final Version (#41) of “Angels Calling”…now on my FAA site…the picture links to my art site.

 

abstract image of leaves

Just me and my Leaves

This has been the slowest week since the last one, and boy has it gone fast!

If you came here thinking today’s blog would be about you, think again – this one’s on me – or was that the last one? What can I say? I’m a writer. Hemingway said we’re all liars, but then can you really believe him?

The week in Review (or is it Next Week’s Preview?)

Actually I’ve got a lot done this week, but almost entirely in my head, and a little on index cards . . . why do they call them that anyway? I mean, does anyone in their right mind actually index them? Why not call them what they are . . . illusions of being organized . . . I’m smart though, I put little page numbers on them in the top right corner, and even circle them. I’ve got about 50 of these cards all over the place. I think about 12 of them have a single vertical line inside a moon, in the top corner . . . wonder what that’s all about!

Actually, I’m in the process of writing about five separate blogs, all very related to each other, and way too much for one blog. My intent was to have the first one written last night and posted today . . . this is not that one.

They are all related to three main subjects:

1. Building an author’s platform – It sure would have been easier if this were the 70’s . . . then I could just go out and buy the shoes, click my heels, and all would be well. Time after time I’m reading about the importance of just being oneself, and doing that basically all over the place. That’s fine, but it sure would help if that Wizard could whip me up a storm of “online oneness” – I’m sure he’s got the brains, not sure about the heart, and as for bravery, hmmm?

It takes a certain amount (a lot) of constraint to avoid flogging one’s own creative output, especially when it’s your main source of income and not something done on the side, but that’s an issue all on its own. As well, what I do keeps me occupied for probably 60 hours a week, maybe more, so it could never be a sideline.

2. The Book Environment – I’m using the term environment rather than industry. Actually, more and more, it feels like one of my projects is doing a case study on the whole mess – oops, environment – it is the best of times and worstest of days – catch my drift?

As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking, especially for one person, and it is only one of many projects. It’s an important one though. It’s tempting to say that every indie author should try the same, but I’m not sure about that. To begin with, this is where I actually use my MBA skills, not just in marketing, but mostly in strategic planning, part of which includes doing an industry analysis.

I have already identified the big problems, and opportunities, and collapse them in a sentence or two. That only took three months, not full-time of course. However, that isn’t enough – I need to flesh in more details – then focus more on “what’s next” in this crazy world of platform building, selling books and art and so on.

When I’m done, I’ll be posting my insights on here . . . you can be rest assured that it won’t be the same stuff you find elsewhere . . . and you will learn something valuable, whether you’re a writer or a reader, or both.

4. Technical issues – Should I switch from a hosted blog to self-hosted one? Should I shut down my art site for now, or roll it into a redesigned blog? Technically, I can’t fully integrate this blog into my website . . . that would be ideal. Then there are all the design enhancements that I need to make . . . this is the more mundane topic, so I’ll leave it for now.

Now For the Rest of The Story

I found this link in a discussion group on goodreads. Whether you’re a writer or someone who sometimes wonders about writers, you need wonder no more . . . instead, feel free to laugh your ass off . . . some of you may want to pee before following this link:

The Secret Life of Writers

PS – I found these secrets from another writer – you can find her here: Dianne Harman

Other People’s Stuff

A picture of a twig

This is another unfinished piece…it’s based on a variation of a leaf.

Normally I don’t comment on other people’s blogs, nor do I publish a list of favorites, who I follow and so on. That’s totally because I’m worried about leaving someone out by omission. Some days its tempting to single out those who can really strike a nerve, but I’d rather focus on the positives . . . so hopefully I won’t “make the wrong mistake” as Yogi Berra said.

I’m really just getting the hang of Pinterest. I spend most of my time related to that site looking for original pins, as opposed to simply repinning. However, there are a small number of pinners that I’m following, and some or all of them also have blogs. I’m not going to comment on the blogs here, just the Pinterest boards.

If you haven’t spent much time there – or if you think it’s somehow less than blogging – I think you might re-think that if you visit Julie Green’s page. It is fascinating to explore, an intellectual and visual treat . . . the kind where you stop watching the time, so be careful!

Here’s the link, and I hope you check it out for yourself: Julie Green on Pinterest

I’m learning how busy the world of Twitter is, though it has been all pleasant surprises, kind of “rapid-fire” so it’s hard to keep up. I still have much to learn over there, but aside from that, there are some people over there. One guy, @PhilTorcivia , is amazing because of his constant and pretty consistent stream of humorous one-liners. For example, “I told my girlfriend she’d drawn her eyebrows too high. She looked surprised.” I’m not surprised that he has over 64,000 followers.

For all the authors out there, I also came across some named Jane Friedman, but I can’t remember how I came upon her first – Twitter, blog, Pinterest or somewhere else. What I do know is that wherever I come across her, I learn something new and important when it comes to writing and publishing. If you’re looking for book reviews, that’s not what she does, but for tons of great information, resources, and opportunities, I suggest starting with her home page: Jane Friedman’s Home Page

There are many other kudos I’d like to send out, and will over time. There are some bloggers that have made an extra impression lately, including Jackie Jones, especially for her wonderfully honest and great photographs of the Caribbean on her blog. She keeps apologizing for this and that photography, but I’d never have noticed without her mentioning them – they’re imperfections make them all the more intriguing and endearing: Jackie Jones’ Caribbean Photos – the little stories add to the charm.

Finally, thank to Jill Paterson for your tips on writing that all-important blurb, as well for being a friend on Goodreads: Jill Paterson’s Blog

A little music, a little picture, and the “Blurb” . . .

If I could put the some of the tone of it to music, it would be as in the above video.

I feel like I’ve accomplished something with this book – lots of mystery and intrigue, yet funny and heartwarming, characters you come to love even though they can sometimes be insufferable, and something about love – with honey, not syrup, and believable.

Book – Dawn at Last – Why it’s not Free . . . Yet

Before I can give my book away on Amazon – and I can only do that for a few days – I’d really like to get a “critical mass” of people who like to read on Kindle – get my book out there for free for awhile – it really is a nice read.

Also, I’ve rewritten the “blurb” – this is such a hard thing to write! I’m still waiting for Amazon to update the new one, so here’s what it says:

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New Blurb – Don’t be fooled by the Title!

Titles can be deceiving and no one knows this better than Donna Belauche. She is the envy of every woman she knows and adored by her eight male clients and two partners . . . or is it seven and three?

With her natural beauty, education and “special” training – and with her ability to charm on a dime – she has it all, but only according to others. She prides herself in playing the game of love, winning by acting and remaining unattainable . . . but in control.

Then her plans become unravelled in sleepy Victoria, a deception of its own . . . her secrets are only a pale part of the bigger picture. As events unfold beyond her control, what was once all so predictable becomes a battle with the past, a duel with deception, including the intrusion of a few simple tulips . . . will she learn to dance or will they cripple her forever?

“Then the strangest thing happened . . . Karen covered her naked body with Andrea’s robe, put her hair up and then put on that chauffeur’s hat . . . she told me to sit down again and just wait there for a minute. Then she went over to this platter. It had three tulips on it, but she only left one on the platter and put the lid back on. Then she disappeared with this platter – after all this – such a fuss over a single tulip?”

After 300 pages you will have the answers.

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From my "Playful & Cheery" collection - which goes nicely with my novel, "Dancing With Tulips"

From one of my art collections – which goes nicely with my novel, “Dawn at Last”

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So there you have it. Now to get that free copy – when its available – the best way is to follow me on twitter @ljgrodecki.

I’m hoping/ planning to do this launch two weeks from now – May 17th – depending on how much interest there is . . . and if you’re wondering why there is an error message up in the top right, under “Tweeter in Person”, that’s probably because as of this typing, I’m still a tweet virgin . . . I haven’t tweeted anyone yet . . . I’m so nervous as to who will be the first! 🙂

Getting From A to B

Computer networking seems to be quite a popular topic in WordPress, but let me rephrase that…social networking seems to be a very popular topic.

I’ve been very impressed and amused by those who have woke up to what is somehow destined to be a failure in some important respects. I say failure because the long distance exchange of messages done with machines will never be the same as direct, fully human interaction. I would hope that we can all be thankful and appreciative of this truth. And I’m happy for those who have found happiness with others through the use of technology…good for them.

It seems I have a knack for looking at our culture differently than most. Perhaps it is because of the reading I’ve done over the years, but certainly not in totality. I only mention this because of one author and book in particular. The book is Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshal McLuhan. It’s one of those books where every time you read it, or even part of it, you learn something new as well as you can understand the world around you from a different perspective.

A Good Synopsis of “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”

If it were up to me I’d make it required reading at some point, perhaps even in high school, especially when mass media is so dominant in our culture. But then I’d also make the same requirement of the basic principles of logical reasoning. This may seem like an odd statement coming from an artist, but then I’m not really an artist, I’m a person who has a passion for doing art. There is a huge difference between the noun and the verb, between the object and the process.

The process always seems nice than the object, the journey between A and B.

I’ve always admired so much of what Einstein said, so many great quotes, such as, “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination can take you everywhere.” It seems then, in order to make sense of life in this day and age, a great deal of both is necessary if one is to think and to wonder. I do a lot of both.

I know many will say that that  just living is better than so much thinking, and I can completely relate to that, and so many happy times happened just living. For me this is not that time though. I think a lot about what is natural and about what isn’t and it does seem to come down to machines versus nature, and much of humanity seems stuck in between.

To get back to this issue of computer networking, I’d like to put in the broader context of machines. The mechanization has happened at a very rapid and accelerated pace over the last 100 years or so, and we have collectively made ourselves dependent on machines in so many ways and to such large extents and extensions, the extensions of man.

I could go on at great lengths to explain the implications of this in great detail, but I’d prefer to at least try to make my point with a few statements. For example, now and then the issue of the world being overpopulated comes up. Yet no one ever addresses the issue of the population of machines. The world has gone from about 2 billion to 7 billion people in my lifetime; I don’t have the resources to even begin to calculate what that growth is in terms of machine population. Since many people form emotional attachments to their machines, even love, it is appropriate to use the term population.

Some wars and a great deal of media attention is placed on the issue of energy, mostly oil and gas. And yet not that long ago such reliance wasn’t there. When you think about it though, we don’t need oil and gas. Our machines need it and we now need our machines.

A Great Deal of Food For Thought

In the context of computers and pretty much every mechanical communication medium, including all kinds of presses and our educational system, the reliance on electricity is even greater than that of oil and gas. Yes, electricity is dependent on machines.

And yet we call of this a ‘process of evolution’ and we’re taught about natural selection. However, so much of humanity now seems so very different than anything that I see in nature. There I can see more balance, even kindness, more of what I used to see in people, and I wonder whether we will find a way to return to a more natural life form.

Something is missing and machines won’t help us find it. This is why I’m not surprised at an undercurrent of rebellion and disappointment in what is called social networking. Perhaps a nice first step is to realize that no matter how you brand it, the phone is just a phone.

By the way, in terms of that educational system and required reading, I’d also include something to do with love…I think it might just make a good replacement for much of history.

And so because of the absence of my humor in this blog, I don’t mind borrowing a little bit of nice humor from an old television show, partly to remind you that I don’t think it’s all bad. I’m a firm believer that there is always something good out there, but then what do I know?

I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About