Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ABC Wednesdays, F is for Fractal

This is a new 3D fractal I made using FractalWorks. It works on Macs
and is a time sink because it is endlessly fascinating.

Handsome!

DUDE!

How Many Books Have You Read? My "sco...

How Many Books Have You Read? My "score" is a 43, if I counted right...but I think there's a couple others I've also read but wasn't sure of so I didn't put them down.  I guess once you can't remember, it shouldn't count?


The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Put a % after those you've read a portion of.
3) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
4) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
5) Tally your total read and put it in the title.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (*? )
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (x)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte ( )
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (+)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (x )
6 The Bible (%)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte ( )
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (x)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (+ )
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (*)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (x)
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (x)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (x )
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (*)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier ( )
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (x)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (x)
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger ( )
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (*)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell ( )
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (x)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens ( )
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy ( %)
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (x)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (  )
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (  )
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (x )
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (+)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (x)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy ( )
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (*) (X?)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (+)
34 Emma - Jane Austen ( )
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen ( )
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (+)
37. Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini ( )
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres ( )
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden ( )
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (x)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (x)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown ( )
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( )
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving ( )
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ( )
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (x)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ( )
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (+)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (x)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan ( )
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel ( )
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (x)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons ( )
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (x)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ( )
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( )
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (x)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (+)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon ( )
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (x)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (x)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (x)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt ( )
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold ( )
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas ( )
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (x)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy ( )
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding ( )
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie ( )
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (x)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens ( )
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (*)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (*)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson ( )
75 Ulysses - James Joyce ( )
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (x)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome (+)
78 Germinal - Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray ( )
80 Possession - AS Byatt ( )
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (x)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ( )
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (+)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ( )
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert ( )
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ( )
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White (+)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom ( )
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (x)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( )
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad ( )
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (x ) (in both French and English!)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (x)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Toole (x)
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas ( )
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (x)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (+)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (x)

As S says:  14/98 -- Hamlet is part of the Complete Works of Shakespeare.
AND (same thing), 33/36 -- TLTWATW is part of the Chronicles of Narnia.
So technically there are only 98 books, not 100.  Perhaps that's to give people who read the TLTWATW and Hamlet, but did not read Chronicles and Complete a chance to get some credit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

self-portrait sketch, age 8

When I was eight years old, my father took me on a long train ride down to New York City to go to the opera at the Met. We saw the Magic Flute, and the thing I remember most about it was Papageno, the bird man. I also remember how everything was gold and dark red velvet and how I was made to wear a frilly pink dress and bows in my hair. I hated pink. But I was awed by the Met. I have never been back and that was about 55 years ago.

This is a sketch with pencil and colored pencil in Peggy's sketcbook.

Sketchbook Exchange sketches

Five sketches in Peggy's book. One has a poem, a prose poem.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Raven

Raven, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Two recent raven art piece combined, for fun, and for Creative Every Day. Click image to view larger. Left: a digital painting, right: a sketch in a sketchbook exchange book.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lucifer, a Hagiography, by Philip Memmer

Lucifer, a Hagiography: Poems Lucifer, a Hagiography: Poems by Philip Memmer


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
My favorite poetry is magical. It inspires, provokes, tantalizes, upsets, worries and inspires. This is such a book. It deeply explores the human condition in amazing, painful and enlightening ways. I loved it!



Lucifer, the oldest son of God, grows up in Heaven and then falls to earth where he lives among people. He (And the author, Philip Memmer)is very sensitive to the human condition. The poems are poignant and heart wrenching. They are also so thought provoking that they inspired me to dash out and do research on Lucifer and the Bible. Very interesting. I read every poem several times and found it almost like a novel. I didn't want to put it down until I'd completed it.


View all my reviews.

It's a Magical World

It's A Magical World (A Calvin and Hobbes Collection) It's A Magical World by Bill Watterson


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Calvin and Hobbs, I just laugh and laugh. It's funny and intelligent.


View all my reviews.

Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post (Godine Storyteller) Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome


My review


Another excellent Arthur Ransome book. This one starts out more slowly than Peter Duck. And it gets a bit tedious in the middle, but it becomes very interesting and exciting at the end. A worthy read for those interested in children's literature. The Swallows, Amazons and D's go searching and mining for gold to try to keep Captain Flint near home. And they find . . . well--read it and find out--it's worth it.


View all my reviews.

Peter Duck

Peter Duck: A Treasure Hunt in the Caribbees (Godine Storyteller) Peter Duck: A Treasure Hunt in the Caribbees by Arthur Ransome


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Arthur Ransome, and this book lives up to my hopes and expectations. This one is a cliff hanger. The Swallow and Amazon children go sailing in the ocean with Captain Flint, Peter Duck, an old sailor, and a boy--they get chased by pirates--real pirates in a search for buried treasure. It's a page-turner for sure. Lots of fun, excitement and danger.(Looking for a good book for a child? Start with Swallows and Amazons.)


View all my reviews.

Friday, February 13, 2009

M is for Mary, M is for Maple, M is for minnow

I WAS TAGGED ..NOW YOU'RE IT!

Rules: It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 people. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real. . .nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.


Have Fun!!
1. What is your name: Mary
2. A flower's name: Mayapple, Mandrake
3. A boy's Name: Matt
4. A girl's Name: May
5. An occupation: mayor
6. A color: Mauve
7. Something you wear: mask
8. A food: Meat
9. Something found in the bathroom: medicine
10. A place: Mexico
11. A reason for being late: meander
12. Something you shout: Mom!
13. A movie title: Monekeybone
14. Something you drink: Milkshake
15. A musical group: Mamas and Papas
16. An animal: Mouse
17. A street name: Milwaukee
18. A type of car: Mercury Marquis
19. A song title: "Multiplication"
20. A verb: miss
21. a tree: maple

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

stickers, turning Lemons into Lemonade

I was done doing art in Andrea's mole and was going to mail it off,
but first I wanted to add some stickers to the sticker page. I went
to where my stickers were supposed to be, and they weren't there. I
looked a number of places, tore things apart, couldn't find them. I
decided to make stickers, easy enough, right? Wrong! The first few I
printed didn't print right. In fact, none of them did, really. But I
rolled with the punches, LOL, and did what I could with them. It's
the bluebird of happiness revisited yet again, wishing you all a happy
valentine's day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Parsnip Fretta (say WHAT?)

Parsnip Fretta (say WHAT?)

Our refrigerator seems to get empty with alarming regularity. Maybe it's the Brownies who eat all our food. (yeah, right!) And it's that time again. Lunch time, and almost nothing to eat. I peruse the nearly empty shelves of the fridge and freezer, gathering shreds of food to construct a lunch. A chunk of carrot, one parsnip, and eight of a yellow squash. Nothing green, no mushrooms. I saute them and add an egg. Amazingly tasty! Of course, hunger will do that to you!

I lied


When I wrote the post, “Living Inside My Words,” five days ago on February 4th, I lied. I lied with the excitement of enthusiasm. I had set for myself the goal of starting a new poem Tuesday morning and working on it twice a day every day during the week between assignments for my poetry class with Dawn McDuffie. And I’d been doing that and was euphoric with happy results. Not necessarily results anyone else would find stunning, but results that pleased me. I was dancing with my muse and I was thrilled. I wanted to share my excitement with everyone I know, especially people who are deep in the creative life.

Of course, everyone secure in the creative life has their own process, and I am afraid I came off sounding a little “holier than thou.” I didn’t mean it—I was just so wired with creative adrenaline. And now I have to admit the truth—most of the time, working on my new poems twice a day is just a goal, not a reality! I do succeed sometimes, it’s true. I also often fail. This week, I missed two whole days. Just too busy.

I do find, however, that I personally am happiest and most successful at my writing if I do follow my stated goals. I also need to be flexible. Life does have a way of swallowing creative time, and poetry is also not my only creative endeavor. So forgive me if I seemed overbearing and obnoxious—believe me, I am all too human!!!

I am looking forward to tonight’s class and all the wonderful work of my classmates. I learn from them all, each and every one, as well as from the teacher—and that’s why we all come together!

Found below is the revised version of my February 4th post:

A Glorious Process

I'm taking a Springfed poetry class with Dawn McDuffie at the Scarab Club. It meets Monday nights. I love Dawn's classes, they are fun, inspiring, and safe. I rarely feel threatened by overly vigorous criticism.

Monday nights, we get an assignment. Tuesday mornings, if all goes well, I write a new poem, based hopefully on my assignment. Tuesday nights, if possible, I review and and revise. Wednesday mornings, if I can, I review and revise again. Though some weeks, I'm too busy, my goal is to read and revise the poem twice a day until I'm happy with it. I take the assignments seriously because I want to absorb Dawn's lessons and learn from myself and the discoveries I make while I work. I'd like to write good poetry.

I have learned that if I inhabit the poem, if I really live inside it, I make discoveries about myself and the world that enhance the poem, at least for me. And each discovery brings a little joy, a little euphoria. Sure, there is struggle, panic. Sure there is the tedium of searching a thesaurus for the right word and of changing phraseology, only to change it back, three, four five times. But then, there is that aha moment when something inside the poem opens to admit me deeper into its mysteries, deeper into myself.

The poem may still not be done, but it's one step closer, and there will hopefully be more ahas and more revisions. Revision means to re-VISION, to re-see, and vision involves awareness of the self and world, of the interconnections of things. That joy of discovery applies to my prose writing as well. It's a glorious process. It's why I write. It's why I take classes with Dawn through Springfed.

Every Monday, we have sharing, I get to hear my classmates' discoveries and learn from their successes and failures as well as my own. A wonderful camaraderie occurs in the classes that makes it all even more fun.

Mary Stebbins Taitt, student in Dawn McDuffie's Monday night Springfed class at the Scarab Club.

PS: art is one of the things I do creatively besides poetry and the piece above is a brand new art piece I did today. If you click on the image, it will expand to a larger size.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

Getting to the heART of it!


Mother Henna is having a "heART Festival" for valentines day. This is my contribution. I am hoping I may add more to it. It currently contains one art piece and a poem. I painted the heart with water colors and then played with it in Photoshop.



I love poetry, art and photography. Here is a heart poem--it started out as two but I combined them:

Waking Twice

i. Posing Nude in the Snow

On a plate, eyeballs the size of fish eyes
roll and tumble. Round. They stare in every direction,
with irises olive drab. I tip the plate toward my mouth
and pour them in. They smush on my tongue
like capers, salty, sour and sharp. Some escape
and look inside my mouth and belly. Perhaps
they will see my heart: a burned out cinder. A hunk
of graphite. Stone masons attack at it with hammers
and chisels, trying to recarve stone into a facsimile
of love, but the eyeballs all know better.

ii. Catching Dreams in a Butterfly Net

Thousands of rainbows dance in a field of spray;
I imagine they'll slip through the net like air,
like fog, like the spray itself, but it holds them,
shining fish, softer than carp roe, brighter than trout,
slipperier than eels. I swallow them whole
in a whirl of cherry, strawberry, orange,
lemon, lime, blueberries and concord grapes
They wriggle and slide into the cage of my ribs
and swim there, lighting the cold cinder of heart
with color. The sun when I catch it doesn't burn
the fibers of net. It tastes like fireballs, cinnamon
and cayenne and roosts in the cinder of heart
like a banty taking to the trees at dusk.

Whoever told you chickens don't fly
never had banties! Even some of the white leghorns
fluttered to the rafters when the fox came in.
(Which still wasn't the point you were making,
of course.)

Meanwhile, the sun flaps its yellow wings,
fluffs its white belly and puffs my cinder of heart
into a great balloon that thrums in my chest glowing
and shimmering with rainbows, throbbing and singing:
an electrical tinnitus that seems to chant: Oh Joy, Oh Love,
oh Glory. Halleluiah. Wait what? Me? Not likely.
Only a dream. The wind must have tossed those flowers petals
that litter my morning quilt.

Mary Taitt
For Kay Ryan, Jim Doran, Rhonda Welsh, Lottie Spadie, Dawn McDuffie, Bagelboy, Mike Kline, and Janine
090206-1207



I am planning to add to this post (some art)

Waking Twice, a new poem and art piece

Waking Twice

i. Posing Nude in the Snow

On a plate, eyeballs the size of fish eyes
roll and tumble. Round. They stare in every direction,
with irises olive drab. I tip the plate toward my mouth
and pour them in. They smush on my tongue
like capers, salty, sour and sharp. Some escape
and look inside my mouth and belly. Perhaps
they will see my heart: a burned out cinder. A hunk
of graphite. Stone masons attack at it with hammers
and chisels, trying to recarve stone into a facsimile
of love, but the eyeballs all know better.

ii. Catching Dreams in a Butterfly Net

Thousands of rainbows dance in a field of spray;
I imagine they'll slip through the net like air,
like fog, like the spray itself, but it holds them,
shining fish, softer than carp roe, brighter than trout,
slipperier than eels. I swallow them whole
in a whirl of cherry, strawberry, orange,
lemon, lime, blueberries and concord grapes
They wriggle and slide into the cage of my ribs
and swim there, lighting the cold cinder of heart
with color. The sun when I catch it doesn't burn
the fibers of net. It tastes like fireballs, cinnamon
and cayenne and roosts in the cinder of heart
like a banty taking to the trees at dusk.

Whoever told you chickens don't fly
never had banties! Even some of the white leghorns
fluttered to the rafters when the fox came in.
(Which still wasn't the point you were making,
of course.)

Meanwhile, the sun flaps its yellow wings,
fluffs its white belly and puffs my cinder of heart
into a great balloon that thrums in my chest glowing
and shimmering with rainbows, throbbing and singing:
an electrical tinnitus that seems to chant: Oh Joy, Oh Love,
oh Glory. Halleluiah. Wait what? Me? Not likely.
Only a dream. The wind must have tossed those flowers petals
that litter my morning quilt.

Mary Taitt
For Kay Ryan, Jim Doran, Rhonda Welsh, Lottie Spadie, Dawn McDuffie,
Bagelboy, Mike Kline, and Janine
090206-1207

This is a "new poem" made by combining two earlier drafts into a
single poem and then revising some. The art piece is also a revision
of an older piece which I have revised and posted multiple times in
different forms.

Because NO Polar Coordinates is my "Master Blog," I am posting this to both No Polar and to my poetry, The Smell of Sun. For Creative Every Day words theme.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Living Inside my Words

I'm taking a poetry class that meets on Monday nights. I've been doing this off and on for several years, with Dawn McDuffie at the Scarab Club. Every Monday night, we get an assignment. Every Tuesday morning, God willing and the creeks don't rise (Forgive the cliche!), I write a new poem, based hopefully on my assignment. Every Tuesday night, I review and and revise. Every Wednesday morning I review and revise, and so on as the week passes until Monday. Monday I spend a good part of the day working on my new, week-old poem, and finally print copies to take to class.

The reason I do this is because I have learned that if I inhabit the poem, if I really live inside it, I make discoveries about myself and the world that enhance the poem, at least for me. And each discovery is a little joy, a little euphoria. Sure, there is struggle, panic. Sure there is the tedium of searching thesaurus for the right word and of changing phraseology, only to change it back, three, four five times. But then, there is that aha moment when something inside the poem opens to admit me deeper into its mysteries, deeper into myself.

The poem may still not be done, but it's one step closer, and there will hopefully be more ahas and more revisions. Not to beat a dead horse, but revision means to Re-VISION, to re-see, and vision involves awareness of the self and world, of the interconnections of things. And it applies to my prose writing as well. It's a glorious process. It's why I write.


(The photos represent a first draft poem and a poem further toward completion.)

(Because No Polar Coordinates in my "Master Blog", even though I already posted this to Half-formed, I am posting it again here. Posted By Mary Stebbins Taitt to Half-formed, the Processes of Mary Stebbins Taitt at 2/04/2009 08:09:00 AM)

Orchid in fog

(The fog was on my lens as I walked into the warm, steamy conservatory after being outdoors in the cold!)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

BB's first pie

I was going to bake a pie for dinner at ML's, but BB volunteered to do
it--I told him what to do. It came out very good!
Delicious--apple-berry--apple, raspberry and blackberry. And it's
already been devoured. His first ever pie, yum!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Pancake Day

It's Candlemas, St. Bigid's Day, Imbolc, Groundhog Day. A day to eat
pancakes, see your shadow, light candles, take down your Christmas
tree.

I made crepes:

1/4 c milk, i egg, 1/4 c flour for each crepe, more or less, whisk up.
I used whole wheat flour and some seeds and rice milk for mine--yum.
\

I wrote a poem about it, brand new today, for my class tonight.

Candlemas
How Geraldine becomes a Saint, Feb 2, 1961

One by one, with needles pricking and dropping
with lisping sounds like falling rain through
the drooping branches, Geraldine picks lengths of tinsel
from the browning tree. She turns the dull and shining
strands in the colored lights to see them sparkle,
watches small streams of color wash and wriggle
across the ceiling like eels in Uncle Jake's creel.
She blows at the tinsel, puffs gently on the filaments
draped over her fingers, watches the light ones rise
and flutter while the heavy ones barely move.
New sun filters though the lace curtains, adding
another layer of pattern to the patches of color
and the ghosts of branches on the walls and ceiling.
Mama calls her to come out and see her shadow.
"The woodchucks," she says, "the groundhogs,
are sleeping in the woods, under the snow,
they won't be seeing any shadows, but you
can see yours instead." Geraldine waves
at her shadow and laughs when the shadow
waves back. Laughs and laughs and waves again.
Watches the blue hand move against the pink snow.
"Bye, bye winter," Mama says. "Well, anyway,
it's half gone, and that's worth celebrating."
Geraldine celebrates by leaping up and down
and shouting, laughing again as her shadow leaps
along with her, silent as the watching sparrows.
They give the sparrows yellow millet and golden
corn. "Yellow and gold for the sun," Mama says.
"Yellow for the sun," Geraldine repeats.
"Pancakes for breakfast," Mama says. In the center
of each pancake, she makes the shape of a sun
with a smile and many rays. "For St. Brigid,"
she says, "for the happy, growing sun."
Geraldine eats her suns with maple syrup
and asks for a pancake with her shadow in it.
"Here you are," Mama says, sliding the pancake
onto Geraldine's plate, "St. Geraldine, goddess
of shadows." Geraldine waves goodbye
to the pancake and to her pancake shadow,
as she forks it into her mouth, bite by bite.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
For Geraldine and the High Priestess