Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pathological Loyalty: Review of The Good Wife

"Brilliant in its simplicity." This phrase describes the novel, The Good Wife by Stewart O'Nan, perfectly. The novel has nothing to do with the new show of the same name. The novel, in fact, is about a woman whose husband goes to jail.

What is so amazing about this book is the characterization. O'Nan perfectly captures the main character, Patty, in every way. She is so believable that you feel like you could run into this woman at the grocery store. Everything about her is so inexorably real.

Due to her genuine humanness, I found myself caring about her and also frustrated with her as I would have been with a close friend. Part of what makes her so genuinely human is what she chooses to ignore, deny, and not ask, as we all do at one time or another. Her blind spots have the reader screaming at her, "Wake up!!"

She is exactly what the title describes, to a pathological degree. The title is simple, reflecting the simplicity of the novel. The novel has the simplicity of language that could be equated to Hemingway's style. However, just like Hemingway, the power of the novel lies not in literary heavy-handedness, but in deep philosophical truths of what it means to be a human being. The novel basically presents Patty, her life, for the reader to make of it what they will.

On my bookmark scale of a 1 (burn after reading) to 10 (worth reading 10 more times), I give this novel a 9.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My favorites of FSO

My first favorite is from shabbygirl in Arizona. All of her sky shots are just amazing. I also liked her next post of the hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are so fast! Anyone who manages to get a photo of one is impressive! Anyway, back to the sky. From a young age, I have always loved looking up at the sky. During the day, there is the beautiful clouds in all different shapes and formations. During the night, there is the moon and stars. Of course, the in-between of sunset and sunrise create such amazing and unique colors. shabbygirl does a wonderful job of capturing the beauty of sky.


My next favorite is the road shot at http://skidato.blogspot.com/2009/09/friday-photo-shoot-out-my-favorite.html

The colors and content of this photo are perfect for the beginning of fall. It is beautiful, but also, to me has an archetypal quality representing the pathway into the new season.

If you are interested in my own favorite photos, you can check that out at http://spiritsoflena.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Shoot Out My Favorite Place to....

This topic was a bit of a challenge. Being new to Vineland, having lived here less than a year, there are really no places yet that have become my favorite; I am still exploring. So, for this topic, I stretched the boundaries a bit.

This picture is of my favorite place to stare as I am working on the computer, including this blog. It is the view outside my back door. This picture was actually taken late fall last year. The leaves are actually just starting to turn now.

This is my favorite route to work. I took this picture to try to get the red car at the light ahead of me--it was a vintage car in really good condition. I am not a car person by any means, but this car looked pretty cool.

Magnum loves to chill under the table. I think it makes him feel safe. In this picture, he just had a little milk.

Here is one of Winston's favorite places to nap. What cat doesn't love a good ray of sun for a catnap! What is better than a cat napping in a ray of sun?!

I had to include a picture of the ocean. It is one of my favorite places to go and I know many agree with me on that one. This particular piece of the ocean is in Wildwood, where I vacationed this summer.

I, of course, had to include a picture of John. My favorite place is with him. Cheesy, but true! I made him put on this hat in the store because he takes on the persona of hats very well.

Hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Weekly Favorites of the Friday Shoot-Out

Well, I have picked two of my favorite photos from Friday's shoot-out of domestic animals. I loved this theme because there were so many stories of animals being rescued. Also, the love everyone had for their pets really came through and was great to see.

First, let me say that the friday shoot-outs are fun and wonderful! It is really a great way to see places all around the world on a weekly basis. I have really enjoyed the experience and am thrilled to be a part of it.

Second, in general, the best photographs in terms of quality of photography, in my opinion, most often come from Jen in Michigan who really has an artistic vision in her photography and Patty from Crisfield, Maryland whose professional polish in her photography is amazing.

For this week's shoot-out, though, my first favorite shot is from Doreen in Grand Rapids Michigan http://luckebabe-reflections.blogspot.com/
Her last shot of her cat taking a bath is wonderful. The detail of the fur being combed out by the tongue is really fantastic and the beatific expression of the cat makes this shot priceless.

My second favorite shot is from Nanu in France http://sciencegirltraveler.blogspot.com/

The picture of the cows by the sea. I love the contrast of colors in this shot and the juxtaposition of cows and the ocean.

For access to all the great participants of the shoot out, visit http://mytownshootout.blogspot.com

There are so many wonderful participants! I really love seeing everyone's photos!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday Shoot Out Domestic Animals

It was either a huge mistake to give me this topic or the greatest thing ever!! I love sharing pictures of my boys, Magnum and Winston. I also love taking pictures of animals. The Himalayan is Winston and he is highly loveable and likes to cuddle. The white and gray cat is my cat Magnum and he is more nervous. Though, since Winston came to live with us, Magnum has been much more comfortable.

The orange cat is one of my parents' six-toed cats, Hemingway, and the siamese is their cat Carrington. They both like to meow a lot!!

I have also included some geese in a field on a road I travel on the way home from work. And, of course, I had to include my favorite domestic animal, John!

Since I intend for this blog to be about reviewing others creative and artistic expressions as well as sharing my own, I have decided to do a post on my favorite shots for each Friday Shoot-Out. So, each week, I will put in a link to a couple of my favorite photos and talk about what I loved about them. I am also going to post the links on twitter. Many of you take really great shots!! I always look forward to checking them out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Creativity: The Power of Cross-Pollination

The creative process imitates natural processes. For instance, ideas can germinate. A creative project can grow and bloom into something quite beautiful and unique, like a rose or a tulip.

As many of us "creative types" know, the muse can visit any moment, like a humming bird vibrating at the edge of our minds until the nectar pours out in the form of a poem, a photograph, a painting, or whatever you're creating!

One important aspect when trying to attract the muse is to open up to all forms of creativity, what I call the process of cross-pollination. Exposing oneself to other forms of creativity can reinvigorate your particular art. Even tyring another creative genre can revitalize your "home genre". "Home genre" meaning the genre you consider your niche in the creative universe.

Rather than tell you where I think you should explore for cross-pollination, I will just share with you places where I have found inspiration.
I invite you to share yours as well!!

Television shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" (which is great for its choreography as well as its dancing); "Top Chef" (good food is of course an art); "Project Runway" (make it work can apply to many creative projects!); and "Design Star"

Drawing, painting, and photography as a hobby, then posting them to get feedback. I am in the process of putting some of my creations on spiritsoflenagallery.blogspot.com (creative writing is my home genre)

Studying the masters of creativity throughout history from Shakespeare to Van Gogh--whoever I come across and whoever I feel like researching at the time.

Visiting websites of those I admire which include some fellow bloggers. Some of the websites that I have really liked are:

http://skidato.blogspot.com/ (photography)

http://www.quietlikehorses.com/ (I just like the way it's written)

http://petrusboots.com/ (unique artwork)

http://mandalazone.com/ (unique hand drawn mandalas)

http://mandalaproject.com/ (several artists mandalas)

http://zenhabits.com/ (discusses creativity and many other aspects of living)

I will share more with you over several posts where I review different ones that I like.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Shoot Out Aged and Weathered

I liked this week's topic. As I have said before, some places hold their ghosts. The red structure pictured seems to be like one of those places. So does the white building. Sometimes, we can be seduced by the new, the novel, the clean, untouched. However, there is something appealing about something that has been "weathered". People even have a technique to make new things look "antiqued".

I have always liked items that have a history. When I find something at a thrift store or garage sale, I feel like the item has its own history, its own karma. I find that fact to be fascinating and it makes the item more valuable to me. I think many people with an artistic viewpoint also feel this way. Part of art is capturing the energy of an item, not just the physical aspects.

I have also included an aged and weathered piece of wood which I came across walking near my house. I just liked the texture and color of it plus it is very weathered. The rusted butterfly I just liked so I included it. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out Windows and Doors





What a great topic this week! Windows and doors are not only perfect for their architectural beauty but also work as wonderful metaphors. I can't wait to see what everyone did for this week.

I have included a round window which I took in a museum at the Smithsonian. I know it does not fit "hometown" but I just really liked it and wanted to share it. I also included a door from Wildwood and I do count Wildwood as like a second home. There was just something about this door that I liked.

I have also included a shot from a nearby door because I liked the symmetry and colors of the flowers.

Last week, I shared "doorway to nowhere" and this shot got a lot of feedback so I decided to bring it back since it fit the topic so well. I decided to stop and get a closer shot. What I realized is that there is also a "window to nowhere". I am wondering if it is a sculpture piece because this same place also has an interesting mail box which I will share one of these times!

I hope you enjoy!

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