Novel Writing, Furious Creative Kolkata, and Tagore by da-AL


Tagore (c. 1925), by unknown author, State Archive, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47866012
Tagore (c. 1925), by unknown author, State Archive, Public Domain

How’s your novel coming along? If you’re writing one, did you outline it first? Or is it evolving?

“I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” Rabindranath Tagore

In the case of the two books I’m working on, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” and “Tango & the Sitting Cat,” I outlined it, wrote a bunch, thought I was about done — and then a new character introduced himself!

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” Tagore

Blogging has brought me the unexpected joy of meeting many new online friends from India, thereby stoking my curiosity about the country. It was only natural that my books include someone at least partly from there.

“Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance.” Tagore

Niks is a minor player. It’s the year of 2002. He lives in Southern California, the best place to surf and earn a living as a model and actor. He’s a gay man in his 40s. His parents were studying business when they met at UC Berkeley’s International House, a social club intended to help foreign students feel less alone. Pasta is the dish he makes best because his Italian mom taught him how to cook. His love of great Indian literature is thanks to his dad, who grew up in Kolkata.

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.” Tagore

Are you from India? If so, feel free to correct me and/or add to what’s here…

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” Tagore

Kolkata has been called the “City of Furious, Creative Energy” as well as the “cultural [or literary] capital of India.”

“If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door — or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” Tagore

Tagore performing the title role inValmiki Pratibha (1881) with his niece Indira Devi as the goddess Lakshmi, by unknown author - Indira Devi Chowdhurani. Rabindra Smriti — Kolkata: Visva-Bharati, 1974., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16150280
Tagore performing the title role in Valmiki Pratibha (1881) with his niece Indira Devi as the goddess Lakshmi, by unknown author – Indira Devi Chowdhurani. Rabindra Smriti — Kolkata: Visva-Bharati, 1974., Public Domain

Did you know that the world’s largest non-trade annual book fair takes place in Kolkata?

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Tagore

The region is home to India’s major publishers. So are many great thinkers, such as Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 – August 7, 1941), India’s equivalent to Shakespeare.

“The most important lesson that man can learn from life, is not that there is pain in this world, but that it is possible for him to transmute it into joy.” Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath with Einstein in 1930, vy UNESCO - UNESCO Gallery, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27489646
Rabindranath with Einstein in 1930, by UNESCO – UNESCO Gallery, Public Domain

To my mind, Tagore as much a sort of Leonardo da Vinci. He was a revolutionary politically and artistically. At eight years old, he was already a poet and went on to be a musician, artist, Ayurveda researcher, actor, playwright, and more.

“Love’s gift cannot be given, it waits to be accepted.” Tagore

Quite the globe-trotter, he introduced the world to India’s creative treasures.

“Love is an endless mystery, because there is no reasonable cause that could explain it.” Tagore

In 1913, he became the first non-European Nobel-prize laureate.

Rabindranath Tagore Cherishsantosh / WikiCommons
Rabindranath Tagore Cherishsantosh / WikiCommons

More quotes by Tagore…

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”

“A lamp can only light another lamp when it continues to burn in its own flame.”

“Love gives beauty to everything it touches.”

“Dark clouds become heaven’s flowers when kissed by light.

“Music fills the infinite between two souls.”

What’s your creative writing style?

Guest Blog Post: …The Path Least Traveled… by Larry “Dutch” Woller


“Exploring the universe and chasing rainbows,” is only part of the wonderful way that Illinois blogger Larry “Dutch” Woller describes his approach to life…

onthepathleasttraveled

Diary of the journey on the path least traveled..

Me 1 copy

(No nominations please, just sharing thoughts while exploring life 🙂 ).

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt” Maya Angelou

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” Leo Buscaglia

“It’s so funny you judge me arrogant after I succeeded. You didn’t help me at all when I was so poor and needy.” Toba Beta

Hello Diary,

It is a Friday, the week is almost over with errands, tasks and chores near done… it is time to quietly and briefly take note of things learned from the yesterdays and contemplate the tomorrows… with a spot of tea in hand, thought I would leave a few thoughts… observed a unusual sunrise the other…

View original post 630 more words

Art: Ana Mendieta and Technology Reimagined by da-AL


Aristotle, Da Vinci, and artists before and after them have explored it — the question of where begins and ends the connection between people, technology, and science. Visiting the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California is always a delight of mind and spirit.

Cristian Castro of Argentina repurposed assorted machinery, including an old VW, to create a subtext imbued Dungeness crab …

Photo of dungness crab from recycled parts
EGG-771 by Cristian Castro
Photo of dungness crab from recycled parts
EGG-771 by Cristian Castro

Another of his pieces …

Photo of Seven Fishes from recycled parts by Cristian Castro
Seven Fishes by Cristian Castro
Photo of Seven Fishes from recycled parts by Cristian Castro
Seven Fishes by Cristian Castro

Here William Pérez of Cuba re-thinks the re-thinker, Albert Einstein…

Photo of Einstein by William Peréz
Einstein by William Peréz

While you’re there, be sure to catch MOLAA’s 70th birthday tribute to amazing artist Ana Mendieta, also from Cuba. Here’s another link to a little more about her …

Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants), 1972
Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants), 1972

You can see art I’ve created here. And more of my posts about art here and here and here and here and here  …

Sneak Preview of My Friend’s Art Show by da-AL


Be a model with me on April 16!

Here I’m goofing off while my fine artist friend Connie DK Lane fits some of her designs for her upcoming show, “Bravura.” Too shy to model? Visit us anyway. Connie’s art will be displayed the entire week.

Bravura” in Connie’s exact words: A large number of hand-made anthropomorphic forms made out of latex rubber, a simulation of apparels for all genders, will be displayed throughout the window case, from support devices, ceiling, and walls. The opening on April 16 will feature a live fashion show where students and audience members are invited to model the unique latex clothing forms and walk within the window passageway.

When: Opening show April 16, art exhibit runs through to April 20, 2018

Reception: April 16, 4-6pm — performance at 5pm

Where: Cerritos College Fine Arts, 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650

Parking: $2 on-site for entire day.

Here’s the first post about Bravura Here’s one about one of Connie’s previous shows and here’s Connie’s website.

Here’s when the show took place!

My Friend’s Art Show by da-AL


Art lovers — join me at artist Connie DK Lane’s show, “Bravura.” She’s asked me to be one of her models. You can be one too!

Bravura” in Connie’s exact words: A large number of hand-made anthropomorphic forms made out of latex rubber, a simulation of apparels for all genders, will be displayed throughout the window case, from support devices, ceiling, and walls. The opening on April 16 will feature a live fashion show where students and audience members are invited to model the unique latex clothing forms and walk within the window passageway.

When: Opening show April 16, art exhibited until April 20, 2018

Reception: April 16, 4-6pm — performance at 5pm

Where: Cerritos College Fine Arts, 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650

Parking: $2 on-site for entire day.

Here’s a previous post about Connie’s art and here’s her website.

Here’s  the pre-show ‘getting ready’ post. Here’s the performance.

Happy International Women’s Day by da-AL


Why isn’t this celebrated more in the U.S., the way it is in other countries?!

Here I offer a tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, an amazing lesbian woman of color who influenced even Chuck Berry.

First a brilliant performance…

Now more about her…

Which woman has influenced you most for the good?

Let’s All Drop Labels by da-AL


Video Still from Drop Labels dot org websiteFirst impressions. It’s hard to restrain myself from making snap judgments about people when I first meet them.

Worse is when I settle for my shallow analysis and end up labeling folks.

We’re all complex, all of us alike yet different from each other, so I doubt anyone appreciates my boxing them into a label. Moreover, embracing knee-jerk categorizing limits me from enjoying all the marvelous aspects of the people I meet as well as learning the really good stuff from them.

Alas, training myself to stop being an automaton seems impossible.

Not so! There’s hope, thanks to this consciousness-raising site founded by a wise new friend. Drop Labels features videos of people discussing how being labeled has hurt them. The site goes above and beyond threadbare definitions of types of labels. For instance, this man has found that he hates being labeled as ‘the man with cancer’ …

Do you label? Have you been labeled?

How do you live? by da-AL


Nest of chicks
Thanks Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

“You only die once.

You live every day.”

Quote by John Feal

John Feal founded the FeelGood Foundation, which helps 9/11 responders as they continue to deal with the aftereffects of dealing with injuries and toxins.

We must, he reminds us, make the most of our lives. Every day we get out of bed offers us a new opportunity.

Good deeds, moreover, are infectious. In a recent radio interview Feal recounted how, when he’s in line to buy coffee, he often pays for the drink of whoever’s behind him.

His philosophy: when we’re kind, we can’t help but be kind to others.

The kindness of others has helped me to be a better person. How about you?

Magic: David Sedaris Makes a List by da-AL


If you don’t already know who David Sedaris is, you should. He’s a great writer, that’s why — moreover, he’s a fabulous performer of his writings.

Author David Sedaris

His most recent book is least like his prior books. For those new to his writing, it’s easier to start with any of his older books. His recent, “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002),” is his most personal and darkest.

Regardless of whether you hate him or never read a single sentence of his, he’s a mega-publishing success.

With that held in your mind, dwell upon the fact that many years ago, when he was very young and very depressed, he wrote up …

A  L i s t

Years later, he’d gotten every single thing on it and more!

Author David SedarisI listened to him reading his book and didn’t read it in print, so I’m paraphrasing …

David Sedaris’ 10 Reasons to Live

  1. Christmas
  2. Family beach trip
  3. Writing a published book
  4. Seeing my name in a magazine
  5. Watching ‘C’ grow bald
  6. (This one I couldn’t figure out what he was saying)
  7. Seeing Amy (his actress sister) on tv
  8. Other people’s books
  9. Outliving my enemies
  10. Being interviewed by Terry Gross (host and co-executive producer of the hugely popular National Public Radio show, “Fresh Air”)

Me? My lists tend to be daily ‘to do’ ones. Often I have to shake myself and look at the bigger of what I’m trying to achieve. Once I do, though, my life seems to track better. With a good optimistic overview of where I hope to go, work doesn’t seem as much like work and patience comes more easily.

What’s worked for you? Do you keep lists?

Video: “Let’s End Ageism,” TED Talk by Ashton Applewhite


Author Ashton Applewhite is a great blogger too: ThisChairRocks.com
Author Ashton Applewhite is a great blogger too: ThisChairRocks.com

We’re in the age where we’re boxed into ‘isms’ — sellers want us to buy more, more, more — and the most effective way for them to reach us is to niche-itize us.

I’m sharing this video because author/activist Ashton Applewhite discusses more than simply old-ageism …

Please share your thoughts …