September 2010 NaBloPoMo Theme: Art

I received the NaBloPo­Mo newslet­ter today and learned that this month’s theme is Art. On the one hand, I thought, “I have noth­ing to say! I’m not an artist. Blah.”

On the oth­er hand, I’m com­ing to real­ize that I must have order in my life or I start dying, bit by bit. “Ene­my of Entropy” isn’t just a fan­ci­ful blog title. Dis­or­der is painful to me. Dull col­ors, harsh light­ing, loud sounds, poor ven­ti­la­tion, and per­va­sive odors can drag any­one down, but they make me ill very rapid­ly.

If you find me sur­round­ed by chaos you can be sure that either I haven’t been in that space long enough to impose order, or that some­thing is very, very wrong.

I’m health­i­est and hap­pi­est when I’m when I find ways to increase the amount of har­mo­ny and beau­ty around me. There is beau­ty in order, and art, for me, involves order — some kind of order, even if it isn’t always obvi­ous.

I’m nev­er going to be an Artist in any clas­si­cal sense of the word. I have, how­ev­er, estab­lished peace­ful, joy­ful spaces for my fam­i­ly and friends to live in and vis­it. I put togeth­er fab­ric and fibers to cre­ate unique works of embroi­dery. When I sing, alone or with oth­ers, the result is no less beau­ti­ful for its ephemer­al­i­ty.

I’ll be try­ing to explore my own kind of art this month through blog­ging, my iden­ti­ty as an artist. And I’ll be work­ing on get­ting back to blog­ging reg­u­lar­ly, obvi­ous­ly. This is a new sort of blog post for me, more intro­spec­tive. We’ll see how that goes.

Book Review: The Horns of Elfland edited by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman

The Horns of Elfland The Horns of Elfland by Ellen Kush­n­er

My rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars
It took a while to track down this vol­ume, as it has long been out of print. Inter­li­brary loan was, once again, my friend. But how odd to read an actu­al phys­i­cal book again, when I’ve been read­ing ebooks almost exclu­sive­ly late­ly! Read more

Review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath Blood Oath by Christo­pher Farnsworth

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
Blood Oath is an inter­est­ing and fair­ly refresh­ing vari­a­tion on the vam­pire riff. Most of the cur­rent tales give us a suave, sexy preda­tor who mes­mer­izes his or her prey, leav­ing humans pin­ing for their pres­ence. They might even fall in love with a human. Nathaniel Cade, how­ev­er, refers to humans as food, say­ing, “Would you have sex with a cow?” That makes much more sense to me. It’s a good thing he isn’t inter­est­ed, either, as the typ­i­cal reac­tion peo­ple have to encoun­ter­ing him is utter pan­ic, often involv­ing the loss of blad­der con­trol. Read more

Book Review: Changes by Jim Butcher

Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) Changes by Jim Butch­er

My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars
I do not give out many 5-star rat­ings, but for this book I couldn’t do any­thing else. That is despite the fact that Jim Butch­er did some­thing I hon­est­ly didn’t think he would do to his legions of loy­al read­ers, some­thing that I absolute­ly detest. Some­thing that I will not tell you about, because I loathe spoil­ers. Read more

Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods Amer­i­can Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
I’m try­ing to remem­ber whether or not I’ve read any of Gaiman’s oth­er nov­els before, and I’m fair­ly cer­tain that I haven’t. I read Good Omens, but that was co-writ­ten with Ter­ry Pratch­ett, and the col­lab­o­ra­tion was genius. I know that the entire world seems to love Sand­man, of course, but I’m just not a fan of graph­ic nov­els. In fact, it took me a while to real­ize that the Good Omens co-author and the Sand­man author were one and the same. Read more

Where do first amendment rights go when you enter a courtroom?

I’m not even talk­ing about the rights of defend­ents or plain­tiffs, but those of peo­ple who are oth­er­wise present in a court­room who aren’t being dis­rup­tive. How much con­trol do judges actu­al­ly need in order to main­tain order in the court­room? At what point are they sim­ply being pet­ty tyrants? Read more

Review: Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

Fantasy in Death (In Death, #30) Fan­ta­sy in Death by J.D. Robb

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
Fan­ta­sy in Death is an inter­est­ing take on the death-by-gam­ing plot that has pre­vi­ous­ly been done by a cou­ple of fan­ta­sy and sci­ence fic­tion authors, most notably in Niv­en and Barnes’ Dream Park series. I doubt that most of Robb’s read­ers will be famil­iar with the oth­er books, as they’re prob­a­bly com­ing from the romance world (cross­ing over from her Nora Roberts titles) instead of the sci­ence fic­tion genre. Read more