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Showing posts from January, 2014

Inspired by the Artist

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By Kenneth A O'Shaughnessy

Art is designed to evoke a response. Sometimes that response is wonder, sometimes envy, sometimes revulsion, and sometimes, more art. Ekphrastic poems are poems written about another kind of art, like film, dance, or painting.

In the poem below, I write ekphrastically about two kinds of art: the art of the drawing artist, and the art of the Creator. 

The drawing below was made by 10 year old Anya. It depicts her naturalist younger brother examining a caterpillar he found.

The poem pays tribute to the artist by using her initials as the acrostic for each verse, and relates her drive to draw to the way she was created by the first Artist.
And if I be lifted up, I will draw Lines that define a world created Dividing light from darkness
And the earth was without form Light made shade and shapes appeared Darkness directing the eye to light
And God made man in his image Lifting up a stick figure with his finger Dust filled with artistic Spirit
And God saw that it was good Lo…

Hyperlinks

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By Laurie Epps

When you first start blogging, it can be an overwhelming experience. Everyone seems to know the lingo except you. This is one of those discussions that should clear up at least one more vocabulary word for you.

Just follow along with us in Edie Melson's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. Her book will break down for you all the terms you need to know in very simple terms.

ACFW: Anderson Workshop

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By Laurie Epps

I can't tell you how valuable going to the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference has been for me. I've networked with writers from all over the country, learned new skills of my craft, forged friendships, and created job leads for myself that I'd not have made otherwise.

One of the tips I learned right away is that networking is essential for us as writers. Many of us are shy, and it's why we're writers in the first place. Writing gives us a forum to share our ideas. As many who know and love me, I'm not shy in the slightest, but I empathize with those that are.

Hauntings: The Work of Toni Scott

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By Laurie Epps

In honor of African-American history month, I respectfully dedicate this column to their national legacy. 

Toni Scott is a painter and sculptor from Los Angeles, CA. I was fortunate enough to have met her briefly this past fall when her Bloodlines exhibition was showcased in my school's Vandiver Gallery. As the descendent of slaves, Europeans, and Native Americans, her artwork is very personal and tells us a lot about her family history.

Something about Toni Scott's artwork, and the presence of this very talented artist spoke to me on a very intrinsic level. Her line entitled Bloodlines, tells the story of slaves in this country. Though centered around tragic events, this is also a tale of triumph of the human spirit. (Much like the artist herself.)

To view the exhibit that was at my university, click here.

The Marriage of Labels and Keywords

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By Laurie Epps


What's a label? What's a keyword? Today we're going to talk about not only what they are, but how they are connected. Both label and keyword form a marriage that increases your SEO = Search Engine Optimization. Let Edie and I teach you how.

Still, we are working with Edie's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. This is a step by step guide to teach you the in's and out's of how to create a successful presence on the Internet.

Love and Infatuation: A Story of a Young Woman

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By Laurie Epps
Last spring in my Art History class we had a creative writing option in lieu of our term paper assignment. Being a creative writing major, and completely burnt out on a thesis driven paper, I just embraced the idea to express myself and my ideas in a different way.

Of all the portraits, Portrait of a Young Woman by Mary Louise Elisabeth really resonated with me. I imagined the subject of this French rococo painter to have the sweet and precocious nature of Marianne as in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. So I just went with my idea, and much to my essay's delight. I hope you will all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Bit About Analytics

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By Laurie Epps

Everyone has statistics on their blog, but what do they mean? How do they translate into positive changes on our blog or website? Today we'll talk about using those demographics to help tailor your blog to the mission of what you hope to accomplish.

Here to show us the ropes, is my mentor Edie Melson with her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

The Great Perez

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By Laurie Epps

One month ago today, my dear friend, Anthony Joseph Scott Perez took his last breath to this world. After being admitted to the ICU unit of the hospital on December 2, 2013 unconscious, Anthony spent all of the next ten days fighting for his life. Anthony's family very reluctantly were persuaded by the doctors to take him off life support, but without the aid of machines, Anthony passed away just 13 hours later on December 12, 2013.
There was a huge contrast in personality between Anthony and I, yet we seemed to embrace those differences and appreciate one another. Quickly we grew to love one another in spite of his fun-loving ways, and my bookish tendencies. One could almost say that Anthony was street smart, and I was book smart. Yet he still could appreciate my serious and creative nature, and I could appreciate his strong masculinity, his devotion to his friends and family, his tenacity, his easy-going & hard-working attitudes towards life, and his Latin sexin…

My First Ekphrastic Poem

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By Laurie Epps

I confess, when I went to Paris to live there in my teen years, I didn't know a lot about art. I loved it though, and something about it resonated with me on a basic and intrinsic level. Almost instinctually, I knew what I liked, and what I didn't like. Often, this response was much different or even opposite of looking at an art book in school.

While in Paris, I fell in love with Claude Monet. I'll never forget the day I saw one of his paintings at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. I stopped in my tracks and was struck with awe. I think I sat in front of one of his famous japanese footbridge and water lily kind of paintings for three-four hours. That really short changed my time for the rest of my visit!

Using Keywords Effectively on the Internet

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By Laurie Epps

Back in the old days, the best form of publicity was the phone book. To have your company at the top of the list, you simply had to begin your company name with the letter A. That would ensure your company would be called first in your type of business.

But today, when you need a plumber, or a math tutor for your kid, you reach for your computer and search for what you need using a phrase and the name of your town for results. All of this is determined using keywords and SEO. We'll tell you what this means for you with the helpful advice of Edie Melson in her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Going Home for the Holidays

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By Laurie Epps

Natalie Goldberg talks about the importance for us to go home as writers in her book Writing Down the Bones. She challenges us to go home and take along a journal. Goldberg asks us to write down what does it look like? What does it smell like? At the very least, take memo's in our mind for future writing.

Ekphrastic Poetry

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By Laurie Epps

Ekphrastic Poetry is the topic for January 2014. But before we go any further, we must discuss what ekphrastic poetry is. Loosely, the word Ekphrasis means the writer is making a comment about another art form or is making a response to it.

A classic example is John Keats poem, "Ode to a Grecian Urn." I will be writing this style all month, and I welcome you to also send entries for my January 30, 2014 column.