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My First World Fantasy Con

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My First World Fantasy Con

I’d been planning to write this post for a few weeks, but I don’t think I’d really been able to process the whole experience. Now, I can say without a doubt, my first World Fantasy Con in Saratoga Springs a few weeks ago was everything I hoped it would be.

I Had No Idea

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I Had No Idea

Despite her size and the relatively short time she was with us, Dandelion’s death is every bit as painful as when our 14-year-old dog, Greta, and 14-year-old cat, Harriet, died in the last few years. I had no idea it would be like this. And I wouldn’t trade our time with her for anything.

5 Ways To Clamp Jumper Cables on Your Gray Matter

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5 Ways To Clamp Jumper Cables on Your Gray Matter

Some days the ideas feel stale. Sometimes you find yourself telling the same story you already told, just with different window dressing. All of that can lead to the “why-the-hell-do-I-even-bother” crisis. The good news is all you have to do is look up once in a while. Look out beyond writing and publishing and books and you’ll find inspiration (ideas, solutions to writer’s block, rejuvenation, whatever) in all sorts of places.

What Artistic Growth Looks Like

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Check out these two videos from Nathaniel Rateliff, one from 2010 and one from this year.


They’re both pretty damn good, right? That first one, though, Shroud, it’s pretty raw. Now, truth be told, I love music like this, but you can only get by on raw for so long. For an artist (writer, painter, musician) to endure, evolution is key otherwise the same old same old is just that. No matter how talented an artist might be, trotting out the same stuff year after year will eventually get stale.

Watching the second video, there’s still that rawness, but there’s a whole lot more going on, there’s showmanship, a true stage presence that wasn’t there before. Rateliff owns the stage. He’s gone from singer songwriter to full on entertainer. The music itself is testament to that fact as well. The song’s a complete effort by the band. And it’s glorious.

The beauty of growth is that not everyone’s going to like it, but it’s critical for the artist to keep on keeping on. Think of the Beatles or Bob Dylan or U2. Love ’em or hate ’em, they kept the flame alive by exploring their medium. Look at Picasso or Van Gogh or Rothko over time and you’ll see their work changing on different scales.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Rothko:

The progression of a painter’s work…will be toward clarity; toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer…to achieve this clarity is, inevitably, to be understood.