The actual painting is a bit bigger than this, and you should be able to click on the picture once or twice to see the actual size.
practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.
Onward and upward, some say. In my case, it’s literal. I’m now up in the high snowy altitudes of the Vermont mountains. I’ve had the good fortune to be lent the use of a wonderful place on the top of a mountain. The view from here is forest as far as the eye can see. And silence. Peace. Just the occasional shush of the wind through the trees. A great environment to paint, write, and read. An artist’s retreat, really.
Which is exactly what I need. On this first night I have my papers out for my stories, notes for edits for books, paintings to complete, and a list of things to do.
I also have a big box of food to get me through most of the time here. Basics - potatoes, rice, pasta. Proteins - my 3 frozen chickens. And the necessaries - hot spices, a bit of cheese, tortillas, a couple bottles of wine, some veg, and the ubiquitous box of Cheez-its. :)
And so I stand out on the deck, watching the wind shift and toss the dusting snow into whirls and swirls, mist rising between the ridges of forest, the clouds parting for the sun, and then closing again.
I stand inspired and ready to begin.
There have been some huge things going on here with family. I’m on a short hiatus between teaching semesters in Argentina, and have been lucky to stay with my eldest sister and her family in Connecticut during this time. Great times with my niece (soccer, WII battles, storytime), nephews (pingpong, basketball, soccer, sledding, hermit crabs....), and my sister and brother-in-law. But all of that came at a time where their family is getting ready to adopt a little girl from China.
With each day that passes, there is a ratcheting up of emotion. I like to think of it as the emotion of the unknown. It can swallow you up, or it can lift you. Depends on how you allow the emotions to affect you. It’s like being at the beginning of a huge journey. There’s uncertainty, worry, fear, stress, wonder, excitement. Every day. All balled-up inside you. You can prepare. You can plot, theorize, buy stuff, seek council, whatever, but what you can’t do is move time forward and get the trip started. So there is a strange waiting that happens.
I can’t say I know what it’s like to prepare as a kid to have a sister arrive who speaks another language. I can’t know what it’s like to prepare to be a parent for a child who you’ve never met, never spoken with, and who very likely is going to be incredibly frightened when her world is turned upside-down.
But I do know that they’re incredibly brave to fly across the world to rescue a little girl who has had to overcome so much in her young life, and bring her into their family.
And I know that I’m looking forward to meeting my new niece, Violet.
So the anthology Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy Tales of Challenging the Norm (Crossed Genres Publications), came out a few weeks ago, and the reviews are starting to trickle in. Got some nice reviews for my story ‘To Sleep with Pachamama’ here:http://subvertthespace.com/kayholt/2012/01/31/reading-subversion-day-6-the-end/
A side note: I think there might be a positive and negative to being the last story in an anthology. On the positive side – editors want to bookend an anthology with strong stories. The first story has to be good to get the reader into the book. The last story has to be good to leave the reader with a good feeling after finishing the book. But on the flip side, in a themed antho, a reviewer (or reader) could be tired of the theme by the end of the book, or have run out of things to say about stories. I don’t know if anyone has ever studied this, but it was something that popped into my mind.
Quick post here to give out the link to my newest interview now published in Lightspeed Magazine. I interviewed Angel Alonso, an incredible digital artist based in Spain, whose painting is featured on the cover of the January issue. Check out the Artist Spotlight.