Happy Birthday, Leonor Fini: The Fiery Artist



“I paint pictures which do not exist and which I would like to see.”- Argentine  painter, Leonor Fini (August 30, 1908- January 18, 1996)*


 fini cats and dolls

fini woman with cats



Leonor on her aesthetic strategy:  “I strike it, stalk it, try to make it obey me.  Then in its disobedience, it forms things I like.”


“She is magnificent, perturbing, mocking enigmatic, terrible and compassionate.  She is Leonor Fini; painter of the surreal, illustrator of books, theater.  Her art is the crack in the mirror, the edge of the equation, the dream of tremendous important half-grasped upon awakening, whose meaning dissolves with daylight.”- Catherine Styles McLeod  from the Architectural Digest , March 1986

 leonor fini

“In her life as well as her art, Fini continually advanced the notion of autonomous, absolute woman; beautiful, imperious, and governed by passion.”-  Whitney Chadwick, Art Historian

fini ladies




fini casta diva


links for further information on this extraordinary painter and writer:



* some sources claim her birth year as 1907

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 10:32 am  Comments (20)  
Tags: , , ,

Writing Update: Steampunk Ahead

music playing:  Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”

After brainstorming  for my Victorian murder mystery,  “INSIDE THE LANCHESTER HOUSE” for the last few weeks, I’ve decided to put it aside for the meantime to work on this steampunk novel idea that’s been brewing in my head.

I’ve always wanted to try my hands at steampunk, and last night I remembered a very old fantasy novel I’d hidden away.  I took a look at it, and thought, “You know, with some revising (okay, a lot of revising) this could work.”  The writing is hilariously bad (over a decade old so you can imagine.  No.  Please don’t imagine), but the story itself is a lot of fun.

This morning, I revised the first chapter.  Yeah!  My plan is to go through the whole thing, revising the general story, characters, writing, etc.  When that’s done I’ll see about building my alternative, steampunking Victorian world.

As much as I love the story behind, LANCHESTERS, my heart wasn’t presently into it.   Today, working on the steampunk novel, or what shall become a steampunk novel, was fun.  And I realized after finishing, PORTRAITS, which is rather dark, I needed to engage in something more playful.  So, steampunk ahead.

How’s everyone else doing?

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm  Comments (32)  
Tags: , ,

On Characters: Male and Female

Recently on the popular, “Absolute Write” website, there have been threads dealing with male and female characters.  On these, some people (including females) have stated they find writing three dimensional females much more difficult than males.  This baffled me, so I did some thinking.

This is what I came up with.  It all comes down to fear.  A lot of writers worry needlessly about whether their character is likeable or not.  My hunch tells me that these same writers worry even more about making their female character likeable.

Such concern is pointless.   One, you can’t please everyone.  Just as not everyone is going to like your novel in general, not everyone is going to like your character.  The vital thing is creating an interesting character that people want to read about.

Another concern I’ve heard has been along the lines of, “I have trouble creating a believable female character”.  Believable, being the key word.    Well, guess what.   There’s no such thing as a believable female character.   That makes it sound like all women are alike.  No.  We’re not.  There is absolutely no such thing as A female character any more than there is A male character.   Personality types, hopes, fears, wants, and behaviors run the full spectrum in both genders.

C.S. Lewis said, “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

I believe the same applies to making a character “believable”.  If one sits down and thinks, “Okay.  I need to create a believable female character”, they’ll stress  too much on what they think a female character is supposed to be like, rather than creating a real, individual character.

Your characters, regardless of gender, become real, thus believable, when you give them hopes and fears, good traits and flaws.  Who is your character?  What do they want out of life?  What are their dreams and nightmares? 

Ask your character such questions and let them come forth.    Let them simply be who they are, for good or bad. Let them breathe on the page.  They will be real.  And believable.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm  Comments (38)  
Tags: , , , ,

Of Writing and Swamps

My writing process is not pretty.  

 This current WIP is beginning the same way PORTRAITS  did.  In utter madness.   My stories begin with me diving into a mental swamp.  It’s dark and murky, but I know something is down there.  My first drafts are never really true drafts in the sense they aren’t a narrative at all.  Rather, they are pages and pages of discovery.  Random images, dialogue, scenes.  I write it all down as it comes, in all its nonsensical glory.

Seventy five pages in and I’m learning about my main character.   Her loves and fears.  Why she was placed in the asylum. . .

And then there’s the murder.  I’m combining my love of the Victorian era with my love of  Agatha Christie whodunnits.  I have my victim and the culprit.   The end scene is clear.

This swamp is fun to play in.

How is everyone else’s writing coming along?