Praise From Caesar — The Dilettante Edition, May 19, 2013

Here I am again, after a week of perusing posts — a plethora of prose, poetry and postulations on many different topics. I regret to say that I learned an unfortunate truth, and that is that not everyone takes blogging as seriously as others. I won’t go into details, as I’m sure you’ve come across it yourselves, darlings, but there’s quite a lot out there that made me shake my head and wonder Really? Why do you bother? And that’s not even me just being over-critical, that’s just me being, well, not twelve.

That’s not to say I had difficulty finding excellent blogs — it’s just an eye-opener at just HOW MUCH is out there, and therefore, sheds some light on why it can be difficult to get solid readership when you realize how much a person sometimes has to sort through — a fair percentage of which is just pure drivel, truth be told — in order to get to the good stuff.

I also learned that there are different reasons for blogging, and that not everyone is interested in presenting original work — for some, their blog is merely a scrapbook of sorts, collecting the best of what they find of others’ work.

So, there were times when I’d stumble onto someone’s blog, be delighted at what I’d found, only to discover that they had just posted someone else’s work — which at first was off-putting, but then I appreciated that they had shown me something I hadn’t seen before, and so…

Anyhow, I should insert a modifier or a caveat or a HOWEVER here, and so I shall — when I’m considering these, I would very much like to recognize the original creator, because, well, that’s just how I’m wired, darlings.

So again, just a reminder to you all that reading is as important as writing. Art is meant to be seen, and feedback is your way of saying thank you — imagine going to see a play, or a concert, and seeing a wonderful performance, and then not even clapping — what kind of couche-tard does something like that?

That being said, hitting the Like button and running away without having read — well, that’s just silly. If you like it, say something. Encourage your fellow writers, poets, artists, photographers, editors, essayists. No one likes a discouraged writer — they drink too much and get all maudlin, and are just joyless and miserable to be around, darlings — trust me on this one.

Why don’t you start with some of these?

Fiction – The Fall of the House of Hawkins, by Wanderer, a.k.a. Hannah Sears at her blog Vers Les Etoiles. Hannah has crafted a tale combining two genres, Southern Gothic and Steampunk in a manner that is so flawless that you can’t even see the stitches, darlings. She creates a dusty, dirty, rundown atmosphere from the first few sentences, and takes you by the hand to show you the ruination of a once proud and prosperous family. Her protagonist is a man with much brewing under the surface, of which the narrator is kind enough to give you brief but delicious glimpses. He, too, carries secret burdens.

Poetry – what we are, by Susan L. Daniels. Susan’s poetry speaks volumes to me about how beauty can be found in the world as it truly is, without overly romanticizing it or falling into bouts of melodrama. How, if happiness is to be found, it is only going to be found in what we truly are, rather than in some imaginary what if, or what could be. “There is safety in archetypes,” she writes, “predicting the obvious and blaming it a planetary dance.” I believe that Susan’s poetry speaks of a deep longing for real love, and not just the Hallmark or horoscope variety. Don’t we all, darling? Don’t we all.

Photography – Ferris Wheel, by Cyndi Pachino. When it comes to photography, I simply adore nighttime shots, especially when some sort of time-elapse or slowed down shutter speed is involved (am I saying that right, Cyndi?). Cyndi has some excellent nighttime shots, and her daytime work is well framed — if you go to her site, check out a picture called Pier 14 as well — just a wonderful example of symmetry, with the horizon at dead centre.

Non-Fiction/Editorial – WE’RE NOT IN MONTANA ANYMORE: MILEY CYRUS IS A FEMINIST ICON, by Jennie Saia. Jennie paints the much maligned megastar in a fairer light than most — even I had not inkling one that Hannah Montana would have ever heard of, let alone think to cover the delicious and sadly demised Jeff Buckley, (well, it’s not his song, either, but while I can almost bring myself to believe that her royal Cyrus-ness might be aware of Jeff Buckley, I simply won’t believe that she knows about the songs true origins in a 1950s musical) but there it is in glorious technicolour, darlings. I admit I have never seen the relevance of or attention given to people’s hairstyles, but, like it or not, I can’t deny it was a topic of conversation. (See also: why do people care about Amanda Palmer’s eyebrows?) That being said, Jennie’s writing is solid and enjoyable.

Essays/Articles – Fiddling? Or Eating Bread In Circuses, by Vijaya Sundaram, at her blog V-Hypnogogic-Logic. What’s not to love about an articulate, poetic, passionate opinion piece? Especially when tempered with such apologetic honesty. It never feels like Vijaya is up on a soapbox here, but rather on her knees, pleading for some understanding, crying for a wake up call — a voice crying in the wilderness, to steal a phrase. In a world where most people probably missed the point that Suzanne Collins was trying to make (but failed so terribly at making) with Hunger Games, Vijaya Sundaram states it plainly — are we really content to be amused by technological trinkets dancing to some fiddler’s tune while Rome burns all around us? Are we willing to sacrifice our future for cheaper, easier gadgets in the here and now? This is an excellent read, darlings, and if you check out her site, you’ll see that she’s a beautiful poet and storyteller as well.

Honourable Mention: Manifesto Destiny, by Sterling Arthur Leva, at his blog Letters to Dionysus. Sterling’s writing and indeed his entire image is devilishly decadent, brash and brazen. Methinks he might be possessed, perchance, by poets passed, or it may just be that he smoked their ingenious ashes inadvertently, and as he breathed in their essence, they transformed him into the unlikely voice of the 21st Century. That is to say, darlings, that if you don’t take a moment to discover Sterling’s writing, you’ll be missing something special.

Honourable Mention: Tobias Braeuning: water drop art, by Digital Camera Abundance Blog. This blog has pictures of some absolutely stunning water drop art by Tobias Braeuning — NOTE: this is NOT Mr. Braeuning’s blog, but rather an aspiring photographer interested in his methodology.  It is quite fascinating, darlings, even if you know absolutely nothing about photography like yours truly.

Honourable Mention:  Double Exposures, by Andre De Freitas. The title of this blog is Avoid This Site, but the strange and unusual pieces found here should not remain hidden. This particular installation just proves the adage “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like”. It would seem that I have a penchant for photographic manipulation. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good photographic portrait, darlings, but it’s like the Radiohead song — Anyone Can Play Guitar — but not everyone can play guitar like Jonny Greenwood. Andre De Freitas’ photographic art is like the last minute and a half of Paranoid Android of photography. I realize that I’m praising the photographer, so I’ll say that while you should definitely not avoid this site, when you’re done browsing the weirdness there, pop on by to Andre De Freitas’ own website for more gorgeous work.


19 responses to “Praise From Caesar — The Dilettante Edition, May 19, 2013

  1. That is a beautiful and deeply thoughtful comment on that piece! Thank you! I am quite moved. (And I look forward to reading the other pieces you praised. You write very alluringly).

  2. Thank you for the mention, Helena. I can’t wait to see what other gems you’ve collected. Your endorsements always lead me to some hidden corner of the blogging world I never would have found on my own.

  3. thank you very much for the mention Helena! fantastic! and yes you were correct, i use a slow shutter speed, long exposures for my night time photography. i also do long exposure day time shots as well, using a neutral density filter to block out the light effectively. good eye!

  4. Thank you for incuding me in this wonderfully diverse list. I’m also so appreciative of the resource because – as you say – one could spend a lifetime wading through WordPress. It’s such an enjoyable experience to peruse a beautifully curated treasure trove like this.

  5. Hello!
    I get so behind in my reading that I sometimes skim and like…just so that no one thinks I have forgotten them…which of course I have not! I agree that it is more encouraging to say something. I have also read quotations on FB and then read them moments later in someones blog with no quotation marks. (how daring is that? I couldn’t do it. Plagiat. Like a swear word.)

    Otherwise, I just drink too much wine.


  6. Wow I’m honoured you mentioned my blog. I agree Tobias is quite talented and I love studying people like him and their methodology. Thanks for visiting and great blog! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Gold Stars All Around | Vers Les Etoiles·

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